Saturday, February 28, 2009

Second day of NFL's "Hot Stove" just as hot as first day

- The Giants agreed to terms with former Falcons linebacker Michael Boley. (Cue A-Rod: "Boli, or bole") It's a five-year, $25 million deal.

- The 49ers lost WR Bryant Johnson to the Lions but added WR Brandon Jones, formerly of the Titans. Sources say they're also involved in the Kurt Warner sweepstakes.

- The Broncos apparently were working on a deal that would have sent Jay Cutler to the Bucs and brought Matt Cassel to Denver, to be reunited with his offensive coordinator in New England, Broncos head coach Josh McDaniel. That was scrapped when the Patriots traded Cassel to Kansas City. Denver is reportedly now talking with other teams about trading Cutler, with the Lions being one suitor.

- Speaking of the Broncos, they have been one of the busier teams thus far, already signing nine players in free agency, including Jabar Gaffney, Correll Buckhalter, Brian Dawkins, JJ Arrington and Andra Davis.

- The Cowboys made a few moves, signing former Falcons LB Keith Brooking and trading for Jon Kitna, who will back up Tony Romo in Dallas, in exchange for cornerback Anthony Henry.

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

Chiefs get Matt Cassel AND Mike Vrabel in deal with Pats

Sports Illustrated's Peter King is reporting that yesterday's deal that sent Mike Vrabel from the Patriots to the Chiefs for the 34th pick in this year's draft will also include QB Matt Cassel.

It's a great move for Kansas City. The team gives up only a second-round pick and acquires a locker room leader in Vrabel and a quarterback in Cassel who has proven he can start in the NFL.

The only downside for the Chiefs is the $14.6 million salary Cassel will command after being franchise tagged by New England, but my guess is Kansas City will be working on an extension.

Video: Stephon Marbury scores 8 points in Celtics debut

If Marbury, as The Rock says, "knows his role and shuts his mouth" with Boston, they could be deadly come playoff time.

Jets making a big splash early in the free agent period

First they snagged Bart Scott after a little back-and-forth with the Ravens.

Then former Ravens d-coordinator Rex Ryan scheduled former Ravens safety Jim Leonhard for a Saturday visit with his new team. Everyone seems to think that's where Leonhard will eventually sign. I don't know if he's a guy to write home about, but he is a rising defensive back in the NFL.

And finally, "Gang Green" has completed a deal that will send two draft picks to Philadelphia for cornerback Lito Sheppard.

It shouldn't be a shock that Ryan's philosophy is to win with defense, because that's what the Ravens have done since their inception into the NFL. Maybe this team can win with someone like Kellen Clemens or Brett Ratliff at quarterback, but I still think they would be wise to get someone who can better manage the game, like Jeff Garcia.

Hell, even Rex Grossman got a team with a strong defense to the Super Bowl, and he's available.

(Image of Jenn Sterger courtesy NJ.com)

Video: Shaq has 45 points, 11 rebounds against Raptors

Why is this noteworthy? Because Shaq is an old man, but he can still get down with the young guys. And because Shaq is always good for page views.

Quick Pic: Andre Iguodala with a picturesque dunk

Here is a pretty fancy photo of Andre Iguodala dunking while Al Harrington looks on. It was a dark game for the Knicks, who came back from a huge first-half deficit to make it a game, but still fell to the Sixers, 108-103, at Madison Square Garden Friday night.

(Image copyright 2009 NBAE. Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Even more action on the first day of NFL free agency

- Bart Scott flirted with the Ravens again, but made it official with the Jets, finally agreeing to a six-year, $48 million deal.

- Brian Dawkins, the life-long Eagle, has agreed to a deal with the Denver Broncos.

- The Minnesota Vikings signed newly acquired QB Sage Rosenfels to a two-year extension.

- The Chiefs have traded for LB Mike Vrabel.

- Dominique Foxworth signed a four-year, $28 million contract with the Ravens, helping to replace Chris McAllister.

(Image courtesy The Baltimore Sun)

Some late-afternoon linkage: Friday, February 27th

- Titans and Kerry Collins agree to two-year deal.

- The fun never stops at Tirico Suave. They're back with the "Lesser Known Mount Rushmores of Sports," Day Five: Mt. Rushmore of Genetic Proof That Steroids Don't Work as Well Without Actual Talent.

- Maurice Clarett has a blog that he updates from prison, via Shutdown Corner.

- Celtics sign Stephon Marbury and he might even play tonight against the Pacers.

- Tom Brady and his semi-attractive girlfriend have tied the knot, No Guts, No Glory tells us.

Lots of action on the first day of NFL free agency

- You already know about Albert Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall signing with the money pit that is the Washington Redskins but there's a lot more going on, according to my sources (the internet).

- Bart Scott and the Jets have reportedly agreed to a five-year, $40 million deal. Scott will reunite with former Ravens defensive coordinator and new Jets head coach Rex Ryan.

- In non-signing news, the Bucs have traded for tight end Kellen Winslow. The Browns get rid of a headache who has often been injured. I'm wondering if that's a good idea for Tampa Bay, a team with a young, inexperienced coach. Pairing him with a loudmouth player who hasn't accomplished anything but feels that the world owes him everything might be a little risky.

- According to FOX Sports, TJ Houshmandzadeh is in Seattle meeting with the Seahawks brass. Other likely teams he will meet with include the Giants and Eagles.

- The Patriots have been busy today as well, signing ex-Jag RB Fred Taylor and ex-Jet TE Chris Baker to contracts.

Mets will also wear commemorative cap patch for 2009 season

In the interest of fairness, I'll tell you about the Mets and the patch they will wear on their caps to commemorate their new stadium, Citi Field. That stadium, mind you, is sponsored by a company that currently is 36% owned by the federal government thanks to the recent bailout.

The patch on the cap is considerably more creative than the one the team will wear on its uniform sleeve, so apparently they had someone other than a group of 4th graders design this one.

Video: Shaq can do it all, plays goalie for Phoenix Suns?

At the end of a recent practice, Shaq apparently wanted to show teammate and soccer fanatic Steve Nash that he can do a few things on the pitch as well.


(Hat tip to NESW Sports.com)

Bank of America backs out of Yanks deal; Mets, CitiGroup still forge ahead

Bank of America did a smart thing, in this tough economy, and backed out of a $20 million per year deal for premium signage at the new Yankee Stadium. BoA had recently been given bailout money by the federal government and it would have been foolish and outlandish for them to continue with the agreement with the Yankees under those circumstances.

It doesn't bother the Mets and CitiGroup, though.

CitiGroup has been begging for more bailout money each day, but still promises to go through with the $20 million a year naming rights to Citi Field, despite backlash from taxpayers, basically giving a giant middle finger to everyone.

Nice work, Mets.

Dan Snyder throws the bank vault at Albert Haynesworth

It really isn't very shocking, since the Redskins are the Yankees of the NFL, but Washington has signed Albert Haynesworth to a seven-year, $100 million contract. The deal includes $41 million in guaranteed money, with $32 million of that being paid in the first 13 months.

That's a huge contract, no doubt, but what's more surprising is the deal that the 'Skins gave to DeAngelo Hall - a six-year, $54 million pact.

Dropping Links: Friday, February 27th

NEWS
Nomar Garciaparra deciding between A's and retirement |FOX Sports.com|
Manny Ramirez again rejects Dodgers' contract offer |SI.com|
Father of Nick Hogan crash victim tried to hire hitman to kill wife |Rajah.com|
Brandon Jacobs says Giants need Plaxico for Super Bowl run |ESPN.com|

BLOGS
ESPN releases NCAA Championship Week announcing schedule |Awful Announcing|
Neil Best riles people up with Newsday's plan to charge for online content |WatchDog|
A look toward the NBA free agent class of 2009 |The Scores Report|
Nate Robinson is turning into quite a marketable guy |Sports Biz|

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tiger's back!!! Aaaaand now he's gone...

I don't know if you had heard, but some guy named Tiger Woods returned to golf at this week's Accenture Match Play Championship. He beat Brendan Jones in the first round of the tournament and everything looked to be right on track for golf's golden boy.

But today he lost to South African Tim Clark.

Now we can't be too hard on Woods, who hadn't played competitive golf in eight months, but we can be hard on the networks and people who acted as though Jesus Christ was going to walk on water on live television with Woods' return.

That obviously didn't happen but, as we all can guess, in time Tiger will return to his dominating form. He'll have two weeks to shake off the "ring rust" before the CA Championship at Doral.

(Photo courtesy Associated Press)

Some mid-afternoon linkage: Thursday, February 26th

- The Sports Hernia details ESPN's hard-hitting "bottom line" scroll journalism.

- Tim Kurkjian calls "Mike & Mike in the Morning" the stupidest show he's ever been on, via Awful Announcing.

- SI.com says Michael Vick could be out of prison as early as May 21st.

- Tirico Suave, always a great read, back with the Lesser Known Mount Rushmores of Sports, Day Four: The Mt. Rushmore of Fertility.

- Via The Big Lead, Hannah Storm is quickly becoming the new Erin Andrews.

- Michigan football cuts ticket prices a whopping $3.57 each for season ticket holders, via The Scores Report.

Yankees to wear patch on cap as well as sleeve for 2009 season

Newsday's Neil Best tells us that the Yankees will wear a patch on their caps, as well as their sleeves, this year to commemorate the inaugural season of the new Yankee Stadium.

Dropping Links: Thursday, February 26th

NEWS
Giants ink Brandon Jacobs to 4-year, $25 million deal |Newsday|
Marquette's Dominic James out for season with broken foot bone |ESPN.com|
Tiger Woods returns to golf and his winning ways |FOX Sports.com|
Dodgers up the ante in Manny Ramirez negotiations |CBS Sports.com|

BLOGS
The NFL is feeling the economic crunch as well |No Guts, No Glory|
Maryland bball fans create "Operation Scheyerface v 2.0" |DC Sports Bog|
Laveranues Coles cut by Jets, wasn't as good as we pretended |What About Bob?|
Five reasons Ric Flair is awesome |The Smoking Section|

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Some mid-afternoon linkage: Wednesday, February 25th

- The guys at Tirico Suave continue their "Lesser Known Mount Rushmores of Sports" with Day Three: The Mt. Rushmore of Gruesome Sports Injuries.

- Friend of the blog Bob Mantz drops a few Craig Carton lookalikes on us.

- John Paulsen of The Scores Report feels pretty much the same way I do about ESPN's Rick Reilly.

- Everyone has a reality show these days, so why not do one about the Phillies bullpen?

- "Agent Zero" himself is back at practice and Josh Q. Public is feeling it.

- Friend of the blog Bob Glauber tells us Derrick Brooks and Warrick Dunn will get tossed off the Bucs' ship.

Video: Rich Eisen's annual 40-yard dash in a suit

Everyone and their mother will be posting this video today, so why not jump on the bandwagon?

It's NFL Network's Rich Eisen doing his annual 40-yard dash in a suit at the NFL combine. In 2005, he ran it in 6.7 seconds. In 2006, 6.2 seconds. He ran a 6.34 in 2007 and in 2008.

What would his fate be this year?


Just about the same time as the last few years. This video is just one more reason to like Rich Eisen. And how funny was it seeing him run with the future NFL pros?

WFAN's Craig Carton blasts Newsday's Neil Best

Boomer Esiason's partner Craig Carton took a few shots at Newsday's Neil Best, also of WatchDog fame, during this morning's Boomer-Carton show. Carton was upset that Best did not mention him in an article about the new Yankee Stadium's obstructed views, claiming he brought the whole thing up on the radio show the week before.

Best says he first read about it in New York Magazine, which wrote about the topic in September.

Carton went on to call Best a "fraud," "hack," and "copycat." Ouch. Carton forget to mention that he himself is an arrogant copycat, trying to emulate Howard Stern with every fiber of his being.

Best's response on his WatchDog blog was priceless.
That's OK. I'm like A-Rod. People call me "fraud" all the time, but only to my face, in a joking sort of way. My editor often begins the day by saying, "Which Best is it going to be today, 'A-Best' or 'A-Fraud?'"

A-Rod dead at 33

Or at least that's what The Onion says.

Alex Rodriguez is alive, but "A-Rod" is dead.

(Image courtesy Onion Sports Network, h/t to Bob's Blitz)

Dropping Links: Wednesday, February 25th

NEWS
World Baseball Classic final rosters are set |MLB.com|
Colts make it official, release Marvin Harrison |CBS Sports.com|
Michael Crabtree can't decide what to do about his foot |ESPN.com|

BLOGS
Redskins likely to sign Albert Haynesworth? |The Scores Report|
Pro poker player Ernie Scherer III arrested for murder of parents |Bob's Blitz|
Lesser known Mt. Rushmore's: Day Two |Tirico Suave|

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Knicks and Stephon Marbury finally part ways

The buyout is official and Stephon Marbury will be free to sign with any team after clearing waivers in 48 hours.

Terms of the buyout were not disclosed but it comes just in time for "Starbury" to sign with a contender and still be eligible for the playoffs. The cutoff date for that is March 1st.

The most likely team is the Boston Celtics, as has been rumored for months now. But I wouldn't be shocked if the Spurs or Mavericks made a play for the guard. Even though he hasn't played competitive basketball in over a year, Marbury can score in bunches and came to camp looking to be in great shape.

(Image courtesy Associated Press)

Can we please get Rick Reilly off the television?

I know the guy is a great writer. I actually enjoy his writing very much.

But he is just not meant to be on television. He makes Emmitt Smith seem eloquent.

I'm watching him right now on ESPN, doing one of their annual February shticks, "Mt. Rushmore's of Sports." His corny 1980's jokes and lack of knowing what to do with his hands are making me think I'm in a freshman level public speaking class again.

Sure, I can't blame it all on Reilly. ESPN has to somehow justify paying him $2 million a year to write an article once a week, so they stick him on the air every once in a while.

And maybe I'm just bitter because he doesn't like bloggers because they, you know, comment on sports. Wait a minute, Rick! Isn't that what you do?

(Image courtesy Jarts.com)

Video: Crazy Devin Harris buzzer-beater against Philly

That headline pretty much sums it up. Take a look.

Dropping Links: Tuesday, February 24th

NEWS
Knicks, Marbury could reach buyout agreement Tuesday |NY Daily News|
Jim Leyritz will somehow stay out of jail before DUI murder trial |SI.com|
Colts have released Marvin Harrison, according to his agent |ESPN.com|

BLOGS
Mickey Mantle's autographed "F*** Yogi" ball for sale |Sports Biz|
Texans QB Sage Rosenfels likely headed to Minnesota |What About Bob?|
High school women's basketball player can dunk with ease |The Dagger|
Citi Field controversy is getting weirder by the day |The Final Score|
Madden 10 will feature quarterback improvements |PastaPadre.com|

Monday, February 23, 2009

Video: Me & Stephon, Episodes One through Five

Here is the collection of videos that have been made by Brendan McNamara along with Stephon Marbury, titled "Me & Stephon." Alan Hahn of Newsday has more scoop on the background of the videos but they're pretty funny nonetheless. I've embedded Episode One and you can click the links below for Episodes Two through Four.


Episode Two: Me & Stephon: On Bonds of Forever
Episode Three: Me & Stephon... talk break-ups
Episode Four: Me & Stephon... still talking break-ups
Episode Five: Me & Stephon... do a starbury.com commercial

Charles Barkley will spend five days in jail for DUI

According to ESPN, Charles Barkley will spend five days in jail beginning March 21st after pleading guilty to two counts of DUI.

"Sir" Charles returned to TNT this past Thursday and issued an apology for his actions. He seemed remorseful and will serve a harsher punishment than a lot of people thought - myself included.

Being a famous, likable athlete, I figured Barkley would get off with a fine but drunk driving is nothing to mess around with and I'm glad he isn't getting off easy just because he's a public figure.

Video: 10 year old lacrosse sensation Ryan Lanchbury

Last week I showed you a six year old soccer sensation and this time we head to the lacrosse... um... indoor court. This is 10 year old Ryan Lanchbury of Burlington, Ontario, Canada, who is apparently really good at LAX. I really can't tell. It all looks the same to me, but at about 1:45 there is a goal that looks pretty nasty.

Quick Pic: Nationals 1B Nick Johnson at confession?

Haven't had a good Quick Pic in a while but this one just made me wonder. What the hell are they doing with media day photos this spring?

Perhaps Johnson was just in there praying he wouldn't get hurt again this year?

(Image courtesy Dan Steinberg's DC Sports Bog.)

Video: Who says they only travel in the NBA?

From The Big Lead comes this clip of Duke's Elliot Williams getting away with a few extra steps during the Duke-Wake Forest game.


Sure, he keeps his pivot foot. But how many times can you shuffle it around like that?

Video: Dwight Howard's 75-foot pregame shot

Here's a long heave from "Superman" during warmups for yesterday's Magic-Heat game. I know, it's not that special, but everyone else is going to have it up and I need to keep up with the Joneses!

Dropping Links: Monday, February 23rd

We were experiencing some technical difficulties this morning, so here's a mid-afternoon look at what's good around the web...

NEWS
Marvin Harrison has asked for his release from the Colts |CBS Sports.com|
NY Rangers fire head coach Tom Renney |FOX Sports.com|
Cardinals offer Kurt Warner bigger contract |ESPN.com|

BLOGS
The lesser known sports Mt. Rushmore's, day one |Tirico Suave|
Ray Lewis dreams of playing in Dallas...and Baltimore...and New York |What About Bob?|
Beer pong linked to a rise in herpes cases? |Bob's Blitz|

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Video: Reporter gets Jim Calhoun all fired up

Ken Krayeske, a freelance journalist, got a credential and asked UConn coach Jim Calhoun about his salary during these tough economic times. Calhoun was not pleased.


The kid even got a shot at the "real" reporters in there. The thing I don't get is how Calhoun is boasting and being so arrogant about his salary, and people think it's funny. But if A-Rod or some other highly paid athlete were to do that, they would be vilified.

And coach, how much of that $12 million do you give back to the kids in the form of cars and free grades?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Would you take a chance on Michael Vick?

If you were the General Manager of one of the teams in need of a quarterback, what would you do? Would you give the soon-to-be-released criminal a look?

Let's take a look at the pros and cons of adding Vick the Dogslayer to your team's roster.

Even though he hasn't played recently, his arm is most likely still stronger than many quarterbacks in the NFL. With a recent shift in offensive style in the league, Vick could be very good in a Wildcat-like system. His athleticism is tremendous and could probably be used in other positions, if a team were to convince him to switch to running back or wide receiver.

The most obvious con, though, is the massive public relations hit an organization would take for signing Vick. Even though he's served his time, people will be unlikely to forgive him. PETA would be protesting every single game. And Vick has a huge contract.

But with a convicted killer playing in the NFL in Leonard Little and another suspected killer in Ray Lewis, would it be that unrealistic to think Vick would be welcomed back? Those men aren't vilified anymore (except by me) and Lewis is even a hero and role model to many.

The one thing we should know by now is that it is all about winning. Whether you've cheated the game by using steroids, killed a person or slaughtered dogs, someone will give you a chance.

Video: Brandon Jacobs and the Harlem Globetrotters

I don't think Brandon Jacobs is contemplating giving up football any time soon, but he does show some nice hops in this clip.

Emmitt Smith will not be back at ESPN next season

Emmitt Smith won't be making up his own words or telling us about the "rice of passage" on ESPN anymore. His two year contract is set to expire and the "worldwide leader" will not renew the deal.
"We thank Emmitt for his contributions to ESPN and work ethic the past two years. We wish him all the best," ESPN spokesman Bill Hoffheimer said.
Alas, this isn't the end of the road for Emmitt. You can check out all his "Emmitt-isms" at WalterFootball.com!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Video: Six year old soccer sensation Madin Mohammed

Yesterday it was a hockey video and now some real football - or soccer, as we wacky Americans call it. Talk about mixing things up! It's a clip of Madin Mohammed, a six year old Algerian who has already been compared to Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane.

MLB 2K9 official player ratings released

This is about a week old, but a developer for 2K Sports' MLB 2K9 has revealed the official player ratings for the game. Every player is detailed, including free agents like Manny Ramirez and Orlando Hudson. The format is a little confusing but you can get the gist.

For a more condensed list of only the top ten players at each position, check out PastaPadre.com.

Tyson Chandler is handling the rescinded trade very well

The Hornets' center was traded from New Orleans to Oklahoma City earlier this week but the trade was rescinded after Chandler failed his physical due to a toe injury. Other reports speculate it had something to do with his asthma condition.

You would think something like this would create animosity, but Chandler doesn't seem to mind. From his blog entry on the subject:
The next day was just comical. I walk into the locker room and say, "Ya'll couldn't get rid of me!"

And everybody starts busting up laughing. I did the skit from Training Day when Denzel Washington was like, "King Kong ain't got nothing on ME!" Everybody was laughing and having a good time.

With my teammates it's all love. They welcomed me back like a brother.

With management, it's always going to be a little funny because these guys just tried to trade me away and I got bounced back to them. I'm sure that will be pretty awkward.

But for me, it doesn't matter because I play for my teammates, myself my family and the fans. That's all that really matters to me and that's all that will ever matter.
(Image courtesy ESPN.com)

Video: Charles Barkley's apology on Thursday's NBA on TNT

Charles Barkley was back on the air last night for TNT, in his usual capacity. He issued an apology about his actions and is hoping we can all move on.


Sir Charles has to be on his eighth or ninth chance by now, but people like him and he makes TNT and the NBA money. That, my friends, is what it's all about.

(Hat tip to Awful Announcing for the vid.)

Video: Nate Robinson dunks over Biff on "The Late Show"

"KryptoNate" Nate Robinson was on "The Late Show with David Letterman" last night to discuss the team and his Slam Dunk Contest championship. To close the segment, Robinson jumps over stagehand Biff Henderson to perform a nice jam.

Newsday's Neil Best promotes this blogger's alma mater

Neil Best of Newsday's WatchDog blog recently sat down with wrestler Mick Foley to discuss the film "The Wrestler."

Foley and actor Kevin James are two alums of SUNY Cortland that are a bit more well known than I. Both attended Long Island's Ward Melville high school together, as well as Cortland.

(Image courtesy Cortland.edu)

Josh's Corner: The top ten NFL free agents

Our pal Josh Garcia is back to drop some wisdom on us from the Left Coast. This time, he runs down the top ten free agents that will be on the market this offseason. You can read more of Josh's guest posts right here.

The NFL offseason chatter started over their meaningless, non-watched exhibition game that they play in Hawaii. Upcoming free agent Pro-Bowlers talking about where they might go and what might happen. That's the only thing I take away from the Pro Bowl. So here is my list for top ten free agents:

1) Albert Haynesworth - DT
Albert is a force in the middle and can dominate games when he wants to. He is going to get a higher contract than that of Jared Allen's last year, and he might bring a team from good to great.

Where he will go: Atlanta is where I think Albert will end up. His home is there and Atlanta is in a position to make a push for him.

2) Ray Lewis - LB
Ray Lew is arguably the most coveted FA and not because of his on-the-field play. It's what Lewis brings to the locker room, as well as the field, that makes him such a highly regarded and highly wanted player.

Where he will go: Dallas may chase him but when all is said and done, Ray Lewis will be back home in Baltimore.

3) Karlos Dansby - LB
Coming off a Superbowl loss, Dansby will not be a cheap signee. He was one of the bigger names on the Arizona defense, which isn't saying much, but Dansby will be a good signing where ever he goes.

Where he will go: New Orleans will be looking to re-stock at LB and look for them to make Dansby, "Saint Karlos."

4) Julius Peppers - DE
When Ju Pepps is on his game, he is probably the best defensive end in the game. Yes I know he's been franchised, which makes this situation a little more complicated. That's also why he is lower on the list. Instead of getting into what teams will have to do to get him, I will focus on the fact that he doesn't want to be in Carolina for a long term deal and wants to be traded because he was tagged. He has indicated 4 teams. The Saints, and Bucs are two of those teams so I don't see that scenario working out. The Panthers don't want to see him twice a year. Atlanta is a possibility but that would ruin my Albert pick. Dallas is the last team but the Cowboys don't have a first round pick so that scenario is unlikely as well.

Where he will go: I don't know, he could hold out but I think he will begrudgingly play for the Panthers this year.

5) Jonathan Vilma - LB
Nothing flashy here just a tackling machine. He hasn't been what a lot of people expected coming out of the U, but he finished in the top ten last year in tackles and could bolster any team's defense.

Where he will go: Since Dallas is letting Zach Thomas and Kevin Burnett go via free agency, and it is unlikely they will get Ray Lewis, I think they will try and succeed in signing Vilma.

6) T.J. Houshmandzadeh - WR
Our first offensive player to make the list, his solid play has been overshadowed by Ocho Cinco's mouth. He caught 92 balls last year for 908 yards with who at QB? Yeah, I don't know either. Just imagine what he is capable of after getting out of Cincy and to a potentially winning team.

Where he will go: T.J. will be an Eagle next year and be that number one guy that Donavan McNabb has missed since T.O. left. T.J. can also catch the ball and run in the endzone without letting go of the ball before crossing the goal line.

7) Brian Dawkins - S
I know he is a bit old (35) but he is a veteran that a lot of younger on the thresh teams could look at. Plus, players play longer now and are in better shape. Okay, I'm reaching a little bit.

Where he will go: The Houston Texans and Dawkins seem to fit like peanut butter and jelly. They need a hard hitting safety and defensive leader. He could be just the guy to get that Texans D to the next level.

8) Atari Bigby - S
I know what you're thinking, I don't want some guy on my team that was named after an old video game system and who is this joker anyway? Okay, well, Bigby was hurt most of the year last year but is an up and comer in my eyes. He seems to be everywhere on the field when he is healthy, sort of like the pong ball when you get to the last level. Just like boop boop boop. In 2007, playing 16 games, he had 86 tackles and 5 picks. He is only 27 and his best years are in front of him. I think he may be the steal of free agency.

Where he will go: Miami is re-building and Bigby would be a good piece to put in place in the secondary.

9) Devery Henderson - WR
This Saints speedster will be coveted for just that...speed. He may be one of the fastest men in the NFL, but with New Orleans having an arsenal of weapons he will be somewhere else next season.

Where he will go: This scenario hinges on Oakland not drafting Michael Crabtree, but considering they just signed Nnamdi Asomugha (sound it out) to a 3 year/$45 Million dollar deal, maybe Al Davis will spend less money on a wideout. Maybe? Anyway,Devery can run forever and let JeMarcus Russell launch 80 yard passes his way.

10) Jeff Garcia - QB
Laugh all you want but out of all the free agent quarterbacks he makes the most sense to me for a team that wants to win now. Any team that is looking at him has a phenomenal back which will set Jeff up in the play action and out of the pocket where he is most dangerous. He knows how to manage games and doesn't turn the ball over.

Where he will go: Minnesota is a perfect scenario for him because he can hand the ball off to Adrian Peterson 25 times a game and they have one of the best O-lines in football. To me it's a no-brainer.

Also keep an eye out for big cuts like Marvin Harrison from the Colts and Roy Williams from the Cowboys. Well, safety Roy Williams from the Cowboys. I'm sure there will be more big names, maybe T.O.?

Dropping Links: Friday, February 20th

NEWS
Tiger Woods will return to golf next week |CBS Sports.com|
Texas Tech and Mike Leach agree to contract extension |FOX Sports.com|
Tom Glavine will return to Braves with one-year deal |ESPN.com|
A recap of all the NBA trade deadline deals |SI.com|

BLOGS
Full World Baseball Classic announcing schedule |Awful Announcing|
The five biggest NBA trade deadline teases |The Scores Report|
Lastings Milledge is the newest "Ocho Cinco" |DC Sports Bog|
Marvin Harrison to be waived, could reunite with McNabb in Philly? |Shutdown Corner|

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

GNC not pleased with Alex Rodriguez

During A-Rod's interview with Peter Gammons and in Tuesday's press conference, Rodriguez mentioned GNC several times, referencing how he was "young and stupid" and that many of the products would trigger positive test results. (Don't mind that run-on sentence.)

The nutritional supplement company isn't very happy about being tied in with all this mess. From Newsday's Anthony Rieber:
"GNC does not sell illegal anabolic steroids," the statement said. "GNC is always troubled when an athlete who cheats himself and his profession attempts to implicitly or explicitly scapegoat another person or organization for his gross lapses in judgment, even if he was 'young and stupid' when it happened. GNC is confident that the public understands the difference between unlawful drugs that one's cousin has to inject into the body, and the legal, safe products for sale in its stores."
(Image courtesy Willowbrook Shopping Centre)

Video: Alex Ovechkin's amazing hockey goal

Here it is, hockey fans! A post just for you!

Take a look at this incredible goal by Alex Ovechkin. He steals the puck, passes it to himself off the boards, then finishes it off with a crazy shot for the goal.

Video: Guillermo interviews Paul Pierce and Shaq

Here is a clip, courtesy of NESW Sports.com, of Jimmy Kimmel Live's Guillermo asking Paul Pierce and Shaquille O'Neal a few questions during this year's All-Star Weekend festivities.

Knicks finally get rid of Jerome James

The Knicks did the impossible, finding a team that would actually take Jerome James off their hands. That team is the Chicago Bulls, who will also receive Tim Thomas and Anthony Roberson in exchange for Larry Hughes.

Dropping Links: Thursday, February 19th

NEWS
Tyson Chandler fails physical, headed back to New Orleans |ESPN.com|
Ken Griffey, Jr. headed back to Seattle on a one-year deal |CBS Sports.com|
Ravens will franchise tag LB Terrell Suggs |FOX Sports.com|

BLOGS
ESPN will launch ESPNChicago.com in April |Awful Announcing|
Ken Berger with all your NBA trade deadline gossip |BergerSphere|
Santonio Holmes fined for Super Bowl TD celebration |What About Bob?|

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

High school basketball is a much angrier game than I remember

During Tuesday night's Carver-Montgomery v. Valley high school playoff game in Alabama, a Valley player shoved a Carver player. What started as a simple on-court tussle escalated rather quickly.


And just when you thought the melee was dying down, the fans started getting into it again. The game was called off after the fight and both teams are awaiting word on a resolution.

My guess? Both teams will get disqualified. At least that seems like the smart, example-setting move to make.

(Hat tip to SPORTSbyBROOKS for the vid.)

Mike Francesa really needs to find a co-host

The guy is unbearable to listen to right now. It's just him, for six and a half hours, on his pulpit of self-righteousness, waving his hand at the producers like an orchestra conductor as he cuts callers off.

And then he says, "I never cut anyone off."

I never thought I'd miss Chris Russo this much. I'm thinking about getting a Sirius subscription again just to hear some excitement and an occasional change in speaking tone.

Then again, Mike's monotone soliloquies are good for lulling me into an afternoon nap.

Video: No look, underhanded, behind-the-back three pointer

From Josh Q. Public comes this amazing basketball shot:

President Obama gets autographed shoe from Shaq

From the Associated Press:
PHOENIX — What's the ideal gift for a basketball-obsessed president? Try a size 23 sneaker personally autographed by Shaquille O'Neal.

The Phoenix Suns center couldn't be around himself when President Barack Obama arrived at Sky Harbor International Airport Tuesday afternoon. So when the president stepped off of Air Force One, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon's son Jake made the presentation at the foot of the stairs.

Dropping Links: Wednesday, February 18th

NEWS
Cash-strapped Hornets trade Chandler to OKC in four-player deal |SI.com|
Saints waive all-time leading rusher Deuce McAllister |FOX Sports.com|

BLOGS
The OKC Thunder have only just begun wheeling and dealing |BergerSphere|
Ken Griffey telling his friends he will be a Brave |Heyman's Hot Stove Blog|
A list of questionable athlete photography poses |No Guts, No Glory|
The bong Michael Phelps hit belonged to millionaire poker pro |SPORTSbyBROOKS|

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Video: A-Rod steroid press conference highlights

Here are some highlights from Alex Rodriguez's Tuesday afternoon press conference regarding his "banned substance" use, from ESPN.com.

A-Rod press conference today at 1:30pm ET

In case you hadn't heard.

It will be shown live on ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNEWS and ESPN The Ocho. According to Peter Abraham, there are already a bunch of reporters there, including those non-sports media types who like to come and act high-and-mighty. Because, you know, they deal with much more noble things like politics.

Dropping Links: Tuesday, February 17th

NEWS
#4 Pitt knocks off the #1 ranked Huskies of UConn |FOX Sports.com|
Jason Richardson suspended following 90-in-a-35 arrest |SI.com|
Jaguars release long-time running back Fred Taylor |CBS Sports.com|
David Ortiz says steroid users should get one year ban |ESPN.com|

BLOGS
An explanation of the weird Jeannine Edwards-Billy Gillispie relationship |Awful Announcing|
How long will Steve Kerr last in Phoenix? |BergerSphere|
A-Rod on the cover of The New Yorker and it's not good |The LoHud Yankees Blog|
KryptoNate t-shirts to go on sale Tuesday at the NBA Store |WatchDog|

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

Monday, February 16, 2009

WWE Legends of WrestleMania videogame full roster revealed

WWE's "Legends of WrestleMania" videogame will be released March 24th and today the final set of characters was revealed, bringing the total to 38 playable characters and three managers.

The biggest name missing from the roster? "Macho Man" Randy Savage, who doesn't get along too well with WWE chairman Vince McMahon. I thought with the upcoming WWE release of a "Macho Man" DVD set that Savage could be featured in the game but, alas, I was wrong.

You can check out the full LoWM roster at Rajah.com.

Jesse Ventura calls for Bud Selig to be indicted

And he makes an excellent point. From FOX Sports.com:
"In the early '90s, the federal government came into pro wrestling and tried to put (WWE Chairman) Vince McMahon in prison for steroid use of wrestlers," Ventura told NBC's affiliate in Denver. "My question is: They've now determined 104 baseball players failed their steroid test in 2003 — 104. They indicted Vince McMahon, why aren't they indicting Bud Selig? He's the head of baseball, it happened on his watch."

Video: Dwight Howard pulls some All-Star Weekend pranks

From our friends at NESW Sports comes this video of Dwight Howard pranking Tim Duncan, Derrick Rose and Chauncey Billups, among others.

WWE's John Cena says MLB steroid users should be sent to jail

When asked about the recent A-Rod saga by Jim Moore of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, WWE's John Cena said of steroid users, "they should send the guys to jail."

Cena claims to be clean - although the suspicion has to be there, just look at him - but he works in a world that first introduced steroids to the mainstream. Hulk Hogan was the face of steroids in the late 1980's and early 1990's. Until only a few years ago wrestlers looked like caricatures of themselves, bloated and brawny, all-synthetic. Wrestler Triple H couldn't even put his arms down to his sides he was so big.

If the government took Cena's advice and sent everyone to jail, about half of his co-workers wouldn't be in the ring anymore.

Dropping Links: Monday, February 16th

Your morning look at what's good from around the web...

NEWS
Shaq and Kobe named co-MVPs of the 2009 NBA All-Star Game |Arizona Republic|
Bills RB Marshawn Lynch arrested for gun possession |ESPN.com|
Penguins fire coach who led them to '08 NHL Finals |SI.com|
Boston College upsets #5 Duke Blue Devils |CBS Sports.com|

BLOGS
Daunte Culpepper could be Detroit's starting QB in 2009 |Lions Gab|
A stimulus plan for President Obama's Chicago White Sox |Bugs and Cranks|
The top ten Brett Favre prop bets |Five Tool Tool|
More on the Amare Stoudamire trade rumors from Ken Berger |BergerSphere|

COLUMNS
Bears should trade Brian Urlacher for Anquan Boldin |Chicago Tribune|
Can we finally stop talking about Shaq and Kobe? |LA Times|

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

Video: 2009 NBA All-Star Game highlights

Video: Shaq passes through Howard's legs then dunks

Another Shaq video for your viewing pleasure. O'Neal passed it through Dwight Howard's legs to Chris Paul and then slammed it after Paul dished the ball back.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Video: Shaq dances with JabbaWockeeZ at the All-Star Game

Shaq isn't afraid to show off his dancing skills and he did just that during the pre-game introductions for the 2009 NBA All-Star Game.

Alvin Gentry to be named Suns head coach on Monday

Yesterday there were some rumblings and today it has been confirmed by Suns sources, according to the Arizona Republic. Terry Porter will be ousted in his first season as head coach of the Phoenix Suns.

It is probably a safe bet that there will be more changes, including a likely trade of Amare Stoudamire and perhaps Shaquille O'Neal. I wouldn't be surprised if Steve Kerr got the boot as well.

(Image courtesy Black Jesus Disciples)

Alex Rodriguez calls SI's Selena Roberts to apologize

Sports Illustrated has confirmed that Alex Rodriguez called Selena Roberts on Wednesday to apologize for claiming she had been stalking him during his sitdown with Peter Gammons.

It seems like A-Rod is finally realizing that people don't like him very much and making up accusations isn't going to help him. It should be quite the show when he reports to Spring Training this week.

(Photo courtesy ESPN.com)

Video: Daequan Cook wins 3-point shootout in overtime

From ESPN.com comes highlights of Daequan Cook's 3-point shootout victory during the 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend. It took an extra round for Cook to defeat Rashard Lewis in the finals.

Video: Kevin Durant wins HORSE at 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend

Highlights of Kevin Durant winning HORSE GEICO during the 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend, courtesy of ESPN.com.

Yankees almost traded Mariano Rivera in 1996

That's according to Peter Abraham.

During the spring of 1996, when the Yankees weren't sure if young shortstop Derek Jeter was ready for the full-time gig, the team wanted to acquire Felix Fermin from the Seattle Mariners. They had no use for him now that Alex Rodriguez was ready for the big leagues.

The Mariners wanted either Bob Wickman or Mariano Rivera. The Yankees didn't pull the trigger and the rest, as they say, is history.

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

Video: Nate Robinson's dunk over Dwight Howard

Nate Robinson won the 2009 NBA Slam Dunk Contest with this dunk in the final round over "Superman" Dwight Howard, complete with an all-green "Kryptonite" outfit.

Jeff Reed cited for beating up bathroom towel dispenser

The wild Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Jeff Reed is at it again.

Reed has been cited for disorderly conduct and criminal mischief after he destroyed a paper towel dispenser in a Sheetz convenience store early Saturday morning. Why was he so mad? Because there were no towels in it, of course.

(Photo courtesy Deadspin)

Allen Iverson shaved his cornrows at All-Star Weekend

From the Pistons Nation blog comes this photo of Allen Iverson sporting his new look.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bob Mantz provides audio of Stern/Russo/Francesa fight

Friend of the blog Bob Mantz has snagged some audio of the Howard Stern-Chris Russo interview, where Stern baited Russo into saying some disparaging things about his former partner Mike Francesa. Francesa went off on a tirade during his show, "Mike'd Up," later the same day.

Russo on the Howard Stern Show (Part 1) with Francesa's follow-up
Russo on the Howard Stern Show (Part 2)
Russo on the Howard Stern Show (Part 3)

(Image courtesy The New York Observer)

Video: 2009 NBA All-Star Rookie Challenge highlights

Highlights from NBA TV of last night's Rookie Challenge. It was the seventh straight win for the Sophomores, with Kevin Durant dropping 46 points.

Video: 2009 NBA Celebrity All-Star Game highlights

This clip features some of the notable moments from last night's Celebrity All-Star Game in Phoenix. Some Globetrotters goodness and a whole lot of Chris Tucker trash talk! Enjoy.

Gentry could soon replace Porter as Suns head coach

According to Ken Berger, Alvin Gentry is the most likely candidate to replace Terry Porter as head coach of the Phoenix Suns if Porter is fired. There is a good chance that could happen very soon, according to Berger's source.

Talk about a complete disaster of an effort by Steve Kerr and the rest of the Phoenix higher-ups. Last season they traded for Shaq, completely re-shaping their style of play in the process. This year Boris Diaw and Raja Bell were shipped to Charlotte for Jason Richardson, further spoiling the run-and-gun style that had made Steve Nash and Amare Stoudamire so effective.

It looks like Stoudamire is the next player to go and Shaq could be on the block as well. The coaching change would be one more step towards a completely new team and would have to go down as one of the biggest in-season shakeups of a team in history.

(Photo courtesy AP)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Jermaine O'Neal traded to Heat for Shawn Marion

ESPN's Ric Bucher is reporting that the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors have agreed to a four player trade that will send Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks to the Raptors for Jermaine O'Neal and Jamario Moon.

Marion didn't fit in as well in Miami as Pat Riley would have hoped and Jermaine O'Neal, when healthy, will give the Heat a low-post presence that they strongly need. "The Matrix" will be a better fit in Toronto's up-tempo system than O'Neal and the Raps get some insurance for Jose Calderon in Banks.

(Image courtesy Daylife.com)

Selena Roberts' A-Rod book release date moved up a month

The book "A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez" by Selena Roberts will hit shelves on April 14th, one month earlier than expected. Roberts is the Sports Illustrated writer who broke the story about A-Rod's "banned substance" use and positive test in 2003. Rodriguez then accused her of stalking him and added that she had even been arrested for trespassing and attempting to break into his home, a claim which has been denied by both Roberts and the Miami police.

Throw all that in a bowl, mix it around, and you end up with an early release date.

(Image courtesy NJ.com)