Sunday, March 25, 2012

Just Because Video of the Day: LeBron's Summer Madness

Remember back in 2006, when LeBron James was just the young star of the Cavaliers? Before he was some evil, hated man because he wanted to go work where his friends worked? Before he was terrible because he hadn't won 17 championships?

This Nike commercial began airing before the '06-'07 season, the season James led his Cavs to the NBA Finals with very little help. Back then, he was a funny guy that nobody really hated. Five years later, things have changed. We can still look back at this spot as one of the better Nike commercials, though.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Peyton Manning disagrees with me, will join Broncos

Peyton Manning apparently does not read this blog anymore. It must have been the far too sporadic updates.

I opined yesterday that the destination that would make the most sense for Manning would be the San Francisco 49ers, but the future Hall of Famer will become the next starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos, according to reports.

The Broncos won the AFC West last year with Tim Tebow, who was questionable at best when asked to actually pass the ball. With Manning, Denver is clearly better than last season. Would he have had more weapons and a stronger team around him in San Fran or Tennessee? Probably. But we don't really know how good Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker can be since they haven't had an accurate, big armed QB to help them.

(Photo courtesy AP/John Leyba)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Which team makes the most sense for Peyton Manning?

As you may have heard, Peyton Manning is trying to decide where to resume his future Hall of Fame career. According to reports, he's narrowed his choices down to the 49ers, Broncos and Titans, all three of whom he has worked out for. The Dolphins and Cardinals have been informed by Manning that they won't be landing spots for his services.

Manning, if healthy, would provide an upgrade at quarterback for all three teams but which fits him the best is another question.

Each of the three remaining teams Peyton will choose from have very similar makeups. San Francisco and Denver had great defenses last year and good running games, while the Titans should expect a bounce back performance from Chris Johnson. All three have a similarly built receiving corps.

The 49ers just added Mario Manningham to a group featuring tight end Vernon Davis, a yet-to-fulfill-his-hype Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss, who is coming back after a year off and a terrible year before that. The Titans have an outstanding receiver in Kenny Britt, but he is returning from a season-ending injury. Nate Washington was a 1,000 yard receiver last year, benefiting by being the featured weapon for the combination of Matt Hasselback and Jake Locker when Britt went down. The Broncos have Demaryius Thomas, who has shown a lot of potential after people scratched their heads at Denver drafting him ahead of Dez Bryant. Eric Decker emerged as a decent target as well.

For Denver, the receiving corps was decent without a real quarterback to throw them passes. The Broncos could be dynamic with Manning, a quarterback to add a passing attack to the strong running game the team featured last year. He would, though, have to either compete with "Tebowmania" or be the man responsible for Tebow's exile. It would provide John Elway with the perfect cover to rid himself of Tebow, though.

For the Titans, missing out on Manning wouldn't be all bad. The team has a young quarterback in Locker and could build around him using all that money they would have given to Manning.

While the belief is that Manning wants to remain in the AFC and avoid the inevitable media circuses every time he plays his brother Eli and the Giants, the team built to win now with his arrival is easily the San Francisco 49ers. The defense returns all 11 starters and Frank Gore is an elite running back, something Manning has never really had. Peyton has, though, always had a strong tight end in Dallas Clark. Vernon Davis, already one of the best in the game, would thrive with Manning.

If his decision is truly about just sliding in and winning a title, the 49ers make the most sense.

(Image courtesy Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

Dropping Links: Sunday, March 18, 2012

- New York Giants Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham signed a two-year deal with the 49ers. He'll join Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss as targets for Peyton Manning, potentially. |The Blue Screen|

- Speaking of number 18, Peyton still hasn't alerted the Titans, 49ers or Broncos what his timetable is for announcing where he'll sign. |ProFootballTalk|

- Tampa radio host Dan Sileo has been fired for his racist comments made last week. |Awful Announcing|

- The New York Post, ever the symbol of journalistic integrity, proclaimed "Linsanity" dead on Friday. The hype may be over but Jeremy Lin has been playing just about the same under new coach Mike Woodson. |With Leather|

- John Axford supports mustache legislation. |The Hall of Very Good|

(Image courtesy Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Melo, Dolan as much to blame as D'Antoni for Knicks' woes

Mike D'Antoni resigned as head coach of the New York Knicks this afternoon, escaping a horrible situation where he reportedly had lost the respect of the team. "Team," of course, means Carmelo Anthony, who clearly could not play in an offense that emphasized ball movement and accurate shooting. Monday's loss to the Bulls was the tip of the iceberg, with rumors flying since the final buzzer sounded that D'Antoni's days were numbered and even sparking rumors of Melo wanting to be traded.

Melo quickly denied rumors he wanted out. Instead, he wanted the coach gone and that's what he got.

D'Antoni's "resignation" was a force-out, pushed by the star player and an incompetent owner. The same owner who let Isiah Thomas have his way with the franchise and set the Knicks back a decade. The same owner who recruited Donnie Walsh to clean up the mess and then sent him packing right when things were turning around.

Sure, you have to blame the coach when you have a roster as talented as New York's and the team is six games below .500. In fairness, though, Dolan and company never gave D'Antoni the pieces to fit his system. The Knicks played their best this season with Carmelo Anthony out of the picture. Jeremy Lin could be D'Antoni's new Steve Nash, Amar'e Stoudemire could be the old Amar'e, everyone was playing better without Anthony around to get pissed when he didn't get the ball and then suck the pace down into his vacuum when he did.

When you trade as much as the Knicks traded to get Carmelo, he has to stay. It's not as though he is a horrible player, or a cancer of the locker room, or anything like that. His style just didn't mesh with the head coach's. It is up to the coach to adjust to the players and make it work. But it is also up to the star player, once thought of as one of the best in the league, to adjust to the players around him.

Neither of those things were happening and it was a lot easier to part ways with the coach than the player.