Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pro Bowl Live Blog

AFC vs. NFC 7:30 (ESPN - Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden)

Feel free to leave comments about assorted college b-ball action, just don't be a troll!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Steve Coates Gets PUNKED

Thankfully for me, I was in the library as the Flyers blew a 3-1 lead in the 3rd period to lose the game 4-3 in regulation, however, one funny highlight did come from yesterday's game. And no, I am not talking about Johan Hedberg's save where he was blinded by his shirt. Instead, I am talking about the president of Comcast Spectacor, Peter Luukko, punking Steve Coates.

A couple weeks ago, Steve Coates, the rinkside analyst for the Flyers, was clipped with a hockey stick and cut across the forehead. The clip was not bad and the injury was not serious, however he was told that from now on he and all other rinkside analysts would have to wear a helmet rinkside for their own own safety. Or at least that's what he was told....

Not quite as good as sending Kyle Kendrick to Japan for a world famous hot dog eater, but funny nonetheless.

Oh, by the way, Coatesy, that helmet looked quite good on you. In fact, that first period was one of the best you've ever had! You really shouldn't have taken it off like that.....

(Editor's Note: See below for Part 2 of The High School Years if you have not seen it yet)

The High School Years: Part 2 - The Secretive Courting

Missed a part? Part 1,

And oh my, one of them was quite the looker! You want to talk about banging girls, oh man, she was certainly it. I later talked to some other people who knew her and none of them thought that she was that pretty. Then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And boy oh boy, I was certainly beholding.

What did she look like you ask? Well, some days she would have her in a similar manner that Jodie Sweetin had her hair on Full House, so that was certainly a turn on and that is really where the initial crush came from. Sure she was hot and all, but I am thinking here is a girl in my same zipcode that I think it pretty. Epic win for me! Her name was Alura and her friend that walked in with her’s name was Anna.

So what were they like, you ask? Well Alura and Anna were virtually inseparable. They stuck together and too each other no matter what. Often times, you would find them before and after meetings sitting around and giggling over things that intelligent teenage girls giggled about then. You know, how “hot” some celebrity guys were and the 234,565 interpretations of Harry Potter. It’s an odd combination at first, but when you get a combination of the two (see the Harry Potter movies), then that’s all you’ll ever hear about from them. Outside of each other, Anna was the much more outspoken of the two where as Alura was a little more introverted and kept to herself a lot, almost creating an aura of mystery around her. Anna once said that Alura only revealed her true self to her, and after seeing Alura, believe me, I wanted her to reveal herself to me on so many levels.

Now me being me, I was instinctively and intensely shy. What better way to get a girl to notice you than staring at her nice ass from afar and trying to get a peek at her underwear when she is sitting hunched forward, right? I just did not have the gumption to say anything to her that was notmock trials related. After all, what happened if I slipped up? You see, this was really the first time that I ever liked a girl in my school, so I am sort of new to the game here.

The year goes by and things really sort of stay like this. Because our team only met once a week (as opposed to the overly dedicated Mount St. Fiacre’s which met multiple times in a week), we communicated a lot through email correspondence. It is through this that I got both Alura’s and Anna’s email address.

When Mr. Cann made his women’s basketball decision, Mr. Zu took over the role of teaching advisor and he brought in a lawyer of his own. One night, Mr. Zu sent us an email asking us what lawyer was directing what witness and what lawyer was crossing what witness. Alura and Anna were both witnesses along with two other people and I was a lawyer this year. All of us had problems recalling exactly who was crossing and directing who, which is kind of sad when you think about it, after all, we’ve been rehearsing this for quite some time. It is this kind of thing that drives me particularly nuts and I made that quite clear in the emails that we sent back and forth.

We eventually got it all figured out through a bunch of emails and I decide to send one out summing everything up. Alura replies to me in an email:

“um . . . wow. do i detect a touch of OCD?”

Yeah, um, that’s not quite the reaction one would expect to have to such an email but such was mine. Of course, I did not type that to her, that would be stupid on so many levels. Then I thought about it for a bit. Then I realized what she accused me of. I replied as follows:

“I do not have OCD. I do not have OCD. I do not have OCD. I do nothave OCD. I do not have OCD. I do not have OCD. I do not have OCD. I do not have OCD. I do not have OCD. I do not have OCD. I do not have OCD. I do not have OCD. I was just happy I was right and I can sleep tonight. You do not have to accuse me of having a mental disorder! Alura, can I ask you a question? Have you ever been tormented by not knowing something? Like you just could not place it? Well, that's how I felt with this. Maybe I do repeat myself a little, but I do not have OCD. I do not have OCD. I do not have OCD.”
You see what I did there?

Yes, that was supposed to be sarcastic. And if you looked at it from the outside, you would think that I was a complete obnoxitron. I wonder what she felt like as she was reading this. My goal was to be funny so that she would notice me and want to talk to me more. Somehow, I feel as if that this was not the way to go about that particular goal.

Regardless, she replied: “Okay, okay! Your point is well taken! Seriously though, I'm sorry. I do
get that sometimes. And then get accused of having OCD.”

Woot! This is awesome! The girl I have a crush on is actually engaging me in conversation. It would continue. I replied,

“It's okay about the OCD comment. You did not offend me. If you really did offend me, I would not have replied like I did, trust me. I do not picture you as being OCD-like. To me, you come across as being very innocent, which is great for the competition because it would be best for Taylor to come across as and nice, innocent person, like you.”
“I think there was a compliment in there somewhere?” Alura replied back to me.

“That would depend, if you think it was a compliment, then it was a compliment. In a matter of 5 hours, we go from OCD challenges to questioning compliments :-)”

“No, I changed my mind. I never really thought so in the first place.”

Woo hoo, I thought! She no longer thinks I have a mental affliction! Now we are getting somewhere.

A couple weeks would go by, and all of a sudden, I got what I thought was a rather strange email from Alura titled “1000”. 1000 had nothing to do with the trial so I was very curious as to what on earth this was.

“Guess what? You sent me my 1000th email! Congratulations! Not that you did anything, I mean, other than email me. still it is an honor where I come from.”

The honor was mine! All mine! And no one could take it away from me! I still have not figured out how exactly she counted that or how I got to be so lucky or if that number included the number of times she won the British Lottery, but still, as someone crushing on her, I certainly felt the honor.

Time would go by and we would have our mock trials competition for the year. The Prosecution side that myself and Anna were on among others lost whereas the defense side which had Alura on it won. She was a part of one of our wins! So so special for me. Sadly, our one win was not good enough to make it to the next round, but with everyone on the team except for Anna and Alura having one year left of this, we quickly set our sights on getting it done next year. Next year would be our perfect year. At least that damn sure was my goal.

Now that mock trials was over, I rarely saw Alura in the hallways. I was missing her. I was missing her big time. And the more I thought about it, the more that I really felt I liked her. While we were not the biggest talkers of the group, we did not spend every waking together at the meetings talking, but I felt that there might be some potential. At this point I got to thinking, that maybe I should forsake my thoughts and my initial instincts and actually take a chance and tell her I liked her. Believe it or not, self-pleasuring over fantasies over fantasies can get old after awhile. Wouldn’t having an actual girlfriend be nice? And besides, what could possibly go wrong?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Henrik Zetterberg And Pavel Datsyuk Have Tremendous What, Andy Brickley?

It may not be Sarge discussing jerking off balls or Wheels rocking around the cock tonight, but on Tuesday night, Andy Brickley gave the world an interesting humdinger on Versus that revealed a little too much information about Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.

Now that's the kind of insight that you don't get everyday! The Phoenix Coyotes better have been on their toes that game, for otherwise Zetterberk and Datsyuk would have unleashed beasts on each other the likes of which have never been seen before in an NHL rink. Good times at Versus......goooooooooooood times!

Philadelphia Union Games To Air On 6ABC

I figured I would pass on this little tidbit of information on what has been a slow day. Today, the Philadelphia Union announced it's television partnership. The lucky winner, you ask? The channel that hosts Philadelphia's most watched local news program, 6ABC! From a Union press release

Philadelphia Union President Tom Veit and WPVI / 6abc General Manager Bernie Prazenica jointly announced today that entering their inaugural season in Major League Soccer, the club has entered into a multi-year partnership with the long established leader among local television stations.

The Philadelphia Union / 6abc partnership will give WPVI broadcast rights to many of the soccer club’s games, starting in March. With the Major League Soccer schedule soon to be released, the commitment is for as many Philadelphia Union games as possible to be carried live on 6abc, and all games will re-broadcast on 6abc’s digital channel – 6.2 (also known as the Live Well HD Network). Calling the games will be JP Dellacamera, the long-time MLS and ESPN commentator, considered the best in the business in the United States.

“This is truly a landmark day for Philadelphia Union,” stated Team President Tom Veit. “The opportunity to partner with not only one of the best television stations in the nation, but one of the most respected brands in the Delaware Valley, is something very special and meaningful to us as an organization. We know our fans will show their appreciation by tuning in and supporting WPVI, much like they have already shown their commitment to us.”

6abc will use its on-air platform to expand their new partner’s reach and impact in the community, while at the same time become a Keystone Level Sponsor of the team and its stadium. Additionally, WPVI and Philadelphia Union will explore and collaborate on creating new and unique media platforms, as the world’s game comes to the Delaware Valley.

“There is a definite buzz about the Union soccer club, and 6abc is thrilled to be their broadcast partner,” says Bernie Prazenica, President & General Manager of 6abc. “We believe the MLS will be a great success in the Delaware Valley, both on the field and in the community, and we’re excited to present this new team to our loyal viewers.”
Suffice to say, this is a good move for the Union. They needed a network affiliate as opposed to CSN Philly where they would be put on the backburner in favor of the Phillies. Of course, with 6ABC you don't get the constant hype that you do with CSN Philly, but regardless, 6ABC is no slouch.

I'm still eagerly anticipating who JP Dellacamera's partner will be, but whomever it is, I have high hopes for a top-notch broadcast with a top-notch team. I know it's hard to expect much out of an expansion team in their first year, but with the big moves they've been making including pulling a Mo Johnston at the Superdraft to nab 3 top 10 picks and with someone like Nowak at the helm, it's hard to imagine the Union not becoming the Seattle Sounders Version 2.0.

Unrelated, but you can expect Part 2 of The High School Years tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Charlie Davies Is Beyond Human

We all remember a few months ago when U.S. Men's National Team striker Charlie Davies was in a car accident and we all assumed that it was a foregone conclusion that with the injuries he suffered in that accident that Davies would be nowhere close to making to to the World Cup. Well looky here. What once was an impossibility is now looking highly probable and he may even return to the pitch for some club action before that! From

Suffering serious injuries to his bladder, right tibia and femur, elbow and face, Davies would have to undergo months of rehabilitation. This month though, just over three months since the accident, Davies is jogging again, according to reports from ESPNsoccernet.

"Charlie is pretty much light years ahead of where anybody would tell you he should be," said Jim Hashimoto, the former U.S. national team trainer who is overseeing Davies rehabilitation. "When everybody heard about the accident, including myself, it was like, 'OK, this is going to be a long one' -- and it's still going to be a long one, but to see his progress is pretty amazing."

Davies himself is confident about his return and expects himself to be back playing with Sochaux by the beginning of March at the very latest. To further that, he not only wants to be back playing, but at the top of his game by the World Cup.

"The World Cup is easy for me to be back for," said Davies. "I want to get back to France, and I don't want to just get back -- I want to be good. I don't want to be that guy just to make the [World Cup] team and just sit there. I want to be back and starting and scoring, playing well and doing the things I know I can do.

"People haven't seen the progress I've made, and maybe they don't know the kind of person I am and the motivation and new appreciation for being able to play that I have."
Wow. How amazing is that.

From an emotional standpoint as well as a soccer standpoint, the kind of boost that that cound provide the USMNT is beyond huge. Davies is an exciting player and if he can play at the World Cup at near full strength, the U.S. just became that more dangerous a foe to deal with and the emotional boost they will have if he plays that first game against England will just be ginormous.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The High School Years: Part 1 - Prologue: Meet The High School Me

(Editor's Note: This is the first part of a multi part series. I can't give you a timeframe for this other than the first 3 parts will appear before the Super Bowl)

The following is a story of creepy awkwardness, “love”, lust, and a refusal to think rationally. Of course, I am the one that had no rational thoughts for my last 2 years of high school, well other than acing tests and what not, but when it came to personal life. If there was an awkward route to take, I would find myself taking it. I am telling you this story not because I need to do it to move on personally, I have already done that, but to share it with you and so I can really put it all in a perspective in my life. Names in this story have been altered and changed in an attempt to protect the innocent.

Before you think that this is me trying to rip off of the success of Basketbawful’s Livin’ Large series, that is not true. I am not doing this as in attempt to jack up hits on my site. If it does that, then fantastic, if not, then fantastic. And while I can’t say that ‘Bawful had absolutely no influence at all on this piece or the decision to write it, he certainly inspired me and got me thinking about actually going for it, but he was only a small spark plug on an idea that I had been toying around in my head for quite some time.

Before we really get into this thing, you need to understand a little bit where I am coming from.

As a middle schooler, I always had trouble with girls. Some boys were starting to go on dates (I’m almost positive that a grand total of 0 dating relationships that were around then have survived 7 years) and I was left out in the dark. I was pubescent and all at the time, but I just did not get what made girls so special or why I should ever bother going out with them. I did not get excited looking at them, nothing.

However, one day, I saw her. The One. The girl that I was going to date and go out with, win The Amazing Race with, have kids, and live happily ever with. Yes! There was no stopping Jodie Sweetin of Full House and me from living the lives of our dreams! Except for of course 3,000 miles, a huge age difference, and crystal meth. Oh Jodie, why were you so cruel to yourself? Our lives would have been so beautiful together! You were so hot! Remember the time when I tried to send you an email? I was so close until I found out that the email address on the internet for you was really that of your agency. No! No one could have known about our secret love!

Okay. Enough of late middle school, early high school, JFein, as I think everyone just got a wee bit dumber from reading that last paragraph.

Now that you know how desperate I was for a girl, let’s set up the actual story. At my freshman orientation which required parents to go along, my dad incessantly bugged me to join a club. Nothing much interested me, but then he pointed out to me that Windy Hill High School (the name of my school) had a mock trials club. And why wouldn't he point out a mock trials club? After all, he is a lawyer. That did perk my interest more than anything else on the list, but I was still not sold solid on the idea.

Wanting to be active in his first son’s high school experience, he decided to contact the teacher that headed the program at the time, Mr. Wall. Sure enough, Mr. Wall had a lawyer position available for my dad on Team 2! Amazing how stuff plays out, isn’t it? Seeing as even at such a young tender age I realized that I need a good club on my resume for college, I decided to join Windy Hill’s Mock Trials Team 2.

While my dad was the lawyer adviser for the team the first 2 years, the teacher adviser for team 2 was a very nice man named Mr. Cann. Our team was made up a lot of other freshman like myself and about the most random combination of juniors and seniors (there were no sophomores on the team) that you could ever find. To this day, I’m not sure how we gelled together as a team, but we did, only our inexperience was clearly exposed when our first 2 years we drew the toughest teams in the county including the single toughest in the county, Mount St. Fiacre.

Each year, a team is guaranteed two trials, one to present the plaintiff/prosecution side of the argument the other the defendant/defense side of the argument. Our first 4 trials…..all losses.

The juniors and seniors graduated and my dad and Mr. Cann, while they genuinely helped us and we had a great time, were moving their separate ways. Mr. Wall never contacted my dad to come back for my junior year and Mr. Cann decided that coaching women’s basketball was more important than our little mock trial club.

Anyway, that left us with a bunch of holes, including replacements for the juniors and seniors on the team. We had a lot of people from my class, but not enough to field both sides of the team.

Luckily for us, the first meeting of my junior year, 2 girls just starting their freshmen year walked in the door.....

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Closer Look: Jahri Evans

I talked about this ad nauseum during the live blog last night and even mentioned it in my after-game post, but the Pro Bowl offensive lineman is the 1st person out of the college that I go to, Bloomsburg University, to go to the Super Bowl.

The Pro Bowl right guard has been fantastic for the Saints, and while I was mistaken in that he was a multi-time Pro Bowler (this year was his first time voted, although I could have sworn he got in last year, but whatever), the Saints uncovered a gem in this 4th round draft pick. And because I get such the proverbial hard-on for local products that end up successful on the big stage, I figured I would share this story with you by Jeff McLane about Evans in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer.

Growing up in North Philadelphia, the New Orleans Saints guard had "four moms" - his mother, Katreen Hopkins, and his three older sisters, Carmela, Geana, and Cheryl. They are the reason he is playing in tonight's NFC championship game against Minnesota, the 26-year-old Evans said.

"My mother was strict, but not overly strict," said Jahri (pronounced Jah-ree). "Because having three older sisters was kind of like having four moms at the same time. They were a lot older than me. My younger sister is 20 years older.

"But they were very influential on my life. Growing up in the neighborhood, it was kind of hard with only women around you. But I think, looking back, that it helped me out a lot."

Evans, who is now 6-foot-4 and 318 pounds, grew up in Nicetown and went to Frankford High School. The sense of purpose developed at home served him well. He will start his 68th consecutive game tonight and was named to his first Pro Bowl. The journey, however, has been anything but smooth.

Forget for a second that he was raised in a neighborhood that even its residents would have difficulty describing as "nice."

"It was pretty rough," said Evans, who relocated his mother to Glenside after his second season in the pros. "Growing up there, you're used to it. It's your environment. But at a certain point in time you've got to go, 'I'm going this way even though my friends are going that way.' "

There were other roadblocks.

The summer before his senior year at Frankford, Evans broke a kneecap in two places in a pickup basketball game, wiping out his final scholastic season. Whatever nibbles he had drawn from Division I programs disappeared.

He ended up at Division II Bloomsburg. The Huskies weren't exactly known for producing NFL talent, but off he went. Then, after a redshirt freshman year, Evans suffered a broken ankle during his sophomore season.

Still, he kept his eyes on the prize.

"I never looked at it as if, 'I don't have a chance,' " Evans said Friday. "Even playing at Division II, even going through the injuries, there was never a moment where I thought, 'Man, I don't think I'm going to make it.'

"I knew that if there was going to be that chance, I didn't want it to slip past. I didn't want it to be my fault for not making it."

Starts at home

How does a player make the jump from low-level college football to the pros? It doesn't happen often.

"I would have said you were dreaming," said Tom Mullineaux, Evans' coach at Frankford. "But he always did well in high school and he always had that stick-to-itiveness that not many people have. He's just that type of person."

Evans credits his family. That upbringing helped most, perhaps, after his knee injury. He was always a good student, but with football on the shelf he delved into the books - with some prodding.

"His mother pushed him," Mullineaux said. "I just remember her being one of the more involved parents. I don't think she took a lot of nonsense. There were never any teachers in school that ever had a problem with Jahri, and that's not the way it always is, unfortunately."

Still, Mullineaux could see how much Evans wanted to play his senior season. He attended every practice and game.

"You could see something," Mullineaux said. "You just wanted to get this kid into college, maybe play some football, and graduate, and get a job. You wanted him to be a productive person in society."

Bloomsburg was recruiting other players when Mullineaux brought up Evans. There were no athletic scholarships left, but Evans' grades and SAT score earned him an academic free ride.

After the ankle injury and slow start, Evans eventually became the best lineman at his level. Following his junior and senior seasons, he was a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award, given to the Division II offensive or defensive lineman of the year. The pros were a possibility, but a team had to be willing to take a chance.

On the bayou

Evans was among a handful of Division II players invited to the NFL's scouting combine in Indianapolis before the 2006 draft. He worked out for several teams, including the Eagles.

In the fourth round, the Eagles wanted a certain guard, but it wasn't the Philly native. So they swapped picks with the Saints, threw in defensive tackle Hollis Thomas, and moved up and took Max Jean-Gilles with the 99th selection. Nine picks later, New Orleans grabbed a project in Evans.

"A whole bunch of GMs are kicking themselves now," Saints fullback Heath Evans said.

Jahri Evans started his first game as a rookie. It wasn't supposed to be that way. He was supposed to bide his time behind Jermane Mayberry, the former Eagles Pro Bowler who had left Philadelphia two years earlier. But Mayberry, a Division II standout at Texas A&I, hurt his shoulder in training camp and soon retired.

"He helped me out a lot," Evans said. "He told me when I got the job, 'Hey, man, don't let nobody take this spot from you. It's yours now.' "

If his rookie season was occasionally rocky, Evans was much more consistent the following season. By his third season, those around the team thought that he had played at an all-pro level, although the recognition wasn't there.

"Call it arrogant, call it whatever, but guys say, 'OK, this is a D-II guy, why was he there?' " Heath Evans said.

But you can ignore the obvious for only so long. This season, the Saints had the NFL's top-ranked offense. Quarterback Drew Brees was sacked just 20 times, and New Orleans' three-pronged ground game counterbalanced an explosive passing attack.

"It may be a year later than he deserves to go to the Pro Bowl," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "A lot of times a player will get that on the back end. He'll play in that game a year longer than he should."

Evans said he used the slight as motivation. But when hasn't he had something to spur him on?

"I've had some adversity and some ups and downs, but I fought through it," Evans said. "I knew that if I kept a positive mind-set and just kept going, that, hopefully, things would work out. . . . And they have."
Really? The Eagles passed on Jahri Evans to draft Max Jean-Gilles? Are you shitting me? So this is what hell is like I guess......but I show you the kind of impact he had on the game, here is Jahri Evans making Benny Sapp shit his pants on the key block that sprung Reggie Bush for the Saints first touchdown (the replay does not show it so as you watch it live, pay attention to Evans, who is #73 and starts out in his usual spot at right guard).

Best of luck in the Super Bowl, Jahri! Make Bloomsburg proud!

Keith Olbermann Apologizes.......Sort Of.

When I first went over this story kt1000, pointed out that if only I did this for others in the media as well. But if I focused on everyone and posting stuff on every mistake made by the cable news media, I would not have time in my life to pee, let alone go to class, do my work, write for this, write my memoir (Part I coming up tomorrow morning, stay tuned!), and have a life. Therefore, yes, I do pick and choose what I put on here, yes, I do tend to focus on Keith Olbermann more. With Olbermann criticisms you get meat and potatoes (most of the time at least), with Fox News criticisms, half of the stuff out there is twisted garbage taken out of context. Yes sometimes Olbermann is taken out of context as well, but not near as much as Fox News so it is easier to focus on. Plus I used to be a fan of his so I get angrier and angrier at him when he does something stupid than I do with Fox News people.

That being said, if I can't be 100% fair in who I choose, then I need to be 100% fair on how I cover the stories that I choose. Keith Olbermann did address Jon Stewart's parody of him on here and yes, he did apologize at the end of it. Well, sort of. I'll admit that I was confused and speechless for 5 minutes after I watched this.

"You want some baseless name calling? You are a.....No. You know, what? You're right. I have been a little over the top lately. Point taken. Sorry." - Keith Olbermann

I honestly had no idea what to make of that. What exactly was he apologizing for and who was he apologizing too? Jon Stewart? Scott Brown? His audience? Republicans? Was he apologizing for his word choice? His generalizations, a lot of which were based on incidents 8 or more years ago? The complete falsity of the accusation that Scott Brown never denounced the crazy at his rally who yelled that he should shove a curling iron up Martha Coakley's backside? Check out this little doozy from Politico on January 18.

Democrats are circulating a video of Brown smiling after his supporter's "curling iron" line, a reference to a controversial sex abuse case Coakley handled.

"We can do it," Brown said with a smile after the shout.

"The 'we can do it' statement was in response to the growing energy of the crowd," said the spokeswoman, Tarah Donoghue.

UPDATE: Brown told reporters this morning that he didn't hear the remark, that it was "inappropriate" and that he would have "said something" had he heard it.
There's that proof that Olbermann was looking for! If only he bothered to go outside of Media Matters, The Huffington Post, and The Daily Kos for his Countdown news stories, oh what a wonderful world of news it would be!

That being said, never in a million years did I think that he would have the gumption to air that Stewart segment in it's entirety (I can assure you that the part where it appears to jump is only jumping a filler sentence from Stewart that had no substance or jokes at all), especially the part at the end where Stewart really hit him by saying that his attack on Michelle Malkin was "more like violence against women than anything Scott Brown ever said". Stunning.

So for airing that and actually allowing a dissenting view of him on his program, Olbermann gets a job well done.

Your 2010 NFC Championship In Funny Announcing Calls

Because what good is a close OT title game if you don't get to hear all of the funny moments from the TV and radio booths!

I know I will take a lot of heat for saying this, but personally, I don't mind Joe Buck. In fact there are times that I quite like him. Talk to any fan anywhere and they will say that he hates their team. Isn't that the mark of a fair announcer? Regardless, while I thought that his dramatic calls of the game (Favre's final INT, Hartley's game-winning FG) were spot on, he did have his moments of slurping Favre. So much so that perhaps it gave us the biggest announcer jinx of the game. We all caught this during the live blog and I even put up an audio of it there that was quickly found, but here it is one for time for shits and giggles.

Yeah, I don't think that Favre was too giddy after that play. And as Dan Levy pointed it out in his column today, how on earth did Buck even know that Favre was smiling then? Did they have a secret Favre Cam just for him?

However, that was not the best of the best. Here are the Vikings radio announcers mourning the interception of Favre. Note the agony.

Whoa! That got a little intense at the end, didn't it?

I have to disagree with Paul, while the throw and the ultimate decision from Favre was curious, the Saints just stuffed you twice running the ball, if you go back to that and go nowhere for the 3rd straight play, Brad Childress is once again an idiot. That 12-man in the huddle penalty certainly put the Vikings in a no win situation where the play call would be criticized no matter went if the play went wrong, and it certainly did there and that is what is happening the day after. But hindsight is 50-50 here people, the best thing to do would have been to try the draw on 1st down, run some sort of quick slant or screen pass on 2nd down, a run on 3rd down to control the clock and kick the FG with as little time left on the clock as possible (Saints had no timeouts in the last minute).

However, we are not done. Here are Saints announcers Jim Henderson and Hokie Gajon calling Favre's 3rd down the same INT you just heard Paul Allen call along with all of the big plays in overtime that led to the Saints beating the Vikings and advancing to the Super Bowl. Prepare for what has to be without a doubt the single greatest call in the history of New Orleans sports.

"Pigs have flown. Hell has frozen over. The Saints are on their way to the Super Bowl!" - Jim Henderson

I couldn't have said it better myself...

Your Super Bowl XLIV Schedule

I know that everyone reading here knows that the Super Bowl is on CBS and the game is being called by Nantz and Simms, however, I want to get all the pre-game stuff on here as well that day as well as the quirt of a second sideline reporter, and you all need to know the Pro Bowl announcers once they get released, right?

CBS is keeping with the tradition of a 4-hour pre-game show, but they are not going too overboard on their pre pre-game stuff as NBC did last year (2 hours of the Today Show at the Super Bowl starting at 9 AM), instead they are just going to go on the air at noon with The Road to the Super Bowl, followed by Phil Simms' All-Iron Team and then, to the Super Bowl Today and the Super Bowl we will go! (all times PM eastern)

Pro Bowl
NFC vs. AFC 7:30 (ESPN - Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden)

Super Bowl Sunday on CBS

12:00 - 1:00: The Road to the Super Bowl
1:00 - 2:00: Phil Simms All-Iron Team: Super Bowl Edition
2:00 - 6:00: The Super Bowl Today
6:00 - 6:25: Super Bowl Kickoff Show

And once all that is out of the way......

Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts 6:25 (CBS - Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, SR: Steve Tasker and Solomon Wilcots)

When CBS starts releasing more about what they are going to do for The Super Bowl Today and who will be involved and what not, I'll be putting up additional posts on it, but for now, here is an early look at what we can expect from CBS during the Super Bowl.

The New York Jets-Indianapolis Colts matchup will serve as an “in-between,” as Barrow calls it, that will allow the CBS Sports team to segue from a typical NFL broadcast into the epic production that will be Super Bowl XLIV. This Sunday, CBS will build on its already heightened coverage of the Divisional Playoffs, which featured 22 cameras, 14 playback devices, and two graphics machines at both games, as well as prep for the Super Bowl grand finale that will feature 50 total cameras, 22 playback devices, and three graphics machines.

However, Barrow warns that an influx of equipment will not change the way he runs the broadcast. “When the game starts, as [director] Mike Arnold will tell you, you’re really waiting for it to come to you,” he says. “You can’t always be trying to invent something by showing this special camera that you added for the Championship game or the Super Bowl, because you might not have anything on that camera to show.”

In addition to more total equipment, the telecast will add Steve Tasker as a sideline reporter, marking the first time all season that a CBS NFL broadcast has featured a reporter on the field. Solomon Wilcots will join Tasker as a sideline reporter for the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.

“During the regular season, we’ve de-emphasized the role [of sideline reporter] and allowed Jim [Nantz] and Phil [Simms] to provide those stories. We still talk to the PR guys, and, if there’s an injury, then we have Jim give updates,” says Harold Bryant, VP of production for CBS. “As the games get bigger, though, we want someone down there in case there’s a big injury or something that happens where we need someone to actually go back into the locker room and be a reporter and get that information.”

When the final second ticks off Sunday, it will be on to Miami, where Barrow will produce his first Super Bowl since 2007, when the Colts defeated the Chicago Bears 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI.

“Everybody in our crew did the Super Bowl three years ago and has done football together for nearly six years,” says Barrow. “So we all know what our tendencies are and the things that we need to get done.”
I make little secret that of the 4 major networks sports brands that, in my opinion, CBS always has the best production, so I certainly look forward to everything they have in store for this in 13 days in Miami.

CBS caught a rough break the last time they did a Super Bowl (coincidentally also featuring the Colts in Miami) in that it poured nonstop all game. However, Dolphin Sun Life Stadium has been a stadium whose lighting has been pleasing to look at, so with the top-notch production that you know you are getting from CBS, if the weather improves in just the slightest than the last go round, it could easily be up there with one of the best produced Super Bowls with several memorable images.

We are 13 days from the Super Bowl. Are you ready?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Legend Of Brett Favre Drew Brees, Garrett Hartley, And The New Orleans Saints

What. A. Game.

That may have been one of the most thrilling championship games I have ever seen. From the "Legend of Brett Favre" to the Legend of New Orleans and what that city has been through for the past 4 and a half years after Hurricane Katrina, this game had all the drama you could ever ask for. And oh yeah, the game itself was a mistake-laden thriller. My heart was in my throat for a good part of that 4th quarter and all of OT. It was that good.

So what went down? The Vikings had a chance. Brett Favre. The 2-minute drill. He has made his career of being a hero during this part of the game. But in the 2008 NFC title game, he threw an INT that cost himself the game. Surely with this chance, he would get the job done, right?

It started out right. The Vikes got to the Saints 33 with the Saints out of timeouts and a minute on the clock. Inexplicably they called not one but 2 running plays that went absolutely nowhere. Followed that up with a 5-yard, too many men in the huddle penalty, and all of a sudden, they were out of Longwell's range. With no choice but to throw it on 3rd and long just to get back to field goal range and 18 seconds left on the clock, the unthinkable happened.

Picked off! Are you kidding me?? Brett Favre did it again!

But that only sent the game into OT. The Vikings were idiots and called heads, which allowed the Saints to receive the ball and after several somewhat controversial replays and a bad pass interference call, it all came down to Garrett Hartley. Historically snakebitten football team. The Aints. Hurricane Katrina. Here's the payoff:

Right down the middle! The New Orleans Saints are going to Super Bowl XLIV.

And as a result, for the first time ever, a former Bloomsburg University Husky will be playing in the Super Bowl. Congratulations Jahri Evans, Pro Bowl right guard for the New Orleans Saints! I will have a lot more on that tomorrow, as will I also have a breakdown of scheduling for the next couple of weeks.

As far as the Saints opponent goes, it is the Indianapolis Colts who took care of the Jets 30-17 in what was a very good game for 3 quarters. But the loss of Donald Strickland early and Shonn Greene at the start of the 2nd half proved too much for the Jets to overcome and the Colts put the final clamp down in the 4th quarter. The Jets hung in there and gave it a heck of a ride for 45 minutes, but the team that kept it up for 60 minutes, the Colts, earned the trip back to Miami where they will play in their 4th ever Super Bowl, all of which just so happened to be played in Miami (Super Bowls III, V, XLI, and XLIV all in Miami).

My way too early prognostication is the Colts will take it in a high scoring game, but before I make a final prediction I want time for the stories to start unfolding, injuries becoming more clear, and more time for match-ups to develop.

Today proved once again why the Conference Championships are my favorite day of the NFL, now let's hope we cap it off with a fun Super Bowl! Manning vs. Brees. Colts vs. Saints. In Miami, trick.

Conference Championship Games Live Blog

Is over at Keith's Sports Journal. See you there and don't be a troll!

Friday, January 22, 2010

NFC Championship Game Preview

What: Brett Favre's return to the NFC Championship!
Who: Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints
Where: Louisiana Superdome
When: 6:40 PM ET
What Channel: Fox
Announcers: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, SR: Pam Oliver and Chris Myers

We saw him 2 years ago in this game in this time slot throw what many thought would be his last pass: an interception into the hands of Corey Webster that ultimately resulted in the Giants kicking a game-winning field goal in overtime sending them to the Super Bowl. But after contemplating retirement and retiring and unretiring 33 times, he is back in the NFC and he is back in the championship game, only this time, Brett Favre is a Viking.

From Undefeated To Not Undefeated: As the year went on and on, the Saints had become the favorite to go a perfect 16-0 in the regular season. However, after a 13-0 start, they would go on to drop their next 3 games and they went from the team to beat, to the team everyone was questioning heading into the postseason. The New Orleans Saints dispatched of the Arizona Cardinals last week, turning it into a romp the second that Kurt Warner got hurt. That Cardinal defense was not meant to defend the kind of offense the Saints use (come to think of the Cardinals defense designed to stop any offense?) and they took advantage of it. The scored at will, Reggie Bush was on FIYAH!, and the final score indicated the ugliness of the blowout, but the question is, was that game a product of Saints resurgency, or a product of dreadful Cardinal defense combined with no offense when Warner got hurt?

OMGWTF Favre!: I brought it up earlier, but in case you have not heard yet, Brett Favre is back in the NFC Championship game! He will get what will most likely be his last and best shot at returning to the Super Bowl. However, the big key to the game for the Vikings may not be Favre, but rather, the running game. The Vikings easily dispatched of the Cowboys last week, but one fact remains and that is they did most of it without the benefit of Adrian Peterson tearing up the Cowboys. If the Saints can continue the streak and force a bad game on Peterson and thus force Favre to throw passes in a championship game, you can expect ye olde gun slinger to be making throws to guys in black jerseys.

Defense wins championships: And in a game that is sure to be filled with offense, the winner of this game will come down to the team that can play the best defense. It sounds cliche and rather basic, but if you think about it, that is what this game really could come down to. Who can make that final defensive stop? Just like you can expect special teams to make a big difference in Indy, the team that makes the most big plays on defense in this offensive game, will be going to Sun Life Stadium and will be playing in Super Bowl XLIV.

Prediction: With no drama shortage in this game, you can expect an offensive shootout with lots of points scored and teams seemingly scoring at will. However, I like the match-up of Brees and his WRs versus the Vikings secondary then I do Favre and his WRs versus the Saints secondary. Basically what I am saying is that Brees will heave and connect on deep bombs at will and while the Vikings will get quite a few points themselves this game, the defense of the Saints will step up when they need them the most and give the Saints and the fans of New Orleans something to celebrate 4 and a half years after Hurricane Katrina. 38-27 Saints

AFC Championship Game Preview

What: Super Bowl III rematch
Who: The New York Jets and the Indianapolis Colts
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium
When: 3:00 PM ET
What Channel: CBS
Announcers: Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, SR: Steve Tasker

For the first time since Super Bowl III, the Jets are playing the Colts in a championship game, and while Lucas Oil Stadium is now Orange Bowl, it should prove to be a similar game in terms of defense and low-scoring. If you want points, that will be for the NFC game which I will post a little later in the night, but for now, here is my breakdown of what will be the first of two championship games this Sunday.

Did The Colts Put The Jets In This Position? I'll answer that one with a simple no, they did not. Yes, I am aware of what happened on Week 16 with Peyton sitting in the 2nd half, it has been beaten into our heads ad nauseum, but you've got to consider the fact that for starters, the Jets hung in during the first half when Peyton was playing. They may not have had the lead at the end of the half, but the Jets were right in that game, thus they were in a very good position to win that game once Peyton did take a seat. And secondly, the Colts did not beat the Bengals, the Bengals, and the Chargers for the Jets. The Jets did that. Yes, the Bengals put in J.T. O'Sullivan in the 2nd half of that one, but the Jets already had a firm lead, were going to win anyway, and did not need Just Turnovers to give them more points.

Then, it was game on in the playoffs and the Jets took care of the Bengals and then they went on the road in San Diego and became the only road team last week to win. And while it may have been a surprise at the beginning of the year that the Jets are in the AFC title game, it should come as no surprise now. When they survived the AFC clusterfuck and made the playoffs, I said right off the bat that they would be the team to watch out for in my podcast, and what do you know, they are here. Why? Because they are built like the teams that have had success in the last decade. They have a dominant defense and a solid ground game that really pounds the ball. Just look at the 2000 Ravens, the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 2005 Steelers, among others. They all won championships without a big name QB, an incredible defense, and a powerful running game featuring Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene.. That's what the Jets have this year.

Mark Sanchez: The Jets have proven that Mark Sanchez does not need to be great in order to win football games. Sanchez has to do one thing and one thing alone, not make the big mistake. If Sanchez avoids costly mistakes and turnovers, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Jets will be in this game in the 4th quarter.

Peyton Manning And The Colts Offense: Peyton has been in championship games before, but never has he been up against a corner quite like Darrelle Revis. Revis has been a lockdown corner all post-season long and if he continues to be so, Peyton Manning could find himself struggling. That being said, this is Peyton Manning we are talking about. He is a machine and if there is anyone that is capable of solving Revis and finding ways to pick apart a good defense, it is Peyton Manning. Even with mostly young receivers such as Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon, the Colts passing game has not missed a beat, even if the running game has been close to nonexistent from Joseph Addai.

X-Factor: Special teams. In a game expected to be a defensive struggle, the team that can make the plays on special teams will certainly be at a more decisive edge. As far as who that team will be, frankly, I can't tell you, but I'm telling you, special teams will play a major role in this conference championship game.

Prediction This will not be a high-scoring thriller, but in the end, even though I think the Jets will keep it close throughout, Manning will get the job done in the 4th quarter and force Sanchez to make passes in the 4th quarter; passes that he won't be able to make. Colts 21-17.

(Coming up later tonight: NFC Championship Game Preview)

Jon Stewart Has A Special Comment For Keith Olbermann (UPDATED)

I know I said on Twitter last night that I was not going to post the video, but rather just watch and laugh at my own pleasure, however I saw the video this morning, and am in the process of giving into my funny bone. I will spare you though another rant on my part, and just post this video of Jon Stewart doing a parody of Keith Olbermann from The Daily Show last night and be done with it.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Special Comment - Keith Olbermann's Name-Calling
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Very well done, sir. Very well done.

UPDATE: Like I said, I won't make this about a rant, but I will point out intelligent conversations of the accuracy of Olbermann on his assertions. If you don't feel like reading a political article, I will let you in that the best and most generous scorecard out there for Olbermann has him at 50% accuracy, also known to us college students as a failing grade. The not so generous one has Olbermann correct on only one point out of 8.

Here are the links and you can judge for yourself which is right.

Olbermann scores 4 out of 8, 50%

Olbermann scores 1 out of 8, 12.5%

Having read through both scorecards, and thought about it myself, I will score Olbermann a whopping 1.5. Scott Brown was in-fact an ex-nude model and he gets half a point for "tea-bagger". Scott Brown did have a fundraiser for the Tea Party Movement, what is the intended allusion, however, taking things at exact face value, there is no proof that Scott Brown actually tea-bagged someone. In fact, he is straight, so the literal tea-bagging is highly unlikely. Regardless, the intended allusion is right, so half a point is scored to Olbermann, bringing my score for him up to 1.5 out of 8. Fail.

Meet Dan Carcillo's Successors

You can definitely file this one under the category of pure randomness. Seeing as we are all still reeling from the fallout of the Rangers and the Flyers debuting Thursday Night Fights to America last night, I figured why not show you their successors. Meet the Russian Penguins and the Northern Stars. Brace yourselves for a bench clearing brawl that ended up resulting in a total of 707 penalty minutes. But JFein, you ask, what is so special about a massive bench clearing brawl in Russia? I'll tell you what is so special about it: The fighters are 9-years old.

Bettman beware! If these kids have anything to say about it, fighting will be in hockey for a long time to come, whether Bettman likes it or not.

Aspeaking of fights in hockey, I elected not to post this in the Carcillo-Gaborik post because frankly, I wanted to make the point about the media and the distortions and the disillusionment of the Rangers, their media, and their fans. This, however, is just about an epic fight, so while we are at it, enjoy Scott Hartnell knocking the shit out of Sean Avery.

You know you've done a good thing as a Flyer when Penguins fans are cheering your accomplishments. Good stuff last night at the Wachovia Center.

World Fucking Champion Coach And Daughter To Run The Amazing Race

I mentioned a couple weeks ago how the Phillies are concidentally intertwined with the CBS reality series Survivor with Cole Hamels being husband to Heidi Strobel and Kyle Kendrick's future marriage with Stephenie LaGrossa, whose 3rd stint on the show will be premiering Thursday, February 11. 3 days after that on Sunday, February 14, The Amazing Race will premiere and the Phillies will once again establish a connection with CBS reality television. What's this connection, you ask? The 3rd base coach of the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies, Steve Smith, will be running the race along with Allie, his smoking hot daughter.

Oh sure, he may have been fired after the 2008 season and the highlight of his Phillies career was Geoff Jenkins running through his stop sign in Game 5 Version 2.0, but who cares, he got a ring with the Phillies and he's on a reality show with a hot daughter! Not only is he a former Phillie, but he also seems like a good guy from this 3 minute bio and how can you not like Allie. Sweet good looking 23-year old girl who seems to have a good head on her shoulders. Without a doubt, they are the team that I am going to be rooting for. I mean, who else is their to possibly root for, Jordan and Jeff of Big Brother? Miss Teen South Carolina who answered a question at Miss Teen USA 2007 and gave YouTube one of it's all time greatest moments? In the least sarcastic way possible, how many people actually knew that her name is Catie Upton? I certainly didn't. Everywhere she goes, she's just Miss Teen South Carolina...

But I digress...I'll be sure to document the travels of Steve and Allie here and if they were to win the race, you can bet your bottom dollar you will be seeing the video on here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Carcillo And Gaborik Drop The Gloves; Flyers Fans See Facts, Rangers Fans See Delusions

Oh man, I love hockey. The Flyers played a picture perfect game which included Ray Emery getting a much needed shutout a shaky performance against Washington and only showing slight improvement against Columbus. But the part of the game that was most talked about had nothing to do with goals, but rather it was a fight between Carbomb Dan Carcillo and Marian Gaborik.

While the result of the fight was as one would figure, the start of the fight has already created quite a bit of controversy between Flyers fans and Rangers fans.

Normally I would run the video first, but at the risk of corrupting your minds of delusions as the only video of the fight online is that of the Rangers MSG broadcast, I will give you the facts of what happened first, let you spot those facts for yourself as you watch, and you can laugh at the delusions.

Here is what happened:

Ray Emery made a save with players in front of the net. Tollefson of the Flyers and Dubinsky of the Rangers pushed and shoved in front of the net.

Carcillo, gloves on, engaged Gaborik to the glass. Carcillo settles down as if to end it, knowing that it is not his purpose in the game to start a fight with a team's star player. Yes, he has a reputation, but Laviolette has coached him well and his discipline has grown enormously in the past few months. Well for Carbomb's standards at least, but I digress....Gaborik then starts pushing back and manages to get Carcillo up against the class. It is at this point, unprompted, Marion Gaborik starts dropping his gloves and lands a brief punch in while Carcillo responds to Gaborik's green light of his gloves dropping by dropping his own gloves.

So do you understand? Gaborik dropping gloves = green light for Carcillo to destroy shit.

And now, here is the video of the fight, complete with whiny Rangers announcers painting Dan Carcillo as evil incarnate. Watch with pleasure, listen at your own risk.

From the official Rangers Twitter right after the fight: "Carcillo jumps Gaborik, lands flurry of punches; Torts screaming at Laviolette; #Rangers furious; #NYR still down 1-0"

Did anyone see a jumping there?

John Tortorella kept exclaiming after the game how there was "no honor" in that, according to TSN's James Duthie on Twitter (EDIT: exact quotes from Tortorella: "I was frustrated because there’s simply no honor, I sit behind the bench with a suit and tie on. I’m not trying to run anybody down, I just think there’s a lack of honor." and "Well, there’s no honor in that, I don’t play the game, I don’t wear the uniform. I don’t want to say too much about it, but there’s simply no honor in that."). How was that not honorable? It's part of the game. Gaborik dropped his gloves first while tangled up with Carbomb. Fighting is part of the game of hockey like it or not, and when that happens and you do it against the other team's biggest fighter, guess what, Marion is going to get the crap beat out of him.

Now Rangers fans will try to tell you that Dan Carcillo was licking his chops all game to get at Marian Gaborik based off of a quote that Carcillo made. Well, they would be taking things out of context, here is the quote, full context, and while you will see how the Rangers will take the quote out of context to fit their delusional narrative of events, that is not what was said.

Here's the full quote: "“I wasn’t expecting him to drop his gloves and when he did, I was pretty much licking my chops."

And why would not Carcillo be licking his chops? Gaborik is a big time scorer on a hot streak. If you can get him out of the game for 5 minutes, by all means, take advantage of that opportunity. While Tortorella is on his delusion of dishonor, it really is a smart play by Carcillo that just so happens to allow him to do what he is best at: fighting.

Now there are some Rangers fans that are claiming that Gaborik was just defending himself when he dropped the gloves, which makes no sense on so many levels because Gaborik was on the aggressive side of the pushing at the time, not Carbomb, and secondly, why on earth would Gaborik defend himself by stripping himself of armor? If he was just trying to protect himself, wouldn't he want gloves? And

The good news though is that not all Ranger fans are like this. Consider this report on the game from, of all things, the Rangers correspondent at The Bleacher Report

At 5:43 into the second period, Daniel Carcillo pounded on Marion Gaborik. I know all about this and what Carcillo did was not wrong. If you watch the reviews , it was quite obvious that it was Gaborik trying to discard his gloves well before Carcillo did. Basically Gaborik had no idea what he was doing because that was just a stupid move on his part. Of Course Carcillo is going to drop the gloves and start swinging if he sees that a player is looking to do the same to him, and that is exactly what happen. Hey this is hockey, it is a tough sport and a fighting sport regardless who you are. Gaborik didn’t stand a chance but at the same time , his teammates should have jumped in before that beating could have ever taken place. No i didn't like the idea of Gabby getting a beating, He is not a fighter. but it was Gabby who really did drop the gloves first.
Logic! From a Rangers fan! At last!

Now I know what you are thinking, The Bleacher Report is normally a bunch of bullshit, so therefore, maybe those delusional Rangers are not so delusional after all.

Well, I will end with this one last screenshot of the video above.

As you can clearly see, there is only one glove on the ground. And if you look at the players, you can make out a bare fist. Trace the fist and see the jersey that the fist is coming from and whose fist does it end up being? The fist of the man who started the fight: Marian Gaborik.

Game 49, preview and game thread: New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers (Broad Street Hockey)

Flyers win 2-0, Rangers delusional in defeat
(Broad Street Hockey)

Originally Scheduled At Dolphin Stadium Land Shark Stadium, Super Bowl XLIV Will Now Be Played At Sun Life Stadium

If you've been reading up on the news today (or know anything about where the Miami Dolphins and Florida Marlins play home games) then you know that the Super Bowl is not actually changing venues, just the venue is changing it's name for the 6th time. That's right, Super Bowl XLIV will be played at Sun Life Stadium! From The Miami Herald

Officials from Toronto-based Sun Life Financial said Wednesday they hope their new stadium naming rights deal with the Miami Dolphins will result in significantly higher name recognition in the United States.

The impact should be immediate, because Sun Life Stadium will play host to the Jan. 31 Pro Bowl on ESPN and Feb. 7 Super Bowl on CBS. Dolphins chief executive officer Mike Dee said the NFL allowed the stadium to change the name in time for both marquee events.

``We've got great presence in Canada and internationally, but we've really lacked brand presence in the U.S.,'' Sun Life Financial U.S. president Westley Thompson said. ``Our efforts are to get our name out so sooner or later, you will know our name. This is another step.''

Priscilla Brown, Sun Life's senior vice president, said the naming rights agreement is for five years, with an option for a minimum of five additional years. An official close to the negotiations said Sun Life's rights fee is less than the $7.5 million reported by Sports Business Journal. The deal is believed to be worth at least $5 million per year.

``Miami was the total package,'' Brown said. ``Three teams playing here was a huge factor.''

The stadium plays host to the Dolphins, University of Miami football team and the Florida Marlins, but the Marlins will move to their own ballpark in 2012.

Sun Life Financial, whose U.S. offices are outside Boston, bills itself as a ``leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers.'' Thompson said the company has $385 billion in assets.

Brown said the region is appealing to Sun Life because ``we have a number of agents who represent our products in South Florida and group offices [here]. The South Florida market is very important to the financial services industry. It's where most of the boomers, where most of the financial services profits will come from in future years.''

Wednesday's announcement was made in front of more than 150 fans at the stadium and included a performance by K.C. and the Sunshine Band. The name will be the stadium's seventh since it opened as Joe Robbie Stadium in 1987. Its other names: Pro Player Park, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphins Stadium, Dolphin Stadium and Land Shark Stadium.

The facility had been called Dolphin Stadium for the past two weeks. Land Shark Lager's eight-month naming-rights deal, which did not include a rights fee, expired after the Jan. 5 FedEx Orange Bowl.

Dee noted the agreement is ``the first naming rights deal done of significance in the post recession period. It was love at first sight.''
Was I the only one that didn't know the name went back to Dolphin Stadium after the Orange Bowl?

And I thought that the corporate sponsorship of The Center that hosts the Flyers and the Sixers was crazy. From the Corestates Center to the First Union Center (boy I miss the days of calling our sports arena the F.U. Center) to the Wachovia Center, and with the merger of Wachovia and Wells Fargo currently happening, it will likely be the Wells Fargo Center by the start of next season. And to think, this is a building that opened in 1996! It's crazy the lack of consistency of some of these building names, although I do think that now Sun Life Stadium in Florida. From the time period between January 21, 2009 and January 21, 2010, the name changed 3 times!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Off The Draw....Wait, What? Jeff Carter Scores Just Like That!?!?

Talk about an incredible goal. While CSN Philly was too busy showing you former Flyer and current Blue Jacket RJ Umberger's father in the stands during the faceoff, the Columbus Blue Jacktets broadcast of the game actually did their job and showed that and the goal that occured half a second after the puck dropped. Literally. Check out the beastliness of Jeff Carter for yourself.

"Oh my" is right. Blue Jackets goalie Mathieu Garon must have been watching a CSN Philly broadcast of that game in his helmet and using that to see the ice as he was not ready for that faceoff and the subsequent shot by Carter that found it's way into the back of the net. Awesome goal by Carter as his 2 goals in that game helped propel the Flyers to a 5-3 victory of the Blue Jackets which nearly saw Carter get a 3rd goal on multiple occasions. He didn't and for the sake of the hard-working people that man the ice, thank goodness as it was free hat night at the Wachovia Center and I don't think anyone would have been in the mood to clean up over 19,000 orange Flyers hats.

Congrats To Charlie Manuel!

He has now joined the class of Dan Marino, Mike Golic, Andy Reid, Chris Berman. What class is that? The class of people that used NutriSystem and lost a shitload of weight! And while Reid gained most of his back, let's hope that Charlie Manuel stays new and improved! Screengrab courtesy of The Fightins

Congrats to Charlie on the weight loss! He looks better than ever now. Now let's hope that he can keep the weight off instead of turning into Andy Reid whose weight yo-yos more than a yo-yo. I know it's tempting in Philly Charlie with all the cheesesteaks, but be strong and keep on the yummy NutriSystem food! And most importanly Charlie, channel the extra energy you have from the weight loss into a 3rd straight NLCS pennant and the Phillies 2nd World Series championship in 3 years!

Could Somebody Please Give Keith Olbermann A Fucking Clue In This World???

It's no secret that Keith Olbermann is a blasted imbecile not worthy of covering politics in Lost Springs, Wyoming (population: 3), but the stunt he pulled tonight is taking that to a whole different level and then some.

To use the quotes of Olbermann himself, it's not a left and right issue. It's a matter of "professional journalism" and "professional integrity" of which Keith Olbermann has completely none of. Fuck, he has less than none.

Last night, Olbermann chimed in his 2 cents on the election with this "Quick Comment", which in it's own right is quite despicable.

Yes, he just did say that to the man that one of the most liberal states in the country voted for as Senator, but regardless, he can have his opinions, however misguided and misplaced that they are.

But, the stunt that he pulled today irks me to no end. Either out of request from many others or to try and prop up ratings so people can watch him eat crow, Olbermann advertised an apology to that Quick Comment.

Basically what Olbermann wants is proof that Scott Brown is not a homophobe and a racist and he is claiming that you can't do that.


Of course you can't do that. You absolutely cannot disprove that accusation.

And do you want to know why. Because things are NEVER what they are not. You cannot define something or someone by what they are not. You can only define it by what it is, so when Olbermann makes the wild, sad, and pathetic accusations that Scott Brown is a "homophobic racist" and then asks you to show him that he's not, basically he is asking people to do exactly what you can't do. Define someone by showing us what he isn't. What Scott Brown isn't: Someone from Mars, born in Jamaica, grew up with 253 dogs. Do you get my point? There are an infinite number of things that something is not so it is not a valid argument to make accusations about someone and then as proof of your argument say that "oh, it must be true, because there is just no evidence to say that is not true". You can't tell us who they are by saying what they are not.

And what is he going to do to disprove such accusations? Go out and hug a gay black man? But then Olbermann will counter that it was fake and contrived and that it is not actual proof that Scott Brown is not a homophobic racist. And wait, he added sexist. Is Scott Brown supposed to go out and hug a gay black lady? Again, it will look contrived and Olbermann would call Brown out on that. Either that or somehow he will spin it into a case of statutory rape. He's already done the same type of thing to Scott Brown once, why not try to do it again?

My bottom line is this: It does not matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican, a liberal or a conservative, a far-left extremist or a far-right extremist, Keith Olbermann is the fucking scum of this earth and if you watch his show and think everytime Olbermann slams him you go in your mind "Fuck yeah, Olbermann rocks, he just slammed yet another douche bag Republican. He was such a great SportsCenter guy and now he is such a great Political Mastermind OMFG!!!!!!" then you are just as bad and are just as much scum of the earth as Olbermann is. No, I'm not being sarcastic and I am not exaggerating this. I am dead fucking serious. If you agree with this bastard and if you think it is okay to go on a national cable TV network and say the kind of shit that he spews then you are politically the worst of the worst of this country and if you never open your mouth again about politics, then this world will be better for it. If you want an intelligent liberal political show, go watch Rachel Maddow at 9 PM, on right after Olbermann's infamous Countdown.

Normally I would end this post with another call to Fire Keith Olbermann Now!, but seeing as NBC-Universal is run by a bunch of incompetent morons, that call would fall on deaf ears upon any NBC-exec that happened to stumble upon the ramblings of a 20-year old college student of no particular interest. Instead I'll just state that I am embarrassed that I share the title of American with this douche bag piece of shit and his staunch supporters.


The Caymen Islands Got Hit By An Earthquake And Married All In The Same Week!

Whoa, Jimmy, I knew you were something special, but I did not realize that aside from an astounding short stop who is much better defensively than Derek Jeter, you are also a whole group of islands! Incredible!

In all seriousness, though, I probably should not be joking as that was a 5.8 magnitude that struck the Caymen Islands and my thoughts and condolences go out to anyone who lost a friend or a family member in the quake. Luckily for the Phillies, while a whole group of them was down there during the quake, no one was injured.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Jim Nantz's Heart Goes Out To Those In Haitia Devastated By The Earthquake

There are bad promos, and then there is this little slip-up from everybody's friend, Jim Nantz. When reading a promo for 60 Minutes, he sort of forgot the name of the country that was just ravaged by a 7.0 earthquake and then proceeded to show 10 times more enthusiasm for the NFL Players coming out of Samoa then he did for the earthquake piece. Thanks to Awful Announcing for the video.

Aw Jim, you cared so much about Haiti that you mispronounced it as Haitia. That's so sweet of you!

I can only hope that that misspeak was the fault of the writer or the promo writing it as "Haitia" because with the number of times that people have said "Haiti" on every live news broadcast over the past week, it kind of is inexcusable for Jim Nantz to make such an error, and then cover it up by showing all that enthusiasm for Samoan born players in the NFL.

Is Brian Westbrook's Career Over?

As much as the Eagles don't need Brian Westbrook to win games anymore, the fact that he very well may retire from football is not a thought that has me filled with glee. He was a great player, but age and injuries have caught up with him so much that according to Howard Eskin, he would not be able to pass a physical for any team in the NFL. In the video, Howard Eskin reports that it is not his head and the two concussions that is the problem though, it's his left knee.

Like I said, he was such a good player (even if somewhat overrated by the media) and such a team player that it absolutely sucks to see him fade as he has been this year, but there is absolutely no need for him to continually push through the pain and risk even further injury all at the detriment to the team for when Westbrook is healthy, Andy Reid knows no other options at running back. Now this is a Howard Eskin report that we are talking about and you should take everything he says with a grain of salt, but none of this news is hardly surprising given the events of this past season, therefore, I would be shocked if this is not true.

Coming out of Villanova and being drafted in the 3rd round of the draft by the Eagles, he was a Philly product through and through, and a part of me will miss him, but it is certainly best for everyone involved at this point if he just retires from the game of football.

What Makes Keith Brooking And Whiny Cowboys Fans Hypocrites?

Complaining about running up the score when the other team is up 24 points and they throw the ball. That's what.

We all know the story of what happened yesterday when the Cowboys were down 24 to the Vikings yesterday. The Vikings threw a pass on 4th down and it was caught by a wide open Visanthe Shiancoe in the endzone for a touchdown. Subsequently, Keith Brooking stormed the Vikings sidelines and allegedly called Brett Favre classless to his face. Now whether or not that was the case, we don't know, as Favre was too busy winning that game to listen to Brooking complain, but regardless, that is what has been alleged and he may have even had some choice words for the other coaches on the sidelines. We don't know exactly what was said, but Keith Brooking did have some choice words during the post game press conference. Via ESPN.

Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said the Vikings ran up the score, and Brooking agreed.

"I thought it was classless," Brooking said. "I thought it was B.S. Granted, we get paid to stop them, but we had zero timeouts left. I didn't think there was any call for that."
Now we can go back and forth on the classless part of it all day long and not get anywhere. My views on this are somewhat tainted because I despise the Cowboys, but when an you are crying over something you tried to do 2 weeks ago, then it quits being a discussion of classlessness and turns into an argument of hypocrisy.

What on earth am I talking about, you ask? Sheil Kapadia of points out this little looked over fact from the Week 17 meeting between the Eagles and the Cowboys

With about 2:30 left in that game, the Cowboys faced a 4th-and-2 from the Eagles' 35-yard line. They were up, 24-0 (the exact point differential in yesterday's game before the final TD). Dallas could have easily taken a knee and given the Eagles' offense the ball back with 2:20 left, but Romo dropped back and looked for a receiver before getting sacked by Juqua Parker.
Sheil also goes on to point out that at no point afterward was Keith Brooking spotted on the sidelines yelling at his coaches telling them they were being classless.

Like I said, you can go back and forth on what is or is not classless here, but who on earth are you to talk to storm the other team's sidelines and whine and complain like a 9-year old about them "running up the score" when your team attempted to do the same damn thing 2 weeks ago.

I guess my true views on this are pointed out when I tell you that I had thought nothing of it when Romo did attempt that pass in that game and in fact, up until Sheil and JasonB of Bleeding Green Nation pointed it out, I had completely forgotten about Romo and Week 17. So maybe it is not as classless an act as Cowboys fan would have you believe.

Thank you, former Eagles offensive coordinator and current Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress, for giving me the greatest sports moment in 2010.

(Hat tip to Bleeding Green Nation)

Song Of The Day: The Caps Rap By Someone Who Has No Shame In Life

Seeing as I'm fairly lazy, I don't think Song of The Day will be returning full time, but this is too good not to pass up.

I've seen some pretty bad things in my life, and even though the Washington Capitals may have beaten the Flyers on the scoreboard yesterday, but after viewing this, I can safely say that the moral victory of the day was won by the Flyers and their fans when this video landed into the hands of Philly fans on Twitter.

Words can't describe the awfulness that is The Caps Rap, so I will just post it here and let you watch and laugh and sigh with me. I'm telling you it's like a car wreck, it's awful but you can't stop turning away from it.

First of all, what the hell? Secondly, WHAT THE HELL? Seriously? Is it possible to lose points in the standings if one of your fans goes on YouTube and does that?

Two things on the plus side, at least the Caps fans and Flyers fans can agree that the Penguins are Nature's Crybabies and secondly, it does give me satisfaction knowing that our very own kt1000 is a YouTube whose video has now been seen by over 50,000 people and is being linked throughout the hockey and CollegeHumor interwebs.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Your Conference Championship Schedule

The NFL's version of the final 4 and my personal favorite day of the NFL. 2 championship games in the amount of time that you can see one two weeks from that day. The drama is always high, the pressure is always on, and memorable moments are bound to happen. So what does the schedule look like? Well, here ya go. (all times eastern)

2010 AFC Championship Game: #5 New York Jets @ #1 Indianapolis Colts 3:00 (CBS - Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, SR: Steve Tasker)

2010 NFC Championship Game: #2 Minnesota Vikings @ #1 New Orleans Saints 6:40 (Fox - Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, SR: Pam Oliver and Chris Myers)

If changes are made, I'll be sure to update them here.

Who will be going to Miami to play for professional football's greatest prize?

I'll have more elaborate previews of these games later in the week.

Awesome Wikipedia Vandalisms: Nate Kaeding Edition

I will not bore you by re-posting the video of Brett Favre singing Pants On The Ground after the decimation of the Cowboys, but I will entertain you by quoting the epic Nate Kaeding wikipedia vandalisms! Yes, after JC shut the blog down, the Wiki vandals came and they were epic. Check them out.

"Nate Kaeding has been labled the biggest Pedophile, choke artist, catamite, penis licking pussy in the history of football."

"Nate Kaeding is a total fucking faggot bitch and I hope he dies in his sleep tonight."

Given what happened to Gaines Adams this morning (RIP - you left this world too soon), that one is a bit mean, but still, nothing captures the feelings of the losers better than Wikipedia vandalisms

There's more.

"Kaeding has also been known to wear womens lingerie before important games to help him focus on missing critical chip shots. Nate Kaeding is also Norv Turners lifemate."

"Nate Kaeding doesn't have a personal life...he's just a pedophile"


"Fans have given him the nicknames of "Big cock choking Nate" and "Mr. choke", because he rarely missed a field goal during his college career"

I see someone did not edit the entire sentence, just his nicknames.

"Kaeding is horrible and I can't believe he gets paid. I guess you shouldn't have had that popcorn."

"Samantha Keading filed for divorce on January 17, 2010 on grounds that he is a LOOOOOSER"

That ain't right.

"Hey Nate, how does my JEST ass taste?"

Drunk Jets fan FTW!

"His 0 field goal percentage makes him the least accurate kicker in NFL history with at least 100 attempts. He currently sucks penis in the back of the van."

"Nathaniel James "Loser" Kaeding"

"But he seems really nice!"

So heartwarming.

"Kaeding went up against Cincinnati Bengals kicker, Shayne Graham, in a contest to see who can miss the most field goals in increasingly shorter distances. After they both missed even pushing the ball through the goalpost whilst standing on an elevated platform right in front of the very center of the post, the universe subsequently imploded."

"After seeing that their fathers life was crumbling like buildings in Haiti, they filed for emancipation."

I never said this would be a classy post. Yes, that one crossed the line.

"He sucked off his first guy at Iowa. And subsiquently became the gigantic faggot he is today."

Charjerz fannz kan spel!

"Currently Dog the Bounty Hunter and company have a bounty on his head by every Chargers fan in San Diego."

You can't make this stuff up!

"He likes butt"

Blunt and to the point. I like it.

"He has consistently been the least clutch kicker in the playoffs and is hated by nearly all Charger fans. We hate you Nate, you've screwed us again"

I think that one sums it all up.

Revision History of Nate Kaeding
(Wikipedia - See any of the thousands of edits dated January 18 - Wiki uses Greenwich mean time....don't ask)