Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NFL Week 13 Schedule

Theismann and Millen are coming to Philadelphia. Can't you tell that I am giddy beyond belief about this? (note: Author is not giddy beyond belief about this; he would prefer to be hunted by a wildebeest than have to endure the torture his ears will be forced to endure this Thursday). (all times ET; games I get are in bold)

Thursday Night Football

Houston Texans vs. Philadelphia Eagles 8:20 (NFL Network - Bob Papa, Matt Millen, and Joe Theismann)

Map of who gets what CBS game.

Cleveland Browns vs. Miami Dolphins 1:00 (CBS - Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf)
Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 (CBS - Ian Eagle and Rich Gannon)
Buffalo Bills vs. Minnesota Vikings 1:00 (CBS - Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots)
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans 1:00 (CBS - Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker)

Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers 4:05 (CBS - Jim Nantz and Dan Fouts)

Map of who gets what Fox early game.

Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants 1:00 (Fox - Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa)
San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers 1:00 (Fox - Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick)
Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions 1:00 (Fox - Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan)
New Orleans Saints vs. Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 (Fox - Ron Pitts and John Lynch)

Map of who gets what Fox late game.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Indianapolis Colts 4:15 (Fox - Joe Buck and Troy Aikman)
Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4:15 (Fox - Dick Stockton, Charles Davis, and Jim Mora, Jr.)
St. Louis Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals 4:15 (Fox - Chris Myers and Kurt Warner)
Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks 4:15 (Fox - Chris Rose and Ross Tucker)

Sunday Night Football

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens 8:20 (NBC - Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth)

Monday Night Football

New York Jets vs. New England Patriots 8:30 (ESPN - Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden)

NCAA Division II Football Playoffs Super Regional Finals Schedule

My beloved Bloomsburg huskies may be eliminated, but that won't stop the schedule postings! The 2010 Division II football playoffs are down to 8 teams, with the winning teams getting to take home th title of champions of their respective Super Regional, in addition to appearing on national TV next week (CBS College Sports) for the National Semifinals. Hopefully in addition to some Oregon/Auburn excitement, the Division II games will provide some excitement as well. Personally, I am particularly looking forward to the Central Missouri vs. Northwest Missouri State game. The way Central Missouri attacks defenses through the air provides great excitement, while defending D2 champions Northwest Missouri State have twice comeback from 2 scores down to advance into these playoffs. Also, Mercyhurst is the lone remaining team from the PSAC in this tournament. Can they be the first PSAC team to win the D2 National Football Championship? They are only 3 wins away. Also, Albany State (GA) and Minnesota-Duluth will hope to continue what have been perfect seasons up to this point. Anyway, enough rambling, here is the schedule.

Schedule by time

#4 Shepherd vs. #2 Mercyhurst 12:00
#2 Delta State vs. #1 Albany State (GA) 1:00
#2 Augustana (SD) vs. #1 Minnesota-Duluth 1:00
#4 Central Missouri vs. #3 Northwest Missouri State 2:00

Schedule by Super Regional

Super Regional 1
#4 Shepherd vs. #2 Mercyhurst 12:00

Super Regional 2
#2 Delta State vs. #1 Albany State (GA) 1:00

Super Regional 3
#2 Augustana (SD) vs. #1 Minnesota-Duluth 1:00

Super Regional 4
#4 Central Missouri vs. #3 Northwest Missouri State

NFC West: As Awful As Advertised

Here are some random facts and figures delineating how bad the NFC West is.

Of the 28 NFL teams outside the NFC West, 20 of them would be in 1st place if they played in the NFC West.

Net point differential (i.e. points scored - points against)
Rams: -18.
Seahawks: -66
49ers: -38
Cardinals: -125

The Arizona Cardinals are -125 in net points, and yet they are only 2 games out of 1st! The Carolina Panthers are -136 in net points, a league-wide laughing stock, and are all intents and purposes, are dead and buried for the year. Not to mention disgraced. Yet the Cardinals are 2 games out of 1st place.

No team has a winning record on the road. Hell, the best team in this department is the Rams and their road record is 2-4. That's only 33%. The Rams are alone in 1st in this department in the NFC West.

The Rams and Seahawks are tied for 1st place in the NFC West. They are each 5-6.

The teams each team in the NFC West has defeated and lost to this season.

St. Louis Rams
Wins: Redskins (5-6), Seahawks (5-6), Chargers (6-5), Panthers (1-10), Broncos (3-8)
Losses: Cardinals (3-8), Raiders (5-6), Lions (2-9), Buccaneers (7-4), 49ers (4-7), Falcons (9-2)
Teams beaten currently with a winning record: 1

Seattle Seahawks
Wins: 49ers (4-7), Chargers (6-5), Bears (8-3), Cardinals (3-8), Cardinals (3-8)
Losses: Broncos (3-8), Rams (5-6), Raiders (5-6), Giants (7-4), Saints (8-3), Chiefs (7-4)
Teams beaten currently with a winning record: 2

San Francisco 49ers
Wins: Raiders (5-6), Broncos (3-8), Rams (5-6), Cardinals (3-8)
Losses: Seahawks (5-6), Saints (8-3), Chiefs (7-4), Falcons (9-2), Eagles (7-4), Panthers (1-10), Buccaneers (7-4)
Teams beaten currently with a winning record: 0

Arizona Cardinals
Wins: Rams (5-6), Raiders (5-6), Saints (8-3)
Losses: Falcons (9-2), Chargers (6-5), Seahawks (5-6), Buccaneers (7-4), Vikings (4-7), Seahawks (5-6), Chiefs (7-4), 49ers (4-7).
Teams beaten currently with a winning record: 1

For comparison's sake, the Eagles have beaten 4 teams currently with a winning record (Jaguars, Falcons, Colts, Giants). In short, number of teams the Eagles have beaten with a winning record = the number of teams the entire NFC West has beaten with a winning record. Kind of pathetic on the part of the NFC West, eh? In order to make things fair, if the eventual NFC West "champion" loses by less than 30 in the wildcard round, it should really count as a win for said team.

I'd write more things about this terrible division, but alas, my stomach is really cramping. Excuse me while I go to the bathroom and drop an NFC West.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Eagles Week 12 Recap: Eagles 25, Bears And Soldier Field 31

To the bullet points we go!
  • The popular meme of this week will be that the Eagles "were exposed."  I would disagree with that.  Reasons why the Eagles lost not having to do with the fact they are "overrated:"  Asante Samuel, the league leader in interceptions, was out of the game had a some to do with it (more on that later).  The fact that Eagles players were slipping all over the place on a terrible Soldier Field while the Bears seemed to remain upright had more to do with it (more on that later).  The Eagles defense missing all sorts of tackles had a lot to do with it (I'd get more into that later, but I can't keep it PG-13).
  • To further denounce that sure to be meme among people, the Chicago Bears had only given up 20 or more points once this season.  The Eagles got 25 on them today.
  • Jay Cutler threw 21 passes today.  He threw 17 of them to the left side of the Eagles defense. What was so special about the left side of the Eagles defense?  Joselio Hanson and Trevard Lindley were filling in for the injured Asante Samuel.  All I will say is may Asante Samuel return Thursday as this would have been a completely different football game had Cutler had to deal with Samuel on one side and Dimitri Patterson on the other side.  Cutler may have been forced into one of his classic mistakes.
  • For all the talk of the Bears not having a win versus a quality opponent this year, well, they have won now.  Very impressive win for them.
  • Even good teams lose road games to other good teams in the NFL.  Some of the tack
  • The Eagles were slipping all over Soldier Field.  The Bears were not.  If I am the Eagles, I am having a brief talk with my equipment manager after the game as he is fully responsible if the Eagles did not have the same cleats the Bears had.  Shameful.
  • The equipment manager may be at fault for the Eagles falling while the Bears were not, but that does not excuse the fact that Soldier Field was in piss poor condition today.  Whomever thought it would be a good idea to play a high school game there on Friday should be fired.  Whomever cleaned that field up and thought it was even remotely playable should also be fired.  That field was an abortion and an embarrassment to football and the NFL today.  I would expect field conditions like that out of high schools, not the NFL.  Then again, it was a high school field a couple days ago, so I guess I should have seen this coming.
  • It may have been at the end of the game in a loss, but that still does not change the insanity of this touchdown pass from Vick to Celek.  Not only is that a great catch by Celek in triple coverage, but a great throw by Vick as well.  I mean, it was not his best decision (there were 4 Bears in the area), but wow.  What a throw.  He put that right in there for Celek.  Incredible.  Unbelievable.  Amazing.
  •  Multiple reports claim that DeSean Jackson was visibly upset in the locker room after the game and had some animated discussions with Vick.
  • The Bears constantly played their safeties deep this game to prevent the long ball.  The Eagles responded in turn by dinking and dunking their way down the field for the entire game.  It also led to Jason Avant getting 8 catches for 83 yards.  Whenever a defense plays like that against the outside threats, Jackson and Maclin, the slot receiver is almost always going to have a big day.  Today was no exception with Avant.
  • Michael Vick threw his first NFL regular season interception today since December 24, 2006.  The pass was tipped at the line, but it was a pass into double coverage which may have been intercepted anyway even if it was not deflected.  Some may point to the deflection and say that was not Vick's fault, but Vick's decision making on throwing that pass was very poor, a rarity for him this season.
  • Aspeaking of poor decision making, when down by 3-scores in the 4th quarter and faced with 4th and goal from the 2, you do not kick a field goal.  Be aggressive, go for it, and get yourself back in the game.  And then, after having to settle for another field goal, Andy Reid kicked it deep instead of going for the onside kick.  All around stupidity and terrible clock management on Reid's parrt.
  • While going to commercial break after a Chicago Bears touchdown, Fox used Chelsea Dagger as their bumper music.  Congratulations on alienating every Eagles fan who rooted for the Flyers in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, Fox!
  • The Eagles need to have a quick amnesia as their next game is this Thursday against the Texans on Thursday Night Football.  I dread the hearing Matt Millen and Joe Theismann talking about the Eagles.
  • And lastly, the win probability chart. (advancednflstats.com)

2010 NFL Season Week 12 Live Blog


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Egregious Officiating Blunder That Cost The Flyers An OT Game-winning Goal (A Complete Breakdown)

(Originally posted at Broad Street Hockey)

Let's get one thing straight: The Flyers did not deserve to beat the Flames today. They were outplayed and outworked by an inferior hockey team who is ranked 26th in the league in the overall standings.

Let's get another thing straight: The Flyers would have stolen a 2nd point from Calgary anyway, had the officials not made one of their biggest blunders of the season.

When Sean Avery instigated what is now known as the "Avery Rule" back in the 2008 playoffs, did anyone really think we would see it come up again? Maybe the lack of occurrence of the penalty caused the referees to forget what the penalty is for. It certainly is an explanation for calling it when they did.

Follow along with the jump for a complete breakdown of everything regarding this rule and this play.

A Preview Of Bloomsburg's Super Regional 1 Semifinal Game

2 weeks ago, Bloomsburg traveled to Erie to take on Mercyhurst in the PSAC Championship. The result was a 56-37 drubbing that favored Mercyhurst. This coming Saturday, Bloomsburg will return to Louis J. Tullio Field in Erie, PA to face Mercyhurst in the Super Regional 1 semifinals (click here for bracket). Only this time, a spot in the Super Regional 1 finals is on the line. And the loser's season is over.

In the game 2 weeks ago, Mercyhurst annihilated Bloomsburg's normally stout pass defense. Mercyhurst QB Travis Rearick threw for 345 yards. Mercyhurst WR Travis Kennedy had one of the best games in Mercyhurst football history, catching 11 passes for 163 yards. That's the bad news. The good news is the Bloomsburg defense limited the Lakers to 40 rushing yards in 22 attempts. The damage was done with the passing game, defense and capitalizing on opportunities given to Mercyhurst on special teams. How bad was this from a historical perspective? The last time Bloomsburg gave up at least 56 points was in the 2000 National Championship game, which Delta State won 63-34.

But there is reason to believe that things will be different this time around. For starters coming into that PSAC Championship game, Mercyhurst averaged around 28 points per game. They more than doubled their average 2 weeks ago. Bloomsburg's past defense is normally a very good one and likely won't be replicating that piss poor defense. Provided of course, they decide to pay attention to Travis Kennedy. Secondly, Mercyhurst is a team that thrives on rhythm. Last Saturday was their first bye week since September 4. For a team that is used to playing in consecutive weeks and winning every Saturday since October 9, the week off they had last weekend could possibly disrupt their momentum. Finally, last game was played under fair skies. This game is forecasted to be played on the tail end of a lake effect snow storm that is forecast (and we all know these weather forecasts are NEVER wrong) to dump 8 inches of snow on Erie. Not to state the obvious, but this game is not being played at an NFL football stadium or top notch Division I facility. This is Louis J. Tuillo Field. I have never been to Mercyhurst nor do I have any contacts up there, but something tells me that the field maintenance won't be the best. The surface is artificial so there is no mud problem, but I'll be shocked if this place has a heater, especially seeing as Mercyhurst is not a traditional Division II football powerhouse. In fact, this is their first Division II playoff game. I don't think their football team is used to something like this, and I am not confident at all that they have the personnel or resources to handle it.

If it is push comes to shove like that and both teams need to rely on the running game, I like Bloomsburg's chances a lot in this game, despite the blowout 2 weeks ago. Bloomsburg freshman running back Franklyn Quiteh has been nothing short of a sensation. He is a finalist for the Harlon Hill Award, an award given to the most valuable player in Division II football. Consider it D2's version of the Heisman. But he was unable to finish the PSAC Championship game 2 weeks ago because of an injury he suffered early in the 2nd half, but with the 16 carries he did get, he rushed for 104 yards. Meanwhile as mentioned above, Mercyhurst got 40 rushing yards all game, with their best rusher being the QB Rearick, he mustered 30 yards on 5 rushing attempts. Their running back Gerald Anderson got 13 carries on 16 yards. Any other person who carried the ball only lost yards, as evidenced by the fact that Rearick and Anderson combined for 46 rushing yards, and Mercyhurst ended the game with 40. The good news for Quiteh is that he was able to return from injury and play against California last weekend, and once again, Quiteh ran for over 100 yards.

I mentioned this in last week's Cal-Bloomsburg preview, but QB Pat Carey threw 37 passes last week. According to Bloomsburg radio announcers Jim Doyle and Andy Ulicny, Carey's arm was getting tired at the end of the game, as he had to pass so damn much without his star RB because said RB was injured the 2nd half of that game and the Huskies needed to try and stay in a game that was not totally out of reach given the amount of points Bloomsburg was still able to score (Bloomsburg lost the game when they were unable to get a defensive stop). Carey is an efficient QB for a team whose strategy is run the ball, run the ball, play defense, and run the ball some more, but Carey is not a QB who can pass 66 times a game like West Texas A&M QB Taylor Harris did last week and still be an effective QB in the 2nd half. Hell, the 2nd half is when West Texas A&M scored 28 of their 35 points in their 55-35 defeat to Central Missouri. Basically the point I am dancing around is, while an efficient QB, Pat Carey is not a QB who can put a team on his shoulders, pass on every down, and win the football game. The running game must be established and must be effective if Bloomsburg wants to win this game. Because while I doubt that Mercyhurst will put up 56 again, they are capable of putting points on the board. And Bloomsburg will have to counter that. And the best way they can counter it is by creating turnovers, running the ball, and using that ground game to set up the pass from Carey, who does throw a decent deep ball.

If Bloomsburg successfully accomplishes that, I like their chances at avenging the PSAC Championship loss and advancing to the Super Regional 1 Finals on Saturday, December 4. If not, I fear I might be saying goodbye to the 2010 version of the Bloomsburg Huskies football game.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What I'm Thankful For In Sports

With Thanksgiving around the corner, what better time to write a post on what one is thankful for in sports, no? To say the least, I am thankful for a lot of things.

I am thankful for being alive during the Phillies' Golden Age. To see the losingest franchise in professional sports finally dominate on the national stage is exciting, thrilling, and an experience I will never forget.

I am thankful for Ryan and Jimmy and Chase and Carlos and Cole and Roy and Roy.

I am thankful for Michael Vick and how he has made the Philadelphia Eagles one of the most exciting teams in football.

I am thankful for Andy Reid, that despite his shortcomings, is a coach who has fielded winning football teams for the past decade.

I am thankful for the Flyers, and the most incredible 2 months of hockey I have ever witnessed. They may not have won the Stanley Cup, but history was made.

I am thankful for Sergei Bobrovsky, the most promising young goaltender the Flyers have had in my lifetime.

I am thankful that Philadelphia once again has a professional soccer team.

I am thankful that the Philadelphia Soul will be returning next year.

I am thankful to have seen so many great sport moments in my life, including the 2008 World Series.

I am thankful for being able to enjoy said moments with my family and all of you, my wonderful online friends.

As if it was not obvious, no live blog tomorrow. Enjoy the day watching football with your families, and feel free to chime in the comments sections here what you are thankful for in sports, or in general. Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving everybody!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NFL Week 12 Schedule

Huzzah! DirecTV Sunday Ticket and their NFL RedZone Channel for an hour this weekend! Then it is back to campus where I am stuck with nothing but my measly affiliates. I am still bolding the games I get up in Bloomsburg, even though I will start the Sunday home in suburban Philadelphia before spending 2 hours in a car during the early games and won't be watching much football. (all times ET)

Thanksgiving games

New England Patriots vs. Detroit Lions 12:30 (CBS - Jim Nantz and Phil Simms)
New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys 4:15 (Fox - Joe Buck and Troy Aikman)
Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Jets 8:20 (NFL Network - Bob Papa, Matt Millen, and Joe Theismann)

Map of who gets what CBS game.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Giants 1:00 (CBS - Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf)
Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans 1:00 (CBS - Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills 1:00 (CBS - Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots)

Miami Dolphins vs. Oakland Raiders 4:05 (CBS - Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker)
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Seattle Seahawks 4:05 (CBS - Bill Macatee and Rich Gannon)

Map of who gets what Fox early game.

Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons 1:00 (Fox - Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick)
Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington Redskins 1:00 (Fox - Dick Stockton, Charles Davis, and Jim Mora, Jr.)
Carolina Panthers vs. Cleveland Browns 1:00 (Fox - Chris Rose and Torry Holt)

Map of who gets what Fox late game.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears 4:15 (Fox - Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Baltimore Ravens 4:15 (Fox - Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan)
St. Louis Rams vs. Denver Broncos 4:15 (Fox - Ron Pitts and John Lynch)

Sunday Night Football

San Diego Chargers vs. Indianapolis Colts 8:20 (NBC - Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth)

Monday Night Football

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals 8:30 (ESPN - Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden)

NCAA Division II Football Playoffs Super Regional Semifinals Schedule

With 16 teams left, it is time for the 2nd round of the D2 football playoffs, perhaps better categorized as the Super Regional semifinals. When looking at the bracket, consider this the D2 football equivalent to the Sweet 16, only the games are played on the campus of the higher seed, not on a neutral court. There were some last minute time changes last week and I suspect there might be some this week as well. D2football.com has not released their schedule yet, which leads me to believe that some times may still change. As soon as I find out about the changes I will update the schedule, but as of now, here is the NCAA Division II Football Playoffs Super Regional Semifinals Schedule! (all times ET)

Schedule by time

#4 Shepherd vs. #1 Kutztown 12:00
#6 Bloomsburg vs. #2 Mercyhurst 12:00
#4 Wingate vs. #1 Albany State (GA) 12:00
#6 North Alabama vs. #2 Delta State 1:00
#4 Saint Cloud State vs. #1 Minnesota-Duluth 1:00
#3 Grand Valley State vs. #2 Augustana (SD) 1:00
#4 Central Missouri vs. #1 Abilene Christian 1:00
#3 Northwest Missouri State vs. #2 Texas A&M-Kingsville 1:00

Schedule by Super Regional

Super Regional 1
#4 Shepherd vs. #1 Kutztown 12:00
#6 Bloomsburg vs. #2 Mercyhurst 12:00

Super Regional 2
#4 Wingate vs. #1 Albany State (GA) 12:00
#6 North Alabama vs. #2 Delta State 1:00

Super Regional 3
#4 Saint Cloud State vs. #1 Minnesota-Duluth 1:00
#3 Grand Valley State vs. #2 Augustana (SD) 1:00

Super Regional 4
#4 Central Missouri vs. #1 Abilene Christian 1:00
#3 Northwest Missouri State vs. #2 Texas A&M-Kingsville 1:00

Say Goodbye To America's Showplace

Well this is not as dramatic as the Veterans Stadium implosion. Maybe because a wrecking ball decking a few walls and windows is not as dramatic as a whole stadium imploding at once. Maybe it's because the Spectrum has in effect been dead for a couple years now. Yesterday it was an empty building that had not been relevant for a few years now. Today, it is a building with some odd looking holes in it. The Flyers and the Sixers have been playing in the "Wells Fargo whatever-it's-called Center" since 1996, around the exact same time that I started the 1st grade. As much as I want to have these warm fuzzy feelings associated with watching the Flyers and the Sixers play there, I instead have these warm fuzzy feelings of watching the Phantoms and the Soul play there. Yes. American League Hockey and Arena Football FTW! So goodbye old building where I used to sit in the front row of minor league hockey games with my best friend in elementary school. You will be missed.

Goodbye, Spectrum.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Eagles Week 11 Recap: How To Lose A Football Game By The New York Giants And The Philadelphia Eagles

On to the bullet points:
  • Over the past few years, the Eagles have played some close and very ugly games against division rivals.  I don't recall many of them being wins.  They won this one.
  • The Eagles game-winning TD was scored on a TD where Vick bobbled the snap, somehow got the ball to McCoy on the toss, who proceeded to go untouched into the endzone.  Whether or not the toss was planned or impromptu because of the bobbled snap may never be known, but the result was incredible regardless (VIDEO).
  • While this was not the greatest reffed game I've ever seen (Ron Winter, ladies and gents!), if the Eagles lost, they would have had no one to blame but themselves.  It should have been a blowout by the end of the first half, and the only thing that prevented that was 2 drops in the endzone, with one of those (the Avant one), being one of the worst drops I have ever seen in an NFL football game.  Like seriously.  I think he is making the not top-10 for this one.  The ironic part:  Jason Avant is known for his sure-handed hands.
  • Michael Vick committed his 1st regular season turnover since December 24, 2006 when he fumbled a ball in the 2nd half that was recovered by the Giants.  He still has not thrown an interception since that December 24, 2006 game against the Panthers.  He had 2 INTs that day.
  • The Giants game-planned for Vick as well as they could.  They got pressure, they got in his face, they used their speed and were aggressive and it sort of worked.  Well comparatively speaking, it worked.  I mean, Vick did not set a bunch of records with one of the single greatest individual performances tonight.  That being said, they came in the best defense in the NFL averaging 270 yards given upper game, and the Eagles torched them for 400.
  • The Bears employ a similar defense and will likely employ a similar strategy next week.
  • Asante Samuel had an interesting night in New York.  2 INTs, a fumble, and a helmet-to-helmet hit that will almost assuredly see him receiving mail and a bill from Roger Goddell sometime this week.
  • Odd stat:  Asante Samuel has 4 combined INTs this season against QBs named Manning.  That's a record.  And he still has 1 game to go this season.
  • Teams the Giants have beaten:  Panthers, Bears, Texans, Lions, Cowboys, Seahawks.  Teams the Giants have lost to:  Colts, Titans, Cowboys, Eagles.  The only team the Giants beat with a winning record is the Bears.  The Bears are 7-3, yet I have not heard anyone say how they are a threat in the NFC.  Flying under the radar a bit?  Yeah, but I do not think their record is indicative of how good I think they are.  As far as the Giants, the Giants are not a bad team, but they are yet to prove themselves by beating a quality opponent.  Like I said, they are not bad, but I can't consider them one of the best until they beat a real quality game.
  • Ellis Hobbs got knocked out with a helmet-to-helmet hit by Tollefson on the opening kick.  It knocked him out cold on the field for a full 10 minutes.  That helmet-to-helmet contact was in a situation though where it is not a penalty, and the refs were right by not throwing a flag.  X-rays were negative and he was moving around a bit in the locker room, so that is very good news.
  • Not Eagles-Giants related, but a quick buy or sell from me on some NFL teams.  Buy the Patriots.  Buy the Jets (they may be lucky, but they are also very good, even Sanchez, who was great on that last drive today).  Buy the Packers.  Sell the Bears.  Buy the Falcons.  Sell the Buccaneers.  Sell the entire NFC West and toss it in a gigantic shit hole.  As funny as NFC West jokes are, one of those four piss poor excuses of a football team are going to play in the playoffs.  And that's a shame.
  • How the referee could tell that Ahmad Bradshaw's forearm or wrist, and not his hand was down is beyond me?  Keep in mind, it must be conclusive to overturn.  What was conclusive about that?
  • The end of game Eli Manning fumble was (shockingly) called correctly by Ron Winter.  Manning dove (not slid), Samuel never touched him, and the ball came out before any Eagle touched him.  Eli Manning committed a similar turnover in a similar situation against the Eagles last year.
  • The Eagles are now alone in 1st place in the NFC East, 1 game ahead of the Giants, 2 games ahead of the Redskins, and 4 games ahead of the Cowboys.  The Eagles have 1 remaining game against the Giants to play and both Cowboys games still to play this season.
  • I really can't stand Shawn Andrews.  The guy is lazy, plays on Twitter all day when not practicing (a frequent occurrence for him), and constantly throws the Eagles under the bus for reasons I still don't get.  The Eagles did everything they could to help him with his situation here, including bringing in his horrible brother Stacy to play with him, paying him big money to recover from his issues, and all he does is trashes the Eagles organization.  They stuck with him longer than most other teams would have, and this is how he shows his thanks.  It has nothing to do with the fact that he is a Giant now, just everything to do with the fact that he has proven himself to be an all-round lazy and terrible human being.
  • Both teams tried to beat themselves tonight.  The one that did it slightly less in less critical times was the team that won.
  •  And lastly, the win probability chart. (advancednflstats.com)

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Dan Dierdorf Does Not Enjoy Streaking Fans

    This video is all sorts of funny for so many reasons.

    I now eagerly anticipate everyone saying that all New York fans are crazy drunks, just like Philly fans. After all, the same was true about Philadelphia fans once they had idiots running onto the field at Citizens Bank Park. New York Jets fans are going to get the same treatment because of this one dumb drunken idiot, no?

    2010 NFL Season Week 11 Live Blog

    (Don't forget! Immediately following this live blog, the URL of this website will change to http://comeback-complete.blogspot.com)

    Claude Giroux Scores A Goal With A Different Stick

    Even Claude Giroux's crotch is filled with awesomeness!

    The way Giroux danced around it in the interview with Steve Coates was hilarious. Way to be politically correct while telling everyone watching that you used a stick of different sorts to score a goal.

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    A Preview Of Bloomsburg's First Round Playoff Game

    2 years ago, Bloomsburg and California (PA) met in the Super Regional 1 finals. Unfortunately, bad officiating and a costly end of game fumble by then QB Dan LaTorre cost the Huskies the game and ultimately a spot in the Final 4. Suffice to say, the California University of Pennsylvania Vulcans are not one of my favorite teams in college football. Now the playoff rematch is in the 1st round of the 2010 playoffs coming up in just a few short hours. It will be played on campus in California, PA, which just to make things confusing, is located in Washington County. As a reference, Washington County is the southwest neighbor of Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is located.

    Despite being trounced by Mercyhurst last week, I did not expect Bloomsburg to drop all the way to the 6th seed in Super Regional 1, especially seeing as they were for sure the #1 seed had they won that game. But that is the reality of a college football playoff where there are so few games to go by.

    During last week's PSAC title game against Mercyhurst, Bloomsburg suffered quite a few set backs. They lost their leading wide receiver to a broken collarbone. The leading RB in the D2 nation, Franklyn Quiteh, is questionable with a knee injury he suffered in that very same game. Those are two key parts to an offense that thrives on running the ball. Bloomsburg QB Pat Carey's arm seemed to be getting fatigued at the end of the game last week as he needed to throw a lot to catch up to Mercyhurst without the benefit of Quiteh in the backfield. The total number of passes Carey threw in that game was in the 30s. So, yeah, running the ball is integral to the success of Bloomsburg. Carey is an efficient QB, but he does not have the ability to win games throwing lots of passes. A problem with this: Cal (PA) boasts one of the best running defenses in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference this season (yes, 2 teams from the same conference can play each other in the 1st round here).

    While Bloomsburg is normally very solid defensively as well, they got torched last week by Mercyhurst for 56 points. Seriously, the Redskins looked competent next to the shitshow Bloomsburg put on last week. The Huskies thrive on the turnover, and that is something they were unable to generate against Mercyhurst. I am afraid that they will need to force some turnovers against the Vulcans in this game if they want to have a chance at winning it, as frankly, I don't see the offense running up and down the field like they did 2 weeks ago against Kutztown.

    Guys to look for on the Cal side of the ball: QB Josh Portis is coming off a career high 5 TD game against Cheyney (although truth be told, most middle school football teams are capable of that very same feat) and WR Chedrick Cherry has played very well as of late.

    If the series history between these 2 teams indicate anything, this one is going to be a good one. This will be the 6th meeting in the last 5 years for California (PA) and Bloomsburg, including the playoff game in 2008, with 4 of the last 5 games being decided by single digits. While I won't go on the record with any predictions, I will tell you that I will be posting constant updates on this game (and random score updates of the other D2 playoff games) at Keith's Sports Journal, whether it be in the open thread or in the live blog should he start it early. A webcast of the game will be available here, although I am not sure if this will be free or PPV. If it is PPV and more than $10, I will listen to the free Bloomsburg radio stream. The winner of this game will travel to Erie, PA next Saturday to take on the #2 seeded Mercyhurst Lakers. GO HUSKIES!!!

    (Friendly reminder: On Sunday night, the URL of this blog is changing to http://comeback-complete.blogspot.com. Prepare your bookmarks.)

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    The Night A Hockey Game Had 1 Less Point Scored Than An NFL Game

    The Bears and Dolphins managed 16 combined points tonight. The Flyers and Lightning managed 15 combined points tonight. Seriously.

    While an entertaining and yet maddeningly frustrating hockey game, it was just 1 game that the Flyers have not seen the likes of since the 1980s and early 1990s. In short, while not exactly sterling, I am not sure if there is anything that I would take from it in regards to the team. It's not like games like that are the norm. That being said, Sergei Bobrovsky did look a little fatigued out there, as this was his 12th start in a row. He was benched after he gave up 4 goals in the 1st period, which while not all his fault, Bob did not particularly sharp at all during that period. Granted Laviolette knows his players better than we do, but he has a history of stubbornness with his goalies. Lave says Bob is young (he's 22-years old), but Bob has not played in a season longer than 40-games in his career. This was his twelfth game in a row. I just hope Peter Laviolette knows what he is doing, as the last thing the Flyers can afford is an injury to the most promising goalie they've had since Ron Hextall in 1986.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    The New Initiative Is Here

    Initiating change in 3.........2......1............

    Didn't I tell you guys this was going to be face-breakingly awesome? In commemoration of the 2-year anniversary of my blog, I have completely changed the blog! Well, sort of. In a way.

    The content I put out (as scarce as it has been because of the shitload of college work I've had the past couple weeks) will not be any different, however, it was time a change has been made. The reasoning for this? Not just to celebrate my 2-year blog anniversary in style. Actually, I thought of the change beforehand, realized the 2-year blog anniversary was in a week, and decided to do it then. But more importantly, I made this blog as a college freshman, pissed off that the Eagles had just played one of their most pathetic games in recent memory, tying the Bengals 13-13 and taking away 4 hours of my life that I am yet to get back. It was a terrible performance from everyone involved. Do I really want Andy Reid fired? In a way, yes, in a way, no. His play-calling, timeout management, and clock management can be the stuff of nightmares times, but then I look at some of the other things he did, including the Michael Vick rehabilitation project that has turned out better than anyone ever could have imagined, and I wonder just how many coaches could have done to Vick what Reid did. I am willing to venture not many. But again, the Eagles embarrassed themselves in so many ways that November afternoon. And I was merely a freshman.

    Now I am a college junior. I have 2 full semesters of class left before I student teach. Pretty soon, I will enter the job market, looking for a career. It's coming sooner than I probably realize. I will have job interviews. People will want to be digging more into my life than I would care to know. What if they discover this? Somehow I do not feel guy who writes a sports blog with the title "Fire Andy Reid Now!" is something that's very professional. Not quite sure how, though.....

    So where does the new title come from? The answer may surprise you: Joe Beninati. It's his call as the clock expired in Game 7 to complete the Flyers' 3-0 comebacks. His delivery of the call, as always for Joe B., was terrible. But something about the quote in a vaccum when Beninati is not screaming it, that kind of works and can be used in multiple situations in sports. As incredible as it may seem, I like it. A lot. Yes, even horrid announces like Joe Beninati can have a gem every once in a while.

    The blog name change and the design are not the only changes, though. You may also notice that I have changed my username. Again, the reasoning is 2 fold. JFein was my nickname all throughout high school. I made this blog and my Blogger account coming off those years. I have not been called JFein by someone in person in 2.5 years now. Also, "Justin F." looks more professional, does it not? And in a way, I kind of feel it makes me more anonymous. Sure, all of you who are my online friends know what my true last name is from emails and what not, but when I apply for a job, I'd rather people not Google my name and have all this random sports-bloggy shit come up. Another reason for the professionalism? Nothing is done and done yet, so I can't say this with absolute certainty, but I am in the process of being promoted to a writer of SB Nation's The Brotherly Game. As a blog writer for a blog that gets slightly more hits than my Blogspot domain, "Justin F." is more professional than "JFein." Check TBG frequently to see if I have been added yet. While I won't have another post on it here, I will let you know via Twitter when, and if, I've been added. I've already changed my SB Nation username to "Justin F." You may have already noticed if you've read any of the comments sections of any of the Philadelphia SB Nation set of blogs in the past week and stumbled upon one of my comments. If possible, I have added the email address BloggerJustinF@gmail.com to my repertoire of email addresses. Try your best to use it as, though I will still check the other ones periodically.

    Lastly, and perhaps most importantly for you, my URL will be changing. The new URL will be http://comeback-complete.blogspot.com/. However, because I do not want to leave everyone in the dark as I do not have everyone's email address (Scott, longley, all of the people who stalk and read my blog without commenting, etc.), this change will not be made until after the live blog on Sunday. From now until then, I will have a reminder at the top of my blog as well as I will post frequent reminders during the live blog, telling you to change your bookmarks or what not. Also, a note will appear at the top of the blog until Sunday. Sorry if it seems like I am going over the top, but I do not want to leave anyone out in the dark on this one. That is not a purpose of this nor an intention of mine.

    I hope you enjoy the changes. Sure, it may seem awkward after 2 years of a lot of the same, but for my future, the evolution of my writing skills (seriously, compare the style of posts from 2 years ago to today; they could not be more different), the overall appearance and how I feel now, I felt it was something that needed to do. Enjoy! And as always, thanks for being such awesome readers and wonderful online friends. ;-)

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    NFL Week 11 Schedule

    Week 11 and the Eagles have a huge Sunday Night showdown with the New York Giants. The Giants are yet to beat a real quality opponent this year, but they will be given the chance to do just that as they take on Michael Vick and the red hot Eagles. Also on tap this Sunday: Favre Bowl IV and Super Bowl XLIV.5. Suffice to say, this should be a fun weekend of football, provided you avoid ESPN at all costs. (all times ET; games I get are in bold)

    Thursday Night Football

    Chicago Bears vs. Miami Dolphins 8:20 (NFL Network - Bob Papa, Matt Millen, and Joe Theismann)

    Map of who gets what Fox game.

    Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings 1:00 (Fox - Joe Buck and Troy Aikman)
    Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys 1:00 (Fox - Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa)
    Washington Redskins vs. Tennessee Titans 1:00 (Fox - Dick Stockton, Charles Davis, and Jim Mora, Jr.)
    Arizona Cardinals vs. Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 (Fox - Ron Pitts and John Lynch)

    Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints 4:05 (Fox - Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick)
    Atlanta Falcons vs. St. Louis Rams 4:05 (Fox - Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan)
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Francisco 49ers 4:05 (Fox - Chris Myers and Kurt Warner)

    Map of who gets what CBS early game.

    Houston Texans vs. New York Jets 1:00 (CBS - Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf)
    Oakland Raiders vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 (CBS - Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts)
    Baltimore Ravens vs. Carolina Panthers 1:00 (CBS - Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots)
    Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 (CBS - Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker)
    Cleveland Browns vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 (CBS - Bill Macatee and Rich Gannon)

    Map of who gets Super Bowl XLIV.5

    Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots 4:15 (CBS - Jim Nantz and Phil Simms

    Sunday Night Football

    New York Giants Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles 8:20 (NBC - Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth)

    Monday Night Football

    Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers 8:30 (ESPN - Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden)

    NCAA Division II Football Playoffs 1st Round Schedule

    A win last week against Mercyhurst would have assuredly put Bloomsburg has the #1 ranked team in Super Regional 1, along with the bye that comes with it. Instead they are the #6 seed and need to go on the road at California (PA) in the 1st round this weekend. The Division II playoffs is a 24-team tournament, the bracket can be found here, so without further ado, here the much anticipated posting of the NCAA Division II 1st round playoff schedule! All games are this Saturday, November 20, 2010 (all times ET; all games played on campus of higher seeded team)

    Schedule by time

    #6 Bloomsburg vs. #3 California (PA) 12:00
    #6 Colorado Mines vs. #3 Grand Valley State 12:00
    #5 Shaw vs. #4 Shepherd 12:00
    #6 North Alabama vs. #3 Valdosta State 12:00
    #5 Morehouse vs. #4 Wingate 12:00
    #5 West Texas A&M vs. #4 Central Missouri 1:00
    #6 Missouri Western State vs. #3 Northwest Missouri State 1:00
    #5 Hillsdale vs. #4 St. Cloud State 1:00

    Schedule by Super Regional

    Super Regional 1
    #5 Shaw vs. #4 Shepherd 12:00 (Winner plays #1 Kutztown)
    #6 Bloomsburg vs. #3 California (PA) 12:00 (Winner plays #2 Mercyhurst)

    Super Regional 2
    #5 Morehouse vs. #4 Wingate 12:00 (Winner plays #1 Albany State (GA))
    #6 North Alabama vs. #3 Valdosta State 12:00 (Winner plays #2 Delta State)

    Super Regional 3
    #6 Colorado Mines vs. #3 Grand Valley State 12:00 (Winner plays #2 Augustana (SD))
    #5 Hillsdale vs. #4 St. Cloud State 1:00 (Winner plays #1 Minnesota-Duluth)

    Super Regional 4
    #5 West Texas A&M vs. #4 Central Missouri 1:00 (Winner plays #1 Abilene Christian)
    #6 Missouri Western State vs. #3 Northwest Missouri State 1:00 (Winner plays #2 Texas A&M Kingsville)

    One Of The Greatest Rants You Will Ever Hear

    Meet DC Talkshow Radio host Chad Dukes. He is a lifelong Redskin fan who watched the game last night. He is not a happy talkshow radio host, and he's going to let you know it. Prepare your ears for one of the most epic 12 minutes in the history of sportstalk radio.

    It's funny as all hell, but I feel bad. Maybe that is because everything he said about the Redskins is absolutely right.

    (Hat tip to Bleeding Green Nation)

    Eagles Week 10 Recap: One For The Record Books

    Onto the bullet points.
    • I was born in 1989.  I have not watched every single NFL football game.  No one has.  But, what we just witnessed may have just been the best NFL quarterbacking performance in the history of the league.  Before you scoff and label me a blind homer who doesn't know shit, listen to some of the facts here.  Michael Vick became the 1st quarterback in NFL history history to have 300+ passing yards, 50+ rushing yards, 4+ passing TDs, and 2+ rushing TDs in a single football game.  In addition, Michael Vick compiled more fantasy points in one game than any quarterback has ever had post NFL/AFL merger.  Yes, people keep track of this.  Yes, this is a legitimate broken recordAdam Caplan called it the best he has ever seen.  Steve Young claimed in the ESPN post game show it was "one of the most defining games at quarterback I've ever seen.".  Again, you can say I am blinded by homerism, but there is a reasonable argument to be made that this was the best single-game QB performance of all time.
    • The pre-game featured the Eagles and the Redskins getting in a skirmish reportedly because Laron Landry and DeAngelo Hall mocked DeSean Jackson getting concussed and knocked out coldLandry reportedly made "pillow gestures" saying "night, night" to DeSean before the game, again referencing him getting knocked out by Dunta Robinson's hit.  How did the Eagles respond?  First play from scrimmage, Vick throws a deep bomb to DeSean Jackson who was 1-on-1 with Landry.  Caught.  Touchdown.  (VIDEO).  That would certainly explain why DeSean Jackson turned around and waltzed into the endzone the way he did.  When he turned around, he was staring  right at Landry.  DeSean Jackson 1, Laron Landry 0.
    • Laron Landry's less than respectful behavior did not end with that.  Reportedly he spit in the face of Eagles center Mike McGlynn twice during the game.  Just remember Laron:  Eagles 59, Redskins 28.
    • As much as I want to list every record that was broken in this game, I can't.  Go read the live blog.  As they kept coming in, I made a note of it there.  I will highlight though that 59 ties an MNF record and 59 is the 2nd most in Eagles history, behind the 63 they put up against the Cincinnati Reds  in 1934.  The Reds folded the following the day.
    • The Redskins signed Donovan McNabb to a ridiculous 5-year extension worth $78M with $40M being guaranteed.  Donovan McNabb will play quarterback while 39-years old.  I hold no beef with McNabb (outside of the fact he did not fit the Eagles direction anymore and his drama was becoming tiresome), but I just don't see how this is possible.  He is not Peyton Manning.  McNabb is injury prone and McNabb seems to be well past his prime as it is.  He is evidently not the same QB he was 5 years ago and if he ages like most normal human beings, he will not reach that level again.  Without a doubt this is a mind-boggling move that screws the Redskins, screws McNabb, and screws the Vikings or Cardinals who may have signed McNabb this off-season, presumably to a shorter contract.
    • If that's the contract McNabb got, I now have to wonder what contract Vick will get.  At this point, I am just hoping he signs it with the Eagles.
    • A lot was made about whether or not Wisconsin "ran up the score" against Indiana.  In this game, I don't think such an argument can be made.  Sure it was an ugly blow out, but 42 of the Eagles 59 points came in the first half.  The first of the Eagles 2 2nd half TDs came on the drive immediately following a Redskins TD while the other was a pick 6 by Dimitri Patterson.  The 2nd half offensive play-calling was a bunch of running plays to back-up running back Jerome Harrison mixed with some short passes.  Then again, I don't whine about teams running up the score.  But even still, I am having trouble finding arguments that the Eagles "ran up the score" in this game.  The final margin of victory was 31-points, for what it's worth.
    • I think it is safe to say that Dimitri Patterson has taken Ellis Hobbs's as starting CB opposite Asante Samuel.  Hobbs has been injured the past couple weeks and Patterson has come in and played better than Hobbs ever has.  To check out some of Ellis Hobbs' best work, check out the Tennessee game earlier this year.  Remember all those Kenny Britt plays?  Yep.  He made a complete mockery out of Ellis Hobbs that game.  While Hobbs has not played a snap since then because of injury, I don't think he has many to look forward to after injury, unless he wants to be a kick returner because......
    • Jorrick Calvin is all sorts of awful as a returner.  End of story.  I now trust Nick Cole more with that job more than I trust Calvin at this point.
    • The Washington Redskins did not convert a 3rd down this game.
    • I admit, I was a tad worried when the Redskins cut the 35-0 lead to a 35-14 one early in the 3rd quarter.  Just a tad.  
    • As historic as it was, a win is just a win.  The result of the standings would be just the same if the Eagles won 3-0.  They are now tied for 1st with the Giants, and will face them in a huge showdown on Sunday Night Football in their next game.
    • On a more personal note, massive changes are coming to the blog later this week.  And by massive, I mean hugely incredibly massive that goes beyond just changing the design.
    • Lastly, here is a right angle the win probability graph. (advancednflstats.com)

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    2010 NFL Season Week 10 Monday Night Football Live Blog

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    ESPN Announces 2011 BCS Bowl Game Announcers

    It's the 2010 season, but the BCS Bowl games are played in 2011, so they technically get labeled as such. Besides, in hindsight, these games always get referred to in the years they are played, not the season from which the match-ups came from. Anyway, enough about semantics and onto your ESPN BCS Bowl Game announcers. The question of who will replace a crew consisting of Thom Brennaman, Dick Stockton, and Charles Davis has finally been revealed!

    2011 Rose Bowl and 2011 BCS National Championship Game: Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit
    2011 Sugar Bowl: Brad Nessler and Todd Blackledge
    2011 Fiesta Bowl: Sean McDonough and Matt Millen
    2011 Orange Bowl: Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden

    "This Guy" is now going to be a college football player! Huzzah!

    All kidding aside, while Musburger/Herbstreit, Nessler/Blackledge, and McDonough/Millen were to be expected, I am curious as to why ESPN would go with the MNF rew for the Orange Bowl instead of sticking Franklin/Cunningham on it or the dreaded DavieJones Locker. That being said, and even though it is with Matt Millen, it is good to see Sean McDonough finally calling a BCS game. He is quite possibly the best announcer play-by-play announcer ESPN has and it is good to see him working the big games he deserves. Now if only he could get a better partner than Matt Millen.....

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    25 Years Ago Today

    One of Philadelphia's greatest sports tragedies occurred. On November 11, 1985, Pelle Lindbergh, a promising young Flyers goaltender who was on the verge of becoming one of the best in the league, was pulled off life support after being in a car crash the day before. What follows below is footage from Channel 6 Action News, after the crash but before the final plug was pulled. May this serve as a warning to everyone what can happen if you drink and drive. No matter who you are, what you do, or how invincible you think you might be, this could happen to you.

    RIP Pelle Lindbergh, 1959-1985

    The Most Embarrassing End To A Shootout Ever

    Presented without comment.

    LOLDEVILS! Enjoy last place, an aging Marty, and that ridiculously long contract, New Jersey.........

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Philadelphia Eagles Continue To Be A Huge Ratings Draw In 2010

    I know that a lot of people get frustrated with the constant attention that the NFC East gets by the national networks in their scheduling. But there is a reason why the networks decide to do it: it gets ratings. Actually, you can get even more specific and say the Philadelphia Eagles. CBS's #1 rated game of the season and Fox's #1 rated game of the season both have one common denominator: The Philadelphia Eagles. From PhiladelphiaEagles.com
    The Eagles' 26-24 win on Sunday over the Indianapolis Colts drew a 17.1 national rating which was the highest for a CBS regular season game since the Patriots' win over the Steelers in Week 14 of the 2007 season. The CBS late afternoon slate of games, which featured the Eagles-Colts as the marquee matchup, averaged 27.8 million viewers making it the second-most watched television program since the start of the NFL regular season.

    Which program was No. 1? FOX's late afternoon package of games for Week 1, which was highlighted by the Eagles and the Packers, drew an average of 28.0 million viewers making it the most watched television program since the kickoff to the season September.

    In the Philadelphia market alone, the Eagles-Colts game drew a 35.7 rating and a 54 share, which means that over half of all the television sets in use were tuned in to the game. That rating is 16 percent higher than the Eagles' Week 9 game from just a year ago when they played the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. The Eagles had five 4 PM games in 2009 and Sunday's game against the Colts generated a rating 14 percent higher than the average of those games last season.
    Ah, yes. Remember a year and 3 months ago when nearly half of the fanbase was done with this team and vowed to never watch another Eagles game again? Yeah, those were good times. Like I said when the Eagles first signed Vick, anger boils over. And judging from the increase in television ratings, it appears that whole "how is a convicted dog-fighter going to survive in Philadelphia" story is long gone now.

    Michael Vick: A Closer Look At The Improved Passer

    Remember when Michael Vick was coming out of college and getting drafted to Atlanta? He was supposed to be the ultimate quarterback. Powerful arm, amazing ability to escape, he was the entire package. However, there was a small problem regarding Vick: accuracy. At Virginia Tech, he had a below 60% passer completion and he never improved on it once he got to the NFL. He always had the lead, but Michael Vick the passer quickly became one of the NFL's most popular punchlines. But not many people are laughing now.

    Granted he has only played in 6 games this year so the numbers could change, but as of now, Vick's completion percentage is the highest it has ever been in his NFL career at 60.8% (his career average is 54.2% for some perspective), his quarterback rating is the highest it has ever been in his NFL career at 105.3 (77.9 is the QB rating he has in his career), his touchdown percentage is at a rate higher than at any point in his career, his yards per game is higher than it has ever been in his career, he has not thrown an interception all season, and all of his advanced stats are higher than they have ever been in his career.  And this is on top of the fact that he is still a very elusive quarterback whose running skills is just about back to where they were in his pre-prison days.

    But I don't want to focus much more on his running on this post.  Instead, I want to break down 2 pass plays to show you how impressive Michael Vick is today as a quarterback.  Follow the jump for the breakdown!

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    NFL Week 10 Schedule

    Odds that a team will actually try this on Sunday? I'll give it 1 in 5.

    (all times ET; games I get are in bold)

    Thursday Night Football

    Baltimore Ravens vs. Atlanta Falcons 8:20 (NFL Network - Bob Papa, Matt Millen, and Joe Theismann)

    Map of who gets what CBS game.

    New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns 1:00 (CBS - Jim Nantz and Phil Simms)
    Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts 1:00 (CBS - Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf)
    Tennessee Titans vs. Miami Dolphins 1:00 (CBS - Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts)
    Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 (CBS - Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker)

    Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos 4:05 (CBS - Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots)

    Map of who gets what Fox early game.

    Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears 1:00 (Fox - Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa)
    Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 (Fox - Dick Stockton, Charles Davis, and Jim Mora, Jr.)
    Detroit Lions vs. Buffalo Bills 1:00 (Fox - Ron Pitts and John Lynch)

    Map of who gets America's Game Of The Week or the other Fox late games.

    Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants 4:15 (Fox - Joe Buck and Troy Aikman)
    Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals 4:15 (Fox - Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick)
    St. Louis Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers 4:15 (Fox - Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan)

    Sunday Night Football (a.k.a. America's (other) Game Of The Week)

    New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 8:20 (NBC - Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth)

    Monday Night Football (a.k.a. Not an America's Game Of The Week)

    Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins 8:30 (ESPN - Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden)

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    Eagles Week 9 Recap: Eagles Win Game, Refs Win Money

    • The Vegas point spread in the game was Eagles favored by 3.  The Eagles won by 2.  Carl Cheffers has to be absolutely giddy about that, for 2 of his ticky-tack calls wiped out 2 Colt turnovers in drives that would ultimately end with an Indianapolis touchdown.
    • Michael Vick certainly adds a dynamic to the Eagles that Kevin Kolb does not.  I like Kolb, but at this point, Michael Vick is the man for the Eagles.  Andy Reid is going with a merit system, and based on that, he is right with going with Vick.  He is in win-now mode, and with the NFC as bad as it is, I can't say that I blame him.  Before, I did.  But this putrid NFC changes everything.  It also helps that Kolb did get to play in a few games after all because of Vick's injury.
    • The question of the future now.  You can't keep both QBs next season, so do you work out a new contract with Vick and trade Kolb, or let Vick walk and keep Kolb?  At this point, I would say extend Vick and trade Kolb, but, that is something that could change multiple times as the season nears a conclusion.  
    • Coming into this game, the Eagles were 11-0 in the game after the bye week under Andy Reid, while Peyton Manning was 3-0 all time against the Eagles, in games that were not even close.  The more impressive streak held up.  Eagles are now 12-0 after the bye week, the longest such streak in NFL history.
    • Before this game, Peyton Manning had been sacked 7 times all season.  The Eagles got him twice tonight.
    • Before this game, Peyton Manning threw 2 INTs all season.  The Eagles, more specifically, Asante Samuel, intercepted him twice tonight.
    • The Eagles 1st 4 red zone possessions resulted in 1 TD and 3 FGs.  For all the talk about the refs that you will see below, if they lost that game, that would have been the reason.  When facing Peyton Manning, touchdowns are imperative in red zone situations.  The Eagles were seemingly the better team all night long, and it should not have been as close as it was.  After all, the Colts had over 40 seconds at the end of the game to drive into field goal range and kick a game-winning field goal.  Luckily, Manning overthrows and an Asante Samuel interception prevented that.
    • Ellis Hobbs was injured this week and did not play.  2 weeks ago, he was the guy who got beat  time and time again by Kenny Britt.  In his plate this week was Dimitri Patterson who had a fantastic game against a fantastic opposition.  Patterson was not beaten for the big play at all, something Ellis Hobbs has not been able to boast.  If Andy Reid makes Patterson a regular starting CB alongside Asante Samuel, I would be quite happy.  From what I've seen, Dimitri Patterson is a better cornerback than Ellis Hobbs.  Sure Patterson allowed lots of underneath completions, but in comparison to the deep completions given up by Ellis Hobbs on an alarmingly consistent basis, I'll take it.
    • There were positives and negatives for Sean McDermott tonight.  The positives:  He beat Peyton Manning, something that Jim Johnson never did.  Also, his defense held Manning and the Colts offense to 7 points in the 2nd half, very impressive.  The negatives:  After the Collie hit, Sean McDermott kept calling plays and blitzes that were not working, allowing the Colts 10 easy points in the final 2:23 of the first half. 
    • DeSean Jackson played his first game in 3 weeks after suffering a severe concussion.  If he missed a step, it sure as hell did not look it.
    • Michael Vick played his first game since the start of the Redskins game 5 weeks ago.  If he missed a step, it sure as hell did not look it.
    • I will use the next 3 bullets to address 3 things of importance that need to be said.  First of all, what happened to Austin Collie was an extremely scary incident.  Thankfully, reports indicate that Austin Collie is all right.  You never want to hear that a player has a concussion, but in this case, that is sort of good news, as the worst was definitely feared, especially seeing what happened to that Rutgers player a few weeks ago.  However, that hit on Collie was called a penalty, and a penalty it was not.  Before you get up and arms about this, learn the NFL rules.  Because if you think I'm wrong, then you don't know the NFL rules.  Once a player catches and establishes possession of the ball, as Austin Collie clearly did, the receiver can no longer be declared "defenseless."  Here is a description of the play, per Matt Mosley "Eagles safety Quintin Mikell unloaded on Collie after he appeared to make a catch with 2:23 left in the first half. Mikell led with his shoulder and it appeared to be a clean hit as he made contact with Collie, who then pin-balled into Eagles rookie safety Kurt Coleman. After watching several replays, I'm not sure how Coleman could have avoided the helmet-to-helmet contact, which appeared to cause Collie's injury."  Here's the video.  The catch was made and Collie established possession.  The receiver was not defenseless.  Therefore, there is no hit on the defenseless receiver, even though they called the penalty on Mikell, and not Coleman, the guy who administered the concussion-causing blow.  In situations like that, the helmet-to-helmet is not a penalty.  Unfortunate things can happen on perfectly clean plays. This is one of those situations.  Like it or not, Mikell's hit and Coleman's hit were clean football plays.  What has been stated above are not opinions.  They are facts.
    • This is the explanation Carl Cheffers gave of his call. "Well, if he is completing the catch, his second foot is not down yet or it's just down, we still give the defenseless receiver protection. So if it is a bang-bang type play, with his second foot coming down, he still gets protection on that play. The fact of the matter is, is that ball was incomplete. So, he has protection throughout that entire process on that play because we don't even have a completion -- at no time did he have possession and become a runner to where he would have transitioned out of being a defenseless receiver."  If the mumbling and the jibbersih seem familiar, well, it should.
    • Now whether or not it should or should not be a suspension has no bearing on whether it will be suspended.  Knowing Goddell, it will be suspended.  Les Bowen said it best, "This is Mr. Goodell's NFL: Guy is hurt, so it must be a penalty."  Given all that has happening, Goodell will damn the rules of football straight to hell and fine and/or suspend Quintin Mikell and/or Kurt Coleman for no valid reason.  And that's a shame.
    • And lastly, a big hullaballo is being made of Eagles fans booing while Collie was motionless.  Let's set one thing straight.  They were booing the OFFICIAL.  They were not booing Austin Collie.  They were booing one of the WORST CALLS OF THE SEASON.  They were not booing a motionless man.  They were booing an INCOMPETENT OFFICIATING JOB.  They were not booing a guy who needed to be stretchered off the field.  They were booing the fact THE REFEREE COST THE EAGLES A FUMBLE RECOVERY.  They were CHEERING when Austin Collie was being wheeled off the field.  Wait, what?  That doesn't follow the script!  I challenge you to find another crowd in the NFL that would not have reacted in the same way.  Donovan McNabb got a standing ovation 5 weeks ago when he returned to Philly for the first time.  Why is that being forgotten about now?
    • And lastly, the win probability chart. (advancednflstats.com)

      Friday, November 5, 2010

      Keith Olbermann Suspended Indefinitley

      To start the NFL season, Keith Olbermann was kicked off Football Night In America to focus on his political show on MSNBC. Now, he might be finding himself struggling for work. Per sources at Politico.com, Keith Olbermann committed a huge MSNBC sin this election season.........donating money to 3 political candidates, something that is a no-no at the company, even if the political candidates are Democrats. From MSNBC.com
      Msnbc TV host Keith Olbermann was suspended indefinitely on Friday for making campaign donations to three Democratic congressional candidates, apparently in violation of NBC News ethics policy.

      The announcement came in a one-sentence statement from msnbc TV President Phil Griffin: “I became aware of Keith's political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay.”

      The donations were first reported by the Politico website earlier in the day.

      Olbermann acknowledged the donations in a statement to Politico, saying he gave the maximum legal donation of $2,400 to Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords and Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, who waged an unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate against Tea Party standard-bearer Rand Paul.

      Like most news organizations, NBC News, parent of msnbc TV, prohibits political contributions by its journalists without prior approval of the president. (Msnbc.com, a joint venture of NBC News and Microsoft, also has a policy against its journalists contributing to political campaigns.)

      "Anyone working for NBC News who takes part in civic or other outside activities may find that these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest,” it reads. “Such activities may include participation in or contributions to political campaigns or groups that espouse controversial positions. You should report any such potential conflicts in advance to, and obtain prior approval of, the president of NBC News or his designee."
      Oy ve. The stupidity of some people. I mean seriously, did he actually think he could get away with violating company policy in such blatant, obvious form? While not a technical firing, per se, I can only imagine that Olbermann will be out for a long time and this will do even further harm to his already damaged image. He may return to MSNBC, but if this suspension turns into a firing or a "leave on peaceful terms and go on separate ways" type deal, then one really has to wonder where he would end up next. He would have burnt bridges with all 3 cable news stations, NBC as a whole (and now by default Comcast), and not to mention that ESPN never wants to associate with him ever again. Now as mentioned, Keith could be back on MSNBC in a month and everything could be dandy, but if not, what is he going to be reduced to? A full-time baseball blogger?

      Update: Inside sources at TVNewser say Olbermann will not be returning to MSNBC, although the fill-in host for Countdown tonight, Thomas Roberts, seemed a little more optimistic that Olbermann will return.

      Kevin Harlan's Pam Ward Moment

      Don't worry, Kevin. Pam Ward has made the same mistake in the past.

      I understand the score in basketball is very fluid and changes all the time, so forgetting a score or mis-calculating a score during the middle of a game can be an acceptable and forgivable error. But at the end of the game or at the end of the overtime period when a whole lot depends on the announcer knowing the score to communicate just what is happening on the court, you gotta know the score and the deficit. As Tom Jackson might say, "COME ON, MAN!"

      (hat tip to @jose3030 on Twitter)

      Google Maps Gives Very Strange Directions

      Relevancy this post has to sports: Absolutely none. Amount of laughter this post could provide you on this Friday: Potentially endless. I'll just go ahead and present this without comment. (click to enlarge even more)

      If this is how Google plans on getting you from Japan to China, then I think they may end up with quite a few lawsuits on their hands when people actually try this.  I'd type in directions from California to Tahiti to see how it gets you there, but honestly, I am scared of what I will discover.  Mapquest may get you lost from time to time, but at least it is not trying to kill you like Google Maps!  Jet ski 782 kilometers across the Pacific from Japan to China.  Brilliant.

      If You SMELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL........What Jim Jackson.................Is Cookin'

      I don't listen to Philadelphia radio up here so I might have some of the details on how this got started a little fuzzy, so bare with me here.  Apparently Flyers play-by-play announcer Jim Jackson was on Preston and Steve's morning show on 93.3 WMMR before Thursday night's Rangers-Flyers game.  How something like this got brought up I have no diea, but Preston and Steve asked Jim Jackson if he could throw in the word "jabroni" during the Rangers-Flyers game.  Jim Jackson duly obliged with the following awesomeness.

      He took the dare and used it to call Sean Avery a jabroni. Now that's hilarious. Well done, Jim, well done. I am sure he will be receiving a call from Vince McMahon in no time.

      The Fantasy Football Update You've All Been Waiting For

      Seeing as the fantasy football season is over halfway through, I figured now would be the perfect time to pop in for a fantasy football update. Because other than disgusting you by posting my pornographic thoughts of Claude Giroux and Sergei Bobrovsky, I've got nothing else to write about right now.

      Now you may remember my original fantasy football roster, well, she's undergone quite a few changes. Of the original 15, only 9 remain. Here is what my roster looks like now.

      When I did this draft, I never thought I would end up with Ryan Torain on my team. Ben Watson and Mike Tolbert are recent pick-ups that will be on my team for the first time this Sunday.  Now the standings.  I started out a dynamic 3-0 setting the fantasy football world ablaze yo, but I have cooled off since then, going 1-4 in the past 5 weeks.  But because the NFC is so crappy, I am miraculously tied for 1st place!  Check it out.

      The funny part is the last place in the AFC is currently good for being all one in 1st place in the NFC.  Man, these inter-conference pairings have been lobsided.

      This coming Sunday, Calvin And Hobbs' brave football players will take to the field against kt1000's Pink Flamingos.  He's got Michael Turner, Darren McFadden, Miles Austin, Calvin Johnson and this is the week Chris Johnson has his bye.  Come on Ryan Tolbert!  Aspeaking of Ryan Tolbert, I almost took BenJarvus Green-Ellis instead of Tolbert to play RB this week, as C.J. Spiller needed to be cut for providing me with shit for 9 weeks.  I now expect Green-Ellis to run for 300 yards this Sunday while scoring 3 touchdowns.

      Update: I cut Roy Williams and added BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

      Wednesday, November 3, 2010

      NFL Week 9 Schedule

      There are good things and bad things about going to college in rural PA where I get 3 affiliates that carry football games, KYW out of Philadelphia, WYOU out of Scranton, and WOLF out of Wilkes-Barre. There are weeks like last week where the 2 CBS affiliates, KYW and WYOU, show different games and thus I get 4 regional broadcasts instead of the normal 3. Then there are weeks like this where because I don't get WTFX out of Philadelphia, weeks like this week can happen where the only 1:00 ET time game I get is........(wait for it, wait for it)...........Jets vs. Lions. Bleh. At least that game has got Gus Johnson........(games I get are in bold)

      Map of who gets what Fox game.

      Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings 1:00 (Fox - Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa)
      New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers 1:00 (Fox - Dick Stockton and Charles Davis)
      Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons 1:00 (Fox - Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick)
      Chicago Bears vs. Buffalo Bills (game to be played in Toronto) 1:00 (Fox - Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan)

      New York Giants vs. Seattle Seahawks 4:05 (Fox - Joe Buck and Troy Aikman)

      Map of who gets what CBS early game.

      Miami Dolphins vs. Baltimore Ravens 1:00 (CBS - Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf)
      San Diego Chargers vs. Houston Texans 1:00 (CBS - Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts)
      New York Jets vs. Detroit Lions 1:00 (CBS - Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker)
      New England Patriots vs. Cleveland Browns 1:00 (CBS - Bill Macatee and Rich Gannon)

      Map of who gets what CBS late game.

      Indianapolis Colts vs. Philadelphia Eagles 4:15 (CBS - Jim Nantz and Phil Simms)
      Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders 4:15 (CBS - Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots)

      Sunday Night Football

      Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers 8:20 (NBC - Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth)

      Monday Night Football

      Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals 8:30 (ESPN - Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden)

      Tuesday, November 2, 2010

      The Return Of JaMarcus?

      So, uh, with Shanahan's latest excuse being Donovan McNabb not having the cardiovascular ability to lead a 2-minute offense, isn't it ironic that the Redskins would bring in JaMarucs Russell for a workout?
      NFL sources told FOX 26 Sports former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell will work out Tuesday for the Washington Redskins.

      Russell, the number one overall draft pick in 2007, was released by the Raiders in May. In three years as a starting quarterback in Oakland, Russell had 7-18 record.

      For three months, Russell has been working with former NBA head coach John Lucas in Houston in an effort to get a second chance in the NFL.
      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! McNabb has "cardiovascular problems," so Mike Shanahan is bringing in a guy who earlier this year weighed over 300 pounds and recently was arrested for drug problems. Oh, and there is the whole part about how he fucking sucks as a quarterback.


      Giants Win The World Series

      Sunday, October 3, 2010, 1:35 PM ET: It's the last day of the MLB season. Game 162. And the games matter. The day starts with the Atlanta Braves hosting the Philadelphia Phillies. If the Phillies win, the Giants are guaranteed at the very least a playoff spot. It starts off great for the Giants. The Phillies jump off to a 2-0 lead and it looks for all the world that Bobby Cox's last stand will end in Turner Field in humiliating fashion on the last game of the season. A Phillies team with nothing to play for all series long could single handedly send a choking Giants team to the playoffs.....

      But Danys Baez enters this game to pitch. And the meltdown begins. 2-0 Phillies becomes 8-2 Braves faster than you can say "Danys Baez, Mike Zagurski, and J.C. Romero are useless pieces of garbage and Joe Blanton in relief is a great idea if you ever want to lose a baseball game." The Phillies rally. 8-2 becomes 8-5. Then 8-7. The Giants may not have to worry after all.......

      ....The rally was never complete. Braves win 8-7.

      Sunday, October 3, 2010: 4:05 PM ET: The Giants send Jonathan Sanchez to the mound in San Francisco against Padre ace Mat Latos in San Francisco with everything to play for, and an arduous road ahead if they lose. If the Padres win and sweep the series, the Giants would have to go on the road and face the Padres in an NL West tie-breaker on Monday with Tim Lincecum on the mound. Win that, and they would need to go to Turner Field to face the Braves in a wildcard tie-breaker on Tuesday. Win that, and on Wednesday, they would start an NLDS series at Philadelphia against a rested Roy Halladay with who knows what pitcher on the mound. The odds would be stacked immensely against the Giants. 4 games in 4 cities in 4 days would be brutal on any team, especially considering the stakes of all those games would be higher than high. 0-0, bottom of the 3rd inning, Jonathan Sanchez hits a triple.......

      Monday, November 1, 2010: 10:30 PM ET: The San Francisco Giants are World Champions of baseball.

      It happened that fast. An excellent starting pitching staff combined with a very solid bullpen, 3 real good hitters, and a bunch of medicore "huh, they are still playing baseball?" veterans combined to win the World Series. One of those mediocre veterans, Edgar Renteria, won 2010 MVP. Think about it for a minute. Edgar Renteria. 2010 World Series MVP. Edgar. Renteria.

      Everything about this run by the Giants has been improbable: the absurd bounces, the ridiculous hot streak from Cody Ross in the NLCS, ridiculous BABIP, the timely hits from Juan Uribe, opposing team's line drives magically finding their ways to Giants gloves time after time again, the hot streak of Edgar Renteria in the World Series, the meek Giant groundballs that squirted through and led to runs, a kid 1 month and 15 days older than me who was struggling with his fastball in the minors earlier in the season pitching the game of a lifetime in Game 4 of the World Series, the unprecedented 6 1-run wins in the post-season, the incredible luck. It all combined together to equal a Giants World Series championship.

      Go back to October 3, 2010 at 1:04 PM. Simulate the scenario from then to the playoffs 1,000 times. How many times would the Giants end up as World Series champions? Less than 50? I'd say so. The crazy thing about sports, baseball in particular, is the best team does not always win. If that was the case, we'd be talking about the Rays, Twins, Phillies, or Yankees right about now as World Champions. The best baseball teams of 2010? The truth lies somewhere within the middle of the aforementioned 4. But it's the hottest team at the right time wins. The luckiest team at the right time wins. That team? The San Francisco Giants.

      Is that to say it is undeserved championship? Absolutely not. Any team that wins a division in baseball and makes the playoffs is going to be good enough to at least make a run at things, even if they are not the best. 2009 Yankees? They can say there were one of the best in the league. 2008 Phillies? Not among the best of teams. 2007 Red Sox? Among one of the best. 2006 Cardinals? Not even close to being the best; they won a putrid division with a record barely above .500! 2005 White Sox? Up there with the best. 2004 Red Sox? Nope. 2003 Marlins? Nowhere near the best. 2002 Angels? No. 2001 Diamondbacks? They were not the team that set a major league record with 116 wins in a single season.

      Over half of the above teams were not among the best or one of the best overall teams in baseball when they won the World Series, yet how many people are saying that the 2008 Phillies did not deserve it, or the 2001 Diamondbacks winning is a scandal? A lot of these teams have got very lucky with some bounces along the way, as did the Giants, but that does not mean they are undeserved champions.

      Congrats to the San Francisco Giants. The well-deserved 2010 World Champions of baseball.