Thursday, December 20, 2007

Did Greg Robinson Just Sign the Two Most Talented Football Players In The State Of NY? Why Yes He Did!

I don't know but to me this Syracuse football team looks like it has a pulse.

In the last couple of years Syracuse has seen some decent New York football players leave and go to other programs. Maybe you've heard of some of them like Ray Rice, Mike Hart, Mike Paulus and much earlier but a sign of things to come, Marquise Walker. When a guy like Mike Hart who lived within the shadow of the Dome laughed at the suggestion that he might attend Syracuse, that was the moment it was clear Paul P had lost his mojo. And last year when Greg Robinson lost 4 star QB recruit Mike Paulus to a shitstain of a program like North Carolina, well, it added to the perception that not only was Greg Robinson a guy who can't win more than 1 game a year, but he also can't recruit for shit. And following another 2 win season, you'd figure any New York recruit worth his salt would go running for the fucking hills and G-Rob would be as good as dead and buried. Well after today's commitments, G-Rob isn't merely alive and breathing, he looks like he could run a fucking marathon.

Aside from not winning, Greg Robinson's tenure at 'Cuse has been wont of a major recruiting coup. On Thursday he not only got the coup he was looking for, he got two of them! Late Thursday afternoon both Running Back Averin Collier and WR Marcus Sales committed to FUCKING SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY to play football. Collier was the consensus number 1 recruit in the state of NY and was rated as high as #10 in the nation for 2008 RBs. He was supposed to be a lock to follow his brother Kevin to Pitt but when LeSean McCoy went bananas at Pitt this year as a Freshman, brother Averin realized that a change of scenery might be necessary. In less than two weeks, Collier's interest went from sure thing Pitt to wide open. He had offers from BC, Clemson, Louisville and other big name schools, but decided today to head to 'Cuse. It is not such a big deal for the other schools that Collier is no longer on their list, but it is a HUGE fucking deal that 'Cuse got Collier. And then the cherry on top is Marcus Sales. Sales is a kid with offers from Pitt, Louisville, UVA and Miami, just to name a few. AND HE CHOSE SYRACUSE. He was rated the #2 prospect in NY and in the top 30 for WRs nationwide. Had 'Cuse simply been able to score Sales, Thursday would have been an ENORMOUS day for the program. To get both of them, well, that's borderline revolutionary.

To put things in proper perspective, both Sales and Collier are 4 star recruits (Collier is a borderline 5 star). In the previous 5 years, 'Cuse signed five 4 star players and only 2 of them played more than one year with the team (Jermaine Pierce has a serious medical condition and Andrey Baskin was not academically feasible). To get two in one day is beyond outstanding. For a guy like G-Rob who has received nothing but hate over the last 2+ years, he should get nothing but love for at least one day. He may not have saved the Syracuse program, but these signings are the greatest achievement in Syracuse football in half a decade. And while that may not be saying a whole hell of a lot, it's better news than we've had in these parts for some time. In the shitstorm that has been Syracuse football for the last 7+ years, Thursday was a stretch of 75 and sunny.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

WWSD? He'd Sue The Pants Off Somebody!

Would you look at that! Curt Schilling has an opinion about Clemens and the Mitchell Report!

It's easy to brush Curt Schilling off as a loudmouth blowhard who wants to be heard on every subject imaginable (largely because it's true). He seems to have weighed in on one too many hot button issues for the average sports fan to be comfortable with (one too many meaning "one"). But while it's easy not to like Schilling because of his ways, at least you know EXACTLY where he stands and how he'd react if the shoe were on the other foot.

In a rambling 3000+ word blog vomit, Schilling weighs in on every aspect of the Mitchell Report and the fallout therefrom. But in the part that I want to focus on, Schilling goes into exactly what he would do if he were ever to be brought into this situation and it's something I can't believe no one else has mentioned in their public statements. He'd fucking sue the shit out of people:
"If Jose had named me in his book, it would have taken about 20 minutes for me to issue a press release vehemently denying the allegations, which would have been as closely followed as possible by as large a legal action as I could have possibly taken to sue for slander, libel, defamation of character and anything else I’d have been able to legally do. It’s either that, or I’m guilty. There is no gray area here, you either did, or you didn’t and Jose, up through today, hasn’t called out anyone that’s sued his ass off for false representation, slander, libel or whatever you would do if someone said something like this about you, that you didn’t do."
Now he's gotten a little overzealous with his legal causes but his point is quite clear. If you're not guilty, I don't want to hear your fake apologies or your unqualified denials. If your reputation is being attacked, FUCKING SUE SOMEBODY! And if you don't, IT'S BECAUSE YOU'RE AFRAID OF WHAT MIGHT COME OUT WHEN YOU DO. You see, when you file a defamation or slander suit, your character comes into question. You may have to take the stand and at the very least your medical life and private life would receive a fine-toothed combing that you may not be in any way comfortable with.

Searching for a cure for those genital warts? AP will report it.

Had an affair with a male hooker 6 years ago? Your brother-in-law will know.

Developed a heavy coke dependency to get you through road trips? Hope you don't mind your kids finding out!

You file a lawsuit and your whole fucking life is for sale and that's why no one does it.

And sadly, this is where Schilling shines. He may be acting all "holier than thou," but because his peers are some of the least holy fucks on the planet, he is holier than thou!

To get to exactly what Schilling is saying as it pertains to Mitchell though is to get to something I've been wondering all along: If you're a major league baseball player and George Mitchell contacted you or your agent over the last 18 months and said he'd like to speak to you about such and such, you had a pretty good idea that something was up. And if it is true that you didn't do shit, that fucking lawsuit should have had all but one paragraph drawn up and ready for filing on the day that Mitchell came out. That press conference should already have been called and that statement should already be three t's crossed from being emailed to every fucking press member on the planet. Cuz here's the thing, if you are representing someone whose future livelihood is dependent almost solely on reputation and you have an inkling that that source of income is in jeopardy or will be attacked, you have to be ready to fight back the moment you think it's going to be attacked. You have to assume your guy is going to be attacked. The fact that these guys acted "shocked" about this amazes me considering that depth to which Mitchell both documented the acts and attempted to speak to everyone about the acts. When you are famous and you hire people to deal with shit, THIS IS WHY YOU FUCKING HIRE AN ATTORNEY! HE IS SUPPOSED TO BE PREPARED FOR THAT SHIT!

Anyhoo, the major point is that Clemens can bitch all he wants but until he takes someone to court and puts himself out there on the witness stand, I won't believe a fucking word. And what's becoming more clear about this whole situation is that the scumbag Canseco and the blowhard Schilling may be the only two assholes worth listening to from here on out. They are the only ones who have come out (so far) and not had their legs cut out from underneath them. I hate to admit it because I'm not huge fans of either guys, but maybe we should stop believing guys we like and start believing guys who won't shut the fuck up.

*I'm trying my best not to put the non-mitchell people in the same headline or sentence as the Mitchell "buzzwords" so that when idiots do google searches for someone hoping to find out who did roids, the non-mitchell names won't come up.

Deadspin's Leitch Makes Forbes' Top 25 Web Celebs

Congrats to landing the lucky number 13 spot on Forbers' top 25 list go out to Deadspin's creator.

I generally try and stay away from blog-on-blog ballwashing, but this seemed worthy o acknowledgement.'s Will Leitch was named one of the top 25 Web Celebrities by Forbes magazine. He shares the list with other ne'erdowells like Perez Hilton and Matt Drudge and falls just short of that 23 year-old gazillionaire who started FaceBook (lucky fucking cocksucker that guy is). Well kudos out to Will and here's hoping he can move up and outshine that fat weirdo who does "" by this time next year.

Let's Settle Er On Down There, Axeman

Brent Axe says Gary Gait is the lacrosse equivalent of Babe Ruth. That makes me laugh.

I think we all ("we" meaning those folks who follow Syracuse sports) appreciate the renewed enthusiasm that young blogger-cum-reporter Brent "The Axeman" Axe (apropos of very little, it is my understanding that the "Axeman" sobriquet was self-initiated) brings to the Syracuse sports coverage scene. He doesn't pull punches, his coverage has a little more bite and relevance than some of his ' brethren and his rundown has a little more depth than the standard fare (though his parlance is far less developed than the Wordsmith Laureate on staff, Bud Poliquin). And though it's nice to hear from someone so shamelessly enthused or angry about Syracuse sports because it gives the common fan a perspective they can more easily relate to than the soundbites and droll rundown of the regular coverage, sometimes he REALLY overdoes it. Yesterday was one of those times, and it had NOTHING to do with his coverage of the on-court game.

In finishing out his rundown of the events that amounted to the injury decimated Syracuse Basketball team rolling over an overmatched Colgate squad, the Axeman went over some of the notables in attendance. After dispensing with the usual rigmarole, Brent went on to talk about some former 'Cuse athletes in attendance and then made a very interesting comment:
"Also seated near DG (Darryl Gross) was Gary Gait and one of the Powell Brothers (I'm pretty sure it was Ryan). UPDATE: Scratch that. It was Casey.

Seeing Gait and Powell sitting together for a Lacrosse player like me would be like a Yankee fan sitting a row away from Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle."
Well then. That's interesting now isn't it? Gait and Powell a latter day Ruth & Mantle for those that count themselves members of the Lax family? I'm sorry Axeman, that's WAAAAAAY too overboard to let slide.

I played Lacrosse myself and actually grew up playing the Powell brothers, so maybe my perception of those guys is a little skewed but the only thing that Gait & Powell have in common with Ruth and Mantle is that they are all four white males and have been known to put down a drink or ten in their primes. I have all the respect in the world for Gait and Powell and grew up admiring Gait and watching his videos and whatnot, but unless I'm mistaken, those guys could walk around pretty much anywhere on earth and not get noticed. If not for Gary's absurd Silver Fox look and ever expanding paunch, I'm not sure you'd have recognized him last night. And Casey looks like any 30+ guy who's ever played lacrosse. A preppy looking white dude who still tries to pretend he could score 18 year-old ass (though in Casey's case, he probably has more opportunity to do just that than most of the rest of us). And in terms of ability, I'll grant you that Gait was the Godfather of the modern game and did things on the field that no one had ever done and Casey was arguably the most complete player ever to play the college game, but Casey wasn't the best player in his family (Mike was/is more talented) and maybe the third best player to come out of Carthage at the time (if Casey was Mantle or Ruth then Carthage's Jason Coffman who went to Salisbury St. is Josh Gibson. Coffman absolutely dominated DIII lacrosse for four years and looked more the Babe Ruth part than any offensive player of his era.). And though Powell was regarded publicly as the best player in the game, for my money I'd say John Grant was more talented, though a bit of a lazier "box style" player and therefore less complete. But I'm getting away from the point...

The point is (was) that even the cliche "the Babe Ruth of..." may not work here and to suggest that seeing to very mortal and relatively unfamous dudes sitting together makes you feel as though you are amongst royalty is a little absurd. There is no way that Bowling aficionados compare meeting Earl Anthony or Dick Weber (or Pete Weber for that matter) to what it must've been like to meet Babe Ruth nor do Poker players make the comparison when they meet Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan or Howard Lederer. I don't think you're gonna get $50,000 grand from even the most ardent of beach volleyball fans for a pair of signed Oakley's from Karch Karaly or Sinjin Smith. It's just not even close to the same to compare the level of celebrity and legend of your more secondary (or tertiary) sports to that of the legend of crossover stars like Mantle or Ruth. I don't care how big a hard-on those guys give you. You do hyperbole a discredit when you go that overboard.

Maybe I'm wrong and maybe in 50 years I'll be telling my grandkids I played against Powell and books will be written and documentaries made, but I for one highly doubt it. Again, we appreciate your enthusiasm but you may want to take it down a notch. Gary Gait is much closer to Brent Axe than he is to Babe Ruth, big fella.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Can You Feel It? The TO Blow-Up Is Less Than 2 Weeks Away

That tape's been stuck there for most of the season but you didn't expect it to hold for the whole season now, did you?

Ever since Unky Wade Phillips came over to babysit the Cowboys and allowed them to stay up past curfew and let them invite girls over, the team has responded by giving him a fantastic season and nary a controversy sprung. The craziest thing to happen so far to the Cowboys was when they signed Tank Johnson, and really, no one even gave much of a shit about that. But a couple errant passes, a superstar in the stands and an awful loss to the Eagles.... and the house of cards may be starting to crumble.

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that TO is not exactly psyched about his role the last couple of weeks. In the article, TO says that he isn't being used properly and should be moved around more. He's said he's talked to the receiver's coach about it and is sure they will use him properly in the future. It's not quite as blatant as his Philly days where he hung the team out to dry, but he's moving in the same direction. And with some key guys like Gurode and Williams out this weekend and an injury to Romo's thumb likely to at the very least shift some plays out of the passing game and onto Marion Barber's shoulder, there is some serious potential for a blow-up here. If they lose this weekend, things are certain to get much much hairier. As TO would say, grab you popcorn baby.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Did Gisele Say There's Another Brady On The Way?

Check out the 18 second mark. In the midst of complaining about everything under the sun, Gisele says "Am I late?" Now Tom is nowhere to be seen in the ad but given Tom's history, just what kinda late is she talking about?

Is Chris Simon Certifiably Insane?

In hockey, tough guys are a necessity. You need a guy to rough people up and protect some of your pussy European skill guys who can't fend for themselves. Most guys take on this role about as honorably as you can. Chris Simon does not. In fact, he's not simply just "not honorable," he's fucking nuts.

If you look at the above video, Simon clearly takes out the skate of fellow tough ass Jarrko Ruutu, knocking him down for the sole purpose of stomping on his foot with the full weight of his fucking razor sharp skate blade. I mean, what the fuck is your fucking problem? If this was his only incident it would be bad enough, but there plenty of others:


Simon has been involved in numerous on-ice incidents and has been suspended seven times for his conduct.[1][2]

In 1997, during a game against the Edmonton Oilers, Simon allegedly addressed forward Mike Grier as a "nigger" to Grier's face in response to comments about his Native heritage. Although the spoken words were never confirmed, he was suspended three games as a result of the incident.[2] The two were later teammates for a brief time in 2002 with the Washington Capitals.

Simon was suspended for one game in a 2000 playoff series against Pittsburgh for cross checking Peter Popovic across the throat. He was given two-game suspensions once in April 2001 for elbowing Anders Eriksson, and twice in 2004 for cross checking Tampa Bay's Ruslan Fedotenko and then jumping on and punching him, and for kneeing Dallas's Sergei Zubov.[2]
What a sweetheart. I have a feeling the suspension for this leg stomp is going to be a little stiff. And if you don't believe me, you may be forgetting this:

Is Eli The Worst Starting QB In The NFL?

The title of this post may be a little misleading as I do think that Eli is better than guys like Brody Croyle or Chris Redman or Cleo Lemon. And while those guys are starters week-to-week, no one thought that would be the case at the beginning of the year. So I guess I should start by saying that the definition of "starting quarterback" means that the QB was slated to start this year or was in place to become a starter at some point in the future (that way my definition encompasses guys like Kellen Clemens, Trent Edwards and Tarvaris Jackson). So with that as the definition, is Eli the worst in the NFL? The argument could be made.

Michael Kay does not agree with me. One of Kay's favorite things to do after a bad game by Eli is to throw out all the numbers and ask all those people out in radio land who they would rather have than Eli. He then proceeds to go through the list of players he feels are better than Eli and usually ends up suggesting that Eli is one of the top 10 QBs in the league. Well, I'm gonna do it the opposite way. Who is worse than Eli? And out of the "starters in this league," there are not 5 guys who are worse than Eli. I guarantee it. Let's first eliminate the guys who are better than Eli:

First, the easy list:
Brady, Peyton, Favre, Palmer, Romo, Hasselbeck, Roethlisberger

Second, the not-so easy but pretty easy list:
Garrard, Derek Anderson, Jeff Garcia, Donnie McNabb, Jason Campbell, Kitna, Cutler, Brees, Warner, Bulger

So here's who's left:
Phil Rivers, Tarvaris Jackson, Vince Young, Matt Schaub, Alex Smith, Kellen Clemens & Trent Edwards

Of the guys left who play QB in the NFL, none would really qualify as "starters" (no one in Chicago is a starter nor is anyone in Atlanta or KC, though you could make the case that Jamarcus Russell, Kevin Kolb or John Beck might qualify).

So let's go through who's left by using a couple of factors. There are two ways you can judge QBs when comparing them: 1. If you had a big game to win today, who would you pick? 2. If you could choose a guy to build a team around, who would you pick? of the guys left, I think Eli is only better than three.

In examining the first basis for comparison, you need to take into account playoff performances. Eli's performance in big games is horrendous. In two playoff games he's 0-2 with 4 ints, 2 tds and a completion percentage around 55%. Only one other guy has even made the playoffs and that's Phil Rivers and he had a pretty awful game. Another factor to look at would be second half of the season performance. Eli has been horrendous. In 2005 he finished his last 8 games like this: 9-8 Td-Int, 5-3 W-L. In 2006 like this: 9-9 Td-Int, 2-6 W-L. In 2007 so far, this is what he's doing 6-8 Td-Int, 3-3 W-L. In those 22 games, he has had a QB rating over 100 only three times and only broken 80 in QB rating 6 times. I'm not one to buy into the value of QB rating as a pure measure of QB worth, but it does serve as a way to compare the efficiency over time and Eli is much worse when the games matter more. All that being said, there is only one player in the list of available QBs who I personally would 100% pick to win one game today over Eli and that's Vince Young. He just wins games, period. Eli does not. Of the other guys, I would say that a healthy Schaub and Rivers are on equal footing for one game and the other guys either haven't done enough or fall short of Eli. So because of this, I'm taking Vince Young out of the equation from here on out. The list that remains is Rivers, Schaub, Tarvaris, Edwards, Clemens and Alex Smith.

The next factor is would you build a team around Eli or X player. We'll look that in this respect: Can you say with 100% certainty that you would rather have Eli as your franchise back or X player. Two guys I think it's pretty easy. Today, I definitely would rather have Eli than Tarvaris Jackson (though he's not as bad as he looked early in the season) and Alex Smith. For whatever reason, Alex Smith has regressed miles. San Fran may be forced to go in an entirely different direction. So Eli is at least better than 2 other QBs in the NFL. The other guys, I don't know. Eli and Phil Rivers stats are virtually the same. Rivers has a better rating over the last couple years while Eli has more yards and throws the ball a ton more. Personally, I wouldn't want to build my team around either guy. Rivers is definitely worse or better. Schaub has shown flashes, but his stats are kind of incomplete. At this point you'd probably have to say you'd take Eli over Schaub (though I personally like Schaub a lot). Trent Edwards is a very tough one. First, he's a rookie and a couple years younger than Eli, but he's had flashes of very smart if not conservative play. He doesn't have near the physical tools, but he could be a fantastic QB. I don't know who I'd rather have out of these guys so I'd say they're tied. And then there's Kellen Clemens. Up until yesterday, I think the case could be made that Clemens is a better choice moving forward. But with Chad now seemingly back in the picture, I'm not sure how Kellen's growth will be affected. I think I'd probably start team with Eli before I did Kellen Clemens at this point.

So after that review, Eli is tied for 5th worst starting QB in the NFL under my personal rankings. Depending on how biased your opinion is, you may agree or disagree (and I myself and biased against Eli because I think he is horrible. I've actually forced myself to be nicer to him in this review and have held back how I truly feel). But in closing I'd like to finish with these facts: His career completion percentage is 54%. That is horrible. It's worse than Vince Young and Cleo Lemon and barely better than Mike Vick. His QB rating is abysmal. He's one of the least efficient QBs in the NFL over the last 3 years (if not the least efficient). And worst of all, he is much worse in December than he is in September. When the lights are shining brightest, he is at his worst. I know this review may be a little off-base and biased and not all that scientific, but if you're gonna defend Eli, ask yourself this: When the Giants step in that first playoff game, would you rather have him leading your team or the guy on the other team? If you say Eli, then you are a fucking lying sack of shit.

Here's a good rant from last year:

Andy Pettitte: Not Exactly Apologetic

If you're upset with Andy Pettitte's illegal drug use, he could really give a shit.

I like Andy Pettitte so I was sad to see that he used HGH and was named in the Mitchell Report. He seems like a reasonably good guy and given that we can pretty much assume that anyone who's played a sport in the last 20 years or so was up to something no good, that's the standard by which I judge professional athletes these days. Reasonably good guy, you're ok in book. It's because of that good guy persona that it's easy to forgive Pettitte for fucking around with HGH. But with that "good guy" persona comes a responsibility for showing contrition. That's where Andy went a little awry. You see good guys usually admit to doing wrong and then apologize and move on. Pettitte got half of it right by admitting to using HGH then went ahead and accepted absolutely no responsibility for any of it. Good guy my ass:
"In 2002 I was injured. I had heard that human growth hormone could promote faster healing for my elbow. I felt an obligation to get back to my team as soon as possible. For this reason, and only this reason, for two days I tried human growth hormone. Though it was not against baseball rules, I was not comfortable with what I was doing, so I stopped. This is it - two days out of my life; two days out of my entire career, when I was injured and on the disabled list.

If what I did was an error in judgment on my part, I apologize. I accept responsibility for those two days. Everything else written or said about me knowingly using illegal drugs is nonsense, wrong and hurtful. I have the utmost respect for baseball and have always tried to live my life in a way that would be honorable. I wasn't looking for an edge; I was looking to heal."
If what you did was an error in judgment? Are you fucking kidding me? What this suggests is that Andy doesn't believe it's an error in judgment. What's amazing about this is that he contradicts this feeling later in the statement when he suggests that he wasn't comfortable with using this illegal treatment which is why he stopped. So he's not sure if it was an error in judgment, but he thought it sketchy enough to stop it. That seems awfully disingenuous. But what really gets me is the "two days" part.

Again, you'll be hard pressed to find a person who knows Pettitte who doesn't think he's a decent human being, but what the fuck does that prove exactly? He says that 2 days shouldn't define him or take away from what has been an upstanding life led and career had. Shoeless Joe Jackson had a bad couple of days back in 1920, and his reputation was sullied for life and he is out of the Hall of Fame. Jayson Williams got drunk and swung a gun around, fucking up a pretty solid reputation (not to mention the lives of the guy he killed). Kobe bent over a chick in a hotel, ruining an otherwise great reputation. OJ had one bad day in 1994, people view him a little differently. Now of course I'm not equating HGH use to murder or manslaughter or any of that shit, but our entire criminal justice system is setup to so that one bad day could mean you get to spend a good portion of your life trying to remain an anal virgin. And the standard is even lower in the court of public opinion. Mere accusations ruin your life for good in that court. So the idea that these two days out of his career shouldn't besmirch his reputation is laughable. In terms of degrees, he's not as bad as Clemens or Bonds or Canseco, but whatever the damage to his reputation, he fucking earned it.

And lastly, don't give me this bullshit about there being some difference in the moral significance of using drugs to "gain an edge" or to treat an injury to help your team. He makes it sound like he wasn't being selfish. That it was somehow for the greater good. Why does that matter? What is the difference between Bonds juicing to hit balls farther and get his team to the World Series and Pettitte using illegal drugs to heal faster and help his team? Sure Bonds is more selfish than Pettitte, but that doesn't means Pettitte wasn't acting selfishly himself. If Andy didn't use the drugs, he might not have been able to come back. We'll never know how quickly he could have recovered naturally. But the actual effect doesn't even matter. We don't know how many of Bonds' home runs he would have hit without the roids either. What we do know is that Pettitte cheated by using illegal drugs and he knew it was wrong when he was doing it. That he can justify it by saying he was trying to help the team is a fine motive and more commendable than had he said he was doing it to become the best player ever, but that doesn't make it right. It's merely another in the long list of justifications people use to explain their bad behavior. It's like the thief who says he was only stealing to feed his family. That may help Andy sleep at night, but the guy who steals to feed his family is a thief in the same way as a guy who does it for shits and giggles. And the guy who uses illegal drugs to heal faster is cheat in the same way a guy who uses them to hit the ball farther.