Archive for November, 2009

WATERCOOLER CHAT: LARRY JOHNSON NOT WANTED, NUGGETS GET VICTORY OVER BULLS

FOOTBALL

58424211Yesterday, we reported that the Kansas City Chiefs had let go of former star running-back Larry Johnson. Johnson  wasn’t performing this season, and the Chiefs simply got tired of his off-the-field antics.  Most recently he was suspended for making ‘gay slurs’.  Well, today, it appears that none of the other teams want him either.  Not a single one made a move to pick him up, and some teams out there that truly needed help at the running back spot.  This means that the Kansas City Chiefs still have to pay his remaining salary, and Johnson will assess his NFL future this off-season.

Brady QuinnElsewhere in the NFL, it looks like Cleveland is ready to make yet another change at the QB position.  They started the year with Brady Quinn, switched to Derek Anderson, and, since things haven’t really gotten any better, they are going back to Quinn.  Why?  Well, Quinn was drafted to be their franchise quarterback a few seasons ago.  And since Anderson hasn’t done anything, they may as well throw him out there and see if there are any signs of life.  Going forward, they will need to know if Quinn has a future with the team or if they should completely give up on the Quinn experiment.

BASKETBALL

In the NBA, an amazing finish out of Chicago, where the Bulls played host to a tough Denver Nugget team.  The Nuggets led 90-89 with their point-guard, Chauncey Billups on the line for one free throw.  Making it would only give the Nuggets a two point lead, and give the Bulls a shot to win the game.  So Billups attempted to brick the free throw, hoping it would wildly ricochet, and the clock would run out.  But, the Bulls got the rebound, and the refs ruled that their was 0.3 seconds on the clock.  Enough, technically, for a catch and shoot.

Well, the Bulls in bounded to their center Brad Miller at the top of the arc, and off his back foot he threw it up and sunk the basket.  Bulls win!  Whoa, whoa, wait… the refs needed to review it to see if the ball had actually come out of Miller’s hands by the time the clock struck 0.  They looked and looked as the crowed waited with anticipation.  Their final decision:  Nope, he still had his fingertips on the ball.  And the Nuggets were handed back the victory.  Denver 90, Chicago 89.

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: MNF SHOWDOWN, TROUBLED LARRY JOHNSON

FOOTBALL

Hines Ward.jpgMonday Night Football saw a showdown of two of the league’s top teams — the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos.  The Broncos started the season undefeated, but got a lashing last week against the Ravens.  Would this week prove that was a fluke, or that they have some missing bolts indeed?  Well, much has been said about the Broncos surprisingly productive offense behind new quarterback Kyle Orton.  But, this game belonged to Big Ben and the Steelers.  He hooked up with Hines Ward twice for touchdowns in the second half, and finished the game with 233 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Denver’s offense, on the other hand, just couldn’t get it done.  Their 2 running backs, Correll Buckhalter and Knowshon Moreno ran for a combined 27 yards.  Denver is now on the down swing, and Pittsburgh the up.  Pittsburgh 28, Denver 10.

Elsewhere in the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs have finally had enough of their troubled, loud-mouth running back Larry Johnson.  Johnson was a pure star for the Chiefs for roughly 3 full seasons, putting up amazing stats.  However, he’s just had too much trouble with the law and the media (making gay slurs), and that was that.  They released him yesterday, and will now go with Jamaal Charles as their running-back.  With Johnson now available, there are a few teams who could desperately use him.  Possibly Seattle, who are suffering at the position, or maybe Indianapolis, who could use Johnson as another weapon in the backfield.  It’s probable that Johnson will find a home before season’s end.

BASKETBALL

Finally, earlier this year we reported that Isaiah Thomas, NBA Hall of Fame point guard, and former GM and coach of the New York Knicks, had decided to go into college coaching.  Which team did a he choose?  A small school called Florida International.  It was a good place for him to experiment, and the school, of course, welcomed his celebrity to bring attention.  Well, their first match-up was against none other than the defending National Champions, the North Carolina Tar Heels.  FIU didn’t keep it close, but they did hold their own against the champs, losing by only 16 (Hey, it could have been much worse).  North Carolina 88, FIU 72.

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: VICK TO BUFFALO? DALLAS BACK ON TOP, REVENGE IN NEW YORK, SAINTS & COLTS STILL ON TOP

FOOTBALL

Michael Vick.jpgBefore we get to the NFL action, we need to discuss Michael Vick possibly changing locations next season.  Vick was one of the main characters this NFL off-season, with everyone wondering where he would sign.  He joined the Philadelphia Eagles, but has been tremendously irrelevant there.  Now, Vick’s mentor and former Super Bowl winning coach, Tony Dungy, has said that Philadelphia is more of an adjustment period for Vick.  Next year, Dungy said, Vick could be the starting quarterback in Buffalo.  The Bills expressed serious interest in Vick during the off-season, and Vick might just be the guy to bring the Bills out of the dregs of the NFL.

Tony RomoSpeaking of Philadelphia, they hosted the Dallas Cowboys in a match-up for the top spot in the NFC East.  The Eagles have been on fire ever since pathetically losing to the dismal Oakland Raiders, and the Cowboys have turned it around the last few weeks as well.  Well, it was a back and forth game up until the 4th quarter, when the game was tied at 13.  Then, with 8 minutes left, Tony Romo aired it out to his new favorite target, Miles Austin, for a 49-yard Touchdown.  And the Eagles just couldn’t come back.  Now, Dallas sits back on throne of an extremely competitive division.  Dallas 20, Philadelphia 16.

Elsewhere in the NFC East, the once red-hot NY Giants played host to the San Diego Chargers.  This game had multiple storylines.  1) The NY Giants started the season 5-0, but have lost their last 3 games.  They needed a win to break that horrible streak.  2) Phillip Rivers return to New York.  Rivers is now at the peak of his game, and back in 2004, the Giants passed on him in favor of drafting Eli Manning #1 overall.  To add insult to injury, Manning publicly stated that he didn’t want to and wouldn’t play in San Diego.  This was both Rivers and San Diego’s revenge game on the G-men.  But… it would be close.  The Giants led 20-14 with just 2 minutes left, but Rivers marched the Chargers down the field in just 8 plays, and with just 18 seconds left, Rivers hurled the ball to Vincent Jackson for a game winning touchdown.  Revenge accomplished.  San Diego 21, NY Giants 20.

Drew BreesOne of the unbeaten teams, the New Orleans Saints, had to put it on the line against the Carolina Panthers.  They hoped to go 8-0 for the first time in franchise history.  The Saints fell behind 14-0, but that’s really no big deal for Drew Brees.  He came back strong throwing for 330 yards and a TD, but the true hero was Anthony Hargrove.  Late in the 4th quarter, he stripped the ball from Carolina, picked up the fumble, and ran it in for a touchdown.  That gives the Saints 7 defensive touchdowns on the season, and sent them to a perfect 8-0.  New Orleans 30, Carolina 20.

Finally, the other unbeaten team, the Indianapolis Colts, had a tough match-up against a pesky Houston Texans team.  This one wouldn’t be easy.  It stayed close the whole way, but Joseph Addai put the Colts up 20-17 mid-way through the first quarter.  But, at the end of the game, the Texans had a chance to tie the game against the mighty Colts.  It was all up to their kicker, Kris Brown.  Unfortunately, he booted the kick far left, and the Texans lost in heartbreaking fashion.  The Colts, on the other hand, remain the team to beat in the AFC at 8-0.  Indianapolis 20, Houston 17.

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: NO FOUL FOR LEBRON, BULLS WIN

BASKETBALL

In the NBA, a much anticipated game between LeBron James and the Cavs playing host to the up-and-coming Chicago Bulls.  Could the Bulls beat the Cavs on their home court?  Well, LeBron put on a brilliant show, even dazzling the crowd with an alley-oop dunk from point guard Delonte West.  However, in the closing seconds, things got quite interesting.  The Cavs led by 1 with just 3.3 seconds remaining.  LeBron drove to the hoop, like he always does, went up for the layup and seemingly… got blocked.  No Foul called.  LeBron was incredulous.  No foul for the NBA’s best player in the closing seconds of a home game?????  Nope.  In the replay, it looks like the LeBron actually lost the ball himself.  It was the right call, and the Bulls grab the victory.  With this loss, last year’s #1 seed is now 3-3. Chicago 86, Cavs 85.

FOOTBALL

Tony RomoIn the NFL, some follow-up gossip out of Dallas.  Earlier this week, Roy Williams, their #1 receiver, voiced his frustration with quarterback Tony Romo. He said that Romo wasn’t throwing him the ball correctly, while Miles Austin was getting perfectly thrown balls.  Well, quarterback Tony Romo said that Williams comments will not divide the team.  Williams and Romo put in a lot of work during the off season, and now Williams is saying it’s not paying off.  Williams even said, “I’m not trying to be Terrell Owens”.  While Williams is complaining, many experts agree that he’s not the best route receiver, and the better balls should go to Miles Austin.

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: YANKEES WIN WORLD SERIES!!!

BASEBALL

57905788It was Game 6 of the World Series, and the Philadelphia Phillies needed a win to keep this series going.  However, it would be hard, as they were at home against a Yankees team that wanted to wrap this thing up.  The pitching match-up:  And old school match-up between Pedro Martinez for the Phillies, and Andy Petite for the Yankees. Well, the Yankees got out to a hot start, thanks to “Godzilla”, Hideki Matsui.  He blasted a two-run home run shot to put New York up 2-0.  Then, in the 3rd inning, Matsui smacked another shot to center field, and that would bring in 2 more runs.  And it was 4-1 Yankees.  In the 5th, it was Matsui AGAIN, crushing a double to score even more RBIs.  7-1 Yankees.  Just a monster night for Matsui.

Mariano RiveraIn the 6th, it looked like Philly might have a rally in them, as Ryan Howard crushed a two-run homer.  7-3 Yankees.  But after that, not much production from the Phillies.  And then, in came Mariano Rivera, hoping to nab his 5th world series ring.  In fact, there are 4 Yankees from the New York team of the late 90s, early 00s that were a part of that dynasty (Rivera, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, and Andy Petite).  Well, Rivera was brilliant again, taking care of business in the 9th.  Then, with the Phils Shane Victorino at a full count, Rivera threw an inside fastball, Victorino grounded to 2nd, and the Yankees picked up the 3rd out.  That’s it.  The Yankees won their 27th World Series!!! Amazing!!!  They dedicated it to their ailing team owner, the great George Steinbrenner.  Yep, the Yankees are back on top of baseball again.  NY Yankees 7, Philadelphia 3.

FOOTBALL

There was some gossip out of the NFL, from the biggest gossip TEAM in the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys.  Their big free agent acquisition last season, Roy Williams, publicly told the media he wasn’t on the same page with QB Tony Romo.  Even though Williams is considered the #1 receiver for the Cowboys, he said that Romo completely favors Miles Austin (their supposed #2 receiver).  Williams complained that balls sent his way were poorly thrown and made him work too much, whereas the balls thrown to Austin were much cleaner and in less defensive traffic.  Dallas loves their drama, and Williams is starting to sound like Terrell Owens did for the ‘Boys last season.

BASKETBALL

Finally, some interesting news out of college basketball.  Michael Jordan’s son, Marcus Jordan, has decided to play for the University of Central Florida.  Well, Central Florida has a very large contract with Adidas, which requires all athletes to wear Adidas gear.  These sponsorships are very lucrative and important for school financing.  The money is spread through all departments.  Well, Marcus Jordan said he only wants to wear his father’s Nike Air Jordan’s, because they hold special meaning in his family.  His refusal to wear Adidas will now cost the school a healthy sum.  Seems kind of crazy over just one pair of shoes.

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: GAME 5 GOES TO PHILLIES, SAINTS STILL PERFECT, BATTY NBA

BASEBALL

It was Game 5 of the World Series, and the Philadelphia Phillies needed a win desperately to keep this thing alive.  They got a great pitching performance from their ace Cliff Lee.  But what really helped them out.  Two words:  Chase Utley.  He blasted not 1, but two home-run shots to give the Phillies a commanding lead, 7-2.  And with those home-runs, he ties Reggie Jackson’s record for most homers in a World Series.

Mark TeixeiraWith the Yankees, however, you are never done until you’re done.  The Yanks clawed back, and found themselves down only 2 runs in the top of the 9th with 2 outs.   Then, Johnny Damon got on base.  Damon has been on fire in this series, and now represented the tying run.  Next up for the Yanks, their huge, off-season free agent acquisition, Mark Teixeira. This is what they pay him the big bucks for, to come up big in stressful situations. Unfortunately, Teixeira has played awful in this series.  Well, Phillies dominant closer Brad Lidge was on the mound, and… struck out Teixeira.  Now, the season heads back to New York for Game 6.  Will the Yankees close it out, or will it go to the always exciting Game 7, when absolutely every pitcher is available.  Philadelphia 8, NY Yankees 6.

FOOTBALL

Drew BreesElsewhere, in the NFL, the New Orleans Saints were hoping to remain the only other undefeated team in the league (the Colts are still perfect).  However, they would have to beat a tough division rival in the Atlanta Falcons.  The Falcons came out strong, and jumped out to a 14-7 lead, but Drew Brees and the Saints would power back.  Brees had two touchdown passes, and Pierre Thomas ran the ball for a decent 91 yards and a touchdown.  They were simply too much for the Falcons, and nabbed the win.  They are now a perfect 7-0, and definitely the cream of the crop in the NFC.  Is this their Super Bowl year?  New Orleans 35, Atlanta 27.

BASKETBALL

Finally, some very odd news out of the NBA.  On Halloween, during a game against the Sacramento Kings, Spurs forward Manu Ginobili knocked down an actual bat that had flown into the arena.  After “batting” it to the ground, Ginobili picked it up, and walked it off the court.  Well, the NBA made Ginobili get rabies vaccinations just in case.  And, um, those are a series of painful shots.  Ginobili posted on his blog that it wasn’t a good idea, and that people should stay away from rabies carrying animals.  Thanks for the tip, Manu.

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: YANKS UP 3-1 IN SERIES, FAVRE’S GLORIOUS RETURN

BASEBALL

Derek JeterIn baseball, it was Game 4 of the World Series.  The Phillies had fallen behind 2 games to 1, and desperately needed a win.  The Yankees got up 4-2 behind clutch hits from Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon, but the Phillies would come back.  Chase Utley knocked a single-run homer in the 7th, and in the 8th Pedro Feliz crushed another solo shot.  And just like that the Phills had all the momentum heading in the 9th inning.  Needless to say… the crowd was going wild!

However, the Yankees own crunch time, and in the 9th inning against the Phillies brilliant closer Brad Lidge, they totally lit it up.  Alex Rodriguez hit a clutch hit to bring in the run that would put the Yankees ahead, and Jorge Posada drove in two more runs later that inning.  And that was all she wrote, as Yankees closer Mariano Rivera easily closed out the game.  Now, the Yankees are up 3-1, and have a phenomenal post-season record when leading by that much.  Can the Phillies win three straight?  It’ll be tough. NY Yankees 7, Philadelphia 4.

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, the Denver Broncos put their undefeated record on the line against a hungry Baltimore Ravens team.  Well, finally, the Broncos met their match.  The Ravens offense played brilliantly, and their defense completely shut down the Broncos.  Ravens QB Joe Flacco had a solid day, completing 20 of his 25 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown to Derek Mason.  The Broncos day was coming, and yesterday was it.  Baltimore 30, Denver 7.

Brett Favre.jpgAnd the marquee matchup of the day was Brett Favre’s glorious return to face Green Bay at Lambeau field.  Their first meeting was mega-hyped, but this was the big one.  He was now an enemy in a spot where he used to be a true hero.  But, would he win?  Well, the Vikings looked great. Adrian Peterson ran for 97 yards and a TD, but the real star was Brett Favre himself.  He was unbelievable, throwing for 255 yards, no interceptions, and 4 TOUCHDOWNS!!!  It was a heartbreaking day for Packer fans, but a marvelous one for Favre.  Minnesota 38, Green Bay 26.

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