Archive for March, 2010

WATERCOOLER CHAT: QUINN TO BRONCOS, ROCKETS WIN OVER NUGGETS, ARENAS APOLOGIZES

FOOTBALL

Kyle OrtonWell, the Brady Quinn mystery didn’t last long.  It was uncertain which team would even want the Browns former golden-boy quarterback, but… it looks like a team felt he was useful.  The Denver Broncos decided to bring him in as a back-up to Kyle Orton.  Orton’s future is also in limbo with the Bronco organization.  He had a serviceable season last year, and even got Denver off to a surprising 6-0 start, but it’s still no guarantee he will be taking the snaps in 2010.  Quinn will surely be a back-up, but current Denver coach Josh McRoberts is a former QB coach, and perhaps he thinks he can mold Quinn into an effective weapon.  We shall see.

BASKETBALL

Carmelo AnthonyIn the NBA, with the end of the Dallas Mavericks win streak this weekend, the longest win streak belongs to the Denver Nuggets.  Denver only trails the Lakers for the #1 seed by 3 games.  Well the new-look Houston Rockets were hoping to stop the red-hot Nuggets.  They got off to a big lead, but in the second half, the Nuggets came surging back behind an amazing 45-POINT night from Carmelo Anthony. But, with just 2.5 seconds to go, tied at 123, Rockets point-guard Aaron Brooks hit a beautiful jump shot from above the foul line to give the Rockets the win.  He finished with 31 points.  Brooks is developing into an all-star for the Rockets, and to think they initially sent him to the D-League.  Houston 125, Denver 123.

Gilbert ArenasFinally, Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas gave a very interesting interview to Esquire magazine about his suspension for the rest of the season for pulling a gun on a teammate.  In it, he mentions that he should have been punished, and that everything that he got he deserved.  He even said he felt he let down recently deceased Wizards owner Abe Polin.  In fact, when the incident happened, Arenas called Polin’s wife saying he would have had to call Abe to apologize, and so he intended to show Abe’s wife the same respect.  He concluded by weighing in on the Tiger Woods scandal, opining that he only thinks of Tiger as an amazing golfer — that his personal life was of no interest to him.  He sums this up by saying he has 3 Tiger Woods video games for XBox, and there is no picture on the cover of Tiger walking with his wife — “he’s just hitting shots”, Arenas said.

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: BAD FOR QUINN, TOMLINSON TO NY, KNICKS DEFEAT MAVS, MARCH MADNESS BRACKETS

The major headlines in sports over the weekend circled all sports.

FOOTBALL

And in the NFL, things just keep getting worse for former golden boy Brady Quinn.  The Browns have already brought in QB Seneca Wallace from Seattle, and on Saturday, they brought in a BIG gun — signing long-time Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme.  Delhomme had a train wreck of a season last year, and knew his days were numbered in Carolina (even though they signed him to a monster contract just a season before).  Well, he got paid big money to leave Carolina and also big money to join Cleveland as a potential and likely starter.  Delhomme’s signing is pretty much an indicator that Brady Quinn is trade bait either before or during the NFL draft.  It is very likely he will play a back-up role next season.  Sorry Brady.

Elsewhere in the NFL, LaDainian Tomlinson has finally decided on a new home.  That home — New York, as Tomlinson signed with the Jets.  There was speculation that Tomlinson would join the Vikings, and many thought if he did, that’s a sure-fire indicator that Brett Favre is coming back.  But, he opted for the Jets, and that’s a great alternative.  The Jets will definitely be contenders next season, and if there’s anything that Tomlinson wants bad it’s that Super Bowl ring — something he was always so close to with the Chargers.  But, does he have anything left in the tank?

BASKETBALL

In the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks were trying to protect a 13 game winning streak.  They’re the hottest team in the NBA right now, but keeping a streak alive in the NBA is very tough.  They needed to protect their home court against the New York Knicks.  The Knicks are abysmal this season, and many thought they would get clobbered, but you can never underestimate a “revenge game” in the NBA.  Earlier in the season, the Mavs went into New York and absolutely clobbered the Knicks.  They were up by as many as 53 at one point.  Well, NBA players don’t like this and don’t forget about it.  With that said, the Knicks went into Dallas and smushed them and their streak.  It was a complete blowout.  Maybe we all shouldn’t start picking the Mavs to win the title just yet.  New York 128, Dallas 94.
Finally, the March Madness brackets were released.  There was some mystery as to who would nab those #1 seeds, and the questions were finally answered.  It’ll be Kansas in the Midwest, Syracuse in the West, Kentucky in the East, and Duke in the South.  Now, while these are four great teams, this year, more than many in the past, is VERY tough to call.  The field is very deep this year, and all the #1 seeds have shown their vulnerability during the course of the season.  Kansas is shaky, Syracuse has some injury concerns, Duke is erratic, and Kentucky is very young and inexperienced.  There’s a chance none make it to the Final Four.  It’s going to be an amazing tourney!

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: BIG EAST ACTION, TOMLINSON JOB SEARCH, TIGER COMEBACK PLAN

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Corey Fisher-Darius Johnson-OdomIn college basketball, it’s conference tournament mania.  Most of the action came out of the Big East yesterday, and there were some incredible surprises.  First off, #10 Marquette faced off against a hungry Wildcat bunch.  And Marquette, behind Darius Johnson-Odom’s 24 points, bounced the Villanova Wildcats right out of the tourney.  Then, #3 Syracuse had to take on a resurrected Georgetown Hoyas team.  The Hoyas got a great game from guard Chris Wright and upset the might Syracuse Orange.  Whoa.  If two of the best teams in the country can lose this easily, what can we expect from March Madness this year.  Marquette 80, Villanova 76.  Georgetown 91, Syracuse 84.

FOOTBALL

And in the NFL, LaDainian Tomlinson’s job search continues.  Two days ago, Tomlinson met with the Vikings to discuss playing a part in their offense.  Well, now he’s got a new target… The New York Jets.  The Jets just parted ways with steady RB veteran Thomas Jones, and they will need someone to take the load off 2nd year man Shonn Greene.  Can Tomlinson be that guy?  If so, this would make the Jets offense more dynamic, as they need that theoretical threat on the field.

GOLF

Tiger WoodsFinally, the big news of the day came out of the golf world.  It looks like Tiger Woods has potentially decided on a comeback plan.  He hasn’t played in a major tournament since his story broke in December.  Well, now it looks like Tiger is eyeing a return for this year’s Masters.  Woods owns four green jackets (the trophy of winning the Masters), and he has never missed a Masters in his career.  If he came back for the Masters, that would give him about 4 weeks to prepare.  Previously, Woods said he was planning to take a year off, but clearly, Woods can’t stay away from the game.  He needs to play, and the Masters would make a perfect comeback location for him.  Then again, there’s a chance it could be a very uncomfortable outing for Wood

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: MAVS HOT, BRYANT TO BENGALS, BROWN STARTING OVER

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In the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks are the hottest team in the NBA right now with a 12 game winning streak.  They are practically at full health, and new additions Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, and Brendan Haywood from the Wizards are seemingly the missing pieces that could give the Mavs a title.  All they needed to do for the 13th win was beat the NBA worst New Jersey Nets in Dallas.   Well, oddly, this wasn’t easy.  In fact, New Jersey jumped out to a huge lead in the first half.  They led at the break 47-39.  Not too bad for the worst team in the league.  In the second half, however, the Mavs came surging back behind another marvelous night for Jason Kidd (20 points and 9 assists).  And all was said and done, the Mavs were on top.  That’s 14 in a row for Dallas.  Dallas 96, New Jersey 87.

FOOTBALL

Antonio Bryant.JPGIn the NFL, as reported 2 days ago, the Cincinnati Bengals were apparently looking into nabbing free agent wide receiver Terrell Owens.  Their current star receiver, Chad Ochocinco, wanted them to pick up Owens to take pressure off him.  But, yesterday the Bengals added veteran Antonio Bryant to their roster.  Bryant served as a very efficient receiver for a lowly Tampa Bay team, and perhaps in a land with a better quarterback (Carson Palmer) he could truly have some great numbers.  This doesn’t mean Owens won’t play for the Bengals too, but it makes you think that Cincy is content at the wide receiver spot.

Over in Cleveland, the Browns just let go of back-up QB Derek Anderson.  And now, it appears that they are ready to do away with Brady Quinn as well.  Quinn was drafted by the Browns (in what seems like many moons ago) to be their golden boy quarterback.  Quinn was a standout at Notre Dame, but has simply not panned out in the NFL.  The Browns are hoping to get solid draft picks for Quinn and appear to be starting over in a big way.  Sorry Browns fans, your team may not make the playoffs for a few seasons.


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WATERCOOLER CHAT: NORTH TX CINDERELLA, JONES NEW HOME, OWENS AND OCHOCINCO?

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Two words:  North Texas.  They have won 10 straight games in college basketball in the Sun Belt conference.  Last night, in the division championship game, North Texas was hoping to nab an automatic bid to the Big Dance.  All they had to do was get through Troy.  Well, it wasn’t an easy task, but behind a big night from a BIG man Eric Tramiel, the North Texas Mean Green (and yes, that’s their real team name) edged Troy for their 11th straight win.  This is important news because North Texas is a popular Cinderella candidate this year.  They might sneak up and win two rounds.  With the unpredictability of this season, that wouldn’t be too much of a surprise.  So perhaps pick North Texas in your office pool and look smart when they pull a first round upset.  North Texas 66, Troy 63.

FOOTBALL

Thomas JonesIn the NFL, it looks like running back journeyman Thomas Jones has found a new home.  Jones is known around the league as a ‘get-it-done’ back.  He’s not a popular guy to pick in fantasy drafts, but he does put up numbers.  He helped the Bears get to the Super Bowl in the 2006 season, and has been a terrific fit on the NY Jets (who no longer need him because they have second year man Shonn Greene).  But if you need a guy to move the ball down the field, and pick up those crucial ‘3rd down and 2’ situations, Jones is your man.  Now, he will help the Kansas City Chiefs hopefully turn around their offense.  The Chiefs lost Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson last year, but Jamaal Charles has come on strongly.  This tandem makes for a good one-two punch for the Chiefs.

Terrell OwensElsewhere in the NFL free agency market, some interesting meetings took place. First up, it looks like Terrell Owens is in search of a new home.  He took an interview with the Cincinnati Bengals.  They already have loud mouth Chad Ochocinco, but adding Owens into the mix gives them an interesting option on offense.  Having both of these playmakers could confuse defenses and enable the Bengals to be quite potent next season.  Plus, you would have the Top 2 “Kings of Touchdown Celebrations” on the same team.  Let’s hope this happens for entertainment value if nothing else.

And, in another interesting “talk”, LaDainian Tomlinson is finally meeting with his first suitor.  Sure, Tomlinson is definitely in the twilight of his career (a 9 year storied career that is), but he still has some use on the field because of the image he represents. Even though he’s not what he used to be, he still scares defenses when he’s in the offensive formation.  Well, the Minnesota Vikings know that BIG TIME.  They have Adrian Peterson, the best running back in the league, but they just lost his back-up Chester Taylor.  Adding Tomlinson to the mix gives them another strategic weapon that could be the difference maker if they can make it back to the NFC Championship again.


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WATERCOOLER CHAT: DALLAS EXTEND WIN STREAK, UCONN HUSKIES CHANCE FOR HISTORY, IVERSON ISSUES

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Shawn MarionIn the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks were looking to extend their win streak to 12 games.  All that stood in their way were the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves.  However, the T-Wolves can be quite… ferocious when facing good teams.  How would the Mavs fare?  Well, they got out to an early lead behind a stellar performance from Shawn Marion (he’s really been coming on lately).  But, in the second half, the T-Wolves made their late surge (as they’ve been known to do). Al Jefferson had an amazing night for the Wolves with 36 points.  In the end, however, the Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs were just too much and they overpowered Minnesota for their 12th straight win.  This team has been on fire since the trade deadline.  Dallas 125, Minnesota 112.

And in women’s college basketball, the UCONN Huskies had a chance to make history.  They stood at 70 straight victories (dating back to last season) and that tied them for the all-time consecutive win category.  So, last night, the Huskies had to beat #7 Notre Dame to enter the history books.  And they did this handily.  Tina Charles had a great night for UCONN with 16 points, as the Huskies grabbed their 71st victory.  So, the big question is… can UCONN win two straight championships and finish two undefeated seasons in a row?  Anybody who beats UCONN right now would be responsible for one of the biggest upsets ever.  UCONN 59, Notre Dame 44.

Finally, Allen Iverson is going through one hot mess.  Iverson came back mid-season this year to hopefully salvage the last days of his career.  However, it has now come to light that Iverson has some serious family issues right now.  He just filed for divorce, he’s taking care of his sick daughter, and on top of all that it appears he has some serious issues with alcohol and gambling.  In fact, Iverson has been banned from several casinos in the past.  Now, the ONLY person that most people think can HELP Iverson is Iverson’s former coach at Georgetown, John Thompson.  His playing career is almost definitely over, so hopefully he can salvage his post-NBA career.


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WATERCOOLER CHAT: NBA REMATCH, CHICAGO & JETS RAMPING UP

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In the NBA, Sunday featured a Pre-Oscars rematch of last year’s NBA Finals:  The Los Angeles Lakers v. Orlando Magic.  The Magic have been playing great as of late, but the Lakers have struggled mightily.  They lost to the Heat this week, and then later were routed by the Charlotte Bobcats (who seem to be the only team in the NBA with the Lakers number).  Apparently, Kobe Bryant gave the Lakers a pep-talk before the game against the Magic telling them to shape up.  Thing is, even Kobe himself is playing pretty poorly.  Could they pull off the victory and get back on track?

The Lakers Ron Artest came out motivated, dying the word “defense” into his hair in three different languages.  It was pretty funny.  Well, the game was basically ruled by Orlando up until the 4th quarter when the Lakers came surging back.  Then, trailing 95-92, Kobe put up a brilliant 3-point shot to tie the game.  But, wait a minute, his foot was on the line and it was ruled a 2-pointer.  95-94 Orlando.  The Lakers fouled Vince Carter, and he missed a free throw.  96-94 Orlando, and the Lakers had one last shot.  Yep, Kobe got the ball, and he’s the best closer in the game.  This time, however, Kobe couldn’t connect, and the Magic held on for the win.  When are the Lakers going to turn it around?  Orlando 96, LA Lakers 94.

FOOTBALL

Julius PeppersAnd in the NFL, the Chicago Bears had big expectations last season, especially after bringing in big name quarterback Jay Cutler.  Well, they underperformed… big time.  So, this off season, they have been very aggressive in the free agent market to show their fans that they’re Super Bowl minded.  Over the weekend, they roped in Pro Bowler Julius Peppers of the Carolina Panthers.  And, with the uncertain value of current running back Matt Forte, they brought in Chester Taylor, a very efficient running back, from the Vikings.  Now they will have the common multiple RB game, which actually makes their team more versatile.

Elsewhere in the NFL, the NY Jets brought in Pro Bowl cornerback Antonio Cromartie from the San Diego Chargers.  Now they will have Darrelle Revis (currently the best cornerback in the NFL) and another strong CB on the other side of the field.  This combo just makes a very tough defense even stronger.  It will be hard for even the best receivers to gain productive yards against the Jets next season.  So, the major question is, can the Jets get back to where they got this season… and take that next step to the Super Bowl?

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: KOBE’S SHOT NOT ENOUGH, REDSKINS CUT OVER 30’S, ROY HALLADAY “FILTHY”

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In the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers headed to Miami to play an unpredictable Heat team.  The Heat have been average as of late, especially since they lost Dwayne Wade for a stretch, but the Heat were confident they would hang with and beat the Lakers.  Earlier this season, when the Heat were in Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant hit an amazing off-balance buzzer beater shot to win the game.

Kobe said it was the luckiest shot he ever took.  Well, last night, the game was neck and neck the entire way.  Kobe went off with 39 points, and Wade wasn’t too bad himself with 27.  And with just 7 seconds left in regulation, and trailing by 2, Kobe did his thing.  He drove past Wade, and launched up a shot from the corner of the key.  Buckets!  And we’re headed to OT.  But that’s when Dwayne Wade and teammate Quentin Richardson really shined.  They hit just enough clutch shots to edge the Lakers.  With the loss, Kobe falls to 7-6 in match-ups against D-Wade.

FOOTBALL

And in the NFL, there were a few movers and shakers.  The Washington Redskins cut almost all of their over 30 players (including familiar names LaDell Betts and Antwaan Randle El).  Plus, their 6 time Pro-Bowler, Chris Samuels, had to retire because of a risky spinal condition.  Samuels knew he was at risk out on that field with every blow to the head.  He even said he recalled colliding with former superstar Simeon Rice and feeling his whole body go numb.  So Samuels is going to play it safe and hang up his helmet.  Congrats to him on a great career.

BASEBALL

Roy HalladayFinally, in pre-season baseball, some very good news for Philadelphia Phillie’s fans.  In the off-season, the Phillies had to part ways with Cy Young winner Cliff Lee in order to make room for superstar ace, Roy Halladay.  Well, yesterday, fans got a glimpse at Halladay’s first performance in a Philadelphia uniform and it was described as “filthy”.  And that’s “filthy” as in ‘He was so good it was disgusting to watch’.  With a dominant Halladay in their rotation, Philly fans can expect to be right back in the World Series hunt next season.

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: KANSAS NABS BIG 12, MARYLAND LOOKING GOOD, BRANDON MARSHALL COULD BE TROUBLE

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Xavier Henry.JPGIn college basketball, the #2 Kansas Jayhawks are coming off an embarrassing defeat to Oklahoma State.  They were hoping to turn it around immediately, but that turn around would need to come against in-state rival and #5 in the nation Kansas State.  This was not going to be easy.  Then again, they are the same dominant Jayhawk team and they were ready to prove it.  Their star Xavier Henry gave them an awesome night with 19 points, and senior guard Sherron Collins had 17 points of his own.  And with that, they would cruise past the Kansas State Wildcats, and nab the Big 12 outright title.  Kansas 82, Kansas State 65.

Elsewhere in college basketball, the Maryland Terrapins are back baby!  They have been average the past few seasons (although they made the tourney last year), but they are making a late season name for themselves.  Currently, they’re ranked #23, so it’s no surprise that a home game against visiting #4 Duke was, um, pretty important to them.  This season, Maryland’s senior point guard Greivis Vasquez is having an amazing year.  He has meant so much to this school that they will probably retire his jersey.  Well, last night, Vasquez didn’t disappoint, and put on a show against Duke — scoring 20 points and dishing 5 gorgeous assists.  Maryland could get a lot further than people think during March Madness.  Maryland 79, Duke 72.

FOOTBALL

Brandon MarshallAnd in the NFL, the Denver Broncos have put first round pick tender on star wide-receiver Brandon Marshall.  What this means is that if another team decides to sign him, all they would need to do is give up a #1 draft pick.  But, here’s where it gets interesting.  Everyone knows the Broncos were looking to unload Marshall, but they thought it was going to be for a first AND third round pick.  The fact that they took the third round draft pick OFF the table makes it seem like they really want to get rid of the guy.  So if a team is really hurting at wide-receiver, they might think twice about jumping on Marshall.  Apparently, he might be a major headcase.  We’ll see how this transpires.

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: TIGER PRACTICING, SYRACUSE OVER ST. JOHN, JUSTICE SERVED

GOLF

Tiger WoodsAfter all the drama, it looks like Tiger Woods is finally ready to focus on his golf game again.  Woods finished his sex rehab sessions in Mississippi, and is reportedly home and practicing his swing.  He was spotted on a golf course by Charles Howell III, and Howell said of Woods, “Honestly, he looked as good as he ever has.  Seriously, he seemed like he was hitting it the same as he ever did.”  Love him or hate him, it’s nice to hear that such an amazing athlete is focusing on what he truly does best.

BASKETBALL

In college basketball, after locking up the #1 spot this week, the Syracuse Orange needed just one win to grab the Big East title.  They would need to beat St. Johns, hoping to avoid being the first #1 team to lose to St. Johns in 25 years. Well, fear not, it didn’t happen.  Syracuse rolled over St. Johns behind a terrific night from Arinze Onuaku.  He had 21 points and 8 rebounds.  Question is — can Syracuse win the Big East tournament and grab a #1 seed in the tourney.  Most likely.  Syracuse 85, St. Johns 66.

FOOTBALL

Finally, in some sad but just news — a ruling came down in the trial of famed Iowa High School football coach Ed Thomas.  Thomas won NFL High School coach of the year, and four of his players made it to the NFL.  Thomas was fatally shot by  Mark Becker last year, and Becker had pleaded insanity in his defense.  Well, yesterday the court ruled that Becker was NOT insane at the time of the murder, and will thus carry out a life sentence by Iowa law.  This is still a very tragic state of affairs, but at least justice was served.

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