Archive for November, 2010

WATERCOOLER CHAT: TCU CRUSHED UTAH, BROWNS SINK PATS, GREEN BAY DOMINATES COWBOYS

FOOTBALL

In college football, there was a crucial match-up this weekend between #3 TCU and #5 Utah.  Both teams were undefeated, and the loser of this game would lose all hope of playing in a BCS game.  Plus, both teams have fingers crossed that they could be considered for the National Championship Game.  These schools have been playing amazing football, and only a showdown could indicate who is actually better.  Utah has an explosive offense and a seemingly impenetrable defense.  TCU has a fantastic offense, led by potential Heisman Candidate Andy Dalton, and a defense that gets better by the week.  So what happened?  This game wasn’t close at all.  TCU came into Utah and wiped the grass with them.  Dalton threw for 355 yards and 3 touchdowns in a huge statement game.  TCU basically said to the voters, ‘Hey, we just crushed the #5 team in the country, put us in the National Championship Game against Oregon or Auburn’.  This year will definitely be a controversial choice considering that TCU most likely won’t lose a game this year.  TCU 47, Utah 7.

In the NFL, all the experts are saying that the New England Patriots are the best team in football.  People think they’re back to true form.  Tom Brady is playing great, their offense is clicking, and their defense appears to be creating cohesion from week to week.  They have the best record in the NFL, and they looked to continue their winning in Cleveland.  The Browns may not be a top notch team, but they certainly aren’t the doormats they used to be.  Rookie Colt McCoy out of Texas has given them leadership and a will to win. They’re jelling around him.  So while the Pats thought they would manhandle the Browns, nothing could have been further from the truth.  And… this was a battle of the Bill Belichick and his protege and nemesis Eric Mangini.

The Browns got out to a big lead behind their burgeoning star running-back Peyton Hillis.  Hillis has been spectacular this year, and may be a part of the most lopsided trade of the past few years.  The Browns got him straight-up for their ex-starting QB Brady Quinn.  Um, great trade!  And in the second half, the Browns continued to roll behind Hillis.  He finished the day with 184 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Browns sunk the Pats.  Cleveland 34, New England 14.

And in Sunday Night Football, it was the lowly Dallas Cowboys visiting Green Bay at Lambeau field.  Prior to the season, this was viewed as a big marquee match-up. However, Dallas has had a putrid season, and after losing Tony Romo, don’t even look remotely competitive with Jon Kitna at the helm.  Cowboys fans thought maybe their team would show-up and play with some dignity considering they were thought to be Super Bowl contenders at the beginning of the season and were 1-6 going into the game.  Perhaps, sure, but this was not to be.  Green Bay simply dominated the Cowboys up and down.  Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw for 285 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Jon Kitna threw 2 interceptions.  It’s as if the Cowboys have quit on their coach Wade Phillips and consider the season a wash.  Don’t be surprised if Cowboys owner Jerry Jones makes an announcement this week that Wade Phillips is being let go.  Green Bay 45, Dallas 7.

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: TRASH TALKING BY GARNETT, TROUBLE FOR AUBURN FOOTBALL, PARANOIA AT PLAY IN BIG NFL HITS

BASKETBALL

In the NBA, a follow-up to the Kevin Garnett/Charlie Villanueva feud.  The other night, Villanueva claimed via Twitter that Kevin Garnett called him a ‘cancer patient’.  Villanueva is unable to grow hair, which makes him even more sensitive to the comment.  Garnett publicly denied this, saying he never called Villanueva a cancer to his team and the league.  That, in turn, sounded a bit too articulate.  Well, Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge has jumped in saying that Villanueva’s comments were absurd.  Ainge defended his star power forward, pointing out that Garnett would never be so insensitive because he’s battling with cancer in his own family.  This issue will surely blow over soon, but it has been the talk of the sports talk radio circuit lately.  Most are siding with Villanueva, believing that Garnett did indeed say that because trash talk is fair play on the basketball court.

FOOTBALL

In college football, some controversy surrounding leading Heisman candidate Cam Newton.  Supposedly, Newton may have taken cash to play at Auburn.  But, to make things more interesting, there may have been a bidding war to get Newton out of junior college.  A rep for Newton was reportedly asking for $200,000 to get Newton to play for any school, with the exception of Mississippi State, which Newton was willing to take less.  Of course, these are just early allegations and should be treated, potentially, with a grain of salt.  But if this continues to unfold in a negative light, this could be big trouble for Cam Newton and Auburn football.

Finally, in the NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers’ linebacker James Harrison was fined again by the NFL for a late hit on Drew Brees on Sunday Night’s game.  Harrison has been very vocal on his feelings about the league’s enforcement of dangerous tackling.  Harrison said he only knows one way how to play the game, and he doesn’t know how to tackle lightly.  Yesterday, Harrison met with commissioner Roger Goodell to share his side of the story.   Harrison called the meeting ‘semi-productive’, which is a bit of a political bad move.  Now he’s really on Goodell’s bad side.  In Harrison’s defense, Troy Polamalu has come out saying that there is way too much paranoia at play, that they’re overreacting, and it’s only up to the decision of a few bigwigs in the NFL — that they’re not talking to the players about what’s really happening on field.  Seems there is some backlash against the suits.

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: RANDY MOSS TO TITANS, FEUD IN NBA, JETER TESTING MARKET

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings released Randy Moss on Monday morning.  Vikings head coach Brad Childress said that trading a 3rd round pick for Moss was a mistake.  Apparently, Moss was a little too difficult to deal with off the field, and the Vikes decided to waive him.  So, the major question remained, who could use Moss?  Most likely, Randy would join a team that just needs to get over the hump and then might be Super Bowl bound.   A team without a major receiving threat.  Well, he found his team:  The Tennessee Titans.

With the addition of Randy Moss, the Titans become a whole new team.  Unfortunately, their starting quarterback, Vince Young, is out indefinitely with an injury, but having Moss changes their game — even with Kerry Collins playing QB (remember, Collins was running the show during their remarkable season in 2008).  Titans receiver Kenny Britt has come on as a serious threat, and with Moss, teams can’t double cover him anymore.  Now, the Titans will have two down-field threats to target.  And, if defenses decide to cover the pass, that opens up the Titans running-game.  Fortunately, the Titans are home to one of the best running-backs in the NFL:  Chris Johnson.  If he has room to run, he WILL run, and with Moss on the field, we could see Johnson’s number skyrocket(Johnson is on my fantasy team to I really NEED his numbers to skyrocket at this point in our season).  Plus, the Titans defense is a force of nature.  This is going to be a very fun team to watch — they’re immediate Super Bowl contenders.

BASKETBALL

In the NBA, there is a feud brewing between the Celtics Kevin Garnett and Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva. Apparently, Garnett called Villanueva a ‘cancer patient’.   Villanueva has a form of alopecia that doesn’t allow him to grow hair.  So, in a dirty on court move, most likely trying to get under his skin, Kevin called Charlie a ‘cancer patient’.  Villanueva has publicly complained about this, but Garnett has publicly retaliated saying he never said that.  Garnett said it was a major miscommunication.  Garnett stated, “my comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact ‘You are cancerous to your team and our league”.  Cancerous in the sense that Villanueva is an avid fan of Twitter, and all his tweets aren’t good for his team and the league.  Well, that may have been Garnett’s intention, but that seems a little too articulate for on the court trash talk.

BASEBALL

It looks like Derek Jeter might be testing the market this off-season.  The long-time Yankee hopes to be back with New York, but it looks like New York might not want to pay him the big dollars.  Jeter is in the decline phase of his career, and the Yankees know that winning is what puts fans in the seats.  Plus Yankees general manager, Brian Cashman, said that he doesn’t believe in paying players for milestones — meaning that re-signing someone just because they WERE good or WERE popular isn’t a good business decision.  It’s hard to imagine Jeter in another uniform, but it definitely could happen.

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: GIANTS WIN WORLD SERIES, COLTS TAKE BACK MOJO, MOSS NUISANCE

BASEBALL

It was Game 5 of the World Series.  The Giants led 3 games to 1 and hoped to close the thing out.  They put their best pitcher, Tim Lincecum, on the mound, but the Rangers countered with their best pitcher, Cliff Lee.  It would be a battle of the aces to either stay alive or win it all.  Both pitchers were having phenomenal nights, but, in the 7th inning, Edgar Renteria, one of the most clutch hitters of the past few years, stepped to the plate for the Giants and blasted a 3-run homer to give the Giants a comfortable 3-0 lead.  The Rangers got a homer from Nelson Cruz to bring it to 3-1, but, in the end, Brian Wilson took the mound for the Giants and finally struck out the last batter to WIN the World Series.  This is HUGE for the city of San Francisco who hasn’t won a series since the Giants moved there many moons ago.  From the start of the playoffs, this Giants team believed they could win, and  just proved it.  San Francisco 3, Texas 1.

FOOTBALL

And in the NFL, it was Monday Night Football between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts.  These teams met to open the season, and Texans running backs ran all over the Colts, and established the Texans as a team to be taken seriously.  This time around, the Colts were looking to get even, and even they did.  Peyton Manning had yet another terrific night, throwing for 268 yards and 2 touchdowns, and even fill-in Colts running-back Mike Hart had a nice night moving the ball.  He finished with 84 yards.  With the win, the Colts take back their mojo from the Texans, although this NFC South division should be competitive until the very last week.  Indianapolis 30, Houston 17.

Finally, in some very bizarre news out of the NFL, after the Minnesota Vikings acquired Randy Moss just two weeks ago, they, um, let him go yesterday.  That is a huge shocker, but sources are speculating that it’s because Moss was simply becoming too much of a nuisance in the locker room.  Reportedly, he was up to his prima donna ways, and the Vikings just didn’t think he was worth putting up with any more.  Vikings head coach Brad Childress was pretty mum on the matter, but said that they would be moving on this season without him.  You can bet that Moss will find another team very soon.  Likely candidates are Redskins, Chargers, maybe even the Seahawks.

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: GIANTS ONE WIN AWAY, DALLAS EMBARRASSED, BORING JETS/PACKERS MATCHUP

BASEBALL

The Rangers headed home in the World Series, hoping to even up with the San Francisco Giants.  They took Game 3 with ease, narrowing the gap to 2 games to 1.  They expected to nab Game 4 against Giants rookie Madison Bumgarner.  After all he’s just a rookie without World Series experience.  Sure, they might struggle with Giants ace Tim Lincecum, but Bumgarner?  Well, Bumgarner was absolutely dominate.  He pitched 8 innings, struck out 6 batters, and only gave up 3 hits.  Truly remarkable, especially for a rookie in the World Series.  The Giants got some clutch home-runs from Aubrey Huff and Buster Posey to give them ample run support and hold on for the win.  Now, the Giants are just one win away from finally grabbing that World Series trophy they’ve coveted for half-a-century.  San Francisco 4, Texas 0.

FOOTBALL

Speaking of Texas, the Dallas Cowboys were hoping that their 1-5 record didn’t absolutely doom them.  Remember, the Cowboys lost star quarterback Tony Romo to a broken clavicle for 8 weeks.  Jon Kitna would need to run the ship.  Dallas expected to grab a win at home against a rather weak Jacksonville Jaguars team, but couldn’t have been more shocked.  The Jags came to play, and their quarterback, David Gerrard, had a marvelous day throwing for 260 yards, 4 TOUCHDOWNS, and NO Interceptions.  Kitna… threw 3 interceptions (albeit none were truly his fault, bad receiving), and Dallas was embarrassed in front of a crowded Cowboy stadium.  In fact, the crowd starting booing them, and cheering for the Rangers baseball team.  After the game, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had to issue an official apology for Dallas’ putrid season.  That’s never happened before.  An unfortunate season considering the Super Bowl is IN Dallas this year.  Jacksonville 35, Dallas 17.

In New York, it was a much anticipated match-up between the two teams most experts expected to reach the Super Bowl this season:  The New York Jets and Green Bay Packers.  Green Bay is pretty banged up though, and despite a winning record, the Jets look like anything but a Super Bowl team.  Well, this game couldn’t have been more boring. Neither team could get their offense going, and we saw the game at 3-0 going into the half.  It didn’t change much in the second half, and the Jets got shut-out on their home field.  Nasty loss for a team expecting to do serious damage this post-season.  What would it matter if they got home-field advantage going into the playoffs if they can’t even score on their turf.  Green Bay 9, NY Jets 0.

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