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WATERCOOLER CHAT: NCAA PAYS FOR FOOD, JETS COURTING CHRIS JOHNSON, DONALD TRUMP MAY BUY BILLS

COLLEGE SPORTS

A major ruling was passed Tuesday which could provide an interesting precedent.  The NCAA ruled that colleges can and should provide unlimited meals and snacks to all of their athletes.  Prior to this, there were limits on spending.  However, recently, UCONN star guard Shabazz Napier complained that during the Final Four he went to bed starving sometimes because he couldn’t afford food.  The feeling is that these athletes have no time to hold jobs, so their food should at least be supplemented.

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, the hottest free agent right now is former Tennessee Titans star running-back Chris Johnson.  Sure, Johnson’s performance has been lackluster over the past 2 seasons, and the Titans were fed up with his attitude and work ethic.  He is still an amazing athlete, however, and other teams could definitely use his services.  The first team to come running was the New York Jets.  They have a big hole at running back, and having a great athlete like Johnson in the backfield could open up their passing game.  Plus, they brought in Michael Vick to serve as a safety blanket for second-year quarterback Geno Smith.  Johnson will likely visit a few teams, but the Jets are the front-runner right now.

And finally in the NFL, the once-storied franchise Buffalo Bills have been subpar the past 15 years.  So much so that they are in jeopardy of losing their team to Canada.  They have even been testing this out the past few seasons playing games in Toronto.  But now, one man is stepping to the plate to save the day.  It appears that Donald Trump is seriously considering buying the Bills and keeping them in Buffalo.  The franchise could use a makeover, and perhaps he is the guy who can do it.  Similar to how Mark Cuban reinvigorated the Dallas Mavericks.

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LOOK OUT FOR OUR NEW MULTIMEDIA WEB SITE! IN THE MEANTIME, ENJOY OUR WATERCOOLER CHATS:BASEBALL PLAYOFF UPDATES

Baseball

Well, the first day of the MLB playoffs kicked off yesterday, and were nothing short of disappointing.

First things first — looks like Philly fans have a little luck on their side, as the Phillies held off the Brewers 3-1.  They did this behind a dominating performance from their starting pitcher, Cole Hamels.  He went 8 strong innings, and an amazing 9 strikeouts.  Hamels was so good, that the Brewers were relieved when the Phillies star closer, Brad Lidge came in.  ‘Phew — a break’, the Brewers thought, but the Brewers didn’t have enough, giving the Phillies (and the Philadelphia sports fans) a much needed win.

Up next, it was the Cubs v. the Dodgers.  Is this the year for the Cubs?  Is it finally time for Cubs fans to forgive Steve Bartman (the guy who interfered with their ’03 World Series run).  Well, the game got off to a good start for the Cubbies, as Mark DeRosa smashed a home-run to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead.  And yeah, the fans went crazy.  But the new-look Dodgers are incredible this year, especially with the addition of former Yankees coach, Joe Torre, and former Red Sox slugger, Manny Ramirez.  Ramirez even had a home-run in the game, and Dodgers overpowered the Cubs 7-2.  So, basically, if the Cubs want this to be ‘their year’, they better try harder, because the Dodgers aren’t playing dead for them.

The Chicago White Sox, who won a one game playoff with the Minnesota Twins to advance to the ‘real’ playoffs, will take on the underdog story of the season:  The Tampa Bay Devil Rays.  The Rays have their eye on the prize, but don’t think Chicago fans wouldn’t love a White Sox/Cubs world series showdown — with White Sox fans thinking ‘Hey Cubs fans, you want a World Series… well you’re gonna have to go through the better Chicago team to get it.  Ha ha ha!!’.

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LOOK OUT FOR OUR NEW MULTIMEDIA WEB SITE! IN THE MEANTIME, ENJOY OUR WATERCOOLER CHATS:Kiffin fired, Williams Tough Week, Baseball Playoffs

Football

Well, it’s final, the Raiders have officially fired their coach, Lane Kiffin.  Lane was on the hot seat since Game 1, and there was a delay in his termination.  Many thought it all came down to the Raiders/Chargers game on Sunday.  Oakland got out to a 15-0 lead before blowing the game in the 2nd half, and falling 28-18.  And that pretty much did it for Kiffin, who was sent sailing by Raiders owner Al Davis.   Davis, notorious for being harsh, said, “I picked the wrong guy”.

And there’s more news about Dolphins Running Back, Ricky Williams. A few years ago, Ricky Williams literally ‘took the season off’ to relax, tour the country with Lenny Kravitz, and yep, smoke pot.  Hey, he said this.  Obviously strange behavior for the once Heisman Trophy Winner and premiere RB in the NFL, but… he did what he did, and supposedly he’s addicted to the drug.  Now, Ricky is back in the NFL, and is actively splitting carries with Ronnie Brown.  But the Dolphins had their bye week last weekend, and Ricky said it was “tough” for him to resist smoking pot.  It’s simply amusing that a statement like this can birth headlines across every major newspaper.

Baseball

And finally, baseball playoffs start today.  In the National League, it’s the rejuvenated Milwaukee Brewers taking on the Philadelphia Phillies, and then the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the ‘can-they-do-it’ Cubs.  But, the day kicks off with the defending World Champion, Boston Red Sox, taking on the Los Angeles Angels.  That’s a lot of baseball action for ya, and it’s gonna be absolutely terrific!

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LOOK OUT FOR OUR NEW MULTIMEDIA WEB SITE! IN THE MEANTIME, ENJOY OUR WATERCOOLER CHATS:WHITE SOX STILL ALIVE, FOOTBALL ROUNDUP

Baseball

Thanks to Alexei Ramirez’s grand slam, Chicago White Sox beat Detroit Tigers and now force a one-game playoff with Minnesota Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field for the AL Central title. Due to a coin flip, the White Sox will host the Twins.

The Winner will face the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series.

Football

The St. Louis Rams fired Scott Linehan after the fourth loss of the season. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett was named the new head coach. Trying to revive this franchise will not be easy. They have lost 17 of their last 20 games. Is it just me, or does Haslett look like Ian Ziering (the guy who played Steve Sanders from 90210)?

Carson Palmer (QB, Cincinnati Bengals) says he is ok to will play in Dallas next week…but NOT on my fantasy team! We played him last week (and he was injured so we didn’t get any points). We’re not taking any more chances…we’re over him!

Jeff Reed kicked a 46-yard field goal in overtime to help his injured Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens 23-20 on Monday night.

Watercooler Discussion: Does anyone else think the Old Spice commercial with the half man/half donkey is kind of creepy?

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LOOK OUT FOR OUR NEW MULTIMEDIA WEB SITE! IN THE MEANTIME, ENJOY OUR WATERCOOLER CHATS:SUNDAY’S NFL ROUNDUP

This NFL season has been nothing short of exciting.  Since the loss of Tom Brady in Week 1, it seems to be anybody’s game.  Would you bet your savings on any of these teams?  Yeah, exactly.  Here are Week 4 highlights:

1) Two words:  Brett Favre.  Last week, Favre looked shaky and fragile against the Charagers, but this week… oh man.  He threw, count ’em, 6 TOUCHDOWN PASSES!  That’s a record high for him, and the Jets offense looked unstoppable.   And it appears Favre has found a favorite target in Laverneus Coles, as he hauled in 3 Touchdown passes and accumulated a total of 105 receiving yards.  Favre said after the game that he knows this won’t happen every weekend, but it sure gives NY Jets fans a reason to get REALLY EXCITED!  NY Jets 56, Arizona 35.

2) The explosive Denver offense was shockingly stifled by the abysmal Kansas City Chiefs.  Experts expected the Broncos to roll all over the Chiefs, but that didn’t happen whatsoever.  Broncos QB, Jay Cutler, still passed for 361 yards, but still threw 2 picks and connected for only one touchdown.  Kansas City was led by their all-star RB, Larry Johnson.  Johnson had been stagnant the first two games of the season.  He turned it on last week, but this week he exploded for 198 yards and 2 TDs.  Maybe the Chiefs aren’t dead after all.  Kansas City 33, Denver 19.

3) Yes, it’s true, the Buffalo Bills are a perfect 4-0, as they trounced the befuddled St. Louis Rams.   The Bills have an incredibly stingy defense, and a very well controlled offense.  It’s even possible that the Bills, a team that has been pretty putrid for the past decade, might actually win the AFC East.  The Dolphins don’t pose much of a threat, the Patriots look confused, and the Jets… well, the Jets could be a problem.  We’ll have to see how this plays out, but for now, the Bills look serious.  Buffalo 31, St. Louis 14.

4) Packers QB Aaron Rodgers got off to an impeccable start, but his last two games have been relatively subpar.  He got a little banged up this week against the Buccaneers, and now it’s hard to really tell how good the Packers actually are.  Can Rodgers even stay healthy?  In other news, this game was a special one for Buccaneers kicker, Matt Bryant.  He lost his 3-month son this week, and still played in the game — even booting 3 crucial field goals.  It must have been incredibly tough for him to even grace the field, but his teammates and the Tampa Bay fans were behind him.  Tampa Bay 30, Green Bay 21.

5) And finally, ladies and gentleman, the Washington Redskins.  They started off the season losing the opening game, and were pretty much of an afterthought in the brutally competitive NFC East.  Now, they look like they could beat anybody — even win the division.  They were able to march into Cowboy stadium, and beat their long-time rival Dallas Cowboys.  No Redskin coach has done that in their first year since the 1980s.  Just an incredible coaching job by 1st year coach, Jim Zorn.  And in another interesting Redskin development… their quarterback, Jason Campbell, looks GOOD.  He threw for 231 yards and 2 TDs, and still has yet to throw an interception this season.  Can you believe it… the Washington Redskins have a passing game again.  The NFC East right now is on fire; it’s completely unpredictable.  (And, in one of the most bone-headed moves of the season, our fantasy football team played injured Bengals’ Carson Palmer this week instead of Jason Campbell.) Washington 26, Dallas 24.

The Super Bowl now… anybody’s guess.

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LOOK OUT FOR OUR NEW MULTIMEDIA WEB SITE! IN THE MEANTIME, ENJOY OUR WATERCOOLER CHATS:COLLEGE ROUNDUP, PHILLIES NL EAST CHAMPS

College Football

It seems like Oregon State’s wild upset of USC on Thursday night set off a SERIES of upsets this weekend.

First off, the #3 Georgia Bulldogs came into Saturday’s game against Alabama, hoping to win and be in line for the #1 seed.  But that’s not at all what happened.  The Crimson Tide rolled all over the Bulldogs, even jumping out to a 31-0 lead.  The Bulldogs were absolutely shocked, and even though they rallied, they just couldn’t catch up.  Alabama 41, Georgia 30.

The #4 seed,Florida, with last year’s Heisman Trophy Winner, QB Tim Tebow, also jumped on the choke train.  They lost a nail biter to Ole Miss, 31-30.

So, it seemed the only team that REALLY wanted it was #2 Oklahoma, and they absolutely destroyed TCU, 35-20.  They will most likely grab the #1 spot in the next pole, but LSU and Texas will certainly loom close.  This is good news for the Sooners, as their program really hasn’t been as dominant in the past couple years.  And everyone in Oklahoma expects Sooner football to be on top.  They won’t settle for anything less.

But, in some comeback news, the Penn State Nittany Lions are 5-0.  Penn State was a juggernaut in the 90s, but have been only so-so in the last 8 years.  Are the Nittany Lions finally back on track?  Can they run the table?  Either way, they are back in contention, even with the over-80 Joe Paterno at the helm.  Very impressive considering coaching football is practically a 20-hour-a-day job.

Baseball

And good news for Philly fans, as the Philadelphia Phillies nabbed the NL East crown.  It hasn’t been a good decade for the Philadelphia area, with the 76ers playing sub-par basketball, the Eagles losing multiple times in the NFC Championship, and the Phillies practically being non-existant.  But now, the Phillies look great, and are certainly a contender to win the World Series.  Philly fans are definitely crossing their fingers, but… excited nonetheless.  Good luck to the Phillies, even though they may not need it.

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LOOK OUT FOR OUR NEW MULTIMEDIA WEB SITE! IN THE MEANTIME, ENJOY OUR WATERCOOLER CHATS:COLLEGE ROUNDUP, RAMS NEED WIN, JOHN ELWAY SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

With the USC loss on Thursday night, the heated rivalry game on Saturday between Georgia and Alabama has larger implications than just bragging rights.  Georgia will be fighting for the #1 spot if they win.

However, there’s another team with their eye on the empty top spot:  Oklahoma.  The Sooners take on the always frisky TCU horned frogs.  TCU might not be a dangerous college football program, but they were the last team to beat the Sooners at home.  Since the loss against TCU, Oklahoma has won 20 straight home games.  This time, however, they really need to keep the streak alive.

NFL

In the pros, Rams star Running Back, Stephen Jackson has criticized the Rams organization for benching their starter, Marc Bulger.  Jackson called the move, “the wrong decision”.  Jackson said, “you just rewarded this man with a new contract last year, millions of dollars, and you bench him. Then if things do not work out with Trent, you go back. I don’t like it at all,”.  He then went onto say, “I think there’s a lot more people that could take the blame for this. I don’t think it’s fair that one person takes the blame.”  Whatever the Rams decide to, they really need to win a game to get back on track.

And, for some gossip, former Broncos star QB and Hall-of-Famer, John Elway, has made an interesting marital decision.  He will be marrying Paige Green, a former Oakland Raiders cheerleader.  Hey, it’s great that John’s in love and proposed to her in Italy, but… any true Broncos fan knows that all other teams in the AFC West (Chiefs, Chargers, and especially the RAIDERS) are bitter enemies.  Somewhere in Denver, there’s some fan who idolized Elway, and can’t bear the thought of him having anything to do with the Oakland Raiders.  It’s sleeping with the enemy.

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LOOK OUT FOR OUR NEW MULTIMEDIA WEB SITE! IN THE MEANTIME, ENJOY OUR WATERCOOLER CHATS:OREGON STATE STUNS USC, RAYS STILL NEED WIN, HOUSTON IS BACK

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Thursday night is kind of like what Monday Night Football is to the NFL.  A featured game that the whole country can enjoy.  Last night, the spectacle was USC v. Oregon State.  Now, the reason why this game was televised was because Oregon State beat the dominant USC two out of their last three meetings.  And since USC is the clear No. 1 team right now, the game bore relevance.  Un-be-lieve-a-ble!!!  That’s the only way to say it, as Oregon State pulled ANOTHER shocker and stunned top ranked USC.  Before this game, many college football experts said that the Pac 10 was becoming a much tougher conference.  But, if unranked Oregon State can build up a 21 point first half lead, then stave off the #1 seed in the nation, then maybe USC wasn’t so tough after all.  Sure, they beat Ohio State, but many think the Big 10 (Ohio State’s division) is weak as well.  Plus, Ohio State was without it’s star RB, Beanie Wells.  Either way, now USC is simply hoping other teams lose, so come the end of the year, they will still be in contention for a national championship.

BASEBALL

Nope, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays couldn’t finalize the underdog story just yet.  They only needed to beat the Detroit Tigers to clinch the AL East, but they lost.  All they need is one win, but they simply can’t grab it.  Saturday, they will get another chance against this pesky Detroit team.

BASKETBALL

Golden State Warriors shooting guard, Monta Ellis, made the typical, num-nut young player mistake.  These guys get paid millions just to play basketball.  This means they have to do their best to keep their bodies in perfect physical condition, and… not get hurt.  That’s why pick-up basketball games on the street are absolutely forbidden.  Yet, some NBA pros still insist on doing dangerous stuff for fun. Monta Ellis drove a mo-ped, got into an accident, and now has a sprained ankle.  He will be ready for the season, but the Warriors organization is still going to charge him a hefty penalty.  Pro athletes seem to love fast, dangerous vehicles.  This led to extremely young careers ending too quickly.  Former Duke all-pro PG and #2 draft pick, Jason Williams for example.  He liked motorcycles, and got into an accident that ended a promising pro career.  The Warriors are simply trying to keep their huge investment in Monta Ellis safe and secure.  So for any kids out there looking for promising athletic careers, it’s probably best to stay away from the skateboard (unless, of course, that’s your sport).

On Thursday, Allan Houston signed with his former team, the New York Knicks. 37 year old Houston retired in October of 2005 due to knee pain. Houston still ranks fourth on the Knicks’ all time career scoring list. This is the best news for the team. I’m excited to watch them now!

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LOOK OUT FOR OUR NEW MULTIMEDIA WEB SITE! IN THE MEANTIME, ENJOY OUR WATERCOOLER CHATS: Millen Fired, Plaxico Out a Game, Anderson in and Rays Close

Whoa, big news in the NFL.  The Detroit Lions have been one of the worst franchises in professional sports over the last decade.  And many Detroit fans blame this on their leadership.  Specifically — Matt Millen.  This is the guy who essentially decides whom they draft, trade, and sign.  He has made some atrocious decisions over the years (especially with draft picks — Joey Harrington, anyone?), and it was his decision to stick with Harrington for 3 consecutive years even though he was playing horribly.  They even had 6 straight 10 loss seasons under his tenure.  When you see a Lions game on TV, you will often see fans holding up “FIRE MATT MILLEN” signs.  Well, now, with the Lions at 0-3, they finally fired Matt Millen.  This won’t turn them around over night, but it will put their fan base at ease.

Plaxico Burress (Giants WR) was suspended one game by the Giants. Apparently, the organization was not too pleased when Burress failed to show up for practice (and didn’t call). EVERYONE has a cell phone, blackberry or some multi-media device these days (unless of course you’re a Kid and mean ol Mom and Dad won’t buy you one), so there really is no excuse for not alerting the team about his absence. Plaxico is on my fantasy football team, so shame on you Plaxico.


Over in Cleveland, the big news is that QB Derek Anderson, the surprise success story of the 2007 season, will remain at quarterback for now — regardless of their 0-3 start.  This may seem like bland news, but it’s not.  Keep in mind that the Browns drafted Notre Dame phenom quarterback, Brady Quinn, in the first round last year.  He was brought in to be their marquee player, and face of the franchise.  Then, all of the sudden, their OTHER quarterback, Derek Anderson played tremendously.  This put the Browns organization in a pickle this off-season.  Do they keep Anderson, just in case he’s the next Tom Brady, or do they deal him and go with their original plan:  Brady Quinn.  They opted to stick with Anderson, and he looks like garbage this season.  They were going to go with Quinn in Week 4, but they will opt for Anderson… for now.  We’ll keep an eye on this developing drama.

And finally in baseball, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (the feel good story of the year) only needs one more win to clinch the extremely competitive AL East division.  This decision also boasts the Yankees, Red Sox, and occasionally good Blue Jays, so it’s quite an impressive feet that the Devil Rays need just one more win to declare official dominance over those high-powered (and deep wallet-ed) juggernauts.  This is a team that has been dead last for almost every other season they’ve been in the league.  It’s a pretty good underdog story.  They’ll look to seal the deal tomorrow at Detroit.

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LOOK OUT FOR OUR NEW MULTIMEDIA WEB SITE! IN THE MEANTIME, ENJOY OUR WATERCOOLER CHATS: Steelers, Rams in trouble; Brewers Push to Playoffs

NFL

The Pittsburgh Steelers started off the season red hot — firing on all cylinders.  But, after a crushing loss to the Eagles, they appear to have some serious injury problems.  Their star Running Back, Willie Parker, is definitely out for their next game, and they also lost a key defensive lineman:  Casey Hampton.  Last season, the Steelers struggled when Willie Parker was out of the line-up, but they hoped to fill that hole this year by drafting star Illinois Running Back, Rashard Mendenhall.  Mendenhall has been waiting to nab a chance to take all the carries, and on Monday night against Baltimore… he’s gonna get it.

In more football news, the St. Louis Rams have gotten off to a terrible start.  They look absolutely dreadful.  What used to be an explosive, high-powered offense, can now barely move the ball.  The first attempt at solving this problem:  bench their QB, Marc Bulger.  Bulger used to be Mr. Stats, but his numbers have been horrible this season.   They’re benching him in favor of long, long, LONG time veteran Trent Green.  The irony is that about 6 years ago, they benched Trent Green in favor of the new guy… Bulger.  And Bulger went on to be a hero in St. Louis, and seemed to take over where Kurt Warner left ‘The Greatest Show On Turf’.  We’ll see if Trent Green gets some of that old magic, and turns his career around in St. Louis.

NBA

And in some NBA news, the New York Knicks made a public statement that they would waive their troubled point-guard, Stephon Marbury, on Friday.  However, now they have changed their mind, and said that Marbury would report to their first workouts.  Knicks fans sure wouldn’t mind if Marbury was let go, but now it looks like they might (potentially) be stuck with him for yet another season.

MLB

Finally, over in baseball, the Milwaukee Brewers are making a heavy playoff push, and the Brewers haven’t been in the playoffs in a loooonnnnng time.  This would be great for the city of Milwaukee, a loyal sports town, to get behind their rejuvenated baseball team.  Plus, in a fickle game like baseball, just making the playoffs with momentum can be all you need to earn a trip to the World Series.  Good luck, Milwaukee.

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