Saturday, September 29, 2007
First of all, I like Gilbert Arenas. Great player, good guy, entertaining personality and a blogger to boot. We need more Gilbert Arenas's. Hope he rehabbed well.
You know what else I hope? That Marc Ecko ignores Agent Zero (and you, Kane) and does whatever he wants with the ball. It's his. He paid $752,467 for it. I doubt he's gonna turn around and sell it back to you, Gilbert, or else he wouldn't have bought it in the first place. Do I think that Barry Bonds cheated? I strongly assume that he did. Do I think homerun ball 756 should be branded with an asterisk and sent to the Hall, to be displayed for generations of young baseball fans to see for the rest of time? No, I don't. I think that's ridiculous. He hasn't been proven guilty.
But I also didn't spend three-quarters of a million dollars on a baseball, so it's not really my choice. Marc Ecko bought the baseball. He paid much money for it. He decided that he didn't want to keep it, only to have the fans decide it's fate. The fans voted to send it to the Hall of Fame with an asterisk on it. Cooperstown will accept.
Kane, do I tell you what to do with your property? No. You have the very first Sports Illustrated issue. A very important piece of sports memorabilia. I've never told you to give it to me, have I? Aight den. So you can't tell Marc Ecko what to do with his baseball. And Gilbert, you can't have it.
Oh, and one more thing: Kane, how do you know that Ecko couldn't launch the ball into space? Do you have proof of that? You don't know what Marc Ecko is capable of! He's Marc Ecko! Also, he's associated with Fiddy Cent. You better stop talking bad about Marc Ecko, for the benefit of your own health.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Mark Ecko, I Have an Offer for You
I normally don’t get into conversations like this, but this kind of hit a nerve in my body as an athlete. This whole Mark Ecko buying the Barry Bonds ball to put an asterisk over it:
I just think it’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of.
Who are you as a person to take away somebody’s legacy because you don’t like him as a person? Forget that he is Barry Bonds and forget his records. He was “alleged” of doing steroids. This is America, just because you’re “alleged” of doing something doesn’t mean he actually did it and until he is proven guilty, you shouldn’t have the right to be the judge and jury.
Just because you have the money don’t go buying up people’s history to destroy it. If you’re going to get Barry Bonds’ ball, why don’t you go get Mark McGwire’s homerun balls that got put into the Hall of Fame and Sammy Sosa’s corked bat too?
He was “alleged” of doing steroids. I don’t think as a fan of sports that you have the right to taint this man’s legacy.
This man has a kid. When his kid grows up he’s going to hate you as a person because you decided to be this super, superhero to go put an asterisk sign over his dad’s legacy.
I just felt appalled by it because, what if somebody decides to ban the hyperbaric chambers tomorrow? Everybody knows that I used the hyperbaric tent last year and I scored 60 points against the Lakers during the season I was using the tent. Now, the Hall of Fame has my shoes from that game. What if somebody decides to take my shoes and put an asterisk sign on them now?
I think it’s just drawing graffiti on somebody else’s legacy. Before you go and destroy another man’s career, I’d rather buy the ball back from you and give it to somebody who really, truly wants the ball for what it is.
So, Mark Ecko, I want the ball to give it to a real fan. As a human, you should be ashamed of yourself for outbidding somebody just to do wrong to somebody’s property.
If people don’t understand what I’m talking about, this is the easiest way I can explain it. Anybody out there that has ever taken Creatine, that’s a popular substance, if they all of the sudden consider Creatine to be a steroid that means all you guys that took it are dirty so if you ever do anything in life, you’re tainted. Anything you do in life you’re going to have somebody like Mark Ecko wanting to buy whatever you do in life to put an asterisk sign by it. So if you get a promotion and he decides he wants this guy fired because he did Creatine back in 2001, that’s how you should feel.
Just because he is one of the most hated guys in the world because of “allegedly” doing steroids, I don’t think you should take away his legacy.
The day he broke the record, he wasn’t on steroids. That’s how I look at it. People say that he’s dirty, but the last time I checked anything out I saw that corked bats, spitting on balls, Vaseline on balls and stealing signals, that’s all cheating too.
If they’re doing steroids, I mean there have been plenty of players who I thought have done steroids, but I’m not going to buy their stuff up just to put an asterisk on it. I think it’s giving the wrong idea to people. The fans that voted for the asterisk, I think they’re representing sports wrong because at the time that he broke these records, he wasn’t on steroids.
If you want to buy some records that were broken by somebody who was accused of steroids and admitted to using steroids, go buy Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. Go buy back his trophies and medals and put asterisks on them. That’s a man who actually admitted to using steroids.
I just think it’s wrong. In sports, what people don’t realize is, you’re trying to do everything you can to get that extra advantage. By me using the hyperbaric chamber, I’m using it as an advantage. If they ban it tomorrow, will people be looking at me as a dirty player?
I’m not saying steroids are good or bad here. I mean, I think it’s a cowardly way to enhance your performance don’t get me wrong, but my issue is that if the guy hasn’t been proven guilty, you shouldn’t taint him.
You’re not Superman. You can’t go around trying to save the world from this ball. Give me a break. What if I buy your company and throw it in the trash because I say it's tainted? How stupid would you feel?
And for people who still aren’t feeling me; What if a kid comes and graffiti’s your house. How would you feel?
You worked your butt off to live in the place you live in and some not-so-smart people come and graffiti your house. How would you feel? That’s what I feel about that ball. You’re just tagging it up.
Let a fan, somebody who appreciates the game still, no matter what, accept that ball.
I’ll buy the ball from you Ecko for $800,000. If Barry Bonds is found guilty, I’ll give it back to you. I’m not going to let you go around like some little superhero.
I’ll put it in my hall of fame. The Gilbert Hall of Fame for Athletes no matter what you did.
I know I got off on a little tangent, but Mark, who are you to discredit Barry Bonds' legacy? He is a man first before being a seven-time MVP. Mark, what if someone tried to take away what you did in this world as a fashion pioneer? How would that make you feel as a man?
I would love to buy the ball away from you before you destroy history. I'm a collector of basketball jerseys and I would be honored to have the 756 ball in my personal hall of fame and I know there are real fans out there who both are and aren't Barry Bonds supporters who don't want to see history getting marked up.
I'm not defending steroids users by any means. I defending sports in history.
(From Gilbert Arenas' blog)
After reading that, I have to agree with Gilbert Arenas. The guy is right, the whole voting for Marc Ecko and the fate of Barry Bonds' 756 baseball was dumb. If they voted to send it to space, Ecko would not have shot it up to the moon, 'cause he can't. First dumb reason. Second off, why would you brand the ball with an asterisk? (The results determined Marc Ecko should brand the ball with an asterisk) I just do not agree with sending some manipulated artifact of history to be displayed in front of generations to see.
The reason why it took Arenas to speak before I did, was because and athlete is pointing out the obvious, no matter what, it is history. Bonds' has not be tested for steroids, so the is no reason for the branding. Arenas even stated that if Bonds is ever proved to have taken steroids, he would gladly give it back to Ecko. But he still states that Bonds did nothing wrong, and I agree. Do not do anything dumb like branding to a piece of history based on allegations, rumors, and scandal.
So here is what you do Marc:
1. Give it to Gilbert Arenas.
2. Do not brand it.
Don't mess with history, even though you think you should.
(To see that voting thing, go to vote 756.com)
To be continued...
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Whoa, Big Daddy Kane, busting out the big guns for our initial debate, huh? Kicking things off with an argument I can't win? With an argument that can't be won. I see how it is, and I will return the favor. As for now? Here goes nothing...
You think those rings are tainted? Don't respect the Pats anymore? Why not? Doesn't "Cameragate" go in line with everything else we've seen from Belichick's 21st century dynasty? I mean, they do everything better than everyone else. Just look at the way he manages money, players, and team morale. Notice how the Patriots, after narrowly losing to Indy in the AFC title game last year, were still far enough under the cap that they were able to add Donte' Stallworth, Wes Welker, and Adalius Thomas this past offseason. The way he's been able to eschew great players who were key to the reign like Vinatieri, McGinest, Milloy, and Law and still remain in the mix. Look at the way he's built an environment of selflessness and dedication to the team goal, convincing his players to forget individual incentives and instead focus, entirely and wholeheartedly, on hoisting the Lombardi each February. In New England, that is the ultimate reward; not money, not commercials, not Pro Bowl spots. Those who won't stay with the program, like former Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch, get shipped out. They still go 12-4. Other than You-Know-Who, no one is indispensible in Boston, only interchangable. When you have a 53-man roster in which there are no below-average players, it's like that.
And the prospect of winning is what drove a career loser like Corey Dillon to New England and. It's what got Randy Moss to agree to a $6 million paycut. He wanted to catch passes from Tom Brady, an extension of Belichick who agreed to take less money than he was worth so that more could be used on the team. At the time he signed his last contract, he had three more Super Bowl rings than Peyton Manning and two more Big Game MVP's; he still took $4 million less per year. To hell with the check; he wants the jewelry. When your leader on the field takes on that attitude, it spreads to the rest of the club.
As far as coaching goes, just know that Belicheck won two Super Bowls as Tuna defensive coordinator in New York, and that they finished 6th in points allowed in 2001, 1st in 2003, and 2nd in 2004. And that as far as we know, they don't steal offensive signs. This is and has been a great defensive football team. Also, they beat Carolina in Super Bowl XXXVIII, but didn't play them during the regular season that year; ditto for Philly in XXXIX. So we can't say they knew they're signals coming in. They simply were better than their opponents in performing in intense, high-pressure situation.
And that last fact, not the one that they used video technology to steal offensive signals, is what we should remember thirty years from now when we think of the greatest dynasty in pro football history.
*Takes huge sigh of relief* I'm glad that's over with. That was even harder than I thought it would be. I wonder if anybody's actually gonna buy this nonsense?
(Post-post correction: I sincerely apologize for spelling Belichick "Belicheck" and leaving it like that for eight hours. I have righted this wrong.)
(Post-post clarification: I didn't make this clear: The point I was trying to make is that we shouldn't be surprised that the Patriots were able to get away with the spying for so long. They're more efficient than the other 31 teams at every other aspect of the business; cheating is just one more area. Of course, that's a B.S. argument, but we've already established that there's no defending the Pats on this issue. Oh, well, vote for me anyway!)
After the recent cheating scandal, I have come to a conclusion...
The Patriots are not a good team. They do not deserve those victories.
How do we know they were not cheating during their "dynasty years"? I never liked them from the start, and now I know why. So Anthony, I just can never pick them to win it all, ever. There is just something about them that makes me think that they are all that. Well their not.
Their genius coach is arrogant and apparently a cheater. The Patriots should lose more than draft picks. they should lose wins as well. Now many have said that this isn't a big dead. So I assume cheating is not a big deal anymore.
Do not get me wrong, the Patriots have tremendous talent, but now their true talent is now in question. The NFL should request for a league official to follow the Patriots staff every move. This is a big deal because of their three rings. If they did not have those rings, no one would care, but they are a championship team... that cheats.
No amount of stats can change my mind that the Patriots are cheaters and deserve no credit for what they are doing. I can't wait to hear about their new method today versus the Chargers after the game.
To be continued...
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Don't hurt yourself, Greg.
Greg Oden out for the season.
I had just been on the internet at school, AOL Fanhouse, arguing the merits of Greg Oden on one of their "Biggest Cornerstones" message boards. My comment didn't post, for some reason. Basically, I stated my opinion that other than LeBron, Oden is the one guy in the league right now that I'd pick to build a franchise around. I had already heard yesterday that they were going to be conducting an exploratory knee surgery on him, and I watched the ATH and PTI guys talk about it on ESPN. Tony and Mike drew the obvious comparisons to Bill Walton and Sam Bowie, Portland's two other injury-prone big men, but I felt that they were jumping the gun a little. Honestly, I didn't expect anything to come of it. Stories in the sports world get blown up all of the time only for nothing to come of it. For whatever reason, I thought this was gonna end up being one of those stories. And with that in mind, I made my case for Oden. Franchise big man. The next Duncan. The Can't-Miss Kid.
So I get home, click on the tube, and ESPN is already on. It's Romey and the boys, chatting it up in The Forum. The TV was muted, but the headline for the current topic read something like this: Oden: Bad News For the NBA. Now, Tony and Mike had taken a similar tone the day before, and I thought nothing of it. Everybody just needs to calm down; nothing's happened yet. This time, though, it was different. Like something had gone wrong. I hit up ESPNEWS, and the "Breaking News" signal has been activated at the bottom right hand corner of my screen. Inside the box, a shocking turn of events had been revealed.
Greg Oden out for the season.
You can imagine how surprised I was. Couldn't believe it. As it turns out, I didn't take the warning signs with Oden seriously enough. Broken wrist. One leg longer than the other. Tonsillectomy. Just found out today from Simmons that he pulled out of the Team USA practices because of exhaustion (at 19). The red flags were there, I just ignored them.
So where do we go from here? Well, Oden had microfracture surgery today. It's supposed to help restore knee cartilage. Books still open on it; it's still relativley new, and it's only worked to varying degrees in the past. Let's look at some of the more high-profile patients who have gone under it's knife:
Jason Kidd. Kidd had the surgery in 2004, the year he would turn 31. He's not as fast as he used to be, but that may have as much to do with age as any surgery he had. Anyways, at 34, he's still one of the game's premiere point guards. Averaged a triple-double (14.6, 10.9, 10.9) in 12 playoff games last year. Success
John Stockton. It says on Wikipedia that John Stockton had microfracture surgery. I don't remember this. If he did, there was nothing the surgery could have taken from him, physically; he was always slow and he could never jump. Stock got by on brains and guns. He's not relevant in this discussion.
Zach Randolph. Z-Bo has girth and an excellent low-post game. He's not a great athlete, never has been. Irrelevant
Antonio McDyess. Dice hurt his knee early in the 2001-02 season. He was just entering his prime. Coming off a career year. He was never the same. A role player ever since. Failure
Chris Webber. I remember when Webb hurt his knee. 2003 West Semis, Game 2, in Dallas, coming off a blowout win in Game 1, with Sacto considered the favorite by some to win the whole damn thing. As a Lakers fan, I was legitimately worried by this Kings team; L.A. was in the middle of a series against the Spurs, which I just knew they had in the bag. The Lakers used to own the Spurs. Sacto was the only team I was worried about. I know this sounds bad, but when I saw Webb go down and limp off that court on TNT that evening, I was positively giddy. We had it in the bag.
And then, the Lakers got blown off the court by the Spurs in Game 6 at Staples and were sent fishin'. Serves me right.
Anyways, when Webb came back, he was no longer the MVP candidate that he was before the injury. His hops and explosiveness were gone. Still a very good player whom I gained respect for the way he changed his game and learned to play on the ground. But not the same.
He was 30 at the time of the injury, so his athleticism was already about to start declining, but the surgery didn't stop the injury from accelerating the process. Failure
The surgery did nothing to help Allan Houston, Jamal Mashburn, or Terrell Brandon, and they were forced to retire. Penny Hardaway had the surgery in 2000, but it's possible there was nothing that could've saved him. He was just a guy with chronically bad knees.
Kenyon Martin only played two games last year. Jury's still out.
Amare Stoudemire...a ha, finally a definitive yes. Amare had the surgery in the summer of 2005, missed all but three games in 2006, then returned last year and made first-team All-NBA. He's come all the way back, and he's the template we'd like to use for Oden: a young, athletic big man, a verifiable freak of nature, who had knee troubles, took a season off, then returned to wreak havoc on the league.
I hope that's what happens to Oden; he seems like a really good guy and we need as many great big men who play like big men as we can get. They are a dying breed. Oden has a chance to be the next dominant center and an all-timer. But I can't say that I'm overly optimistic; I'm starting to get a bad vibe about Oden, all of this stuff happening so close together, in the past year or so. As Tony said today, maybe Oden is just one of those unlucky guys who can't stay healthy. It's starting to feel that way. If it happens once, it's an accident. If it happens twice, it's a trend. If it happens three times, it's evidence. (If it happens four times, I stole that saying from Chris Berman and Tom Jackson.) Greg Oden appears to be an injury-prone guy, and I have a terrible gut feeling that he may end up being the next Walton or Sampson, a potential legend who couldn't stay on the court and thus never got the oppurtunity to maximize his vast potential. This is bad for Oden, this is bad for the Blazers, and this is bad for the NBA.
And it's bad for Kevin Pritchard, the guy that made the pick. Kevin and I were on the same boat: the writing was on the wall, but neither one of us could read it.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
My initial post:
Greatest college football team of my lifetime. I think everybody gives 2001 Miami the nod over this SC team because of all of the future NFL stars on their roster that year, but it's not like they were all playing at the same time. USC had a better coach and beat a MUCH better team in their BCS title game than Miami did.
To which jasonth13 responded:
You are a f-----g idiot. Look at the rest of the season, not just the bowl game.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, big fella. Relax. Now usually, I;d just let this slide. It's really stupid. There's nothing worse than an internet gangster. But talking about sports...that's what I do. And I wasn't about to just sit up and let that foo' play me like dat, talk to me like I'm some kinda sucka or somethin', ya feel me? Cause I ain't no punk, ya dig? I don't play dat. I'm a soldier, B. I'm down for whatever, dun.
(Just wanted to give you a little example of what a YouTube gangster talks like, in case you weren't familiar with their kind.)
So I had to come back on him. Here goes the rest of our debate, including a couple of comments from GaToRGaL1224, who joined in on the backend of things:
bigantho1 (that's me):
I still think if they were to play each other in a college football game, USC would win. When they were in college, you would rather have had Leinart, Bush and White, Smith and Jarrett, and Dominique Byrd on offense than Dorsey, Portis and Gore, Andre Johnson and Kevin Beard and Jeremy Shockey. Also, USC had four first-team All Americans on defense that year, Miami only had one. And you're a f-----g idiot for calling me a f-----g idiot. Everybody's just giving their opinion.
Michigan had four first-team AAs in 2004, and that team lost three games. Talk about the play on the field. That Miami defense throttled everyone it faced. USC's defense, while excellent, did not. USC also played many more close games than 2001 Miami. They simply weren't as dominant. Your opinion sucks.
For one, you have to realize that the quality of the teams and level of competition from year to year is not consistent. College football was better in 2004 than it was in 2001, no question. USC faced more impressive opponents in 2004 than Miami did in 2001, no question. I don't know about you, but I remember. College football was weaker in 2001 than it was in 2004; the teams weren't as good, dummy.
You have to consider all of the factors when discussing something like this.
You really are a blithering dumbf--k. USC eeked out wins against horrible Stanford and UCLA teams. A Cal team that got destroyed in its bowl game more than doubled USC up in yardage.
There's a reason that hardly anyone but USC homers shares your opinion. It's an idiotic opinion.
This from the man who once said that you should look at the whole season and not just the bowl game. Cal went 10-2 that year. Miami was the only great team in 2001; there really were no challengers to their throne.
clinton portis, ed reed, shawn taylor who didn't even start, johnathan vilma, frank gore, jeremy shockey, andre johnson, willis mcgahee yeah usc in 2004 was way better than them, not to mention vince wilfork, dj williams, first round draft pick after first round draft pick miami was soo good that year larry coker couldn't even screw it up he just had to stay out of the way, miami didn't struggle to beat rugters like usc did with stanford
from 2001 to 2004 is that 3 years or thirty years miami in 01 dominated nebraska in 95 dominated, all time great teams shouldn't have to rally to beat stanford, or need a goal line stand to be cal when cal dominated the game, all everyone remembers with sc that year was the bowl game which was really impressive but you have to look at the season to
For one, you kind of made my point. Sean Taylor, Willis McGahee, Frank Gore, Kellen Winslow...not starters. Backups. Forget about them. We didn't even know who they were then. You would rather have Leinart, Bush, White, Jarrett, Smith, their defense that year than what Miami had. USC's players were better in college. Forget about the NFL.
And three years is enough time for the landscape of a sport to change. The NBA is completely different in 2007 than it was in 2004. Miami was the only team of it's kind in 2001; by 2004, the best teams were faster and had more athletic gamebreakers than in 2001. Texas, SC, Florida, LSU and so on, the recruiting of speed by the top contenders continues to advance.
For Jasonth13, to follow up, in 2004 we had an unbeaten Auburn team that had two running backs, playing at the same time, who would be top 5 picks that April. We had an unbeaten Utah team with a QB who would be the no. 1 pick that April. We had a one-loss Texas team led by Vince Young.
Now...I'm a man. And I'm man enough to admit that I was wrong, and I'm man enough to admit when I lost an argument. And I lost this argument. As I'm beginning to realize, I really have become a USC homer over the past several years. I'd always considered myself to be more of an admirer than a real fan. From where I sit, that really wouldn't make them any different from the Patriots, another team I appreciate for their excellence - expect from the fact that the SC campus is about 20 minutes from my house. At night, when they're playing home games at the Coliseum, I can stand in my backyard and hear the stadium announcer from over the loudspeaker. The early stages of my jumping onto the bandwagon probably came during the 2006 Rose Bowl versus Texas, when the Trojans lost their 34-game win streak and bid for an unprecedented third straigt title at the hands of the great Vince Young. I was affected. Sad even. Didn't realize it then, but I had become a fan.
We don't have a pro football team in Los Angeles, and USC has served as such. As good as they've been over the past several years (they're 60-6 since 2002, Pete Carroll's second year here, losing those games by a grand total of 22 points), we've almost forgotten that we don't have one. I don't know how long it's gonna last; definitely as long as Carroll stays around, but after last offseason and the meetings with Wayne Huizenga and what not, that may not be for much longer. He seems to be genuinely intrigued by the NFL. But I do know that I'll never forget what it's been like here for the past five or so years. The Matt/Reggie teams transcended college football. They attracted unheard of media attention for a college football team. With the Lakers down, they owned the city. This current group, led by John David Booty, doesn't have quite the same effect: they aren't as explosive or electrifying or awe-inspiring, and they don't make you feel like you're watching anything special, that you may never see again. But because of their ridiculous depth, Carroll believes that this has the potential to be the best team he's had. They don't rebuild, they reload. Winning has breeded all of this, and the USC football program of this 21st century has won about as often as possible and more than anyone has in a long time.
And that appreciation and respect and that I've garnered for Carroll's empire was on my mind when I was making my argument. Since there's no way to suit them up in a fantasy game, I've always believed that when comparing champions from different years, you have to judge them based on their dominance in respect to the year that they won. And with that in mind, there is no way that I can say that USC was more dominant in 2004 than Miami was in 2001. Miami had a bigger margin of victory and only won one game by more less than 10 points. USC, by contrast, played three such games. Miami averaged more points (42.6 to 38.2) and allowed fewer (9.8 to 13.0). They beat two more ranked teams. Their opponents had a higher overall win percentage, so overall, I can't say that USC played a harder schedule. I made those comments before actually doing the math. My bad.
And the stuff about the landscape of college football changing from 2001 to 2004? Nonsense. And when I said that there were better teams in 2004, what I really meant to say was that USC and Miami were clearly the best teams those two years...but the other top teams in 2004, the best of the rest (Auburn, Utah, Oklahoma, Texas) were better than their 2001 counterpoints (Oregon, Florida, Tennessee, Texas). (At least, that's what I wish I would have said.) That's just based on watching the games and the quality of the teams I saw play. Regardless, it's irrelevant in this conversation, as there are no playoffs in college football.
Do I still think that USC would beat that Miami team in a college football game? Yes, I do. I think their team speed would have matched Miami's. I think they had a comparable defense. I think they had better playmakers on offense. I think USC beat three teams in 2004 (Oklahoma, Cal, and Virginia Tech) that were better than anyone Miami beat in 2001. They had a better coaching staff, led by the defensive-minded Carroll, who in his tenure here has contained pretty much every offense he has faced that didn't have Vince Young on it.
But you can't look at it that way, because we don't live in a fantasy world and that game cannot and will not ever be played. So there's no way to really know. But if the argument is which team was more dominant in the year that they won, 2001 Miami or 2004 USC? It's Miami in 2001. And I should have never made an argument stating otherwise.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
"Fast" Willie Parker was the MVP of my 2006 FFL team.
I'll have my fantasy football draft post up in the next couple days. My draft is actually happening right now, as I type this. I had the No. 1 pick; I'm sure you can guess who I picked. But again, that's a work in progress (literally). For now, let's take a look back to 2006 and the great group of gridiron warriors who helped me take home the title in my rookie FFB season. I'm getting teary-eyed just thinking about them.
(P.S. Goddamnit, I just missed a pick trying to do two things at once. The autopick drafted Fred Taylor's old, fragile ass. Wait a minute...now it took Lamont Jordan and Tatum Bell. Hold on, who the f**k turned on the autopilot? What the hell? I didn't turn on that damn autopilot. This is ridiculous.)
My First Fantasy Football Team
By Anthony Wilson
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Every year around this time, with the start of the regular season looming around the corner, there’s a ton of hoopla surrounding the start of fantasy football. Everyone’s excited, big magazines like SI and ESPN send out issues dedicated to it (ESPN even has it’s own fantasy football preview special), advising fans on who to take and who to avoid, etc., etc. There are hundreds of leagues to play in, with prizes offered in some of them, just good ol’ bragging rights the reward in others. And it’s a big deal. Really, you can’t get away from it. And it seems like fun. So this year, I decided to join in on the festivities.
As an ESPN Insider, I get special news and tips on this stuff all the time, but I don’t need it. I f you like football and follow it on a consistent basis, putting together a good fantasy football team is easy. Even if you don’t get your first choice, there are a ton capable players available; use a little bit of foresight and common sense, and pick the one’s you think will perform the best.
(Of course, there’s also a little bit of luck involved, because football is a very physical and dangerous sport and anyone can get hurt, no matter how injury-free they’ve been in the past. So you’re taking a risk every time you draft someone. All you can do in that regard is try and pick the guys who have been the most durable throughout their careers, and that’s what I did. But no one’s a sure thing. No one).
(Note: My league has 10 teams and the draft is 16 rounds long, with each team getting 90 seconds to make a selection. I had the seventh pick overall. The starting lineups in my league consist of a quarterback, your choice of either two running backs and two wide receivers or one running back and three wide receivers, a tight end, a defense/special teams, and a kicker. You can compose your bench of whatever combination you want, and you can juggle your lineup as much as you want. You can also drop and add players at your own peril and can make trades too, but if a trade is too lopsided and deemed unfair by other members of your league, all it takes is four votes for it to be vetoed. The whole draft process was pretty tedious, with the only thing that kept it from being completely boring was that I got to chat live with the other team leaders about football while the picks were being made. Other than that, it sucked).
Without further ado:
League Name: Tampa Bay 238844
Team Name: Team WILSON
QB Eli Manning, Giants (my 4th pick, 34th pick overall): I like Eli a lot: he’s got a strong arm, smarts, and a lot of weapons. Plaxico Burress is a big-time target, plus he’s got Amani Toomer and Jeremy Shockey, a top five tight end, at his disposal. And he has Tiki Barber in the backfield, coming off a career year, so defenses must respect the running game, giving the passing game room to breath. Most important, though: it’s in his genes. He’s Archie’s son and Peyton’s brother, he was the number one pick in the draft, and he improved last year. We know he’s gonna be great. It’s only a matter of time before he breaks out. Why not this year? I expect a Carson Palmer like third-year emergence to elite status.
RB Clinton Portis, Redskins (1st, 7th): Actually, Portis was chosen for me by the Autopick; I dropped the ball on this one, not realizing that it was my turn to draft and having the clock run out on me. It’s not a bad pick at all, considering he’s healthy. But that’s a big IF, after he messed up his shoulder last week on a freaking tackle (damn preseason). Oh, well, all I can do now is hope he’s all right for week one.
RB/WR Willie Parker, Steelers (5th, 47th): 1,202 yards, 4.7 yards per carry last year, plus he’ll be getting Jerome Bettis’ goal-line touches this year, which should at least double his TD’s (he had 4 last year). His nickname is “Fast Willie,” so you know he’ll break some long runs (like that 75-yarder in the Super Bowl), important in my league. And yes, I think he can carry the full load with Bettis gone.
WR Torry Holt, Rams (2nd, 14th): When people talk about the best receivers in the league, you always hear names like Steve Smith, Chad Johnson, Randy Moss, TO, and the great Marvin Harrison. And rightfully so. All those guys deserve the recognition they receive. It just befuddles me why Holt always seems to be flying under the radar, why his name never seems to be brought up in that discussion. Few players at any position have been as consistently productive since the start of the new millennium as Torry Holt has been at wide receiver. He’s only missed two games his whole career (last year), and over the last six seasons, these are his averages: 95 catches, 1450 yards, 8 touchdowns. And he’s in his prime. We’re watching a future Hall-of-Famer, folks. I just wish more people realized it.
WR Eddie Kennison, Chiefs (6th, 54th): He’s been good the last two seasons, and I had to pick somebody. Should approach 1,000 yards again.
D/ST Ravens (8th, 74th): Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are healthy and ready to go. The last time that happened, in 2004, they were the two best players at their positions in the league, two first-team All-Pro’s who, between them, won two consecutive Defensive Player of the Year awards (Ray in ’03, Ed in ’04). They added Trevor Pryce thru free agency and drafted Haloti Ngata in the first round, a huge defensive tackle who’ll eat up blockers. They’ll also be playing a lot more 4-3 this year, as opposed to the 3-4 they played last season. Those last two sentences make Ray Ray very happy. That’s another plus.
K Jeff Wilkins, Rams (12th, 101st): Made 87% of his field goals last year, 82% for his career. A safe choice.
Now, a very quick summary of my bench:
Marc Bulger, QB, Rams (7th, 67th): If he’s healthy, he’ll put up nice numbers. We know this.
Mushin Muhammad, WR, Bears (9th, 87th): Had a huge year in 2004, then slipped last year, but I think Rex Grossman (who I think will be a good pro quarterback, starting this year), can bring him back to life.
Reggie Brown, WR, Eagles (10th, 94th): McNasty is out for revenge this year, and Brown will be his primary target. He could be this year’s breakout receiver.
Ahman Green, RB, Packers (11th, 107th): We’ll see what happens, with him coming off of an injury and the Packers having that shaky offensive line. But if he’s healthy, he’ll rush for at least 1,000, no matter who’s blocking for him.
Ben Watson, TE, Patriots (13th, 114th): I have a feeling this guy is about to bust out and have a breakout year as Tom Brady’s security blanket. Just a feeling.
Deion Branch, WR, Patriots (14th, 121st): He’ll be back for week one. I promise.
Eagles, D/ST (15th, 134th): These guys are always good.
Mark Clayton, WR, Ravens (16th, 141st): He’ll improve on his rookie numbers with the natural progression from year one to year two and a real quarterback in Steve McNair throwing to him.
I like my team. A couple of question marks, but a nice bunch overall, if I do say so myself. I think I’m gonna have a good rookie year of fantasy football.
Monday, September 3, 2007
G- Jason Kidd
G- Kobe Bryant
F- Carmelo Anthony
F- LeBron James
C- Amare Stoudemire
G- Michael Redd
G- Deron Williams
G- Chauncey Billups
G- Mike Miller
F- Tayshaun Prince
C- Tyson Chandler
C- Dwight Howard
USA- 112 Venezuela- 69
USA- 123 Virgin Islands - 59
USA- 113 Canada- 63
USA- 113 Brazil- 76
USA- 127 Mexico- 100
USA- 117 Puerto Rico- 78
USA- 118 Uraguay- 79
USA- 91 Argentina- 76
USA- 135 Puerto Rico- 91
USA- 118 Argentina- 81
USA 10-0 Gold Medal
Argentina 8-2 Silver Medal
Puerto Rico 5-5 Bronze Medal
With an Olympic Berth next year, here are things Team USA has to remember:
Team USA dominated the tournament. Don't get it in your head. The 2003 team did the same thing (10-0 in the tournament), and ended up with a Bronze Medal in the 04 Olympics. Keep working hard.
Do not lose that chemistry. The reason why they worked so well is because they were able to communicate and know where everyone was. Whether it was on the fast break, or switching and shifting on defense. Their unity was key.
Defense wins games. Relying on offense alone will not suffice.
Represent the country. That should be motivation enough.
FIBA Championship Gold sounds okay. Olympic Gold sounds better.
To be continued...