Tag Archives: brett favre

Throwback Post: The Passion Of The Favre

This was supposed to be the end...

Editors note: This article was originally published on August 5th, 2008. Yeah, I’ve been hating on Favre for a minute.

Like most football fans I was thoroughly saddened this past March when Brett Favre decided to retire from the NFL. I adored Favre over the years for his unbelievable creativity on the football field and never say die attitude. He was a gunslinger, the last of a dying breed of Quarterback. Jay Cutler and Rex Grossman can do nothing but hold the man’s jock strap. So when he made his tearful good-bye plans were being put into place for his accesion to deity status. His jersey was to be retired on opening Monday night against the Vikings, maybe a staute here, and road named after him there, just some stuff to remind young packer fans now and down the road how truly awesome this man was…then came June.

Brett Favre decided that it wasnt time for him to step away after all and sent a text to his boss saying i want back in…problem is once you say you’re done, you’re done. Which brings us to today and the purpose of this piece…Brett Favre has gotten on my last damn nerve! Brett you said you were retired but now you want to come back after giving it thought for three months? um, no, doesnt work like that not even for superstars such as yourself. Truth be told i’ve always thought Favre has been a little overrated. I mean when you turn on ESPN and see Mark Schlareth slurping the guy you would think he his an actual god. But Favre is flawed, very. For every monday night classic like his performance against the raiders after his father died, there is a moment when you go, what the hell Brett? Remember the Eagles game in the playoffs a few years ago (4th and 26…btw what the hell happened to freddie mitchell) and that ridiculous lame duck pass he threw in over time, or this past year against my giants when he threw two terrible passes that looked like Corey Webster and R.W. Mcquarters played for the pack? that gets lost in the whole Brett is God discussion. Especially the last five or six years I mean Brett at times has looked like Rex Grossman.

...Then came this.

Personally i dont want to know how Ted Thompson the packers GM feels. Brett for years has held the team hostage for months on deciding his future. Now when it looks like he’s moved on and the packers finally have something in place brett wants back in. Ted is in a no-win situation. I think he’s right for telling Brett that Aaron Rodgers is the starter, but can you really see Brett as a backup? plus all the talk of trading him which is stupid. look i know teams who are on the cusp would love brett for a year, but in the case of Minnesota why? you lose draft picks, kill your youth movement all for a guy that has to learn a new system, make quick chemistry with his receivers and do it in one year? and releasing him would be just plain stupid (imagine the bears picking him up, just for a sec).

Then there’s Aaron Rodgers. poor guy. first he loses about 40 million in the draft falling from the top 5 to number 23 now the guy cant do anything with having favre in his vicinity at anytime. Did you see the Espy’s would Justin Timberlake was mock hugging him, i thought Aaron was gonna either cry or knock his lights out. I dont think Aaron is going to be the next bart starr or anything but he’s on the last year of his deal and has been waiting for his time to shine for an eternity it seems. if he came out tomorrow and said he wishes death on brett favre could you blame the guy?

Finally there are the fans. Some want favre back, some want him to go back to mississippi, then there’s guys like me who would like the talk of the NFL to be how my world champion Giants are going to repeat (god that sounds beautiful) not how some guy who cant make up his mind on his future. I cant even enjoy baseball highlights in fear of seeing a Favre update flash across my screen and im sick of it. there are going to be those people who still feel he’s one of the greats ever and those people who feel hes a spoiled overgrown baby, like yours truly. whenever and if ever this gets resolved Favre legacy has changed. whether for better or worse remains to be seen. But whatever happens can it happen now? I want to enjoy a Favre-free sportscenter.


Now I Can Write About The NFL

I'm glad that we can finally stop talking about you two.

So, you’re probably wondering what in the world took me so long to write about the NFL lockout. It’s simple; I knew that 32 owners and about 1900 players wouldn’t let $10 billion float away because of stubbornness.

Dudes aint that stupid.

Of course the owners wanted more money, they’re owners, they’re greedy. However when you own a franchise and you think you should be making more money chances are you’re going to try and get more money.

The owners were successful in doing that with the agreement that was reached by both sides this afternoon. The salary cap has dropped, the players got a little bit out of it and both sides are happy… as happy as they’ll get.

Fans are happy because they get football to start on time with no delay. We get to go to training camps and watch some of our favorite players and teams sweat it out in the sun and get ready for the season to commence.

I know I talked a lot of trash about how Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith needed to get on the ball, but besides the money issue I just knew that a deal would get done because what other options were there?

The NFL is the only football league on the market that’s worth two cents. You think guys were really going to the AFL or CFL? No.

This aint the NBA, or NHL. There are no other real options for these guys other than strapping the pads on and playing right here. The fact that the players would be silly enough to flush they’re jobs down the drain and lose millions of dollars in one season wasn’t logical. Even for the owners it didn’t make sense to let their stubbornness get in the way of getting this deal done. I mean Jerry Jones can hold all of the college football games that he wants at Cowboys Stadium. However, do you really think that Oregon-LSU and Texas A&M-Arkansas will pay the same bills that Dallas Cowboys games will?

Negative.

AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! NOT YOU AGAIN!!!

So the only solution was to get this deal done. Despite all of the battles in the media, name-calling, chest bumping and gamesmanship being displayed by both sides, they were always focused on this day and coming to a resolution.

They had to, their livelihoods depended on it.

I’m more excited about what going to happen in the next week than what happened in the previous 20.

Where’s Nmandi Asomugha going to end up? How about Plaxico Burress? What undrafted rookies will go where? Is Goodell going to suspend James Harrison for his reckless tongue? Where’s Brett Favre going to…

(JESUS CHRIST!!! FAVRE AGAIN?!?!?! CAN I HAVE ONE DAMN NFL OFFSEASON WITHOUT BRETT FAVRE?! NOT EVEN MICHAEL JORDAN GOT THIS ANNOYING WITH THE RETIRING AND UNRETIRING!!! REALLY PHILADELPHIA?!?!?! YOU HAD TO POSE THIS QUESTION AND SHOW INTEREST IN MAKING FAVRE A BACKUP?!?!?!?! I HOPE DESEAN JACKSON BREAKS HIS LEG!!!

My bad, talking about Brett Favre does that to me sometimes… you understand.)

There is so much that will happen in the next week and some change that our necks will be sprained from trying to look back and forth.

I’m happy that this is the kind of NFL news that we get to talk about. The wheeling and dealing of the actual 9-5 business of the NFL and not some dog and pony show that was the collective bargaining agreement.

It’s time for some real football talk to commence, and no one is more ready for it than I am.


The Return Of Random Thoughts

Wait a minute... we're still over .500? High five!

You know what we haven’t done in a while? A random thoughts blog.

Just things I’ve thought about that maybe you have as well in the last few weeks of watching sports.

With so much going on as far as sports since March Madness I think it’s time to do some rehashing.

So without further ado… HERE WE GO!

Is Zach Greinke really worth it? I mean he is 7-3 but he’s got a 5.66 ERA.

Anybody else think Kenny Williams is lying about the Adam Dunn deal?

Josh Harrelson a year ago was buried on the bench at Kentucky with Enes Kanter coming in. A year later he was a key component in the Wildcats Final Four run and will get minutes off of the bench for the Knicks. Life.

Hopefully the Sedin Twins take boxing lessons this summer.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, please gain 20 pounds.

Even though she is six foot five how many of us would hit on Jan Vesely’s girlfriend?

Federer couldn’t beat Nadal, Nadal can’t beat Djokovic… So who’s he going to have a problem with?

Why is it that Joe Girardi is the only person who thinks Derek Jeter should lead off?

David Ortiz couldn’t hit anything for the last two years now all of a sudden he’s hitting .301 with 17 home runs and 49 RBI… hmmmm….

Lebron James dunking on a kid doesn’t help his image.

(honestly at this point LeBron could cure cancer and we’d still hate him. And yes I’m serious about that statement.)

Mario Chalmers is now my new least favorite athlete in the world.

Did any team in the NBA Draft really help itself?

Sabine Lisicki also plays tennis. We'll talk about that later.

Nicklas Lidstrom came back for his 20th season. Can we engrave his name on the Norris Trophy in 2012 already?

Lets face it, Dany Heatley will never be “the guy.”

Neither will Andy Murray.

Anybody else happy that Brian Cashman corrected Alex Rodriguez by saying that Robinson Cano is better that Jose Reyes?

Can I call Austin Rivers “Baby Doc?”

Did Jose Bautista really just score the most votes in All-Star voting history?

How awesome was it that Virginia won the lacrosse title?

(think about this for a second. In the last two years lacrosse’s two most controversial teams fought back from media hell to win a title. Last years Duke team won after three years of dealing with the ugly aftermath of a stripper rape allegation and this year Virginia won after one of it’s own murdered women’s lacrosse player Yeardley Love.

The image of the Cavs men’s team was brutally tarnished and the turmoil around both mens and women’s teams was enough make anyone not want to put on pads and a helmet and sprint out onto the field again. However, Virginia fought through it’s adversity and came out a winner. Their win over Maryland in the Memorial Day title game cast a fantastic light on the team an buried whatever demons were left from the 2011 season.

Very commendable indeed.)

Are the Pirates really a game and a half out of first place?

Who the hell is Mike Morse?

Brian Wilson needs to shave that beard… Now!

Is Jim Riggleman; a, a gangster, b, salty or c, out of his bleeping mind?

Iman Shumpert… And yes I’m still stuck on that pick.

How funny would it be if the Winnipeg Jets won the southeast division this year?

(Winnipeg is six hours north of Minneapolis.)

It’s July… NFL step on it.

(I’m serious. The New York Giants tick me off, Eli Manning makes bad throws, I’ll see 85 Coughlin faces and understand each of them… AND IF I MISS ONE FREAKING GAME I WILL HUNT ROGER GOODELL AND DEMAURICE SMITH DOWN!!!)

By the way, if the MLB locks out in November then there is a real possibility that Hockey may be the only game in town come 2012….

New theory behind the Flyers trades; maybe Paul Holmgren used Jeff Carter and Mike Richards just to get the Winter Classic in Philly and then dumped them afterwards… Nope, trade still makes no sense.

I know Brett Favre is retired, but I’m still uncertain.

Quick, 3 things about Luke Picknell. Ready and… GO!

Is Maryland football a better job than Connecticut football? Randy Edsall are you listening?

Seattle Sounders FC draws more fans than the Mariners…

Anybody else think Cam Newton will bomb?

I still have no caption for this.

No seriously are the Pirates really only a game and a half out of first place?

(why is this not a huge story? The Pirates haven’t had a winning season in almost 20 years. That’s back to the Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonilla days.

Ever since then they have traded every and I mean every good player that they’ve had and have been in a never ending rebuild mode. Now here there are with Andrew McCutcheon as a dark horse MVP candidate, an All-Star in Joel Hanrahan and the Brewers, Reds and Cards all looking back in disbelief.

If they make the playoffs they are the story if the year hands down.)

Sabine Lisicki… Mmmmmm.

Will Tiger Woods fade into oblivion?

Even though Roger Federer has “lost it” he’s still the third best tennis player in the world.

And lastly… Dirk, a $90,000 bottle of champagne and pictures with Birdman and Lil’ Wayne… In LeBron and D-Wade’s backyard.

Cough on that Miami.


How Sports Helped Us Get Through 9/11 To Today

As last night's display of patriotism in Philadelphia went on, it showed how no matter how hard you try you cant change our way of life.

I remember 9/11/01 and what it meant at the time.

All I was concerned with at the time was Jay-Z’s new album, the Yankees pennant chase and how poorly the Giants played the night before on Monday Night Football.

Nothing prepared me for the horrors of what would take place the next day or anyone else for that matter.

9/11 was the uneasiest day for anyone living in the continental United States at the time. The attacks made by the Al Qaeda terrorists were an attack on our way of life and were made to frighten us and prevent us from doing the daily things that we love to do.

I remember how everything on TV just stopped. There were no sitcom reruns, no reality show re-runs, and most importantly no sports.

Baseball had halted its season, which included Barry Bonds’ chase of Mark McGwire’s home run record and the NFL and College Football called off their weekly schedules giving us no relief from the sad, new reality that was setting in around us.

It dawned on me how important sports was to out landscape at that moment.

Were called fans for a reason, we’re fanatical about the teams that we follow to the point that it places us in a world that’s far away from reality for just a few hours. Think about how much most of us hate our jobs or get annoyed by certain things in our life and about how three hours of watching the Heat, Bulls, Lightning or anyone gives us a sense of relief whether its through the frustration of putting ourselves in the athletes shoes or the joy of having you team come out on top.

the attacks of 9/11/01 brought us all together in the face of a new threat.

Truthfully sports helped us all get through the tragedy of 9/11 more than anything else. We immersed ourselves in Bonds’ chase; we became amazed and gazed in awe as the Yankees somehow came back from deficits in three straight games to turn the World Series into a classic that’s still talked about today. We rode on the Patriots bandwagon and their “nobody believed in us” story all the way to the Super Bowl and fell in love with Tom Brady and he ultimately became a superstar.

The presence of sports helped us cope and deal with the seemingly new world that we were living in, but it also became a rallying call as a means to fight what Al Qaeda was trying to do to us.

Their plan was to put fear into our hearts and to prevent us from living our lives. Yet even as stadiums were put on high terror alerts the fans still came out in droves to support their favorite teams.

Fathers brought their families, friends came out to have a good time and watch their favorite athletes do their thing for 4 quarters or 3 periods and to help deal with the terrors of possible attacks by terrorists and from the anthrax scare that existed at the time.

The point was that even though they were trying change who we were and how we lived it wasn’t working.

Yesterday was a big reminder of just how far we’ve come from that day almost ten years ago.

In the 9th inning of a rivalry game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies, a buzz came over the stadium as fans let out loud cheers and raucous chants of U.S.A! U.S.A.! No the Phillies hadn’t scored and they weren’t even up to bat. Osama Bin Laden was killed by our troops in Pakistan after they found his hiding spot. As President Obama was confirming the news, Citizens Bank Park had erupted in a huge celebratory cheer. The man that spread hate and declared war on our way of living was dead.

Far be it for anyone to celebrate anyone’s death but we had a right to.

Ten years ago we had out family time, our recreation time, our night out with the fellas or our date night with our mates taken away by this man. And the threat that it would happen again was far too real. More than a cheer for his death, it was a cheer for our service men that hunted him for ten years and kept Al Qaeda at bay to preserve our way of life. It was Philadelphia’s and our way showing them our appreciation even though some cheers were taunts at Osama’s demise.

As troops fought for our freedom overseas, we fought the hate by continuing to go out and support our teams and have fun.

Is there still a threat of danger out there even though Osama is gone? Of course. He spread his message of hate to other people who will probably take a crack at damaging our way of life again. However, we as people and as fans have made our statement with our actions since then.

We as a culture don’t get scared. It’s not in our blood. We’ve become a nation of bravado and pride due to the music we listen to, the people we idolize, and the athletes that we watch on a daily basis.

We love the tough guys, the Brett Favre’s who never miss a day of work, the Daniel Carcillo’s who are tough as nails and will scrap with anyone, the Derrick Rose’s who drive down the lane knowing they’ll get hit but keep doing it again and again. That’s who we are. It doesn’t matter who tries to change that about us, it’s instilled in us. You may have gotten us to flee for a week, and we were weary when first began to return but once we came back, we stayed in our seats and cheered, and booed and had fun in ways that only we can.

We not only earned a victory in the execution of Osama Bin Laden, but we won the battle for our way of life here at home long before he met his end.

After I shed a few tears of relief and reflected on that horrible day ten years ago, I went to home and cranked Jay-Z’s Blueprint while I went nodded to sleep, the same as I did ten years ago. This sleep was much more relaxing and calming then the one that occurred after 9/11.

When I woke up today all I did was listen to Jay-Z, think about how Ivan Nova is improving as a starter and wonder how well the Giants draft picks will do once we get some football going again.

Just the status quo for me, thankfully nothing has changed that.


Aaron Rodgers Stands Alone

For Aaron Rodgers, this was worth the wait.

Aaron Rodgers stood on a stage on the 50 yard line with confetti falling all around him like the snowflakes that littered the Dallas area the previous week.

He held the Vince Lombardi trophy in one hand and linebacker Clay Matthews rested a WWE Championship belt across his shoulder.

His smile was as wide as that gigantic HD TV that spans from one 20 yard line to another in Cowboys Stadium as he banged his chest and saluted the Packers faithful.

The moment was his, years and a ton of baggage in the making.

Ever since his senior high school year when Rodgers was offered not one scholarship he has had to prove his worth and has never complained. Not when Cal was passed up for Texas in the Rose Bowl, not when he had to wait in a green room for four and a half hours in the 2005 NFL Draft and saw Alex Smith, Matt Jones and Troy Williamson picked ahead of him, and not when he had to endure three seasons of the Brett Favre saga while he sat behind him ready for action.

If it wasn’t waiting it was the criticism of his game.

Some viewed him as cocky, some said his arm wasn’t strong enough to make him an NFL quarterback, some said he would wilt under the pressure of the legacy that Favre left behind. GM Ted Thompson knew better.

Thompson knew what he had in Rodgers ever since that long day in New York 6 years ago when he fell from a possible #1 to the 23rd player selected in the draft.

Ted Thompson ended Rodgers' draft day horrors and knew he could be the man in Green Bay.

He knew Rodgers m.o., that he was a hard worker, that he wanted to improve his game and did what it took to do it.

No school wanted him, he went to Butte Community College. Jeff Tedford found him and put him in his system than helped make Akili Smith and Joey Harrington NFL Draft pick and Rodgers excelled. Fast forward to the draft and while San Fran felt Alex Smith was a better fit (oops) Thompson knew better.

He scooped up Rodgers and picked him to succeed Favre much to his, and critics, disliking. Rodgers developed so well that after the 2008 NFC Championship game the Packers didn’t want to go through another Favre episode and pushed ahead with Rodgers. Even when Favre changed his mind the message was clear, Aaron Rodgers is our guy.

Thompson looks like a genius.

After an up and down first year Rodgers excelled in his second year and took the Packers to the playoffs behind a monster year where he became the game’s best passer when it comes to the deep ball (so much for him having a weak arm). However, after losing to the Arizona Cardinals new questions carried into this season as to whether or not he was capable of coming through in the clutch. Was he the kind of guy who could lead Green Bay to the top of the division and into the playoffs. All he did was answer the bell every single this year and in the process put himself into the same class of quarterback as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

Whenever the injuries mounted and key players like Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley and others went down, Rodgers kept the troops moving. Even after suffering two concussions that knocked him out of a Sunday night match against New England Rodgers returned with a vengeance and led a masterful run to playoffs that saw Rodgers destroy defences like the Giants and Falcons and amaze everyone with his strong arm and fancy feet.

Not only did he win big games, he was dominant. Three scores versus the Eagles. A 31-36, 366 yard performance versus Atlanta that left us shaking our heads and dropping our jaws. In a dog fight against the Bears he wasn’t his best, but he steadied his offense against a very good defense and put the Packers in the the Super Bowl.

All he did there was turn the Steel Curtain into a pair of cotton drapes.

Rodgers has separated himself from Brett Favre for good.

Rodgers executed Mike McCarthy’s pass heavy game game plan to perfection as he caught the Steelers secondary out of position and never let their pass rushers become effective. His quick release and timing with his receivers made life hell for Troy Polamalu and James Harrison and they never were a factor.

Rodgers never lost his poise even when Donald Driver was lost to injury and his receivers let him down with more than a handful of drops (hi Jordy Nelson). He continued to stick with them and Nelson and others atoned for their sins. When Ben Roethlisberger’s final pass fell incomplete, Rodgers leapt in the air in jubilation and took the final snap to seal his victory.

He no longer had to prove anything to anyone or wait his turn, this is his time and his legacy that was being built.

This was the moment he and Thompson had envisioned and had come to pass. At 27, Rodgers has equaled his predecessor (favre) in titles and vanquished the bitterness he left in his departure. Though he claims there was no bitterness to be had trust me that Rodgers is happy that he never has to hear about Brett Favre again in regards to his name.
Favre is long gone, this is Rodgers team now. There are more 12’s than 4’s in the stands. There is no talk of the old man with young man’s enthusiasm or the old gunslinger, instead there is the precision passer with a cannon for an arm and an infectious swagger that can’t be knocked.

Aaron Rodgers rough road and triumph is reason for any player to smile. He has overcome doubts in his game and a legend that wouldn’t die to become a champion. He never once complained, showed anger, or frustration. He was patient and when the time came he let his game do the talking.

For Rodgers, patience has most certainly been a virtue. He’ got the hardware to prove it.


So Long 2010

The Blackhawks cup win was one of the many great moments in 2010.

So this is it for 2010. We watched the Blackhawks return Chicago to a hockey town, and the Bruins feeling the Yankees pain.

We saw the Giants of Baseball break long title spell since their days in New York, and the Giants of football have another meltdown against the Eagles.

We saw Peyton Manning and his legacy take a hit while Tom Brady rose up again.

We had the revival of Vick and the fall of Favre. The #2 at Auburn became everything the #2 at Columbus should have (though both have had their share of bumps in the road).

There were perfect games and imperfect calls (thank you Jim Joyce). There was Butler almost shocking the world, and Boise having there world shocked.

Then there was LeBron… pause.

Indeed 2010 was a year in sports that we haven’t seen in forever. The glamour in what makes sports great shone bright while the wolf in sheeps clothing  were revealed. The Favre’s and LeBron’s came out as snakes in the grass when all along they were made out to be deities and superheroes. The real heroes were the New Orleans Saints we revived a city and captured the heart of a nation, Sidney Crosby who lifted a country all the way back to the top of their, the Dustin Byfuglien’s and Duncan Keith’s who sacrificed their bodies and teeth to breathe life back into a once hockey crazed city. The angels spread their wings this year while the devils brought themselves down.

There were also some pretty interesting jesters and magicians that showed us how much fun sports can be and how silly we take the game. There is Derrick Rose cutting up point guards every which way, Steven Stamkos scoring at will welcoming all challengers, John Wall showing off his muscles on the dance floor and at the rim and Felix Hernandez crippling bats while his own team’s bats crippled him.

There was Ron Artest partying all night in his uniform after winning a title, Luis Suarez pulling a Diego Maradona, and John Isner and Nicholas Mahut unable to decide a match in the span of three days (no really it took three days to decide).

We had the torch passing from Roger Federer to Rafael Nadal as tennis’s best player, the rise of Kobe Bryant in the all-time rankings and Tiger Woods falling from the number one ranking.

Madison Bumgartner and Kyle Brotzman became household names for different reasons; Bumgartner the 21 year-old left handed rookie pitched the game of his life in leading the Giants to their first world title in 56 years and becoming the game’s next great lefty. Brotzman cost the Broncos a game, a possible title and lots of money when he missed two chip-shot field goals that cost the Broncos a season that what was hyped since the end of the Fiesta Bowl in January and cost Kellen Moore the Heisman trophy (no seriously. When Moore heaved that ball downfield and Titus Young somehow got ahead of the coverage and leaped to haul in a 50 yard grab I yelled out at the bar HEISMAN! That was Moore’s moment. He had it all in front of him and it got yanked from his grasp like The Dude’s rug that tied the room together. Moore may never admit it but you know he contemplated going into Brotzman’s room and stabbing him MacBeth style. And I’m serious).

World meet Madison Bumgarner.

A nation fell in love with soccer (again) as Landon Donovan saved team USA time and time again, and I fell in love with Blake Griffin. Scratch that, Youtube, ESPN, you, me and highlight fanatics LOVE Blake Griffin. There is an app on my phone where I get ESPN scores and highlights and there is always a dunk of the night caption and I swear nine times out of ten that I’ve seen its been Blake. Its so silly now that the other day the caption read “Dunk of the night: Guess Who?”, yep Blake. This guy has no comparison for ridiculousness of athleticism and awe-factor. The Knicks game was the best (yeah I know what you’re thinking), he had 44 points, 15 rebounds, 7 blocks and 4 dunks where his genitals were planted squarely on some member of the Knicks forehead. The worst was Tim Mozgov who took the full on T-bag where even I had to laugh. The guy is a freak, please god if you’re out there make him last 15 years at least in the league please I’m begging you.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg for this crazy year. Coming up with a top ten list is silly for this thing because there are is 12 months of craziness that I have to condense into ten moments that really stood out. There’s no way I can put this in any type of order except for number one which should be number one for all reasons necessary so without further ado here are my top ten moments of the year.

The John Isner- Nicolas Mahut tennis match

In particular the fifth set or should I say fifth set epic. Eight hours and thirty minutes, 138 games,  over 100 aces  and just absolute insanity. The match was already in its second day due to darkness concerns the night before and thanks to the third set barnburner it carried over into the fourth day of the tournament.

Besides the gaudy numbers and mind-numbing play on the court, the look of the players was just mesmerizing. Mahut and Isner played each point like it was their last. They ran down each ball until their legs were spaghetti and picked themselves up again and again. It was torture but neither player didn’t want to be the one to lose the longest match in Wimbledon history.

Unfortunately one person did have to lose and it was Mahut. When Mahut sent his return volley long Isner hit the floor like he just won a championship and held his head in disbelief. A roar from the crowd and a handshake between the titans brought a fitting end to an amazing match. Isner over Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68.

Even though he lost the no-no, The way Armando Galarraga handled the situation should not go un-noticed.

The year of the pitcher

7 no-hitters (and yes I still am and forever will count Armando Galarraga’s 1 –hitter as a no hitter because that’s what it was wrong call or not), and all of them were done in ways that range from impressive to stunning to dull.

Ubaldo Jimenez walked 6 batters versus the Braves while throwing 128 pitches and only 72 strikes in his 4-0 no-no in April. It’s cool but he walked 6 guys so that dulls it down. However it doesn’t take away from the start that he had.

Roy Halladay pitched perfect game in the regular season and a no-no in the postseason. Both Masterful, both breath-taking adding to his case for the best pitcher in the game.

Dallas Braden became the newest guy you never heard of to throw a no-no joining A.J. Burnett when he was in Florida. Was it a great performance ? Yes. Is he still a bum for calling out A-Rod? absolutely.

Edwin Jackson, eight walks, 149 pitches… that’s all I’ll say.

Matt Garza finally showed us what he’s capable of his in his gem. Maybe now he can step up his game and fulfill the potential we all think he has.

Then there was the no-no that wasn’t, Galarraga’s. In less than two hours Galarraga pitched the performance of the year unmatched of any of the other pitchers. For 86 pitches in an hour and 50 minutes Armando Galarraga looked like Greg Maddux. He worked efficiently and fast. Yet it was the call by Jim Joyce that we’ll always remember when he called the runner safe at first base when he was in fact out. But Galarraga’s demeanor and class ruled over the missed call. Instead of screaming in horror he simply smiled, went back to the mound and finished off his one-hitter. Bud Selig doesn’t have to correct the mistake, I will, it was a perfect game and will be forever in my eyes.

The Blackhawks Triumph

Big Buff, Tazer, Kaner, toothless Keith and the whole gang brought hockey back to the Chi. I’ve written on this enough this year so I’ll keep it short. This is what the NHL needs, the original six teams back at the top of the standings and playing well. Hopefully the Blackhawks triumph can lead to similar stories in New York and Boston.

Rafa’s Reign Begins

It’s his world now. I love Roger Federer and everything that he has done for the game of tennis, but this is Rafa’s time now.

After returning to glory at the French Open he showed how far his game has come and that his knees should be ready for the long haul in the next 4 or 5 years that he’ll be at the top of his game.

His wins at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open brought his game together and officially shed his moniker of being just a clay court player. He dominated the Open and left no doubt that there is no one close to him in the game. It guarantees that unlike at the beginning of the 2000’s where men’s tennis had no dominant figure it will still have a gold standard now that Federer is in decline. Well done Rafa, well done.

The Blake Show

WOW!!! Not LeBron, not Kobe, not Kevin Durant, not none of em (yeah incorrect English) have the awe factor that Blake Griffin has. Kobe has aged, LeBron is now evil and Durant while ready to replace Kobe in the That Dude category nobody can draw a crowd like Griffin.

It’s similar to the effect Vince Carter had on the league after the dunk contest except we haven’s seen Blake in that type of stage yet, and we don’t need to.

Sportscenter is his stage. The Knicks are his props, and other players are blocks in his way of another highlight. I’m looking at Youtube right now for another silly Griffin dunk,

(God please get him out of L.A. May I suggest Phoenix, Dallas or New Jersey)

Thomas Morstead executed the gutsiest call in Super Bowl history.

The Gutsiest Call Ever

With the Super Bowl hanging in the balance early in the second half Saints Head Coach Sean Payton did the dumbest silliest most brilliant thing ever… he went for an onside kick… and it worked.

He grabbed the momentum and never let it go as the Saints took control of the game en route to a 31-17 win and completing a comeback of epic proportions in New Orleans. It was a call you’ll always remember and gave you more respect for a head coach than you would ever think off of one play.

The Revival of Josh Hamilton

The turnaround was completed. Josh Hamilton is now officially vindicated from all of the wrongs that almost ended his career in the early 2000’s. His MVP and World Series run brought him full circle from the drug addiction and alcoholism that plagued him in his Tampa Years.

Hamilton is now a role model, hero and one of the best outfielders in the game like it always should’ve been.

The Death of THe Boss

The Greatest owner in the history of the sport. He cared about winning and only winning. He did things his way and never cared about what anyone thought.

His passing left baseball without one of its greatest figures and the Yankees with a little less PR to deal with.

His Monument in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium is fitting of who George was. It was bigger than other plaque and towered over them all. Kind of how George hovered over Yankee Stadium with that watchful eye and towered over other competition. Thanks George, I’ll miss you.

U.S. vs. Canada- Game Of The Year

The most important hockey game since the Miracle On Ice 30 years earlier. Two of the biggest hockey nations battle to bring their nation to the front of the fold again.

It was a physical game that showed the best each country had to offer. ROberto Luongo and Ryan Miller shined in net, Patrick Kane was a monster with the puck skating in open ice, Jonathan Toews showed the poise that has made him the league’s most respected captain at 22, Jack Johnson became my new favorite American player with his physical play, and Zach Parise saved a nation with his late tally to send the game into overtime.

Then the king responded. Sidney Crosby did what he’s done ever since he entered the league in after the NHL strike, he game up big and took the sport to new heights. His goal on a redirect from Jarome Iginla placed him on a plateau that not even he thought was possible, national hero. He saved Canada, won the gold and never has to pay for a drink again. It was a fitting end to what was the best game of the year, even if the result made me want to drown myself in the Olentangy River.

What if...

#1 Duke vs. Butler

Imagine if Gordon Haywood takes a little off of that shot.

Imagine if it went in. Imagine the chaos, the pandemonium.

Imagine the story of the new Hoosiers with Brad Stevens playing Gene Hackman and Butler as the little guy that pulled off the greatest upset in the history of the game.

Imagine if Butler Beat Duke. Imagine the shockwave of finally seeing that the little guys are just as good as the big guys.

Imagine if that shot were two inches lower, because if it was all of this would have happened. Butler would have ushered in a new era in the NCAA, recruiting might be a little different but more so teams like Northern Iowa, VCU, Dayton and others could be logical national title contenders. They could get fair seedings, their conferences could get more teams in the tournament while bubble teams like the Clemson’s and Notre Dame’s of the world go to the NIT.

Instead the shot missed. The NCAA breathed a sigh of relief and everything was status quo like it should be in there eyes. But man, what if  that happened?

That was 2010 one the most imaginative, honest and fun sports years that we’ve had in a longtime. So many memories that will stick in the eyes and hearts of fans, writers and spectators everywhere. Here’s to hoping that 2011 can come close to matching what we witnessed this past year.


Thank You Cincinnati… For Nothing

You got some 'splanin to do Marvin.

I would like to send a thank you note to the Cincinnati Bengals. Thank you for making me look like a complete idiot. Thanks for making me believe that you guys would actually contend for a Super Bowl and that you were the team to beat in the AFC. Thanks for once again giving me and your fans a false sense of hope after an active off-season which made your offense look like an all-star team waiting to explode even though you have a mediocre quarterback (note to the reader: I KNEW CARSON PALMER WAS OVERRATED AND EVEN SAID IT AND STILL PICKED THE BENGALS TO WIN THE SUPER BOWL!!! UUUUGGGHHH!!!)

Thanks for roping me in at the end of last year with that supposed great defense that was top 15 in the NFL and that was without Antwan Odom who got injured in the middle of the year while leading the league in sacks. If you saw Sunday’s game versus Atlanta then you would realized that even if they had Lamar Odom they still would be a horrible defense.

Save for a great play by Adam Jones (the artist formally known as Pac-man) the defense got gutted by a potent Falcons offense that rebounded after a tough road loss in Philadelphia. Roddy White shredded the Cincy secondary for 201 yards and Michael Turner ran all over the front 7 to the tune of 121 yards. The defense couldn’t stop the Falcons attack from the jump as Atlanta built a 24-3 lead at the half  then eventually withstood a roaring charge by the Bengals offense to win 39-32. In all honesty, Marvin Lewis’s defensive background has done him no justice in Cincinnati. The man that helmed the Baltimore Ravens dominating defense has not been able to replicate that success in Cincy.

The Bengals have never been ranked in the top ten in total defense during Lewis’s tenure even with high draft picks that they have used for seemingly talented players like Jonathan Joseph, Leon Hall and Ray Maleluga. They can’t get any pressure on the quarterback and have been shredded time and time again.

However, a special shout-out goes to the Cincinnati offense and the aforementioned Carson Palmer. Thanks for making believe that Terrell Owens was the missing piece to your offense (though he has been spectacular). It doesn’t hide the fact that your quarterback is terrible.

Forget the gaudy stats for a minute, Carson Palmer is not an elite quarterback, nor should he be the starter in Cincy after this year. His inconsistent play mixed in with horrible passes have killed the Bengals offensive production all year long. It’s forcing them to be a pass happy team when they really need to feed Cedric Benson like a rabid wolverine. At this point I’m actually waiting for T.O. and Ocho to raise hell and turn on Palmer in an instant.

Roddy White had a field day against the Cincinnati secondary.

If the Bengals have any shot of making a playoff run then it has to begin next week at home versus Miami. The Bengals have to get Benson 25 touches and limit Palmer’s throws. They have to stop the run game of Miami which seems like an impossible task with the number 22 ranked run defense in the league. They have to slow down Brandon Marshall who after a non effective day versus the Steelers yesterday is licking his chops to get at the same secondary that let White go off yesterday. They have to do something to resemble the Super Bowl contender that they were supposed to be, and they have to do it quick.

They trail Pittsburgh by 3 games and still have them twice in the next month, not to mention Baltimore again, New Orleans, Indianapolis and the Jets. That’s 6 potential in-season playoff games that may make or break them.

Matter of fact, I’m changing my mind they won’t turn it around, they’re done. The Bengals will finish 8-8 and begin to rebuild again, a sound far too familiar in the Queen City. The Bengals fooled all of us with their hopes and dreams hiding the inconsistencies and lack of production in areas that now hinder them. I knew this… yet I still picked them to win it all. I don’t know what’s worse the way their playing or me picking them to win it all. Never again.

Special shout-out also goes to these teams for making me look bad:

-San Francisco 1-6. I picked them to win the NFC West, they lost to the worst team in the league after leading by ten. I love Mike Singletary but he may be shown the door at season’s end.

-New Orleans 4-3. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Madden Curse has found Drew Brees. Four picks against the Browns?… THE BROWNS?!

-Minnesota 2-4. Favre should’ve never left his tractor and he knows it. If you saw him after the game on Sunday night then you saw a beaten man who didn’t want to take anymore. He’s a walking Roberto Duran. Unfortunately for him there is still 10 weeks to go.