Thursday, November 29, 2007
Terrell Owens is in the midst of one of, if not, the greatest season in his career. And that's quite an accomplishment, given that the 6-3, 224-pound physical specimen of a receiver has earned a 100 reception season and caught 13 or more touchdowns (this season included) in seven of 12 NFL seasons.
Given that Owens has long been attributed with his courage to go across the middle for a catch, defying lurking linebackers and safeties, and strength to break tackles and gain significant YAC, this recent Sports Illustrated players poll might baffle you.
Owens, with 20 percent of the vote of 278 polled players, was named the easiest NFL receiver to intimidate.
We've haven't the slightest idea how that's possible. Usually the easiest way to tell if a receiver is intimidated is if he drops passes. We know Owens is prone to the dropsies, but his much highlighted case last season was due to broken fingers. We've never seen T.O. run back to the huddle with his tail between his legs, but we also aren't on the field to hear the chatter. We know the chatty, self-loving Owens has an insecurity problem, so maybe defenders know what to say to get into his head.
This could possibly be the biggest no-shit post you'll read today, but after checking the early season stat lines of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, we noticed their numbers are down from their career averages.
And that's for obvious reasons, given that they all play on the same team, and haven't really had to share the ball in the past. The most important number, however, and the reason all of these guys gave the go-ahead on the offseason trades to Boston, is the Celtics' hot start. They're 11-2. That's best in the NBA.
2007-08 season: 20.8 ppg, 12.1 rpg, 14.9 fgapg, 4.2 apg
Career: 20.5 ppg, 11.4 rpg, 16.6 fgapg 4.5 apg,
Other stats: Hasn't averaged less than 20.8 ppg in a season since 1998-99. Hasn't averaged less than 12.1 rpg since 2001-02.
2007-08 season: 20.3 ppg, 15.4 fgapg, 3.6 apg
Career: 21.4 ppg, 16.8 fgapg, 3.9 assists
Other stats: In his five previous seasons, all in Seattle, Allen never averaged less than 23 points and 18.2 shot attempts per game.
2007-08 season: 21.7 ppg, 15.9 fgapg, 5.2 apg
Career: 23.5 ppg, 17.6 fgapg, 3.9 apg
Other stats: Averaged 21.6 ppg in 2003-04, but was at least 23 ppg in all other seasons dating back to 2000-01. His 5.2 apg per game this season are highest for any in his career, likely the product of playing with two great scorers.
It was just a matter of time before Jason Whitlock weighed in on the Sean Taylor murder (Doesn't it sound so weird saying 'murder?').
With all of the hubbub about Taylor's past and it possibly resulting in his lack of a future, Whitlock was inclined to scribe for his weekly column at FoxSports.com a piece about a persuasive part of black culture (the Black KKK as he titles it) and its girthy hand in Taylor's death.
The Black KKK claimed another victim, a high-profile professional football player with a checkered past this time.
No, we don't know for certain the circumstances surrounding Taylor's death. I could very well be proven wrong for engaging in this sort of aggressive speculation. But it's no different than if you saw a fat man fall to the ground clutching his chest. You'd assume a heart attack, and you'd know, no matter the cause, the man needed to lose weight.
Well, when shots are fired and a black man hits the pavement, there's every statistical reason to believe another black man pulled the trigger. That's not some negative, unfair stereotype. It's a reality we've been living with, tolerating and rationalizing for far too long.
As always, at least the way we see it, Whitlock is right on. The man is an aggressive, yet refreshing voice in the debate of racism in culture and sport. We're trying not to do the writer reach-around this week (see our Wednesday entry about Michael Silver), but damn, we can appreciate great journalism and opinion. Whitlock delivers.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Do yourself a favor and make Michael Silver over at Yahoo! Sports one of your frequent stops for all things NFL. The guy is a magnificient writer, blending innovative story-telling with interesting topics. His 'Monday Morning Rush' piece is the best thing to read about the NFL weekend that was, and that includes Peter King's MMQB at SI.com.
Silver scribed a column today called "Harsh reality of brutal sport." In it, Silver delves into the aggression needed for NFL players to keep their jobs, but the self-restraint it takes not to snap on the Christmas shopper who bumped into you to get that ever-important gift or the douchey suit who talks too loud on his phone in the airplane.
Silver makes the Sean Taylor connection by talking about the player's past run-ins with the law and "the dangers of applying a football-style mentality to civilian life." Don't worry, Silver isn't insinuating anything about Taylor's homicide, only that being a football player with a checkered (our word) past could have made him a target.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
That got us thinking, what/who would you trade for Mark Prior? Here are some we came up with:
1. Steve Bartman
2. A Goat
3. Ron Santo's legs
4. The exhumed corpse of Harry Caray
5. Sammy Sosa
At the newspaper I work at, we've got obituaries written out for famous athletes and coaches from the area who haven't actually yet died. It's just a precautionary thing in case the death is unexpected. For example, U.S. Olympic volleyball star and former IPFW All-American Lloy Ball has an obituary, even though he's in his mid-30s, and still a healthy participant for Team USA.
We can't imagine if the Miami Herald would ever have an obituary written for Washington Redskins and former Hurricane safety Sean Taylor, who was only 24. Sadly, if they did, they had to use it for today's edition as Taylor passed away early this morning from a gunshot wound he received to his femoral artery in his leg from an apparent intruder in his house.
This especially strikes close to all of us here at Construda. We're in our mid 20s and can't imagine leaving behind family and friends. Taylor, unlike us, had a 1-year-old child, too. It's just a tragic situation.
And we also wonder how the U. of Miami is handling another death of one of its football players. Some names that pop into our head at the moment: the unsolved murder of Bryan Pata and car seperate car accident deaths of Al Blades and Chris Campbell.
Special Spot in Hell Reserved for Wilbon (Mr. Irrelevant)
What Sean Taylor means to Black America (Scott Van Pelt Style)
Sean Taylor has passed away/Redskins Park mourns (Redskins Insider)
In Memory of Sean Taylor, 1983-2007 (My Brain Says Rage)
Sean Taylor (The Realests)
Monday, November 26, 2007
And check out that flashback of UGA going for a Tigers' balls.
We were listening to Oklahoma's Bob Stoops today on The Mike Tirico Show on ESPN Radio and their conversation about college football's overtime rule got us thinking.
LSU lost it's national title chances when its 2-point conversion pass attempt was intercepted by an Arkansas defender. The Tigers dropped from tops in the BCS standings and polls because of the loss to the unranked, but still pretty good, Razorbacks.
A day later, on Saturday, Tennessee sacked Kentucky QB Andre Woodson on his attempt at a tying 2-point conversion, giving the Volunteers a berth in the SEC title game and shot at a BCS game.
We're not insinuating LSU got screwed and Tennessee got lucky. The teams won within the framework of the rules. But that's wherein the problem lies: the rules.
It isn't just the required 2-point conversion attempt beginning in the third overtime (to hamper potention 6-7-8 OT games like we've had in the recent past), but it's where the ball is placed. The offense get the ball at the defense's 25-yard-line, meaning a field goal is all it takes to win the game, regardless if the defense holds.
While the college OT system certainly is exciting, it doesn't give a fair chance to the defense. We've got games that finish 17-17 in regulation, but after three OTs the score balloons, because the odds are heavily against defenses.
Why not move the football back to the 50-yard-line? Or better yet, kickoff and make offenses drive the length of the field. Still give both offenses a chance to score (unlike the shoddy NFL rules which we won't vent on here) but make them earn it.
This should certainly be something the NCAA takes a look into while it considers a change in the BCS system to a playoff format.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
This is the same Mike Williams that was selected No. 10 in the 2005 draft by the Detroit Lions and was chastized by former head coach Steve Mariucci and current head coach Rod Marinelli for being out of shape, lazy, and displaying a poor work ethic.
Williams, as you know, was traded to the Oakland Raiders on draft day, along with QB Josh McCown, for a 4th round pick. He was reunited with Lane Kiffin, one of his former offensive coaches at USC.
But Williams caught seven passes for 90 yards and no touchdowns in six games as a Raider this season before being cut on Oct. 30.
While we haven't been able to confirm Mort's report (we known he whiffed BIG TIME on the Mike Vick federal dog fighting case), we did find this story at The Tennessean that claims Williams looks a lot bigger than his listed 230 pounds.
Being a few biscuits shy of 300 pounds isn't uncommon for an NFL player, when that player is an offensive lineman. If Mort's right and Williams is actually 271 pounds, it'll be impossible for him to be even a remotely average wide receiver. He couldn't get separation at 230 or even 240, so there's no way he will at 271.
Mort did report that BMW, as he was called in college, may be tried as an H-Back (ala Mike Sellers in Washington) or tight end hybrid.
If in fact the Titans do play him at anything about 260, he'd probably be the heaviest wide receiver in NFL history. Even David Boston, in his steroid days, wasn't larger than 260.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Michael Hart is one of the best players in college football. Had an ankle sprain not hampered him over the past month, Hart would be one of the five invited to the Heisman Trophy presentation in New York in mid-December.
Hart's legacy consists of dozens of awards and records. He's one of the best players in the prestigious history of Michigan football.
But he's never beat Ohio State. Saturday may be that day.
The Wolverines are at home. They're angered about a fallen season that ended after a first week loss to DIAA Appalachian State. A blowout loss to Oregon the following week ended any sliver of hope Michigan had for a national championship. Getting pushed around last week at Wisconsin didn't help either.
Hart, quarterback Chad Henne, and left tackle god Jake Long all returned for their senior years, giving up millions of NFL dollars, for one last shot at glory.
But Saturday is the day the Wolverines can redeem the lost season. A victory will give them the Big Ten Championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl. Most importantly, it gives the seniors a satisfaction earned by so many prominent Wolverines before them.
Said Hart in yesterday's Detroit Free Press:
So you wonder, this week, if the colors scarlet and gray have come up in those more private conversations. Because for all he has done -- the all-time rushing record, leading the Big Ten as a freshman, countless honors and awards -- there is one thing he hasn't experienced: smiling after an Ohio State game.
"It's irritating, I can't lie," he says. "It's real irritating, especially with the way the game went last year and the year before. ... It's hard."
Can you put it into words?
He doesn't blink.
"I'd rather lose to Appalachian State than lose to Ohio State."
Time to get it done, Hart.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Eric Gordon finished with 33 points in his first college game, the
most ever by an Indiana player in his college debut. Gordon is 6 foot
4 and 215 lb freshman at Indiana University. He played High School
basketball at North Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. Eric
Gordon was voted Mr. Basketball in Indiana, named Indiana Gatorade
Player of the Year and Jordan Brand All-American.
Speaking of Jordan....It turns out that Eric Gordon played along side
MJ in the movie Space Jam. Gordon played Jordans' youngest son in Space Jam and then 10 years later dropped 43 points on MJs actual sons in a high school game. Below is an image from the movie, his high school photo and the credits.
UPDATE: We are not 100% sure if the Eric Gordon in the movie is the same Eric Gordon that plays for IU. This morning Sportscenter stated that he did play the part, which is the reason why we went ahead and did this post. We did some research and found sites that say it is him and some that say it is not him. The sites that say it is him state that Gordon was 8 in the movie and since the movie was made in 1996, that would now make the child around 18, the same age as Gordon.
mus·tache also mous·tache (mŭs'tāsh', mə-stāsh')
1. The hair growing on the human upper lip, especially when cultivated and groomed.
Something similar to the cultivated, groomed hair on the human upper lip, as:
2. A group of bristles or hairs about the mouth of an animal.
Distinctive coloring or feathers near the beak of a bird.
Food or drink sticking conspicuously to the upper lip: wiped the milk mustache from my face.
7. Herm Edwards
The "You Play to Win the Game!" 'stache. Thin and light, with a touch of gray. This is the only time you'll see Edwards smile.
6. Tony Dungy
God hand-picked Dungy to do His good work on Earth. He needed that worker to be presentable to the non-believers and Ten Commandment violaters, therefore, God gave the Colts head coach a neatly-trimmed and non-overbearing 'stache.
5. Jeff Fisher
The longest-tenured with one team 'stache is ever-changing. Fisher sometimes starts the season with a bristly rectangle above his upper lip but when the leaves begin to turn and the brisk fall winds start whipping, this 'stache turns to a beard or goatee.
4. Romeo Crennel
Possibly the only black man in America with this gaudy of a mustache (aside from your local news anchor), Crennel's 'stache hangs over his lips like his belly over his beltline.
3. Andy Reid
This 'stache apparently doesn't have enough time for his family or to cleanly run his basement meth lab. Normally the stress of raising troublesome children turns hair gray. Reid, however, defies those odds by using Just For Men Beard Color "Red" on his 'stache.
2. Brad Childress
It was a close call, but Clueless Childress fell short of first-place. We let our hatred for his playcalling (give AD the ball on every down) blind our decision to give him tops on this prestigous list. This 'stache reminds us of the wide broom you used to sweep your driveway after covering it with grass clippings from your recent lawn mow.
1. Mike Holmgren
This 'stache has gotten better with age. From his days on Bill Walsh's hip pocket as an assistant to those blustery days as the shotcaller up in Green Bay, Holmgren's 'stache is well-traveled and it's even earned the portly coach a nickname - "Walrus." It now resides in rainy Seattle and is often covered to relay playcalls to it's balding quarterback. It's susceptible to wind burn (see playoff game against Bears last season) and angry outbursts, but is always ready to give a free ride to a lucky lady.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I think I just skeeted in my pants a little bit.
Brennan still played well (396 yards, 2 TDs) and tied Ty Detmer's career touchdown pass record (121) before the occurrence of The Shot Heard 'Round the World, Part Deux.
Hawaii, which sits at No. 13 overall and No. 16 in the BCS, hopes for a quick Brennan recovery.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Check out this credible form of journalism.
WBZTV, based in Boston, interviews one of it's own to justify the allegations the Indianapolis Colts piped artificial crowd noise into their sound system last Sunday while their opponent, the New England Patriots, possessed the ball.
This type of journalism is like asking Condoleeza Rice to criticize George W. Bush's Iraq policy.
An unknown reporter from the TV station asks loaded questions and makes leading comments ("So you've covered sports for a number of years and you've heard all different kinds of crowds but this one was different...") to a station's 'photojournalist,' aka cameraman, about his experience at the RCA Dome last Sunday.
The cameraman, named Bryan Foley, said it hurt his ears and he wondered how a crowd could sustain the ear-piercing noise level for as long as it did.
Foley claims during the first quarter he asked an unidentified security guard about the noise, to which he responded, "I don’t know if you know this, but they actually pick up the crowd noise and pump it back through the P.A. (public address system)."
This story ran on Tuesday, the day after the NFL cleared the Colts of any wrongdoing and CBS claimed the audio blip was their broadcast malfunction.
The reason WBZTV is still pouring over this is anyone's guess. We could go media agenda or even conspiracy theory here. WBZTV, afterall, is a Boston media outlet. With the well-known controversy called 'SpyGate,' the Boston media may be looking to divert negative attention to someone else. Why not the heated rival Colts, who've had the Pats' number the past few meetings, and have been accused in the past of piping fake audio into the RCA Dome.
Even the brief media/blog frenzy that surrounding this case could have caused WBZTV producers to press Foley into a muddied account of his experience, all in the name of sensationalism.
Do we sound like a conspiracy theorist? Perhaps a bit. But it's better than WBZTV's "reporting."
Nine months after degrading gay people on Dan LeBatard's radio show, former NBA point guard and (seemingly former) bigot Tim Hardaway broke his silence in an interview with a South Florida local television news show.
"You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."
Said Hardaway about having a gay teammate, "First of all, I wouldn't want him on my team. And second of all, if he was on my team, I would, you know, really distance myself from him because, uh, I don't think that's right. And you know I don't think he should be in the locker room while we're in the locker room. I wouldn't even be a part of that."
Since those comments, Hardaway said he went to counseling and talked to a lot of gay people to gain an understanding of the lifestyle.
He wants to return to the NBA as an assistant coach or scout. It would probably be in his best interest to stay away from TNT studio work with Charles Barkley, who has an infatuation with old male NBA referees.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Not happy with certain trades going on in your fantasy league? Just take it to fantasy court. Thats right, you can take your fantasy dispute to court and for $9.95 an actual lawyer will decide the case for your league. All you do is log on, submit your dispute and the "defendant" gets a chance to state his case why the trade is fair. The "Judge" will e-mail a written decision simultaneously to both parties the same day the "case" was issued.
Do you really need someone to tell you that trading LT for Ron Dayne is unfair? This just seems like another scam from money hungry lawyers who happen to enjoy fantasy football.
We are pretty sure the leagues commissioner knows what trades are fair and which ones are not. We see no need for this crap and wonder how many people actually pay for some butthead to make a ruling in their fantasy league.
Why? Who knows. We can only speculate it's because Bill Belicheat was pissed about Tony Dungy's pointed comments about Spygate and the Colts' coach not backing down from his words on the eve of the game. Or, simply, because Belicheat is a jerk.
Perhaps Belicheat had a premonition about what 1972 Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula would tell the New York Daily News two days after the Pats improved to 9-0?
Monday, November 5, 2007
That post then lead us to some Google technology blog thingy that posted an MP3 clip of the audio and "analysis" from an audio engineer. Take that for what it's worth, but here's a snippet of what was posted.
What happened tonight was the engineer turned up the mics too much. This caused the mics to pick up the sound eminating from the stadiums sound system, (the amplified crowd noise), as well as the natural crowd noise. The result is a feedback loop. As this loop continues to cycle through the mics and speakers oscillation occurs. This was described as the skipping sound. At this point the feedback is full bandwidth. This means that all of the frequencies being reproduced by the system were present in the loop. If you listen carefully to the recording you will hear a midrange frequency starting to become predominant. It sounded like something between 600hz and 800hz was starting to take off. At this point the engineer became aware of his error and shut off the mics. That was the abrupt drop in volume that is also on the recording on the PFT site.
Here's the evidence from a YouTube clip. Listen closely right when Moss catches the ball and his subsequent yards after catch. It sounds like the crowd noise is skipping and then just shuts off.
We didn't hear it during the game. But we were with about 7-8 people and there was a lot of cross chatter during the game, so we didn't hear it all (Plus Phil Simms can sometimes be annoying, so we tend to tune out the broadcaster).
We're not experts, so we're not sure if the audio was dubbed into the audio and video clips. And we also wonder why the clip is half-green, half-game footage. We're also not sure if CBS' audio feed goofed up, as this is the only evidence from the entire game that claims of "pumped crowd sound." Plus, this "live audio expert" posted his "analysis" on a Patriots message board.
Some reader named Spat10 on the Colts' message board said the Krafts are going to meet today in New York with NFL officials.
As we alluded to, this is all message board talk at the moment. Take it for what it's worth.
(High fives: Profootballtalk and SPORTSbyBROOKS)
P.S. We'll be kicking off our Monday Football Hangover feature a bit later today. It's kind of like Peter King's 'MMQB' at SI.com or Michael Silver's 'Morning Rush' over at Yahoo! We understand the season is nine weeks in, but we love to opine about the NFL and what better time to start it then at the midway point. Also, Construda Heisman Watch is back after a several week hiatus.