Archive | August 2009

So Brett’s back. Now what?

Brett Favre has officially un-retired (AGAIN), having signed a 2-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings, reportedly worth $12 million this season and $13 million next season. Now, I’m already wondering: is a 2-year contract enough to spare us from this “I’m retiring; no I’m not; wait, I can’t play another season; hey guys, now I’m at training camp!” act Favre keeps putting on? If he’s already under contract for next year, can he still avoid training camp? Maybe he’ll spare us the trouble of endlessly wondering what he’ll do by NOT retiring as soon as the season is over when he and the rest of us know he’ll be changing his mind a few months later. Seriously, how would making the team wait for you to retire be any less distracting than making the team wait for you to waffle on whether you’ll un-retire?

But all that is in the past and future. What about now? How good are the Vikings now that they have Brett Favre? Here’s what I think.

To start with, the Vikings have one of the best-if not THE best-running backs in the NFL in Adrian Peterson. Last season he rushed for 1,760 yards and 10 touchdowns. He can beat you with his speed or he can run over you. They also have the able Chester Taylor (399 yards, 4 TD’s) backing him up. At the wide receiver position, they have Bernard Berrian, Sidney Rice, Bobby Wade, Jaymar Johnson, and rookies Darius Reynaud and Percy Harvin. Berrian led all receivers last year with 964 yards receiving and 7 TD’s, with Wade and Rice chipping in with 645 yards, 2 TD’s and 141 yards and 4 TD’s respectively. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe added 596 yards and 7 touchdowns of his own.

On defense, the Vikings are a good team. Last season they were 13th in the league in points allowed, giving up 20.8 points per game (league leader was Pittsburgh at 13.9). They had the league’s best run-stopping defense allowing only 76.9 yards per game on the ground, but their pass defense leaves much to be desired as opposing quarterbacks put up 215.6 yards per game; despite their inability to stop the pass, they were 6th in the league in total defense. They were also 4th in the league in sacks (45) and sixth in forced fumbles (20).

So yes, I would agree with the premise that all the Vikings need to be a great team is a good quarterback. Tarvaris Jackson has been the QB for the past few years, but he’s been bothered by injuries and inconsistency. Sage Rosenfelds joined the team earlier in the off-season after spending the last three seasons as a backup for the Houston Texans. John David Booty is also on the team, but he has yet to throw a pass in the NFL. But is Brett Favre a big enough upgrade to justify the trouble? He’s the better passer and has much more experience, but then there’s that nagging thing about throwing lots of interceptions. I think it depends on which Brett Favre shows up. If the touchdown-throwing, gun-slinger shows up, they’ll be fine. If the Brett Favre from the last few games of last season shows up, then they’re in the same position they were in without him and Minnesota will be looking for a new coach next season.

And in case you’re wondering, I did pick up Brett Favre immediately after my fantasy football league was done drafting (in case you’re wondering). I don’t really need him (I have Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb, and Joe Flacco already), but I like having him there to trade. Last year, I picked him up after the draft and traded him for Eli Manning and Ronnie Brown and won my league. We’ll see what happens this year.

Minnesota Vikings depth chart (Yahoo! Sports)
2008-09 Team Defense Stats (Yahoo! Sports)
“What retirement? Favre’s back, with the Vikings” (Yahoo! Sports)
“A fresh look at the division race” (ESPN)

One more order of business to attend to. I was recently contacted by someone at Most Valuable Network about adding my blog to their website. Here’s MVN’s site description:

“Bringing together tools that connect you to other sports fans and a platform that gives everyone a stage, MVN is the premier community for independent sports media. Best of all, all of the content is packaged exactly how you want it: At the hub of your favorite sports, teams and players. It’s the ultimate sports party, and you’re invited.”

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? And don’t worry, I will still be doing everything on Squingy.net since MVN allows double posting.

Most Valuable Network

What did I tell you?

If you’re like me, then the following comes as no surprise: Brett Favre may still be coming back to play for the Minnesota Vikings. I’ll let that sink in.

I’m not even kidding, either. In a story by Jay Glazer on Fox Sports, some of the Vikings players are making it sound like it’s a done deal.

“I’m telling you it’s already done. Right after the Indy game (first preseason game). I don’t think anyone here doesn’t think that.”

Sounds definitive to me. So does this one…kind of:

“I don’t know if it’s done, but I think he’ll be in by the third preseason game.”

I wonder if that second quote is from Brett Favre? It has enough waffle in it to be Brett Favre. I guess it could be him, since he’s allegedly already a player on the Vikings according to that first quote.

But you know, despite my confidence that Brett Favre was coming back even after he said he wasn’t, part of me was still surprised when the intro to “Sportscenter” said something about “news on Brett Favre!” I was halfway incredulous that anyone would have the audacity to mention his name and “comeback” together in the same sentence again, and halfway ecstatic that I was right in my confidence that he wasn’t done. I also just think that this whole affair is hilarious. The fact that we keep joking about him retiring and un-retiring and then he does just that is hysterical to me. I also think it’s funny that people are still falling for his “I’m retiring” shtick and getting caught up in the story. You can’t make this stuff up. The only thing that could possibly add to the “Brett Favre Saga” is the Vikings players just making all this up. The thing is, we know they’re not making it up because of who they’re talking about. If they were talking about Dan Marino or someone like that, you’d immediately dismiss them. But because they’re talking about Brett Favre, you know they’re not lying.

I’ll reiterate: Brett Favre will play for the Vikings at some point this season.

The vibe at Vikings camp: Favre could come back (FOX Sports)

Stop panicking about Tiger Woods losing!

You may find this surprising because I don’t pander to the big name sports stars (i.e. Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tom Brady, etc.), but I like Tiger Woods. I am impressed that he continues to work to get better even when he is golf’s #1 player and I like that he minds his own business. You see him on CBS on Saturday and Sunday performing at the highest level possible, and then you don’t hear anything from or about him for until next week. When he’s on, I really enjoy watching him play golf.

That said, watching Tiger play yesterday was excruciating. He just wasn’t himself and nothing he did on the course really worked. He had little success in hitting draws and fades, his approach shots were off, and he missed several putts that he should have hit. It was frustrating to watch everything go awry.

But you know what’s more excruciating? Having to listen to all the sports people speculate about whether Tiger is declining. While watching ESPN today, one could have gotten the idea that Tiger blew a ten shot lead on the last hole. Now people are asking, “Did Tiger Woods choke? Is he really the best golfer?” Look, the man is now 15 for 16 in tournaments he’s led after 54 holes. 15 for 16, and people are calling his whole career into question. Everyone made a big deal about him being 15 for 15 with tournament leads after the 3rd round and discounted everyone who might be paired with him on the final day. Then he loses and it’s the end of the world. Except it really isn’t the end of the world.

All this panic seems a little bit excessive to me, especially when considering that Tiger didn’t exactly give that tournament away. Y.E. Yang played a really good tournament and did what he had to do in the final round to win. He drove the ball well, he hit good approaches, and he hit his putts. It’s not exactly like he was a duffer hacking his way through 18 holes and Tiger gave him the win. He played a good round and Tiger didn’t. Why should I be panicking that Tiger got beat by someone who played a better round than him ON ONE OCCASION? This is ONE TIME that he’s lost in the final round, compared to 15 times that he hasn’t. Seriously, what’s the big deal?

Quentin Richardson continues to move.

At the end of last season, Quentin Richardson was a member of the New York Knicks. Then on the night of the NBA Draft, he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for Darko Milicic. Then, on July 2nd, he was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers-where he started his career-for Zach Randolph. Nineteen days later he was sent to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Sebastian Telfair. And now he’s been shipped to the Miami Heat for Mark Blount. In all, he’s been a member of five teams since the end of last season and hasn’t played a game for any of them. And has anyone even had time to give him a jersey? And why is he getting traded so much? Are teams fighting for him, or are they really eager to get rid of him as soon as he arrives? I’ve never seen anything like this, nor do I recall such a thing happening in the past.

You probably remember Quentin Richardson best from the 2004-2005 Phoenix Suns team that featured league MVP Steve Nash, Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudemire, and Shawn Marion. That team scored a league-leading 110 points per game and went 62-20 on the season. They made it to the Western Conference Finals, in what was their best run at a championship this decade, and fell to the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs. Richardson flourished under coach Mike D’Antoni’s “7 seconds or less” offensive style and was the league leader in three-point shooting. Supposing Miami doesn’t trade him before the season starts in October, he’ll be the recipient of many kick-outs off drives by Dwyane Wade. And given the fact that the Heat are a better team than the Knicks, he should have a better season than last year’s 10 points per game.

The Heat are Richardson’s sixth team since he came into the league in 2000; he has technically been a member of the Clippers twice.

Richardson traded to fourth team (ESPN)
Quentin Richardson career stats (ESPN)

Some stuff from today and yesterday.

Just now: Michael Vick to Philadelphia
So I just got done watching a re-run of “House” where some crazy selfish guy took a bunch of people hostage in order to get an accurate prognosis on his ailment and I get on Yahoo! Sports to find that Michael Vick has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. For the record: I don’t watch “House”, it just happened to be on when I got done watching an episode of “The X-Files” where people’s heads were exploding unless they were heading west at 70 mph due to some government shenanigans. But I digress.

The deal is for two years, with $1.6 million coming in the first with an option for a second year and $5.2 million more.

Really, you can’t say that you had an idea or knew that Vick would be going to the Eagles without being a huge liar. And I bet you also knew the Buffalo Bills were going to get Terrell Owens as well, right? The Packers, Redskins, and 49ers were all teams that I heard had interest in him, but I never thought the Eagles would take him, especially with Donovan McNabb already there. I don’t think, however, that McNabb is on his way out.

What I do think is that the Eagles have added another dynamic to their offense. McNabb is still a fairly mobile quarterback and Bryan Westbrook is one of the better running backs in the league when healthy. They also have some pretty good wide receivers in DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, and Reggie Brown, and the rookie Jeremy Maclin. Now they throw in Michael Vick, a fast and dangerous runner with a fairly good arm. Even without being the Eagles’ starting QB, Vick can come in and cause trouble for opposing defenses. When he comes in, he’ll do any at least one of four things- run, pass, catch, or play decoy. And even if you know he’s going to run, you still have to catch him. That kind of threat can come in handy in certain situations. It will be interesting to see how this works.

Vick signs deal with Eagles (Yahoo! Sports)
The Michael Vick Timeline (Yahoo! Sports)
Vick, Eagles agree to 2-year deal (ESPN)

Stallworth is gone for the year
Akin to the Michael Vick situation is the Donte Stallworth situation, because we all know that killing dogs and killing people are basically the same thing, BUT NOT REALLY.

Stallworth has been suspended for the entire 2009 season without pay for “violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy and its substance abuse policy.” I’m guessing the “personal conduct policy” frowns upon getting drunk and killing a guy with your car.

Personally, I think Stallworth got off easy. 24 days in jail? Why bother? Anyone else who does that gets thrown away for a long time. And he gets to leave home confinement to continue his football training and play games, because we can all imagine the hell he must go through being confined to his mansion. Michael Vick didn’t get that and he killed animals and anyone else who does that is never seen again. I see how that makes sense, BUT NOT REALLY. But I do think that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell got this one right (for once in his life). Really, there was no other alternative. Goodell even had this to say in a letter to Stallworth:

“Your conduct endangered yourself and others, leading to the death of an innocent man. The NFL and NFL players must live with the stain that you have placed on their reputations.”

“…the stain that you have place on their reputations.” Wow, harsh words from the commish. Actually, anytime you refer to someone or something they do as a “stain” it’s always harsh. But what’s really harsh is the stain that Stallworth has put on all of those in and around the NFL with sterling reputations, like Adam “Pacman” Jones, Leonard Little, Bill Belichick, Terrell Owens, Chris Henry, etc.

Stallworth suspended for 2009 (ESPN)
Donte Stallworth suspended without pay for season (Yahoo! Sports)

Rick Pitino’s done some pretty horrible things
I’m not going to get into all of the heinous details of this wretched Rick Pitino fiasco. If I wrote them down, then I’d have to think about who was involved and no amount of brain washing would be able to get that image out. So I’ll just take the time to say that what he did was pretty low down, ignominious, egregious, and any other adjective that describes something despicable. And then to compare it to September 11th was another level of loathsomeness.

I would rather have found out that Pitino was a mobster who was betting on games and taking hits out on people, mostly because I can envision him doing that sort of thing. I think it’s the white suit.

Lots to be learned from sordid Pitino affair (Yahoo! Sports)
Rick Pitino apologizes for indiscretion, vows to stay (ESPN)

Did you get a $10 TV?
Neither did I. Actually, neither did anyone that I know of. In case you missed it, Best Buy had a 52-inch Samsung TV for $9.99 yesterday. Lots of people took advantage of the opportunity and snatched one up but, to their dismay, Best Buy caught it, cancelled the orders, and refunded their money. That made me feel better since I had missed it; I only found out about it through a trail of links and comments that I think started on Infendo. I can’t be sure.

After I told my dad about this, he had an interesting idea. Why not occasionally put things on at drastically reduced prices for a short time on the sight? I’m not talking about a $2000 TV for $10, but what about $500? What about a $600 laptop computer for $100? And the window of time wouldn’t have to be that great; let’s say 10-15 minutes once a month. And the day of the price reduction wouldn’t be publicized, meaning that anyone hoping to pounce on a low price would have to watch the site like a hawk, thus driving up site hits. Just something to think about.

Best Buy Fixes $10 Samsung HDTV Price (Gizmodo)

Kurt Rambis is the new Minnesota coach.

After firing Kevin McHale, coach and vice president of basketball operations, on June 17, the Minnesota Timberwolves have found themselves a new coach- Kurt Rambis, who beat out Mark Jackson and Elston Turner for the job.

You’re probably thinking, “Kurt Rambis? Wasn’t he that goon on the Lakers with the black framed glasses and mustache?” What, you mean this guy?

from kurtrambis.com

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