Monday, February 19, 2007

Cleaning out the cobwebs of the mind...

What are the biggest off-season questions in the NFL? I'm not sure - but I think we're looking at...

Who will take over the Chargers, and will they be the same next year? I'm betting that they'll be good, but not the same.

What does Randy Moss think that being a petulant trouble-maker of a child will get him in the NFL? He has killed his trade value, and most scouts seem to think he's too far gone to be the play maker he once was. I'm sure somebody will take a flyer on him - talent always gets a second chance, but he needs to understand that his next chance is probably his last.

Can Ben Roethlesberger resurrect his career? Honestly, I was never that sold on him to begin with.

Same with Eli Manning who spent the better part of last season regressing.

What does the Patriots brain-trust feel is the biggest problem to address in free-agency? I have been reading a lot of pre-draft about the Pats drafting a line-backer in order to infuse the position with some youth, but that hasn't been Belichick's way. Sure, they have drafted five or six during his time, but none have stuck. They like to convert defensive ends or bring in veterans. My bet is that they make a hard run at Adalius Thomas of the Ravens.

Can the Colts repeat? I think there are going to be too many key free agent losses due to the fact that they have a lot of players going to free agency and not anywhere near enough cap-room to keep them (for example, I have a hunch Dominick Rhodes will be on another team come training camp). They'll make the playoffs, but I would be surprised if they made it all the way to the Super Bowl.

Which coaching change this off-season is most likely to result in a Sean Payton-Saints/Eric Mangini-Jets type of season? I'm guessing the Arizona hiring of Ken Wisenhunt - providing he can straighten out the offensive line woes. Cam Cameron has too may questions at line, quarterback and running back, Mike Tomlin is coming to a team that played .500 ball as opposed to the Cardinals .312. Bobby Petrino also enters a better situation than Wisenhunt, although I believe he Cameron, and Wade Phillips in Dallas are the most likely to backslide by a game or two before showing any signs of improvement.

Trouble in Paradise -

Mariano Rivera is lobbying for a new contract from Boss Hog in New York and the greatest closer in Yankee history is not likely to get it. If there's truth to the rumors that the Yanks are positioning themselves to pursue Francisco Rodriguez in the next off-season, then Mo should be ready to follow up on his threat to play anywhere.

With a starting rotation likely to consist of Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, Chien-Ming Wang, Carl Pavano and whoever they can plug in, Brian Cashman has to be sweating a little. Pettitte and Mussina are near the end of their careers, Pavano hasn't been healthy since Montreal and their ace looks like it might be Wang. Not exactly a front four that will put the fear of the baseball gods into most of the American League.

Basketball and the Rainbow Connection -

Tim Hardaway is an idiot. If he wants to be homo-phobic, fine. I don't even mind that he's upfront about it. Hell, I'll be the first to defend his right to be a bigot. But advocating somebody lose their job due to their sexual preference (which he did) is no better than advocating that they lose their job based on their skin color. Way to set the Civil Rights movement back by about 50 years.

For those of you that missed the report, here's a snippet from the AP story -

"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," Hardaway said. "I'm homophobic. I
don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United
Hardaway also said if he did find out that a teammate was gay, he
would ask for the player to be removed from the team.
"His words pollute the
atmosphere," Amaechi said. "It creates an atmosphere that allows young gays and
lesbians to be harassed in school, creates an atmosphere where in 33 states you
can lose your job and where anti-gay and lesbian issues are used for political
gain," Amaechi said.
Meanwhile, the NBA banished Hardaway from all-star
weekend in Las Vegas because of his anti-gay remarks.
Hardaway, who played in
five all-star games during the 1990s, was already in Las Vegas and scheduled to
make a series of public appearances this week on behalf of the league.
"It is
inappropriate for him to be representing us given the disparity between his
views and ours," Stern said.

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