Saturday, February 24, 2007

Dillon Hangs 'Em Up

He admits that it might not be a done deal but, as of now, Patriots powerback Corey Dillon says that his NFL career is...well, a done deal, according to a report in the Boston Globe. The former Bengal and sometime Patriot leaves the game as 14th on the all-time list in rushing yardage. No small feat when you consider that his first seven seasons were spent on a Bengals team that went 34-78 during his tenure (and on which he was the only legitimate threat for most of his time in Cincy) and did not make the playoffs.

By contrast, in the three seasons he spent on the Patriots, he was on a team that won 36 games, went to the playoffs all three seasons and won a Super Bowl ring.

You might not like him, he was often truculent with the media, but if you couldn't watch him and appreciate his power and style of play, you probably aren't a true football fan (I hated the Bears growing up, but damn, if Walter Payton wasn't one of the most impressive things to watch on that field...).

Hope the man enjoys his retirement - and thanks for 2004 - that was one hell of a season.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Stupid is as Stupid Does...

Titans trouble child Adam "Pacman" Jones is in the news again. Evidently Pacman was at a strip club in Las Vegas while attending this past weekend's NBA All-Star activities. The evening, of course, ended with three people being shot, including one of the club's bouncers.

Jones's lawyer claims that Jones is not a suspect, however LV police said they were not at liberty to comment at this time. Jones story is that he left the club as soon as there were problems and that he answered police queries solely as a witness, not a suspect.'s Adam Shefter reported a somewhat different story -

The Pacman Jones story is mysterious, intriguing and unnerving, all at the same time.
Like most stories, this one has two sides, and maybe more. On one side, there is some evidence against Jones, who was involved in a nightclub brawl in Las Vegas that turned into a triple shooting.
Police have been told Pacman bit the ankle of one of the two bouncers who was shot. Also, police took DNA evidence that some think could implicate Pacman. Additionally, the bouncer in question had Pacman in an armlock on stage, seen by at least a dozen witnesses.
The bouncer continued telling Pacman to settle down. When he didn't, the bouncer popped Pacman's shoulder out. Witnesses said Pacman appeared to be experiencing pain in his shoulder as he exited the club.
But what those in attendance didn't know is that Pacman underwent surgery on his shoulder about 10 days ago, and the armlock could have done nothing more than aggravate his injury.
On another side of the story, Pacman claims that, even though he was at the scene, he did nothing wrong. He has cooperated with authorities, answered their questions and believes he has done nothing wrong -- which he feels will be proven over time.
But clearly, the last of this story has not been told.

There is a certain benefit of the doubt, I have to say, that Jones is no longer entitled to. Whenever he goes to a club, it seems, trouble doesn't follow him - it's his date.

Thug life and the NBA -

I read an article not too long ago that asked why the NBA got such a bad rap when NFL teams like the Bengals have so many issues - and the NFL seems to skate by without consequence.

Overall, the players tend to have fewer legal issues in the NBA - but you're also looking at a roster that's 20 percent the size of an NFL roster. Many of the big names in the NBA have had issues with the law - Ron Artest (assault), Gilbert Arenas (unlawful possession of a firearm), Allen Iverson (drug possession, unlawful possession of firearm, assault), Jason Kidd (domestic abuse), the list goes on - while in the NFL you only occasionally hear about run ins involving the biggest names (Ray Lewis, Michael "Ron Mexico" Vick, and Randy Moss come to mind), but the majority of big name players are people like Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb, Carson Palmer, Steve McNair, Curtis Martin - and these are the people that at one time or another have been the face of their franchise.

Additionally, the NFL has never had this sort of thing happen. Crime spiked significantly over the All-Star weekend. If Stern is trying to disassociate basketball from "thug-life," then he's losing the war.

Weight...still holding steady at around 179. Am trying to increase the intensity of my workouts and starting up with speed training to get ready for Aussie Rules season. I figure if I can drop another 12 to 15 pounds between now and mid-April I will be considerably faster and have better endurance for the games, and I'll be the lightest I will have been since college. Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi.

And on a lighter note - my new part time gig? I'm the Maryland columnist for the Mid-Atlantic Brewing News. Nothing like getting paid to go to the bar.

Monday, February 19, 2007

That first question has been answered...partially

Today the Chargers announced that Norv Turner will replace Marty Shottenheimer as the head coach. Is it just me, or is that like announcing that you just replaced your Mustang with a Gremlin?

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.