1/14/2012

The Performance From Alex Smith We've Been Waiting For

The San Francisco 49ers have surprised all season en route to a bye in the NFC Playoffs but there were still questions about whether Alex Smith could lead this team in crunchtime. Sure he had been efficient all season and was a very good game manager for a team with an awesome defense and a strong running game but could he put the team on his back and win? Today against the high-powered attack of Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, he did just that as he led his club to a thrilling 36-32 victory to advance to the NFC Championship Game. And for one of the first times in his career, he proved himself worthy of the top overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft.

1/13/2012

Yankees Acquire Michael Pineda & Hiroki Kuroda, Greatly Improve Rotation

The New York Yankees came into this offseason needing help in their rotation and everybody knew it. Their lineup has been consistently excellent and the bullpen was very strong last season but their weakness in their rotation was clear. But the only moves they had made before today were re-signing their ace CC Sabathia as well as the surprisingly solid Freddy Garcia. But in the span of a few hours this Friday evening they made two shrewd moves to greatly improve their starting five in acquiring Michael Pineda via trade from Seattle and Hiroki Kuroda via free agency.

Marcellus Wiley: 49ers' Defense Full of "Terrorists"

The San Francisco 49ers have a great defense chock full of playmakers like Patrick Willis, Justin Smith (who's my pick for Defensive Player of the Year by the way), NaVorro Bowman, Dashon Goldson, etc. They are guys that analysts rave about. Analysts like ESPN's Marcellus Wiley, who makes an unfortunate metaphor about their defense being full of "terrorists." Because who doesn't refer to people as "terrorists" as a complement? Let's go to the videotape.

Rams Hire Jeff Fisher as Head Coach

Five days ago I pondered where Jeff Fisher would be coaching for next season between the Miami Dolphins and the St. Louis Rams. I thought that he would end up in St. Louis and take a look at what happened.
Even though the Rams have not had a winning season since 2003, this was probably the best job on the market. The Rams have a potential franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford, who while he struggled this season was impressive as a rookie in 2010. The team also has the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, which will be really attractive for teams that need a quarterback to trade up for in order to select Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. They are also flush with cap space and money to spend this offseason in free agency.
As for Fisher, I've long been a fan of his and I think he's a great coach. He's got a lot of expierence and is still relatively speaking young at 53, turning 54 in late February. All in all, a great hire.

Craig James: "America is Great Because Americans are Good"

So former ESPN college football charlatan, man I love that word, Craig James is running for U.S. Senate as well all know and his longshot bid has been highlights from a bizarre opening ad to saying such bizarre things in the first Republican US Senate debate saying that his core principles are "God is God. Family is family. And the Constritution is the Constitution" as well as his plan for fixing the budget problems in Washington as "just look to the Constitution, look to the playbook." Indeed.
So we found another great James ad on the internets where he said this great gem:, "America is Great Because Americans are Good." And you also see him riding a horse. Let's go to the videotape.

Where Will Prince Fielder Sign?

The Winter Meetings have long been over and the MLB Hot Stove has died down a little but one thing still remains; Prince Fielder is a free agent. Arguably the second best player in free agency this offseason, Fielder has yet to sign the monstrous deal he should, and will, get. So where will he sign?

Yes There Is a Tecmo Bowl 'Tebowing' Shirt

H/T Shutdown Corner
You know you want one. Even as it looks like he is giving the finger, don't act like you wouldn't buy that. Actually you probably won't but check it out on the Tecmo Bowl website. Because let's be frank, anything that Tecmo Bowl does is automatically awesome.

1/12/2012

Chris Broussard's Spelling Fail

Say what you want about ESPN reporter Chris Broussard and his reporting and whatever, he is a spelling fiend.
H/T SportsGrid
Except not really. That's pretty embarrassing but I have a feeling that Vice President Dan Quayle would enjoy that. Hell, ESPN should have those two spelling geniuses announcing the National Spelling Bee because who wouldn't love that? And Quayle would be relevant for a day. Everybody wins. 

1/11/2012

Schottenheimer Out as Jets Offensive Coordinator, Sparano Reportedly In

New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, enemy number one it seems for Jets fans, has decided to part ways with the club. And former Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano will be his replacement as offensive coordinator and playcaller. Continue reading for my initial reaction.

1/10/2012

Jaguars Hire Mike Mularkey as Head Coach

The Jacksonville Jaguars have hired their third head coach in team history and it is Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey. Mularkey, who has been offensive coordinator in Atlanta since 2008, has head coaching experience with the Buffalo Bills, leading them to a surprising 9-7 record in 2004 and a disappointing 5-11 finish in 2005 before resigning. He has a history of coaching balanced and varied offenses with a love of trickeration, particularly from his time in Pittsburgh as their offensive coordinator, also known as the last time Antwaan Randle El was good. He was key in the development of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and will be key in the development of Blaine Gabbert, who really had a rough go of it in his rookie campaign this season. He's a solid, if unexciting, hire for the Jaguars.

Tim Tebow Asked to Endorse Multiple GOP Candidates & Declines

Tim Tebow has gotten name-dropped by GOP candidates in debates and in advertisements. So it seems natural that multiple candidates would be asking Tebow for his endorsement, especially with the Florida primary coming up. Hell this guy pretty much blew up Twitter with his game-winning touchdown pass in overtime to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs.
Well the Associated Press is reporting as such, saying that "[Tebow] recently told The Assiociated Press that he's been asked by more than one of the contenders for his support." He did not say who had asked for his support (cough, Perry, cough) and that he declined them all. Tebow said "I think you have to have so much trust in who you support, just from product endorsements to endorsing a candidate because if that person or company (bad), it reflects on you." Indeed.

Why Marty Schottenheimer Would Be a Great Hire for Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have put together an interesting and almost bizarre list of candidates for their vacant head coaching position. The list includes Wade Phillips, who is widely regarded by most to be an awful head coach (including me), Brad Childress, who isn't that good of a coach either, Mike Sherman, who did a solid job with the Green Bay Packers but had a less than stellar tenure of late at Texas A&M and Jerry Gray, a longtime and talented defensive assistant. But perhaps the most surprising name on the list is Marty Schottenheimer, who has not coached in the NFL since being fired by the Chargers after the 2006 season and was last spotted in the UFL, leading the Virginia Destroyers to the UFL title. But bringing him in would be a great hire and here is why.

Raiders Fire Hue Jackson

For the second consecutive season, the Oakland Raiders, who had not had a .500 season since going to the Super Bowl in 2002, have fired a head coach after going 8-8. Tom Cable was fired after going 8-8 last season and Hue Jackson, the offensive coordinator from a season ago, has been fired today after going a similar 8-8. No coach since Jon Gruden has lasted three years and two, both African American ironically, have lasted just one season (Art Shell and Jackson).
While Jackson did a solid job this season, this hiring is not all this surprising if you think about it.

2012 NFL Mock Draft: 3rd Edition

Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State is the clear elite receiver of the 2012 NFL Draft and could potentially go as high as number two overall to the St. Louis Rams. We all know who is going number one but how will the rest of the draft shake out for guys like Blackmon? Here's my third look at a mock draft with the clubs that either missed the playoffs or were eliminated from the hunt last weekend.

1/09/2012

Barry Larkin Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

The newest member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, the 40th that played with the Cincinnati Reds, the 25th shortstop and the 48th who spent his entire career on one team, is Barry Larkin who was elected today after being chosen on 86 percent of ballots, his third year on the ballot. Larkin played from 1986-2004, all in the Queen City, and hit .295 with 198 home runs, 960 RBI's, 2,340 hits, 379 stolen bases as well as three Gold Gloves, 12 All-Star appearances, the MVP award in 1995 and a World Series Championship in 1990. Larkin fell 75 votes short last year.
Jack Morris was second of the ballot with 67 percent of the vote but fell 48 votes short and has two years on the ballot left. He was followed by Jeff Bagwell (56 percent), Lee Smith (51 percent), Tim Raines (49 percent), Alan Trammell (37 percent) and Edgar Martinez (37 percent). Bernie Williams received the most votes out of players elgible in what is considered to be a weak class with 55 votes. Next year's ballot will have Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa and Curt Schilling eligible for the first time.

2012 NFL Playoffs: Divisional Picks

The 2012 NFL Playoffs roll on as the Wild Card round has concluded and the Divisional Playoffs are about to commence. Four teams have advanced from the first round with four more clubs coming off a bye. Who do I think will advance to the AFC and NFC Championship Games? It's time for my Divisonal Playoffs picks.

1/08/2012

Will Jeff Fisher be Coaching in Miami or St. Louis Next Year?

It seems to be a foregone conclusion that Jeff Fisher is going to be coaching next season. Now arguably the most sought after coaching candidate seems headed to be coaching either the Miami Dolphins or the St. Louis Rams next season. So where will he land? Here's my thoughts.

One Armed Arkansas State Fan With Greatest Sign Ever

H/T SB Nation
Gus Malzahn was a great hire for Arkansas State and you can tell some folks really wanted him in Jonesboro. And that is the best sign I have ever seen quite frankly. I mean how could that not be awesome? Makes me wish I watched the GoDaddy.com Bowl.

Watch Tim Tebow, Demarius Thomas & the Broncos Defeat the Steelers in OT

What a finish in Denver. In the first playoff game to utilize the new overtime rules, the Denver Broncos were able to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime on the very first play in overtime when Tim Tebow threw a game-winning 80-yard touchdown catch to Demaryius Thomas in a shocking finish that propels John Fox's club to take on the New England Patriots in Foxborough on Saturday evening. Let's go to the videotape.

Watch Charles Barkley & SNL Spoof Inside the NBA

Come on, you really thought that Charles Barkley would be hosting Saturday Night Live and they would not spoof Inside the NBA? Well here is their skit from last night with Barkley as Shaq, Kenan Thompson as Barkley, some guy as Kenny Smith and Bill Hader as The Elevator Ernie Johnson. As Glenn Beck would say, it is laugh out loud funny. Let's go to the videotape.