Good day to you on this rainy Southern California afternoon. I hope you are doing well and staying dry (for everyone in California). The sports world is still going full speed ahead and I have some ran-DUMB thoughts about it.
The "final four" are set. The Saints and Vikings will go at it to see who will represent the NFC, and they should. All year they have been the two best teams in the NFC and deserve to be there. Brett Favre has had a great year, and good for him. I did not like how he handled himself during his last days in green Bay (and I didn't like how they treated him either), but it is nice to see him play at a high level at 40 years old.
Drew Brees is playing out of his mind. He has been for the last 4 years where he leads in all major quarterback categories (except TD's where he is tied with Peyton Manning). Is he a Hall of Famer? I think he has a better case then Kurt Warner, especially if the Saints win the Super Bowl.
I think the keys to the game will be Bernard Berrian for the Vikings and Pierre Thomas for the Saints. Both are players that get forgotten behind the "big names" like Reggie Bush, Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and Marcus Colston. But have major roles in their teams offense. If Berrian can free up and get deep that will open the middle of the field for Harvin and if Thomas can run the ball effectively then that will Brees with their passing game.
My prediction is Saints will win in a shoot out. I think the Vikings secondary is not as good as the Saints receiver depth and passing attack. Favre will have a good game I suspect, but I also think this is the end of his career. I say 45-38 Saints.
In the AFC I caught hell for saying the Jets were going to be a 9 win team and battle for a playoff spot in my early predictions, but I was right on and they made it. Mark Sánchez (or the "Sanchize") has done a very good job in the post season thus far, especially for a rookie. But the Jets will need Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene to have a big day and Braylon Edwards to not drops passes.
On the Colts side it all starts with Manning. If the Jets can't get to him or knock him down, they will be in for a long day. But I think the Colts will have to be able to run the ball in order to make the Jets not "peel their ears back" and rush Manning. Darrelle Revis will be matched up on Reggie Wayne, and if he can take away one side of the field, Manning may have some trouble.
As far as the keys, I will go with the key match up. Revis vs Wayne. Revis has played all world all year and if he can continue to have the success ha has had this post-season, then the Colts will be in trouble. On the other end, I think the it will be Sánchez vs the Colts pass rush. If they can force him into making some rookie decisions, which could be turnovers, then the Jets are in big trouble.
As much as I wasnt to pick the Jets, since they are the underdog and led by a USC guy, I can't bet against Manning. I like the Colts in a close game, 27-24.
Did anyone else notice that Aaron Rodgers may be the starter in the Pro Bowl? Favre normally doesn't go and Brees may be in the Super Bowl leaving Rodgers to get the start!
Norv Turner did a great job with the Chargers this year, but I don't think he is the guy to take them to a Super Bowl. He is "to nice" of a guy to enforce any rules. There is no way three players of the Packers, Patriots, Saints, Colts, Dolphins or Eagles would be out less than 48 hours before a playoff game, especially at a strip club. Those teams coaches would not tolerate it and those teams players know it. That is a sign of lack of respect by the Chargers players for the coach and more importantly the team. I know he just got a three-year extension, but if their isn't a change in discipline by Turner, unless they win the Super Bowl, he would be out after the 2011 season.
The Chargers have some big questions to answer it comes to their own free agents. Darren Sproles, Vincent Jackson and Shawme Merriman are all free agents not to mention LaDainian Tomlison is due a roster bonus, but his play has not been up to par for the past three seasons, so he may have played his last game for the Chargers.
I may be in the minority here, but I think that a new CBA will be hashed out in the 11th hour by the NFL and NFLPA. Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith both know that a work stoppage would hurt the NFL in the short and long-term.
I like the staff Pete Carroll is putting together in Seattle. Pete has a direction he wants the Seahawks to go and he knows who he wants to be apart of making it happen. Besides bringing Jeremy Bates with him to Seattle from USC, the hiring of Alex Gibbs as offensive line coach was a huge hire for him. The Seahawks running game will be one of the best in 2010, watch.
I think USC has hired the right guy to replace Carroll in Lane Kiffin. He is brash, cocky and he brought a great staff with him, in particular Ed Orgeron and Monte Kiffin. "Coach O" brings that swagger and no-nonsense attitude to the Trojans and they need that. But more importantly they are great recruiters.
Ok, I get Tennessee being upset that Kiffin left after a year, but he was up front with the A.D. and said that USC would be the only place he would leave the Volunteers for. But to me, it shows they are upset they lost a guy who was doing a good job rebuilding their program and didn't want him to leave. They do have a right to be upset, but I find it funny that all these things Kiffin did (like the car accident for example) are just now being brought to light. I say there is a lot of sour grapes on their end.
Brian Kelly is starting to recruit University of Cincinnati recruits and there is no mention of it, but why are people upset that Kiffin and company are recruiting Tennessee recruits now that they are at USC? They want the best recruits wherever they are coaching, and that means the will be recruiting the same players whether Kiffin was there or not. Recruits should choose a school for the school, not the coaches.
I will say this about the recruits that stuck with USC through the coaching change, they have character and did a great job of making sure that class stayed together. If that is the type of players that will be representing USC for the next 3 and 4 years, the Trojans will be in good shape.
I like what Jimbo Fisher is doing (as far as recruiting) down at Florida State. But as much a I like what he is doing, I will miss Bobby Bowden.
Let's stay on Bowden for a second. I think the NCAA made a big time mistake by taking away those 14 wins. They should have let him keep them, in my opinion.
The NBA has it all wrong if Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson make it to the All Star game, none the less get starting nods. McGrady and Iverson would be wrong for accepting the invites, knowing that they don't deserve it.
What happened "King" James? I thought you were all in for the dunk contest? It is a shame that LeBron's not because even though he wouldn't have won it (in my opinion), he would have made it interesting.
Keep an eye on Shannon Brown and DeMarr DeRozen as the two players that should be in the finals of the dunk contest.
The East has 4 really good teams, and the rest of the conference is weak, really weak, while the West is loaded. If your not an Orlando, Boston, Cleveland or Atlanta fan, sorry, you're a mediocre team in a weak conference and wouldn't even make the playoffs in the West.
If the Lakers trade Andrew Bynum for Chris Bosh, Mitch Kupchak losses major points. He pulled off a steal in both the Gasol and Brown/Morrison trades, he would be on the other end if this deal were to go through.
Why is Mike Dunlevey still the Clippers head coach and GM? He is horrible and they need to hire a guy that can get the most out of that talent, and there is some on that team. Maybe Byron Scott would be interested in coaching the team that drafted him?
I say it again, if I were Bud Selig I would make the McCourts sell the Dodgers. They are handicapping them by their divorce and it is a shame. They have some of the best young talent in the majors and should be a team that can go out and add free agents if they choose, not if the payroll (or lack there of) dictates.
What happened to the Angels being aggressive in free agency? They lost Chone Figgens and John Lackey and added 2 players that have major injury concerns (Joel Pineiro and Hideki Matsui).
I like the signing of Aroldis Chapman by the Reds. If he can put it together (like I think he can) the Reds will have a great young 1-2-3 punch with Chapman, Johnny Cueto and Edison Volquez. Just think if Homer Bailey can ever turn it around, the Reds will have a great young staff for a very long time.
Albert Pujols is everything that you would want your young kid to be on the field and off it. Pujols and Derek Jeter are the two classicist men in major league baseball.
Kentucky's John Wall will be the number 1 pick in the NBA draft when he decides to come out (2010). He is lightning quick with great court vision, great leaping ability and he shows very good leadership. He is everything you would want in a point guard.
I like the way UNLV and Georgia Tech plays. But on the flip side I am disappointed in North Carolina so far.
What happened to UCLA? Time are tough all the way around over there. I am not a big UCLA fan, but I hate to see Coach Wooden's school not playing the way UCLA is capable of playing.
Did anyone else hear about former Laker and current USC basketball commentator Michael Cooper say "F*** UCLA" during their live broadcast? The FCC will have a field day with that. Copper has since apologized and is looking to move past it.
Does anyone else miss Bobby Knight or am I alone on that one? I admire how he tells it like it is, and yes before anyone asks I would send my sons to play for him. He will teach them how to be a student athlete, but an athlete who is also a student.
Other Sports Thoughts:
Who care if Tiger Woods is in a sex rehab clinic? (Which happens to be down the road from Brett Favre's house!!) Tiger feels he needs help and he is getting it, good for him. I think it is time for all the media to let him try to heal not only his life, but his marriage.
Glad to see that Brock Lesner is healthy again. I started to get into the UFC and MMA a few years ago thanks to a couple good friends and I have to admit, it is entertaining. Lesner is not the best in the business (Anderson "Spiderman" Silva is), but he maybe the most entertaining.
"Pretty Boy" Floyd Merryweather is not at fault for the cancellation of the "super bout" with Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao, this time I have to blame Pacquiao. Wanting to have a "clean fight" is something we deserve, and hell for $35-$40 million, I get my butt beat Floyd...call me! But I do know one thing, all boxing fans deserved to see this fight and it is a shame it is not going to happen.
I currently am working for a good friend of mine, an R&B artist by the name of TQ. His new album is dropping March 23rd entitled "Kind Of Blue". Here is his first single off it called ELECTRONIC featuring Tha Vill:
If you are a consultant, P.D./A.P.D./M.D. or DJ and want to add it, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great day and thanks for the support.