2011 NFL Draft, Tiger Woods, Ryan Mallett and Saturday's Late Sports News
There are no more easy breaks for Tiger Woods. Aside from his personal issues, which were of his own doing, it appears that Tiger is the guy who can’t catch a break.
It’s a drastic departure from the golfer who used to have every shot go his way, every putt break enough and every club choice be the perfect one. Now he can’t even get healthy.
The latest injury to Woods, a medial collateral sprain in his left knee to accompany the Achilles tendon strain, is a setback that looks to force Wood out of more tournaments. For any other golfer the time off might be a blessing in disguise, but for a golfer who plays in as few tournaments as Woods does makes it harder to handle.
Perhaps Woods needs extended time off to deal with these injuries and rest for the PGA Championship later this summer, but Woods is unlikely to do that. Still in endless pursuit of Jack Nicholas’ major record, Woods will push forward even at the risk of hurting himself long term.
It appears that his health will continue to be a problem for him. It’s a wonder if he will catch Jack after all.
For this and more of Saturday’s top sports stories, stay right here with Bleacher Report.
Pele believes he’s the best, but is he really?
You can’t blame Pele for believing that he’s the greatest of all time. After all, when your name is synonymous with excellence and footwork then you have the right to believe that you are the one and only “Great one.”
But one must respect that as the game evolves there is always the chance that someone is better. For many that man is Lionel Messi.
Barcelona’s star is quickly entering the discussion of not only today’s greats, but the all time greats.
Ian Chadband of the Telegraph has this to say on the subject of Messi’s greatness:
For Messi is making the incredible seem workaday. Why did it not take away our breath that he could slalom through four sentries and coolly slot past one of the world’s best keepers? Only because we had beheld it before from him. Over and over.
Chadband brings up a good point. Messi is an amazing footballer and one who’s talents we take for granted. Perhaps because we live in a world that has foolishly slotted in Pele as an unreplaceable great. Much the way we have Michael Jordan.
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This way every comparison is invalid or met with disbelief as if no one can take their spot. As if their greatness is so lofty that our appreciate for anyone else must be met with the idea that “yeah, he’s great, but he’s no Pele.”
But they must have taken someone’s spot themselves. Greatness existed before Jordan and Pele, and it will continue to exist after them.
We don’t have to devalue the contributions that Jordan and Pele made to their sports simply because we value someone else’s. We must also recognize that, though we understand their singular greatness, it can be surpassed because there almost always comes something better.
Maybe Messi is that something better.
Green Back Packers address needs and look good for strong title defense
When you find yourself in the drivers seat in the NFL, you find that the draft doesn’t hold the same sense of urgency that it does for the teams on the bottom. The truth is that the Packers, who had the last pick of the first round, didn’t need to focus on a whole lot.
With a quarterback in place, a top notch defensive unit and a receiving core that is as good as football has and is getting healthy, the Packers addressed depth more than they addressed need.
Their first round pick was offensive lineman Derek Sherrod who should fill in nicely as the current lineman, Chad Clifton, is well at the end of his career.
The Packers used their second round to draft Randall Cobb who could prove to be a good one and a solid replace for Donald Driver who is at the end of his career.
The Packers put together a smart draft and for that they should have no trouble staying at the top of the NFC. They are proving again that the secret to success is with a management team who knows how to draft the right guys at the right time.
David Beckham narrowly avoids a major faux pas
They can teach you everything about being a sex symbol, but they can’t seem to teach you everything about fashion.
David Beckham, the soccer star who’s known as well for his abs and his style as he is for his ability with a soccer ball, almost made a huge mistake at the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
E! Online.com explains:
When Becks arrived at Westminster Abbey Friday morning, he was proudly displaying his Order of the British Empire medal, which he received for his services to British football back in 2003.
Doesn’t sound like a big deal? Here’s more:
You see, David was wearing his medal on his right lapel, when in fact, he should have affixed the honor to his left in keeping with proper procedure.
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Luckily someone caught Beckham and showed him the way. Clearly Beckham needs to learn a thing or two about proper procedure. It’s a shame. I was kind of hoping that he would shame the royal family. It would have made me feel better about ruining my cousins wedding(occasionally you attend a wedding, have too much to drink and announce that the groom filed for bankruptcy three days before the wedding. It happens).
David Beckham: 1. Me: 0
Greg McElroy wins out big in seventh round
It must have been a nightmare for Greg McElroy.
After all, it’s not every day that you come a few picks from not being drafted at all. It’s not every day that a national champion becomes Mr. Irrelevant.
But Greg McElroy waited…and waited…and waited, but then his prayers were answered in the form of the New York Jets.
While it’s not the way he’d want to start his NFL career, there’s a good chance that it’s the best place he could be.
While McElroy won’t start, it’s not impossible to think that in a year or two he might not have a shot at that starting job. To say Mark Sanchez is impressing anyone would be an overstatement. He’s been erratic and inconsistent. There’s a good chance that Sanchez’s play could open the door for McIlroy.
Additionally, where as Carolina, Minnesota and Cincinnati are all a work in progress, McElroy has the benefit of a ready-made Super Bowl contender. Rex Ryan could plug him in and he’d be ready with the pieces in place. That would eliminate a ton of the learning curve a young quarterback has.
This could all be very good for McElroy. The Seventh round has never looked so promising.
Tiger Woods buried his game on Thanksgiving two years ago
I use the term ruin lightly. To play as well as Tiger has would be quite the accomplishment for any golfer on the PGA tour, but for the world’s greatest it’s all about winning majors. Tiger isn’t doing that lately.
Normally a personal issue doesn’t spell the end of a great streak, but for Woods I feel as if it has. The moment Tiger’s personal infidelities went public was the time his world came crashing down. It’s one thing to say an athlete is able to block out personal pain for the betterment of themselves and of their performance, but it was more than that.
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Tiger’s whole life had changed. Not only had his marriage and relationship with his kids transformed in a heartbeat, but his golf life to. He was perfection. He was the model of consistency and seemed without imperfection.
Now Tiger must still learn how to exist in his new self. It sounds silly, but how long would it take you to adjust to being a completely different person and living a completely different life with brand new expectations on it?
I think it’s taken him more time than he thought it would.
His knee hasn’t been the only thing affecting his golf game.
Chicago Bears made all the right moves
The Chicago Bears have had a history of blowing first round picks. Whether it was Cedric Benson, Chris Williams or a host of other players Chicago swung and missed on, the Bears have had trouble getting the draft right.
But 2011 might have been the year the Bears turned the corner on half baked drafts. With the first top 30 pick the Bears have had in years they managed to get the best value for their biggest need. Wisconsin offensive lineman Gabe Carimi should give them protection on the right side for years. This is big for a team that allowed Cutler to be sacked in the last year well over 50 times.
But the Bears may have had the steal of the draft when they traded up into the second round to get Oregon defensive tackle Stephen Paea. Paea was considered a first round pick but fell far enough for the Bears to make a move. With a system in the Cover-2 that relies on a solid three technique defensive tackle, Paea could make the Bears defense better than the broken down Tommie Harris did.
It’s not certain that these picks will pan out, but it’s hard to disagree with them on paper.
LeBron James says he didn’t quit on anyone
When LeBron took his talents to South Beach, breaking the hearts of the Cleveland faithful, there were rumors that he quit on the team.
If you watched the Celtics series it was hard to think otherwise. He spent stretches of time seemingly lost on the court and it was compounded by a horrendous shooting performance.
But don’t tell LeBron James that.
James told Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com that those rumors were “corny.”
James went on to say that this series against the Celtics is personal.
It is personal. You don't want to keep getting beat by the same team; the same team sending you home to plan vacations.
Call me a hater, but I watched that series and to say that LeBron James quit on his team might be an overstatement, but to say that he seemed disinterested isn’t.
What’s the difference?
To say he quit on the team is like saying that he made a conscious effort to screw his guys. To say he was disinterested is to say that LeBron was too self involved and possibly thinking about his own move to Miami and it took him off his game.
I think LeBron knew that if he won that series he would be stuck in Cleveland. You don’t reach another NBA finals and then talk about how you need a better situation to win.
I think that sort of thinking affected his play. I won’t say he quit, but I’ll say he got scared at the idea of staying in Cleveland.
Manny Pacquiao might be over training for May 7 contest
How do you tell the world’s pound-for-pound best boxer that he’s going over board? If you are Freddie Roach you probably don’t know what to say.
According to GMANews.com, the eight time champion was in rare form at a recent sparring session for the media.
Signs of Pacquiao slowing down was hardly noticeable Fridayas he repeatedly battered his 10-year trainer in a heated exchange at center ring to the delight of a big crowd that included TV-movie actor Mario Lopez and Laguna congressman Dan Fernandez and actress-wife Shiela Ysrael.
For several times, Roach tried to rough up Pacquiao and at one point the teacher even connected a left-right combination to the face of the world's top pound-for-pound fighter that drew a wild round of applause from their highly-appreciative audience.
This might be a little much for Manny, who’s camps in the past have been filled with distraction, but I’ve said all along Manny is doing his best to take Mosley seriously.
Manny has everything to lose and very little to win in this fight. He has to show up well or his reputation could take a huge hit and hurt his earnings in the future.
Manny is better off going full out. Mosley can’t be happy to hear this.
2011 NFL Draft had teams making bold moves
Nothing creates excitement in round one like a surprise pick or trade. The frenzy the Broncos sent the media into when they selected Tim Tebow late in the first round.
Well for those who thought nothing could top the shockers last year, there were quite a few this year as well.
When the Panthers selected Cam Newton I knew that this pick can only go one of two ways: brilliantly or horribly. There will be no in between for Newton. What he makes up for in overall athletic ability, he fails at from the x’s and o’s of football. I think the Panthers will regret Cam Newton.
For the Titans they seemed to think that Jake Locker was the right guy for their offense. The problem with Locker isn’t his make up because he embodies what a quarterback is, but what Locker does lack is accuracy inside the pocket. Tennessee thinks they can improve on that and they better be right because if they aren’t Locker will look like an insane pick.
The Falcons went up and got Julio Jones. There is no question that Jones looks like a stud in most analysts eyes, but what they gave up to get him(when guys like Greg Little and Torrey Smith were available later on) will by a risky move.
Teams bet big on these picks. Let’s hope they pay off.
2011 NFL Draft saw plenty of teams make the right moves
In a year of uncertainty, the NFL draft provided some reassurance for a number of teams going forward. What’s most impressive is that beyond watching the Falcons mortgage away the future for a receiver, or watching Tennessee take a huge risk for a quarterback, there were a number of teams with poor drafting histories make a good run at the talent this year.
Cleveland Browns could wait to take that load off of the Falcons when they acquired four picks to move up to number six. Holmgren addressed needs on the defense primarily and put the Browns on the track to successful rebuilding.
Chicago Bears had a good draft. They managed to get an offensive lineman in Gabe Carimi who should be a good right tackle for them. They managed to get a great value with Stephen Paea in the mid second round and their addition of safety filled another defensive need.
The Denver Broncos had a great day picking up Von Miller and managing to get the best safety in the draft, Rahim Moore. These two will provide immediate help to the Broncos and should make Elway’s first draft a success.
Dallas Cowboys have another great NFL draft
Jerry Jones receives quite a bit of criticism for his drafting. It’s no wonder because when a guy with no football experience makes football decisions, you have to wonder.
But this year Jerry Jones managed to do something the Cowboys really needed: address problem areas.
Coming off a big disappointment in a season where the Cowboys were hoping to play the Super Bowl at their own stadium the Boys had to get it right on draft day and they seemed to have done that.
Tyron Smith, the USC lineman is a physical freak that will only make the Cowboys line better, this will be a key component for a line that left Tony Romo on his back early on and out for the rest of the season.
Their latter picks, addressing needs in the linebacker unit as well as the running back position could put Dallas as a front runner for the NFC crown. If Romo can manage to keep his interceptions to a minimum and the Cowboys can tighten their defensive unit through free agency, there’s no way that Dallas won’t win the NFC East.
Pippa Middleton could enter the WAG rankings soon enough
While royal wedding garnered the attention of millions all over the world, the biggest story for Kate Middleton’s nuptials may have been the maid of honor, Pippa Middleton. It appears the sister of Princess Kate is turning heads internationally.
And for those of you who are hoping that you get to see more of Pippa, well you might because rumor has it she could be dating an English Cricket player. Of course while this will break the hearts of the worlds most eligible bachelors, this would put her in an exclusive club: the WAG club.
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However, while the world of WAG would welcome her openly, it doesn’t mean that she’d appear at the top of the rankings. Truthfully, while Pippa is a stunning woman, the list of the best looking WAG’s is long and features some fierce competition.
Remember that this is the same list that features Kim Kardashian, Kendra Wilkinson, and even Jenna Jameson. Of course Pippa brings a refined quality to the mix, but there is still stiff competition out there to be the hottest WAG in professional sports.
Ryan Mallett may be in the best situation possible
It’s easy to be pessimistic about Ryan Mallett and his situation in New England. Perhaps that’s because of the drug allegations or the spread offense that could take a while to deviate from mentally, but there is reason to be hopeful for Mallett.
While the young quarterback probably would have picked a place where he wasn’t going to be relegated to the bench, he might be better off that way. We’ve heard the rumors that spread quarterbacks are notoriously slow starters because of the chance in offensive schemes. So Mallett watching for a couple of years could do good things for him.
Additionally, if Mallett is interested in a mentor, he’s got a great one in Tom Brady. Brady won’t just show him how to play the position, but how to be a quarterback in the NFL both on and off the field.
The question is whether or not Ryan is willing to look at this as a good opportunity, or if he’s going to see it as his bad luck. If he seizes the moment he might not play in New England, but rather groom himself for an opportunity elsewhere.
For some guys, and I believe that this applies to Mallett, sometimes sitting and really getting a feel for the pro game can be a good thing. If Mallett stays out of trouble and embraces his role, I think the future could be bright for the quarterback who free fell during the 2011 NFL Draft.
Kentucky Derby 2011 could be Dialed In’s year
All the fuss going into this year’s Derby is about the front runner Uncle MO. It’s clear that he’s the horse with best track record and his finish in third place at the Wood Memorial was a shocker to say the least.
But owner of Dialed In, who many believe could win the Derby as well, Robert LaPenta believes that his horse isn’t getting quite the respect he deserves.
LaPenta told ESPN.com’s Bob Ehalt that he believes Uncle Mo is a media favorite and that could all chance with a win at Churchill Downs.
All of the talk in this Derby campaign has been Uncle Mo this and Uncle Mo that, but I think Dialed has done a lot in his four career starts and I hope he proves he’s the best horse next week. We’ll see what happens with Uncle Mo. He became the favorite of the writers. They loved his connections because they’re outspoken. People were looking for a great story and they latched on to Uncle Mo.
It’s true that Uncle Mo is the more talked about horse, but that isn’t because of a media bias. It’s because Dialed In, a fine horse in its own right, hasn’t won the big races. Uncle Mo has won and has been doing it for longer. Horse racing isn’t about the new kid on the block. It’s about finding the next great race horse. The media is looking to Uncle Mo. They might be right.