Watched Bo’s 30 For 30 last night (again) and was totally incredulous with what an athlete he was and person he is. Finally checked his stats: Absolutely amazing about Bo’s stats in BOTH sports if you look at them in their totality.
Generations of fans will look back at numbers and say, “eh.”
BASEBALL .250, 141 HR, 82 steals. Four “full” years (career high 135 games!), parts of eight.
let the Autumn Wind blow.
Just Win, Baby!
(thank you Jose Bernstein of Bel-Air for the tip)
With the lackluster & overrated Doug Gottlieb subbing in for the woebegone and past-his-prime-because-he-went-Hollywood Colin Cowherd on ESPNRadio this morning, Jim Mora completely disrespects the fill-in host ON-AIR with such gems as “Is this your first interview? Jesus Christ, what kind of questions are these?” Mora closes with: “You were a real joy, thanks.”
This is incredibly good – here’s the video:
UCLA Bruins NFL Week One. Thank you @uclaathletics.
For Arizona, cornerback Matt Ware had two solo tackles in a 17-13 win over St. Louis.
For Chicago, running back Kahlil Bell was inactive.
For Cleveland, defensive tackle Kenyon Coleman made four tackles.
For Denver, wide receiver Matt Willis had a special teams tackle assist.
For Detroit, fullback Spencer Havner made one special teams tackle.
For Green Bay, linebacker Brandon Chillar tied for the team lead with seven tackles in a 27-20 win over Philadelphia.
For Jacksonville, tight end Marcedes Lewis made touchdown receptions of 21 and 10 yards in a 17-14 victory. Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 98 yards on 23 attempts and made three receptions for 15 yards, giving him 113 all-purpose yards.
For Minnesota, punter Chris Kluwe averaged 43.3 yards on seven kicks with two inside the 20-yard line. Three were returned for a total of two yards.
For New England, Matt Slater made two special teams tackles (one solo, one assist).
For Tampa Bay, rookie defensive tackle Brian Price made two solo tackles in a 17-14 win.
For Tennessee, rookie cornerback Alterraun Verner made two special teams tackles in a 38-13 win. Defensive end Dave Ball started and made three tackles and broke up two passes.
For Washington, safety Chris Horton had one special teams tackle in the Redskin win. Tight end Logan Paulsen was inactive.
Linebacker/special teams standout Brendon Ayenbadejo (Baltimore) and safety Jarrad Page (Kansas City) play tonihhyt.
Four and one-half years ago, Houston Texans General Manager Charley Casserly made what was considered at the time the biggest NFL draft gaffe of the decade. . .and possibly ever.
Instead of drafting one of the two main Heisman finalists, either of whom was “clearly” an NFL superstar in the waiting. . .the man chose unheralded North Carolina State DE Mario Williams.
The combine wunderkind wowed scouts with his ‘tools’ – “there may not be a better physical specimen at any position in the draft” – but did not do much at NC State to warrant being a top pick. In any case, from the moment Casserly signed the deal to draft Williams first, he was universally panned:
CBS Sports called the selection of Williams the “worst pick in the Draft.”
Washington Post called it “a very surprising move.”
Austin American-Statesman said that he “better be a force right away. . .or fans will start chanting Reggie, Reggie or Vince, Vince.”
Even the hometown Houston Chronicle could NOT believe that the pick actually happened.
Sports-Central said Williams will be known as “the guy taken before Reggie Bush.“
The St. Louis Post Dispatch called the pick a “failure. . .ranking with the all-time blunders.”
The Chicago Tribune called Williams a “workout marvel” whose selection “should be questioned extensively.”
SI.com questioned his on-field ability, which paled in comparison to his workout pedigree.
This is by no means a slam dunk, as while Bush has disappointed. . .he has not disappeared. He’s a modern day Eric Metcalf, a nice weapon on third-down and kick returns with the occasional change of pace carry from the backfield
Williams, on the other hand, is a perennial Pro Bowler that has proven Charlie Casserly to be well ahead of his time, and quite the visionary. Kudos, CC.
Last night, I was finally able to rewatch my DVR’d version of ESPN’s special30 for 30: Straight Outta L.A. presentation.
Produced & directed by citizen of L.A./Raider Nation, O’Shea Jackson (aka Ice Cube), the product was highly anticipated by YKI. As both an academic purveyor of the socio-cultural influence of hip hop and fervently enthusiastic Angeleno, the integration of hip hop against the backdrop of sports politics – featuring YKI’s favorite football team – was truly must-see programming.
O’Shea Jackson’s inclusion in the select group of filmmakers (Barry Levinson, Dan Klores, Spike Jonze, Albert Maysles direct other 30 for 30 spots) was notable, inspiring a tenacious – if a bit sophomoric – effort behind the camera for Jackson. The focus is narrow and the thesis precisely simple, or as phrased by Calvin Broadus (aka Snoop Dogg): “Football is a violent sport; L.A. is a violent city – it was the perfect marriage.”
*The hero shot of Snoop & Cube entering the L.A. Memorial Coliseum was particularly cliche, if not entirely genuine.
Early in the film, Jackson makes it known that the antagonist of his documentary is a Montgomery Burns/Skeletor hybrid played by Al Davis.
Davis’s iconoclastic, regimented, paranoid, paranormal, tumultuous, chaotic, stoic, daunting, controversial, vexing and exhilarating ownership style was summed up with a single sentence in Cube’s opening act: “Do it your way. Don’t let the culture tell you what to do.”
With basic production and shot selection vis-a-vis filming, Cube ingeniously interspersed animated storytelling to portray the introduction of The Silver & Black to the literal Boys(z) in the Hood. No Mas & James Blagden (famous for their similarly animated, charming interpretation of Doc Ellis‘s no-hitter, thrown while under the influence of LSD) take a literal approach to the animation, crafting the conversations & actions of a young Jackson, Andre Young (Dr. Dre), Eric Wright (Eazy E), DJ Yella & MC Ren, with austere black & white minimalist portrayals.
Excellent interludes, and a good introduction to the underlying premise of the violence/perfect marriage thesis: Los Angeles had the Showtime Lakers, the Fernandomania Dodgers, the ’84 Olympics, but they needed something to more aptly reflected the increasing undergrowth, conflict & influence of the inner-city streets. Snoop again: “we needed something a lil’ more mean, a lil’ more nasty.”
And with that, Davis’s hit-parade on the NFL continued, uprooting the league’s antitrust laws and moving the team to L.A., bringing the ass-kicking swagger & brazen disregard for formality & structure inherent in being a Raider. Covering the tumult in an expedient 48 minutes, Jackson sits down with Raider Nation royalty such as John Madden, Howie Long, Todd Christensen & Marcus Allen, but the best insight comes from defensive stalwart Rod Martin: “Definitely didn’t want to leave Oakland, but if it had to be somewhere I’m glad it was L.A.“
USC Cinematics professor Todd Boyd, eMCees Chris Reid (Kid of Kid n’ Play), Tracy Marrow (Ice-T) & Carlton Douglas Ridenhour (Chuck D) lend equal insight regarding the Los Angeles street culture, reflected in the rapidly ascending influence sales of west coast rappers, which – when viewed in this prism – began with the aforementioned N.W.A.
Along with King Tee & Ice-T, they were the original gangsta rappers – “they intro’d as a gang called N.W.A.” Ice-T notes – in the consummate gangsta city. The land of drive-bys & six-foh’s was being exposed nationally, and N.W.A. was doing the narration (*as Jackson does in this film, bytheway, and its distracting-yet-charming, much like the same tactic in Friday). Most symbolically, the N.W.A. gang all rocked Raider paraphernalia, courtesy of Raider marketing exec Mike Ornstein, who actually provided the first gear to the group’s members.
From the release of N.W.A.’s defining Straight Outta Compton through Ice Cube’s solo move to the East Coast – coincidentally right around the time the Raiders moved back to Oakland – Raiders merchandise sales exploded. Whether or not this was directly due to the group’s inexorable link to the team & colors is a dubious assertion, but Jackson’s point is made: “This is a ‘hood team,” says Professor Boyd. Despite the violent nature of the Nation’s fans, when “the streets came to watch the game,” the Coliseum best represented the diverse demographics of the city, most proudly with the victory in Super Bowl XVIII.
The ending-we-knew-was-coming is eloquently summarized by Howie Long, while discussing the move back to Oakland following the lost years of the post-Marcus Allen era: “the Raiders are a ship without a port.” And Ice Cube/Jackson makes sure that the Raiders realize that they will always be welcomed back in the land of the Raider hat, poignantly closing the film with: they might be the Silver & Black, but they’ll always be our Raiders.”
Scorsese or Fellini he is not, but Jackson/Cube executes his vision, palpably connecting the influence of the group & the team – more importantly, Raider fans & native Angelenos can both enjoy an internal look at the City that spawned a Nation.
Oh yeah, you MUST watch this – note Howie Long’s “Verse”
The once-wunderkind quarterback from Oaks Christian High in Thousand Oaks/Westlake Village has been on the NFL’s radar since his days as star pupil for renowned quarterbacks coach Steve Clarkson. . .when he was in the 8th grade. After shattering nearly every prep record in California, he headed to Notre Dame with much fanfare (and extremely spiky hair).
Projecting to be a first-round pick since the moment he stepped on campus, the turmoil
never really abated, from dealing with the future of his coach to his arrest to the ‘black eye’ incident. Additionally, questions about his maturity, whining and overall leadership further dragged down his reputation, leading to a downward spiral in his draft stock, eventually landing with the Carolina Panthers as the 48th overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Now YKI has been watching Clausen very carefully for the greater part of six years now, and though the questions about maturity are valid on the surface, understanding his background helps immensely in explaining why he will be both valuable and a winner for the Panthers.
First, he’s the brother of two quarterbacks with high-level playing experience, and growing up in that milieu of success provides a strong foundation for stability and growth as an individual and an athlete. The family is also very supportive and has provided focus and strength for Clausen throughout his highly-publicized upbringing. Though he’s not exactly subdued – what quarterback isn’t a bit cocky? – his decision-making has been sound, and the two incidents in question (illegal transportation of alcohol, punched outside of a bar) are literally normal collegiate Boys will be Boys stuff.
Next and perhaps most importantly, Clausen is focused, driven and has a track record for success. Growing up with the intense scrutiny he’s dealt with since his days at middle school; being dissected mentally, physically, athletically & otherwise has prepped him for the pros better than any QB in this year’s draft. For goodness sake, the future of his Coach’s career depended on his performance, and his legacy of comeback wins are testament to his fortitude, will and clutch ability.
Upon meeting and having a discussion with the soon-to-be-Rookie, I was very impressed by his poise – though not surprised. He’s been dealing with hangers-on, suck-ups, media-types and other annoyances for so long that he’s comfortable in his own skin, even when approached in unsolicited fashion.
Our exchange was short, but he was respectful, made consistent eye contact, and did not seem bothered. In fact, he seemed very genuinely pleased that he was recognized (he was decidedly not swarmed, or even recognized in Charlotte-Douglas airport, nor on the plane – it was only after landing back home at LAX that a team of local high-schoolers surrounded him as he exited the plane), and that YKI expressed interest in his future & situation.
In short, it seems that the pundits are right – the Roethelisberger Fallout/Tebow Effectsent executives running for cover when dealing with this L.A. ‘bad boy.’
The grace and class in which Clausen handles himself is exemplary, and Marty Hurney & John Fox will be able to clean up those tears from releasing Jake Delhomme with the used game jerseys of defensive backs that Clausen leaves in the wake of his beautiful deep ball.
Clausen may have received the short end of the income stick in this situation, but he landed in a great organization which now has an excellent future.
Kudos to the Panthers and best of luck to Mr. Clausen. Now if he can only do something about those dang spikes on his blond melon. . .
This blog appears courtesy of Guest Blogger Dave Denicke of Untapped Potential:
“I want a hamburger. No, I want a cheeseburger. I want a hot dog, a milsha….”
“YOU’LL GET NOTHING AND LIKE IT!”
The NFL is a lot like Judge Smails’ kid in the beloved classic Caddyshack. A spoiled brat without limits, and as a result a waste of a golden opportunity to succeed. The league has the advantage of being the most popular sport in the United States, not just with devoted team supporters, but also with gamblers and fantasy sports savants. They are the 600 pound gorilla when it comes to sports television, and they know it. The NFL was the first US sport to launch its own cable channel, and its championship event is a ratings mainstay– not just in the US, but around the world– thus commanding ridiculous price tags for potential advertisers. And yet, you get the sense that, despite all of their success, the NFL is not satisfied with their reach, to the point that they are shooting themselves in the foot.
What made the NFL so unique about ten years ago was that the vast majority of the games took place one day out of the week. Sunday might be the Lord’s day, but he’d better wrap that Gospel up before kickoff, because professional football is not to be trifled with. It was a beautiful marriage between sport and fan, as people were able to line up the rest of their week in order to clear their calendar for Sunday afternoons. Kids leagues, home improvement projects and dates– those are all well and good for a Saturday. But Sunday had been the one day a sports fan needed to have to him (or her) self.
However, the NFL has tinkered with spreading the wealth across the week. Monday Night Football was once incredibly successful, which led to late season Saturday games, and then in turn to Thursday games. Soon enough, a sports fan had to keep 4 evenings a week free in order to keep up with the league. This is to say nothing of the impact on fantasy football, where teams have to make player decisions 72 hours before most of the games get underway.
No, the real problem with the NFL is that they got greedy, and in the process, messed with success. And the same holds true for the NFL Draft. The draft technically used to last two days, but realistically, the first two rounds are where most of the action takes place. By the time Sunday afternoon rolls around, teams are taking more flyers than a lonely man on the Las Vegas Strip.
So rather than consolidate the action, and make it easier for the sports fan to digest, the NFL has gone in the opposite direction, and stretched it over four days. The NFL Draft will now last longer than the Bay of Pigs invasion.
Of course, the intrinsic problem with the draft is that the first round takes waaaaay too long. Teams have 15 minutes to make a pick? These are businesses that have spent the past four months (if not longer) pouring over statistical data, scouting reports and interviews, all to select, on average, seven employees. Do they really need 15 minutes? Try taking half that long at your fantasy draft this fall, and tell me how that goes over. Five minutes. This gives teams enough time to look at their draft board, make a call, and hand in a card to the commissioner. Done and done. This isn’t medical research, its a middle linebacker from Alabama.
In sum, NFL–don’t sell yourself short. You’re a tremendous slouch.
Fourteen years into his bid to bring a football team to Los Angeles, Ed Roski believes there WILL be football in L.A., though there is no real timeline as of yet.
Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times provides the latest insight into the fickle nature of Los Angeles, its fans, and its capability of actually supporting a team. A couple highlights:
Which teams potentially could be in play?
Jacksonville, Buffalo, Minnesota, Oakland, San Francisco and San Diego, none of which is for sale at the moment
Which team is most able to relocate?
San Diego. The Chargers negotiated an escape clause into their Qualcomm Stadium lease that affords them a three-month window each year in which they can leave San Diego without the threat of a lawsuit from the city.
Ravens beat the Colts, 24 – 17
Cardinals outscore the Saints, 34-28
Cowboys demolish the Vikings, 31-17
Chargers barely outlast the Jets, 24-16