Where are all the critique artists about Joe Paterno being too old to coach at Penn State University? Penn States is steadily moving up the polls being close to the Top 15. At 8 and 1 Penn State is putting itself in position to go to a real good bowl game. Now wait a minute! Proponents are saying who have the Nittany Lions beaten. They beat Indiana State, they beat Eastern Michigan, they squeaked by Temple(who is a good team now)and they beat 5 Big Ten opponents. There only loss is to #2 Alabama Crimson Tide. The final 3 games of the regular season will tell the football gurus a lot, but many experts had Penn State going 6 and 6 or 7 and 5. Let's give some credit here to Coach Joe Paterno and his Nittany Lion staff. Lets give some credit to Defensive Co-ordinator Coach Tom Bradley. Can Joe Paterno coach 5 more years? He has surpassed fabled Grambling State U Coach Eddie Robinson 408 victories. If Penn State goes 10 and 2, Joe Paterno may get Coach of the Year honors. Or should Tom Bradley get assistant coach of the year honors. They are 8 and 1 shuffling in-between 2 quarterbacks. Maybe shuffling in 2 quarterbacks is confusing other teams defensive co-ordinators with too much to prepare for. But whatever is it, it is nice to see a coach that will be 85 years old on the first day of winter with a chance to challenge for the Big Ten Title.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
The Pittsburgh Tribune Review came out with an interesting article(Sunday October 30, 2011) about Betting on High School Football Games. As WPIAL Executive Director Mr. Tim O'Malley quoted in the Trib as being "borderline ridiculous." I agree with Mr. Tim O'Malley. Sports betting has trickled down to the high school football level. Nothing surprises me anymore. A gambling group called 5Dimes is putting the lines out there on high school football games particularly the ones that have live TV coverage. This has been going on since 1997. And if no one would put a wager on a high school game, then the lines would not be available. There must be a market for this type of wagering. If people will bet the coin toss(heads or tails)at the Super Bowl, then gambling freaks will bet almost anything. My question is, how do they know what line to set for a particular high school football game? Is someone from this 5Dimes doing research on these teams to be able to come up with a spread on these TV games? And down the road, you know someone is going to entice a high school football player to fix a game. When ESPNU is televising high school football games on a weekly basis, then there must be a market for this venue. High School football is popular, but wagering on high school games is very questionable.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
T.O. means Time Out. Terrell Owens needs to end his football career. Maybe NFL teams are doing it for him. Owens is going to be 38 years old this December and played 15 seasons in the NFL. On the field, he had a very good career with 153 touchdowns for an average of 10 a season. Fantasy Football Players loved this guy in his prime. But on the sidelines, Owens always expressed his opinion about things and was very vocal about not getting the ball thrown to him. During this past April, 2001, Terrell Owens suffered an ACL tear and had to have surgery. This past week, he and his agent conducted a personal workout to show NFL teams that Terrell Owens was ready for a comeback after the knee surgery. Not one NFL team showed up. I like his fortitude about his desire to play again, but there is a time when you have to give it up. Maybe someone will give him a chance this season or next, but after an ACL tear at his age, it may be remote. Somewhere down the line, Terrell Owens will show up again. It may not be in uniform but Terrell Owens is good copy and you never know, for he may appear on the NFL Network as an analyst. NFL Network hired Deion Sanders, who is actually doing a pretty good job. One of Terrell Owens quotes always stuck in my mind, "The fans love to hate me." I wonder why.
Monday, October 24, 2011
5 and 2 is a good start for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Big Ben and Mike Wallace have become maybe the best if not the BEST wide receiver-quarterback combination in the entire NFL. Another QB/WR combo that can match the Steelers combo is this week's opponent New England's Tom Brady/Wes Welker duo. I personally think the Steelers have a shot at a season with more than 10 victories. Let us look at the teams the Steelers have beaten so far. The Colts at 0 and 7 have gone in the tank. The Arizona Cardinals with Kevin Kolb at the helm are a dismal 1 and 5. The Jacksonville Jaguars with a rookie QB leading the way are a weak 1 and 5 but played the Steelers pretty tough especially in the second half losing 17 to 13. The Seattle Seahawks are a sub par 2 and 4 and the Steelers rocked their world. And the Tennessee Titans, who started off well beating the Ravens in game 2, are a mediocre 3 and 3. The Titans got pounded at home by the Houston Texans, who by the way held Chris Johnson to 18 yards rushing and the Steelers bounced the Titans around also. When the dust clears after 7 games, the Pittsburgh Steelers 5 victories are against teams with a combined record of 7 and 24. The next 4 games will tell the fans around here something. First at home vs. New England, then here comes the Baltimore Ravens into Heinz Field, then at the respectable Cincinnati Bengals, a Bye week is next which looms large, and then a trip out to Kansas City to play the Chiefs who started off poorly but now have won 3 in a row. There are some very interesting games in the very near future for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Like father, like son. That is New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan motto. NFL fans know about Rex Ryan's father Buddy Ryan. Buddy had all kind of media quotes. He had a feud with Mike Ditka when they coached together for the Chicago Bears. He punched Offensive Co-ordinator Kevin Gilbride in the jaw during a game when they coached together for the Houston Oilers. Buddy Ryan blamed Gilbride,because of his offensive scheme, causing 2 injuries to his defensive players. Gilbride implemented the "Run and Shoot" offense for the Oilers and Buddy Ryan called it the "Chuck and Duck" offense which irritated Gilbride. Then during a game the punch was thrown. When Buddy Ryan was coaching the Eagles they had some key injuries to some running backs and were looking for a trade. The Steelers at the time had some good running backs. A reporter asked Buddy Ryan about a trade for Steelers RB Earnest Jackson. Buddy Ryan's quote was "I wouldn't trade a Six Pack for Earnest Jackson." Upon taking the Arizona Cardinals job in 1993, Buddy Ryan was quoted by saying"You got a winner in town." 8 and 8 during the 1993 season and then the Cardinals took a nosedive and went 4 and 12 in 1994, and just like that Buddy Ryan retired. Like father, like son. Rex Ryan made a quote this past week, that if he was coaching the San Diego Chargers, he would have won a couple of Super Bowls by now. In 2009, he was noted by saying to a reporter "Why are all these cameras outside our(NY Jets)locker room?" "Barack Obama must be here. He doesn't need to be here because we will be visiting him in the next couple of years." Rex Ryan should flip flop his quotes and tell the media that we are going to stink this year and then maybe they might get to the Super Bowl and I mean MAYBE.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
It took the NFL a long time to submit to the fact that it needed to implement the 2 point conversion. College football had the 2 point try long before the National Football League. Now my next point is the challenge. The NFL needs to get rid of it and go to the format like college football has. A referee in the booth buzzes the head official and says the play is under review. This is more feasible than a coach having 2 challenges during the game. Right now the NFL reviews every touchdown so why not review close plays and forget the coach's challenge. For example, in the Lions vs 49ers game this past Sunday, Ted Ginn returned a punt to the Lions 40 yard line, but after a commercial break, the ball was inexcusably placed on the Lions 35 yard line. This is where a booth official could buzz the Head Official, stop play, and get the ball placement correct. No excuses, the NFL needs a solution. College football does it and it works so why can't the hierarchy of the National Football League implement this strategy. You do not want to remove the human element out of the game of football, but there are certain times that calls need to be corrected. The NFL can make this adjustment and should consider it in the near future. Why not? When you have 22 players flying around the field, mistakes are easy to make.http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/10/19/nfl-admits-bad-spot-gave-49ers-five-free-yards/
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
NFL teams have to be on the watch for the Cincinnati Bengals! Are the Bengals still the Bungals as the great Myron Cope called them? Just stating my opinion, they pulled off a real good trade, sending QB Carson Palmer to the Oakland Raiders for a first round selection in the April, 2012 draft and a conditional 2nd rounder in the 2013 draft unless the Raiders win one playoff game this Winter, and then it becomes a 1st rounder in the 2013 draft. The Bengals have their quarterback now in T.C.U. rookie Andy Dalton who seems to be playing fairly well after 6 games. The Bengals first rounder this past April was Georgia's AJ Green who is a nice big target for Andy Dalton. I think the Cincinnati Bengals are going to be a team to reckon with in the AFC North Division down the road. The Bengals are not bad this season(4 and 2) and one of the reasons for this is that the Bengals have a pretty good running game with Cedric Benson as its focal point and a respectable offensive line. Carson Palmer is 31, says he has 80 million dollars in the bank, and has some gas left in his tank. He can be effective for the Oakland Raiders but I think the Raiders gave up too much for his services. Do not forget, the Raiders QB Jason Campbell, who just broke his collarbone and is on I.R. for the year, was playing pretty good up to this juncture. So next September, the Raiders will have Carson Palmer, Jason Campbell(who is a free agent after this season), Kyle Boller, and Terrelle Pryor as their quarterbacks. Jason Campbell probably will not be back with the Raiders so therefore Carson Palmer is their man. Did the Raiders give up too much for Carson Palmer? Only time will tell if the Bengals lose the Bungals nickname.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Is the National Football League attempting to teach the players a lesson on football safety? With all the fines that are occurring, this may be the case. It seems like when you pick up a newspaper or look at pro football talk.com, that at least one and even more players are receiving fines from the league. Baltimore Ravens Center Matt Birk received a $5000. fine for removing his microphone from his shoulder pads because he said it was uncomfortable and was pinching his neck. We know what that is like when you buy a new shirt and some tag or label in the shirt is annoying you, so therefore you remove it. Another Baltimore Raven, running back Ray Rice, was levied a $7500. fine fine for grabbing a defensive players face mask. Football used to be a contact sport but now it is a collision sport and some of the collisions are violent. The league is making all sorts of attempts to cut down on the injuries and the latest is kicking off from the 35 yard line attempting to control one of football's most exciting plays, the kickoff return. I agree with the striking from a defensive player leading with a helmet to make a tackle, but what about a running back leading with his helmet to finish a run and produce more yardage(no fines in this scenario). Let's go back in time, when H.O.F. Steelers linebacker, Jack Lambert, said publicly that the quarterback should wear a skirt because the NFL hierarchy was trying to control the hits on the QB. NFL headquarters must have a group of evaluators that observe each and every game, and determine what players should be fined every week. Troy Polamalu got fined $15000. for horse-collaring a player on a tackle a few weeks back. My question is, how else was he supposed to tackle him. Where is all this money going that is collected for these fines?
Saturday, October 8, 2011
On July 25, 2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates were 53 and 47 at the 100 game mark and atop the National League Central Division. Fans were talking about the Pirates turn-around and people were flocking to baseball games. Then the Buccos took a free fall the last 62 games going 19 and 43 to have a final record of 72 and 90. 72 wins more than surpassed the 57 win total of 2010. Attendance was up in large numbers. People are still talking baseball 10 days after the season has ended. This is great for the Buccos. Neil Walker had a 163 hits in 159 games with 83 RBI's. Andrew McCutchen had 148 hits in 158 games with a team leading 23 home runs and 89 RBI's. Next in home runs was Garrett Jones with only 16 round trippers. The Pirates need a player that can hit 30 home runs and have 100 RBI's. Is this Derrek Lee? Maybe and the Pirate brass should sign Lee to a 2 year deal if possible. The pitching staff was solid up to the 100 game plateau but during the final 62 tilts, the Bucco ERA was a dismal 5.09. Another alarming statistic was the number of strikeouts by Pirate hitters. They amassed a franchise record of 1308 batters striking out. This is an 8.08 average per game. That means out of either the 27 or 24 outs each game, 8 were by strikeout. You need to put the bat on the ball. Overall, this team can get better under Clint Hurdle. After 19 long seasons under .500, with some correct baseball moves and acquisitions, with Pedro Alvarez playing to his potential, the Buccos can get over.500 and contend for a division title. Let's go Bucs.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
The talk of the town right now from the Steeler fans is the Offensive Line. I am hearing a wide variety of reasons why they were defeated by the Houston Texans but the one constant was the offensive line. The Line is different than last the 2010 Super Bowl Team season. Maybe Flozell Adams and Max Starks were that good, but Starks missed games due to neck issues. Willie Colon getting injured does not help either. But I think the Offensive line will jell. Give it time. Coach Sean Kugler is a solid offensive line coach. Coach Kugler may need to make position adjustments with some of the current offensive linemen.Big Ben needs to be put under center more instead of constantly being in the shotgun where an opposing DE can tee off on the QB coming off the edge. The Steelers need to run the ball more. Easier said than done, right. One thing to look at is bring back a fullback similar to a Dan Kreider. HB/TE David Johnson is a good blocker but he fits more of the TE mold. During the Cowher era, when one specific Steeler running back ran for 111 yards or more, Cowher's winning percentage was over 90%. Big Ben is getting pounded and in their type of offense, Big Ben has a tendency to hold onto the ball longer than he needs to. If I say it once, I will say it a hundred times, throw the football to score, run the football to win.