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Monday, August 28, 2006

NCAA Football Top 10

Why not start this week off with the debut of my college football top 10. Now I know I've always said I'm not a big fan of doing polls before the season starts, but then I figured, how else am I going to brag about being right if I don't? So without getting into too much analysis, here is my college football top 10 as we sit here only days away from the opening kickoff.

Top 10
1. Notre Dame
*This answers the question "What do you get when you combine a Heisman front runner (Brady Quinn), a minor league pitcher (Jeff Samardzija), a semi pro boxer (Tom Zbikowski) and the best offensive mind in the game (Charlie Weis)?" They should have the best passing attack in the country, and that along with a nice defense should do well to win them a few games, and perhaps a long awaited national title.

2. Ohio St.
*I'm big fans of QB Troy Smith (right) and WR Ted Ginn Jr., but something tells me this team may have lost just a little too much on D to be the National Champ. If their defense survives their early test with the Longhorns, maybe I will start singing a sifferent tune, but for now it's still Hail, Hail for 'ole Notre Dame.

3. West Virginia
*Possibly the best all around backfield in the country with QB Pat White and RB Steve Slaton. Not to mention playing in the Big Least should keep them around the top of the BCS heap all year. As long as they don't trip up against Louisville.

4. Auburn
*My Heisman sleeper has already been outed as a favorite, but RB Kenny Irons is still a man beast. Auburn has just been so solid the past 3-4 years that you have to expect Tubberville and crew will be fully reloaded two years removed from the Ronnie Brown, Jason Campbell and Cadillac Williams exodus.

5. Florida
*I have to admit, I've always been a sucker for the Gators and they always let me down. But you have to love Chris Leak in his 5th year, and Urban Meyer should prove this season why he's heralded as an offensive genius.

6. USC
*Sure, maybe my hatred for Pete Carroll is the reason I have the Trojans ranked lower than most. Buy hey it's my blog, and anytime you lose 2 Heisman trophy winners in one season, well that's enough for you to slide down a few slots.

7. LSU
*This is my 3rd SEC team out of the last 4, and yes that means I think it's the strongest conference in the nation. SS LaRon Landry (right) leads this hard hitting defense, and QB JaMarcus Russell probably has enough big plays in that right arm to hold off Ryan Perriloux for one more year.

8. Texas
*I don't see smooth sailing ahead for Texas, but just because they lost Vince Young and a myriad of others doesn't mean they still can't hand out some ass kickins to the Not So Big XII. Mack Brown can still recruit, and his defense can still stick, and that should be enough for a solid run through the Big XII.

9. Florida St.
*I think I am only putting them here because Drew Weatherford is a year older and hopefully a year better, and their defense always seems to have guys that just absolutely eat people. They lost a lot of guys on D, but don't think for a minute there are some beasts waiting in the wings, and a D that fierce will always keep your team around the top 10.

10. Oklahoma
*See above. Just because Rhett Bomar decided to take loots from a booster/car slanger, doesn't mean all is lost in Norman this year. Sure Paul Thompson may be a horrible QB who barely lasted one game last year (blowout loss to TCU), but the defense here will again be enough to carry them through the Weak Ass XII. Not to mention, nothing compliments a great defense quite like the best RB in the nation, Adrian Peterson. Probably not good enough to make a National run, but as usual they will be in the hunt for a big BCS game.

Not Quite There Yet: California, Louisville, Michigan, Georgia


Over the River and Through the Roof?
Question: When is hitting it on the roof of the clubhouse not out of bounds? Answer: When your name is Tiger Freaking Woods. And I'm still not sure if that was his most impressive moment from his latest win at Firestone this weekend. I think it may have been playing to about 75% of his ability, and still being able to beat Stewart Cink in a 4 hole playoff. He's now won 4 tour events in a row (for the second time in his career), he's got 52 titles for his career, he won the Bridgestone event for the 5th time and he was able to hit it on the roof of the clubhouse without being penalized a stroke. And if you think that's amazing then you will love this. Tiger's prize money for his 5 wins at Firestone CC total about $6.6 mil, more than Jack Nicklaus earned in his entire pro career. I'll say it again, it's just fine by me if Tiger goes on and wins every week. The guy is great to watch, and I consider it a privilege to watch the guy that is probably the greatest golfer of all time in his prime.

Red Sox Update
Last Week: 2-4
Overall: 71-59
Standings: 2nd place by 6.5 games

*Well it's official. The Red Sox went 8-18 this month and have officially fallen out of any playoff conversation. Of course I will be the first to jump right back on them if they happen to reel off 10-12 wins in a row, but at this point that seems about as likely as K-Fed actually getting to speak before Congress on how he wants to keep the penny in circulation. The season has gone so wrong so fast, that it's almost difficult to talk about. So I'm going to stop talking about it. Wake me back up when our pitching staff doesn't have the words Snyder or Gabbard in it.

Diamonds Are Forever
*I guess if you told me at the start of the season that the Central would be the strongest division in the AL, I wouldn't have been shocked, but I wouldn't have predicted this. Not only are the Tiger's still plodding along with the best record in the majors, but they are holding off charges from both the White Sox and Twins, who are in a virtual tie for the AL Wild Card. All three of those teams have the offense and the pitching to be considered serious contenders if they can make it into the postseason. I personally would have thought maybe the Indians would have been there instead of Detroit, but either way, the AL Central has been by far the cream of the AL crop this year.

*So maybe I don't care about the NL Wild Card race. It's not because I don't like the National League, it's because I know that whoever does win that thing has ZERO chance of winning the World Series. Matter of fact, there's only one team in the entire NL that I feel does have a chance, and that's the NY Mets. The one thing I do want to say about the Wild Card race is, who on earth would have though the Marlins would be only 3 games out at the start of September? There average aged player is like 23, the entire team makes about as much as Kevin Brown and the owner gets the manager pissed by screaming at the umpire's from the stands!

*If there was ever an enigma in major league baseball, it's the 2006 Los Angeles Dodgers. And this latest incident in San Diego sums up their season beautifully. Brad Penny started mumbling to himself when a call went against him. If he knew then that his mumbling would lead to both his 2nd baseman and manager getting tossed and him being taken out of the game, I think he may not have done it. Grady Little came out to get him, and in a bizarre turn of events he left the mound to argue and was called out by Padre manager Bruce Bochy when he went back to the mound for a second time. So in a series where the on again off again Dodgers got swept by San Diego, they also became probably the first team ever to have 2 players and a manager tossed in one inning for double dipping to the mound. But hey what do I know, a month ago they were in last and now their in first by 2 games. So maybe there is a method to their madness.

*And I would be remiss if I didn't congratulate the Pittsburgh Pirates for cementing their 14th straight losing season this week. You know that's no easy accomplishment, and it gives the D-Rays a bar of excellence to strive for, so they've got that going for them....which is nice.

Patriots Update
Last Week:
New England 41 Arizona 0
Pre-Season: 2-1

*I don't care what season it is, it's always nice to whoop someone by forty-one points. But what's even better is when that margin is a franchise best in the pre-season, your 3rd year TE plays like a one man wrecking crew and your star safety returns to the lineup despite having his knee blown up less than a year ago. Sure we wish Deion Branch was on the field, but I can only judge the guys that play, and they are looking damn good. We may have lost a lot this off-season (Vinatieri, McGinest), but I am expecting huge years from guys like Colvin, Wilfork and Gostkowski, combined with the returns of Matt Light, Rodney Harrison and a healthy Corey Dillon. Saturday night was just a sneak peak of the power the Pats are getting ready to bring to the table in '06, with or without Deion "The Olive" Branch.

In the Trenches
*Is it already the beginning of the end in Big D for Terrible Owens? Amid a pre-season that has seen him miss most practices and all games, now TO is going back to being...well...himself. After claiming he was prepared to be a model citizen and teammate when he signed with Dallas, TO has been nothing but disruptive. After "saying" he had a hamstring injury that was forcing him to miss much of the pre-season, TO has shown up late to team meetings and rehab sessions, causing a $9,500 fine from the Cowboys. You knew this would come too. TO is not going to change who he is, not for Bill Parcells, Jerry Jones or anyone. He is who he is, and that is quickly becoming one of the worst cases of an over inflated ego killing a career that I've seen in my lifetime. Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden even think he's blowing it.

*You know the NFL season is close to starting up when a Minnesota Viking gets caught trying to have sex in public. LB Dwight Smith was detained this weekend when he was caught debriefing a 24 year old woman in the stairwell of a local club. All I can say is at least it was consensual ,and at least it wasn't on a boat. I'm not sure what goes on in Minnesota, but I'm pretty sure these things do, and in abundance:

*public fornication
*Super Bowl ticket scalping by the head coach
*head coach threatening to fight his own players
*purchasing of fake male sex organs in order to pass drug tests

The Vikes are just a joke right now. Unless they play some stellar ball this season, all anyone is going to want to talk about is why on earth this team insists on constantly shooting itself in the foot. But on a positive note, owner Zygi Wilf received a large fruit basket from the Bengals this weekend and a note that read. Dear Zyg, thanks for making us look like choir boys Sincerely, Starvin Marvin Lewis and the Cincy Cell Block.

*When Eli Manning was drafted first overall, I sat here and told everyone that I thought Ben Roethlisberger was the best QB that year. He may have slipped all the way to 17, and was the 3rd QB taken, but hasn't he been the best pro so far? So when this draft rolled around, while I appreciate the talents of Vince Young and Matt Leinhart, I was more sold on Jay Cutler. He wasn't surrounded by nearly as much talent in college as the other 2, but still managed to put up monster numbers and keep a weak Vanderbilt team in virtually every game they played. And now Cutler is doing it at the next level. He's even making a strong case to replace Jake the Snake as the starter on a team that went to the AFC title game a year ago. I'm sure Leinhart and Young will turn into fine pros, but as of right now, it's looking like the Broncos had a big time QB fall right into their laps, just like the Steelers a few years back. Hopefully they will be smart enough to give him the reigns sooner rather than later and put Jake the Stache back on the pine.



The End of an Era
This week marks the final US Open, and most likely final tennis tournament as a professional for Andre Agassi. Hopefully, Andre can make a decent run as an unseeded player, and perhaps match his 1994 feet when he became the first player in the Open era to win without being seeded. But even if he's ousted in the first round in straight sets, there's no forgetting this man, or denying the impact he had on his sport. He was actually the man that inspired me to pick up a racquet (for better or worse) with his thrilling Wimbledon Championship in 1992. The combination of flash, skill and humility that he brought to the game was a breath of fresh air. Andre stood out more as an entertainer than an athlete, and sometimes we forget that he has won 9 major title, and the career Grand Slam (winning all 4 majors), something Pete Sampras could never do. When you look back twenty years ago at the likes of Sampras, Courier, Chang and Agassi, you would have figured that maybe Andre was the most popular, but probably wouldn't have pegged him as the one with the longest career. So, adios Andre, and know that the tennis world is far better place for having you in it.

Now That's What I'm Talking About!
Now this is the USA basketball team that I remember. Kicking ass and taking names. Team USA (notice how I didn't say Dream Team 6 or whatever they would be) is back to doing what it does best, and that's blowing people out and playing great basketball. After destroying Australia by 30+ this weekend, the Yanks have set themselves up with a game against Germany this week. Things couldn't be going much better, and I still like my prediction before this thing started that our boys would go over there and just tear people up Rec league style. The one thing that has surprised me is how well Carmelo Anthony has played. Maybe it's because LeBron and Co. are the best supporting crew 'Melo has played with since Hak, GMac and Kueth, but he has been unstoppable as their leading scorer. Being with those guys allow him to stretch teams, and now that he's stroking threes again, he's virtually unstoppable. Hopefully people in Denver are taking notice. Supply this guy with some quality role players and look what he can do? After showing flashes this whole tournament, expect Anthony to come to Denver on a mission to prove that he's every bit as good as his fellow class of '03 mates.

Fantasy Update
Last Week: 14-5-3
Overall: 221-178-63 (4th place, 18 games back)

Final Week of Regular Season vs Brazil Nuts (158-246-58)

*So apparently the playoffs start next week and it seems the timing couldn't be any better. While my team still doesn't appear to have the necessary pitching to win the title, if I can put together 3 weeks in a row like the last 3, then not only could I win, I would expect to. If I can't improve to 3rd in the standings after this week (I trail only by one game), I will have to take on Frosco in the first round. And when I say take on, I mean take out.

Monday, August 21, 2006

BOSTON MASSACRE


BOSTON MASSACRE
I never thought I'd say this, but the Yankees just took a big step towards making up for their meltdown in the 2004 ALCS. Sure this wasn't the playoffs, but coming into Fenway and pounding the Sox in 5 straight games isn't too shabby. And make no mistake about it, it was a pounding. When you get out scored 49-26 at home, you simply tuck your tail between your legs, and pray that your family still accepts you at the dinner table. It would have been bad enough if the Yankees just won those 5 games instead of dismantling the Sox and exposing their biggest weakness, pitching. Boston only got 2 good starts in the series, from Wells and Schilling, and neither of them walked away with a W in the win column. The pen couldn't hold Schill's gem, and the offense didn't manage a run until after Wells left the game in today's 2-1 loss. The bullpen and the starting rotation have flat out fallen apart, and the usually potent offense just isn't enough to save it. Josh Beckett has been disappointing to say the least, and the parade of young arms that have been touted all year long (Lester, Papelbon, Hansen, Del Carmen) are sputtering down the stretch, with Hansen even being sent back down to Pawtucket last night. So what are the Sox to do after this epic collapse at the Fens? I said after the All-Star break that they had a lot of advantages, but they haven't taken advantage of any. They had a long stretch against sub .500 teams in which they were swept in KC and dropped 2 out of 3 to the D-Rays. And what about playing more games at home in the 2nd half than any other squad? Well they are 11-14 at Fenway since the break, and were only 11-9 before the Yanks busted out the 5-game broom. I'd hardly call that taking advantage. The only thing Francona and his boys can do now is win and hope. When you put yourself 6.5 games out of the division and 4+ out of the wild card with fewer than 40 games left, that's pretty much all you can do. I expected the Sox to make the playoffs when the season began, but now it's becoming harder and harder to imagine that as reality. I'm not giving up hope, but 9 games on the West Coast usually isn't the cure for a team coming off 5 straight losses at home to their arch rival and free falling in the the standings. And for all of you that were glad Theo didn't make any moves at the trading deadline, how did you like new Yankee Bobby Abreu hitting over .500 for the series and Corey Lidle tossing 6 scoreless in the finale? And one of those guys we were all glad wasn't dealt (Hansen) is now in The Bucket to try and find whatever it was he lost. My guess is it's his confidence, but maybe it was just his lucky pair of Pumas.


Red Sox Update
Last 2 Weeks: 4-10
Overall: 69-55
Standings: 2nd place by 6.5 games


Dr. Woods Gives Another Free Clinic
It's times like these where you just have to sit back and marvel at what you're seeing. That's how it's been the last 2 majors for my man Elderick Woods. After destroying the field in the British to claim major title #11, Tiger put on another clinic at Medinah to best the field by 5 strokes en route to his 2nd major this year and 12th overall as a pro. Having 12 majors means that Tiger is alone in 2nd place on the All-time list, and two thirds of the way to his idol Jack Nicklaus, who has 18. I have to remind myself every time Tiger wins a major that just because he looks like he will never lose again, it's bound to happen. But this time seems a little different. Obviously I don't expect him to win every major from now until he retires, but I do think he's about to increase the pace at which he wins them. I've heard a lot of predictions the last 24 hours or so about when he will pass Nicklaus, and most of them have it in like 2010 or so. Personally, I have him pegged at winning #18 at the 2009 Masters, the first major of the golf year. That means he will have to win a combined 5 majors in 2007-2008, and I actually have him winning 3 next year and then 2 in 2008 before grabbing #18 in 2009. And I've also heard about an over/under for total majors listed at about 25 or so. Well if 25 is the over/under, then let me go on record as being over. While I think he may lose a little incentive after passing the Golden Bear, I feel his competitive nature will force him to try and truly put the record out of reach. So I'm going to say that when all is said and done, Tiger Woods will finish with 27 major titles. Chew on that one for a while, because that's just nutty.

Patriots Update
Last Week: New England 30 Arizona 3
Pre-season: 1-1

*I'll be the first one to admit that you can't take much out of pre-season games, but I have to admit that the Pats looked pretty damn good in destroying the Cardinals this weekend. I'm still very concerned that Deion Branch hasn't signed, but like I said before, he's hurting himself more than the team right now. Hopefully he and his agent will come to their senses sooner rather than later, because we can play without him this season, and by holding out he is only hurting his value for when he hits free agency in 2007. Here are some of the positive things I've seen though as training camp and the pre-season have been rolling along:

*Running back Laurence Maroney is the real deal. Not only has he been tough to bring down, he's shown the quickness and agility to attack the hole right away.

*The offensive line, which spent most of last season in shambles, healthy and ready to perform this year. Rookie standouts Logan Mankins and Nick Kazcur return along with a healthy Matt Light to support much improved Stephen Neal and the line's stalwart, Dan Koppen. Combine these guys with a healthier Corey Dillon and the addition of Maroney and we could be looking at one dangerous running attack

*The addition of Junior Seau doesn't surprise me, not because of who they signed, but at which position. While Seau might not be the player he once was, it's nice to have a veteran to mix in with inexperienced and tentative players like Monty "Holy Grail" Beisel and Tully Banta-Cain.

In the Trenches
*So, Bill Parcells has taken to referring to Terrel Owens as "the player" or "the receiver" instead of using his actual name. And he's also said that until "the player" practices more, he won't see any action in games. Now I respect Bill Parcells as a coach, and I understand that he didn't even want TO on his team, but now that Owens is there, Bill is going to have to change his tune. By being so standoffish with Owens, it seems to me like Parcells is just begging for the star WR to step out of line. My advice would be to try to gain his trust, so when he does have issues with Bledsoe or the coach himself, Parcells will have some past good will on which to draw. If that good will isn't there, it will make it all that much easier for Owens to explode and ruin yet another franchise.

*Apparently, after the cancellation of his wildly popular show "Gumbel to Gumbel", Bryant Gumbel has found new ways to get himself in the spotlight. Gumbel's new job with the NFL network, in which he's scheduled to work 8 games as a play by play announcer, is in jeopardy after he made some disparaging remarks about NFL Player's Union chief Gene Upshaw to incoming commish Roger Goodell. "Before he cleans out his office," Gumbel said. "Have Paul Tagliabue show you where he keeps Gene Upshaw's leash. By making the docile head of the players union his personal pet, your predecessor has kept the peace without giving players the kind of guarantees other pros take for granted. Try to make sure no one competent ever replaces Upshaw on your watch." Tagliabue naturally fired back with comments basically saying that Gumbel was a moron and had made nothing but bad career moves since leaving the Today show. He then added that even while he was on the Today show, Tags was convinced Gumbel was a complete idiot, so he's not surprised that he had such poor judgement in making those remarks. Ok so maybe he didn't say the second part, but he did tell Gumbel he was out of line, as he should have. I mean seriously, how are you going to bash the man who helped build the most powerful sports league in the world when you have a show seen by like 50 people a week? That would be like some punk with a blog criticizing people every week and expecting them to notice. Come on now...

Fantasy Update
Last Week: 14-5-3
Overall: 207-173-60 (21 games back)

Week 21 vs Borat's Dirty Jews (156-214-70)

*Not only has my team put together two strong weeks in a row, but combine that with the recent struggles at the top of the standings and I may have some life left in me yet. But let's take it one week at a time. This week is yet another opponent that I should steamroll, so let's hope I continue to Take Care of Business.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Hiatus

After struggling with the server all week to try and get something posted I decided to just take a week off. Call it a hiatus if you will. I will be back next week. Try not to miss me. - Brett

Monday, August 07, 2006

Sox Slip, Landis Slides and Tiger Takes Another Step Toward History

NO RELIEF IN SIGHT
I would like to preface this article by saying I am not your typical Red Sox fan. What that means is, I don't think we've won the division when we are 3 games up in May, and I don't think we've lost all hope when we suddenly find ourselves 2 games out at the start of August. That being said, things have been better in Red Sox Nation. Forget the fact that Sunday's 7-6 come-from-ahead loss to the Rays was perhaps the worst the team has seen all season, because there are bigger problems. First we have the injuries. In the past week or so Mike Lowell, Jason Varitek, Doug Mirabelli, Tim Wakefield and Trot Nixon have gone down with some type of injury. That right there will kill a team. With Lowell out, we've missed his defense as well as his bat in key spots, and although he should return this week, who knows if he can bounce back like he has in his younger years. Trot's absence would usually be a positive thing because it would allow the Sox to get a better look at Wily Mo Pena, who has had his average in the .300's the entire season. But for once, Trot was having a career year, and so missing him now means that we lose Wily Mo off the bench. With Tek, you lose arguably the best game-caller in the league and not to mention team captain. Mirabelli may not have contributed much offensively, but I think we know how valuable he is after we went through that whole Josh Bard experiment earlier in the season. And with both of them down, the Sox were forced to deal for Javy Lopez, who while he may have a decent bat, he's such a bad in game catcher that Greg Maddux refused to pitch to him while with Atlanta. And finally Wakefield. While it looks like he should be back soon, he also hasn't been injured in a while and it's unsure how he will react to his stint on the DL. Point? All these injuries are taking a toll on not only the starters, but conversely the bench as well. Second, there is the lack of bullpen experience. I'll be the first to admit to falling in love with guys like Del Carmen, Hansen and Papelbon because of their raw ability, but the fact is they have no experience. At the same time, I don't want to see Seanez and Tavarez in their at crunch time either no matter how much experience they may have. Solution? Hopefully it's not too late to go out and acquire a bullpen arm for the stretch. I was happy to see they didn't mortgage the future for some rent-a-player at the trading deadline, but with so much minor league talent, it may have been smart to let at least one or two lower level prospects go in order to sure up the back end of the pen. Lastly, there is that pesky issue of the brutal schedule that remains. It's true that the Sox play more home games than any other team in the second half of the season, but what's also true is they play more than 35 of their remaining 53 games against teams with winning records, including 5 in 4 days with the Yankees in the next week. Not that big a deal right? Well when you consider they are sub. 500 against winning teams so far this season I think it is a rather big deal. So will these problems get the best of the Sox down the stretch, or will these challenges bring out the best in them? I'm hoping that the latter is true, but I'm a realist, not an optimist, and right now I look around the AL and see a bunch of teams peaking while my BoSox are wilting.

Red Sox Update
Last Week: 3-4
Overall: 65-45
Standings: 2 games out of 1st

Diamonds Are Forever
*It's got to be hard for Steve Phillips to sit in Bristol on the set of ESPN and watch as two players he drafted, Jose Reyes and David Wright, come into their own. At least he can take solace in the fact that the Mets were at least smart enough to lock those guys up with long term extensions this past week.

*David Freaking Ortiz is a man beast. Not only did he add to his career total of 15 walk off hits this week, he became the first Red Sox player ever to hit 40 homers in 3 straight seasons. Raise your hand if you still think A-Fraud deserved the MVP last year. Hey Lance Bass! Put your hand down!

*Taking 2 of 3 from Boston over the weekend was merely the beginning of Tampa's wrath against the BoSox. Insistent that Boston made illegal contact with former infielder Julio Lugo, Tampa has said it will put claims in on all players the Red Sox try to pass through waivers in order to have them traded to Baltimore and complete the trade for Javy Lopez. This one could get interesting so stay tuned....

*A lot of people laughed at me a few weeks back when I picked Carlos Beltran as my MVP halfway through the season. Well he who laughs last, is me. Sure he hasn't won the award yet. But you take into account that he is probably heading towards a gold glove in CF to go along with being in the top 4 in the NL in slugging, homers and RBI all for a first place team, and you got yourself a recipe for an MVP season.
Tiger Kicks Ass, Takes Names
A funny thing happened on his way to pick up his trophy at the Buick Invitational this week, Tiger Woods set yet another record and it's possible that this one is his most impressive yet. Sure he's lapped the field at US Open's and set course records at numerous shrines to golf like Augusta or Bethpage, but this one tops them all. With his victory Sunday, Tiger became the fastest player to 50 wins in the history of the PGA. Even more impressive, is that he managed these wins in only 196 tour starts, meaning he wins on average more than 1 of every 4 tournaments he enters. That's just mind blowing. Golf is a sport where normally, if you come away with 2-4 wins during a 30 event season you're thought to be having a great year. Not only does Tiger surpass 4 wins every year, he does so playing in roughly 18-22 events instead of the normal 30+. We shouldn't be amazed by anything Tiger does anymore, but that doesn't make it any less fun to watch. I was told recently by a friend that it appears that Tiger is going to come off his latest round of swing changes even more dominant than he did the first time around, when he won four straight majors on his way to the Tiger Slam. Does that mean a true Grand Slam is just around the corner? You have to believe it's possible. I mean who is going to stop him? Phil? HAHAHAHAHAHA. Please.

From Yellow Jersey to Black List
Since I hate cycling, and I no longer want to write about it, I instead came up with this haiku about Floyd Landis since he again tested positive for synthetic testosterone.....enjoy

Parents live in barn
Used drugs to win dumb bike race
Worlds biggest retard

Or, if you prefer, a limerick...

There once was a biker named Landis
They found lots of drugs in his man piss
Got stripped of his crown
And laughed at like a clown
And now he's as gone as Atlantis

Take the Money and (Get) Run
Shocking news out of Division I football. A player was receiving special treatment from a program booster! Ok, so maybe that was about as shocking as when you found out Lance Bass was gay. The fact is, everyone and their brother knows how corrupt the NCAA is. It's hard for it not to be. Huge corporations sit back and collect hundreds of millions while paying their players with "an education". Right, that sounds like a fair deal. I mean I've always been a believer in the "give a man a fish and he can eat for a day, but teach him to fish and he can eat for a lifetime" philosophy, but this is more like "teach the man to fish and then go have him catch you some fish while you pay him less than minimum wage. And when he can't catch anymore fish, cut him loose with no security blanket". All that brings us to former Oklahoma Sooner QB Rhett Bomar. Considered one of the top 3 high school QB's of a year ago, Bomar started all but one game for the Sooners last year and showed great potential both physically and as a leader. The problem? An investigation discovered that Bomar had been paid $18,000 for work at a car dealership that was run by an OU booster. That's $18,000 for work he could have earned a maximum of $2,000 for, and money for work he didn't actually do. Add all that up, and what you get is immediate dismissal from the team, and the possibility that he may never play NCAA football again (he will have to pay the money back before he can even apply for reinstatement). Was it worth it? Bomar says no, and I even give him credit for admitting he was wrong and apologizing, but I don't blame him one bit for what he did. I've always been a supporter of paying college athletes. As long as school's aren't allowed to outbid each other, they have the resources to allow their student-athletes some compensation. Start paying these guys closer to what they are worth (instead of measly stipends) and maybe this problem of corruption in college football can become a thing of the past.

Fantasy Update
Last Week: 9-8-5
Overall: 182-160-54 (28.5 games back)
Week 19 vs Coz's Coalition (156-182-58)

*Pretty much a standstill this week, and I have to admit that I am coming to the realization that I may not win this thing. Why all of a sudden you may ask? Well, my once dependable pitching staff has faltered big time of late. My bullpen has seen the demise of Derrick Turnbow, while my starters like Sabathia and Schilling can't seem to get their teams to play very well when they take the mound. But never fear, as long as it's a mathematical possibility that I can win, I will continue talking smack as if I were in first place. So on that note, I plan on taking Coz's Coaltion and his crappy sub .500 record behind the wood shed this week to start my push for 1st. Yeah I know I've claimed to have started to make moves before, but consider this the last real attempt at making a title run. It's On!