Tuesday, August 30, 2011
His name is Andrew Luck, Stanford's NFL-ready gunslinger. Many were surprised when he chose the campus lifestyle over his Careerbuilder.com transition to the NFL, nonetheless used to the atmosphere at the university and loving every moment as a top star for a prominent school.
There, he's an asset for the well-known Pac-12 school -- and he can never breathe, rescuing a legit program from itself with his pro-like throwing motion and ability to avoid pressure in the pocket. Know what amazes me about Luck? He is not money-hungry and rather thrive for a higher education, and realize that the NFL is a propitious opportunity in the future, as long as Luck keeps accomplishing feats and literally lift his draft status to be considered a top prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft -- where he is believed strongly to land No. 1 in the draft.
That is among quarterbacks, projected to be the best pocket passer and all-encompassing star next April. But then -- he wasn't influenced or allured by money, and bypassed ultimately the richest deal on NFL payday, which cost Luck more than $40 million and possibly as much as $60 million.
Many were critical when Luck could have been the NFL's highest-paid rookie and decided to return to Stanford this fall as a fourth-year junior, in pursuit of a Pac-12 championship and a degree in architectural design. It seems that school comes first in Luck's view, an education significantly is his primary goal. But then, does he really need a backup plan??
He's already an elite quarterback with much potential to polish in the NFL as an immediate impact, during an era that the league is surrounded by the depth of first-class quarterbacks. The idea is also to win the stiffed-arm trophy, and he has the ambition in driving the Cardinal to a legitimate bowl game or even qualifying for individual accolades with his experience and a bright mind.
The students and alumni’s can dance, scream louder and celebrate the return of a valuable piece in Stanford's pursuit of a national title this season. The Stanford Tree, arguably one of the best mascots in all sports, can dance wilder than ever and perform silly antics near the sideline to entertain the feverish fans in Northern California.
It's now fair to openly admit Stanford is a football power of an evolving culture conducted by Luck and his capability to hurl downfield passes. It was not long ago that he finished as a Heisman runner-up -- but with that in mind -- he is favorite to win college football's most prestigious award. If it weren't for 2010 Heisman winner Cam Newton, in which Luck finished shy in the voting, he would have won the award and taken home a honorable trophy for such diligence, perseverance and craftiness.
What no one ever talks about is how Stanford is coming off its best season, a 12-1 season that ended with an Orange Bowl win against Virginia Tech. Above all, though, he chose to return and rebuffed interest in earnings of a massive paycheck. That's a rarity in the financial world we reside in today, but not in Luck's case, a star athlete at Stanford with the patience to work hard in school and then emerge into the professional ranks.
It wasn't only about the money or what he'd earn as an elite quarterback, it was about winning a national title and helping Stanford reach that point. Greater than all, it was about Luck mustering a foundation, well, to sought for a better tomorrow in the event he never advanced as a professional star. But, clearly and evidently, it's hard to imagine Luck becoming a bust.
All things seem possible, particularly when he was the element of Stanford ending the 2010 season ranked fourth. For now, it may sound weird, but he turned down money and really had school in mind all along and it's not too far-fetched to believe that Stanford is among the favorites to win a national title under Luck's final season in a Cardinal uniform. He had become one of the best quarterback's in Stanford history and to ever sustain so many feats at Stanford, a star liked on campus and the face of a university -- perhaps the biggest face -- since John Elway was at the helm.
He's an ideal competitor, a winner and a matured youngster of goodwill and civility leading an elite institution, worthy of the Heisman and other awards after staying in school. Not too many student athletes stay in college for a four-year term, but forgo their junior or senior seasons, just to collect bundles of cash whether they're having financial issues or happen to be just greedy for the love of money. Meanwhile, Luck isn't running for money, but chasing a dream.
He's not fleeing the university for millions, but staying for loyalty and royalty. He's not cutting his bond short at Stanford, but he's putting the Cardinal in good position to win a national title. It could happen, you know. As long as Luck exists, he can set a new culture for Stanford, a program that has become physical and fierce.
It's another promising season for Stanford, the team suddenly expected to win the Pac-12 title fortunate to possess a committed stud in Luck, turning down NO. 1 overall money and decided that he'd pursue football grandiosity and his degree over millions, while others would have delve for payments.
If there's one person who knows his quarterback, it's new Stanford coach David Shaw in the beginning of his regime, a successor to former coach Jim Harbaugh, who is now the 49ers head coach. As for Luck, he embraces the campus, immerses himself in textbooks and he arrives on time for practice to play an important role as a team leader.
By the time the year is over, he could be rightfully crowned a champ, despite that Stanford rebuilt an offensive line with a fully equipped rush attack. And, given his comeback to Stanford, we can't underestimate the Cardinal.
Not when there is much Luck.
And there's a whole lot of Luck.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
So there were the Rangers, no less bullish as Power Rangers than the ballclub was as an American League contender amid a tight, tense pennant race, aiming to remain atop the AL West and hinder the Angels from giving chase.
What the Rangers desire for an industrious crusade is the aid of hopefulness, exuberance and victories to stay in contention and, if possible, be in pursuit of back-to-back World Series glory. Sure, it's been seen before in baseball, such are tight races and sometimes an extreme fight last until the final day of the 162-game season, but it doesn't seem like the Angels are fully capable of catching the Power Rangers to tie the division.
The first necessity is for the Angels to continue a surge and induce fear, when the Texas Rangers clearly have been in a funk of late ineffective in pummeling the Angels in a pennant race of dubiety and nerves. The momentum came suddenly and inexplicably, just as we were optimistic in the Angels, just as we were telling ourselves not to discount the Angels and relight the Halo.
It happened so quickly we could feel the streak of a miraculous turnaround, a convergence of Angels in the Outfield to evoke miracles for the red-hot ballclub. With merely one swing of the bat, or maybe even multiple swings -- I might add -- the Angels were thrashed in the Heart of Texas.
This was a night when the Rangers couldn't be reckoned with, a night when the Angels couldn't mess with Texas, a night the boys from Orange County were burnt like Texas toast. When David Murphy lofted his second career grand slam in the fifth inning off Angels starter Dan Haren, this after Nelson Cruz broke out of his slump and opened the fourth with a drive to center field, he had secured a crucial 11-7 win for the slumping Rangers.
The horror exist still as it was last week when the Angels were said to be dead and buried by the Rangers and it was so bad that the majors could've staged a funeral in tribute of the fallen Angels. The moment before all of this, the Angels weren't even in contention, but were done for the season after a rebuilding stage crumbled under the inept general manager Tony Reagins and cheap owner Arte Moreno.
We all screamed amazed by the Angels resurgence, as the Rangers never panicked and had indicated to be the stronger, hungrier and powerful ballclub in this showdown worth raving about only for what is at stake between a pair of clubs with the objective to win its division and clinch a postseason berth. All of the sudden, the Rangers came alive in their own ballpark in Arlington to ignite fireworks that brightened the humid air on an ideal night for baseball.
Even more important was the Rangers finding an identity, when the Angels strayed in the first game of the most critical weekend series and were stonewalled by Texas, an ambitious club that began the stretch 6-1 and finished 2-5. But stunningly, the streak that the Angels rode, playing with plenty of heart and talent, is missed and disappeared instantly.
It was missing in action when the Angels were absent and never challenged the Rangers, losing in a lopsided fashion, getting pushed and shoved around in an uncompetitive meeting and falling in the AL West standings. And when it comes to the Angels, as a reminder to you all, they have no consistent or solid power hitters in the lineup, lacking that one power bat in the batting order to produce RBIs without leaving too many runners on base.
Despite the Angels juggernauts and a crafty pitching rotation, if you haven't noticed by now, this is the team that relies on aggressive base running and scoring runs by doing the little things to collect a win. Now the Angels are finally enduring a real test. A more painful test or an uphill battle the Halos flunked ever so badly against a dexterous offense with the ability to compile runs on the scoreboard swiftly.
The night for the Angels wasn't all so bland, even if a six-game winning streak became commonplace at a time when all the momentum was positive and used to their advantage. It's undoubtedly one of the must-win situations the Angels wish they could have back, another chance to redeem themselves after the Rangers badly stomped them for 18 hits and three homers at Rangers Ballpark -- a loss snapping the Angels season-high winning streak.
It's not a perfect world, at least not for the Angels -- come to realize that the Halos left the happiest place on earth and traveled to Texas for a three-game showdown with division foes. But now it's much clearer that the Angels can't match the Rangers' incomparable depth, from the pitching rotation to the batting order. To a certain extent, there's just not enough talent. It's largely for the fact that the Angels have no solid hitters, and sometimes the pitching is a bit shaky, erratic and subpar as manager Mike Scioscia has no choice but to depend on his wayward bullpen.
"It's one loss," Scioscia said. "We need to turn the page and move on to tomorrow's game. Obviously, everything is magnified tonight because we're playing the team we're trying to catch. But it's one loss and there's still a lot of baseball to be played."
But now, he's giving his team the best opportunity to win by choosing to send Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver on three days' rest to the mound in a critical series.
Leave it to Weaver, it appears.
It's actually a brilliant decision, simply because Weaver is in the running for the 2011 AL Cy Young and MVP award. It's actually a splendid move, mostly because he is the face of the Angels, particularly after signing a five-year $85 million contract extension as the ace prefer to reside in Southern California and continue wearing an Angels uniform. His family roots exist in California, his prior accomplishments are in Orange County and his likeability is beyond amazing.
He probably could, even though he's a human and not a robot that can throw a 90 mph fastball without getting tired after a grueling 100-plus pitch night on the mound, be the man who wins the division single-handedly for the Angels. The other night, where the Angels shut out the White Sox in an 8-0 victory at Angel Stadium, a place closer to the Happiest Place on Earth, he tossed seven scoreless innings for a 15-6 record.
He potentially is a 20-game winner and leads the MLB with a 2.03 ERA. Without him, the Angels aren't closer to heaven, but are useless and futile. If the Angels are trying to purge woes and compete for the division title, then they'll need to win the next two games of this series. Until then, the Angels can't slow down Texas, unless the two teams are playing different clubs in another series.
This time, Scioscia was confident and gusty -- enough, in fact, to juggle his rotation and shift his starters around as Weaver and Santana give the Angels an edge in the series. On the flip side, it can all backfire if Weaver and Santana struggles in their next outings, but the Angels are in a pursuit, angling to keep momentum and remain in a tight race with the Rangers.
For the worse, he and Mike Butcher can generate criticism if all fails over the weekend, like a player suffering an injury or giving away a meaningful contest. They also know nobody is keen to see Joel Pineiro and Jerome Williams. If many had the choice, they'll rather see Weaver and Santana every other day on the mound.
With one swing, Cruz ended his slump when he was 4-for-27 in his last seven games and was swinging wildly without a conscience and discipline. It was huge as Cruz laced a two run-scoring double in the second to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. And he wasn't done. The man of the night was a triple shy of the cycle in the sixth and demolished the Angels, hitting a bullet to left-center and scoring three more runs. That marked his third six-RBI game of the season.
Even if it seems as if the Angels are back in the running for winning the division, in reality, it doesn't seem real but surreal, until Los Angeles convince the public that they can beat the Rangers at least twice in a series to win a three-game showdown.
For now, it seems, we have to wonder if the Angels have it in them.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
The slimy university, though suitably in position to avoid the harsher punishment known as the Death Penalty, has no chance of curtailing the recent allegations. The wrongdoers accused of fraud are enabled to skate freely without paying for the crime, sadly aglow with pride, not ashamed of the deceit and infractions.
For the sordid scandal, leaving a toxic wasteland in Miami, a town shares the university's anxiety in a state of disbelief learning that the "U" stands for unbearable. If we insist on the fact that Miami has never broken NCAA rules -- which are prohibited and aren't meant to be broken ever -- then we are nonplussed and downright mindless.
So there he was, a former booster Nevin Shapiro who was a crook and sleaze ball, a deceptive jerk for influencing and brainwashing kids to allegedly take extra benefits. And the players, as usual, bent over backwards for Shapiro's treachery. There he is, incarcerated in prison after he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for running a Ponzi scheme.
He told it all and revealed every accusation in an interview with Yahoo! Sports. What's even more egregious in the aftermath of the Miami scandal, is that more names are leaked to the allegations. If and when these accusations are proven to be true, we must not rule out the 37-word statement Purdue released last week, acknowledging there weren't "eligibility issues" with quarterback Robert Marve.
For this was ultimately an archetype to punish Miami, to teach a valuable lesson for a murky school disheveled. But you know and I know -- and the university knows -- that it should have had its most recent national title vacated and be placed on probation. When a scandal stretches beyond insanity, when the mere description of a name adds to the horror, the madness suddenly becomes worse. It feels like an episode from the Twilight Zone, if nothing else.
And really now, Marve was among 65 current or former Miami players leaked in the investigative report for allegedly accepting improper benefits from Shapiro. Marve, a top prospect was constantly in trouble, a testament to what was already a disconcerted program keeping many secrets of Miami's dirtiness and infractions. Even if none of the players are ineligible, allegedly accepting cash, gifts, access to VIP rooms in nightclubs and dinners at an expensive Miami Beach steakhouse, there's no excuse for Miami to break from its violations.
Now, the people running the Miami program are acting like uneducated fools, pretending as if the alleged scandal has never surfaced. No one here is taking full accountability for the rotten, noxious misdeeds humiliated by the insanity in the past week.
This is where the people are stunned a week later in disbelief as it brought forth a shocker to people's sensibilities from a logical standpoint. If the people weren't shaking their heads before over such an unbelievable event, they're now definitely shaking their heads worn down by the frequent disclosure of absurdity.
The public love is lost for Miami, a program accumulating much antipathy only for refreshing us with the memories of the ghastly scandal at USC that involved former running back Reggie Bush, who received improper benefits and cash to support his family. Or even when Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel was fired and blamed for the university's scandal of five players selling memorabilia for tattoos.
Those in the know realize that 72 players have been named and given bundles of cash and had prostitutes to satisfy their sexual activities, plausibly. This is horrible, a nasty scandal that only causes problems as the season quickly is upon us and as longtime athletic director Paul Dee, who was a chairman of the NCAA's infraction committee, is liable for the blame.
It would be simple to abandon Mark Emmert of the NCAA, the president serving in office as a disgrace, if nothing else. In fact, he has not impressed no one during his regime and already has been humiliated, not too sure exactly what his plans are to put an end to the misdeeds. It's not happening soon, in fact, it may not even happen this decade but many years from now.
Dee is just as much as a fraud as Miami sadly and he's evidently apathetic. There is enough evidence to punish the Hurricanes harshly and, if the NCAA handed sanctions to USC and Ohio State, then in fairness -- shouldn't Miami be penalized after the university was found guilty from the details provided by Shapiro if he's telling the truth?
Yes, indeed Miami should be chastised.
What sort of punishment should we expect from the NCAA? None? Maybe.
In that same breath, as one of the hottest topics in sports, it's vague at the moment whether or not the NCAA will hit Miami with the Death Penalty, which would be a historical punishment if the association drops the hammer on the Hurricanes. If so, then the Canes are banned for an entire season, a missed season for one of the most prestigious teams in the nation for Miami's previous history of dominating the Atlantic Coast Conference and stockpiling titles, profoundly armed to pursue national championships with such tactful recruiting and mentoring of players.
The worse that could happen is the death penalty, judging from SMU's troubles when the program diminished and plunged so fast that it still hasn't recovered. This is where Miami comes to mind as the NCAA wants to use the tainted school as an example by issuing the death penalty, which means no games but players would be allowed to practice in only conditioning drills in shorts and no pads.
Whatever the NCAA people running the association have in mind, Miami doesn't need to be punished really bad but the NCAA just needs to send a message and particularly after the athletic department was incompliant and had been aware of the transgressions crippling a popular program in the nation. The spectrum of violations, even if Shapiro was profoundly immersed into Miami’s athletic culture, is reprehensible for a university that allegedly breaks the rules and disrespects academia. Guilty as charged.
All I know is Miami should be slapped with 2-year probation.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
It's a beautiful thing to realize that Pat Summitt is virtually a true winner. She is a fighter, a true winner, the ambassador in Rocky Top and the winningest coach in college basketball history among men or women, demanding her girls lift weights, ran sprints and scrimmage against the men.
It's not fair for the prejudice to disregard women's sports -- to downgrade Summitt, who is famous for winning eight national championships, 1,071 games and earning the reverence of the nation. She's all the more reason women's sports are more relevant as Summitt orchestrated a dynasty in women's basketball, earning the nod for a wonderful script.
Back in May, she received diagnosis of early onset dementia, an Alzheimer-type illness. The next day she forced herself to fight the disease, just as she fights for her girls, the all-girls team that she grooms and cultivates. It's been discovered that the illness of a 59-year-old coach isn't enough to end her marveled career as a women's basketball head coach -- not exact, as in the case of fighting to stay strong, Summitt will continue to coach.
As of Tuesday, it was hard for everyone who knows Pat, and depending on their relationships with her, it's even harder to learn the devastating news to be emphatically surprised in the well-being of a hallowed teacher for the game of basketball. Everyone in Tennessee, including the folks in the South, knows for nearly four decades that she built a collegiate basketball program at Tennessee, a well-balanced team developed diligently and successfully.
The Lady Volunteers won a fair share of titles to keep the program relevant among the national elites and implement a basketball identity, changing the thought on how women's hoops are classified across the nation under Summitt. It has always been amazing to watch Summitt master a regime of grandeur, an unprecedented career given her superlative 1,037 wins against merely 196 losses, eight championships and 29 combined Southeastern Conference titles.
With heavy hearts and strong emotions, as people generate a mood that can only be described as agonizing, it's too bad she is suffering from a malicious disease at such a very young age. Her state of mind, weakened by the recent disease detected, probably won't inhibit Summitt from coaching when she is, nonetheless, aspired and enthusiastic offering girls the fundamentals of basketball.
When she found out the results, she was anguished and distraught, but never allowed the illness to reduce her spirit, a hard-driven coach with a mindset to win on all levels. She told the university she'd be willing to still stand on the sidelines and diagram plays for the more prominent school among women sports, if she could fight of the minor complications of the disease which is so spiteful and complex in understanding the cause of such an atrocious ailment.
The previous few months had been beyond frightening after she was diagnosed with bad health following a series of tests at the Mayo Clinic, but she desires to discipline and nourish her players to improve incrementally. It is often she ennobled women's sports in America, and her traits are indicative to folks familiar with her personality, an animated and betrothed Southern gal.
For her, no doubt, the greater the fear, the braver she becomes. It's not unusual that someone is afraid or worried about the welfare of their health, but it's a whole different story for Summitt, one of the masterly and accomplished coaches the nation has ever seen. It was mind-blowing and mostly crestfallen when the news broke moments before Summitt publicly announced Tuesday that she had been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Then came the majority of people who are shockingly blown, reluctant in believing such a horrific development to cast a darken cloud that hovers over Rocky Top, even if she appears to be stable at the moment, not struck by serious symptoms from the disease. Sadly enough, she is battling with Alzheimer's and entering what is a horrible illness powerful enough to cause memory lost and the lack of a knowledgeable state of mind. For much of her life, to say the least, she has fought through adversity, whether it was lifting an entire sport, whether it was dealing with motherhood and whether it was her strength to overcome cancer, a harmful hardship she managed to rise above.
"I plan to continue to be your coach," Summitt said. "Obviously, I realize I may have some limitations with this condition since there will be some good days and some bad days."
The world is absolutely stunned by this, hearing the shocking story, struggling to accept the truth. The vast majority have teary-eyes in much disbelief ever since she revealed an unexpected sickness no one ever imagined, suddenly dealing with a disease as recruiting and coaching is her least priority. Seems even the UConn fans are sympathetic and realizes Summitt is fighting for her health.
No matter how she is ailing, aiming to return to courtside for her 38th season at Tennessee, she is trying to win the battle and be victorious even larger than before. She unfortunately welcomes a new challenge in hopes to overcome bad health and, more notably, Summitt has been successful in rising above obstacles. It is all about her defeating the biggest obstacle in front of her, a trait she has done so well.
Summitt -- with all reasonable accounts -- is an influential coach, victorious in whatever she touches just as King Midas had the ability to turn everything he touched into gold. As it seems, we can assume that she is just as precious as gold, too, the winningest coach, the greatest teacher and the most respected coach in women sports.
The best of possible intentions is she'll fight the illness with much happiness, laughter and optimism. There is, after all, her symbolic willpower and strength, not feeling pity or lacking self-esteem within herself, willing to win another contest in her lifetime. Thus, it is what happens when someone as lovable as Summitt can touch many lives, produce so many careers and mentor so many athletes.
A lot of those players are making an impact in the WNBA. Much of the talent in the WNBA were products of Tennessee under Summitt's coaching method, mentoring Indiana's Tamika Catchings and Candace Parker, who led the Lady Vols to back-to-back NCAA titles in 2007-08. Even Chamique Holdsclaw, who was one of the finest stars of the Lady Vols, was one of the players she had a privilege in fostering.
In her days, Summitt has won more than a thousand games and, mainly because of her philosophy, she has been terrific in staying on top of her players, assuring that her girls are provided with an education and success.
"There is no doubt in my mind that Pat will take on this challenge as she has all others during her Hall of Fame career _ head on," Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said. “I wish her all the best."
She's not only a Hall of Famer, but a winner. If she can encourage and influence her girls to rise whenever they fall, then she can defeat a much-maligned illness.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
There's a magazine out there of Mark Sanchez. You've probably seen it -- the latest issue for GQ Magazine's September Style Issue, on stands August 23, a public outrage leaving New Yorkers rambling over his overblown portraits that feature several photos of the Jets' starting quarterback.
And so when headlines swirled two weeks ago about Sanchez posing for photos to reveal his pretty boy persona, it significantly hatched a national disturbance as local tabloids ridiculed the Jets star. It's at best conveniently to discover that he has the penchant for flaunting in photos and, even larger than ever, he's the magnet on Broadway, the blossoming athlete everybody adores in the Big Apple.
He spent most of the offseason modeling for magazines -- especially having seen Sanchez in photos posing, a sexy quarterback known for his sex appeal more than his leadership. That's not to mention the frequent photo shots of Sanchez featuring with model Hilary Rhonda in the June issue of GQ magazine in 2009 and inducing a distraction to prompt a media circus.
That's not to mention that he appears to be gorgeous as girls are madly attractive and in love with the celebrity who can produce his own reality TV show and bait viewers. The point is that -- even if he is taking too much heed to his sex-appeal and can be boastful in parading his body -- Sanchez masters his role and understands the expectations are immense in a town where a spate of the modern media has a large influence on how players perform.
There is no credibility issue here. There is an exaggerated issue here, as some are tense and curious to know if Sanchez is fully capable of engineering the Jets. The problem is that he draws disruptions with his absurdity, vanity, self-loving and self-importance and often underachieves in postseason games because, well, he is seen on the front cover of tabloids or magazine issues.
It's no telling whether the overexposed celebrity status affects his performance on the field. It's no telling whether the notability drives Sanchez to play with much intensity and a full-driven mindset that motivates the 24-year-old quarterback, who enters his third season taking on the responsibility, to perform flawlessly on a franchise in position of a Super Bowl win.
The most interesting figures, like Sanchez, could be a remedy entirely in a town entertained by celebrities or even athletes. Sometimes it seems as if people's stance on the matter is hypocritical, as often happens in New York, in which subjects in relations to sports are rhetorical. Then, suddenly, if Sanchez is publicly seen in a photo, the world glances at the comical, compelling portrait.
And there have been many times, as of recently of course, when Sanchez has absorbed much attention, not only on the football field but off the field as well becoming a supermodel in a town known for its fashion. Meanwhile, in question is his leadership and ability to be effective in the quarterback role for a franchise that demands prosperity.
His leadership, though, reached an all-time high a season ago when he led the Jets to the postseason and almost carried his teammates and bombastic head coach Rex Ryan to the Super Bowl, only to fall short after coming all so close. The comical, abnormal and captivating images -- a player clearly comfortable being the face of a demanding franchise and playing with scads of pressure is incredible.
If he is finally accepting the role as leader to keep the Jets in contention, this happened decisively and rapidly, a youngster who has mellowed into a valuable piece in New York just as much as Sanchez has become an iconic darling for the ladies gazing at his stylish appearance. He's the turning point and, by himself, has developed a culture as the Jets are Super Bowl contenders and brainwashes the gentlemen, many of whom watches football every Sunday, that Sanchez is a franchise quarterback.
But after all, no one has put in more time and effort than Sanchez, by working out early in the morning, by devoting much of his life to improve his consistency and by working on his throwing motion. So, it turns out, he's already poised inside the pocket and has nifty footwork to elude the pass rushes or blitzes.
The city adores Sanchez, not for only wearing white pants and a black tank top for the GQ magazine spread but also for the photos he appeared in, his mobility, his work ethic and his potential, proving to be part of the Jets' plans in the future. His presence is felt, his long-term future as quarterback under the Jets is certain as long as he can stay healthy and perform efficiently, leading New York to a pair of Super Bowls in his tenure with the team that brought in Sanchez and believe he can handle the obligations of playing for a high-marketed team.
So here is Sanchez, with an aura just as spectacular as his sex appeal. It was bound to happen, probably sooner before later. The population was overly fascinated with Sanchez's photographs, reacting in a surprised manner, not realizing that he is a quarterback in the shadows of Joe Namath. This isn't the time to wonder if Sanchez is a more effective model than quarterback, or whether the Jets may soon struggle with him calling the snaps.
This is the time to assume that Sanchez has matured and accepted a challenging task at the toughest position in football, ready mentally and physically to embark on a journey. He could be an actor on Broadway, and have the charm and humor to jokingly bring smiles and laughter. That being said, he also has the arm strength and mobility of a gunslinger and has become proficient in the pro-style offense.
He's a Southern California dude, a Hispanic representing his heritage at a position where he stands alone in the NFL. But now, he is waving and smiling at New Yorkers, loved by strangers and elated to be the starting quarterback in a community where he was welcomed. Shortly before the 2009 NFL Draft, he desired to land with the Jets, begging the organization to pick him. And the Jets traded up to 12 spots for a franchise quarterback, stealing Sanchez with the fifth pick in the draft that granted him his wish, landing on a franchise where the stakes are usually high.
It was a place he wanted to be and he had no problem begging to land in an environment of such scrutiny and pressure. Sanchez, a native from Irvine, is a firefighter's son, a quarterback raised on the importance of hard work and dedication. The well-known quarterback can walk down the busy streets in Manhattan and run through Central Park to shake hands with strangers, more noticeable than Ryan, his buffoonish coach who has become the media's best friend by his absurd antics during postgame interviews.
Where Ryan no longer is -- Sanchez is the promising star leading an elite fraternity of a fundamentally sound team with a potent roster defensively and offensively. What are the odds the Jets win the Super Bowl?? It's feasible given the two prolific receivers with Santonio Holmes and the addition of Plaxico Burress.
Maybe it's now best Ryan guarantees a Super Bowl win. If so, it would mark the first Super Bowl title for the first time since Richard Nixon took office. Any team can shimmer and win it all -- particularly the Jets.
If the Jets win the Super Bowl anytime soon, thank Sanchez.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
It is no break for Terrelle Pryor, a chance for the troubled NFL prospect until he is officially picked by an NFL franchise to finally be punished, maybe even disciplined for such poor judgment in his college days. While his potential seems to be a misgiving thus far -- he's not built to pose as an NFL quarterback but a possible bust on the professional level.
If we can pinpoint a precise action taken upon NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, it is clearly his best interest to discipline, issuing an unrelenting punishment. The most distinguished player formerly at the Ohio State University won't be eligible to begin his pro career, but could appeal the five-game suspension levied against him by the league if he is chosen in Monday's supplemental draft, a preference that embarks on a quandary.
In question right now is whether Pryor chooses to appeal the suspension and mature as a wiser athlete in dealing with strong character and judgment. But when he was finally interrogated by the NCAA and it was declared that he violated the rules following the Buckeyes investigation into the team's memorabilia-for-cash scandal, Pryor had quickly bailed on Ohio State.
Given his background as a quarterback for the Buckeyes, he lacks maturity, he has poor judgment and he is self-serving for abandoning the institution that elevated his stardom. Over hyped by a long shot, he doesn't even have the intangibles to dazzle as a top quarterback. The past year has gone from bad to worse at Ohio State.
That's because Pryor stained the university, left behind a toxic wasteland and could have largely cost the school in tatters. So, no doubt, in the wake of the Ohio State hysteria, which incredibly landed the tainted school on probation and cost Jim Tressel his coaching job, Pryor is liable for the hypocrisy and fraud that hovers permanently over a university that seems dismantled.
He ran from his troubles at Ohio State. He quit on his teammates and the coaching staff. He hightailed the program, clearly knowing that he'd be ineligible to begin the season at Ohio State, where he was a polished star in the Big Ten. Pryor leaves for the NFL, where he'll translate quarterback deficiencies on Sundays, after a bizarre departure of the wicked scandal that is tarnishing Ohio State's football program.
If only he could have gotten away with his sins, a scrupulous scheme of selling memorabilia for free tattoos and cash would have been a success. It's too bad he couldn't. He never was trying to feed his family, he was being greedy. He never was trying to break the rules, he was aiming to beat the system and he failed all so miserably.
Outside of the dramatic suspension, Pryor really doesn't seem like a devious suspect or demon of numerous crimes but a man who just lacks common sense. It requires growth, however, to avoid a slew of infractions as every NFL franchise should be leery on picking Pryor to call the snaps and hurl downfield passes on Sundays, not yet ready to advance in the NFL landscape.
Because he played for the Ohio State University, he absorbs much attention. It's the brand name, not the player. It's the history, not the player. It's the tradition, not the player. When a player can engineer a mediocre team and turn around a lowly program to qualify for an elite bowl game, he normally earns much consideration, although he never really proved to be an elite quarterback.
The stunning development sends a bold statement when Goodell wasn't hesitant to suspend the infamous quarterback by the name of Pryor, believed to be the first ever player penalized before a team can pick him in the supplemental draft. The daily charade continues, and if Pryor is selected, he will be permitted to complete training camp with his new team but will be forced to serve a suspension without pay.
His punishment, he said in a statement, had reached a surprising point and apparently he took accountability and cited Pryor's offense as undermining the "integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL draft." The reason for an uncanny suspension towards Pryor, who is actually immature and lacks character, is that his persona worries Goodell, the one commissioner best known for instituting his personal conduct policy to punish players with misdeeds.
It sounds simple enough, a tactic that gives the commissioner a chance to collude with the NCAA and limit access to the league. The thing about it is, Goodell had a purpose for his pre-punishment regarding Pryor, angry with the puerile quarterback after hiring agent Drew Rosenhaus to represent him while attending Ohio State and being incompliant with investigators.
Whenever a fallen prospect enters the league with legal troubles next time, Goodell clearly thinks Pryor's suspension is the epitome of ramifications expected if a college athlete is tempted to accept money or even any other kind of improper benefits. Among other things, Pryor is not ready for the NFL and probably won't ever be a top-notch quarterback in the league.
It's an insult to tell another man to grow up, but maybe Pryor can finally grow up.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
This is essentially the darkest era of college sports, a point in time that scumbags, con artists, scummy agents ultimately tarnishes a prominent university after being involved in allegations of illicit sins.
Words aren't necessary. It happens commonly and unpleasantly that schools are battered by public humiliation for allowing scumbags to manipulate student athletes in accepting improper benefits, with all the hysteria and duplicity unleashing the disingenuousness of collegiate sports.
The troubles of the latest scandal alone, shocking as it is hearing that the Miami Hurricanes are caught in a malicious storm, might be a hint of serious trouble of this recent controversy. There was University of Miami president Donna Shalala, calmly responding for the first time since an NCAA investigation horrified the school's athletic department and said she is "upset, disheartened and saddened by the recent allegations."
With plenty of absurdity rupturing the well-known program in the nation, the truth is that Miami is saddled with the essence of someone else's wrongdoings, similar to how an innocent person could be in the wrong place at the wrong time and be in the company of a crooked outlaw.
Though the talk regarding an 11-month investigation by Yahoo! Sports alleged that former booster Nevin Shapiro -- who is currently serving 20 years in prison for running a Ponzi scheme -- lavished at least 72 athletes from a span within 2002 to 2010 with impermissible benefits, the spate of this scandal is messy and flummoxed.
“Make no mistake – I regard these allegations with the utmost of seriousness and understand the concern of so many of you,” Shalala said in a statement. “We will vigorously pursue the truth, wherever that path may lead, and I have insisted upon complete, honest, and transparent cooperation with the NCAA from our staff and students. Our counsel is working jointly with the NCAA Enforcement Division in a thorough and meticulous investigation, which will require our patience.”
The bombshells exactly aren't quite far-fetched in a sleazy generation of insanity and fraud in a sport for which the NCAA system is unsound and specious. If we believe the accusations by Yahoo! Sports, after interviewing with a rogue and convicted felon, it could be the only reasonable solution to address the issue and minimize some of the embarrassment that has crippled the whole university.
But after major infractions, which admittedly are as despicable as previous violations at other schools -- the Hurricanes are on the brink of destruction and quickly fading in the darkness as the current wrongdoers. It should be noted, as the shame hovers above a damaged athletic department that could possibly be imposed a harsh sanction, Miami is nearly sabotaged and seems to be flirting with the likelihood of the Death Penalty.
It's a climate of hypocrisy and falsehood that continues, with enough evidence in prior years, to hatch ghastly and sickened sins and diminish integrity and credibility. Then we come to the craziest scandal, two weeks away from the 2011-12 college football season.
Just as several universities are tying to deal with punishments in their post-scandals for violating NCAA rules, a protocol no program really ever abides by, it became a matter of which athletic programs from coast to coast were in attempt to have an edge and beat the unsettled system.
Along the way, if you believe the outrageous story, Miami was just as guilty and allegedly broke NCAA rules, including Shapiro as documents revealed that he set aside the rules. Contrary to his theory, he and Miami were looking for a clean getaway and played fast and loose with the rules, but the NCAA had finally discovered the U's dirty secrets.
Shaprio, even more than he had with his close peers or own family, had contact and a strong relationship with elite Miami players -- including Vince Wilfork, Jon Benson, Andre Johnson, Kellin Winslow Jr., Antrel Rolle and relatively 12 players on the current roster. At that point, his relationship with the players was undiscovered until he came clean and told Yahoo! that he uncovered the truth by conveying the accusations because many of the players he befriended and supported bailed on him when he needed help following his arrest.
The idea of this happening for years is deceitfulness and ruination for a tattered program with asterisks given the history of remarkable feats and victories to establish a tradition that could've lasted eternally had it not been for the embarrassment, a saturation point when the institution and NCAA people have reacted.
The worst of it all is that the story broke with specifics on Tuesday and reportedly said the improper benefits were given to recruits and coaches. But the weirdest part of this story is that the administrators had knowledge and were evidently aware of the negligence and fatuous ignorance.
The public hardly ever likes to hear about violations, burned out completely, ready to move past the mortification stemming from more and more disgrace ... if only the craziness ends soon and Miami is punished greatly for its dirtiness and absolute infamy. It's harder to inflict the so-called Death Penalty these days, a one-year ban of the program -- including other hefty penalties.
If the NCAA were to banish a program for a full season, then it would roughly diminish television packages for superconferences, lower revenue at many athletic departments and it would ruin the scheduling. The shame of it would then linger into court presumably as ugliness lurks as we are closer to the prelude of the college football season.
The outrage of this story is that Shapiro was welcomed on the sideline or in the press box for Miami games and he was such a commodity in which he had a lounge name after him. It's no coincidence that he was seen on a photo alongside Shalala and the coaching staff, all while he was giving the players cash, offering prostitutes, entertainment in his multi-million dollar home and yacht.
He was even paying for expensive trips to pricey restaurants and night clubs, jewelry and rewards for excellent plays on the field. And yes, worse possibly, he paid for an abortion for a stripper who was impregnated by a player. Then, at one point in his insidious livelihood, if he ever had a legit livelihood -- mind you -- he co-owned Axcess Sports and Entertainment, an agency that signed two first round picks from Miami.
As he confirms the story with photos, phone records and even receipts, Shapiro said he also sent payments in the best interest of Axcess and paid $50,000 bundles of cash to Wilfork as he lured recruits. Shapiro, unlike many slimy providers, hosted parties for the players and gave plenty of gifts to them.
These accusations are just as gruesome as many recent scandals -- are shocking and repulsive -- when Southern California star running back Reggie Bush accepted cash and gifts from wannabe agents that benefited his family to eventually have his Heisman award vacated, when Ohio State coach Jim Tressel stepped down in denial and was humiliated after standing for the travesty of his players selling memorabilia to be given free tattoos.
And now there is Shapiro, a crook who was involved with so many players for quite some time. The irony here is that an entire decade is likely tainted, building relationships with former coach Larry Coker and Randy Shannon in that span. The list of 39 players and recruits he named were said to have received prostitution paid by the booster, but the names remain unknown as Yahoo! won't release the players involved.
With that in mind, he never had difficulty arranging hotel rooms for women to meet with the players at specific locations. He really told it all when he admittedly divulged that he violated NCAA rules with the knowledge of six coaches, three on the football staff and three on the basketball staff. So now, he confessed that he was acting worse than a pimp to improperly pacify players by giving the needy athletes gifts in a decade of irrelevancy, smearing the unforgivable national-championship appearance of the moment the Hurricanes claimed the gleaming crystal ball.
Shalala touched on pride and having faith in her statement as well: “To our students, parents, faculty, alumni, and supporters – I encourage you to have patience as the process progresses; to have confidence in knowing that we are doing everything possible to discover the truth; to have faith in the many outstanding student-athletes and coaches who represent the University; and to have pride in what our University has accomplished and aspires to be.”
It's all lost. Tainted or real. Asterisks or legit. The U stands for unbearable and uncertainty.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
The concern isn't whether Carlos Zambrano can be a substantial element for a lackluster ballclub, but it's whether he can be civilized and accept the role of the finest pitcher in a shell-shocked pitching rotation.
The palpable surmise is, he can't conduct himself and loses self-control with his typical outbursts and dugout tirades, jawing at teammates amid a feud that eventually turns into barbaric tussles. What we're watching is a wacko lose his mind and throw tantrums as probably the biggest bust in Cubs history, a ballclub believed to be curse that an untaught fan base blame Chicago's 104-year championship drought on The Curse of the Billy Goat.
Maybe now, a distraught fan realizes it wasn't only Steve Bartman's fault when the disowned fan isn't permitted to show his face in public without being hackled or violently harassed. The residents in Chicago couldn't stop criticizing Bartman for the nightmarish disaster that turned rampant when he indiscreetly interfered with the nefarious foul ball he deflected.
But after the latest events of Friday night, another meltdown that could permanently damage his career with his childish immaturity dragging down the Cubs, a ballclub doomed by a downcast era, Zambrano is a toxic waste hovering over a defunct franchise that seems to have no discipline nor the upper hand.
The Rickettes epitaph merely describes in writing, no doubt, that the family's plans are very elusive and that general manager Jim Hendry, who has dismantled the Cubs, botches personnel decisions in bringing together a group of incredible depth but overpaid, no-good, psychotic busts like Zambrano and the aforementioned cancer Milton Bradley.
It's curious enough that one of the finest ballclubs is traditionally, in retrospect, the poorest major league organization in baseball and it's almost laughable for the country to point fingers at the once dignified team in Chi-Town most admired dearly. We are no longer captivated by the Cubs or even crazy about the Cubbies, but in the futility of Chicago baseball, a twinge of misadventures and unethical antics whenever Zambrano takes the mound to behave like a buffoon with no value is destroying the Cubs' imagery and tearing down the warmth.
This is Zambrano in the aging point of his career misbehaving and carrying on unprofessionally, with no morals or strong judgment to cool down and stay compose while on the mound where he has been unsuccessful. He's too hot-headed. He's too petulant. He's too damn angry. His name is involved in too many incidents, too many on-the-field outburst, too many postgame tirades and too many apologies to clear his name of such infamy but then eventually repeat subsequent actions.
And yet, as it stands, Zambrano has not been blackballed from the majors, but more importantly, the Cubs have not contemplated to potentially void his deal with another $18 million left on his contract -- despite that the deal expires after next season when his marketability will be devalued. He almost surely won't return wearing a Cubs uniform next spring.
It was finally a bit of news for the Cubs, turning all the attention toward the red flags that has inhibited the team from producing quality wins, after he clearly had a meltdown against the Braves and threw at Chipper Jones, which prompted an ejection that sent him into the clubhouse early. There's no escaping it, there's no sugarcoating that he can be given possibly a six-game suspension for intentionally throwing at one of the more respected veterans in the game.
The punishment, which should remind him that he's fortunate still to be a participant in a pitching lineup for a major league team, could change his temperamental attitude or either he'll self-destruct. The trust in Zambrano reeks and he's hardly a gracious pitcher that the Cubs now regret ever bringing in and signing to a large contract in a matter of investing too much money.
Under this present state, particularly if this trend continues to be a heavy burden, Zambrano won't be wearing a Cubs uniform much longer. It won't be long before he's released from the Cubs for turning Wrigley Field into a mental asylum, for turning on his teammates and the organization and for his detriment to the team. It's pathetic enough that he's a bigger nuisance than an accessory when the Cubs are burned out of the failures that clearly won't end this decade, maybe not even next decade -- but years from now.
Every season, he is losing his mind by carrying himself like a nutcase and not a beneficiary in the pitching department, leaving his teammates and attacking umpires. Every season, he is raging and slamming an unprotected Gatorade water cooler, mad with the world if the game never finishes his way.
This time, he doesn't believe he's a cancer, a saboteur amidst the controversy from the recent episode when he stormed off the field and gave up on the Cubs and cleaned out his locker, telling friends he was retiring Friday night after yielding five home runs and getting tossed in a dismal 10-4 loss to the Braves. The worshippers believe Zambrano's departure would be a less headache, and now it becomes a media campaign, a heinous circus and mystery to see whether or not Zambrano will ever again play as a member of the Cubs.
It is overwhelming and emotional in the aftermath of provoking a benches-clearing altercation and unnecessarily throwing directly at Jones to explode as usual and be a clown, not a mature veteran with excellent leadership qualities. And now, of course, he is not only losing his mind but his capacity entirely and, more than ever, his composure to deal with a dreadful loss finding an egregious outlet to release his anger.
Poorly handling a situation just expose Zambrano's weaknesses, and sadly, he looks like a childish clown lacking sense as a older player in the league who has plenty of experience and know-how when he produce his best stuff on the mound.
Rarely does he pitch brilliantly, but these days he acts showily and can take on another career in acting by his optimal entertainment to either annoy or fuel the crowd at Wrigleyville that visits one of the oldest ballparks for only the beer, the scrumptious food and the seventh inning stretch singing.
The sense is that Zambrano, once a promising star expected to uplift the Cubs and turn around the groundwork, a component which was lost as soon as Chicago crumbled into a doleful period, regardless of the talent the team brought in to curtail the woes, is ruining his relationship with the Cubs as the team is losing respect for him.
The potential move is eventually coming, a moment when the organization is presumed to cut ties with the irritable and indignant bust. And amid all the rumbling, he certainly has disgraced his name and stature, the way people perceive him and might have dented a long-term contract in the future with other ballclubs as it would be a risky marriage and burden to give a heap of attention to a troubled pitcher, grasping that he can explode at anytime if the team is underachieving.
Not surprisingly, he raises far more questions and, at this very moment, it's hard to tell how it will all play out. The criticism isn't too kind these days, as far as it seems for Zambrano and really when he explodes and snaps on the field. He is viewed provocative and dangerous to the human race, an awful role model to children yet he adopted a kid from Guatemala during the All-Star break, criticized by Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune.
It can also be an understanding that he's meticulous when he wants to be, but only when he has the desire to care about leading the club to a win. Otherwise, he's just the petulant, hot-headed idiot, causing trouble inside the Cubs' clubhouse by the infighting feuds. It's not a season that progress without Zambrano losing his temper, arguing with teammates and management while on a short fuse as he is easily combustible, a mannerism that could poison a whole clubhouse if the players aren't strong enough or able to downplay negativity.
Judging by his actions, he's a blasphemous, heartless player and worthless to any team's pitching staff, not in the right state of mind to handle the adversity. He is suddenly easygoing and merciful, ready to repair his image by some accounts, showing true remorse for once in his controversial career?
And so Zambrano tries to seek help from the union, the Major League Baseball Player Association, in hopes to save his name in its entirety when he filed a union grievance against the Cubs. What he has essentially done is asked for a paycheck, now serving a suspension for a minimum 30 days after been placed on the Disqualified List, unable to pocket his $18 million per salary.
That being said, his future isn't too bright or hopeful with the Cubs and he might be playing elsewhere by next season, as an ugly divorce could separate Zambrano and the Cubs, a bad relationship that turned godawful. And then, if there's one person unhappy, it's manager Mike Quade glancing past Zambrano. He, too, has lost patience and tolerance with the deplorable ace who never really was an ace, but an overpaid bust and fooled the Cubs by doing so when Hendry is clearly the one to blame for Zam-Busto's large salary.
It's just too often that his tempers flare. And it's now obvious that the Cubs and Zam-Busto have parted ways emotionally and physically in many ways. He's not worth the headache for any team.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
There has been much dialogue all week in regards of Texas A&M potentially moving to the SEC that has added to the everlasting rumors of realignment in college sports. As this convoluted turmoil of disoriented mergers possibly materialize, rather than realizing the trouble the Aggies could encounter in a tougher conference, we are often stuck in a confused state of mind when college football teeters on the fringe of tumult.
But in this realm of upheaval, where it has become a rite in college football and where the people are accustomed to the nonsense of the conference commissioners playing musical chairs, many believe this merger could spell trouble for the Aggies. For now, anyway, the SEC has chosen not to invite Texas A&M into the conference, and fortunately for Aggies' fans, the conference is remaining at 12 teams.
After a meeting of SEC presidents and chancellors, Florida President Bernie Machen, the chair of the SEC presidents, said the league confirmed its gratification with its current 12-team alignment.
“We recognize, however, that future conditions may make it advantageous to expand the number of institutions in the league,” the statement said. “We discussed criteria and process associated with expansion. No action was taken with respect to any institution, including Texas A&M.”
The easiest path is for Texas A&M to stay in the Big 12 with all the pressure in the Southeastern Conference, a conference that arguably have the deepest football programs in the nation and claims the national spotlight. It appears that Texas A&M, a program which is unhappy by Texas' Longhorn Network, is staying home in the Big 12 conference and won't be leaving for another conference at this very moment.
The people in the Lone Star State really don't want the Aggies to leave for the SEC, though the program can rise into the national spotlight but also fade within the conference of much talent and where the deepest competition exist in the sphere of college football.
For all the hyperbole by the Southeastern Conference official who announced Sunday that the SEC will remain a 12-team conference and that they have no intentions of inviting the Aggies to join the conference -- at least as it stands for now -- in what inarguably is the biggest chaotic debate ever with the likings of Utah and Colorado among them -- the realignment is a hassle with too much chaos.
It's not such a bad suggestion that the Aggies were snubbed, in fact, it's truly good judgment for A&M to remain in the Big 12. This is the age when college football isn't as amusing as the NFL, deprived of a legitimate eight-game playoff system or even a commissioner to oversee an association in tremendous disarray.
Nor does the NCAA care to institute an eight-game playoff system, but realign conferences to bring more excitement and balance the welfare of competition for bowl games? If the Southeastern Conference dares to venture in the Big 12 and lure a few elite teams from other conferences, then it seems like too much of a struggle to attempt such an anarchic changeover.
Few were actually content with the possibility of Texas A&M joining the SEC and, at one point as earlier of last week, it appeared rational and greater than ever. And so it ends -- let’s only hope -- the flip-flopping of teams, the befuddling and tiring rumors of potential realignment in a sport that really doesn't have to move teams around but needs to focus all its attention on a moderate playoff system.
As much as the Aggies could hate anything of the Longhorns, disgruntled of the notion that the Texas Longhorns have their own network, the university feel the network is a violation of NCAA rules. The aspect of the Longhorns Network broadcasting coverage of two live football games, as one of those games are expected to be a conference showdown, had never been talked about among the Big 12 athletic directors.
Yet the NCAA, as we all know by now, is so chaotic and largely corrupted by all the scandals of improper benefits and the lack of fair punishments handed down to universities for violating NCAA rules. So now, again, we are left to wonder if the restrictive rules of any collegiate representative contacts will ever play a role in why Texas A&M is fine by the move, if the change ever happens.
This probably won't happen real soon when the Aggies are members of the Big 12 as of Sunday, which could be unlawful for the SEC to invite the Aggies at this time. If they ever desired to have the Aggies join, the proper time would have been Sunday as the parties negotiated.
It's almost believable to assume that the SEC is just waiting for A&M to request admission to the SEC, but it all seems implausible. The truth, however, is as clear as those cadets at the Corps of Cadets program at Texas A&M. That could mean the Aggies may not be moving to the SEC, still representing the conference of pointless tension under the guise of college football.
The criticism was even fairly kindly -- Southern hospitality, if you will -- when all the talk circled Texas A&M being sick and tired of Texas, an archrival in Austin, Texas. What swirls around A&M is abnormal and, if the Aggies move to the SEC, it would absolutely be an awful move -- a regrettable decision in truth.
For those who believe it already, with all evidence of course, the Aggies are so tired of Texas, the university no longer wishes to be in the Longhorns' presence, insulting and fighting the University of Hook'em Horns. They are very furious with their biggest rival -- never mind that Texas is the superior university and should be drawing other schools to its prominent conference, but in the meantime, the Longhorns are outlandishly pushing their rivals away from the Big 12.
This is what happens when a preeminent university becomes shamefully egotistic and self-serving, encouraging its foes to leave elsewhere to avoid the nonsense of greediness and aversion. And Texas A&M's flirtation with the SEC is prompted by Texas, an archenemy upsetting the mind of Aggies' fans and even the trustees.
The investment of time and money by joining with ESPN, spending over $300 million to broadcast its own television network, tells us Texas wants to have its cake and eat it, too. The worshippers of college football believe Texas A&M wants to emotionally leave for a change of scenery, and more importantly, move far away as possible from the Longhorns. For a long time, the Aggies have deliberated this move -- a new direction that seems impossible and more like an illusion.
The cameras, if the Aggies are ever welcomed to the SEC, will flash often and the pressure could raise and alter the Aggies' personality in one of the toughest conferences where they'll be thrashed by stronger and deeper opponents in the Southeastern Conference.
This is essentially the Aggies asking for trouble and seemingly the university doesn't qualify for the Southeastern Conference and they haven't found their football identity in the Big 12, merely accounting for one conference championship and one BCS bowl game 13 years ago. Even in this new culture of football the Aggies haven't dominated, winning only three division titles in 16 years, prevailing once in 1998 when the school one a division championship.
Sorry, but the Aggies wouldn't survive in the SEC and were better off staying the Big 12. So now, I guess Texas A&M can engage in a battle with the archrivals and take it out on the Longhorns.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Why are the Nationals doing this?? What is the team thinking?? If Stephen Strasburg was driving down the freeway recklessly, almost suspiciously so, involved in an auto crash or a multi-car pile-up, the Nationals would be very cautious with their hard-throwing phenom getting behind the wheel.
But then, he's being rushed back to make his pitching debut since the injury delayed his spectacular visits onto the mound when he's a valued element to the Nationals, a ballclub currently sitting at 20 games out of first place in the NL East. We can't forget something, though. Mark Prior and Mark Mulder came before him.
The wait wasn't longer than usual, almost quickly, rushing back the No. 1 draft selection, Strasburg, when he sustained a torn ligament in his pitching elbow that forced the rookie sensation to undergo Tommy John surgery. It's thoroughly expected each week that he is hopeful of making a comeback after a strong recovery in the midst of rehab to return healthier than ever.
He continues to be dumbfounded, oblivious and incautious, even more so with the temptations of rushing back his foresighted ace. Mike Rizzo, general manager for the Washington Nationals, plans for the 23-year-old right-hander to return potentially for a few late-season starts in the nation's capital. This would be considered a huge risk, a perilous move, a dateline for a setback or disaster to thwart a marveled tale for one of the miraculous comebacks in baseball.
The locals grasped when the Nationals recently allowed Strasburg to take major steps in his progress, but a hurried recovery can spell trouble if he grimace in pain and experience a setback, still healing and trying to recoup. And the relevance of his premature comeback is kind of eerie, not even one year removed from the surgical procedure he had Sept. 3.
It's unforeseen to see Strasburg recover so quickly of a horrific surgery that really has no specific timetable, but in this view, he has a larger chance to become a no-hit wonder, become the next 3,000 winner and become the hard-thrower in a town where he is a magnetic. That seems to be exactly what people are assuming, hopeful he's the next endearing athlete in the nation's capital.
The fact is, in attempting to be an advocate of rushing Strasburg back, it's quite horrendous to expect a speedy recovery from someone who is rehabbing to reappear fully robust. So if this is how it looks, he has been impressive, throwing 31 pitches in his first rehab start on Sunday.
So if this is what we are going to see, when he is fully healthy to pose as an unhittable ace on the hill every five days, he'll threw mainly fastballs, topping in the upper-90s, which he is already viewed as the best rookie ever -- amazingly while battling a season-ending injury that never lasted as long as anticipated.
The excitement of striking out four and surrendering a solo home run over 1 2-3 innings almost certainly writes a feel-good story for baseball when Strasburg is probably another paragon in the ailing game to alleviate the hysteria of woeful allegations that taints the beauty of our pastime.
We all recognize, by the way, much salvation is necessary to remind us that baseball is still relevant in our generation, not only in the period of our grandparents or great grandparents, a span when populace solely admired the game. The whole thing, regarding Strasburg's status, seems too orchestrated and horrendous, a gusty move for a ballclub depending on his success in the future.
And, truth be told, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said on Tuesday that Strasburg will throw three innings with a 50-pitch limit for Potomac. Lucky for the Nationals, he is healing from a severe injury faster than ever and the ballclub residing in Washington D.C. wants to stop being the laughingstock, the one franchise bullied in the NL East.
The club wants to end the lackluster performances and construct a sturdy pitching rotation of four hard-throwing pitchers, including Strasburg who is the cornerstone of the foundation for the Nationals. Many of us don't want to be fair to the athletes, realizing that he's not fully capable of throwing at his best, still not healthy enough to make a powerful impact.
"Stras is going to be on a normal program," Johnson said. "He'll go three innings on Friday with a limit of 50 pitches. He'll probably go the next time out, five days later, he'll go four innings, probably 60 pitches or something like that. Then he'll go five innings and 80 pitches and probably be ready to go."
It's fine to be skeptical of what the Nationals are planning, angling for Strasburg to pitch as soon as possible. That's a pretty terrifying decision when he's coming off Tommy John surgery, finding his form once again to pitch at an all-time high. The disposition and choice to bring Strasburg back prematurely jeopardizes his ability to throw, his arm strength, his health and long-term status with the franchise.
It's one of the harmful and poignant moments that may come back to haunt the Nationals, a regrettable preference to implode a gifted rotation and damage the career of Strasburg. If the Nats aren't careful as it might be a proper time to bring the right-hander back, with the logic of Prior and Mulder suffering career-threatening injuries, then a similar occurrence could happen if not worse.
At some point, if the media doesn't believe it, the angst is discovered more and more, as the team is burned out of all the endless hoopla circling Strasburg as the kid is unable to breathe with the hype and bevy of attention exposed by the media. Within hours of the announcement, Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner hightailed to Hagerstown, eager to see Strasburg return for the two innings of work.
The future for Strasburg looks bright, and that seems really bright if the Nats use him fairly and give him enough time to overcome an injury. He's had more attention, national attention that is, after his imposing debut in his first ever game in the majors and then he's treated more like a celebrity in the District of Columbia.
The more he wears a Nationals uniform, the more he is a beloved gentleman to properly change the Natinals brand name to the Nationals. In the town, where the nation's capital and plenty of the American monuments hail to symbolize patriotism, now in a place where baseball nearly embodies Strasburg, he earns more nods than President Obama.
If that's true, he can walk down Pennsylvania Ave., where he'd need to be heavily protected by special agents. It's all so obvious that he is an incredibly priceless asset, expected to accomplished wonderful achievements in a Nationals uniform and be one of the greatest pitchers to ever play the game.
There are real reasons to believe, now that the Nationals are in charge of an manageable disaster, Washington is mishandling the situation and putting baseball's next best pitcher in harms way, strangely urging Strasburg to hurry and begin tossing pitches. Patience is virtue. That thought comes elsewhere, though.
It certainly isn't emphasized by the Nationals, willing to risk the career of one of their talented stars and seem confident that he's ready to return to actual form. It's too fast to suggest such a quick resurgence for someone who was never superhuman, but a natural sensation with prodigy, discipline and velocity in his untouchable fastball.
Beneath his renewal steps in rejuvenating, such as how he's surprisingly and instantly regaining strength in his throwing arm, he is a public figure of nuisance and prominence. His name is essentially a common one for a franchise, strangely handling the injury with apathy and instability, listening to Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, his former coach at San Diego State, talk about his confidence and competitive nature in college that has translated over to the majors.
It feels as if the Nationals have been fair and precautious with Strasburg in the past, even if Washington never issued pitch-counts or limited innings of work, allowing him to throw until he presented signs of fatigue. If the Nationals gives Strasburg, their franchise pitcher, a chance to throw in a few nugatory games in September and have him pitch against the toughest of the National League, it would one of the biggest mistakes.
What happens if, after making a strong progress and becoming useful since he underwent surgery to repair his torn ligament in his damaged elbow, Strasburg is placed back on the disabled list for reaggravating his elbow in his throwing arm? The Nationals are smart if he is only allowed to complete his rehab in the minor leagues, pitch in limited innings and return next season to the majors.
It's not worth the risk when the Nationals are evidently out of postseason conversations and mostly playing for pride, if nothing else. It's too bad that Washington isn't reluctant and comfortable with having Strasburg return to the mound for meaningless games.
It is a possibility that Rob Dibble, the former major league pitcher who is a conspiracy theorist, is often right about issues and believes literally and figuratively when he appeared on his Sirius XM Radio show and voiced his opinion. It turned surprising when he accused the Nats of rushing Washington's greatest back to the majors, just so they can sell out seats and persuade ticket buyers to purchase tickets for the 2012 season.
The perception of all of this is that most managers believe it's how hard the pitcher throws, not the number of innings pitched. Then again, relatively speaking, it depends on the pitcher himself. It's not too often that a pitcher return from Tommy John surgery earlier than the 12 to 18 month period, but amazingly for Strasburg, it has been exactly 11 months and he's already throwing in attempt to come back this season.
For the unthinkable to happen, he can use self-confidence and velocity in every aspect of his pitching. Lots of people are probably thinking and clearly realizes that he's the face of the franchise, earning a record-setting $15-million bonus contract, grabbing all the limelight with large expectations and plans for next season.
But upon a clearer understanding, really, if he's an amazing player and threw an impressive outing in his last start Sunday, why can't he wait until next spring and aim to be a historical 20-game winner? With his stuff, he is capable of winning so many games, a young fastball thrower who can really pitch and find his location after undergoing surgery.
He's a rare talent. Don't risk it now. There's next season.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
The problem with Tim Tebow isn't based on his faith or Christianity. Aside from his good character, convincing work ethic of feasibly adapting to a pro-style offense, he leaves us pondering if he has the throwing motion and precision in the reality of elevating his arsenal and manhood, and it's not because of his overexposed humility that he's unworthy of being the starting quarterback.
This endless quarterback controversy has been the prelude of another ruckus in Denver, an overblown predicament for a franchise, once credited for its prestige and usual traits of acquiring Super Bowl victories. It wouldn't be too sassy to oust or even lose faith on Timothy Richard Tebow, abstaining from his availability and talents of versatility, stamina and agility, a knack to conspicuously give off a better description.
The fans winced when Kyle Orton, projected to be starting quarterback for the season-opener to end the popularity contest, notified enthusiastic fans in a rabid sports town that insulted the average supporter, I suspect, when he rudely said they don't enter into consideration much.
Seriously, Kyle? I mean, really?
So now that he has won the top quarterback spot for the Denver Broncos, he's found bliss when the fans weren't partly responsible for the team's decision in choosing a quarterback. With that in mind, however, he's never won the kindness of the Broncos fans, and because he's not convincing by many in the Mile High City, he'll need to win the fans back.
"Thank God the people (fans) don’t make the decisions," Orton told the Denver Post. "That’s really all I got to say about it. My last goal as quarterback is to win over the fans, that is my last goal."
Perhaps, he does have a way he can win the fans back, you know. That is, obviously, winning football games and carrying the Broncos to the playoffs would definitely earn back the fans.
These are the same people who've lobbied for Tebow in accepting the responsibility of the tough assignment at the quarterback position after working out and practicing diligently to earn the full-time job as the starting quarterback. It's almost understandable to feel sorry for Orton, the pariah in Denver as fans have converted into Tebow fans.
If he wasn't one of the most beloved players in the NFL, since he entered the NFL as a popular phenom and a two-time national champion at the University of Florida, an illustrious institution of the Southeastern Conference, Orton would never had been mentioned in trade proposals as he was so heavily.
There is, however, more reason now than ever to grasp a sense that Tebow is not ready for the challenge in a football-oriented town, but the fans believe he's ready to be named the starter. It might seem as though that he's worthy for the toughest task on the field, but apparently the front office is not impressed with the improvement of his accuracy and mechanics. As of now, Orton gives Denver the best chance in winning games and it is now rational to judge that the Broncos can easily win the AFC West if they have the fitted pieces.
It's just a popular athlete, I assume, perpetrated to create a wave of propaganda in Denver, and just about every day, he is respectfully increasing his celebrity in a town where the fans have welcomed Tebow with opened arms -- already calling him the next franchise player -- since John Elway of course -- in his craft to engineer a franchise still needing much growth. So what do people in Colorado want from the well-known hero, despite that he may not be the starter for the 16-game season?
He has found a home near the Rocky Mountains, adoration when all he had was the population back in Florida -- Gator Nation -- and, more than ever, he had his loyal family, along with the voters on the night he stood on stage to receive the most prestigious award in college football. It was the stiff-armed trophy that may have even hinged regards and eminence.
In this game, nowadays, it really depends on what the fans are asking for, to satisfy the ticket buyers. It's because, as we all know, fans are like customers in this business. We barely even notice these days, no matter if someone is amiss on a specific subject, but the purchaser is always right. That goes for the fans as well, a customer to an extent, inexplicably spending huge wealth on sports events with one's heart and soul all attached to their local franchises within a town where most residents pride themselves on sports.
What the Broncos' supporters want, of course, is the stiff-armed, almighty and explosive quarterback of passion and prodigy to be named the starter and play this season. It could happen suddenly, a Tebow experiment, just to evaluate what the team has in the famous quarterback. He can survive a contest and stand on turf without getting knocked down, having much physique and quickness to take on hits and force miss tackles from the opposing team.
By now, anyway, everybody knows of Tebow and most football observers even notice how the world pays attention when he's nearly becoming one of the finest names in pro football, liked so much for his practice of religion and humbleness as a more benevolent human being who happens to love his relationship with Jesus and his family more than football.
He was standing at midfield amid training camp, engulfed by thousands of fans curious to know if Tebow can be worthy of leading the Broncos rebuilt culture after the crowds at Broncos' Dove Valley headquarters were donning a bevy of Tebow jerseys. Is it just me, or is Orton the minority in Denver?
It certainly seems like he's the disregarded quarterback, when in reality, he's truly the regarded player -- for playing like the best gunslinger in training camp, for intriguing new Broncos' head coach John Fox. His semblance is what identifies Tebow as a praiseworthy quarterback, of course, as he is idolized as a role model from his charity efforts by visiting inmates in prisons or helping circumcise Filipino children during his missionary work.
And this time, we thought he would emerge into a star, much like the achievements in his collegiate career when he become the only player ever in NCAA history to score 20 touchdowns rushing and 20 touchdowns passing in the same season. He could have used the I-want-to-be-traded excuse. Or play the sit-and-wait game.
At least, he has struck me as a man who could be a starting quarterback in this league, a unique pass thrower with an erratic jump pass and excellent leadership. In many ways, he's very poise and crafty with the ball, taking the snaps and calling the plays for a high-powered offense.
But it wasn't Fox's decision to draft Tebow -- and instead -- it was his predecessor Josh McDaniels who believed in him and had chosen to take a risky gamble on an unproven draftee that had plenty of flaws in his throwing mechanics and accuracy, even though he had already shown his mobility and quickness to be efficient in open field.
"Right now, Kyle Orton is our starter," Fox told reporters. "I don't think we'll really figure it out until we start competing. It's a group of three that are very capable. We have a young guy, high draft pick, in Tim Tebow who got his feet wet last year toward the end of the season. And then, shoot, Brady Quinn I'm looking forward to seeing."
The question is can he accomplish it with an elite pro franchise? Actually we can't deny that Tebow has much potential, after all. So maybe it wasn't such a faulty choice to draft Tebow 25th overall in the first round of the NFL Draft.
This is particularly not true for a new head coach, uncomfortable telling fans that the quarterback of the future isn't the endearing athlete everybody had in mind. If things go well early, Fox could be portrayed as an expert in football, having confidence in Orton.
The truth is, no matter how much Tebow is anointed in Denver while the fans implore for the Broncos to reward him the starting job as quarterback, Orton had 41 touchdowns and 7,455 yards over the past two seasons and he still is disrespected and insulted in the mind of the crowd in Denver.
Perhaps just as worse, booed when he failed to push the ball into the end zone from the 9-yard line in training camp scrimmage as of recently, the fans requested a trade and there were speculates that he would have been dealt to the Miami Dolphins. In the meantime, there is much work to be done and Fox is aiming for a fresh beginning in Denver.
As we've seen, Tebow Mania isn't fading and supporters are anxious to see Tebow earn the starting job, not too happy with an incumbent Orton. The mantra of most fans who don't like Orton want Tebow, who is grandiose in his religion and principles.
It's also evident he was the best high school player in the nation, and translated greatness in college where he nationally made headlines and strengthened his status as one of the most successful players in history, a Christian role model everybody loves to appreciate. Surely, he's a nice person, a modest citizen, a hero on and off the field and a faultless paragon.
What the fans want is Tebow, not Orton. What the fans want is somebody with good character, not somebody with better results.
Monday, August 8, 2011
He is about to become the diva of golf for ripping one of the world's greatest golfers who formerly lavished him with massive earnings, just so Tiger Woods could have a loyal caddie to carry his almighty golf bag adorned with endorsement logos.
It was enough for Woods to bail on a longtime relationship that apparently unraveled, an unexpected fallout no one ever imagined and especially Steve Williams, one of the richest caddies who profited from Woods, though he never struck a drive or made a putt.
It's a childlike feud of a destroyed relationship and a bitter ex-caddie aiming for vengeance, angry for being divorced by the man who consolidated his celebrity, a rarity for Williams considering that he only carried Woods' clubs over more than a decade. It's a distasteful dispute, a sight of hostility that creates an uproar in a pedestrian sport, a personal vendetta by Williams all because he felt he was betrayed and backstabbed.
It wasn't long ago, as Williams lost respect for his partner of 12 years when specifics surfaced of the world's famous golfer's sex scandals repeatedly came to light turning Woods infamous as a spotless superstar, when Woods parted ways with Williams, the bagman suddenly flipping the script on the shamed golfer.
The New Zealander, a 47-year-old caddie who is no better than a water boy standing on the sideline serving water, admittedly divulged that he discovered Woods' on decline as his era is fading quickly, a player on the verge of surpassing Jack Nicklaus for record-setting 18 major titles if he can ever recoup and win enough major championships.
If you haven't taken heed to what is happening, well, you haven't closely followed the utmost insanity that just won't disappear from dominating headlines. There is no bigger jerk in golf than Woods ex-caddie, publicly rejoicing with the media, bragging with the media and ripping his former friend through the media.
How can any honest, good friend dismiss the greatest moments when he carried Woods' bags for 12 years and watched the best golfer on the planet imaginably capture 13 major championships, 72 overall wins? What a stinking shame that Williams, just for holding the bags and handing the iron sticks to Woods at each hole, had experienced much triumph mastered all by Woods' brilliance and craft.
Before he attained popularity in this country, before he was made one of the richest caddies when he never attempted a shot but tried to call the shots, Williams was never a star. He was an employee under Woods. The golfer runs the business and show, not the caddie, a person hired to assistance a golfer by lugging the player's clubs and finding the balls.
This is the equivalent of someone befriending an individual only to benefit in many ways, and then eventually dropping the F-bomb, turning one's back on a person who provided and helped that individual in their sensational career. This is Williams' fault. He is whining, bitching, moaning, and almost certainly, the two men have fallen apart following the drastic transitions and statements on the disparity in an abrupt parting.
It really is a pathetic rift, a form of disrespect to lambaste Woods, particularly when he was the hand feeding Williams before the firing, at a juncture of a troubled period of time as Woods is still trying to undo the widespread infidelities 18 months ago. It may shock you to notice that Williams is feuding with Woods, the most chaotic altercation these days, amazingly selling the sport, boosting the ratings of which fans brace conflict to watch rivalries and intense drama ignite.
Understanding that he and Williams is drawing interest in the sport as long as they embroil enough fuss, it could prove to be helpful and beneficial in golf, even more so when it involves Woods. Isn't it so crazy, preposterous? If he had good sense, Williams would had never conducted a postgame interview, boasting after thousands of fans cheated his name as Adam Scott, his new partner, won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
If we really must go there, and speak the truth, then we can honestly admit that Williams never won a title. And he certainly wasn't the winner at the last tournament... instead it was Scott. He was victorious, not Williams. But then, he'd win an award for being the best caddie maybe, but not the best golfer. It's just too bad the sport doesn't have an award for caddies or even for trash-talking.
If so, he would be the leading candidate. Don't you think? It's more as if he's trying to even the score with Woods, a motivational, self-esteem scheme to uplift his emotions. It's never a good feeling when someone is dumped or turned down, but the romance ended all so miserably, the chemistry no longer exist and Tiger and Williams finally had enough.
But if one thought they were "taking a break" -- Williams -- and Tiger, of course, were both confounded and burned out. What truly matters is, he become rich based on Woods' expense, he was a celebrity for carrying his equipment and he was given the best assignment from the greatest golfer on the planet, but almost simultaneously, he insults and ridicules the man who issued paychecks and plenty of gifts in return.
And this is how he repays Woods?
More notably, it doesn't take long for someone to betray another human being. This isn't so much about Woods deciding to change his caddie, but in all likelihood, it's about Williams disrespecting a selfless athlete.
He seems to believe he can make a mockery of someone when he was rewarded with riches and had been in a greater state to nurture his family. He seems to believe he can now belittle the man after he became a celebrity in the modern era of the prestigious and ancient game.
For all we know, Williams has taken the job description to his damn head, and he's tried desperately to be atop all caddies, all because he was behind Woods until he bitterly criticized and mocked him -- seemingly raging and scolding his former boss.
It's a laughable soap opera that won't resolve anytime soon, and it's considerably more than just Woods' bravado or detachment, but also the unfaithfulness and extramarital affairs. We are long past those days, ready to move forward as Woods is rehabilitating from the sex scandals and lengthy battle of injuries confident he can return to prominence and lift back into contention.
So what if Woods decided to move on without Williams? Maybe this change is healthy, for a man fighting mentally and physically to restore faith and his tattered image when much credibility was lost after the allegations elicited anger.
The transgressions against his ex-wife never settled too well with many people as Woods quickly lost consumers and supporters, and even his caddie, telling Steve that he had consent to caddie for Scott at the U.S. Open, back in June at the Congressional Country Club in Washington.
It happened this past weekend in Akron,Ohio, when Woods finally was removed from the injured list and played, in preparation for the PGA Championship this week. But we also know, in retrospect, that he had hired a replacement by the name of Bryan Bell, a best friend of Woods since seventh grade.
If anyone can understand this absurdity, it's because they realize that Williams is infuriated because he was fired, pleading to the world he is still worthy behind Scott. So what if Woods faltered and dropped to 37th place in the tournament? No reason to rub it in, no reason to bash Woods.
The reality here is that Woods had more class and dignity than his old friend, had more respect and maturity and downplayed the nonsense. Maybe Stevie Williams deserved to be fired. Maybe he earned what he was asking for. It never took long for Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, to respond.
“I’m stunned I’ve had to talk about this situation last night and today after Adam Scott’s good win,” he told Golfweek. “I feel sorry for Adam. But I’m tired of (Woods) taking shots for two years. When someone says something patently false, I feel the need to speak up. To say he (Williams) didn’t get fired face-to-face is ludicrous and tiring.”
This whole thing is ludicrous, just utterly ridiculous and it feels like an everlasting soap opera that will never end. And, yes, it's an ongoing story of a overblown breakup and, for the record, it has turned into acrimony. It's just too bad, but now it's time that Williams move on. It's like breaking up with your ex-lover. GET OVER IT, GET OVER YOURSELF!!
The worst part of it all is, the relationship unraveled amidst he/said theories and finger-pointing to provoke a farce and unnecessary bull. This is what it has become an episode of misguided insanity, a full-blown controversy.
Williams, with the exception of Woods, he thought he was a star, but he never was a star. He was only a worker for his boss, and now, a distasteful S.O.B. with no morals.
That sounds like Stevie.