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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Writer Suggests Super Bowl Ref Jerome Boger Was Selected Because He’s Black

The 2012-2013 NFL season will not go down as a memorable one for referees. From the replacement fiasco, to a myriad of missed calls, it seems everyone’s got a gripe about how they do their job. Now the latest saga is the controversy brewing over the selection of Jerome Boger as Super Bowl referee.
New Jersey blogger, Ben Austro, for the site FootballZebras was the first one to chime in on the potentially ‘unfair’ selection, going so far as to say that Boger was “cherry picked”. As evidence, Austro pointed to the 8 ‘dings’ or reversed calls Boger had this year, that had subsequently been changed once Boger appealed. Austro said the following to 11 Alive News:
“Generally you see one or two reversals in a year, but not eight, so somebody had changed all of these bad grades to neutral,”
Another point Austro brought up, was the fact that Boger had never officiated a Conference Championship game, something had once was a prerequisite before getting to officiate the Super Bowl. Many of Boger’s colleagues have anonymously come out to bash the League’s choice, one official flatout stated:
“[Boger] shouldn’t even be eligible for the game,”
“Everybody basically knows what’s happening. You see when grades appear, and when grades mysteriously disappear. Any incorrect call or missed call will disappear for no reason at all.”

Alex Smith enjoys last bittersweet experience with 49ers

San Francisco backup quarterback Alex Smith used the term ” bittersweet” on Tuesday to describe his first Super Bowl experience. 

As accurate as that probably is, Smith was definitely underselling the depth of his emotions.

The former No.1 pick has been kicked around during his entire seven-year tenure with the team.

Those with selective memories forget the other quarterback controversies that Smith endured before he finally settled into what he thought was his job to keep.


49ers coach Jim Haurbaugh did the tough thing and made the correct call by placing the future of the team in the hands of Colin Kaepernick.

That doesn’t mean Smith has to or should like it.

Cubs scouts talk about drafting San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has something in common with a few iconic NFL quarterbacks.

The versatile gunslinger was pursued by Chicago before he landed in the Bay Area. 

When I say Chicago I don’t mean the Bears.

I speak of the Cubs that drafted Kaepernick to play  in the big leagues just like guys such as John Elway.

The only problem was he wanted no part of it.

Joe Vitt claims Saints owner threw NFL personnel out of the team’s facilities

During the Bounty Gate drama things were predictably tense at the New Orleans Saints compound.

When linebackers coach Joe Vitt testified before former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue on Dec.3, 2012, his verbiage was raw as he explained his version of various events.

Vitt’s testimony was secured by the Times-Picayune that laid out a scene in which a New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson kicked  NFL representative Jeff Miller out of the facility.

Vitt starts by describing  when Miller visited the team on November 5th when the Saints defeated the Eagles 28-13.

“He was down at the game two weeks ago against the Philadelphia Eagles, and he was on our sideline,” Vitt said. “And he was over with our director of security, Danny Lawless, and he started laughing at Danny a little bit and said, ‘Hey, maybe I should just go up to the sideline and say hello to Joe Vitt, he’d be glad to see me.’ And Danny looked at him and couldn’t believe it. He thought it was so funny, I guess, because I was just coming off my second game after my seven-week suspension.

“I guess it’s a joke. I guess it’s just a big joke,” Vitt said. “I can tell you, there’s no one in New Orleans laughing, and no one in our organization is laughing. I’ll tell you who is not laughing, is our owner Mr. Benson. Because Jeff Miller took a plane ride from New York down to New Orleans, and the way he talked to our owner, what he said to our owner made me want to throw up, to the point where Mr. Benson kicked him off the property and didn’t let him back on the property; the third time when I talked to Jeff Miller at the Hilton.

“And by the way, the second time I talked to investigators – I’m sorry, I forgot about this. The investigators, Jeff Miller in particular, acknowledged that I did not give any money to a bounty because he said to me, you know, we heard that your wife is so cheap that you have a hard time getting lunch money every day. That was his comment to me. And I said, well, your wife must have a pretty good sense of humor, too, with the clothes you’re wearing right now. So they acknowledged that.”

“This is – let me tell you something. This almost killed our owner. Our owner has done nothing but be a great owner in the National Football League the whole time he’s been in the league.  And now this guy takes a plane ride down and throws some documents in front of our owner’s face, and our owner has got to kick him out of the building? That’s what we’re dealing with. That’s fine.”

The Times-Picayune story is a compelling ride.

Murder Is More Than A 15 Yard Penalty

Super Bowl Sunday is just days away now, and for the first time that I can remember, the main attraction is a defender. Ray Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens star linebacker, has the gravitas to command the attention of every camera, the popping of every light-bulb, and the awe of every eye on the biggest stage in American sports, when he runs out of the tunnel at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for Super Bowl XLVII and does his iconic dance, single-handily taking the blockbuster game to another level. People are divided on who they want to win the big game and who they think will win the big game, but most everyone is pulling for Lewis, a player who has thrown so much energy and inspiration and emotion into his craft since he was drafted by the Ravens back in 1996, he has curtailed a cultish following in the most professional and popular sport in the country - and washed the names Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar from that nation's collective memory.


I'm sickened by the adulation parade around the retiring linebacker. I don't understand, and I won't join in. It takes a unique kind of person to shed the memory of an arrest for murder -  and Lewis is nothing if he's not unique. It was almost 13 years ago today in Atlanta in the midst of a Super Bowl party that Lewis and his entourage got into a fight with another group of people, and Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar were stabbed to death. Lewis was questioned by the police in the aftermath of the incident, and 11 days later, the star linebacker and his companions Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting were arrested for murder.

Eventually, Lewis cut a deal with prosecutors for his testimony against Oakley and Sweeting, pleading guilty to a charge of obstruction of justice. Lewis admitted lying to and misleading the police when he was questioned on the morning after the killings, and his testimony against his friends was less than convincing. Oakley and Sweeting were found not guilty. No other person has been arrested for the crime. 

Golf: By winning with his best and worst, Tiger Woods showed real progress at Torrey


(PhatzRadio / Golf.com)Tiger Woods is so polarizing. He’s either going to win 25 majors or he’s never going to win another. There is no middle ground, and his four-stroke win at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines will give ammunition to both sides. That’s unfortunate, because the middle ground is exactly where Tiger is with his game right now.

First, Good Tiger. In his first three rounds, he played wonderful golf and drove the ball exceptionally well. Last year, Tiger improved his driving accuracy statistically, but he did that by hitting a lot more 3-woods and 5-woods off the tee. At Torrey, Tiger hit a lot of drivers and hit them accurately for the first three rounds.

His rhythm, tension and effort level were all beautifully under control.

You could also see all the work he did with his wedges and short game in the off-season paying off. He hit his wedges markedly better at Torrey Pines than he did last year; that’s the direct result of all the practice he’s done on that part of his game since the Ryder Cup.

But in the final round on Sunday and Monday, we saw Bad Tiger. After playing great golf for three rounds, he hit just 35 percent of the fairways and only 50 percent of the greens in regulation in the final round. After three great rounds of driving, Tiger looked like a different player in the final round: pull-hook on No. 1, pull-hook on No. 2, block right on No. 4, right again on No. 6, block way right on No. 9, pull on No. 10, pull-hook into the hazard on No. 15, pop-up on No. 17 and a pull into the left rough on 18.

What happened? His rhythm got quicker and his tension level increased, and, more troubling, he didn’t have a go-to shot he felt comfortable playing from the tee. His detractors will say that Tiger’s final round proves that he can’t win majors driving the ball like that.

Bring back day baseball for the World Series

Good news for baseball over football this week. The ratings came out for the 2013 Pro Bowl and only 9.9 million watched that game.

That means that Game Three of the 2012 World Series outdrew the Pro Bowl, after failing to outdraw the football All- Star game the past few years.

Why does baseball do so bad in the ratings game compared to football?

If you asked many baseball fans, that are middle aged and up males, most would say, “The games end too late, so why bother watching only the beginning.”

Fixing the Pro Bowl

In case you weren't aware, the Pro Bowl was played on Sunday. The NFC won that game scoring a lot of points to the AFCs a lot, but not nearly enough points. In the week leading up to the Pro Bowl, the internet was abuzz with people telling us why they wouldn't watch, why the Pro Bowl was a joke, and why the NFL, if it had any self-respect would cancel it. And then, on Sunday, those same people helped earn the Pro Bowl a TV rating equivalent to an NBA finals game. Clearly, the Pro Bowl is a polarizing topic, so let's talk about it, shall we?

My first thought is: who cares? The Pro Bowl is no different from the NBA, NHL, and MLB All-Star games. They aren't, in my mind, meant to be serious replicas of an NFL game. They are, for the most part, held for money and for fans. The first part comes in the form of meet and greets and greased palms with sponsors - not to mention a pretty nice ad revenue take for NBC - while the second is self-explanatory: while everyone complains about the Pro Bowl, they all tune in to see their favorite players in a relaxed setting.

So, do I think the Pro Bowl has to be fixed or canceled? No, I think it serves its purpose just fine as it is, and fans should feel free to watch - or not watch - as it suits them. But, hey, just because things are fine doesn't mean they couldn't be better! So let's fix this *****!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Justin Upton criticized by Diamondbacks staffer

Justin Upton is now an Atlanta Brave yet Arizona Diamondbacks staffer and former player Luis Gonzalez can’t stop talking about him after the blockbuster trade.

Gonzalez could have been towing the company line when he spoke with Arizona Sports 620?s Doug and Wolf last week.

“What we’ve gained now, is a couple of blue collar guys that are going to play the D-back way,” Gonzalez said.

“Which means they’ll go out there and play hard, give everything they’ve got.

“We love Justin Upton, of course the fans are going to miss him and we’re going to miss him… But at the same time, this is a business in baseball. What we are trying to do is make our team better.”

Boom. He could have ended right there and we can all be cool right?

Wrong.

Why can’t MLB have a balanced schedule?

There have been 14 teams in the American League since 1977 when both Toronto and Seattle became members.

Now in 2013 for the first time that number will be raised to 15.

The NL only had 12 in 1977, but they kept rising until they reached 16 in 1998.

Why baseball thought it was better to have six teams in one division and four in another, never quite made sense, and for the past 15 seasons that has been how it was divided up.

Baseball as had a fear about playing interleague games dispersed all through the season. Now in 2013 for the first time there will be at least one interleague series always going on.

For the first time since 1993 each division will have the same amount of teams in it.

All six divisions will have five teams.

Whoever makes up the baseball schedule decided that in 2013 each team should play 19 games with each team in your own division and seven games with six teams , and six games with four teams in your same league.

Why wouldn’t they make it balanced by keeping it at 18 divisional games, and then playing all ten teams in your same league seven games each?

New Kobe. New Lakers.

We all know Kobe Bryant is arguably the most competitive and passionate player the game of basketball has ever seen.

To him, success is only measured in championships, and there's no such thing as 2nd best. In the past 2 games, Bryant reminded everyone just how much he puts winning above everything.

The Lakers had lost 3 straight games on the road catapulted by a disappointing loss to Miami at Staples Center that could have gone their way if not for the 8 turnovers they committed in the 1st half. Facing a 17-25 record that puts them 8 games below the .500 mark, the Lakers were running out of options, and more importantly, time to give any purpose to the remaining 42 games of the season.

With half of those 42 games on the road and rounding off their season series with plenty of playoff-bound teams the rest of the way, something had to be done...now!

Kobe had already tweaked his game defending the other team's facilitator in hopes that it would answer most of the team's defensive woes by putting less pressure on Dwight Howard to also erase easy lay-ups and on his other teammates on helping out Howard as he goes after those easy buckets. It worked for awhile. But it wasn't enough.

Bryant then took the direct approach and asked Howard during the team's meeting prior to their game in Memphis if he likes playing with Kobe in hopes of finding out exactly what's bothering the team's biggest weapon on both ends of the floor. But again, it wasn't enough.

Knowing that the team badly needs more chemistry on the court and nothing can bring a team together quickly than everyone being involved on offense, Kobe decided to take the responsibility and accountability of bringing his team together by becoming the team's facilitator.

Andrew Bynum Plans To Make His Season Debut After All-Star Break

Andrew Bynum plans to stay true to his earlier word of returning to the NBA after the All-Star games.
USAToday reported on the injury prone center’s proclamation to return. Bynum issued the followed statements:
“To me, it doesn’t really matter when I come back. I think, giving myself a full ‘nother week of training is going to be better than trying to come back before that.”

Eddie DeBartolo compares Jim Harbaugh to Bill Walsh

The San Francisco 49ers have returned to their glory days. Per usual, there stands one family that is steering the ship. The last name may be York, but the swagger of this team reeks of one Eddie DeBartolo.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is obviously to young to have a first hand account of what it was like to witness the 49ers previous glory runs.

The stories certain flow through the buildings and the various fields that the team occupies for various purposes.

The man with the final say Jed York told the Associated Press that he often leans on his uncle and former owner Eddie DeBartolo for advice.

Terrell Owens tells Titus Young to know his role.

We recently discussed Titus Young’s recent outbursts that could ensure that he will not remain with the Detroit Lions.

During that post it was suggested that he have a heart-to-heart with another infamous malcontent Terrell Owens.

Now Owens has spoken out.

While participating at an event that his bowling team was a part of, Owens kept it real with the Detroit News.

“He has to understand that Calvin (Johnson is) the No. 1 receiver, and being the No. 2 receiver, you have to go with the flow of the offense and when your time comes, make the plays,” Owens said.

Owens went as far as to say that Young should “know his role.”

Colin Kaepernick: I don’t feel any Pressure playing in the Super Bowl


For a quarterback who hasn’t even started a full season’s worth of games, you might think 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick has perhaps began to feel some pressure. Being days away from starting in the Super Bowl has to be intimidating… right?

Not if you ask Kaepernick.
I’ve said this before: Pressure, I feel like, comes from lack of preparation. This isn’t going to be a pressure situation, it is going to be a matter of going out there and performing physically,” Kaepernick said after the 49ers arrived in New Orleans.
Strong words from the young quarterback. I admire his confidence.

But to be honest, words will mean nothing this Sunday. He’ll have to go out and show that he’s ready to win a ring for his team.
Be sure to check out other great articles at BlackSportsOnline.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Anquan Boldin: What's His Story


By Ken Lindahl

The stage is set with Superbowl 47 as it looks to be a game for the ages. The headlines just keep flying in as there is so much to take out of this game. The two Harbaugh brothers going up against each other is only part of the hype. The other is who deserves a ring more, Ray Lewis or Randy Moss? Both are superstars and first class hall of famers but aren’t we forgetting about somebody ?? I’m here to say yes, yes we are. What about three time pro bowler Anquan Boldin who is in his 10th season of his career? 
                Anquan Kemile Boldin was selected in the second round of the 2003 draft by the Arizona Cardinals. As a rookie Boldin finished the season with 101 catches, 1,377 yards and 8 touchdowns which lead him as the only rookie to make the 2004 Pro Bowl. In 2005 Boldin had another 100 catch season while missing time to match Larry Fitz as they became the third duo to achieve that in NFL history. If this doesn’t convince you that he should be in the Ray and Randy Conversation I got more on number 81.
         

Bernard Pollard Says Your NFL Is Going To Die A Slow Death

When Ravens safety Bernard Pollard isn’t beating New England Patriots senseless, he is pontificating about the bleak future of the National Football League.

Pollard told CBSSports.com that the NFL will be dead in 30 years due to the league’s insistence on emphasizing player safety and removing the game’s natural rugged nature.
“Thirty years from now,” he said, “I don’t think it will be in existence. I could be wrong. It’s just my opinion, but I think with the direction things are going — where they [NFL rules makers] want to lighten up, and they’re throwing flags and everything else — there’s going to come a point where fans are going to get fed up with it.
Pollard went on to say that we’re not far off from a player eventually dying on the field. Unfortunately, he could be right about that.

Patrick Willis Says He Cried When Tennessee Didn’t Recruit Him In High School

A lot of people use disappointment, heartache, and someone not wanting them as fuel to spark success in their life.  San Francisco 49ers All Pro linebacker Patrick Willis wasn’t always the dominating middle linebacker you see today.

Willis is from Bruceton, Tennessee, and as you can guess He wanted so bad to be a Vol.  To disappointment and obviously something that pushed him for a long time, The University of Tennessee never came calling.  Willis admits to the Tennessean that crushed him.
“Yes I did. I was a Vols fan growing up. That was like America’s Team. I wanted to go there so bad. After every (high school) game my dad and I would get in the car and drive five hours to go to Knoxville to watch them play on an unofficial visit. This was on our gas money and our time. I just wanted to show them how bad I wanted to be there,” Willis said.
“I can’t forget being there and you have all these other big-time recruits there and they are shaking their hands and the coaches are talking to them. The coaches never shook my hand. They never talked to me. One day I just got tired of doing that. My senior year, I remember going up and saying, ‘Coach I see all of the other guys getting love. I really want to come here. I’m interested in coming here. Do you have something for me? Maybe a scholarship offer? Maybe something just saying you want me?’ ”

Jay Ratliff DUI details emerge; Dallas Cowboys issue statement

After the Josh Brent tragedy that enveloped the Dallas Cowboys, one of the team’s marquee defensive players Jay Ratliff some how, some way allowed himself to get arrested for DUI last week.


On Monday,the team issued a statement by former Cowboys player Calvin Hill, who works as an consultant in the Cowboys’ player development program.

“Having recently experienced the most tragic of circumstances regarding this issue, we, as an organization, understand the ultimate consequences of driving while impaired.

We know that one incident is too many.

The critical goal is to effect the decision making process in the hours before the wrong decision is made.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Lucas Matthysse scores sensational one-punch knockout over Mike Dallas Jr.

Lucas Matthysse, the WBC’s interim Junior Welterweight Champion is on pace to go down as one of the most devastating knockout artists in boxing history. The 30-year-old boxer from Argentina scored his 10th first-round knockout on Jan. 26 when he stopped American Mike Dallas Jr. after just 146 seconds. Matthysse now has 33 victories on his record against two losses. Incredibly, 31 of his wins have come by KO and he also dropped both of his opponents in his two losses. This means he’s sent at least 33 of his 35 opponents to the canvas. Dallas’ record fell to 19-3-1 with 8 Kos after the bout.

Matthysse, who’s often been called a slow starter even though he has numerous first-round knockouts, definitely lacked the speed of Dallas, but more than made up for it with his power. He nailed Dallas with a short, sharp right hand to the side of the jaw towards the end of the first round that sent his young opponent face first to the mat. Referee Robert Byrd started the 10 count but waved it off quickly after he realized Dallas was out cold.

The 26-year-old Dallas can count himself lucky that two follow by punches by the champion didn’t land cleanly or he could have been seriously injured. The official time of the stoppage was 2:26.

What Kyrie Irving Making the All Star Team Means for the Cavs Rebuilding Stretegy


Kyrie Irving in his second season has amassed high critical acclaim. Rookie of the year award, MVP in the rookie vs sophomore game, and now his first all star appearance.

Irving is a special talent no doubt, if he can avoid the injury bug, his ceiling is as high as any young star with potential.

However, what does this mean for the Cavs and their rebuilding strategy. The Cavs are one of the youngest teams in the league. Two second year players and a rookie comprise 60% of their starting lineup. Their bench consists of very few players that could crack an 8 man rotation on another NBA team and their roster as a whole lacks the presence of veterans needed to be successful.

So what is the Cavaliers plan? How long is losing to be accepted? When is the time to make a move towards being just average?

At least 27 reported killed after 21 soccer hooligans sentenced to death

Details are sketchy, but last year’s murderous soccer riot in Egypt has resulted in more bloodshed as at least 27 people have reportedly died in rioting following a judge’s ruling in the city of Port Said on Jan. 26. Twenty-one soccer hooligans received the death sentence for their actions in a deadly riot at a soccer stadium last February in which 74 fans were murdered.

After the sentences were handed out it didn’t take long for more violence to erupt between soccer hooligans that support the Masry club and security forces. In addition, relatives and supporters of the accused stormed a local jail in an attempt to free them. The 27 dead include police officers, protesters, and according to reports, at least two soccer players.

Following the guilty verdicts, angry mobs charged through the city’s streets accusing the government of corruption. Security forces are worried that things might get worse as black market weapons have recently found their way into Egypt from several close by countries such as Libya. The Egyptian army has been sent to Port
Said to help protect several government buildings and the prison that was stormed.

Ray Allen returns to Boston to face the slumping Celtics

Ray Allen is sitting on top of the world. His Miami Heat are on a hot-streak and they are the current kings of the Eastern Conference.

His good fortune is just another reason why he will be a hated man when he walks into  the Celtics TD Bank Garden on Sunday.

To revisit a familiar storyline, Allen left the Celtics to play for their heated rival that bounced them out of the playoffs in two consecutive seasons.

Friendships appear to have been torched and the fan base is still getting it over it.

It does not help the situation that the Celtics are on the fast-track the lowest tier of the Eastern Conference.

They are currently on a eight-game losing streak that shows no signs of letting up.

Cromartie Thinks Sanchez Needs A Better Supporting Cast

As the Jets try to clean up their mess, the one consistent question that remains is what will the team do about Mark Sanchez.

Many pundits assume he’ll only be on the roster because of his guaranteed $8.5 million salary this season.  Many expect him to get competition.

One of his teammates who’s supported him since the beginning of this mess, Antonio Cromartie, thinks Sanchez will be fine if he just gets more offensive help.

Ravens GM Offers Ed Reed Coaching Job The Minute He Retires


Ed Reed is the consummate student of the game.  Not only has he always been an exceptional athlete playing safety, but he’s also knowledgeable beyond his years about the sport of football.

Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome is clearly aware of that, and in an effort to keep that knowledge in Baltimore for as long as he can, Newsome has offered Reed a coaching job as soon as he retires according to USA Today.
“Ed wants to be a coach, so he sees this as an opportunity to start his coaching career by helping those young players come along,” Newsome said. “The thing about Ed is, he doesn’t just talk about it. He goes out and works the way you have to work to get it done.”
“That’ll be up to Ed Reed,” Newsome said. “That will be something that (Ravens owner) Steve (Bisciotti) and I can talk about. But Ed still has a lot of football left to play. So we’ll cross that hurdle. If Ed decides he wants to do that, I think we can find a way.”
I like the sound of that.

Be sure to check out other great articles at BlackSportsOnline.

Report: Gregg Williams to join Tennessee Titans staff

The Bounty Gate scandal is about to come full circle as according to a report the scorned Gregg Williams is on his way back  to Music City.

ESPN is reporting that the currently suspended defensive coordinator who was cast out of the NFL with the indefinite tag less than one year ago has already met with the Titans.

The key phrase that was put in play is “on the verge of becoming the Titans’ assistant head coach.”

Williams could have the go-ahead from the league to return to work as early as next week.

If that is the case it should be noted that Williams would be returning to familiar ground.

His previous 11-year tenure there reached as far back as when the team was based in Houston under the Oilers moniker.

Eventually Williams took over the defense for three seasons that spanned from 1997-2000.

During the Bounty Gate hoo-ha, several Titans/Oilers came out in support of Williams.

“We never had any bounties when I played, I know that,” retired safety Blaine Bishop told USA Today.”Gregg never had any bounties. If we did, I never got paid. But the truth is we never had them. It didn’t happen with the Titans when I was there, so it didn’t happen when Gregg was there. He just wanted you to play hard.”

Former Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck backed that statement up.

Brendon Ayanbadejo to use Super Bowl as same sex platform

Brendon Ayanbadejo is about to as they say show-out at the Super Bowl.

The Baltimore Ravens linebacker is a noted advocate for same-sex marriage.

That is his business.

http://www.noh8campaign.com/He told the New York Times via Fox Sports that he has big plans to put his favorite cause  front and center each and every time that he gets an iota of camera time.

The report states that he has contacted another same sex supporter Brian Ellner and Michael Skolnik who is an editor at  Global Grind.Com and has close ties to rap icon/political activist Russell Simmons.

“Is there anything I can do for marriage equality or anti-bullying over the next couple of weeks to harness this Super Bowl media?” Ayanbadejo wrote in an e-mail, according to the Times.

“It’s one of those times when you’re really passionate and in your zone,” Ayanbadejo told the Times. “And I got to thinking about all kinds of things, and I thought: ‘How can we get our message out there?’”

If the Ravens win Ayanbadejo has plans to visit the The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

2013 Australian Open: Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray for Australian Open title

Novak Djokovic of Serbia holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after winning his men’s final match against Andy Murray of Great Britain during day fourteen of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 27, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic returned to his dominant best, becoming the first man in the Open era to win three consecutive Australian titles when he beat Andy Murray 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday night.

Nine other men had won back-to-back titles in Australia since 1968, but none were able to claim three in a row.

“I love this court,” Djokovic said. “It’s definitely my favorite Grand Slam. It’s an incredible feeling winning this trophy once more.”

He has won four of his six majors titles at at Melbourne Park, where he is now unbeaten in 21 matches.

Born a week apart in May 1987 and friends since their junior playing days, the two played like they knew each other’s game very well in a rematch of last year’s U.S. Open final won by Murray. There were no service breaks until the eighth game of the third set, when Djokovic finally broke through and then held at love to lead by two sets to one.

Veteran safety Chris Harris retires

Bears and Jaguars fans woke up to some interesting news. Veteran safety Chris Harris has decided to retire. 

Spags remains in Eagles picture...College Football will miss Chip Kelly... ...

A lot of Philly fans are still banging the drum for Steve Spagnuolo to enter Chip Kelly's wheelhouse as defensive coordinator... Well, Spags is available--- but his street cred is currently in decline...

Some Eagles fans are intrigued about a possible reunion with Spags, the Jim Johnson protege.

As Jordan Raanan of New Jersey.com states so well, the question isn't whether he can coach. The Giants won a Super Bowl just five years ago with his running their defense. Obviously, he's good enough to win with as defensive coordinator. The question is whether he's a good fit with Chip Kelly and the Eagles.

Why he's a good fit: Experience - Spagnuolo's run a defense on his own in New York that was successful. Kelly can hand the defense over to Spags and not worry about having to micro-manage that side of the ball. Instead, Kelly can fully concentrate on shaping his warp-speed offense to the demands and rigors of the NFL.
The Giants were Top 10 in total defense both Spagnuolo's seasons there. He learned under the great Jim Johnson. Kelly wouldn't have to worry much about the defense.

Aggression - The only thing we know for sure about the defense Kelly hopes to run is that he wants it to be aggressive. Kelly emphatically specified this during his introductory press conference. Well, Spags is aggressive.

He likes to blitz and bring men from all over the field. In his first season with the Giants, Spags' defense led the NFL with 53 sacks. They were sixth in sacks the following year even without Michael Strahan (retired) and Osi Umenyiora (knee). Spagnuolo's aggression would likely be attractive to Kelly.

Eagles History - Spagnuolo has worked in Philadelphia before. He feels at home in the city. He knows the demands of the owner, general manager and the fans. It wouldn't take him long to assimilate into the working environment at the NovaCare Complex.

Why he's not a good fit: Coaching Staff - The Eagles have already (reportedly) assembled a defensive coaching staff. That almost certainly means they have a chosen defensive coordinator (Ed Donatell) in place, but can't name him until after the Super Bowl. If that's not the case, sound the alarms. Hiring someone like Spagnuolo and then sticking him with a bunch of coaches whose teaching techniques and personalities don't mesh with his would be a disaster waiting to happen. Just ask Juan Castillo. It's sticking a square coach into a round coaching vacancy. Or sticking Castillo with Jim Washburn....

Scheme - It's been hinted by people in and around the Eagles that they'd like to run a 3-4 scheme. Spagnuolo is a 4-3 coach. That's the reason Sean Payton and the Saints fired him on Thursday. They too are switching to a 3-4 defense. The Eagles are not going to hire Spagnuolo to run a 3-4 system.

Recent Failure - Let's be honest, the Saints' defense was an absolute disaster last season. They didn't just finish last in the league in total defense, they finished last by a mile. They allowed 57 more yards per game than any other team. That's awful. The NFL is a constantly evolving Darwinian environment. It's possible the Jim Johnson/Spags attacking philosophy has reached its expiration date. Unlikely at this point, but possible.

President Obama has concerns about the NFL and College Football

President Obama shares the same concerns about the state of American football as many others do.

He enjoys watching the game yet he does not enjoy watching the end result of its violent tendencies.

He spoke to the New Republic to voice his concerns.

“I’m a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football, Obama said.”

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Cleveland Cavaliers pave the path for the return of the “KING”

While many experts, analyst and fans speculate whether or not their will be a reunion between the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James in 2014, the Cleveland Cavaliers are paving the path to turn that speculation into reality.  Even though it is all speculation and after witnessing the whole “The Decision” fiasco we know we won’t hear James saying anything until last-minute.  Or will he have to???

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ body language has been a little different the last two years.  They seemed to be master-minding a plan to take the Eastern Conference by storm.  Intentionally drafting the perfect team to compliment a “KING”.  Drafting a team not to win so they can continue having top five draft picks, but at the same time drafting a team that will be a “Dream Team” caliber kind-of-team when finished.

One of LeBron James’ biggest reason for leaving the Cavaliers was the lack of talent on the team and an owner who wouldn’t spend the money to give him a supporting cast.  So James took his talents to South Beach and

Dan Gilbert had his feelings hurt, learned his lesson and now is doing his part to right a wrong.  Gilbert is returning royalty back to the city of Cleveland.  Making sure the fans get what they are entitled to after all these years of supporting the Cleveland Cavaliers…

READ MORE

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson Tells Seattle Fans Not To Celebrate Too Early


The Maloof family, current owners of the Sacramento Kings, announced Monday that they’d reached a deal to sell the NBA franchise to a Seattle-based investment group.  This deal had Seattle basketball fans that are still salty about the departure of their beloved Super Sonics, excited about the deal that could bring the NBA back to the city.

But Sacramento Mayor, and former 3-time NBA All-Star, Kevin Johnson says not so fast Seattle
In front of a crowd of fans and city officials Johnson warned:
“Don’t celebrate too early.”
“We’ve been here before,” Johnson said. “Our backs have been against the wall. They told us it wasn’t going to happen. But each and every step along the way, as long as there is time on the clock, our community always finds a way to stand up for itself.”

Joe Flacco, Ravens to part ways despite playoff performance?

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is having one of the most prolific playoff runs in NFL history. His eight touchdown passes currently rank him third all-time for most touchdowns thrown in the postseason without an interception.  Joe Montana (11) and Steve Young (9) both went on to win the Super Bowl as did Drew Brees, Troy Aikman and Phil Sims, all tied with Flacco at eight. Whether or not Flacco is hoisting the Lombardi after Super Bowl 47 remains to be seen, but win or lose, Flacco’s postseason performance has surely commanded him a huge payday. But will it be from the Ravens?

It has been seen all too often in sports; a promising young star with unfulfilled potential whose fate within a particular franchise remains in doubt.  That is until he meets the crossroads of a contract year.… Read more

Be sure to check out other great articles at The Penalty Flag.

Matthews: America’s football family

There’s Sr., and Jr., Clay III, Casey, Bruce, Kevin and soon Jake will join them. Who am I talking about? These seven people make up what could, and should, be considered America’s football family. Six of the above have or are playing in the National Football League and the last name on the list will be a top pick by a team in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Matthews family is equaled by no one when it comes to their football pedigree.

It all started when Clay Matthews Sr. was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams but never played for them because of service in the US Army in 1949. He returned to the NFL in 1950 and played five years in the league with the San Francisco 49ers, but his most important contribution to football was fathering his two sons, Clay Matthews Jr.… Read more

Be sure to check out other great articles at The Penalty Flag.

Mark Sanchez Seeks Out Jeff Garcia To Learn Mornhinweg’s Offense

Jets quarterback Mark  Sanchez may be down to his final shot as a starter in the league, and he’s doing his due diligence in learning all he can about his new offensive system.

Manish Mehta of The New York Daily News is reporting that Sanchez has sought out and will pick the brain of

Jeff Garcia who flourished in new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s new west coast offense.

Sanchez and Garcia have spoken and will get together for some classwork and on field tutoring.
“It’s great,” Sanchez told The News. “Jeff sounds like one of those guys that keeps his old playbook and is still really into it. He really speaks the language of that West Coast offense. It’s nice to hear the schematic side, but also to hear what people think about (Mornhinweg).”

Adrian Peterson Says RG3?s Injury Rehab Will Be Totally Different From His

Robert Griffin III is in the process of going through a rigorous rehab process that will test his mettle.  RG3 has torn an ACL before, so mentally he knows what to expect.

With people watching the remarkable way Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was able to return to form, many will question and wonder if Griffin III can pull off the same feat.

Peterson via NFL.com warns pundits to not compare the two injuries because they are not one in the same, and Griffin III’s will be totally different from his.
“That’s not fair,” Peterson told NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington after the NFC’s first Pro Bowl practice of the week Wednesday. “Everybody’s body heals differently. That’s something nobody is going to understand.”
“This is also a matter of genetics,” Peterson said. “Look at my dad. And my mom’s side, my aunts and uncles, they’re all ripped. At 50 years old, they’ve got six packs and eight packs.
“My body just heals differently. I know it has a lot to do with rehabilitation and work ethic — but I really credit my genetics for my recovery as much as anything else”
Simply put RG3, Adrian Peterson is saying you are not superman, so take your time getting well. Be sure to check out other great articles at BlackSportsOnline.

A family unites for the Super Bowl for a momentary escape from tragedy

Players View’s Adam Rosen shares his family’s tale of survival and the comfort provided by sports’ biggest stage.

We are not Jim and John.

Neither of us coach the Baltimore Ravens or the San Francisco 49ers.

We never played in the NFL.  We live vicariously through players like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, Arian Foster and Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson, imagining every Sunday, placing ourselves in the cleats, pads and jerseys of the games greats, deriving an entire range of emotion based on their performance.

With the 2012 NFL season coming to an end, my brother and I will join forces for one final Sunday, as we’ll sit side-by-side watching Super Bowl XLVII.

We will not have a rooting interest.  Maybe we’ll have a monetary interest.  (Hey, it’s the Super Bowl).  But one thing is for sure, for those sixty minutes, when those players are on the field, there is no better distraction from reality and a safe haven from life than watching a National Football League game.

And there is no better time for my brother, Brian and myself, to need a distraction than now.

Tom Brady fined 10k for illegal slide

Much has been made about the slide that Tom Brady took in the second quarter of Sunday’s AFC Championship game.

At the tail end of the maneuver, Brady kicked Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed with his cleats aimed directly at his crotch.

Reed managed to almost jumped around the kick but not quite.

Stay classy Tom.

Wes Welker: More Than Tom Brady’s Favorite Target

By Steve Coulter

Although his wife maybe getting more publicity these days, New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker is still one of the most impactful offensive players in the NFL.

The 5-foot-9 slot receiver will become one of the most relevant names in the entire league in a few weeks when he becomes a free agent. If New England decides not to sign him to a long-term deal, the former Texas Tech standout could bring his talents elsewhere in the AFC; whether it is to join forces with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers or Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts – it is a move that will cripple the Patriots dynasty and its high-paced, spread offense. 

Welker has caught over 110 passes from quarterback Tom Brady in five of the last six seasons, which makes him arguably the biggest pass weapon in football. Although blasphemous when considering names such as Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall and Larry Fitzgerald, Welker’s consistency is unmatched and his importance to what New England does offensively is unquestioned – just ask Brady, a three-time Super Bowl Champion.

"Everybody knows how I feel about Wes, our whole team feels that way about Wes," Brady said during his weekly interview with the "Dennis & Callahan Show" on Boston sports radio WEEI. "He's just one of the best players I've played with and played against. He's just a phenomenal player, and he's been the heart and soul of what our team is all about. He's been so selfless, and the way that he carries himself and commits himself to help our team win, it's second-to-none. But like I said, those aren't my decisions."

Nick Aliotti Turns Down USC, Continues To Drive The Oregon Ducks

The news came in the middle of the departure of Chip Kelly and the formal announcement of the promotion of Mark Helfrich; the defensive coordinator, once again, sandwiched and forgotten in-between two brilliant offensive minds, in a region and conference where offense rules. Last Thursday, Nick Aliotti,

Oregon's perennially under-appreciated defensive coordinator, finally got his big break. He was offered the defensive coordinator job at USC, and the chance to work hand in hand with Lane Kiffin to try and turn around one of the great programs in college football history. Nick Aliotti turned the job down.

As I wrote yesterday, I love the hiring of Mark Helfrich as the new head coach of the Oregon Ducks. But my second choice for the job would have been Aliotti.

NFL Refuses To Allow Indiana Man To Keep His Trademark Of “Harbowl”

Nothing more frustrating than having a grand idea almost come to fruition, but have the powers that be come in and deny you.

That is exactly what Roy Fox is experiencing after he thought that he had purchased the trademark rights to the phrase Harbowl.

Last February after the NFC Championship Game, Fox spent more than $1000 to file for the trademarks
“Harbowl” and “Harbaugh Bowl,” in anticipation that Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh might actually face each other in the Super Bowl.
“Right before the conference championship games last year, I thought to myself, ‘Can you imagine if these guys played each other?’” Fox said. “If Pat Riley would go through the trouble of trademarking three-peat, why shouldn’t I try this?
Sounds like a fan being aware that two brothers coach strong NFL teams that would have Super Bowl aspirations year in and year out.

Report: Rex Ryan Doesn’t Want To Trade Revis

Well yesterday we reported the Jets were exploring or looking at scenarios involving the trading of Darrelle Revis.    This morning Pro Football Talk via a source is reporting that Rex Ryan would prefer to Keep Revis.
Per a league source, Ryan doesn’t want to trade Revis.  And that’s hardly a surprise.  Ryan has raved about Revis for years, and Ryan played a key role in breaking the impasse that led to the four-year contract that suddenly has Johnson reportedly “pessimistic” about keeping Revis in 2014 and beyond.
Without Revis, Ryan will make a lame duck look like Sthuper Duck.  Without Revis, Ryan will be far less likely to put together the kind of season that allows him to keep his job.  Without Revis, Woody Johnson might as well just fire Ryan now.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gennady Golovkin and Rocky Martinez Retain Boxing Championships

WBA Middleweight Champion Gennady Golovkin retained his title belt at the Theater in Madison Square Garden on Sat. Jan. 19 against Gabriel Rosado while Rocky Martinez held onto his WBO Junior Lightweight Championship against Juan Carlos Burgos. However, the outcomes were quite different. The 30-year-old Golovkin of Kazakhstan left the ring with his title by stopping Rosado in the seventh round while Martinez hung onto his crown via a controversial 12-round draw.

It was Golovkin’s sixth straight title defense and it was quite a bloody affair as Rosado of Philadelphia was bleeding heavily from cuts above his eye, his nose, and mouth. Golovkin, who won a silver medal in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games for his homeland, was in control of the fight all the way and although his punches don’t appear to have much power or speed, they certainly do a lot of damage. However, he wasn’t able to drop Rosado, who was moving up in weight to the 160 lb. division from the lighter junior middleweight class.

Mikey Garcia slugs his way to WBO Featherweight Title

The WBO Featherweight Championship changed hands at Madison Square Garden’s Theater on Sat. Jan. 19 when Mikey Garcia beat former holder Orlando Salido by a unanimous technical decision after eight rounds. The bout was halted prematurely after Garcia’s nose was broken by an accidental headbutt in the eighth round. The ring doctor stopped the fight between rounds and the fight went to the judges’ scorecards. This was quite an anticlimactic moment though since it was a mere formality due to the four knockdowns Garcia scored during the bout and he won the title by scores of 79-69, 79-69, and 79-70.

With the win, the unbeaten Garcia of Oxnard, California, raised his record to 31-0 with 26 Kos while Salido of Mexico fell to 39-12-2 with 27 Kos. It was the ex-champion’s first defeat in his past six fights and he got off to a terrible start by being dropped twice in the first round, once by a right hand to the head and once by a left. The shots didn’t seem to be particularly powerful meaning Salido simply had no legs under him. He managed to stay on his feet in the second round, but kissed the canvas once again in the third from an uppercut. A left jab dropped him in the fourth round and he was so far behind on points at this stage that he needed a knockout or something very dramatic to turn the fight around.

Undefeated Light Heavyweight Sergey Kovalev KO’s Gabriel Campillo in third round

Unbeaten light heavyweight prospect Sergey Kovalev of Russia stepped up in class on Jan. 19 by taking on former champion Gabriel Campillo at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut and showed the boxing world that he’s as explosive as his 22-0-1, 18 Kos record shows. Kovalev wasted little time by knocking Campillo out in the third round and is now looking for a title shot in the near future.

The 29-year-old who originally hails from the Russian community of Chelyabinsk, now calls Fort Lauderdale, Florida his home and is hoping for more bouts in the U.S. Campillo of Spain, isn’t considered to be an elite boxer as witnessed by his record of 21-5-1, with 7 Kos, and he doesn’t have much in the way of power. But he’s a solid and durable pro who was no match for Kovalev, who was making his American television debut as a headliner.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Baseball Hall of Famer Stan “The Man” Musial Passes Away at Age 92


Legendary St. Louis Cardinals Outfielder and Baseball Hall of Famer, Stan “The Man” Musial passed away of natural causes at age 92 according to his official twitter page.

Hall of Fame Manager Earl Weaver Dies at Age 82


Today baseball lost one of their greats, former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver died at the age of 82 on a cruise ship at 2 a.m. Saturday morning.

Weaver won 1,480 games during his 17 years as manager of the Orioles and guided the team to 4 american league pennants and 1 World Series championship (1970).

Earl Weaver is where most managers get their combativeness with umpires from, he was ejected 91 times in his career and once in each game of a double header. However, it was never to upstage the umpires or steal the spotlight, he always wanted his players to know he would fight for them and encourage the umpires to get the call right.

Orioles owner Peter Angelos released a statement;

Feeling Jaded Yet?

Holy cow people are mad at Chip Kelly.

Fans apparently believed Oregon's coach when he said he was not going to the NFL after spending a weekend being wined and dined in Phoenix after the Fiesta Bowl.

Well, that should be the last time that happens.

Sports fans have had their hands slapped a few times in the last two weeks with Hall of Fame baseball players being denied entry on circumstantial evidence they used performance enhancers, Lance Armstrong admitting he used PEDs after years of denials and now this bizarre Manti Te'o story.

At least you can understand Chip Kelly's flip flop. He is moving to the pros and getting a massive raise. It would have been much worse if he would have left for Auburn or the Indoor Football League. I get it though. He said he was staying and left. I even understand fans who are angry because of the timing and the impact his departure may have on recruiting.

What I do not understand are people who really honestly feel like they were lied to by Chip. People surprise their employers with two weeks’ notice all the time. What can you do? Just like Kelly did every time he lost a player, you move ahead. Immediately. No tears. Next man up.

Never Forget to Always Remember that Fantasy Baseball Is Not Real


Jason Kubel lost in the outfield. Photo courtesy of Lost Town.
This post comes from E. Rolf Pleiss.  E. Rolf currently writes about the Minnesota Twins for Knuckleballs Blog, is the co-host of a weekly Minnesota Twins podcast, Talk to Contact and his Twitter feed is a hilarious must follow.  E. Rolf has been playing fantasy baseball for nearly a decade, but starting in 2012 he started getting serious about his fantasy-swag, and started putting some of the tips he has seen here on Crackerjacks to use. He will be sharing some of his advice for first-time fantasy baseball players with us over the next several weeks.
The name says it all, FANTASY baseball, and yet, year after year, I found myself attempting to run my fantasy baseball team the same way I imagined that real baseball executives were running their own teams.  I was valuing players as if they were playing on my REAL baseball team.  The problem of course, is that fantasy baseball is not real, players have different values in fantasy-land than they do, say playing second base for the Detroit Tigers and hitting third.

I had not yet delved deep enough into the intricacies of fantasy baseball to understand where those differences in value are found, and how to exploit them to my advantage.  Luckily for you, you will not have to spend years forgetting, because I have compiled a list what I think are the top three basics you should always remember about fantasy baseball.

Kevin Garnett called a cheap shot artist by Noah

Kevin Garnett will never be misunderstood as a nice guy. The NBA is full of personalities that are competitive yet not capable of the misdeeds that Garnett is capable of. 

Joakim Noah is not exactly a pillar of virtue either.

His history does not reflect someone who is afraid to sneak in a low-blow from time to time

So his recent comments about Garnett’s meanstreak not only are a pot-calling-the-kettle-black scenario, they are laugh out loud funny.

Both men were called for double technical during the Bulls 100-99 victory over the Celtics on Friday.

Noah stated to ESPN that Garrnett throws”cheap shots” and “elbows.”

Texas A and M Head Coach Kevin Sumlin to Receive Contract Extention

Coach Kevin Sumlin, head football coach of the Texas A&M Aggies is going to be receiving a nice raise and contract extension based on how well his team performed this year according to Dallas Morning News .

Exceeding expectations, the Aggies went 11-2 including a victory over eventual national champion Alabama and a more than convincing victory over former Big XII foe Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. Not to mention also coaching the first freshman to ever win the Heisman in Johnny Manziel. With the amount of success Sumlin has had in his first year at A&M in their first year in the SEC, I’m sure Aggie faithful know that kind of success will get money thrown at him from plenty of other suitors.

Record 73 Underclassmen Declare For NFL Draft

With the threat of freak injuries, and the theory that the longer you stay the more your game can be scrutinized, underclassmen felt the need to take the money and run in 2012.

Pro Football Talk is reporting that a record 73 underclassmen have been granted early entry to declare for the draft.  You can probably make the number 74 if South Carolina All American Jadeveon Clowney had been allowed to declare also.

Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson drawing comparisons to Jim Kelly

Coming off a solid 2012 campaign, Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson is slated to become one of the first quarterbacks taken in April’s draft.

According to Mel Kiper, his future team could be reaping some serious benefits.

Kiper, ESPN’s resident draft guru, told Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com that Wilson reminds him of Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame signal-caller Jim Kelly.

“Tyler Wilson going into the year you thought could be a first round pick, and now more of a second or third rounder,” said Kiper. ”A kid that can throw the football. Tough, a guy that looks down that gun barrel and makes a lot of throws. When the pressure is on him he showed he is tough and would hang in there and make some nice, accurate throws. As tough as they come. Has the toughness of a linebacker.

Matt Ryan is not elite yet.

Players View writer Adam Rosen steps up to lay down his requirements for Matt Ryan to be considered an elite quarterback.

Do me a favor and don’t call Matt Ryan elite.

Not just yet.

Since being drafted 3rd overall in the 2008 NFL draft, Ryan has struggled in his first three postseason appearances.

As a rookie in the 2008 season, Ryan and the Falcons lost at Arizona, as he failed to throw for over 200 yards, finishing the game with a quarterback rating of 72.8

In 2010 season, despite having the No. 1 seed, Ryan was embarrassed at home to Green Bay in a 48-21 loss, throwing for 186 yards, two interceptions and finished another playoff defeat with a QBR of 69.4.

Last season, in Atlanta’s 24-2 loss to the New York Giants in the Wild Card  round, Ryan was unable to push the ball downfield in swirling winds.

The Falcons’ offense failed to score a single point, raising more questions about Ryan’s big game ability.

For three years, the “ice” in Ryan’s veins was melting.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Aaron Rodgers says the read option will fade away


Aaron Rodgers is not convinced that the NFL’s turn to the read option offense scheme will last for an extended period of time.

The read option gives athletic quarterbacks the opportunity to take advantage of their mental and physical skills. 


You see it primarily in high school and college programs.

The Pistol formation and the Wing-T provide these offenses with an advantage as the defenses that they compete against are not of the same caliber as the players within the NFL.

Slower and  not as mentally instinctive players often get sucked into and defeated by these packages and thus their popularity at the amateur levels.

There is also the fact that not only is the talent in the NFL world-class but so is the defensive coordinators.

The Chip Kelly Effect

Standing in the concourse of the Rose Garden before the Portland Trail Blazers played the Cleveland Cavaliers, I didn't hear much talk about the young, exciting team that has so far exceeded everyone's expectations. The talk wasn't about rookie guard Damian Lillard, who has won two straight rookie of the month awards. Not one word was heard about coach of the year candidate Terry Stotts. Instead, the talk was all about a man who has nothing to do with basketball and who was 3,000+ miles away: Chip Kelly.

Wednesday was a whirlwind day when it came to the Chip Kelly saga. Kelly, who was believed to be staying in Eugene as of a couple weeks ago, all of a sudden was off to Philadelphia to coach the Eagles.

The story first broke on Twitter and continued to spread like wildfire throughout all media sources. Sports talk radio was buzzing, Twitter kept constant updates coming and everyone had their opinions on Facebook.