Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why oppose blood tests for HGH?

I was reading a story on regarding HGH testing in the NFL. The league wants to use blood tests, but the players' union is opposed.


Are these grown men afraid of shots? Do they think they will get disease from contaminated needles? Or are these players afraid they are going to get caught?

My skeptical nature screams that this is a maneuver for the players to buy time in order to get a new masking agent. But that's just me. A link to the full story is below.

Tomlinson, Westbrook unemployed

In the span of two days, two of the best running backs of the decade were released by their teams.

Former MVP and future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson was dropped by the San Diego Chargers, while the Philadelphia Eagles cut one of the most versatile backs in recent memory in Brian Westbrook. Both had down years this past season. Tomlinson only averaged 3.3 yards per carry, while Westbrook was sidelined for eight weeks with an ankle injury and concusssions.

This in a common, ugly and logical story when it comes to the NFL. Unlike the other major sports, where teams make poor personnel decisions and are stuck paying huge salaries to scrubs, the contracts in the NFL don't have a lot of guaranteed money attached. That's how an MVP can go to unemployed in three years.

Now I am in the minority when I say I think Tomlinson still has something in the tank. While he is no longer elite, he was still very effective as a goal line back (12 TDs last season) and look at the line blocking for him last season. Tomlinson's O-line wasn't opening holes for anyone. They could pass protect as good as anyone, but they weren't getting any push in the rushing game. Darren Sproles, the other Charger running back, only had 343 yards and a 3.7 yard per carry.

Call me crazy or still in awe of Tomlinson's glory days, you know, back when it seemed as if the first guy to reach LT2 could never bring him down, but I think Tomlinson has two more years of 1,000 yard seasons if given the right chance. Now watch, he'll sign somewhere and not break 500 yards.

On the other hand, I think Westbrook should retire. The man has never started a whole season, and multiple concussions to a running back is just scary. I enjoyed watching him, but to me he needs to walk away and not risk permanent damage.

Billy Joel - I Go To Extremes

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Giant "who cares?" for Tiger's statement

Tiger Woods will be breaking his month-long silence tomorrow. Every sports station, and all media for that matter, are flooding their programming with previews for the press conference, and I'm already annoyed.

He won't be answering any questions. He is going to make a statement to a small group of friends, family and a select few journalists. He will probably apologize for being addicted to sex, letting his family and fans down and losing millions of dollars in endorsements. Well, maybe he won't apologize for that, but he's probably thinking it. The PGA and golf fans alike are hoping he will announce when he will return to golf, and they are crossing their fingers it's soon.

I am not going to watch or listen to the statement. Not just because I will be at work, but because I think it is overshadowing the Olympics and the great achievements happening every day in Vancouver.

I can't remember the last time three Americans won three gold medals in three separate events on the same day in the Winter Olympics. But I know it happened Wednesday, and those athletes are not getting as much publicity as Tiger announcing he is going to announce he is sorry on Friday.

Lindsey Vonn, Shaun White and Shani Davis kicked ass for their country, but the man who cheated on his wife with a baker's dozen of women gets more attention. I understand he is Tiger, and many consider him the greatest athlete on the planet (he's not even the most dominate player in his sport, that title belongs to Roger Federer), but why does the media need to treat it like a WWE event? Tons of hype that is going to leave everyone unsatisfied because it's fake.

The man just spent how ever many months lying those who are the most important to him. You think three months of being women's public enemy No. 1 is going to cause him to have a change of heart and spill his guts to us?

Tell us when you're going to golf again and be done with it. I don't care how sorry he is. It's none of my business what he does with his personal life. It's not the media's business. We shouldn't care if he is sleeping around, but that's just the kind of society we are in right now. Who our favorite celebrities are sleeping comes off as more important than the great feats of those we should be giving all the attention to.

Once again I have only contributed to the problem and I am sorry. I advise you to boycott the statement and just hear from someone else when Tiger is coming back.

Tom Petty - You Wreck Me

Monday, February 15, 2010

Curling gives hope

The Winter Olympics in Vancouver are underway and I'm pumped.

Sure, the biathlon is sweet. Who doesn't like skiing and guns? The moguls look so painful I ice my knees after watching them and Olympic Hockey could be the most entertaining of all the Olympic events, including the summer games.

But I find the most enjoyment from watching curling. The excitement, or lack thereof, is not what sucks me in. It's my belief that I could be an Olympic curler if I tried really hard.

Maybe I am disrespecting curlers worldwide. OK, so I am definitely disrespecting curlers worldwide, but I believe that if I were to quit my job and dedicate my life to curling over the next four to eight years, I could be an Olympian.

I have no such belief with any other sport. I'm 5 feet 7 inches tall, so dreams of basketball, sprinting, long jumping and many events are out of my reach.

But not curling.

There are two aspects of curling, sliding the stone and sweeping the ice. Neither appears to be too complicated on television. I won't master it from my first attempt, but give me a little time and a committed team and I have no doubt I could represent my country well. Of course, there is strategy, but that will grow with my experience.

Is there any sport out there that gives an ordinary person this hope of being an Olympic athlete? I don't think so. Even rhythmic gymnastics seems tougher.

So while many will be changing the channel or laughing at how curling could possibly be a sport (and it's a legitimate question), I will be studying hard and taking diligent notes to help me prepare for 2014.

Jimmy Eat World - Lucky Denver Mint

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lemieux is deity of Pittsburgh

Sports fan and other folks have their stars, but I am willing to bet that none of them mean as much to their respected cities as Mario Lemieux means to Pittsburgh.

If we were ancient Greece, Pittsburgh would have been renamed Lemieux and there would be countless temples around the city where thousands would pay homage to him. I don't think it's an exaggeration.

Finding a needle in a haystack is easier than finding a Pittsburgh fan that has a bad thing to say about Lemieux. It's truly a unique situation. I have no doubt that Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, LeBron James and other star athletes are beloved in their cities. But I don't think they will ever reach the level of absolute awe Pittsburgh fans hold Lemieux in. Heck, when stories circulated that he and his business partners were interested in buying the dreadful Pittsburgh Pirates, the city actually got excited about baseball again. Unless you're from here, you have no idea how hard that is.

People remember Lemieux for saving the Pittsburgh Penguins on three separate occasions. First, it was on the ice. The team stunk and never smelled a championship. Lemieux shows up and and is the biggest thing in the sport since Gretzky. He led the team to two Stanley Cups despite playing with a back that most people could not manage their desk jobs with, let alone play hockey.

His talent can't be overstated. He would have finished his career with an average of more than two points per game if he didn't try to come back one more time and play with Sidney Crosby. No matter what kind of game plan opposing teams had for him, he always seemed to find the back of the net, or at least an open teammate who then found the back of the net. Watching him throughout your life was such a treat, you felt like you were witnessing events that no others could achieve.

Second, he bought the team and saved it from leaving the city. Sure, he might have done this so he could get paid the large sum of money the franchise owed him, but I'm OK with that.

Third, he helped get a new arena and keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh for a long time to come.

How many players, coaches, executives or anyone can claim to have done so much for one team and city?

Forget ancient Greece. If we were to build temples honoring Lemieux today, I'm sure thousands would flock through the doors.

Blues Brothers - Soul Man

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Franchise tag not slap in face

Here's a news flash to Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton; the franchise tag is not a slap in the face and you need to stop whining about the possibility of the Steelers giving it to you.

Hampton told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review earlier this week that "It will be a problem" and that it would be unfair if the Steelers used the franchise tag on him. I understand that the 32-year-old nose tackle sees his next contract as his last big pay day, but calling the franchise tag unfair is just wrong.

Last season, the franchise tag paid out more than $6 million for defensive tackles. That will go up this year when the NFL releases the numbers next week. How is making more than $6 million for one year unfair?

One should also consider a few things from the Steelers point of view. Two seasons ago, Hampton showed up so out of shape that coach Mike Tomlin deactivated him until he got into playing shape. Heck, he was so large he was nicknamed Big Snack. This is also a player who finds himself on the sidelines when the opposition is in passing situations.

That last statement is not a knock on Hampton. He was a pro bowler this year, and deservedly so. He is a big reason the Steelers have shut down opposing running games in recent history. He isn't on the field in passing downs because his job is to clog running lanes. Any pressure on the quarterback is an added bonus with Hampton. But, it still has to be taken into consideration whether you want to give a very large extension to a player that usually only plays two out of every three downs.

Hampton also needs to realize he is playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It is not often you see Steelers players going to the media whining about their contracts, because it doesn't work with the Rooney family. A perfect example is Hines Ward. He was unhappy with his contract years ago and actually held out for a little bit. The Steelers told him they don't negotiate with players who don't report. So what happened? Ward came to camp without a new deal, and then signed one shortly after. Complaining and threatening to be a problem is not the way to approach it.

While $6 million is plenty fair for Hampton, I can also understand how going into an uncapped year he wants to get a bigger pay day than would be expected in a capped year. But taking your complaints to the media is not the way to go. Leave it behind closed doors. It's the Steelers way, and the only way you have a shot at getting what you want.

Rush - Limelight