Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Ahhhh, those were the days. Videos like this help ease the pain from this god-awful season. I could watch that a million times. Right now I'm at about 50, but it's a long day ahead. Note two things in the video - the reaction from the Kings player at the bottom right, who goes from calling for the ball to jumping up and down twice in excitement, and I assume screaming "Yahoo!" like Daffy Duck, and that Mateen Cleaves (alley) and Gerald Wallace (oop) were the Kings' third stringers. Yeah, that's how good that team was.
Monday, February 9, 2009
"You wanna know why Michael Jordan was a great leader? He won six NBA championships. Then, all of a sudden, when he gets in people's faces, he's a great leader.
"A great leader is someone who wins, and you figure out how to win. Some people, it's getting in people's faces. Some people, it's being positive. Other people, it's walking the line and doing it the right way. And that guy shows everybody else, because they see him doing it, and they figure out, 'I'm going to walk in that line, too, and do it.'
"You know, there's many different ways to do it. I think people who sit there and say they need to see leadership, well, they're kidding themselves. Because if you need to see someone be a leader, they're probably not a leader all the time.
"You can look back and say, 'Oh, we should have done talking more.' ... I don't know that ... When somebody talks to me, it does nothing as far as, OK, thank you. Just leave me alone for a second. I need to think about what I need to do to improve on the next play. Or give me some technical aspect that you can use. 'Listen, when the corner is sitting down doing this, you need to ....' That stuff will help you the next time you're out there.
"Saying, 'C'mon! Let's go! Get ready! C'mon! Do better!' ... OK, I will. (rolls eyes) It doesn't solve anything.
"I mean, we're not 18 or 17. We don't need to be motivated to play harder in that regard. I think you take the wrong gap or you do the wrong thing, in that regard, that's gonna hurt you. And it will look like you're not playing as hard, but the reality is you just went the wrong way or you did the wrong thing or you threw the wrong pass, whatever.
"I think that execution, if there's a way to execute better, then you need to lead in that regard. You need to figure out a way to help everybody execute better. But it's silly to me to think that someone telling you in your face, 'Do better next time' is going to make you do better next time. Tell me why. Show somebody what they need to do to do better next time. That will go a lot farther, I think."
Yeah, he's going to get even more criticism for these comments, but I agree with him. Really, it's all about the bottom line. Eli Manning's leadership was questioned by some, and even laughed at by former teammate Tiki Barber, until he won the Super Bowl. Now, he's a great leader. There are many different ways to lead - Bill Parcells and Jon Gruden as opposed to Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith. The one thing they have in common is success.
Romo doesn't give the PC answers and a lot of people don't like that, but I think he's got things pretty well figured out. Now he just needs to figure out how to win.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
“Lets go do a rematch with B.J. Penn,” St. Pierre told a Sherdog radio show. “We’re going to do it this summer. St. Pierre-Penn III -- and this time we’ll wear a rash guard. I guarantee you the result will be the same or even worse for him.”
Even former welterweight champ Matt Hughes is piling on, saying GSP felt greasy the last two times they fought, both wins by St. Pierre by the way.
“I don’t know what to say,” he said. “The next fight day they just have to check me. I have nothing to hide. It pisse[s] me off a little bit. It’s like people are jealous or something … I’m not going to talk bad. I don’t mind. Everything comes up and down in life. I think Matt Hughes is trying to find excuses now for going on the way down. I don’t know.”
“Listen, I never cheated in my life,” an animated St. Pierre said. “Let me tell you something, I never said something bad to B.J. Penn. I never answered back to him with what he said. I’ve always been respectful. Even after the fight I went and told him, ‘Hey, keep your head up. You can be proud. You’re a tough guy. You stayed in the ring for a long time.’ But now that he says something like that it bothers me a lot. He already said I was taking steroids, that I was a quitter, that he was blaming me for seeing a sports psychologist and now he says that I cheat because I use Vaseline.”
The only reason I wouldn't want to see GSP beat up Penn for a third time is the feeling there would be a third excuse coming. I've heard people say Penn won the first fight, or that it was controversial at best, and I just don't see it. It wasn't all that different from the second fight. Round one was pretty even, with B.J. winning with his striking. Round two and round three were clearly won by St. Pierre. He took him down at will and worked his ground and pound, like Part II. I don't even understand how it was a split decision. Anyone that thinks Penn won was only looking at St. Pierre's bloody face - caused by an uppercut that clipped his nose and a poke to the eye. Looks can be deceiving.
The second fight had the same results to a greater degree. Was a small amount of Vaseline put on a small part of GSP's back and chest after the first and second round? It looks like it. But it wasn't the reason for the win. The Nevada State Athletic Commission wiped him off the second time, and possibly every round after that, and I'll see what their investigation brings. For me, it hasn't tainted the victory at all. B.J. is full of excuses, and I'm pretty tired of it.
“It’s disrespectful, but B.J. is a winner,” St. Pierre said. “I understand a winner’s mentality. A winner’s mentality always tries to understand the reason why he lost. In B.J.’s case, he doesn’t do it in a good way. I understand that he tries to understand why he lost, but what he should’ve done instead of looking at things he doesn’t control he should’ve looked at himself in the mirror and asked himself what he should’ve done better to be more well-prepared for that fight to be able to beat Georges St. Pierre instead of looking at me and try to find excuses … B.J. right now is doing it all wrong and he’s not going to become a better fighter if he keeps acting like this.”
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
It's amazing how he went from God/genius/future head coach last year to Satan/idiot/don't hire him to mow your lawn this year. The creativity was definitely missing from the Cowboys offense this season. Williams knows how to fix it, if Garrett doesn't.
"We can start with like a slant or something," Williams said. "I feel like I'm a pretty good receiver. I can catch a slant and turn it into a 20-yard gain or something, but I didn't run a slant this past season until the Philly game."
"But, like I said, I'm a coachable wide receiver. I'll run what I'm supposed to run. And I'll continue to have the cornerbacks ask me, 'Why do they got you running this same thing over and over again.' "
Maybe the most disturbing thing he said was that his former team, the 0-16 Detroit Lions, practiced harder than his new team. I bet he didn't see that coming! God I love my team!
Monday, February 2, 2009
Exhibit A - there was a clear and obvious block in the back on James Harrison's length-of-the-field touchdown return. There's seven points off the board. Exhibit B - an awful roughing the passer call that gave the Steelers a first down and eventually led to a field goal. That would've been a bad call in a regular season game, but was truly terrible in the Super Bowl.
Exhibit C - same drive, roughing the kick....field goal holder??? I'm not quite sure when that became a penalty. It sounds vaguely familiar, but that can't be in keeping with the spirit of the rule, can it? He hardly roughed him up. Exhibit D - the first Kurt Warner fumble, that was overturned after a review. They got the call right, but it was so obvious that the Cardinals shouldn't have had to waste a challenge on it.
Every one of those bother me, but I'm able to look past them. To not review a questionable fumble call, with seconds remaining in the game, the game being the freaking Super Bowl, is inexcusable. Initially I thought it was a fumble, and I understand the call. But the replay looked different. I thought the ball may still have been in his hand (and I wasn't the only one) and that there was a real good chance the call was overturned. Needless to say I was pretty surprised when they didn't bother to look at it!
NFL Head of Officials Mike Pereira's lame excuse was that "the booth" reviewed it and found it to be a fumble. Well fantastic, but their job isn't to make the calls, it's to tell the actual referees who are working the game whether a call is close enough to take a look at. Clearly this was, if only for the importance of the moment. Say the Cardinals get the ball back, plus the 15 yard penalty for taking of a helmet, you're looking at a 29-yard toss into the endzone with Larry Fitzgerald on your side. It's a long shot, sure, but it would've had a chance, and sure would've been fun.
In the interest of full disclosure, I was rooting for the Cardinals. But in general, I'm more of a Steelers fan. I just thought it was a better story if Arizona finally won a championship. (Side note: It also bothered me that the Super Bowl winning team had three different players throw punches in the game. Has that ever happened before? Stay classy, Pittsburgh.) I'm not saying the Steelers don't deserve it. But that left a real bad taste in my mouth.
The first round was pretty even, although I still give it to GSP. His takedown attempts failed, but he controlled the round and won the stand-up, I thought. Rounds two through four were completely dominated by St. Pierre. BJ has the best takedown defense in the sport, but St. Pierre's takedowns are better. He did it at will in those three rounds, and worked his ground and pound until Penn's corner thought it was a bad idea to keep sending him out there. I agreed. Nothing would have changed in the fifth. Penn would've taken a few more punches to the head, been taken down and battered again. Why bother?
I've been a big St. Pierre fan since the first time I saw him. He's now been officially elevated to hero status. He's my idol. I look up to him. I want to be like him. I'd have his babies if he asked me too. But hopefully not. The point is, I think he's the most well-rounded fighter I've ever seen. Joe Rogan said afterward that he's improving exponentially each fight.
I'm reading today that BJ still can't take the high road, and thinks St. Pierre cheated by using a greasing agent. I don't buy that for half a second. GSP doesn't take shortcuts. Quit whining BJ. Here's the explanation.
In other fights, Lyoto Machida finally made me a fan with a buzzer beater knockout over Thiago Silva. I had only seen him once before against Tito Ortiz, and it was probably the most boring win of all time. That was a good one though. He's now 14-0 and will have a light heavyweight title shot coming very soon.
Jon Jones showed he has a bright future with a win over Stephan Bonner. Jones fought as wildly as anyone I've ever seen, slamming Bonner down from the strangest positions and throwing a spinning back elbow. He was physically dominating, and I loved the creativity. Oh, and he's 21 years old.
Clay Guida won a split decision over Nate Diaz that was the first (off the top of my head) that I strongly disagreed with. Diaz won standing up, clearly. Guida was able to grab and hold onto Diaz by the waste and pin him up against the cage in each round, so in that respect he controlled the cage. But he made absolutely no progress from that position. He hardly seemed to try. And Diaz slammed him down from that position several times, so how much control does he really have? Oh well. Overall, great night.