The Saints offensive players will be wearing custom made noise reduction earpieces tonight against the Seahawks in an effort to neutralize the noise made by the Seattle fans. While the devices may help neutralize the noise they will do nothing to neutralize Russell Wilson and the stout Seahawk defense. Unless Sean Payton can find a way to accomplish that feat the Saints return to the Big Easy with another loss under their belts.
As the video shows, a backboard comes crashing down around a Harlem Globetrotter during a recent “game.” Fortunately, his injuries were not serious and it appears he will be dunking again soon.
As I watched the video I couldn’t help but think that it served as a metaphor to a bigger collapse. The collapse of the “Harlem Globetrotters.” I like to remember the Harlem Globetrotters from my childhood. Now they were an “event.” Curley and Meadowlark Lemon were household names. If given the choice, an aspiring young basketball talent would pick the Globetrotters over the NBA any day!
Who could forget the voice of Howard Cosell as he dramatically announced the half-court hook shot that Meadowlark drained every time? Or what about the “lockdown” defense of the “Generals” that Curley could dribble through without any problems? Where have the Trotters of my childhood gone?
There was a time when the Harlem Globetrotters filled major arenas for their games. Did you see the venue in the video? The paint, the railing, the chipped walls? Really? Are the Globetrotters reduced to playing in barns with peach baskets hanging on the walls? And the crowd was smaller than many high school games I’ve attended.
I’m grateful that the player was not injured and I hope he makes a full recovery. Likewise, I would like to see the Harlem Globetrotters make a full recovery as well. Let’s hope that the next time we see them play it will be in a packed out NBA venue with scores of fans whistling “Sweet Georgia Brown” and watching it rain half-court hook shots for a Trotters victory over the Generals. Oh yeah, the voice of Cosell would be a nice addition too.
The Cincinnati Bengals travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins on Thursday night football. The Bengals ride in on a wave of four consecutive victories while the Fins have lost four in a row. The atmosphere is one of urgency in Miami and another loss could lead to panic.
Meanwhile, in Cincy the Bengals are red hot. Andy Dalton has been lights out in the first half of the season. Bengals receivers are developing into a serious force led by All-Pro A.J. Green.
While this does look like a potential “trap game” for the Bengals, they are heavily favored. Another impressive win will go a long way to solidify a play-off appearance.
The NFL regular season has reached the midway point and not without some surprises. Who would have thought that the Kansas City Chiefs would be the league’s lone undefeated team at 8-0? Equally as surprising, the Steelers, Texans, and Falcons are near the bottom of the NFL pile after being widely predicted to make a run at their respective division titles. I guess that’s why they play the games! A team has never won the Super Bowl without showing up and playing the games. Below are my top five power rankings for Week 9. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
1. Kansas City Chiefs 8-0
The Chiefs struggled late in the game against the Browns, but ultimately did what good teams do – they win ugly. In every championship season, winning teams will gut out some ugly wins and barely escape with the victory. But in the NFL a win is a win regardless of what it looks like.
2. Denver Broncos 7-1
Peyton Manning has finally shown signs of being human lately. He is also beginning to show his age. In the last few weeks his health has been the subject of much debate. No one can argue his Hall of Fame career or unbelievable season to date, but the retirement party is clearly on the horizon for Peyton. Meanwhile, the return of Von Miller has certainly strengthened the defense for their second half run.
3. Seattle Seahawks 7-1
Speaking of winning ugly… The Seahawks had a gut check week much like the Chiefs did. They went into St. Louis to play a bad team who recently lost their starting quarterback. The Rams reached out to Brett Favre last week but he turned down the opportunity to return for what would have truly been a spectacle. Things must be bad when you start calling senior citizen centers in search of a starting QB. Everyone expected a blowout in Edward Jones Stadium. Everyone but the Rams that is.
4. New Orleans Saints 6-1
The Saints are quietly putting up a great season. They have battled late in a couple of games this season, but held on to get the win. Drew Brees continues to just be a great quarterback and leader. The Saints may be the team that no one wants to face in the play-offs especially in the Super Dome.
5. 3 way Tie: Indianapolis 5-2, Cincinnati 6-2, and San Francisco 6-2
I don’t often list teams in a tie, in particular, a three-way tie. However, a really good case could be made for each of these teams to be at number 5. Andrew Luck has successfully lifted his team to the top shelf after replacing perhaps the greatest NFL quarterback of all time. Meanwhile, the Bengals are red hot and look prepared to run away with their division. If their offense begins to run smoothly with all of the parts in place the rest of the league had better look out. And we can certainly make a case for the Niners whose only losses have come to two teams also in the top 5: Indy and Seattle. The Niners are looking dangerously tough recently and we had better plan to see them playing deep into the play-offs.
In a league that is becoming increasingly more “pass first,” top level NFL receivers are at a premium. COwboys receiver, Dez Bryant recently opened a can of worms when he claimed in a radio interview that he was better than Calvin Johnson. Seriously? Is there a receiver on planet earth that is better than Megatron? On paper, probably not. But touchdowns are caught between the lines and not on paper.
With that in mind, an objective review of the current stats through 7 weeks reveal a number of receivers who could claim the title of “Receiver of the Year…So Far.”
In no particular order, here are my top five “Receiver of the Year” candidates after 7 weeks:
Wes Welker – leads the league with touchdown catches at 8
A.J. Green – near the top in all major statistical categories
Calvin Johnson – Look up “Beast” in the dictionary and you will find Johnson’s photo
Dez Bryant – Nudges out Julio Jones by a whisker
Demaryius Thomas – Ranks high in most stat categories
- Dez Bryant Comparisons to Calvin Johnson Not Unwarranted (bleacherreport.com)
- Nate Burleson scoffs when Dez Bryant compares himself to Megatron (profootballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Rankings and grades: Jason Hatcher is NFL’s top-ranked DT; Sean Lee No. 2 among inside linebackers (cowboysblog.dallasnews.com)
Here are my Week 8 NFL power rankings (top five). Let me know if you agree or disagree!
1. Kansas City Chiefs – The defense has been outstanding so far. For all of my KC Chiefs fans friends (and you know who you are) congratulations!
2. Seattle Seahawks – Percy Harvin is looking to make his return to an already loaded Seahawk team. Look out NFC1
3. Denver Broncos – Yes, Indy just beat you on Sunday night night, but Peyton Manning still wins more of those match ups than he loses.
4. Indianapolis Colts – You looked great in the win over Denver but losing Reggie Wayne was a critical loss.
5. New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees has the Saints cruising in the NFC South. Let’s see if it continues.
Earlier today, Jim Leyland, manager of the Detroit Tigers, announced his resignation. His departure follows the Tigers elimination from the American League Championship series last week. The Tigers were eliminated by the Boston Red Sox in six games in spite of a stellar starting rotation and the big bats of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the lineup. The 68 year old skipper leaves Detroit with three consecutive division titles and two World Series appearances. Leyland’s 1,769 career wins land him 15th on the all time wins list for baseball managers. An impressive resume to say the least.
Likewise, the Cincinnati Reds manager, Dusty Baker, was recently released by the Reds after failing to advance beyond the Wild Card playoff game against the Pittsburg Pirates. Since the release of Baker, the Reds have spoken with or about several potential replacements for Baker, but no hire has occurred. It seems to me that the best possible candidate (unless Tony LaRussa decides to un-retire), just became available. Though Leyland stated that his tank lacked the fuel to continue managing, surely a talent laden roster in one of baseball’s first and finest city’s is enough to “top off” his interest.
The way I see it, the Tigers owe the Cincinnati Reds a proven winner such as Leyland. After all, the Reds lost the winningest manager in Cincinnati Reds history to the Tigers when Sparky Anderson went north in 1979. He then went on to become one of the winningest managers in Tigers history and won the 1984 World Series along the way. Now the Tigers have the chance to return the favor. Perhaps the Tigers front office wouldn’t mind filling Jim Leyland’s gas tank for the four hour drive south to the Queen City.
Below is a fantastic read by Paul White of the USA Today. White introduces the reader to “the Cardinal way” by giving you a sneak peek behind the scenes of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball organization. The article is a must read for all serious baseball fans regardless of whether you root for the Cardinals or not.
The leaves are changing from green to yellow, red, and orange. The air has turned cool and crisp and a hoodie or a sweater is now essential to evening comfort. And on Friday night’s I can hear the voice of the announcer calling the football game at the local high school in town. This all means one thing…it’s Fall.
Autumn is a wonderful time of the year for sports fans. The World Series will begin in just a few days as will the start of another NBA season. The ponds have been frozen and hockey is back. College football and the NFL have accelerated into high gear and are right in the middle of their seasons. Midnight madness and the start of college basketball is also just around the corner.
Yep, all of the best sports are in full swing and life couldn’t get any better! Or could it? Seems that one of the most searched terms on Google yesterday was “cricinfo.” Cric what? Cricinfo, and it was one of the most searched words of the day yesterday. I can understand that because who in the world actually knows what “cricinfo” means?
Like thousands of other baffled readers, I asked Google to explain what in the world “cricinfo” was. As it turns out, “cricinfo” is an ESPN owned website that publishes and promotes all things Cricket. You know, the sport with bowlers, batsmen, and white uniforms on every player, or cricketer to be more accurate.
A quick visit to cricinfo.com revealed a website that hosted cricket stats, scores, and standings. Cricket pictures, quotes, and tweets. Video’s, blogs, and in depth stories of cricketers near and far. In fact, cricinfo.com even has a Facebook “like” button with nearly 2 million cricket followers worldwide. Digi-crickets, I suppose.
Who would have known? Cricinfo.com and Cricket available at my fingertips thanks to Google and the World Wide Web. I doubt that cricket will replace the NFL or the World Series anytime soon, but for nearly 2 million cricket followers, Fall just got a little better.