Wait, did Rex Ryan say the Jets would win the Super Bowl in 2011? What he really meant was 2012. Yeah, that’s it — next year is their year. Rex promises. Maybe the foot fetish scandal was more of a distraction than we think, because there is absolutely no doubt in Ryan’s mind his team is going all the way next season and I’m sure Bart Scott “cant wait!”
Rex told Pro Football Talk via the NY Post that “there’s no way [the Jets] don’t get it done next year.” He then followed with “next year I know we’ll win it,” while sitting courtside to watch the Lakers beat the Knicks at MSG on Friday night.
Yawn. I know Jets fans love this guy’s straight-shooting attitude and have grown to trust him, but when do they tire of hearing the same thing over and over again. By guaranteeing a Super Bowl victory, Ryan puts himself in a position to say “I knew this team had it in them the whole time.” Why not just go out and do it without all the buildup?
If I wake up every morning and say there’s going to be a downpour today, I’m bound to be right at some point. It doesn’t take a weatherman to predict a rainstorm, but it doesn’t take us long to get sick of one who can’t get it right. What Rex Ryan has done a tremendous job of over the past two-plus years is proving that talk truly is cheap.
As the NFL and the NFL Players Union work toward avoiding a lockout in 2011, it seems like the list of issues is endless. One of the most highly debated topics has been whether or not to add two games to the regular season schedule. The league is obviously in favor of the move because it would result in more revenue, but the players are concerned for their health and therefore strongly opposed to the idea.
Don Yee, the agent for Tom Brady and Saints coach Sean Payton, has proposed a compromise. According to the USA Today, Yee has suggested the league move to an 18-game schedule but allow every player to participate in a maximum of 16 games. Coaches would decide which players to sit as the season progresses. Here is an e-mail Yee sent to the Associated Press discussing his idea:
This compromise will create even more interest from fans. What two games will the head coach sit the starting QB? That’s a discussion that will set sports talk radio airwaves afire.
“This compromise will also be popular with coaches and general managers who want a greater opportunity to develop younger players. The NFL doesn’t have a minor league, and this compromise will force meaningful participation by younger players on the roster.
“Players also would endorse this because each would effectively get two bye weeks during the year. Bye weeks afford important healing time and personal time away from the game.”
- 18-game schedule
The streak is over. The Cleveland Cavaliers either caught a team on an off night or finally grew some balls. I’m sure they don’t care how it happened, but the Cavs beat Blake Griffin and the Clippers on Friday night. I wonder if LeBron still thinks Sunday’s Cavs-Wizards game should be nationally televised?
The real question is whether or not Griffin was able to get any sleep last night. Has the current king of the NBA dunking world ever had a dunk rejected, let alone at a crucial point in the game? He has now. Check out the video of J.J. Hickson stuffing a Blake Griffin dunk:
Hickson had another huge block with the game tied 110-110 to force overtime, where the Cavs were finally able to get it done. As sad as it sounds, this can probably go down as the most important win of his young career.
Sick of all the Mr. Kardashian jokes, Lamar Odom has apparently taken it upon himself to prove what a tough guy he is. After colliding with teammate Pau Gasol during Thursday night’s win over the Celtics, Lamar had a gash in his dome that needed to be examined by the trainers. They patched his head up with a bandage and he returned to score six points and grab six rebounds in the fourth quarter of the game. After his tough guy display was over, Odom got eight stitches on his dome, and then he got patched up for Friday’s game.
Here’s a picture timeline of Odom’s head injury from Thursday to Friday:
With Mr. Kardashian out to prove something, did you really think something as small as a gash on the head would keep him out of the Lakers-Knicks game? Of course not. He was dressed up in a Silence of the Lambs mini-mask for the game. That was one sweet job by the training staff, no?
- Lamar Odom
Everybody is getting all crazy over a potential return by Michael Jordan to the NBA. Want to know what sparked it? MJ dressing up to run with the Charlotte Bobcats during practice because they were a man short in a scrimmage. And according to Stephen Jackson, Jordan played well.
Sure Jordan’s been shooting around with the team more often and spending time with the team but it makes sense — he’s their owner. Why wouldn’t he want to help them out while also keeping himself in-shape and fluffing his ego? But apparently Jordan’s sweet J is still there, and it’s good enough to prompt Bobcats coach Paul Silas to say that His Airness could still be an effective player.
As The Basketball Jones pointed out, Silas told ESPN 1000’s Waddle & Silvy Show that Jordan, as long as he got in shape, “could probably average about 15 to 20 points a game, no question, because he still has the shot.” Silas said “He would probably average 20 because he can get the shot off, he can make them, and he has just an uncanny knowledge of the game.”
People are going all giddy about Silas’ pronouncement because they’re so desperate to see MJ back in the league to generate media and fan excitement. Don’t get me wrong — I’d love to see MJ back — but he’s nearing 48 and I think it would be more of a spectacle than it would be a move that actually benefited a team. Then again, if Silas says he could still average 20, I could think of a few teams who could use the help …
Photo Credit: Matt Rochinski / bobcats.com
- Michael Jordan
Manny Pacquiao may be one of the most ferocious and feared boxers in the world (just look at these pictures), but the Filipino fighter is really nothing more than a popstar in disguise. In addition to his political involvement in the Phillipines, Pac Man has released two singing albums. Apparently he has more than just music in his heart — he now wears the style on his head. At his press conference promoting his upcoming May fight with Shane Mosley, Manny was seen sporting a new do … the Justin Bieber hairstyle as you can see in the picture above and the gallery below, as directed by SI Hot Clicks.
Now the only question that remains is whether or not the Biebs will be calling out Manny in a rap song. Only difference is it’s one thing to mess with an NFL quarterback, but quite another to goad a boxer. Probably wouldn’t be a good idea for the twerp.
For more funny Manny Pacquiao pictures, check out this gallery.
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- Manny Pacquiao
Prior to holding his private workout in San Diego Thursday, former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton was getting hammered by the media for making those plans. I couldn’t hear enough about how his father was ruining him, how strange these plans were, and how bad of an idea it was. Maybe it was just the backtalk of football personnel upset over the exclusionary nature of a “media only” workout.
Now that the workout actually took place, the groans have dissipated. ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer went gaga over Cam as if the two were dating, NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks described the quarterback’s workout as “absolutely sensational,” and pretty much everyone in attendance agreed that he looked great. Even if the media-only workout didn’t do anything to change Newton’s status amongst NFL scouts and evaluators, it did accomplish something even more important: it cleaned up Cam’s image.
Instead of being the guy who took all the money to play at Auburn, or instead of being thought of as the spread offense, shotgun quarterback, he’s now the guy surging up draft boards because he looked great in a media workout. The talking heads on TV and the pundits on the internet have something very powerful — a large reach and audience. As long as those people believe Cam is a great quarterback, then the workout accomplished something extremely important — changing perception.
If Cecil Newton was behind this idea, then he deserves some credit for an excellent idea.
As for the actual Cam Newton workout video, here it is for you to take a look:
- Cam Newton
You know how when people lose weight other people tell them how great they look and it makes them feel even better? Brian Cashman is not one of those other people. Either that or Buster Olney’s sources lie to him. Olney recently Tweeted that a source told him C.C. Sabathia lost 30 pounds this offseason and looks great. Cashman said that’s a load of b.s.
According to Hardball Talk, Cashman told ESPN that he has seen Sabathia in person and there’s no way he lost 30 pounds. “I don’t believe it,” he said. “I saw him at the B.A.T. dinner and he didn’t look like he lost 30 pounds to me. Maybe half that amount. We haven’t weighed him so I don’t now where that number comes from.”
It should be noted that Cashman went on to talk about how Sabathia is a tremendous athlete and has done a good job of keeping the weight under control, but am I the only one getting the impression that the Yankees GM is becoming bitter? The Yankees are still an obvious contender, but Cashman missed out on Cliff Lee and did nothing noteworthy to bolster the starting rotation this winter. When New York brought in one of the top relievers on the market, Cashman was quick to note that he wasn’t in favor of the signing.
Maybe he’s sick of the big market spotlight and wants to try his hand at a small market team. Maybe we’re reading too much into it. Either way, it hasn’t been an offseason to brag about for Brian Cashman.
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Kobe Bryant will consider leaving the NBA to play in Europe if there is a lockout or he doesn’t like the outcome of a new CBA, an unnamed teammate told the NY Daily News. The most likely landing spot for Bryant would be Italy, where he spent seven years of his life while his father, Joe, played there professionally.
Regardless of what he has told his teammates, Bryant isn’t going anywhere. He’s as competitive as they come, and leaving while he’s tied with or one shy of Michael Jordan’s six championships isn’t an option. It’s well-known that Bryant idolizes Jordan — just as every player of his generation does. To match and then surpass Jordan in titles would be the ultimate accomplishment, one too great for Bryant to give up on before his body gives up on him. Aside from the championships, I can’t see Bryant being satisfied with tearing up lesser competition in Europe.
Kobe seems to be too smart to go the route of Allen Iverson, and he works too hard for that ever to be an issue. Iverson is playing in Turkey because he refused to work hard enough to alter his game as he got older. Bryant has already made changes to his game and will continue to do so until he no longer can. Hopefully, he’ll walk away graciously when that time comes — something the man he idolizes chose not to do. Whatever the case, there’s no doubt it will be an NBA court he’s leaving behind.
- Kobe Bryant
Albert Pujols has been very clear about his contract situation with the St. Louis Cardinals. One of the best all-around players in the history of the game, Pujols has given the Cards and his agent a deadline of Feb. 16 to work out a contract extension. By that time, he wants to focus on training camp and get ready for the season. According to SI’s Jon Heyman, the two sides are worlds apart just five days shy of the deadline.
Fear not, Cardinals fans. Matt Holliday wants to help. Well, maybe you should still be afraid if Pujols is seriously asking for 10 years at $300 million, but at least there are people trying to make it work. According to MLB.com writer Matthew Leach via Hardball Talk, Holliday is willing to defer some of his salary if it would help retain Pujols.
I deferred $2 million a year for the whole contract and I would be willing, if they came to me and said, “Hey, this is what it’s going to take to get Albert done, would you do it again or do more?” Scott [Boras] probably wouldn’t like me to stay that, but if that’s what it took, I would be willing to do that.”
Pujols is going to be seeking the largest contract in MLB history, and deservedly so. For that reason, I don’t know how much $2 million per year over the next six years — or $12 million — will help the situation. What I will say is that the gesture is nice and it’s something you rarely see in an era where professional athletes look to squeeze out every penny they can with their contracts.