Did Las Vegas Wiseguys Know Something About Titans Against Colts?

Two days later, people are still smarting about the infamous backdoor cover by the Titans Thursday night against the Colts. In case you’re unaware of what happened, the Colts were favored by 3-3.5 points against Tennessee. The Colts got out to a 21-0 lead and were up 30-21 and had the game in hand with two minutes left. In typical heartbreak gambling fashion, Tennessee scored a meaningless touchdown on the very last play of the game allowing them to cover the spread. The TD mattered little to the Colts who were winning the game either way, but it swung millions of dollars in favor of “The House.”

Two separate friends inquired about Doc Brown’s thoughts on the game, thinking it was a steal of a bet. Both Doc and Del locked the Colts in as a Top 3 selection this week. 88% of the public had the Colts covering, an absolutely overwhelming margin. Everyone thought the Colts would win the game and win it handily. Except for the Wiseguys.

A source informed Larry Brown Sports that some big money came in game day on the Titans from the Wiseguys. Did they know something nobody else did? Did they know that difference-making wide receiver Kenny Britt would be active for the Titans for the first time since hurting his hamstring? Did they know Indy’s top two CBs would be inactive? Or were they simply going against the public, which often times is a smart move in itself?

Here’s an even better question: does Tennessee covering even prove the Wiseguys in fact did know something? Was the public right about the game? Were the Colts, who were up 21-0 and won the game handily, easily the better team? Was Tennessee and the Wiseguys lucky to have it end as a two-point game? At this point I have to say that the public was right, that Indy was easily the superior team, and that they were only playing to win the game, not cover the spread, and that’s why they didn’t. Sometimes even Las Vegas gets lucky.

Brandon Spikes Tested Positive for ADHD Medicine, Possibly Adderall

You might want to save the “Patriots are cheaters” talk for now.  New England linebacker Brandon Spikes was suspended for the final four regular season games on Friday for testing positive for banned substances.  According to Patriots’ insider Tom E. Curran of CSN New England, that banned substance is ADHD medication.  As most you probably know, ADHD is a common medical condition known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

In a statement on Friday, Spikes acknowledged that the substance he was taking was probably one that he should have cleared through the league and that he understood the NFL’s ruling.  If you’re wondering why he wouldn’t appeal the suspension, the reason is that it would be too risky with the playoffs right around the corner. Rather than risk having his appeal denied and having to serve a suspension in the postseason, Spikes has chosen to accept the penalty to assure he’s eligible for the playoffs.

Adderall, one of the most common drugs used to treat ADHD, contains amphetamines, which are listed as a performance enhancer under the NFL’s substance abuse policy.  Sure they help you concentrate, but let’s be serious — if Curran’s report is true this hardly sounds like a big deal.  I’m not sure a drug that helps you concentrate a little better would give a football player a significant competitive advantage.  Spikes could easily receive a prescription for such a medication if he hadn’t already, so his only mistake was not being careful.

Calvin Johnson is Sick of Losing

If Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford are going to be the future of the Detroit Lions, both will have to remain Detroit Lions.  Stafford is likely staying put.  The same may not be true for Johnson.  One thing is for sure — Megatron is fed up with losing.

According to the Detroit Free Press, via Pro Football Talk, Johnson seemed uncertain when asked whether or not he would remain in Detroit when his contract expires in 2012.  When a player talks about a contract situation, one of the main things they usually allude to is how much they love the city they play in and the fans in that city.  That wasn’t quite the case with Johnson.

Put it like this, if we turn this thing into a winner, I’m happy,” Johnson said via the Detroit Free Press. “I’ve won 11 games since I’ve been here in four years. Losing definitely sucks and you definitely don’t want to be around losing. You can’t get used to that.“I can’t get used to it because I haven’t come from that.  I’ve been used to winning. And if this thing can’t get turned around, man, like I said — I’m just going to leave it at I can’t get used to it. I want to win.”

Translation: build a winning team or I’m out of here.  While it may not be the traditional “this is a great city” response, we can’t blame Johnson.  He’s one of the best receivers in the NFL and has nothing to show for it at this point in his career.  The Lions have looked like an improved team at various points this season, yet they’ve only win two games.

To his credit, Megatron has been relatively quiet during his tenure with Detroit — especially for a wide receiver.  Usually when a star receiver doesn’t appreciate how things are going they let everyone know about it.  Johnson, on the other hand, has been relatively quiet.  If he chooses to leave Detroit in 2012, there will be plenty of people waiting with blank checks and even more who don’t blame him for skipping town.

Rex Ryan Has Jets Bury Ball From 45-3 Loss to Patriots

After getting beat up by the Patriots on Monday night in New England 45-3 and having an airplane make fun of them, the Jets decided to do something about it. Head coach Rex Ryan led his team outside Wednesday for a meeting and officially buried a ball from the loss behind a goal post. Literally.

WTVD says “Ryan gathered his players around a hole in the ground, just off a grass practice field, and placed a football into the earth — a game ball from Monday night’s embarrassing 45-3 loss to the New England Patriots.”

Some of the players said the tactic worked as they didn’t just hear a coach figuratively tell them to turn the page, but literally saw him bury the game in the past. The story would have been much cooler if it weren’t a rip off of Bill Belichick.

Rich Cimini informs us that Belichick did the exact same thing after a 30-10 loss to the Dolphins in 2001. The Pats later went on to beat the Rams in the Super Bowl, and guess what? Rob Ryan — Rex’s twin brother — was on Belichick’s staff then. Rex may be funny, but he certainly doesn’t get points for creativity.

Colts Radio Announcer Bob Lamey Rips Peyton Manning Off-Air

What do New York Islanders TV announcer Howie Rose and Indianapolis Colts radio man Bob Lamey have in common? Both men were caught on epic rants which they thought no one could hear. The difference: Rose was bagged ripping a horrendous hockey team that had just lost 13 straight games, while Lamey was dogging one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.

Pro Football Talk called our attention to an interesting piece from Stampede Blue that highlights Lamey’s alleged spaz out, where he trashed Peyton Manning and said Jim Caldwell should bench him.  The clip — which Stampede Blue has yet to track down — was played on ESPN Radio 1070 in Indianapolis.  At first I was skeptical about the validity of the claim, but word has it Lamey approached Manning at his locker to apologize on Wednesday.

Amidst Lamey’s rant was talk of NFL defenses having “figured Manning out” and that the Colts should start looking for his replacement in the 2011 draft.  Lamey also expressed that he thought No. 18 should be benched in favor of Curtis Painter.  That’s right, Curtis Painter.  Manning has been horrible lately and thrown 11 picks in three games, but he’s still Peyton Manning.

Lamey is supposedly a classic homer when he calls games, but he should probably be in fear of losing his job.  The Indianapolis Star said Manning “appeared to accept” his apology, but now that the story has become public it may be tougher for Manning to let go and if Peyton ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.  How would you feel if someone said Curtis Painter should replace you?  Not too good, and you aren’t one of the two best quarterbacks in the NFL.

LBS NFL Power Rankings Week 14

1. New England Patriots (10-2, –)

The Patriots are on their own planet after Monday night’s 45-3 victory over the Jets. If anyone tells you they saw that coming, they’re lying. With the win, New England put itself in prime position for a first round by and home-field advantage, where Tom Brady has been unbeatable.

2. Atlanta Falcons (10-2, –)

Atlanta continues to win big game after big game. They followed a huge win over the Packers with a road win over the Buccaneers. Matt Ryan is proving he has ice water running through his veins, as he’s led fourth quarter game-winning touchdown drives in consecutive weeks.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3, +3)

The Steelers have been struggling recently and were in need of a signature win. Thanks to a fourth-quarter strip sack from Troy Polamalu, they got it. Beating the Ravens in Baltimore was huge for Pittsburgh’s position in the AFC North. Three of their last four are against the Bengals, Browns, and Panthers.

4. New Orleans Saints (9-3, +1)

The mark of a great team is being able to win on the road. It wasn’t pretty, but the Saints are now 5-1 on the road this season after defeating the Bengals in Cincinnati. They’ll need to continue their hot streak to keep pace with the Falcons, who don’t appear to be slowing down.

[Read more...]

Niners Go Back to Alex Smith Proving Winning Not a Priority for Singletary

No matter what happens it seems like a constant that San Francisco 49ers fans defend Alex Smith. Don’t ask me why, I guess they still believe he’ll prove himself to be superior to Aaron Rodgers and they want him to do it in a 49ers uniform. It really doesn’t make much sense because Smith has only done one thing consistently during his five-year NFL career: lose.

Smith is 17-30 in games he’s started during his career. He’s thrown for 46 touchdowns and 52 interceptions and had the underachieving Niners 1-6 before hurting his arm this season. Things got so bad his receivers were taking subtle shots at him while the fans were less conspicuous.

Though Smith is 1-6 in his seven starts this year while Troy Smith is 3-2 in his five starts, the 49ers announced they were going back to Alex Smith as their starter this weekend. Explaining the move, Jimmy Johnson’s favorite motivational speaker said “I’m just going to say that we felt at this time that Alex, with all his experience and all those other things, will give us the best chance to win at this particular time of year.”

Experience? Just what kind of experience is that, losing? Shoot, you want experience I’ll give you Anthony Young while I take Kyle Drabek. This just goes to show how ass backwards they have things in San Francisco. We already know they can’t win with Alex Smith. Troy Smith may not be a long-term solution, but at least the guy gives you a shot at winning. It’s hard to have sympathy for the Niners when they continue to make stupid decisions like this. It’s overdue that they part ways with the former top overall draft pick. Admit the mistake and move on.