From the Bleachersby Cormac Eklof
- Offensive NFL sign outside restaurant just a symptom of a larger problem
- Katherine Webb and the morbid depths of US sports 'journalism'
- Alabama to change their mantra ‘Roll Tide’ to ‘Part, Tide’.
- Guinness Book Of Records confirms: Seattle Seahawks have easily the most annoying fans
- Panthers unveil dominant new defensive play to win against the New England Patriots
big, popular website scoffed openly at the potential of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o winning the Heisman Trophy, deriding the journalist who dared to suggest the possibility. Well, now that same website looks (even more so than usual) pretty stupid, as all the biggest sporting sites are openly discussing and indeed suggesting the validity of the young man’s candidacy.
Whisper it quietly, but Manti Te'o could just very well become the first defensive player to win the Heisman trophy since Charles Woodson. Manti’s play speaks for itself, as do his defensive statistics. 80 tackles in itself shows what kind of a demon he is on the field.
Obviously, the award is heavily weighted towards offensive players, to use that ugly old refrain, chicks dig touchdowns. However, as evidenced by the sheer weight of volume of text being put forth towards a Te’o win, it appears he really, legitimately is in with a shot.
Notre Dame would appear to be, as they say, legit.
Here's the problem. The possibility remains of this incredible season being eventually measured as having been basically for naught, lost in the quagmire of the usual vitriolic debate over how College football should award its winners.
What’s all the fuss about? Basically in an interview on NBS Valentine called Ortiz’s desire to play through injury out. The quote is pretty damning, however, judge for yourself.
"David Ortiz came back after spending about six weeks on the disabled list and we thought it was only going to be a week. He got two hits the first two times up, drove in a couple runs; we were off to the races. Then he realized that [the team's trade with the Dodgers on Aug. 25] meant that we're not going to run this race and we're not even going to finish the race properly and he decided not to play anymore. I think at that time it was all downhill from there."
Whatever way you read it back, it would appear Valentine is throwing Ortiz under the proverbial bus. If that’s the case, it is a shocking move even by Valentine’s standards. As all Red Sox fans know, Ortiz is a proud man, and will not take these comments lightly. The manager versus player aspect will play itself out eventually, and Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe dissects it all knowledgeably here, however, there is another potential thread to this storyline that could come back to haunt Valentine.
The two teams are both great examples of exactly what a ‘team’ is, at least in Major League baseball terms. Much more costly, extravagant and indeed fancied teams have all been cast by the wayside on route to the final. The Yankees? Gone, along with their ridiculous $220 million a year in salaries. Texas? Gone, their big sluggers couldn’t bash their way through the playoffs. Detroit and San Francisco are arguably the most complete teams in baseball in their respective conferences.
San Francisco play great defence, have some shut-down type starting pitchers, a great bullpen, and can play small-ball when they want to, or bang home-runs when they have to. The Tigers? Detroit have a couple of the best pitchers in the game right now, and a fear-some middle of their order unlike almost any other in baseball.
One thing you really have to understand and grasp onto as a Patriots fan is that you can’t win every single game 52-21.
Before 2007/2008 the Patriots were a blue collar, hardworking team that managed to find ways to win close games. They were not generally a team that blew you out. They did the little things, they ‘did their job’ as the mantra goes. Just one season of blowing the doors of all comers right up to the Superbowl, and it would appear many Patriots fans have not adjusted as yet to winning games by a field goal, or indeed less.
Losing is one thing, being embarrassed and not facing it like a man is a whole other issue. This Yankees team looked beaten all series long, and now has the toxic air of a broken down vehicle that has no use bar the scrap yard.
The Yankees now face a series of issues, the gravity of which does not appear to be sinking in for their own front office. Their problems are basically three-fold. First of all, they are old, Mike Illitch old. Secondly, those same old players, many of them are tied into huge salaries, the value of which would startle Donald Trump. Finally, those same players’ salaries are not only exorbitant, they are also long, long like a Miguel Carbera homerun.
On to the matter at hand. Our American readers are going to find the pictures and videos on this piece shocking. You just don’t see this level of hate and violence in organised sport in the USA. Now, our Irish and European readers are going to think ‘Sure, seen this before, it’s just Serbia being Serbia’. However, enough is enough. No more excuses. No more warnings. This has to be the final straw. It is time to kick Serbia out of all FIFA and UEFA competitions for a good period, preferably ten years. FIFA needs to act now, and show its members, show the World, that FIFA does not condone racism, violence and thuggery at any level. At this stage there is absolutely no alternative, and FIFA has to stand up to these disgusting Serbian bullies.
Throw. Them. Out.
There are plenty who aren’t wildly familiar with Armstrong’s charity work who are reviewing the mounting evidence and screaming ‘Just throw him in jail and throw away the key’. For those of us who witnessed the positive impact of both Armstrong’s written and physical work in the fight against cancer, it has been hard to face up to the facts.
The release of the US Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) report today basically wipes away any possibility at all that Lance ‘didn’t do it’.
Extrapolating this line of thoughts further it didn’t take long to create an entire team of former Red Sox from around the Major Leagues. Our ‘Old Sox’ squad would be extremely competitive, we think. In fact, it is hard not to imagine this Old Sox team bashing the living daylights out of the current incarnation which sapped the life out of baseball in Boston all 2012 long.
Assuming this column won the lottery this week, we would build a beautiful tidy little, fan friendly stadium in Cape Cod, naturally something ergonomically acceptable. In line with the swagger of our right fielder we would simply call them ‘The Old Sox’ and our uniform would be suitably unique. The stadium would fill up on a nightly basis, a mix of inevitable Cape Cod tourists, gnarly Portuguese fishermen, college kids working on the Cape for the Summer, curious Irish J1 visa students, also working in the Cape’s bars and eateries, handsome older gentlemen in crisp wind-sheeters, happily and diligently filling out old-school scorecards, holidaying New York families with the kids in Jets and Giants jerseys, dreamers and poets, artists and entertainers, the finest of the Cape and the North East. The Old Sox would play the game the right way, and their adoring fans would applaud the right moves.
The text reads "I have been a Michigan and a Wolverine fan for a long, long time" a statement the former Massachusetts governor, who was born in Michigan, made the last year.
This statement will not go down well amongst the passionate throngs of Buckeye nation.
The scribes are still as incisive, however, none more so than the Globe’s Pete Abrahams, who really gets dug in to his task as beat writer to the Sox. There is a really interesting, short and yet illuminating piece by him in the Globe online today, in which he praises several players for being a pleasure to deal with. Basically he breaks the clubhouse down into three parts. Those who were a pleasure to deal with, a secondary level who he makes a point of saying were also easy to deal with, and then a pointed few who he doesn’t mention at all.
Mr Abrahams obviously has to be careful about who he chastises for being difficult to deal with, assuming they are back next season and assuming he is covering the Red Sox in 2013. However, it can’t be ignored that he named so many players and left a small number out in the cold as it were.
despite Ian Poulter’s animated dramatics, most considered Europe completely down and out. The bookmakers had USA restrictive 1/5 favorites, with Europe available to back anywhere between 6 and 10 to 1. Come Sunday night, and Europe had hauled the USA all the way back in, to the point that Tiger Woods pathetic miss on the 18th meant Europe not only tied the US and retained the title, they won the tournament outright 14 ½ to 13 ½ .
A spectacular come-back for the ages, and, you would assume, headline news, right?
Visiting the US sporting media main pages today, it is very interesting to note that the US’s sports journalists appear to have run, scampered to the hills, their proverbial tails firmly between their legs. Is it embarrassment? Shame? Or just undignified, cowardly journalism? Instead of correctly acclaiming or at the very least tipping their caps to such a sensational come-back victory, the US sports media has simply avoided the topic of the Ryder Cup like the plague.