WHO WAS AWESOME
1. Rodney Williams and Blake Hoffarber. In case you're completely unaware, the Gophers season officially kicked-off Friday night with Midnight Madness, which in this case is called Tubby's Tip-Off and took place at 7:30. These two get the nod for their big wins in the dunk and 3-point shootout - go ahead and guess who won which contest. Perhaps more impressive than the Hoff's win was who the runner-up was - Justin Cobbs. As good a defender as Al Nolen is, it's no secret to anybody with two eyes that his offense was lacking in a big, big way last season. If it turns out Cobbs can score, even if he can just knock down an open three, that adds another dimension to the offense. As for Rodney in the dunk contest, do yourself a favor and watch this:
[Video removed because it kept freaking out my browser. You can find it at From the Barn or Gophersports.com or pretty much anywhere. Just make an effort, fatty.]
Turns out those reports that he was an incredible athlete: ACCURATE. Additionally, I've read some reports from people who were there (over at the Gopher Hole) and it sounds like Ralph Sampson has bulked up quite a bit this year. Combine that with the fact that Ralph can run a mile in under six minutes, which I learned straight from Tubby's mouth on the radio, and I don't really see any way he doesn't run away with Big Ten Player of the Year.
If you want some really detailed info on 3-point totals by round, and a thorough report on the scrimmage, click your mouse device on this hyperlink.
2. Hakeem Nicks. He just keeps being awesome, so I just have to keep highlighting him. In a suddenly crowded group of NY Giant receivers, Nicks keeps putting up good numbers and might have the highest upside of all of them - and that's no slight on the good Steve Smith. On Sunday he lit up the Saints for 114 and a touch, making this the third straight week he's found the endzone, and, since Eli had a horrid game in the loss, he accounted for 64% of the team's receiving yards. Smith and Mario Manningham both have more yards receiving this year than Nicks, partially due to Hakeem missing two and a half weeks due to injury, but it's becoming more and more obvious just how talented this kid is. Steve Smith might end up with better numbers this year, but Manningham is currently being pushed aside, and neither will end up any near as good as Nicks when all their careers are wrapped up.
3. Sidney Rice. This guy is an asshole. I'm sorry, and normally I don't like to use such coarse language in front of a lady (note: that's you, nancy-boy), but I am required to hate this guy for screwing two of my fantasy teams (yes, I have more than one, kill me). I drafted him in two leagues, and in one of them when I picked him some jackass piped up with "potential will kill you." Then after two weeks of nothing and looking like less than an afterthought, I had to drop him to make room for other players who were actually playing well. Well, since then he's been picked up by other retards in my leagues and scored two TDs in the last four weeks, never dipped below 56 yards receiving, and blew up this weekend with a 6 catch, 176 yard game in the Vikes win. Yeah, well he's too slow to outrun DBs and got caught from behind on what would have been a 70-yard touchdown, so eat it, guys who picked him up.
4. LaDainian Tomlinson. Numbers-wise, at first glance LT's performance last night doesn't look that impressive - 19 carries for 70 yards and 3 catches for 30, but two things are worth noting. First, Denver's defense has been very, very good this year, particularly against the run. Tomlinson's 70 rushing yards and the second most a back has managed to put up against the Broncos, just barely behind the 76 yards they allowed to Cedric Benson in week one. Second, and more importantly, this is more about watching the game than the numbers. Most of last year and this year, Tomlinson has looked slow, tentative, and was unable to either make people miss or break tackles - very similar to Shaun Alexander down towards the end there, and there was quite a bit of talk about how LT might be done. Watching last night, it appears he might be heading back - not to the lofty heights he had reached previously, but I think he's far from done. He was quicker than I had seen him in the last couple of years, making several defenders miss, and was making cuts quickly and decisively, much closer to the good LT than the recent LT. He's not going to be MVP any time soon, but last night was very encouraging.
5. The Beer Stars. That's out softball team, and we are awesome. Took part in the State Tournament this weekend, and ended up walking out with a nice plaque for finishing in fourth place (out of 63 teams). Keep in mind, this isn't some kind of pansy-ass single elimination garbage like those sissies in the NCAA Tournament, this is double. That means in order to finish in fourth, we had to win seven games, finishing up with an impressive 7-2 record that included a win over the (now former) #1 team in the state. Once we got to the final four, I think we were in a different stratosphere. The team that bounced us walked up and were drinking nothing but water and gatorade, and had warm-up donuts for their bats as well as those heavy warm up bats for the on-deck circle. Not quite the same attitude we have, as demonstrated by the name "Beer Stars." It was an excellent two days. I think Snacks is the only other Beer Star who reads this blog, but if any of the others are out there - congrats fellas. We kicked some serious ass.
1. Sam Bradford. Let me give you people a bit of advice: If you ever win a Heisman Trophy and are a guaranteed lock for a 1st round pick in the NFL Draft, just go. Don't be noble. Don't be loyal. Don't be idealistic. Just go. I'm guessing Bradford's wishing he had done that after getting hurt for the second time this season on Saturday, and this one looks like there's a pretty good chance we're talking season's over here. After getting his shoulder ripped in half against BYU in the season opener, he made his big triumphant return on Saturday against Texas in the big ole Red River Rivalry game, managed to sling six passes (completing just two) and then had his shoulder ripped off again. What will this mean for his career? I don't know. It's probably not a career ender or anything, but will a team draft a guy who hurt the same shoulder twice in a season with a first round pick? Seems doubtful. We're talking a loss of multiple millions here. All so he could get up and go to class. Sucker.
2. Terrelle Pryor. Enough with this guy already. He's a good runner. That's it. He's not Michael Vick. He's not Pat White. He's not Vince Young (in college). He's not even Beau Morgan. He's more like Reggie Bush than anything else - elusive, fast runner who can help his team with his legs, but he is not a quality QB and he showed it again this weekend against Purdue. Ohio State went in to West Lafayette and got rolled, 26-18 by a Boiler team that had only one other win on the season (against Toledo). Pryor managed an incredible four turnovers all on his own, not to mention taking a sack on a third-and-five in Purdue territory late in the game with the Buckeyes down eight, and also managed to rush for just 34 yards on 21 attempts. He's awful. But you know what's funny? I just checked, and he actually has a better QB rating than Adam Weber. Good work Adam. You're worse than the college equivalent of Tavaris Jackson.
3. Tennessee Titans. Am I completely crazy, or weren't the Titans supposed to be a Super Bowl type contender this year. Let me check something. Yep, that's what I thought - they won their division last year. Seeing as how they have pretty much the same team as last year, I'm guessing that their current 0-6 record is probably a bit of a shock to pretty much everybody. Not a shock to me though, since I picked them tho finish third in their division. What is a shock to me is the stats the Titans put up in Sunday's devastatingly embarrassing 59-0 loss to the Patriots. It's hard to say what was worse, the offense or the defense. The offense was so bad, that Vince Young was the leading passer for the Titans with a day of 0-2 for 0 yards. That's because Kerry Collins somehow managed to 2-12 for -7, I have no idea how, which nets out to a QB rating of 4.9, which I assume is some kind of record and they exact opposite of the day the Titans' D let Tom Brady have: 29-34 for 380 yards and 6 TDs, which is a QB rating of 152.8. He should probalby be in the Awesome portion of this post, but 1) I hate him, and 2) they pulled him for someone named Brian Hoyer who then went 9-11 for 52 yards in his pro debut. In conclusion, Tennessee sucks worse than this TV movie with Tori Spelling Mrs. W is currently watching.
4. Hideki Kuroda. On Sunday for game 3 of the NLCS, Dodgers' manager Joe Torre had a choice: go with Kuroda or Chad Billingsley. They had pretty similar numbers on the season (Kuroda 3.76 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, Billingsley 4.03 and 1.32), and I'm sure there are a bunch of other factors that I don't feel like spending the time to research, but it seems he chose incorrectly and Kuroda got shelled, giving up six runs without bothering to get out of the second inning. Of course, Billingsley didn't do much better in relief and the offense only managed three hits against Cliff Lee, so none of this really mattered, but there's still a valuable lesson here: you can't trust commies. Luckily, thanks to the second amendment, every man has the right to bear arms to protect himself from these commies, and the right to Liberty. Liberty, if you've forgotten, is the soul's right to breath, and without liberty, man is a syncope.
5. John David Booty. Sad news folks. It's over. John David Booty was released from the practice squad by the Vikings on Thursday in order to make room for some irrelevant o-lineman. Seems a little unfair to get rid of a guy who has never thrown a regular season pass, but nobody said Chilly always makes the right decision. So you people are going to have to give up on your dreams of having discovered a fifth round gem, and I'm going to have to give up on my dreams of using this picture for anything worthwhile:
So it goes.