Thursday, December 3, 2009

Adrian Peterson is unstoppable — except by the cops

HE COULD...GO...ALL...THE... ... $*&@!

Adrian Peterson, Vikings running-back and #1 fantasy heartthrob, was pulled over and ticketed Saturday night for driving 109 m.p.h. in a 55 m.p.h. zone in suburban Minneapolis, according to the AP.

Peterson told The Associated Press he "got a little speeding ticket. I need to be more aware of the speed I was going and not let it happen again."

Whatever A.P. told the AP, don't expect the Cardinals to have as much luck stopping him Sunday night as the Minneapolis police did.

Monday, November 30, 2009

New Jersey Nets 1-0 in court, 0-17 on the court

The Nets have tied an NBA record for the worst start to a season, dropping their first SEVENTEEN games (imagine the '07 New England Patriots, if they had won Super Bowl XLII, in reverse). Coach Lawrence Frank has been fired. (Really, it took that long?). They're scoring a league-worst 85.7 points per game, only slightly better than what Drew Brees and the Saints can do these days against the right opponent.

Expect them to lose at home to the Mavericks Wednesday and to the Bobcats Friday to drop to an historic 0-19 before getting a chance at glory at Madison Square Garden Sunday at noon in the NBA Misery Bowl against the Knicks (currently 3-14).

Despite the team's struggles, someone with a lot of money (in 2009, that could be no one else but a Russian billionaire like Mikhail Prokhorov) is interested in buying low. In an extremely challenging and complex real-estate deal, developer Bruce Ratner will construct the futuristic palace pictured below in Brooklyn (after scrapping an even crazier-looking but more expensive Frank Gehry design) and have Prokhorov rescue the team from the New Jersey swamp and have them play there instead.

Awkwardly, people currently live here. But not to worry: eminent domain to the rescue! In a 60-page opinion released last week (full text here), Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of the New York Court of Appeals wrote, "It is indisputable that the removal of urban blight is a proper, and, indeed, constitutionally sanctioned, predicate for the exercise of the power of eminent domain."

I suppose it's up to Ratner and Prokhorov to prove that the Nets wouldn't be any worse a blight than the vacant rail yards that are there now.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Jimmie Johnson wins his fourth straight Sprint Cup championship. But do you know who he is?

Or for that matter, what the Sprint Cup is?

One could be forgiven for being confused about exactly what Jimmie Johnson just won. The Sprint Cup, formerly known as the Nextel Cup, Winston Cup, and occasionally just "Hey, you" is basically just code for the major leagues of NASCAR (as opposed to its AAA divisions) -- which, especially during a phase in which I watched it on TV every Sunday and started talking about cam-shafts and winches, my friends used to rightly mock as

The whole "Chase for the Cup" thing complicates things further. But three cheers for Jimmie Johnson anyway. A lesser man would spell his nickname with a Y.

Bud Adams wishes the f***ing Bills and their f****ing fans good f***ing luck today

Titans owner Bud Adams is trying to make good on his bad behavior last week as he watched his pathetic team beat the even more pathetic Bills. The crazy oilman, of course, was dinged by the NFL for flipping off the sad-sack Buffalosers from his press box in Week 10 (See the amateur fan video below, also amusing for the guy off-camera angrily asking "Who's THAT??!" while others cheer the wildcatter's antics.)

Personally, though, I think this full-page color ad in the sports section of today's Buffalo News would offend me if I were a Bills fan. Also, what's with the "we" in "we wish the Bills and their fans good luck"? There's only one crazy old man who needs to apologize.

UPDATE (8:30 p.m.) Adams' good-luck wishes go in vain as the Bills lose to Jacksonville, 18-15. Rough time of it lately for Marshawn Lynch and...uh oh.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Allen Iverson ain't talkin 'bout a game...or playing one for the Grizzlies

Practice. Not a game, not a game, not a game...

The Allen Iverson experiment in Memphis is reportedly over. Apparently he was supposed to be the franchise player, and the Grizzlies were just talkin' 'bout practice. Not a game.

Ugh, just watch the video.

Yes, Chris Coghlan was the second-half MVP for my fantasy team, but he's no Tommy Hanson in REAL baseball

Baseball writers have short memories, apparently.

In the National League Rookie of the Year voting, announced Monday, the BBWAA crowned Marlins OF Chris Coghlan as the senior circuit's top rookie. The speedy 24-year-old narrowly beat out Phillies pitcher J.A. Happ, who finished second.

What the hell, baseball writers?

No offense to Coghlan, but the NL ROY race had a clear winner, and that was Braves standout Tommy Hanson (scroll down to see the praise I recently heaped on him). The 6'-6" righthander had a truly unstoppable 2009 campaign, racking up 11 wins despite not being called up until June. It's not his fault the Braves' impotent lineup (filled with old-timers like Chipper Jones, who I think was actually drafted by the Boston Braves) wasn't able to help the team catch up in the NL Wild Card race.

In my book, Hanson's 2.89 ERA is more impressive than Coghlan's admittedly sweet .321 batting average. Both were standouts, but that kind of performance from a rookie pitcher is far more rare than what Coghlan posted in his short season.

So what happened? Looks to me like the baseball writers are crowning a second-half rookie, not a full-season one. Coghlan was absolutely on fire after a slow start, hitting for a phenomenal .372 average and .966 OPS after the All-Star Break -- better than teammate Hanley Ramirez, for one. Happ posted numbers similar to Hanson's admittedly, but I doubt he would have beaten the electrifying Braves rookie if not for the Phillies' postseason run (even though Happ and his 5.68 ERA were Crapp out of the Phils bullpen).

Look out for Tommy to get one back at the baseball writers by winning the 2010 Cy Young.

Going for it on 4th-and-2 from your own 29 with a 6-point lead: Always a good decision

In case you haven't heard, the Patriots suffered an epic 35-34 loss to the Colts Sunday night. After blowing a 24-7 lead and letting the game get to 34-28, the Patriots found to their disappointment that there was still time left on the clock. Trying to gain a first-down and run out the clock, Bill Belichick (at left) made a gutsy call and went for it -- on the Patriots' own 29. It didn't work, and the Peyton-to-Wayne Train won the game with seconds left. Game over -- ouch.

But the real lesson here is not that Belichick is a bad coach -- or even made the wrong call. Coach B, who has stood by his decision, felt his defense wouldn't be able to stop the Colts if they kicked it away, given the significant amount of time left on the clock. The fact that the Colts scored after the turnover on downs probably supports this point.

Rather, what we know after Sunday night's game is that there are downsides -- even in late-game situations -- to being a pass-focused team. The Pats were unstoppable in the air all game, but facing a 4th-and-2 situation, couldn't convert. The big what-if question after last night is not what if Kevin Faulk hadn't bobbled the ball before being tackled, but what if the Patriots had taken DeAngelo Williams, Maurice Jones-Drew, or Joseph Addai instead of Laurence Maroney in the 2006 NFL draft.

(Pats fans can still rest easy knowing that the blue-and-whites are still a lock to win the pathetic potato-sack race that is this year's AFC East.)