Saturday, August 30, 2008

New Lease on Life

It's been rough for Chris Simms being one of the 7 QBs on the Tampa Bay Bucs roster, but after being released I expect this kid to be picked up rather quickly. There are several teams that could use Simms and the skill set that he brings to the table (HINT: Lovie Smith and the Bears, please go to this guys' house with contract in hand). I imagine that some teams will be bidding for his services, so we'll see what happens with this one. Hopefully they can find a Bears jersey that would fit him. I'm sure he could have Grossman's number.

Clue, Anyone?

It seems as though the Golden State Warriors didn't like the excuse that Monta Ellis gave them about how he injured his ankle. They are requesting an investigation into exactly what happened. I told you guys when I wrote the last piece about this, I hope he wasn't doing something stupid when he hurt himself. The Warriors would probably go after that money if they can.

Blip on the radar

Reports coming out are that Fred Taylor has been arrested outside of a night club, Club Cristal, in Florida and charged with disorderly conduct. Let's just hope this is a small blip and nothing big. Fred has always been a decent guy and not in too much trouble.

Friday, August 29, 2008

What's in a Name?

What's one thing that you have that defines you, let's people know who you are and where you come from? A name. With that in mind, we've seen over the years people changing their names or going to one name in order to draw attention to themselves: Cher, Prince, Ronaldo, Pele, and Nene just to mention a few. So now we can add to that list Chad 'Ocho Cinco'. According to reports, the artist formerly known as Chad Johnson has changed his name to Chad Ocho Cinco. This would allow him to wear Ocho Cinco on the back of his jersey without being fined for the incident that he and Carson Palmer pulled last year. I'm not sure how his momma took the news, but from a marketing standpoint (which sports is becoming more and more) this is brilliant. I can just see the #85 Bengals jersey's flying off the shelves now.

What do you guys think about this?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Drinking the Kool Aid

I think I wrote about this earlier, but now I'm obviously either food deprived or sleep deprived to see that SI has come out and picked,....(gulp), their projected Super Bowl loser, and it's,...(wow),....the Philadelphia Eagles. SI has them going 12-4 and losing to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl in Tampa, FL. What in hades are they thinking? Am I the only sane person left in cyberspace? I took a look at the roster, and don't get me wrong, McNabb I like (Chicago should have found a way to get him in the off season), I love Dawkins (one of the best players over the years for the Eagles) and they (on paper) have a better than average defense. The problem I see is on the other side of the ball. There are really only two questions:

1) How long can Westbrook hold up?
2) Who is McNabb going to throw the ball to?

The answers are as follows: 1- Hopefully all season, but he's been the rock for this team on offense for years, unfortunately something bad is bound to happen. 2 - I hope LJ Smith and often (my Fantasy Football TE), but it just can't be LJ all the time.

In the month of September I see them losing twice - Cowboys and Steelers
In the month of October I see them losing once - Redskins
In the month of November I see them losing three times - Giants, Seahawks, and pick between Bengals or Ravens
In the month of December I see them losing once - pick between the Browns, Redskins, or Cowboys.

That's 7 loses right there. Is this team that much better than a 9-7 record? Maybe it's just me, but I don't see them making it to the Super Bowl this year unless they get a group rate and book tickets now. Am I crazy?!?!?

New Destination for Gordon?

With Ben Gordon and the Bulls at an impasse of what his long term value to the franchise is, there have been several rumors floating around. Gordon has said that he won't sign the one year tender offer (approximately $6M) from the Bulls and would prefer to play overseas, preferably getting one of those Josh Childress deals. Gordon feels that he should be paid in line with his fellow teammate, Luol Deng ($80M range) by using the argument that he has been the leading scorer on the Bulls over the past three years and he should be compensated for that. Now we have an article in the Salt Lake Tribune discussing the option of a trade with the Utah Jazz. I'm not sure that the Jazz could pull this off. I mean the only two players the Bulls could want from them are Boozer AND Deron Williams. Deron just re-upped and Boozer is probably off limits. The only other piece that may intrigue Bulls fans is Andrei Kirilenko. A possible Kirilenko and Ronnie Brewer for Gordon and some change? Not sure that I'd do that. What do you think the Bulls should do with Ben Gordon?

Ellis Injury Follow Up

Talk about letting things play out. Chris Mullin is in Chicago today to do a workout with ex-Clipper Shaun Livingston. Livingston has been working out at A.T.T.A.C.K Athletics trying to get in/stay in shape so that he can find a job this fall. With the recent injury to Monta Ellis, the Warriors are a little thin (can you be thin with Marcus Williams as your point guard) at point guard. Maybe this is the opportunity that Livingston needs to show that he can still play basketball at a high level.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another Hurt Athlete

After receiving a 6 year $66M deal in the summer, Monta Ellis has injured his ankle and will be out of commission for 3 to 4 months. Ellis told the Warriors that he injured himself while working out in Jackson (Mississippi) and surgery will be needed to repair a torn deltoid ligament and then immobilized in a boot for the first six weeks. Talk about concern in Golden State? They just gave this guy the richest pay raise in the NBA (or at least one of the richest) and he isn't going to be ready for training camp or the beginning of the NBA season. Details of the injury will probably come out soon. I sure hope he wasn't doing anything stupid.

Self Control

Shawne Merriman has just informed the San Diego Chargers that he will NOT have surgery and will play this year. This guy has 4 ligaments in his knee (just like the rest of us) but 2 of those are gone. Can someone tie this guy down and make him think about his career?!?!? He is going to roll the dice just for one season?!?!?!? This is bad news. It's great to play hurt, but play smart. I hope his condition doesn't get worse. He's got a lot of guys that are going to target that knee this year. The Chargers have been a class organization, someone should tell this guy that he needs to get the surgery and get ready for 2009. We all know his contract is up at the end of 2009 and this is going to get dicey unless he's already got a deal on the table (under the table) with the Chargers.

Just so you understand, Merriman has a torn LCL and a torn PCL. I've included the picture below for your consumption.

NFL Round Up

Kyle Boller, better known as the reason Brian Billick was fired as head coach of the Ravens, is injured and the initial results from tests aren't looking good. Boller is having his shoulder examined because he is having trouble lifting it above his head. He's awaiting a second opinion. This is starting to signal the beginning of the Joe Flacco era in Baltimore. With Boller and Troy Smith out of the picture (due to an illness of sorts), Flacco looks to be your day 1 starter and the only healthy option at QB. What is going on in Baltimore? Is this the Billick curse or something? They haven't had a QB (I'm taking Steve McNair out of this equation) since they had game manager Trent Dilfer. You can't tell me that out of all the drafts that they have had since winning the Superbowl in 2000, that they weren't able to get a live body at QB for 8 years?!?!?! Things are not looking good in B-more, but with a stingy defense, let's see if Joe Flacco can win some games there. Maybe he is the Billick curse breaker.

Parked Cadillac - Carnell 'Cadillac' Williams has been put on the PUP list. This will keep him on the roster but out of the first 6 games. After those 6 games he'll have a 3 week window to 'make' the team or he'll be done for the year. You have to root for this guy because of the injury that he had last year (torn patella tendon) and the fact that doctors have told him that he won't be back at full speed ever again. So for a Fantasy Football Alert, don't draft the Caddy because it's still parked and will be for a while.

No More Years - Michael Strahan has decided to stay retired instead of taking about $8M to come back and play for the Giants. I guess you can insert all of your Brett Favre jokes here, but Strahan wants to enjoy living in LA and being a sports commentator (much easier on your body during the football season). He'll make close to $2M for his gig on TV and personal appearance money, so we won't vote him off the island for not helping his former team by coming back.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fantasy Football Draft

Well, it went down last night at 6:30pm CST. Our Fantasy Football draft, which for me was ruined with a work conference call, but nevertheless, it was fun. We have 12 teams in our league and the competition is fierce. The winner each year gets his name on the plaque and holds the plaque for a year until it's relinquished. I've had my name on the plaque just once, but I feel that this year could change that. Here's my team (not listed in order):

Carson Palmer, Vince Young, Terrell Owens, Roy Williams, Lee Evans, Marshawn Lynch, Thomas Jones, Rashard Mendenhall, LJ Smith, Ronald Curry, Santana Moss, Devery Henderson, Ahman Green, Jeff Reed, Redskins DEF, and Jets DEF.

Each week we play the following lineups: QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, TE, K, DEF. Since we have 12 people the later rounds are by far the most interesting. You get to see who has done their homework and who hasn't. I think my team is pretty good, although lacking in the TE and all of my hopes are riding on Carson Palmer playing somewhat well.

Each week, I'll post the results from my game and I'll also list the matchups. Who knows, maybe you guys can make some suggestions to help me get some wins.

English Please!!!!

Se Ri Pak, right, and Sun Young Yoo

The LPGA has notified their members that players who don't speak English will have their memberships suspended until they comply with the rules. For all players who have been on tour for 2 years, they will have to pass an oral examination or face the suspension. Wow!! Never thought I'd hear this kind of rhetoric out of anyone since Geno's Steaks in Philadelphia fought and won for his sign that says 'This is America, when ordering please speak English'. At first I thought there'd be a big backlash since a lot of the phenoms in women's golf have mostly, as of late, been from South Korea, but mostly the women have fallen in line. The only negative feedback is that golfers should be fined instead of suspended, and this is coming from a Korean born player in Se Ri Pak. The examination will cover 'golfspeak', everyday conversation, and be able to give acceptance speeches without the aid of a translator. The loss of sponsors is part of the reason behind this. Someone at MLB and the various Boxing Federations are looking at this with disgust. Could you imagine this being implemented in either of those sports? I think that's when you'd get the cries of racism. How is this going to work? Your thoughts.

Trail Blazed

Sad Note: Kevin Duckworth of the Portland Trail Blazers fame is dead at the young age of 44.

From our friends at

Kevin Duckworth, a two-time NBA All-Star who spent the majority of his 12 NBA seasons as the Portland Trail Blazers' center, has died. He was 44.

Duckworth died Monday in Kernville, Ore., near the coastal town of Lincoln City. His death was confirmed by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office. Duckworth was in town as part of a Trail Blazers group hosting a free kids basketball clinic, Fox 12 reported on its Web site.

The cause of his death was not released Tuesday morning.

The 7-foot Duckworth started at center when the Trail Blazers won Western Conference titles in 1990 and '92. He played in the NBA All-Star Game in 1989 and '91.

NBA Tidbits

There is speculation that Karl Malone may come back to the Utah Jazz. No, not to finally get a ring, but to come in as an assistant coach to mentor some of the youngins. But many of us have seen Karl over the years and he's not one for the limelight, which this type of job would entail. Plus, Karl has a few skeletons in his closet that I'm sure he doesn't want brought back up in the public eye.
Phoenix Suns send DJ Strawberry to the Rockets for Sean Singletary. The Suns need a backup point guard and I think that Singletary can give them some minutes behind Nash. He's small, fast, and he can probably score in that uptempo race that they have in Phoenix. I think he'll be a detriment on D because of size, so if the second unit runs the floor, the kid will be good. Strawberry gives the Rockets an extra mid size forward. Not sure if he'll even get a uniform. They're both ACC products, so I have to root for them.
Darius Miles has a make good contract with the Boston Celtics. Outside of the ban that he'll have to face at the beginning of the season, I hope the kid has grown up and has enough health to play. I'm not sure how well he fits with the Celtics, other than providing some kind of scoring punch off the bench. He's never been known as a defensive specialist and a person with bad knees doesn't all of a sudden decide to bend them to get into a defensive stance. We'll see how this one turns out. There are already conspiracy theorists out there.
The Grizzlies are thinking about acquiring Zach Randolph from the New York Knicks. They are only willing to part with Darko and some change. There's a question about whether Randolph fits their needs and wants? I mean if you want a big man who only loves the left block, that can give you 20 and 10 a night, that won't play defense, but is young enough to change, and all for a measly $13M - $15M a year, then get Randolph. I'd probably do it if I only have to give up Darko and 3 ham sandwiches. The Grizzlies are also thinking about sending a point guard to Portland for Travis Outlaw.
Fresh off of getting his Gold medal with Team USA, Kobe Bryant is figuring out when he should get that troublesome pinkie operated on. Kobe, it's just me, but the sooner the better, right?!?!
And finally, straight out of the 'I could understand how you feel, man' file. Stephen Jackson has put the Warriors on notice that he wants to get paid. Since everyone else on the team has been paid, Jax feels that based on what he brings to the team that he shouldn't go into next season being only the 5th highest paid player on the team. We know that an unhappy Jax is not a good Jax. Chris Mullin, open your wallet again.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

It's been a busy weekend in the sports realm. Will take a look what's happened.

The Good:
Team USA (both women and men) win the Gold, the women by a blowout and the men by a closer margin. Isn't this where USA Basketball should be? I mean didn't we create this sport? How can we not be the best in it?
Matt Ryan will start the season as the Atlanta Falcons starting QB. Did anyone doubt this when they drafted him. He's the Falcons only hope from an offensive standpoint. I think he's actually going to be decent for the Falcons this year. We'll see. Good luck Matt.

The Bad:
After a terrible performance (4-12 for 24 yards, 3 ints), Matt Leinart will start this year on the bench for the Cardinals. That is really going to suck, from a fantasy standpoint and probably for Leinart too. Leinart should be able to beat out a 60 year old Kurt Warner, but he can at least take solace that he'll be playing after any missed blitz pickup.
Carson Palmer gets a broken nose during an exhibition game. I doubt that he'll even miss any time, he's a gamer. He may end up being my fantasy QB this year.

The Ugly:
Osi Umenyiora and Jason Taylor both go down. Umenyiora out for the season with a torn MCL. Talk about a big loss. I mean this guy is one of the best DE in the game. He's young, fast, and strong. Add him and Justin Tuck and the Giants were going to be as formidable a tandem as you might have in the NFL. Paging Michael Strahan,....this is the Giants calling. We need you. Jason Taylor goes down and just sprains his knee, and he'll be out for about 2 weeks. Umenyiora's loss takes the Giants from contenders to not so contenders. Also add to the fact that Antonio Pierce isn't getting his money, and the Giants D, doesn't look as good.

Shawne Merriman has two torn ligaments in his knee and he still wants to pay. Shawne, get the surgeryand sit out the year. You will be doing what's best for you. Screw the Chargers, you're a piece of meat to them. If you play on that knee and mess up your long term productivity, they'll make you a salary cap casualty at any point. That's the life of an NFL player, Not For Long. The Chargers are a deep team and they maybe able to win it all, (gasp) without you.
Drew Carter (4th ACL injury) and Oren O'Neal of the Raiders both went down for the year against the Cardinals. The Raiders backup wide receivers have a total of 7 catches so I'm pretty sure Joe Horn won't be without work for long.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Which One of These Is Not Like The Others?

Now unless you're R. Kelly, I think it's safe to assume which one girl in this picture is 16 years of age or older. The International Olympic Committee is now asking that this be further investigated since it seems that a hacker has uncovered the fact that these Chinese gymnasts are not (gasp) 16. 5 out of the 6 girls on the Chinese team have passports that say that they are 16. Who in their right mind thinks that the 'truth' is going to come out of this? This is China we're talking about. Haven't we already had a milli vanilli moment, fake fireworks, the banning of native Tibetans working in Shanghai during the Olympics, and violated their pledge for open media access. A Canadian gymnastics coach has been quoted as saying 'I can't go to the Canadian government and get them to give me a passport' for an athlete. Oh Canada!!! How gullible do you have to be? To me, these girls look lucky to be 12 and I'm a grown man. I know in gymnastics it's all about flexibility, but I don't know what's worse for the American gymnasts, losing to a strong Chinese team or losing to a 12 year old. I guess in the end we'll see what happens, if these girls are found to be underage, the US gymnasts have a lot to gain, like some gold medals. I doubt the Chinese government is going to allow this to happen.

NFL Round Up

St. Louis finally got the memo and decided that they need to do a deal for Steven Jackson. Jackson will report to camp with the agreement that a deal will get done in the near future. The loud sigh that you heard was Marc Bulger, because without Jackson, the Rams offense would have been pathetic. They already have a shaky O line and people would just be waiting to tee off on Bulger. At least now they have to worry about that big guy back there running over them.
'Lights Out' Shawne Merriman is getting his sore knee re-examined by Dr. James Andrews who performed surgery to repair torn cartilage in the knee approximately 5 months ago. Merriman has been limited in practices. Chargers fans, be concerned, very concerned. This is supposedly the year that the Chargers get past the injury bug, the bad luck, and get to the Superbowl and win it. Merriman will be a big part of that, you better hope he's healthy. Side Note: Antonio Gates was removed from the PUP (physically unable to perform) list and cleared for practice after passing a physical yesterday.
Eagles wide out, Kevin Curtis is out for some time to have hernia surgery. What exactly is this? For those that don't know (like me) take a look here. This is going to hurt the Eagles because they have no one at the wide receiver spot. I mean since TO left, I could grab 3 guys out of my office and make the Eagles WR corps. Why can't Andy Reid call Arizona and find out what it'll take to get Anquan Boldin. I mean the Eagles have a good extra DB that the Cards could use. Can't we make a deal??
James Farrior signs a 5 year $18M extension with the Steelers. This was a no brainer. When you think of Steelers linebackers over the past 3 to 5 years, Farrior and Joey Porter come to mind. They didn't pay Porter and he left for that hell hole that is Miami, but the Steelers keep Farrior with a decent deal. Look for the Steelers linebackers to continue teeing off on folks in the league.

Hall of Famer Gone; Gene Upshaw passes away

NEW YORK (AP) - Gene Upshaw, the Hall of Fame guard who as union head helped get NFL players free agency and the riches that came with it, has died. He was 63. Upshaw's death was announced by the NFL Players Association, which he headed for a quarter century.A statement on the NFLPA website read: "We are deeply saddened and shocked by the sudden and unexpected death of our leader, Gene Upshaw. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Terri, and their three sons Eugene, Justin and Daniel. Gene learned he was sick just this past Sunday and he died with his family at his side. We ask that the media respect our need to begin the process of dealing with this unexpected tragedy and to begin the grieving process."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also released a statement: "Gene Upshaw did everything with great dignity, pride, and conviction. He was the rare individual who earned his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame both for his accomplishments on the field and for his leadership of the players off the field. He fought hard for the players and always kept his focus on what was best for the game. His leadership played a crucial role in taking the NFL and its players to new heights. Gene's tremendous love of the game also showed in his wide-ranging support of football at all levels. It is a sad day for the NFL, but Gene's positive impact and legacy will live on for decades to come. All of us in the NFL reach out with our sympathy to Terri and the Upshaw family."
His outstanding 15-season playing career was entirely with the Oakland Raiders and included two Super Bowl wins and seven Pro Bowl appearances. Upshaw's biography was posted on the front page of the Hall of Fame Web site Thursday along with his enshrinement speech from 1987.
Jay Glazer of FOXSports reports that the NFLPA has called an emergency meeting today.
In 1983, he became executive director of the players' association and guided it through the 1987 strike that led to replacement football. By 1989, the players had a limited form of freedom, called Plan B, and in 1993, free agency and a salary cap were instituted.
Since then, the players have prospered so much that NFL owners recently opted out of the latest labor contract, which was negotiated two years ago by Upshaw and then-commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

(from the AP, not me)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Not Just Yet

Don't get rid of those Chris Henry #15 Cincinnati Bengals jerseys just yet. It looks as though the Bengals are going to give Henry another chance. What an organization? (Yeah right). I guess they were too quick to cut the kid earlier this year after his 5th arrest in 3 years. The charges were dropped, but the NFL still suspended him 4 games. So, with the injuries to both TJ Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson, why not go out and get a guy who knows the system? This guy has all of the talent in the world, if he could only keep the off the field stuff in check. Somewhere, Cedric Benson is smiling, waiting for his second chance.

And the Winner Is,.....

The Bears have chosen their starting QB, and the winner is.........Kyle Orton. Something that I had hoped and predicted would happen. I don't think that this is a bad decision. Grossman has shown us that he is consistently inconsistent. He may have some good games, but they are just, good. His bad games are horriawful. I mean not being able to get the ball from the center and throwing picks like Neil O'Donnell was throwing to Larry Brown in Super Bowl XXX. One of my guys, who happens to be a Bears fan, told me that Grossman led his team to the Super Bowl. My response to that is that Grossman was on the bus, but he definitely wasn't driving nor was he giving directions. He was sitting somewhere on the bus near the broken bathroom.
Orton may not 'wow' you with his big arm or ability to put the ball in a tight space (he has never thrown for more than 200 yards in a game since 2005), but he won't lose you games. He can manage a game and every now and then take a shot. Let's all agree that the Bears offensive line isn't a strong point of this team. They have a decent defense and a better than average special team, so now they are at a point where they have to have a QB not lose games. The Bears better hope that their defense returns to the top of the league where they were a few years ago, otherwise I could play QB for them and they still won't do anything. Good luck Kyle, I'm rooting for you.

Fantasy Football Draft Coming Soon

Well, pre-season football is at it again. Guys going down with injuries that will damage your fantasy football draft*. So far, the injuries are minimal because nothing serious has happened, yet.

*Yes, I play fantasy football and we are getting ready for our draft in the next week or so. I have to get ready because I need to make sure that I win this year. I want my name back on the plaque. We have 12 teams in our league and it is normally very competetive. I'll post my roster here after my fantasy draft.

Chad Johnson - falls awkwardly on his arm (forearm basically holding all of his weight) and gets injured last night. Reports are that his shoulder popped out of socket and right back in. Some may say that this isn't a big deal, but from personal experience, it does hurt. The biggest issue is that it can happen a little more easily the next time. You can't draft a guy high (2nd or 3rd round) who's already dinged up. With TJ Houshmandzadeh out with a sore hammy, Cincy has a lot at stake with their injured wide receivers.

Tarvaris Jackson - sprains his MCL during a routine play. Not so much that Tarvaris will be off the board anytime before the end of the draft, but Minny has to have a QB that can at least breathe so that they can give Peterson a little room. When your backup QBs have the following names - Gus Frerotte (known for injuring himself via a head butt to a wall), John David Booty (he's odd for having to go by all three of his names), and Brooks Bollinger (is he still in the league?) having Tarvaris hurt could spell doom.

Deuce McAllister - The Deuce is lose once again, but do you draft this guy? I don't think that Reggie Bush can carry the load by himself, but this is Deuce's 2nd re-constructive knee operation in the past 3 years. He's got to have a strong mental mindset if he is going to make it back from this. Shockey is going to be a beast with this team, because Brees will love finding the big guy across the middle or down the seam.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Getting Back in the Saddle

Wow,....been gone for 3 days, this 'work' thing gets in the way sometimes. Well, since I've been gone a lot has happened. Let's take a look:
Winning in Beijing - As I mentioned previously I wasn't going to say much about the Olympics, but after being in a hotel for the past few days with only local channels on the TV (hey I got free breakfasts out of the deal, isn't that special) I actually watched the Olympics. I saw the USA Women's gymnastics team losing to the team from China (a group of 7 year olds) and I saw Michael Phelps. If you remember my previous post I didn't put him in there as someone that I wished well to. Not that I'm jealous, but it's not that exciting. But, to watch this guy dominate race after race and not seem to be winded (swimming in two separate races withing an hour of each) is quite amazing. He has set 6 world records (well his team helped him also) in winning his 6 gold medals. Can't really put this in perspective. The only way to think about it is that he's in China with the best in his sport and his killing them.
Cavs Blockbuster - Well LeBron wanted a point guard and LeBron gets what he wants. The Cavs trade and pick up Mo Williams from the Bucks. They lose Joe Smith (still a viable low post scorer in someones second unit) and Damon Jones (nothing but talk and brightly colored suits). This deal is going to help the Cavs a lot. Williams can break people down and get to the hole, but he is also a good 'point' guard. He'll get others involved and allow James to just have to finish instead of carrying the whole load. If they aren't already, Delonte West, pack your bags.
76ers - Finally get Andre Iguodala to sign on the dotted line. 6 years and $80M will do that for you. This is a deal that had to get done, don't know if he's worth it, but hey, make your money. The Sixers should be in the top 4 or 5 in the East this year. Dangerous team.

Team USA Basketball - A decisive win over Greece and the boys are almost there. They aren't hitting the 3 with regularity and the bogs aren't scoring a lot, but the US seems on their way to getting the gold back where it belongs.

Monday, August 11, 2008

NFL Wrap Ups

To note how worthless pre-season footbal games are again, the Steelers have been the first casualty of having a major cog go down. Charlie Batch breaks his collarbone last week in a game against the Eagles and the Steelers go out and get Byron Leftwich. He's at least a live arm and can be serviceable if his ankle is all the way healed. Good pickup at the NFL minimum for a veteran of his service (around $600K). The Steelers also signed punter Mitch Berger to replace Daniel Sepulveda who tore his ACL and is out for the season.

The Contract Holdout curse - it always happens. A guy misses camp or some parts of the season over a contract and then when they finally get it, bam, they get hurt. Bobby Engram will miss 6-8 weeks from a cracked shoulder. He was the leading receiver for the team last year but missed all of the off season workouts over a contract dispute. Why don't teams use this as leverage when negotiating? 'You know if you're not in camp, something bad is going to happen to you, better take this deal, now!'

Talk about karma - Steve Smith, of Panthers fame, is held out of practice after getting a concussion during the Indianapolis game. (Just in: There's a paper trail that links Ken Lucas to paying for a hit against Smith). That was just a joke, but I imagine that one of Lucas' friends was like,...yeah, 'that's for hitting my boy!!'

Another shifty ankle - Plexiglass, ummm, I mean Plaxico Burress won't practice anymore until his right ankle is healed. I'll bet you when his agent gets that new contract, his ankle will be feeling just fine.

An addition to Stupid Athlete Tricks - Matt Jones pleads 'not guilty' to possession of cocaine charges. This dude was caught cutting up coke in his truck with his boys, using his credit card. His father was on record saying that the cocaine was in 'close proximity to Matt' but it wasn't his. Hasn't that happened to you? I mean hey, when the police bust in through the door, you can now just say 'officer, that (insert drug here) was only in close proximity to me. I wasn't using it and they were using my credit card to cut it only because none of them have a credit card'. We'll stay tuned to see how bogus our 'Just Us' (Justice) system really is. Jones faces up to 10 years in the pen and a $10K fine.

Always a Bridesmaid

Bloomfield Township - MI - Why not just hand out the 'Sorry Charlies' to these guys before the tournament even started. Again, we have a PGA Championship Title sans Tiger and none, let me repeat NONE of the big boys stepped up to make a case for themselves (except for one, Pedraig Harrington). This is the time guys, Tiger is at home recuperating and playing daddy and you have the opportunity to win a few majors while he's gone. This would help cement your reputation as winners, 'one of the best', or whatever other title you're looking to get. The two biggest culprits that didn't stand up, yet again, are Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson. (Shaking my head as I write this,..) I picked Sergio to finally come off the schnide and get a major. He was playing well and put a big scare into everyone on the final day, but to no avail, 2nd place. Phil Mickelson stayed withing striking distance until the final day and just trailed off to a +4 for the Championship. At least Phil has won before and under some mighty bright lights, but is Garcia snake bitten? Is this as good as it gets for him? Yes, he's a late 20's guy with a lot of money, he's decent looking, probably has the homes, the cars, but not the jewelry that counts, a major trophy. When does he finally put it all together? I'm not sure, but I do know that he'll never get any ink from me again, no, no more rooting for this guy to win. Phil, I have a healthy amount of dislike against, but now I'm just feeling plain sorry for Sergio.

Pour A Little Out for these guys

On a sad note, I have to take a moment to say R.I.P. to both Bernie Mac and Issac Hayes. Two guys who have excelled in their careers, one a great comedian and the other a great musician/composer/artist.

(Moment of Silence)..............................