Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tuesday A.M. Quickie: Jags No. 1?

Jags: NFL's Best 2-0 team? I was too premature yesterday asking who the best 2-0 team in the NFL is. After last night's shut-out, the answer is: The Jags. (The reasoning is coming later in the morning in its own separate post.)

Meanwhile, you all know I love a good superlative. How's this one:

MNF game.

Doesn't exactly spark the imagination, does it? (But I said this about the Auburn-LSU game, too: At least it was close at the end. It beats a blowout where one team lights it up and the game is over in the 1st half. Right? Or am I wrong about that?)

Dodgers top Padres in best-of-season thriller: If East Coast Bias didn't exist, the Dodgers' 11-10 win over the Padres in 10 innings -- featuring 4 consecutive HR by LA in the 9th and a Nomar game-winning 2-run HR in the 10th -- would be the MLB Game of the Year.

Commenters: Why don't fans seem to care about the NL West? Is it the time zone? Regional bias? The fact that the NL seems destined to lose the World Series?

Mets clinch NL East: Wow, remember the last time that a team besides the Braves won Atlanta's division? Since then: I graduated high school, graduated college, had about 8 jobs, moved in with someone (and moved out), got my MBA, became a columnist for ESPN.com (and then... not), met my wife, got married and had a kid. Among other things.

Commenters: What were YOU doing in 1990?

These Mets are a worthy, likeable champ, though. Tons of stars, lots of personality. A lineup that would fit right in in the AL. Now, you can gripe that they spent their way to a division title, but isn't that better than spending your way to NOT making the playoffs? (Ahem: Boston.)

AL Central Watch: ChiSox Done? After losing to the Tigers in what are becoming very close to "must-win" games (particularly when the Twins are idle), the defending champs are 4.5 GB the Twins for the Wild Card. Might just be too much ground to cover. Change is good?

Peter Gammons returns tomorrow. 'Nuff said. He and Ryan Howard will save baseball's finish from what feels like a complete eclipse by football since the month started.

Clarett to "Oz" for 3.5 years: We covered this yesterday. (If you missed it, here's the link.) Is he the best "jail-time" (hard-time division) football player ever?

Oklahoma pissed at the Pac-10: OU president calls officiating "outrageous injustice," then calls outrageous injustice "an understatement." Nothing like perspective from a university president. It's a football result, man, not an innocent man on Death Row.

Pac-10 apologizes to OU: Suspends officials (including the inept replay official) and says "Our bad" to Oklahoma and its fans. I'm sure that's no consolation.

(The Pac-10 commish should have said: "It ain't like you were going to the BCS title game anyway, so quit you're whining.")

The Pac-10 and BCS declined, however, to take the OU president up on his suggestion to strike the game's result from the record books, which instantly becomes the leading contender for Stupidest Idea of the Year.

(I'm not going to post it here, but buried within the comments...probably a dozen posts down the list, I tell one of my favorite stories about the lengths one goes to as a fan, in the context that even if the Okla-Ore calls were overturned, there's no GUARANTEE Okla would have won.)

USC pissed at Musberger: For apparently giving away an off-the-record "tell" by QB Booty. Well, why was the QB telling the broadcast team anything?

AP Top 25 Mistake: A voter from the Charlotte Observer turned in his ballot from the previous week, so in submitting a new one, BC gets the No. 20 spot to itself, breaking a tie with Arizona St. (now No. 21).

Here's an idea: If the voter takes such little care with his ballot, maybe fans shouldn't trust the media with such a big job. (Want to have your say? Check out my BlogPoll rankings and make suggestions.)

Update: At least the guy publishes his ballot every week in the paper. The AP should require every poll participant to do that AND collect them all in one place online for fans to compare and analyze them.

NFL Wrap: Clinton Portis is likely going to play in Week 3. Even Coach Janky Spanky can't help that offense... Nick Saban ripped Daunte Culpepper yesterday. Who had "Week 2" in the pool?... Kellen Winslow 2 says the Browns coaches are holding back the team's offense. As opposed to, say, the retarded development of its tight end... Morten Andersen called Tony Dungy about being Adam V's backup. Makes Brad Johnson look youthful.

Possibly of interest only to me: Just read that ESPN has started production on a TV mini-series version of the book "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning," about the 1977 Yankees. It's one of the best sports books of the last few years, and one of my favorite baseball books ever; I had a chance to hang out in June with the author, Jonathan Mahler, at my reading series event, in which he participated. I don't say that to drop the name, but to just say he's a great guy with a great book that I highly recommend.

Even more interesting are the casting choices: The lineup is kind of all-star. John Turturro as Billy Martin? (Awesome.) Oliver Platt as George Steinbrenner? (Remember: He was a relatively YOUNG Boss.) And Daniel Sunjata as Reggie Jackson. Sunjata is one of my favorite actors -- he plays "Franco" on "Rescue Me" and was the starring role in Broadway's "Take Me Out," the best play ever written about baseball.

-- D.S.


Dan Shanoff said...

Good call on both counts. I'm going to stop with the "My" stuff. But it's my first NFL team allegiance in 15 years: Can you chalk it up (and forgive it) as an error of enthusiasm?

Sheldiz said...

a) in 1990 i was 9 and getting my tonsils out. and contrary to what they say, it's not all ice cream and no school.

b) don't worry about the white sox,the twins have a tough series against the orioles this weekend.... i couldn't even type that without laughing. but, i'll be at saturday night's game at camden yards. ah, my good old orioles, nothing if not consistent.

Gary said...

Dan, I was thinking during the game last night that as an outside observer (no alliance with either team) I really dislike Joey Porter. Then I started thinking, who are the players that the fans hate most outside of your teams rivalry?

I came up with a quick list (TO excluded because it wouldn't be fair to the other competetors)

In no particular order:

Joey Porter
Warren Sapp
Jeremy Shockey
Randy Moss
Mike Vanderjact
Peyton Manning?
Eli Manning?

Any others I can't think of? I'm interested to see what people think...and remember, let your favorite team bias go out the window, I'm a Giants fan and I have two listed on there.

Christian Thoma said...

Re: The AP Voter. Hold on a second here. No one has ever attached the wrong file to an email? Give me a break. At least he's publishing his choices every week. For all we know, Coaches are screwing this up on a weekly basis but there's no transparency so we don't know. This is minor compared to everything else that's wrong with the poll system.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Shanoff...why is it the year's stupidest idea? Keep in mind I am not a fan of either Oklahoma or Oregon, but hear me out.

If the referees did not blow that call, Oklahoma WINS that game. There no question about it. It is not like this call was in the middle of the game and there is no way we would know the outcome. In this case WE DO! Oklahoma won that game, plain and simple.

That being said, you are right. Odds are that Oklahoma would not have made the championship game, but that is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that these are college athletes, not paid professionals (ok, you can laugh at that). It is unfair for Oklahoma to lose a game in that fashion and now, there really is nothing to play for.

Basically when you said that it is a dumb idea, in a way, it's not. Now I am not saying give the win to Oklahoma, just call it a draw. I do not think it is that far fetched of an idea. Once again, if that call is reversed (and it should have been) Oklahoma would have won.

Trent said...

I'm sorry, but the MNF game stunk. I know, "its an epic defensive battle." Yeah, just like FSU/Miami was a defensive struggle.

1990: Enjoying my junior year in high school.

Clarett isn't even close to the best jail-bird football player. Didn't Jim Brown do time for beating up a woman? Rae Carruth was at least in the NFL before his murder.

Christian Thoma said...

As for the bias against the NL West:
The majority of Americans are asleep before the games are over. As a result, the majority of Americans don't bother watching the NL West games. Therefore, we're less likely to talk about them than games which we've seen.

Christian Thoma said...


You can't guarantee an Oklahoma victory. Teams have screwed up kneel-downs before (there's a famous one that's eluding my memory right now).

Dan Shanoff said...

In 1996, Wisconsin blew a game (at home) to Northwestern when they handed off to Ron Dayne, rather than take the knee. Dayne fumbled, NU recovered and a quick TD from Steve Schnur to D'Wayne Bates later, the Cats had a W and were en route to a second straight Big Ten title.

Here's why that game sticks out in my mind, and thank you in advance for indulging this story:

I was living in Seattle, working for what was then ESPNet.SportsZone.com (remember that?).

I was in the office all day Saturday and Sunday and I desperately didn't want to know the score of the NU-Wisconsin game.

And so I managed -- in a sports-website newsroom, mind you -- to avoid seeing, hearing or having some jerko tell me the score. Not just all day and night Saturday, but all day and night Sunday, so that on Monday (my day off) I could watch the tape as if I was watching live.

Everyone kept saying, "You're going to freak out when you see it!" and I replied by covering my ears and going "Rain Man" on them until they stopped talking about it.

To my colleagues' credit, they respected my attempt. To this day, it remains one of my top accomplishments as a fan.

FreKy J said...

Shooter McGavin and the Jags do look like the best team in the NFL per the Standard of Superlatives. Those other teams? Please. They played two nights ago.

Christian Thoma said...

Dan, you realize that this is your blog right? We're indulging you everything just by being here. So enough with the intros and just TELL THE STORY.

Thank you.

That wasn't the one I was thinking of, though. There's another one where the actual kneeldown had a fumble.

Traever Guingrich said...

i have a 1974 dodge coronet for sale and i got a call from the makers of that movie saying they wanted to buy it to use as the cop car for the lead detective going after the son of sam (coronets were cop cars in the 70's). it just needs approval from the art director. true story. i doubt they'll wind up buying it but it was exciting for a day or two when i still had my hopes up.

Jingoist said...

Dan, as far as OU's outrage goes...

"It's a football result, man, not an innocent man on Death Row."

It might as well be Death Row and he's the innocent man. Those losses cost the OU president "support" from the alumni boosters. You think Larry Coaker has it bad? Imagine the OU alums calling your office saying that want to "just talk to you".

Christian Thoma said...

I would think the outrage would motivate the boosters. Maybe the President wants the story to keep going as a way to cover up the Bomar debacle and to shore up support for a long season ('Well, of course we lost to Texas, our whole season has gone downhill since the refs cost us the Oregon game')

Brien said...

Oooh ... a good set of things to respond to this morning ...

1) Dodgers-Padres ... WOW! Just finished reading the story on ESPN.com ... that's only happened four times EVER ... and three of those happened between 1961-1964!!

2) Jags best 2-0 team? Nope. Right now, it's the Chargers. Why? Because, even though they played two cupcakes, they whipped them both thoroughly ... which is exactly what fans want good teams to do.

If they had squeaked out two wins (a la Minnesota), folks would be whining that they should have done better. Well, they crushed two weak sisters ... and people then say, "well, they didn't play anybody". C'mon, haters ... ya can't have it both ways ...

3) OU and replay ... I agree with Dan that the OU president demanding that the game be stricken from the record books is, perhaps, the stupidest idea ever.

Not because it's all hyperbole, but because the demand was uttered by someone with a PhD ... someone who is responsible for teaching kids ... someone who should, in all probability, have known that such a statement was ridiculous on its merit.

I could see it coming from some Okie from Muskogee ... but not a university president.


FreKy J said...

University Presidents are only in it for the $$. He's complaining about the replay debacle only because it makes him look good to the boosters. It's all just saving face.

Aitch said...

DS, what/where did Saban say about Culpepper? I can't find anything about it online. any help?

Trey (formerly TF) said...

Dolphins fan 1st but growing up in Gainesville and Orlando I adopted the Jaguars as my "second team."

Their defense may be hands down the best in the NFL.

As for the OU situation. I remember the 2003 Florida/FSU game. They had three calls go against UF that were very similar and all three resulted in FSU TDs. It hurt but I couldn't blame it all on the refs. We didn't make a key 4th and 17 stop, and then gave up a 50 yard bomb to Chris Rix. That night Herbstreit called out the refs on College Gameday and said UF had won the game, but FSU got it cause the refs.

Point being ya it sucks OU, but you had a VERY makable FG and got it blocked. While it sucks the refs made those calls, you did have a chance to negate it.


Brien said...

What about the game that was cut short by the networks to run that movie - The Heidi Game??

The game you're referring to wasn't cut short. NBC cut away from the game to show the movie, "Heidi" ... and while they were showing the movie, viewers missed a Raider comeback in which they scored twice in the final couple of minutes to win the game.

It wasn't that they took time off the game clock ... they just never showed the end of the game.


Boomhauertjs said...

I think Winslow is right on the money and I'm glad someone on the team spoke up. Maurice Carthon's offense is mind-boggling. Ex. Week 1-On 3rd and short, he sends a rookie fullback on a sweep right instead of giving it to his 1200 yard back, not once, but twice. Then in Week 2, he takes out Winslow on 3rd down and replaces him with Josh Cribbs, a converted QB who's still learning the WR position. If you took a poll of Browns fans who have had to watch this offense under Carthon, I bet over 75% of them would agree with K2.

TBender said...

Nomar for MVP? Please. Pujols, Howard, Berkman, the Mets collective. I'm a GT guy, but Nomar at his best couldn't do what Pujols or Howard has done this year. (I think it should be Pujols, simply because of the RISP numbers. BTTFWIW, as I'm a Cards fan.)

1990 - Starting HS, cursing Whitey for quitting on the Cards.

As for OU-UO, the president needs to let it go. By the way, I thought in cross-conference games the visiting team brought their own refs?

MNF - A great game. Makes me want me to hang myself for having to watch the Texans every week.

Christian Thoma said...

Nomar would be a possible MVP candidate if he hadn't disappeared for most of the summer. However, a strong finish could catapult him into contention, especially if his early-season success is brought up.

But I'd have to think it's Pujols v Howard at this point.

Christian Thoma said...

Additional comments about Nomar: he was batting .224 in September before last night. Also, while his Batting Average places him in the top 10 of the league, his OPS is 21st. So even with a gangbuster finale to the season, Garciaparra will not be in the final discussion.

TJ said...

Way too hard on the AP voter Dan. I can imagine it's really easy to send the wrong list. At least he cared enough to have a right one, and make sure it got sent along and corrected. I would think you'd be praising the transparency here. And when I look at the BlogPoll thing, it doesnt really look all that different from the AP/Coaches Poll.

To anyone trying to compare last night's MNF game to FSU-Miami, stop. I really enjoyed the game, which felt a lot more like Auburn-LSU (a great defensive slugfest) than that debacle on Labor Day.

In 1990: I "graduated" from kindergarten. And now I'm in law school, where the book they most recommend you read before entering is "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." So I guess I've come full circle...

Brien said...

But I'd have to think it's Pujols v Howard at this point.

I agree, and it will come down, literally, to Howard's contribution toward the Phillies' final push toward the wild card.

He's been relatively silent of late, and struck out weakly on three sliders last night in the fourth inning with two men on and a chance to get the Phils from 8-6 down to 8-7, 8-8, or 9-8 with one swing of the bat.

I love Howard, but if he disappears, along with the Phillies' playoff hopes, then it's Pujols' MVP to take.

I would still argue that the big fella carried the Phils from well below .500 to a playoff race ... and that should count for something. If "most valuable" means "where would they be without him?" ... the Phils without Howard are nowhere near the playoff hunt. The Cards, however, would still be a division champ.


Mega said...

What happened to the White Sox?

As a Sox fan, I'll tell you:
-starting pitching underachieving
-bullpen with too many holes outside of macdougal/thornton/jenks
-Thome decided to take the 2nd half off
-Pods can't hit/get on base/steal
-terrible lineup management with Ozzie
-Joey Cora (3rd base coach) waving home guys like Konerko from first

Plus this team doesn't seem to have the "it" factor this year. While its still a very, very talented team, it just didn't all come together this season. Unfortunetly, last night's loss to Detroit was probably the nail in the coffin.

Shanoff- what are your early picks for World Series? Yankees versus Mets? Ugh, that would be terrible =)

Tony E said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jen said...

1990: I was starting my junior year in college...by far one of the best years of my life (on the "memorable, fun scale"). I have since had a handful of jobs, lived at 4-5 different addresses all within 15 minutes of each other, got married and had my son.

I am SO glad the Braves' streak is over! Ugh.

I think K2 has a legitimate bitch. The Fudgies need to loosen up and start doing something on offense. I almost refrained from putting my son in his little Browns' jersey Sunday.

Lack of interest in the NL West...yes, it's true. They play too late for us east coasters. I read the box scores from those games to see what Lofton and Vizquel are doing for their teams. Batting .300, stealing bases and wait!...making less $$ than Aaron Boone (at least Omar is)

I like when reigning champs lose, so I was glad to see the Jags shut out the Steelers.

Dan, you can use "my" all you want since it's your blog. You just won't see me saying "My Browns" or "My Indians"...I'm not owning up to THAT!!! haha

What are the requirements of the Prisoners team? Clarett only played one year of college football. I guess prisoners with any experience are allowed to play, right!?

Hox said...

1994 - I went to Space Camp on a 6th grade field trip.

Why do I mention 1994 instead of 1990? Look at the MLB win-loss records for 1994. It is obvious that Atlanta wouldn't have won their division that year, and Montreal (remember them?) would've taken the NL East instead. Fortunately for the Braves, the strike made that year unofficial, therefore keeping their division streak intact. In my mind, Atlanta won 11 straight division titles, not 15. Either way, it's impressive, though continually choking in the playoffs isn't.

Tony E said...

Dodgers game was amazing, I'll tell you this much, west coast fans are lazy and don't put enough input into things like the crazy east coast fans that can't stay up past 10pm.

In 1990, I was 8 years old, I am guessing I had a ton of those Starting Line Ups, baseball cards and Ninja Turtles. I was watching the A's get stomped by the Reds =(

As far as the Jags the top team in the NFL, yea right... The Bengals will prevail in Pittsburgh this week and then knock off the Pats at home in week 4, I look forward to your Carson for President title then.

Allen Wedge said...

shoot, in 1990 I was in 4th grade and was just becoming a fan of my hometown New Orleans Saints who made the playoffs at 8-8 behind QB John Forcade & the Saints young stud kicker Morton Anderson! Los Angeles had 2 football teams.

Since then: got 2 college degrees, got married, moved to Baton Rouge. In there I watched as the Saints fooled everyone by opening up a season 7-0 but still lost in the 1st round of the playoffs. and since '92 the saints have had 8 losing seasons, 3 at 8-8 and only 2 winning seasons, one of those (a 9-7) only got us 3rd in our division... but still a Saints fan.

Saints all-time record: 238-357
...just glad I wasn't around for the 1st half of it

Kurt said...

5 years old in 1990, that seems like centuries ago. That was back when the Red Sox had maybe 100 real fans, with 5 million more still 14 years away.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Hey Dan,
I suggest you read Tom Reed's article over at www.ohio.com about Winslow's comments. He pretty much sums up the feelings of the Browns fans.

TBender said...

Hox brings up a good point about '94. Atlanta streak is tainted! Somebody call Victor Conte for a quote!

Didn't Montreal have a 6 game lead too? I remember the entire AL West being sub-500 with the Rangers "leading" the division.

Unknown said...

The rise of NASCAR isn't really something to be proud about...turning left? ugh.

Anyways, Stoops is threatening to cancel the OU/Washington series unless the P10 changes its rules on officials.
The PAC-10 should extend the middle finger and laugh at Stoops.
The fact that OU is insinuating that P10 officials did things on purpose won't sit well with B12 officials. Being an official is like being in a private fraternity and Stoops is spitting all over a branch of that fraternity.
I would not be surprised to see a few more yellow flags go against OU at inopportune times.