Saturday, August 06, 2011

08/06 (Very) Quickie

*Pro Football Hall of Fame induction: I went through a period in the mid- to late-90s where I really didn't like the NFL.

The story that won me back? The first year of the "Greatest Show on Turf" Rams, featuring Kurt Warner -- the greatest individual story in NFL history -- and Marshall Faulk.

Faulk was such a good fit with Martz's system, it's hard to think of a better fit in NFL history (OK: Montana and Walsh's West Coast Offense). I don't mean to suggest Faulk was a "system" RB -- simply that it maximized his extraordinary talents.

*Prime Time... Prime Time... Prime Time...: No greater showman in NFL history. And, by the way, one of the Top 5 most brilliant athletes that ever played football.

*Now loving the Phillies/Giants rivalry. (Way more interesting than the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry.)

*Yankees beat Sox, now in 1st: I live in New York, and still I'm left wondering: How did that happen?

*Tim Tebow issues clarification: Mainly because of the standard overreaction to anything Tebow.

*Tiger: I think most people were waiting to see how he'd do in the third round of his comeback. It's one thing to play well on Thursday or even Friday. Let's see how things go today.

*I grew up a massive Bears fan; I'm very happy for Richard Dent.

-- D.S.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

08/04 (TeBron) Quickie

Standard caveat about Tim Tebow coverage...

We can have a reasonable debate about the "Should Tim Tebow or Kyle Orton start for the Broncos?" The latest conventional wisdom: Orton will be QB1 to start the season; inevitably, the Broncos will fall out of playoff contention, at which point Tebow will get his reps.

Orton is the more polished QB now; Tebow needs the reps to move up the learning curve, if only so the Broncos can evaluate whether he is their answer long-term at QB. (I think he can be, but that's actually not the point.)

Then Merril Hoge had to step in with inflammatory Tweets yesterday morning: "Sitting watching tape off bronco offense from last year! Orton or Tebow? It's embarrassing to think the broncos could win with tebow!!" He went on TV and said much of the same thing.

Now, Tebow commands massive -- massive -- fan and media interest. Hoge saying the same thing about, say, Chad Henne simply wouldn't get remotely the same traction. I call it the "It's Tim Tebow" phenomenon, and it has consistently proved that Tebow topics, big or mundane, ALWAYS become a big deal.

I suspect that some of Hoge's trolling was because he wanted the attention that comes with ripping Tebow -- there are lots of fans out there that support Tebow no matter what and flinch at any criticism; Hoge is undoubtedly in the "if they're ripping me, they're talking about me" school. (I'm sure other folks agree with him, by the way.)

Last night, Tebow tweeted out: "Hey Merril...... 'ppreciate that" -- now, you have to understand that Tebow doesn't traffic in sarcasm or snark. Like, at all. These are moments that Tebow-watchers consider rarities (see his taunting penalty in the 2008 national title game). It was kind of fascinating.

Even that engagement would have moved the story into today. But then things got weirder: LeBron weighed in, via Twitter: "Listened to Merril Hoge today on SC and he was just blasting Tebow. The man hasn't even play a full season and its only his 2nd year in. Guys get on that TV and act like they was all WORLD when they played. How bout encouraging him and wishing him the best instead of hating!!"

LeBron's participation almost assuredly means the story goes a bit nuclear today (even if it isn't much of a story); it is the No. 2 headline on

Tebow stories are big enough on their own; LeBron stories are big enough on their own.

Combining them? Just prepare yourself.

More on the radar today:

*Tiger tees off at 1:40 today at the WGC: I never thought I'd say this -- it's a must-follow, if only for the "train-wreck" factor (if Tiger plays well, all the more interesting).

*A-Rod and the poker thing: It's not the poker -- athletes gamble constantly. It's the association with unsavory characters around the gambling scene. (SportsGrid's Tim Burke made a similar point.)

*The NFL "league year" starts at 4 today: Formality.

*CFB: The top QB recruit committed to Florida State. Damn, Jimbo Fisher is crushing it. I'll dig into this later this month, but Oklahoma-Florida State in mid-September is a de facto national championship qualifier, with the winner having an inside track. It's going to be the official coronation of the Fisher Era at FSU when the Noles run OU off the field.

*RIP Bubba Smith: "Police Academy," yes, but his Miller Lite ad is a classic.

More on Quickish all day

-- D.S.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

08/03 (More Durant) Quickie

I can't help it: I'm obsessed with the bootleg videos of Kevin Durant schooling folks in New York City this week. Two nights ago it was Rucker Park. Last night, it was another Pro-Am.

I'm no fan of baseball's "code": That Tony LaRussa was more interested in throwing at Ryan Braun (twice!) with the game still in the balance than actually winning was absurd. I don't think the Brewers meant to throw at Pujols' wrist; the Cards very much meant to throw at Braun -- twice.

Name to Know: Paul Goldschmidt, the D'backs rookie vaulted from AA to starting 1B, who hit his first career HR last night (off Tim Lincecum, no less) to help Arizona pull even with the Giants.

Eagles sign Ronnie Brown? Why not?! I'm no Eagles fan -- alas, I remain team-less as it relates to the NFL (except for rooting for ol' what's-his-name in Denver) -- but I love the talent stockpile; it makes them the most interesting NFL team in years, if only for the layers and layers of storylines they include.

This week in facial hair: Tiger's little chin-hair thing looks ridiculous. And I'm pro-facial hair almost always. In this case, though, it just looks like he's trying too hard.

Keep up with Quickish today!

-- D.S.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Classic Quickie: Moss Moons

In honor of the retirement of Randy Moss, from the Daily Quickie, January 10, 2005:

Two Words For You:

Call it "Wardrobe Function." Moss' "Moon" move to celebrate his game-clinching TD catch in the 4th quarter was more than crass; it was the boldest celebratory gesture of the season (take that, T.O.).

Ugly? Hardly: It was awesome!

More important, it was catharsis for a team given no chance to stumble into Lambeau and glide out with the biggest upset of wild-card weekend.

He didn't just turn a cheek at the Packers' end-zone fans. His move was for the haters in the media, the doubters in Minnesota and the fans of top-seed Philly, suddenly a little more nervous.

Sure, he'll be fined and undoubtedly excoriated everywhere in the media -- except here. (Hey, it's not like he actually dropped his drawers.)

Here's the NFL's dirty secret: If you make plays, you can do what you want. And Moss delivered a TD. And another. And, as a bonus, the most telegenic hair in football.

There's a new rallying cry for the Vikings:

'Fro the ball to Randy!


You have to remember that the very next morning after the mooning, the conventional wisdom in the media was squarely behind Joe Buck's "disgust," when -- in reality -- the vast majority of fans were much closer to where I was coming from: It was hilarious (and even more devastating in that he earned it with how well he played). Over time, the "hilarious" camp won out and the "disgusting" line became arguably the defining moment of Buck's career (and not in a good way).

08/01 (August Already?) Quickie

Let's be clear: The NFL's condensed sprint for player moves was the best version of the NFL offseason (not the Draft, just the free-agency stuff) in the history of the league.

The "offseason champs" are, clearly, the Eagles: Nnamdi Asumugha was merely the capper to what was, overall, a spectacular haul of incoming talent.

(Again, it's unclear they have done enough to unseat the Packers as the ultimate Super Bowl favorites, but they will certainly make the season more interesting, especially if they keep calling themselves a "dream team" and comparing themselves to the Heat.)

Good inside scoop on the Asumugha deal in Peter King's MMQB column today, but there's another note tucked in the column:

ESPN is launching a new stat to replace the traditional (and mystifying) "QB Rating" called "Totall Quarterback Rating" that will be fascinating to see -- QB Rating was desperate for a refresh, and I love the idea of something new with a big platform to get fans to buy into.

MLB Trade Deadline: There seems to be a consensus of two big winners -- the Rangers added two top-flight middle relievers who will become lights-out if the Rangers take a lead past the 6th inning in the playoffs (which is the only reason to make these moves, right?) And the Braves didn't have to overpay to get a huge upgrade at CF in Michael Bourn, who gets huge thumbs-up from the more analytical folks out there. (Far more than Pence gets for the Phillies.)

The Yankees stood pat: This appears to be a problem. That said, unclear how many folks actually think the Yankees can win the AL pennant anyway. The Red Sox got Erik Bedard, and -- not unlike the Patriots -- you totally expect him to start dominating with his new team (even if his recent history shows that to be a sketchy thesis).

Tons more on Quickish today. Give it a look! (This weekend, we crossed 10,000 tips since launching in January. Fun milestone.)

-- D.S.