Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Baseball’s Steroids Era

Posted by Ryan on December 13, 2007

On March 30, 2006, Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell was asked by Baseball Commissioner Bug Selig to investigate steroids use in Major League BaseballThe Mitchell Report (pdf) was in today and shock reigns throughout the land: 75 high-profile baseball players were linked to performance-enhancing drug use.  This report is being spun as the worst baseball scandal since the infamous “Black Sox Scandal of 1919.”

Among the high-profile current and former players identified in the report were Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield, Andy Pettitte, Jason and Jeremy Giambi, Miguel Tejada, Mo Vaughn, Chuck Knoblauch, and many others.

Mitchell concluded from his investigation that:

  1. Steroids use was widespread and the League should have done more and moved faster in dealing with this problem.
  2. The few Major Leaguers involved with this use were breaking the law.
  3. There was a culture in Baseball that made this activity easier to engage in from the Commissioners to the players to the Players Association to the club officials.
  4. We can all learn from this and move on in a positive way, making the approproate changes and alterations.

Mitchell also advocated not punishing all the players named in the report unless they behaved with particular negligence.  Mitchell also happens to be the director of the Boston Red Sox.  Conflict of interest?  How many Red Sox players were identified?  Either way this report is sending shockwaves throughout the sports world as America’s pastime takes a major hit to its reputation and integrity today. 

AP photo.

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Posted in Culture, Sports | Leave a Comment »

Michael Vick’s Going to Jail

Posted by Ryan on December 10, 2007

for 22 more months in a federal prison

That’s freedom in October 2009!  But he can get out in April/May 2009 for good behavior with another three years of probation.  The traditional sentence for his part in all of this would have been about 12-18 months in prison.  The judge, however, did not accept Vick’s admission of guilt and serving the last month in jail as an excuse for leniency and ruled accordingly.  The judge, Henry Hudson, added that instead of just apologizing to him and the court, he should “be apologizing to the millions of kids who idolize you.”  Also Vick has some issues with marijuana during the dogfights, which did not impress the judge either. 

I’m really not sure about Vick’s future in the NFL.  When he gets out, he won’t quite be 30 years old and there may be teams that will pay him good money to salvage a season.  On the flip side, he’ll be woefully out of football shape and we love to trash celebrities way beyond the necessary in our culture: Don Imus for example– how many more times does he have to say he’s sorry, how many more jobs does he have to lose, etc. before his penance is finished?  So, Vick will be a pariah who killed dogs– vicious attack dogs, but when we hear “dogs” we think of Spot the cuddly couch dog who fetches things and loves us.  That’s a penance that will take a long time to break and I’m not sure a team is going to want that reputation following them around.

Maybe the Miami Dolphins will want Vick.  AP photo.

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Sean Taylor, Dead at 24

Posted by Ryan on November 27, 2007

The Washington Redskins’ Pro-Bowl Safety, Sean Taylor, died of a gunshot wound this morning at Jackson Memorial Hospital.  The circumstances of the death are unfortunate.  He was shot by an intruder, about a week after someone tried to break into his home.  The intruder fired twice, hitting him in the leg.  The shot tore a major artery and Taylor nearly bled to death.  Ultimately, he succumbed to his wound.  Thus far, there are no suspects. 

Taylor was a great talent, being the fifth overall pick in the 2004 draft.  He made it the Pro-Bowl in 2006 for his reputation as a hard-hitter.  In fact, since entering the league he has been a boat load of trouble:  $25,000 in fines for missing mandatory meetings, seven fines for late hits, spitting in the face of an opponent during the playoffs (another $17,000 fine).  His personal life wasn’t cool either, since he once plead no-contest to brandishing a gun at a man during a scuffle. 

However, after his daughter was born last year, those close to him indicated that he really began to clean things up and noticed a changed attitude.  His attitude on the field became more respectful and serious.  I believe that people can change and that in America, we can pick ourselves up and turn over a new leaf, not forgetting the past, but using our mistakes as a source of strength and purpose to avoid them again.  He could have been part of a great story, but his story turns out to be a tragedy mired in intrigue.

Pic from Sports Resource Zone.

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Barry Bonds Indicted

Posted by Ryan on November 15, 2007

San Francisco Giants slugger and current homerun king(*), Barry Bonds, was indicted by a federal grand jury today for perjury and obstruction of justice.  This stems from his December 2003 testimony where he was given immunity by federal prosecutors in exchange for spilling the beans on his alleged steroids use and the use of other high-profile athletes. 

Apparently, Bonds was given steroids by his trainer, Greg Anderson (who was jailed by the way), back in the day but Bonds said that Bonds truly believed that the substances were something else (way to throw your friend and trainer under the bus, Barry!).  They weren’t benign substances and federal prosecutors cornered Bonds. 

The deal Bonds was given stipulated that immunity would only stick if Bonds was being honest.  Some believe that this immunity was granted in order to take down BALCO founder, Victor Conte, who served three months in the slammer for distributing steroids.  Through this testimony, the federal prosecutors were fishing for potential steroid incidents across professional sports, hoping to make more connections and get more names. 

There it sat, as far as Bonds was concerned.

Nearly four years later, it has become clear to prosecutors that Bonds was lying under oath in 2003 and they have decided now to move forward.  Sounds pretty ridiculous if true: Bonds was given immunity to tell the truth… and he blew it?!  He is now facing up to 30 years in prison!  Bad move, Barry, bad move.  If you’re going to commit perjury in front of a federal grand jury, it has to be about sex, not drugs, otherwise our legal system will take you down!  Maybe he didn’t get the memo.

Pic from ABC News blog.

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Ballin’ With the Leprachaun Feels Like Bowling For Soup

Posted by Mike on November 13, 2007

The referee scandal is finally exposed after all these years, and all of the sudden the Celtics are the only undefeated team in the NBA. Hmmm.

Seriously though, the Celtics being good again makes it feel like the 1980s all over again. That can’t be a bad thing.

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NFL Week 9: Patriots v. Colts

Posted by Ryan on November 4, 2007

In a highly-publicized NFL Week 9 meeting of undefeateds, the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts meet at the RCA Dome to play a regular season rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Gamewhere the Colts came back to defeat the Pats 38-34 in very dramatic fashion to go on to eventually win Peyton Manning’s first Super Bowl.  Undefeateds have never met this late in the season. 

Both teams are playing superbly and this looks to be the toughest game either of these teams will play this year– they both seem to start games slow and then blow everyone out.  They are the two best teams in the NFL.  They have had a recent history of playing big games against each other: the winner of this game could end up having homefield advantage in the playoffs.  So, I think that the hype is real and no one is going to run away with this game.  We’ll be entertained for four full quarters.

I am rooting for the Patriots (big surprise).  I think the Colts beat people with fundamentals and talent, but the Pats have destroyed their opponents in a supremely dominant way in all three areas of the game, dismantling teams in the second half all year.  I think the Pats have more talent this year and have a chip on their shoulder, but there’s something about the Colts at home against the Pats.  The Colts seem to have gotten into the Pat’s heads lately, so a psychological advantage goes to the Colts, who are playing at home.  They can both put up 30+ points a game and play 60-minutes of smashmouth ball.  But, my heart is with the Pats in this game– they’re mad, sick of losing to the Colts, and tired of being called cheaters.

Pic from Newsday Blog

Posted in Sports | 4 Comments »

One Giant Assumption

Posted by Mike on November 2, 2007

What makes Barry Bonds think the writers would even vote to induct a cheater into the Hall of Fame?*

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Dear Mr. Steinbrenner

Posted by Mike on October 18, 2007

FOAD

Sincerely,
Mike

Posted in Sports | 1 Comment »

Ew! NASCAR Fans!

Posted by Ryan on October 12, 2007

I watched a piece on Fox News after work today with a liberal friend who didn’t seem to get the story.  He was first uncomfortable, then indignant, and finally virtually apoplectic about the sheer gall of Fox News to run a story like that (to be fair, the mere existence of Fox News annoys him greatly)!

The story? 

How Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), chairman of the Homeland Security Department, offered four DHS aides to get diphtheria, tentanus, influenza, and Hepatitis A and B vaccinations before going to check out a Concord, North Carolina, site for a NASCAR event.  Thompson said the shots were only a precaution, but Concord’s representative, Republican Robin Hayes, took offense to the suggestion saying, “We thought it was silly that you needed to get a vaccination to come to Concord to go to the NASCAR races. This is the greatest sport on Earth today and you sure don’t need a shot to come down here.”

I think this is priceless!  Libs, even libs from the South, just don’t understand when Southerner’s get offended by being called dumb, yokels, or in this case, potentially diseased.  They’ll wonder in 2008 why they’ll have to fight tooth and nail just to win a single Southern state.  NASCAR came out of the South, has a huge Southern and national following which makes it the second most watched sport in America!  This procedure may be protocol, but I wonder how many diphtheria vaccinations DHS offers to its aides monitoring football or baseball games?  I personally don’t watch NASCAR, nor do I like NASCAR, but I love how liberals squirm, put their noses way in the air, or simply believe that people interested in this sport are some kind of alien bumpkin from a third-world country.

Picture from How It Works.

Posted in Culture, Media Bias, Politics, Sports | 3 Comments »

The Irish Get Their First Win!!!

Posted by Ryan on October 7, 2007

Notre Dame (now 1-5) fans have something to cheer about after last night’s 20-6 victory at UCLA (4-2).  The Irish surprised everyone with a strong defensive game that made plays and with Clausen keeping them in contention the whole game.  Knocking out UCLA’s first string quarterback in the first quarter didn’t hurt either, but a win’s a win!  Maybe this will start a trend (fingers crossed)?  This season has been the definition of a rebuilding year.  From a Sugar Bowl appearance last season to the worst start in team history, it’s been tough fending off the critics (read: ESPN) of Charlie Weis and the organization every single week.  One has to wonder what kind of life one must have if they take so much joy in another’s suffering.  But, I digress.   Also, in other games that interested me:

Stanford upset USC 24-23 in the last two minutes of the game.  I wish I could have watched this one.  I like Pete Carroll (former coach of the New England Patriots), but after the infamous “Bush-push” against the Irish a few years back I can’t root for USC– the wound is still too deep.

LSU who had been losing the whole game, came back in the 4th quarter to beat Florida.  Strangely, I love watching Florida play, but I also love to watch them lose.  Its a very strange phenomenon.

Rutgers goes 3-2 after a 28-23 loss to Cincinnati last night.  Apparently, the big local team around here has trouble beating teams that can actually play, and that fantastic running game has had trouble against Maryland and Cincinnati– you know, those real teams that can play.  If I hear one more TV announcer ask if “they’ll be serving Rice at the Heisman dinner” I’m going to file an obnoxious anonymous complaint.  I’m also waiting for the fair weather fans to jump ship any time now.

AP photo.

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The Patriots Get Slapped

Posted by Ryan on September 13, 2007

As a Patriots fan since before the Robert Kraft era, I was deeply disappointed to hear about my team being involved with cheating through use of banned video surveillance.  I’d like to believe that this is a new thing that wasn’t part of their recent past glory, but I can’t believe that completely even though the first allegation of this kind of videotaping was against Green Bay only last season.  Completely speculating, maybe not winning the Super Bowl the last two seasons made Belichick feel more desperate to win, coupled with having to face his old partner, Eric Mangini, in his own division twice a season (three times last year including the playoffs).  It’s no excuse and maybe I’m being a desperate fan, but there weren’t any of these allegations when the Pats were winning championships, only over the last few seasons when they were losing clutch games that denied them a chance at another Super Bowl ring.

So in response to the video evidence of cheating, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell slapped Bill Belichick with a $500,000 fine, the Patriots organization another $250,000 fine, and took away draft picks for next year: if they make the playoffs, it’s a first round pick they lose, if the Pats don’t make the playoffs, they’ll lose a second and third round pick in the 2008 Draft. 

Some will think that this is a mere slap on the wrist, others will think this is just right.  Some believe that suspending Belichick for a month or two would have been more appropriate than a monetary fine for a coach like him.  Others think that taking away draft picks over a number of years would have made a point to other teams who might try this in the future.  Some even want the Pats to forfeit the game last week.  I’m cool with the draft picks being taken away, but honestly I think that they should have fined and suspended Belichick.  The punishment has to hurt.  I think this one can be absorbed with embarassment, but without a lot of pain.

Posted in Sports | 2 Comments »

Patriots Under a Cloud

Posted by Ryan on September 11, 2007

Rumors are flying that the Patriots got privileged information on Sunday against the Jets through using video surveillance to spy on the Jets’ defensive signals on the other side of the field.  The allegation is pretty serious, since the Patriots could know in advance what defense the Jets are going to use, making it much easier to adjust and beat it.  There were sometimes when it seemed like Tom Brady had forever to throw the ball Sunday.  It was most likely that stellar offensive line, but these allegations put a damper on the Pats’ convincing 38-14 victory. 

However, the Pats had been warned about this before.  The person videotaping the Green Bay Packers in that instance did not have the proper credentials, was tossed, and the issue was eventually dropped.  The NFL’s rule against this kind of video surveillance is designed to keep the teams honest.  I think the Pats could have beaten the Jets on sheer talent anyway, but this allegation is going to harm the legitimacy of that victory and stigmatize them as cheaters in future games.  In the top link, there’s a video showing LaDainian Tomlinson from the San Diego Chargers (who the Pats play next week) saying that the Patriot’s motto was something like “if you ain’t cheating, you’re not trying.”  LT and the Chargers lost a very winnable playoff game against the Pats last season and still sound quite sour. 

Knowing the Pats like I do, it’s only going to get them more energized to defeat the Chargers, which admittedly will be one of the toughest games of the year, next Sunday night.  Also, knowing the sports-talk media, even if the Pats are cleared the stigma will remain like a cloud for the rest of the season, especially if the Pats beat high-profile teams or advance in the playoffs.

Pic from Pulled My Groin blog.

UPDATE:  Yup, they did it, as determined by the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.  Fines and punishment to follow, probably by Friday.

Posted in Media Bias, Sports | 1 Comment »

NFL Week 1 is Here!

Posted by Ryan on September 9, 2007

Finally!  It’s been over seven months since the Colts beat the Bears in Super Bowl XLI and my pro-football withdrawal is coming to an end!  In the first game, the Colts beat up the Saints 41-10 last Thursday, though it was a good first half.  The NFL’s Week 1 Schedule has many division rivalry games worth checking out:  Patriots v. Jets, Ravens v. Bengals (Monday Night), Giants v. Cowboys, Steelers v. Browns, Titans v. Jaguars, etc.  Also, the Chicago Bears play the San Diego Chargers in what many pundits are billing as a Super Bowl preview.  I’m not ready to predict who’s going to be in the Super Bowl just yet– the AFC has many strong teams and the NFC (or the JV squad) is unpredictable, with many 8-8 teams making the playoffs more often than not.  Plus, we always get surprises; that’s why they play the games isn’t it?  I hope your home team does well (unless you’re a Jets fan this week), but if not I hope fantasy team does better.  The Fall has arrived!

Picture taken by Jamie Squire/Getty Images.

Posted in Sports | 2 Comments »

Ugly Day in Sports

Posted by Ryan on September 2, 2007

Not everyone will agree, but I thought many ugly things happened in sports yesterday:

  1. Notre Dame got pounded by Georgia Tech in a very uncharacteristic way 33-3.  It was only the sixth time in school history that they lost at home by 30 points or more.  However, in a strange stroke lending credence to the need to actually play the games, Michigan lost yesterday too.
  2. The Red Sox’s Clay Buchholz pitched a rare no-hitter in only his second Major League game.  It may have been a one-hit-wonder type of thing, but the Sox look ferocious going into September.  This Yankee fan is not pleased.
  3. Maria Sharapova lost to a Polish teenager Agnieszha Radwanska– but as long as she denies her American past, I suppose it’s OK that she loses.
  4. Rodney Harrison of the New England Patriots is out for four due to his use of performance-enhancing drugs.  The Pats are my team and anything that happens to them like this saddens me.  Also Richard Seymour is out for at least six weeks due to injury.

Posted in Sports | 1 Comment »

College Football and the Simpsons

Posted by Mike on August 28, 2007

With the kickoff to the new college football season only days away, I figured this oldie and goodie is also timely.  The Notre Dame and Boston College comparison alone makes it worth the read.

Posted in Sports | 1 Comment »

Michael Vick’s Guilty Plea

Posted by Ryan on August 21, 2007

This Fox Sports editorial by Kevin Hench really makes the point about Michael Vick’s guilty plea in the dogfighting scandal.  Once his friends turned on him, there was nothing left for him to do.  Now his career is officially in shambles.  Perhaps when this is all over he can fall back on whatever his Virginia Tech college degree was in… oh that’s right, he left as a sophomore.

So what now?  Will the sentence fit the crime?  I’m not sure.  Lately we’ve had judges who’ve gotten their jollies in either slamming or going easy on high-profile celebrities who have committed a crime.  For some, the plea deal will go too easy on him, to others too harsh.  I’d like to see him do some time (12-18 months would be nice), pay a fine ($250,000 would seem fair) and go through humiliating community service (in an orange jump suit if possible).  However, on top of that, I really want his career to end.  He’s sick man and needs to be made an example of as a deterrent to other sports celebrities.

AP photo.

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AP College Football Rankings Are Out

Posted by Mike on August 18, 2007

The AP released its first college football poll of the 2007 season today. Not surprisingly, Southern Cal is ranked number one. With the departure of several seniors and a questionable defense, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame are understandably nowhere to be found. Although I oppose a college football playoff and largely agree with this year’s initial rankings, the AP and coaches polls remind of the one thing that bugs me about college football: the people who vote in these polls.

There is no question in mind that Southern Cal deserves the top spot, but the preseason number one ranking will give them an unfair advantage later in the season. Because voters are often reluctant to move a lower ranked team ahead unless teams ranked ahead of them lose, Southern Cal will be allowed to lose a game and still compete for the national championship. For many lower ranked teams, one loss will be fatal.

Part of the problem could be solved by following the Harris poll’s lead. The AP and coaches polls should not be released until at least after the fourth week of the season. That way, assessments will be at least partially based upon on-field performance rather than ESPN’s bloviating.

Go Irish!

UPDATE:  Link now takes you to current polls.

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Phil Rizzuto (1917-2007)

Posted by Mike on August 14, 2007

New York Yankees broadcaster and Hall of Fame shortstop Phil Rizzuto passed away earlier today at the age of 89.

Rizzuto’s passing is especially sad for me because he was the first baseball announcer I remember. Although he would often wax poetic on things that had little or nothing to do with the game in front of him, listening to Rizzuto was always enjoyable. His cries of “Holy Cow!” and blatant cheering for the Yankees made him a legend in the booth. Like the seven World Championships he helped the Yankees win, memories of Rizzuto’s broadcasting will always bring smiles to the faces of Yankee fans everywhere.

Phil Rizzuto will be missed. May he rest in peace.

AP photo

Posted in Sports | 1 Comment »

Barry Bonds Breaks Home Run Record*

Posted by Mike on August 7, 2007

Barry Bonds hit the 756th home run of his career Tuesday night off of the Washington Nationals’ Mike Bacsik. With this historic shot, Bonds passes Hank Aaron as Major League Baseball’s all-time home run leader*.

Reuters photo

Posted in Sports | 2 Comments »

Bill Walsh (1931-2007)

Posted by Ryan on July 30, 2007

Bill Walsh died today at the age of 75, losing his battle with leukemia.  He was the famed coach of the San Francisco 49ers from 1979 to 1988, winning three Super Bowls (1981, 1984, 1988), grooming both Joe Montana and countless others, and introducing the league to the innovative “West Coast” offense in the process.  He was perhaps the most dominant football coach in his time retiring with a 102-63-1 record along side his 10-4 playoff record.  Most of all, he is remembered as a pleasant and gracious man, attuned to the effective role of minorities in coaching, and involved heavily with the league even after his induction to the Football Hall of Fame in 1993. 

Pic from SI.com

Posted in Sports | 1 Comment »

Iraq Wins the Asia Cup!!!

Posted by Ryan on July 29, 2007

Iraq defeated Saudi Arabia 1-0 in the Asia Cup Soccer Championship today in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Over the course of the tournament, Iraq won its group, beat Australia, South Korea and then scored the only goal of the championship match against the Saudis in the 72nd minute of play.  The picture below shows the actual moment:

I love seeing this stuff.  If anyone, the Iraqis needed a break on something.  With hard work and heart, their soccer team pulled off an unlikely victory which is sure to be spun as a great underdog story.  And just think, no one had to worry about being tortured based on the outcome!  You’re welcome, Iraq.

Top: Reuters/Supri photo.  Second: AP photo.

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NBA Scandal

Posted by Mike on July 25, 2007

A crooked NBA official? I am just so . . . shocked.  NBA games always seemed so fair; the calls, so down-the-middle.  This can’t be right.

Posted in Sports | 2 Comments »

“Bad Newz” for Michael Vick

Posted by Ryan on July 18, 2007

Michael Vick is in trouble.  He managed to stay clear of trouble with his bong at the airport a few months ago.  He also managed to keep his job after flipping off his hometown crowd last NFL season in Atlanta (see picture below).  But if things weren’t bad enough for this “up and coming” NFL star, he’s gotten into some serious legal trouble over, of all things, dogfighting! (Did you ever notice that Michael Vick is always portrayed on ESPN and other NFL shows as the next big thing every season, who everyone is going to have to worry about on the field, yet spends half the time injured or moping, and can barely get his team in playoff contention while playing in the junior varsity NFC?)

Getting back to the issues at hand, Vick and three others are in loads of trouble for his organization “Bad Newz Kennels” which sponsored vicious dog fights-to-the-death as early as 2001.  Vick is alleged to have bet up to and around $23,000 on these dogfights.  Eight dogs were killed at the kennel, whose bodies indicated evidence of hangings, drownings, and even poundings of these not-ready-for-prime-time pooches.  ESPN is not optimistic about Vick’s chances to avoid big prosecutorial trouble on his July 26th arraignment date.  Contributing to ESPN’s pessimism is that Vick is being charged with participating, training and sponsoring the dogfights– across state lines, to add!

With Training Camp around the corner, should the NFL continue to let him play?  Probably not.  As bad as these allegations are, they may prove to be false or trumped up.  However, if the judge believes him to be a flight risk, then that’s a different story.  Also, the NFL has pretty strict behavior standards and these allegations are horrible, which will distract him from play this season.

Top pic of the kennel an AP photo.  Second shot from Scared Monkeys, when Vick disagreed with his hometown crowd’s opinion of him!

Posted in Culture, Sports | 2 Comments »

NBA Draft Lottery Tonight

Posted by Mike on May 22, 2007

I just want to go on record. If New Orleans wins tonight’s NBA Draft lottery, it is rigged. Go Celtics!

UPDATE: Celtics get the fifth pick. Damn. The first pick goes to . . . Portland.

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West Ham Stays Up

Posted by Mike on May 13, 2007

Axis of Right’s favorite foreign football club, West Ham United, avoided relegation earlier today by defeating Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford. Carlos Tevez scored the only goal right before halftime and the Hammers held on for the win. Today’s narrow escape is so much sweeter when you consider the fact that Manchester United lost only two games all season: today against West Ham and December 17, 2006 against West Ham. Today’s improbable victory ensures that West Ham will continue playing against the best teams in the world.

The same cannot be said for Sheffield United, Charlton, and Watford, who have been relegated. Sunderland and Birmingham will move up to the top flight along with a team to be named later.

This season was not all it could have been but the ending is nevertheless satisfying. Way to go you Irons! We’re big fans so don’t you dare scare us like that again next season!

AFP Photo

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Randy Moss in New England

Posted by Ryan on April 30, 2007

The addition of Randy Moss to the Patriots’ roster and Cleveland’s awesome draft weekend dominated the water cooler chat today.  The big question:  will Moss help or hurt the Pats?  I think he’ll be a great addition, and so do some from Fox Sports News.  Moss isn’t the key, Belichick is!  Belichick can make the magic work for nearly anyone.  Remember, Corey Dillon was a punk at Cincinnati and turned into a man caught on film saying “Sir” in a very intimidated voice everytime he addressed his new boss, Bill Belichick.  Moss’ll fit in or he’ll sit down.  It’s not like the Pats couldn’t do it without him.  But it sure would be cool if he did work out– Belichick still has two more fingers without Patriot rings on his hand!

Posted in Sports | 1 Comment »

Thank You Miami

Posted by Mike on April 28, 2007

On behalf of all Jets and Patriots fans associated with Axis of Right, I sincerely thank the Miami Dolphins for their decision to take a pass on Brady Quinn.

UPDATE:  Quinn winds up where he always wanted to go.  Congratulations Cleveland.

Posted in Sports | 2 Comments »

NCAA Men’s Final Four Basketball

Posted by Ryan on March 31, 2007

So it’s time for the storied Final Four to begin at 6:07 tonight when Ohio State University takes on Georgetown. Later at 8:47, we get to catch last year’s champ Florida take on UCLA, who played each other in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Game just one year ago! March Madness ends with a bang as these two games should be awesome!

Yet, I picked none of these teams to win the whole thing. Ohio was the only current crop of Final Four teams that I have, though I had them losing to UNC who was supposed to win the whole Dance. Alas, with all my teams out I can enjoy the games for the sheer spirit of college basketball– a spirit so lost in the NBA. I’d like to see Georgetown win it all, since the Big East is my favorite conference, but a Florida v. Ohio State match-up would be great since they both met in the BCS Finals for football in January for that national championship!

Posted in Sports | 2 Comments »

The Colt’s Coronation

Posted by Ryan on February 5, 2007

Last night, Super Bowl XLI witnessed the Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears 29-17 in the wettest Super Bowl ever!  I had a feeling that the rain might be a factor being that Indy is a dome team.  I still gave them the edge in my mind, but the wetness and the opening kick-off returned for a Chicago touchdown did not bode well.  The game was close until the fourth quarter, though the Bears really did not look like the better team through most of the game.  I had a few bucks on numbers not teams, so while I wanted the Colts to win, I was OK with any team that could give me my numbers.  None did.  This is why I generally don’t gamble.

A huge surprise to me was Tony Dungy’s remarks after the game.  He has had some recent drama in the last few years (his son’s suicide and his parent’s failing health).  When Jim Nantz gave him the mic last night, holding the trophy he unabashedly thanked God numerous times and in numerous ways.  He was sincere and truly proud for his team, his effort and Lovie Smith, his friend and Bears coach.  Manning’s MVP title was a fitting tribute to his career at this point, finally moving him away from comparisons to Dan Marino– a great player who never won the Great Game.  Truly a class act in a class organization.

AP Photo.

Posted in Sports | 1 Comment »

Another First… And?

Posted by Ryan on February 3, 2007

Condi Rice has picked the Indianapolis Colts to win the Super Bowl tomorrow, being the first black Secretary of State to pick a Super Bowl team! Woo hoo, another first!  And?

As a GenX-er, I find all of these racial and gender firsts to be a bit drole and rather quaint in 2007. Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy are part of a Super Bowl first: two black coaches squaring off against each other. Does that mean the game’ll be better? Does that mean the Colts will win like I hope they do? Does this mean we’re entering a new age of racial equality and harmony? No.

Having only remembered the Boston busing issue as a child, thinking Jesse Jackson was sketchy in 1984, and rooting for the National Guard in the LA riots of 1992, I do not remember much of the civil rights movement. I suppose if I were black or female I would nod my head in approval, but in my GenX point of view, just showing up to work doesn’t mean one is going to do a good job at the end of the day. The best thing for Lovie and Tony to do is to get their teams to play a great game. I wanted Bill Cowher and Mike Holmgren to do the same last year, regardless of the fact that they were both white men. I also happen to think that voting for someone for race or gender purposes has the same drole, quaint and potentially shallow nature and consequences. Let’s clap, give them their due, and move on. I would totally vote for a black or female president if they could make a good case, but not simply because we need a new “first” to pine over.

BBC picture.

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