Friday, October 26, 2007

PayDay!

Given the fact it is Friday, I have no choice but to offer a blog that should cover about 16 different topics. It can’t happen any other way.

Let’s start with a picture being worth 1,000 words. Quincy’s mug shot.



Ok. Now, on to the World Series, Where Schilling is being Schilling


• He's now the only starting pitcher in history who can say he's won a World Series game in his 20s, his 30s and his 40s.

• He's now one of only two starting pitchers -- Kenny Rogers being the other -- who can say he's won a World Series game after turning 40.

• And the Elias Sports Bureau reports that, by winning Series games 14 years apart, Schilling is now just the second pitcher ever to record World Series wins that many years apart or longer. Jim Palmer (17 years) is the other.

Those are very cool feats, very cool little slices of October trivia, very cool tidbits to file away for some future "Who's The Greatest Postseason Pitcher Ever?" debate.

Here, however, comes the number that's Schilling's personal favorite -- .846.

That's his career postseason winning percentage. And it's now the best winning percentage in baseball history among all pitchers with at least 10 postseason decisions.

Whether you love him or hate him, whether you root for him or against him, you have to admit this about Curt Schilling: His postseason numbers are getting downright insane.

No matter how many times you look at them, they tell the tale of a pitcher who has risen to these moments as successfully as any starting pitcher we've ever laid eyes on.

Go ahead. Check them out.

He's now 11-2, with a 2.23 ERA, in his 19 postseason trips to the mound.

He's now 4-1, 2.06, in seven career World Series starts.

And he's now 6-1, 3.28, in eight postseason starts for the Red Sox.

Maybe he can't reach back for that old 97-mph flameball the way he used to. But his manager, Terry Francona, admits that when he points Schilling toward the mound in games like this, he has just as much trust in him as he ever has.
Why? How? Simply because of "his will to make sure the score ends up in our favor," Francona said.

"I've been around him so long," the manager went on, "I probably expect unfair things out of him. But that probably won't stop. It's a good feeling when he pitches."


World Series Game Story Here

Now, on to the event of the night: Boston College shocks Virginia Tech.



You would like to think that a 10-0 lead with 2:00 to go would be plenty….


Matt Ryan bought some time, scrambling to his left away from the Virginia Tech rush while searching for an open receiver.

He found just what he was looking for, fired a pass all the way across the field and kept No. 2 Boston College perfect.

Call it Ryan's Heisman moment.

The senior quarterback threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Andre Callender with 11 seconds left and the Eagles validated themselves as national title contenders with an improbable 14-10 victory over No. 8 Virginia Tech on Thursday night.

Boston College avoided becoming the fourth second-ranked team to lose in the last four weeks, with Ryan throwing two touchdown passes in the final 2:11 after doing little for the first 55 minutes against the Hokies' swarming defense.

"Well, you know there's still time left on the clock," Ryan said. "You know you still have a shot and you still got a chance. We've been in this situation so many times through the course of the year in practice and we've prepared ourselves really well."

Boston College (4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), second in the BCS standings this week, improved to 8-0 for the first time since 1942. Despite the fast start, some were skeptical of the Eagles, who had only played one ranked team before Virginia Tech.

Ryan finished 25-for-52 for 285 yards with two interceptions, but the final numbers hardly told the story.

"That's what Heisman's do," Hokies defensive end Chris Ellis said. "They don't ever give up. We beat the O-line, put licks on him and he came through at the end. He had a 2-minute drill -- two of them. He did what he had to do."


Remember Terry Glenn?


Terry Glenn made an appearance at Valley Ranch on Thursday.
Glenn, the Cowboys receiver who is recovering from two knee surgeries, was doing weight training while the team practiced.

Glenn said he expects to return at some point this season but doesn't know when.
"His spirits are good," coach Wade Phillips said. "He's rehabbing his quad; they are building that up. Once you have a knee operation, you need the quad to go down, so they're building that up."

It could take one or two weeks for Glenn to get enough strength in the quad before he starts running. Glenn said after his first surgery – to remove a cyst in August – he came back too fast. The second surgery Sept. 13 was to clean up loose cartilage.
Glenn said he wants to take his time during this rehab process.

"I wasn't healthy enough or strong enough to come back that soon," Glenn said after the New England game. "It wasn't like the surgery was related to that injury, but in a way it was. I had surgery and it made my quad a little weak and I couldn't get my strength back in it."

Glenn, according to the doctors, doesn't need the dreaded microfracture surgery that could have ended either his career or season.

"I don't have too much time left, man," the 33-year old Glenn said. "It's not like I'm trying to get ready for a five-year run. I think we have a good team and we can win now, and I want to be a part of that."


Albert Breer looks at the “Phillips Defense” ….


When Wade Phillips was hired in February, one number he brought with him stuck ... the same one that's been glued to Roger Maris for decades.

Sixty-one.

The number of sacks Phillips' crazed-dog Chargers defense posted last year. The symbol for all the coach would turn loose once he ripped the shackles off the Cowboys' 3-4 personnel and the players who groused about being reined in by Bill Parcells' two-gap, defeat-the-blocker scheme.

Seven games into Phillips' tenure, the numbers fail to show a quantum leap. The Cowboys have 18 sacks, projecting to 41 for a season, which would be a modest improvement from last year's total of 34. Dallas ranks 12th in sacks per pass play, another decent but not huge jump from last year's finish of 19th in the category.

But to look at the numbers alone would be missing the point. The simple threat a Phillips defense presents, especially when armed with an elite edge rusher like DeMarcus Ware, has worked to handcuff offenses.

"I'm encouraged about our pass rush," Phillips said. "We're seeing more max-protect – it's what we saw [coaching] in San Diego. They keep everybody in, and therefore you can cover better."

Never was that more evident than last weekend against the Vikings, a game in which the Cowboys didn't register a sack until the midway point of the fourth quarter, yet held quarterback Tarvaris Jackson to 72 yards passing and a 32 percent completion rate.
By an unofficial count, Phillips and defensive coordinator Brian Stewart sent just four rushers on 18 of Jackson's 25 pass drops. They sent five men to pressure seven times, and never more than that.

But, as Phillips said, that didn't stop the Vikings from keeping tight ends and backs in to block. More often than not, six blockers were kept in to handle four rushers, and seven were there to block five. In some instances, Minnesota even had seven in protection blocking four, and that's with a line starting two players who have nine Pro Bowl berths between them.

"When you get that situation, although you'd like to say the speed and the intensity of the pressure will get there ... they've got a chance to block it," Stewart said. "So what you want to do is play coverage. You can double guys and drop more guys, and you get coverage sacks, not just the blitz sacks."

It becomes a blitz economy. In the situations in which Minnesota kept a back and a tight end in with the tackles, guards and center, only three receivers were releasing. In the cases where Dallas rushed four, seven dropped into coverage. Meaning in that circumstance, seven guys are covering three receivers.


Tim McMahon points out on the Cowboys Blog the new Mock Draft at armchairgm.com

MUST READ GOLD OF THE DAY: Cowboys featured on Uni-Watch


The Dallas Cowboys: so successful ... so beloved ... so completely annoying. From the "America's Team" arrogance and the incredible run of lucky breaks (can someone please explain why Neil O'Donnell threw that ball right to Larry Brown?) to the loathsome owner and the succession of even more loathsome coaches (has there ever been a more irritating quartet than Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer and Bill Parcells?), the Cowboys have set the standard for despicability for decades. Love 'em or hate 'em, you've got to hate 'em.

It's tough to knock their uniforms, though. The Cowboys almost always wear basic white jerseys, their helmet design is timeless and classic, and their basic aesthetic approach is blissfully free of extraneous bells and whistles. All in all, they present a simple, straightforward look.

Or so it would appear to the untrained eye. But to the practiced uniform acolyte, the Cowboys' attire is rife with idiosyncrasies. In fact, America's Team wears what is arguably the quirkiest uniform set in all of professional sports, full of unexplained anomalies and team-specific protocols found nowhere else. Look back into their history, and you'll find even more aberrations.




The NFL goes to London, so let’s read the London Times Report


With two days to go before the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants meet at Wembley in the first NFL regular-season game to be played outside North America, the movers and shakers behind the sport are already considering its possible effect on their plans for global expansion.

As well as representatives from the two teams, other league executives and owners are in town for the game, many attending a conference on sports business at a London hotel yesterday. Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, gave the welcoming address and explained why the league wants to take the leap into a territory where American football barely registers among many sports fans, with the London-based Monarchs franchise having failed to stay the course in the now-defunct NFL Europe.

“We have to be innovative,” Goodell said. “We have devoted considerable resources already to the global growth of football – American Bowls [the NFL’s series of preseason games played outside the United States, which started in 1986 at Wembley], NFL Europe, bringing the football experience to new fans and establishing a European fanbase. But it was time for something new, to take the game to the widest possible global audience in new ways.

“First, staging regular-season games outside the US. It is bringing our best product to fans here and in other international cities.The NFL is the ultimate reality TV – three hours of unscripted and unrehearsed moments. Thirty million Americans watched the Dallas Cowboys-New England Patriots game a couple of weeks ago. It was the most-watched event in the US for the week by a margin of ten million viewers. Our goal is to translate America’s obsession into the world’s passion. This Sunday is just the beginning.” The NFL is not fooled into believing that the high ticket demand for Sunday’s game will automatically translate into support for regular games in the UK. “I think the fourth or the fifth game will be more of a test,” Alistair Kirkwood, the managing director of NFL UK, said. “We could have sold this game out two or three times over, but at some point there won’t be a novelty value and there will be two teams playing that don’t have the same name recognition.

“We will evaluate Sunday’s game on three different levels. First of all, logistically – are the teams thinking this has gone as smoothly as possible? Second, the fan experience here and the feedback that US folks get: I believe that the avidity and passion will be unbelievable and that they will be very pleasantly surprised. Third, we will look back at this in three years’ time and see where it led. It would be a hell of a lot of work, and a logistical minefield, if this were to be a one-off. It has to lead to more things and the jury will be out for a lot longer than the next 72 hours.”

The rivals of the Dolphins and Giants are also taking a keen interest. “We are being watched by the other 30 teams and there is a tremendous curiosity,” Steve Tisch, the Giants co-owner, said. “I think the league has been pleased with the reaction we have had and there will be a lot of conversation on Monday. I expect that it will be to the effect that this has been a tremendous first step. Another barometer is what this means to London. With fans of both teams travelling here, it has been on a ‘mini-Super Bowl’ kind of scale.”

But not every team are keen to follow their example. “Hats off to Wayne Huizenga [the Dolphins owner], because giving up a home game is tough,” Jerry Jones, the owner of the Cowboys, said. “It is something that will help us get new fans. But it’s not for me and it wouldn’t be good for the Cowboys.”
Tisch said: “Jerry is entitled to his opinion. It’s one of many that he has had.”


To Hockey:

The Stars have now played 5 road games. They scored 3 goals on opening night in Colorado. Since then, they have scored 1 in Nashville, 1 in Chicago, 2 in Columbus (including the 2nd in the 59th minute), and now 1 in Los Angeles.

So, 8 goals in 5 road games is bad. 5 in the last 4 games is horrendous. Especially considering that those 4 games are not exactly against any dynasties, eh? Just 5 goals in 5 games at equal strength. The numbers are telling.

The harsh realities really show up on the road. Mike Modano is no longer a player teams have to game plan against. And the Stars roster is made up of non-threatening skaters, except for the Ribeiro line, which still generates almost all the offense this team has.

Stars lose in Los Angeles


The Stars learned a valuable lesson about momentum Thursday night - it's better to have it than not.

Dallas had solid control of a sleepy game in the first period, outworking the Los Angeles Kings en route to a 1-0 lead at Staples Center. With the Stars on a nine-game winning streak against the Kings, this seemed like the first step in what has become a custom of easy wins in LA.

But something happened on the way to "easy." The Kings toughened up, fought back, and grabbed hold of the game's momentum. And in the end, they took a hard-earned 2-1 victory.

"We had a good start and did a lot of good things, but then we had a few turnovers and they took our momentum away from us," Stars coach Dave Tippett said of the loss that dropped the Stars to 4-3-2. "We had some chances tonight, but we didn't execute them."

Dallas was solid all around in the first period, earning an 11-6 advantage in shots and a 1-0 lead. The line of Brenden Morrow-Mike Ribeiro-Jere Lehtinen had several nice cycles and controlled the pace of the game just about every shift they were on the ice in the first period.

That hard work paid off in the form of Lehtinen's second goal in as many games.

"I felt our line was playing pretty well," Morrow said. "We were getting good chances."

But when the Stars were unable to cash in, it opened the door for the Kings. And a resurgent Los Angeles team took advantage in a second period that was dominant. The Kings outshot Dallas, 19-6, in the second period, tied the score on a Brian Willsie rebound goal and carried that momentum into the first two minutes of the third period. There, Los Angeles went ahead on an Alexander Frolov goal and took control of the game.

"We came out with the period we wanted, especially on the road, but then, for some odd reason, we made some mental errors," said goalie Marty Turco, who had 28 saves. "The way we lost momentum was the worst part. (The Kings) played well, but when you do it to yourself, it's tough."


Hawgsports looks at the evolution of Dirk’s Hair ….


Television for College Football:

Colorado @ Texas Tech (ABC, 12:00) - Dan Fouts, Tim Brant, Todd Harris

Nebraska @ Texas (ABC, 3:30) - Ron Franklin, Ed Cunningham, Jack Arute

Kansas @ Texas A&M (ESPN2, 7:00) - Gary Thorne, Bob Davie, Stacey Dales


And Television for Futbol – 1 game matters to me:

Sun Oct 28 11:00AM Central
FOX Soccer Channel (FSC) - US
English Premier League
Liverpool vs Arsenal


Here is Tom Hicks endorsing Liverpool’s manager ….


Liverpool's manager, Rafael Benítez, will have to guide his team to the Premier League title to justify the £40m the club invested in new players in the summer, according to the club's co-owner Tom Hicks. Speaking 24 hours after Liverpool's prospects of qualifying for the knock-out stage of the Champions League were severely dented by a 2-1 defeat by Besiktas in Turkey, Hicks said the domestic trophy remained the club's priority. Benítez based his pre-season approach to the American owners of the club on a challenge for the Premier League title, impressing on them the need for more strength in depth if he were to mount a credible challenge to Manchester United and Chelsea.

Hicks and George Gillett acceded to his wishes, investing £26.5m in Fernando Torres and £11.5m on the Ajax winger Ryan Babel. Hicks pledged his support for a coach who has often seemed more at home in European competition than the domestic fray. But in comments that will increase the pressure on Benítez to deliver a title the club have not won for 17 years Hicks implied he and Gillett are expecting a swift return on their investment.

"One of the reasons we made the signings we did in the summer was to create the depth we now have. Rafa explained to George and me that is how you win the Prem, because you have to play every team twice," Hicks said. "We totally support Rafa, nobody wants to win more than Rafa. But I know when we committed the resources for signings in the summer the whole idea was to have a team that could compete for the Premier League. We've not had the depth previously to do that.

"This squad is good enough to win things. It should be winning things. If it doesn't we'll have to look at the circumstances and have a meeting at the end of the year to understand what happened. I don't want to predict failure, I want to predict success."


UFC 78 looks poor, but UFC 79 looks awesome ….


Years of frustration for fans, fighters and promoters will be erased when Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva step into the Octagon to fight Dec. 29 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Dana White officially announced the fight on Tuesday and it will be the co-feature to UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra's bout, which will be against former 170-pound king Matt Hughes.

"Chuck and Wanderlei -- two legends in the sport -- will face off in the most important match of their careers at UFC 79," White said in a statement on UFC.com. "Chuck and Wanderlei have both wanted this fight for as long as they can remember, and this is definitely the fight that fans have waited for years to see. Finally, PRIDE's most dangerous striker will face the UFC's most dangerous striker, and the world will know after years of speculation who will win and who will lose this fight."

The UFC and PRIDE had discussed the bout for years, but nothing ever came to fruition.
As a PRIDE fighter, Liddell traveled to Japan in 2003 to participate in the PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix in hopes of meeting Silva. "The Iceman" was stopped by current UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson in the semifinals, and Silva asserted his dominance in PRIDE by brutally knocking out "Rampage" in the finals.

In 2006, Silva appeared in the Octagon with Liddell, touting a possible cross-promotional fight, though it failed to materialize.

White repeatedly expressed how important the fight between Silva and Liddell was to him and the sport, and fans echoed the same sentiment. And while the Silva-Liddell confrontation has lost some luster because both men are on two-fight losing streaks, the anticipated clash will likely be the one discussed most as the card approaches.
Liddell and Silva are two of the most dangerous strikers in MMA history and concurrently reigned as the top 205-pound champions in their respective organizations, sparking debate among MMA fans as to which fighter -- and in many ways which MMA organization (Liddell, the former UFC champion and Silva the former PRIDE champion) -- would win if they fought.


Here is some email regarding our World War 2 discussion on yesterday’s show:

Sturminator,

I see that you are as big a WWII buff as I am. This is me bragging: http://www.exhibitsonline.org/Crockett/index.htm
This is a site that has a little info on my uncle – Woodrow Crockett. He was a Tuskegee Airman and flew during the war. Uncle by marriage – He married my dad’s older sister – Daisy McMurray (note the name of his plane). He still lives in Annandale, Virginia. Aunt Daisy passed about six years ago and is buried in National Cemetery.
Jeffrey
-----

Bob:

Thought you might find interesting. I did this site for a WWII B17 pilot who
goes to my church. He has some unbelievable stories. www.b17pilot.net

Thanks
Scott Gilmore

----

Tours at Omaha Beach



The Office



Fox 4 Bloopers

2 comments:

Lance said...

And ABC still sucks as both the CU/Tech and NU/UT games will NOT be available in HD tomorrow!

Jay said...

Poor Quincey. What a train wreck. He had enough talent to hang around the NFL but chose weed instead.

Who's the bigger idiot, Carter or Jerry Jones for drafting him?