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  • Published: May 11th, 2010
  • Category: NFL Football
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Sports Buffet for 05/11/10

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NFL

UFA Charles Grant (NO) had the involuntary manslaughter charge against him dropped. He agreed to a misdemeanor public fighting charge with a fine of $1,000, a year probation and a $20,000 payment to the victims of that confrontation. The charges stemmed from a brawl outside a nightclub that led to the death of an innocent passer by.

Texans LB Bryan Cushing has been suspended for the first 4 games for violations of the NFL drug policy. He was the D Rookie of the year last season despite having failed a test in September of 09. He appealed the decision but lost that appeal and now will serve the suspension.

RFA OG Daryn Colledge signed his tender with the Packers.

We will see a lot of RFA players signing their tenders between now and June 15th. On that date NFL teams can lower the offer and the period for players to get an offer from another team has already expired.

The political left is insisting that the NFL pull the Super Bowl scheduled for Arizona due to the recent law that enforces federal law in the state. I suspect that the gutless Commissioner Goodell will do that despite the fact that the left including President Obama is lying about the law to the public. He knows that the law exactly mirrors the federal law but continues to mislead the public with the help of the traditional media. Both he and Goodell (if he caves to the left) should be ashamed.

NBA

The Orlando Magic look like they are a sure bet for the Eastern finals. That is not the case with the Cavs. They took back home court advantage with an impressive win at Boston Friday but Sunday looked like they didn’t care who wins the series. The thing that concerns Cavs fans is that the team seems to exhibit no sense of urgency to close out the Celtics. If they play game 5 in Cleveland like they did game 4, the Celts will win back the home court advantage.

Los Suns was worn on the uniforms in an NBA playoff game. The team should have been fined for each uniform in the same amount that a player would have been fined for a violation of league uniform rules. Not only should the NBA stay out of politics, it should learn Spanish and at the very least get it right.

MLB

The game and the world will miss Earnie Harwell. He was a Hall of Fame announcer but even a better human being.

Indian closer Kerry Wood has been cleared to return to the mound. As always with Wood, the only question is how long he will be able to pitch?

A large part of the problems of the Red Sox has been the struggles of SP Josh Beckett. When 98 year old knuckle baller Tim Wakefield takes your place in the rotation you have really been bad.

A’s pitcher Dallas Braden threw a perfect game this week.

NHL

Although they got to the second round, the Red Wings looked very old in losing their playoff series 4 games to 1. Look for the team to be significantly different next season.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NBA,MLB,NHL,Super Bowl,Arizona,Packers,Goodell,Obama,Magic,Cavilers,Grant,Cushing,Colledge,Celtics,Harwell,Wood,Indians,Beckett,Wakefield,Red Sox,Red Wings,playoffs
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The Steelers are having off field problems with their players.

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Star QB Ben Roethlisberger is in his third scrape since joining the team as a rookie. First there was the motorcycle accident that cost him a chunk of the preseason and slowed him early in 06. At the time he was not wearing a helmet. Most teams have included in their contracts a prohibition of “dangerous” activities for key players. Those conditions usually include riding motorcycles.

Then last year he was accused of sexual battery by a woman in Las Vegas. The woman was a worker at a casino and reportedly was asked by Roethlisberger to come to his room and fix a TV. She claims that Roethlisberger prevented her from leaving the room and forced her to have sex. The woman in that case did not go to a hospital or immediately inform police of the incident. According to reports, the woman decided against filing a criminal complaint but did file a civil suit against the QB. While Roethlisberger insisted he had done nothing wrong, there was a confidential settlement, presumably including a payment of some sort, with his accuser.

Again this off season, a 20 year old college student has accused Roethlisberger of sexual assault that reportedly occurred in a ladies bathroom in a bar in Milledgeville Georgia. The QB has a home in the area. This time the accuser both reported the alleged attack immediately and got treatment in a local hospital. The police took a report and are investigating. The police have requested a DNA sample from Roethlisberger.

Reportedly, there was video tape coverage of everything that happened or did not happen in the area of the bathroom. However, that tape mysteriously got taped over before it could be viewed by local police despite the fact that the bar security guy told a local TV station that they do not recycle tapes. Another twist to the story is that Roethlisberger was accompanied to the bar by 3 lawmen including 2 off duty Pennsylvania State Highway Patrol officers and a local deputy sheriff that was on duty at the time. It was the latter that took the original complaint from the accuser.

Steelers WR Santonio Holmes has been accused of assault by a Florida woman. She claims that he threw a glass of alcohol in her face on March 7 at the Rain Night Club in Orlando. While Orlando police refused to take a report, she has filed a civil lawsuit. Art Rooney 2 issued the following statement: “We are disappointed to learn about the recent incident involving Santonio Holmes in Florida. While we are continuing to gather the facts, I cannot comment further until we have more information and have spoken to Santonio and his representatives.” Reportedly Holmes offered the woman some money but nothing was paid to her at the time. Now the suit asks for 15K which is not a lot of money given his income.

We don’t have much more information about this incident but the issues that the Steelers are facing point out two things. First, every team in the league is more worried about their players doing something stupid in the off season than getting hurt in the off season OTAs. Of course that does not apply to Mangini allowing a player to run a contact drill without shoulder pads like he did with RB Davis last year.

The Steelers have been known as a high character and tight discipline team. We have not seen this from Pittsburgh before. So why now?

Frankly, it has nothing to do with Pittsburgh. The entire world has very little discipline or good judgment. Just look at the pinheads we send to Washington. A regular part of any sports broadcast could be devoted to the police blotter. Sports, politics, movies and music stars all seem to be lacking judgment. So what is the common factor? Youth.

The combination of a lot of money and a lack of age and experience can be a dangerous. Every pro league has this problem. Not only are very young rich men likely to put themselves in questionable situations but they are targets for anyone looking for a quick buck. As the economy gets worse, players are going to have to realize that more and more non-players are looking for just that kind of opportunity. There are also a gaggle of money hungry ambulance chasing lawyers that will talk accusers into filing a suit.

Players have to show better judgment than to put themselves in a situation where they are alone with women or in a position to be accused of inappropriate behavior. I can not understand why at his age he would be going to a college bar and inviting co-eds under 21 back to a VIP room for free drinks. What part of that seemed like a good idea at the time? If he showed that same kind of decision making on the field, he would be a 3rd string QB.

All pro leagues need to do a better job reminding players not to put themselves into these kind of situations. Unions need to be reminding players as well. DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA and his counterparts in the other player unions need to not only make annual presentations to the rookies but also to the vets. Parents should have taught their kids better as well.

None of us know what happened in any of these cases or who is telling the truth and who is not. Thank God in the US everyone is innocent until proven guilty. But the leagues, teams and the players take PR hits any time something like this happens. Given the future financial struggles of pro sports, no team can afford to lose even a few fans due to accusations of bad behavior.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think and thanks for checking our site out.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: Roethlisberger,NFL,DeMaurice Smith,Holmes,Steelers. lawsuit,Georgia,sexual assult,NFLPA,off season,preseason
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Does the NFL need to change the overtime rules?

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There were a couple of proposals but the final one that will be voted on this week at the owner’s meeting in Orlando is as follows:

If the team that wins the coin toss goes down the field and scores a touchdown, the game is over. However, if that team is stopped and kicks a field goal, they would have to kick off and give the other team a chance to either score a touchdown or kick a field goal. A 3-3 tie in overtime would begin a true sudden death scenario.

The biggest argument is that both teams should get a shot at the ball. There have been more wins recently by the team getting the ball on the flip. From 75-93 the team that got the ball first won 46.8 of the time. However, from 94-09 the team that got the ball won 60% of overtime games. Worse, the percentage of games ended by a field goal jumped from 18% in 75-93 to 26% in the 94-09 period.

Another argument against the change says that there should not be 2 sets of rules one for the regular season and one for the playoffs. But we have 2 sets of rules now. In the regular season after 15 minutes of scoreless overtime, the game is over and ends in a tie. In the playoffs, they play until one team scores no matter how long that takes.

Does the overtime system need to be changed?

Probably not. The system has been in place for years. The only objection to the rules comes from coaches and players of teams that are the loser of a coin flip and are not able to prevent a FG from their opponents.

Would this change improve the system?

Probably not. The college system is clearly not the answer. The injury rate for NFL players would skyrocket having to play 2 to 3 sets of downs from the 25. The new rule will extend overtime games to some degree but does allow both offenses to get on the field if the flip winner is only able to kick a FG. To those teams that cry over the current rule I have 2 suggestions. First, get better on kickoff coverage so that the team winning the flip starts from inside their 25 yard line. Second, play better D so that the opponent is forced to punt and give you the ball. If you do both of those things, the overtime rule works fine for everyone.

Note: This site will have new content Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. In addition, the Niblets feature will return on the last Saturday of the month starting this month.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jan 21st, 2010
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The NBA: First half season review

The NBA: First half season review

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nba

Game of the week–LA 87 @ Cleveland 93

The Cavs trailed for 3 quarters but the 4th quarter is LeBron time. LeBron scored 37 with 12 in the last period to make the difference. Bryant had 31It was an outstanding game. Varejao adds so much energy and rebounding and that was critical in this game. He hit 2 free throws with 20 seconds to go after forcing a fowl going after a miss on a free throw by LeBron. This is the kind of game that the Cavs would have lost a couple of years ago. They have now swept the Lakers in their 2 games.

Top NBA teams are struggling with injuries.

The top teams from last year are all struggling with injuries.

Cleveland (33-11) leads the Eastern Conference but will not have G Mo Williams for up to a month. They traded for Shaq but Coach Brown has not figured out yet how to make a square peg fit into a round hole. He is not playing enough minutes to have the impact the Cavs expected. The Cavs need to find a way to stay in front of Boston and Orlando to keep the home floor advantage in the East. There are problems on both ends of the court. On O the team is depending too much on LeBron and the others are going to have to make up for the loss of the scoring of Williams. They will particularly miss Mo’s 3 pointers. The D has allowed twice as many 100 point games as they did last year at this point in the season.

Boston (27-13) has been playing without Garnett for too long. They hope to have him back this week. That is going to help them get back in the run for the top spot in the East. Boston has lost games they should have been able to win like recent losses to Detroit, Chicago and Dallas.

Atlanta (27-14) has crept up on the big three by winning most of the games they should be able to and pulling off a few upsets. But after a really nice win over Phoenix, they lost at home to Oklahoma City. Just like last year, their problem has been consistency of intensity.

Orlando (27-15) has had a tough January so far. They are only 3-6 since the first of the year. That included a couple of tough road trips and a costly loss at home to Toronto. Despite a win over Atlanta in that run, they fell behind the Hawks due to the losses on the road. Road trips tend to even out over the season. Orlando has more talent that the Hawks and should overtake them.

Charlotte (21-19) has been one of the hottest teams in January. They have gone 9-1 including wins at Cleveland and Miami. They have moved up to 5th place in the East. Their only loss was a bad game at New York. If the Bobcats can stay hot, they have a chance to move higher in the final rankings. Don’t bet on that though. Starting on the 25th they have a 6 game west coast road trip that will bring them back to reality.

Miami (21-20) went 3-3 in a January west coast trip and is 5-5 in January. They took a bad loss on Wednesday to the Bobcats 104-65. The team has been very inconsistent. They are also playing Wade 37 minutes a game which may be too much. They need his scoring as well as his assists.

Western Conference

Los Angles (32-10) has the best record in the league but the team has been up and down in intensity. Bryant has been playing hurt because the team isn’t close to the same without him. He looks healthy now and playing again at a high level. However, his accuracy on 3 point shots has suffered due to a finger injury. The Lakers have a 2 games in the loss column advantage over the Cavs going into the game last night between the two conference leaders. They are 7-3 in January but lost to the Clippers 102-91. Including last night, they are on a 7 game road trip to the east cost. That will be key to their ability to stay on top.

Dallas (28-14) is 5-3 so far in 2010. They had a nice win at Boston and are in a 5 game east road trip. They have to find a way to beat the Lakers. They have already lost to LA twice this month. Despite the team trying to build to beat LA, they don’t match up well. They have missed Howard. He has only played 21 game so far. He is critical to the team’s success.

Denver (27-14) is hot. They are 7-3 in 2010 including a nice win at home against the Cavs 99-97. The key is that the Nuggets are winning the close games which is something they had trouble doing last year. They have 10 players averaging 10 or more minutes a game. That helps. Billips is averaging 18.8 points per game. That helps too. He has been the best addition this team has had in a long time.

San Antonio (25-16) has gone 6-5 in 2010. They are currently 4th in the West but because they have so much talent and experience in the playoffs, they are always a threat to get to the finals. When you have a player the quality of Ginobili coming off the bench, you are really good. Despite the age of the roster the team has been pretty healthy this year. That could be trouble for the rest of the league in the playoffs.

Portland (26-17) has suffered the loss of C Oden. He was the first pick in the 07 draft but seems very brittle. His entire career is threatened by his injuries. Even so they have been one of the pleasant surprises in the league this year. They have gone 5-4 in January. Roy and Aldridge have picked up the slack. Roy is scoring 23 a game with 5 assists and Aldridge is pulling down over 8 rebounds a game. They are too inexperienced to know they shouldn’t be doing this well. That makes them dangerous.

Phoenix (25-18) has been a surprise. They failed to make the playoffs last year but are 1 win up in the standings for the 6th spot. There was a lot of trade talk involving Stoudemire last off season but he is back and playing well putting up 21 points a game. The key is that he has been able to play nearly 35 minutes a game. Nash, Richardson, Frye and Grant have all been contributing and have been healthy so far.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday morning at 11. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NBA,NBA Playoffs,Cavilers,Celtics,Hawks,Magic,Bobcats,Heat,Lakers,Maverics,Nuggets,Spurs,Suns,Trail Blazers,LeBron James,Bryant
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  • Author:
  • Published: Oct 27th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Tuesday QB for 10/27/09

Tuesday QB for 10/27/09

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nfl

Teams in serious trouble from the bad to the terrible

The Redskins (2-5) have taken the play calling away from coach Zorn. The main problem is not Zorn and it is not the QB. QB Campbell has a passer rating of 85. Given some of the teams on this list, that is not great but not that bad. Injuries have hurt the team badly. RB Portis is not healthy, they lost their all pro LT Samuels for the season and now the team has lost its best receiver TE Cooley for several weeks with a broken bone in his ankle.

But the real problem of the Redskins has been the draft. The Redskins have traded for players because they couldn’t find good ones in the draft. The down side of doing that is they are always old and always injury prone. The lack of middle round picks over the years have robbed them of quality depth. When a starter gets hurt, there is a large drop off in the abilities of the replacement. This year they will have another high pick but many of the rounds have already been traded away. Zorn will be fired but no one could get this team improved without cleaning out the front office as well.

The Raiders (2-5) will never get better until Davis gives up the control of the team. He makes a huge mistake like drafting QB Russell and will not admit it. He refuses to have anyone on his staff that criticizes him or his decisions.

The Lions (1-5) are actually turning the corner toward respectability. When QB Stafford went down it hurt that effort but he should be back soon. There are still a lot of holes to fill but not having GM Millen calling the shots will help. He was a disaster.

The Chiefs (1-6) won the contest for QB Cassell but that was not a great choice. He has struggled to a passer rating of 73. The team has suspended their star RB Johnson to whom they gave millions in a contract extension just to see him run for a staggering 2.7 per carry. He made some politically incorrect remarks and will be AOL for awhile. The D is terrible as well. The only good news is that they are in the AFC Least division in the West. Even with their problems, they may get past the Raiders for 3rd in the division.

The Cleveland Tans are just a shadow of their former greatness. Mangini was the wrong pick for coach and he gave their top pick away for nothing. QB Anderson has a passer rating just above 40. Mangini has purged the roster of players he did not pick and brought in a lot of former Jets. So far then new guys have been a bust along with his draft picks. I have put a plan for rebuilding the team posted on NFLDraftDog.com.

The Titans (0-6) are in serious trouble because they are bad and old. They have the oldest starting 22 in the league. But they do have an outstanding coach Fisher. They lost DT Haynesworth in free agency and their D has not been anything close to as good without him.

The Rams (0-7) have some weapons on O but lack the blocking to make them effective. They drafted RT Smith (Baylor) to replace Orlando Pace but he was unable to beat out LT Barron and now is a reserve behind RT Goldberg. They did hit the jackpot with 2nd round pick IB Laurinaitis who is starting and playing well. The problem for so long has been bad coaching and worse drafting. There is little to suggest that they know where the corner is let alone finding a way to get around it. So far the new staff hasn’t gotten much done.

The Buccaneers (0-7) have a new coach and new front off staff. The problem is they still have the same team. They have made a QB change but that has not helped. They used their 1st pick on QB Freeman that won’t contribute for 2 or 3 years. They just don’t have a lot of talent on the team. They did get some decent talent later on in the draft including a couple of D linemen that are in the rotation. They have a long way to go to get back up to the middle of the pack.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL Football,NFL Draft,Redskins,Zorn,Samuels,Cooley,Portis,Campbell,Raiders,Davis,Lions,Chiefs,Cassell,Johnson,Browns,Mangini,NFL Draft dog,Titans,Fisher,Haynesworth,Rams,Smith,Barron,Goldberg,Laurinaitis,Buccaneers,Freeman
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Tuesday Morning QB for 10/06/09

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football

TN @ JK The Titans are in serious trouble. Just like the rest of those that watch and are fool enough to try to prognosticate NFL games, I thought the Titans would come around. They have had a ton of injuries on D and on the O line but that is no excuse. They are bad and there are no answers on the bench (see my column on Will Vince Young ever become an NFL QB?). The Titans are out of the playoffs for the first time in a while.

Jacksonville had their game blacked out. They are really struggling to get their attendance up. The only hope to keep the team in place beside a winning streak which won’t happen is to play some games in Orlando. They won’t do that and will end up moving. The 7 of you that have the NFL Network can see Jacksonville games after midnight on that channel.

BA @ NE The Pats took the one path to beat the Ravens that I have seen—Jump ahead and make them a pass first team. The 14 point 2nd quarter by the Pats put the Ravens behind and they gave up on the run. That was not wise because Rice averaged 9.4 yards per attempt but got only 11 carries. The loss pulled the Ravs even with the Bengals who they play next week. The Pats were able to pull even with the Jets in the loss column with their fall to the Saints. I still believe that the Pats are the class of the AFC East.

NJ @ NO The Saints untold story is their D. They stopped the Jet O cold and held them to 10 points. The O has carried the Saints for years but now under former HC Williams they are playing very well on D. Look for them to make the NFC South their personal playground. The Jets will be fine and should make the playoffs as a wild card behind the Pats. They are a good team but Sanchez has to have some time to become a NFL QB.

DA @ DV The luck continued but so did an above average effort by the D. The Bronco D has played above their heads and has contributed the most to their 4-0 start. Dallas is in trouble. Romo has yet to prove he can make it happen in tough spots. The playoffs are going to be tough for the Boys that are now in effect 2.5 games behind the Giants because they are 2 games back in the loss column and lose the tiebreaker. The running game is struggling because the passing game is not as effective as it should be. The O line is a problem but so are the backs. Neither Barber nor Choice got 4 yards a carry. That is the standard for an average running game.

SD @ PT The Steelers got another win by showing their grit. They held off the Chargers on a 2nd half rally that netted 28 points. The Steelers scored 10 in the 4th to win the game. Mendenhall got out of the dog house just in time to run for 165 yards and 2 TDs. He was the difference between this win and last weeks lost to the Bengals. The Steelers are now 2-2 but 1.5 games behind the Bengals. They should still get to the playoffs but will it be as the Division champ or a wild card. The wild card route is a tough road to get to the Super Bowl.

GB @ MN The Pack was able to keep Peterson under control and allowed him only 2.2 ypa. But by focusing on the running game, Favre went to work. He threw for 3 TDs and 271 yards. The Pack gave up on the running game too soon. Grant was averaging 4.6 per carry but got only 11 attempts. The Vikes are on their way to the 1st seed in the playoffs and that should carry them to the NFC Championship game.

TB @ WA The Redskins saved Coach Zorn from getting fired or worse. They stumbled to a 16-13 win over the totally inept Bucs. This was the stinker game of the week and lived up to that title. Between Johnson (TB) and Campbell (WA) there was only 276 yards of passing! If you were thinking that the Ds played really well, you would be wrong. Neither guy could hit the water from a sinking boat in the middle of the Atlantic.

CN @ CL Check out my full report on NFLDraftDog.com tomorrow.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL FOOTBALL,Jaguars,Titans,Ravens,Patroits,Jets,Saints,Bengals,Cowboys,Broncos,Chargers,Steelers,Packers,Vikings,Buccaneers,Redskins,Browns,NFL Draft
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