Archives for: 2010, week 27

07/09/10

LeBron James Getting Trashed for Choosing Heat

Permalink 05:31:28 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

The suspense is over. NBA star LeBron James has chosen to play for the Miami Heat. ESPN helped turn James decision into a spectacle by hosting a one hour prime time special, "The Decision", where analysts debated which team would be the best fit for one of the games greats. Never before has the sporting world witnessed such an event. Instead of talking directly to the teams involved (Cleveland, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Clippers and Miami) James chose to go prime time angering many along the way.

Headlines from the losing cities are tenaciously attacked LeBron. Sports editorials ripping him a new one. Some catchy headlines include (links included):

NY Post front page headline "LeBum" and front sports page shouted "Son of a Beach!" (NY Post)

NY Daily News front page "Who Cares!" and back sports page headline also read "Son of a Beach!" (NY Daily News)

Cleveland.com (online edition) has headline after headline tearing apart James decision.

You get the idea. The manner in how this all unfolded has ruffled many players, coaches, teams and fans. The harshest words have come directly from James former employers in Cleveland which even questioned LeBron's lackadasical playoff performances when the Cavs were eliminated by Boston. Team owner Dan Gilbert went the extra mile publishing an open letter to Cavaliers fans. I don't ever remember a team owner ripping apart a former player in this manner (read here). Gilbert called James decision a "cowardly betrayal" and went on to claim "In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight: "I personally guarantee that the Cleveland Cavaliers will win an NBA Championship before the self-titled former 'King' wins one."

The only positive news came from South Florida newspapers who are joyfully predicting Wade, Bosh & James will deliver many titles. Personally, I feel James made the right choice in playing in Miami for many reasons. Tax concerns (no local & state taxes) allows James to keep much of his soon to be large contract and endorsements. New York & Federal taxes would have consumed 2/3's of money earned. South Florida is also a great diverse environment to live. Miami Heat are dedicated to winning and have a terrific organization. James also gets to play with close friends Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

On the flip side, did LeBron James really need to have a one hour ESPN special to announce his long anticipated decision? No! This was not the proper forum to flip off all those who worked so hard attempting to better their teams. A personal phone call saying "thank you for honoring me"... at least something somewhat responsible and respectful. To each their own choices but can anyone blame those left in the dust for having a bad feeling? James will hear it loud and clear from fans in losing bid cities once the regular season begins. He's now public enemy #1 in Chicago, New York, Cleveland, New Jersey and L.A.

07/08/10

NFL Rumblings: 1st & Goal or 4th & Long?

Permalink 02:20:17 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

A select few National Football League players have much to think about lately. 1st & goal or 4th & long? What will it be for some troubled players? Will they get take control of their personal troubles and get on with their careers? Or will teams simply give up on signing talents filled with off field distractions? Some players just can't seem to take positive advantage of many second chances offered. Here's a few making negative news lately as the 2010 season quickly approaches.

Terrell Owens is flapping his gums again. Pointing fingers is nothing new for the outspoken T.O. This time taking aim at ESPN. "A lot of people have listened to a lot of the commentaries throughout a lot of the media outlets, mainly ESPN, that has my character in question as far as things that have happened in the past," Owens said. "And I think even though I may do 99 good things right and if I do one thing wrong, ESPN and the people on there is gonna make it out to be the worst thing ever." Let's be clear. Owens has never been known as a team player. He disrupts team chemistry everywhere he plays. There's always a blame game from trash talking head coaches, quarterbacks, offensive coordinators and teammates. It's been this way throughout his NFL career from San Francisco to Philadelphia to Dallas to Buffalo. Now, blaming the media for lack of a contract. At this stage, and price tag, why would any team want his services? As of now, none do. There's only one person to blame but T.O. rarely engages in self analysis. Owens' career is in the 4th and long stage.

Former Oakland Raiders JaMarcus Russell's fame will be remembered as one of the biggest draft busts. The former LSU college star was Oakland's #1 pick in 2007. It's doubtful Russell will ever suit up for another NFL team. 7 career wins in 25 starts accompanied by a "myriad" of off field problems. The latest was a recent arrest for possession of a controlled substance (codeine syrup). UFL might come calling. NFL teams will not.

There's a new substance spreading across NFL locker rooms. NFL drug testing policies make it difficult for players to find a new high. But, those who want to find a way now turn to "purple drank" (liquid codeine). Purple drank is a slang term for a recreational drug popular in the hip hop community in the southern United States and now seems to be catching on in NFL circles. Its main ingredient is prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine. Cough syrup is typically mixed with soft drinks or pieces of Jolly Rancher candy. The purplish hue of purple drank comes from dyes in the cough syrup. Look out NFL, there's a new drug in town which seems to slip past current testing policies. No one knows for sure how wide spread this has become. Rest assured teams and local law enforcement will be hot on the trail.

How long before Michael Vick distances himself from trouble? He was one of the NFL's most exciting players before getting busted in a dog fighting ring. Philadelphia went so far as trading star QB Donavan McNabb to division rival Washington opening the door for Vick compete for the job of Eagles top signal caller. This ex-con continues to defy logic. Vick was out celebrating his 30th birthday recently. The celebration soon turned to gunshots placing Vick front and center of a police investigation. "I want to assure everyone that I had nothing to do with that incident," Vick said in a statement released to the press almost a week after the June 25 shooting. "I left the restaurant prior to it occurring and did not witness what happened." Vick's lawyer told The Associated Press the victim was Quanis Phillips, a high school teammate and co-defendant in Vick's infamous dog fighting case for which Vick served 21 months in federal prison. Doesn't sound like Vick has successfully distanced himself from questionable friends. Will Philadelphia soon jettison Vick? Unconfirmed rumors suggest he's being shopped around the NFL. Maybe he'll finally get a grip after this latest incident. More will follow after a full police investigation.

Has Jacksonville had enough of the Jaguars? Vic Ketchman of Jaguars.com calls this the "save the whale" juncture in team history. Apparently intra-squad scrimmages will only be for season ticket holders. Jacksonville's fan base is diminishing rapidly. Team play has not been good in recent years. Florida has the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Bucs. The Jags are in jeopardy of home game television blackouts and team officials are sounding alarm bells. 2010 might be their last year in Jacksonville. Their official website is quoted as saying... (Vic Ketchman) "At this time, I would like to speak to everyone from my heart. I ask that you, please, read my words carefully and embrace them. Here goes: Folks, this is it. This is save the whale. Forget, for the moment, about kids and growing the fan base for the future. We’ve been doing that since 1995. Back then, it was about the future. In 2010, it’s about the present. The decision to limit the scrimmage to season-ticket holders was made for the purpose of adding value to a season ticket. It was carefully considered and the decision was made, not for the purpose of punishing those who don’t have tickets, but to reward those who do have tickets because adding value to a season ticket might help sell more of them. That’s all it is. The focus has become that sharp because ticket sales, not the futures of David Garrard and Jack Del Rio, is the number one issue confronting this team, and it’s not about next year’s ticket sales or growing the fan base for 2020, it’s about selling tickets for this year. This is it. This is save the whale and, from my perch on the beach, the whale is struggling to live. I think everyone would do well to understand that the radical nature of this decision underscores the team’s desperation to sell tickets. The team knew this decision would be harshly criticized, yet, it went forward with it. Why do you think it did? If your answer is that we have reached the tipping point, then you are a logical person." It's safe to guess professional football in northern Florida will soon end.

07/07/10

NBA Free Agent Frenzy Heats Up

Permalink 05:27:43 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

One by one the biggest names in basketball are being signed to wealthy contracts. Stars of the game are being wined and dined to the max. New York is one of many teams attempting to lure LeBron James. The Knicks showed how James could net well over $1 Billion in contract money plus Big Apple endorsements. New York recently signed another big name by gambling on oft injured Amare Stoudemire (5 years, $99.7M) hoping this too would help land LeBron. Personally, I don't think James necessarily wants to sign with New York. LeBron James can write his own future. He'll sign for maximum dollars no matter where he decides to play. Why would he want to take a step backwards from a championship calibur team to play for a rebuilding New York squad? He doesn't.

Miami has turned up the heat. Wade has been re-signed. Joining Wade is another sought after free agent, Chris Bosh. Adding James would instantly give Miami the leagues best 1-2-3 punch, Wade, Bosh & James. Florida living is superb. Miami is an excellent organization. The way I see it, James will either land in South Florida or decide to play for his hometown Chicago Bulls who just signed Carlos Boozer earlier today.

Decision day is Thursday during an hour long ESPN special. Sorry New Yorkers, it's going to take more than just money to turn around a desperate Knicks franchise struggling to create new glory days.

07/06/10

All World All Sports Random Thoughts

Permalink 06:32:03 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

No rest for the weary eyed headline readers. Action abounds everywhere in the world of sports from around the globe.

World Cup 2010 is nearing its' climax. The Neatherlands team reached the Finals for the first time since 1978 after an exciting 3-2 victory over Uruguay. Oranje has won all 6 matches and now awaits their next opponent for Sunday's World Cup Finals match. Will they play Germany? Or Spain?

NBA's free agent frenzy rumors are heating up. New York's Knicks made their first big move signing Amar'e Stoudemire to a 5 year $100M contract. Stoudemire's first order of business is to lure another big name free agent, or two, to play in the Big Apple. Knicks brass has been tempting James with the league max offer plus enticing endorsements which could net the total package in excess of $1 billion. Looks like there's no recession when it comes to throwing money at top NBA players. Teams and fans are checking twitter updates to find out if their favorite players will be returning to current teams or signing elsewhere. Bosh, Wade, LeBron, Dirk...? Where will they sign?

Baseball's All Star starters have been announced. As usual, plenty of controversy will soon follow when deserving players get left behind and replaced by questionable stars. Injuries are forcing some big name players out of this years contest in Anaheim. Will National League players finally win for the first time since 1996? Is it finally time to can awarding World Series home field advantage to All Star Game winners? YES! No way should the World Series be determined by All Star Game winners. Enough is enough. The experiment was successful for a number of years. Time to find other All Star incentives.

So far, the toughest All Star draw has been luring players to participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby. As of now, only 6 sluggers have signed up. Miguel Cabrera (Detroit), Robinson Cano (Yankees), David Ortiz (Boston) and Vernon Wells (Toronto), Corey Hart (Milwaukee) and Matt Holliday (St. Louis). Cano is a great hitter but the league is reaching if he qualifies as a "slugger". Seems as though players aren't into the contest anymore.