Archives for: 2009, week 27


LeBron Orders Dunk Tapes Confiscated

Permalink 06:00:00 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

All World All Sports

-Digger's Daily-

Has there ever been a player not dunked on in the NBA? Dunking the ball for easy baskets is one of basketball's oldest moves. Nearly every player has given up a dunk in either practice, pre-season, regular season or post-season. So why did Nike confiscate video of LeBron James giving up a two handed slam to Xavier sophmore James Crawford?

LeBron is one of basketball's current greats. He's reigning NBA MVP, recipient of a mega contract, major endorsement deals, sneakers bearing his name and subject of free agency rumors. "King James" & "Chosen One" are two nicknames often used to describe one of the NBA's biggest stars.

Nowadays, LJ has shown us all a glimpse of his tempermental side. After favored Cleveland was beaten by Orlando in the Eastern Conference Finals LJ stormed off the court without shaking hands with the victors. Now, he's being accused of asking Nike to confiscate video tapes showing James Crawford emphatic two handed slam dunk from a one on one game at Nike-run LeBron James Skills Academy.

Is his personality so fragile to prohibit a video from airing on YouTube? Come on LeBron, grow up! Isn't it ironic how coverups become bigger news than what is actually being covered up? Sports, politics, amateur vids... doesn't matter. Covering something up publicly only invites criticism and curiousity. "LeBron James gets dunked on video" was the fifth-most popular search on Google as of Thursday afternoon. So, what made this so embarrassing for James? You know what they say... if you can't make fun of yourself...

The ball is in Nike's court now. Release or not to release. Time will tell.



Cowboys Circus Continues

Permalink 02:36:40 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

All World All Sports

-Digger's Daily-

Dallas Cowboys have been one of the most storied franchises in NFL history. Some of football's greatest moments involved Dallas. Five time Super Bowl winners, 11 Hall of Fame players, a legendary Ring of Honor and two ownership groups dedicated to winning. The Cowboys will be playing in a new billion dollar stadium opening this season. It's been described as the jewel of the NFL.

Dallas has had their share of negativity too. Add up all of their players in legal troubles over the years (enough to fill a cell block), coaching carousel, Tony Romo drama's, Keyshawn Johnson's attitude, Terrell Owens mouth, practice facility collapse, drug usage, Jerry Jones and a host of other items creating a circus-like atmosphere. It's no wonder the Cowboys haven't won another Super Bowl since 1996.

The latest news being reported by ESPN is quite shocking too. Apparently, All Pro linebacker DeMarcus Ware would hide from coaches so teammate Greg Ellis could enter games. This is not how Champions compete. Their best defensive player "hiding" from coaches on the sidelines during games? Is it any wonder this team falls apart in December year after year?

Ellis was released after last season and signed with Oakland for '09. Quoting from Wednesday's interview on ESPN's 103.3 "Michael Irvin Show", Ellis chirped: "It's a disgrace when DeMarcus Ware comes off the field just so I can get in the game and when the coaches tell him to come on the field, he tries to hide so I can play," Ellis said on Irvin's show. "And you're telling me we're trying to win the Super Bowl?"

So, it wasn't only Terrell Owens causing a commotion last year. Owens paranoia led to public finger pointing thinking Romo and TE Jason Witten were conspiring against him. Surprise, surprise... defensive players were dismayed with coaches too. This is where the Cowboys everyday problems begin.. their coaches. Ever since Jimmy Johnson abruptly quit following their 2003 championship, Cowboys coaches have been puppets to team owner Jones (all except Bill Parcell's)... and the players know it. Most of their turmoil stems from players lack of respect for Dallas coaches. Players have been publicly vocal stating displeasures with staff members and other players. Some skip or show up late to practices, team meetings, flights before/after games, or act in a manner detrimental to team chemistry. It doesn't help when Jerry Jones rushes to sign players in legal trouble and players with off field issues.

It's only a matter of time before the Cowboys circus kicks into full swing as opening day approaches. Ellis' parting shot interview will certainly open eyes with ownership and coaches. Players must already be questioning Ware's motives when teammates were busting butts attempting to win their division. Dallas is a team desperate for a leader.



Diamonds to Dust - Cash Flow Squeezing Owners?

Permalink 04:12:19 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

All World All Sports

-Digger's Daily-

Diamonds to dust. Our economy has begun to take it's toll on Major League Baseball. As expected, attendance figures are down (roughly 5%). Rumors are swirling claiming at least two teams are facing financial downturns, Texas Rangers and New York Mets.

Rumors suggest Texas was unable to meet it's payroll obligations. Major League Baseball stepped in with a $15,000,000 loan. Team owner Tom Hicks financial situation has been a subject of bloggers for years. Nothing has been confirmed relating to his personal finances. His company has sold its' shares in various ventures. Now, he's trying to sell the Rangers ballclub. When he first took over Hicks spent wildly on free agents. He made headlines and turned baseball's free agent markets on its' head when rewarding Alex Rodriguez with the games richest contract valued over $250M. If he's unable to sell, and if future payroll concerns aren't remedied, then it's my guess MLB will step in and take control of Texas. Neither MLB or Rangers has publicly commented one way or the other on any of these rumors. Speculation suggests these claims cay contain truths... especially since there have been no denials.

In New York, there's definitely a situation brewing even though Mets staff deny problems. Various unconfirmed reports state team owner Fred Wilpon lost $300M in the famous Madoff scandal. 2009 was supposed to bring pennant fever back to Flushing after two consecutive September chokes. The Mets star players have dropped like flies. Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, John Maine, Oliver Perez have missed time. Perez returns this weekend, the others are out until at least mid to late August. Normally, Wilpon would have made a deal to help ride the tide. Especially with top producing players sidelined for extended periods. Not this year. Mets appear to be cash strapped. No moves were made and GM stated don't expect any. Mets are fading fast in the standings. They can't hit or field these days. Their death spiral continues. They've lost 4 straight, 7 of 10, shutout in consecutive games, 3 runs in last 36 innings. Their starting lineup is filled with unproven rookies or journeymen clearly not up to the task. Lack of moves suggests big trouble brewing. Only unconfirmed rumors. Fans can sense something is clearly wrong.

The trading deadline will offer insight into how deeply econimic woes have touched baseball. It's usually when losing teams start unloading high salaried players. Teams in pennant races try doing whatever it takes to win. 2009 could be very different. I'd bet most teams are not willing to take on additional payroll restraints. A few teams will make trades. Missing will be the mad scrambles or counter moves when division rivals stock up. If a flurry of moves do take place then it will most likely contain mid-level salaried players.

Time will tell if all is well or if diamonds are turning to dust.



NFL 2009: Running Back Rankings

Permalink 01:07:46 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

All World All Sports

-Digger's Daily-

Fantasy football coaches often argue running back is the key position for winning. Two healthy star backs can carry a team. In my eyes it boils down to which type of league fantasy owners choose to play. In head to head competition, upper echelon RB's rule the day. In rotisserie style games, this isn't always true. Here's my short list of top NFL RB's based on fantasy scoring. Top 10:

1- Michael Turner (ATL) - MT exploded on the scene is his first year as starting RB. Previously played in shadow of SD's Tomlinson. He'll prove '08 was no fluke (1697 yds, 17 TD). Should be in top 2 or 3 in fantasy scoring in '09. Might challenge for 200 yards. Projection: 1800+ yards, 16+ TD.

2- LaDainian Tomlinson (SD) - 2008 was first time in LT's career below 300 carries. He was a bit banged up and fell victim to coach Norv Turner's pass first offense. Turner is nuts not utilizing one of football's best ever backs. This will change in '09 as LT returns to form. Projection: 1500+, 15+ TD.

3- Adrian Pederson (MIN) - This kid keeps improving. Tagged as games best RB. What hurts AP's production from week to week is lack of a bonified QB in Minnesota. Without a solid QB all D's will continue to key on Pederson. Even with D's formulated to stop his running game he managed 1760 yards in '08. He'll have good weeks and not so good as Vikings struggle to score. Projection: 1600+, 13+ TD.

4- Brandon Jacobs (NYG) - Don't expect Jacobs to challenge for rushing title. Might not even come close. However, he could be top TD producing RB in '09. Giants ball control offense and Jacobs punishing style makes him the go to guy inside oppositions 10 yard line. 15 TD's last year in only 13 games. Projection: 1200+, 18+.

5- DeAngelo Williams (CAR) - Was 2008 a career year or a sign of things to come? Had a tremendous 2nd half last year (8 games, 993 yds, 15 TD's). Part of two headed monster running attack (James Stewart) which scored combined 28 TD's. Might be risky ranking Williams this high as the hotter runner will earn bulk of carries. He deserves benefit of any doubts heading into camp. Projection: 1400+, 15+.

6- Matt Forte (CHI) - Bears fans have been waiting for a solid QB to lead offense. Acquiring scrambling QB Jay Cutler in off season will open up running & passing lanes. Forte will be beneficiary of increased production. 3 and outs killed Chicago last year. 2009 affords Forte his chance for a big 2nd year. Projection: 1400+, 10+.

7- Steven Jackson (STL) - Jackson rushed for his 4th consecutive 1000+ season in only 12 games. Injuries might cause fantasy owners to take pause. Skies the limit if he can play a full season. Might wreck fantasy team chances if injured early on. Projection: 1500+, 10+.

8- Ryan Grant (GB) - Packers need to start feeding Grant the ball inside red zones (only 4 TD in '08). Future is bright in GB with young RB and QB. Should have plenty of opportunities to shine in '09. 1200+, 10+.

9- Clinton Portis (WAS) - My 2nd favorite current NFL RB (Jacob's 1st). Opposing D's have keyed on CP throughout his 5 year Redskin tenure and he keeps producing. Sooner or later, Washington will finally chase after a strong armed QB to give this squad a shot at scoring. Unfortunately, this may not happen until Portis moves on or retires. Strong yardage gainer, not enough shots to score. Projection: 1500+, 8+.

10- Willie Parker (PIT) - Steelers featured back was banged and bruised in '09 missing 5 games. However, he rebounded nicely to help lead Pittsburgh to another title. He's a perfect backfield fit to ball control scheme. Expecting big numbers if he can stay on the field. A big "IF". Projection: 1300+, 10+.




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