Notes from cocktail napkins on a Monday...
Another weekend of preseason football and another round of injuries, some season ending. We saw Roddy White roll his ankle on Thursday night against the Ravens and now the Falcons will shut him down for the rest of August. He wouldn't have played much if at all in week 4, so he misses this week's practice and game against the Titans. I think he's got a handle on the Falcons Offense. Roddy tweeted yesterday that he's never missed a regular season game and he's going to keep that streak intact.
And as much as we hate not having Roddy out there...if anything it means more catches for Tony Gonzalez who is back at practice after his team sanctioned mini-break. With all the injuries around the NFL, why not just put him in bubble wrap and break him out after Labor Day just to be safe?
The Dolphins just lost Justin Keller for the year as the free agent tight end who signed a one year deal with Miami tore every "L" in his knee Saturday night in Houston...
The Giants will have to shut down Victor Cruz with a bruised heel as well...Tom Coughlin had plenty to bitch about after a lackluster loss to the Colts on National TV Sunday night...
After a sluggish start for both teams in Baltimore, the Falcons offense really started clicking, Steven Jackson was consistently breaking into the secondary and Julio Jones eased back into a natural rhythm with Matt Ryan, scoring a touchdown as well.
All eyes were on the right side and Lamar Holmes, after watching Elvis Dumervil sprint past him to bust up a screen play, he settled down and was solid. As Holmes makes the jump to starter in the NFL you have to accept that he'll take his lumps...hopefully Matt Ryan wont.
A bit of an over reaction by some Falcon fans after the exhibition loss to the Bengals...Yes the Ravens 3rd stringers came back to win the make believe game last week but the Falcons defense picked off Joe Flacco, completely shut down Ray Rice and were up by 2 touchdowns when Smitty pulled the starters. Aside from some dumb penalties and the busted coverage on the Torrey Smith TD, the Falcons dominated Baltimore, to the point where an aggravated John Harbaugh kept his starters deep in the game until they got something right.
Who's done with the A-Rod story? It really has become background noise, The Yankees GM Brian Cashman going round and round with Rodriguez' latest lawyer while more rumors swirl over just what kind of plea bargain was offered or turned down by MLB. Meanwhile A-Rod hears it form the Fenway faithful last night, gets plunked by the Red Sox' Ryan Dempster in his first at bat, (Dempster by the way does a great Harry Caray impression)...then hits a moon ball to dead center for a revenge tater later in the game as the Yankees win 9-6.
Which is more impressive the Dodgers second half turn around or Alfonso Soriano's return to pinstripes? The AJC's Braves beat writer Dave O'Brien joined us last week and said as amazing as the Braves have been this season (especially Fredi Gonzalez' handling of 50 different line ups due to injuries) the Dodgers are the team nobody wants a part of in a 5 game series.
The latest nonsense from Ryan Braun...news leaked that before he took his suspension he told other players that his pee collector Dino Laurenzi Jr was anti-Semitic and even worse...a Cubs Fan!
Fox Sports launched Fox Sports 1 this weekend in an effort to make a run at ESPN's viewers and advertising dollars. Their panel of expert jocks looks as unimpressive as ESPN's on any given weekday. Your typical panel and opinion shows with a couple of hottie hosts sprinkled in...Well at least their promos are funny I guess.
I've gotten so sick of what Sports Center has become. Whether it's ESPN's New England-New York obsession or the way they grind one topic into the ground. Or the ridiculous cartoon like mind set of embrace the debate...or last Summer's Tebow-Mania or crap like "coming up, Herm Edwards with some advice for the struggling Yankees"...WTF??? All I want is highlights delivered by personalities that have a sense of humor. That's why the only Sports Center I watch is the late night L.A. edition with Neil Everett and Stan Verett, more highlights, less analysis and you can never have too many Big Lebowski references.
I caught the re-air of FOX Sports 1's new nightly highlight show this morning and it's a breath of fresh air. Jay Onrait & Dan O'Toole hired away from Canada's TSN to host the flagship show Fox Sports Live are the closest thing I've seen to the fun, loose chemistry of Dan Patrick & Keith Olbermann from back in the 90's on ESPN. They're Canadian so you'll catch the occasional "aboot" but I was digging the clever references and quips, like...
"Lets head to Milwaukee where they celebrated Bernie Brewer's 40th anniversary as mascot, he's been to rehab 36 times"..."at The Wyndham Championship that's Patrick Reed in the playoff and he's got his wife...on his bag"....they're not concerned with being PC like some of the talking heads at ESPN, and it's not forced, and they're not taking it too seriously either. It’s definitely worth a look.
Loved all the Premier League coverage on NBC Sports this weekend. A great feature on Crystal Palace and their fans explained how the EPL relegates weaker teams into the minors of soccer. Crystal Palace in South Central London was dropped to the lower league again in 2005 and fought its way back to the premiership for this season. Fans displayed a giant banner that read "Palace are here let the games begin" along with the character from the Jig-Saw movies. They lost to Tottenham 1-0.
Joey Logano finally notched his first win for Penske at Michigan Sunday. Mark Martin ran out of gas and Jimmie Johnson blew up. Nothing against Jimmie but his annual march through The Chase each fall with military like precision is killing the sport. Johnson's lead shrank to just 41 points over Clint Bowyer. John Michael's mom's favorite driver and defending Sprint Cup Champ Brad Keselowski is still winless but hanging in the top 10 in points. If ya heard him drop by the booth to visit Wes & Arch during the Bengals game only to learn that he had in fact signed an autograph on John's Mom's chest at Talladega, it was priceless.