Archive for November, 2009

Mailbag: Brees Not The Best

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , , , on November 30, 2009 by Dallas O'Malley

Brees is the best player quarterback in the league not to win a Superbowl but all that can change with his current New Orleans Saints team.

Going through my mailbag this weekend, I came across this suggestion from a reader that I felt was appropriate especially with the huge MNF game tonight between the undefeated Saints and the team of the decade: the Patriots.  Here is what he said:

Maybe you can do an article on the BEST NFL quarterback, Drew Brees.   He keeps coming back from big deficits every week to stay perfect on the season.  With his accuracy as shown in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVoqA-LKGb4, he can spread the ball around better than anyone else in the game.  He continues to shove the ball up his opponent’s asses.  So where’s the post on Brees being the best in the game?

-Johnny

Las Vegas, Nevada

The reason I haven’t done a piece on Drew Brees being the NFL’s best quarterback is because he’s not.  When discussing the league’s best QBs there should only be two choices:  1) Tom Brady 2) Peyton Manning.  Brees is remarkable and maybe the best of the rest but he cannot be seriously be considered the best overall.  It goes without saying that a

As great as Elway was not even he could not fend off the Superbowl stigma until he won his 1st Lombardi Trophy.

quarterback needs to win a Superbowl in order to be mentioned in the conversation.  Unfortunately it is how all great players, especially quarterbacks, are measured.  Too many magnificent quarterbacks before Brees succumbed to the Superbowl rule.  Dan Fouts, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino just to name a few.  If John Elway couldn’t get a pass with his first 3 Superbowl appearances, all loses prior to his 2 wins, then Brees, who has yet to even make it to the Superbowl, will not be granted that privilege either.

Now Brees is in my Top 5 and is far superior to fellow 2-time Superbowl champion Ben Roethlisberger. So regarding the Superbowl rule he is an exception of sorts.  No one outside of Pittsburgh would pick Roethlisberger over Brees if they had the choice.  Brees is one of the few QBs who are irreplaceable like Brady and Manning.  He is quickly closing the gap between himself and the elite.  A win over Brady’s Patriots tonight on Monday Night Football may very well provide the Saints with the fuel needed to make Superbowl run.  Then Brees can look to eradicate the one thing that plagues his credentials.

As far as his place among the best in the game I would have to place him 4th overall.  The #1 choice is clear but in a tough decision I would have to place Favre over Brees right now.  Favre is playing some of his best football with far less turnovers than Brees.  Brees has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in half his games played this year.  The Saints are undefeated but the Vikings’ sole loss came at the expense of some convenient calls for the home team Steelers that ultimately took away the Vikings’ winning scores.  Favre and Brees are running a close race and a standout performance against the Patriots could propel Brees ahead of Favre but it’s unlikely.  This is vintage Favre we’re seeing and he’s looking a lot like the bayou brat who won a championship in the city Brees plays for.  See how that championship factor keeps working its way in the conversation?  If guys like Jeff Hostetler, Mark Rypien and Trent Dilfer have championship rings then it would be a crime if a talent like Drew Brees goes ring-less in his career.  Hopefully the Saints win it all this year because Brees truly deserves a ring.  I can’t think of anyone else in the league that is more deserving than Drew Brees.

Brees. Brady. Manning.  It’s all debatable but here are my top five quarterbacks in the game today:

1) Tom Brady

2) Peyton Manning

3) Brett Favre

4) Drew Brees

5) Ben Roesthlisberger

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NFL Throwdown Week 11

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , , on November 24, 2009 by Dallas O'Malley
  • The Dallas Cowboys are the worst team with a 7-3 record.
  • Ricky Williams, yes that Ricky Williams, scored 3 touchdowns to put the Dolphins firmly back in the wildcard hunt.
  • The Panthers are almost there.  Almost there.
  • The Redskins change their coach and they still suck.  Maybe Dan Schneider should be listen to what John Riggins has to say.
  • The most exciting game of the week came from the lowly Lions and the even lower Browns.  Matt Stafford makes history as the 1st rookie to toss 5TDs in a game.  What was most impressive is how he manned up and threw the game winning TD after injuring his shoulder the play before.
  • Maybe almost as impressive was the fact that Brady Quinn actually battled Stafford stroke for stroke in a who-da-thunk-it shoot out.
  • With Favre and the Vikings out of the way, the Packers are looking like a football team again with a 2nd win in a row.  With a decent remaining schedule it’s ok for Packers fans to start talking playoffs.
  • I know Ben Roethlisberger got hurt, but how in the hell did the Steelers lose to the Chiefs?!  Where there any riots following the Chief’s victory?  If not then should have been.
  • Even though they have been on the wrong end of the scoreboard the last couple of game, the 49ers have plenty to be excited about considering their future.
  • When someone says coaching doesn’t weigh as much as talent, tell that to the Seattle Seahawks and see what they tell you.
  • Is it me or is Brett Favre getting better every week?  Is there any doubt that the Vikings are the team to beat in the NFC?  There shouldn’t be.
  • The Giants end their 4 game losing streak by beating the suddenly defunct Falcons.
  • The Jaguars have risen to 6-4 and no one has noticed.  Not even their hometown cares.  The most exciting thing for them is who won the office pool that week.
  • It’s week 11, another Bills’ loss and no T.O explosion?  What is really going on here?
  • The Cardinals beat the Rams.  Shocker.
  • Free Steven Jackson! Free Steven Jackson!  Get him out of St. Louis!  A good running back is a terrible thing to waste!
  • The Eagles crushed the Bears’ hopes of a playoff berth.
  • With Ja-Garbage Russell benched, the Raiders upset the Bengals.  Did the Cardiac Cats go into cardiac arrest this Sunday?
  • You can officially close the book on the Broncos…again.
  • Tom Brady and the Patriots are finally balancing their attack and they are the team to beat regardless of record.
  • The Colts edge out the Ravens to remain undefeated.  It doesn’t matter what happens to this team they always find a way to win.  Sounds like a championship team if you ask me.
  • The Saints won their 1st game in Tampa since the Jon Gruden era.  This was the tune up they needed as the Saints get ready to host his majesty, King Brady, and his Patriot army next week on Monday Night Football.
  • ESPN’s panel for MNF sucked the sweat off of Vince Young’s ass.  The real story of the game is that the Texans again couldn’t close the show and the primer for next Monday’s matchup of the Patriots and Saints.

Hogan & Flair – It’s Never Real

Posted in Wrestling with tags , , , on November 19, 2009 by Dallas O'Malley

If Ric Flair really could do this damage off a mere slap then he’d be the baddest man on the planet.

Woooo!  The latest chapter in the ongoing feud between “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan had the world buzzing for about 12 whole minutes.    TMZ was the 1st to break the story that a “real fight” between the two legendary wrestlers took place while promoting a wrestling match down under.  Hogan’s camp said it was not a publicity stunt and that the fight, as well as the injuries, was entirely real…and people actually bought it.

I love pro wrestling as much as the next guy and the idea of a Hogan-Flair match doesn’t mean what it did in the 80s or 90s, but it still doesn’t need this kind of PR garbage.  People love nostalgia and if Flair & Hogan are willing to do this dance for another 30 years then people will still flock to see it.  Wrestling fans are the most devoted fan base on Earth and they’ll continue to line up even after Hogan beats Flair for the gazillionth time.  “Hulkmania” has been running wild since the early 80s and it will never ever die.  Flair is the last “rassler” in my opinion and it doesn’t matter if the fight was real or not because Hogan-Flair is still as big a main event as you can get.

Those of you who thought, even for a nanosecond, that the altercation was real then you need to see this video:

http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshhguWF4Qtt1z34ljJ8

Hogan and Flair are the two biggest wrestlers of all-time.  While Hogan and Flair’s insults during the video are very personal, the fight however was not.  It’s cool though because we love them anyway.  All of their celebrated encounters captured our imaginations and still do.  That’s why people had to find out about this “fight”.  The real story is how two men, at this advanced stage in their careers as well as age, still manage to stay relevant in pop culture.  It’s 2009 and yet they still capture headlines.  That’s true staying power.  It’s what made them true living legends in the 1st place.  It’s why we’ll still tune in even when this fight heads to an old folks home.  The only real twist than can come out of this is that the winner gets Bigfoot in a steel cage on New Year’s Eve.  Even then it still wouldn’t outdo a Hogan-Flair match.

NFL Throwdown Week 10

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , on November 18, 2009 by Dallas O'Malley
  • There is no doubt who came out better in the Cutler-Broncos debacle.
  • Vince Young is 3-0 in his return as a starter and don’t get too excited because its been against some pathetically weak opposition.
  • The Saints lucked out again and Drew Brees is suddenly looking very pedestrian in the pocket.  The magic plays continue to save them but the team needs to start putting teams away. Still undefeated but very vulnerable.
  • Chad Henne led the Dolphins to a win over the improving Buccaneers despite losing this greatest asset Ronnie Brown.  Henne, Williams and Ginn are coming around to helping out their elderly defense.
  • The Vikings cruised with a win over the lowly Lions in a game where they barely broke a sweat.  They are the best team in the NFC right now.
  • Maurice Jones-Drew broke fantasy owners hearts with his kneel down at the one but his heads up play set up the win for his team.  Then he apologizes for it to fantasy owners.  What’s not to like about this guy?  Too bad he plays for the Jags.
  • The Jets fall below .500 and the team that stunned the league in the beginning of the season is no longer around.  Maybe Mark Sanchez should sneak another hot dog during the game.  It might have to him what spinach is to Popeye.
  • Kyle Orton goes down and so do the Broncos for the 3rd straight game.
  • We are living in a parallel universe where the Panthers have become the Falcons and the Falcons have turned into the Panthers.
  • Mr. November, Tony Homo, didn’t live up to his 1st moniker and America rejoiced when the Cowboys were trounced by the Packers.
  • The good news for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers is that they don’t have to play Favre’s Vikings every week.
  • It was like 1973 all over again with the way the Chiefs & Raiders played each other and you know how bad 1973 was.
  • Apparently no one wants to take control of the NFC East.
  • LT surges Chargers past the Eagles and Kurt Warner is looking to break the Superbowl curse.
  • The Ravens & Browns put on a pitiful display for Monday Night Football in maybe the worst game ever.  All those muscles on Brady Quinn and Mangini won’t let him try a pass more than 5 yards?
  • In the dumbest coaching decision of the season, Bill Bellicheck put the Patriots 3.5 games out of contention for home field advantage.  Brady on the other hand thrashed the Colts secondary and is getting more dangerous every week.  This time it’s for real.
  • Can’t be too impressed with the Colts’ win as it was more Bellicheck’s blunder than Manning’s brilliance.  Manning played a wonderful game but I can’t help but wonder how the game would have fared if the ball have been punted away.  The game itself left everyone hungry for their inevitable rematch in the playoffs.

Pacquiao Cements Legacy As A True All-Time Great

Posted in Boxing with tags , , , on November 15, 2009 by Dallas O'Malley
Roach- Pacquiao

Freddie Roach has turned Manny Pacquiao into the 1st true boxing legend of the 21st century

Floyd who?   Money what?  Apparently there is no stopping Manny Pacquiao.  Manny Pacquiao answered everyone’s question regarding who in fact is the best boxer in the world.  By conquering Miguel Cotto in savage fashion, Pacquiao has once again eliminated Floyd Mayweather Jr. out of the conversation.  The word “great” is thrown around too often in sports and it shouldn’t even be used when describing Manny Pacquiao.  Pacquiao is far better than “great”. Pacquiao is an angel of destruction; a picture of poetic violence.  With his record-setting 7th world title in 7 different divisions, he is now immortal.  With Manny Pacquiao there is no reason for us to revisit the past when looking for the exceptional few that we look to reincarnate.  Pacquiao is now among the legends who define the sport through the ages.  Like our fathers spoke of “Sugar” Ray Robinson and Rocky Marciano, we will tell tales of the magnificent Manny Pacquiao who became boxing’s flagship when it needed him most, and took our breath away in doing so.

Cotto’s Star Still Shines Bright

Posted in Boxing with tags , on November 15, 2009 by Dallas O'Malley

He may have lost the biggest fight of his career but Miguel Cotto is no loser.  The Puerto Rican star earned back the mad respect the media used to shower him with before and not since Antonio Margarito.  As the rounds passed Cotto’s chances were becoming increasingly bleak.  Yet knowing he was already soundly beaten with no apparent chance of a miracle comeback, he bravely waived off his corner’s efforts to throw in the towel.  Cotto made a decision to go out guns blazing.  It’s something today’s fighters lack, but the heart that Cotto displayed Saturday night is something else that boxing needs.  It wasn’t enough to win him the fight but it is what will keep him relevant in the years to come.  It is something to be appreciated and Cotto should be celebrated for his efforts.   He is a warrior in every sense of the word and I honor him as one.

Media Lacks Respect For Cotto

Posted in Boxing with tags , , , on November 14, 2009 by Dallas O'Malley

Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto will partake in the biggest boxing event of the year tonight.  It’s not often when a boxing match generates this kind of attention but Pacquiao-Cotto has done just that.  Everyone from Donald Trump to Mike Tyson, is making their pick. Some like Manny’s speed and whirlwind punching and others prefer the stalking and bruising style of Cotto.  While Pacquaio is the popular choice to win, it needs to be said that Cotto is being seriously underestimated.

miguel-cotto-rocking-shane-mosley

Cotto beat the grease off of Mosley and could very well do the same against Pacquiao.

With all the questions surrounding the fight it begs to wonder why is Miguel Cotto being so badly overlooked?  Why is he such the 2nd banana in this fight that even Bob Arum snubbed his arrival in Las Vegas?  When did he become the Rodney Dangerfield of boxing?

What hasn’t been addressed enough is that Manny Pacquiao’s toughest contests have been against lesser skilled and smaller men than Miguel Cotto.  Since arriving on the big stage Pacman has thrashed his opponents with extreme prejudice.  The exceptions have been Erik Morales, who beat Pacquiao, and Juan Manuel Marquez who took Manny to the edge in two highly debated matches.

Neither Erik Morales nor Juan Manuel Marquez are as big, strong and talented as Cotto.  Marquez gave Pacquiao his hardest fought battles to date, yet those fights took place 15 lbs lighter than this welterweight contest.  Pacquiao has never been hit by a true welterweight.  Yes, Manny retired Oscar De La Hoya in his welterweight debut but DLH was exceedingly dehydrated, not to mention well past his prime.  Oscar could no longer  “pull the trigger” as Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach pointed out.  He was a standing piñata while Pacquiao beat on him.  “The Golden Boy” was reduced to being a flesh and bone heavy bag for Pacquiao to showcase his skills on.

ricky_hatton_manny_pacquiao

Pacquiao clobbered Hatton but Cotto is a completely different animal.

Pacquiao will not have the same luxury when he steps in with Cotto.  Cotto has fought the elite of his division and beaten them all with the exception of the loaded glove bandit Antonio Margarito.  He was battered against Margarito but he managed to endure intense punishment.  There is no reason to doubt that Margarito hits harder than Pacquiao.  Many doubt that Cotto has put the loss behind him and his critics are quick to point out his last fight against Joshua Clottey as proof.  Clottey is one tough son-of-a-bitch and it’s hard to look spectacular against such a strong opponent.  The bottom line is that Cotto was cut bad early in the fight and willed his way to a decision.  His technique may be off but his will to win is still in tact.

Yes, Manny is fast and strong but Cotto has seen it all before. Cotto dealt with Shane Mosley’s trademark speed, and won.  He defeated a quality southpaw in Zab Judah before he became a record padder.  Cotto’s wins against Mosley, Judah and Clottey are more impressive than Pacquiao’s wins over an overmatched Ricky Hatton and an aging dehydrated corpse in Oscar De La Hoya.  Pacquaio’s wins over Hatton and De La Hoya were impressive but if Cotto’s accomplishments have been diminished by the media, than Pacman’s career defining wins should be as well.

Each man has their advantages and each also has the ability to win the fight.  A case can be made for either Pacquiao or Cotto, but the 3-1 odds against Cotto are flabbergasting.  With the biggest fight of his career Cotto may have gotten his last weapon from his detractors…added motivation.  Cotto is focused and will put on a spectacular performance win or lose.

Manny Pacquiao is a great fighter and one of the absolute best of all-time regardless of era.  Miguel Cotto is also one of the world’s best and once tonight’s fight is over, we’ll have a newfound respect for both men and not just one of them.