Friday 30 November 2007

Tuesday 27 November 2007

Redskin's Safety Sean Taylor Shot Dead

Sean Taylor 1983-2007

Sean Taylor, only 24 years old, died of gunshot wounds he received during an attempted burglary at his home in the Miami area on Monday night. Normally I wouldn't bother posting anything about this kind of malarkey cos NFL players seem to attract trouble to themselves (the entire Bengals franchise for example) but this is exceptionally depressing, Taylor was a damn good safety.

"He loved football. He felt like that's what he was made to do," [Redskins Coach] Gibbs said. "And I think what I've noticed over the last year and a half ... is he matured. I think his baby had a huge impact on him. There was a real growing up in his life."

Thursday 22 November 2007

Why The Hell Not...

As an aside, and this has absolutely nothing to do with the below vid, but everybody should go see 'Into The Wild'. It is awesome

Tuesday 20 November 2007

Maurice Jones-Drew LEVELS Shawne Merriman


Maurice Jones-Drew: 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs 208 pounds
Shawne Merriman: 6 feet 4 inches tall, weighs 272 pounds

Camped on the San Diego goalline the Jags use a play-fake to get in for a touchdown. Now look at the right hand side of the Jag's O-Line as Jones-Drew sells the play-fake to the right and then absolutely obliterates Shawne 'Lights Out' Merriman. The Jags went on to beat the Chargers 24-17.
I'm holding back from any further mockery of the Chargers in light of Baltimore's humiliating loss to Cleveland... which I'm going to pretend never happened

Monday 19 November 2007

A Reason To Watch Golf

Natalie Gublis

More pictures ici

Saturday 17 November 2007

All You Can Do Is Laugh


John McKay was the first head coach of the new NFL expansion team in Tampa Bay back in 1976. He wasn't too successful in his first year in charge going 0-14. These are a collection of his quotes I found onlie today, I like the cut of this guy's jib.

* On the execution of the Bucs offense: ``I think it's a good idea.''

* On why he rarely had bed checks: ``You usually wind up staying up all night, or until your best player comes in.''

* On the significance of experience: ``If you have everyone back from a team that lost 10 games, experience isn't too important.''

* On the weaknesses of linebacker Hugh Green: ``He's not twins.''

* On Bill Capece, who was waived in 1983 after missing a field goal and extra point: ``Capece is kaput.''

* On place-kicker Pete Rajecki having a bad camp with the Bucs because McKay made him nervous: ``I don't think he's got much of a future here, because I plan on going to all the games.''

* On the Bucs' 42-0 loss to Pittsburgh on a very cold day: ``I remember in Pittsburgh we had no players and the ones we did have wanted to stay at the hotel by the fire. I was ticked because that's where I wanted to stand.''

* On the importance of an older quarterback's mobility: ``As a person gets older he doesn't get faster. Our quarterback will run from fright or lack of protection.''

* On fan mail he received as a Tampa Bay coach: ``It was about three-to-one that I was not an SOB. But there were a lot of ones.''

* On why coaching an expansion team is a religious experience: ``You do a lot of praying, but most of the time the answer is `No.' ''

* On the Bucs early games: ``Every time I look up, it seems we're punting.''

* On O.J. Simpson carrying the ball 47 times in a USC game: `` He doesn't belong to a union. Anyway, the ball doesn't weigh that much.''

* On blocking strategy: ``Hold when you're at home and don't hold when you're on the road.''

* On his disdain for the Packers: ``If a contest had 97 prizes, the 98th would be a trip to Green Bay.''

* On opening days: ``Opening games make me nervous. To tell the truth, I'd rather open with our second game.''

* On training camp: ``It's shattering when a player loses interest in camp. When you lose your desire to stand around and eat steaks, you lose everything.''

* Asked if Lynn Cain of the Atlanta Falcons was ready to play against the Bucs: ``Let me know if Cain is able.''

2002 Bucs (Apparently they won the Super Bowl)

Thursday 8 November 2007

Rugby World Cup Ads

England

New Zealand

Australia

South Africa

France

Argentina


ok and now that bloody Irish Captain's ad... which as it turns out had already been done by the mighty Blackness, observe...
Ireland

The Blackness

Benneton Treviso For The Win!



Group A
Benneton Treviso
London Irish
Newport-Gwent Dragons
Perpignan

Perpignan will top this group. Everything else is irrelevant

Group B
Bourgoin
Gloucester
Neath-Swansea Ospreys
Ulster

I like Ulster. Maybe it's because my mum is from the north, maybe it's because the half of my relatives I actually like are from there or maybe I just like the underdog
I don't know. And I can't explain it, there's nothing remotely remarkable about this team, propped up by David 'Why won't they let me retire?' Humphreys. They'll struggle (more so than usual) to get out of a group that contains Gloucester, the Ospreys and Bourgoin too.

Group C
Bristol Rugby
Cardiff Blues
Harlequins
Stade Francais

Foregone conclusion - Stade Francais to crush everyone else in this group. By 50 points. In every game. The Parisian outfit have an ungodly amount of talent in every position in the park as well as a hideous depth just in case anyone had the cheek to injure one of their starters. As well as Hernandez, Dominici, Skrela, Pichot, Corleto and mini Bergamasco in the backs, in the pack you'll find greater Bergamasco, Parisse, Taylor, Martin, Pape, Roncero, Ledesma, Szarzewski, de Villiers and Marconnet. With liberal splatterings of Beauxais, Liebenberg, Glas, Jeanjean and Rabadan. Like I said, foregone conclusion.

Group D
Biarritz Olympique
Glasgow Warriors
Saracens
Viadana

Biarritz are essentially the French Munster. The nearly men. The team that get so close nearly every year only for something to go horribly horribly wrong in the knock-out stages. Despite usually sauntering into the quarter-finals every single year the French team always seem to bottle in spectacular fashion when they relocate to that fortress of a stadium at San Sebastien. In time-honoured fashion I do expect Biarritz to advance relatively comfortably from this group. Only Saracens could trouble them but.. I doubt it

Group E
ASM Clermont Auvergne
Llanelli Scarlets
London Wasps
Munster

If Munster get out of this group... I'll be furiously angry. I've never liked Munster, sure there might have been a time when I begrudgingly rooted for them as they gallantly exited the Heineken cup again.. and again... and again and again and again until they won the damn thing. They've had their moment, its done, lets drop it. I know they've invested in some new backs this year but I'll put money on them still being one of the most unimaginative, boring rugby teams in the entire competition. And dammit, I want to see some attacking rugby. That's why I'm secretly hoping that those bogger bastards get blitzed by Llanelli, Clermont Auvergne and Wasps. For the sake of the game, lets see some teams reach the knock-out stages by using all 15 players. Say NO to 10 man rugby, throw rocks at Ronan O'Gara

Group F
Edinburgh Rugby
Leicester Tigers
Leinster
Toulouse

Oh shit... well it sucks to be Edinburgh. Not really much better if you're a Leinster, Leicester or Toulouse fan either to be honest. The Tigers travel to Dublin this weekend and the Frenchys are the first of the big three to get their hands on the sacrificial lamb that is the Edinburgh team. Needless to say Leinster need to get this years campaign off to a winning start, defeat at home this weekend effectively puts an end to the Irishmens (+ 1 Argentinian) hopes of qualification. Like Munster in Group E Leinster find themselves in a situation where fucking up is very much NOT an option.

Early Knock-Out Predictions

The Heineken cup has a relatively bizarre seeding system for the knock-out stages. Quarter-finals are not worked out by the usual '1st place in Group A plays second in Group B principle' but rather strangely the 8 qualifying teams are ranked 1 through 8 by their points tally in the group stages. Those that racked up the most wins and bonus points at the top leading down to the bottom. Given the 6 group approach of the tournie the 8 teams in the knock-out stages are all 6 of the group winners AND the two best runners up in the group stages. Once all this malarkey is worked out and the teams are ranked 1 plays 8, 2 plays 7, 3 plays 6, 4 plays 5. Simple eh?

1.Biarritz Olympique
2.Stade Francais
3.Neath-Swansea Ospreys
4.Perpignan
5.Llanelli Scarlets
6.Leicester Tigers
7.Saracens (Best runner-up)
8.Toulouse (Best runner-up)

Tuesday 6 November 2007

Half-Way House - NFC


Second part of my midway NFL season review, first part here

NFC North
Green Bay (7-1)
Detroit (6-2)
Minnesota (3-5)
Chicago (3-5)

New fan of Brett Favre right here. You gotta love the old guy for putting off retirement for another year just for the slim chance that he could accomplish something with this Packer's team. And although they may have been completely written off at the start of the season this Pack has risen to the challenge in spectacular fashion. They keep winning, Favre keeps smashing records, anything looks possible in Green Bay. Detroit run the Packers close as revelation of the year too, the very fact that they have a positive record is testament to the teams new offensive capabilities. Meanwhile Minnesota's rookie RB Adrian Peterson has been unbelievable, 8 games in and he's on course for 2000+ yards for the season. And what the holy HELL happened to Chicago? Rex Grossman, that is all.

NFC East
Dallas (7-1)
New York Giants (6-2)
Washington (5-3)
Philadelphia (3-5)

Tony Romo vs Eli Manning. Cowboys or Giants. Washington and Philly have nothing really. This division is very much between the Cowboys and the Giants. But with Dallas on fire this season, and Romo seemingly incapable of doing much wrong I wouldn't bet against the Texas franchise reaching the playoffs with a bye

NFC West
Seattle (4-4)
Arizona (3-5)
San Fransisco (2-6)
St. Louis (0-8)

Jesus Christ what a spectacular lack of talent collected into one division. No matter which team gets out of this division, the game of football loses.

NFC South
Tampa Bay (5-4)
Carolina (4-4)
New Orleans (4-4)
Atlanta (2-6)

This division is bizarre. Even last year the NFC South would have been considered one of the strongest divisions in the NFL. These days it is a hollow mockery of its former glory. Atlanta have declined at a disturbingly rapid rate following the Vick scandal and New Orleans have been hobbling along all season, a shadow of their 2006 season form. But thanks to the overall poor standard of this division the Saints still find themselves very much in the hunt behind two very ordinary sides (Tampa and Carolina) I'm expecting the Saints offence to WAKE THE FUCK UP!! and start playing the way we know they can in the second half of the season, and Carolina to implode under their hilarious amount of QB problems. Tampa are annoyingly consistent, yet not actually that good. NFC South is there for the taking if the Saints want it.

Playoff Predictions
1.Green Bay
2.Dallas
3.Seattle
4.New Orleans
5.New York Giants
6.Detroit

Record Breakers



Ok at this stage I've actually lost count of the amount of records that have been broken this year (Just think Brett Favre and every passing record possible) but this is one of the more recent ones, Adrian Peterson (that rookie chap from the Vikings, otherwise known as 'Purple Jesus') rushed for 296 yards against a non-existent Chargers D to beat Jamal Lewis' previous record of 295 yards (set against the forever shit Cleveland Browns)

Geriatric Football


Last Saturday in Alpine, Texas Mike Flynt stepped back onto a football field for the first time in 37 years. The 59 year old had decided to return to his old college Sul Ross State to play out his 'senior' year for the football team he had left all those years ago. The regret at missing out on his final year in college ball was all the motivation this grandfather needed as well as some gentle goading from friends at a class reunion last summer.

Having worked as a strength coach in Oregan, Nebraska and Texas A&M Flynt has kept himself in incredibly good condition. Now that he's taken his first couple of snaps this season on special teams Flynt seems determined to reclaim his starting linebacker spot that he surrendered some forty years ago. Good luck to the crazy bastard.

(As an aside Mike Flynt was a member of the '65 Permian Panthers team, the first Odessa team to win the Texas state championship which makes about 356% more of a legend)

Half-Way House - AFC


Week 9 has just passed us by in the NFL and with every team having played at least 8 games at this stage I feel a review be in order
AFC North
Pittsburgh (6-2)
Cleveland (5-3)
Baltimore (4-4)
Cincinatti (1-7)

I'd rather skip over this division to be honest. My beloved Ravens were on the receiving end of a 38-7 drubbing last night courtesy of Roethlisberger's Steelers. A defeat that will probably turn out to be the defining moment of this season in the AFC North. The win gives Pittsburgh some breathing room at the top and condemns the Ravens to 3rd place below the Browns (oh the humiliation). With the timetable from hell coming into full effect in the second half of this season Baltimore look Donald Ducked to say the very least. (yes visits from Indy and New England are NOT going to help the Raven's situation)

AFC East
New England (9-0)
Buffalo (4-4)
New York Jets (1-8)
Miami (0-8)

New England = unstoppable, the rest of the AFC East = mediocre. After Belicheck-gate the Patriots are a team on a mission. A mission to embarrass every other offence and defence in the league. Playing with a large chip on their shoulder this ridiculously talented Pats' outfit have just simply been ripping teams apart this season. Brady's numbers are insane and he's been helped out a class receiving corps and a rock solid D all season long. Undefeated? Possibly. Playoff bound? Well bar a nuke hitting Foxboro, most definitely

AFC West
Kansas City (4-4)
San Diego (4-4)
Denver (3-5)
Oakland (2-6)

Worst. division. ever. The Chargers should count themselves lucky to be in a division that is so poor that they are still tied for top spot at (4-4). These 4 teams have probably been the most disappointing in the league. Even Oakland looked somewhat menacing this year but all the pre-season talk and posturing has come to nought. Denver have imploded, Kansas are as bad as they were last year and so are Oakland. The worst offenders however, are San Diego by the distance of a South California bush fire. New Coach Norv Turner has somehow failed to ignite an offence that couldn't stop scoring points last season. Rivers has looked a shadow of his former self as has L.T.. The AFC west is just a bit crap to be honest

AFC South
Indianapolis (7-1)
Tennessee (6-2)
Jacksonville (5-3)
Houston (4-5)

This has become the most infuriatingly predictable division over the last few years (so has the AFC east for that matter). I fully expect Manning and his Colts to recover from their loss against New England by thoroughly whomping every other team they play this season. The Titans may trouble Indy again as they did earlier in the season but I'm still highly sceptical of their chances of actually beating them. Good to see the Jags with a positive record and Houston slumping to their usual negative record at (4-5) after such promise earlier in the year. Everythings back to normal in the AFC South.

Playoff Predictions
1. New England
2. Indianapolis
3. Pittsburgh
4. San Diego
5. Tennessee (Wildcard)
6. Cleveland (Wildcard)

M.I.A.


Apologies for my general laziness in posting recently but I have been preoccupied with several other ventures including:
28th-30th October - Giants at Dolphins in Wembley
3rd November - Bloc Party
5th November - Sir Neville Marriner, Beethoven't 6th and 7th symphonies
... actually that's pretty much been it, I'm just incredibly lazy

Buuuut Wembley was unbelievable, the new stadium is quite possibly one of the most impressive structures I have ever had the privilege to watch sports and get drunk in. And the crowd were fantastic despite (I presume) a general ignorance of the sport and judging by the myriad of different jerseys to be seen around the stadium little to no love for either the Giants or the Dolphins.

This was the first NFL regular season game to be played overseas which is kinda the equivalent of playing a Champions League game in the States and as such, the crowd really did rise to the occasion. The atmosphere inside the stadium was awesome even though the game itself came under attack from some typically blustery London weather.

This was never going to be a particularly high scoring affair anyway but the weather really threw a considerably sodden spanner in the works. Both teams struggled to establish any kind of pass offence and the match degenerated into a battle for field possession with the Giants eventually eking out a win 13-10.

Moments of the game:
1.Eli Manning's hilariously slow TD run
2.Cleo Lemon's equally hilarious fumble
3.That dropped interception by the Giants safety (closest the crowd came to a 'HI-OOOOO YOU'RE SHIT!' moment)
and this guy...

Thursday 1 November 2007