Posted on: December 23, 2009 2:33 pm

Cincinnati a stepping stone for more than coaches

For college football fans that support so called "mid-major" schools, its a familiar scene. Coaches like Urban Meyer, Dennis Erickson and Mack Brown all got their starts as head coaches for lesser D-1 schools. Anytime a MAC, Sun Belt or C-USA team has a great season, the athletic directors from larger schools. It may not be new to everyone, but it's very new to Cincinnati folks. I remember when the Bearcats were in C-USA and drew flies to Nippert Stadium. It really impresses to see fans in Cincinnati actually care enough about football to react to Brian Kelly's departure to Notre Dame, much less egg his house.

In the middle of that firestorm was Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati's All-American wide receiver. In an era when much of the attention on football players surrounds their shortcomings and transgressions, Gilyard is a true success story, after screwing up in his first couple of years at Cincinnati and living in a car for a while, he turned his life around to become a hugely successful player and a very classy human being. I have seen video on Youtube of Gilyard where he runs over a kid in the stands at the end of a play, then checks on the kid to make sure he is ok and gives him a hug. So when I heard that he blasted Coach Kelly after his ND announcement, I wasn't sure if it was the same guy. Well, after a couple of weeks to think about it, he regrets his impulsive reaction. I read this story and it reminded me that he is still a young man that will make youthful mistakes. He is also a true gentleman that knows when he is wrong and is willing to admit it and set the record straight. 

Gilyard will be a great player in the NFL. I hope he ends up on a team I pull for. Guys like Gilyard are a reminder that non-BCS schools may be a proving ground for coaches, but the reason those guys get hired elsewhere is because there are athletes that are stepping up as well. Good luck Mardy! Thanks for a colorful college career.
Posted on: November 13, 2008 10:39 am

The Legacy of Rich Rodriguez...

Just call it more of the same. Two more West Virginia players have gotten in trouble...this time for a fight that occured in a Morgantown bar. Its more of the same for Mountaineer fans, who were hoping to be in the NC title picture this year. With a disappointing season already assured, dealing with more character issues from players is certainly not what the doctor ordered. Unfortunately, the man that recruited them, Rich Rodriguez, didn't seem to mind bringing in more than his fair share of miscreants and hoodlums. Now the folks in Morgantown are left to clean up his mess. The laundry list is seemingly endless. Look at the number of players Bill Stewart has had to cut from the team already.

  • RB Eddie Collington, DL James Ingram and LB John Holmes off the team for possession and intent to distribute drugs.
  • S Charles Pugh off the team for allegedly picking up a set of car keys from a table in the student union then using the panic button to find the car in the adjacent parking garage. Then, he and a woman entered the car, stole a credit card, and racked up nearly $2,000 in purchases.
  • TE Evan Rodriguez off the team for assaulting a female student.

Plus this list of arrests

  • H Jeremy Cash and TE Maxwell fight...see above.
  • RB Noel Devine and WR Jock Sanders after charges were filed against the pair following a fight with students.
  • CB Ellis Lankster and LB J.T. Thomas were arrested for stealing a laptop from a student’s house and trying to pawn it.
  • S Quinton Andrews and RB Jason Gwaltney on speeding, alcohol and obstruction charges.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mentioned two of Rich Rod's finest degenerate products...Pacman Jones and Chris Henry. Needless to say, its going to take a lot of work to repair the damage. Notice to Michigan fan. 3-7 isn't the only thing you have to worry about. The reputation of a proud University will have to endure a beating after Rodriguez brings in his villainous hoards to Ann Arbor.

Posted on: November 5, 2008 12:38 pm

Election 2008: America on the rebound...

You know the term rebound right? Its that guy or girl you seem to run to immediately after a troubled relationship. A general rule of thumb is that the rebound guy or girl is usually someone easy and uncomplicated, a stark contrast to the relationship you were just in. More often than not though, the one on the rebound is usually easily persuaded and unwilling to acknowledge the obvious fatal flaws in the new catch. The rationale is always, "Well, its better than the last one."

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you America on the rebound.

Before you start whining in my general direction, let me just explain that this is not an anti-Obama rant. The facts still apply even if McCain had won. The fact that the Republican party even nominated McCain for president was in itself a rebound. McCain was the anti-Republican of Republicans. McCain was well known for alienating the party, often voting with the Democrats. Many a bill labeled "bi-partisan" by the media was nothing more than McCain and the Democrats. There was really only one area that McCain and Bush did agree on...the War on Terror. 

Obama, on the other hand, didn't need to defeat John McCain. All he had to do was present himself as the anti-Bush. Obama never addressed his opponant's voting record except in instances where he could tie McCain to Bush. How many Obama ads do you remember where McCain "voted with Bush" X% of the time? What were those bills? How did Obama vote on those same bills? It doesn't matter. The point is to put the Bush mask on McCain as tightly as you can.

Obama however is a virtual unknown. The American people didn't vote for Obama. They voted against Bush, just like the rebounder goes for an "anyone else must be better" approach. We won't know anything about this guy. We will see if he is the real populist guy he ran as. We will see if his wife can find it in her heart to love America again. There were a lot of nasty accusations thrown Obama's way also. Unfortunately, the days of running for office on one's own merits is long gone.

Even though I didn't vote for him (or McCain for that matter), I hope our President-elect succeeds in the goals he set during the election. There is a certain portion of our population that has been in need of healing for several years. I hope this is just the elixir these people need to reinvigorate their lives. Then again...its got to be the worst thing in the world for Bill Maher and Jon Stewart. Their shows have nothing left to talk about.

Category: General
Posted on: October 8, 2008 1:11 pm

Greatest Guy Movie of All Time.

OK, I am going to change some pace and do a little blog tournament. What is the greatest "Guy Movie" of all time? You know...action flicks, or great macho movies with a great storyline. I am taking nominees. Reply and give me 5 or less nominees for the greatest Guy Movies of all time!
Category: General
Posted on: October 6, 2008 4:42 pm

Kimbo Slice....Boom! Outta Here!

I had never heard of Kimbo Slice before Elite XC started pumping him up for their debut show on CBS a few months ago. I was a casual fan of PRIDE, but I had always been a UFC guy. I remember watching Royce Gracie during the UFC's first incarnation. It was much more barbaric and typically the winner was the guy that didn't leave with a broken arm, leg or face. In those days, ultimate fighting was not so much about sport as it was about survival. I think the movement to create more of a sport out of MMA was a great thing, but its also opened the door for a lot of commercial opportunities for organizations that are looking to cash in on the sports sudden popularity. I had been a big Pride and UFC guy, but this EXC stuff seemed a little too campy...too much production value to cover up not enough talent. The only thing Elite XC has that is actually interesting to me is women's MMA. I am all about giving the women an opportunity to step in and prove themselves. The most annoying part of EXC was the creation of this Kimbo Slice guy. I like a good underdog as much as the next guy, but how can you be the underdog when no one even knows who any of the other guys in your weight class are? They hand pick tomato cans for this guy to beat on in order to prop him up longer and obviously squeeze more money out of his fights. Slice knows next to nothing about martial arts. The fact that he went down and turtled to a pink haired dude from the weight class below him made the fall much more compelling than the rise. The rise of Kimbo was artificial. He fought a few bums and CBS pumped a ton of money into him. He really hadn't earned any respect from the legions of educated MMA fans. Everyone said he would not stand a chance against an even average MMA fighter. That prophecy was revealed last Saturday night when Kimbo was defeated by Seth Petruzelli, a journeyman light heavyweight that wasn't even scheduled to be on TV that night. The interesting part of this scenario is whether EXC is going to start treating Petruzelli like the next big thing hair and all. Given the Kimbo build-up, they should give this guy a huge push. I somehow suspect that is not going to happen, because this was not about competition or making a good fight. This was about the old saying..."Any news is good news." In this case, I don't buy it though. The Kimbo goose didn't lay the golden egg, and EXC hasn't dont much to prepare themselves for life after Kimbo. They need to thing of something fast, because Kimbo went the way of Buster Douglas, Chaminade and Carl Douglas singing "Kung Fu Fighting." His 15 minutes are up!
Posted on: September 17, 2008 8:06 pm

My Other Fantasy Team....

This is the private league I formed with friends. This draft actually came out pretty much how I scripted it.

Round 1 (8) Clinton Portis - RB
Round 2 (17) Reggie Wayne - WR
Round 3 (32) Earnest Graham - RB
Round 4 (41) Steve Smith - WR
Round 5 (56) Kevin Smith - RB
Round 6 (65) Jeremy Shockey - TE
Round 7 (80) Joey Galloway - WR
Round 8 (89) Eli Manning - QB
Round 9 (104) Chris Johnson - RB
Round 10 (113) DeSean Jackson - WR
Round 11 (128) Jon Kitna - QB
Round 12 (137) D.J. Hackett - WR
Round 13 (152) Giants DST
Round 14 (161) Rob Bironas - K

Since the draft, I dropped Bironas for J.Kasay, DJ Hackett for Bryant Johnson, and Jon Kitna for Trent Edwards. I did OK on this draft...more or less what I expected...But there were some picks that I held my nose for and I regretted it later. Getting Joey Galloway was a mistake. He was supposed to go much earlier in the draft and something inside me tried to talk me out of it, but since I had certainly expected he would have been selected a round or two earlier I paid the devil's randsom when Tony Sheffler was next in my cue. D.J. Hackett was a throw away. The only guys left at WR were bums anyway. I dropped Kitna for Edwards not because I thought he was better. Kitna has the same bye week as Eli and I didn't take that into account.

Category: NFL
Posted on: September 2, 2008 12:07 pm

Fantasy Football...Ready for a challenge.

I really need to try to get a private league together next year because the public leagues here are filled with blissfully ignorant owners or those that flat don't show up for live drafts. How else could an owner picking up Maurice Jones-Drew at #40 and Reggie Bush with the 81st pick? Thats right...I drafted Reggie Bush at #81. Don't get me wrong, I see Reggie Bush as a top flight backup or low #2 RB at best, but the fact that he is still around in the seventh round means there were a lot of lesser players taken before him. Its just highway robbery that I can end up with Randy Moss and Wes Welker and still have a starting RB pair like Clinton Portis and MJD. I think 9 TE's had been selected by the end of the 5th round. I didn't even select a TE until the 11th round (Todd Heap) and I don't think Heap is a bad selection...especially considering he was projected between 6-8 rounds. This is how my team broke down...if you are interested.

  1. #9     - Randy Moss (WR)
  2. #16   - Clinton Portis (RB)
  3. #33   - Wes Welker (WR)
  4. #40   - Maurice Jones-Drew (RB)
  5. #57   - Brandon Marshall (WR)
  6. #64   - Brett Favre (QB) 
  7. #81   - Reggie Bush (RB)
  8. #88   - Donald Driver (WR)
  9. #105 - Reggie Brown (WR)
  10. #112 - Eli Manning (QB)
  11. #129 - Todd Heap (TE)
  12. #136 - Chris Johnson (RB)
  13. #153 - Titans (D)
  14. #160 - Kris Brown (K)

Todd Heap sat there for 5 rounds because after everyone had already locked in starting TE's, I knew no one would go for a backup TE until very late in the draft anyway, So I spent that time getting a much higher quality QB and backups...and Heap was still there in the 11th round. The only trouble I see is Week 4 with both Welker and Moss out on bye week. After that week, the 5th WR roster spot becomes the TE/DST/K bye week replacement slot. This is way too easy. This team plays itself now. No trading or unneccesary waiver fishing is required.

I know there are many of you that play the public leagues and feel the same way I do. Next year I want to set up a private league and only invite the guys I know are committed to winning. I am looking for the kind of owners who are still ripping your Waiver picks in Week 15 even though they still have no chance of winning. If you are a solid fantasy player that wants to compete in a private league that doesn't mind good natured trash talking and serious fun, leave me a reply so I can remember to look you up next season.

Category: NFL
Posted on: July 31, 2008 1:20 am

China's Pollution Crisis Solved??

For one day at least, Beijing has managed to get an air pollution reading index below 50. The day before it was over 110. Apparently a nice rain and wind storm came through and moved the polluted air along to Beijing's neighboring provinces. What they had to do to get that rating was absolutely draconian. Apparently they have gone to a system of reducing auto emissions by half by only allowing half the cars on the road each day. No fooling. They apparently have an "even-odd" system going with their license plates so they will be cited if they are driving odd cars on even days. On top of that, they shut down their pollution-causing industries and contructions until further notice. So what are these hard working Chinese people doing during these unplanned "days off"? Are they in effect being laid off or are they still collecting their checks while they aren't working? I can say this. Things would not go well in my house if the government came in one day and gave me an unplanned, unpaid month long vacation. Then again, perhaps the money I would save in athesma inhalers alone might offset the cost. I just know that yesterday, Tiananmen Square was filled with pollution. Today, pollution had cleared the Square without even having to bring out tanks or the People's Liberation Army. Maybe China has learned a thing or two in 20 years. All I know is, the minute the Olympic flame goes out, it will be back to pollution as usual in China. In the mean time, these poor Chinese people will have to put up with the inconvenience of breathing clean air for the next 5 weeks
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or