The Cincinnati Bengals named kicker, Shayne Graham their franchise player this week. This is a move that enables the 8 year vet to sign another one-year deal with the team equal to the average dollar amount of the 5 highest paid kickers in the league.
While saving the Bengals a lot of money, you have to wonder where this leaves their relationship with other play-makers. Houshmandzadeh, one of the few highlights on a rather lackluster offense is now headed for free agency. Head coach Marvin Lewis acknowledged that the odds of him returning to the team will be odd. The Bengals could have retained TJ by placing the franchise mark on him, but would have had to do it at the sum of about $10 M for a year as opposed to $2.2…well, I guess WE ARE IN RECESSION.
Franchising Graham also gives Cedric Benson more options and allows him to seek other avenues.
I honestly can’t believe that The Bengals decided to go this route. Inevitably, they will return next season without the likes of Houshmadzadeh and possibly anyone to fill in as threatening running-back. They will be supported by a cranky primadonna wide receiver (Chad Johnson), an injury plagued quarterback ( Carson Palmer), a decrepit defense and… Chris Perry in the backfield??? Well at least they have a shot at sending their kicker to the Pro Bowl.
In a press conference Graham un-excitedly stated, “I appreciate the Bengals’ recognition of my value to the team. I would have preferred to enter a long-term market value contract, either with the Bengals or through free agency.”
So, I suppose, no one is really happy today in Cincinnati. Not even newly franchised Graham. Let me check the weather… Yea everyone is miserable.
Good luck, Cincinnati, compiling a decently respectable team in the off-season.
And THAT’s what the StatDragon is breathing fire about!
Screw the Student Athlete, It’s Time for A Playoff
The college football season is over, so lets go ahead and re-cue the endless debate about whether the BCS system works or whether we should have a playoff. Let me start by saying everybody who doesn’t want a playoff is a complete moron. Sorry, that’s real. These are the people who still get their porn from magazines (youporn.com fellas) and who think Lil Wayne is an insightful rapper (A Milli, A Milli, A Milli). There is really no reasoning with them.
Of all the ridiculous arguments in favor of the BCS, my favorite is the one about how it will “compromise the academic integrity of the student athlete”. First off the other NCAA subdivisions do it and they have players who will be helping you at Best Buy next year, not playing on Sundays. But more importantly it’s not like these prestigious academic institution give two sh***s about their players academic future. According to a recent USA survey, Oklahoma graduates a whopping 46% of its football players. (Other BCS schools with stellar graduation rates include Texas 50%, Ohio State 52%, USC 54% and Utah 57%). Keep in mind that includes all the back up long snappers and white wide-receivers teams keep on the roster just to boost the collective GPA.
Really it’s surprising that people who run a University don’t understand the definition of hypocrisy. The schools puts all this emphasis on keeping athletes academically eligible while they are on the field, but as soon as that last game is up they can all go right back to smoking weed and skipping class for all anybody cares. A wise man once told me after I got to second base with a lady friend, “If you don’t finish, it doesn’t count.” Well the same thing applies for college. Good luck telling a potential employer, “Well I spent three and half years and Miami, but I just couldn’t make it through that last semester.” You’re better off breaking out a ITT Tech certificate.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making a public plea for the NCAA and schools to crack down on their athletes. In fact I’m doing just the opposite. Look, I paid about $120,000 (thanks Dad) for 5 joyful years of college. And one of the things I want from my school is a good football team. Not a new telescope, not a professor with a Nobel Prize, I want a national championship for my parents hard earned dollars. I’d much rather have a guy that runs a 4.2 forty than somebody who can be my lab partner.
So I propose a new plan. Treat athletes like what they are, celebrities who are being paid to attend the school and bring in dollars to the Athletic Department. If the player wants to take advantage of their scholarship and go to class, great. If not, they can earn their keep in other ways. Required hours playing intermural sports with regular students. Mandatory attendance at all fraternity parties. (Bonus points for choreographed pool dives or drunken Facebook pictures). Maybe they can even teach a class or two, can you imagine attending “Making it Rain 101” with PacMan Jones.
It’s time eliminate the outdated facade of the “student athlete” and move one step closer to a play-off.
…And that’s what the StatDragon is breathing fire about!
The Big Ten is more overrated than sex on the beach (the sand gets EVERYWHERE – no really, it does). But seriously…. 1-6 in bowl games this year, what the hell is that? And although Ohio State managed to hang with Texas for a while, they realized with about 20 seconds to go in the 4th quarter that they were in fact from the Big Ten, and thus should not, could not, would not win the game. Penn State on the other hand, who would have been playing for the national title had they not done their best impression of a monkey biblically loving a coconut against Iowa, got spanked so hard by Southern Cal you would have thought they hid their alcoholic father’s TV remote. The fact that the Big Ten got two teams in the BCS disgusts me in a Rosie O’Donnell in a bikini sort of way. I could say more, but I must move on.
Running backs in the NFL deteriorate faster than a hard on in an ice bath. Plain and simple. Thus if you think LaDanian Tomlinson will ever be the 2006/2007 back you drafted #1 overall in your fantasy league….he won’t. Sticking with the fantasy theme, if you draft Jamal Lewis next year before the 7th round in your typical 12 man league, you’re an idiot. If you draft Fred Taylor before the 15th, you’re an idiot. And if you draft Rudi Johnson at all, I will leave a Dragon sized dump on your lawn.
Sports announcers are getting TOO OLD (I wrote that big so that they can see it). The new generation of sports watchers needs a new wave of younger, not-so-geriatric, sports commentators to connect with. I’m not saying do away with all senior menu folk, but lets mix it up a bit. And for all you old timers reading this article arguing that these ancient individuals are good for the sport and should stay, is it good for the sport when John Madden refers to centimeters as “square-inches”, or when Oldy McOlderson (don’t know his real name but he looked like he’d opened the arc of the covenant), when asked why certain schools can’t win, answers “integration” (it was on ESPN)? I even heard the announcer of the Aloha Bowl (Notre Dame vs. Hawaii), when a big hit was made and gold paint flew off of one players helmet onto another, announce that the second individual was receiving a “golden shower”. When 80% of the viewers are silenced with shock because of your comment and you unknowingly move on saying “and now it’s 3rd and 2,” your time in the booth should be up.
Lastly…………And although not sports related, something that must be said………
Who let Carson Daily on TV to announce the ball dropping on New Years Eve. There is no one in the world I would rather tell me “happy new year” less than a DC shoe wearing poser who once referred to 50 cent as “my gangsta” on live television and actually told him they should “party in DA club together”. I would have rather have woken up in a puddle of my own vomit with nothing but a reminder of the crab cakes I ate the night prior wishing me a happy new year than the TRL guy….. Oh wait, that happened too.
And that’s what the StatDragon is breathing fire about!
As an avid fantasy football player, I have often found myself baffled on Sundays. It seems that no matter HOW much time and effort I put into studying and crafting my team, eventually dumb-luck will come to bite me in the a$$. How in the world have I lost certain weekly match-ups by the faltering of stars like LT, Tony Gonzalez and Brandon Marshall? How is it possible that random ‘Joe Shmoes’ such as Steve Breaston and Mewelde Moore have been my Achilles Heal?
Then it hit me. It was so obvious. My fantasy heartbreaks this season haven’t been a result of “dumb-luck” but , rather, to something I can’t control. NFL players and coaches play fantasy football, and inevitably they are able to manufacture their own “fantasy wins” thru minor manipulations in “real games”
My theory was proven Saturday nightduring the Baltimore v. Dallas game. All that the Ravens needed to do to secure a victory with 1:33 left in the 4th quarter and a 26-24 lead was get a first down, keep the ball in-bounds and run the clock out. From their own 18 yard line, Le’Ron McClain took the ball up the middle, unscathed, and ran 82 yards for a touchdown. Although this put the Ravens up 9 points, getting into the endzone actually GAVE the Cowboys a chance to win by allowing them to get the ball back . Most coaches will tell their players in a situation like this to take a knee once they have a first down. Watching the replay, you can even see McClain’s teammate Mark Clayton pointing to the ground, telling him not to score. So why did Le’Ron McClain selfishly punch it in for 6 instead of playing it safe? Easy. Le’Ron McClain was starting Le’Ron McClain on his fantasy team and he needed extra points.
This triggered the immediate research for all the other instances this year where the performance of a player or outcome of a real game was the result of someones desire to win in fantasy football.
* When Peyton Manning put up a meager 125 yards and 2 INTs in week 13, he was obviously “throwing” the game because he was playing somebody that had HIM in fantasy.
* When the impotent Patriots third string running back, Lamont Jordan had 2 TD’s and 78 yards this week, it was transparent that Coach Bellicheck was playing God in his own fantasy league.
* Coach Marvin Lewis (Bengals) bolstered this argument by allowing (scrub) Cedric Benson carry the ball 38 times in week 16 (7 carries below all time record). Think Lewis was starting Benson in fantasy? I do!
* Why do you think Tony Romo has recently started neglecting his star receiver T.O. (the topic of much controversy in Dallas)? Isn’t it obvious that Romo traded away Owens in his high-stakes fantasy league?
And the biggest kicker…
* Tom Brady undeniably wanted to vacation with Gisele Bundchen all season instead of playing ball. Thus, Brady drafted Matt Cassel in his fantasy league and faked a season ending ACL/MCL injury. He is now in first place in fantasy football, beating the guy who drafted…Tom Brady.
Think I am crazy and this is a completely discredited theory?? Click here to watch the Washington Redskins host a fantasy football draft.
And that’s what STATDRAGON is breathing fire about…
Santa’s ‘Naughty or Nice’ List Revealed!
Chris Johnson– Really, really, really, NICE. The only person in the Volunteer State not incredibly stoked on you is LenDale White who inevitably saw a reduced role on the team after you put up 1,100 plus yards and 9 TD’s on the Titans’ offense. Santa says you’ll get 100 glazed donuts for Christmas. Just be sure to put them in FatDale’s locker next preseason and you’re sure a shoe- in for 300 carries in 2009.
Clinton Portis– NICE. You’re still a motha f***ing star in Washington, and I’m not sure quite how you do it. Jason Campbell (QB) is pretty basic and so is the rest of the offense. Santana Moss helped spread the D out but, Portis, you got it done this year without a plethora of weapons on your team. Santa says you’ll get a gram of grass and a Napolean Dynamite (Director’s Cut) DVD in your stocking this year so you can perfect your Dolemite Jenkins character in the offseason. Clinton, you are really weird..but good!
Chad Johnson– You’re NAUGHTY, you prick! You are a crybaby, a selfish d-bag, grotesque to look at with your arrogant gold-plated smile and you just plain sucked this season. I can’t believe I traded Donner AND Blitzen for you in my fantasy league at the begining of the year, assuming you’d get it together. I’m not even coming by to drop off a lump of coal in your stocking on Christmas Eve. I’m just going to treat you the way you treat the Bengals in summer camp… ignore your existence.
Roddy White– Hey man, congratulations. You really hushed all the skeptics who doubted you before the year started. I too, thought last year was a fluke for you and highly doubted you were capable of repeating 2007 numbers, especially given a rookie quarterback and an average O-line to work with this year. You get a stocking full of love from Santa, and in turn I’ll be burning my Terrence Mathis jersey since YOU are now the franchise leader in single season yards. I’ll also be burning that jersey because I could care less about the Falcons…
Edgerrin James– You’re nice but you are older than my wife. Come to Hawaii with me after Christmas and just stay there for a really long time. I guess what I mean to say is… retire. Tim Hightower is a stud and your days are numbered in Arizona and probably the NFL. For Christmas: The 2004 Colts Highlight reel, so you don’t forget how badass you used to be.
Jay Cutler– Jay, I used to have an elf up here at the North Pole. His name was Craig. Craig would always walk around my workshop talking about how “good” he was, and how much “better” he was than any of the other elves. I got tired of it. One day after taking a couple Zanex and downing a few Silver Bullets, I took him out back and shot him in the head. That’s kind of the way I feel about you. Your stocking stuffer this year: an ego check.
Aaron Rogers– Kudos, amigo! Mighty fine job this year! Taking the helm in Green Bay after Brett Favre is about as hard of a job as it would be to cruise into Jerusalem after the death of Jesus and humbly tell everyone that you were the new Lord and Savior. You’ve posted better numbers this year than your predecessor has in New York. There’s nothing I can leave you for Christmas this year. You already have what you need: a bright future in Wisconsin.
Well, I’m off to finish a few minor repairs on the sleigh and figure out what I’m getting for John Mayer. More to come from Santa’s Naughty or Nice list next week.
According to the Daily Mail, a Serie C player only known as ‘Victory’ claims to have had sexual relations with at least 12 of Italy’s most famous footballers. He also says the players paid for sex and he waited for them after the games in hotel rooms and even changing rooms. “They just want to relax and they don’t have any problems kissing me on the mouth. But they are all terrified of being found out.” Victory goes on to say that the footballers (soccer) players are bisexual but are usually married and just scared of coming out of the closet due to the fear of how the supporters would treat them.
Now there’s nothing wrong with being gay but if you’ve ever watched an Italian League Soccer match these fans are ferocious. Fans of Roma have killed in support of their side and I can’t even imagine what a gay player coming out of the closet would turn into. But let’s get serious; no Italian players are getting favored by ‘Victory’. This has to be a French publicity stunt to steer the Italians off the championship path. Italy would hate to see another scandal in Italian soccer affect the way the league is viewed by countries all over the world. Let’s just remember what Zidane did in the 06’ World Cup and forget this nonsense. So Forza Italia, Zidane’s the devil and manga pasta!!!
I re-watched Rounders ( best Vegas movie ever) last night and it made me homesick for Clark County, Nevada. Well, I guess, “homesick” isn’t the correct terminology, but god***n it sure made me want to win some money. Right as I was about to put my credit card down on fulltiltpoker.com, I came to the impeteous realization that my poker carrer, to date, is about as sucessful as Ryan Leaf’s NFL career. Bummer. Mom, if you are reading this, send rent immediately.
Then I said to myself, “Hey StatDragon (yes I do call myself that…and I am close at getting my girlfriend to as well), you certainly are the fountain of sports knowledge, why not throw down a parlay for the weekend and make some fresh dough off a few NFL victories?” And here’s what I came up with:
Pick 3: New York Jets over Buffalo
It’s not easy to pick the Jets with confidence, especially after they looked pathetic this past week against San Francisco, and just as bad the week before against Denver. That said, they are now tied with New England and Miami for the division lead, and it’s now or never for them. Can you think of a better now-or-never man than Brett Favre? The Jets will come into this division matchup fired up and ready to go—and will pound a floundering Bills squad. Yes, the Bills do have “beast mode” Marshawn Lynch, but keep in mind that Lynch really has only gone into “beast mode” twice this season (one of those outings against a pathetic Brown’s D)
Pick 2: Indianapolis over Detroit
There simply is nothing to be said here. Daunte Culpepper might not be able to play, and to compare the Vikings offense to the Colts offense would be a travesty. Detroit could not stop Tarvaris Jackson (the man benched earlier this season for 37-year-old journeyman Gus Frerotte) from marching down the field. How do they expect to stop a blazing hot Colts team? The Colts are riding the hot handed Peyton Manning who could put up 4TDs this week as easily as Wilt Chamberlain got laid in the 60’s
Pick 1: Philadelphia over Cleveland
Cleveland defense is inept. Ken Dorsey is starting his 11th game in 6 years. And the Eagles need 3 wins to make the playoffs. Picking Philly here, is like choosing to watch The Godfather over Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
Sports is replete with overused cliches and guilded phrases, none of which irk me more than “potential.” We’ve all heard it from Mel Kiper, Jay Bilas, any number of draft analysts, talent evaluaters, talk radio show hosts, and sports news meat puppets. When coming out of high school before being selected #1 overall NBA scouts gushed and creamed themselves over Kwame Brown’s potential. What came of that? Oh, a terrible player is what emerged from the golden egg of potential. Two years ago the “Greg Oden has the potential to be the next Bill Russell” chatter began littering the sports world and blogosphere. Harold Miner had potential to be the next Jordan. Ki-Jana Carter had the potential to be the next Earl Campbell. Potential, potential, potential. Keep your potential, damnit. The FlyMaster is interested only in results. Straight up.
The idea of potential ties into the larger issue of the “Wussification” of America. Back in the day people either did it or didn’t do it. There was no evaluation before anything happened. Did the Founding Fathers sit around in Philadelphia talking about “We’ve got the potential to make a country”? Hell no, they just did it. Did Thomas Edison say “I’ve got the potential to make a light bulb”? No. He just failed until he succeeded. Did Jesse Owens say “I’ve got the potential to humiliate Hitler in his own crib”? No. He just did it. Talking about potential only diverts focus from going out and doing. Potential is a try, and the great wise man, Yoda, once said, “there’s only do or do not, there is no try.” That little green son-of-a-Degoba bitch knew what was up.
In honor of all these folks tooting the horns of the upside and potential of the sports flavor of the month, allow the FlyMaster to make some “potential” calls.
- Tim Tebow has the potential to be a waste of a draft pick
- Any player from FSU or Miami has the potential of wearing gold fronts, speaking the worst English ever heard, and entering the league’s substance abuse program
- Fat kids have the potential to become fat adults
- Dumb kids have nothing but the potential to become dumb adults
- The sun has the potential to rise in the east and set in the west
- The Clippers and ThunderSonics (or whatever they are now) have the potential to suck for the forseeable future
- A rubik’s cube has the potential to drive you batshit
- Smoking weed has the potential to get you high
- Pac Man Jones has the potential to make it rain on a whim
- Itchy nuts means you have the potential of rockin’ the crabs
Take that. When the wells of potential run dry what’s left? Either you did or you didn’t. So become the next Jordan. Become the next Bill Russell. Damn, become the next Shavlik Randolph or any other sorry Duke sucka that was doused in potential and the burned in failure. Just bring it, don’t sing it.
FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now! Potentially.
Thirteen years after the most controversial court case in the United States, OJ Simpson was sentenced to a possible 33 years in prison for robbing sports memorabilia. This takes me back to the subject, “Karma is a B**** for OJ Simpson” because though OJ deserves the sentence for his previous actions, his recent crime shouldn’t amount to such jail time.
I by no means am an OJ Simpson “stan”, or fan to say the least. I was a mere middle schooler when he drove off in his White Bronco across Los Angeles. However, I do think his sentence was decided on an emotional level. If anyone else had committed the same crime, his or her sentence would not have amounted to a possible 33 years in prison or at least 9 years with potential parole leave after.
OJ Simpson was hit with the karma stick and as much as his lawyers try to appeal the case, it ain’t happening. Do I feel OJ deserves the lengthy sentence? YES – But strictly emotionally and taking into consideration everything that happened with the Goldman’s. Do I think that’s the sentence he should have received? NO – Because the court of law operates on facts not dwindling emotions. I’ve heard of cats who’ve committed worse crimes and gotten a lesser sentence than one time Heisman trophy winner OJ Simpson.
So what am I saying if I feel he deserves the sentence and think he doesn’t…? I’m saying this sentence was sort of a “catch 22” and according to laws that work on case by case scenarios, his sentence was wrongfully decided. For this particular crime, his sentence should have been less.
Skrybe – Keep it Fly