Is there any other player–outside of maybe Donovan McNabb–who gets more disrespect than former Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Garcia?
There’s no question that Garcia is a sensitive guy–but you would be too if your job was consistently threatened despite your proven ability to play in the NFL.
First it was San Francisco. Garcia came in after a great career by Steve Young and took over the reins of the team in 1999. In 2000, Garcia exploded. That year, he threw for 31 touchdowns and just ten intcerptions. 2001 wasn’t shabby, either, as Garcia threw 32 touchdowns, twelve interceptions, and had a quarterback rating of 94.8.
During the 2002 playoffs, Garcia was instrumental in helping to lead the 49ers back from a 38-14 deficit in the third quarter. The 49ers scored 25 unanswered points and went on to advance to the second round of the playoffs.
Soon, the Garcia-T.O fued would heat up. Owens, not liking Garcia for some unknown (but most likely) selfish reason, questioned Garcia’s sexuality. Owens, discussing Garcia, stated, “if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, chances are it’s probably a duck.” Garcia would be incredulous, making public statements that he doesn’t know why Owens was bent on cutting him down so harshly.
Garcia would eventually land in Cleveland, where then head coach Butch Davis refused to let him roll out of the pocket and make audibles. His time in Detroit was equally disappointing in 2005.
The next year, Garcia found himself in Philadelphia, where he was able to resurrect his career. With McNabb suffering a devastating injury towards to end of the season, Garcia led his team through an improbable run of victories, and the team advanced farther than anyone thought they would in the playoffs.
But then Garcia was promptly released–the team didn’t even make an effort to sign him. In fact, the Eagles signed Jay Feeley to a contract to be the team’s backup, thus throwing Garcia back into the unemployment line.
Garcia was eventually signed by Tampa Bay, but Jon Gruden’s love for playing “musical quarterbacks” lead to frustration for Garcia. Garcia eventually stated publicly that his head coach didn’t like to marry quarterbacks, he just wanted to date them.
That was evident in Tampa Bay. Garcia was routinely yanked out of the lineup in favor of other quarterbacks on the roster.
This past week, Garcia was once again released by yet another team. At age 39, Garcia would like to still play and doesn’t have any plans for retirement.
But why is Garcia so disrespected? If anything, his inability to stick onto a team reminds me of Doug Flutie’s NFL career. Two small, scrambling quarterbacks who were never given any expectation of success. And despite their ability to lead and to win, they are still discounted. In Buffalo, Doug Flutie was pulled by Wade Phillips for the highly ineffective (and far too often sacked) Rob Johnson.
It could also be Garcia’s personality–he does seem like a sensitive guy. It’s possible that he clashes with certain coaches or doesn’t take criticism very well. But he’s proven that he can win in this league. And in a league where quarterbacks such as Tarvaris Jackson, Derek Anderson, Brodie Croyle and Dan Orlovsky all started at some point last year, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Jeff Garcia doesn’t latch onto some team.
The Super Bowl concluded just seventeen days ago, but it feels like ancient history.
So goes life in the NFL.
With the season officially ended with final Pro Bowl game in Hawaii, the off-season is now in full swing. Team are getting ready for the scouting combine, which begins on Wednesday with workouts commencing on Saturday.
Big name players plan to show up, though some (such as Michael Crabtree and Matthew Stafford) obviously don’t plan to do much while on the field.
Then there’s free agency. Players such as Matt Cassell, Karlos Dansby and Shayne Graham have already been franchised. Others aren’t so lucky. The Bucs have released Jeff Garcia. The Jaguars said goodbye to Fred Taylor. Deuce McCallister is out in New Orleans and the Ravens have cut ties with cornerback Chris McCallister (no relation).
Expect more blood shed in the coming weeks.
Oh, there’s also movement outside of the league, too. Marshawn Lynch was arrested on gun possession. Apparently, Plaxico Burress is Lynch’s hero. Lynch has already been in trouble with the law–last time it was a violation with his car (bumping a cop with his vehicle). Clearly, some players never learn. If Lynch gets suspended, he might just spend some time with PacMan Jones.
Then there’s the Vick saga. It’s been reported that the Atlanta Falcons are actively shopping the rights of still incarcerated former quarterback Michael Vick. Vick’s status with the league is in limbo, as he’s currently suspended indefinitely. If he does return to the the league, it will be interesting to see how much protesting a given team will receive from PETA and fans alike. Then again, if Ray Lewis, Jamal Lewis, and Lawrence Phillips can get second chances, is it really out of the realm for Vick, too?
Regardless, the NFL off-season is starting to kick into high gear. And it’s quite possible that it will be just as exciting as Super Bowl 43.
You know how the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” The statement could not be more appropo for Deuce McAllister today. McAllister was released from the New Orleans Saints as the organization is trying to cut numbers to get under the $123 M salary cap for 2009. With the emergence of Pierre Thomas who compliments and aides All Star running-back Reggie Bush, The Saints felt it was better to part ways with Deuce who would be owed $5 M in the fall.
In a press conference, Deuce acknowledged that although he has battled injuries recently, he still hopes and expects to find a pivotal role in the backfield for another team. He acknowledged that more than money, he desires to find a new home where his talent can be used more.
However, McAllister can’t begin to think that a 31 year old recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and a history of injury will command tons of attention in the free agent market, let alone find a deal where he will be making much more that $5M/ year.
I like Deuce. I think he’s a cool cat and has done a lot for The Saints. The StatDragon is not about to throw McAllister in the line of blog-bashing. However, I have a hard time believing that he will find a “starting” role ANYWHERE. With the emergence of talented young running backs in the NFL, the pool is full. And with interesting prospects entering the NFL Draft this spring, there is NO reason any team will take a leap of faith on Deuce. At best, I believe he could find a 2 year/ $ 9 M contract in other city backing up a young blue chip. Theoretically, he could stand behind Matt Forte in Chicago taking some 3rd down situations off his hands, filling in as a blocking back during the pass. Of course, now McAllister has to compete with Fred Taylor in the moss-back section of free agency.
Deuce, the StatDragon wishes you a speedy recovery and the best of luck in finding a new home. Please just stay the hell away from San Francisco.
Holler Back. StatDragon
According to Big Papi, the lefty says he’s far from sloppy. He had a few choice words to say about steroids and those people who think he’s old at the age of 33. Oh Papi, I’m with you my man, let’s get the bat going, see some sun and maybe bring back an old friend.
When asked about steroids Ortiz spoke out and said; “I would suggest everybody get tested, not random, everybody,” “You go team by team. You test everybody three, four times a year and that’s about it.”
If the tests proves positive Ortiz said,”Ban ’em for the whole year.”
It makes sense in my eyes. Rid the game of the continued users and only allow the clean players a chance to play. The 50 game bans didn’t send a powerful enough message. They allowed the player to rejoin the team after the games were played and remain a name in the game. It’s just a logical, forceful approach to clean up the tarnished image and right the wrong. I know we’ve had plenty of steroid talks but it’s time you face the issue and clean it up. As Jonny Dakota was supposed to say on Saved by the Bell, “There’s no hope with dope.” Jonny (TV star)was actually doing the drugs in the episode, you could say acting like an A-Rod for Bayside students. Endorsing the game and pretending to be an activist in the fight. Let’s hope with his message, Papi has steered away from the dope. In a Bayside world Papi would say, “In one word, would I do dope? Nope.” Yes, I compared steroids in baseball to a Saved by the Bell episode, but don’t worry he’s Big Papi not Wicked Big Papi.
I’m just hoping he comes up wicked big this season. After a sub par 2008 season, Papi’s got his confidence and swagger back this according to him. He’s lost 15 pounds going into Spring Training and looks noticeably fit. People have been saying he’s too old and he’s on the downfall of his career, well don’t tell him that. “Sometimes I listen to comments and it just does nothing but make me stronger,” don’t mess with the bull, here come the horns. He needs to produce in order to get these Sox deep in the pennant run. Papi spoke out about getting another power hitter to help in the middle of the lineup. When the name Manny popped up, of course he said “Why not?”
Let’s hope what Papi’s preaching all comes true. From 1-year bans for steroid use, no pains in the wrist and a power hitting display fueled by media hatred in 2009. According to Papi we’re in for some changes in the game but hopefully a rebirth of his ongoing legend.
The Cowboys have yet to find an official sponsor for their new stadium. So if you have some extra money in the ol’ piggybank you don’t mind parting with, $400 M for 20 years will get your name on the dome. Personally, I won’t be able to hack this kind of deal with Mr. Jones and the Cowboy organization. For one, the StatDragon has a vice for gin and tonics AND happy hours at The Spearmint Rhino Strip Club…both of which cost a bit of money. Seriously, I’m more into this Russian stripper there named Nadia than Mickey Rourke’s character was into Marissa Tome in The Wrestler. Secondly, the economy has left a proverbial “Cleveland Steamer” on my chest. And last but not least, I live at home with my grandma and make a living off blogging…awesome.
Due to the fact it’s NBA all-star weekend, we got to give you a showcase of some of the best performances on the big stage. From the 3-point contest to the slam dunk competition; the weekend remains to be one of the most exciting all-star weekends in sports. Phoenix will host the festivities and we should probably expect someone to get arrested on a drunk driving charge. Maybe carrying a concealed weapon charges and possibly beating up or refusing to pay a stripper. After all it is the NBA, anything is possible! Not much else to do in Arizona.
Larry Legend…always a showstopper!
One of the best dunk contests ever…MJ and Nique. Who knew he’d become such a great GM for the Bobcats…oh wait.
And let’s top it off with a little dance off…look at the big fella move!!
Enjoy the festivities
Friday, Feb. 13
7pm ET: NBA Celebrity Game (ESPN)
9pm ET: Rookie Challenge Game (TNT)
9:15 p.m. ET: D-League Skills Competition
Saturday, Feb. 14
4pm ET: D-League All-Star game (NBA TV)
5pm-7pm ET: Inside the NBA, HORSE game (TNT)
8pm ET: NBA All-Star Saturday Night (TNT)
Shooting Stars TNT
Skills Challenge TNT
Three-Point Shootout TNT
Slam Dunk Contest TNT
Sunday, Feb. 15
8PM: 58th NBA All-Star Game TNT
Hey National fans, Christmas has come early this year because you just signed Adam Dunn!
Before being traded to Arizona last season, the 29-year-old left-handed free agent outfielder (1B?) had played every game of his career with Cincinnati, after having been drafted by Reds (led by then Cincy GM Jim Bowden) with the 50th overall pick in the 2nd Round on the 1998 MLB Amateur Draft. Dunn debuted with Cincy three years later on July 20, 2001, and over 8 seasons has averaged 29 doubles, 42 HR’s, 96 RBI’s, 114 walks and 118 K’s per 162 games played. Not shabby. I’m not a huge fan of the whiffing statistic, but the rest I’ll take…. however, some feel differently about Dunn’s arrival. The Washington Times’ Thom Loverro referred to National’s GM Jim Bowden’s policy as “…running a welfare hotel for Cincinnati rejects and refugees.”
Due to a poor track record of signing players for too much/too long, Washington didn’t offer Dunn the BIG the big dollars he was seeking for in the open market. This is proven in the way that he “sat” on the Nationals’ offer for a longer than appropriate period. During this time the Natty’s front office held their ground and remained steadfast. Now Washington has found their seat-seller in Dunn, and you have to give it them for signing him for 2 years at $20 M. The Nationals got the offensive power they were looking for, without breaking the bank. Now they are in a position to deal for whatever else it is they think they need heading into the ’09 season, which many expect will be in the starting rotation or bullpen.
Here’s the kicker, the Nationals don’t lose a draft pick since Arizona traded for Dunn late last season and didn’t offer him arbitration. The signing doesn’t hinder the DC system’s development. The price tag of 2-years and $20 million dollars doesn’t seem outrageous. Even though he has been dubbed a “strikeout machine” you must acknowledge that he knocks himself in for 40 of every 100 RBI’s. He’s an offensive weapon that DC has been missing since Alfonso Soriano left the capital.
Does the recent news in Washington enable the Nationals to become a legit threat in the NL East, or potentially in the Wild Card race? What moves will have to be made with money left in the bank? Will Dunn play first or left? Well…seems we already have the answer to that. Undoubtedly answers will be revealed to us in the upcoming months.
In the road to the World Cup, the United States has a huge qualifier tonight versus rivals Mexico in the CONCACAF bracket. These two teams hate each other and the intensity and flow of the game is usually dirty and fierce. In this type of game, people usually get hacked and it brings out the best in the US team. Tonight in Columbus at 7 pm all the action happens. It’s the first round of the final leg of World Cup qualifying and it’s time to step it up.
I hate Mexico for their dirty play and I just can’t stand watching them. They lack the skills of an up and coming US team that really looks to make more of an impact in 2010. Freddy Adu was left off the roster but expect Landon Donovan to pick up the slack. Donovan has struggled in the World Cup but recently has been playing in Germany for Bayern Munich. The Adu snub is due to the lack of action he’s seen in France. Baby Pele is getting upset, personally he’s not too impressive. He’s young but hey hype is much too large for this young little man.
The U.S. has dominated recently gathering an 8-0-2 home record against Mexico since 2000. In this time the U.S. has totaled 17 goals, while the Mexicans have countered with three goals on American soil in this decade.
The U.S. finished 2008 with a 9-3-2 record, including a 7-1-0 record in World Cup qualifying.
Action starts tonight at 7pm ET. Get loud in Columbus…I’ll be watching.
I’ll admit right from the beginning that the FlyMaster is a bonafide Brett Favre fan. It’s not his stats, both the good and the bad, or his exciting and often nerve-racking plays. For me, Favre played football the way everyone should play games. He went all out all the time and was always having fun. Let’s face it, sports are games and games are meant to be fun. Bottom line. Nobody puts their 6 year old son in sports in the hopes of him becoming a Hall of Famer. And for those of you who do that, shame on you. No, we put our kids in sports so they can learn some values and also so we see them having fun. Pure unadulterated fun. As we age many of us lose that inner-child and we then stop playing games. Brett Favre never let go of that inner-child and played the game like a 6 year old at the highest level.
Favre, unlike so many other major sports icons, possesses an everyman quality. His wrangler commercials are believable. His battle against painkiller addiction and his dogged determination to always go to work made him more like us than any other icon from this era. It’s imagineable to see Favre getting an offseason job just to work for work’s sake. It’s plausible to walk into an Hattiesburg bar and see Brett at the end of the bar holding court over a pitcher. Can the same be said of Tom Brady? What about Tiger Woods? No way, those guys aren’t like us. They’re openly better, and that’s okay. Favre is the uber normal man. This week we’ve seen some pretty low stories with A-Rod and Phelps, but quietly the “boy-man” Favre left the sports spotlight and I highly doubt there is anybody who can step into his role.
FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!
Today, it has been reported that Brett Favre has informed the New York Jets that he plans to retire.
This isn’t shocking. While Favre had some success in New York, the team tanked in December and blew a shot at the playoffs with a loss against Miami in week 17.
Coupled with that, Favre has been battling against a shoulder injury that may or may not need surgery, while some of his teammates have suggested that Brett’s penchant for throwing interceptions was a significant reason as to why the team finished so cold.
At least Favre did not drag out his decision. And with a decision now made, the New York Jets can finally move on.
With new head coach Rex Ryan, there are a few options for the team to pursue.
They already have Kellen Clemens, a young quarterback who has seen limited playing time. He appears to have a big arm, but his potential is completely unknown.
The Jets could also go after a veteran quarterback. It’s highly unlikely that the Jets would like to give up what’s needed to acquire Matt Cassell. It’s also highly unlikely that the New England Patriots would want to trade their young quarterback to a division rival.
Jeff Garcia could be available, but Garcia is almost the same age as Favre. There’s no future in acquiring Garcia, and his style of play is very specific. Garcia likes to be able to roll outside the pocket–something he wasn’t given as much leeway to do during his unproductive years in Cleveland and Detroit. Garcia would have to truly fit into a system perfectly, and with a new head coach, it’s hard to know what type of system Rex Ryan prefers on offense.
Then there’s Derek Anderson of Cleveland–an intriguing prospect. Though Anderson had a disappointing 2008, his 2007 season was off the charts. He’s only 25 years old, and has a rocket arm. On the right team, it’s possible he could flourish. His salary wouldn’t be as high as Matt Cassell, and he could probably be had for a third round pick. The only sticking point would be that former Jets coach Eric Mangini is now the head man in charge in Cleveland. Due to the seemingly bad blood between Mangini and the Jets front office, they wouldn’t want to be trade partners with each other.
Other options include Pittsburgh’s Byron Leftwich, Kurt Warner, Kerry Collins, and even Vince Young.
In a year when the quarterback class isn’t as strong–both in free agency and the upcoming NFL Draft, it just might be a seller’s market.