Monday, December 21, 2009

Ten Things JJ Thinks He Thinks

Before we get started with the Ten Things I wanted to wish everyone Happy Holidays and for those that are traveling this week, safe travels. I will be flying out this Tuesday to Denver before renting a car and driving with the family from Denver to Steamboat. We should fly back from Denver to Atlanta on Saturday. Notice the should as last year it took me an extra 24 hours to get home and it took the Parentals an extra 48 hours to get home.

1. Georgia Thoughts
Couple quick Georgia thoughts One will concern the UGA defensive coaching search and the other UGA's big win over Illinois on the hardwood Saturday night at the Gwinnett Arena.

First of all UGA fans do not get your panties in a wad over Vic Koenning becoming the Defensive Coordinator at Illinois and not Georgia. Despite what 680 The Fan blowhard John Kincaid says, Koenning did not choose Illinois over Georgia. Illinois hired him before Georgia probably gave him an offer. Mark Richt is running this search and he is doing it his way. Through nine seasons at Georgia he has won more games than any previous coach and he has gotten every big decision right so far, why would he go wrong now? With that being said this search is locked down tighter than anything I've ever seen out of the UGA Athletic Department, and that seems to be the consensus opinion. Damon has to be threatening to fire people who open their mouths, but the bigger issue is that Mark Richt is doing this the way Mark Richt wants.

Now onto the Basketball team, what a win by the Hoop Dawgs Saturday night at the Gwinnett arena in a crowd that was more Illini fans that UGA fans from everything I have been told and read. Before I call out UGA fans for not attending this game on a perfect Saturday night I need to look at myself as I forgot about UGA playing 30 minutes from my house and decided to attend a NHL sporting event instead. If we are going to succede as a basketball program the fans are going to have to buy in before we get good again. Coach Fox is going to have overcome a ton of skepticism toward Georgia basketball in his own new state and this includes the sight of playing a game in Duluth, Ga., and having your fans outnumbered. When was the last time we went head to head with Georgia Tech over a basketball recruit and won? I think Mark Fox is the right man for the job as he’s playing with Felton’s guys and has them playing better than they did last season under Felton. While we are still a few years away from getting to the Tennessee and Kentucky level of college basketball,  we will need some fan buy in to help us get to that level.

It should be noted we need a better effort from he UGA marketing department. Last week I received multiple e-mails from the UGA athletic department reminding me to buy my UGA memorabilia for Christmas but nothing inviting me out to Gwinnett.

2. Colts Thoughts
How does Peyton Manning keep coming up clutch game after game. Personally I did not think the starters were going to play more than a quarter much less the whole game but when Manning does not get hit you might as well keep playing him. I am a little worried about the defense giving up 31 points to the Jaguars but when the offense could not end the game by running out the clock it was the defense that won the game for the Colts. Great job by ESPN giving us this stat, Peyton Manning had been struggling against five or more defensive backs in his past seven games, with an 82.4 rating while throwing nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He was back to his old self against the Jags, throwing four TDs against this type of personnel.

I think the Colts play the starters next week at home against the J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS but the week after on the road at Buffalo to finish up the season I doubt a starter will see the playing field even if 16-0 is a possibility. The only way Manning sees the field in Buffalo is if their is no snow, the sun it out and it is 30 plus degrees outside. When are these conditions ever present in Buffalo in early January?

One more Manning stat, Manning's four-TD game was the 21st of his career, tying him with Dan Marino for second in NFL history. Manning now has 10 4,000-yard seasons, most ever.

3. Ten Most Powerful People in Sports - Last week in New York I mentioned how I was a few rows behind SEC commissioner Mike Slive at MSG and that he was in my top ten of most powerful people in sports. I know give you my list.

1. Roger Goodell-Commissioner of the NFL, the most powerful man in America's most influential sports league
2. George Bodenheimer - President of ESPN, ABC Sports. Read the Captains column from last Monday on ESPN's influence in sports and whether it is always positive?
3. Tiger Woods - This guy has been on the cover of the NY Post for more consecutive day than September 11th.
4. Bud Selig - A lot of people may call this a stretch but look at the growth of baseball the last 15 years and you will see a lot of Selig's influence on Baseball. He also does not get a hall pass from the media the way other commissioners have in the past (see Pacman Jones and Goodell and Tim Donaghey and David Stern). Last year MLB had 73.4 million people attend its games, NBA had 23.2 million, NHL had 21.6 million, and the NFL had 17.2 million.
5. Phil Knight- CEO Nike- I to this day say the fact he had UGA baseball using his companies awful bats cost the Dawgs the National Championship in Baseball in 2008. If you need a book to read this Holiday Season go to your Independent Bookstore and read Sole Influence. You will begin to understand the power of Nike.
6. Dick Ebersol -Chairman NBC Sports - Has kept Notre Dame relevant by televising them every Saturday.
7. Sean McManus -Chairman CBS News and Sports
8. David Stern - Commissioner of the NBA, somehow has not been called to Congress for the gambling scandal that never developed.
9. Mike Slive - Commissioner of the SEC, the day he signed wth ESPN probably help win Mark Ingram the Heisman as it guaranteed every Alabama game on one of ESPN's networks.
10. Jacques Rogge - President of the IOC

4. Best of the 2000's
 This Week Sports Illustrated has done a look back at the 2000's and given their decade in review spectacular. I will attempt the same.

Best MLB Moment- The Yankees at home during the 2001 World Series. They win three games at home in which they had no business winning. Who can not forget the walk off home runs of Scott Brosius and Mr. November Derek Jeter. What a memorable World Series.

Best MLB Moment (In Person) Randy Johnson perfect game. May of 2004, I was able to sit two rows behind homeplate as I watched Mr. Johnson pitch the 17 perfect game in Major League history. By the way this is the only time I have cheered against the Braves.

Best NFL Moment As much as I want to say the Colts Super Bowl win, the best NFL moment is the Patrots first Super Bowl win on an Adam Vinateri kick to beat the two touchdown favorite St. Louis Rams.

Best NFL Moment (In Person) October 1st 2006 was the date as the Indianapolis Colts visited the New York Jets. Since I interned with the Colts the previous summer they invited me to help work this game. What a wild finish we had in the Meadowlands. The Colts score on a Manning touchdown pass to backup tight end London Fletcher with 2:36 left in the 4th quarter giving the Colts a 24-21 lead. However, the Jets returned the kickoff for a touchown giving Manning another opportunity to break the Jets hearts and Manning did with a one yard touchdown run with 50 seconds remaining. What a game what an atmosphere and I do not care if I ever hear the J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS cheer again in my life. Here is a picture of me standing on the sidelines behind current Colts head coach Jim Caldwell. Photo credit to Dan Hauptman and his buddy Koplik who took this pic from 4 rows from the top of the upper deck. I also need to credit my Dad for researching his email to find this picture because I could not find it anywhere.

Best NBA Moment Kobe scores 81 points.Only one person has scored more and that was Wilt with 100 points. This quote from Phil Jackson says it all, "I've seen some remarkable games but I've never seen anything like that before."

Best NBA Moment (In Person) Game 6 of the 2008 NBA first round playoffs. The Hawks win before a very loud a boisterous sellout crowd at Philips Arena to force a game 7. As crazy an sporting event I have ever attended. What made it better was the free seats in a suite right at mid court that the Captain was able to get for the Coach.

Best NCAA Football Moment The Buckeyes upset the Miami Hurricanes

Best NCAA Football Moment (In Person) Georgia ending 20 years of futility by beating Arkansas 30-3 to win the 2002 SEC Championship.

Favorite Baseball Player - Without a doubt Derek Jeter, why do I love this guy so much?

Favorite Football Player - Peyton Manning, in reading Peter King this week he said that in his book he had Peyton Manning as the 25 best player (the rankings were done at the beginning of the season) in NFL history. I have a heard time believing he was not in the top ten at the beginning of the season. Where will he rank at the end of his career?

Favorite Basketball Player - Kobe Bryant, I have seen him and Lebron in person and right now I would take Kobe if I had first pick.

Favorite College Athlete - David Greene, brought UGA its first SEC title in 20 years and when he left school he was the NCAA all time leader in wins. A record he lost last month to Colt McCoy.

Favorite Sports Movie - I have to do a list
1. Miracle
2. Remember the Titans
3. The Wrestler
4. We Are Marshall
5. The Blind Side

5. Everyone's Garden Moments
My buddy Dan gives his favorite MSG Moments
I had Knicks season tickets in the mid-2000s, during the lean years for the franchise. Only one moment from those years made this list (Patrick Ewing night). From growing up in NY and living there for most of my 20s, here are my top 5 moments at MSG:
1) Larry Johnson 4-point play.
As this video shows, the roof nearly blew off the garden that night: 
I did a doubleheader that Saturday, going to Yankees-Mets at Yankee stadium in the afternoon (skipped the Belmont late afternoon) and went to the LJ game that night.  EPIC...
2) Later in that 1999 Eastern Conference series against the Pacers, the Knicks won game 6 to clinch a finals appearance.  The whole crowd could not stop chanting, "JEFF-VAN-GUNDY, JEFF-VAN-GUNDY..."
3) Patrick Ewing night on February 28, 2003.  May be the last retired Knicks jersey for awhile, until LBJ begins his Knicks career in 2010...
4) Another baseball-MSG doubleheader by me in 1997.  I went to a Mets game during the afternoon and then went to a Rangers-Panthers playoff game that I had won tickets for by calling WFAN.  Wayne Gretzky scored three goals in 6 1/2 minutes -- his NHL record ninth and final playoff hat trick -- to lead the New York Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers to go up three games to one in the first round of the 1997 playoffs.
5) Among the concerts that I went to at MSG, my two most memorable: Metallica with the orchestra (as recorded for the Metallica double album) and Bruce Springsteen circa 2000. 

The Good Doctor who lived in NYC all of 9 months gives his list;
January 23, 2009

My visit ever visit to the World's Most Famous Arena.  Scalped a ticket outside for $20 and snuck down to the lower level and sat next to two beautiful coeds who happened to know  Coach.  Appearently they had met during his time at NYU.  Ok that part was a lie.

4.  February 15, 2009

NY Titans vs Rochester Knighthawks

Coach came to the city and scored us two tickets in a luxury suite.  I still don't have a clue how lacrosse is played.

3. February 12, 2009

Rascal Flatts Concert

Three days earlier I saw Rascal Flatts put on a great show.  The beautiful Jessica Simpson opened up and proceed to tell everyone how much she loved Tony Romo.  Even better were the multiple females with boots and cowgirl hats.

2. February 4, 2009

Cavs v. Knicks

King James visited the Garden and the place was electric.  James dropped 52 points and was a rebound shy of a triple-double.  Jay Z and Chris Rock were sitting courtside while I was in the last row.

1. March 12, 2009

 Big East Quarterfinals

Syracuse vs. UCONN

This goes down as the greatest sporting event that I have ever witnessed.  The game was six overtimes and I didn't get home until 3 am.  What makes it even better is that I bought and sold tickets outside and ended up making $140.  Final Score: 127-117 Syracuse.

6. MLB Thoughts for the week
a. The last three teams to win 100 games and the world series in the same year-1. the 2009 Yankees; 2. the 1998 Yankees; and 3. the 1986 Mets. So you have to go back 25 years to find a team outside of New York that won 100 and a World Series -- that would be the 1984 Tigers.
7. What I Read This Week
Couple of articles to focus on this Christmas week includes the Sportsmen of the Year article by Tom Verducci on this years Sportsmen Derek Jeter. Pretty intriguing read on one of my favorite players.

I am usually not a big fan of his writing but I find Jeff Schultz's adventure from Atlanta to New York City for the Falcons game very enjoyable. Their is nothing fun about winter weather when it screws up your plans but sometimes all you can do is smile and make good of what is a bad situation and you usually end up with some great stories.

One more read comes from the New York Times and Dan Shanoff writes about his experience in taking his son to a local college basketball game and a NBA game. Pretty fun article.

8.Football Thoughts for the Week
a. The following site might need to be bookmarked for the next couple of weeks. It is the NFL's tie breaking proocedures. Lot of good stuff.
b. What was Mike McCarthy doing before halftime in Pittsburgh yesterday? You have three timeouts do not be scared to use them so your team can have more than 24 seconds to drive for a field goal or touchdown...n wonder Brett Favre wanted out.
c. Every year around this time we get some pretty good reads on the swag different bowl team recieve for participatng in the different games. The Sports Business Journal does a good job of putting this list together. Their is one common theme in that 90% of the bowls think these student-athletes need help keeping time as they are offering watches as presents. The so-called $500 limit is laughable. Players in the Sugar Bowl, for example, receive a gift pack featuring products from Apple, Sony, Trek, Garmin and Weber, in addition to a watch, cap, laptop pack, and a recliner. A frigging recliner!
d. Good win for the Admiral's Titans and at the same time a bad loss for Coach Dan's Miami Dolphins. It is amazing how good the Titans have been since their bye week. It is also amazing how good Vince Young has been this season, on Sunday he threw for 236 yards and three touchdowns.
e. Really Tom Brady? You could only get me 6.3 fantasy points on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills? Also, Tiger Woods is a better Dad than you.
f. By the way their is nothing wrong with Randy Moss as he had his third straight season with 10 receiving TDs. That ties Jerry Rice for the most seasons with 10 scores in NFL history at nine.One more Brady note, he has thrown for less than 200 yards in two straight games for the first time since Weeks 14-15 of the 2006 season.  
g. Before Saturday night I am not so sure you could have blamed this years Cowboys woes in December on Tony Romo. With his win Saturday night in New Orleans Tony Romo is 6-10 as a starter in December. He was 22 for 34 for 312 yards and a TD. He has six scoring passes and no interceptions in three games this December, with a passer rating of 109.7.
h. Not so sure the loss was not the worst thing in the world for the Saints. The Saints are the third 13-0 team to lose, joining the 1998 Broncos and 2005 Colts. Each of those teams also lost their next game.The Broncos went on to win the Super Bowl while the Colts choked in the playoffs. The loss also snapped the Saints' five-game win streak vs. the Cowboys.

i. How good  has the Saints offense been the last year and a half. New Orleans scored fewer than 20 points for the first time in their last 23 games.
j. Why do the Texans always win games when it seems it matters the least. They have won two in a row to get to .500. By the way Matt Schaub threw for 367 yards and a TD. It's his fifth game with at least 350 passing yards this season, which leads the NFL.
k. How does Schaub throw for that many yards and only won touchdown? Even more crazier is this stat, Andre Johnson had nine catches for 196 yards. He became the second player this decade to have at least 195 receiving yards without a touchdown reception.
l. The Falcons might have back to back winning seasons for the first time in franchise history, they are currently 7-7 and have a home game this week against the Bills and then visit the Bucs to finish the season. 9-7 is a possibility.
m. Heartbreak city again for the Bengals, this team has had a lot adversity this season and have now lost two games in a row for the first time this year. Can Marvin Lewis rally the troops for a home game next week against the Chiefs and then a road game at the Jets. Clinching the AFC North needs to be done sooner than later.
n. What an awful job by the NFL not allowing Chad Ochocinco the opportunity to wear Chris Henry's jersey.
o. I had a lot of fun watching the Steelers-Packers with the roomdawg who is a diehard Packer fan and James Cooper who is a big fan of the Steelers. Who would have thought this is the first NFL game to ever end at 37-36.
p. It is about time Phillip Rivers gets the credit he deserves, the Chargers have now won 17 straight games in December and nine straight games overall. I know I do not want the Colts to play them in January.
q.I know it was not working Sunday but you will not win in January with only 12 rushing attempts Mike McCarthy.
r. How bad are the Bears? They do not even have draft picks to use to get better this off-season as they do not pick to the 3rd round.
s. When did the Ravens get an offense? Another tough out in December the Ravens have scored 79 points in its last two games and has scored more than 30 in six of its eight wins.
t. Where has this Steve Smith been the past year and a half? All I know is that I have missed him.
u. Brett Favre is 2-5 the last two December's. Thanks to the roomdawg for the statistic.

9.  NFL Power 5
1. Indianapolis Colts - Can they make history by going 16-0 and then 3-0 in January and February?
2. New Orleans Saints- One loss will not hurt them in the power 5, still one of the more consistent teams in football and will be a tough out in January.
3. San Diego Chargers - Can they please not face the Colts in the playoffs?
4. Philadelphia Eagles - Maybe the hottest team in the NFC, can they win in a dome this postseason?
5. Minnesota Vikings- They still might get the bye but have been awful the past two road games. 

10. Non Football Thoughts of the Week
a. What a wild winter weather weekend and it had some negative effects on multiple readers. My good buddy Brice had to spend a Friday night in Hickory, NC by himself as closed roads kept him from getting to his family in Banner Elk. Meanwhile, my best friend Lee and his lovely wife Heather had their Saturday flight from Savannah to Ithica, NY canceled and Sundays flight delayed about 6 hours. Lastly, my parents were stranded at their mountain cottage yesterday when a downed power line closed the only road they can take into town.
b. Here are some good photo galleries of the winter weather. The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Hartford Courant, The Washington Post, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Press of Atlantic City, and last but certainly not least The Cape Cod News.
c. I fly to Denver Tuesday mid-morning and should not have to deal with any of the headaches my good friends had to deal with this past weekend. The forecast for Denver this Tuesday looks like a high around 45 and a low of 30, the weather the same day in Atlanta will be 55 and 35. Now the weather in Steamboat will be different with highs in the teens and lows around zero every day.
d. I was a little down on How I Met Your Mother this week, we can do better than a smoking episode 10 days before Christmas.
e. I got to two Thrashers game this past week, they still do not play any defense but this is the best Thrashers team since their division championship team in 06-07.
f. On Saturday night they scored 3 goals on 6 shots against Martin Bordeur in the first period. I did not think I would see Mr. Bordeur get pulled after one period.
g. I saw Brooklyn Decker's visit on Dan Patrick this past Wednesday on the 101. She is AWESOME.
h. For those that have Directv Friday Night Lights is must see programming. How this show is not on a major network is beyond me?
i. Watched a couple of episodes of Jersey Shore this past week, maybe the funniest thing on television right now.
j. Snooky!
k. For those that know me, they know I love a good New York Post more than just about anything. For those of you that respect the Post like me visit this site to vote on your favorite covers from this decade.
l. I got to hang out with my man Walters two nights this weekend and we were awesome like always.
m. I am a week behind on 60 minutes but everyone should go back and look at the profile of Ricky Gervais. Very intriguing story that is as close to rags to riches as one can come from.
n. Good review by the Captain of the movie Pirate Radio. I can not wait to see it over the Winter break.
o. The FX show The League is getting better each week. I see alot of my life in the way these guys go about fantasy football in their daily lives.
p. My reading list this holiday season includes The Blind Side and probably Kingfish: The Reign of Huey Long. Anyone else have any holiday break recommendations? As always your comments are welcomed.
q. The Lexus holiday commercials are starting to be to much for me.
r. This weeks Christmas Vacation clip is the Pool Dream Scene. Chevy Chase is always dreaming about hooking up with some other women in these movies, but you know who's underrated? Beverly D'Angelo.
s. On a random note I have had some random dream the past few nights, they have all been fun and have had some great humor in them.
t. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday week this week and depending on your language or location of Christmas this week, Mele Kalikimaka, Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas and for the good doctor going to South Africa this Christmas, Gese├źnde Kersfees.

Text of the week
From me to my roomdawg on Saturday night

Just left party to many dudes for me plus I had to drop a deuce and didnt feel like blowing up cm's shitter...proud of you

Quote of the week
I can not think of one from this past week. I know you are not proud of me and I am better than this. I will be with my grandma all week this week and she will more than make up for the lack of quotes this week.

Have a wonderful holiday week and I hope Santa is good to everyone.


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