Monthly Archives: December 2008

The Bears are done!

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 If only for a second, everything seemed to align in the proper place, spelling a Bears postseason appaearance — the New York Giants were beating the Vikings and Oakland was pulling out a surprising win in Tampa against the Buccaneers.

But it all fell apart, as the Bears seem to do in the fourth quarter of so many games– today was no exception.

The Bears were on a role before facing this Texans team, though it did not come in the conventions sense. Sudden special teams plays and defemsive anomolies have saved the Bears in tough spots all season. There was no such event late in the Houston game, especially since a first down offsides penalty on the last Houston possession of the game put the Texans in position for an easy first down conversion, which they converted. The Bears wouldn’t recover from the costly blunder, and their season has come to an end against a team destined for vacation regardless of the games final.

While they stopped the run early, Andre Johnson took advantage of the absence of free safety Mike Brown’s and caught 10 balls. His success set up the run game which ultimately spelled the end for the Bears. The Texans two offensive phases, and an inept Bears offensive attack, became too much for the Bears to carry. The defense wilted in the latter stages of the game, surrendering big runs to Steve Slaton on successive offensive downs.

What hurt the Bears most, though, was the erie circumstances that led rookie running back Matt Forte to leave the game. The running back was having a stellar game but didn’t see much of the second half. In fact, he missed the entire fourth quarter. At no point was he more missed than a third down, goaline play where Adrian Peterson went in for the td and was immediately stopped at the one-yard line by one defender. Forte would have punched it in, no question.

All successful endings for the Bears hinged on a Sunday win, they simply couldn’t deliver.

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Bears still hold out playoff hope

75557833DM011_CHICAGO_BEARSMany teams are still vying for a playoff position but the one that means the most to me is my hometown Bears, who happens to be playing against the Texas for their playoff lives.

Chicago couldn’t have asked for Minnesota to face a team more capable of ensuring that it would continue to play on Sundays; the NY Giants play every game as if it were their last and they will be sure to do the same today. That very strategy led the Giants to last year Super Bowl, why stray from a successful formula? You remember what the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air once said: “If it ain’t broke then don’t try to fix it.”

The Gaints will be sure to take Will’s advice serioiusly. There is also the long-shot possibility of both Dallas and Tampa Bay taking losses against Philadelphia and Oakland, respectively.

The rest is up to Chicago.

I’ll be back with the final verdict.

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Stint with Jets may spell an end to Farve’s career

SPORT NFL FOOTBALLAn so the drama that is the never ending career of Bret Farve continues…

“I think the ending physical, or whatever, that every player goes through after the last game will king of maybe shed some light on some things,” Farve said. ” So we’ll see.”

Typical Farve, always leave them wanting more.

“During the course of the year, there were numerous times where I’d been asked about my shoulder and it had been hit a couple of times,” the 39-year-old QB said. “I don’t know. I mean, just knowing my body, there may be something, but there’s no test yet to reveal anything.”

That’s it Bret, reel them in.

“I’m sure if we MRI’d it enough we’d probably find something,” Farve went on to say.

Another barrage of Farve comments in which he detailed his lingering doubt has fueled further debate about the hoary quarterback. A questionable right shoulder has many wondering whether Farve will return for another with the Jets.

Once heralded by the NY media as a steal, Farve’s stay with the Jets has turned out to be less than impressive. He heard constant talk of Chad Pennnington’s success in Miami as his team faltered at this season’s end, opening the perverbial playoff window and A.F.C. East title for their conference foes, the Dolphins. A 8-3 start to the season sent a furvor of praise toward Farve and his head coach, Eric Mangini. Now there is doubt whether either of them will be in New Jersey next season.

The questions regarding Farve’s future help rehash a summer where I couldn’t escape Bret Farve. I couldn’t turn on sports talk radio or watch sportscenter without hearing every ESPN personality utter the name BRET FARVE! Who could blame them, though. The master of deception had just finished his tearful retirement speech. 

The speech ultimately led the Green Bay Packers to choose to part ways with the old gun-slinger, opting for a young, capable passer in Aaron Rodgers. Neither has had a great season, but Farve seemed to be the right choice at the mid-season mark. His team now seems destined for sandy beaches as they take on a playoff-less vacation, and we all seem destined for a summer that will run rampant with Farve speculation.

As Farve does, he made sure to leave some loose ends. “Do I see myself playing here next year,” Farve asked, searching within himself. “I didn’t see myself playing here this time last year. There’s some things that obviously the team probably needs to think about as far as next year’s concerned and some things I need to think about and some things we need to discuss amongst ourselves.”

The further Farve got into his press conference, the more he began to sound as if he was giving a concession speech.

“It’s been a great career,” he said. “This year was a gamble, you could say, a risk, whatever you want to call it. I can honestly say I’m thankful I was given the opportunity here. It’s been a lot of fun. It been good and bad as far as our seasn has gone, but I’m glad I came here.

“I made the right decision.”

Hopefully you’ll make the right decision at the end of this year, Farve. Sail off into the sunset the way you should have last season. Don’t stay around too long, don’t become a struggling shell of yourself, causing fans to forget the energy and enthusiasim you once played with. Do yourself–and us– a favor and concede as a pro-bowl quarterback with his reputation still intact.

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Yankees continue to rack up players, payroll

losangelesangelsanaheimvnewyorkyankees9-eythsu7dvlAnother of the most coveted free agents has landed in the Bronx.

Mark Teixeira, formerly of the Los Angeles Angels, has signed a 8-year, $180 million contract to play first base for the Yankees. This is the third blockbuster deal of the Yankees offseason. Only a week ago, they signed C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett to big-time contract, paying them $161 million and $82.5 million, respectively.

The Yankees weren’t initally a player in the Teixiera sweepstakes, deciding to play it cool before swooping in to fufill Teixeira wish of being signed before Chrsitmas morning.

Teixiera has career numbers of 303 hr, 676 RBIs and and 442 walks, with a .541 slugging and .290 hitting averages. The big-time hitter had a killer 2008 season in helping lead the Angels to the AL semifinals with 33 hr, 121 RBIs and .302 batting average to match a .552 slugging average.

Many have complained about the money the Yankees are spending, but a clearing of 88.5 million dollars allowed the Yankees to make their recent moves. But an unloading of  $23.4 on Jason Giambi, $16 million on Bobby Abreu and a $11 million on Mike Mussina and Carl Pavano allowed New York to makes its big moves, recently.

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Cleveland Browns hits an all-time low; Quinn punched by teammate

brady-quinnThe Cleveland Browns, who were the fell-good story of last season, have officially completed their free fall from relevance.

As if a Sunday shutout at the hands of the Bengals wasn’t enough, reports have surfaced that defensive tackle Shaun Smith punched sidelined quarterback Brady Quinn in the face after a weight-room altercation. Browns head coach Romeo Crennel added validity to the reports at his Monday press conference when he didn’t deny that a verbal argument and punch ocurred.

“If it happened, it stays in house,” Crennel said.

Another indication came when Smith was on the inactive list for the Browns Sunday game against the Cincinatti Bengals, although Smith will be available for the season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Apparently, Smith is known for mouthing off in the lockeroom on a weekly basis. He has had several previous lockeroom incidents and Crennel said that Smith’s antics could be irritating to some.

“Yeah, sure, it could potentially rub a guy the wrong way,” Crennel admitted.

The Browns of this year were a far cry from their 2007 season. Quarterback Derrick Anderson, wide receiver Braylon Edwards and tight end Kellen Winslow were all big-time performers last season who didn’t show up this year. Winslow was on and off the injury list, Edwards dropped more balls than any other wide receiver in the NFL and Anderson lost his job to second-year quarterback Quinn.

The Browns’ 11-4 record in 2007  set a precedence they weren’t  ready to live up to, as was porved by their 11-4 follow up thus far. They are also sure to lose at Pittsburgh and finish 5-11.  Four monday night games assured the Browns that the country wanted to see them, and, in a rare occurrence, high expectations loomed for their season. Unfortantely, they faltered terribly and will have many issues to contend with over the offseason, including the fate of their head coach.

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Forte surpasses Sayers’ rookie record for total yards

81181360JD026_KANSAS_CITY_CWho saw Matt Forte coming? Who knew he’d be this good, so soon? None of the questions that marked Forte’s meteoric rise matter now, only the numbers. And those numbers cement Forte’s rookie season as overwhelmingly successful.

In fact, he was so successful that he surpassed Gale Sayers on the Chicago Bears rookie total yards list with two games left on the schedule. Forte gained 1,476 total yards, eclipsing Sayers’ Bears rookie record of 1,374 total yards, which he established in a 14-game schedule in 1965. Forte rushed for 1108 yards, and caught 59 balls for 431 yards receiving.

As a rookie, he helped anchor a Bears’ offense that was expected to land at the bottom of the NFL’s chain movers, its tumultuous locker room  had much to do with those perception. As did a laughable off-season quarterback controversy and an overpaid running back who couldn’t stay out of legal trouble. No one outside of Chicago had a glimmer of hope for the Chicago Bears season — Forte changed that.

He improved with every game, and displayed his play-making ability in his first showing of the NFL season when he rushed for 132 yards against the Indianapolis Colts in a 29-13 win. He followed that performance up with 92 yards in a 17-20 loss at Carolina and 89 yards rushing in a close 24-27 loss to Tampa, averaging 101 yards in his first three games as a pro.

While his teammates didn’t fully show up in the two loses, Forte had arrived. From there on he was a constant threat to make the big play, forever showing up in crucial moments. The ascension of Kyle Orton as a formidable big-league quarterback only enhanced Forte’s looks, as teams put less defenders in the box, opening holes for the rookie.

In seasons past, the Bears have left fans with a sour taste in their mouth. The end of every season leaves onlookers wondering “what if?” At 8-6, with a short chance of making the playoffs if they win out against Green Bay and Houston, this year may be different. If so, it’ll be thanks to one hell of a rookie running back who has performed well beyond his years for the entirety of the 2008 NFL season.

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What do you think of the Auburn coaching situation?

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