30 Dec 10 Fantasy Basketball Box Score Breakouts

Chris Graythen/Getty ImagesWith the NBA season nearing its close, here a look at some fantasy basketball players that blew up the box score last night.Earl Barron, New York Knicks Barron had his second straight solid game for the Knicks with 15 points and nine rebounds.Toney Douglas, New York Knicks Douglas added 20 points. He averaging 12.8 in his last five games.Nick Young, Washington Wizards Young had another strong performance with 21 points. He worth using in most leagues.J.J. Redick Mickael Pietrus, Reebok Washington Redskins #98 ORAKPO Realtree camo Jersey
Orlando Magic Both Redick and Pietrus had 16 points. Both are only options in daily leagues.Sonny Weems, Toronto Raptors Weems had 21 points against the Celtics. He averaging 14 over his last five games.Antoine Wright, Toronto Raptors Wright had 17 points and seven rebounds. Hell be asked to step up his game with Chris Bosh out.Austin Daye, Detroit Pistons Daye had 13 points and 10 boards. He should get more run down the stretch in Detroit lost season.Carlos Arroyo Dorell Wright, Miami Heat Arroyo had 15 points and Wright added 19. Neither are fantasy options.Kurt Thomas, Milwaukee Bucks Thomas had 12 points and 10 rebounds against the Nets. He a decent option for rebounds in deep daily leagues.Jerry Stackhouse, Milwaukee Bucks Stack is not a fantasy Reebok Pittsburgh Steelers 43 Troy Polamalu Realtree camo Jersey
option despite the 18 he dropped on the Nets.Anthony Tolliver, Golden State Warriors Tolliver had 34 points and eight rebounds against the defenseless Wolves. He a decent option, but he won face many defenses quite as soft.Ryan Gomes Darko Milicic, Minnesota Timberwolves They didn play defense, but Gomes had 19 points while Darko added 16 and seven rebounds. Both are options for deep daily leagues only.Tyson Chandler, Charlotte Bobcats Chandler had 16 points and nine rebounds. He a low-end fantasy option.Marcus Thornton Reebok Green Bay Packers 21 Charles Woodson Realtree camo Jersey
Darren Collison, New Orleans Hornets With Chris Paul done for the year, look for these two to be big down the stretch.Arron Afflalo, Denver Nuggets Afflalo had 17 points.


29 Dec 10 Rajon Rondo Is Key to Boston Celtics' Playoff Run

Elsa/Getty ImagesRajon Rondo has what all the current crop of new age superstars wanta championship ring.Yet, NBA society keeps thinking that the Boston Celtics point guard is a mere by-product of the team's Big Three of PaulPierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen. In spite of his accomplishments, Rondo Chicago Bears jersey
is considered a marginal star when compared to Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Derrick Rose. They get the accolades, but he keeps on being the one indispensable component on both sides of the ball for the Celtics.C's coach Doc Rivers let Rondo run wild in the last game of the 2008 season, and he rose to the challenge. In 2009, when Garnett was sidelined with injuries, he averaged a near double-double throughout Boston's playoff run. This year he was finally rewarded with a new contract and his first All-Star berth.He used to be a drama queenevery timehe got touched, writhing on the court as if he was hit by a Mack truck. Now he just bounces back up and accepts the challenge of going to the free-throw line.This playoff season will show if he is indeed the future of the Boston Celtics;Rondo must be a factor for four quarters.This has only happened when one of the Big Three has been sidelined. The Celtics continue to treat him like a replacement part when he is the one that can deliver them to the promised land.Boston's Cincinnati Bengals jersey
coaching staff laments how the ball stops moving during pivotal times in the game. When it does happen, Rondo can be seen on the periphery of the play directing traffic while Pierce or Allen look for their shots.Those are the moments that frustrate the team, because Rondo possesses the Celtics' best basketball IQ when it comes to finding the open man.He has now shot a respectable 70 percent in the past month at the free-throw line, and he is takingand makingshots within his range.Rondo showed his versatility in the final regular season game Cleveland Browns jersey
bysettingup shop in the low post against Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings. The Bucks didn't know what to do, and Rondo proceeded to pick them apart with his passes, forcing Bucks coach Scott Skiles to bench Jennings.Rajon Rondo is a basketball player who defends, passes, and has a surprisingly efficient offensive game.If the Boston Celtics want to make a deep playoff run, Rondo must be the catalyst.


28 Dec 10 Toronto Raptors Fans Have Told Chris Bosh What To Do

Noel Vasquez/Getty ImagesBosh's self-created Twittergate has made quite the stir amongst Raptors fans.Inferring that he doesn't know what to do and asking his 100,000 twitter followers to give 140 character answers to the Raptors biggest off-season question ever has created Cleveland Browns jersey
more buzz than just about anything else the five time All-Star could have done in the pre-Free Agency period.And from the articles, posts, and media commentary, it should be clear that Toronto Raptors fans are not speaking with one voice on this issue.But should anyone really be surprised?In the Raptors final home game of the season, fans were handed signs that read, "We Want More CB4". Many of which never made it into the stands! And when the in-game announcers tried to start-up a chant from the crowd during the game, the chant fizzled.In just three days, 344 respondents to a B/R poll, Have You told Chris Bosh What To Do?Yes - Stay27.9 percentYes - Go50.3 percentNo21.8 percentOver half of the respondents told Bosh to GO.And the poll seems to reflect the messages being sent to the Raptors All-Star. Many Raptors fans are ready to start over after seven unsuccessful seasons with Chris Bosh.It seems Chris Bosh has got the message. His twitter site http://twitter.com/chrisbosh now says he is located "Everywhere" and his personal webpage is down.There are also a few other changes to the information on Bosh's twitter page but any doubts about Bosh being "On-the-Market" should be (un)officially dispelled.But if one wants to be positive, Dallas Cowboys jersey
Chris Bosh still has not said that he won't be returning to Toronto however it should be apparent that Toronto is at best now just one of his many options.And webpages go down all the time for a variety of reasons.Before anyone reads too much into the poll or the comments they may have read, it should be remembered that Chris Bosh was a 22 and 10 player for the Raptors over the past five seasons and players with that kind of production are rare.Plus it is very hard to lay all of the Raptors less than successful seasons at the feet of the team's All-Star.Despite the Denver Broncos jersey
untimely injuries, the ominous leg brace, and missing the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, there should be no doubt that Chris Bosh would be welcomed back to the Raptors next season with thunderous applause.But with the lack of any real news on the Chris Bosh front, we are left with speculation about each of Bosh's cyberspace moves. At least he has provided us with something to talk about


27 Dec 10 Game 3 Orlando @ Boston Preview And Pick: Do You Believe In Magic?

Game 3: Orlando @ BostonThe Boston Celtics have a commanding 2-0 lead over the Orlando magic as they head into game three at Boston today. The Celtics won two games at Orlando with tough, physical defense and scoring bursts from Paul Pierce. After game two Paul Pierce also did his fair share of talking.Our fans aren going to let us relax, Paul Pierce said in an ESPN interview immediately following the Celtics Game 2 victory.Pierce added, Yall not going to let us relax. Were going to try to close this out in two games, you hear me? Reebok Pittsburgh Steelers James Harrison Realtree camo Jersey
Were coming home to close it out.He was also heard saying See ya next year! to fans in Orlando as he was walking out of the arena. It understandable that this team of veterans is confident being up 2-0 heading back home but did all this talk awaken a sleeping giant?***Bet the NBA Playoffs at Brobury Sports and get a 100% Bonus and VIP Service! Sign up today! Magic Vs Celtics Game 3 Preview and Pick:The Celtics were doing some big talking and that may be enough to give this Magic team some motivation heading into today game in Reebok San Francisco 49ers #21 Frank GORE Realtree camo Jersey
Boston. When the Celtics were talking Dwight Howard was listening. If they want to continue to talk, that fine. There no need to say were going down fighting because were not going down.Before we pencil in the Celtics for a return trip to the finals remember that the first two games were somewhat close and if not for a few Vince Carter missed free throws this may be a tied series.The Celtics opened as 3-point favorites at Just Bet.com, but have since been bet up a half-point to -3.5. This is right on but it may be surprising to know that the Celtics are not a very good road team against the number while Orlando thrives on the road. Orlando is 26-18-1 ATS on the road, Boston is just 17-29-1 ATS at TD Garden. That is just the start of the trends that favor the magic in this meeting. The Magic are 20-6 ATS in their last 26 vs. Eastern Conference and 39-17-1 ATS in their last 57 games as an underdog of 0.5-4.5. The underdog is 7-0 ATS in the last 7 meetings and the Magic are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Reebok Washington Redskins #98 ORAKPO Realtree camo Jersey
Boston.This game is a must win for the Magic. They are being disrespected and insulted by Boston and they need to step up. Vince Carter will be aggressive on the offensive end to try and make people forget about those missed free throws. Dwight Howard will be a force down low and that will open the flood gates for a barrage of three pointers by the deep ball specialists of the Magic.I am taking the Magic +3.5 and to win game three in Boston.This series is far from over.*****Bet the NBA Playoffs at Just Bet.com and get a 60% first time player bonus!


26 Dec 10 2010 NBA Finals: Where Massive Payrolls Happen

Elsa/Getty ImagesThe utter disappointment of watching two teams that have purchased their way into the NBA Finals yet again is beginning to sink in. A Magic-Suns Finals would have at least provided some variety.The LA Lakers rode their league-leading $91 million payroll to first place in the West and the Western Conference championship for the third season in a row. Since saving the Memphis Grizzlies from Pau Gasol big contract, the Lakers have owned the West.Why couldn someone have saved us from the utterly predictable Reebok Denver Broncos #15 Tim Tebow Realtree camo Jersey
arrival of the Lakers in the NBA Finals yet again?The Boston Celtics have the third highest payroll in the NBA at over $86 millionMark Cuban of Dallas barely managed to out-spend them by a few hundred thousand dollars.Boston purchased their place in league history two finals ago when they acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen as Minnesota and Seattle dumped those two huge contracts.After winning it all in 2008, Boston became beatable when Garnett missed last year playoffs. It looked like injuries were going to keep the Celtics from going deep again this season. But the team got healthy, and that All-Star-laden roster was just as good as in 2008.At least Boston arrival in the Finals was not a sure thing at the start of the playoffs.In fairness, a Magic-Suns matchup would also have been between teams that were willing to spend this past season.In fact, the teams with the 11 highest payrolls all made the NBA playoffs, except the Knicks. The only other teams with payrolls exceeding $70 million that failed to make the postseason were Washington (needs no explanation) and New Orleans.An NBA fan of a team not spending luxury tax dollars only has three things: the incompetent New York Knicks organization to make themselves feel better about their team approach, the success of an Atlanta or Oklahoma that have built through the draft and trades but will not likely be able to hold on to all of their players, and the blind luck of a team like Milwaukee that comes through with an unexpected playoff appearance. Repeating the success of the frugal Detroit Pistons franchise is not the norm. In today NBA, frugal equals mediocre or worse.The NBA playoffs are now the battle of the buck, where the team that spends the most has the best chance of moving onand it takes big bucks to give your team a shot at the Conference Finals.In the first round of the playoffs, the winners were:LAL $91m vs. OKC $58m LALDAL $87m vs. Reebok Green Bay Packers #12 Aaron Rodgers Realtree camo Jersey
SAS $79m SASPHX $75m vs. POR $55m PHXDEN $75m vs. UTA $75m UTACLE $84m vs. CHI $70m CLEORL $82m vs. CHA $69m ORLATL $66m vs. MIL $67m ATLBOS $86m vs. MIA $74m BOSOnly one non-luxury tax team survived the first round of this year playoffs. That was, arguably, in large part due to the fact that they played another non-tax team. Only Dallas managed to lose in the first round while significantly out-spending their opponent.In the second round, the battle of the big spenders continued.LAL $91m vs. UTA $75m LALPHX $75m vs. SAS $79m PHXBOS $86m vs. CLE $84m BOSORL $82m vs. ATL $66m ORLNot surprisingly, Orlando swept both their early series against the low payroll opposition. Atlanta just didn have enough to compete with the high-spending Magic.A healthy Boston proved to be too much for the Cavaliersmaybe the Cavs owner should have spent more last summer?The only slight upset was the Suns beating their long-term and slightly better funded nemesis.The Conference Finals confirmed that bankroll and dollars well spent will get you to the Finals.BOS $86m vs. ORL $82m BOSLAL $91m vs. PHX $75m LALThe Lakers never faced a challenger that came within $15 million of their payroll. The standard line in every Lakers series was how would their opponent match up with the Lakers' depth? It tough to match up with another team depth when they literally have one more max player on their Reebok Green Bay Packers #52 Clay Matthews Realtree camo Jersey
team than you do.Boston was challenged. Both Cleveland and Orlando have payrolls that are close to what Boston spent. Boston advantage was the All-Star level play of the inexpensive Rajon Rondo.The NBA Finals have come down to this.LAL $91m vs. BOS $86mLet all those teams who successfully stayed below the luxury tax level take note. In the NBA, it takes money to build championships

25 Dec 10 Why LeBron's Decision Was The Best He Ever Made

Larry Busacca/Getty Images"What a difference a day makes"On July 7, 2010, LeBron James was still "LeBron James". He was the most iconic basketball player of his generation, a celebrity athlete adored and idolized not only in the America, but around the world, a near demi-god in his hometown of Akron, and on his way to becoming the most beloved sports figure in Cleveland history, and perhaps all of Ohio.He was arguably the most popular athlete in the country, and one of the most marketable, having signed endorsement deals with McDonald's, Sprite, Bubblicious, State Farm, VITAMINWATERreg;, Upper Deck, and Nike, which famously signed him to a $90 million endorsement deal before he ever played a NBA game. His appeal was so salable that Dan Gilbert, majority owner of Philadelphia Eagles jersey
the Cleveland Cavaliers, made plans to build a casino across the street from the Quicken Loans Arena to capitalize on LeBron's popularity.He had an appeal that extended beyond the world of sports, where he became a fixture in popular culture, appearing as a guest host of "Saturday Night Live", starring in a series of Nike commercials titled "The LeBrons" in which he played every character, and being only the third male and first African-American male to be featured on the cover of Vogue.Then on July 8, 2010, James uttered the now infamous words, "In this fall, I'm going to take my talents to South Beach..."With that announcement made on "The Decision",the ESPN show created specially for this moment, LeBron James went from being one of America's most popular athletes to one of its most vilified, virtually overnight.While it's unrealistic to think that LeBron did not expect some sort of backlash from his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team he had played for his entire career since being drafted in 2003, it's even more inconceivable that he could have anticipated the sheer volume and veracity of the backlash that did result. From having his Cavaliers jersey burned on the streets of Cleveland before "The Decision" show even ended to the nationwide ridicule and criticism in the media that's been unrelenting for weeks, with even his "The Decision" partner, ESPN, getting in on the act by featuring LeBron as the running punchline in their annual ESPYs award show, the reaction to LeBron announcing his decision on his one hour made-for-television special has been brutal.Perhaps the most hurtful commentscame from his childhood idol, basketball legend Michael Jordan, who expressed that given the same circumstances, he would have never made Pittsburgh Steelers jersey
the same decision that LeBron had. Other NBA greats such as Magic Johnson and Larry Bird expressed similar sentiments.But while LeBron's decision to play for the Miami Heat, and perhaps more so how he chose to announce it to the world and to Cleveland, was an undoubtedly a public relations fiasco, the unexpected result may be that for the first time in his career, LeBron will have theright motivation, driven by the chorus of doubts from thenaysayers and the overwhelming desireto provehis critics wrong, to break free from the cocoon of stiflingadulation that has haunted him since high school,and finally reach his potential to become a champion.Consider that prior to this summer, LeBron had never been criticized so harshly for any aspect of his life, whether on or off the court. While adoration and praise for basketball skills is not uncommon for NBA superstars, unlike many of his peers, LeBron had never run afoul of the law. And while he has two out-of-wedlock children with his childhood sweetheart, who lives with him and their children, LeBron has never had a personal scandal or had been accused of committinga personal indiscretion or indecency.On the court, he was phenomenal. He had been a six-time NBA All-Star, four-time All-NBA First Team, two-time All-Star Game MVP, a league scoring champion, the Rookie of the Year, and had won an Olympic Gold Medal with the "Redeem Team" in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. From taking his team to the NBA Finals in 2007 in just his fourth year in the league, to winning back-to-back NBA MVP awards in 2008-09 and 2009-10, the same years he lead his team to the best regular season records in the league, he was the league's new shining star and the heir apparent to Michael Jordan. Other than Kobe Bryant, there was no other player that rivaled him for the title of "Best Basketball Player on the Planet".All that changed after "The Decision".Journalists and fans alike have sincebeen loudly questioning his competitiveness, his heart, and his will to win. The fact that he chose to play on the Miami Heat with two other young superstars in Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh opened him up to criticism that he was taking the "easy way out", and that despite his talents, he was not skilled enough, or perhaps courageous enough, to "win a title by himself".With Kobe Bryant winning his fifth NBA title this summer, and allwhile staying withthe Laker franchise, LeBron has being compared unfavorably toBryant in almost every aspect of San Diego Chargers jersey
his game, from his maturity on the court andhis focus and desire to improve his skills, to his willingness to take over in clutch situationsand will his team to victory.Now for the first time in his career, being challenged by doubts on his ability to win, being questioned on his heart and desire to be a champion, and free from thebaby blanketcoddlingof adoration, praise, and expectations of a seemingly pre-ordained NBA championship, LeBron has created the opportunity for himself to prove that he is better than people think he is.By destroying people's perceptions of him and by lessening the expectations of him easily winning a championship, whichmight have hindered him most in his progress to develop his game and suffocating his desire to improve his play, LeBron can now rightly take on the mantle of the underdog with a chip on his shoulder, something that would have been unimaginable just a month ago.Through "The Decision", he has now placed himself in a similar situation to Michael Jordan beforehe won his first championship in his seventh season in 1991 NBA Finals. Prior to winning his first title, and despite having won the NBA MVP Award, appearing regularly in the NBA All-Star Game, and winning the league's scoring title numerous consecutive times, Jordan was not considered a "winner" by the media and the fans. Rather, his reputation was that he was a "ball-hog", "a selfish player", and someone that wouldn't "trust his teammates", and because of these traits, it was believed that "he would never win a championship".Perhaps most hurtful to Jordan, however, was that he was considered a "lesser" basketball player to Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and even Isiah Thomas, his contemporarieswho hadeach lead their teams to multiple championships. And in the case of Bird and Thomas, their teams were the reasons why Jordan's Bulls were unable to advance to the NBA Finals, which further poured salt into his open wound.Using these criticisms as his motivation, and fueled by the desire to not San Francisco 49ers jersey
onlybe as good as Magic and Bird, but to be better, Jordan's already competitive nature andwill to winwas driven tounprecedented levels. By focusing on the doubts placedon him, Jordan found the fire to win not justa NBA Championship, but to win it multiple times,resultingin six NBA titles, six Finals MVP awards, andthe elevation ofhisstatustothat ofabasketball "god". The same scenario also happened to Kobe Bryant. Despite having won three NBA Championships with the Lakers early in his career, much of his success was attributed to having Shaquille O'Neal on his team, who was the NBA Finals MVP for all three of those titles, and having Phil Jackson as his coach, who had already won six NBA titles coaching Jordan's Bulls.When Shaq left the Lakers in 2004, leaving Kobe as the undisputed leader on the team, the Lakershad a terrible season the following year, failing to make the playoffs for the first time in over a decade, and for the first time in Kobe's career.Coupled with a personal scandal from the previous year which resulted in a well-publicizedcriminal investigation andlegal hearings, on top of feelings of ill-will and public arguments with Shaq, Phil Jackson, and Karl Malone, his teammate during the 2003-04 season, Kobe saw his popularity plummet as his former "nice guy" image was transformed into that of a villain, both on and off the court. When his Laker team struggled for two more years, despite having Phil Jackson back as the coach from the 2005-06 season onwardsand making the playoffs though losing in the first round for consecutive seasons, many fans as well as the media madesimilar accusations of Kobe as they did of Jordan before he won his titles, namely that Kobe was a "ball-hog" and "selfish", that he didn't "trust his teammates", and that his pursuit of the NBA scoring title lead to his team losing critical games in the regular seasons andresulting in low playoff seeds.Similar to Jordan, Bryant crystallized these criticisms and doubtsfrom his cynics to not only improve his game, Seattle Seahawks jersey
but to improve the play of his teammates. When the Lakers were able to pick up Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies in a tradefor Kwame Brown, they added the "missing piece" to their team, someone that was not only a great defender in the low-post, but could provide much-needed scoring and assists to compliment Bryant's perimeter game.Coupling the addition of Pau Gasol to the Lakers with his revitalized desire to prove the "haters" wrong, Kobe was able to lead his Lakers team to three consecutive NBA Finals appearances, resulting in two championships in the last two years.And by winning his fourth and fifth championships, Kobe rehabilitated his public image to not only that of a winner, butclaimed the honor of being the"best player in the game" in the eyes of the public, and tied for the #1 ranking with Tiger Woods as "America's Favorite Sports Star" in a nation-wide poll conducted by Harris Interactive.LeBron James has now created a similar opportunity for himself. By internalizing all the negativity, doubt, disrespect and ridicule that he has receivedin thepast month and will continue to receive in the foreseeable future from the media and the fans, he has made availableto himself an almost unlimited source of motivation to tap intofor improvinghis game and reaching the highest apex of his profession, that of winning the NBA Championship.While it isbeyond a doubt that LeBron is a talented basketball player, it is also withoutquestion that he has not reached anywhere near his potential. And should he had stayed in Cleveland, never making "The Decision" that has now completely altered the public's perception of him, his potentialmay have been perpetually stuntedby the undying fawning of the media and the public, particularly in hishometown,and St. Louis Rams jersey
thus neverhaving tochallenge himself, neverneeding toelevate his play, and never having to winthe NBAchampionship in order to be prematurely anointed "King James". And by no longer being a "king", LeBron James might finally become a "god".* * *Despite LeBron's potential redemption, here's "How Dan Gilbert's 'Open Letter' Will Bring The Cavs Back Into Contention"


24 Dec 10 Fantasy Basketball Projection: How Good Can Tyreke Evans Be In Year Two?

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty ImagesTyreke Evans put together a very impressive rookie season on his way to winning the rookie of the year award and making fantasy basketball players around the world wonder just how high this kid’s ceiling could be. Now it’s time for an encore and the Green Bay Packers jersey
question is; Will Evans hit a sophomore slump or can he continue to get better and improve on last year’s numbers? Before we address year two, let’s look back at his stats from his rookie campaign:20.1 points per game5.3 rebounds per game5.8 assists per game1.5 steals per game47.5% FG percentage74.8% FT percentage0.5 3-Pointers made per gameEvans was a true across the board contributor last year, as only Evans, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James went 20-5-5 last season. Though if you look the holes in his game are still noticeable. He will certainly benefit from a little bit more range, and hopefully that’s something he has been working on this summer. The other thing he needs to shore up is his free throw shooting. It wasn’t that bad, but he is getting to the line over six times per game, so if he can bring that percentage up over 80 he can give you a boost in yet another category.Looking ahead to this season, one thing I think that will play into Evans’ favor is that the Kings seem to finally realize that Evans is a natural 2 guard and will play him the year all year with Beno Udrih at the point. Initially that might make you wonder if Evans assists totals will go down because of this, but I don’t think they will. EvansHouston Texans jersey
and Udrih played together a lot last season once Beno took over the point and it never slowed Evans assists totals down. In fact March was Udrih’s best month for assists getting 7.4 per game that month, and it also ended up being Evans’ best month for assists getting 7.5. Udrih isn’t an elite passing point guard and Evans is still the true playmaker on this team, and Evans will still be the guy with the ball in his hands the majority of the time.The benefit of having Udrih in the game with Evans is that it frees up Evans to play off the ball a little bit more and he doesn’t have to create shots for himself every time, as Udrih can find him for some good looks that he can’t get constantly playing off the dribble.While is nice is that Evans is the go to guy in Sacramento, and really far an away the top scoring option, he may be helped by Demarcus Cousins down low if he can pick up the NBA game quickly. Defenses are going to key in on Evans and plan their defense around stopping him, but if Indianapolis Colts jersey
Cousins can establish himself as a scoring threat down low early it will help take some of the heat off from Evans and hopefully stop defenses from collapsing everyone down on Tyreke when he drives to the hoop.There is always the potential for a sophomore slump as defenses learn to react and adjust to a player, but Evans showed no signs of tailing off last season and I don’t think he will this year either. I expect Evans to take another step forward this year, especially if he can add a better shooting touch to his already impressive skill set.Projected Stat Line: 22.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 6.0 apg, 1.8 spg, 0.8 3pg, 48% FG, 77% FTI think Tyreke Evans is a future top 10 pick and he’ll take the next step towards that this season.What do you think about Tyreke Evans in his second NBA season? Is he in line for a sophomore slump or will he continue to excel at the NBA level? I’d love to get your thoughts.For more player analysis check out these links:Lebron JamesRobin Lopez


23 Dec 10New Jersey Nets: Breaking Down Their Week 4 Performance

(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)The New Jersey Nets had their first extended road trip of the season this past week and had a rough go of it.The team is proving to be a good defensive squad, but they need to improve their offensive efficiency and need to rebound better.They very easily could have been 4-0 on the trip had they hit more open shots, rebounded better and not given up so many free throw attempts.The turnover issue seems to be back as well.Here's a quick recap of Cleveland Browns jersey
the week:at LA Clippers, W, 110-96at Utah, L, 98-88at Sacramento, L, 86-81at Denver, L, 107-103The team went 1-3 on the week, is 4-9 overall and sits at fourth in the Atlantic Division.I normally like to start out with the bad and finish with the good, but the first thing that needs to talked about this week is the defense. We'll also see how some other key statistics are seriously undermining this aspect of the game.New Jersey is quietly one of the better defensive teams in the league.The Nets are in the top 10 in opponent points (96) and field goal percentage (44.4), and are 11th in opponent three-point field goal percentage (34.6).The Nets are allowing far too many opponent free throw attempts. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)They were right around their season average last week in points allowed (96.6) and actually got better in field goal percentage, as opponents shot at 42.5 percent overall and 33 percent on threes.This is all great, but the team's turnovers, opponent offensive rebounds and propensity for allowing free throw attempts directly reduce the impact of the defensive effort.Turnovers have been a problem for New Jersey all year, but it appeared they were improving in that regard coming into this week.They ended up averaging 13 turnovers a game, which is decent, but consider that they had 15 and 17 against Utah and Sacramento. They would have had a much better shot at beating the Jazz and likely would have come out on top against the Kings by taking better care of the ball.Turnovers are going to happen. The leading team a year ago, Atlanta, averaged 12 per game, so it's not like 13 is a terrible number. It's just the timing of some of them and the fashion they come in, often on lazy cross-court passes or a lack of awareness of where the defenders are, that makes them so crushing.Opponent free throw attempts are also a major issue. The Nets are 25th in the NBA in opponent free throw attempts at 28.8. This past week, opponents averaged more than 30 a game.Guys, you're holding teams to a low-40's shooting percentage. Don't bail them out by sending them to the line so often.Kris Humphries has been very impressive and has earned his starting job. (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)Opponents made more free throw attempts (99) than the Nets even attempted this week (94), which is compounding this problem.The Nets are one of the worst teams in the league in terms of free throw attempts of Dallas Cowboys jersey
their own. For the year, they've shot 76.8 percent on free throws, but this past week they were at 83 percent, showing they're a decent free throw shooting team.If they could get to the line a bit more often and give up a few less attempts, they should be able to find the win column more often.Now to the area that this team needs to improve upon immediately, rebounding.All the work the Nets do on the defensive end immediately goes to waste when they allow their opponents second chances. This week, New Jersey gave up an average of 13.3 offensive rebounds.Now, Sacramento is statistically the third-best team in the NBA in offensive rebounding, but the 18 they got against New Jersey is unacceptable, especially considering they shot just 42.9 percent in that game.A lot of this is going to fall on Brook Lopez, and rightfully so since he is averaging less than seven RPG. Some of the blame needs to fall on the guards as well, though.The Nets were spoiled for many years by Jason Kidd, who is one of the best rebounding point guards ever.Brook Lopez needs to display this type of aggression more often. (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)This year, New Jersey's guards are averaging just 2.6 RPG. That number needs to rise.On long rebounds after missed jump shots, the guards need to be more attentive and be ready to snatch the ball. Doing this will not only make all that defensive work worth it, it will also enable to the team to run a bit more as they have a number of players capable of handling the ball.The team's three-point shooting also seems to have disappeared as of late, as the team shot 27.2 percent from beyond the arc this week.They could have at least gone 2-2 or 3-1 with a higher connect rate on three-pointers.Individually, Devin Harris had a rough week as he could not find his shot and was even ejected after a flagrant foul against the Clippers. His assist numbers were still good and it's unlikely he will continue to have trouble scoring.Kris Humphries has been injected into the starting lineup and has been very impressive. He's strong going after rebounds and his offensive game is better than expected.Lopez needs to be more aggressive. He missed a lay up against Denver in the final seconds that would have tied the game. It seemed he could have gone up and attempted a slam that could have drawn a foul, but instead tried to bank it off the glass.Where does New Jersey need to improve the most?Where does New Jersey need to improve the most?Hitting open shots18.8%Rebounding31.3%Opponent free throw attempts12.5%Turnovers37.5%Total votes: 16If he wants to be considered an elite center he needs to be stronger in going to the rim. He doesn't need to look far, either, as Derrick Favors routinely finishes with aggression around the basket, something Lopez can learn from.Jordan Farmar continues to play well off the bench, particularly when he filled in for Harris after his ejection.Travis Denver Broncos jersey
Outlaw and Anthony Morrow continue to be hot-and-cold (an issue that is looked at in greater depth here and here).Stephen Graham has also seen increased minutes lately, as Terrence Williams' minutes have been greatly reduced.The situation with Williams and Troy Murphy bears watching going forward.Williams has a lot of talent and Murphy was New Jersey's biggest offseason acquisition, yet neither has seen much floor time lately.Both were hurt last week, but both seem to think they are ready to play. Murphy has been made inactive and Williams is having a hard time getting into the rotation. It is possible that the Nets are preparing to deal both players.New Jersey plays four games in the coming week, hosting Atlanta and Portland while traveling to Boston and Philadelphia.Let's aim low and hope for 2-2.


NBA Free Agency: Sources Say Chris Bosh Will Join Dwyane Wade in South Beach

Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesChris Broussard of ESPN has just released an article stating that Chris Bosh is set to team-up with Dwyane Wade in Miami, citing a person with good knowledge of the situation.So the hoopla appears to be over. Unless, of course, you believe that LeBron James will join Tennessee Titans jersey
them too.Although unsure of whether Bosh is signing with the Heat ($96 million) or being dealt in a sign-and-trade deal ($125 million), all fingers point to Miami. If LeBron James were to shock the world and join the South Beach Firing Squad, each player would have to take slight pay cuts.At the end of the day, Chris Bosh seems to be chasing the big city / party atmosphere. Although you can't really blame the guy for wanting to live in the nice city with a chance to win, you have to question his decision of not taking an ADDITIONAL $29 million to play with the King.Stay tuned...

LeBron James Announcement: 10 Shocking Possibilities

Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesSATIRE — The hype has begun. Thursday night will be the greatest night in the history of televised free agent announcements. LeBron James will let the sports world know which team he will play for in an hour long special on ESPN. Reebok Dallas Cowboys #82 Jason Witten Realtree camo Jersey
Realistically the announcement will take about 30 seconds, and then Stuart Scott will interview LeBron for about five minutes after to get his reaction on the decision. That leaves plenty of down time where ESPN surely will replay LeBron’s greatest moments, including Game Five this year against Boston and Game Six last year against Orlando. More likely they will recall the super travel against Washington and the miraculous shot against Orlando in Game Two, when Cleveland blew a 22-point lead at home and almost lost. My point is that a half hour would do the trick.I get why ESPN wants to do it, they gain ratings while breaking news and continue to avoid showing any West Coast baseball. I get why LeBron wants to do it, for the Boys and Girls Club of America. What better way to raise money for charity than through ego inflation and royalty fantasies? I’m sure LeBron will give some of his new contract money to charity organizations for those wondering, or as he calls them, peasants.Where LeBron is going to play has destroyed more franchises than it is going to help because of false hope and could even ruin the city whose economy is based around him (all I can think of is the fake Cleveland tourism videos with the under construction since 1868 line). His decision to do an hour televised special is a terrible idea if he leaves Cleveland since a sports city dying should be done quickly, like ripping a band-aid. If he stays in Cleveland, the hour long special is a terrible idea since he, like A-Rod, will be announcing that he is continuing to work in the exact same place he already is working. There is no more self-important act an athlete can do than massively hype status quo.LeBron needs to shock the world, and as I see it now, nothing he has planned can do that. I have created 10 thingsLebron can do to make the hour long special memorable. The Boys and Girls Club of America may want to close their eyes and just accept the check.10. “I Reebok Dallas Cowboys #9 Tony Romo Realtree camo Jersey
have requested a sign and trade, and that request has been approved. I look forward to playing with Kobe, Phil and the Lakers next year.”For the announcement to have any impact, it has to be way out of left field, and LeBron going to the Lakers would make his star rise and make the Lakers the most hated team in the NBA since the Bad Boys of Detroit.9. “This decision has been the most difficult of my life. The only way I could make the decision was with the help of my new manager. Come out here Tim Donaghy (Donaghy and James hug). I’m coming after you Stern, and you can bet on that.” LeBron needs to go full heel if he leaves Cleveland. He needs to hire an evil manager, wear a crown and robe to every press conference, sport an evil goatee, and get his jersey changed to where it reads “King James.” Tiger needed to go full heel, and we can see him struggling because he didn’t.8. “I have an announcement to make before I let the world know which team I will be playing for next year. Rumors flew around at the end of last season, rumors of Delonte West having relations with my mother. Those rumors are unfortunately true. To Delonte West, I ask this question: Do you know where your mother was last Reebok Denver Broncos #15 Tim Tebow Realtree camo Jersey
night? I do.” I have no clue of the status of Delonte’s mother, whether she is alive or dead. Although for the purpose of LeBron’s revenge and to help ratings, I guess that doesn’t really matter.7. “My decision on which team I am going to play for next year. I don’t know.


MLB Breaking News: Blue Jays Trade Shaun Marcum To Brewers For Brett Lawrie

Michael Heiman/Getty ImagesAccording to the Milwaukee Sentinel, the Toronto Blue Jays have traded No. 1 pitcher and staff ace Shaun Marcum to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Brett Lawrie. Marcum went 13-8 last season with a 3.64 ERA and 161 strikeouts.Lawrie has both raw power and speed, batting .285 with eight Reebok Dallas Cowboys #9 Tony Romo Realtree camo Jersey
homers, 36 doubles, 16 triples and 30 stolen bases for double-A Huntsville in 2010, just his second professional season and at 20 years old, was one of the youngest players in the Southern League to play last season.This move looks to be a pre-cursor to a few larger moves the Jays may have up their sleeve in an attempt to acquire more talent to help bolster an already potent lineup. There is word the Jays were looking to make a move for Zack Greinke. Could this move help lead the way for a Greinke to Toronto swap? That remains to be seen. The Jays appear to be keeping their promise of trading to try and acquire talent going forward. The Jays traded Marcum, who was reportedly not going to re-sign with Toronto, for a young, controllable player in Lawrie. I'm going to take a wait and see approach before thoroughly Reebok Denver Broncos #15 Tim Tebow Realtree camo Jersey
dissecting this deal, but getting a team's number one prospect for a number 3 starter on a good staff seems like a win for the Blue Jays, despite what some may think.The Canadian still sits about a year or so away from making an impact on the Jays roster, but Anthopolous continues to add assets to a young Blue Jays team. The question remains, when are you going to start spending money Alex?

Ron Santo: My Interview with the Chicago Cubs Legend in 2004

Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesMay 31, 2004An Interview with Ron Santo—The Cubs' No. 1 FanThis is the first interview I ever had the privilege of doing, and it happened to be with a childhood hero. I can't tell you the thrill I had sitting in the radio booth with Chicago Cub great Ron Santo overlooking Wrigley Field. I thought with his passing, that fans of his and the Cubs would enjoy getting into his head a little bit.He talks about his thoughts on why his Cub teams never made it to the World Series, andcompares today's ballplayers to when he Reebok Green Bay Packers #12 Aaron Rodgers Realtree camo Jersey
played. He reveals how his radio style came about forthose who think in his broadcasts that hecomes across astoo much of a fan.He also answered the one question that everyone wants to know the answer to.What was more important to him: Getting elected to the Hall of Fame, or his beloved Cubs winning the World Series.This is my original interview in its entirety on the date listed above. Enjoy.The Heckler: You played on some great Cub’s teams during your career including the ’69 team. Is there any reason why you think that team failed to make the playoffs?Ron Santo: I don’t have an answer to that and everybody has a different opinion of what happened to us. I thought that we were the best team in the National League and I thought the Orioles were the best team in baseball. I don’t think there was one particular thing. We didn’t hit in September and the Mets played over .800 percentage baseball. God lived in New York that year. I felt very strongly that if we had won that year and that’s a big word, if…I think we would have continued to win. I don’t think anybody can answer that question.TH: Do you think Leo Durocher was the right manager for that team?RS: Absolutely. We were in the second division for quite a few years. When Leo came, you could see the change. Everybody was in awe in 1966 that Leo Durocher was managing the Cubs. We knew what a winner he was and so did everybody else. If it wasn’t for Leo, we would have never built a ball club like we did and had been there from ’67 on.TH: The Cubs traded Lou Brock in 1964. Do you think that if they had kept him, with his speed and ability to create runs, the team might have won a few pennants?RS: There’s no doubt about that. That we traded him was a surprise to every player on the team. I was at a golf tournament with Bob Kennedy, who was the head coach at the time. We were playing golf, and he was called off of the golf course and we didn’t know what was going on. He came back later for the dinner and told us we traded Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio. I remember I said - How could you trade Lou Brock? Billy (Williams) and Ernie (Banks) felt the same way. We all knew how good he was going to be. You don’t just look at the talent. You look at what kind of makeup this guy has. He had all of the right things going for him.TH: You played your whole career with diabetes. How prolific do you think your career could have been if you were not afflicted with that illness?RS: I played both ways. I had five gold gloves and I put up Hall of Fame numbers in fifteen years. There is no doubt in my mind I would have put up bigger numbers. First of all, the reason I would have put up bigger numbers is because I would have played longer. Because of diabetes, I had to shorten my career. I felt fine physically, but mentally the diabetes was getting to me.TH: You mentioned that you had a Hall of Reebok Green Bay Packers #52 Clay Matthews Realtree camo Jersey
Fame career. Brooks Robinson was a first ballot Hall of Famer, and I think you were close to him as a fielder and definitely a better hitter. Do you think the fact that the Cubs never made the World Series hurt your chances while he had the opportunity to shine in the national spotlight?RS: You’re right about a couple of things, but when it comes to Brooks Robinson, he really was the best. At that position, I’ve never seen anybody better. I was good, but he was the best. He deserved to be in the Hall of Fame and on the first ballot, because I would have voted for him. I played in a lot of All Star games against him and he robbed me of so many hits. There is no doubt I feel if we would have won, yes. I think ’69 had a lot to do with it. In those days, WGN wasn’t a super station. The game of the week was on weekends only. Now you can turn your TV on any channel everyday and get a ball game. That gives writers or whoever is voting a better idea of who should be in. What was sad to me was that when I became eligible, I didn’t get five percent of the vote to stay on the ballot. Then five years later, how do you think I felt when I saw guys on that ballot that were nowhere near my numbers? And I don’t think this is just a numbers game. You have to look at how big of an impact that player had. I hit between Ernie and Billy. I still drove in a hundred runs and Billy didn’t leave too many guys on base. All I can say is that when I crossed the white lines, I played the game the way it should be played and why they have overlooked me, I really can’t answer that. I do believe that winning has a lot to do with it as far as the writers go, but now I’m on the veterans’ ballot, so my peers are voting. I feel whether I get in or not, I have a better chance.TH: Well, the first time you went up in front of the veterans committee, you didn’t make it in nor did anybody else. Do you feel that perhaps they are trying to keep it more exclusive, and that by voting in other players, it diminishes their accomplishments? Mike Schmidt was quoted as saying that if the writers didn’t vote them in, why should we?RS: I know Mike Schmidt came out and said he didn’t vote for anybody. Nobody got in with the veterans committee and that bothered me more than me not getting in. You say, what’s going on here? That was the first year and I never understood – Why do we have to wait every two years? I don’t want to get in posthumously. When the Cubs retired my number, that in itself is my Hall of Fame because I thought I had to get in to have it retired. When people come to Wrigley Field after I’m gone and they look up there, they’re going to ask, who is number 10? It’s almost like you’re a part of Wrigley Field and part of the Cubs. I can’t tell you how I feel about that. I’m not what you would call bitter, but like you said, I did get very high with my first ballot because all of the writers were over at my house in Arizona and the TV crews and I said to myself, they must know something. I started to feel like, oh, this is it…but I really got crushed. I look at it that my timing for the Hall of Reebok Indianapolis Colts 18 Peyton Manning Realtree camo Jersey
Fame has never been good.TH: I know you were excited about getting your number retired, but if you had to choose between making the Hall of Fame or the Cubs winning the World Series, what would it be?RS: No doubt about it, the World Series. It always has been. I’ve been through a quadruple by-pass, two legs, bladder cancer, and twenty-two operations in general, and with a diseased heart and I’m still here. I know the lord is saying, you’ve got one final thing and that’s a World Series.TH: People have criticized you for being a fan during your radio broadcasts rather than being more professional and you’re probably the biggest Cub fan out there. As an example, your famous comment when Brant Brown dropped the ball during the pennant race in 1998 that has been played over and over again. How do you react to that criticism?RS: First of all, I never look at myself as a broadcaster. I tell people, and you can tell in the booth, I don’t even know half the time what I say. I’m just so involved. And I’m like those fans out there, I believe in next year. I know we may not be that good but I’m like them, wait till next year. With this ball club, it’s no longer wait till next year, it’s can’t wait till next year. My first year, I was so bad. And do you know why I was bad? Because I was so nervous I was trying to be somebody I wasn’t. I’ll never forget Dan Fabian, who was the General Manager at that time brought me in because I had said, Dan, this isn’t for me. I’m embarrassing myself. He said Ron, you’re wrong. I listened to a tape, and it was about something I said, and then I started to laugh and he said, Ron, that’s you. We want you to be you. And that was it from that moment on. When Pat (Hughes) came along, we sat down and I said Pat, you know how excited I get. You’re the play- by- play man; I’m the color guy. You be you and I’ll be me and it’ll be like two guys talking baseball in the stands. You get good baseball when there’s good baseball, and you get a lot of other things when it isn’t good baseball but you never hear us criticize and we’re not going to. I played this game, and this game is not as easy as it looks. All of these guys are human, and they are going out there and they are doing their best. I could never understand when somebody would call somebody a homer. I want to be a homer. I’m getting paid for something that I love to do. I would do it for nothing. I love the Cubs, so who am I going to be rooting for. I do know the majority of the fans love it because I’m part of them, and that’s why a fan that doesn’t like it doesn’t bother me.TH: You and Pat seem to have such a good relationship on the air. Do you socialize outside of the ballpark?RS: Absolutely. We live about five minutes away from each other. Pat and I talk a lot, and there’s never been a guy that I have ever seen more prepared for a game than Pat Hughes. He’s got a dry sense of humor and he’s a beautiful person. We talk about a lot of things and we’ve never had an argument. And if we had a Reebok Minnesota Vikings 28 Adrian Peterson Realtree camo Jersey
disagreement, we talked about it because there’s nothing worse than being in the booth with someone you don’t like. Fortunately, I’ve never had that happen to me but I’ve had somebody tell me that’s the worst thing in the world.TH: How would you compare the players in today’s game to the players in your era?RS: First of all, the way I judge that is it’s always like back in the forties, we were better, in the fifties, we were better, in the sixties, we were better. You know how that goes. If you look at who I played with; I played with most of the Hall of Famers today, the great ones, Willie Mays, Henry Aaron. I also played with the greatest pitchers in that era so if you put the greatest pitchers with the greatest hitters…that’s what I feel I was in. When I came up there was only sixteen teams, eight in the American League and eight in the National so there was no delusion of talent. Guys that had a job everyday had to worry about a minor leaguer. You did not want to leave that lineup and I don’t care how good you were because every organization had twenty minor league teams. Now they have only four minor league teams, so there’s a lot of pitchers playing in the big leagues that are under .500. Overall, I would say from the sixties until the late seventies, were probably the best years that I could see. I will say that there’s more pressure on the players of today than there ever was on us. We played for the love of the game, and today, it’s more of a business. There’s more fraternizing today than there’s ever been because that’s the way the game is. Everything changes, money rules. In my era, if you were successful, you were going to make money, but you never worried about it.TH: If you played in today’s game, what kind of numbers do you think you would have put up?RS: My numbers were what they were. I was given that God given ability, but I was also given a crutch in a sense with diabetes. I think the lord was good to me because he gave me a disease that I could play with and I proved that I could play with diabetes. That’s why I never told the organization until I made my first all-star game. The last thing in the world was if I couldn’t do it because of diabetes, I didn’t want to let them know that was why. I’d rather that they know I didn’t make it because I wasn’t good enough rather than diabetes.TH: If there were one thing you could change during your career as a player, what would it be?RS: I would change the month of September in ’69. That’s the only thing that I would say because when I got traded to the Sox, I only Reebok Minnesota Vikings #4 Brett Favre Realtree camo Jersey
went to the Sox because I was a five and ten year player and because I wanted to stay in Chicago. I didn’t want to move my family and I was in business here. I was only going to play two more years, but I could have been traded to anybody I wanted to go to, but I didn’t want to win with anybody else other than the Cubs.


20 Dec 10 2010 NFL Week 10 Picks and Predictions

Matthew Stockman/Getty ImagesEach Tuesday morning, Whatifsports.com's NFL simulation engine will provide you with predictions, box scores and statistics for every NFL game that week. The NFL simulation engine generates detailed information including the home team's chances of winning (Home Win Percentage), average score and comprehensive box score link. If you want to share your newfound NFL knowledge with friends and family, make sure to check out our NFL Widgets on the WhatIf To Go page, or click on the social Reebok Denver Broncos #15 Tim Tebow Realtree camo Jersey
networking share bar located at the top and bottom of the article. The statistical inputs to the thousands of NFL games simulated are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth chart and statistically based player ranking. Roster modifications have been made for injuries and suspensions, and those players are not part of their team's game simulation. To account for injuries and roster moves announced late in the week, we will be re-simulating some games on Thursdays throughout the 2010 NFL season. Check out our 2010 NFL Season-to-Date page to follow our accuracy week-to-week and find Locks and Upsets of the Week. Game of the Week: Patriots at Steelers It's been noted that the NFL's greatest attribute is parity. However, this characteristic only partially enlightens one to the beauty of professional football. For it's not the perceived equality in team performance; rather, it's the uncertainty and ambiguity that begets the league's homology. Case in point: the New England Patriots. Going into Week 9, the Pats were the prohibitive favorites in the AFC, thanks to five straight wins and a 6-1 record. The continuing implementation of Deion Branch into the offense and return of All-Pro Logan Mankins from his season-long holdout promised to cement New England's status as Super Bowl contenders. So it was apropos that the Patriots laid the proverbial egg in Cleveland, receiving a spanking to the tune of 34-14.The New England defense made Browns back Peyton Hillis look like the second coming of Earl Campbell as Hillis gained 184 yards on the ground to go along with two touchdowns. Tom Brady looked flustered in the pocket and completed just 52.8 percent of his pass attempts on the day. Rookie Rob Gronkowski wasn't doing Brady any favors, as the tight end had some key drops and fumbled near the goal line. To add injury to insult, kicker Stephen Gostkowski suffered a quad injury and is projected to miss the next few weeks of action. The Steelers can sympathize with the Reebok Green Bay Packers #12 Aaron Rodgers Realtree camo Jersey
Patriots' plight. Before the Steelers' Halloween showdown in the Superdome, many pigskin pundits believed Pittsburgh to be the leading candidate for AFC representation in Dallas. The team had gone 3-1 in the league-mandated absence of starter Ben Roethlisberger, with their only loss coming in a hard-fought battle against divisional foe Baltimore.When Roethlisberger returned, the offense appeared to have never missed a beat, as the former Miami Redhawk threw three touchdowns in a 28-10 victory over Cleveland. The Steelers followed this performance with a 23-22 road win in Miami, albeit slightly tainted as Pittsburgh was the beneficiary of a late fumble call by the referees.With Pittsburgh sitting at 5-1, employing a defense reminiscent of the Steel Curtain and with their signal-caller back at the helm, some prognosticated the Steelers to run the table to a 15-1 mark. Validating that "momentum" is fictitious in the NFL, the Steelers were soundly put to sleep by the Saints, 20-10, in Week 8. New Orleans was 4-3 at the time, coming off a discouraging loss to lowly Cleveland. Roethlisberger and the rest of the offense looked discombobulated and out of sync, while the defense could not contain the high-octane aerial attack of Drew Brees. Yet, despite these recent slip-ups, both of these squads (along with the Jets and Ravens) find themselves atop the AFC. The Patriots are mirroring their formula for success in the early 2000s: mainly, spreading the ball around on offense, playing "bend-but-don't-break" defense and grinding out ugly victories. While Brady hasn't put up the dazzling statistics of years' past, the New England quarterback is posting a 95.7 QB rating and has thrown just four picks on the year.Meanwhile, Pittsburgh's foundation lies in its D, which is surrendering a league-low 15.4 points per contest. In the absence of Roethlisberger, running back Rashard Mendenhall has emerged as a star, compiling 702 yards and seven touchdowns in 2010. So, who wins the battle of conference contenders? According to the WhatIfSports NFL simulation engine, Pittsburgh comes out on top 87.1-percent of the time, by an average score of 28-14. Check out the rest of this week's projections below: NFL Week 10 Matchup Win% Avg Score Dallas Cowboys 10.4 14 Boxscore New York Giants 89.6 29 Simulate Game New England Patriots 12.9 14 Boxscore Pittsburgh Steelers 87.1 28 Simulate Game St. Louis Rams 26.1 13 Boxscore San Francisco 49ers 73.9 20 Simulate Game Seattle Seahawks 31.1 17 Boxscore Arizona Cardinals 68.9 23 Simulate Game Minnesota Vikings 40.7 19 Boxscore Chicago Bears 59.3 22 Simulate Game Cincinnati Bengals 42.9 19 Boxscore Indianapolis Reebok Green Bay Packers #52 Clay Matthews Realtree camo Jersey
Colts 57.1 22 Simulate Game Detroit Lions 52.8 16 Boxscore Buffalo Bills 47.2 15 Simulate Game Carolina Panthers 54.3 18 Boxscore Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45.7 17 Simulate Game Baltimore Ravens 57.5 24 Boxscore Atlanta Falcons 42.5 21 Simulate Game Houston Texans 66.3 30 Boxscore Jacksonville Jaguars 33.7 24 Simulate Game Philadelphia Eagles 71.5 26 Boxscore Washington Redskins 28.5 18 Simulate Game Kansas City Chiefs 72.3 26 Boxscore Denver Broncos 27.7 19 Simulate Game New York Jets 72.9 24 Boxscore Cleveland Browns 27.1 16 Simulate Game Tennessee Titans 90.6 29 Boxscore Miami Dolphins 9.4 14 Simulate Game

19 Dec 10 NFL Fantasy Football WR Rankings: Roddy White Headlines Week 11

Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesHere are my Week 11 wide receiver rankings.1. Roddy White St. Louis2. Reggie Wayne New England3. Hakeem Nicks Philadelphia4. DeSean Jackson vs. New York Giants5. Greg Jennings Minnesota6. Calvin Johnson Dallas7. Dwayne Bowe vs. Arizona8. Terrell Owens vs. Buffalo9. Anquan Boldin Carolina10. Dez Bryant vs. Detroit11. Marques Colston vs. Seattle12. Andre Johnson New York Jets13. Brandon Lloyd San Diego14. Miles Austin vs. Detroit15. Brandon Marshall vs. Chicago16. Percy Harvin vs. Green Bay17. Larry Fitzgerald Kansas City18. Mike Wallace vs. Oakland19. Santonio Holmes vs. Houston20. Michael Crabtree vs. Tampa Bay21. Jeremy Maclin vs. New York Giants22. Chad Ochocinco vs. Reebok Green Bay Packers #52 Clay Matthews Realtree camo Jersey
Buffalo23. Steve Johnson Cincinnati24. Hines Ward vs. Oakland25. Pierre Garcon New England26. Mike Williams (SEA) New Orleans27. Wes Welker Indianapolis28. Johnny Knox Miami29. Mike Williams (TB) San Francisco30. Mario Manningham Philadelphia31. Braylon Edwards vs. Houston32. Steve Breaston Kansas City33. Mike Thomas vs. Cleveland34. Nate Burleson Dallas35. Davone Bess vs. Chicago36. Deion Branch Indianapolis37. Lee Evans Cincinnati38. Mike Sims-Walker vs. Cleveland39. Santana Moss Tennessee40. Danny Amendola vs. Atlanta41. Kevin Walter New York Jets42. Lance Moore vs. Seattle43. Randy Moss vs. Washington44. Steve Smith (CAR) vs. Baltimore45. Robert Meachem vs. Seattle46. Malcom Floyd vs. Denver47. Patrick Crayton vs. Denver48. James Jones Minnesota49. Donald Driver Minnesota50. Roy Williams vs. DetroitKevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesInside the numbers: Roddy White gets extra time for his knee to heal. Not that it Reebok Indianapolis Colts 18 Peyton Manning Realtree camo Jersey
troubled him in Week 10. New England is getting killed by the pass (277.8 ypg). The last time Reggie Wayne faced them he caught ten passes for 126 yards and two scores. The last time he faced the Eagles, Nicks caught four passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. It’s highly possible he catches TD number 10 this week. In the first meeting with the Vikings, Greg Jennings caught six passes for 74 yards and a score. Expect more of the same. T.O. may not have had any run-ins with Buffalo like he has with his other former teams, but he’s certain to be up for the meeting. DeSean Jackson tormented the Giants to the tune of 256 yards and two TDs last year. Any question who’s the top WR in Dallas right now. Forget Roy Williams, Miles Austin can carry Dez Bryant’s shoulder pads. My gut says Hines Ward will be able to play this week. He was dying to get back in their Sunday night. Danny Amendola has scored in three straight games, and has a favorable match-up against Atlanta. I don’t Reebok Minnesota Vikings 28 Adrian Peterson Realtree camo Jersey
have any faith in Randy Moss right until he proves otherwise. Also check out: Sneaky Week 11 Fantasy Football Pick-ups Week 11 Get ‘em or Don’t Sweat ‘em Waiver Wire Advice Week 11 Fantasy QB Rankings Week 11 Fantasy RB Rankings Week 11 Fantasy TE Rankings Week 11 Fantasy K Rankings Week 11 Fantasy DEF RankingsWeek 11 Fantasy IDP Rankings Week 11 Start/Sit Advice Week 11 Fantasy Sleepers


18 Dec 10 Chad Pennington, One Of The Class Acts Of The NFL

Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesHe took the New York Jets to more playoff appearances than Joe Namath, Richard Todd, Ken O'Brien and Vinny Testaverde.His 32-29 record as a Jet starter is only eclipsed by Testaverde's 35-26 over seven seasons in New York.He was an absolute gentleman when Jet management exiled him to the bench despite playing hurtfor an overrated and under-achieving Kellen Clemens.He was nothing but a class act when Mike Tannenbaum, Eric Mangini and Woody Johnson decided that annointing Brett Reebok Washington Redskins #98 ORAKPO Realtree camo Jersey
Favre was the right move as he was unceremoniously cut only to be picked up by the rival Miami Dolphins and win his second, NFL AP Comeback Player of the Year Award.Ironically, Pennington would outclass Favre on the final day of the season at the Meadowlands and win the AFC East for the rival Miami Dolphins with an 11-5 record.Favre would never wear a Jets uniform again.Chad Pennington won't be going to Canton and he'll probably never play in a Super Bowl, but his class and leadership is the kind of individual traits that builds character.He's the kind of person the NFL needs.Should the Jets include Chad Pennington in the team's Ring of Honor should he retire?Should the Jets include Chad Pennington in the team's Ring of Honor should he retire?Yes, he's the most underrated and unappreciated player in franchise history!84.9%No. He was a good player who just couldn't stay healthy.14.3%Undecided.0.8%Total votes: 119In typical Pennington fashion, heembraced former Marshall University teammate Randy Moss before he would take the field in Miami where Tony Sparano saw enough of a struggling Chad Henne. Sparano understood the leadership value andefficient management of the Dolphin offense that would come with Chad Pennington calling signals.It wouldn't come to pass.In a career that had so much promise and future, injuries have haunted Chad Pennington seemingly one final time.Forthe fourth time, Chad Pennington saw his right shoulder injured on just his his Reebok Pittsburgh Steelers 43 Troy Polamalu Realtree camo Jersey
first play of the game after hurting the same shoulder just a year ago in week three last year.To call the injury devastating would be to put this calamity mildly.Pennington is gone for the season and probably has played his last game in an NFL uniform.Drafted 18th in the 2000 NFL Draft, Chad Pennington was the only quarterback taken in the first round and one of only twelve quarterbacks taken in that draft along with a guy named Tom Brady, who was taken with the 199th pick in the sixth round.Chad Pennington was regularly compared to Joe Montana as one of the league's smartest quarterbacks. A Rhodes Scholar, there will be life after the NFL for the man from Marshall.Pennington will leave the NFL with the highest completion percentage (66%) of all quarterbacks past and present.Doug Benc/Getty ImagesShould Sunday be Pennington's final appearance as a pro, he'll leave the game with a lifetime Passer Rating of 90.1%, 12th in NFL history. At 66.0%, Chad Pennington will leave the NFL as the game's most proficient pass completion in the history of the NFL.With seven fourth quarter comebacks and 11-game winning drives, it's too bad Chad Pennington fell prey to the violent aspect of the NFL. Injuries kept Chad Pennington from becoming aReebok Green Bay Packers 21 Charles Woodson Realtree camo Jersey
great pro.Chad Pennington never played in the new Meadowlands and probably never will. His work took place in the old stadium where the Jets were just a tenant and treated like a temporary occupant.With over 17,000 passing yards, 102 touchdown passes and just 64 interceptions, the Jets can make-up for the way Pennington was let go by adding the most accurate passer in the history of the NFL in the Jets Ring of Honor.His play on the field and character as an individual deserve that special recognition.


17 Dec 10 Minnesota Vikings Fire Brad Childress: Was It the Right Decision?

Who is really to blame for the Vikings' woes?Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesThe Vikings' season has been a complete bust.This is undoubtedly true, but was it really the right call to fire Brad Childress?Certainly there can be arguments made in favor of getting rid of the coach. He seemed to have lost the respect of many players in the locker room. Many of his decisions have come under scrutiny, especially when he chose to waive multiple pro-bowl wide receiver Randy Moss after only four weeks.Let's take a look, however, at the Reebok Baltimore Ravens #52 Ray Lewis Realtree camo Jersey
bigger picture.In his first four seasons with the Vikings, Childress led the team to records of 6-10, 8-8, 10-6, and 12-4. A consistent gain of two wins per season. That's a rather impressive streak. And what that means is that the team was improving steadily each season.Last year, the Vikings emerged as an NFC powerhouse, falling one interception short of the Super Bowl. And that is where the problem stems from, to me.He's a Hall of Fame player, there's no question, but the biggest problem in the Vikings' locker room this season has been Brett Favre.He's got a lot of heart, a lot of determination, and way too much pride.He's been to the top of the mountain and back to the bottom on multiple occasions. But in 2010, he's the guy who just didn't know when to quit.The Vikings are a miserable 3-7. At best, they're looking at five or six wins this season. Much of the blame must lie with Favre, not Childress.He's already thrown nearly three times the interceptions he threw last season. He's beat up and one has to wonder about his future quality of life after football. What sort of health issues might he face down the line after 20 years of taking brutal hits, especially at his age now?The solution should have been to bench Favre; to give someone else a chance to Reebok Chicago Bears #54 Brian Urlacher Realtree camo Jersey
lead the offense and to start building towards the future instead of trying to live off the past. Another full season, one without Favre, would have been beneficial for determining just how far Childress could take the team moving forward.Now the Vikings will need to perhaps look for both a new quarterback and a new head coach for next season. The Vikings still run the risk of finishing in the basement of the NFC North. Their week 17 showdown with the Detroit Lions could determine just who holds that unenviable position.On the other side ofReebok Chicago Bears #6 Jay Cutler Realtree camo Jersey
the same coin, the same type of change has seemed to work for Dallas so far. So only time will tell if this decision was right for the team right now.But it will take nothing short of a miracle for the Vikings to salvage their season and end up in the post season. Minnesota will have to run the table while all their other NFC wild card rivals fall on their faces.That, as they say, is highly unlikely.


16 Dec 10 NFL Fans: It's Time For More Sportsmanship, Maturity and Unity

Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesAs an NFL fan, I love watching the game of football. As a Steeler fan, I particularly love watching physical football. One of the biggest aspects of the sport for us fans is the smack-talking with other teams fans. You can sit there and argue with your rivals fans over Reebok Green Bay Packers 21 Charles Woodson Realtree camo Jersey
which team and players are better.However, there is something alarming going on recently with NFL fans.Ever since Richard Seymour punched Ben Roethlisberger, I've seen Steeler fans call for Roger Goodell's head and every other fan say they have no problem with it because of what Ben was accused of. I've seen some fans go as far as saying Ben got what he deserved. Let me speak on that for a second.Grow Up.This a sport of grown men. Adults. Yes, it is physical, but it is supposed to be friendly competition. Punching a player after the play is childish, and supporting it is even more childish.What worries me the most is that grown men who claim to be mature, respectable adults are the ones supporting the punch. I'm sorry, but if you agree with what Seymour did, then I have absolutely no respect for you. Let me quote something for you:When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11Now for those who say that Ben shouldn't have ran up to Seymour, yes I would agree, if such were the case. However, Ben was cheering his team while running to his own sidelines.It's bad enough that Goodell is seemingly changing the sport right before our Reebok Minnesota Vikings #84 Randy Moss Realtree camo Jersey
eyes, but now we as fans are making the sport even less enjoyable with all the childishness and disrespect. This is a man's sport. Act like a man.After all, this is the time that as fans we most need to be united. With a potential lockout looming, fans need to ban together and show their support of the NFL and how much we love it to show the owners that a deal needs to get done, and show Goodell that he can't change the sport from what it was. From what we enjoy watching.What makes it so bad is the inconsistency in the fines and suspensions from Goodell. This week two fines were given out. One of them for an unnecessary roughness during a play, the other for an unnecessary roughness after the play in which the player got ejected. The latter got off easier, with a $25,000 fine. Reebok Pittsburg Steelers #83 Heath Miller Realtree camo Jersey
Yet fans support this. Where's the consistency in protecting the players from the league? And where's the sportsmanship from the fans?It's time the fans come together and unite to show more maturity and sportsmanship before the game is ruined for good.


Peyton Manning: Indianapolis Colts' Season a Testament to Manning's Greatness

Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesThere's no doubt, as of right now, that there are some serious questions on the Indianapolis Colts, but one thing that's for sure is that quarterback Peyton Manning is not one of them.Coming out of the University of Tennessee as the first overall pick in the 1998 draft, it was a consensus that he was going to be a good quarterback and that he had the potential to be great, but what he has become is an all-time great.In 12.5 seasons, Manning has racked up numbers unlike any other quarterback in that short amount of New Orleans Saints jersey
time, with nearly 54,000 yards, a career 94.4 QB rating, nearly 400 touchdown passes, a 65 percent completion percentage, four MVP awards and 10 Pro Bowl selections.If you were to ask any coach, player, GM or owner in the league, there would be an almost unanimous decision that he is the best quarterback of the last decade, and he would even get some play in the greatest of all-time conversation.His list of records is a furlong long, and reading it is downright exhausting. Needless to say, he is one of the greatest and has the accolades to back it up.Statistically speaking, this has not been one of his best seasons, as he has had seasons with more passing yards, more touchdowns and a higher QB rating in seasons past, but he has rarely been the only reason his team has been winning.Is Peyton Manning the greatest QB of the 00s?Is Peyton Manning the greatest QB of the 00s?Yes92.2%No7.8%Total votes: 372This season, the Colts have been decimated by injuries, have had a horrendous defense and have had no running game to speak of.The usual suspects in Manning's offensive scheme, Dallas Clark and Anthony Gonzalez, have been injured, missing a combined 14 games, and the go-to guy for Manning of the past four seasons, Reggie Wayne, got shaken up in Sunday night's game against San Diego and could miss playing time as well.However, Manning has two more threats in his passing attack that he turned into fantasy monsters and defensive coordinator nightmares a season ago in Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon.Collie is a receiver who could have broken through with many teams and as a fourth-round pick in the 2009 draft wasn't a long shot to develop into a good player, but Garcon was a long shot of historic proportions.Garcon, drafted in 2008 in the sixth round, is straight out of Division III Mount Union and is a player who would rarely get a chance on many teams, but given the chance with Manning at the helm of the offense he reeled off big play after big play in 2009, giving him a permanent spot in the offense.This season, Manning has done the same thing with some receivers who were previously unknown in the NFL, throwing four touchdowns to Jacob Tamme, a fourth-round tight end out of football jerseys
Kentucky, and four to Blair White, an undrafted receiver from Michigan State.Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesManning has completed a pass to 14 different receivers this season and thrown a touchdown pass to seven different guys, including one to a receiver out of Missouri Western State named Gijon Robinson.He has dragged his team, basically as the offensive coordinator/quarterback of the team, to a 6-5 record, something that is seemingly impossible with the team at his hands.His team has accumulated a measly 909 yards on the ground, with only three teams putting up worse numbers than the Colts' ground crew. They have also only posted 56 first downs on the ground compared to an enormous 182 through the air, by far the most in the league.Despite the Colts' horrendous run game, they still have the fifth-highest scoring offense in the league with 282 points scored.The Colts' problems don't end with the run game, however, as their defense is not one to write home about either.The Colts defense is in the bottom half of the league, giving up more than 3,700 yards of offense so far this season and 22.9 points per game, as well as being on the negative end of the turnover battle.They have also been decimated by injuries, with 14 players currently hobbled on the IR and countless others bothered by nicks and cuts with the possibility to miss time in the coming weeks.No other quarterback in the league could have taken the Colts as far as 6-5 at this point in the season, as with any other man behind Chicago Bears jersey
center the team would have fallen to the bottom of the AFC South at this point—but not with Manning.This season may not be a memorable one in the career of one of the all-time greats, and it almost certainly won't result in another ring for the guy, but it definitely shows why he is one of the greatest.


NFL Week 13 Picks: Washington Redskins Not Given Much of a Chance Against Giants

Win McNamee/Getty ImagesThe New York Giants had trouble stopping Donovan McNabb when he was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. Perhaps their luck will change now that he is a Washington Redskin and suffering through his worst season as a pro.The Giants have rattled off four straight wins over the Redskins, and NFL oddsmakers expect them to make it five in a row Sunday. They have listed the Giants as a seven-point favorite with the total set at 43.5.If Washington is going to avoid yet another Vikings Brett Favre jersey
loss in this series, it is going to need McNabb to summon up some of his old magic. The six-time Pro Bowler is 11-7 as a starter in his career against New York, which includes four straight wins. He’s thrown 27 touchdown strikes and only nine interceptions in those games 18 games.In two wins against New York last season, McNabb completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 515 yards with five touchdowns and one interception.McNabb, however, hasn’t looked like the same player that has shredded the Giants throughout his career. He has thrown more interceptions (13) than touchdowns (11) and he is carrying a career-worst passer rating of 76.0.Keep in mind that McNabb never threw more picks than touchdowns while in Philadelphia.Turning things around this week could prove difficult, considering the Giants boast the best pass defense in the league, surrendering only 186.4 yards per game.Some of McNabb’s struggles can be attributed to Washington’s lack of a running game. Clinton Portis has been lost for the season with a torn muscle in his abdomen and backup Ryan Torain has been out since Halloween with a hamstring injury. Torain is currently listed as questionable for Sunday.Without their top two rushers, the Redskins have dipped to 26th in the league in rushing offense, averaging just 90.7 yards per game on the ground.It looks like McNabb will have to carry the load Sunday.It is worth noting that the Redskins 2010 pro bowl 4 Brett Favre Blue jersey
are 5-1-1 against the number in their last seven games as a road underdog.New York rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to earn a 24-20 win over Jacksonville in Week 12. With that win and a Philadelphia loss, the Giants moved into a tie for first in the NFC East.While the Giants boast the third-best offense in the NFL (387.2 yards per game), they have certainly missed wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith.Nicks is expected to be out until mid-December as he recovers from compartment syndrome in his left leg. Smith will likely miss another week with a partially torn pectoral muscle, but he hasn’t been completely ruled out.The offensive line is also banged-up, but several backups have more than held their own. As a result, Eli Manning hasn’t been sacked in four consecutive games.If the line is able to hold strong this week, the Giants stand a pretty good shot against the worst defensive team in the NFL. Washington ranks dead last in total defense, allowing 400.9 yards per game. The Skins rank 29th against the pass (269.4 yards per game) and 26th against the run (131.5 yards per game).New York must avoid turnovers at all costs. They have committed a league-high 30, but they did not commit a turnover in a game for the first time all season last week.It is worth noting 2010 pro bowl Vikings 4 Brett Favre jersey
that the Redskins are 1-4-1 against the spread in their last six meetings in New York.Bet with confidence in Week 13 by playing the same NFL picks as world champion handicapper Jimmy Boyd!


Green Bay Packers Preview: On the Road Against the Detroit Lions

Hurray, hurray, for the throwbacks are now a thing of the past (I thought they were nice though). After a good week with a solid win over the San Fransisco 49ers, the Green Bay Packers can now move on to what may be the very last "easy" game of their entire season. By no means can Green Bay take Detroit softly; they are 4 Brett Favre Purple jersey
starving for a win, and a victory of the Green Bay Packers would suit nicely for them. After coming oh so close in so many games this year, including Week 4 in Lambeau Field where the Detroit Lions nearly snatched a come-from-behind victory, the Lions look like a rather talented team that simply cannot win out its games. James Starks A future star in the making? It might be just a wee bit early to say so, but evaluation of his first NFL game, points all signs towards "yes." This guy was projected to at least land in the second-round of the NFL draft, but fell due to injury and a long, long layoff from any football action. This man was a sixth-round steal. James Starks did something on Sunday that Green Bay has not seen in a long time: He broke off tackles. The 6'2" running back had consistent play throughout the game and even broke off a Patrick Willis tackle in his debut. In case you don't know who Patrick Willis is, that's a really big deal. James Starks looks to get more carries against Detroit's 25th ranked run defense, and may be a future star in Green Bay's massive arsenal of weapons. Aaron Rodgers While it could be questionable whether Aaron Rodgers will put up his fifth 300-yard performance against the Lions this Sunday, especially with the Detroit Lions adding Alphonso Smith to the secondary, he has been putting up some jaw-dropping numbers lately. Aaron Rodgers is now one of four quarterbacks in the league with a passer rating of 100 or more, and officially has the best NFL quarterback rating in history. Aaron also seems to be using his legs a lot more lately and it has been bringing some huge results—18 first downs and over four touchdowns on the season. Detroit's defensive line may be stout, but even one slip is all Rodgers will need to surpass 300 rushing yards for the season. Injuries It could be a bad idea, especially against a victory-starved team such as the Lions. But it may also be Green Bay's last chance to Steelers 43 Polamalu jersey
rest some starters. From here on, Green Bay will face New England, New York, Chicago and whatever other tough teams they will face in the playoffs. Cullen Jenkins has already been declared out, but I think Green Bay should sit other starters as soon as they get the chance to. They're going to need everyone for these last few games if they're serious about making a Super Bowl run, especially after watching the Jets-Pats Monday night football game.


Fan Pulse: Terry Bradshaw "admits to using steroids"

Steelers Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw admitted on the Dan Patrick Show on June 19 (Hour 2, Tuesday) that he used steroids prescribed to him to help in recovering from injuries during his football career. The question in Steel City is whether fans are buying what Bradshaw's 2010 pro bowl Vikings 4 Brett Favre jersey
selling. The fans on the Steelers Fever forum are quick to defend and implicate Bradshaw. On one side of the coin, the use of anabolic steroids while in competition is not acceptable in any sport. But as one poster points out, this is now, and that was then. "I would like to point out before anyone tries to discredit the Steelers success of the 1970's that back then steroids were not a banned substance by the NFL nor were they deemed illegal drugs by the United States government. They were readily available to most pro athletes, so it wasn't like the Steelers could get them and another team could not."While that is a logical point, there are obvious benefits to steroid use, and it's not just about their ability to build muscle mass. The fact steroids gives athletes an unnatural advantage in recovery time is deemed as an unfair advantage. A poster points that out. "I despise Terry Bradshaw and this just makes it even more justified..... this stupid moron seems to think athletes take steroids to get bigger.... sigh...I'd say the majority of 6 Super Bowl Champions jersey White jersey
athletes take it for the sole reason of healing faster."Bradshaw clarified his comments, saying he's not a bodybuilder, and his steroid use while playing was not done in an effort to increase size or strength. One poster sees the oft-debated issue of steroid use in the NFL back in the 1970s as black and white. "Steriods weren't banned then. They are banned now in professional sports. Nothing to argue."


San Francisco 49ers Contract Extensions Shawntae Spencer Adam Snyder

The San Francisco 49ers began this season approximately $10 million under the salary cap. At the time, many fans believed that they were wasting cap space, and that given the lack of talent on the team's roster, the money would have been better off spent acquiring players through free agency. But the 49ers had 10 Santonio Holmes black jersey
other plans, which they began executing this week.Not wanting to repeat the mistakes of the past management, the team has begun extending the contracts of some of its young, up-and-coming players. Cornerback Shawntae Spencer was the first to sign a new deal, receiving a four-year extension through 2012, which included a $6 million bonus. His contract was set to expire at the end of next season, but, obviously, San Francisco felt he was the type of player the team wanted to keep around.Adam Snyder was next inline to receive an extension. The versatile offensive lineman is the first person off the bench at every position on the line, except center. Snyder has been forced into action a great deal over the past two seasons due to injured players ahead of him. Clearly, the 49ers liked what they saw; Snyder's four-year contract extension keeps him under contract through 2011. He was also awarded a $4 million bonus. Reports indicate that San Francisco is not quite done with their deal-making yet. The team is reportedly in talks with running 4 Brett Favre Purple jersey
backs Frank Gore and Maurice Hicks as well as offensive lineman Justin Smiley and safety Mike Adams. The 49ers believe they have some solid young blood on the team. With cap room to spare, they are doing everything they can to secure a successful future.All the latest 49ers news, game information, and resources- you can also contact Bryan Hersh from there.

San Francisco 49ers "Nate Clements acquisition already paying off"

When the San Francisco 49ers signed cornerback Nate Clements to an eight-year, $80 million contract back in March, there was a lot of debate as to whether the team overpaid for his services. While the price tag was pretty high, Clements -- a former Buffalo Bill -- appears to be well Vikings Brett Favre jersey
worth it. Granted, it's only June and not a single down has been played, but Clements has provided invaluable leadership during San Francisco's organized team activities thus far.Even though it's only his first season in the Bay, Clements has been very vocal and engaged with his teammates. He has accepted his new leadership role, raising expectations for the upcoming season. The six-year veteran believes the 49ers have the components to make a significant improvement this year."We have a team that can win, not only that can win, but a team that can win the Super Bowl," said Clements to the Niners' official website. "The players, the coaching staff, the training staff, the strength and conditioning program, we just have an all-around great staff here in San Francisco. We work together to collectively accomplish the goals we have. You work together like that, and then go out and put that together out on the field and you'll win games."Clements exudes the utmost confidence, and his job is largely to instill the same mentality to the rest of the team. Clements intends to keep challenging and encouraging his teammates with constant, ongoing commentary. "It not only makes it fun, it makes it competitive," Clements said about his motivational speaking. "I'm not doing it to nag on a guy. I'm trying to encourage a player and compete out there, raise my game, and make our team better."The fact that Clements, a 2001 first-round pick from Ohio State who has 23 career interceptions, has embraced the leadership role instead of 2010 pro bowl 4 Brett Favre Blue jersey
sitting back and collecting his paycheck will have a positive impact on the Niners as a whole. Younger teammates will likely fall in line and play with the same level of confidence that is being displayed by their new leader. Got a bone to pick with a newspaper columnist, talk show personality or television analyst? E-mail us at mediawatch . For more information, visit our Media Watch info page.


Simply put, Dwight Freeney changes defense

If it's obvious to announce that Dwight Freeney is good, it can't be overemphasized how vital his presence is to the Colts' pass defense. In a unit that relies on the contributions of a small selection of elite players, Freeney makes either almost or approximately the same difference as Bob Sanders. While the secondary star brings versatility and uncanny instincts to the Colts, Freeney's phenomenal speed and straightforward technique ensure either direct anxiety for the passer or stress on other aspects of the offense as coordinators position blockers 43 Polamalu white jersey
specifically to counteract the defensive end.Freeney's 3.5 sacks over the nine games he played before his foot injury sent him to injured reserve were actually a high percentage of the squad's total. The Colts finished 2007 with a meager 28 sacks, good for 26th in the league. They tied with the Browns and had just one more than the Raiders, not exactly two elite franchises recently either in general or specifically defensively.Simply, the Colts need Freeney to be healthy so he can at worst generate pressure on quarterbacks and ideally accumulate backfield tackles. Truth be told, there aren't too many other threats on the roster who can do so with any regularity.Robert Mathis led the team in 2007 for the category, as he got seven sacks during the 13 games in which he appeared. After that, Freeney's sack total actually tied him for second-best over the entire season with roving wild man Sanders. It's true that the safety is an aforementioned unique threat, but the fact that no other lineman was able to generate more quarterback takedowns is a testament to the value of a healthy Freeney.Of course, Freeney only got himself 5.5 sacks in 2006, his last healthy season, but it was because offenses decided to make accounting for him their primary priority. That's part of the reason why the Colts were even worse at sacking the year before last, getting 25 and finishing second-last in the NFL.Yet, the Colts conceded only 159.2 passing yards per contest in 2006; that's contrasted to 172.8 yards in the same category last season, something that was affected by the lack of constant pressure up front. While it may not seem like a huge difference, it is noticeable. More importantly, Indianapolis dropped precipitously in pass defense for the playoffs from the year before.Specifically, they gave up 312 passing yards against the Chargers last month and didn't topple the quarterback before he could release the ball. Compare that to the Super Bowl postseason, where they only gave up 155.8 yards per game through the air while managing eight total sacks, and the difference made by Freeney's absence is alarmingly evident.General manager Bill Polian recently announced a rough timetable for the return of some of 43 Polamalu black jersey
the team's wounded stars, specifically noting that he thought Freeney would be ready not for training camp but for opening day. It's just a projection, one that his fans and teammates better hope holds true.It goes without saying that three-time Pro Bowler who, at age 28, already has 60 sacks is valuable, and the point to remember is that it turns out he is really, really valuable. Aside from his stellar numbers, Freeney makes the Colts better just by lining up.