Summer of LeBron evokes memories of controlled frenzy of ‘96

LeBron leaving meeting with the Knicks. Is that a gold medal hanging from his rearview? Most likely? Last night truly felt like New Year’s Eve. When the clock flipped over to midnight, and the calendar moved to a new day and month, LeBron James became available for any team to attempt to sign. There was plenty of other top NBA talent for which that was also true, with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade at the top of the list, but there’s nobody truly like LeBron.

Continue Reading

Something to believe in: Finding inspiration in rival fans’ celebration

A sea of green

New York City definitely isn’t the most comfortable place for a Dolphins fan these days, as I witnessed first-hand when I made a rare sojourn to Times Square to hit up Foot Locker today and found myself smack dab in the middle of a massive Jets playoff pep rally.

Continue Reading

The Afternoon After: All-day football bonanza proves good for the soul

After a one-week respite, let’s get this party started. Hope all had an excellent holiday weekend.

It has a certain charm

Back in the day, before I had a job that caused me to work most Sundays and get up not before 1 in the afternoon, Football Sunday had a tremendous meaning in my week. Namely, it was a day I could completely devote to the supreme American pastime of drinking beer, eating fried foods at a sports bar and immersing myself in an entire day of watching overgrown men crash into each other. I started this tradition in high school – minus, of course, the beer.

Of course, times change. As I said, I generally work on Sundays, and I sometimes get up after the games actually begin. I rarely drink, and it’s even more rare that I eat fried foods. I generally don’t like watching sports with loud fans around me. And it had been several years since I had given over nearly an entire day to watch football.

Until yesterday.

Continue Reading

The Afternoon After: NFL’s embrace of Big Ben – the clock – illogical

Here’s my weekly roundup of what I saw in football, starting with the latest nonsensical idea from a league commissioner. This turned into The Day After (thanks, day job).

English fans get ready to watch a sport they likely don't understand -- which puts them on the same level as Eric Mangini

Professional sports leagues constantly want to expand their horizons. The thinking is that the more people in more places that see your brand, the bigger market there is to sell jerseys and such. I get that.

But now I hear that the NFL may eventually want to move a team to London, and I think it’s an ambitious but preposterous sentiment.

Continue Reading

Farewell to a (fantasy) football god: Drew Bennett era draws to an end

The zenith of Drew Bennett's dominance -- 42-yarder vs. the Chiefs on MNF

You might have missed this last week, but right after signing with the Baltimore Ravens, Drew Bennett decided to retire. Now, this caused nary a ripple in the actual football world. But in the fantasy football world, well, this was the equivalent of Jerry Rice hanging up the cleats.

At least for some of us. That is, those of us who somehow drafted or picked up Mr. Bennett during his miraculous 2004 season. Because for a three-week period in December, Drew Bennett – a former college quarterback – was the greatest receiver alive.

He was Jerry Rice, Steve Largent and Irving Fryar all rolled up into one. He had the combined power of Duper and Clayton. The NFL’s arms were too short to box with Drew Bennett.

To put it bluntly, Drew Bennett was stupid dope.

Three weeks. 28 receptions. 517 yards. Eight touchdowns.

The most amazing thing is when he started up his run, Drew was either on a bench, or on the waiver wire. And this guy decided virtually every fantasy league in 2004, he and Billy Volek. Tom Brady? LaDainian Tomlinson? Marvin Harrison? You could have all three of them – go ahead, take ‘em – and you wouldn’t stand a chance next to the Volek-Bennett express, son.

Continue Reading

Fantasy Football Fallout: Picks #50 – #45

Fantasy Football Fallout… Triple F. FFF. This is the name of my weekly fantasy football column. As the season is approaching, I know most you are sitting there debating which players are going to ultimately stink up your mediocre team. But fear not, I’m here to save you with some realistic fantasy football commentary (hmmm… realistic fantasy football).

So the way this column works is simple… In the five weeks leading up to the NFL season, I will be commenting on 5 players (two columns per week). I will tell you things you may not want to hear, but you may learn something. Last but not least, I will offer my personal projections. To make this column fun, I will be using CBS Sportsline’s Top 50 players as a guide, and commenting on them in reverse order. Also, I have included Buy/Sell ratings relative to draft position (Buy = Draft, Sell = Don’t Draft)

Rankings #50 – #41

#50 – Willie Parker
One of the most intriguing running backs in football is Fast Willie Parker. Coming out of relative Willie Parker: Contract year killer?obscurity, he has surpassed all expectations. He’s got himself two Super Bowl rings, three consecutive years of 1,000 yards rushing, and a great O-Line. Of course, everybody will point to Rashard Mendenhall as the heir-apparent. You know, the same Mendenhall who was put on  IR halfway through his first start. I don’t buy him as a legit threat at all, unless Willie suffers a major injury. Regardless, you can count on Parker missing a game or two in 2009; as he has only played one full season in his career. On the flipside, he did play in 3 playoff games last season.

Conclusion: He’s in a contract year.
Rushing: 280 attempts. 1,176 yards. 9 TDs
Receiving: 17 receptions. 120 yards. 1 TD
*** BUY ***

Continue Reading