Friday, February 29, 2008

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Motorcycle Edition

Since it's Friday, and the end of the workweek for most people, we think that you should be provided with a post that takes the edge off so to speak. Because it's going to be random and hopefully humorous, that means that it won't always be sports related. It will also pop up at any time on Friday.

This week's post is dedicated to motorcycling. I've always wanted a bike, but never thought that I was responsible enough to own one. I've ridden friend's bikes off and on, but never had one that I could get out and ride anytime that I wanted. Well, hopefully that's about to change. A friend of mine is getting ready to purchase a bike, and it's motivated me to get my finances in order so that I can get one too. For the longest time I've been a fan of the CBR F4's, especially the F4i, but I've always had a thing for the "naked" bikes. And that's why I've been pricing out the various models of the Ducati Monster, and hope to own one in the somewhat near future.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

When You Lose The Super Bowl You Gotta Relieve The Stress Baby!

This past season had to be stressful for the New England Patriots. Every week they had to hear about how it was amazing they were undefeated. How their opponent that week would knock them off. How they got that way because of Spygate. Then they made it to the Super Bowl, and everything looked like it was going to line up for them.

Well, we all know how that ended.

The Pats lost the Super Bowl, and a season's worth of work vanished by way of an improbable throw by Eli Manning and a spectacular catch by David Tyree. After all of that, who can blame the Pats if they want to blow off some steam? Unfortunately, it's more like inhale some smoke because two of them have been busted for marijuana possession. The most recent incident involved Kevin Faulk, a captain of this past season's team.

New England Patriots running back Kevin Faulk was issued a misdemeanor summons last Friday for possession of marijuana. Capt. John Babin of the Lafayette Metro Narcotics Task Force confirmed the summons on Tuesday.

Faulk, a Louisiana native and former LSU star, was on his way to a suite in the Lafayette Cajundome to watch a performance by rapper Lil Wayne, when a routine search by a sheriff's deputy turned up four marijuana cigarettes, Babin said.

Everyone heading to the suites was searched, Babin said.

Faulk was not arrested or required to post bond.

"He was cited for simple possession, which is a misdemeanor," Babin said. "It's based on an amount possessed for personal use."

The thing that I find interesting is that apparently heading into the performance was searched. Now Faulk had to have seen that this was happening, and he probably had a chance to step out of line and head to the bathroom or outside where he could ditch his joints. However, he chose to keep them in his possession. So that means either he thought security wouldn't catch them, or that they would let him slide because he's an NFL player. Both of those are risky choices, and probably not the best ways to deal with that situation. Oh well, he did better than his teammate Willie Andrews that got busted about three weeks ago with a half-pound of marijuana.

It's Rocky At The Top

Alright, Tennessee beat previously unranked Memphis in their home gym on Saturday night. They moved into the #1 spot, poised to make a run for the tourney in the top spot. And they followed all that up with a loss at Vanderbilt.

Wait! What?!?

Yep, the Vols will likely spend one week ranked #1 thanks to their loss on Tuesday night against #18 Vandy.

So, how did it happen? Well, Vandy, the strong 3-pt shooting team that is, shot 37.5% from behind the arc. Compare that to the 29.6% that UT held Memphis to, and you can see how the Vols dropped this one. Vanderbilt also shot their free throws much better than Memphis, 67.6% as opposed to 47.1% for the Tigers.

Luckily, Tennessee shouldn't drop too far, so a #1 tourney seed is definitely within their grasp. And if they play the way they did against Memphis on a consistent basis they should do pretty well. Though, that game against Florida next Wednesday, the one that I said was huge for the Gators, has become just as big for the Vols.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Popularity Is A Powerful Factor

Two colleges, both in the same conference. One has a consistently strong football team, while the other has achieved sporadic success(especially in recent history). And what happens when they each experience academic troubles?

Well, FSU's cheating scandal got a ton of press, while Virginia's loss of some of their top players hasn't seem to garner that much attention. Granted, FSU's problems occured right before their bowl game, but Virginia is looking at entering this season without their starting quarterback(Jameel Sewell), starting cornderback(Chris Cook) or starting defensive end(Jeffrey Fitzgerald).

Fitzgerald is the latest player to leave the university due to academic problems, though it's unclear exactly what happened.

Sports information director Jim Daves confirmed Monday the sophomore from Richmond, who is been expected to take over as the team’s top pass-rusher with the departure of Chris Long to the NFL, is no longer a student but declined to comment further, citing privacy issues.

Up to this point, I haven't heard or read anyone question the level of teaching, tutoring and testing that the athletes get at UVA. I guess sometimes it's nice to not be the best because it shields you from a bit scrutiny every once in a while.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Best. Name. Ever.

Usually I'll read an article with a humorous name, and giggle a little bit. Then I go on about my business not thinking anymore about it. However, this is just too good to pass up. So, I decided I had to share it with all of you readers out there. Here's an excerpt from the article:

When sliding feet-first into a base, is your front foot straight up or sideways?

Before a game starts, what are the first two things a player should check?

Stumped? Don't fret. When first-base coach Rusty Kuntz asked the Kansas City Royals to take his quiz on outfield play and baserunning fundamentals, there were quite a few "who didn't have a clue."

Did you see it? No? Well, let me make it a bit easier for ya.

Rusty Kuntz

Haha! Classic!

Thank You Dallas

I wrote last week about how a nightmare scenario was unfolding. One in which Zach Thomas, released by Miami, was close to signing with the Patriots. Thankfully, the Cowboys made him an offer, and he's headed to Dallas.


Honestly, I don't know if I could have survived a season of Thomas racking up great stats for the Pats. Seeing Wes Welker torch the league last year was bad enough.

Bryant McKinnie Gets Bounced

It seems that Bryant McKinnie got himself into a bit of trouble early Sunday morning. The Vikings offensive tackle got kicked out of Club Space in Miami, and proceeded to get into an argument with a bouncer by the name of Eric Otero. Apparently, McKinnie spit on Otero at some point, but Otero refused to press charges if McKinnie left the premises.

Well, McKinnie did leave, but he returned a short while later and proceeded to engage in some type of "street brawl" with Otero and possibly some other individuals.

My biggest question in all of this is who is Eric Otero? McKinnie is listed as being 6'8", 335 pounds. He's a big guy, though size doesn't really matter if the guy you're battling is a trained fighter and you aren't. Which could be the case since Otero is a bouncer for a South Florida club.

The other good part of the story is the way in which McKinnie planned to escape.

Police told McKinnie to stop. He refused and boarded a bus. The bus driver was ordered not to drive away.

Haha, a bus? That's awesome! Oh well, at least it wasn't a boat.

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Running Edition

Since it's Friday, and the end of the workweek for most people, we think that you should be provided with a post that takes the edge off so to speak. Because it's going to be random and hopefully humorous, that means that it won't always be sports related. It will also pop up at any time on Friday.

I used to run a lot when I was younger. Throughout my later years of high school and into college I probably averaged 40-50 miles of running per week. However, I eventually got burnt out, and that average dropped down close to 0. I was still being active, but I wasn't logging the miles or running competitvely like I had before. Well, this past Christmas I received the Nike+ system, and it's motivated me to get out and start running again. I've also decided to start preparing myself to run a 5K hopefully in March or April. It's been a long time, but it all seems so familiar.

So this week's "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere" post is dedicated to Chris Legh. He's the triathlete who collapsed and almost died during the Hawaii Ironman event. However, he was able to overcome his obstacles with training and knowledge, and won the 2004 Ironman Cour D'Alene. Hopefully, I'll be able to "snap the tape" in whatever races I decide to enter.

Happy Friday!

A-Rod Doesn't Want You To Take Everything Literally

I wasn't around on Wednesday when Alex Rodriguez made his comment regarding drug testing in Major League Baseball, so it's hard to tell exactly how he said it. Was he presenting it in a serious way, or was he sort of joking around? I'm not sure. But what I am sure of is that someone contacted him, and told him he needed to clarify his statements. Because yesterday is was "nine or ten" drug tests last year, and today it's just an illustration of how stringent the MLB drug testing policy is.

Alex Rodriguez says he was exaggerating when he claimed he was given nine or 10 drug tests last year. Rodriguez made his original statement Wednesday, before the Yankees' first full-squad workout of the year.

If A-Rod had been tested that many times, either he was selected for an unusually high number of random checks or he might have been subjected to additional tests - which would happen, for instance, if a panel decides there was reasonable cause or a player tests positive for a banned stimulant for the first time.

"I know it was more than one," Rodriguez said after Thursday's workout. "It's a few. The lesson is, you've got to be very, very specific with what you say because everything then will come back and people are going to ask you. I learned my lesson."

My guess is that his agent cringed when he heard the remarks, and instantly placed a call to A-Rod telling him to revise his statements. I'm guessing it's so that Rodriguez doesn't come under suspicion for possibly having an unusually high number of tests. Without him telling the public, there's little chance that we would know how many times he was tested. And with the steroid stigma firmly attached to pro baseball, no one wants their name connected with performance enhancing drugs. Especially not a superstar like A-Rod.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

No Word On If Ty Willingham Was The Pilot

Yes, that's a jet painted in the colors of the Washington Huskies. And no, it's not living up to its expectations by sitting on the tarmac. Sort of like going 11-25 over three seasons.

Hopefully, the preflight instructions are better on the jet.

Not Even Sandbags Could Have Saved The Blue Devils

Last night, the Miami Hurricanes basketball team accomplished something against Duke that they couldn't in the last 10 tries that spanned over 45 years.

They beat the Blue Devils.

That's right, the last time that Miami defeated Duke was on December 21, 1962. In the 10 games since that victory, the Hurricanes had lost by single digits just three times('86[7pts], '04[9pts], '05[4pts]), and they had been blown out by 20 or more five times('85[22pts], '87[38pts], '04[24pts], '05[21pts], '06[22pts]).

Series History, Hurricanes vs. Blue Devils
Year, Miami Score, Duke Score

'62-'63: 71 vs. 69
'85-'86: 82 vs. 104
'86-'87: 67 vs. 74
'87-'88: 69 vs. 107
'88-'89: 102 vs. 117
'04-'05: 83 vs. 92
'04-'05: 59 vs. 83
'05-'06: 71 vs. 92
'05-'06: 76 vs. 80
'06-'07: 63 vs. 85
'07-'08: 73 vs. 88
'07-'08: 96 vs. 95

But now the losing streak has been halted, and the 'Canes have handed the Blue Devils a shocking second straight defeat. Miami outshot Duke from the floor, 57.4% to 45.5%, and built a 20 point lead at one point in the second half.

And exactly how long ago was the last win for Miami against Duke in men's basketball?

On the date of that last win, the Bay of Pigs Accord was signed. I guess it's fitting that the Hurricanes beat the Blue Devils the same week that Fidel Castro stepped down then.

Could The Gators Be Dateless For The Big Dance?

It hasn't happened since the '97-'98 season, but the Gators are on the verge of doing it again. The "it" in this case is failing to secure an NCAA Tournament berth. And there's a real possibility that they might miss the "Big Dance" this season.

Heading into February, the Gators looked like they would be a pretty solid lock to make the tournament. They were ranked 20th as they went into their first game of the month against Arkansas. They ended up getting blown out by 19 points. Three days later they were looking to rebound against the then ranked #7 Tennessee Volunteers. They lost by 22 points, and fell even farther away from the Top 25. They were able to get their first win of the month against Georgia on February 9th, but lost two more straight against LSU and Vanderbilt. Last night, they picked up just their second win of February against South Carolina, putting their record for the month so far at 2-4. Overall they're 20-7 with an SEC record of 7-5.

Interestingly enough, the last Gator squad to miss the tourney also struggled in February. That '97 team went 3-6 through the month after having lost just seven games all season up to that point. That team finished the regular season with a 13-13 record, and got knocked out of the SEC Tournament in the second round against South Carolina. They finished the season with a loss in the NIT Tournament against Georgetown.

So, what are the Gators' chances of making the tournament? Pretty good actually. Currently, the teams towards the bottom of the Top 25 rankings have similar records, though Florida's conference record is a bit weaker. However, the Gators do have a shot at finishing up their conference schedule with some much needed wins, and the game on March 5 versus Tennessee has become extremely important. Getting a win against a top ranked team late in the season could be just what this young Gators team needs to carry them through the SEC Tournament.

Right now, though the Gators look to be on the proverbial bubble. Their RPI ranking is #56, and one or two more losses, especially against unranked opponents, could seal their fate. Coach Donovan is a master at motivation, and he's going to need to do all that he can to get this Gators team to pull out some very important wins as the season winds down. Or else they'll quickly be remembered as the first Gators team in 10 years to miss the NCAA Tournament, and not the one that was doing its best to defend back-to-back NCAA titles.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

This Year's Super Bowl Could Have Been A Lot Worse For All Of Us

Sure, some(ok, a lot) of us have anjoyed poking fun at the Patriots and their fans after they were unable to complete the perfect season, failing to win the biggest game of the season. However, something much more serious was in the works, and thankfully it wasn't carried out.

Apparently, Kurt Havelock was pissed off because the city of Tempe, AZ denied him a liquor license for a Halloween themed bar he was building. Instead of fighting it through proper channels, he thought that shooting up the Super Bowl would be a better idea.

A man accused of planning to shoot people at the Super Bowl was indicted on six counts of sending threatening communications, according to court documents filed Tuesday in federal court.

Kurt William Havelock, 35, turned himself in to authorities Feb. 3 after driving within sight of University of Phoenix Stadium during the Super Bowl with a rifle and 200 rounds of ammunition. He said he changed his mind.

Havelock told authorities he was upset that the city of Tempe denied him a liquor license application for a Halloween-themed bar.

Holy sheeat! Luckily he changed his mind, but just reading the story made me a bit nauseous. I'm not familiar with the intricacies of Super Bowl security, but I bet that he would have gotten a few shots off before anyone could react. It is a good illustration of how easy it could be for someone to target a major sporting event in order to inflict a large amount of pain and suffering. I'm not talking about a group doing it, but rather one or two individuals bent on doing something horrible. It's not enough to keep me from attending sporting events, but it will hopefully be a reminder for me to be more aware of my surroundings. Also, it makes me grateful for the amount of behind the scenes security that does take place.

The Gators Have Some Holes To Fill

This is somewhat old news, but I didn't get a chance to cover it last week. Greg Mattison, the co-defensive coordinator, has left Gainesville to be the linebackers coach for the Baltimore Ravens.

Apparently, he had been courted before because he's a friend of the Ravens new head coach John Harbaugh. Mattison turned down the first offer, but accepted the second one. The position didn't stay vacant for long, however because former Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney was brought on board to fill it.

Last year, McCarney was the Defensive Line Coach/Assistant Head Coach for a South Florida squad that surprised a number of people. Under his guidance, the Bulls tallied 30 sacks and 113 tackles for a loss. They allowed 130.5 rushing yards per game, but only gave up 8 rushing touchdowns through the season. Hopefully he can mold some of Florida's defensive linemen into a beast like George Selvie was for USF.

Though they were able to fill Mattison's position, Florida still has to fill holes at the safeties and running backs coaching spots. Both of those positions underperformed last season, so the Gators need to fill them with coaches that can make an immediate impact. It will be interesting to see who Coach Meyer goes with when selecting the replacements. Hopefully, the new safeties coach can keep the secondary from getting torched so much in '08.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

When Litigation Runs Wild

Ok, I dislike the Patriots as much as a lot of people. Well, maybe it's more like hate. Though, I grew up as a Dolphins fan, so I have to hate them(the same goes for the Jets and Bills). However, I don't think that I hate them enough to support what Willie Gary is proposing.

Oh, you don't know who Willie Gary is?

Well, you're probably in the majority because until the other day I didn't know who he was either and I'm actually a football fan. Willie Gary is a former St. Louis Rams safety who played in Super Bowl XXXVI. You know, the one where the Pats alledgedly taped the Rams final walkthrough and then won 20-17. Gary has joined a class action lawsuit against the Pats, and believes that the Rams players from that Super Bowl team are entitled to $25,000 each due to the difference in compensation between the winning and losing teams and $125,000 each due to not winning a ring. The total would amount to $6.75 million.

Like I said, I hate the Patriots, but this seems sort of "sore loserish" to me. The Rams were heavy favorites to win, but lost on a last second field goal. I'm sure for guys like Gary, who never made it to the superstar level, losing the Super Bowl is something that he'll never forget. However, the tapes in question better show some very damning evidence of the Patriots staff "cheating", or else Gary will also be remembered as the guy who could never get over losing the big game.

JT Gets To Show Off His Twinkle Toes

What do Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith and Jason Taylor have in common? Yes, they all play(ed) football, but that's not all. No, when Taylor makes his dancing debut in March, they will all have been contestants on "Dancing With The Stars".

That's right, Jason Taylor, the NFL's sack leader in 2002, will be cutting a rug instead of cutting down quarterbacks. He'll also have some high expectations regarding NFL players and the show because Rice finished 2nd in the spring of '06 and Smith won the competition in the fall of '06. Hopefully, he finishes better on the dance floor than his team did on the field last season.

My main concern is that he doesn't get himself injured while competing on the show. While it is a longshot, it's certainly a possibility. And it would be embarrassing for him, and a huge blow to a team that's trying to rebuild for yet another year.

The Five Words That I Did Not Want To Hear

Over the weekend, I discussed Zach Thomas's release with some of my friends who are also Miami Dolphins fans. For the most part, we all agreed that Thomas had been a phenomenal player, and that the Dolphins were fortunate enough to have held onto him for as long as they did. However, the defense isn't getting any younger, and cutting some veterans to make way for new talent is just part of the sport. Then I read the one thing that my friends and I feared the most:

Zach Thomas Meets With Patriots

Ugh. As if seeing Wes Welker morph into one of the best receivers in the league last year wasn't hard enough, now we might have to deal with the same thing on the other side of the ball. I understand that releasing Thomas was the business aspect of pro football, and that the Patriots have a need for him and are great at bringing in players and seemlessly intergrating them into their team. However, I'm not sure that I can take another season of watching a former Dolphin flourish with a hated rival while he helps beat the Dolphins twice during the regular season. I would like to see Thomas win a Super Bowl before he retires, just not with the Pats.

Friday, February 15, 2008

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Kegerator Edition

Since it's Friday, and the end of the workweek for most people, we think that you should be provided with a post that takes the edge off so to speak. Because it's going to be random and hopefully humorous, that means that it won't always be sports related. It will also pop up at any time on Friday.

So you're an avid sportsfan. You enjoy hitting your favorite sportsbar for some wings and cold beer for big games. For some reason the beer just tastes better. It's colder, crisper and more pure. Even lower quality brews like Busch Light somehow taste decent when they come out of a chilled keg. Well, what if I told you that you can have that same joyous experience everyday in the comfort of your own home?

No I'm not crazy! All you have to do is set yourself up with a piece of equipment that's a standard item at college campuses nationwide. It's a kegerator, and it's fucking awesome! Imagine walking in from a hard day of work, and seeing a tap handle that, when it's pulled, delivers ice cold beer into your favorite frosty mug. Yes, it's possible, and very, very wonderful.

Now, I've used these before, but not in a long time. That was until a friend offered his for basically the $30 deposit that he paid on the almost full keg of Bud Light that came with the kegerator. It was the deal of the century(well, at least the week), and now there's a cold keg of beer sitting in the kitchen ready to be drank at any hour of the day. So, on this Friday afternoon, as the clock ticks closer to 5PM, marvel at the kegerator in all its glory, and be thankful for the technology that has brought us this wonderful device.

Happy Friday!

Goodbye Zach Thomas

The first big move of the Parcells Era occured last night when linebacker Zach Thomas was cut. He's been with the Dolphins for all 12 of his seasons in the NFL, and was at one time a dominant force in the middle of the field. Last season, he was slowed by concussion related problems, and missed quite a few games. As a Dolphins fan I am sad to see him go, but I also understand that ultimately the NFL is a big business and if I want my team to improve some guys have to go. So thanks Zach for the way you handled yourself on and off the field. Your #54 will live on in the memories of Dolphins fans everywhere.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's Never Too Early To Talk Upsets!

Turn on the sirens, we've got an upset watch! Sure, college football is months away(ugh, it feels more like centuries), but it's never too early to talk about the upcoming season. Hell, we even do it during the season, saying things like "just wait until next season, they'll be better(re: Florida's secondary)". Anyway, in taking a quick look at some of the schedules out there one game pops out. It's mostly because of what happened last year, and that might dimish the upset factor a bit, but it still would be an upset in our book(no, not the one with the Tongue Tornado, the other one).

Last year:

Upcoming season:

Yes, that's right, to kick off the 2008 season the defending FBS champs, LSU, will host the defending FCS champs, Appalachian State. We all saw what App State did to Michigan last year, so we know that they can play with the big boys. However, LSU's program is a little ahead of Michigan at this point in time so it will be interesting to see how this game pans out. It's a great upset scenario because it's early in the season, and the Mountaineers will be extremely motivated to knock off another FBS powerhouse. It should be a good game, though a lot can happen between now and then.

Ben Mauk's Eligibility Gets Mauled

Ben Mauk petitioned the NCAA for another year of eligibility, but they "declined" his request. Which is a nice way of saying, "sorry buddy, your days of pulling choice trim and driving around in booster sponsored rides are over".

One sort of has to feel sorry for Mauk because he redshirted his freshman year at Wake Forest, and then missed just about the entire '06 season with a broken arm and dislocated shoulder. He never really had a chance to thrive at Wake, but in his one and only year at Cincinnati he threw for 3,121 yards, 31TD's and 9INT's. Unfortunately, he won't have a chance to build on that success at Cincy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Every Team Has Sore Losers

I saw this a few days after the Super Bowl, but watched it and moved along. Then I was reminded of it by a friend, and figured that I would post it up. Basically, it's a New England Pats' fan that claims the refs jobbed his team of a Super Bowl win and a perfect season by mismanaging the clock in the final 2 minutes of the game.

I can see the point that he's trying to make, and if I were in his shoes, rooting for a team that dominated all season only to fail in the biggest game, I would be looking for excuses as well. However, if this were such a huge issue I think that Bill Belichick and his staff would have caught it while it was occuring, and they would have raised hell. Seriously, they got a first down during the game by having the officials review a punt to see if the Giants had 12 men on the field(they did). This clock issue happened at the most crucial point in the game, and I didn't see anyone on the Patriots team, players or staff, calling it to the attention of the officials. Oh well, he can cry into his Sam Adams all he wants, but it won't erase the "1" from the loss column.

Were the Patriots Robbed of a Super Bowl Win? This conspiracy theorist`s video proves that the referees gave the Giants extra time on the clock. He makes a point.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ocho Cinco In The Orange And Aqua?

Chad Johnson's mouth runs as fast, if not faster than his legs. So I don't put much stock in his apparent lobbying to get traded to Miami. The Bengals have sort of fallen apart, and don't look like nearly the threat to take over the AFC North like they did a few years back. Obviously, Johnson has gone through that decline firsthand, and he's looking to get out of Cincy.

Parcells was able to handle work with Keyshawn Johnson, and he seemed to do "ok" with Terrell Owens. Two of the league's more difficult receivers. There's a shortlist of coaches/personnel guys that could effectively deal with Ocho Cinco on a daily basis, and Parcells is on it. If anyone could get CJ to thrive in South Florida I think it would be Parcells.

Friday, February 08, 2008

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Respect Edition

Since it's Friday, and the end of the workweek for most people, we think that you should be provided with a post that takes the edge off so to speak. Because it's going to be random and hopefully humorous, that means that it won't always be sports related. It will also pop up at any time on Friday.

Been busy, oh so busy. Hence the lack of quality posting today. Don't worry, I'll make up for it eventually. After all, bloggers are like Sisyphus in the sense that we keep writing the posts day in and day out. Anyway, this edition of "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere" is based around "giving props" to the New York Giants. In case you've been sleeping under a rock instead of pushing it uphill, the Giants beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl and ended their perfect season. It was fucking unbelievable, and from now on if you ever see a member of that team out in public please offer to buy them a drink. They deserve it.

Haha Tom, you were right, you didn't score 17 points.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Objects That Were In The Rearview Are Now On The Bench

Poor Jimmy Clausen. First, he has trouble getting enough Dep hair gel in South Bend, and now he has to share the bench with another 5-star quarterback recruit. Yes Jimmy, you thought that Evan Sharpley was your only competition, but Coach Weis has brought in a new guy to challenge you. And he didn't even need a stretch Hummer to get him around.

Our scene is set in a typical greasy spoon type diner. Notre Dame Coach Charlie Weis is sitting on one side of a booth with a plate stacked high with powdered doughnuts sitting in front of him. Across the table from him, sitting on the other side of the booth, is brand new, 5-star quarterback commitment Dayne Crist. As they sit discussing the Notre Dame offense, an obviously irate Jimmy Clausen enters the diner and makes a beeline for the booth.

Clausen: What the fuck is this coach?

Weis: (Wipes powdered sugar from lips, brushes off ND polo shirt)It's your new teammate son. Meet Dayne Crist. I believe that you two grew up near each other.

Clausen: Teammate? But he's a fucking quarterback! Didn't you see me getting my ass kicked out there last season? You should have recruited a stretched Hummer full of offensive linemen for fuck's sake!

Weis: (Tired from eating dougnuts, rests his head on the table)Jimmy, you're still my guy, but we needed an insurance policy in case you got hurt. I mean, those hits do add up over time. Just ask Drew Bledsoe. Don't worry Jimmy, you and Evan can battle it out in the spring, and I know that you'll give it your all.

Clausen: Look, I told you to call me J-Claus. You know, like "Santa Claus" except I bring fucking wins to everyone.

Crist: (In a muffled tone)Guess they all got a shitload of coal last year then.

Clausen: What's that? Nevermind. Anyway, look at this douche, he's not even fit to carry my man-purse full of hair styling products. Look at these spikes! Sonic the Hedgehog would give his little, left hedgehog testicle for some shit like this!

Weis: (his breathing has become labored, and he's turning a bit pale)Listen J-Claus, or whatever gay shit you want to be called, I'm the coach and I'm running this show. So just calm down. Why don't you throw on some "Rebel Yell", and pretend you're Billy Idol?

Clausen: I don't listen to punk shit coach. I roll straight westside style, and you two are lucky I'm not in here bustin' caps. But don't worry, you haters aren't gonna keep me down. I'm heading out right now to do some practicing, and come spring I'm gonna smoke all the pretenders. J-Claus is outta here.

With that, Jimmy Clausen heads for the door, giving a middle finger salute to the diner patrons that have turned around to see what the commotion was. Meanwhile, Coach Weis has apparently slipped into a coma.

Crist: Coach? Coach are you ok? Ah fuck, you mean I have to deal with that whiny, crybaby bitch by myself? Oh well, I'm sure the offensive line is tired of him complaining. San Diego State might not be that good, but one well timed "missed" block and I'll be leading the Irish in no time!

To be continued...

The Gators Don't Rebuild, They Just Reload

As a follow-up to their #2 and #1 ranked classes in 2006 and 2007 respectively, the Florida Gators put together the #3 ranked recruiting class yesterday according to I'm guessing that adding to the talent that was already there produced a "Carlito's Way" reaction with Coach Meyer.

The Gators raked in the most 5-star commitments, including defensive lineman Omar Hunter who should help UF's d-line with getting more pressure up the middle, and "athlete" Will Hill who has the ability to play great at the safety position and contribute on offense. They also added some very talented 4-star defensive backs. Which was a position where the Gators didn't get very consistent play last season. One of them, Dee Finley, resembles, dare I say it, a taller Reggie F'n Nelson, but with the same athletic ability and big-hit capability.

Combining Hill and Finley with Major Wright and the other DB's already in Gainesville should help shore up that unit immediately.

Overall, the Gators put together another great recruiting class, and I can't wait to see what they are capable of on the field.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Does Terrelle Pryor's Decision Really Mean That Much?

Hey, it's National Signing Day! That's right college football fan, your favorite team is about to be restocked with the best talent available. Well, unless you're a Tennessee fan, then you get whatever happens to slip through the claws of other SEC teams as it falls to #34. Anyway, what's going to happen with Terrelle Pryor? Will it be Michigan? Ohio State? Another school that says he's interested just to strike fear into the heart of its opponent? Does it really matter?

In all honesty, like Orson over at EDSBS has stated, you're basically tying the future performance of your team to how well an 18-year old matures and adapts to the system that your coaching staff runs. There is no accounting for injuries, arrests or firings. The rankings that these kids, because that's really what they are, have been given have come against teams that included some players as good as them(probably even some that were better), and a number of kids that aren't nearly talented as they are.

Sure, they might have played well in an all-star game, but that's just one game. The season is a collection of "one games", and the peformance of your #1 recruit, the one that's supposedly going to resurrect the program(*cough*Jimmy Clausen*cough*), could vary widely.

Let's take a look at the top 5 recruits as rated by over the past five years:

Jimmy Clausen(QB), Notre Dame: 10 games, 56.3% comp., 1254yds, 7TD's, 6INT's
Joe McKnight(RB), USC: 12 games, 5.7ypc, 540yds, 3TD's, 23rec., 203yds, 1TD
Eric Berry(DB), Tennessee: 14 games, 86 tot. tckls., 5INT's, 1TD
Ryan Mallet(QB), Michigan: 11 games, 43.3%comp., 892yds, 7TD's, 5INT's
Carlos Dunlap(DE), Florida: 12 games, 1 sack, 7 tot. tckls.

Obviously, this class can't be judged too much since they've only been on the field for a year. A lot of how they performed depended on what type of situation they stepped into. I.E. veteran quarterback, running back by committee, etc. However, you can see that all of them participated in quite a few games, and that some peformed well at their position, while others struggled.

Percy Harvin(WR), Florida
Andre Smith(OL), Alabama
Chris Wells(RB), Ohio State
Gerald McCoy(DT), Oklahoma
Sergio Kindle(LB), Texas

For the most part, this is another top five that has played well. Percy Harvin won the '06 SEC Freshman of the Year award, and was named the MVP of the '06 SEC Championship Game. He also helped Florida win the National Championship in '06. Andre Smith has been an outstanding performer on 'Bama's o-line, and has played in all 26 games. He recorded a team high 62 knockdowns as a freshman, and continues to improve. Chris Wells has played in two National Championship games in two years. He became the full-time starter in '07, and responded with 1,609yds(222 against Michigan) and 15TD's. Gerald McCoy redshirted in 2006, but performed well in '07 and won the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year award. Sergio Kindle has seen action on special teams, and has had limited duty as a strongside linebacker. Prior to the '07 season he was arrested for driving while intoxicated, and missed the first three games due to suspension.

Derrick Williams(ATH), Penn State
Patrick Turner(WR), Southern Cal
Eugene Monroe(OL), Virginia
Melvin Alaeze(DE), Maryland
Rey Maualuga(LB), Southern Cal

An interesting top 5 class that has some solid performers, and one recruit that probably could have been as good as the rest. Derrick Williams played well at a variety of positions before his freshman season ended in '05 because of a broken arm. He was named to the freshman Big-10 All-Conference team. In '06-'07, he played wide receiver, but managed to put up only 440 yards and 1 TD. In '07-'08, Williams had 529 yards receiving and 3 TD's. Patrick Turner spent his first two seasons mostly as a fill-in, but got the chance to start in '07. He responded with 569 yards receiving and 3 TD's. Eugene Monroe has been a solid contributor on the offensive line for Virginia. He's played in every game up to this point, and was an honorable mention selection for the All-ACC team in '07. Rey Maualuga has been an outstanding linebacker for Southern Cal. This past season, he registered 79 total tackles and 6 sacks. He was an All-Pac-10 Second Team selection in '06, a First Team selection in '07 and was the defensive MVP of the 2008 Rose Bowl.

Sadly, this class also includes a recruit that was highly sought after, but off the field issues prevented him from excelling. The first sign of trouble for Melvin Alaeze came when he his scholarship was revoked by Maryland for drug related offenses. It looked like he was going to get another chance with Illinois, but then he was arrested for robbery and attempted murder. He was sentenced this past fall to eight years in prison because of those charges.

Adrian Peterson(RB), Oklahoma
Ted Ginn(DB), Ohio State
Early Doucet(WR), LSU
Rhett Bomar(QB), Oklahoma
Keith Rivers(LB), Southern Cal

A top 5 that has had some great individual performers, and a recruit that only lasted two seasons.

Not much needs to be said about Adrian Peterson. He finished with a total of 4,045 rushing yards at Oklahoma(in just three years that weren't even full ones due to injury), and broke the NCAA freshman rushing record in 2004. He was the #7 pick in the '07 NFL Draft. Ted Ginn, Jr. saw limited time as a freshman, but moved into a starting role as a sophomore in '05. He finished the season with 803 yards and 5TD's. As a junior, had 781 yards receiving and 9TD's. He was selected #9 in the '07 NFL Draft. Early Doucet is another receiver that saw limited action as a freshman, but played a much bigger part of the offense as he moved along. In his sophomore season in '05, Doucet finished with 389 yards receiving and 5TD's. Doucet's junior season saw him finish with 772 yards and 8TD's. And as a senior in '07, he tallied 525 yards and 5TD's, eventhough he missed four games. Keith Rivers is another of the '04 class that contributed all four years. He played sparingly as a freshman, but racked up 35, 49 and 43 solo tackles throughout his next three seasons. He was Southern Cal's leading tackler as a junior, and lead them in solo tackles this past season.

Rhett Bomar was much hyped prospect that was supposed to team with Adrian Peterson, and form a dynamic duo. He redshirted his freshman year in 2004, and struggled at times during the 2005 season. Though, he did manage to finish the year with 2,018 passing yards, a completion percentage of 54.2%, 10TD's and 10INT's. He was also the MVP of that year's Holiday Bowl. Unfortunately, during the summer of '06 it was discovered that he was paid for work that he did not complete, and he was subsequently dismissed from the Oklahoma football team. Bomar did not play football in 2006, though he did play in 2007 for Sam Houston State. He passed for 2,209 yards, 10TD's and 6INT's with a completion percentage of 59.1% last season for the Bearkats.

Ernie Sims(LB), FSU
Reggie Bush(RB), Southern Cal
Whitney Lewis(ATH), Southern Cal
Andre Caldwell(WR), Florida
Kyle Wright(QB), Miami

Another interesting class that has some outstanding athletes, and some that never lived up to the expectations that were placed upon them.

Ernie Sims started contributing as a freshman, and never looked back. In three years, he racked up 200 total tackles, and 7 sacks. He was chosen #9 in the 2006 NFL Draft. Obviously, Reggie Bush was an oustanding performer for Southern Cal. As a freshman he racked up 1,331 all-purpose yards, and 7 total TD's. As a sophomore in 2004, he built on a solid first season by amassing 2,330 all-purpose yards and 16 total TD's. In 2005, he really excelled and finished the season with 1,740 rushing yards(just part of his 2,890 all-purpose yards) and 16 rushing TD's. He won the Walter Camp Award, Doak Walker Award and the Heisman Trophy. Andre Caldwell was a solid performer for Florida during his tenure. As a freshman, he tallied 174 yards receiving, and lead the team in kick returns. In his sophomore season, he saw increased playing time, and responded with 689 receiving yards and 4TD's. He received a medical redshirt because of a broken leg in 2005, and sat out most of the season. However, he returned in '06, and finished with 577 yards receiving and 6TD's. As a senior in 2007, he finished with 761 yards receiving and 7TD's.

Whitney Lewis and Kyle Wright on the other hand, never really lived up to the hype surrounding their recruitment. Lewis didn't see much playing time as a freshman in 2003 because of a crowded backfield at Southern Cal. He was forced to redshirt during the 2004 season because he was academically ineligible. He returned in 2005, but was a backup receiver. Fed up with his lack of playing time, Lewis transferred to Northern Iowa State. In 2006, he compiled 360 rushing yards and 3TD's in seven games. In 2007, he managed 218 yards receiving and 1TD. Wright redshirted in 2003, his freshman season, and was a backup in 2004. In 2005, he took over the starter's role, and finished with 2,403 passing yards, 18TD's and 10INT's. Though, he struggled against the stronger opponents that he faced. In 2006, Wright struggled again before having his season ended by a thumb injury. Before being injured, he put up 1,655 passing yards, 8TD's and 7INT's. In 2007, Wright split time with Kirby Freeman, and amassed 1,747 passing yards, 12TD's and 14INT's. Though, he was never able to become the next leader of "Quarterback U".

So, to answer the question about Terrelle Pryor, yes, it does matter where he goes. Does his commitment guarantee a national title? Of course not. However, as a top 5 ranked recruit he does have a good shot at making a significant impact. Though, the difficulty of the quarterback position makes it a bit harder to achieve a high level of success than some of the other ones. In that respect, I would advise the fanbase of whatever school Pryor signs with to be cautiously optimistic, and hope that he doesn't receive improper benefits, get charged with a crime, get injured or struggle beyond what they're prepared to tolerate.

Start Up The Wambulance, Urban Meyer Has Been Acquitted

That's right, Florida Gators Coach Urban Meyer has been found not guilty of murder...armed robbery...arson...making impermissible phone calls to a recruit and his girlfriend. Whew, with all of the hatred bubbling around the Interwebs regarding Coach Meyer it was difficult to track down exactly what he had done.

Yesterday, Coach Meyer was "cleared of any wrongdoing in the recruitment of junior college receiver Carl Moore and gymnast Maranda Smith". There had been allegations that Meyer helped recruit Smith, Carl Moore's girlfriend, to be a gymnast at Florida so that Moore would also want to head to Gainesville.

There was also speculation that Meyer had made improper contact through a phone call(though, not in the Chris Hansen sense) to Moore during Tim Tebow's acceptance of the Heisman Trophy. You know, something like "Hey Carl, don't worry about racking up stats, you're a receiver. Everyone knows that I always get the receivers the ball. Running backs are for blocking, and carrying Tebow's jockstrap(little known fact, it takes three of them and an offensive lineman to do it)."

While it is nice to see Meyer exonerated, I'm sure it will just increase the level of hostility from rival fanbases. I'm not sure of the exact moment when he became such a lightning rod for spite, though the perceived BCS title game lobbying and comments about seniors after the Michigan loss surely didn't detract from it. However, I think it mostly has to do with the success that he's achieved in the relatively short amount of time that he's been in Gainesville. People hated Steve Spurrier because he was successful, and didn't mind reminding you. They didn't hate Ron Zook, well because he just wasn't all that successful. They do hate Urban Meyer because he's brought Florida back to the top, and stirred up all those feelings of jealousy and malevolence that Spurrier gave to them years ago.

Oh well, he's turned into one of those "you love him when he's on your sideline, and hate him if he's on the other guy's" type of coach, and that doesn't really bother me. Hopefully there's enough room in that wambulance for all the whiners that are sure to come out of the woodwork following this ruling.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Their Blackface Should Make F1 Fans Red-Faced

Obviously you can't judge an entire group by the actions of a few of its members. Especially if those few act in a way that is blatantly ignorant, and hopefully against the ideals of the majority of the group. In any case, F1 fans can't be pleased with the way that some of their brethren treated Lewis Hamilton in Barcelona.

"Lewis Hamilton says he expected a backlash from Spanish Formula One fans following his falling-out with former team-mate Fernando Alonso, but he has been shocked by the level of abuse he received on Saturday.

The McLaren driver, 23, was subjected to racist comments and was faced with a group of spectators wearing wigs, dark make-up and t-shirts with the slogan 'Hamilton's Family' on the front during pre-season testing near Barcelona. And although the Briton insisted he still loves being in Spain, he admitted he was not prepared for what occured at the Circuit de Catalunya, in Montmelo."

Apparently, fans of Fernando Alonso believe that Hamilton cost him a shot at winning a third straight F1 world title last year. Instead of booing him, or crafting a witty sign displaying their dislike, they decided to dress up in full-on blackface and yell racist remarks. As if that would somehow cause Hamilton's driving skills to suffer, and make them look like genius superfans. It sure made them look like something, but I don't think "genius" is the right word.

And all this time I thought that NASCAR would be the racing league with fans most likely to overtly display some type of racism. Who knew that the open-wheel guys and gals would venture into that territory? Actually, the saddest part is that it looks like the parents have encouraged their child to participate, and that should draw the ire of more than just the F1 fans.

Dan Henning Returns To The Dolphins

Dan Henning as been hired as the new offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins. He returns to South Florida after having been the quarterbacks and receivers coach from 1979-1980.

More recently, Henning was the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers from 2002-2006. Under his guidance, the Panthers total offense ranking improved, and gained its highest rank of #13 in 2004. Prior to his stint in Carolina, Henning served as the offensive coordinator for the New York Jets from 1998-2000 where he worked with Dolphins V.P. of Football Operations Bill Parcells.

Personally, I think that Henning is a talented offensive coordinator, but I'm a bit wary that he was out of coaching for the 2007 season. I'm also a bit nervous with Bill Parcells bringing in so many guys that worked "for" him, but might not be the best for the job. Henning is 65, and he's not getting any younger. And while his Panthers squads performed decently, reaching the Super Bowl in 2003, I wouldn't necessarily consider him innovative. Though, with the way that the Dolphins have performed in recent years they need to achieve success any way possible in the shortest amount of time. Hopefully Henning can get them pointed in the right direction before he succumbs to the retirement lifestyle in South Florida like many of his peers have.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Welcome To University of Phoenix Stadium. Where Underdogs Win.

Last night, after witnessing a Super Bowl that rivals any I've seen, I realized that Glendale, AZ has been particularly kind to "underdogs". For some reason, when they face their opponent in University of Phoenix Stadium things come together and they pull out an improbable victory.

2007 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Boise State entered the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma as 8.5 point underdogs, but many people thought they would have a difficult time even covering that. However, the Broncos built an 18 point lead early in the third quarter, and then were able to hold off the Sooners in overtime after a big comeback. If nothing else, we all remember the "Statue of Liberty" play that Boise State used to successfully convert a 2 point attempt for the overtime win. It was an amazing ending to an improbable underdog victory.

2007 BCS Championship Game
Just a week after the Fiesta Bowl, another team entered as an 8 point underdog, and had seemingly been written off by many people before the game even began. The Florida Gators took on the Ohio State Buckeyes, and used what they perceived as a lack of respect to motivate them for four quarters of football. While a number of "experts" appeared ready to hand Jim Tressel and his Buckeyes the BCS title, the Florida Gators destroyed their underdog status enroute to a 41-14 win.

2008 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
For the second year in a row, the Oklahoma Sooners entered the Fiesta Bowl as the team favored to win. They faced a West Virginia team that had lost their head coach just 16 days before the game, and were 6.5 point underdogs. The Mountaineers paid no attention to their underdog tag, and blasted the Sooners by a score of 48-28.

Super Bowl XLII
Possibly the best illustration of an underdog achieving success in University of Phoenix Stadium. The New York Giants came into the game as 12 point underdogs, but the divide between them and the New England Patriots was supposedly much greater than that. The Patriots had finished the regular season a perfect 16-0, and defeated their two playoff opponents to push that to 18-0. Now, they were all but guaranteed to win the Super Bowl, and become only the second team in NFL history to finish the season undefeated and win the championship game. They had Brady, Belichick, Moss and a host of others, and they had already beaten the Giants in the regular season. However, the Giants, like the championship teams before them, dismissed their underdog label and pulled off what many believed to be impossible just hours before the clock ticked down to zero. They defeated the might Patriots by a score of 17-14, and added to the idea that University of Phoenix Stadium is a place where the underdog can achieve the unimaginable.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Down Go The Patriots!

Forgive me if this post gets a bit incoherent. It's fueled by alcohol and Queens of the Stone Age. Anyway, this was the best Super Bowl I can ever remember.

Seriously, we just saw Eli Manning grow up before our very eyes. Did you see him avoid that sack and bomb it to Tyree? That was a move that elite quarterbacks make in the biggest game of their life. And he did it. That's right, Eli Manning performed like an elite quarterback tonight.

And you know who he can thank for that? Bill Belichick and the Patriots. He played well enough against them in their first meeting in week 17 to have the Giants in position to win. Eventhough they lost that game, his confidence had reached new heights and he displayed a new set of skills throughout the playoffs. Thanks to the Pats, he was able to win three road games enroute to getting to a ring.

That's right, Eli Manning is a Super Bowl champion. Throw your ridicule out the window because he overcame anything you can write or say, and beat the "unstoppable" New England Patriots(I guess Citizen got it right after all.)

And as a Dolphins fan, I congratulate Eli and his teammates the way that I would if Miami had won the Super Bowl. They beat our hated division rivals, and kept the '72 Dolphins' perfect record intact.

Sure, New England might have gone 18-0, but what do they have to show for it? An AFC East title? And AFC Championship? Wow. Undefeated and that's what you're rewarded with? Sorry motherfuckers, but you got rolled in the biggest game of the season and that's what you'll be remembered for.

And you know what?

Even if Mastercard doesn't make a commercial commemorating it, it's still fucking priceless.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Super Bowl Wars: The Evil Empire Strikes Back(Part 2)

When we last left our hero, Eli Manwalker, he was engaged in a difficult battle with the powerful Darth Brady.

Darth Brady: You are beaten. It is useless to resist! Don't let yourself be destroyed like Obi-Wan Coughlin has.

Brady continues his assault against Manwalker. Beating him all over the field. Manwalker is battered, bruised and demoralized, but he refuses to give up.

Manwalker: I'll never give up! I know that I'm capable of defeating you!

Darth Brady: If you only knew the power of the darkside. Obi-Wan never told you what really happened to your father.

Manwalker: He told me enough. He told me that you killed him!

Darth Brady: No, Eli I am your father.

Manwalker can't believe it. His whole world has just been turned upside down.

Manwalker: That's impossible!

Brady: No, it's not. My seed is extremely powerful. Capable of bridging generations and galaxies. Plus, it doesn't help that I don't use a sheath when wielding my wookie.

Manwalker, a bit delirious from the news, decides to play it safe, and fight another day. He escapes the clutches of Darth Brady, but knows that he will soon have to face him again.

Manwalker gets away in the Meadowlands Eagle, but Darth Brady soon gives chase.

Brady: Eli.

Manwalker: Father.

Brady: Son, come with me. Come over to the darkside.

Manwalker: Obi-Wan Coughlin, why didn't you tell me?

Just as it looks like Darth Brady and his team are about to finally destroy Eli Manwalker, the Meadowlands Eagle gets its drive going and Manwalker is able to escape.

Manwalker and his team have been able to battle and escape the clutches of Darth Brady and the Evil Empire. But will they be able to ultimately achieve success? Tune into our next installment of Super Bowl Wars to find out!

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - QOTSA Edition

Since it's Friday, and the end of the workweek for most people, we think that you should be provided with a post that takes the edge off so to speak. Because it's going to be random and hopefully humorous, that means that it won't always be sports related. It will also pop up at any time on Friday.

I must say that thanks to Big Daddy Drew's Jamboroo posts on Deadspin, I've been rediscovering why I like Queens Of The Stone Age(QOTSA for those of us "in the know") so much. Obviously, they have a number of kickass, melt your face, destroy your eardrums, break your skull songs that are capable of leaving you in a bloody, battered heap in the corner. However, one song that I particularly enjoy is "Mosquito Song" from the "Songs For The Deaf" CD. It's not a harsh rock tune, but there is something eerie about it. It becomes even creepier when you read the lyrics.

Happy Friday!

Super Bowl Wars: The Evil Empire Strikes Back

Darth Brady, upset with his performance against Eli Manwalker and Han Plaxico, has decided to strike back with a vengeance. In the meantime, Manwalker and Han Plaxico are diagraming their next course of action. While doing so Manwalker feels faint, like the pressure to perform has become too much. That's when he hears Obi-Wan Coughlin speaking to him.

Obi-Wan: Eli..Eli..

Eli: Coach?

Obi-Wan: You have to keep your head in the game son. Quit staring at your wristwatch! Have faith in your training and trust your teammates.

Just then, Han Plaxico seemingly arrives out of nowhere and helps bail out Eli Manwalker yet again.

Soon, Darth Brady and his team engage Eli Manwalker, Han Plaxico, Strahbacca and their teammates in battle. Though, Darth Brady and the Foxborough Stormtroopers appear to be much stronger and unbeatable, Manwalker and his crew are able to achieve some success and frustrate their opponents.

Eventually, Darth Brady's commander, Emperor Belichick who is also a powerful Sith Lord, has a few choice words with him.

Darth Brady: What is the plan, master?

Emperor Belichick: There is a great disturbance on the field.

Darth Brady: I have felt it.

Belichick: Our new enemy has become powerful. His ability to utilize The Force efficiently has become evident. Is there any way we can shut him down?

Darth Brady: He will submit to defeat or die!

With that, Emperor Belichick leaves Darth Brady to continue his battle.

Meanwhile, Eli Manwalker seeks assistance. He still hasn't become fully confident in his abilities, and needs some help realizing that he can perform on the field.

Eli: Holy shit! Wellington Yarda? I thought you were dead?

Yarda: Wrong you were. I've just moved onto a different plane.

Eli: Yarda, I need help. I know that I'm capable of special things, but my lack of confidence dooms me. Well that, and the ridicule that I have to endure.

Yarda: No attention must you pay to those fucksticks young Manwalker. Look where your abilities have gotten you now. Able to defeat the Evil Empire you are.

Eli: I know that I'm capable, but I always find a way to screw things up.

Yarda: Screw this up you better not, or I'll shove this walking stick up your ass.

Eli: You're right Yarda, I can't screw this up. No one is expecting me and my teammates to win, so all the pressure is on my opponents. Thanks for helping me realize my true potential.

Yarda: Humiliate Darth Brady and Emperor Belichick you must. Help the '72 Dolphins you will.

And with that, Yarda leaves Manwalker so that he may fulfill his destiny.

Soon thereafter, Manwalker engages Darth Brady in battle yet again. While Darth Brady seems to be much more skilled and powerful, Manwalker is determined to put up a good fight.

Brady: The Force is with you young Manwalker. But you are not an SB winning Jedny just yet.

Manwalker and Brady continue to battle. This time, Manwalker is able to move freely and is consistently achieving success.

Brady: You have learned much, young one.

Manwalker: You'll find that I'm full of surprises!

Brady: Your destiny lies with me Manwalker. Obi-Wan Coughlin knew this to be true.

With that, Brady leads an attack that makes Manwalker weak. It's apparent that he's still the stronger of the two.

Brady: That was too easy. Perhaps you're not as strong as Emperor Belichick had believed.

Just then Manwalker leads his own counterattack that rivals anything he's ever done.

Brady: Most impressive. Obi-Wan Coughlin has taught you well. You've controlled your fear, now release your anger.

Manwalker and Brady continue to battle. Will Manwalker be able to defeat the powerful Darth Brady? Find out in part 2 of Super Bowl Wars: The Evil Empire Strikes Back.