Sunday, January 31, 2010

Before JMays posts about it...

So Rex Ryan was in Miami yesterday at Herschel Walker's MMA debut and with Miami fans expectedly booing him, he took the time out to acknowledge them a little bit.

He even took the time out to personally acknowledge a couple of other Miami fans. If you'd like to see the salute he gave, just click here. Link name might be a further give away of what you're going to see (it's censored on that site though!)

Now I know many people would call it tasteless and classless. And in some aspects it is. But he's at an MMA event. And it was on Showtime, so he's helping give the people what they paid large amounts of money for...entertainment. Also, would you really expect anything else out of Rex at this point? It's just what he does.

Friday, January 29, 2010


By Your Athletic Supporter, Jack Strap

Brett FAVRE is NOT & has never been MY FAVRE-ITE or Favorite PLAYER, but after the Vikes went down in The Big Easy, I was a bit surprised by the degree of hater-ism displayed towards him. For example, right after the game I saw the following from some old high school classmates:

Judy Tomko Dowdalls Saint are in.... good bye Mr. Favre, here goes the retirement again and again and again..... GO SAINTS!

January 24 at 10:20pm · ·
Lynn Dettra Bozzelli
Lynn Dettra Bozzelli
wonder what team he'll try to worm his way onto next year?
January 24 at 10:31pm
Judy Tomko Dowdalls
Judy Tomko Dowdalls
well we will have to wait till after training camp.....
January 24 at 10:33pm
Lynn Dettra Bozzelli
Lynn Dettra Bozzelli
yeah, thats when he usually gets in his good cry.
January 24 at 10:34pm
Judy Tomko Dowdalls
Judy Tomko Dowdalls
ya know i dont like the iggles, but, if he does retire.... McNabb to Minnesota? Childress is there?? but then again, along as reid is coach iggles lose.
January 24 at 10:36pm
Glenn Miller
Glenn Miller
you gals are vicious; To be fair Favre took some mean hits & just kept getting up & almost throwing them to the Super Bowl
January 24 at 10:45pm ·
Judy Tomko Dowdalls
Judy Tomko Dowdalls
Paalleessse, Bears fan here, tired of him. he needs to go home to his wifie poo and mom.
January 24 at 10:46pm
Lynn Dettra Bozzelli
Lynn Dettra Bozzelli
Brett Favre just needs to retire already Glenn...give it up, take a rest, go back to Mississippi.
January 24 at 10:53pm
Rick White
Rick White
Favre was faking those injuries yesterday. The Old Gunslinger lost another game because he's a selfish, overrated and reckless QB. Isn't there a Facebook group I can join out there called Brett Favre Haters?
January 25 at 10:11am
Lynn Dettra Bozzelli
Lynn Dettra Bozzelli
Rick, I bet we could find a BF Haters page. There's a page for everything else
January 25 at 11:53am
Judy Tomko Dowdalls
Judy Tomko Dowdalls
I'm in and I know my hubby is in, he is the biggest hater.
January 25 at 1:54pm
Judy joined the group Sports Fountainhead.
Then shortly after Judy joined the Sports Fountainhead as noted above, her & the others joined Facebook's "Brett Favre Haters" group. I joined too just to see what the members were posting & they were fittingly flinging it at the gunslinger.

The BF Hate also showed up before & after the game in this very Blog by our Founder Joey Mays "Hayes" (reference Major League) and you can read all about it below.

Although not a full-fledged FAVRE Hater, I first started getting annoyed by John Madden's "love affair" with Brett, although then really enjoyed it when Frank Caliendo entertainingly mocked it. Then of course the whole "retirement" thing back-and-forth with the Packers was annoying and I unbiasedly felt that FAVRE handled it all very irritatingly. On to the Jets & the way he finished up there was a fiasco, so I guess I can kind of understand how that would build some hatred. Finally this year, he came back out of "retirement" yet again to stick it to the Packers by leading the Vikings to a Super Bowl victory before his fitting "gun-slinging" interception ended that & kicked off a final round ("he's not coming back"--reference end of "Point Break") of hate that may not subside until he's elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Best. Facebook Group. Ever.

Join me, won't you?

Hat tip: Jack Strap

Football Outsiders Believes Former Nittany Lion Hali Deserved Pro Bowl Selection

The Pro Bowl has become a farce, especially now that it's a week before the Super Bowl meaning a bunch of players fore-go the chance to participate because they have a slightly more important game the following Sunday.

Though it may be a meaningless game, selections are still considered important to a players legacy. Football Outsiders addresses who got snubbed and who wasn't deserving. It's done via ESPN and is INSIDER only.

The only player of interest for readers of this blog is their stance on former Penn State DE Tamba Hali. Bill Barnwell, of Football Outsiders, had this to say:

Tamba Hali, OLB, Kansas City Chiefs -- Who, you ask? Hali bounced back after a poor 2008, even though the rest of the defense around him is still mostly miserable. Hali's 8.5 sacks don't sound like a Pro Bowler's total, but the rest of the Chiefs only combined for 13.5 sacks more. In addition, Hali picked up 20.5 quarterback hurries, an elite total and a good indicator that his sack numbers will increase next season. The idea that Tennessee Titans end Kyle Vanden Bosch (three sacks, 12 hurries) made it to the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement despite playing essentially the same position as Hali is ludicrous.
I won't quote the article anymore for fear of the ESPN lawyers. But that's some good praise for one of the real "good guys" in the NFL. Nice to hear he rebounded in 2009 and has a lot of potential for 2010. Good luck, Tamba.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Voice of the Vikings Isn't Too High on Favre at the Moment

Have a listen.

Yeah, Paul Allen of KFAN is (rightfully) upset.

--Paul Allen, KFAN (Twin Cities), following Favre's 4th quarter INT

(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

What a terrible decision, one Jets and Packers fans are all too familiar with. And how does Brett respond?

By (supposedly) hanging them up, of course! Third time's a charm... I hope.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Colts, Saints Set for Showdown in Miami

Congratulations to the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints, the AFC and NFC Champions, respectively, for the 2009 NFL season. This will be New Orleans' first appearance in the Super Bowl.

Also, congratulations to the Jets and Vikings on putting together great seasons as well. Though I have to say for personal reasons I'm glad you lost today. Sorry, but it is true. Still you both had wonderful seasons and should be applauded for that.

I have officially finished 1-9 in the 2009-2010 playoffs, prediction wise. I'm telling you people, it's hard to prognosticate as well as I do.

Super Bowl XLIV will be epic, as two potent offenses will face off with the ability to put points on the board on every play from scrimmage. I won't do any predicting now; we have two weeks to do that!

During those 2 weeks I expect plenty of coverage of what the media believes is the most important thing after these games - will Favre retire...again?

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Bye bye, Favre!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Picks for 2010 NFL Playoffs: Conference Championships

Nope, I didn't get to 0-8 thanks to the Cardinals Cowboys Chargers Colts; 1-7 will have to do. Alas, there are 2 more games to pick! Onward for my 2009-2010 Conference Championship selections...

#5 Jets @ #1 Colts - Seriously, WTF?!?! How is this possible?!?! I get the Bengals, but the Chargers too? There is something that wants the Jets in this position, but what is it? AND WHY? Regardless of those philosophical musings, the Jets are here and only the Colts stand in their way of the freakin' Super Bowl. I've been picking against them for a few weeks now. It's time to end that. I picked against them because, well, I HATE them and believe they're overrated. And they are. That's not different. They're 9-7 regular season record says that. As does their subpar QB. But they're playing hot at the right time, just like a few past Wild Card teams. Props to them. And of course, as the cliche goes, defense wins championships (a good running game doesn't hurt, either). Sorry, Peyton. These Jets are soaring - all the way to Miami.

PREDICTION: Jets 17, Colts 13

#2 Vikings @ #1 Saints - I hate Brett Favre. Hate. HATE. So seeing him do this again is aggravating. I don't want him to accomplish anything more. It burns me up inside. That's why I need the Saints to win. I can't handle Favre in another Super Bowl. I don't want him in one again, let alone to win the whole damn thing. The Vikings looked great last week against an overmatched Cowboys team, which surprised most people. Can they do it against a supposedly stronger opponent? On their field? In a city that has never seen a Super Bowl-caliber team (other than when they're hosting it)? Won't happen, right? Well I'm going to say - much like the Jets/Colts game - that whoever I want to win, won't. Damn, damn, damn!

PREDICTION: Vikings 28, Saints 24

If my predictions come true then I'll go undefeated in a round for the first time. However it will also cause this to happen...

Me if the Jets AND Vikings win on Sunday.

And I won't be watching.

However, if I go 1-1 or, better yet, 0-2 (hey, it's VERY likely based on the past 2 weeks) then I will be very happy.

Go Colts. And Saints.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Conference Title Game Picks

AFC Title Game

Well there my Jets are, actually in this thing. I still can't believe it. But I know they're not there by accident. They've got one heck of a squad and their confidence is soaring sky high right now. I struggle to pick against them because it seems like they just have "it." Similar to the Steelers/Giants making the run from Wild Card team to Super Bowl Champs a few years ago. Now Manning is the best QB ever. Period. I won't even try to debate that. For the Jets to win this, they need to do a decent job of bottling up Dallas Clark and force at least one big turnover. That coupled with a big special teams play (perhaps Brad Smith running another one back in Indy?) will see the Jets through. Hey, why stop picking them now?

J! E! T! S! Jets! Jets! Jets! 19 Colts 17...if that's not the score, its gonna be 16-7 Jets. Now that would be something.

NFC Title Game

I honestly don't really care about this game. It's hard to care when your team is in the other game. Only way I'll end up caring about it is if the Jets win the Sunday opener. Guess I gotta pick it anyway. Both teams blew out their opponent last week which makes it a hard call. Both also have explosive offenses with solid Ds. Call it a cop out but I'm going with the Saints solely because they're the home team.

Saints 27 Vikings 20

Thursday, January 21, 2010


By Your Athletic Supporter, Jack Strap

So I'm coming off a 3-1 prognosticating week with the J-E-T-S Jets as the only blemish--besides the Sports Fountainhead's "E", who had the Jets last week? So now it's on to the Big Time--The AFC & NFC CHAMPIONSHIP Games:

Jets @ Colts
Remember 1969 when "Broadway" Joe Namath guaranteed a CHAMPIONSHIP victory over the Colts? OK, some of you weren't born yet, but you've heard about that right? Another interesting parallel from 1969 was that Buddy Ryan was then a Jets Coach and this week it's his son Rex whose leading his Jets vs. the Colts. Maybe all this is telling me something about who I should pick? Could "Hollywood" Mark Sanchez be the modern day "Broadway" Joe? Nah, Colts 20 Jets 10

Vikings @ Saints
Remember 2008 Week 5 MNF when the Vikings ventured into New Orleans? Come on, you were all living then. Let me refresh you, Minnesota won 30-27 on a FG with 13 seconds left. Noteworthy was that this game was the first in NFL history that had a combination of a blocked field goal, a TD pass by a non-quarterback (Chester Taylor), two field goals of beyond 50 yards and two punt return touchdowns (by Reggie Bush). The Vikes prevailed then despite having Gus Frerotte at QB & Andrian Peterson only rushing for 32 yards on 21 carries. So I predict in this NFC CHAMPIONSHIP Game that Brett Favre will make Vikings fans forget about Gus Frerotte (I'm really out on a limb there) & Adrian Peterson will run for over 100 yards (that sounds like an easy prediction, but he hasn't run for 100 since Week 10 vs. Lions), and Drew Brees' Saints will still come marching into the Super Bowl with a 28-27 victory.

And remember, you heard it right here in the Sports Fountainhead.

Book - DRAFT SEASON: Four Months on the clock

I know I focus a lot on the NFL draft around here, especially the past 2 years. This year will be lighter nut I assure you I'll have a mock or two up eventually, plus a breakdown of the Dolphins and maybe a few other teams.

While you're on the edge of your seat waiting for that stuff, why not read a book?

DRAFT SEASON: Four Months on the clock senior writer Bobby Deren presents DRAFT SEASON, the thrilling story of four young football players as they prepare for the bewildering, multi-million dollar extravaganza that is the NFL Draft. Morgan Trent, Kenny McKinley, Frantz Joseph and Lydon Murtha come from different backgrounds, but are united in their determination to make it to the NFL. Once they have played their final down of college football, their eyes immediately turn toward the NFL Draft. Deren followed these four players from the time they finished their college careers all the way through the 2009 NFL Draft. DRAFT SEASON takes you inside the everyday battles each player endures as he tries to achieve his lifelong goal of playing in the NFL.

DRAFT SEASON is the first book that enables readers to live the experience, as these four young men – physically powerful but often emotionally fragile – experience a tumultuous four months from collegiate dominance, through the first tinges of career anxiety as they seek out unimagined wealth and a place in the National Football League. DRAFT SEASON exposes readers to the players on a personal level during this stressful period, to understand the world as they saw it – to experience the simmering tension that only a twenty-two year old vying for legitimacy with a billion dollar franchise can know. DRAFT SEASON also features insight from current NFL coaches, general managers, former NFL coaches and some of the nation’s most renowned NFL Draft experts in addition to a host of current NFL players. Learn more about DRAFT SEASON at or at

Bobby Deren has been featured on numerous television and radio broadcasts offering his expertise on college football. He graduated from Delaware Valley College with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and is also a former college athlete.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Jets Win Again. Any more questions?

Wow. Much to the dismay of lead writer JMays, the Jets are in the AFC Championship Game for the first time in 10 years. While I remember that heartbreaking loss like it was just yesterday (I still remember eating pizza and watching the first half at my friend's house before watching the Jets collapse at my house in the second half), this is totally different. That year, the Jets essentially were the Chargers of this year. They had a first round bye, winning 10 of their last 11 regular season games and were also a team that a lot of people had running past the Broncos to the Super Bowl. Basically what I'm trying to say is that people were expecting something from those Jets. These Jets? Not so much.

Indianapolis? That way. (McIsaac/Getty)

So many people were saying these Jets backed into the playoffs and would be one and done. While the Jets were the beneficiaries of some convenient scheduling, they took advantage of what was given to them. Deal with it. The rest of the league should be glad that they're in the AFC Title Game. With it, they proved that they were worthy of that playoff spot. Winning at Cincinnati and San Diego is no picnic, that's for sure. As much as people seemingly don't want to admit it, the Jets have a great team. They're a team that easily could have finished around 12-4 were it not for some terrible errors (Sanchez INTfest against Buffalo, letting Ginn run wild, gift wrapping the Saints games with INTs). These Jets are something to be proud of and really built from the ground up with a foundation from the draft. The Jets TRADED UP in the draft for arguably the 5 most crucial pieces on the team right now: Nick Mangold, David Harris, Darrelle Revis, Mark Sanchez, and Shonn Greene. If that isn't incredible front office work and scouting, I don't know what is, especially with those first 3 (OK, I guess the jury is still out on Sanchez). Imagine if that worthless Buckeye Gholston hadn't turned out to be a bust. For those that think the Jets will take a step back next year (coughJMayscough), I don't think so. Barring serious injuries, they should at least be favored to make the playoffs again. These Jets may be lucky, but they're also good. Both Rex and Sanchez made plenty of rookie errors throughout the year that will not be made again and with Revis on their side, the defense will still be great.

Alright so enough commentary on that other stuff, on to the game. Again, wow. I'll admit, the Jets did not look great. But they were good enough. The first half was uneventful, that's just how the Jets wanted it. Going in to halftime only down by a touchdown was very encouraging for these Jets. Regardless, I knew the Jets needed a huge turnover at some point in the game and they got it with that Leonhard pick on the awful throw by Rivers. It was then that I knew it was the Jets' game to lose. The reason the Jets won was because of their defense. It kept them in the game. If the Jets fall behind by 2+ scores in the second half, they're in trouble. If not, they're in it. The Chargers couldn't seal the deal. Especially Nate Keading. Who I must say, as a PSU fan, has given me closure on the situation with Iowa kickers. Even so, if the Chargers make 2 of those 3 kicks (keep in mind one of those was well over 50 yards), the Jets still would have been in it (their play calling certainly would have changed there in the 4th). It was all about defense and Sanchez minimizing mistakes. It was New York Jets football. And it won. Again.

Shonn Greene sprints to paydirt in the 4th to put the Jets up by 10. (William Perlman/The Star-Ledger)

Now on to the Colts. Interesting game, especially for me on a personal level. The Colts are my dad's team and have always been my 2nd favorite. I was at that playoff game 7 years ago where the Jets decimated the Colts 41-0 with him. He still remembers Super Bowl III and still references it multiple times a year. Now the Jets and Colts square off in the most important game they are able to face each other in. This is going to be one rough game for the Jets but I would not count them out...just like everyone seemed to do for the Chargers game. When a team can shut down an offense and keep it close, anything can happen. They need to put pressure on Manning and hope for one or two errant throws that can tip the balance. All while Sanchez continues to play mistake-free football. It won't be easy, but they can win. Will they? My man Rex Ryan seems to think so, and that is good enough for me.

Can the Jets improve their postseason record against the Colts to 3-0?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Elite 8 Picks

Alright, we're only an hour away from this round kicking off so I'll keep this short and sweet.

Cardinals @ Saints

If you like points, then watch this game. I think the Saints got lucky in a heck of a lot of games this year and haven't looked good in a long time. The Cardinals have this guy called Kurt Warner who I would take over Drew Brees in these playoffs. Cardinals pull away late in the 3rd behind a huge game from Warner.

Cardinals 44 Saints 31

Ravens @ Colts

Close one here. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Ravens pull it off but I think the Colts are just too good. Flacco ailing is certainly a worry too. I see Matt Stover sinking his old team late.

Colts 20 Ravens 17

Cowboys @ Vikings

Simply put, the Cowboys are just too good right now to be shut down by the struggling Vikings (that game against the Giants doesn't count). I see them going to the Super Bowl, to be honest. Cowboys shut down Favre (thankfully) and Peterson and their 3 backs have a huge game.

Cowboys 30 Vikings 20

Jets @ Chargers

I'll be honest, it's tough to pick this game without any bias. I know that this certainly won't be as easy of a game for the Jets as the Bengals game was. Huge matchup issues ahead for New York with the SD tight end attack. I think the Jets will be able to put up some points as the Chargers run defense is suspect and the Jets have the best O-line and rushing attack (statistically at least) in the land. I'm calling for a huge interception by Kerry Rhodes late, leading to a Jay Feely FG in the final minute.

Jets 29 Chargers 27


By Your Athletic Supporter, Jack Strap

If Sports Fountainhead Founding Father J.Mays can courageously come back from an 0-4 picking week & make predictions for the EAGLES-LESS 8, then so can I from 1-3. With my EAGLES out, I guess their big question is if Donovan "Chunky Soup" McNabb will "be back" (say it like The Terminator, the now CA Governor)? Well to semi-quote The Clash "If he stays there will be trouble, if he goes there will be double." On to the teams still playing:

Cardinal @ Saints: Over/Under is 57 points, I'm going with the Under as Drew "Cool" Brees (my fantasy football QB) shows why he should have been the NFL MVP by leading his Saints marching in for a late TD & a 28-27 win.

Ravens @ Colts: OK, Peyton "Place" Manning was the MVP yet again, but he'll just be good enough to win in this one, 20-14.

Jets @ Chargers: Nobody's talking about the Chargers, so I will--they have a good team. Good enough to shut-up Rexy Ryan's Jets 21-13.

Cowboys @ Vikings: I saved what I believe is the best game of the EAGLES-LESS 8 Round of the Playoffs for last. It's also the most interesting game to me as a Cowboys-hater. So I can't be unbiased, but that won't stop me from predicting that Brett "Wrangling Man" Favre will move one-step closer to why he came back this year by sending Tony Romo down to Kokomo. Vikes 30 Cowboys 20.

And when it's all said & done, Remember you heard it right here in the Sports Fountainhead.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I Thought the Packers-Cardinals Game Was Rather Entertaining

Apparently Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers didn't see it that way, at least for a few minutes in the 3rd quarter.

Yep, that would be him asleep and then waking up. You know, that feeling when you're in class/at work where you shouldn't be napping but nod off for a few seconds (or minutes). Welcome to that feeling on LIVE TELEVISION, Dom.

My Picks for 2010 NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round

I'm back, aiming to take sports predicting to a whole new low. Can I make it to 0-8? Time will tell.

Saturday's Games
#4 Cardinals @ #1 Saints - Oh, Kurt Warner. You and your buddies had to ruin my dream. I'll forgive you. I like you. I wish you all the best this Saturday. You'll need it. NOLA is a hell of a place to play. The Saints were flying high with 13 straight wins before falling flat at the end. They're not in this situation (read: the playoffs) often so it's kind of new territory. Brees was an MVP candidate and they have a tough OL and some speedy WRs. The defense has some holes, as usual. You'll have some fun with that, won't you? Yes, I'm taking Arizona in another barn burner. I've been picking the Saints to be a great team long before the talking heads. And they proved me right, for the first few months. December? Eh, not so much. Can they respond and rebound or will a terrible finish dash Who Dat hopes? Sorry, Saints. It's not your year. Warner's Cards have found that '09 playoffs groove!

PREDICTION: Cardinals 48, Saints 42

#6 Ravens @ #1 Colts - The team that formerly inhabited Baltimore faces the team that currently resides there. A lot has been said about rust for the Colts since they haven't played a meaningful game in a month. And they're 0-3 when they have a bye. The Ravens, on the other hand, punched the Patriots in the face and groin (thank you for that, by the way) and are flying high. People are mentioning them in the same breath as some team from almost 10 years ago. They played in a meaningful game, apparently. Are they that good. No? Close? Maybe. But they are feeling pretty good right now and are facing a team under scrutiny from fans and the media. The best QB ever will be too much for Ray Lewis and Co. (again). Manning will lead his team to yet another victory, silencing the talk from weeks 16 and 17. It'll be until the end. The Ravens will have a chance to tie but Flacco won't pull it out.

PREDICTION: Colts 27, Ravens 20

Sunday's Games
#4 Cowboys @ #1 Vikings - Has Dallas broken through? Are they as good as the media says? I don't know. I really wanted to take them last week, but it would have ruined my "Green Bay-destroying-Brett Favre-in-the-divisional-round" hopes. Turns out, the Cardinals and Eagles both destroyed that. So here I am with the Cowboys and the Minnesota Favres. That's all they have, right? It's what the media wants you to think. After all, he's "America's QB" just like the Cowboys are "America's Team". Yes, I seriously heard Greeny on Mike & Mike in the Morning say that. Anyway, I try not to let my opinions on teams or players drive my picks (didn't work last week). I'll stay true and try to base this on what I'm comfortable with: stats and gut feelings. Say hello to another game in Jerry's World. Dallas takes it to Minnesota in the dome, overcoming many Flozell false starts. Dallas runs outside and hits on 2 big plays (the Viking secondary is 'meh' at best). All heavenly Favre doesn't have enough.

PREDICTION: Cowboys 24, Vikings 21

#5 Jets @ #2 Chargers - The Jets haven't given up more than 15 points since a week 11 thumping by the Patriots, who are now spectators. I think that streak ends in beautiful San Diego on Sunday evening. Why? Because the Chargers average 28 points per game and scored 20 or more in all 16 games this season. And they have an 11 game winning streak. And they are playing at home. I have to give props to New York though because they truly remind me of the 2000-2001 Ravens. We know how that ended, right? I don't foresee them repeating that feat but, as is the case in the playoffs, a strong D and great ground game will take you places. That place is San Diego, not Miami. J! E! T! S! should mean journey ends this Sunday (thanks, Marcellus).

PREDICTION: Chargers 28, Jets 16

Monday, January 11, 2010



I suck at picking in the NFL playoffs.

For 2 straight years.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


By Your Athletic Supporter, Jack Strap

Two "sports" items particularly caught my attention in today's Reading Eagle
(note I avoided all the Eagles losing stories) & you don't have to live here to appreciate them.

The first is that YOU CAN VOTE (no matter where you live) for the Best Berks County Sports Figure. My choice is Kerry Collins who led Wilson High School to the PA. State Championship Game, went on to get screwed out of a National Championship at Penn State in 1994, and is an NFL veteran of 15 years who also led the N.Y. Giants to the Super Bowl. Others you can vote for include Allison Baver (Olympic Speed Skater), Pete Carril (Reading HS, Princeton & NBA Coach), Rocky Colavito (Baseball), Carl Furillo (Baseball), Chad Henne (Football), Stu Jackson (Basketball), Betsy King (Golf), Kristy Kowal (Swimming Olympian), Donyell Marshall (Basketball), Michael Matz (Equestrian), Rick Mears (Racing), Lenny Moore (Football), Roger Penske (Racing), Andre Reed (Football), Gene Venzke (Track & Field Olympian), and Charlie Wagner (Boston Red Sox organization 1938-2006, as well as friend of my pal Jack Devlin). A lot of worthy choices there, so YOU CAN VOTE now by emailing your selection to

The other item related to "SWIFT ACTION" by a Dunkin Donuts employee during an attempted robbery with a knife. After not giving the robber the money he demanded, the employee initially fled the store out the backdoor & the robber tried to follow him, but the employee held the backdoor shut so the robber couldn't escape. The robber then tried to get out the front door, but the employee beat him there & held that door too after running around the building. The robber then ran back & forth between the doors several times only to be stopped each time by the speedy employee. As the robber finally escaped, the police arrived & apprehended him. The employee would appear to have the speed & anticipation skills of a good defensive back which is the sports tie-in to this story.

So to tie these two "sports" stories together, take SWIFT ACTION & YOU CAN VOTE Now for the Best Berks Sports Figure.

0-for-2 a.k.a Damn Eagles

Oh boy, here we go again. After not getting a SINGLE GAME RIGHT last year, I'm off to a stupendous start this year. On to 0-2!

I wish I could just be 0-2*, since I admitted I really just decided on the Eagles because that would mean when the Packers beat Arizona they'd head to Minnesota. I want that. But I know it doesn't work that way.

The Eagles looked awful after the challenge by Wade Phillips reversed the INT call. They looked unprepared (Andy Reid's fault) and disinterested, almost like they gave up (team leaders fault, probably McNabb). I know a lot of fans want changes in Philadelphia and they may get it. Brian Westbrook is probably gone (they don't use him anyway) and McNabb is probably 50/50. The thing is, who do you replace him with? Vick is not a good QB, despite the TD throw last night, and Kolb is still inexperienced and an INT machine. But, you have to start rebuilding at some point because this era of Eagles football should be coming to a close. Was it successful? That depends on your definition. I'd tend to say yes but, without a Super Bowl win, it's hard to say so for sure.

Congratulations Dallas Cowboys as you exorcised your playoff demons. I have to admit, the 'boys look good. Now I just need them to trounce Brett Favre next week an I may need to really start pulling for them (FYI, I'm hoping for the Saints out of the NFC).

0-2 feels great...for a second year in a row!

Wow, I suck at this.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

0-for-1 a.k.a Damn Jets

This is why I don't get paid the big bucks to prognosticate.

The Jets beat the Bengals and Mark Sanchez did his part to not screw it up. Who would have thunk it? I mean, besides E and Rex?

Congrats, Jets. You earn the right to play the Colts in Indy. Have fun with that.

And the Bengals streak is up to 20 years since their last playoff victory. God, that sucks.

I hope my skills improve over the next 3 games. And then continue into next week.

My Picks for 2010 NFL Playoffs: Wild Card Round

E and Jack Strap have made their picks so I guess I should man up and make some "bold predictions sure to be wrong" as well. I won't make you wait any longer; I know the suspense is just killing you.

Saturday's Games
#6 Jets @ #3 Bengals - One of three rematches in the Wild Card round. An intriguing matchup since Rex Ryan believes his team should be Super Bowl favorites and the Bengals showed little fight in Week 17. I think Cincinnati has much more in store for the J! E! T! S! JETS! JETS! JETS! this time around. However, defense (and running games) win championships so it won't be a blowout. Jets keep it close but the inexperienced and overrated Mark Sanchez can be the hero when his team needs him to be

PREDICTION: Bengals 16, Jets 10

#6 Eagles @ #3 Cowboys - Another rematch, however a much better one in the late game. Sure, the Jets and Bengals should be close and go down to the wire but this is a rivalry. Easily one of the best in the NFL. The Cowboys have never beaten a team three times in a season. The Eagles have the better coaching staff and playoff record (4-0 in Wild Card round). I know Wade Phillips seems to have made strides this season and the Cowboys had a great December for the first time in a long time but... I just don't like the feeling I have. It will be a great game. That's all I'm hoping for*.

PREDICTION: Eagles 27, Cowboys 21

Sunday's Games
#5 Ravens @ #4 Patriots - The only non week 17 rematch features two opponents that are really starting to hate each other. The Ravens think the Patriots, specifically QB Tom Brady, get way too many penalties called that are borderline or unwarranted [I tend to agree]. The Patriots want to prove they can overcome Welker's injury and a mediocre defense to obtain the mystique they carried from 2004 through 2007. I think this will be a battle and a bad penalty could have a huge impact on this game.

PREDICTION: Patriots 24, Ravens 17

#5 Packers @ #4 Cardinals - And finally, the 3rd Week 17 rematch of the Wild Card round. This game wasn't even close in the final week of the regular season and I really don't think it will be any different here. Sure, Warner didn't play the whole game but that wasn't the only problem. Anquan Boldin and Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie are doubtful and that is a huge blow to all three facets of the Cardinals game. I think the Packers are on too much of a roll and the Cardinals are too beat up and weak to stop Rodgers and Co. Of course, Arizona could prove me wrong and play like they did in January last year.

PREDICTION: Packers 31, Cardinals 20

*Total disclosure... I really think the Cowboys can win. But, I want to see Aaron Rodgers and the Packers CRUSH the Vikings in the Divisional Round. So, since I was 50/50 on the Eagles/Cowboys I went with what had to happen to get Green Bay to Minnesota next week.


By Your Athletic Supporter, Jack Strap

With all the regular season ANNOINTING (see story below) over & E's picks in, let me take a shot at predicting ROUND 1 {DING-DING} of the NFL Playoffs:

Jets @ Bengals: As a life-long Eagles fan, I really miss Buddy Ryan but at least this week we had his son Rex making bold proclamations (the nut doesn't fall far from the tree). So for Buddy, I say Jets 20 Bengals 14.

Eagles @ Cowboys: Can you imagine what it would have been like this week if the aforementioned Buddy Ryan & Jimmy "The Hair" Johnson were coaching this game rather than boring Andy & Wade? No pre-game hype, but post-game celebration by the Eagles after winning 27-21 in Jerry's Joint.

Ravens @ Patriots: OK, I can't pick another road-winner in ROUND 1 {DING-DING} of the NFL PLAYOFFS, but the loss of Welker will be a problem for the Pats next week. This week it's Patriots 21 Ravens 13.

Packers @ Cardinals: This game will be a lot closer than the temperature difference in Green Bay (18 degrees forecast @ game-time tomorrow) vs. 70 degrees in Glendale. I'm thinking that Brett Favre will be watching his under-study Aaron Rodgers lead a 4th quarter comeback for the Pack 35-31.

Ring that ROUND 1 Bell {DING-DING} & let the PLAYOFFS begin!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Vote for the Best FBS National Championship Game of All-Time

USA Today is running a poll to determine which was the best game ever to decide an FBS "National Championship" (arbitrary, since the NCAA doesn't recognize a true champion at that level). Anyway, head on over and vote for Penn State (in the 1983 Sugar Bowl or the 1987 Fiesta Bowl). My choice was obvious, even though I was barely two years old when it occurred. I've read so much about it and seen so many highlights that it's engraved in my memory. Plus, it is definitely one of college football's greatest games. And look! Many others around the nation agree with me...

Click to enlarge.

So go on and vote!

On a related note, read this awesome article about said game. The best thing has ever put out. By far.

Originally published on December 27, 2006.

Wildcard Weekend Picks

The book is shut on college football but still wide open on football of the professional sort. This weekend kicks off what is sure to be an intriguing NFL Postseason. Will the resting players strategy finally work for the Colts? Will another Wildcard team make a run to the Super Bowl? We'll have to wait on those answers but for now, here are my WC Weekend picks...

New York Jets @ Cincinnati Bengals

The first of 3 Week 17 rematches. The Jets completely embarrassed the Bengals though Cincy did not play with their full arsenal. Regardless, the Jets are starting to come together and Cincy has been very shaky since building their big division lead. While common opponents are not something to put a ton of stock in, the Jets are 2-0 to the Bengals 0-2 in common games (Texans and Raiders). Both those games were on the road for the Jets (and won convincingly) while the Bengals traveled to Oakland and played Houston in Cincy. Call me a homer, but I think things are starting to come together for the Jets. As long as Sanchez doesn't go on an INT binge, I think they'll be OK. Revis Island will go a long way to shutting down the Bengals offense.

Jets 23 -- Bengals 13

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys

Another game, another rematch. Cowboys beat Philly pretty handedly last weekend and honestly, I do not see why they will not do it again. The December/Late Season monkey is finally off of Romo's back and they are catching fire at the right time. Not only that, but the Eagles have lost to every decent team they've faced this year. Unless DeSean Jackson and McNabb go crazy on offense (or special teams with Jackson), I do not see the Eagles winning this game at Jerry's Palace.

Cowboys 31 -- Eagles 14

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots

I strongly dislike both teams (Pats more than Ravens though, for sure) but I guess I have to pick one. Losing Welker is huge but not crippling. As long as the Pats are able to bottle up the Ravens running attack, I think they should be fine. The Baltimore defense is not as strong as it used to be and I see Brady and Moss having a pretty big game. Should still be a close one though.

Patriots 24 -- Ravens 20

Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

Rematch number 3 of the first round. Packers are hot, Cardinals are breaking down. It's pretty much as simple as that. Only way I see the Cardinals winning is if Warner plays out of his mind. Which is certainly a possibility.

Packers 35 -- Cardinals 27

Thursday, January 7, 2010


By Your Athletic Supporter, Jack Strap

With College Football's clock winding down, I'm ANNOINTING the Alabama Crimson Tide as the National Champions, and it's time to turn our attention to the NFL with the Playoffs starting Saturday.

There has been so much NFL ANNOINTING through out this year by the so-called experts & talking heads. In the NFC it was hard to remember after seeing them blown out in their final 2 games, but my pal Swoop reminded me that the Giants were the 1st to be ANNOINTED when they started 5-0 before being thumped by the Saints. The Saints were next for ANNOINTMENT if not then, then certainly after they pasted the Patriots to move to 11-0, they were ANNOINTED as unbeatable, especially at Home until they lost there back-to-back to the Cowboys & Bucs. The Vikings then jumped into the ANNOINTMENT void led by Brent Favre & Adrian Peterson, but they then lost to the Panthers & Bears. So it was the Eagles turn to be ANNOINTED after 6 straight wins until they were hog-tied by the Cowboys last week. So now the Cowboys are the ANNOINTED Ones which isn't a good spot to be in judging by above.

In the AFC with Brady back & Belichick a poorly dressed genius, the Pats were ANNOITED by many heading into the season. The ANNOINTING bandwagon then was switched to the Defending Champion Steelers who started 6-2 with quality wins over the Chargers, Broncos & Vikings before unbelievably losing to the Chiefs, Raiders & Browns. So the Colts were there to be ANNOINTED with a lot of close wins including one given to them on 4th down by the aforementioned "genius" and I guess they remain the ANNOINTED heading into the Playoffs, but again--is that really where you want to be?

Also since I've been writing this, the Longhorns of Texas have come back from the dead down 24-6 to within 24-21 with 6 minutes left vs. aforementioned ANNOITED Alabama, so I'll bring this to an end & fully enjoy that finish.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Whatever You Say, Rex

Attention: The New York Jets should be favored to win the Super Bowl. You read that correctly.

I'm not going to bash the guy - or anyone - that makes some sort of guarantee, in any sense of the word. And that is what this is. He's saying we're the team to beat; we're gonna win. Fine. Sure, whatever.

But, really? After your team had their spot in the playoffs gift-wrapped by the Colts and, to a lesser extent, the Bengals? Come on. They are 3-point underdogs to the Bengals, a team the just beat 37-0. They have odds of 25-1 to win the Super Bowl. Favored? Really?

He has confidence; we love that, usually. But he's said way too much already, not even one year into his tenure. Let his players do the talking. Better yet, let them do it on the field. Save it, Rex.

E, you gonna take that bet?

Rittenberg Nails It

You've been bullied for the last three years.

You know how it usually goes.

They call you fat and slow. They say you take off too much time before you show up and fight.

They make fun of your name. It doesn't add up, they say. They tell you to get some help.

They say you don't belong in Pasadena and get ticked when you get invited to all the best bowl games. They mock your tradition, your weather and your region of the country.

They make fun of your coaches, calling them too old or too conservative. They scoff at your schemes. Behind the times, they say.

Just in case you didn't hear it the first time, they call you slow. And fat.

You say nothing. You can't. You know what the recent record looks like.

But today, they say nothing.

Because you, the Big Ten, hit back.
I suggest you read the rest of his article. Where are the talking heads now?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Passing thoughts on the Jets

As JMays mentioned early, sorry for the lack of posts. I'll try to pick up on them in the coming days. New Years resolution perhaps? Well I'll start with a few things on the Jets.

For starters, I am incredibly grateful that the Jets made the playoffs. 4 way tie for 2 spots and they got in. Doesn't always break in your favor but luckily for the Jets, it did. Now about the last two weeks that some would deem controversial. OK, so the Colts game was pretty much handed to us. While I won't try to validate that win, keep in mind that we were certainly not out of that game when the Colts benched Manning and other starters. Would we have won if they stayed in? Probably not...but I wouldn't flat out say 'no.' Now yesterday against the Bengals...I've heard a lot of people discrediting that win because the Jets had everything to play for and the Bengals had nothing to play for. Fair enough...but the Bengals went in to that game playing all their healthy starters (outside of Benson) and the Jets just flat out pummeled them for 60 minutes. Sure the Bengals did not want to tip their hand but I'm certain they didn't want to get caught with their pants down on national television when they keep whining about not getting any respect.

The Jets are looking pretty good heading into Wildcard Weekend and I think they could certainly make some noise. Statistically, they have the top defense in the league and Revis is sure to shut down Ochocinco (has he changed his name back to Johnson yet?) again. The Jets also have the top rushing offense in the league and that's due to one thing. The O-Line. I think it's safe to say it's the best in the league and I'm not saying that as a homer. It's stacked. Mangold, Faneca, Ferguson, Woody, Moore...that's a pretty sick line. You need a strong rushing attack and shut down defense to go places in the playoffs and the Jets have both of those things. I'm not going to be a disillusioned fan and say they're going to run all the way to the Superbowl but you can't just count these Jets out.

If anything, these Jets will be playoff (and hopefully Superbowl) contenders in the coming years as long as they stay healthy and Sanchez progresses.

Also, on a sad note, the daughter of Jets owner Woody Johnson was found dead in LA earlier today. She was apparently engaged to Tila Tequila...who knew? Thoughts are certainly with the Johnson family at this time.

Credit the Newark Star-Ledger with the pictures (Andrew Mills)

Sunday, January 3, 2010


By Your Athletic Supporter, Jack Strap

As a very interesting COLLEGE FOOTBALL Season comes to a close this week, I'll remind you of as much as I can FROM A TO Z:
A = All-Americans, smartly including Academic All-Americans
B = Bobby Bowden who went out on a high note with a January 1 Bowl win which is fitting since he's the only coach to ever lead his team to 15 consecutive New Year's Day Bowl games & the only coach ever with 14 consecutive Bowl appearances without a loss
C = Crimson Tide which is what they call Alabama (reference Steely Dan) who will take on Texas for the National Championship
D = Dominating Defense played by 2009 AP COLLEGE FOOTBALL Player of the Year, Nebraska "black shirt" Ndamukong Suh
E = Eighty-Three year old Coach Joe "JoePa" Paterno won his record 24th Bowl game while notching his record 394th win vs. LSU on 1/1/10
F = Florida couldn't defend its National Championship, but did finish strong with a 51-24 win in the Sugar Bowl vs. coachless Cincinnati
G = Georgia Tech didn't look like a Ramblin' Wreck while winning the ACC Title & a trip this week to the Orange Bowl
H = Horned Frogs of TCU who crashed the BCS Party this year with an undefeated season
I = Ingram, Mark who became Alabama's 1st Heisman Trophy winner
J = Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award went to Colt McCoy
K = Kellen Moore from Boise St. led the nation with the highest QB rating
L = Longhorns of Texas can improve upon their current #2 ranking with a win in the National Championship Game
M = Michigan who suffered their 2nd straight losing season under Richie "Rich" Rodriquez
N = Navy beat Notre Dame, Missouri in the Texas Bowl, and Army this year
O = Oregon Ducks ended USC's streak of winning or sharing 7 straight Pac-10 titles before being beaten by Ohio St. in the Rose Bowl
P = Penn State (We Are!!!) who won 11 games for the 2nd straight season & should again be ranked in the Top 10
Q = Quit? Did Urban Meyer Quit due to his health problems or is he on a leave of absense?
R = Rimington Trophy for Outstanding Center went to Maurkice Pouncey from Florida (gotta give the big guys in the trenches some props too)
S = Stanford's Toby Gerhart won the Doak Walker RB Award
T = Tim Tebow is a very good college football player which is good because "there's no crying in baseball"
U = UConn overcame adversity on & off the field and showed they don't just play hoops there
V = Valero Alamo Bowl saw one team with 14 players suspended for a dorm brawl (Michigan St.) while the other (Texas Tech) fired their coach just before the game for allegedly mistreating a player with a concussion
W = Westemeyer, Blaine who won the Gagliardi Trophy as the NCAA Division III's Outstanding Player as an Offensive Tackle, but don't take my word for it--reference
X = X's & O's with nobody doing that better this year than Coach of the Year Brian Kelly
who led Cincinnati to an undefeated season (yes, Cincinnati) & next will take on an even bigger challenge at Notre Dame
Y = Yes, this is almost over so don't doze off
Z = Z-Z-Z-Z-Z, wake up as COLLEGE FOOTBALL FROM A TO Z is complete or will be after Thursday's BCS Championship Game

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year, Let's Go State

from Black Shoe Diaries

Happy New Year! Hope you have a wonderful 2010. Here's to 2010 starting out better than 2009, with a Penn State bowl win!