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Saturday, November 21, 2009

On top...for a little while

English Premier League leading Chelsea will be minus Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba this weekend, both nursing injuries, when they take on Wolverhampton in action today. Manchester United hosts Everton in the late one today, kicking off at 12:30.

Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin are the main event tonight at UFC107 tonight in Vegas. Should be real interesting with two guys who aren't shy about mixing it up, nor are Josh Koschek and Anthony Johnson who are on the undercard. The rest of the card can be seen here.

And while we're on the subject of MMA, check out the 50 Greatest MMA Dominations.

Stanford and Cal are the only ranked opponents facing each other this weekend on the NCAA schedule. Stanford is a house of fire lately and will likely pound Cal this weekend. Also of interest is the annual war between Michigan and Ohio State, and when I say war, I mean "Buckeyes win every year lately".

Inter Milan coach Jose Morinho must've been really attention deprived as a child. Why else would he take every opportunity to force himself into the spotlight? His latest act is to say he's ready to jump back to the English Premier League and form a lasting legacy. Problem with Jose is he defines "lasting" as next week.

French striker Thierry Henry says that he'd be all for a replay of the controversial France/Ireland World Cup qualifier from a few days in which France advanced after a clear and intentional hand ball from Henry. That's mighty nice of Henry, especially when he knows that FIFA would never agree to such an arrangement, which they confirmed in saying there wouldn't be a replay.

As the decade winds down, you can expect a lot of lists to start popping out in the coming weeks. gives us their Top 100 albums of the decade. More than a few head shakers in the top 10, truth told, and while I love the #1 record, I can't say it was tops. Not sure what was, but know it wasn't that.

Who's got the best record in the NBA? Believe it or not, the 11-2 Atlanta Hawks.

Have a great Saturday!

Check out this piece of work from Robert Caplin at the New York Times. He took 12,000 pictures during Game 6 of the World Series with three different cameras and pieced it all together in a three-and-a-half minute time lapse video. Pretty freaking impressive.

World Series Time-Lapse by Robert Caplin from Robert Caplin on Vimeo.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Run Ricky Run!

Has there ever been a better comeback in sports - Michael Jordan aside, if you could even call his a comeback - than Ricky Williams? Ricky had everything stacked up against him - multiple drug suspensions, social anxiety disorder, and worst of all, playing for the Toronto Argos - and has come back to one of the name franchises in the NFL and has been a player for the Miami Dolphins last night. The Fish lost Ronnie Brown to injury for the year, and Williams merely rushed for 119 yards and scored three touchdowns last night in the Dolphins 24-17 win at Carolina. The Dolphins are now 5-5 and fighting their way back into the playoff mix after an 0-3 start.

Finally, some evidence that the sporting gods do have mercy on us all: the Cleveland Browns visit to the Detroit Lions this weekend, both 1-8 squads, will be blacked out.

Ireland - right on up to the highest levels of government - is protesting the screw-job they were on the wrong end of in their World Cup qualifier with France, and are asking for a replay. In response, England has stated if there is a replay had there, they're going to request a replay of their 1986 World Cup game against Argentina and the Buffalo Sabres are going to look to replay their Stanley Cup loss to the Dallas Stars in 1999. In other words, there's no chance a replay is happening. Jeff Blair at the Globe and Mail notes that you can't blame Henry, as he was merely playing the game.

Check out the five greatest football - of the North American kind - failed celebrations. Love this stuff.

New Toronto FC coach Preki has signed a three year deal that will only be a success if he gets TFC into the playoffs and starts winning there. He's a guy that values defending greatly, but hopefully not at the expense of playing an entertaining game If he cut the teams goals against in the last fifteen minutes in half even from what they were next year, he'll have done a job.

The never ending prank war between Streeter and Amir at College Humor had another installment. No sense giving it away too much, but take a peak here.

Seems that the Buffalo Bills firing of Dick Jauron could start a chain reaction, as the Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder doesn't want the Bills getting the jump on the talent available in the coaching pool. The way the Buffalo Bills have been going in recent years, they're clearly a team ready to take Toronto full time.

In the past seven years, the Florida Marlins have 12 more wins, one more winning season and five more post season wins including one more World Series win than the New York Mets, for a mere $600 million less spent.

After another loss last night - five straight now - this one to the lowly Carolina Hurricanes that left them in last place overall, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke is talking of burying contracts in the minors to get some cap room and making trades. Wise move.

Check out the list - the 10 page list! - of NFL players arrested since the year 2000. Hours of fun.

Have a great Friday.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Toronto FC is expected to announce Preki as their new coach today at an 11am news conference. Good hire for the Reds in nabbing a guy with a world of experience playing on this side of the pond - he was a two-time MLS MVP - and coaching in the MLS.

A pair of NBA Western Conference execs told ESPN The Magazine that the Houston Rockets, depending what they do with Luis Scola, will be chasing soon-to-be free agent Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors, who also happens to be a Texan.

Slovenia shocked Russia in World Cup qualifying yesterday, Portugal qualified, Greece beat Ukraine on the road to advance, but the story of the day is France securing their spot in extra time with a highly controversial goal, which you can see here. I'm no fan of the instant cry for replay you here of late in sports, but when you see Ireland lose it's dreams of qualifying on a goal like that - handball, and two offside calls on one play blown - that's ridiculous. Always figured Thierry Henry was beyond something like that. Shame on him. Irish captain Robbie Keane blasted the head's of UEFA and FIFA, intimating things weren't on the up and up at the highest levels.

Good of baseball commissioner Bud Selig to let us all know that he'll be looking to condense the playoff schedule so you don't have a situation like this year where the World Series winning New York Yankees - in case you weren't aware they won - played 16 games in 35 days.

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock tells ESPN The Magazine that the NHL standings don't change much after teams reach their 20th game, about now really. Take a peak. Sorry, Leafs fans.

The Boston Red Sox would badly like to get their hands on San Diego Padres slugger Adrian Gonzalez. But, as rightly noted here, why would the Padres deal their best player, and a local boy, on a favorable contract?

Another night, another road killing of the Toronto Raptors. After getting pounded in Denver, the Raps got smoked in Utah 104-91.'s Jon Heyman takes a look at the Roy Halladay trade market and ranks the New York Yankees as the most likely to land Leroy. Nevermind winning the 6/49, a move like that would spur my own happy dance.

The Cleveland Browns have scored 5 touchdowns in the last 15 games. It is real, real tough to be that inept offensively.

Miami visits Carolina tonight in NFL action, and they'll be minus running back Ronnie Brown who is now out for the year. Me, I like the Panthers to cover the 3 points.

The New York Jets have lost four games this year on the last possession.

Have a great Thursday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Placenta van Persie

Zach Greinke had 25 of 28 first place votes to win the AL Cy Young award. His 16 wins may have seemed low, but the 2.16 ERA certainly aided the cause greatly.

The Buffalo Bills axed Dick Jauron yesterday after a 3-6 start. That's all well and good, except a bit like yanking a sliver when you've got Ebola.

You're Arsenal striker Robin van Persie and you've got an ankle injury. A bad one. Hit it with some ice? Rehab? An air cast? Accupuncture? Nah, try having some old Serbian woman rub placenta on it. No, really. Wonder what the famed surgeon Dr. James Andrews thinks of this.

Notre Lame coach Charlie Weis doesn't believe his job future hasn't been decided behind the scenes. If he believes that, he probably also believes he's svelte.

The MLS players union could go on strike or be locked out if there isn't a new labour deal worked out with the current one expiring at the end of January. Toronto FC's "defender" Nick Garcia said players have been urged to set aside some money just in case. With as little as some of those guys make at the bottom end of the pay scale, going to guess there isn't much to be saved.

Another - and final - day of World Cup qualifying is upon us for 2010. Follow all the scores here as they happen.

Have a great Wednesday.
RM returns this afternoon...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday Night Snoozer

Through 620 games of Monday Night Football, there were only 9 scoreless halves, and last night was one of them as the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns went scoreless in the first half. Bet you're glad you saw that, no? In the end, the Ravens roared out of the gate in the second half and won a 16-0 snoozer. In other Monday Night news, Jon Gruden has inked an extension that will keep him in the broadcast booth. A bit surprising, really. Would've figured he'd be in line for a high profile gig next year.

The MLB award season is upon us. Yesterday, Florida Marlin Chris Coghlan and Oakland A Andrew Bailey were named Rookies of the Year. Today, the AL Cy Young gets announced. The rest of the awards will be announced as follows: Wednesday: AL & NL Manager of the Year; Thursday: NL Cy Young; Monday Nov. 23: AL MVP; Tuesday Nov. 24: NL MVP.

With the L.A. Galaxy set to take on Real Salt Lake in the MLS Cup final on Sunday from Q-West Field in Seattle, there is a big run on tickets. Seems David Beckham is paying off now. Some tickets at StubHub are even going for $1,000.

Wonder why NBA scoring seems to be up this year? Might have something to do with the new rims they're using.

Ahh, that Cristiano Ronaldo. With the ink barely dry on his contract with Real Madrid, the team he said he dreamed of playing for, he's already contemplating the possibility of playing for Manchester City, the team that until the last year or so, he probably wasn't even aware of until they got some big money ownership. In the end, it is all about Ronaldo.

Check out the 15 Best Man Caves. Good stuff. Inspirational, really.

The good folks at Page 2 of did a little modification with some NBA logos. Fantastic results here. Love the Milwaukee Bucks logo especially.

UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar has a bacterial infection, confirmed by UFC President Dana White. Still seems pretty cryptic.

Not sure if Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather will ever ink a deal to fight - each wants 60% of the purse - but word is that if they do, it could well happen next May at Yankee Stadium.

Buffalo Bill Aaron Schobel is questioning the direction of the team, they don't have a quarterback, and Mount T.O. is about to erupt. Things are getting uglier by the day in Buffalo. So, anybody buying tickets for December 3rd in Toronto?

Check out the 10 Dirtiest Plays in Sports.

Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams figured out a way to turn two digits into $250,000. Shame the digits were his middle ones and the $250k was the fine the league dropped on him. What a tool.

I get why the Chicago Black Hawks would be looking to lock up Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews to long term deals, which they're close to doing, before they can see an offer sheet thrown their way, I just don't see how they can afford that many big ticket players. Somebody has to go, no?

One of the greatest pwnages/fail of all the times...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bumbling Bill

Clearly, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick thinks he's the smartest guy in any room, or the gutsiest. Fourth and two yards to go late in the fourth on his own 27 yard line last night and up by six, he goes for it rather than punting. The Indianapolis Colts stuff it, and Peyton Manning leads a drive into the end zone and the Colts win 35-34, scoring 14 in the final four minutes. Memo to Belichick: Your defense hates you for showing so little confidence in it. If that were Wade Phillips, Tom Cable or Dick Jauron it wouldn't shock nearly as much. I'm not sure I try that even playing Madden.

The Cincinnati Bengals are now 4-0 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens this year after yesterday's 18-12 win in Pittsburgh. Not sure anybody saw that coming this year.

Teams with sub-.500 records are 20-6 as underdogs coming off of a bye week. In other words, the Cleveland Browns are likely to cover the 10.5 points they're being given tonight if that trend continues. Me? I'm taking the Baltimore Ravens regardless. With Cincinnati pulling away, they can't afford even a close game against the hapless Browns.

Vince Young is now 22-11 as a starter after the Tennessee Titans beat Buffalo yesterday 41-17 and while he may have embarrassed himself on the Wonderlic years back, even he has to know that is a hell of a record. Shame for the Titans they waited so long to get VY into the lineup. For some reason, when the game was done, Titans owner Bud Adams was seen flipping the bird at the Bills. Weird.

Check out the big money on New Orleans, Dallas, Denver, Seattle and Atlanta yesterday at None covered. Vegas took some back after a brutal year to date.

With their 5-4 win yesterday, the Carolina Hurricanes put a stop to their 14 game losing streak. Yes, that was right: 14.

Some scary news on Brock Lesnar. Seems he's dealing with something more than mono, and he collapsed prior to landing in hospital. UFC President Dana White isn't saying what it is, at Lesnar's request, but sounds pretty serious to state the obvious.

Have a great Monday.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pac Man wins

Manny Pacquiao beat Miguel Cotto with a 12th round stoppage, and turned Cotto's face into a bloody mess in the process. That's now 7 world titles at 7 different weights for the seemingly invincible Pac Man. Hopefully him and Floyd Mayweather can book a date next.

In one of the dullest main events in recent history, or longer, and a total screw job, Randy Couture beat Brandon Vera by decision. Not sure what fight the judges were watching as it was clear that Vera won two of the three rounds. Perhaps UFC is looking to go the way of boxing and push the more marketable name? If so, total shame.

Speaking of the UFC, heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar is so ill - said to be mono - that he's been hospitalized. Scary. Said UFC President Dana White: "He's not well and he's not going to be getting well anytime soon."

Could be good times for DeMarcus Ware and the Dallas Cowboys pass rush today: Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers has been sacked a league high 37 times going into today's game.

Ohio State booked their ticket for the Rose Bowl with a 27-24 overtime win over Iowa State. USC continued their slide with a 55-21 loss to Stanford, who seems to have their number the last few years. No Saturday of NCAA football is a good Saturday if Notre Dame wins, and yesterday was a good one as Pitt beat the Domers 27-22.

The Washington Redskins have had the easiest first half schedule based on their opposition's win percentage the previous year, not just this year, but in the history of the NFL. We all know how that turned out so far.

The latest NBA free agency rumors for next summer have LeBron James and Chris Bosh joining Dwayne Wade in Miami. How scary would that be? Enough to give Kobe Bryant a nervous breakdown?

About the best rivals of the decade - the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts - will get it on in Indy tonight. The Colts are 3 point favs, and are also your Prime Time Pick for tonight.

Former Toronto FC striker Danny Dichio is proving to be a hell of a prognosticator. His selection of Real Salt Lake to go against the odds and make the MLS Cup final proved accurate, as RSL beat Chicago in a shootout 5-4.

France, Russia and Portugal all won the first legs of their World Cup knockout games, while Ukraine and Greece played to an NHL-style 0-0 regulation final. The return matchups go Wednesday.

Have a great Sunday.