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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Night in the ruts

Aston Villa host Tottenham today in what should be the EPL match of the day. Spurs scored 9 last weekend so it'll be interesting to see if they can keep that torrid pace. That one goes at 12:30.

Wonder if Phil Mickelson is thinking "told ya I could out drive Tiger"? And are you like me, stunned to learn Tiger wasn't driving a Buick like he endorsed for years? And if he was driving a Caddy, why didn't it tell him which way to go? That's all I've got. I'm here all week, tip your waiter. Word is there was a bit of a domestic spat at Eldrick's home and that his wife delivered the cuts to his face. Something to do with a National Enquirer article detailing an affair Tiger was having with Rachel Uchitel?

The winless New Jersey Nets are approaching the all-time futility record set by the expansion Miami Heat at 0-17 and need another to go. And to make matters better, they're on the road, though they had a stop at lowly Sacramento on the trip and lost that one last night. Real shame that Wince Carturd isn't there still for this. He deserves this kind of streak.

Word is Touchdown Jesus is bailing on Notre Dame and the Second Coming, such is the state of the Domers.

The Guardian newspaper in the U.K. has put together the top six goals of the decade, including some Canadian content. Check it out here.

A Saturday without a UFC event? Seems weird, no? Had to get that in before The Ultimate Finale airs next weekend on Spike TV for a relatively dull season of The Ultimate Fighter.

So much for Robin Van Persie's placenta treatment speeding up the healing of his bad ankle. Now comes word he'll be undergoing surgery and will be out five months.

Former Buffalo Bills QB JP Losman is now a champion, after he lead the Las Vegas Locomotives to the UFL championship. And right on cue, he wants back in the NFL. Honestly, if you're the Buffalo Bills, is he your best option right now? Could well be.

Allen Iverson's alleged retirement plans could be over already as the Philadelphia 76ers, his first team and where he had his best moments, are interested.

The Toronto Argos are said to be interested in moving their home games to BMO Field. Cannot imagine that MLSE goes for that with a grass installation happening now. If there is something worse than playing soccer on turf, it'd be playing it on chewed up grass. Totally defeats the purpose.

When Chris Bosh took a knee from Paul Pierce last night in the Raptors 116-103 loss in Boston, and it was left to the coaching staff to stand up for him, you saw all you needed to see about the heart of the Raptors and how tight they are as a team, which is to say, "very little" and "not very".

Word is Roy Halladay has told the Toronto Blue Jays he'd accept a trade to the New York Yankees. Make it happen, Brian Cashman.

Have a great Saturday.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Day USA!

A trio of NFL games on the go today as per tradition. The Green Bay Packers visit Detroit, who will be minus Matt Stafford. Slight leanage to the Lions at +11 there. Pretty wild seeing the Dallas Cowboys point spread at -13.5 today when they host Oakland at 4:15pm when you consider the Cowboys have score 14 - total - the last two weeks. As for tonight, loving the Denver Broncos at +6.5 at home to the New York Giants. That's a PTP for you. The entire day has me less anxious than years prior as I don't have to fear hearing John Madden blather on about turkey and all the "fixin's".

Not sure how much strength of schedule should factor into MVP talk in the NFL, but when you've played Green Bay twice and Pittsburgh (and lost that one) as your lone teams above .500, not sure the Old Has Been should be mentioned in the same conversation as Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and others. Sorry, I'm not buying it. He's not even the most valuable on his team.

What does it say of Toronto FC when none of the players they left unprotected for the expansion draft of the Philadelphia Union were taken? Suppose it could say that even an expansion team doesn't want a guy like Amado Guevarra and his salary, but feel like I haven't cracked on TFC enough after their 5-0 loss in New York to close the season.

Cleveland Browns QB Brady Quinn, a Notre Dame alum, thinks it would be a mistake for Notre Lame to axe Charlie Weis. BQ is an authority on mistakes, after all.

The Boston Red Sox are stepping up the Roy Halladay chase which has to mean the New York Yankees are about to get anxious too. Most baseball people told's Jayson Stark, as told on ESPN radio, that they expect Halladay to end up an Anaheim Angel which I'm not buying. This is gonna get hot and soon, methinks.

Allen Iverson says he's retiring from hoops. Forgive me if I feel more than a little skeptical that this is truly the end.

I know the NBA season is long with ups and downs for the best of them, but if you get crushed 116-81 by the Charlotte Bobcats, you are not a good team. Yes, this means you, Toronto Raptors, on pace for the worst defensive team since 1976. Jose Calderon turned the ball over more times than Chicago Bear's QB Jay Cutler in prime time last night with 6.

You don't often get three shorthanded goals in a month in the NHL, but the Chicago Black Hawks managed to pull it off in one as the pounded the San Jose Sharks 7-2 for their eighth straight win. The NHL is better when the Hawks matter. Still my fav unis in hockey.

Turns out Mike Shanahan is indeed meeting with the Buffalo Bills, and talks went well yesterday. He'd be a strong hire for them, though I thought he was a lock for the Cowboys job next year. That said, not sure how he works for a dime less than $7 million, which he's due next year from the Denver Broncos after they axed him mid-contract.

And finally today, a Happy Thanksgiving to my friends south of the border.
A week after hearing of how Robin Van Persie of Arsenal was going to be rubbed down by some Serbian lady with placenta to help aid the healing of his ankle, Frank Lampard of Chelsea is heading for the same treatment. Weird, weird trend.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Round of 16 starts to become clear...

Things have really turned around for Vince Young with Tennessee. How else to explain the picture at right? Weird.

Albert Pujols was a unanimous choice as the NL MVP and really, was there any doubt? Any other finish would've had me thinking it was voted on by boxing judges, or of late, UFC judges. That is Pujols third MVP win.

Champions League play yesterday saw Fiorentina, Lyon, Sevilla and Arsenal seal up their Round of 16 slots with another game to go. Liverpool won yesterday but it wasn't enough to see them through, and that could well see them offload some key pieces in the January transfer window, though they contend they never budget beyond this group stage. That said, if they finish outside the top four in England this season, they'll not even have a Champions League spot to bank on. Today, there are another eight games with AC Milan and Marseille practically a knockout game. Manchester United, Chelsea, Bordeaux, and Porto are already qualified for the next round and will no doubt rest some stars. All that action starts at 2:45 Eastern with SportsNet covering a pair of games over their regional channels.

Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke may not be perfect, he may be a hard ass and come off as arrogant, but when word came out from Tom Buccigross at that one of Burke's sons came out as gay, papa Burke handled it all with tremendous grace. I'm sure the less evolved fans of hockey will make some kind of light of that, and that's truly a shame. All that said, have to howl at the Toronto Star headline online from Damien Cox that reads "Cox: A son's secret..."

Here's a good reason why teams work to manage when a player becomes arbitration eligible in baseball: to avoid said player getting ready to submit and arbitration figure of $23 million and $1 dollar, the extra to make him the highest pa
Publish Post
id starting pitcher over CC Sabathia, who is far more accomplished overall. The player? Tim Lincecum. Clearly, he's still hitting the weed if he thinks he deserves that at this early stage of his career.

As if we haven't already heard enough about Tila Tequila, she's trying to stretch her 15 minutes and is now saying that San Diego Charger Shawne Merriman uses ecstasy that avoids the NFL's drug tests. Right, this is the guy that got nailed for using steroids but he's found a way to create a strain of ecstasy that avoids detection. Oh, he's also a pedophile and racist, says Tila.

If opposing teams at BMO Field thought getting peltedby Toronto FC fans with toilet paper and streamers was bad, check out what happens in Turkey. Must be real bad beer to be raining it down like this. Not to mention some fireworks and a chair.

A day ahead of one of my fav days of the year: U.S. Thanksgiving, and of course, that means a pile of football is on the schedule. Cannot wait!

Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

VY gets it done again

Vince Young continues to impress, leading the Tennessee Titans to another win to move them to 4-6 after they beat the Houston Texans 20-17 last night. Incidentally, the Titans are 4-0 since head coach Jeff Fisher put on that Indianapolis Colts jersey at a charity function so he "could feel like a winner".

So the Buffalo Bills have been in contact now with Mike Shanahan, Jon Gruden and now Bill Cowher, declined by all. Something tells me they may want to set their sites lower. Considerably lower.

Minnesota Twin Joe Mauer was a near unanimous choice for AL MVP with New York Yankees Mark Teixera and Derek Jeter finishing second and third. There were some grumbling that Jeter didn't get the nod, which seems ridiculous when you realize he had only the fifth best OPS on the squad, and you have to credit a good chunk of his defensive improvement to Teixera, who would have received my vote, had I had one. That said, can't go wrong with Mauer as MVP, he had a huge year in his own right playing the toughest position physically and dragged a beat up Twins squad into the playoffs. Strangely, Mauer missed one first place vote from being a unanimous choice and that vote didn't go to Teixera or Jeter, but went to Miguel Cabrera from a Seattle writer. That single vote netted Cabrera a $200k bonus. That's a lot of cheeseburgers. Albert Pujols should run away with the NL MVP voting today.

FIFPro, the union of soccer unions, is going to lobby the MLS to have them change their player contract structure, which has all players under deals with the league and not individual clubs, a practice it contends violates FIFA rules. With the MLS collective bargaining agreement set to expire at the end of January, this could mean some huge changes for the way MLS does business. Frankly, the current model has done well to keep teams spending in line, even though its owners would make the NHL envious with their deep pockets.

If you drive with the hood of your hoodie up, you're a loser. For the record.

Count the LA Dodgers and Anaheim Angels among the teams that have inquired about soon-to-be-former Toronto Blue Jay pitcher Roy Halladay. I really can't see the Dodgers, embroiled in an ownership war between Frank McCourt and his soon to be ex-wife, being players on this one. Both also hold spring training in Arizona, with Halladay said to prefer being dealt to an east coast team that holds camp in Florida.

Now for something entirely different. After getting hammered by Tottenham Hotspur in English Premier League play 9-1 on Sunday, the players from Wigan have thrown their money together to reimburse their fans who traveled to the game. Classy, really.

Check out this great piece from's Joe Posnanski on baseball's least valuable players and pitchers. Memo to Vernon Wells fans: you will not be pleased.

Don't forget, another day of Champions League action goes today, including Inter Milan facing Barcelona.

Have a great Tuesday.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday wrap

Not sure how BC Lion Emmanuel Arceneaux feels after this meeting at the right with the turf at Olympic Stadium in Montreal yesterday, but it sure looks painful to these eyes. The Lions were hammered by the Als, while the Saskatchewan Roughriders booked their tickets to Calgary for the Grey Cup by beating the Stampeders.

It wasn't always pretty, but Real Salt Lake lifted the MLS Cup after a shootout victory when 120 minutes left the teams level at a goal a piece. Former Toronto FC striker Danny Dichio picked the #8 seeded RSL to win the Cup and proved right.
Galaxy striker Landon Donovan was asked over the weekend by ESPN columnist Bill Simmons, a huge soccer junkie the last couple years, why there isn't a fancier name for the MLS Cup and Donovan replied that "unlike other sports we don't call our championship a world anything when it is only played in America." Awesome. Except for forgetting there are teams in Canada, too.

I didn't figure that the Denver Broncos were as good as their 6-0 start suggested, but hard to believe that they're as bad as their 0-4 run now, including yesterday's 32-3 balance of power swinging loss to rival San Diego. Shocking losses yesterday by the Pittsburgh Steelers, losing 27-24 at Kansas City, and Cincinnati losing at Oakland. New Orleans and Indianapolis both moved to 10-0, though the Colts barely scraped by in Baltimore. Both have some tricky games on the schedule next week with Indy visiting Houston, and the Saints hosting New England on Monday Night.

A Playboy article (December 2009) notes that an average NFL game has only about 12 minutes of actual playing time.

Further cementing his reputation as the master of the obvious, Terry Bradshaw on Dallas Cowboys receiver Roy Williams: "he's certainly not worth two first-round picks and all that money Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is paying him. He's not proving anything.'' Not sure about you, but I've entirely tuned out NFL pre-game shows and find I enjoy the game a lot more without the overkill.

Steve Mariucci, former NFL coach turned analyst, objected to the Buffalo Bills firing Dick Jauron in the middle of the year. Methinks that his close friend Dick Jauron probably doesn't mind nearly so much.

Is there any second year pro in any sport that has seen more column inches than Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn?

Well you had to know this wouldn't take long. The interweb brings us all the Thierry Henry hand ball game. Check it out here.

Ilya Kovalchuk is said to be close to signing a 10 year deal worth $90 million to stay with the Atlanta Thrashers, not because he's seeing a team headed in the right direction, but because he prefers to play somewhere with less pressure. That, friends, is a loser.

Hands up, who had Los Angeles King Anze Kopitar as the leading scorer at the end of November?

Sports Illustrated gives you a list of the ten best pound for pound fighters in boxing history.

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


We're playing Chicago +3 tonight.

Beckham's day to shine?

On the NFL schedule today, is there a game featuring teams more desperate to win than the Atlanta Falcons visiting the New York Giants? Both have been less than they were expected to be of late, and need to turn it around to stay in the playoff hunt. Also interesting are Indianapolis visit to Baltimore, and I suspect that the Colts unbeaten run ends today. San Diego's visit to Denver will have a big part in deciding the AFC West. Also looking forward to the New York Jets at New England, and I suspect Rex Ryan will be crying again as the Patriots will crush them, and Philly at Chicago tonight ought to be good. Not interesting? Pretty much the rest.

The CFL semis go today with BC visiting Montreal in the East final. Yes, BC is now in the east apparently. In the West final, Calgary will be visiting Saskatchewan. Let me know how they go, I've got very little interest in the CFL this year for some reason, save for seeing the Toronto Argos continue to sink to new depths.

The MLS Cup goes tonight in Seattle and ought to be a banner day for the MLS with David Beckham's LA Galaxy facing Real Salt Lake in the final. RSL has been rolling of late, but the Galaxy have been a top team all year, score in bunches and defend well too, so can't imagine Beckham isn't hoisting the Cup when it ends. Game time is 8:30 Eastern, coverage on GolTV. Welcome news is that the MLS is contemplating holding future games at the home of the higher ranked team, which only makes sense.

Chelsea and Manchester United further separated themselves from the pack yesterday with easy wins while Liverpool drew Manchester City 2-2 and Arsenal lost 1-0 to Sunderland. Seems more and more likely the top four will not include Liverpool this year.

UFC 106 is in the books and Forrest Griffin beat Tito Ortiz by a split decision that unlike the last couple cards, wasn't a robbery. Josh Koschek threw himself into the title picture with an impressive win over Anthony Johnson by submission. Lot of big knockouts last night...good stuff.

If Notre Dame coach Charlie Wies can survive a home loss to UConn, hardly a football powerhouse, he's surely made of Teflon, even if buying him out for the remaining six years on his deal will cost $18 million. Absolutely love when anything bad happens to Notre Lame.

Alexander Ovechkin has nine goals in nine games at the Air Canada Centre after another last night. But the real shocker is that the Maple Leafs beat the Caps in a shootout 2-1.

Really thrilled as a taxpayer I get to pay for Don Cherry to pitch his Rock Em Sock Em 21 on the CBC. Cherry says Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau are the top line for Canada at the Olympics which, if you've not heard, are coming soon.

Ohio State beat Michigan for the sixth straight time to clinch a Rose Bowl game where they'll more than likely get killed by some quicker and more athletic team.

That smell hovering over Toronto today isn't the Leafs, or rotting leaves, but is the presence of Wince Carturd. Winessa and his Orlando Magic are in to play the Raptors, who, at 6-7, have to be pretty happy with their start considering all the games they've played out west already. Tipoff is 12:30 on CBC.

Word is Roy Halladay will not entertain signing with the Toronto Blue Jays after his current contract expires. Well, obviously. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are said to be hot on picking up Halladay, which can only be good for the Jays.

The French Football Federation officially declined a request from Ireland to replay the controversial game between the two. That marks the first time in recent memory where France didn't surrender.

Nice to see racism alive and well in 2009 as Ole Miss allowed a rally by the Ku Klux Klan on campus before they played LSU yesterday. No, seriously, check out the pictures. Losers.

Have a great Sunday, back with your PTP later.