Blue Duck Must Watch List: The 2nd Week

September 19, 2009

See if you can pick em like Peyton.

See if you can pick 'em like Peyton.

Before I get to the important stuff, I just wanted to spread the word about the Blue Duck Pick ‘Em league on Yahoo fantasy.  Its just a normal office-pool type pick ’em league, and its free.  Beat the “experts” and embarrass us week in and week out.  League starts up week 3, but sign up now.  At the end of the season the winner will get an official Blue Duck T shirt.  Anyone can join.  The more the merrier.

The Group ID is: 64754, and the password is: bigblueduck.  Good Luck.

On to business:

Carebear’s Game you should watch week 2 is:

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys.

Literally built by aliens, just like the pyramids

Literally built by aliens, just like the pyramids

This is pretty much a no brainer as the game of the week.  Giants/Cowboys is always a big game, but now that the ‘boys are opening up the giant spaceship that Jerry Jones has parked out by the Ballpark at Arlington, this matchup gets even better.

I just moved to Dallas, and the city has been abuzz for a long time over this one.  The Big D is ecstatic that they got rid of T.O., and even more excited that they get to christen the new Mecca of pro sports on Sunday.  But Dallas probably feels like a high school team that scheduled a tough opponent for homecoming.

The NFC East is probably the strongest division in football.  On any given Sunday, any one team in the east can take out any other team so this game can really go either way.  Here are a few keys.

The Giants are pretty banged up.  DT Chris Canty has been ruled out, but the Giants have some depth on the D-line, Hakeem Nicks is out, and a couple key guys in the secondary are questionable.

The secondary being shorthanded may be an issue here as Tony Romo lit up the Bucs last week for 353 yards on only 16 completions, and always seems to play well against the G-men.  Patrick Crayton, Miles Austin, and Roy Williams all had long receptions.  If the Giants can keep the passing game in check, they should take this game.

These two are friendly postgame, but Sunday should be a battle.

These two are friendly postgame, but Sunday should be a battle.

The Giant’s offense will have to rely again on that no-name receiving corps we saw last week. Eli hit 7 different targets en route to their “not as close as the score made it look” win against Washington.  The Post-Plaxico Catching Team looked good, and who knows, maybe the lack of egos from receivers makes Eli more comfortable.

Ahmad Bradshaw led the Giants in rushing with 60 yards, and look for a big game out of him.  Teams prepare for big Brandon Jacobs, and the quick and nimble Bradshaw is a huge change of pace, but quick and nimble does not necessarily mean soft, as Bradshaw’s runs more often end in refs blowing them dead, than with Bradshaw being brought to the turf.

My Prediction: Giants get lit up a few times on big passes, but control the run.  Eli has a mediocre, but effective game, and the Giants open up the 8th Wonder of the world with a 31-27 victory.

And oh yeah, what we all can’t wait for:
Seeing the look on Jerry Jones face when Jeff Feagles peppers the scoreboard throughout the billion dollar cathedral’s opening act.

Alex’s Must Watch Game of the Week:

New Orleans Saints @ Philadelphia Eagles

Drew Brees and New Orleans cruise into the City of Brotherly Love, riding high after a 45-27 victory over the Lions.  The Eagles were no slouch last week, beating Carolina 38-10, most likely losing QB Donovan McNabb for this week’s tilt in the process.  While we may not have McNabb under center for a big NFC matchup, this game is still must watch TV.

Drew Brees looked like he was playing a game of Madden out there last week, tossing 6 touchdowns.  This week is important, because we’ll see how he fares against one of the best passing defenses in football.  The Eagles secondary added another nail to the Jake Delhomme coffin last week, and didn’t just seize the opportunity against a bad quarterback.  Asante Samuel is a premier cornerback and Sheldon Brown is solid as well.  Another advantage for the Eagles is that they are extremely deep in the secondary (Hobbs, Hanson, Harris, Jones, and Demps).  This is the perfect test to see how unstoppable the Brees-led aerial assault really is.

With McNabb, the Eagles are a playoff team (a successful playoff team? God no).  All signs are pointing towards a Kevin Kolb-led Philadelphia offense.  My magic eight ball says “outlook not so good”, even considering the Saints D allowed 27 points to the Lions last week.

Kolb has been absolutely miserable in limited relief of McNabb.  In 45 career attempts, he has thrown ZERO touchdowns, four interceptions, fumbled three times and taken four sacks.  Newly signed Jeff Garcia knows the offense and should be available as insurance, but he can’t be expected to have his timing down with the receivers.  The Eagles need to be counting on Brian Westbrook to be Mr. Everything out there on Sunday, or else they are going to be praying that Kolb gives them something.  And I wouldn’t count on much, even with the weapons he has at his disposal.

Expect a heavy dose of Brian Westbrook against the Saints on Sunday.  Kevin Kolb doesnt offer much promise if McNabb cant play.

Expect a heavy dose of Brian Westbrook against the Saints on Sunday. Kevin Kolb doesn't offer much promise if McNabb can't play.

Bottom line:  This game is more about seeing the Drew Brees Show versus the Mighty Eagles Secondary than anything else.  I don’t care who wins or loses, or about the final score for that matter.  I just want to see the battle between an unstoppable force (Brees) versus an immovable object (Asante Samuel and Co.).

For me, I’d love to see Garcia come in and light things up, just to add more pressure to McNabb’s shoulders.  He’s got the inevitable Michael Vick threat one week away already, and I think it would be all the more amusing to see Garcia throw his hat into the ring of possible QB contenders.  He was already a fan favorite in 2006, and McNabb has never seemed to have the fans behind him in Philly.  I want to see how the three-headed quarterback headache turns out if Garcia has a good game.  Maybe the stress will cause Andy Reid to stop eating, something the rest of the starving world will appreciate, as well as his cardiologist.

My prediction is that the Eagles defense will give Brees his toughest test he will see all year, but it won’t be enough to overcome the Kevin Kolb doom that is sure to ensue.  Brees will toss a couple touchdowns and Brian Westbrook will put on a show, but the Saints will pull it out, 24-17.

At Press Time, Andy was seen sitting at Gung Ho, yelling at Jimmy about how the Pats are “a better version of the unstoppable 2007 team.”  Maybe he’ll get a must watch up before the games Sunday.  We shall see.

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Michael Vick. Oh Philly, How Soon You Forget…

August 18, 2009
Psycho: Real life Oglethorpe

Psycho: Real life Oglethorpe

As the stories about Mike Vick and Philadelphia Eagles protests have become more numerous I got to thinking back a few years in Philly sports.  I happen to be a Philadelphia Flyers fan (long story, Whalers fan, traded Kevin Dineen, then they stopped existing).  In 2002 though, around the trade deadline the Flyers were having trouble scoring so they went on a hunt for someone to spark the offense.  Bobby Clarke went out and got none other than Billy Tibbetts.

Who the hell is Billy Tibbetts you ask?  Old Billy Boy had maybe the longest rap sheet of any modern American athlete.  It puts Pacman Jones, Nate Newton, even Michael Vick to shame.

In 1994, at the age of 20, Tibbetts plead guilty to raping a 15 year old girl.  He served two and a half years later for an assault and battery charge, and then, after he had come and gone with the Flyers he was arrested in 2007 for leading cops on a high speed chase, crashing his car into a utility pole, and then hiding in the woods.

Obviously Michael Vick is a bigger name, and his trial and conviction took on a huge life of its own once it all got going, but Philly, you have tried to cheer for worse.  Tibbetts didn’t give us much to cheer for fortunately as he literally spent more time in the penalty box than on the ice.

People Hate Him more than Osama these days.

People Hate Him more than Osama these days.

I have grown up having dogs, my dogs were members of my family, but the guy served his time.  I doubt he feels remorse, I think it would be hard for someone who did what he did, to really turn around and feel bad about it later, but he did his time.  If he does it again, he will get banned for life.  So give the man a chance.

There are countless internet petitions and forums bitching and moaning about Mike Vick.  From what I have seen, and from what I know about Philadelphia fans, signing Michael Vick will not cause the Linc to empty out this season.  The man may get booed a little, but as long as he plays okay, and keeps his mouth shut he will be fine.

If anything, all this PETA crap will probably draw more attention to the games, and in turn the sponsors.  They already have record numbers of people who have never seen a football game showing up with puppies and signs to their practices.   They are turning new strange dog lovers onto the sport.

And for the few people that claim to be season ticket holders on these protest sites.  I know you’re not because a real Eagles season ticket holder would do stuff worse than Vick did to keep his tickets, and just know Vick will be gone in a few years, and you’ll sitting in the parking lot drinking Yuengling, trying to find a blueberry under a bottlecap, and looking for scalpers because PETA made you whine about some jackass strangling dogs.

And to PETA people, we know you would like to think that everyone sees dogs like you do.  And most people do, including myself to some extent, but some people treat dogs like dogs.  I rarely blame someone’s upbringing or surrounding crew for their actions, but I doubt Vick treats humans the way he treats dogs.  For him to not think what he was doing was wrong is inherently wrong, but I’m sure he didn’t.

Michael Vick is a dumbass.  He did some extremely cruel things to animals.  It is hard for me to believe he is sorry for these acts, but if you do not believe in giving someone a second chance after they have done their time both in prison and being suspended than you never deserve a second chance either.


Terrell Owens: Shut Up

July 27, 2009
Keep this man away from microphones for awhile.

Keep this man away from microphones for awhile.

“There’s a number of guys around the league that have done far more worse things than that and gotten a second chance. So I don’t see why he shouldn’t.”
-Terrell Owens

I feel like that quote really speaks for how stupid TO’s latest spat was.  Who has “done far more worse things” than Michael Vick?  I would really like to know.  Ray Lewis certainly had a brush with the law and got a second chance, but that’s really the only incident that comes close.

The idea that Michael Vick has done his time is ridiculous.  He has done his time when it comes to the law, but has really faced no penalty in relation to the NFL.   So four games is really just a slap on the wrist.

“Michael Vick is a guy that really hasn’t had any character issues besides [what] he got a prison sentence for”
-Terrell Owens

That is like saying John Wayne Gacy didn’t have any real character issues other than the whole serial killing spree.

I am not surprised by the comments, and I do think the guy deserves another chance to play, but T.O., you’re an idiot.

“It’s almost like kicking a dead horse in the ground.”

Or like electrocuting a live dog.


Burress Released; Now What?

April 3, 2009

Today the NY Giants released Plaxico Burress, after a tumultuous season which ended with Plax shooting himself in the leg.  Per reports, NY offered Burress a restructured contract that would have addressed the team’s grievance against the gun-toting receiver and ensured he stayed on the roster for the upcoming season.  Plax declined and the team immediately cut him.

Quick summary of events that led to this:

  • Plax missed several practices after signing a brand-new long-term contract, encurring fines.
  • Plax arrived late for several other practices, encurring fines.
  • Police were called to Plax’s home due to a domestic dispute, no charges were filed.
  • Plax shot himself in the leg at a club in late November.  The team suspended him for the remainder of the season for “conduct detrimental to the team”
  • NYG withheld $1M bonus due in December, citing the suspension as just cause.
  • Burress is currently negotiating a plea agreement with the state of New York due to several gun charges.

New York never wanted him back.  That was obvious from day one.  They always left the door slightly open for a return, but it never seemed that management wanted him to return.  Perhaps they grew wary of his actions after several indiscrestions.  From the sounds of it, the restructured contract ensured the Giants would keep the $1M they withheld from him in December.  Coach Coughlin was sick of dealing with the immature Burress.

So that leaves us here:  What does Plax do now?

He got his trial for gun charges suspended, most likely to negotiate a plea deal.  The max jail time is 3.5 years, and reports say that he is trying to avoid jail time.  Legal experts say that jail time is a guarantee and NY prosecuters are not expected to do the star any favors.  NY has some of the most strict gun laws in the country and they are said to want to make an example out of Burress.  But for the sake of arguement, let’s assume he’ll see the football field at some point in ’09.  Where does he end up?   Here’s my take:

  • Chicago – Their only early pick in this year’s draft is in the 2nd round.  They need help at WR, but also S and CB.  Their receiver corp is terrible and they just spent a bounty on Cry Baby Cutler.  He needs someone to throw to and Burress is still a great receiver.
  • Baltimore – Ray Lewis killed 2 people at a Super Bowl party and he’s the face of the franchise.  Maybe Plax can become “born-again” after giving himself a flesh wound.  The Ravens have a strong veteran system set-up that might be able to keep him in check.  And Flacco’s targets are still not that great so he could use him.
  • Philly – The team says they are set at receiver, but anybody who’s seen them knows that McNabb needs a big target.  They never effectively replaced Owens from the Super Bowl season.  Curtis and Jackson are good players, but they are tiny.  Burress is a 6’5″ beast.  The Eagles are always in contention every year, so they can afford to sit and wait for Burress to get back on the field, after jail and a Goodell suspension.
  • New England – Just kidding, but I’m waiting for the media to suggest this and run with it.  Aren’t the Pat’s linked to every star in the league, just because we’re nasty?  We piss excellence, and every player wants to play for us.  The media will point to Moss and Corey Dillon as the fact that Belicheck can change troubled players.  Let’s get this straight;  they didn’t shoot anyone, let alone themselves.  This is not happening.
  • Maimi – A real possibility.  They have a need for a big receiver opposite Ginn.  I could see them signing him to a one year contract with stipulations forcing Burress to behave to get paid.  Would Parcells do it?  Maybe, because he’s not coaching “the player” in this scenario, so he can pass the buck.  Burress’ only hope would be that Ronnie Brown is throwing it from the Wildcat, because Chad couldn’t hit him deep to save his life.
  • Bengals – Burress has the rap sheet and character issues required for consideration by the Bungles.  Yeah they signed Coles, but since when has common sense ever entered Cincy’s mind?  Exactly.
  • Jacksonville – It seems as this is the 10th consecutive year they’ve needed a number 1 receiver.  They have several needs and this could fill one.  But who knows what they’ll do?  Del Rio got rid of lots of bad chemistry players this off-season and after being burned by signing Jerry Porter last year, they are trying to avoid that again.
  • Oakland – Al Davis likes speed.  He doesn’t care about character.  Plaxico has lots of one and little of the other.  I think its a match made in heaven.  Especially because Goodell probably never wants to see Plax play again (he hates thugs) and Big Al hates the league.  Davis can give the league the finger while actually improving his team.  This needs to happen.
  • Dallas – Nope.  While any other year this would be a possibility, I think that Jerry Jones is actually giving this “team chemistry” thing a try.  I wouldn’t rule it out down the line though.
  • Tennessee – A forgotten team.  They need help at receiver and Plax fits the bill.  But coach Fisher values character and I think he’d be hesitant to get involved with him.  But he’d fill a need.

Quick hits:

  • Michael Vick says he was immature to engage in dog-fighting and it was irresponsible to kill dogs.  Seriously?  Immaturity is showing up late to work, handing in homework late, paying a credit card bill late.  It is not buying a compound for the sole reason to breed and fight pitbulls.  Irresponsible to kill dogs?  This guy has obviously not learned anything from his time in jail.  He’s still a sick S.O.B. and he won’t play in the league this year.  There’s no way that Goodell gets burned by this d-bag again.  But he will play in 2010 and there will be bidding for his services.  He had skill, we’ll find out if he still has it next year.
  • Cutler has beef with his new offensive coordinator, Ron Turner.  Apparently when Turner was the head coach at Univ. of Illinois and Cry Baby Cutler was a senior in h.s. he was promised a scholarship.  And then Illinois landed another qb and rescinded the offer.  That’s Cutler’s story.  Turner denies ever offering him a scholarship.  I love this already.  Cutler is a bitch and he needs drama.  Keep it coming big guy
  • What’s with the drug test results getting leaked? Raji was leaked yesterday, and now Cushing and Matthews have supposedly popped positive.  While I think they are completely wrong to have tested positive in a test they knew was coming, I think the league has a serious problem on their hands.  These test results are not supposed to be public knowledge.  Medical information should be confidential and most definitely not released to the media.  Especially before the teams get the official reports.  The league needs to fix this immediately.  But the players should never have tested positive in the first place.
    Update – Cushing and Matthews apparently tested positive for steroids, while Raji, Vontae Davis and Percy Harvin have tested positive for marijauna.  If true, all are idiots.  College players are expecting a drug test at the combine.  It is incredibly dumb to engage in these decisions.  That said, at least Cushing and Matthews partook in something that will benefit them.  Steroids at least make some sense.  But weed?  How is that helping anybody?  Dumb, dumb, dumb.