* A blog segment, inspired by Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback sub-article, where I will just throw out ten sports related things that are on my mind at this point, and ramble about them! Hope you enjoy, and please subscribe
1. Tony Romo is a top NFL quarterback. I know, I've heard it, your gonna tell me that he can't win games from December on, and that he's terribly inconsistent. As true as that might be, you just can't argue with the stats. As inconsistent as he can be, he has the second best quarterback rating of any active quarterback (94.2), trailing only the great Peyton Manning (95.1). Lets also remind ourselves that he is a career 27-12-0 as a starter, and is a lock to throw for 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns each year he stays healthy. Now, I understand what your saying, he has to prove himself in a big game, and I get that, but hasen't anyone ever thought that the DALLAS COWBOYS can't win the big game? The team does start other players, right? So, until he starts losing more games then he wins, or his quarterback rating drops to a Rex Grossman-esque total, you can't deny that he is one of the true elite quarterbacks in the NFL.
2. The San Francisco 49ers are for real. I, like most others, thought that they weren't gonna be much of a threat this year. We all watched them beat the Cardinals, and we were all really happy for them, but everyone was thinking it was just a flash in the pan. Then they go and beat a highly medicore Seattle Seahawks team, and, although impressed, most of us still thought they weren't much of a threat. However, I can officially say I have jumped on the San Francisco bandwagon. They really impressed me yesterday, and had it not been for some late Brett Favre magic, they'd be 3-0 and crusing in a weak NFC West. They have a young Ray Lewis in Patrick Willis, some under-valued defensive backs in Nate Clements and Dre Bly, and has shown the ability to pressure the quarterback. Shaun Hill is doing what he is supposed to do, managing the game and not turning the ball over, and Frank Gore has been the top running back he's supposed to be. Don't get me wrong, I'm not crying Super Bowl here, but don't be surprised if they've got a wildcard game next January.
3. Can anyone remember when September baseball meant so little? With my Blue Jays becoming an embarrassment, I find myself not paying much attention to the major leagues, when usually this is the time people start watching baseball. I guess you could attribute this to only one, maybe two races left, and they aren't appealing. The AL Central could be the most boring and least watched division in the majors, and if the Tigers take even one of the four games this week in their four game set, its gonna be real tough on the Twins to even make things interesting. The NL wildcard is another race still going, but who really cares whether its the Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants or the Atlanta Braves who make the playoffs. Like the winner of the AL Central having to face the Yankees, the winner won't have much of a chance against the Phillies come October. I think that the lack of meaningful ball is what is holding me back, but that doesn't change the fact that when baseball should be at its most exciting, I find myself waiting for the season to end.
4. The Russians should be the undoubtable favorites going into the mens hockey tournament at this years Olympics. I have never seen a team, at any level, who has the talent this team does on their top two lines. Although im not entirely sure on how they will be lined up, the top two lines sport the following names: Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Semin and Alexei Kovalev. Thats scary. Could you imagine lining up to start the Olympics, and seeing Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Ilya Kovalchuk coming to the face-off? It's just scary, and could even be called unfair. Pair that with a talented back-end (Andrei Markov and Sergei Gonchar leading the way), and the Russians finally producing a goaltender in Evgeni Nabokov, they seem poised to make that jump to international glory.
5. What happened to the AFC South? This division was supposed to be one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL, and yet they support a combined mediocre 6-6 record. Take away the Colts, and your looking at a 3-6 record. Thats right, the Texans and Jags are sitting at 1-2, with the Titans at a 0-3. That's just not we expected, and to all you Colts haters out there, who told me the change was to much for Peyton and the boys to take, and that they were looking at a third place finish in the South this year.. suck it!
6. Tim Tebow going down was possibly the most over-blown thing I've ever seen happen during a sports event. After a nice rush and a huge hit, Tebow was shown on the ground, moving very little. Next thing you know, Urban Meyer and the rest of the school football program rush out to his side, with this helpless look on their face, as if their mother was just killed. Now, he is picked up, and put in an ambulance. The camera then proceeds to follow this ambulance out of the stadium and on its way to the hospital. Really! There is a football game to be played here, and Tebow getting hurt, although important, should not have the same footage as if the president had just been shot.
7. Drew Brees is human! After throwing for a mere 172 yards, with no touchdowns, we learned that he is no super quarterback, and he can be slowed down. The only thing is, the Saints showed they can play defense. They held the Bills in check pretty well all game, and did not allow Terrell Owens a single catch. That hadn't happened in 185 games prior to that! If this Saints team can play defense like that consistently, and win a game convincingly when Brees throws for less 200 yards and no touchdowns, they can be serious contenders in this years tightly packed NFC.
8. Why on earth does anyone think that an NHL team in Hamilton is a good idea. First off, I don't see how it's a guaranteed market, as Hamilton has never really maintained a top professional sports team. I'd say places like Seattle would be more successful, as it has a hockey base and is a much bigger market. Not to mention, teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres and the Detroit Red Wings are bound to get a touchy on the subject. Think about how much of the Sabres fan-base can be found in Southern Ontario, and the same goes for Toronto. Think about how many people go for weekend trips to Detroit to watch an NHL hockey game. I just don't see how this is the best place for an NHL team right now.
9. The NHL has become one great product on the ice. Forget the problems the league is having off the ice, the competition on the ice is at an all time high. You'd be hard pressed to tell me 5 teams everyone knows isn't gonna make the playoffs, and each conference has at least 12-13 teams with a legitimate shot and pushing for the playoffs this year. Teams like the Columbus Blue Jackets are finally finding their stride, and the days of the Red Wings-Avalanche-Stars-Blues dominance are over in the Western Conference. In the east, I've never seen teams bounce around so much. The Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadians either win the conference, or fight for the final playoff spot year in and year out, and there are always playoff battles last until the last day. So forget about Phoenix, and forget about how many teams are losing money. Just watch the game, and enjoy it while it's at such a high level.
10. Tony Dungy is one hell of an analyst. I find myself waiting for his five minutes each Sunday night before kick-off, and I come out with more football knowledge then I had before he talks. He's analysis is so in depth, yet understandable, and you can really tell that he's got a knowledge of the game that not many can claim to have. Just watch him talk next Sunday night and you'll see, he puts guys like Cris Collinsworth and Tiki Barber to shame.