Thursday, November 19, 2009

Don't Hate the Bulls, Adam

You see Adam, the NBA actually does a lot of things right. You don't have cases like the Yankees for a few reasons. There is the luxury tax, which does allow big market teams to throw their money to some extent. However, it is a pretty steep price matching the dollar. This keeps teams in check from getting too ridiculous. Imagine if MLB set a limit at $100M. A few teams would pay a bit over. The Yankees would have had to pay $300M, which probably means no World Series this year.

The main reason is that the NBA rewards teams (and GM's) for drafting successfully. That is why they can always give their own player the largest contract. The flip side of this is, of course, those teams who have some poor drafts. In many cases, the Bulls (largely thanks to Krause) fall into this category. Some were also just bad luck. Missing out on Yao Ming, poor draft class with Marcus Fizer, the motorcycle incident, Riley snagging Wade, etc.

Paxson understood that roughly 1/3 of draft picks are busts. He worked to get as many as possible by buying Loul Deng from the Suns, trading Curry for Tyrus and Noah, and dealing Thabo for Taj Gibson. People always seem to forget those were picks the Bulls would not have gotten if not for craftsmanship from the GM.

I actually felt Paxson did a good job with the hand he was dealt. A poker player would understand you must have patience. Sometime you gotta wait for a good hand and go all in. He tried that with Wallace and lost. 2010 is that next hand for the Bulls. Remember they almost had Tim Duncan, T-Mac, or Grant Hill. Certainly would have changed the team's path if we had the greatest power forward of all time, right?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bengals Sign Johnson

It has been public knowledge for about 18 hours that the problematic, Larry Johnson, planned to sign with the Bengals. The hip injury to Cedric Benson escalated this. Here is my take.

The Bengals needed some veteran help as insurance. Bernard Scott seemed to fill in aptly but you never know long term what issues he might have blocking, fumbling, etc. That being said, Johnson was not the answer.

The Bengals have spent years (and plenty of PR dollars I am sure) to get the right players in this locker room improve their image. Getting the wrong guys out was the most important part of that. Guess what? Now, they are winning despite not making any dramatic new additions. Let's face it, Coles was a mediocre add, after losing TJ.

Now, after their biggest win in a long time, they decide to throw all that mindset to the wind and bring in one of the biggest problem players in the NFL!? Hey Marvin, I heard PacMan also needs a job. The Bengals would have been wise to bring in a player like Edge, Stecker, Rhodes. there are still decent options out there. Beside, LJ was averaging 2.7 YPC! Granted, his line is terrible but that production is hardly worth the headache. Just ask the poor Chiefs fans.

The Bengals are one of the feel-good stories of the year. I hope this is not the beginning of the end for them and their fans. Well, except for the few (most were very good) jerk fans who rubbed it in out faces when we made the trip for the Bears blowout.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This Week In Chicago Sports

Rick Morrissey is completely wrong on the subject of retiring Jordan's number. Ask the 83 International players in the NBA how his global icon status helped change their lives. No player has changed the game as much as No. 23 did. This is a nice change in maturity from Lebron.

Rookie, Brandon Jennings, drops 55! Wow, that is a great showing for an undersized point guard the scouts said couldn't shoot. Scott Skiles is at it again by helping a young team overachieve. He sure has a way to make it work for a few years.

Jay Cutler should be glad many NFL fans do not have the NFL Network. Thankfully, plenty of analysts took the time to share how poor his decision making was/is. He cannot take full blame as he has one of the worst offensive lines to ever take an NFL field protecting him.

The Bears simply have a ton of problems. No true #1 receiver. An again, overrated defense. The aforementioned line. They basically have Lance Briggs, special teams, and a QB with tons of physical talent. On top of that, no draft picks in sight. It is going to be awhile, and you have to wonder how long before Jay really starts crying publicly. Bring in Mike Shanahan. Move Lovie, at all costs.

Another hot seat is Weis. Most ND fans want him out. It sounds like he is done. I say ride another year and see how the recruits continue playing out. ND is just not the attraction it once was, and they may have a hard time finding a drastic improvement making the costs worthwhile.

The Blackhawks continue to play strong and are the only thing in the city carrying serious playoff hopes for the foreseeable future. I have concerns about goalkeeping in the playoffs but that remains to be seen. Should be a nice improvement when Hossa gets back. It is nice to see him working out with the team.

Marlon Byrd? Is that really priority #1, Jim Hendry? Did you not learn your lesson from bringing in the last aged, Texas outfielder? Granted, he does not have the attitude problems of Mr. Bradley, but come on! We are the Chicago Cubs. You can and have to do better than that.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Chicago Flag Football

Those who came last night to Field 6 of the Lincoln Park South fields, witnessed one of the most competitive 8 on 8, recreational, co-ed flag football games you could ever imagine. The Dutch Ovens came out flat. It almost seemed as if they were drinking beer and eating pizza right before the game. It was quickly 14-0 but they were determined to change the tides.

The calm, California-looking quarterback, Jason Robelia, marched the Dutchesses down the field. A leaping grab as the first half expired from Rick Kerley left the score 14-7. A few quick sips of water and all were back on the field. Sometimes ovens take awhile to preheat and this team was planning for a strong second half.

The Dutch Ovens marched again to tie the game with a corner pass to Tara Gibney. She seemed refreshed after her recent exit from rehab. Her new focus could make a big difference in this team's playoff push. More lock-down, man defense forced the opponent to punt, which was a terrible call considering they did not gain a single yard. This left the Dutch Ovens with a short field and they made the most of it. Kerley came down with his second TD of the game, and quickly claimed himself, "Unstoppable".

This would come down to the wire as a few lapses gave up another touchdown. However, TGIF decided to go for two and the win. Ryan Habich collided with two players in the endzone and the ball hit the ground. The players complained to the refs that he gassed them out. It is likely those two players will face steep fines. Dutch Ovens took the win 21-20. They walked off victors to a nice bottle of red wine. There are rumblings of a long extension to potential coach of the year, Shane Summers.

Tara Chinski also had a surprisingly strong showing. Her new, black hair must have given her super powers. Most suspect it is the upgraded last name, though. She recorded two tackles, broke up a potential touchdown pass with her face, and recorded her first reception of the year.

To those who have not seen this team play, it would be wise to take the time next Thursday. All could learn from the heart and sportsmanship the Dutch Ovens put on display week in and week out.