Saturday, January 1, 2011

I'm back baby!!!!! AKA The REAL Decade in Review - Part One of ???

Here it is.  1/1/11.  I warned you all a few months ago if you follow me on Twitter (@WordOnTheFarm) that this was the date of my return.  As the end of 2010 came near, it was looking less likely that a new laptop would be coming my way to allow for this return.  Thank God for school, because the extra money that I got this fall was enough to get the laptop, so now I'm back baby.  I'm not sure how many of you all missed me (if anyone at all), but too bad.  The Farm Is Back!

Now, I could do the easy thing and come back with a 2010 in review blog.  Who said I do anything easy?  No, this one is going to be epic.  This is going to be a TRUE decade of decadence review.  Don't give me this Aughts in Review from 2000 to 2009.  The world wasn't created at year 0.  The world didn't go from 1 B.C. to 0 to 1 A.D.  It went from 1 B.C. to 1 A.D., and therefore, the true decade just past (2001-2010) is the decade that needs to be reviewed.  I expect that this review will take two or three blog posts, just because of the sheer magnitude of how much needs to be covered.  I'm going to start off with the ten biggest stories of the past decade.  I don't think I'm putting these in any particular order, just because they all have their degree of impact on the sports world of the past decade.  (The first five will appear in today's blog, the next five will be in the followup.)

#1. Daytona 2001.  The Intimidator's untimely death.  Dale Earnhardt was running in third on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, trying to protect teammates Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr to give Waltrip his first career Winston Cup win in 463 career starts.  Sterling Marlin and Ken Schrader were running up hard on Earnhardt trying to pull ahead and catch the two other DEI cars.  The videos speak for themselves:

#1a. 2001 Pepsi 400.  In the first race at Daytona International Speedway following Dale Earnhardt's death, another highly emotional story unfolded as Dale Earnhardt Jr would go on to win the Pepsi 400.  Hollywood could not have written a better script for this race and the result.

#2. The Tiger Slam.  This will be the first of two appearances for Tiger Woods on the top ten list.  Granted, most of the titles that constitute the "Tiger Slam" were won in the year 2000, but the 2001 Masters was the culmination of what would have to be considered the greatest run of any professional golfer in the modern era.  Tiger had won the 2000 U.S. Open, 2000 British Open and the 2000 PGA Championship, and had already won the 1997 Masters.  Tiger would go on to win 9 majors during the decade, 13 World Golf Championship events, and 47 tournaments overall.  More on Tiger in a bit.

#3.  The New England Patriots.  In February 2002, the New England Patriots shocked the NFL world by defeating the St. Louis Rams to win Super Bowl XXXVI, 20-17 on a last second field goal by Adam Vinatieri.  The Patriots entered the game as a double digit underdog by the Vegas oddsmakers, yet were able to slow down what had been dubbed "The Greatest Show On Turf".  This was the coming out party for quarterback Tom Brady, who wasn't even the starting quarterback to begin the season.  Brady came in as the backup to Drew Bledsoe, who was injured during the second game of the regular season.  On the way to Super Bowl XXXVI, the Patriots would win their opening playoff game against the Oakland Raiders in a controversial manner.  Known as the Tuck Rule game, Tom Brady was hit by Charles Woodson on a corner blitz and appeared to fumble the ball.  However, after review, the play was called an incomplete pass because Brady's arm was moving forward at the time of the hit.  The Patriots would go on to win Super Bowl XXXVIII and XXXIX, completing what many people have called the most dominant run in NFL history because of the salary cap that teams were forced to adhere to, unlike the Cowboys of the 1990s and the 49ers of the 1980s.

However, in 2007, the Patriots were also involved in one of the most publicized scandals of the decade with Spygate.  The New York Jets filed a claim with the NFL after week one that accused the Patriots of videotaping the Jets plays during the game on the field.  After a lengthy investigation by the league, the Patriots were fined a record $500,000 and were forced to forfeit their 2008 first round draft pick.  Even after the Spygate incident, the 2007 Patriots would go on to become the only team in NFL history to go through a 16-0 regular season.  However, the Patriots would not finish the season undefeated, as the New York Giants would go on to upset the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

#4.  The 2004 MLB playoffs.  The Curse of the Bambino.  Yankees-Red Sox.  The carryover from the epic 2003 ALCS showdown.  The Yankees would start the 2004 ALCS in dominating fashion, winning the first three games of the series, including game three by the ridiculous score of 19-8.  You would think the series would be over right?  WRONG.  The series was just getting exciting.  David Ortiz would give the Red Sox life in extra innings in game four, hitting a walk-off home run to cut the series deficit to 3-1.  Ortiz would do it again in game five, hitting a walk-off single to make it three games to two.  Curt Schilling would return in game six in what became known as the "Bloody Sock" game, pitching with a torn tendon sheath in his right ankle and give the Red Sox a lift, forcing a game seven.  One game from an epic collapse, the Yankees would ultimate choke away the series, with Johnny Damon hitting two home runs in game seven and the Red Sox romping their way to a 10-2 win in the final game of the series.  The Red Sox would go on to win the 2004 World Series, ending 86 years of futility.  Not to be outdone, the 2005 Chicago White Sox would break their own futility, ending 94 years of frustration by winning the title.

#5.  The Decision.  Where would LeBron go?  That was the storyline after the Cleveland Cavaliers season ended in the 2010 playoffs with another disappointing loss.  LeBron hosted meetings with various teams during the offseason, and led to what is being called an ill-conceived television special on ESPN hosted by Jim Gray.  The questions Gray was allowed to ask were basically softball questions designed to promote the fluff that LeBron had to say.  The catchphrase "I'm taking my talents to South Beach" has become a joke amongst the players who go to Miami and beat the Heat.  The over the top celebration of the Heat's signing of Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and their initial struggles during the 2010-2011 season made this spectacle look even more ridiculous.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Welcome to the 2010s

The Word Of The Day is Decadence.

Welcome to the 2010s.  As I'm sure you have all noticed, I've been away for the last month dealing with various ailments.  Honestly, I'm not any better, but since we're in a new decade, I figured it was time to start fresh.

Two days into the new decade and already we're seeing stories of stupidity.  The Mike Leach/Adam James situation is stupid.  If a kid has a concussion, YOU SEND THE KID HOME.  You don't lock him up in a utility closet, or a shed, or whatever.  He has no reason to be out anywhere near a football field if he's concussed.  It was your responsibility Mike Leach, and for you to have the balls to go on national television and try to blame the kid and/or his parents, it shows a real lack of responsibility on your part.  I don't expect that we'll see Leach patrolling the sidelines anytime soon, especially with as prominent as concussions have become.

It was reported in the New York Post that Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenden got into an argument in early December that involved the presence of guns.  Really???  You're holding guns in your locker, Gilbert?  Keeping them at home I can understand, but having multiple firearms in your locker?  Stupid.  I guess the Rae Carruth, Plaxico Burress, Lawrence Phillips, Maurice Clarett, et al. stories must have missed your brain cells, huh.

And then we have Edwin Encarnacion.  Or should I say, his family.  Now I get that everyone wants to celebrate the New Year, but go somewhere else to do it.  Lighting your own fireworks is a sure recipe for disaster.  Luckily the injuries aren't serious for Edwin.

Today is Upset Central in college basketball.  #5 Syracuse goes down at home to Pittsburgh (who I don't understand why they weren't ranked at 11-2).  Boston College goes down at home to Maine (that's right, Maine, a team that lost to the aforementioned Syracuse by over 40 just a few weeks ago).  Rhode Island knocked off Oklahoma State (some people might not see this as an upset, but an A-10 team over a Big 12 team is an upset in my book). 

This college bowl season just hasn't been very exciting, in my estimation.  Yeah, there have been some exciting games, but the marquee games haven't lived up to the hype at all.  The only two games I'm really looking forward to haven't been played yet:  TCU/Boise State and Texas/Alabama.  I look forward to seeing these games, and hopefully the hype behind them is lived up to.  Don't disappoint me.

Looking forward to the NFL games tomorrow too.  A lot of games with playoff implications to be watched, and quite frankly, even with Drew Brees taking a day off tomorrow, I fully expect my fantasy team to hold on to its 41 point lead and win my league title.  (Adding Vince Young should cement it, although I don't think it was necessary.)

On a personal note, I know that I had announced a few times on my Twitter page (@WordOnTheFarm) that I was going to do an Aughts In Review blog.  Unfortunately, my physical health in the month of December kept me from doing a lot of things, so I focused what little energy I had on school and my real job.  Now that we are in a new decade, I will focus entirely on the topics at hand.  Coming up within the next two weeks: my baseball and football Hall of Fame ballots, if I had a vote.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Media Slurping The Kool-Aid of Tim Tebow's Heisman

This is a special Sunday edition of Word On The Farm.  There won't be too many Sunday topical blogs, but after this weekend's college football action, I didn't think waiting until Monday would be a good idea.

The Word Of The Day is Kool-Aid.

I am sick and tired of the media's man-crush on Tim Tebow.  Gary Danielson, Skip Bayless, Verne Lundquist, and anyone else who believes that Tim Tebow's intangibles should make up for his lack of statistics in order to give The Golden Boy a second Heisman Trophy needs to stop drinking his kool-aid.  Yes, his intangibles are amazing.  His leadership skills are second to none on the football field, and his character is just as flawless.  However, leadership and character skills are not the criteria for the Heisman Trophy, and neither is career achievements.  Simply put, Tebow has been responsible for 25 fewer touchdowns this year than he was in his sophomore campaign when he won the Heisman.  That does not compute to another trophy, not when there are plenty of other candidates who are much more worthy of that honor.

I don't care what he does next week against Florida.  Mark Ingram lost ANY chance he had at the Heisman Trophy on Friday when he was sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter against Auburn because he wasn't moving the ball.  The fact that the Crimson Tide used the oh so handy excuse of a minor injury to cover that up to keep him in the Heisman race doesn't overshadow the fact that he did have a bad game on a national stage.  Especially when...

Colt McCoy had a HUGE game against Texas A&M to vault into the lead for the Heisman.  One more game against Nebraska next week like he had on Thursday and you can etch his name as a Heisman winner.  He will have to overcome a very solid Cornhusker defense, however, in order to do this.  It should be a great matchup between McCoy and Nebraska star tackle Ndamukong Suh, whose name has also been mentioned this year as a possible candidate.

Toby Gerhart might have had something to say about the Heisman race last night, rushing for over 200 yards for the third time in the last four games against a weak Notre Dame run defense.  He ran for three scores, and also threw his first career touchdown pass against the Irish.

Why isn't Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore getting more love for the Heisman than he's getting?  All he has done in his sophomore season is throw for 3053 yards, 38 touchdowns and only THREE interceptions in 362 attempts.  Those are numbers that any quarterback would love to have.  While he hasn't had that big 450-500 yard passing game that the Colt McCoys, Jimmy Clausens or Case Keenums have had, he's the reason the Broncos are going to the BCS.  That's right.  Boise State is going to the BCS.  More on that shortly.

Imagine what the race would look like if Cincinnati quarterback Tony Pike hadn't gotten hurt and missed essentially four games.  When he got hurt, he was the front runner for the award.  He came out in his first full game since October 15th against Illinois and torched the Illini for 399 yards and 6 touchdowns.  Pike looks like he could very well be a first round pick in next April's NFL Draft.

Now onto the Bowl Championship Series.  Thanks to the upsets of Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh, and Georgia Tech this week, you can absolutely put Boise State into the BCS as an at-large team along with TCU.  For the first time in BCS history, there will be TWO non-BCS conference schools playing in the BCS.  Here are my projections for the BCS games:

Rose Bowl: Ohio State (Big Ten Champ) vs Oregon (Pac Ten Champ)
FedEx Orange Bowl:  TCU (highest non-BCS team) vs Georgia Tech (ACC Champ)
Allstate Sugar Bowl:  Alabama (at-large team) vs. Cincinnati (Big East Champ)
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl:  Boise State (at-large team) vs. Penn State (at-large team)
National Championship Game:  Florida (BCS #1 - SEC Champ) vs Texas (BCS #2 - Big 12 Champ)

Some of you might ask me why I'm taking Penn State over Iowa as the last at-large team even though Iowa beat Penn State earlier in the season.  Look at how each of these two teams finished.  Penn State has won seven of their last eight.  Iowa's last three games were two losses and a 12-0 win over Minnesota.  Penn State also has the bigger fan base and is more likely to travel to Arizona to play in the Fiesta Bowl than Hawkeyes fans.  Face it, it's true.  Besides, it's a sentimental pick, I want to see JoePa get one last game of glory, even if I don't think the Nittany Lions have a prayer against Boise State.

I need to throw this out there.  I always thought of Pete Carroll as a classy guy, even if the USC program has undergone a lot of turmoil in recent years due to possible recruiting violations and character issues with their players.  While I don't condone UCLA's calling of the time out with 48 seconds left after USC downed the ball, what Pete Carroll did having Matt Barkley throw a useless 48 yard TD pass is completely bush league, and then to have the entire Trojans team come out onto the field and taunt the Bruins after the score is even worse.  If I were a player on the UCLA Bruins, I don't care who I would have had to run over, there would have been a fight.  Coaches shouldn't let their emotions get the best of them, especially in a rivalry game, but what Pete Carroll did was completely bush.

T-minus two days and counting before the inevitable announcement that Notre Dame and Charlie Weis have come to a mutual buyout agreement of his contract.  He said it himself, 6-6 is unacceptable as coach of the Fighting Irish.  Don't blame this year on Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate.  If Notre Dame had a better record, both of these guys would be mentioned as top Heisman Trophy contenders.  I would like to see both Clausen and Tate stick around one more year, as they would be the front runners along with Boise State's Kellen Moore.  If the Fighting Irish can install a halfway decent defense, there is no reason they can't finish 9-3 or 10-2 next year.  Then again, they were supposed to do that this year with their schedule.  Rumors are running rampant that Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is at the top of their wish list.  That would be a major coup for the Irish if they can get him out of Oklahoma.

Enjoy the NFL games today.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

NFL and College Quick Hits

Taking the cheap way out of the picks this week.  It is the holiday weekend after all.

NFL Thursday:
Green Bay 27, Detroit 10
Dallas 13, Oakland 10
Denver 24, NY Giants 13

NFL Sunday:
Atlanta 27, Tampa Bay 20
Miami 26, Buffalo 12
Cincinnati 38, Cleveland 7
St. Louis 20, Seattle 9
Carolina 24, NY Jets 19
Philadelphia 31, Washington 3
Houston 24, Indianapolis 21 UPSET SPECIAL #1
San Diego 27, Kansas City 21
San Francisco 20, Jacksonville 17
Minnesota 34, Chicago 10
Tennessee 24, Arizona 21
Baltimore 17, Pittsburgh 14

NFL Monday Night:
New England 37, New Orleans 31 UPSET SPECIAL #2

College Thursday Game:
#3 Texas 49, Texas A&M 14

College Friday Games:
#5 Cincinnati 37, Illinois 7
Auburn 17, #2 Alabama 14 UPSET SPECIAL #3
West Virginia 21, #9 Pittsburgh 17 UPSET SPECIAL #4
#6 Boise State 56, Nevada 45

College Saturday Games:
South Carolina 24, #18 Clemson 21 UPSET SPECIAL #5
#24 North Carolina 27, NC State 7
#25 Ole Miss 28, Mississippi State 13
#12 Oklahoma State 45, Oklah
#4 TCU 66, New Mexico 3
#1 Florida 27, Florida State 10
#14 Virginia Tech 33, Virginia 13
South Florida 20, #17 Miami 14 UPSET SPECIAL #6
#19 BYU 37, #21 Utah 21
#15 LSU 24, Arkansas 21
#7 Georgia Tech 20, Georgia 17
#23 Houston 56, Rice 21
#20 USC 44, UCLA 20
BONUS GAME Notre Dame 34, Stanford 30

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Edition

The Word Of The Day is Turkeys.

Well, it's Thanksgiving tomorrow.  While all of you are chomping on your turkeys and eating your pies and potatoes, watching the three putrid NFL games that you're being force fed because of these so-called traditions, I will be at work, watching people walking down the hallway to the restaurant here in the hotel to go eat and gorge on their Thanksgiving dinners.  Now that I am single and have no one to share this holiday with, I'm not celebrating it.  What's the point?

Anyhow, since it is Thanksgiving, and, well, we are On The Farm, I think it's appropriate that we present the first annual Word On The Farm Turkeys for 2009.  So without further ado,

Keizo Konishi - How do you justify voting Miguel Cabrera as the American League Most Valuable Player?  As you avid readers saw on my blog yesterday, Cabrera was at best the ninth most valuable player in the league last year.  Inexcusable.

Manny Ramirez - The biggest clown in Major League Baseball got himself a 50 game suspension for taking a banned substance, allegedly for "erectile dysfunction".  It's bad enough to get caught taking a banned substance.  It's MUCH worse to admit you have ED.  That's what Cialis and Viagra are for.

J.P. Ricciardi - Deservedly fired at the end of the baseball season, Ricciardi failed to make the trade to deal Roy Halladay during the season with either Philadelphia or Boston at the trade deadline, thus lowering the price that they can get during this offseason.  Halladay has since come out and said he will not re-sign with the Jays.  Dumb move, J.P.

Lane Kiffin - Rule one of becoming a coach of a major college football program: Don't rile up the opposing coaches.  He alienated Urban Meyer (he being the coach of the National Champion Florida Gators) by saying he would take the Volunteers and run all over the Gators.  How'd that work out?  At least you kept it close, Coach.

Bill Belichick - I love The Hoodie as much as anyone, but you have to be an absolute turkey to go for it on fourth and two from your own 28 yard line against Peyton Manning and the Colts.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Maurice Jones-Drew - This wasn't a turkey move as far as NFL plays goes, but it was a turkey move as far as Fantasy Football goes.  Mau-Jo cost approximately 10,000 players wins a couple of weeks ago by taking a knee at the 1 yard line instead of scoring the open touchdown, including himself.  Fortunately, I had already built a 50 point lead so those six points didn't matter to me.  Otherwise he'd be higher on the list.

Donnie Walsh - You passed on Brandon Jennings and Ty Lawson for who???  Someone who doesn't fit the Mike D'Antoni offense?  It's no wonder the Knicks have sucked this entire decade.  But at least they aren't the 0-14 New Jersey Nets.

Larry Johnson - "I'm not Grand-mama" Johnson made the cardinal mistake of using Twitter to spew out a gay slur against head coach Todd Haley.  If Johnson had been rushing for at least four yards a carry, maybe he's still in Kansas City.  Rushing for less than three yards a carry and doing this means you lose your paycheck.

Major League Umpires - Showed how blind they really are, letting a Joe Mauer sure double be called a foul ball even though it was clearly fair.  Then, in what should have been a double play, Ed Brinkman called only one of two players out at third base that were both off the third base bag.  Those were the most egregious calls, but they weren't the only ones.  More on officiating later.

Dante Wesley - You'll remember Wesley as the clown who launched himself into kick returner Clifton Smith, knocking Smith out of the game and out for a couple of weeks.  The NFL only gave him a one game suspension, although I think he should have been gone for the year.  I still think that way.

LaGarrett Blount - The senior Oregon running back sucker punched a Boise State player after their loss in the season opener, then went after the fans of Boise State after the game.  Suspended for the season by Oregon officials after the game, he was re-instated earlier this month after showing contrition.  I praise Oregon for giving this kid another chance to get his life in order and give him a chance at the NFL.

Brandon Spikes/Urban Meyer - The Florida All-American linebacker attempted to eye gouge Georgia running back Washaun Ealey in the middle of a pile a few weeks ago.  Urban Meyer suspended him for the first half against Vanderbilt, and it took a media circus to force Spikes to suspend himself for the entire game. This should have been the decision from the beginning, no matter what Ealey thought.

Bud Adams - His display of bird flipping during the Titans win over the Bills a few weeks ago was utterly embarrassing.  His full page ad in the Buffalo paper was worse, because nowhere in the advertisement was there an apology for his actions.

The Female Turkey of the Year goes to:
Elizabeth Lambert, New Mexico women's soccer - How do I explain how big of a turkey she was?  I can't.  I will let her actions speak for themselves.  Lambert's Actions against BYU

And finally, The Turkey of the Year goes to:
Southeastern Conference officials - How bad do you have to be to be suspended by your conference?  One crew was suspended because of egregious calls made in consecutive weeks.  The first was a reckless personal foul called for a touchdown celebration that wasn't much of a celebration.  The next week, they screwed up again, calling a penalty on LSU that cost them a win against Florida.  I wonder how much the Gators administration is paying the officials to give them wins.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The Word of the Day is DUH.

(Just a quick note.  I've added a few new blogs to my network as great reads.  I hope you read those blogs as well as this one.  They are all very entertaining.  As you see at the top, I've also added a new logo, created at  Hope you enjoy it.  Shameless plug: Please click on the advertisements you see on this page.  It would be nice to make money off this blog, but since I don't have any direct sponsorships yet, it would be nice if you click on the ads to help make me some much needed money for the holidays.)

Albert Pujols was just named the unanimous winner of the 2009 National League Most Valuable Player award.  Well duh.  Prince Albert was clearly the best player in baseball, and if he wasn't named a unanimous winner of the NL MVP award, it would have been the biggest travesty since, well, yesterday's AL MVP announcement that Joe Mauer only got 27 of 28 first place votes.

Speaking of which, what in the hell were you thinking, Keizo Konishi?  Miguel Cabrera was the best player in the American League?  By what criteria?  Most cheeseburgers eaten during the pre-game buffet?  Most hot dogs eaten at first base during the game?  Most times caught on camera picking his nose?  There is no justifiable reason that Miguel Cabrera was the best player in the American League.  Miguel Cabrera wasn't even the most valuable Detroit Tigers player this year.  Justin Verlander was.  In fact, if I had a ballot for the American League MVP, it would have looked something like this:

1. Joe Mauer
2. Derek Jeter
3. Kendry Morales
4. Ben Zobrist
5. Kevin Youkilis
6. Mark Teixeira
7. Zack Greinke
8. Aaron Hill
9. Miguel Cabrera
10. Jason Bay

Cabrera deserved to be in the top ten this year.  But the fact that he drank himself off during the month of September when the Tigers needed him most says enough about his character that he should not have been anywhere near the top of the ballot.

Speaking of dumb votes, what in the hell is Placido Polanco and Jeremy Affeldt doing getting MVP votes?  Really?  Polanco was at best the FIFTH best second baseman in the American League this past year, and even that is probably generous (Hill, Zobrist, Cano, Pedroia, Roberts come to mind before I even consider Polanco).  And a SETUP man in the National League is in the top ten?  The fact that Adrian Gonzalez finished TWELFTH should show that there is no way in hell that Jeremy Affeldt should have been considered a top FIFTY player in the National League, let alone top ten.  These voters should have their ballots revoked IMMEDIATELY.

College basketball season started in earnest last week.  After watching the Coaches vs Cancer classic last week, I want to know what the coaches of the Big East were thinking putting Syracuse SIXTH in the conference in their pre-season ranking.  They looked very impressive against Ohio State and North Carolina last week.  Mark my words right now.  Syracuse WILL be a Final Four team this year.  Since I really didn't do a college basketball preview, I'm going to announce my Final Four teams here as I think we will see Syracuse, Kansas, Duke and Texas as the last teams standing.

What took the Titans so long to give the reins to Vince Young.  All he does is simply win games.  He may not put up the best numbers (see Boller, Kyle), but he gets the job done.  Eight straight regular season wins for Vince.  If they had pulled the plug on Kerry Collins earlier, we might be talking about the Titans as a playoff contender.  Now, however, even if they win out, there is virtually zero chance that the Titans will make the playoffs.

My NFL MVP Watch:
1. Brett Favre.  Unheard of idea four months ago, but 21 TDs, 3 INTs and leading the NFL in QB rating shows that The Gunslinger is more than just a gunslinger.

2. Peyton Manning.  He is carrying this Colts offense to an undefeated season with guys named Garcon running the routes.

3. Drew Brees.  It's nothing that he did that is causing him to drop in my eyes.  It's just that Favre has been unbelievable.  Looking forward to seeing what he can do against Patriots defense.

4. Tom Brady.  He's BACK.  Enough said.

5.  Wes Welker.  Hear me out here folks, because this isn't just because of my Patriots fandom.  The Patriots didn't have Welker in week two, so the Jets could focus on shutting down Randy Moss because the Pats didn't have enough depth at WR.  Result: Jets win.  Welker is back the second time around, and he torches them for 15 catches and nearly 200 yards, getting first downs on nearly every single reception.  Result: Patriots win.

My Top Three Heisman Candidates:
(Before I begin, this is probably the weakest crop of Heisman candidates in recent memory.  At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)
1. Case Keenum, Houston.  He is putting up staggering numbers.  If Houston had any type of defense, they would be in the discussion for BCS buster.

2. Mark Ingram, Alabama.  Ingram is carrying the Crimson Tide towards the BCS title game.  Yes, I said it.  Alabama will beat Florida to go to the BCS title game.

3. C.J. Spiller, Clemson.  Spiller is probably the most versatile player in college football this year.  This year's version of Percy Harvin.  That's right.  Percy Harvin.

Tomorrow:  NFL and College picks.  Probably won't be another blog after tomorrow this week due to Thanksgiving holiday, not that I will be celebrating it.  It is also the 11 year anniversary of my half brother's tragic passing due to a car accident.  I will be working instead to keep my mind off it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wow, what a weekend!

The Word of the Day is Legendary.

First off, I'm going to introduce a new weekly feature to Word On The Farm. It's called Tweet of the Week. No, it's not going to be a random tweet that I found most entertaining. It's going to be self-serving, a tweet that is a reference to anything that I post on my Twitter account that I find to be the most influential to my 51 followers. (Shameless plug - Please feel free to follow me on Twitter at @LynchCats. I post on more than just sports and poker on there. Want to get to know the man? Follow me there.) A little bit of backstory on this tweet. I believe this was Saturday morning, I was sitting at work, when Mark Schlereth (@markschlereth) posted a tweet referring to himself as Stink, speaking in "fourth person" - his nickname. Trey Wingo (@wingoz) suggested that he find a way to go "fifth person". Being the innovative mind that I am, here was my post, attached as a re-tweet with Trey Wingo's response:

@wingoz EXCELLENT POINT RT @LynchCats What if he goes Rock Hoover? Fictional Character = 5th person? @markschlereth see if you can go 5th person
9:13 AM Nov 21st from web

A little while later, my suggestion was realized.

@markschlereth There aint no messin with the Hoov. And the Hoov is about to go wheels up in a few. 5th person?
9:17 AM Nov 21st from UberTwitter

Enough said.

Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson for becoming the first driver in NASCAR history to win four consecutive Sprint Cup titles. How classy was it to see drivers like Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, and Brian Vickers to come up and congratulate him during his post-race interview. And Johnson is one of the great ambassadors of the sport, always celebrating the fans and his crew.

Brett Favre, 40 year old MVP? Say it isn't so. This is probably the best Brett Favre has ever looked, and that says something about the three-time Most Valuable Player. I mean, this gunslinger is putting up numbers that would make anyone jealous.

What a great day in the NFL yesterday. Six outstanding finishes in the final minutes of games. The Colts defense steps up and picks off Joe Flacco as the Ravens are driving for the game winning score. Oakland scoring the tying touchdown, then forcing a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and kicking the game winning field goal against Cincinnati. Dallas finding some offense out of a tree and scoring the game's winning touchdown with less than five minutes left against Washington. Ryan Succop (2009's Mr. Irrelevant) kicking the game winning field goal against Pittsburgh after Chris Chambers takes a catch and run down the field for 61 yards. Jacksonville scoring the game winning touchdown against Buffalo with a few minutes left, overcoming Terrell Owens' best game as a Bill with 197 yards receiving. The New York Giants driving and scoring the game winning field goal in overtime after Atlanta came back from 14 down to tie it.

And then there was Matthew Stafford. The Lions and Browns both came into the game at 1-9. I fully expected this game to be a snorefest. I wish I hadn't been saddled with the Bills/Jaguars or Giants/Falcons, because this Lions/Browns game might have been the game of the year. The game comes down to the final play, eight seconds left, Matthew Stafford getting absolutely pummeled while throwing a Hail Mary, and Hank Poteat throwing Calvin Johnson down in front of the referee forcing them to throw a rare pass interference flag on a hail mary, negating the game ending interception. Then, for some inexplicable reason, Cleveland CALLS A TIMEOUT, allowing Stafford to come back onto the field without missing a play. So what happens next? Eric Mangini becomes Karma's latest bitch, as Stafford finds a seam and throws the game winning touchdown with no time left.

Kudos to Kurt Warner for having the foresight to take himself out of the game after being hit in the head in the second quarter yesterday. The NFL has had a real problem with concussions being in the spotlight over the last few years, so Warner taking himself out was one of the smartest things I've seen in a long time. Pittsburgh should follow his lead and hold out Ben Roethlisberger as long as necessary to keep him healthy for the foreseeable future. And if I'm the Philadelphia Eagles, Brian Westbrook is done for the season, not just for three or four weeks. They need to see if LeSean McCoy is the answer at running back for the future, or if they have another kid who can come in and do the job.

Kiss Charlie Weis' career at Notre Dame over, and I think he even realizes it. And he's right. 6-5 is not good enough for Notre Dame, not when the schedule screamed for 10-2.

How putrid are the New Jersey Nets? Thirteen straight losses to start the season, with a very realistic chance to start an NBA record 0-18? I think Lawrence Frank is gone by the end of the week.

Northeastern University is ending its' football program after 73 years. A sad day for college football, and college sports in general. Granted, Northeastern isn't an FCS power, but it's still sad.

Congratulations to Real Salt Lake for winning the MLS cup in just their fifth year of existence. I wish I cared about soccer to care about this.

Condolences to Daniel Negreanu for the passing of his mother last night. Don't know the guy personally, but I know he is one of the great promoters of poker, and from what I hear is becoming quite the golfer as well.

NFL Power Rankings:
1. New Orleans (10-0). I can't give any specific reasons why I'm picking New Orleans over Indianapolis. Probably because Indy has struggled to win the last two weeks over New England and Baltimore. HUGE game next Monday against New England.

2. Indianapolis (10-0). Have looked ugly in close wins over New England and Baltimore. Need to step up their game to remain undefeated.

3. Minnesota (9-1). Brett Favre has clearly been the MVP this year. Apologies to Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Chris Johnson, et al.

4. New England (7-3). Probably playing the best football out of anyone right now. One dumb Bill Belichick decision away from being 8-2 and one game back of Indy for top seed in AFC.

5. San Diego (7-3). Three and a half games behind Denver just four weeks ago. Didn't we see this story just last year?

NFL Bottom Five:
32. Tampa Bay (1-9). I just can't penalize Cleveland after the game of the year.

31. St. Louis (1-9). Started following Steven Jackson (@sj39) on Twitter. Too bad he has no offensive help around him.

30. Cleveland (1-9). This was the first sign of life from the Browns all year.

29. Washington (3-7). Offense is just plain offensive. I can't put Detroit behind the Redskins.

28. Oakland (3-7). Win over Cincinnati aside, I still think they would lose to Detroit on a neutral field. Thus, can't put Detroit here either.