Monday, January 28, 2008

American Gladiator

I never thought I'd blog about American Gladiators, but a good friend of mine is starring on Monday night's episode. His name is Mark Baker, he works as a chiropractor in Chicago. I have heard the Philadelphia newspaper had an article about him this weekend because he is Roger Ebert's chiropractor. Anyway, if you have a chance, please tune in and watch him.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Boo Hiss

I don't know if I am proud or embarrassed by this. On Sunday the NFL honored the youngsters who won the punt, pass, and kick competition during the Colts game. One of the winners was a young girl from New Hampshire who was wearing a Patriots jersey. When she was announced the Colts crowd booed her. Booed a 14 year old girl who only happened to wear the jersey of her favorite team. I felt sorry for her when they showed her face on the broadcast.

The Patriots, actually showing some class, have invited this young girl to the AFC championship game so she can receive cheers like the other contestants of the competition received.

What's next Indy? Boo Santa Claus? Cheer when a guy gets his leg broken? Throw batteries at an opposing teams player? What a minute-- those are all Philadelphia fans' antics.

Give the girl credit for not taking this slight personally. But it makes you wonder just a little bit if we are one of America's nicest cities like we claim.

Monday, January 14, 2008

2007-2008 Indianapolis Colts 13-4

For me it is the worst day of the year--the day after the Colts season has ended. The elation of winning the Super Bowl will conclude in a few weeks when another team wins and knocks the Colts from the title of defending Super Bowl champion.

The game yesterday was a mess. The Colts, sans one interception by Kelvin Hayden, couldn't stop the Chargers. They couldn't even stop the Chargers when LT went out. They couldn't stop the Charges when Phillip Rivers was in there looking like the quarterback for the ages. They couldn't even stop Billy Volek when Rivers got knocked out. Billy Volek? Really?

The offense looked good and moved the ball well. But there were still several mistakes. Why play Harrison if he isn't ready? Part of football is not just the conditioning but being able to get hit. When Harrison got popped the ball came loose. Make no mistake that is partly attributable to his being out of sync with getting smacked around on the field. My thought is we may have just witnessed the conclusion of one of the great careers of the Colts and Harrison wanted to go down swinging (like he always does). I hope I am wrong and he plays several more years. A lot of balls were dropped out there. Plus Peyton tried to force that ball to Kenton Keith in the red zone. Throw that away and take the three points. If they would have taken that they could have taken a field goal in their last trip to the red zone for the victory.

So in the future I propose the Colts deny any bye week. It just isn't good for them. Tennessee. Pittsburgh. San Diego. Keep them hungry. Make them play Ben Davis or something during the off week. Time off is not good for the Colts.

It stings losing. The Colts winning the Super Bowl has only increased the expectations of a fan. But as a fan you have to be proud of this group. No team that I am aware of has come back from so many injuries during the season and still performed as well as have this group of Colts. They lost three starters off defense, including their best player, and still lead the league on D. The disappointment will fester for awhile but I can't help being proud of this year's Colts for overcoming adversity.

Now I am relegated to what every good football fan is: rooting against the Patriots.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Playoff Weekend!

This weekend is the second round of the playoffs and one of my favorite times of the year. There will be four games including the beginning of the title defense of your Indianapolis Colts. With a potential AFC Championship game out East on the horizon this might be the last game in the RCA Dome.

Of course to get to that point the Colts will have to get past San Diego, a team that beat them this year. You may recall that crazy game where Peyton threw six interceptions and the Colts missed a chip shot field goal at the end of the game that would have won the game.

There have been a few distractions before the game. There are published reports that Dungy will hang it up this season. His son has been enrolled in school down in Tampa and that has fueled the fire of speculation. Also Marvin Harrison is scheduled to return and start. Of course this song and dance has been sung several times over the past few weeks. If Harrison does not come back this weekend I fear we may have seen the last of one of the true great Colts.

Regardless the Colts need to win this game and I expect they will. San Diego is a talented team but on offense are one diminsional. LT LT and some more LT. San Diego's QB, Phillip Rivers, looked good last week and deserves credit for that. Of course that was against the Titans who you might remember had to give everything they had against the Colts in the final game of the year and against the Colts' third string the Titans won by six. But if Rivers has to get into a shoot out with Peyton, lights out San Diego. The San Diego defense is very good and should put some pressure on Peyton. For that reason it will be great to have back a three wide receiver set with receivers you have actually heard of.

If the Colts' special teams don't let the team down then this could be a dominating performance that would lead to the show down everyone wants to see: the good Colts versus the evil Patriots.

Good luck Colts. Oh and check out our friends at Stampede Blue for other Colts news.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

David X Harrison, RIP

David X Harrison, a fixture at the corner of Market and Delaware, passed away on January 1st. For those of us who work or worked downtown it was hard to miss him. He had an infectious smile and always said the same thing, "Have a great day", to those who passed. He never asked for money but there was a cup there if you care to make a donation. I did on occasion but even when I did not his personality never changed.

That corner was his. I once saw him run off another person who tried to claim it as his own. He had a table out front with a picture of himself. Also on the table he had his hat that proudly declared him a Korean War veteran. No matter how poor the weather was, like the Post Office, he delivered because he was always there. I always admired his spirit in light of his challenging circumstances.

I was touched to see that the Star thought enough of him to mention his passing. Of course many of the idiots who read the Star on line couldn't leave enough alone. If you ever want to lower your IQ read the comments on the Star homepage. Why these people feel compelled to say such drivel is beyond me.

Some have mentioned Mr. Harrison's past. Some have decried why the Star would choose to honor a mere pan handler. I thought about this and I believe Mr. Harrison could serve as a positive example to those who actually took the time to think about it. How could you not admire a person who in light of poor health still found something positive in his life? How could you not admire someone who no matter what obstacles he faced still found a way to go to that corner every day to wish people well? How could you not admire someone who even after mistakes in life found a way to turn his life around? How could you not feel shame that a person who served his country in war time would be regulated to pan handler status? Mr. Harrison taught those who did not choose to ignore him a few lessons.

Regardless may he rest in Peace. Have a great day.

Random Thoughts on Sports

Rich "Goose" Gossage was elected today to the Baseball Hall of Fame. It is good to see relievers finally getting some due because of their importance to the game. Of course it makes you wonder why Lee Smith with his 478 saves didn't get the call while Goose with his 310 saves did.

Goose got his Hall of Fame call on his 9th try. Why if a player isn't a hall of famer on his first try is he a hall of famer on his 9th?

Speaking of importance to a game, why is the Football Hall of Fame devoid of any inductees at the kicker or punter position?

On January 2nd I was driving home and got to listen to the Pacers on satellite radio. The commentators decried how they had never seen the Fieldhouse so empty. I spoke to a friend who attended the game and he said there were maybe 5,000 people there. For shame. I could understand if they were terrible but they have the 4th best record in the East. Indianapolis' reputation as a basketball city is forever ruined.

We have a national champion that has two losses. Those two losses were against teams that lost in their own bowl games. There is no doubt that there needs to be a playoff system to stop this madness. Why have a 12th game where a powerhouse team beats up on a nobody? Develop a playoff system. Division I-AA has one. Division II has one. Division III has one. So who is fighting it? The Pac-10 and the Big 10. The Pac-10 is fighting it because some damn Rose Bowl parade. The Big 10 is fighting it because its teams wouldn't make it out of the first round of the playoff.

Trivia question: name the only sport where the NCAA doesn't name a champion (answer below).

I really want to believe Roger Clemens.

Jacksonville is playing the New England Cheaters this weekend. Some (including myself) think they actually have a chance to win the game. But they have to play uncharacteristic Jacksonville football which is to say play smart. In the history of professional sports there has never been a team that shoots itself more in the foot than those knuckleheads. Those guys routinely get unnecessary roughness penalties and other assorted dumb ass calls. The Patriots will not make those same mistakes so if Jacksonville does, good night.

Considering how terrible the Colts defense appeared in the regular season last year isn't it amazing how good they turned out this year. Especially considering they lost three starters off the D. Bob Sanders is very deserving of defensive player of the year.

With that Go Colts!

(Answer: Division I-A Football)
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