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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Uninspired

The title refers to my lack of posts.
I have been feeling a bit uninspired lately and as I once told the Battler-when it isn't fun,don't do it.
I am not saying that it wasn't fun,but I didn't have much to say or (at times) time to do it.
The creative juices are flowing again,but overtime calls at work for the next two days.
I may have time tomorrow or not and the same goes for Sunday,but look things to return to normal early next week.

I will comment on the stuff that I missed (Mainly Browns related) and then be back on track.
Sorry to any of you that actually care what I have to say!,Ha Ha!

Shawn

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Day

Last year on the day of The Game it was a frosty 32 degrees upon my return home,but today is downright freezing at 22!
But again,I don't really mind (for a change) as it is time for the Ohio State Buckeyes to face the hated invaders of michigan.
This years game looks to be a Buckeye runaway as OSU enters the game 9-2 and a win guarantees a share of the Big Ten title,while the visiting skunks are a pitiful 3-8 and appear to be overmatched.

I don't buy it for a second.
Rich Rodriguez is in hot water for his recent comments for michigan fans to "get a life".
Rodriguez isn't all wrong there,I mean if you are a michigan-you are in desperate need of one,but he can make the season look so much better with an upset today in Columbus.
michigan will be ready to play,you can bank on that.

This series is filled with lesser michigan teams upsetting superior Ohio teams,such as 1969 when the top ranked Buckeyes lost and the many shockers that John Cooper coached teams suffered in the 90's,so I dont take them lightly and neither will Jim Tressel....

I feel no sorrow for their 3-8 record and I only wish it was 0-11.
I hope the Buckeyes get them down and crush them 100-0 and feel no sympathy for them.....
They made their bed when they hired Chokin Rich Rodriguez and they have been lying in it all year......

If Ohio State treats this squad like the powers of the past,this should be a blowout and send the varmits crawling back to their vermin like hut!

Our Prediction
Ohio State 31 Michigan 10 and then root like hell for Michigan State to beat Penn State!

Will try to be back later with the Devils win over the Islanders...

Photo Credits
Helmets:Helmet Project

Friday, November 21, 2008

Minor League moves



Lots of stuff as I surfed the web,so added another post to take care of business..

The Hagerstown Suns announced their 2009 coaching staff and it is loaded with autograph wants.
Former Minnesota Twin catcher Matt LeCroy will be the Suns skipper,while long time Royals (among others) pitcher Rich Gale will be the Hagerstown pitching coach.
Tony Tarasco returns as the hitting coach and former Phillie infielder (and former West Virginia Manager) Ramon Aviles will be the bench coach.
The Suns have never had a bench coach in the past,but Aviles likely is being used to help LeCroy,who has never managed before.

Paul Menhart was promoted to Potomac as their pitching coach and joins former Suns hitting coach Jerry Browne there.
Longtime Pirate farm system manager Trent Jewett will be the Potomac boss this year.

And what of Darnell Coles?
Coles has been moved all the way to AAA as the hitting coach for the Syracuse Chiefs.
This will be the first year in Syracuse for the Nationals....

Cleveland will be shuffling their coaches for the autograph hunter as former Sun Tony Arnold takes over as Lake County's pitching coach in the Captains last SAL season.
Aaron Holbert returns as Lake County field boss.

No word on the Pirates farm staffs as of yet,but the Pirates did fill out their 40 man roster with a few surprises.
Neil Walker and Jose Tabata were added as expected and Jeff Sues was not a surprise after his solid year,but Ronald Uviedo was somewhat of one and Steve Lerud was a stunner.
Lerud improved last year,but I didn't see that one coming....

Uviedo likely nipped Eric Krebs for the spot on the 40 man after Krebs had an injury issue in Hawaii.The Pirates left Jamie Romak,Brad Corley and Jason Delaney unprotected.
Romak was a surprise to me,but keeping Lerud took that spot....

Battlin Bob likely is crying as John Van Benschoten has decided to part ways with the Pirates.
Cheer up,Battler!!!!

The Phillies and Rangers swapped former top picks as Texas sent John Mayberry to Philly for Greg Golson.
Golson spent two years with Lakewood and was an excellent,if quiet signer.
Golson is still a prospect,but I am not sure if Texas is a good fit as the Rangers already have a similar player in Julio Borbon.

Until next time!

Devils pound Panthers 3-1


Patrik Elias (8) broke a scoreless tie in the second period and the New Jersey Devils were threatened no further as they cruised to a 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers at the Rock in Newark.
The Devils would add third period goals from Paul Martin (1) and Brian Gionta (4) before allowing a Florida power play goal to conclude the scoring.
The Devils host the New York Islanders tonight at 7.

Hell Raisers

1) Scott Clemmensen played well in earning the win and points to Brent Sutter for seeming to grasp the concept of using the goalie that is on the hot streak between Clemmensen and Kevin Weekes.
Too many coaches would be committed to playing the veteran and lose out on the Clemmensen type playing a few solid games..

2) The Elias goal came off the backhand and was the Devils only shot of the period.
Elias has now scored four goals in three games since the Larry Brooks article that suggested that he be moved elsewhere....

3) Two assists for the suddenly rejuvenated Dainius Zubrus in the game and his line with Elias and Gionta looked good as well,perhaps this line can stay together for a while???

4) Anssi Salmela continues to give me some hope that the Devils may have finally found their puck moving defenseman.
I hate to jump the gun on a guy that has yet to score a goal,,but the Finnish blueliners play has impressed me over the last few weeks....

5) The Devils really need to win both of the back to back home games against weaker competition and the back end tonight against the Islanders looms large.
The Devils need to scrap for every point at this time as point deficits can be hard to make up once things are out of control.
Plus after tonight's game,the Devils will not play again at the Rock until Dec 10th!
That means five games on the road.

Bullpen Notes

To the Buckeye fans out there,Please do not take tomorrow's game lightly.
This is the type of game in the rivalry that the underdog wins,so I am not assuming anything until the game is over!!

Tomorrow looks to be a great sports day here as the Ohio State-Michigan game is followed by Penn State-Michigan State (which would mean nothing with an OSU loss) and Texas Tech-Oklahoma at night.
Plus with tape rolling of the Rotten Apple Cup between 0-11 Washington and 1-10 Washington State and the IBF Jr Welterweight title at 10 between Paul Malignaggi and Ricky Hatton,looks like a great day!
Now,if I only was off work!!!!

My favorite Devils blog In Lou We Trust has joined the blog colossus and gives the Devils their own SB Nation blog.
Some of the best team blogs are located on SB Nation,but pick and choose for yourself,the Seahawks blog there is tremendous,while the Browns is below mediocre...

Speaking of the Browns,the Bill Cowher talk continues as MSNBC (now there is a great sports source) says that Cowher was approached and offered a contract for 8-9 million per year.
Sorry,putting the former Steeler stuff to the side-no coach did less with more than Bill Cowher did and if you land him,this appears to right out of the Parcells/Johnson book.
That book was entitled "I really didn't want to do this,but they just threw too much damn money at me to turn down".

Until tomorrow with Devils-Islanders and our annual OSU-michigan post.

Photo Credits
Elias:AP Photo
Clemmensen:Bruce Bennett-Getty Images

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reviewing the tape-Browns escape Buffalo


Again gone for a few.
Between work and not much to write,I took a few off.

The Cleveland Browns used a career long 56 yard field goal by Phil Dawson and a wide right attempt by Buffalo's Rian Lindell with just seconds to go to escape a cold night in Buffalo with a 29-27 win.

Belated Brownie Bits

1) Romeo Crennel was quite animated on the sidelines late in the game.
Perhaps the fact of the Browns dodging a dubious history made his day.
Had the Browns lost,they would have become the first team in NFL history to have lost 13 point lead in three consecutive games......

2) At this point,Phil Dawson might be the Browns MVP for the season and certainly for this game-5 for 5 with the game winning 56 yard boot.

3) Brady Quinn was far from great(185 yards,0 td,0 int),but he was able to avoid the big mistake and that was the difference between Quinn and Buffalo starter Trent Edwards.

4) Anyone catch the look on Crennel on Jerome Harrison's 72 yard TD run?
It looked more like Harrison was scoring for Buffalo!
Romeo,do you hate this guy that much even when he scores???

5) Brady Quinn has a hairline fracture in his right index finger,but will play on Sunday against Houston.
My question is if Quinn struggles with the injury,will the hook be a quick one for Derek Anderson and then use the injury as an excuse for doing so?

6) Kellen Winslow is questionable for the Texans game with an injured shoulder.
Winslow missing the game would be a huge loss for the already hampered Quinn with the injury of his own.

7) Give the Browns defensive line some credit against the Bills.
They were in Trent Edwards face all game and it wasn't always Shaun Rogers either!

8) Cleveland has a slim playoff hope,but slim has almost left town.
They almost have to sweep the final six games or a minimum go 5-1 and get A LOT of help.

9) I liked the play of Charles Ali at fullback in place of the injured Lawrence Vickers.

10) With the Houston Texans coming to town,look for a shootout in Cleveland.
If the defense can post a average performance,the Browns should win..

The New Jersey Devils return to action tonight against the Florida Panthers after being off since Saturday's win over Washington...

Until tomorrow

Photo Credit
Dawson:John Kuntz;Cleveland Plain Dealer

Monday, November 17, 2008

Another Seattle loss


Short post today as my sleep day today is shortened due to a work meeting,so just a quick version.

The Seattle Seahawks almost took a gift win from the Arizona Cardinals,who kept trying to hand the ball and free scores to the Hawks,but in the end,the freebies weren't enough as the Cardinals pranced from Qwest Field with a 26-21 win.
The inability to stop the Redbirds from playing pitch and catch at will was the difference as Seattle had no way of stopping Kurt Warner from throwing for almost 400 yards and almost half of those to Anquan Boldin.
All three Seattle Touchdowns were on short drives caused by Arizona turnovers...
Time constraints keep me from too many thoughts,I will try to do those later in the week after a tape breakdown.

Snow in Buffalo tonight as the Browns stagger into the other NFL city by Lake Erie.
Maybe a new tradition is starting of snow each time Buffalo and Cleveland play.
I was a proponent of Buffalo joining the division with the Ohio teams and the Steelers for a cool division geographic wise,but the Bills wanted to stay with their rivals and the Baltimore Modells wanted to keep their rivalries (only no one counts them as a rival),so it didn't work out.
With the weather seeming to be a factor,three things stand out to me.
One-Which of the young QB's without the deep pass can brave the wind and snow better?
Brady Quinn or Trent Edwards?
Two-I think the team that wins the ground game has a huge edge here.
Jamal Lewis vs Marshawn Lynch?
I will take the better bad weather back in Lewis.
Three-Special teams will play a huge role with both teams using terrific returners with Josh Cribbs for Cleveland and Terrence McGee for the Bills.
Remember that one mistake can be the difference in bad weather over the course of the game.

Our Prediction;
Browns 13-10

Photo Credits
Baghead:AP
Helmets:Helmet Project

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Payback on two levels


The Ohio State Buckeyes stormed into Illinois bent on payback for last years loss to the Illini and left with a 30-20 win that really was not that close.
Both Chris Wells and Terrelle Pryor rushed over 100 yards in the win as Ohio State improved to 9-2 before the hated michigan gang limps into Columbus for the season finale' next week.

Buckeye Leaves

1) Ohio State used the formula that they should have used all season-Wells on the ground with just enough Pryor to keep defenses honest....
Not much else I can say other than wish they would have tried this tack earlier.

2) The blocked punt by Malcolm Jenkins (2nd of the year for Jenkins) for a first half safety was a nice touch.
With a heavy wind in Illinois' face,the punt team seemed to be more concerned with covering a short punt than blocking a punt rush.
It cost them....

3) Pryor's 10 attempts through the air do not seem like many,but they were downfield attempts,not the five yard variety.
That is the type they need to continue doing....

4) Juice Williams numbers look OK,but he was rarely given the time to romp and roam as he did in last years game.
Blitzes kept Williams off balance all day...

5) The D-Line played very well yesterday especially Nader Abdullah and Cameron Heyward.
Abdullah has played well for the last month and Heyward improves by the week...

Bonus Rounds

11 tackles for safety Kurt Coleman.
A good game,but when your safety makes that many tackles,an alarm goes off for me.
That means too many plays are going downfield...

I am an unabashed OSU supporter and if the Buckeyes make the BCS,I will be thrilled.
However,you will hear no complaints from me if both Utah and Boise State make the BCS over Ohio State,as long as both stay undefeated.
It would be hypocritical of me to criticize the BCS system as being unfair to undefeated smaller conference schools and then bypass complaint because it would be my team to profit from it...

michigan week starts now and no,I could care less that they are 3-8 either!!!

The New Jersey Devils rebounded the day after I wrote that they had no offense with a 6-5 shootout win over Washington at the Rock.
Zach Parise beat Jose Theodore with a beautiful set of dekes and fakes that gave Theodore no chance to stop the biscuit for the shootouts only goal...

Hell Raisers

1) Great games for Patrik Elias (2 goals 6 & 7 and an assist) and Travis Zajac (3 assists).
Elias must have read Larry Brooks column on his underachieving!

2) Brooks is not all wrong on this,Elias has not been as productive as his contract suggests he should be,lets wait until the team is closer to full strength to talk about dealing Elias....

3) Nice to see Brent Sutter listened to me about Bergfors and Vrana's playing time or lack thereof.
Vrana was a healthy scratch so Sheldon Brookbank could play wing???
I like Brookbank,but if that does not signal disenchantment with Vrana nothing does...

4) The Devils lack of a spacing clearing defenseman killed them again as Washington tied the game with 1 second to go in the contest because no one wiped any Capitals away from Scott Clemensen.
I know we all want more scoring,but this is getting ridiculous.
Hit somebody!!!

5) The other Devils goals went to David Clarkson (4),Jamie Langenbrunner (4) and Brian Gionta (3) and they came by rushing the net and making things happen.
John Madden's feed to Clarkson for the games first lamplighter was especially pretty...

Bonus Round
Special fireballs to two defenders that I thought played well-Johnny Oduya and Annsi Salmela.
Oduya has never been a favorite,but he played well last night and Salmela (or Salmonella as Craig Laughlin kept calling him) seems to improve with each game.....


The Seattle Seahawks return Matt Hasselbeck and Deion Branch to the lineup for today's home game against the visiting Arizona Cardinals.
Assuming both are reasonably healthy,the offense should look much improved than the pop gun attack that has been seen over the last month.
The Cardinals score tons of points,but they allow bunches as well....
Everything except the home field says pick the Cardinals,but I have a hunch.

My Prediction:
Seahawks 31-29

Photo Credits
Pryor:Chris Russell-Columbus Dispatch
Parise:AP Photo
Helmets:Helmet Project

Saturday, November 15, 2008

No offense,but we have no offense!!


The offensive woes of the New Jersey Devils continued in a 3-1 loss in Washington to the Capitals.
I'll add my thoughts,but this is getting closer and closer to panic time....
Patrik Elias scored the only Devil goal(5) on a breakaway that was caused by Washington making a line change at the wrong time,allowing Elias to beat Jose Theodore one on one.
The two teams meet up again at the Rock tonight.

Hell Raisers

1) Scott Clemmensen played very well in net and deserves the start tonight.
Neither Washington goal (3rd was into the empty net) was a stoppable shot and Clemmensen did what he had to do-keep the game close...

2) From the No Kidding Dept.
Brent Sutter on the Devils offense "We don't finish"
In further news,Sun rises in East....

3) From the Say What? dept
Jamie Langenbrunner on the same:"we're playing well, but we're not finishing".
Playing well means finishing and scoring!!!

4) Zach Parise continued a recent Devil trend of having a goalie beaten and out of position and being unable to lift the puck over the prone goalie.
I bet I have seen that happen at least once a game over the last five games....

5) Paul Martin returned to the lineup and played 22 minutes.
One step to health down,more to go!

Bonus Round
Under four minutes of ice time for Petr Vrana and Nicklas Bergfors.
If you cant find ice time for them now,then when???

Ohio State visits Illinois today in an attempt to pay the Illini back for their upset of the Buckeyes in Columbus.
Juice Williams was the nemesis last year and for Illinois to pull another surprise,he will need to be so today.
Put Marcus Freeman in shadow mode on Williams and let Chris Wells run wild and things should take care of themselves.
Our prediction;
Buckeyes 28-13

Slow day,so just one note of I told you so to the Tampa Bay Lightning,who fired Barry Melrose after under a quarter of a season!
Way to go guys!

Until tomorrow
Photo Credit-AP Photo

Friday, November 14, 2008

Herb Score


Herb Score died a few days back.
Herb had been in ill health for quite a few years after injuries from an auto accident,so I knew that he had been having some problems,but it still hits you whenever things like that finally happen..

Herb Score was universally thought of as a nice guy in two businesses (Baseball and the Media) that are not exactly filled with universally loved people....
Score had three careers.
The young fireballer that looked to be Sandy Koufax before Sandy Koufax was such was career number one.
That career ended in 1957 when a line drive exploded off the bat of the Yankees Gil McDougald and crashed off the right eye of the 23 year old Score.
Score had already racked up the Rookie of the Year award from 1955 and followed it up with a 20 win season in 1956,but from the instant that the ball struck Score,that career was over....

Score always said that the McDougald liner was not the cause of his downfall and his vision returned normal over time,but rather the bad arm that was developed by mechanical troubles that occurred after the injury.
In any case,Score's second career started right after impact-one that turned him into a under.500 pitcher that was capable of occasional brilliance,but that struggled to find the plate.

Herb was just 30 years in 1963 and was in AAA Indianapolis attempting to put things back into place,when he was told of a return to Cleveland in the Indians TV booth.
Score would remain as an Indian television or radio announcer until the conclusion of the 1997 season,where his announcing would end with the Cleveland game 7 loss to the Florida Marlins.

Score was far from a classic announcer,he often made crazy comments that you had to be listening to pick up on because they were never said in an out of control voice,more matter of fact.
Indians fans never minded much though,after all-who watched more bad baseball than Herb Score?
That would have been enough to make any of us a little goofy!

I spent many nights in childhood listening to Indians games and Herb and those evenings rank among my fondest childhood memories.
The autograph card above is actually part of my collection....
Part of aging means watching the people of your youth pass on,so some of these hit harder than others,but Herb Score always seemed to be such an inherently good person that it is easy to look back and smile at the memories......


Slow news day other than the Devils playing Washington tonight in a home and home over the next two days.

Photo Credit
Score:Topps

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Crystal Ship is sinking fast....

Apologies to any Jim Morrison and the Doors fans out there (I am one too) for the paraphrasing title,but this season is getting away and fast without what seems like the entire roster.
Last night the Devils played two pretty solid periods,the problem is that in the NHL-the game lasts three.
The Devils allowed 4 goals in the second period and fell to 1-4 since the loss of Martin Brodeur in a 5-2 loss to the Blueshirts of New York.....
Devil goals went to Travis Zajac in the first (2) and Jamie Langenbrunner on the power play in the third (3)......

Hell Raisers

1) Kevin Weekes was pulled after an absolutely horrid second period and Scott Clemmensen played the third allowing the final Ranger goal.
I am fine with whatever shuffling that Brent Sutter does between Weekes and Clemmensen that can keep the Devils afloat,so please-alternate starts,mix up starts,split games-whatever works!!!

2) The second goal that Weekes allowed was the worst-a Chris Drury shot that would have been blocked by the mildest arm movement,Weekes was not screened so he had a clear view of the shot and instead the puck flew right by the motionless Weekes.
That should have been an easy save..

3) Travis Zajac played well as he was involved with both Devil scores,Zach Parise has his general high effort game and Dainius Zubrus was unusually into the game with a strong scoring chance and a fight that caused his ejection with Brandon Dubinsky,but other than that no one really stood out to me in the game..
The injuries cannot become an excuse to float through games!

4) Brent Sutter apparently is not a huge fan of either the rookies on the team as Nicklas Bergfors is scratched as often as he isn't (was a healthy scratch against NYR) and Petr Vrana doesn't get much ice time (6:03) either.
Sure,both are rookies and are far from top line players right now,but their offensive abilities could open things up a bit and they cannot do that without seeing the ice.....

5) A few words on the status of injured players.
Paul Martin may be back for the home and home with Washington.
Brian Rolston is at least a week,but more likely longer.
Bobby Holik will begin to skating early next week,while Andy Greene is skating,but still will be two more weeks out at the minimum.....

Bonus Round
I know most Devil fan have gotten used to John Madden and Jay Pandolfo shutting lines down and killing off penalties,but it seems like they have been (especially Madden) a bit short in things this year.
Without Marty,the pair needs to move up a notch,not down a peg...

Bullpen Notes

Congratulations to the best announcer in Hockey-Mike "Doc" Emrick for his deserved honor of the Foster Hewitt award at the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday.
Being a Devils fan has one guaranteed benefit that no other team has-we get the privilege of hearing Emrick every game!

Another star of the Golden age of baseball passed on recently as Elvin "Preacher" Roe died at the age of 92.
Roe spent some of his career with the Pirates,but most of his success was with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Roe's best season was in 1951 with a 22-3 record and a 3.04 ERA.
The Preacher was one of those wily southpaws that was suspected of doctoring the ball,but was never caught.
Roe was also a main participant in the classic book on the Brooklyn Dodgers,Roger Kahn's The Boys of Summer.

The Washington Nationals swung a trade with Florida that brought them pitcher Scott Olsen and outfielder Josh Willingham for Emilio Bonifacio and two minor leaguers.
One of the minor players was former Hagerstown Sun Jake Smolinski,who looked impressive here until a freak hop broke his thumb in mid-season....
Jake was a quiet,but willing signer and best of luck to Jake with the Marlin organization.

I like the trade for Washington too,I think Scott Olsen still has plenty of upside (still just 24) and Willingham could be very helpful if the troublesome back problems can be dealt with....

On the signing front
Just a few odds and ends from Ebay..
Most of the 2007 West Virginia Power team set-Includes Alex Periard,Jeremy Jeffress,Taylor Green and Mike McClendon,but unfortunately no Michael Brantley.
Andrew McCutchen,Jack Cust,Neil Walker and Michael Restovich completes the baseball portion,while Browns corner Eric Wright finishes the update for today...

Until next time,when I finally do the promised Herb Score piece...

Photo Credits
Fight;AP Photo
Roe:Topps

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Reviewing the tape-Seahawks narrowly pick up another L.


The Seattle Seahawks looked listless and the Miami Dolphins dominated for the first quarter and a half.
Jordan Babineux's quick six pick changed that and the game was on.
In a gritty and determined effort,the ravaged Seahawks brought the game down to one play-a two point conversion attempt to tie the game at 21.
Seneca Wallace's pass was batted down as was the Seahawks 21-19.

Shawn's Thoughts

1) The Babineaux pick was the game changer as Miami appeared to be on their way to a romp.
The interception was only the FOURTH for Seattle all season!
It was caused by Chad Pennington feeling a bit of pressure and making a poor decision.
Amazing what a rush can do!

2) Seneca Wallace spread the ball around and three recievers had five or more catches,but only one pass play went more than 20 yards....

3) Miami scored a TD on a long Ricky Williams run from the "Wildcat" formation.
The Wildcat is basically running backs taking snaps.
Or as Ryan said "It is this amazing new thing called the Single Wing".
Everything in Football is like this-Everything that was old is new again!

4) Josh Wilson continues to impress on kick returns and is developing on the corner as well.
Wilson was improved to the point that Kelly Jennings is rarely seen on non-nickel situations...

5) Matt Hasselbeck will start for Seattle against Arizona on Sunday after a hiatus.
I really want to win this one to establish to the upstart Cardinals that their success is a one year aberration.

Bonus Rounds

John Carlson drops a pass that he should have,but his play just keeps getting better and his has far exceeded my expectations for the season.

Seattle waived Keary Colbert yesterday.
Colbert was obtained during the season from Denver for a 5th round pick next season,but over his seven game,Colbert caught just seven passes and one TD.

Back later or tomorrow with some words on the passing of Herb Score....

Photo Credit
Babineaux:AP Photo

A weekend of Hockey


Sorry to again have Monday and Tuesday troubles.
My work has me in flux again and on those days,often times I am either too tired to post or have to get things done for the real life....
I will try to make things up today and tomorrow...

Lets look at the Devils over the weekend with losses to Detroit (3-1) and Edmonton (2-1).
Zach Parise scored both Devil goals (10 and 11) over the weekend,which shows both his importance and the Devils almost total reliance on him at this time....

Hell Raisers-Again,if you hate the name,I will still be looking at new ones!!

1) Brian Gionta and Bryce Salvador were both banged up against the Red Wings and neither took the ice for the loss to the Oilers.
Both players claim that they will play tonight against the Rangers.
Two more newcomers from Lowell joined the team for the Edmonton game-Jay Leach and Patrick Davis.....
Davis was returned to Lowell after the game.....

2) Scott Clemensen played the Edmonton game and I thought that he played well.
Certainly well enough to win...

3) Martin Brodeur said that the bicep that he tore against the Thrashers and sent him to the injury list had been 70-80 percent torn already and that it was just a matter of time before it totally snapped.
My question is this?
Why didn't anyone pick this up before?
Not even Marty???

4) Paul Martin was placed on the IR after the weekend with continued back problems....
Martin is expected to return near the end of the month....

5) Anssi Salmela played well over the weekend and appears to be gaining confidence by the game.
I would even go as far to say Salmela was the Devils best defender in the two games,...

6)Brent Sutter challenged his anemic power play and seemingly Patrik Elias on Tuesday and he is dead on.
New Jersey went 0 for 5 on the advantage over the two games and the result was two close losses.

7) I hope that I am wrong,but Patrik Elias may simply not be capable of being the same player that he was before his hepatitis issues.
Unfortunately for the Devils,they are paying him as if he is the same player............

Back later with either some Random Ramblings or reviewing the tape of the Seahawks loss to Miami....

Photo Credit
Salmela:AP Photo

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Buckeyes cruise,Devils lose


Ohio State looked like they were in for a wild afternoon with the upstart Northwestern Wildcats after each team scored touchdowns on their first possessions,but that was as good as it got for the Wildcats as Terrelle Pryor got revved up and Ohio State cruised to a 45-10 win in Evanston......

Buckeye Leaves-Got a better one??Lets hear it!

1) Northwestern gambled on calling blitzes and keeping 8 and 9 players in the box to control Chris Wells and perhaps slow Pryor's running game,but Ohio State did to Northwestern what they didn't do against Penn State-throw the ball down the field!
Completions of 46 and 32 opened the door to make Northwesten cover recievers and that helped Wells on his way......

2) This game was over at 7-7 when Northwestern called a run blitz and seemed to have Wells stuffed behind the line.
Wells instead broke tackle after tackle and scampered 55 yards for a touchdown.
That broke Northwestern's morale then and there....

3) Pryor looked much improved in the pocket in this one.
The off week likely helped the coaching staff work on the little things that they really didn't have time to work on in the summer camps when Todd Boeckman was the presumptive starter....

4) Northwestern QB Mike Kafka had some success running the ball,but passing the Buckeye defense was in his face all day-4 sacks and numerous hurries....
Kafka set a Big Ten record for rushing yards in a game last week vs Minnesota.
Ohio State is not Minnesota........

5) I was surprised to see Seniors James Laurinatis and Alex Boone each pick up personal fouls for late hits.
Neither were smart plays and Boone's especially was dumb.
I don't expect to see Seniors to make such stupid mistakes.....

6) Andre Ware was the color analyst for the game and seemed to have a real problem with OSU throwing the ball in the fourth quarter as well as Dan Herron's TD run with seconds to go.
I could maybe see some of his points against the throwing the ball late,but Herron's run was just one of those plays that happens in lopsided games.......

7) OSU had about 20,000 fans in attendance at Ryan Field.
What does that say for Northwestern fans when you are 7-2 ,playing a 7-2 team and have to sell that many tickets to visiting fans???

8) Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline dominated the Wildcat corners.
IF Jim Tressel really wanted to run it up,he could have-they were open all the time!!!

9) Ohio State travels to Illinois next week.
The Buckeyes have many things to play for-a share of the Big Ten title is now guaranteed with wins over Illinois and Michigan to close the season.
Illinois lost to Western Michigan yesterday,but trust me-the Buckeyes have not forgotten about the Illini's win last year and payback is coming to Champaign!

10) The Iowa upset of Penn State has good and bad things for the Buckeyes.
Good:Wins over Illinois and Michigan lock up a share of the Big Ten Title as the other two teams with one loss (Penn State and Michigan State) play each other in the last week of the season.
Bad: The Penn State loss likely means just one Big Ten team will get a BCS bid.....
Considering the head to head issues,a Penn State win in that game will likely send Ohio State to Orlando for the Capital One Bowl,but a Spartan victory would probably put the Buckeyes in the BCS.....

The overmatched New Jersey Devils played tough in Detroit against the defending champion Red Wings,but it was not enough in a 3-1 loss.....
Zach Parise scored the only Devil goal (10).
Both Brian Gionta and Bryce Salvador left the game with injuries,no word on them as of now.
Just what they need-more players out!!
The Devils return to the Rock for an evening game tonight against the Edmonton Oilers,so I will do one big Shawn's thoughts on a weekend of Devils hockey on Monday.........

Bullpen Notes

Had to like Texas Tech's crushing of number nine Oklahoma State last night.
6 TD's for Graham Harrell with three to Michael Crabtree.
Both are serious Heisman candidates,but I would bet against both.
Why?
Even thought they are deserving they will likely cannibalize each other votes......

Roy Jones dropped Joe Calzaghe in Round one and then lost the next 11 rounds on the AP scorecard as Calzaghe dominated in winning a unanimous decision....
The fight can be seen on HBO next Saturday night....

The Seattle Seahawks visit Miami and their Dolphins today.
Miami has been one of the seasons good surprises while the Seahawks have been a negative one.
Our Pick
Dolphins 27-14

Photo Credits
Nicol:Charles Arbogast-AP Photo
Parise:AP Photo
Boxing:Don Emmert-AFP/Getty Images
Helmets: Helmet Project

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It took a day.............

It took a full day for me to get over the Browns 34-30 loss on Thursday to the Denver Broncos......
I am so disgusted with this team right now.
Not for losing,I have gotten used to rooting for losers,but for these back to back rollovers.
3-6 and with ANY kind of fourth quarter effort at all from the defense,the Cleveland Browns are 5-4 and in the playoff picture.

Brownie Bits

1) One person that cannot be blamed for the loss is Brady Quinn.
I have taken my shots at Quinn,but he performed well with 2 TD's and 239 yards.
One minor quibble is that he did not throw many deep passes,but that could have been more of Offensive Coordinator Rob Chudzinski wanting to break Quinn in little by little.
However, the argument behind Quinn watching for a while was to better prepare him for actual action and watching 24 games was not enough waiting for him to learn the offense???

2) Again,I am amazed at the lack of action that Jerome Harrison sees.
Harrison carried 5 times for 48 yards,while Jamal Lewis took 19 rushes to see 60 yards.
Harrison played on one first half drive and delivered gains of 13,2 16 and 13 yards on a drive that resulted in Phil Dawson's 24 yard field goal.
Harrison would carry the ball once in the rest of the game.
I realize that some look at Harrison's size and think that he cannot handle heavy duty and perhaps he cannot,but when you rush the way he has-Give him the ball until he shows that he cannot take the pounding!
Not difficult to figure out!

3) Brandon McDonald spent another game getting torched.most notably on Eddie Royal's 91 yard TD catch and run.
You can see on the replay,McDonald screaming at Sean Jones that the coverage that was called left him in trouble and nothing happened.
No timeout,no help-just a long TD.
Nah,The Browns didn't need DeAngelo Hall at corner.
Hall cleared waivers and signed with Washington......

4) We do like Eric Wright's potential,but he wasnt much better on this evening.
The Denver receivers pretty much did what they pleased against both Wright and McDonald..

5) It must have been a special night in Cleveland as Kamerion Wimbley actually got his name called on a few plays.
Five tackles and a sack for Wimbley is a big night for the usually under-achieving backer....

6) Kellen Winslow had a Jekyll and Hyde night.
Two TD's for the positive,a fumble and an inability to grab the final Quinn pass of the game.
A note to you fantasy players out there-Winslow is going to be Quinn's main target not Braylon Edwards....

7) Wimbley's sack was about the only bit of pressure that Cleveland was able to get on Jay Cutler.Shaun Rogers came into the game dinged up and left the game on occasion and that really eliminated the only real pass rush that Cleveland could muster.....

8) Donte' Stallworth actually appeared in a game for a change with four catches for 48 yards.
I was never sold on Stallworth's signing to begin with,but the Browns add different qualities when Stallworth plays instead of the practice squad gang.

9) The most underrated loss of the year for Cleveland is Joe Jurevicious.
The Penn State product was the only wide receiver on this team was willing to go over the middle and make the tough catch.
With Jurevicious in the lineup,Braylon Edwards could be freed up to do what he does best instead of doing what he hates doing-Going over the middle.

10) More Quinn credit-Quinn could in no way be the goat of the game,but he took blame anyway.
"This loss is on me,I know I'm good enough whenever we have the ball at the end of a game that I can make a play for us to win. I believe that."
I like what I heard there.......

Bonus Round

The two back to back home losses with blown double digit leads will be the reason that we all look back on when Romeo Crennel and (maybe) Phil Savage are fired at seasons end..

Backbreakers for the Browns came on the final drive when both Brandon McDonald and Brodney Pool (I think) dropped passes that were thrown right to them.

My favorite Aunt,Becky attended the game and snapped this pic for us.
Thanks Becky!

The Ohio State Buckeyes return to action today against Northwestern in Evanston Illinois.The surprising Wildcats enter the game 7-2 (3-2 Big Ten) and off a miracle win at Minnesota last week.
Northwestern is missing star runner Tyrell Sutton for the season and starting QB C.J. Bacher is less than 100 percent.
Our Pick;Buckeyes 24-10

The New Jersey Devils will visit the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings tonight at 7;00.
Coverage here tomorrow....


Bullpen notes

Just wanted to wish the lovely Cherie a Happy Birthday and wish her the best on yet another year of tolerating me!!

Another great game in Lubbock Texas tonight between top ten teams Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.Will be watching that one for sure!

I may have seen the fight of the year last night on Telefutura when featherweights Rogers Mtagawa swapped bombs with Tomas Villa for eight exciting rounds.
Villa floored Mtagwa in the ninth and the 10-8 round looked to be the difference in a close battle on the scorecards.
But NO (As Howard Cosell used to say) Mtagwa floored Villa three times in the 10th before referee (and former 130 lb contender) Rocky Burke stopped the war.
What a great one,but don't take my word for it,check the final two rounds for yourself!


Tonight in New York,Joe Calzaghe vs Roy Jones.
This one shapes up as Calzaghe winning by a clean decision if he wants to play it safe or a later round KO,should he choose to press the action against the faded Jones.....

Photo Credits
Browns-Broncos:Becky Heimberger
Winslow:Tracy Boulian-Cleveland Plain Dealer
Helmets:Helmet Project

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Devils win in the shootout,Quinn debut tonight

When you are missing the best player in the world at his position,you need to grab every point that you possibly can and the New Jersey Devils did just that in a 4-3 shootout win over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.
Jamie Langenbrunner and Patrik Elias each beat Tampa's Mike Smith in the shootout to give the Devils a badly needed two points.
Devils goals were scored by Patrik Elias (4),David Clarkson (3) and Jay Pandolfo (2).

Shawn's Thoughts

1) I thought Kevin Weekes was decent in goal.
Not terrific as he may have to be at times over the next few months,but good enough to win.
Two of the Tampa goals came on the power play,so he was not that bad...........

2) David Clarkson's second period goal ended a long scoreless streak for the Devils and even then needed some luck as the goal appeared to deflect off a Tampa defender.

3) Dainius Zubrus picked up two assists on the evening and spent time on a line with Clarkson and Brian Gionta for much of the game.
I kinda like that line,a grinder with a player with speed and Zubrus adds more contrast.

4) Brent Sutter spent more time line juggling in the win as Patrik Elias spent time with the defensive line alongside John Madden and Jay Pandolfo.
Not sure that is a long term answer or not,but it did produce two goals in the win...

5) The supporting cast needs to pick up their game.
Dumb penalties by Sheldon Brookbank and Petr Vrana led to both Tampa goals in the third period via the power play route.
The current roster just isn't talented enough to win games and make stupid mistakes like those....

The Devils will have two days off before two weekend games against the Red Wings and Oilers....

Well,many wanted him in 2007 and more in 2008,so ready or not,Browns fans-Here comes Brady Quinn.
And although some think the short week could work against Quinn,I like this as his first start.
To me,I think a home start against a weak Denver defense is preferable to making his debut at Buffalo against a better defense.
Plus he then gets 11 days to prepare for his first road start against the Bills.
As long time readers know,I am not a Brady Quinn believer,but this was the right move.
I am not placing the total blame on Derek Anderson for the teams struggles,but at 3-5 the time is right to see what Quinn brings to the table.
Eight games.
Half a season.
Plenty of time to evaluate Quinn and a note to Crennel/Savage-now that Quinn is in,Keep him in!
Allow him to learn through his mistakes,this is a lost season anyway.

On to tonight's game against the Broncos.
I will see some of this game,but not all as my employer does not use Direct TV and the local cable provider does not have NFL Network,so I will review the tape of what I miss on Friday.
The short week hurts the Browns as Eric Steinbach and Shaun Rogers are questionable for the game.
If neither of those two play,the Browns are hurting.
As much as I like Joe Thomas,his effectiveness drops without Steinbach on the inside and Rogers has been the best defensive lineman that Cleveland has seen since Michael Dean Perry.

The Denver defense is one of the worst in the league and they come in without Pro Bowl corner Champ Bailey.
That seems like a good night for Butterworth Edwards assuming he can hold onto the ball.
I really hesitate to pick the Browns here as they have been so erratic,but Denver enters the game with three straight losses and four in their last five games.
Our prediction with severe reluctance....
Browns 24-21.

Bullpen Notes

Congratulations to the Pirates Nate McLouth for winning a Gold Glove.
McLouth committed just one error in his first year of full time duty and was the first Pirate to win the award since another centerfielder-Andy Van Slyke in 1992.

Ohio State suspended wide receiver Ray Small for at least two games and possibly the season for undisclosed violations.
The problems is reportedly that Small has missed several classes,a charge that Small denies.
Ohio State returns to the field at surprising Northwestern on Saturday.

As we talked about yesterday,the Raiders did release DeAngelo Hall.
Here is hoping either Cleveland or Seattle picks Hall up for the waiver price.

Photo Credits
Langenbrunner:Jim McIssac-Getty Images
Quinn:Unknown
Helmets:Helmet Project
McLouth:SI.com

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Martin Brodeur to miss 3 to 4 months!!

Lots of things to add today with the injury to Martin Brodeur,thoughts on the Seahawks thrashing against Philadelphia and more.....

The biggest news is the loss of Martin Brodeur to a torn bicep in his left elbow last week in the win over Atlanta.
Brodeur will undergo surgery tomorrow and will be out until at least February.
Kevin Weekes will be the man on the spot for the next few months,barring a trade.
Scott Clemensen will step into the Weekes role on the bench as the backup from Lowell and that in turn makes prospect Jeff Frazee the full time starter in Lowell.
That could be a good thing for Frazee,at least as he was sharing time with the veteran Clemmensen for the Devils.

How does this affect the Devils?
Massively.
For far too many years,this team has rode the shoulders of one man-Martin Brodeur.
Now it is time for the Devils to pick number 30 up for a while.
The task will not be easy.
Kevin Weekes has proven over the course of his career to be an average goaltender with occasional hot stretches of excellent play.
Can he hold the fort together for the Devils to keep playoff hopes alive?
Can Zach Parise and basically the same offensive cast from last season keep things together enough until the return of Brian Rolston and Bobby Holik?
Can an average defensive corps improve their play since they no longer have the best goalie in the world behind them to stop their mistakes?
Will Lou Lamoriello make a decisive stroke of action to stem the tide and keep the Devils in the hunt for now and improve them for the long term?

All of these are good questions and I don't have any answers,but here is one interesting thought to think in case the bottom drops from the barrel.
It has been so long since the New Jersey Devils have been bad enough to pluck a true top player from the draft,could a fluke year like this-one that everyone would know was a one year aberration be the one that lands the Devils a long term superstar?
I do not think that happens in even the worst case scenario,but it is an interesting thought.
The New Jersey Devils with a true superstar and yet still the team concept intact..........

The Seattle Seahawks scored the first points of the game on a team record 90 yard touchdown pass from Seneca Wallace to Koren Robinson and hung in the game for a half.
They would score no more in a 26-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Shawn's Thoughts

1) Robinson's numbers look nice,but after the TD pass that was basically due to Brian Dawkins slipping,he would catch 3 more passes for 15 yards.
Credit for the TD,but sometimes you have to look between the lines...

2) This was a very disorganized Seattle team as guys took too long to get on and off the field and generally wasted timeouts......
I could get into more detail,but why bother...

3) One thing the Seahawks need to do in the silly season is come up with a viable backup QB.
Seneca Wallace is not that and with Matt Hasselbeck's back looking worse by the day,this is a must.....

4) This season is lost,I would not rush Hasselbeck back into the lineup in meaningless games.
Besides,similar to the statement on the Devils above-this could be a one year aberration and a chance to get a star caliber player in the draft for a change...

5) The defense did show some life as the Eagles could only muster three field goals in the second half.This was even more surprising as neither Patrick Kerney or Lofa Tatupu played in the game...

The Seahawks travel to Miami on Sunday on the longest road trip in the NFL......

Bullpen Notes

Tennessee forced Phillip Fulmer out as football coach a few days back after signing him to a seven year extension just months ago.
Fulmer leaves Knoxville with a 150-51 record over 17 years and brought the Volunteers the National title in 1998.
Look at Tennessee to make a major run at Texas Tech's Mike Leach as the replacement......

Mike McKain fell short in his bid for Washington County school board.
McKain received some of the 353 write in votes throughout the county.
Don't give up on the Battler though,I have big plans for another run in the next election!

Looks like comedian Al Franken is going to a recount in his bid for a Senate seat from Minnesota.
Franken trails the incumbent Norm Coleman by just 762 votes and that is certain to be recounted.
Recounts rarely change the outcome however.
The difference maker appears to be Independent Dean Barkley,as Barkley grabbed 15 percent of the vote that saw both Coleman and Franken finish with 42 percent.

I am torn on third party runs.
I think that we do need more alternatives and could use some shaking up from the same old party hacks.
However,it seems like they can never win and when they do get solid support,all they do is muck things up.
Confusing....

And finally,Ryan sends me this video from the angry Video Game Nerd on the hardest video game ever-the NES Silver Surfer.
I actually owned this game,played it often and agree with his statements!
I have never played a game that hard EVER!


Photo Credits
Devils:Chris Creamers Sports Logos
Robinson:Dan DeLong-Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Franken:AlFranken.com

Barack Obama wins


As I am sure that most of you know by now,Barack Obama is the new President of the United States.
Obama hammered John McCain in both the Electoral College (349-147) and by five points in the popular vote (52-47) and never seemed to be seriously threatened by the Republican Senator from Arizona.

Barack Obama will bring several things to the Oval Office that could help this country through its struggles,but he is far from a sure thing.
When one votes for change,you never know whether the fresh face is any better than the current office holder.
Obama certainly will help with the image of the United States around the world as someone that is different from the norm and the American people look good around the globe as well today for breaking away from the past and doing something different.
I like to think that Obama's tax plan that seems to scare so many will be what he says-a return to the tax rates under Bill Clinton.
This country did pretty nicely under Bill Clinton and the tax rates were far from abusive.
I also hope that with a Democratic Congress that legitimate progress towards a health care system is finally made.
It is ridiculous that so many people work hard and cannot afford health insurance in the most prosperous country in the world.
I do not feel that helping hard working families to not go bankrupt in case of health problems is socialistic-it just is caring about the citizens of our country and if some upper class people disagree,then I am sure they would not mind trading places with some of the less fortunate giving their life a try.
I don't feel that a health care system should be mandatory,just offered to everyone as an option.
After all,the real problem with health care is that people cannot afford it.

I hope that Obama is able to be a less confrontational leader (Like that will be hard to do) than George Bush.
This will help the United States to be looked at as a big brother instead of a bully and help the USA to be looked at as we truly are,not as others have seen us as over the last eight years.

I have major questions about our new President.
He is far from experienced and his less than one term in the Senate was far from exceptional.
He seems intelligent,but not exceptionally so.
He gives a great speech,but seems borderline clumsy when answering questions and he will have show the grit and toughness that so many question that he has.
He can go a long way to unify things by putting people from all ends of the spectrum in cabinet and advisory positions and that will show Republicans that you can govern all people without sticking fingers in the opponents eye in the fashion that George Bush and Dick Cheney seemed to delight in doing.

We have percentages of people on both sides that will be ready to praise Obama for reasons that have little to do with performance and others that will give him no credit no matter how successful his term will be.
We need to be open minded and give him a chance,but not be so filled with sunshine that we don't criticize when needed.
There are people on the left that will be disappointed before he even enters office and they need to understand that successful Presidents govern from Center/Left,not pure left.
The squad from the right are disappointed that the USA seems to be drifting to more of a liberal run after a 28 year run of Center/Right and that the results of the election means a total change in the way of life that we all enjoy and of course that is not true.

Summing things up,Congratulations to the Obama/Biden Campaign for a truly historic win and lets not be too harsh to throw John McCain in the mud.
I thought McCain's concession speech was very gracious and perhaps had he done more of the talking for the entire campaign in the style that he showed in the last few days things could have different......

Talkin GOP

Besides having to run in the worst time to run as a Republican in 32 years,McCain still could have won this election.
But a few miscues ended any chances.
The first was having to drift to the right to earn the nomination.
McCain is a centrist Republican at his core and having to drift over,not only hurt him badly in looking like Bush redux but it also made him uncomfortable in having to run as someone that he really wasn't.
This would be the local equivalent of me running for the Congressional Seat of Roscoe Bartlett and having pretend that I was a Baltimore Raven fan.
Whether I did it or not,I am going to be uncomfortable doing it and it will show through.

The second was the pick of Sarah Palin.
I have detailed my issues with Palin before here,but there can be no doubt that no matter her crowd numbers and her hard core followers aside,she was the death blow to any comeback hopes.
Her embarrassing interviews,lack of grasp of anything involving the job,the Tina Fey impersonations,the hokey folksiness in her debate and her pounding of issues that no one cared about (Bill Ayers,Socialism etc) all added up to this-she turned on the 20% of the country that is hardcore right wing,but was unable to land one moderate person to their case.
When 59% of the country has an unfavorable opinion of you and your qualifications for the job,your team is in big trouble.
Palin was never the type of candidate that was going to land the Hillary Clinton vote and selecting a clearly unprepared running mate came across as not only pandering to that block but patronizing as well.
Picking Palin took the one issue that McCain had on Obama-Experience and superior preparation for the job and tossed it off the table.

The final shot was beyond McCain's control.
Just as the race had tightened,the financial crunch hit.
When that hit,no Republican was going to be able to survive that,
That was just one final reminder of the misery of eight years under GOP rule and crunched any chance of the comeback.

The Democrats have what they wanted-control of both houses and the Presidency.
Let us hope they can do the right things for the right reasons and turn the country around and not use this opportunity for political payback......

Well,except for one man.
Use this opportunity to slap Joe Lieberman around.
His behavior was reprehensible for a true Democrat and put him where he belongs-on the low end of the totem pole with the worst committee assignments that you can give.
Joe,you wanted to be with the Republicans,so here is your wish-Enjoy!

Photo Credit
Obama/Biden:Scott Olsen:Getty Images

Quinn in Anderson out............


Cleveland Browns fans will finally get what they have been asking for as Brady Quinn steps into the lineup tomorrow night for the Browns home game against the Denver Broncos....

I will address the move further down the post,but here is my thoughts of what caused the move-the Browns devastating 37-27 gag job to the hated Baltimore Ravens last Sunday.

Brownie Bits

1) Credit for the Browns name goes to who else but Battlin Bob.
I still am taking suggestions for this segment on the Pirates,Buckeyes,Seahawks and Devils......

2) Yes,Derek Anderson's interception (well,basically a glorified hand off) to Terrell Suggs ended the game,but other than that-I cannot blame much else on Anderson.
Why not?
Read on,MacDuff.....

3) Two things killed the Browns when they led 27-17.
Of course Butterworth Edwards allowing a sure backbreaking TD pass slip through his hands was one.
If Butterworth had held on to that,the lead would have been 34-17 and likely lights out for a demoralized Raven team....

4) The other was the predictable playcalling by offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski with the 10 point lead.
Run,Run,Incomplete pass were the results of the four drives preceding the Anderson interception.
Far from aggressive play calling,I used to do better than that playing Super Tecmo Bowl!.


5) The corners struggled throughout the game as well.
Eric Wright was beaten a few times,but not nearly as bad as Brandon McDonald.
It appeared to me that Baltimore would go to the line of scrimmage with the play called to throw to whoever 22 was covering in the first half.
Awful,Awful,Awful...Imagine that to Felix Unger lecturing Oscar Madison....

6) Would someone please tell me why Syndric Steptoe and Steve Sanders seem to be on the field so much?
Want to get your best players on the field more often and show a different look as well?
How about moving Kellen Winslow to the wide side of the field and keep Steve Heiden at the conventional TE spot?
That would enable the Browns to use the best they have more often instead of these practice squad graduates and expecting them to produce!

7) One Brown that you can rarely gripe about is Joshua Cribbs.
Cribbs plays his guts out every play that he is on the field and he made three tackles on special teams in addition to his kick return TD.
Cribbs is far from a one dimensional returner and of all the guys on this team-Cribbs is the one that can play for me anytime...

8) Take away the poor decision on the pick and Anderson didn't play poorly.
Let's face it,this is a lost season and between the fans discontent about being surprisingly bad (Remember we had reasonable expectations) combined with the suddenly tenuous job situation of Romeo Crennel and /or Phil Savage,the Browns are forced to see what Brady Quinn has.
It is unfortunate that it was not all Anderson's fault,but the move is the right one....

9) That said,both Crennel and Savage better hope that Brady Quinn can at least show some flashes of talent because if he struggles badly for the rest of the year-both of them can warm up the U-Hauls...

10) And finally,the front seven on this team allowed two rookies to kill them.
Joe Flacco and Ray Rice?Give ma a break..
Shaun Rogers has been terrific and D'Qwell Jackson has been solid,but the rest?
Ugh.

Bonus Rounds) As much as a 3rd rounder for Shaun Rogers appears to be a robbery for the Browns giving Green Bay a 2nd for Corey Williams appears to be a steal in reverse.......
Between Williams and Kamerion Wimbley,the Browns could lead the league on almost hurries.

If this rumor is true and the Cleveland Browns do not claim DeAngelo Hall for the 100 dollar waiver price then I can become very vocal on Phil Savage moving on.
Imagine Hall and Eric Wright on the corners and Brandon McDonald as the third corner.
Now that would be an upgrade in talent!

And the same goes the for the Seahawks,who due to their record being worse would be able to claim Hall before he got to the Browns on the waiver wire...

Back later with a brief look at the Seahawk loss to the Eagles,the election of Barack Obama and the devastating loss to the Devils of Martin Brodeur for the next three to four months!!!

Photo Credits
Pumpkin:Chuck Crow-Cleveland Plain Dealer
Odd Couple:Paramount
Cribbs:Joshua Gunter-Cleveland Plain Dealer

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Weekes better than expected,Devils still lose

Kevin Weekes was far better than Devils fans had a right to expect last night against Buffalo,but Ryan Miller was better for the Sabres and Buffalo skulked off into the night with a 2-0 win at the Rock.
Weekes faced 20 (Yes 20) shots in the first period and faced several power plays as well and I thought played very well.
The Devils return to action on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning

Shawn's Thoughts

1) Kevin Weekes was excellent in goal and considering how little he has played in the last season he was even better.
Still no word on how long Martin Brodeur will be out of the lineup.

2) The Devils looked listless in the first and increased the energy and effort in the following two periods,but looked a lot like last years Devils in lacking offense.
That of course makes sense as the guys that were brought in to improve the offense are on the IR.

3) Paul Martin sat the game out as well adding yet another important Devil to the list of injuries.
Anssi Salmela was recalled from Lowell and played in the game.

4) Ryan Miller always seems to have the New Jersey number as win or lose,Miller always plays well against the Devils.
I would like to see Buffalo's backup netminder on occasion!!

5) Brent Sutter kept the lines down to three in the final period as I hardly remember seeing Mike Rupp,Nicklas Bergfors or Petr Vrana hardly at all.....


Bullpen Notes

Hasim Rahman will be stepping into the shoes of mandatory contender Alexander Povetkin and will attempt to lift the IBF Heavyweight belt from Wladimir Kiltschko on December 13th in Germany.
Povetkin was the top contender but suffered an injury in training.

Ryan sends us this interesting note on the Air Car.
The car could run on compressed air or some mineral oil and could go as far as 60 miles on a tank of air.
Top speed is only about 35 MPH,so it would be suited for town use only,but certainly seems like it is worth continued development.

And no,I haven't forgotten opinions on Brady Quinn vs Derek Anderson.
Watch for that later today or tomorrow when I get time for the Browns recap.

Photo Credit
Weekes:Jim McIssac-Getty Images
Air Car:MDI

Monday, November 3, 2008

We endorse Obama AND McKain!!!




Sorry about no posts on yesterdays games.
I will catch up over the next two days.
Just too tired from the paying gig and needed to rest....

This blog has decided to endorse two candidates in tomorrows elections.

Senator Barack Obama for President and Mike "Battlin Bob" McKain for the Washington County school board.....

While Obama's resume' is light and is a question mark on many levels,his selection of Joe Biden for his Vice President puts the Illinois Senator over the top for us.
This country has done nothing but sled downhill for the last eight years and I fear that electing John McCain would offer little difference from the current path.

I am not completely sold on Obama,but the thought of Sarah Palin as our possible President scares the hell out of me and in the end-that truly was the biggest reason to vote against McCain...


Our other endorsement goes to Mike McKain for Washington County school board.
If you live in Washington County,his name will not appear on the ballot-you MUST write in the name of Mike McKain.
McKain would deliver a breath of fresh air to the stale world of BOE meetings with his rapier wit and through his ideas to change our counties educational system.
McKain's background shows a candidate with the patience and concern for children that has marked his career.
Frankly,Mike McKain cares about kids and that shows through every time that you meet and talk to Mike....

No matter your candidate,get out and vote tomorrow!
Back tomorrow with Browns,Seahawks,Devils and Brady Quinn starting Thursday for the Browns!

Photo Credis
Obama:US Senate
McKain:Ryan Heimberger

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Brodeur goes down in Devils romp


The New Jersey Devils already have been chomped (bitten is too mild of a term) by the injury bug thus fat,but the biggest of all could have been snared last night as Martin Brodeur left the Devils 6-1 win over Atlanta with an injured elbow.
The injury took much of the shine off the Devils win that snapped a three game losing streak.
Devils goals to Zach Parise (8&9),Patrik Elias (3),Brian Gionta (2) and Nicklas Bergfors and Jay Pandolfo scored their first of the year in the blowout....

Shawn's Thoughts

1) The Devils are currently reporting the Brodeur injury is just a "Bruise" and will not comment on Marty's availability for Monday's game against the Buffalo Sabres......

2) I thought Kevin Weekes played pretty well in his period and a half of work when you consider the lack of prep time.
Weekes does need to be ready to play tomorrow against Buffalo,I would play this very safe and definitely play Weekes against the Sabres and maybe even against Tampa on Wednesday as well..

3) Zach Parise continues his sizzling start with 2 more goals.
Parise is currently second in the league in goals and even though it is early,I bet it has been a while since we could say that about a Devil!

4) Three assists for Johnny Oduya.
Like I wrote recently,this will be enough of a flash to give hope to me for a while and watch his play revert to form!

5) The Nicklas Bergfors goal in the first was the initial NHL goal for the Swedish import.
I hope it is the first of many.......


Bullpen Notes

What a game in Texas as the Texas Tech Red Raiders upset number one Texas 39-33 with one second to go!
Graham Harrell's across field throw to Michael Crabtree ended what was easily the game of the year thus far.....
I may write more on this later in the week on a slow day,but the second half of that game was as good as I have seen in a long time!

If there is any Atlanta Thrashers fans out there,I would have grave concerns.
Ilya Kovalchuk was as uninspired as any star can be and the team in general looked like they came onto the ice in Mister Softee mode.
A season of play like this and the Thrashers will lucky to draw four digits in fans by seasons end.

Today's picks

The Cleveland Browns host the Baltimore Ravens in yet another must win game.
A win evens the record at 4-4 and puts them in wild card contention.
A loss sends them reeling and two games behind Baltimore among others in the wild card hunt.
I think the Browns may not be totally on track,but have enough to take this one.

The Seattle Seahawks host the Philadelphia Eagles and look to be overmatched.
The Eagles come in off a bye week and Seneca Wallace will get another start at quarterback.This one could get ugly.....

Predictions
Browns over Ravens 20-7
Eagles over Seahawks 31-14

Photo Credits
Brodeur and Weekes:Norman Lono-Getty Images
Crabtree:AP Photo
Helmets:Helmet Project