Tag Archives: NFL

Four-time SB winning coach Noll dies at 82.

I happen to be a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and today is a bit of a sad day.

Chuck Noll, the only coach to win four Super Bowls, died yesterday, June 13, at the age of 82.

Noll coached the Steelers from 1969-1991, going 209-156-1 (of which 16-8 were in the postseason). He coached the Steelers to four SB victories in six years, winning Super Bowls IX, X, XIII and XIV.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Before his coaching career (assistant and head coach) began, Noll played for the Cleveland Browns from 1953-1959. Those Browns’ teams won NFL titles in 1954 and 1955, and lost the NFL title game in 1953 and 1957.

SB 48 a blowout

From the first snap, the Super Bowl was a blowout. That first snap sailed over Peyton Manning’s head and resulted in a safety.

It was all downhill from there for Denver. Seattle won SB 48, 43-8.

It was basically over before halftime. One lousy game if you weren’t rooting for Seattle.

The weather held up as the NFL lucked out. Some 6-9″ of snow started falling less than 12 hours after the game ended.

Super Bowl set as we wait on Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka’s decision could come as early as Tuesday (tomorrow) or Wednesday in order for all physicals to be done by the deadline for him picking a team—5 p.m. Friday. A friend asked me my opinion as to who Tanaka signs with, and quite honestly, I have no clue. Apparently six teams, including the Yankees, all put in bids of at least 6 years and at $20MM/yr. Arizona is said to have put in a strong bid. I hope the Yanks get him (and I hope Ichiro and Matsui put a bug in Tanaka’s ear about playing in NY) but I don’t have any feelings or premonitions where he may go.

Once he goes, the rest of the dominoes (Jiminez, Garza, Arroyo, E. Santana, etc). should fall.

Meanwhile, Super Bowl 48 (please dispense with the Roman Numerals already) is set for the Meadowlands Feb. 2. Denver vs. Seattle. With about a month to go in the regular season, a friend had me fill out a form for him for a contest. You had to pick the 12 playoff teams (I got 10 or 11 of the 12) and the Super Bowl contestants. I nailed Denver and Seattle. He is supposed to split the winnings with me if we win. As for the Super Bowl pick, I had Denver 35, Seattle 21. After that interview Erin Andrews had post-game with Richard Sherman, I really hope I am right. I’d rather root for the classy Manning than people like Sherman (or, for that matter, Pete Carroll).

Game 162. Yanks win finale in 14, 5-1.

For a while, it seemed like the season and this game would never end.

But end it did and the Yanks won 5-1 in 14 to finish their season 85-77, tied with Baltimore for 3rd in the AL East, 12 out of the division lead and six out of that 2nd wild card slot.

Speaking of which, Tampa Bay has to fly from Toronto to Texas to face the Rangers Monday night in a one-game matchup to determine who IS the second wild-card. The winner flies to Cleveland to face the #1 WC Indians in a one-game playoff Wed. to determine the AL wild card.

I fear this season may be the last winning season for the Yanks for a while.

Houston ended the season on (I believe, I may be off by a game) a fifteen game losing streak. They end 51-111. Ugh. The Yanks struck out 19 Astros in 14 innings.

David Huff started and went 5. 1 R, 3 H, 0 walks and  7 K. Overall ERA 5.50 (Cle/NYY).

Brett Marshall 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 3 K. 4.50.

Dellin Betances 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 4 K. 10.80.

Preston Claiborne 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 4.11.

David Phelps 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 2 K. 4.98.

Matt Daley 2 IP (W, 1-0, first MLB win), 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 0.00.

David Robertson finished, no save situation. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.04.

Down 1-0 in the 8th, the Yanks tied it on a double by Nunez and single by Granderson.

In the 14th, Reynolds HR’d (21). After two strikeouts, Ryan and Almonte singled and Nunez doubled in two. Murphy singled in Nunez.

Before the game, Mo was feated. He received gifts and apologized to the Astros’ fans for not pitching this weekend (classy). He explained that the farewell at the Stadium, with Derek and Andy coming out to get him, was the perfect ending.

Football: It was a rough enough day for this Steelers’ fan to see his team go to 0-4 on the season, but then I found out that #68, L.C. Greenwood, a DE on that great Steel Curtain team of the 1970s, passed away today at the age of 73. Another piece of my childhood gone. Known for wearing those yellow shoes, I remember him in SB IX, acting like a volleyball player in spiking down a few of Fran Tarkenton’s passes. I always wondered why he wasn’t in the HOF. Maybe now he can be put in—too late for him to relish it.

Ravens win SB 47

Joe Flacco was the SB MVP as the Ravens defeated the 49ers 34-31. It was like two different games. A 108-yd. kickoff return to start the second half gave Baltimore a 28-6 lead, then there was a power outage. It’s like the power outage affected the Ravens, enabling SF to almost pull out a miracle come-from-behind win.

Congrats Ravens (even though I was rooting for SF because I can’t root for Ray Lewis).

… and yes, I really wish the NFL would knock it off with the Roman numerals already.

Yanks sign Hafner

It hasn’t been announced officially yet, but the Yankees have signed Travis Hafner, formerly of the Indians, to be their lefty-hitting DH.

Hafner still has a good bat….when he plays, that is. This could be a good move for the Yanks, if Hafner can stay healthy.

The problem is, Hafner hasn’t been healthy for a while. Hafner, who finished top-10 in the MVP voting in 2005 and 2006, hasn’t played the field since 2007 and only once since 2007 has played in 100 games in a season.

Last year, Hafner hit .228-12-34 in just 66 games. His OPS+ was 121. For his career, he is a .278 hitter with 201 HR and an OPS+ of 137.

From 2004-2007 he averaged .296-32-108, OPS+ 156. But that was so long ago.

Meanwhile, Earl Williams, a C-1B-3B for the Braves, Orioles, Expos and A’s in the 1970s died at the age of 64. He was the 1971 NL ROY when he hit 33 HR for Atlanta. He hit .247 in his career (1970-1977) with 138 HR. An average year for him would have been about .246-20-65, OPS+ 105.

I never got into the X games. The death yesterday of a snowmobiler is why. I mean, why? Why do somersaults at God knows what speed on a snowmobile? To me, the X games are just reckless.

I’ll be rooting for SF on Sunday. I can’t root for Ray Lewis.

Update: The Hafner deal is $2mm, 1 yr., + incentives. Hafner will turn 36 in June.

Brother vs. Brother

You wonder how their parents will handle it.

John and Jim Harbaugh will be coaching against each other in the Super Bowl since each of the brothers coached their respective teams to wins in today’s AFC and NFC title games.

Ravens vs. 49ers it is. I think the 49ers will be about a 4-pt. favorite from what I saw.

I’ll be rooting for the 49ers, even though if the 49ers win, they’ll tie my Steelers for most SB victories with six.

I just can’t root for Ray Lewis.

As for Atlanta, they blew a big lead last week vs. Seattle and got away with it. Not this time as they blew a 17-0 early lead.

Forgetting the past.

I can’t root for Ray Lewis or the Ravens. First of all, I’m a Steelers’ fan. But mostly, I can’t root for Ray Lewis because of this (from Wikipedia):

Murder trial

Following a Super Bowl XXXIV party in Atlanta on January 31, 2000, a fight broke out between Lewis and his companions and another group of people, resulting in the stabbing deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar. Lewis and two companions, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, were questioned by Atlanta police, and 11 days later the three men were indicted on murder and aggravated-assault charges. The white suit Lewis was wearing the night of the killings has never been found. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard alleged the blood-stained suit was dumped in a garbage bin outside a fast food restaurant.[36]

Lewis’ attorneys, Don Samuel and Ed Garland, of the Atlanta law firm Garland, Samuel & Loeb, negotiated a plea agreement with Howard, where the murder charges against Lewis were dismissed in exchange for his testimony against Oakley and Sweeting, and his guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice.[12] Lewis admitted he gave a misleading statement to police on the morning after the killings. Superior Court Judge Alice D. Bonner sentenced Lewis to 12 months’ probation, the maximum sentence for a first-time offender,[37] and he was fined $250,000 by the NFL, which was believed to be the highest fine levied against an NFL player for an infraction not involving substance abuse.[38] Under the terms of the sentence, Lewis could not use drugs or alcohol during the duration of the probation.

Oakley and Sweeting were acquitted of the charges in June 2000.[39] No other suspects have ever been arrested for the crime.

The following year, Lewis was named Super Bowl XXXV MVP. However, the signature phrase “I’m going to Disney World!” was given instead to quarterback Trent Dilfer.

On April 29, 2004, Lewis reached a settlement with four-year-old India Lollar, born months after the death of her father Richard, pre-empting a scheduled civil proceeding. Lewis also reached an undisclosed settlement with Baker’s family.[39]

 

Now Lewis may have tried to make amends since, and may have been a good citizen since. I can’t answer that.

What I wonder about is his degree of culpability in what happened. Should Lewis have gone to jail? Did he commit murder or manslaughter?

What I don’t wonder about is this:  that the Ray Lewis farewell tour media suck-up disgusts me.

The kissing up that the media is doing disgusts me completely. It’s one thing to call him the greatest middle linebacker ever. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t.

But ask yourself, outside of what you just read, have ANY of the media that is currently sucking up to Lewis and kissing his ass in his final games mentioned ANYTHING about what happened those many years ago? Has any media outlet mentioned it at all?

That’s what disgusts me. There are two sides of the coin here.

Praise Lewis for his football career, but don’t forget his involvement, whether major or minor, in the deaths of two people.

Happy New Year! Things are quiet….

As we usher in the New Year of 2013, things have been quiet in Yankeeland.

There are no hot rumors of trades or signings as we still wonder who will be the Yanks’ catcher and DH in 2013, not to mention who’ll fill out the bench.

A couple aging Hall-of-Famers are coming off major injuries (Jeter, Rivera) and another (?; steroid abuse, Alex) will miss half the year if not more because of an operation.

Meanwhile, there are a couple of free agents still available. None of the major ones really fit the Yankees needs, and with the Yanks cutting back on spending, the $$$ isn’t there for them.

Michael Bourn, Kyle Lohse and Rafael Soriano are still out there. Soriano could be a fit, only because he went 2-1, 2.26 with 42 saves in filling in for the injured Rivera last year. But Soriano probably wouldn’t want to go back to the setup role he was unhappily doing in 2011. But after a strong year, it’s interesting that he opted out and still is unsigned.

Boston has been talking to Adam LaRoche, since the Napoli deal may fall through.

Shaun Marcum and Joe Saunders are out there. So are Jose Valverde and Delmon Young.

Young is a righty bat, which the Yanks could use, and a .284 hitter. He was the ALCS MVP vs. the Yanks last year. Although his 162 g. average is .284-16-89, his OPS+ is just 98 due to a poor BB/K ratio. (27/115).

There is still Scott Hairston. There’s Thome or Berkman.

There’s …. (fill in the blank).

But it appears the Yanks are “dumpster-diving.” Who they pick up between now and the start of spring training (and it’s getting closer), who knows?

As of now, who will  be the C, DH or bench?

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate has gone up 2%… and that’s just from all the NFL coaches and GMs being fired. Black Monday indeed.

 

S.T. Game 19 Hughes strong in Yanks 5-2 win

Phil Hughes had another strong outing, and is making his case for a spot in the rotation. He pitched 5 innings today, and made just 1 mistake. 2 R, 3 H, 1 walk and 3 K.

Clay Rapada and Rule 5 pick Cesar Cabral are in an interesting competition to be the second lefty out of the bullpen. Rapada had a 1-2-3 inning with 2 K. Meanwhile Cabral pitched two scoreless innings, gave up two hits and a walk, and recorded all six of his outs via the strikeout.

Mike O’Connor wrapped up with a scoreless inning, 1 H, 1 K.

Hughes gave up a 2-run HR to Matt Joyce in the second.

The Yanks tied it in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Ibanez with the bases loaded. The key hit of the inning was a ground-rule double by A-Rod. Ibanez was o for 3, and once again didn’t look good. At least the groundout was pulled. He was late on his first two at bats, flying out to left both times. His S.T. batting average is now .059.

Jorge Vazquez had an RBI double in the seventh.

The Yanks won it in the 9th on an RBI double by Justin Maxwell and a 2-Run HR by Gus Molina.

The win puts the Yanks’ exhibition season record at 10-9. Tomorrow night they’ll be on ESPN vs. Boston, with Dave Phelps scheduled to start.

It’s been an interesting NFL day. Tebow traded to the Jets, but it could fall through…and Saints’ coach Sean Payton suspended for a whole year—and he’s not the only one involved in that Saints’ bounty who got suspended.