Monday, April 23, 2007

Done here

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NFL Draft Player Predictions

We here at Tremendous Upside Potential have long been fans of the NFL Draft. This is probably because we root for the Chicago Bears, a team that has had more top 10 draft picks then just about anyone during our lifetime. The draft was the one time when the Dave Wannstedt and Dick Jauron Bears actually produced hope: what if Cade McNown and Curtis Enis turned out to be awesome? We could win more then 5 games!

With that being said, we can’t wait for Saturday. We couldn’t be more delighted that our Bears aren’t in the top 10 (because that means we were actually good) and think that this class is good enough where they’ll still be some solid players at picks 31 and 37. While not as good as last year’s draft class, which may go down as one of the best ever, this year’s crop of incoming talent is better then a lot of people realize. Here’s our take on which guys will be good and which guys won’t. We, like everyone else, have been hit or miss on this kind of stuff in the past, but we’re way better then Merrill Hodge (“I wouldn’t draft Vince Young until the 6th round”). So we got that goin’ on for us. These predictions are going to be pretty bold- of course anyone could be good- so forgive us if our hyperbole gets a little out of control.

Guys that will be good.

Calvin Johnson- We’d be shocked if he didn’t turn out to be one of the ten greatest wide receivers ever. Clearly the best player in the draft and in our opinion the best prospect to enter the NFL since Julius Peppers, it shouldn’t matter whether he’s catching passes in Oakland, Tampa, or Atlanta. He will be a star, and should be the league’s best pass catcher by his second or third season.

Brady Quinn- There is not a lot of love going on right now for Quinn, but we think he’s the best quarterback in this class. He doesn’t have much bust potential and dominated his junior season when he had a better offensive line and receiving core that included Maurice Stovall. We’re not too worried about his big game struggles and think he’s a future all-pro.

Joe Thomas- A giant white guy from the Big 10? Of course we love him. If he can avoid injuries,
he should be a pillar on any offensive line for the next 10 to 15 years.

LaRon Landry- Our pick for safest player in the draft after CJ, Landry will have an immediate impact wherever he goes. He’ll develop into a pro bowler and will be one of the leagues top safeties in three years.

Amobi Okoye- All the love Okoye is getting recently is worrying us just a bit, but there’s just too much to like here. A super intelligent 19 year old that seems like a model citizen could develop into a Tommie Harris like defensive tackle.

Adrian Peterson- If he didn’t have durability concerns, we think Peterson would give CJ a run for his money as the top player overall. We think he’ll be a Hall of Famer and he will begin his run of pro bowls in his rookie season. If Peterson slips out of the top 5, teams are going to be kicking themselves for years to come.

Dwayne Jarrett- Saying his pro career will be like Mike Williams’ is pretty much the most asinine statement ever. Who cares if they went to the same school. What does that possibly tell us about Jarrett as a football player? We think he’s the second best receiver in the draft’s deepest position, a future all-pro for sure. We’ve seen a few mocks where he falls to the Bears at pick 37. If that happens, we’d be ecstatic.

Paul Posluszny- Puz has been one of “my guys” the last two seasons and will be a great NFL
player. We like him as much as any of the linebackers drafted last year, with the exception of Ernie Sims.

Anthony Spencer- Spencer wrecked havoc all year on Big 10 offensive lines and should become a double digit sack master in the NFL.

“Second Tier” running backs- We think Michael Bush, Antonio Pittman, and Kenny Irons will all be solid NFL starters. They won’t be as good as Peterson (though Bush might have a chance) but should all be starters in the NFL. None of these players will be drafted in the first round just because running back isn’t really a big need for a lot of teams, but all these dudes will be good.

Guys that won’t be good.

JaMarcus Russell- If Oakland takes him over Calvin, and there is a pretty good chance it happens, we think that would be the type of draft day decision that sets a franchise back five years. Russell’s main trait is his monster right arm- something that didn’t work too well for guys like Kyle Boller and Ryan Leaf.

Leon Hall- Got torched by good receivers like Ted Ginn and Anthony Gonzalez on Ohio State.
He might be drafted ahead of Darrell Revis, but we like Revis better.

Adam Carriker- A giant white guy from the Big 12? Why would we like him. One of our buddies pointed out that the only way he’s above average is playing defensive end in a 3-4 scheme.

Ted Ginn- We’re not saying Ginn is going to totally suck, but here’s the list of receivers in the draft we would take before him: Johnson, Jarrett, Robert Meachem, Dwayne Bowe, Gonzalez, and Craig Davis.

Lawrence Timmons- A workout warrior that really isn’t a workout warrior, Timmons will be a first round pick but we don’t think he’s worth it. He only started one season at Florida State and there are questions about his effort on every play.
Check out version 1.
Updated April 22

1. Oakland Raiders- WR Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech Johnson going number one would flip everyone’s mock draft upside down. While JaMarcus Russell could still be the pick, the whole organization is not on board with him- not a good sign for a number one pick.

2. Detroit Lions- DE Gaines Adams, ClemsonThis pick will be traded if Johnson is still available with the Redskins, Bucs, and Falcons being the most likely trade partners for Matt Millen. Adams appears to be the Lions guy wherever they’re picking and would be a good fit for their rebuilt defense.

3. Cleveland Browns- QB Brady Quinn, Notre Dame This will come down to Brady Quinn vs Adrian Peterson. The Romeo Crennel/Chaz Weiss connections gives BQ the edge.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- OT Joe Thomas, Wisconsin The Bucs would love if Johnson were available, but Thomas would be great pick at four. Other options are Brady Quinn and Amobi Okoye.

5. Arizona Cardinals- S LaRon Landry, LSUThey’re said to love Peterson but can’t possibly take a running back in the first round after giving Edge James over $30 million last offseason. They would take Joe Thomas if he’s available but will settle for Landry, one of the draft’s best players.

6. Washington Redskins- DT Amobi Okoye, LouisvilleThe Skins’ would be wise to trade down considering they don’t have another day 1 pick. If they can’t, Okoye would immediately bolster a defense that underachieved in 2006.

7. Minnesota Vikings- RB Adrian Peterson, OklahomaIt’s tough to see Peterson fall further then seven as a team will probably trade up to get him if he’s still around in this part of the first round. The Vikings need a receiver but Peterson is too good to pass up.

8. Atlanta Falcons- DE Jamaal Anderson, ArkansasFalcons would love to land Calvin Johnson but could also use a pass rusher like Arkansas’ Anderson.

9. Miami Dolphins- QB JaMarcus Russell, LSURussell may go number one but could free fall if he doesn’t. The Dolphins don’t have a quarterback unless they finish a deal for KC’s Trent Green.

10. Houston Texans- MLB Patrick Willis, Ole MissThe Texans would have a tough choice here between Willis and Levi Brown. They devoted their top picks to defense last year and could do it again this time around.

11. San Francisco 49ers- DT Alan Branch, Michigan Branch is said to be falling but would be an ideal fit in San Francisco for a team that likes monsters at defensive tackle.

12. Buffalo Bills- CB Leon Hall, Michigan Dick Jauron’s crew needs a cornerback after losing Nate Clements and a running back after losing Willis McGahee. Hall should be the pick because it’s easier to find a running back in later rounds.

13. St. Louis Rams- WR Ted Ginn Jr., Ohio State The Rams are said to covet Ginn, a dynamic playmaker that could replace an aging Isaac Bruce.

14. Carolina Panthers- TE Greg Olsen, Miami The Panters could use a linebacker but will for a franchise tight end like G-Reg.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers- DE Adam Carriker, NebraskaThey could use a cornerback like Leon Hall or Darrell Revis, but Carriker would be a good fit for their 3-4 defense (assuming they still run a 3-4).

16. Green Bay Packers- RB Marshawn Lynch, California The Packers medical staff cleared Lynch after minor injuries concerns. Running back is clearly their biggest need.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars- S Reggie Nelson, Miami They could take a receiver or linebacker, but safety is also a big need and Nelson is a playmaker.

18. Cincinnati Bengals- LB Jon Beason, Miami Big Beast should have stayed in school, but will still find himself in the first round. Cincinnati may be wary of drafting a player from Miami after all their legal problems.

19. Tennessee Titans- WR Dwayne Jarrett, USCAfter losing Drew Bennett and Bobby Wade (As a Bears fan, I can’t believe I just implied losing Bobby Wade would weaken their passing attack), the Titans need a receiver. Jarrett is more accomplished then either Robert Meachem or Dwyane Bowe.

20. New York Giants- OT Joe Staley, Central MichiganOffensive line has long been a problem for the G-Men who may take a chance on a raw prospect like Staley.

21. Broncos- DE Jarvis Moss, Florida Denver needs a pass rushing d-end and Moss dominated Ohio State in the National Championship.

22. Cowboys- CB Darelle Revis, PittRevis would be a good fit for a Cowboys defense that struggles some in pass coverage. A safety like Nelson or Brandon Meriweather or an o-lineman could also be an option.

23. Chiefs- CB Chris Houston, ArkansasThe Chiefs may take a receiver but Houston is quickly rising up draft boards.

24. Patriots- S Brandon Meriweather, MiamiThe Pats don’t like to take defensive backs early in drafts, but the area has been a weakness for some time.25. Jets- LB Paul Posluszny, Penn State New York fans would love a player like Puz who would immediately start in the Jets’ 3-4. Greg Olsen would also be an option if available.

26. Eagles- WR Robert Meachem, Tennesee The Eagles could use a defensive back but Meachem is too good to pass up. My dad thinks he’ll be better then Calvin Johnson. Worth noting.

27. Saints- S Michael Griffin, TexasThe Saints D overachieved last season but still needs help in the secondary.

28. Patriots- LB Lawrence Timmons, Florida StateTimmons has the type of versatility the Pats covet.

29. Ravens- DE Anthony Spencer, PurdueSpencer could fill the hole left by Adalius Thomas.

30. Chargers- WR Dwayne Bowe, LSUBowe is a great value at this pick and would be a great target for Phillip Rivers.

31. Bears- DT Justin Harrell, Tennessee The Bears could take an o-lineman but Tank Johnson’s legal problems and Dusty Dvoracek’s injury history makes DT a need. They really don’t need a receiver but may be tempted if one slipped.

32. Colts- CB Aaron Ross, TexasThe reigning champs need a cornerback after losing Nick Harper and Jason David.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Are You Ready? Break It Down!

...Bow to the masters, suck it!

Yeah that headline is a D-Generation X reference from 97'. Deal with it.

Before we get into the Bulls, congratulations to Mark Buehrle, the first White Sox pitcher to throw a no hitter in 16 years. Along with Paul Konerko, Buehrle has been the face of the franchise since the turn of the millennium, and has always been one of baseball’s most unheralded pitchers. Even though it appears unlikely to happen, we’d love to see Buehrle retire as a South Sider. He’s one of our favorite White Sox ever, and something like this couldn’t
happen to a better guy.

There was only one little problem. We saw like four pitches of the game! A Sox pitcher throws a no hitter for the first time since we were 3 years old, and we miss the entire thing because the Bulls were on. We were so into the Bulls game, we almost forgot the Sox were playing. The immortal Johnny Red Kerr broke the good news just as the final seconds were ticking off the Bulls’ regular season. Say what you will about Johnny Red (he’s old, senile, old, blind, deaf, old) but those were some of the best words we have ever heard come out of his mouth.
And as for the Bulls, we’re not so worried. There are going to be tons of people between now and Game 1 against the Heat saying the Bulls ruined their entire season by losing to the Nets Wednesday night. We’re definitely not buying that. One loss doesn’t overshadow the fact that this team had a fantastic season, winning more games then any Bulls team since His Airness left. It was just an enjoyable season all around. Honestly, how many NBA teams are there that are actually likable? Three maybe four? Well this Bulls team is one of the few; a group of NBA ballers that aren’t complete thugs.

That’s the best part about this Bulls team, they win the right way. All of their major components, besides for Big Ben, are homegrown, and they’re all high character guys. Nobody is taking bereavement leave to go to a strip club like Zach Randolph and getting three technical fouls every night like Rasheed Wallace. This group of guys generally seems like they like each other and they banded together to do things no post-MJ Bulls team has done. Remember like a week ago when the Knicks were flipping out because the Bulls were beating them by too much? For those of us that remember the Marcus Fizer and Jay Williams years (or year) that was one of the most enjoyable nights of the season. A few years ago, teams were running up the score on the Bulls, now it’s the other way around. We really couldn’t be happier about this transformation.

The Bulls made the transition from competitive to good this season a couple different ways. People might automatically assume that Ben Wallace played the most pivotal role in all of this, but that could be any further from the truth. The real reason the Bulls are legit is because three guys have made the jump to become all star caliber players: Luol Deng, Ben Gordon, and Kirk Hinrich. Though they’re all still young- Hinrich is the oldest at 26 and Deng is only 22- the entire trio transformed into veterans this season.

Hinrich is the best defender on the team and one of the better perimeter defenders in the league. His defense often overshadows his offense, but after Nocioni went down, Hinrich really picked up his scoring. He posted the career highs in minutes, points, field goal percentage, and three point percentage. He’s unquestionably the leader of this team on the court and runs the
show as well as any Bull since Pippen.

Deng has a great year too, probably becoming the Bulls best all around player. He’s so gifted offensively and is becoming one of the top small forwards in the NBA. Usually guys like him turn out to be second fiddles on good teams (Josh Howard, Tashaun Prince), but everyone sees Deng developing into the type of player that can carry a title contender. He improved his game as much as any player in the NBA; transforming from a 3-point chucking small forward to a dude who can score in the paint and knock down a mid-range J. He’s become one of the most versatile scorers in the Eastern Conference, and that has allowed the Bulls to contender this season.

But neither have been the teams’ most important player this season. When the Bulls recently announced their team MVP, and they awarded it to the entire team. While that’s nice, the Bulls real MVP is Gordon. The Bulls might have been able to withstand injuries to Luol and Kirk- they wouldn’t be good but they’d manage- but Gordo is the one player that was indispensable this season. Past criticisms of Ben included his streaky shooting, lack of height, and propensity to get into foul trouble. While he didn’t grow (but imagine if he did), Gordo has become a go-to scorer in this league. He finished top 20 in the association in scoring and joined A.I. as the only two players 6’3 and under to average 20 a night. He seemed to regress some in his sophomore season after a stellar rookie campaign, but Gordon’s improvement has meant more to the Bulls than anything else.

It’s also easy to forget about Notch because he missed 28 games during the second half when this team was starting to make their push, but when healthy, he can be just as important as anyone.

If there is one thing we know for sure about this Bulls team it’s that their not going to roll over for anyone. And people who think the Bulls are going to bow down against the defending champs are crazy. Honestly, we here at TUP would rather see the Bulls play the Heat then the Nets in the first round. Maybe there’s something mental blocking the Bulls from winning in New Jersey; we know that isn’t the case with Miami. The Bulls played the Heat tougher then anyone last season during the playoffs (that includes Dallas) and took 3 of 4 meeting with them this year. And don’t think Miami doesn’t remember the 42 point beat down the Bulls laid on them opening night.

Did the Bulls make things tougher for themselves by losing yesterday? Of course, but really, how good is the 2007 incarnation of the Miami Heat? People forget just how beat up the Heat are. D-Wade is more injured then he leads on, Shaq had the burden of carrying them into the playoffs for the last two months, and guys like Eddie Jones and Jason Williams have also battled injuries all season.

Objectively, it’s hard not to like the Bulls in a lot of these matchups. It’s alright to point out how Shaq could have his way with Ben Wallace (something that may or may not happen), but how about Deng and Tyrus blowing by Zo and Udonus Haslem? Wade’s injuries are going to force him to focus most of his energy on scoring, so there a decent chance Gordo explodes for 40 multiple times during this series. Jason Williams has never been good defensively, and the Glove is just plain washed up at this point. Those dogs can’t handle Captain Kirk.

The most underrated aspect of this series might be the Bulls’ big three wanting to finally garner some respect. Outside of Chicago, no one considers Hinrich, Deng, and Gordon all star caliber players, and that is what they became this season. In the NBA, more then any other league, guys yearn for that respect. They want the recognition and treatment that comes with such lofty respect and status. What better way for them to get it then by beating the defending champs?

Prediction: Bulls in 6

PS: Fuck James Posey.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Grading the 02' Draft

Hey remember when this website was about the NFL and NBA Draft? Boy, those were the days. Well were going to get back to that shit soon, but with baseball just starting and with the Bulls rocking (more on this tomorrow), there has just been so much going on locally. Anyways, back to draft related nonsense for a bit. They say it takes five years to grade an NFL draft class, so instead of looking back at the class of 2006, let’s peer back to the 2002 class.

1. Houston Texans- QB David Carr
Now: Backup in Carolina
The first pick in Texans’ history, Carr had mixed results in Houston playing behind a historically bad offensive line. He’s gone from Houston now, replaced by Matt Schuab, and he’ll backup Jake Delhomme in Carolina next season.
Grade: C-

2. Carolina Panthers- DE Julius Peppers
Now: Starting with Panthers
People felt about Peppers the same way they feel today about Calvin Johnson: he’s not only the best athlete, he’s the best player. Peppers has not disappointed, fighting off double and triple teams, he notched sacks 13 last season.
Grade: A

3. Detriot Lions- QB Joey Harrington
Now: Backup with Atlanta
To say Harrington’s tenure in Detroit was disappointing would be an understatement. It now appears like he’ll be a career backup, spending last season with Miami, and backing up Michael Vick in Atlanta next season.
Grade: D-

4. Buffalo Bills- OT Mike Williams
Now: Playing with Jaguars
Most people were surprised Williams was drafted before Miami Hurricane standout Bryant McKinnie, but no one expected him to be as bad as he was. A huge bust in Buffalo because he had problems controlling his weight, Williams is now a fringe backup with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Grade: F

5. San Diego Chargers- CB Quentin Jammer
Now: Starting with Chargers
We had a lot of trouble handing out this grade, so if you’re a Chargers fan, or just smarter than us, give us a helping hand in the comments section. Jammer has not at all lived up to his lofty draft status, but San Diego locked him up with a contract extension last season.
Grade: B-

6. Kansas City Chiefs- DT Ryan Sims
Now: Plays with Chiefs
Sims could have been the Vikings problem had they got their 6th pick in on time. Sims has been a bust in Kansas City, barely getting any playing time the last 3 seasons.
Grade: D-

7. Minnesota Vikings- OT Bryant McKinnie
Now: Starting with Vikings
Mount McKinnie never gave up a sack in college, and has been a standout in the pros. He solidifies the left side of a very good Vikings o-line with guard Steve Hutchinson.
Grade: A-

8. Dallas Cowboys- S Roy Williams
Now: Starting with Cowboys
Williams has been a starter on a very good Cowboys defense since his rookie season, but has still had some problems. He’s a big hitter but struggles in coverage.
Grade: B+

9. Jacksonville Jaguars- DT John Henderson
Now: Starting with Jaguars
The Jags built their interior defensive line around the turn of the millennium with Henderson and Marcus Stroud. While not as dominant as Stroud, Henderson has been one of the better players on the Jags defense the past few seasons.
Grade: B+

10. Cincinatti Bengals- OT Levi Brown
Now: Starting with Bengals
Most famous for getting punched out Joey Porter in a casino earlier this year, Brown has done a nice job in recent years of protecting franchise QB Carson Palmer.
Grade: B

11. Indianapolis Colts- DE Dwight Freeney
Now: Starting with Colts
Freeney might have earned an A after 2005, but his sack numbers dropped a little bit last season. We just can’t give him the same grade as Peppers.
Grade: A-

12. Arizona Cardinals- DT Wendell Bryant
Now: Out of football
B-U-S-T bust, bust, bust. What a horrible pick. Maybe the Cards should never draft a d-lineman in the first round again after Bryant and Andre Wadsworth stunk up the joint. The defensive tackle out of Wisconsin never made an impact in the pros and is now out of football.
Grade: F

13. New Orleans Saints- WR Donte Stallworth
Now: Signed with Patriots
The Saints traded Stallworth last season and it opened up a spot for rookie surprise Marques Colston. Stallworth was solid in Phili and will likely become Tom Brady’s favorite target in New England next season.
Grade: B-

14. NY Giants- TE Jeremy Shockey
Now: Starting for Giants
Greg Olsen will continue the long line of Miami tight ends this season, and often draws comparisons to Shockey. Known just as well for his game as his mouth, Shockey has become one of the better tight ends in the NFL.
Grade: B+

15. Tennessee Titans- DT Albert Haynesworth
Now: Starting with Titans
Drafted out of Tennessee, Haynesworth has been a good pro since being taken by the Titans. While he is best known for stomping on some guy’s face last season, he is still one of the better players on the Titans.
Grade: B+

16. Cleveland Browns- RB William Green
Now: Out of footballIs he better or worse then guys like Tim Couch, Courtney Brown, and Gerard Warren?
Grade: F

17. Oakland Raiders- CB Phillip Buchanan
Now: Out of football
Buchanan looked good to start his career in Oakland, but then his play began to slide. The Raiders made up for absence by drafting a plethora of defensive backs early in drafts in recent years.
Grade: D-

18. Atlanta Falcons- RB TJ Duckett
Now: Plays for Redskins
Duckett was one of the D’s in the Falcons vaunted DVD rushing attack for years until he was shipped to Washington last season. He may be their third best back now, however, behind Portis and LaDell Betts.
Grade: C-

19. Denver Broncos- WR Ashley Lelie
Now: Plays for Falcons
The Falcons acquired the speedy Lelie last season from the Broncos to give Michael Vick another weapon. Lelie struggled in Atlanta doing what every other Falcons wideout did: drop passes.
Grade: C+

20. Green Bay Packers- WR Javon Walker
Now: Starts for Broncos
Walker may be the best receiver in this class, making a pro bowl or two. He has enjoyed a pretty good career with Farve’s Packers and last season after Denver traded for him.
Grade: B+

21. New England Patriots- TE Daniel Graham
Now: Signed with Broncos
Coupled with Ben Watson, the Pats took tight ends in the first round in back to back seasons. Watson worked out- now one of Brady’s favorite targets- while Graham really didn’t. He’ll take his game to Denver next season.
Grade: C-

22. NY Jets- DE Bryan Thomas
Now: Playing for Jets
Note: I’m not sure if he remembers this, but this was my Dad’s guy in this draft! While not as good as the Old Man expected, Thomas had a career season in 2006, notching 8.5 sacks. His previous career high was 3.5 sacks.
Grade: C+

23. Oakland Raiders- OLB Napoleon Harris
Now: Playing with Kansas City
Harris will forever be remembered for being traded for Randy Moss (and the #7 pick in the draft a few years ago, aka Troy Williamson. Yikes), and has now been on three teams during his career. He’s not a standout, but he has become a quality fourth linebacker.
Grade: C-

24. Baltimore Ravens- S Ed Reed
Now: Starting for Ravens
Already named Defensive Player of the Year, Reed may be the NFL’s top safety, and along with Peppers, the best player to come out of this draft.
Grade: A

25. New Orleans Saints- DE Charles Grant
Now: Starts for Saints
The Saints defense surprised people last season and the d-end tandem of Grant and Will Smith was a big reason why. Grant tallied 6 sacks in 2006.
Grade: B

26. Philadephia Eagles- CB Lito Shepard
Now: Starts for Eagles
While he is often overshadowed by his higher profile teammates in Phili, Shepard is a vital cog in the Eagles defense. And he’s a lot better then the guy drafted after him…
Grade: B+

27. San Francisco 49ers- CB Mike Rumph
Now: Playing for Jaguars
The 49ers have a good young team, but Rumph isn’t a part of it anymore. He struggled in coverage in San Fran and now plays safety for the Jaguars.
Grade: D

28. Seattle Seahawks- TE Jerramy Stevens
Now: Started for Seahawks last season
Stevens’ mouth and poor hands drew the ire of Seahawks fans during his time in Seattle. He will most be remembered for dropping multiple passes in Super Bowl 40.
Grade: C

29. Chicago Bears- OT Marc Columbo
Now: Starts with Cowboys
This looked like a safe pick at the time, but a devastating knee injury derailed Columbo’ career in his rookie season. He rebounded nicely last season, however, starting at guard for the Cowboys.
Grade: C-

30. Pittsburgh Steelers- OG Kendall Simmons
Now: Starts with Steelers
A solid starter on a good offensive line in Pittsburgh, Simmons helped the Steelers win the Super Bowl in 2005.
Grade: B

31. St. Louis Rams- MLB Robert Thomas
Now: Playing with Raiders
Thomas’s career never got off the ground in St. Louis and he now plays for Oakland.
Grade: D

32. Washington Redskins- QB Patrick Ramsey
Now: Backup with Jets
Ramsey was never the same after Bears linebacker Lance Briggs atomic clothlined him in the first week of the 2005 season. He will compete with Kellen Clemens to backup Chad Pennington in New York next season.
Grade: C-

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Most Hated Athlete Ever?

Least Favorite Athlete

I was on the internet a few days ago and came across an interesting post by the blog Rumors and Rants. They asked a bunch of their friends to tell them who their favorite baseball player was growing up and why. That gave me the idea to email a few of my friends and ask them who is their least favorite athlete ever. I knew these responses would be good considering most of these kids are complete fucking assholes (our fantasy baseball league is named “Magic Johnson will die in 2 years” and everyone’s team has to do with AIDS). Best looking person goes first:

Me- Brett Favre

Who else could I choose but the one man who has tortured me from the very day I started watching football? Of the 10 most traumatic moments of my life, Brett Farve is probably involved in six of them. I could list 100 instances when Farve single-handedly crushed the Bears, but I’ve tried to erase most those horrible memories from my mind. There was the game in Solider Field when Farve rallied Green Bay to victory by throwing a 99 yard touchdown pass to Robert Brooks. Or during the 2001 season, when the Bears finished 13-3, but two of those loses came to Farve and Packers. More than anything, he symbolizes everything that Bears quarterbacks have not been for my entire life. He’s great, winning three MVP’s, and durable, starting over 240 straight games. At this point, Farve could be meteor on his way to the game and still be back for the second half. Since he started his first game for Green Bay, the Bears have shuffled through more the 20 different quarterbacks. You would think, just once, we could catch lightning in a bottle with one of these bozos, but of course it never happened. Guys like Cade McNown, Craig Krenzel, Jonathon Quinn, and Henry Burris all failed miserably while Farve continued to throw touchdown passes. Now it seems like every offseason is spent with the football world waiting to see if he’ll play next year. And that cocksucker always seems to drag it out until the last possible day; just when you think he’s gone, Brett Farve throws more touchdown passes.

Andy- Bill Laimbeer

My least favorite athlete of all time...Bill fucking Laimbeer. If you don't know who he is stop reading this and educate yourself on the history of the NBA. Laimbeer is actually from the burbs of Chicago and played college ball for the Fightin' Irish. He was then drafted by the Cavs, played in Italy, and traded to the Detroit basketball Pistons. Laimbeer is yesterday's version of Andres Nocioni-- A rough, harad nosed player who was a local fan favorite but hated by everyone else in the league. He was pretty much a fucking bitch though. Why? A little known fact about Bill Laimbeer -- there was some sci-fi TV show back in the day and they needed tall people to be in costume as aleins and fucking Bill Laimbeer wasa one of the aleins. The show flopped but this fact is not well known. Fuck you Bill Laimbeer. Unfortunately, Lambier was a four time all-star ana two time NBA champion. He also is one of a few players to have a winning record against Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan. He aslo had a videogame for SNES called Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball, a futuristic basketball game in which physical play is encouraged. He now owns the WNBA Detroit Shock....unforgivable. If you don't agree that Bill Laimbeer is a total duesche then I hate you. Only Bill Walton comes close in my hatred of tall white guys. Here are some notable Laimbeer moments.

Fought with Larry Bird during Game 4 of the 1987 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals. Both Laimbeer and Bird were ejected and in the end the Pistons won 145-119.
Fought with Brad Doughery in 1989. This incident caused the one game suspension that ended Laimbeer's consecutive games played streak at 685.
Had fought and wrestled with Sir Charles Barkley during a regular season game in 1990 (clearly Barkley threw him through a window).
Is often blamed by Laker fans as being the player responsible for James Worthy's painful fall during Game 1 of the 1988 NBA Finals. The incident happened early in the game where Worthy landed on his hip during a rebound play that involved Laimbeer.

Mike- Kobe Bryant

The Black Mamba is my least favorite athlete because he is a dirty player, and a rapist. As you may know that during this season he has cheaply thrown his elbows into player’s heads while he was shooting or dribbling (side-note: all three players are white.) A couple of years ago raped some girl in Colorado, and for some reason he came all over her face/snizz. In court, he decided to blame his former teammate/butt buddy Shaq of raping women and that he would pay them to keep their mouths shut. He denied all the charges of rape and gave his wife an $8 million ring which pretty much said “I’m fucking guilty.” This ass clown changed his jersey number this year to 24 “to signify the second half of his career.” This is complete bullshit; he changed his number to sell more jerseys. This year Kobe’s 24 jersey is the top seller in the NBA. Fuck Kobe Bryant.

Kipp- Bonds, Pierzynski, Owens, Knicks
(Jeez, I ask for one guy and Kipp gives me three and the entire New York Knicks organization. Cubs fans….such overachievers.)

My least favorite athlete of all time wow…. where do I start?I could go with someone right now I hate and that is Barry Bonds. What a cocky piece of shit. I’m so glad Hank Aaron wants nothing to do with him when or if he passes him in homeruns. The guy grew from Soriano size to Paul Bunyan and I’m pretty sure its not all natural like he wants us to believe. And he knows damn well what he was rubbing on his ass and he knows it was not cocoa butter or whatever he claimed. Secondly A.J. Pierzynski. If that’s not spelled right who the fuck cares. What a piece of shit. Go back and stay in the WWE. Your acting will be better used there. And at least he’s used to being hit now THANK YOU MICHAEL BARRETT. But the one guy who just pisses me off and is all over TV all the fucking time T.O. What more has to be said? Everyone out there knows he’s a chump and I just wish Brian Urlacher had his chance at him, oh wait week three this upcoming NFL season he will. But I bet T.O. will have some sort of reason to either not show up or not finish the game. He’s afraid. With his alligator arms, just wait for the Bears D, they will make sure he is comfortable from a hospital bed.

And lastly I would just like to call out the entire Knicks organization. Isaiah way to go you got rid of one of the best coaches and replaced him with yourself. Good move. Starbury, shut up. Nate Robinson shut up. And Eddy Curry you spell your name like a fag, and it’s Eddie. But I would like to thank you for Tyrus Thomas, and hopefully a good lottery pick this year. Can’t wait to see you guys next year, hopefully you can propel the Bulls into the playoffs again.

Beau- Brent Petway

Since I myself am a Spartan of Michigan State, I will admit that I am biased toward the University of Michigan. There is a requirement on how far your head has to be up your ass in order to attend the U of M. Or for all of you Wal-Mart Wolverine fans, keep acting like you have the right to give a shit because I know in that downstairs closet the other ten hoodies have Notre Dame written on it. But anyway, my most hated athlete of all time is Brent Petway, former forward on U of M’s basketball team. I could name the number of times he has run his mouth off about MSU only to get his ass kicked and embarrassed, or academic ineligibility during his Junior year, or even his arrogance at the slam-dunk contest. But the funniest thing about Brent Petway is his rap “career”. Who makes a song called “No. 1” after winning the NIT? Brent Petway. Here is a sample of the lyrics he wrote after his U of M basketball won the 2004 NIT, “The NIT was just for starters, Naw ... we ain’t finished yet”. Right, because two more NIT’s followed, not even one NCAA tournament bid. Winning the NIT only earns you the right to be called the 66th best team in the nation. Petway’s 5.8 points per game career average gives the man no right to be arrogant. I’m just waiting for Brent Petway aka “Air Georgia” to make a rap song about being the number one pick overall in the 2007 NBA draft. By the way Maize Rage, that is the dumbest fucking nick-name ever and you are officially the worst student section in the country. So that is my opinion and if you get a chance, checkout the video “Michigan #1 by Brent Petway” on, very funny.

Brian Anderson Needs To Play

If there is one thing White Sox fans know about Ozzie Guillen, it’s that he plays favorites with the guys on his roster. Get on his good side, and you’ll see plenty of at bats. Get on his bad side, and you’ll be riding the bench, or as Brandon McCarthy and Sean Tracy will tell you, shipped out of town.

For whatever reason, Brian Anderson has been unable to reach Guillen’s good side since he began last season as the club’s opening day center fielder. One reason could be because he was playing the shadow of Aaron Rowand. One of the most popular players from the White Sox championship team in 2005, Rowand was dealt to the Phillies in exchange for Jim Thome shortly after the tickertape stopped raining down. Guillen loved Rowand as much as anyone, and maybe any young player thrust into centerfield in his place would have been doomed from the start. Anderson didn’t help himself either by hitting about .180 through the first half of the season. It seemed like no matter how good he was after the all star break, Brian Anderson had already dug himself a pretty deep hole with his manager.

But after the all star game was when Anderson really started to come into his own. He was able to finish the year with a .225 batting average, pretty impressive when you consider how horrible he was the first two months of the season, and emerged as one of the American League’s premier defensive centerfielders. Even as Anderson was cranking out doubles in August and September and providing the club with defense that was at least 90% as good as what Rowand did a year before, Ozzie continued to split his at bats with Rob Mackowiack.

Mackowiack was god awful in center, as he was primarily third basemen for most of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but he was one of Ozzie’s guys so it really didn’t matter. The platoon was especially curious when you consider the last thing the White Sox needed was more offense. They had four guys jack 30 or more home runs last season, so you would think that the offense would be able to withstand Anderson hitting eighth or ninth. The Sox main problem in 2006 was their pitching, a department where Anderson’s stellar defense could have helped by saving some more runs late in the season.

The only move the White Sox made in the offseason was signing veteran Darren Erstad who was supposed to be Anderson’s competition for the centerfield spot in spring training. It must never have really been a competition, however, as Erstad was handed the starting job despite being outperformed in spring by Anderson.

After only getting seven at bats through the first 11 games of this season, now is the time for Anderson to start playing more. Erstad has been anything but spectacular so far, only hitting .189, and while his defense is better then Mackowiack’s was last season, it still isn’t what Anderson brings to the table.

I know Ozzie likes Erstad because he’s a gritty veteran and because it allows him to hit Iguchi deeper in the lineup, but Brian Anderson deserves another shot. Looking at the situation objectively, playing Anderson would be far better for the future of the ball club. Anderson’s only 24 and Sox should see what they really have in him. They already traded away one centerfield who looks like he’s going to be a future star, Chris Young in Arizona, so the organization owes it to themselves to see what Anderson can give them. Unless your name is Delmon Young, young players always have trouble adjusting to major league pitching, and Anderson showed solid improvement offensively in last year’s second half. He already brings great defense, and if the kid gets regular at bats, who knows, he might even start to hit consistently.

But the way Guillen is using Anderson so far this season is pretty much the worst way possible. It would be better for him to playing everyday in Triple-A Charlotte then to be rotting on the bench in the majors. If the Sox don’t start to give Anderson a shot at more playing time soon, then they may never know how good he could have been.