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All She Wrote???

Posted: September 18, 2011 by scoopbald in Boxing

Very simple words, to describe a very simple yet oh so complex turn of events in the Floyd Mayweather vs. Victor Ortiz bout.  Many people view Mayweather’s one, two combination that ended the very anticipated fight far too early, as a cheap shot.  My question is, how can a punch that is perfectly legal be viewed as cheap?  The legality of the punch is not in question and therefore the validity of the punch should not be either.

My issue with the fight is how it will be received.  As dominating and assertive of a performance as Mayweather gave us, what will be remembered is that lapse of judgment by a lesser opponent which ultimately “cost” him the fight.  Let’s be clear, Ortiz was NOT going to beat Mayweather.  Throw out the pre-fight antics and trash talk and what you have is a technical assassin (Mayweather) vs. an overly aggressive, not so technically sound target (Ortiz).  Hell, before those final two punches Mayweather was landing 49%% of his power punches.  Ortiz on the other hand had only landed 11% of his power shots and 18% of his punches overall.

So now what was supposed to be Mayweather’s statement bout turns into what all of Mayweather’s fights of the past resemble, a man above his competition at all times.  Ortiz was supposed to be the younger, stronger opponent that would test the ring rusted Mayweather.  He turned into the younger, unpolished boxer who is now added to a list of lesser  opponents who barely cause Pretty Boy Floyd to break a sweat.  However, instead of praising Mayweather for his prowess in the ring, many of his crirtics will continue to harass him for his choice of opponents.

Pretty Boy Floyd is probably the best pound for pound boxer that I’ve seen in my lifetime and I don’t think that he necessarily gets the credit that he deserves.  He’s now 42-0 and hasn’t had a close fight in well over a decade.  Many people attribute that to his selection of fighters, but I don’t agree with that logic.  People who are critical of Floyd’s choice of fighters should note that the only real competition that he has (Pacquiao) has fought many of the same fighters (Marquez, De la Hoya, Mosley, Hatton).  In most cases, he actually fought these men AFTER Mayweather had already dismantled them.

Sadly for Floyd, as long as he continues to take fights against lesser opponents and dominates them as he is supposed to, it may be “All She Wrote” in his quest to be considered as one of boxing’s greats.  The truth of the matter is, in order to get the recognition he deserves, he’s going to have to fight Pacquiao and most likely not on his own terms.  And he needs to do it relatively soon, because the longer he waits the less of an impact a victory would have.  Naysayers, will say that he waited too long or that Pacquiao was too old for it to really count towards his legacy.

I personally believe that both fighters are holding out for hopefully the largest payday in boxing history (as if the reported split of 50 million isn’t enough).  I really cannot validate Pacquiao’s reluctance to agree with the terms of blood testing because he claims to be “afraid of needles” because he has several tattoos.  Conversely, Mayweather’s seeming reluctance to come to a compromise on this matter because of his unsubstantiated claims that Pacquiao is juicing hold little to no weight themselves.  I also believe that Mayweather does not possess the amount of humility it would take to actually duck Pacquiao because he sees him as a threat.

This speaks volumes about the state of boxing.  It is very tough to get amped up about boxing matches because there are very few great boxers.  In addition to this, the greats don’t always fight.  Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is the only fight in boxing that really matters, but for one reason or another its likelihood is in jeopardy.  Gone are the days of great rivalries and rematches and unwelcomed are the days of big paydays and career management bouts.    I don’t know what has to change but something does or it will be “All She Wrote” for the sport(ish) of boxing.

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O.O.P.S. Oh My…Installment #1

Posted: August 21, 2011 by scoopbald in NFL

The Urban Dictionary defines Out Of Pocket as something that is out of control or way off base, usually deserving of a good slapping or a full-blown ass-kicking.  In sports we encounter situations that can be described as such every week.  So I pose the question;

What was the most Out Of Pocket Situation in sports over the past week?

 

NFL vs. Terrelle Pryor

We are now all well aware that Mr. Pryor was deemed eligible for the NFL Supplemental Draft, but in turn he is suspended for the first five games of the NFL season for…….(fill in the blank because I have no idea).  While Pryor was Out Of Pocket for what he did while at Ohio State, my vote goes to the NFL for all of the reasons outlined in our post, “Pryor Restrained”.

 

 

Basketball Hall of Fame Induction

I am a huge Dennis Rodman fan.  To me he was the best rebounder that I’ve ever seen and judging by the multiple championships that he won in the NBA, I would say that he is one of the greatest winners that the league has seen.  His personality was polarizing but his play was always stellar.  But Dennis, when you show up to a Hall of Fame induction looking like a pirate on his way to the promenade, I am obligated to call you out for being Out Of Pocket.

 

Nevin Shapiro vs. The U

I just don’t like snitches, especially those who do so because they are being held accountable for their own actions.  I do not agree with the institution of collegiate boosting but I do know this, individuals who choose to give special benefits to college athletes do so with the knowledge that it is illegal, and that there is no guarantee of return on their dollar.  To Shapiro I say, suck it up and shut it up…Out Of Pocket.

Check out this Uncle Luke interview.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

 

America vs. China

Alright, this s*** has to stop.  First, Georgetown loses the Brawl for it All.  Then, Lebron James  gets his cookies taken, gets dunked on, and then lets the guy drain a three pointer in is face.  We have got to do better…Out Of Pocket.

 

Jermaine Lewis vs. Baltimore Police Department

All I have to say is read this article on espn.com.  How the hell you gonna hit the sign at a fire department bruh???  Then the car was parked in his driveway and he was found on his couch with his shorts down to his knees.  Hey Jermaine, the lockout is over, no need to be in a drunken depression anymore…Out Of Pocket.

 

Feel free to add to the Out Of Pocket Situations list if you are so moved.

The Real McCoy??? S/O to RenzReport

Posted: August 21, 2011 by scoopbald in NFL

The QB position is the hardest position to evaluate in the NFL.  Take for example Terry Bradshaw; on one hand he won four Super Bowls and is enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame.  Yet on the other hand he has a career passer rating of 70.9 and had a passer rating of 0.0 a NFL record, three different times.   Is he a great QB because he won, or is he average because of his career numbers?  I bring this up because fellow mancaver, Renz Report asked me whether or not Colt McCoy is the QB of the future for my beloved Cleveland Browns.  While at times last year McCoy looked like the answer (see Cleveland vs. New England) there were times where it looked as if the curse of Tim Couch will haunt Clevelanders  forever (see Cleveland vs. Pittsburgh). 

While reviews on McCoy have been mixed, analysts have gushed over the performance of NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Sam Bradford.  Many believe that Bradford is the cream of the 2010 draft class.  I for one am not sold.  I cant say whether or not Bradford will pan out to be a better QB than McCoy but I can say that if last year is any indication, the two aren’t too far apart in terms of upside.  Lets take a look at the numbers shall we.

  Sam Bradford Colt McCoy
QB Rating

76.5

74.5

Completions

354

135

Attempts

590

222

Completion %

60%

60.80%

Yards

3512

1576

Yds/Att

6

7.1

Yds/Completion

9.9

11.7

Yds/Game

219.95

197

Touchdowns

18

6

Interceptions

15

9

 

At first glance it seems that Bradford convincingly outperformed McCoy last year.  However there are several factors that play into and in my opinion skew that perception.

  1.  Bradford was the starter from day one and started all 16 games.  Naturally this is reflected in the numbers i.e. yards, completions, touchdowns etc.  More importantly, Bradford had the advantage of working with the 1st team offense all off-season as well as develop chemistry with his receivers.  They say in game experience is the only experience and as it stands Bradford has twice as much experience as McCoy.  This can be seen in the fact that Bradford posted two of his top three performances rating wise in his final eight starts.
  2. Bradford was in a more pass intensive offense.  Bradford averaged almost 38 pass attempts per game including five games with more than 40 attempts and one game of more than 50.  McCoy on the other hand only had one game where he attempted more than 40 passes.  However, McCoy averaged more yards per attempt and completion.  Based on the numbers, if McCoy had the opportunity to attempt 590 passes he would have racked up 359 completions and 4200 yards, both projections of course.
  3. Lets be honest, Bradford played in one of, if not the weakest division in the NFL last year so a 9-7 record is not that impressive to me.  Furthermore, when you look at the pass defenses that he faced last year, there is no wonder why analysts think that he took the league by storm last year.  In the 16 games that Bradford started last year, he only faced one opponent whose defense was top 10 as far as QB rating allowed.  In fact, he spent most of his season facing defenses in the bottom third of the league as far as defending the pass.  McCoy on the other hand faced 3 top 10 pass defenses in 8 games, 4 if you count the fact that he played the Steelers twice.  He also faced the Patriots (13th) and the Saints (15th) respectively.  All in all, McCoy’s schedule as a starter was borderline brutal, PIT, NO, NE, NYJ, JAC, CIN, BAL and PIT.  So even though he only posted a 2-6 record as a starter it is clear to see why. 

So Renard, to answer your question, I don’t know if Colt McCoy will be the QB of the future in Cleveland.  Hell, having to face the Steelers or the Ravens four times each season may prove to be too much for anyone.  I do know several things though.  First, McCoy looks a hell of a lot better than the last “franchise” QB that we drafted (F**k yo Couch n***).  Secondly, and maybe most importantly he stacks up pretty well against someone in the league that many analysts project to be a star for years to come.  Third his development will be largely influenced by Cleveland’s ability or lack there of to acquire talent at the receiver position.  While I like Josh Cribbs, you can not win if he is your best option at wideout.  Over the next few years we will find out if Bradford is overrated, or if Colt is the Real McCoy.

Three’s Company

Posted: August 15, 2011 by scoopbald in NFL

Football season is in full swing and that means that I get to watch my beloved Cleveland Browns try to rectify forty years of mediocrity (but I’ll save that for another blog).  In a stroke of bad luck that would only happened to Cleveland we drew that defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers for our first preseason game.  Contrary to what my fellow mancavers may believe, this blog is not about how great Colt McCoy played or about how the Browns will win the AFC North this year.  Instead, watching the game had me thinking that this year the Green Bay Packers have the potential to field a juggernaut of an offense headed by the rare combination of an elite quarterback coupled with an elite receiver as well as a very good albeit not elite running back (don’t sleep on Grant, before he tore up his knee, he was tearing defenses apart).  Aaron Rodgers, Donald Driver and Ryan Grant may arguably be the best trio in the league right now.  This led me to wonder aloud, who was the best offensive NFL trio of all time.  Below I’ve comprised a list of some of the best trios to date and my personal favorites.  It is up to you to decide who was best.  If I’ve missed anyone please add in the comment section.

John Elway, Terrell Davis, Rod Smith (1995-1998)

This trio united in 1995 and went on to produce the two most coveted accolades of all, Lombardi trophies.  While together they also racked up 6 Pro Bowl appearances, 2 Super Bowl MVPs, 1 NFL MVP, 1 rushing title, 1 Hall-of-Famer and 3 1st Team All Pro selections.  All in all, this group racked up 23,680 yards from scrimmage and 157 regular season touchdowns.  Throw in Shannon Sharpe at tight end and you have a pretty successful group.

Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin (1990-1999)

This group headlined “America’s Team” during arguably its most successful run.  Accolades include 3 Lombardi trophies, 2 Super Bowl MVPs, 3 Hall-of-Famers, 19 Pro Bowls, 5 1st Team All Pro Selections, 4 rushing titles and 1 league receiving yards leader.  Together they racked up 57,706 yards from scrimmage and 361 combined touchdowns.  Throw in an underrated Jay Novachek in there as well as often overlooked Alvin Harper and its clear that these Cowboys were the “Golden Standard” (shameless Alpha plug).

Joe Montana, Roger Craig, Jerry Rice (1987-1990)

The original 49ers trio led there team to back to back Lombardi trophies.  This group also boasts 2 Super Bowl MVPs, 2 NFL MVPs, 2 Offensive Player of the Year awards, 2 Hall-of-Famers, 10 Pro Bowl selections, 8 1st Team All Pro selections.  Add to this list a receptions leader, 3 receiving yards titles, 3 touchdown reception crowns, and a passing TD throne.  While together they accumulated 20,961 yards from scrimmage and 194 touchdowns.

Steve Young, Ricky Watters, Jerry Rice (1992-1994)

Somehow after the departure of Montana and Craig the 49ers were able to recapture some of the success of the previous trio.  In there three years together Young, Watters and Rice were able to capture 1 Lombardi Trophy, 1 Super Bowl MVP, 2 Hall-of-Famers, 2 NFL MVPs, 2 Offensive Player of the Year awards, 9 Pro Bowl selections, and 6 1st Team All-Pro selections.  Young led the league in passing TDs all three years while Rice led the league in receiving yards twice and receiving TDs once.  The group amassed 21,284 yards from scrimmage and 177 touchdowns.  Not so bad for an Act #2.

Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed (1988-1996)

This trio is best known for being an annual runner-up to the Cowboys, however on this list they may be first class.  On the list of accomplishments you can place 3 Hall-of-Famers, 1 MVP, 1 Offensive Player of the Year award, 16 Pro Bowl selections, and 3 1st Team All-Pro selections.  Kelly also went on to lead the league in passing touchdowns and passer rating one time each.  As a unit they tallied 53,404 total yards from scrimmage and 344 touchdowns.  The four AFC Championships weren’t bad either, although the lack of Super Bowl victories badly hurt their claim to fame.

Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison (1999-2005)

After losing Marshall Faulk, the Colts organization was searching for answers.  They found one in Edgerrin James who teamed with Manning and Harrison to produce a prolific trio.  The list of awards includes 2 MVPs, 1 Offensive Rookie of the Year award, 1 Offensive Player of the Year award, 1 Walter Payton Man of the Year award, 6 1st Team All-Pro selections, and 17 Pro Bowl selections.  The trio moved the ball 51,991 yards and scored 362 touchdowns.  The group also captured 2 receptions titles, 2 receiving yards titles, 2 rushing titles and Manning led the league in passing yards and touchdowns twice.

Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce (1999-2003)

“The Greatest Show on Turf” boasted what may be pound for pound one of the most prolific trios in the games history.  The group captured one Lombardi trophy, 1 Super Bowl MVP, 2 NFL MVPs, 1 Offensive Player of the Year award, 5 1st Team All-Pro selections, and 10 Pro Bowl selections and produced 1 Hall-of-Famer.  Their passing game produced 1 passing yards crown, 2 QB rating crowns and 2 passing TD crowns.  All together they had 29,902 yards from scrimmage and 222 touchdowns.  Had it not been for injuries we may be discussing if the Rams were one of the great dynasties in NFL History. Keep in mind that this group had Torry Holt on the squad as well.

Scott Mitchell, Barry Sanders, Herman Moore (94-98)As hard as it is to believe, the Detroit Lions had a winning team for a while.  Many of those victories can be attributed to this trio. Together they put together a healthy list of accolades including, 1 Hall-of-Fame nod, 1 NFL MVP, 1 Offensive Player of the Year award, 6 1st Team All-Pro selections, 9 Pro Bowls, 3 rushing titles and 2 reception crowns.  They amassed 29,304 yards from scrimmage and 185 touchdowns.  Though probably the least successful trio on the list this group is one of my personal favorite.  The potential was there, (see Scott Mitchell in 1995 4338 yds, 32 TDs, 12 INTs, 92.3 QB Rating), they had arguably the greatest RB ever.  But at the end of the day, they were still the Detroit Lions.

Honorable Mention

Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann/John Stallworth (1974-1983)

The statistics were not as gaudy, but 4 Super Bowls and 4 Hall-of-Famers make it hard to leave them without mention.  The only knock against them is that the Steelers’ defense is mostly credited for the titles.

Daunte Culpepper, Robert Smith, Randy Moss (2000)

Though only together one year, this group was scary.  A QB with 3900+ yards coupled with a RB who rushed for 1500+ yards and a WR with 1400+ yards and 15 TDs may arguably be a top three season on this list.  Oh and lets not forget they had Cris Carter (96 rec, 1200 rec yds) on the team as well.

Mark Brunell, Fred Taylor, Jimmy Smith (1998-2003)

This group just flat out produced.  Brunell had a 4000+ yard season.  Taylor had numerous 1000 yard season including 2003 when he rushed for 1572 yards.  Smith, if you remember led the NFL in receptions in 1999 with 116 and added 112 in 2001.