Category Archives: Sports

Free Advice For Lance Armstrong

It appears Lance Armstrong is considering making some sort of public announcement about the use of performance enhancing drugs.

My advice:  Shut Up.

Seriously, did you learn nothing from Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens?  They will drag you through the mud at a minimum, and could try to put you in jail.  No.  Let them wonder.  You owe them nothing.

So again, in summary:  Lance, shut up.


Emmett Burns is a Jackass

Emmet Burns wrote a letter complaining, no DEMANDING, that a Ravens player shut his mouth.

What a complete and utter jackass.


Lance Armstrong

You may be surprised that I have an opinion.  While I’m not a cycling fan, and don’t really care one way or the other about doping in cycling, I think this is a nice opportunity to remind folks of some things about sports and drug use.

Professional athletes (including Lance Armstrong) will do nearly anything to win.  Other than a very small number who are just freaks of nature, one of the things that makes professional athletes different from you or I is that remarkable desire to win.  That’s important to understand, because these folks aren’t wired the same way as the general population.

Professional athletes use performance enhancing drugs.  Not all of them, but far more than you think, and certainly far more than fail drug tests.  Drug testing in professional sports is more an intelligence test than anything else – you need to be an idiot to fail a drug test.  Drug use and the information easily available in this here internet make it remarkably easy for the not very bright to beat a drug test, even those that are random and unannounced (something I question in many professional sports anyway).

So this isn’t really about Lance Armstrong using PEDs.  I would be surprised if he didn’t.  The guys finishing 20th were.

This is about tearing people down to make a sanctimonious point.  A group of holier than thou who couldn’t perform at the level Armstrong did (regardless of PEDs) want to make an example.

The guy never failed a test.  He was never disqualified from a race.  And he’s done arguing about it.  Maybe that’s because he’s sick of the bullshit.  Maybe it’s because he knows they have solid evidence.  Maybe it’s to protect someone else.  But not fighting any longer isn’t an admission of guilt.  Does it change his greatness?  He’s the best road cycling racer, ever.

KNOW THIS:  your sports idols use(d) PEDs.  There are people in the MLB hall of fame who used them.  NFL too.  And while those people were winning for your home team or setting records, you cheered them on.  NCAA athletes use them.  Recreational athletes use them.  Actors use them.  Just like you use coffee in the morning to get going.  It’s a fact, and it will not change.

Trying to hunt them all down is a stupid waste of time.


It’s About Time

It’s about time the US Army stopped (some) of the advertising spending.  And it’s about time one of the Tea Party folks in Congress actually did something to cut spending, even if it’s just a little bit.

Oh, wait.  She’s not a Republican.

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., who tried last year to end military sports sponsorship programs before her amendment was defeated, commended Tuesday’s announcement that the Army would end a 10-year run of sponsoring NASCAR.

“This program was not effective,” McCollum told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. “By eliminating a wasteful program, they’re protecting taxpayer dollars and they can refocus those dollars on recruiting efforts that bring in well-qualified recruits to keep our Army strong.

“The Army now joins the Navy and the Marine Corps in pulling out of NASCAR as far as sponsorships go. Now I’d like to see, as they haven’t been able to show us any numbers that any of these sports sponsorships work, that we bring an end to the sports sponsorships.”

Where is the Tea Party, anyway?


Why I watch ESPN NFL Countdown

Because Fox Sports just makes shit up.

 


Morgan Shepherd: Badass

Morgan Shepherd, a low funded 69 year old NASCAR Nationwide driver, showed he’s got some badass left in those old bones.

The veteran of 44 NASCAR seasons was getting out of his rental car in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart store Monday evening just minutes away from Las Vegas Motor Speedway just as three men burst from the store’s entrance with security forces trailing behind.

Thats when Shepherd, a daily jogger and fitness perfectionist, sprang into action.

“I just got out and took off after them,” Shepherd said. “I caught one of them just as they were getting ready to hop a little wall at the end of the parking lot. I yanked him down and got on top of him.”

Shepherd said in a matter of seconds a Las Vegas police officer pitched the ageless NASCAR driver a pair and handcuffs and continued pursuit of the other two suspects, along with the store’s security force.

“I cuffed him and sat on top of him,” Shepherd said. “The police department officers showed up and asked if I could hold him a while longer while they ran down the others. I told them he wasn’t going anywhere.”

Shepherd said while the young shoplifter pleaded with him to let him go and about the possibility of going to jail, Shepherd used the time to lecture the youth about his poor choices.

Awesome.  Here’s hoping I’m able to do the same thing at 69.


On the Ravens

Baltimore Ravens fans, including me, are still reeling from the awful loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Divisional round of the playoffs.  The end of season press conferences are done, the lockers are cleared out, and the organization is already planning for next year.

There are many reasons to look back on the 2010 season as a success.

The Ravens improved from 9-7 in the regular season last year to 12-4 this year.  Unfortunately, the end result (second in the AFC North), was the same, a wild card spot in the playoffs.

The Ravens made it to the playoffs for the third year in a row, and have made the playoffs in six of the last ten years.  They are also the only team in the National Football League to have won a playoff game in each of the last three years.  By any standard but one (winning it all), that’s success. 

If you listen to sports talk radio, though, it sounds like the Ravens finished the year with the Cleveland Browns’ record.  There are calls to bench Joe Flacco, fire Cam Cameron, even replace John Harbaugh.

To that I say—be happy with what you have.

Since the expansion Browns returned that name to Cleveland in 1999, they have two winning seasons.  They have played in one playoff game.

The Cincinnati Bengals in the 2000’s?  Two winning seasons.  Two playoff appearances, no playoff game wins.

The Steelers are the clear class of the AFC North in the last ten years, with eight winning seasons, seven playoff appearances and two Super Bowls. 

Certainly there are areas for the Eagles to improve to get to where the Steelers are.  Joe Flacco needs to continue his development.  After having seemingly upgraded the offense in the off season, statistically the Ravens’ 2010 offense wasn’t as good as 2009.  But the only statistic that matters is wins—but for a horrible performance in their last game of the season, the Ravens could be playing in the Super Bowl.

The Ravens are a great organization.  Don’t let that one game tarnish the great season.


Ray Rice, Defense Give Baltimore Ravens Win

For Baltimore Ravens fans, the win against the Miami Dolphins looked familiar; frankly, it looked formulaic. It’s an effective formula, too.

Ray Rice scrambled for 180 yards from scrimmage (83 rushing, 97 receiving), and the defense held the Dolphins to just 10 points, giving up no points in the second half.

Also in that formula: Four field goals on five attempts. Billy Cundiff also continues to put kickoffs in the end zone, which is a huge help when it comes to the field position battle.

The offense got off to a bit of a frustrating start, with two unproductive trips in to the red zone and numerous sacks and penalties.

About mid-way through the second quarter they seemed to get their bearings and dominated, as evidenced by the lopsided time of possession and yards.

If there is one thing the Ravens need to work on, it’s effectiveness in the red zone, where they scored just one touchdown in seven trips.

Joe Flacco had a solid day, going 20-for-27 for 266 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

On the defensive side of the ball, after an opening drive where the Dolphins easily drove down the field for a touchdown, the Ravens only gave up three more points all game.

The defense also generated three interceptions—one by Lardarius Webb (his first this year), one by Ed Reed (his third in two games) and one by Josh Wilson, who replaced Fabian Washington at CB.

Washington’s play was disappointing for the second week in a row. This week it wasn’t his coverage as much as poor tackling. Wilson took full advantage of the opportunity and had an outstanding game.

The defense also showed outstanding discipline, amassing few penalties and foiling an attempt at a fake punt. There was a questionable roughing-the-passer call against Ngata late in the game.

It was great to see not only the punt discipline, but the outstanding read by the punt team that there was an uncovered gunner the one time the Ravens lined up to punt, resulting in the first down on the fake instead of punting the ball away.

The Ravens’ old formula of running the ball effectively, short passes and outstanding defense lead to a dominating performance. They didn’t punt once and had the ball for over 38 minutes.

This performance should make fans and the team alike very confident of a playoff run this year.

This was also posted at Bleacher Report


Well Done

Via Boris


Must Win

Typically, fans and writers alike consider the AFC North Division rivalry games “must win”.  Many considered both the Steelers game and the Patriots game “must win” situations for the Ravens.

I disagree.  The Ravens are off to a 4-2 start, having played the Jets, Bengals, Steelers, and Patriots all on the road already, and having lost only two of those four games.  I think that’s respectable.

The games the Ravens must win are the home (and away) games against clearly inferior teams.  They must beat the Browns, Broncos, and Panthers.

And when a team like the Bills comes to Baltimore, the Ravens must win.

When you look at the schedule, the Ravens are up against some very good teams on the road this year: Jets (5-1), Patriots (4-1), Falcons (4-2), and Texans (4-2).  Of course, there are also the three divisional road games against the Steelers, Bengals, and Browns.

Any team, even good teams, are going to lose some of those tough road games.

Buffalo is last in the league in passing offense, and last in the league in running defense.  The Ravens pass defense is ranked third, and while they haven’t gotten the running game going in full gear, everyone knows how dangerous their three backs are.

The two losses thus far this year were both disappointing.  The Ravens simply played poorly on the offensive side of the ball against the Bengals; but every team (and every quarterback) is going to have an off day.

Yes, it would have been nice to hang on and beat the Patriots last week.  That game may matter when the playoffs get here, either in the wild card or seedings.  But losing that game isn’t going to cost the Ravens a shot at making the playoffs, as long as they continue to beat the teams they should beat.

And they should beat the Bills.  Convincingly.  If they don’t, fans and writers will legitimately question not only how good the Ravens are, but question their ability to even reach the playoffs.

 

This article was also posted at Bleacher Report


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