Thursday, 25 February 2010

O brother how I love thee.... (How does the Soap-Opera that is the English National Team rank among teammate feuds)???

Hello all,

To start this week I wanna give big ups to myself for taking advantage of the 9-5 odds that my online sportsbook was offering that Tiger's wife Elin would not be with him during his horribly scripted and insincere press conference last Friday. It's amazing to me the prop bets that sportsbooks come up with, especially in football off-season; for example during Tiger's press conference, the odds of him announcing a divorce was 100-1, 1000-1 that he had multiple other kids, 5000-1 that he was going to become an adult film star and 10000-1 that he was going to quit golf. But, I gotta say I like being able to have a reason to watch certain things- because that was about the only good thing I saw on Friday... Speaking of the press conference, I thought it was the most pathetic attempt at buying public sympathy I've seen since A-Rod tried (and failed) to fake-cry when apologizing for lying about being on steroids last year. I honestly can't believe with the army of PR people Tiger employs, he couldn't come up with anything that at least appeared more genuine than the generic "I'm sorry for my transgressions" and telling the public we don't understand the pressures and opportunities that come with being a world-class athlete. I was honestly expecting at least a sit down, unscripted and heart-felt apology; but that's not what we got and I don't blame his wife (or soon to be ex) for not showing up to see that ridiculous waste of time. But before we leave the topic of Tiger, one of my buddies forwarded me his daily workout routine the other day; and I now understand why the guy looks more like Ronnie Lott in his prime than the other professional golfers. Check this out.
6:30 a.m. - One hour of cardio. Choice between endurance runs, sprints or biking. Typical run is a choice between a 3 mile speed run (under 20 minutes) or a 7 mile endurance run.

7:30 a.m. - One hour of lower weight training. 60-70 percent of normal lifting weight, high reps and multiple sets.

8:30 a.m. - High protein/low-fat breakfast. Typically includes egg-white omelet with vegetables.

9:00 a.m. - Two hours on the golf course. Hit on the range and work on swing.

11:00 a.m. - Practice putting for 30 minutes to an hour.

Noon - Play nine holes.

1:30 p.m. - High protein/low-fat lunch. Typically includes grilled chicken or fish, salad and vegetables.

2:00 p.m. - Three-to-four hours on the golf course. Work on swing, short game and occasionally play another nine holes.

6:30 p.m. - 30 minutes of upper weight training. High reps.

7:00 p.m. - Dinner and rest.
I can't imagine there is anyone else who works half as hard on this on tour; which is why he is so dominant. Almost makes you wonder how he has time for these "indescretions..."

So, I've been trying to keep up with the amazing drama that is the England National football team; and, I gotta tell you- I think this is as good as it gets. So, in case you haven't been following the action: Chelsea centre back and Team Captain John Terry (who is also infamous for missing a penalty kick in the shootout to lose the UEFA championship 2 years ago...) was recently exposed by the tabloids (after a losing a court battle for a gag order) for having an affair with former Chelsea (and current English national) teammate Wayne Bridge's partner which apparently started when the Bridge still played for Chelsea. Terry, who is a married father of twins and ironically was just named "England's husband and father of the year in 2009" by the London Sports Tribune, was set to wear the captain's armband at the world cup later this year in South Africa. After hearing the news and Bridge's threats to quit if Terry remained captain, English manager Fabio Capello stripped Terry of captain's band. Then, last week during the Manchester City (who Bridge currently plays for) vs. Chelsea match- Bridge twice refused to shake Terry's hand and was seen mouthing obsenities towards him; and took a cheapshot at Terry in the second half. Yesterday, Bridge resigned from the English team stating he "couldn't bring himself to suit up with that piece of sh*t" and didn't want to divide the locker room. To me, this is priceless; but is it the best feud between teammates of all time?? Before you vote, here are a couple others to keep in mind....

Shaq vs. Kobe
These two never got along with the issue coming down to one simple issue: Whose team is it/Who would get the ball more? For the first two years tensions were kept in check but in the 1999 season Kobe and Shaq get into a brief fight at pratice at training camp before the 1999 season,  Shaq then complaining about Kobe's shot selection in the 1999 season (of course saying "#8" because he refused to call the Mamba by name), then the two ripping each other constantly in the media, and a report about the New York Times emerging that Shaq had given other Lakers hand signals on when not to give Kobe the ball. Then, Kobe famously took the high road by refusing to shoot the next game against the Kings even when wide open- and then asked Shaq through the LA Times if he was happy with his shot selection that game. Then, even after he was traded and the feud was supposedly over, Shaq picked the mic back up and got his police badge repo'd for this freestyle verse at a NYC club (well worth watching- and probably Shaq's strongest work as a MC)...

Barry Bonds vs. Jeff Kent
In June 2002, as the Giants headed toward the World Series, Bonds and Kent, who had a long-running "behind-the-scenes" feud (that everyone knew about), finally went public, as their brawl in the Giants dugout was caught on video (doesn't it just look like the definition of team unity...). "Just add that to the half a dozen times we've done it before. It's no big deal," Kent said. No big deal except for of course the greatest offensive second baseman of all time demanding to be released or traded immediately afterwards. Neither one happened and Kent was forced to play the rest of the season with Barry (though reportedly did not say a word to him and used Benito Santiago as a messenger between the two, even in the world series that year). Kent then signed with the Astros as a free agent after the 2002 season ended and left as one of the apparently many teammates who are Barry Bonds fans...

Don Sutton vs. Steve Garvey
Sutton and Garvey shared the Dodger clubhouse between 1969 and 1980, and even had lockers next to each other, but they weren't exaclty as close as Lloyd and Harry. Their feud came to its peak during the 1978 season. Sutton, in a Washington Post article, was quoted as saying, "All you hear about on our team is Steve Garvey the All-American boy. But Reggie Smith was the real MVP. We all know it ... Smith has carried us the last two years. Garvey's just a washed up facade that for some reason everyone outside this locker room likes."
This (quite understandably) irked Garvey, who confronted Sutton, demanding to know if the quotes were accurate. Sutton said they were. Then, according to wire reports, "Suddenly Sutton leaped at Garvey and flung him against a row of lockers along the opposite wall. The two players went down heavily and were clawing at one another, trying ineffectively to land punches."
When the two were finally separated, Garvey, cut and scratched on the face, was dazed. Sutton had a bruised cheek. Garvey apparently wasn't well-liked by many Dodgers, and it seems as Sutton had some clubhouse foes, too. According to my man Tommy John (who should be in the hall of fame next to Dr. James R Andrews), during the brawl someone yelled, "Stop the fight, they'll kill each other!" Catcher Joe Ferguson's response: "Good."

Kevin Garnett vs. Glen "Big Baby" Davis
Didn't evolve to a long term feud but who can forget watching "Big Baby" pout and cry like a normal sized baby after getting yelled at by KG??? Youtube video here.

My vote: While I have a little bit of a lean towards pulling a Mike Wilbon and pushing; I'm gonna take my man KG and "Big Baby's" spat. I know the other feuds were probably more serious, lasted longer and had much greater ramifications (the C's won the title that year); but, KG made a 6'8" 325lbs dude weep in the middle of the garden on national TV. Beat that...

So, Clapton has been rocking it and getting great reviews on his current tour and has several stops left... 

As always, please be sure to check the "near you" tab on our homepage,,  for a tickets to concerts, shows and sporting events in your area...

Till Next week,

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

5 Reasons Terrific Tom (Brady) is better than Peyton Manning...

Hello all,

To start this week, I wanna give big ups to arguably the best American footballer in the world, Landon Donovan, for an unbelievable-Beckham like corner setting up Louis Saha for an easy header and leading Everton to their first win over Chelsea in 17 years. The former high school gymnast has been pretty good so far in England, with 2 assists and a goal in his first 5 games for Everton, and looks as if he may finally breakthrough on a non-MLS stage. To me, Donovan's 3 previous disasterous stints in the German Bundesliga (with the first being so bad he was loaned back to the MLS) were confounding because the guy has always been very good on the international stage- he won the best young player in the 2002 World Cup, scored several goals in the 2000 Olympics, and has 42 goals in just 120 caps with the US team. Who knows, maybe he's more comfortable in England than in Deutchland, maybe he's just gotten better, maybe he's come to the realization that the MLS is a joke and he has to get out, or maybe his time with rival teamate David Beckham has done him some good; but, whatever the reason is, it's good to see the guy look like he's gonna step up in one of the world's best leagues.

So, the Super Bowl was a few days ago, and congrats to Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints, and all of the "Who Dat?" nation for the first Super Bowl win in the history of the franchise. Great game to watch, much like the past 2 Superbowls. Not many people expected the Saints to win: 13/15 analyst picked the Colts, Vegas had the Colts by 5.5 and seemingly every Tweet I read pregame gave the Saints no chance. I thought the Colts were gonna run away with it when the claimed a 1st quarter 10-0 lead, and again when Sean Payton made a Les-Miles by not kicking the FG just before the half; but the Saints played great, dominated the 2nd half, and were up by 7 late when the Colts last-ditch drive was thwarted by a legacy-changing 74-yard pick-6 thrown by Peyton Manning with 3:14 left, clinching the game for the Saints. To me, that play ended the debate about who the best QB of the generation has been between Peyton and Tom and here's 5 reasons why...

#5) Unlike Peyton, Tom actually has gone 16-0.
As my man, the Great Herm Edwards said, "The greatest thing about sports is you play to win the game!" You play to win the game- not to rest players, not to get in reps, but to win! Which is exactly what Tom Brady did all 16 times the Patriots took the field in 2007. Now, I know alot of people have said it's Jim Caldwell's fault for resting his starters the last week and a half of the the season; but the bottom line is- "might have" is much different than "did". If Peyton had played the last 2 weeks of this season, they might have gone undefeated, they might not have- they had to play the Jets in week 17 who were far from a walkover. Tom DID go undefeated, and I know the Patriots lost the superbowl but don't underestimate the accomplishment of an undefeated season; no one had gone undefeated since 1973 and Michael Irvin (not someone I'm exaclty proud of referencing but...) said he would trade all 3 of his rings for one undefeated season. Well, Tom has his, and 3 rings to go with it...

#4) Don't Forget- Tom broke all of Peyton's records the year before he hurt his knee.
Tom was clearly not himself (like many people aren't their first year back from major knee surgery) this year. But, the last time we saw Tom healthy was 2007, when he had the best year in the history of NFL QBs and broke the TD record Peyton previously set. Let's compare Tom's 2007 with the best year of Peyton's career (2004). Notice that Tom threw for more yards, more touchdowns, a higher completion percentage, and fewer interceptions.
YEAR    Player          G     CMP     ATT     PCT     YDS     AVG     TD    INT    
2007    Brady             16     398       578     68.9     4806       8.3         50       8
2004    Manning        16     336       497     67.6     4557       9.2         49       10    

#3) Tom has consistantly done more with less...
While Peyton has made a living throwing to perenial pro-bowlers such as Marvin Harrisson, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark; until getting Randy Moss and Wes Welker in 2007, Tom won 3 Super Bowls and went to 5 Pro Bowls throwing to Patrick Pass, Troy Brown, Reche Caldwell and David Graham... 

#2) The Colts are turning into the Atlanta Braves... and the obvious: Tom-3, Peyton-1
The regular season is great, but, the bottom line is greatness has been and always will be defined by championships and performance in the clutch. It's not that we don't care about the regular season, but the playoffs is different, the intensity is higher, the stakes are greater, and it's where legends are either broken or made. If the regular season and playoffs were weighed equally in the court of public opinion, A-Rod would be far and more reveared than teammate Derek Jeter- but I dare you to find any New Yorker who would agree with that. And, let's look at the Atlanta Braves. The Braves won 13 divisional titles in a row but only 1 world series (in 1995), so despite making the playoffs 7/9 years in the 90s (yes there 9, not 10 because of the strike), the team of the 90s was the Toronto Blue Jays who made the playoffs only twice!! but won the world series both times. The Colts are seemingly becoming THAT team- always guaranteed for 10-12 wins in the regular season and a #1 or #2 seed, but also guaranteed never to win it all again... As far as individuals go- the bottom line is that no matter what people have done in the regular season, our biggest sports heros have won MULTIPLE titles. Do you think of Reggie Jackson as a legend and call him "Mr. October" for his 563 regular season homeruns, or for his 5 World Series Rings and 3 World Series MVP awards? Do you remmember Bill Russell as the first player to average 20 rebounds for a entire season, or for winning 11 NBA titles? Does anyone think Dan Mariono is better than John Elway or Joe Montana despite having way better stats? Would Scottie Pippen have been named one of the NBA's 50 greatest players without having too many rings to wear on one hand?? If he wasn't ahead 4-1 ring wise would anyone think Derek Jeter is better than Chipper Jones?? Would Mike be the greatest ever without 6 rings and too many big shots to count??  No. And what is Mike most remmembered for?? Making shots that I'm sure is still giving Byron Russel, Craig Ehlo, Larry Bird, Dan Marley and Clyde Drexler nightmares and for keeping Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, John Stockton and Sean Kemp ring-less...

#1) Tom steps up in big games, Peyton CHOKED when he had his chance...
With a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter (3:14 to go) in the Superbowl on Sunday, Peyton Manning made one of the worst throws I've ever seen which was returned 74 yards for the game-icing touchdown by Tracy Porter. But, Peyton has NEVER been more than an average player in the playoffs- his career playoff record is a very mediocre 9-8 and his QB rating is 87 (compared to a career 95 in the regular season). Brady on the other hand has a staggering 14-4 career playoff record (including 3-1 against Peyton) with a QB rating of 99.8 (up from his career 94 in the regular season). Tom has won 2 Superbowl MVPs, and directed 2 4th quarter super bowl winning drives (the 85 yarder in 03 against the Rams, and the 54 yarder the following year against the Panthers), not to mention the numerous heroics in other playoff games (the drive in the snow to bury the Raiders) to get there. Now, I know some people may be thinking- didn't Tom lose his last trip to the Superbowl? Yes, but there was a big difference. Brady directed a 89 yard drive and hit Randy Moss to put the Patriots ahead 14-10 with 2:31 left in the game- and lost on an Asante Samuels interception drop combined with either the best or luckiest catch of all time (depending on who you go for) by David Tyree. What did Peyton do when he had one chance to bring his team back on Super Sunday? Pick 6 and game over....

As always, be sure to check the "near you" tab on our homepage,, for a list of sporting events and shows near you...

Till next week,