Short Nerd Chief

Posts Tagged ‘football’

NCAA Football 09 Is Coming For Wii!

Posted by Fred on February 15, 2008

ncaafb09 EA has announced their first NCAA football game for the Wii. We’ve been playing a lot of Madden NFL 08 on the Wii (strangely enough, the Browns offense with Charlie Frye at QB is really good, 2007 Patriots-before-the-Super Bowl good), so a college game would be welcome.  The NCAAA games have always been a bit of a mixed bag; EA gets the atmosphere of a college game to the T, but since they can’t license player names for college athlete, you get a lot of “TD; QB #10 pass to WR #9 for 13yds” instead of Taylor Tharp to Jeremy Childs.  Also, the time I played NCAA Football (which was, granted, more than 10 years ago), the triple option offenses were essentially unstoppable.  One presumes EA has addressed that.  Hopefully they’ve also addressed Madden 08’s propensity for face mask offenses.  They say they’ve kept the Family Play mode, which is good, and Madden’s Wiimote control scheme, which is more good than bad.


mascots Unlike NCAA Football 08, which featured a cover image of Boise State QB Jared Zabransky, NCAA Football 09 will feature a college mascot, and EA is having a contest to decide which one.  The last time someone did this, the Capital One Mascot Challenge, the winner was Akron’s Zippy the Kangaroo (did you know that Zippy is a she and has been around since 1953?).  I vote for Zippy this time, too, because (a) Akron needs some glory for a program most notable for Gerry Faust and Charlie Frye and (b) who doesn’t love kangaroos?

[via CrunchGear]


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Patriots Favored to Win Super Bowl XLIII

Posted by Fred on February 6, 2008

NFL Take heart, Pats fans.  You may just have become the first 18-0 team to lose a Super Bowl, but the Vegas oddsmakers have installed Brady and the Boys as odds-on favorites to win their fourth title next year.  Here’s the top 5:

Team Odds
New England 3:1
San Diego 11:2
Indianapolis 12:1
Dallas 14:1
Pittsburgh 20:1

No real surprises there, although it is clear that Vegas thinks that (a) Rivers and Tomlinson will both be back at full strength for 2008 and (b) the AFC is significantly better, or at least deeper, than the NFC, with four AFC teams in the top 5.  Read on for more…

Read the rest of this entry »

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Super Bowl XLII: Karmic Justice

Posted by Fred on February 5, 2008


Old news by now of course, but watching the final 35 seconds of Sunday’s big game, one overriding thought dominated — it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving bunch. Not the Giants, who probably did deserve to win given the 11 straight road wins, rallying behind the beleaguered Eli Manning, etc.  No, the deserving bunch was the Patriots, who really needed a cosmic slap upside the head.  And there isn’t a better slap upside the helmet than to be the only team to go 18-0 and lose in the Super Bowl.  There’s a lot of reasons watching the Pats lose was sweet, sweet relief, and it’s not because they cheated at least once by videotaping their opponent, and it’s not because they’re arrogant (even though they are) and it’s not because I have some secret affection for the 1972 Dolphins.  It’s because they really are the Evil Empire, to an extent even the Yankees never achieved.  To wit:

  • They’re led by a head coach who, when named coach of the Browns by Art Modell, managed to turn a perennial playoff contender into the Baltimore Ravens. That’s bad enough, but not only does he apparently feel no remorse whatsoever for what he did to Cleveland fans, he refuses to even talk about it, requiring that any interviewer talking to Belichick avoid any questions about the “Cleveland Years.”  Nevertheless, he’s routinely put into the same class as Lombardi, Noll and Shula.
  • The east coast media establishment fawns over Belichick anyway, conveniently ignoring his record in Cleveland and giving credit to the coach, rather than acknowledging that the Pats win because they got lucky when Brady turned from a seventh round toad into an MVP prince.  A hobbled Brady exposed Belichick’s real weaknesses, as he got soundly outcoached by Tom Coughlin on both sides of the ball.
  • The defense is led by spiritual leader Junior Seau, who “retired” from the Dolphins only to sign with the Patriots two days later, in a blatant ploy to go from a crappy team to a good one.  The media gives him a pass anyway, believing the story he spins about Belichick talking him out of retirement.
  • The defense also includes Richard Seymour and Rodney Harrison, whose only competition for League’s Dirtiest Player is each other.  They were at their pushing, shoving, slapping and kicking best in the Super Bowl, so it was nice to see them get stomped in the end.
  • On the other side of the ball you have gems like Randy Moss, who had a long paid vacation while a member of the Raiders, taking their paychecks while doing absolutely nothing to help the team.  He improved himself in Foxboro as long as they were winning, but still mailed it in on occasion.  Moss could have pulled out at least a tie on Sunday, but his effort on the two hail marys was mediocre at best.
  • In the end, the team’s arrogance was its undoing.  Belichick went for it on fourth-and-13 rather than kicking a field goal; after all, it’s the Patriots, who don’t need any stinking field goals. Even though Brady was getting mauled by the Giants D-line, Belichick never put in max protection sets or multiple tight ends; it’s the Patriots, so those sacks were obviously just flukes.
  • The Pats’ true colors showed in the end, when Belichick left the field with 0:01 still on the clock, an exercise both incredibly disrespectful and entirely within character.  The Pats are a team led by a master with no class, a study in arrogance and spit in your face trash talking.

Karma is a bitch.  Watch this again and smile:

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Cameron hired as Ravens coordinator, but why?

Posted by Fred on January 24, 2008

ravens_cameron_football_ba101 What happens when you lead a team to a 1-15 record with an offense that ranks 28th in yards, 24th in passing yards, 23rd in rushing yards and 26th in points scored?  You get a job as an offensive coordinator with the one team you managed to beat, of course.  Cam Cameron does have an offensive pedigree from his days in San Diego, and he can’t be much worse than Brian Billick, but when did it become a good idea to turn a failed head coach into a coordinator the very next season? It worked that way for Gregg Williams and for Mike Martz and now for Cam Cameron.  Hopefully things turn out better for the Ravens than they did for the Redskins and Lions.

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Really Bad Dad arrested for forcing son to wear Packers jersey

Posted by Fred on January 17, 2008


How much beer was involved in this story?

Upset that his 7-year-old son wouldn’t wear a Green Bay Packers jersey during the team’s playoff victory Saturday, a man restrained the boy for an hour with tape and taped the jersey onto him.

The boy refused to wear the jersey Saturday, when the Packers beat the Seattle Seahawks in a playoff game, [Sheriff’s Department Lt. Wayne] Smith said. Smith said the incident sounded strange when reported at first, but the mother took pictures with her cellphone and that type of evidence is difficult to dispute.

Dad ended up in jail because Mom ratted him out (which he fully deserved, of course).  What, pray tell, would he have done had the Packers lost? Maybe he should try to adopt this kid, who has worn his jersey every day since Christmas 2003.

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Dolphins choose Sparano as new head coach

Posted by Fred on January 16, 2008

OK, so who else saw this headline — Dolphins choose Sparano as new head coach — and thought this (apologies for my incredibly lame skillz):


I have no idea how Tony Sparano will be as a head coach. He probably won’t be worse than 1-15.  But Tony Soprano would be a great coach. Or at least a great motivator. Plus, as an added bonus, Dolphin starters could go to the Bada Bing, where they would be far less likely to be arrested.

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Journalists: A Belichick primer for your next puff piece

Posted by Fred on January 10, 2008

Why do I suspect that if the Patriots keep winning, we’re going to see more and more articles like the one in USA Today claiming that Bill Belichick is among the best-ever coaches? And why do I suspect that they’ll either gloss over what the article calls the “Cleveland years” or else ignore them entirely like ESPN The Magazine did? I’ll help you lazy journalists out with a few facts:

Fact #1: Prior to the Greatest Coach Ever’s arrival, the Browns, led by QB Bernie Kosar, were perennial AFC title contenders and may easily have been in a couple of Super Bowls but for John Elway’s Drive and Ernest Byner’s Fumble.

Fact #2: Then Belichick came, kicked Kosar out in favor of over-the-hill Vinny Testaverde, and managed one winning season and one playoff appearance in five seasons.

Fact #3: Belichick’s winning percentage (0.450) is more Bud Carson (0.440) than Marty Schottenheimer (0.620).

Fact #4: In 1989, the Browns played in the AFC Championship Game. Belichick showed up in 1991, and in five years managed to single-handedly drive the team out of town and turn them into the Ravens.

Fact #5: The Patriots are what they are not because Belichick is a genius, but because Parcells built a machine that even Pete Carroll couldn’t destroy, and because Belichick was handed Tom Brady in the 2000 draft, only to subsequently have this sixth-round pick (who lost five games in two seasons at Michigan and had to fight Drew Henson for a job) turn into Superman.

I don’t doubt that Belichick was too young when Modell hired him, and don’t deny that the Browns weren’t exactly stocked with All-Pros. Nor do I deny that Belichick has been successful in Foxboro. But these journalists need to find a NFL history book that doesn’t jump straight from 1990 to 1996.  Don’t mention Belichick in the same breath as Vince Lombardi (0.738 winning percentage, zero losing seasons), Chuck Noll (0.566, ten or more wins in 7 of the 8 seasons between 1972-1979) or Don Shula (0.678, two losing seasons over 33 years) unless you are prepared to address the “Cleveland years”.

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Georgia president proposes doomed eight-team football playoff

Posted by Fred on January 9, 2008

University of Georgia President Michael Adams is pitching an eight-team football playoff:

Adams voted against a playoff proposal offered by fellow Southeastern Conference champion Bernard Machen last spring. But a loss of control at the presidential level and increased competitive parity have changed Adams’ position.

As chairman of the NCAA executive committee, he will advance his proposal at the organization’s annual convention next week.”I find it interesting that our most high-profile sport is the only place where we as presidents have turned the end game over to another group,” Adams said. “There has been a concentration of power among the conference and bowl commissioners. I believe it is time to take the ultimate power out of their hands.”

Adams’ position obviously has less to do with concentrations of power than it does with his university’s football team finishing third in the polls, with no hope of contending for a title, even though they finished the season with seven straight wins (including four over ranked opponents).  Over its last seven games, UGa went 7-0 with an average score of 35-20.  Eventual champion LSU went 6-1 with an average score of 39-27 (aided greatly by a 58-10 thrashing of in-state patsy Louisiana Tech).  In basketball, Georgia may well have received a higher seed. In the BCS, they had no hope. They didn’t win their division, didn’t play in their conference title game, and LSU beat both of the teams that beat Georgia.  The Bulldogs’ season was over the minute the clock hit 0:00 in the Tennessee game.

All cynicism aside regarding Georgia’s deathbed conversion, Adams is (a) absolutely right and (b) tilting at windmills.  The plus-one idea Myles Brand will pitch next week is the best you’re going to get. It would probably have helped Georgia, assuming that they would face LSU in the plus-one game. But it’s still not the answer, because who is to say that it should be LSU vs. Georgia in that game and not USC or Missouri, West Virginia or Kansas or Oklahoma?  No other sport decides its champion based on an opinion poll, and there’s no reason football should either, other than the big piles of cash at the end of the BCS rainbow.

P.S. Save your garbage about a playoff making the regular season meaningless. Are the regular seasons in other sports meaningless? Tell that to  fans in the Bronx, where the Yankees will play a meaningful series against the Sox in mid-April. Or tell that to Bill Self, last seen chewing out his 14-0 Jayhawks in the first half of a game against Loyola (Md.).  A playoff doesn’t make the regular season meaningless.  The current system does make the rest of the season meaningless for teams losing early. This year was a bit of an aberration with the top six teams having two losses, but in most years, Georgia’s season would have become meaningless on September 6,  USC’s on October 6 and Missouri’s on October 13 when they lost to South Carolina, Stanford and Oklahoma, respectively.

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Other people must hate Bill Belichick, too

Posted by Fred on January 4, 2008

Fun fact: the #1 search term leading to this site yesterday was I Hate Bill Belichick.  Well, we do hatesss him, my precious.

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Oranges taste sweet after some nice Hokie Bird

Posted by Fred on January 4, 2008


Say these four words with me now: Rock. Chalk. Jayhawk. KU. You can’t say the Hawks haven’t played anyone now. You shouldn’t say Kansas didn’t belong in the BCS (although I’ll concede Mizzou belonged there too, while Illinois and Hawaii did not).  You shouldn’t say Todd Reesing is too small, or Mark Mangino can’t coach, or KU can’t play defense. Last night’s Orange Bowl victory over an outcoached Virginia Tech squad should take care of the doubters, naysayers and haters.  It won’t, of course, but it should.

This long time Jayhawk couldn’t be happier or, frankly, surprised by the little Jayhawks that could’s 12-1 finish.  that they topped it off with a victory over a top 5 perennial power playing in its 15th straight bowl game and did it by out-Beamerballing Beamer makes it all the sweeter.  Hopefully Bill Self’s group was watching Fox last night, and will overperform, rather than the opposite.

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