As a dad I find it really hard to focus on the important things, like 10 hours of non-stop football on Saturdays and Sundays. It's REALLY annoying... I kid of course. For full disclosure here are my sports allegiances: Boston Red Sox, Tar Heels basketball, Georgia Bulldogs football and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I am also a staunch supporter of the return of the Charlotte Hornets! I'm always objective, it just turns out the TRUTH is always on my team's side. I can't help it.
Some people call me a Half-back, I refer to myself as a Hybrid. One parent from the north, the other from the south resulting in my love for sweet and unsweet tea. Just like most Americans, sports are my escape. Those who cannot do (anymore), critique and debate. So I share my love of sports with you all. GO DETROIT!
Great sports coverage and a lot of "best of" sports lists at Bleacher Report. http://bleacherreport.com/
What's the latest in college sports and whatever happened to guys like UNC's Ed Geth? http://www.lostlettermen.com/
Like polls and giving fantasy tips? Waste hours in NFL.com's Genius Community. http://genius.fantasy.nfl.com/
SB Nation has a large collection of sports opinion. http://www.sbnation.com/
One of Tank's favorite writers Bill Simmons and the Grantland crew kill it. http://www.grantland.com/
By Tank Spencer
I’ve been waiting for more information to come on the Richie Incognito – Jonathan Martin bullying case before commenting, but I can wait no longer. Several reports have given examples of how Incognito was treating fellow lineman and rookie Martin in the locker room and off the field. The biggest thing the media has focused on is a voicemail Incognito left for his Dolphin teammate back in April. In it he calls Martin a “half-n----- piece of s---.”
Regardless of whether Incognito truly hates Martin or whether he was put up to it by coaches, it is still inexcusable. One report says coaches wanted Incognito to “toughen” Martin up. I can see where that may have been the conversation, yet Richie took it way too far. If that was the case, are the coaches at fault for that? Partially.
I don’t care what your intentions were, you can’t entrust a “mission” like that to a dirtbag like Incognito. For years he has been on players’ lists of the dirtiest players in the game. He’s had well-documented anger issues in both his collegiate and pro careers. Asking Incognito to perform football’s equivalent of a “Code Red” is like asking Charles Manson to join your congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. By that I mean, getting someone to do an “innocent” task that you should know is going to take it too far.
Iconginto is probably not the guy you want telling fans to be on their best behavior at games:
The Dolphins suspended Incognito indefinitely and rightfully so. Martin has reportedly had to seek counseling and treatment for emotional distress because of the verbal abuse he was subjected to. If he feels that was necessary, who are we to say he’s being too sensitive? Martin is caught in a conundrum. He may not be as mentally tough as most football players, but he has the talent to play at the highest level. In a game like football you have to be mentally tough as well as physically. Maybe his coaches were trying to give him that edge by telling Incognito to be tough on him.
In the end, for me, it falls on the organization for not controlling the situation. We still don’t know if Martin complained to coaches before he left the team to seek treatment. If he did and was not fully honest with them about all that was said, they wouldn’t have known it was as serious as death threats and racial epithets. It would have been ignored because Richie was doing his “job.” In that light, I cannot blame GM Jeff Ireland for reportedly telling Martin’s agent that Jonathan should punch Incognito. That’s what they wanted.
What blows my mind is how Incognito’s friends in the locker room are standing beside his statements. Even if he were joking with Martin (which I’m not sure he was), the words and tactics he used are nothing short of uncalled for and inappropriate. Some players are spinning this Martin trying to disrupt the team chemistry. That’s the kind of enabling that has allowed Incognito continue to be the hot-head, cheap shot ballpayer he’s been his whole career.
By Tank Spencer
Wow. The media just can’t handle a star wide receiver losing his mind over his team blowing a game yet again. I’m not sure what the fuss is about regarding Dez Bryant’s explosion on the Dallas Cowboy sidelines this past Sunday. When I see the video, I see a passionate player asking his teammates “WTF?” I would do the same if I had to play for the Cowboys and watch them squander talent and continue to lose year after year.
I saw a fired up receiver who is fed up with his team’s ability and apparent willingness to cave. Dez said it wasn’t about not getting the ball, but more about winning. I get that is what he HAS to say, but let’s be honest, they are one in the same.
Dez probably thinks they would win more if he gets the ball more. He is right on both accounts.. at least on Sunday. Bryant could have gone catch for catch with Calvin Johnson if given the opportunity. (Johnson caught 14 passes for 329 yards and a TD). Again it is Tony Romo making the wrong calls in the pocket. Calvin was targeted 16 times by his quarterback, Romo looked Dez’s way only 6 times. The Cowboys only threw for a shade over 200 yds against the 25th worst pass defense in the league.
Time and time again Tony Romo comes up small when a big opportunity faces him. But.. back to Dez.
Dez got into it with Romo and Jason Whitten on the sideline at the end of the game when the team was on its way to defeat. All of the players involved said everything was cool after the game, so why the negative national media focus on Dez’s attitude? I don’t know, but it seems inconsistent. Remember back a few weeks to Tom Brady yelling, screaming and pitching a fit on the New England sideline when his receivers couldn’t catch water in a bucket. The media portrayed him as a fierce leader trying to teach the rookies and lead on to victory.
Is this an anti-Cowboy, pro-Patriot bias? Or is it something more? I’m usually never one to throw out the race card, but it seems to loom large in this instance.
Check out these washed up QB's trash Dez for his meltdown:
By Tank Spencer
It’s World Series time! Of course I’m jazzed… I’m a Red Sox fan. I’m really interested to see how the nation reacts to this series matchup between the Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals. Will the matchup pull in great ratings? There were countless discussions around the station leading up to the close of the LCS about what if it were the Detroit Tigers against the Cardinals? Chances are viewership would have been way down. At least with one top 10 media market in the final ratings will at least be decent. Baseball needs that as it is losing an uphill battle with the ever-growing popularity of the NFL.
In the last decade or more the Boston Red Sox have become one of the nation’s favorite teams. Thank you to all of the bandwagon-jumpers. I don’t mean that as a pejorative, I’m sincere. Hell, I’m the product of a bandwagon-jumper. My father became a Red Sox fan in the 1960’s as an impressionable young boy awed by the greatness of one Carl Yastrzemski.
It’s because of the team’s national popularity I think more people will be invested. We’re so much like our bitter rival Yankees it makes us sick. The Sox spend a lot of money, have millions of fans across the country, win a lot of games (most years) and - like the Yankees – that makes others hate us. So whether it be Sox adoration or hatred, people will tune in.
I’m intrigued by a Harris Interactive Poll this year that said the Yankees are still America’s most popular team followed by the Red Sox and the Atlanta Braves. Not surprisingly the Dodgers are #4. That’s why I think a Dodgers-Red Sox World Series would have broken some records. Rounding out the top 5 is the Tigers. That is a surprise, but I guess all of the Magnum P.I. fans are still out there procreating.
As I’ve said before, I believe the Sox will win it all. Do I expect a third sweep of the series in 10 years? NO. In fact I’m rooting against it. Yet again the Sox are in the series and have home filed advantage. They need to lose two to return to Boston and finally win one in front of the home crowd. The city of Boston and Fenway Park has not hosted a Red Sox World Series clinching win since 1918. In 1975 the Beantown faithful had to watch the Cincinnati Reds celebrate in their stadium, as they did the St. Louis Cardinals in 1967. Both series won by the Sox this century (2004 and 2007) ended on enemy soil in St. Louis and Denver.
The Cardinals and Red Sox were the two best teams in baseball this year. Both teams bring more than capable pitching staffs. Game 1 will feature Red Sox ace Jon Lester against Cards #1 Adam Wainwright. Game 2 will send Boston’s John Lackey to the hill against St. Louis’ sensational rookie Adam Wacha. The good thing for the pitchers is neither team was efficient at the plate in their last series. The Cardinals hit .211 against Dodger pitching and against the Tigers Boston hit .202.
I expect the series to go at least six with Boston’s bats coming up clutch just as they did in the ALCS, ALDS and all through the regular season. It’s not just the big names that will produce. I can see someone like Xander Bogaerts or Jonny Gomes being the series MVP. However, when you have studs like David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester and the unstoppable, unhittable force of Koji Uehara… it’s anyone’s trophy to win.