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Cowboys Lose Demarco Murray For Rest of (Regular) Season - Can’t Close Games

Cowboys running back Demarco Murray broke his ankle against the Giants.

The Cowboys are a very frustrating team.

I can deal with a team that simply lacks the talent to beat other teams. But when a team has about all the talent you can ask for and is still rather middle-of-the-road it’s frustrating. The Cowboys have a good QB, two solid receivers, an elite Tight End, and a great running back, yet they still can’t put it together. And for all of Rob Ryan’s big talk his defense sure isn’t consistent especially when it matters most.

Both the Cowboys and the Giants played up and down last night. And ultimately it came down to the teams’ patterns: The Cowboys made costly mistakes at the end and the Giants were carried by Eli Manning’s heroics. By the way, he hit over 4K yards passing for the season last night. After the game was over, Arash Markazi made this observation that is 100% correct.

Cowboys led 34-22 with 3:30 left and no one that has watched this team under Garrett was remotely confident.
I had to retweet this because I turned away from the game to watch the Kardashians. I flip back to the game and saw the Giants were down with 3 minutes left and knew they would at least score once more. The Giants went on to score TWO more times and then went for a two point conversion and got it. The Cowboys got the ball back down 3, kicked a field goal and made it BUT Coughlin had already called time out before the snap. When the cowboys kicked again, Pierre-Paul got his hand on it and it went…nowhere. Giants win.
Cowboys lose in a number of ways.
1. Demarco Murray is out for the rest of the regular season with a fracture and a high ankle sprain. Murray has been a Godsend to Romo since replacing Felix Jones in the lineup.
Murray exploded onto the scene with a franchise-record 253 yards against St. Louis on Oct. 23. He entered Sunday’s game on track to become the Cowboys’ first 1,000-yard rusher since Julius Jones in 2007. He had 872 yards on the season and 25 yards on five carries against the Giants before getting hurt.
Romo is going to miss Murray dearly and if the Cowboys want to salvage hope of the playoffs they’re going to have to hope that Romo’s extra throws won’t result in extra interceptions.
2. The Cowboys aren’t closing. Markazi found this stat:
Amazing stat. From 1960-2010 Cowboys have blown a 12-point lead in the 4th quarter twice. They’ve done it 3 times in 2011.  Cowboys are 12-9 under Garrett. They’ve blown a 4th quarter lead in 8 of 9 losses, losing by more than 4 only once.
Cowboys finish the season  with games against Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, and the Giants. Anyone who feels confident predicting how these games will turn out is way braver than I am. Tampa Bay has been imploding but they can play tough when they want to. Again, if they can hang around until the 4th quarter and force Romo to turn the ball over, it’s anyone’s game, really. When it comes to the Eagles, who the hell knows which Eagles team will show up. That game could be a blow out by either team or a nail biter. Who the hell knows. And if this game against the Giants came down to the wire, I bet the next one will too, especially if it’s a division decider.
Obviously, the Cowboys best way into the playoffs is to win out.

Houston Texans Will Enter the Playoffs For The First Time

I was going to put a photo of TJ Yates here but it was just too difficult to find one. Not surprising since he's lived in relative obscurity until now.

Yes, you read that correctly. This year will be the first time the Houston Texans have made the playoffs. Of course, the team was started in 2002…so it either is or isn’t a huge feat depending on how you look at it. The story for the Texans has been similar to the story of the Green Bay Packers of 2010-overcoming injuries to key players to stroll into the playoffs. The Texans lost two quarterbacks (Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart) and have had to depend on 3rd string 5th round draft pick TJ Yates to lead the team. Andre Johnson, one of the league’s best receivers, has also been in and out of the line up.

Yates has been the biggest surprise. At first it seemed as though the Texans would basically continue to rely on Arian Foster and Ben Tate using the QB as a game manager mostly. But Yates has been much more than that.  In Yates first game he had only 70 yards passing. Since then — 188 and 300. He’s led some impressive drives including a come back drive yesterday that put the Texans over the Cincinnati Bengals bringing their record to 10-3 and clinching the AFC south.

I think one thing that needs to be said is that Wade Phillips (yes, former Cowboys head coach) is doing a fabulous job with he Texans defense. They’ve held their last 3 opponents to less than 20 points. Football outsiders has their defense ranked 5 overall and 3rd against the pass which is a real advantage in the playoffs if that holds up. When it comes to scheduling, the Texans have had one of the easiest 2nd halfs I’ve seen. They get to finish the season by playing the Panthers, Titans, and Colts. So it should be smooth sailing for them from here til January.

Once the playoff picture is set I’ll take a look at the Texans matchups as well as all the other teams.






New J Dan Show — Cam Newton Edition!!

I love doing vlogs. I used to do this little show called 10 days in 10 minutes where I’d recap the past 10 days in about 10 minutes. This is similar…hell, I could probably call it that. But really who cares what I call it. I was having fun.

In this episode, I talk about Michael Vick starting to slide, the dreaminess (and nonchalance) of Cam Newton, Lamar Odom’s pitiful interview on ESPN, and the life of a Philadelphia 76ers fan. Hope you like it!




Michael Vick Announces That He’s No Longer An Idiot-He Will Start Sliding

Michael Vick used his press conference today to prove he's willing to make smart decisions going forward.

There’s an old corny joke I like to tell. Wanna hear it? Here it go.

When Michael Vick does the Tootsie Roll and they get to the part where you have to slide, he just stops dancing. hahahahaah ahhahah ha ha hee…

Whatever, that joke is funny TO ME.

But what’s not funny is following Vick’s career for 239239930 years and watching this knucklehead use any means to avoid going to the ground including having other people knock his ass to the ground. I HAVE BEEN FED UP. And apparently he is too.

In his press conference today he, according to Philly media, said that he would begin sliding because he can’t keep risking the team having all these injuries. I don’t know why it took so long, I don’t know who was able to finally impress this upon him (a doctor maybe?) but I am glad this day has come.

If Vick can slide AND focus on getting the ball out of his hands a lot quicker, you will see the Eagles offense take a serious turn for the better. Howard Mudd has worked miracles with the Eagles offensive line. On one of Vick’s surprisingly few sacks he held the ball for 6.5 seconds, a lot of the other ones happened around the 4.5 and 5 second mark. He has forever to go through his progressions, find a hot read, run or extend the play some other way. And this is actually a part of the problem. Vick has too many choices and too much time. His natural ability has made him too confident and, and in a sense, mentally lazy.

I’d like to see him challenge himself to keep himself limited to three step drops as much as possible for the rest of the season and see where it takes him and the offense. I mean their season is over, they ain’t doing shit on Sundays but practicing anyway. Let’s make it worthwhile.

Congrats to Vick for making one of the best decisions of his life even thought it came years too late and seemed like the most obvious thing in the world to anyone watching. But yeah like I said good for you! lol

I really do like Michael Vick. I know you can’t tell. But I adore him though I remain bitter about a lot that happened in Atlanta. But he’s a cancer male. They’re the best men on Earth. I stand by that.

Other Cancers I adore: Darrelle Revis, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Brandon Lloyd. All born in July too.


Roddy White Admits Matt Ryan’s Deep Passes Ain’t Really What’s Up

Apparently Roddy White was raised to believe that (brutal) honesty is the best policy.

As a fan of both the Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles (I love saying that cause it pisses people off ^_^) I find that my favorite Falcon and my favorite Eagle both have the same personality trait — BRUTAL HONESTY. Asante Samuel said earlier this year that the Eagles front office was playing “fantasy football” and Roddy White has now admitted to the press that Matt Ryan’s deep passes might don’t make it.

Here’s where it gets interesting: The second question was again about the deep ball, but this time a more general question about timing and difficulty.

“I have no idea,” said White. “I don’t even know the answer for it. I don’t know, I think we should just scrap it and just do something else. We should just do some other things. We’ve missed a lot of them this year. I don’t really have an answer — we hit them at practice. We just can’t seem to hit them in a game.”


White laughed after he made this statement, but it wasn’t a really convincing laugh. The assembled media gave him a chance to take the statement back, or give us a ‘just kidding’, but that didn’t happen.

White gave more of his feelings.

“We’ll probably do some different things,” said White about what the Falcons should do instead of throw the ball deep. “Maybe a few more timely passes, things like that to get the ball out of Matt’s hands and get it to us to see if we can make some people miss and get explosive plays like that.”

And that was that. Apparently White feels the offense should take the deep pass out of the playbook.

I’m still not convinced White wasn’t speaking tongue-in-cheek on Wednesday. But, he had every chance to give us a wink to let us know he was just playing around. That wink never came. White finished up with the media and left for positional meetings.

Well I find this honesty refreshing…he was nice about it. And it’s no secret. The subject of floating zipless passes came up with Vince Young taking over for Michael Vick the last couple weeks and Matt Ryan has a similar problem. Though, at least Ryan’s issue is limited to deep passes. Young’s ball velocity (is that a real phrase) is affected by even the shortest passes. Those kinds of balls are 1. more likely to be intercepted and 2. more likely to get your receiver hurt.

This goes back to a big gripe that I had with the Falcons drafting Julio Jones. It seemed to me that the Falcons were trying to make Matt Ryan into the type of QB that he’s really not. Most offenses are pass heavy nowadays but I never expected Matt Ryan to be able to take advantage of two wide receivers who should be used often on deep routes. Now Julio could just as well develop into a versatile receiver in the NFL-he’s been impressive so far- and Roddy has a full arsenal of routes and beats double coverage even across the middle as well as anybody.

But you kinda get the sense that this offense is being taken further in a direction Ryan isn’t comfortable with just yet. Roddy is just the first player to admit it publicly.

As a fan of both teams my mind has wandered to what Michael Vick could do with Roddy White right this second. When Vick was still in Atlanta *painful flashback* White was a fresh faced rookie.




New MLB Dress Code: What About Women Reporters Who Are Hired To Be Sexy?

So essentially the MLB and apparently some reporters think that the MLB press boxes have gotten too casual and the league has released a dress code. They include men under their umbrella since no one wears suits or suiting jackets and ties anymore, but most of what’s included in the dress code is really about keeping women covered up.

I have no issues with the dress code, but I have to mention why I find it funny.

The whole idea of “dressing professionally” at work or having dress codes at clubs is spurred by the same concept-that dress clothes attract higher quality. Higher quality people, higher quality behavior and thus higher quality work. And many times that thinking does hold true and I’ve been known to complain about colleagues attire in the past. I do think people are more conscious of themselves and their surroundings when they’re more appropriately dressed.

So yeah I get it, although I’m curious as to what professional behavior the MLB is trying to encourage or if they’re just working to prevent a “Sainz scene” which one reporter on the dress code panel all but admitted. Remember, Inez Sainz was wearing tight jeans when she showed up at Jets practice but her behavior was also light-hearted which led to what appeared to be a mutual flirting back and forth that most would consider unprofessional on both sides.

Or would they?

Some reporters, like Sainz, are hired to dress the way they do and to add sexual tension to sports reporting (like it or not!). In Latin America they’re more open with it (I once had a colleague who was a reporter in Colombia and she said she was encouraged by her boss to get breast implants that they would pay for), but in America is not all that different. And it’s partly why many female broadcasting roles are on the sidelines where networks can take advantage of full body shots without having to add a real female opinion on the game to the fray.

Again, that’s not all hires. Let’s be clear on that. But certainly the MLB doesn’t seem to be on the same page as the networks that helped create the dress problem in the interest of ratings.  All of this is relevant to women reporters who shoot live footage at a ballpark which is a good majority.

After those Sainzish reporters of course, bloggers were the next to be blamed.

The skimpy attire worn by some of the TV reporters covering the Marlins in Miami drew particular scrutiny.

“We just thought it was time to get a little organized, to put it in place before there was an incident,” said committee member Phyllis Merhige, an MLB senior vice president.

“There’s no one who expects reporters to wear a suit and tie,” she said. “But with the advent of different media, there are now individuals who are not part of a bigger organization that may have a dress code.”

Cause you know bloggers are soooo much less informal and unprofessional than those networks who WANT women to dress sexy. As a blogger myself I appreciate the freedom I have now not to look like a sex pot-not that I could cause I don’t have the ability. But my point is the reporting world and blogging world aren’t nearly as separate as they once were so that was kind of bogus to me. But in my view female bloggers (many of which do not even vlog) have less incentive to wear sexy stuff to the park.

And I don’t know who is wearing footflops, also now banned, but that seems more indicative of being silly than being a blogger vs. being a reporter.

As far as professionalism is concerned, Jessica Quiroli, who writes for Baseball Digest and tweets under the name “Heels on the Field”  brought up some good points on her twitter page.


Essentially, professionalism only seems to be a concern when it comes to a specific thing. We’re worried that women may be wearing a one-shoulder top (no, really, one shouldered tops are banned. That just eliminated part of my wardrobe!) but not that men may be (even if unintentionally) sexually harassing women or otherwise making them uncomfortable. That is why I scoff at the professionalism angle the MLB is spouting.

And oh by the way, I can’t speak for all women, but I’m not a fan of those ill fitting khaki shorts so many guys are a fan of. ICK!!!! Can the MLB and all leagues ban those in stadiums (not just the press box).

Where was I?

Oh yeah…Dress code: Whatever. Intentions: Questionable. Impact: ???.

Bright side: a tight knee-length pencil skirt and blazer on the right body blows ripped jeans and a tank top out of the water on the right shape. Just a tip.


Joe Horn One of Several Former Players Suing NFL Over Use of Painkiller

Former WR Joe Horn as I like to remember him--being a fun-loving divo.

Let’s just start with the details:

“The plaintiffs have described the situation as one of being in a pregame locker room with players lining up to receive injections of Toradol in a ‘cattle call’ with no warnings of any sort being given, no distinguishing between different medical conditions of the players, and regardless of whether the player had an injury of any kind,” the suit alleges.

The dozen retired players, including Joe Horn, Matt Joyce and Jerome Pathon, played in the late 1990s and early 2000s and say they now have anxiety, depression, short-term memory loss, severe headaches, sleeping problems and dizziness, according to Christopher A. Seeger, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs.

“We took it like clockwork,” said Horn, a receiver who played 12 years with the Kansas City Chiefs, the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons and who says he now experiences bouts of dizziness and blackouts. “They don’t meet with you to tell you what will happen five years later. Had I known that there were going to be complications, I wouldn’t have taken the shots.”

In accusing the league of negligence, fraud, fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation and conspiracy, the former players are seeking an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages, and the reimbursement of their legal costs.

The league disputed the suit’s claims.

It’s possible this suit could have critical implications. We all know when it comes to football NFL rules about health get stretched…by everyone including the players. What the former players are arguing here is that the power to make a decision about whether or not to risk their health was taken out of their hands. It’s probably not relevant to the lawsuit, but I can’t help but wonder what they would have done with that information? Would they really not have taken the drug? Again, not necessarily relevant to the case but it does represent the kind of questions that will come up depending on the direction it all takes.

I think of New York Giants OT Stacy Andrews who was coughing up blood and originally thought he had a rib issue this week. Turns out he had a pulmonary embolism in BOTH lungs and could have died. Andrews is lucky he and the trainers looked further into his symptoms. There are lots of symptoms and signs that get ignored especially late in the season when everyone is stressing about closing the season right and setting themselves up for a spot on the team next year.

I guess what I’m saying in a roundabout sort of way is that hiding information is somewhat a permanent part of the game and how the legal system handles this case could get really interesting. The symptoms the players who are suing describe are not uncommon among former players-how much they are tied to a particular painkiller is going to be up for serious debate.





Darnell Dockett Talks About Forgiving His Mother’s Murderer

I am constantly amazed at the number of NFL players who have very tragic things that have happened in their histories. You can’t even watch E:60 or Sunday NIght Football without tearing up. So I don’t expect people to know each players’ story cause there are a lot of touching ones out there.

One of those stories is the one Darnell Dockett tells about finding his mother murdered at 13 years old. Dockett appeared on Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable and talked about his background. Dockett says he and his mother were poor but she did everything she could to provide for him. He sid she was “everything” to him but that he eventually came to some peace with her death. He forgives her murderer, who remains unknown, but hopes that whoever it is understands the pain that they caused.

It was a good interview. It makes me like Darnell. Not that I disliked him before, but I didn’t see him as particularly appealing. Now, I might just be a fan. I know he loses a lot of sleep worrying about whether I like him or not. Hopefully, I will have an answer for him soon so he can finally get some rest.

Check out his interview. He also talks about his precocious son and his pet alligator.




Is It Possible Matt Forte’s Injury Could Work In His Favor?

So Matt Forte aka 50% of the bears offense aka overworked and underpaid aka the reason running backs hold out aka aka aka … has sprained his MCL.

First let’s take a moment to thank de lawwd (or whomever you praise) that Forte didn’t tear his ACL or MCL. That’s a potential death knell for an RB who wants a big contract.

But this is a sprain and he shall recover. The bad part (or good part?) is that he has to be out at least 2 weeks and justifiably 4. Of course, the Bears are pushing for him to come back before the end of the season. But if he doesn’t,  I can see this working in Forte’s favor. Hear me out.

If Forte sits out the rest of the season and the Bears don’t make the playoffs, Forte doesn’t have to play anymore for the rest of the year and can focus on free agency. Some might say that Forte needs to continue to play to keep his contract hopes up. I disagree. If Forte is out from now until spring training he will be viewed as refreshed. No one in their right mind is going to forget this man was 50% of his team’s offense, handled himself like a professional at all times, and never avoided contact despite having reason to do so.

The rumors were that the Bears offered or at least floated 14 million guaranteed and that wasn’t enough for Forte. I don’t know how true this is…but he can probably get at least 14 million guaranteed in free agency so turning down the first 14 million is not likely to hurt him if this pans out the way it can. Of course all of this is moot if the Bears make the playoffs and go deep into the post season. But there’s a good chance that won’t happen if Cutler misses the rest of the regular season.

The flipside of this is that Forte comes back from injury and isn’t as good OR he’s just as good but is seen as worn down from a season with entirely too heavy a load. Can’t win for trying sometimes. There are so many scenarios good and bad…of course I think we all hope that Forte can come back, do well and get the contract he deserves without a whole bunch of other machinations.

Either way, I don’t think Forte should rush back if you know what I’m saying. *wink wink - rib jab*




All The New 76ers Mascot Choices Suck!

It’s one thing to kill HipHop…I get it. Not everyone liked the high flying big toothed gold chain wearing rabbit that harkened back to the Pat Croce/Allen Iverson days. So I don’t expect the Philadelphia 76ers’ new ownership to be on board with a mascot that was polarizing from the beginning.

But the choices of mascots the Sixers have rolled out for fans to vote on are horrendous. WHAT IS THIS?


I do not approve. Our choices are an old cliche  historical fogey, a knock-off McGruff, and a low budget Bull Winkle. Why my team? Who approved these as the final three options?

I know that mascots are corny. Lord knows HipHop was corny as hell. But at least it was unique.



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