The Highlight Reel

The Biggest Plays, Videos and News in Sports

Jacoby Ellsbury Steals Home To Cap Thrilling Weekend for New England Sports

In a weekend packed with excitement and thrills for New England sports, Jacoby Ellsbury made one play that supplanted the rest as the most memorable.

There are several things that can be highlighted about the Boston Red Sox’s three-game sweep of the New York Yankees in the first meeting of the season between the two teams. The finale alone is full of notables and mentionables. It could be the 10th straight win for the Red Sox. It could be that they swept not just the Yankees, but the entire nine-game homestand including a double-header sweep against the Minnesota Twins. It could be that the Red Sox got 5 1/3 strong innings out of starter Justin Masterson, and more sparkling bullpen work including 2 2/3 perfect innings out of farmhands Michael Bowden and Hunter Jones.

But the one thing that stood out above all these was a single stolen base. To be more specific, it was a steal of home plate. Ellsbury stood on third and stared down Andy Pettite, and suddenly lost all sense of apprehension within himself. For the first time since high school, he attempted to steal home. And he made it safely and relatively comfortably.

Ellsbury’s play was the first straight steal of home- that is, a steal of home without any other play involved- since B.J. Upton did it against Kelvim Escobar and the Los Angeles Angels on Sept. 17, 2007.

David Ortiz also drove in a run with his sixth double of the season just before Ellsbury’s steal. J.D. Drew followed the steal with an RBI double of his own.

The Red Sox won the first game, 5-4, on a Kevin Youkilis walk-off home run in the 11th inning. They also won the wild middle game, 16-11, on the strength of a go-ahead home run by Mike Lowell and a grand slam by Jason Varitek.

The weekend for New England sports also included the Celtics and Chicago Bulls, who battled to a 121-118 double-overtime victory for Chicago. The game saw 28 lead changes and several late game-changing shots.

Also not to be forgotten in this week’s madness was the New England Patriots, who partook in the 2009 NFL Draft. The Pats traded out of the first round and acquired extra picks for this year and next year. Their most intriguing draft acquisitions included safety Patrick Chung, cornerback Darius Butler, and wide receiver Brandon Tate.

If you missed Ellsbury’s steal or just haven’t seen it by now, here’s a clip:

April 27, 2009 Posted by | baseball, basketball, football, hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Michael Crabtree Falls to 10 in NFL Draft; Headed to San Francisco

In a mind-boggling move that could have only come from the twisted mind of a crusty old man like Al Davis, the Oakland Raiders took Darrius Heyward-Bey with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. While Heyward-Bey is a serious physical specimen and the fastest player in the draft, this pick makes no sense at all for the Raiders when Michael Crabtree was still on the board. Crabtree was universally touted as the top receiver in the draft, and arguably the best overall player. But the Raiders, as usual, went with the fastest player they could get. Davis falls in love with speedsters, and usually proceeds to mess up his team in the process by making such demands. The Raiders screwed up royally with this one, and the San Francisco 49ers made out like bandits getting a top-3 talent like Crabtree at pick No.10. Here’s Crabtree’s interview that came just after he was selected:

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April 25, 2009 Posted by | football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Larry Fitzgerald and Troy Polamalu: Madden’s First Double-Curse?

To borrow a line from Red Sox great Pedro Martinez, I don’t believe in damn curses! And in all seriousness, I really don’t. Believing in some kind of hocus pocus like the infamous “Madden Curse” is on the same level of believing in goblins, fairies, Bigfoot and La Chupacabra. But now, with the reports that Madden will feature TWO star players on the cover for the first time ever, the discussion of the curse is now more prevalent than ever.

Simply put, curses do not exist. But the Madden Curse is still an intriguing string of coincidences in which the cover star of the famed EA Sports franchise suffers some kind of trouble or trauma during the same season.

Eddie George was the original cursed star of Madden, when even though he had his best statistical season in 2000, he ended up bobbling a play at the end of the Titans’ divisional round game, which they lost. George was never the same again. Daunte Culpepper fell victim to the curse in 2001 as he stumbled to a 4-7 record with the Vikings before sustaining a season-ending knee injury.

Marshall Faulk dealt with injuries throughout his year on the cover (2002), and never recovered. Michael Vick fractured his right fibula one day after Madden 2004, with his mug on the cover- was released, and four years later would become one of the most infamous athletes in history. Ray Lewis was not as unfortunate as other cover boys, but he did miss the final game of the 2004 season, which the Ravens lost to just barely miss the playoffs. Donovan McNabb, the 2006 cover boy, suffered a sports hernia in the first game of the 2005 season, and never recovered that season.

Shaun Alexander graced the cover in 2007, but suffered a broken foot during the concurrent season and miss six games. Vince Young, the 2008 cover boy, missed a game with an injury for the first time in his football career, then ended up losing his job in 2008. As for the cover boy of that season, Brett Favre? His Jets lost four of their last five games, mostly due to his sloppy and inconsistent play, and missed the playoffs.

Even through all these, I still don’t believe in the curse. I try not to believe in any kind of superstitious nonsense. The cases for Lewis and Young’s curses are stretches. It seems like one of the new 2010 cover stars will sit out a quarter and that will be the excuse for them being cursed. I wish someone would just put together an MVP season while on the cover so they can put this silly “curse” to rest altogether.

So what does the 2009 season have in store for the Madden 2010 cover boys, Larry Fitzgerald and Troy Polamalu? Time will tell. But if something bad happens to both of these bona fide stars, I honestly might become a believer. A double-curse would be too eerie to not at least consider it.

Fitzgerald spoke with ESPN today as the story broke:

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April 24, 2009 Posted by | football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Moments in Press Conference History: Dennis Green

The Arizona Cardinals may have finally shed their “joke” team label this past season, as they rode Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald all the way to an appearance in the Superbowl, a game they would have won had it not been for Ben Roethlisberger’s all-time great final drive. They made their way to prominence mainly through Warner’s MVP-caliber season, but it was due in no small part to the new coaching staff that had been installed, led by Ken Whisenhunt. But the subject of today’s Great Moment in Press Conference History is not Whisenhunt, but Dennis Green, who had been ousted following the 2006 season, the one in which he delivered his most memorable moment as a coach.

Green coached the Cardinals to a 16-32 record in three years, following an up-and-down career as the Minnesota Vikings’ head coach. He compiled a 4-8 postseason record that did not include any Superbowl appearances, so like other coaches in this series he experienced his most memorable moment after a game.

In 2006, the Cardinals were still firmly entrenched in joke status, dealing with a quarterback controversy and stumbling once again out of the gate. They arrived in Chicago with a 1-4 record to face a Bears team that at the time had the stingiest defense in the NFL with just 38 points allowed through five games, and were sitting pretty at 5-0. Apparently, through all this, Green still thought very little of this Bears team.

Whatever gameplan Green had installed, it worked wonders for the first three quarters. Chicago ended up with just 168 yards of total offense, and Bears QB Rex Grossman threw four interceptions and lost two fumbles. The Cardinals held a 20-0 lead at halftime.

So how exactly did they screw this one up? After exchanging field goals, it started with a Matt Leinart fumble on the three yard line, which Bears safety Mike Brown recovered and took into the endzone to make it 23-10. Edgerrin James committed another Cardinals fumble with just five minutes remaining, resulting in another touchdown run for the Bears defense. Punt return extraordinaire Devin Hester put the icing on the comeback cake with 2:58 remaining in the game when he took it 83 yards to the endzone for the Bears, who took a 24-23 lead.

What many people may forget about this game is that the Cardinals had a golden opportunity to take the game back from the Bears on their final drive. Kicker Neil Rackers was set up from a deep yet very make-able 40 yards, but the kick sailed wide right to seal the amazing comeback for the Bears.

Green was furious after his team blew the 20-point lead and let the game slip away, and in such sloppy fashion. We’ll never know exactly what he and the Cardinals thought the Bears were, but it’s apparent that he didn’t think they were very good. To prove Green wrong, the Bears ended up in the Superbowl that season. In the heat of the moment, Green delivered a classic press conference moment. Not much else needs to be said here, so just enjoy the video!

April 22, 2009 Posted by | football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John Madden’s Legendary, Sometimes-Ridiculed, Voice Will Live On Forever

I know the headline makes this sound like some kind of eulogy. No, we have not lost John Madden the person yet. But after announcing his retirement Thursday, we have lost John Madden the broadcaster, a true legend in the business. At 73, Madden has limited time left on Earth, but his voice is truly immortal. Though it has often been the butt of many jokes, most famously Frank Caliendo’s dead-on impression, there’s no denying his presence in the game of football.

His name, face and voice are all instantly recognizable by any self-respecting fan of the game. He is the face and voice of football. He is the inspiration behind arguably the greatest video game franchise of all time. Despite what many younger fans may believe about Madden’s intelligence level in the game of football, he won Superbowl XI way back in 1977. He may have been famous for pointing out the obvious, but the man is a genius and a legend. There’s no disputing that.

Any fan who considered themselves a detractor of Madden’s will feel the void left by his big personality when he is replaced by Chris Collinsworth next season. Though Collinsworth has a great voice for TV and is an astute commentator, he is not a suitable replacement for Madden. Whatever is said about Madden’s weak points, his strong points always kept us entertained.

At least for myself as a football fan, the worst case scenario for a Madden-commentated game is a handful of laugh-out-loud moments. He is still better than Dan Fouts, who never analyzes a play but just points out how good or bad the effort was, or Tony Kornheiser, who has too many publicized opinions for any of them to mean anything.

Though I am a Chris Collinsworth fan, I will miss the personality of John Madden on TV. And when his time on Earth is over, younger generations of sports fans, myself included, will realize that he is far from a joke. That is, if we haven’t already.

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April 17, 2009 Posted by | football | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Great Moments in Press Conference History: Jim Mora

To Jim Mora Sr.’s credit, he did coach some very good football teams in his NFL career. He had a 125-106 record in his career that included two division champions. Unfortunately, he could never muster any kind of success in the postseason, sporting an 0-6 career record. His career as Indianapolis Colts head coach lasted four seasons and was an up-and-down tenure to say the least, finishing with records of 3-13, 13-3, 10-6 and 6-10 from 1999-2001. Despite these failures, Mora will not be remembered for them. His priceless rant after a Nov. 25, 2001 loss against the San Francisco 49ers that stemmed from a single dumb question by a reporter is the moment in his career that will live on forever. Usually the catalyst for these types of outbursts, a reporter asked Mora if the Colts, 4-6 after the loss, still had a shot at the playoffs. Mora’s response became an instant classic that is replayed pretty much anytime a story involving angry coaches and press conferences comes out.

It started with this rant about his team, which had just lost in embarrassing fashion, committing five turnovers:

jimmoraind“Well, I’ll start off by saying this: do not blame that game on the defense, OK? I don’t care who you play — whether it’s a high school team, a junior college team, a college team — much less an NFL team. When you turn the ball over five times — four interceptions, one for a touchdown, three others in field position to set up touchdowns — you ain’t going to beat anybody I just talked about. Anybody. All right? And that was a disgraceful performance in my opinion. We threw that game. We gave it away by doing that. We gave them the friggin’ game. In my opinion, that sucked. Ah. You know? You can’t turn the ball over five times like that. Holy crap! I don’t know who the hell we think we are when we do something like that. Unbelievable. Five turnovers. One of them for — We’ve thrown four interceptions for touchdowns this year. That might be an NFL record! And we’ve still got six games left, so there’s no telling how many we’ll have. That’s pitiful! I mean, it’s absolutely pitiful to perform like that. Pitiful!”

Mora doesn’t do anything morally wrong here. He doesn’t throw anyone under the bus. Yes, he points out Peyton Manning’s four interceptions that day, but doesn’t place all the blame for those plays on him or anyone else. He stresses that “WE” threw the game. He is placing as much blame on his own shoulders as he is on the players.

That said, let’s get to the big moment. After that rant (seen in the video in full), a reporter asked Mora if the Colts still had a shot at the playoffs. Not only was it a stupid question at that point of the season, it came immediately after Mora had just ranted on how pitiful his entire team was. What other kind of reaction could the reporter have been expecting? Well, if he wanted an outburst from Mora, than he executed his plan to perfection.

Mora had good reason to be upset after that loss; coming off a 23-9 record the previous two seasons and going into the season with Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James just entering their primes, who wouldn’t be flabbergasted by a 4-6 record after 10 games?

Mora was canned after the season and hasn’t been back to the NFL since. He had a brief career as a commentator for the Fox network before he was fired for controversial remarks about Michael Vick. Turns out Mora was wrong about Vick; he wasn’t a coach-killer, he was an animal killer. But unlike Vick, Mora never did anything horrible enough to tarnish his reputation. He’ll forever be remembered for losing his cool and giving that classically incredulous remark, not something one can be overly disappointed about. It’s probably better for him in the long run, because maybe we’ll all actually forget about the 0-6 playoff record.

April 14, 2009 Posted by | football | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering Harry Kalas

Harry Kalas: 1936 - 2009

Harry Kalas: 1936 - 2009

For fans outside of Philadelphia, it may be hard to comprehend just how much Harry Kalas meant to the city and the Phillies ballclub. But if you don’t instantly recognize his name, you will definitely recognize his voice. It’s utterly impossible to have been a sports fan and not have heard Kalas’ distinctively deep, leathery voice from either classic Phillies calls or NFL Films presentations. His trademark deliberately-paced, measured delivery combined with a hard, powerful vocal punch breathed life into everything Kalas said, from singular plays to World Championship victories. As Phillies play-by-play broadcaster since 1971, he was more than just the voice of the franchise. He was the heart and soul of the team and the city. His voice has been described as “magical,” “heavenly,” and a “backdrop for millions of lives.” He is one of those rare announcers where his calls can literally send chills up and down your spine. His signature “Outta here!” home run call is so deeply engraved into the baseball lexicon, it has become almost a cliche to younger generations of sports fans. If they didn’t know yesterday morning, Phillies fans now know how fortunate they were to have such a legendary figure calling their games. Phillies games will never be the same again, nor will NFL Films. But Kalas’ voice will live on forever, certainly after we are all passed on.

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April 14, 2009 Posted by | baseball, football | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Great Moments in Press Conference History: OSU Head Coach Mike Gundy

mikegundyThe national sports media always has the most powerful outlet possible to express their feelings on games, teams, players, and coaches. Columnists have the power of the pen- or more specifically, the keyboard- and editors are the gatekeepers to their thoughts. This relationship is mostly one that results in solid reporting or strong opinion-based arguments. But sometimes, the wrong column is allowed to see the light of day. There are often times when columnists use their power to judge players’ character based on speculation, and sometimes because of a handful of unrelated incidents. That is precisely the case with Oklahoman reporter Jenni Carlson, who published this column in September of 2007 about then-Oklahoma State quarterback Bobby Reid. The article prompted a fiery tirade from OSU head coach Mike Gundy that immediately found its place very high on the list of most intense blow-ups in the history of press conferences.

The main point of the article- published on a Saturday, the same day as OSU’s 49-45 win over Texas Tech, with a front-page headline- was to examine and note Reid’s personal attitude as the reason that he had been replaced the previous week as starting QB by Zac Robinson. She notes in the opening paragraphs that while Reid was waiting by the team charter, he was being fed chicken from his mother. Apparently, this was the most important part of her piece and the basis of her argument, because she mentions it again in one of the closing paragraphs. She convinced herself that she had discovered the true reason behind Reid’s replacement.

She makes judgments on Reid’s performance in recent games and makes loose ties to his spotty injury history and comments about his nerves before games. She calls his toughness into question, assuming he could have played through certain injuries. She characterizes Reid as someone longing to be “coddled.” The article would make one think she is writing about a member of the Dallas Cowboys. But no, this is about one of the Oklahoma State University Cowboys.

As someone who has minimal access to the OSU locker room, never had a child of her own, and probably had never been in such a pressure-packed situation as Reid, she seems unaware of how unjust it was of her to make such judgments over a loose collection of facts. She is making her own connection between these unrelated threads.

Even if Reid was replaced because of his inability to handle pressure situations or lack of maturity, nobody confirmed it. So is this chicken thing any reason to follow through with a largely baseless argument against him? Apparently not, as Coach Gundy was furious and wanted to puke over the whole story.

To have run this column on game day was a big, unnecessary distraction for Reid, Gundy and the rest of the OSU team. The headline (“QB Change: All About Attitude”) stated Reid’s opinion as if it was a reported fact, when in reality it was a conjecture formed off the basis of a collection of moments and hear-say. The Oklahoman must have never gotten the memo about reporting based on facts and quotes, not rumors.

Although college players just happen to have a bigger profile in sports than players below their level, it doesn’t make them viable targets for ridicule of their character over no serious wrongdoing. Reid didn’t commit a crime here. He didn’t get caught using steroids or illegal drugs. He didn’t beat his girlfriend or get a DUI. He ate chicken…How exactly does this moment trigger in a writer’s head that this is the defining moment of Reid’s character? And for the editor, that it’s worth embarrassing the kid on the front page of your sports section?

The Cowboys won a wild game that day on a 4th-quarter touchdown pass from Robinson, but once the press had their time for post-game questions, Gundy had other things on his mind. Reid’s mother had passed the article on to him earlier that day, and he made sure his voice was heard.

With the way Gundy shifts the volume of his voice in his explosive diatribe directed at Reid, it’s almost like he’s cutting a promo for WWE. But he has very strong and real things to say about Reid and the media in general. In my opinion, he made a mistake to generalize all newspapers as “garbage” over this one single article. But he had every right in the world to defend his player and quell any false judgments made by Reid in her column. I’m sure Reid took a long, hard look at her own character after being called out in such a hard, direct, and public manner.

The applause for Gundy at the end indicates that the rest of the media members in the room gave him a mulligan for vilifying all newspapers, so I will do the same. In the heat of such moments, when emotions are running high, extreme generalizations can be made. But Gundy stood by his statements in follow-up interviews, and had no reason to apologize to Reid or explain himself.

Gundy may not understand that this kind of stuff happens more often in bigger media markets, but he still had a right to be upset. The extreme level of anger and intensity from Gundy only further proves the invalidity of Carlson’s judgments of Reid. He may have been being fed chicken from his mother, but who is she to judge his entire character based on that one moment? And furthermore, to use that one moment as the main component of her speculations?

I feel the Oklahoman also did the right thing in standing by Reid and her journalistic integrity. This article is by no means something over which someone needs to be suspended or fired. But Gundy’s reaction at the press conference is where the truth of this matter rings the loudest.

I think I’ve riffed enough on this one. Check out the classic press conference moment in this video:

April 9, 2009 Posted by | football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Moments In Press Conference History: Mike Singletary

In this new series, I will examine classic moments from the annals of sports press conference history, as the title indicates. We all have an affinity for these types of moments, about which I’ve already posted. It’s always entertaining to see coaches, players, owners, and other members of sports teams lose control of their emotions in front of dozens of reporters and, inevitably, millions of people on national TV. After all, there is a ton of pressure on people in their positions, and it’s only understandable to see such explosions of emotion when they are overwhelmingly upset about something. Sportscenter loves this type of stuff, and so does Youtube, so I figured it would be a perfect topic for a post series on this blog. Lets start with a recent rant by Mike Singletary, San Francisco 49ers head coach. I picked this one to start because it is fresh in our minds, and is an instant classic at the same time. It’s also quite amusing.

Let’s set the stage. The 49ers came out flat against the Seahawks on Oct. 26, 2008, in Singletary’s debut as head coach. At halftime, Seattle held a 20-3 lead despite just 111 yards of total offense. Quarterback J.T. O’Sullivan fumbled the ball three times before Singletary pulled him in the third quarter, and the 49ers were penalized 7 times for 65 yards.

No penalty was worse than TE Vernon Davis’ when he slapped the helmet of a Seattle receiver in the third quarter and took a personal foul. Davis, known for being hot-headed, was immediately ordered off the field by Singletary, who sent him to the locker room. Davis gave Singletary a look like he was being unjustly punished or that Singletary had no right to be angry. Thank goodness for that look, because that prompted an instant classic press conference moment.

Props to Singletary for making it about as clear as he possibly can that he would not tolerate selfishness from his team. One game into his career as a head coach, and the guy is already benching his QB and pulling receivers from the game for stupid penalties. Coaches should do this more often in the NFL. The 49ers took that message into their bye week and played pretty well down the stretch, going 5-3 in the second half. Singletary may have earned his contract extension in that one single day.

You knew the video was coming; here it is!

April 6, 2009 Posted by | football | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From Bronco to Bear: Cutler Headed to Chicago

The bizarrely compelling saga of Jay Cutler and the Broncos has finally met its end. Denver has sent the disgruntled quarterback to the Chicago Bears for QB Kyle Orton, a first- and third-round pick in 2009, and a first-round pick in 2010. Denver gets a fresh start with Kyle Orton and a great opportunity to rebuild their pitiful defense. Cutler, meanwhile, goes to a much better defensive team with a downgrade in the receivers department. He was 13-1 in his career when Denver allowed 21 points or less, a silver lining in his cloudy 17-20 record in Denver. His passing yards stand to take a hit with Devin Hester replacing Brandon Marshall as his top wide receiver target, but with Matt Forte in the fold as a receiving threat his touchdowns could remain the same. Orton will probably do well in Josh McDaniels’ system, but it would be hard not to think of him as a bridge to the next QB the Broncos draft.

The Bears also acquired OT Orlando Pace, agreeing to a three-year deal with the veteran Pro Bowl lineman. It was an overall productive day for the Bears’ present and the Broncos’ future.

Denver will likely take a defensive player with this year’s 18th overall pick they received from the Bears. Possible choices include one of the three USC linebackers available: Rey Maualuga, Clay Matthews and Brian Cushing. Denver also still holds the 12th overall pick, with which they could also take a defensive player like CB Malcolm Jenkins of Ohio State or DE Robert Ayers of Tennessee.

Cutler has some serious questions to answer in 2009 about his maturity and consistency. Knowing him, he may enter the locker room expecting the utmost respect from his teammates, but as Orton’s replacement he will need to earn it. One question he will not have to answer, however, is whether he has the talent to succeed. Fans of Cutler in Denver can have this video courtesy of BroncosTV to remember him by:

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April 2, 2009 Posted by | football | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NFL Draft Preview: Darrius Heyward-Bey

Michael Crabtree is the class of the wide receiver position and the household name likely to go somewhere in the top 10, but flying a little under the radar is Maryland’s Darrius Heyward-Bey, who is falling somewhere between 20 and 32 in most scout’s rankings. Okay, “under the radar” may still be a bit of hyperbole for Heyward-Bey. But he’s still being ranked below four or five other receivers in most mocks. Under the right guidance, he can turn his physical tools into football skills which could make him an elite receiver some day.

About those physical tools I speak of: 6’1″ and 210 lb, giving him legitimate top-end size for a receiver and similar size to the other top receivers in the draft. He was also not just the fastest receiver, but the fastest player at the Draft Combine this year, running a 4.30 in the 40-yard dash. He has the instincts and toughness to compete for jump-balls and make tough catches in traffic.

The drawback for Heyward-Bey, which is inevitable for such a physical specimen to be ranked relatively low, is his lack of consistency in route running and catching. Obviously, these are two very important facets of being an NFL receiver, and he has a tendency to drop easy catches. This is a sign of either lack of focus, or focusing too hard. He’ll need to balance this out in order to become a top-level receiver in the NFL. He also has a tendency to be inconsistent with his route-running, as he can lose his way and drift around the field at times. These are problems that can be fixed with the right coaching and a lot of practice. You can’t coach his tremendous physical skills, which are his biggest assets.

As a deep play threat, Heyward-Bey is arguably the best in this year’s draft, and shouldn’t fall too far down in the first round, and would be a steal in the second. If the Bears pass on him at 18, the Eagles look like a nice destination as they search for a go-to-receiver for Donovan McNabb. The Eagles can also wait for pick 28 to take him if they are confident enough that the Ravens (the team to which he is marketing himself) would also pass on him, but that’s highly unlikely for a team in need of receivers to pass on the Maryland alum. Because of Philly’s position, they look like the most likely destination for Heyward-Bey, but if he’s the best player on the Patriots’ draft sheet when it gets to them, he’ll be headed to Foxboro. And if they both pass, he’ll be in Raven purple in 2009.

Watch this highlight video of Heyward-Bey at Maryland, including some spectacular plays. He makes an amazing one-handed catch at 1:20, a nice touchdown grab at 6:03, and an awesome falling catch to recover a bobble at 6:15.

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March 28, 2009 Posted by | football | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Police Officer Detains Ryan Moats While His Mother-in-law Dies In Hospital

And police officers wonder why they have to deal with so much disrespect from offenders. They treat everyone they pull over like they are dangerous, violent criminals, and it shows in this shocking (not really) video of the officer, Robert Powell of the Dallas Police Department. Powell seems to be oblivious to the fact that he just chased Texans runningback Ryan Moats into a hospital parking lot. At the very least, how does a bulb not go off in his head to indicate his wife is in labor?  He showed a lack of common sense there.  I understand he’s required to enforce the law, but he’s also allowed to use some discretion and compassion. Is it really a big deal to just wait for Moats to come out of the hospital to talk to him?

He continues to deride Moats for his driving, repeatedly referencing the red light he ran. He looked for outstanding warrants, wrote a ticket and even drew his gun while Moats stood there, beside himself. He told Moats, “I can screw you over…I can make your life very difficult.”

Isn’t that what he was doing at just that moment? The 25-year-old Powell let Moats’ wife’s mother die in the hospital while Moats stood there and cooperated. And even after Moats began cooperating, Powell continued to admonish him for his attitude. I mean, we all know how much more important a routine traffic stop is than being with your wife at her mother’s death bed.  And Moats had no reason to be upset with him, right?  *Rolls eyes*

(Click here for Part Two.)

The problem is, incidents like this probably happen all the time to regular people. It took this being done to an NFL player for it to be noticed. Powell was placed on administrative leave for his unreasonably inconsiderate behavior in detaining Moats in the parking lot and this is just another case of police officers demanding way too much respect from detainees. If they didn’t treat everyone like they thought they were above the law, maybe they’d get the respect they deserve.

Moats didn’t think he was above the law here; he simply wanted to get to his mother-in-law’s death bed on time. He would have accepted whatever happened afterward like any normal citizen. That would have been an okay price to pay to be with your wife in one of the toughest moments of her life. But instead he missed being by his her side. Powell could lose his job over this incident.

Good work, Officer Powell! Way to do your job. I’m sure it was worth the power trip.
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March 27, 2009 Posted by | football | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Terrell Owens is Human After All

See everyone, T.O. does have a heart beating in there somewhere! The Bills receiver will receive the first-ever Young Champions Award for raising Alzheimer’s Disease awareness from the Alzheimer’s Association, the Associated Press reported today. Owens, whose grandmother has Alzheimer’s, has served as a spokesman for the Association’s Young Champions campaign, and has testified before Senate subcommittees to advocate additional funding for Alzheimer’s research.   He said today in a statement that “Alzheimer’s has affected my own family, so I understand firsthand the impact of this disease. I am proud to support the Alzheimer’s Association as they educate people on the realities of Alzheimer’s disease so we can inspire enough support to stop it.”

For what it’s worth to T.O.’s detractors, here’s a clip of him, among many other celebrities, speaking for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Celebrity Champions program:

March 25, 2009 Posted by | football | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Despite New Details, Stallworth Likely Headed to Prison

Current Browns and former Patriots and Eagles receiver Donte Stallworth has messed up big-time. Although many NFL players probably have driven drunk or over the legal BAC limit before, Stallworth committed what looks to be vehicular homicide after hitting and killing a pedestrian last month in Miami.

Details continue to trickle out, including that the pedestrian, 59-year-old Mario Reyes, was not in a crosswalk when he was it, and that Stallworth flashed his lights to warn Reyes moments before hitting him. Still, after discovering that Stallworth was both speeding and driving drunk at the time, he is still in line for vehicular homicide charges since drunk driving would qualify as the reckless use of a vehicle.

According to the Florida State Statutes regarding vehicular homicide, Stallworth committed a second-degree felony and could face a maximum of 15 years in prison. Considering the other factors in this case, it’s likely he won’t receive the maximum sentence. But minimal prison time and a $10,000 fine looks to be the minimum punishment.

Let’s enjoy some Stallworth highlights while we still can, as his football career looks to be over.

Other Donte Stallworth Videos:

March 25, 2009 Posted by | football | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NFL Draft Preview: Aaron Curry

In a draft year rich with talent at the linebacker position, the cream of the crop is certainly Wake Forest’s Aaron Curry, this year’s winner of the Butkus Award for the nation’s top linebacker. Curry is the complete package at linebacker: size, speed, aggressiveness, and especially durability. He never missed a game due to injury in three years as a starter, and was one of the most productive defensive players in college football, totaling 332 tackles and 9.5 sacks in 51 career games at Wake Forest.

At 6’2″ and 254 pounds, Curry possesses the kind of size that is always coveted at linebacker, and that combined with all his other assets makes him a no-brainer top-10 pick in next month’s NFL Draft. He has the ability to help and attack against the run or pass, and has also shown solid pass-rush skills. He usually makes the smart tackle rather than always going for the big hit, but he is also capable of punishing opponents and knows when to do it. He can fit well into either a 3-4 or 4-3 defense.

His only weaknesses come mainly from his below-average hip movement, which limits his side-to-side quickness and could occasionally cause him to miss tackles against runners with good cutback moves. But he will be bigger than the player he is trying to stop most of the time, which will work to his advantage in the long run. The holes in his game could be plugged up within a few years. He’s a hard worker who is always looking to improve, the sign of a true elite prospect.

It’s tough to decide on the best fit for Curry within the top 10 teams at the draft; really any of them could use a linebacker of his caliber. But if Scott Pioli and the Chiefs don’t snap him up at #3, it would be nearly impossible for the Seahawks, Browns and Bengals to all pass on him. I predict the Chiefs do take him, though, because Pioli won’t be able to resist his versatility and talent for his rebuilding defense. He will have an immediate impact no matter where he ends up.

Check out this highlight video of Curry’s time at Wake Forest:

Other Aaron Curry Highlights:

March 24, 2009 Posted by | football | , , , , , , | Leave a comment