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The Retirement of Ricky Williams

So how are we to remember Ricky Williams?  Is it as the man who was part of the dumbest draft day trade when Mike Ditka convinced the New Orleans Saints to give up their ENTIRE draft to get him?  Is it as the guy who foolishly cost himself millions by signing Master P as an agent and signed one of the dumbest deals in history.  Is it as the eccentric introvert who likely never really loved football and would rather smoke weed?  Or maybe as the man who led the NFL in rushing yards in 2002?

Maybe it is a combonation of everything.  Here is what we do know: Ricky Williams finishes his professional career with 10,000 yards and a Pro Bowl appearance.  These are good numbers and we would put him in a Hall of Good or even a Hall of What If?  He may not be a Hall of Fame Running Back, but he always entertained us.  Good luck on your next stage of life.

Super Bowl Thoughts Part Two: A Legend, A Finger, and a Million Diverse Opinions

Ten years ago when Nipplegate happened, I missed it completely.  I was at a friend's house with six other guys and we played poker through most of the Halftime Show.  The women, came downstairs to watch the Halftime Show, but long story short, through twelve sets of unfocused eyes, Janet Jackson's left nipple was not seen by my pizza guzzling bunch.

Yesterday, it happened again.  This time I watched the game at home with my wife, who only wanted to watch the Halftime show.  This time while watching, we again missed it, this time it was the extended middle finger of M.I.A..  It may have only been on screen for half a second, yet it has set the internet a buzz with opinions.  So.....want to hear mine?

First off, let me say I thought Madonna killed it.  Many have criticized what appeared to be lip synced, but after the abuse Fergie took last year for her out of tune performance, a perfectionist like Madonna likely thought she would take the safe route.

This leads to the next statement about Madonna: since when did she start playing it safe?  Since she got old, that's when.  Look, everyone can agree that Madonna was the ultimate Pop Chameleon, and she still is.  She has now transformed herself from the Pop's Queen, to the "Queen of Pop"; a Diva that is to be looked up to and respected.  She knows she is 53, and for her to prance around in bare mid riffs would look silly (even though she has a better body than 90 percent of women half her age).  She is acting her age, and not trying to look desperatley cool; basically what i am saying is that she is entering the icon to legend stage and doing it with far more grace than we would have thought she was capable of based on her 80's persona.

Now, M.I.A. did something controversial and Madonna is no stranger to this.  Here is the difference though: when Madonna pushed the sexual bundaries, it was well crafted and considered and you could make a statement that everything had an artistic base to it.   So what does M.I.A. do on the largest stage imaginable?  A finger.  A lousy finger that has everyone offering an opinion.  Here is mine:  I am not offended by it, and I belive that goes for many of the people I associate with, but I understand why some people are.  I also like televised controversy as it makes things interesting.  

However.....this is just plain lazy.  This was the best she could do?  Is there a statement she is trying to make, because i don't see it....especially after a hologram for "World Peace" flashed shortly after the performance.  It didn't fit, it had no artistic message, nor was it interesting.  It was nothing more than an immature gesture from am acclaimed artist capable of way more than that. 

The only controversy here is that we care so much.

Super Bowl Thoughts Part One: The HOF Reaction

Super Bowl Analysis.  Since we can find that anywhere, we thought we would give our brief Hall of Fame related (and what we plan to be annual) look at three Super Bowl participants who saw their Hall of Fame stock go up, and three who we think saw enshrinement take a step back.....

Canton Stock (on the rise)

1.  Eli Manning

Obvious choice, isn't it.  Two Super Bowl rings in which he defeated Tom Brady, defeated playoff teams on the road and got better when the lights got brighter.  His ticket may be punched already.

2. Tom Coughlin

Now why isn't this being talked about more?  In both Super Bowl wins, he hoisted the Lombardi Trophy two months after many New York sportswriters were ready to catapult him out of time.  Basically, he had his team respond when he needed it the most; and how many NFL coaches have failed to do that?

3.  Michael Strahan

Serious.  Strahan is eligible next year and as a former Giant in good standing with New York; and with his role on NFL on FOX, don't be surprised that this New York Giant win, doesn't eleveate someone as likable as the former sackmaster.

Canton Stock (On the Decline)

1. Chad Ochocinco

One Super Bowl Catch, with fifteen in the regular season.  This has been an awful year for Chad, where he has been upstaged by two Tight Ends, been called out by former Patriots for not understanding the system and has been reduced to irrelevency.  It happens to them all, but at the age of 33, we thought he had more years left.  He may not.

2.  Tiki Barber

How does trashing Eli Manning look now?  The year after he retires and writes a book trashing Eli, he watched his former quarterback win a Super Bowl without him.  The year he asks to come back to the League, nobody signs him, and again the Giants win a Super Bowl.  Tiki wasn't looking good before, he looks even worse now.

3. Wes Welker

122 league leading reeptions don't mean much when you drop one that likely would have won New England the Super Bowl.



The 2012 Football Hall of Fame Class is Out....

....and it shocked us a bit.  Six names have been selected to enter Canton, Ohio as the newest Hall of Fame Class.  As part of our tradition, let's take a look at who got in.....and who didn't.


IN: (with our ranking in brakets)

Curtis Martin. (#2)

Our highest ranked non-senior candidate was a stat machine for the Jets and Patriots and had the statistical resume to back it up.  Easily, the offensive star of this class.

Willie Roaf. (#4)

It was only a matter of time for Roaf, and it had to be assumed that either he or Shields would get the call.  We would bet that Roaf got the nod as he had already been on the ballot before.

Cortez Kennedy (#6)

Our highest rated player on the Defensive side of the ball rightfully enters.  No argument here.

Dermontti Dawson (#9)

The star Steelers Center enteres at just the right time to escape the glut of Offensive Linemen entering the ranks of eligible.

Chris Doleman (#16)

A bit of a surprise, but far from out of place in our eyes.  Again, with some stud defensive players becoming eligible this was a great time for Doleman to enter the Hall, as the window would have tightened.

Jack Butler (Unranked)

Butler enters as the lone Senior Candidate, and we ask ourselves.....did we mess up not ranking him?


Will Shields. (#3)

Our highest ranked first time candidate surprised us a little by failing to get enshrined this year.  With that said, there was belief that they would not rank put in both Shields and Roaf in the same year, and Roaf has already been on the ballot before.  Larry allen and Jonathan Ogden however, now enter the equation which could muddy the waters for Shields.

Cris Carter (#5) Tim Brown (#13) Andre Reed (#15)

OK......None of these Wide Receivers got in?  Seriously?  With this logjam, we thought one would get in for sure, and frankly one of them should have.  Maybe they could start a support group for each other.

Jerome Bettis (#14)

Not a shock.  Bettis was not likely to get in before Martin, nor was he likely to get in at the same time.  He now is the top Running Back eligible, so his chances have now improved.

Charles Haley (#19)

Five Super Bowl Rings is all the argument many needed to put in Haley.  We thought there was some momentum gaining for him, but it looks like he will have to wait a bit longer.

Aeneas Williams (#23)

Why do we have a feeling that Williams will never get past the Finalist stage?

Kevin Greene (#45)

Sorry....never thought he should have been a Finalist.

Dick Stanfel (#54)

Senior Candidates rarely seem to get a second shot.  This doesn;t look good for him.

Bill Parcells

Actually, we would have bet on him entering this year.  This surprised us a bit.

Eddie DeBartolo

Not to be crass, but there is a reason we don't rank owners......Doesn't interest us.


So summing up........

Today's biggest losers are.....

Wide Receivers......again all three?  Marvin Harrison enters the discussion in 2014, so if these three don't get in next year....well they are joined by another.  Oh, and Isaac Bruce shows up in 2015.

Kevin Green.  It will be hard for him to make it this far again.


So......Now it is time to look at next year......

Eligible now are

Jonathan Ogden

Michael Strahan

Larry Allen

Warren Sapp

Priest Holmes

Morten Andersen

Steve McNair

Looks like a major shuffle in the top ten for net year, don't you think?