Posted on: January 11, 2009 5:42 pm

That pick was about 11 months late, Asante

So Asante Samuel got the Eagles started on their way to upsetting the Giants and an interception of Eli Manning.

If only he could have made that play 11 months ago in Glendale, Ariz.

But congrats to Samuel and the Eagles. Good luck against the Cardinals next week.

Posted on: September 12, 2008 3:12 pm

Stop buying Fords!

The Giants and Jets have caved to public pressure, removing German-based insurance company Allianz from talks to acquire naming rights to their new stadium, scheduled to open in 2010.

Much like the LPGA Tour decision to give in and give up on its plan to punish players for not being able to communitcate in English, the NFL teams' move is one of expedience. It is the correct PR play. But don't mistake it for an admirable display of conscience or integrity. Because as we all know, professional sports franchises are big business. And big business is sorely lacking in both.

But let's examine this situation: A company that backed a heinous regime in Germany more than 60 years ago is being punished, though none of its current employees or executives had anything to do with insuring the Auschwitz concentration camp or any of the Nazis' other actrocities during World War II. In fact, the company has spent considerable time, money and effort trying to atone for its past sins.

So, how many of you drive a Ford? Adolf Hitler said of the company's founder that "I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration."

How many people wear cotton, produced by companies that used slaves a century and a half ago?

How many people have items imprinted with "Made in China"  -- while those companies finance a regime among the worst in world history when it comes to human rights?

Been to a Citgo gas station lately? Then you support Venezuela's socialist, oppressive regime.

Maybe some of you are in the habit of using illicit drugs. Millions of Americans do, so it wouldn't surprise me if some readers of this site are included in that group. Cocaine finances Marxist-Leninist militias in Colombia. The Taliban in Afghanistan uses proceeds from poppy cultivation and heroin production to pay for its terrorist works.

Maybe there is a Russian company you purchase products from that was in Stalin's corner when he was murdering 50 million Soviet citizens.

In short, holding the actions of a company from 60 years ago against it today -- when it has made every effort to disconnect itself from that past -- is mighty hypocritical. Yes, be outraged at what the company did. Be outraged at the Nazis for their genocide.

But do not let that outrage cloud your judgment.

Category: NFL
Posted on: July 16, 2008 6:04 pm
Edited on: July 17, 2008 12:07 am

Yankees fans are ALL class

But they could use some work on their reading comprehension.

Yes, before the All-Star Game, Jonathan Papelbon said he would like to pitch the ninth, saying he had earned it with his postseason performance last year and his career record so far. And if you are the New York Daily News, that is all you focus on, you write a huge headline calling him 'Papelbum!' and the Yankees' sheep-like fan base falls for it.

Is George crying because it's the last All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, or because he forgot his tapioca pudding? The paper neglected to highlight the rest of his comments, which included this statement:

"This is Jonathan Papelbon, closer of the Boston Red Sox. Mariano Rivera will be closing the 2008 All-Star Game in Yankee Stadium.

"I'm making a statement right now, saying I don't want it, I want him to have it. I said all that earlier, but that's the way I feel about it."

But instead of getting all the facts, Yankees fans -- at the Daily News' direction -- spent All-Star Tuesday making Papelbon's life miserable. Throwing stuff at him and his wife during the pregame parade. Threatening his pregnant wife. Saving their most boisterous boos during pregame introductions for the Red Sox closer. Booing, chanting and making complete asses of themselves when Papelbon came into the game in the eighth inning.

Let me ask the Neanderthals occupying seats in Yankee Stadium last night -- on the far-outside chance the Yanks make the World Series, would you rather they have home-field advantage (not that it helped them the last time they were in the Fall Classic, in 2003 vs. the Marlins)? So, instead of rooting for Papelbon to keep the game tied -- or, failing that, staying silent, which I know is a nearly impossible task for New Yorkers -- they rained boos.

I understand letting Red Sox players have it during the game. It's a fair trade for Yankees players getting similar treatment when the All-Star Game was held at Fenway Park in 1999. But the vitriol directed at Papelbon went above and beyond, even for the Bronx Zoo.

The All-Star display reminded me of the 2004 ALCS (shouldn't we all look back on that event every day?). In Game 6, after the umpires correctly reversed two calls -- Mark Bellhorn's home run and A-Rod's wrist slap -- the fans went ballistic, throwing garbage onto the field ... when the Yankees' players were on the field! Police in riot gear had to line the field. Just another day in the Bronx, I guess.

What a way to honor the last big event at Yankee Stadium, since there will be no postseason play in the old ballpark this fall.

Maybe the worst part about it is the fans were doing this in "support" of a guy who would have disavowed any connection to such behavior. Mariano Rivera is among the coolest, classiest customers to ever put on a baseball uniform.

He is light years ahead of Yankees fans in both categories.

Be proud, New Yawkas, you have once again embarrassed yourselves in front of a national audience.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 19, 2008 12:57 pm

Brian Scalabrine gets no respect

Brian Scalabrine's contributions to the Celtics' run through the playoffs to the NBA title can be summed up in three letters. D-N-P. He probably had to spend a full season's salary on street clothes to wear while sitting near the bench over the past eight weeks.

And it wasn't because of injury that he didn't play. He was active for a few games, but Doc Rivers never found the right time to get him on the court. I suppose if he was in uniform for Game 6 against the Lakers, he might have been able to take off his warmups. But he wasn't.

So why was he even in the interview room after the Celtics clinched Tuesday night? And why was he at the microphone, berating the media "experts" who picked the Lakers to win? It's good stuff, especially when he starts making fun of one reporter's choice of sports jacket.

I suppose it's better than killing hobos. But really. Brian Scalabrine? That's who gets trotted out to play the "no respect, nobody believed in us" card? A guy who played 48 games this season? The only time he got off the bench in the playoffs was to chest-bump James Posey.

Brian, from one redhead to another: We love you, Scal. You are entertaining, at least out of uniform and when you don't have a chance to make an impact on a game. Now go smoke a cigar, get your ring and enjoy being an NBA champion. Leave the "nobody believed in us" stuff to someone that broke a sweat during the playoffs.

Posted on: June 17, 2008 12:45 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2008 8:42 pm

Lakers are cheaters

Looks like the Lakers took a page out of Red Auerbach's book and sabotaged the Celtics' plane, delaying their flight out of L.A. and causing the team to get back to Boston last night instead of early Monday morning.

Now, before you call me crazy, it is no stretch to say the Lakers had something to do with the 'mechanical problems' that caused the Celtics to need a new plane to fly home. Let's connect the dots:

It's all ball bearings nowadays.Chevy Chase played Fletch. Fletch, in one of his many disguises, impersonated an airplane mechanic. He also dreamed of playing for the Lakers and being interviewed by Chick Hearn. Chevy Chase is a Hollywood actor, and as we all know, Hollywood actors are all lemmings that root for the Lakers when they are good. Well, all Hollywood types except for Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg and his no-talent brother. They are on the side of the righteous.

 Leave it to Jerry Buss to come up with this kind of chicanery. Actually, this has Phil Jackson and Jerry West written all over it. Buss is too busy trying to remember his name to come up with something this intricate. Jackson can fool some people with his 'Zen-master' act, but he is as devious as the come. He played for the Knicks, for crying out loud. And I don't buy West's down-home facade.

Bottom line: Get the Sunday night security tapes from LAX (if they haven't already been destroyed) and you will see Chevy Chase up to no good around the Celtics' plane.

No matter. The Celtics can just go into their bag of tricks (Auerbach had a ton of 'em), turn the temp in the visiting locker room up to about 97 degrees and watch the Lakers wilt.

Now you prepare that Fetzer valve with some 3-in-1 oil and some gauze pads. And I'm gonna need 'bout ten quarts of anti-freeze, preferably Prestone. No, no make that Quaker State.

Category: NBA
Posted on: June 13, 2008 12:21 pm

Wow ... what a game

After the first quarter of Game 4, I was ready to blog about Tim Donaghy, Chick Hearn and Jack Nicholson being the referees. Turns out, at halftime, Tom Heinsohn, Bill Russell and Red Auerbach beat them up and took over with the whistles.

Just kidding. The first quarter was an abomination -- a display of truly bad basketball (by the Celtics), bad officiating (nice job, Steve Javie) -- but it also featured some inspired play (Lamar Odom).

Then the officiating evened out, the Celtics woke up, and Lamar Odom realized he is, after all, Lamar Odom.

It feels great that the Celtics completed one of the biggest comebacks in NBA history. Just hope it doesn't end up like the last time the C's had a playoff comeback like that (Game 3, 2002 East finals vs. the Nets) when the other team won the rest of the games in the series.

Also of note -- the Celtics biggest NBA Finals comeback from a halftime deficit (18 points). Of note, three teams are tied for second at 14 points, and two of them -- 1970 Knicks and 1983 Sixers -- did it against the Lakers. The third was the 1975 Warriors, over the Bullets. And all of them went on to win the title.

Back to the bad officiating. Trevor Ariza pushes James Posey in the back, grabs an offensive rebound an goes up for a dunk. Kobe mugs Kevin Garnett to make a 'steal' -- then Doc Rivers gets a T for pointing out to the officials (probably with some colorful language) what a bad non-call it was. That's just two examples.

But, of course, the refs did their jobs the rest of the game, and look what happened -- the Celtics outscored the Lakers by 27 the rest of the way. It's amazing what a team can do when it's not playing 5-on-8.

Does this sound bitter? Maybe, even unreasonably so since the Celtics won. But I was resigned to defeat (I told somebody I was watching the game with that if the refs kept it up, the Celtics would lose by 40) and the officials had me depressed. And even when the Celtics came back, I don't want people to forget what an atrocious job the officials did early in the game. Fortunately, Gregg Doyel didn't.

Anyway, great victory by Boston. Now the Lakers can (and will) win Game 5, then the Celtics win No. 17 on their home court.

Posted on: June 11, 2008 3:08 pm

Lakers should take down banner No. 14

Is the NBA guilty of a conspiracy with its referees, or are the men with whistles simply incompetent?

I've been willing to say throughout this year's playoffs that the officials are just plain bad. They don't favor one team or another, unless it happens to be the home team. But the latest Tim Donaghy news, the league's protestations nothwithstanding, make other instances of refs behaving badly questionable.

One intrepid community member -- to protect the innocent, we'll call him g8trfan_1 -- has found video from the 2002 West finals of Kobe Bryant delivering a forearm to Mike Bibby's face, with a ref staring directly at the action, and no call being made. Check it out and discuss.

And remembering all of those bad calls in the Lakers' favor -- and this year's Brent Barry/Derek Fisher non-call, the clock starting late on Fisher's shot vs. the Spurs in '04, etc., and the 5,831,498 calls that went Michael Jordan's way in Chicago -- that make me laugh at Phil Jackson. He has the gall to complain about officiating when much of his coaching career has been built upon beneficial calls?

He can make his snide remarks about the officiating in Game 2. But did he not see Vlad Radmanovic take six steps on the way to a dunk during the Lakers' fourth-quarter rally? Did he not see Pau Gasol grab an offensive rebound (after going over a Celtics player's back), change his pivot foot three times and kick the ball out to Rad for a 3-pointer? That 'miraculous' Lakers near-comeback doesn't happen without some calls going in L.A.'s favor.

I guess if you have gotten the benefit of calls through your entire career, and all of a sudden a game is called straight-up, you might be a little confused. It's OK, Phil, you'll get over it.

Posted on: April 15, 2008 3:03 pm
Edited on: April 15, 2008 9:45 pm

Satchel Paige has nothing on Joe Borowski

"It's driving me crazy. I'm grasping at straws. Maybe it's something. Maybe it's nothing." -- Joe Borowski after blowing his second straight save chance Monday night against the Red Sox.

Borowski seems to be mystified as to why his fastball tops out in the low 80s (Manny Ramirez couldn't tell if the pitch he hit for the go-ahead home run was a fastball or a changeup). And now he is on the DL with 'a strained triceps,' according to the team.

I have solved the mystery. Borowski has been lying about his age. His player page lists his date of birth as May 4, 1971, meaning he would be turning 37 in a few weeks. But it appears that might be off by a few -- or 65 -- years. You see, one Joe Borowski was a letter-winner on the Boston College basketball team. In the 1924-25 season. Click the link (it's a PDF file, so you need Adobe Acrobat Reader), scroll down to the all-time roster, then check the roster for that season. There he is, the first player listed.

And it seems he had quite an impact on the Eagles' program, since basketball was discontinued for 20 years after that season.

And not sure what happened to Borowski between then and his 1995 MLB debut with the Orioles. But those 70 years must have been tough on his arm.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or