There have been two times in my life I’ve land a very highly regarded fantasy player only to end up being totally bummed out. The first was in 2009 with LaDainian Tomlinson, the second was this year with Albert Pujols. I’ve chronically been stuck with bad draft position in all sports, and remember being stoked to finally get the first pick and land Tomlinson in 2009. Too bad he finished with under a thousand all-purpose yards and just 12 TD’s. A far cry from the 32 touchdowns and over 2.000 all purpose yards from the 2006 season that were dancing in my head when I picked him. The season was the beginning of the end for Tomlinson. After the 2009 season he headed off to the New York Jets, and was out of the league by 2011. Now I’m well aware that NFL running backs have the shortest shelf life of any position in pro sports, and that it’s not at all uncommon for a player’s career to go down hill in a hurry. That’s why I didn’t pick Adrian Peterson this past season. Clearly I’m a genius. (Right now I’m planning to finally land Peterson around 2015, the same year I plan to finally get Kobe, assuming he’s still around).
As most people know at this point it has been a big week in the world of accusations of PED use by pro athletes. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was connected to the banned substance IGF-1. The substance is banned by all professional sports, and according to a story set to run in Sports Illustrated next week was obtained by Lewis in the form of deer antler spray, which he was given to help recover from a torn triceps injury this fall. Christopher Key, co-owner of SWATS, (the company who supplied Lewis with the spray) says he also supplied the spray to about 20 university of Alabama football players prior to the 2012 BCS title game against LSU (source). Lewis has denied using the substance, and has used the tried and true defense that he has never failed a test. Lewis was supported by Ravens vice president of communications, Kevin Byrne, who released the following statement on behalf of the team: “Ray has been randomly tested for banned substances and has never failed a test. We have never been notified of a failed test. He has never been notified of a failed test” (source). Of course the great thing about IGF-1, and similar substances such as HGH is that there is no test in place to determine their presence in an athletes system. Turns out its pretty easy to never fail a test for a substance they don’t test for, Lance Armstrong managed to dope through seven Tour de France titles with this method.
It’s Wednesday again! which means it must be time to talk about stuff that everyone else stopped talking about like yesterday morning! The divisional round of the NFL playoffs more than made up for the sad display from wild card weekend, and we saw the two remaining unbeaten teams in college basketball go down.
So to start off, I just want to say I am aware it’s currently Wednesday, and that most people got their weekend sports recaps in somewhere in the sunday night/monday area, but I was busy doing other important things (like watching The Bachelor and writing a recap of that) so give me a break.
On paper it seemed like this past weekend should have been at least a good, if not great time to be sitting in front of the television for any sports fan. The NFL playoffs were starting with wildcard weekend, and if you are willing to tag Monday onto the weekend, than you also got the BCS National Championship game between Alabama and every white guy over 50’s favorite team, Notre Dame. Unfortunately for football fans, Saturdays games featured a field goal kicking contest between the Texans and Bengals, and the equivalent of a third string QB starting for the Vikings. The early game on Sunday didn’t give fans much more to cheer for, unless you’re a huge fan of Ray Lewis dancing, in that case you were totally in luck.
The most anticipated game of the weekend, between the Seahawks and Redskins turned out to be the best offering (not saying much). But after Robert Griffin III tore his ACL and LCL on a fumbled bad snap half way through the fourth quarter, the Seahawks were able to take the lead and put the game away. So not only were we given a slew of shitty games to watch to start the NFL playoffs, we also lost one of the brightest young stars in the game. RG3 underwent surgery today by Dr. James Andrew’s, who estimated the recovery time at 6-8 months, which would mean a return in time for the start of next season.
The highlight of Monday’s BCS title game, for all none Alabama fans in any case, was Brent Musburger’s enthusiastic reaction when Alabama QB AJ McCarron’s girlfriend appeared on the screen. Notre Dame’s defense could do nothing to stop an experienced Alabama offense, and their offense couldn’t do much either, not managing their first score until just over 4 minutes remained in the 3rd quarter, and with the team trailing 35-0 at the time. I would however like to thank both teams, I was struggling over whether to watch the game and just DVR The Bachelor or skip most of the game, they made the decision fairly easy.
College basketball was the one bright spot from the sports calendar this past weekend. Marquette and St. John’s both scored 1 point upsets over ranked opponents (#15 Georgetown and #14 Cincinnati respectively). #25 Kansas St. scored a small upset over #22 Oklahoma St. 73-67, and Rutger’s upset #24 Pitt 67-62 (note all rankings are from time of contest, not current). However, what on paper seemed to be the game of the weekend, #8 Ohio St. vs. #11 Illinois ended up being another huge disappointment with Illinois dominating from the start and winning easily 74-55.
The good news is, since it took me so long to get this post out, it’s already Wednesday, which means we’re halfway towards another seemingly good weekend of sports. The college basketball slate is packed with good games Saturday, #1 Duke vs. #20 NC State and #8 Minnesota vs. #5 Indiana both tip at noon (or if you’re a Syracuse fan like me, they also tip at noon vs. Villanova). And some other good games later in the day such as #14 Butler vs. Dayton at 2 and #16 San Diego St. vs. Colorado St. at 8 for people looking to get a look at west coast teams before march madness. Saturday also features two NFL divisional games, Baltimore vs. Denver at 4:30 and Green Bay vs. San Francisco at 8 pm. Sunday features a classic rivalry game in college basketball with #2 (and undefeated) Michigan vs. #15 Ohio St. at 1:30, and two more NFL playoff games, Seattle vs. Atlanta at 1 pm and Houston vs. New England at 4:30. I’ll be back next Wednesday-ish, hopefully with a lot more action to recap.
Just remembered I forgot the most exciting story from the weekend in sports, Kevin Garnett said Carmelo Anthony’s wife Lala tasted like honey nut Cheerios, and Carmelo did not appreciate it. They were both ejected from the game following double technicals, and according to this grainy video from TMZ Carmelo waited at the Celtics team bus to confront Garnett. (This is like basketball wives, except it would be basketball husbands and good players are involved).