Archive for Cam Newton

The BCS Title Game Should Have Been Called The Underwhelming Bowl

Posted in College Football, Rants, Sports with tags , , , , , , , on January 11, 2011 by thelasthonestman

I didn’t find out that Auburn had won until this morning.

That’s because I turned off the game midway through the 3rd quarter and headed off to bed.  Granted, I was tired and I’m looking at a long day of work today and needed the sleep, but that’s not something that ever kept me from seeing the end of a “title” game before.  So what was different last night?

There’s certainly a lot of factors.  The lateness of the starting time (the clock was ticking towards midnight as the game struggled towards the finish line) certainly didn’t help.  But it would have been a lot easier to not steal glances at my clock if the game had been a better-played contest.  For two teams that were supposed to clearly be the best two in the country, the game was anything but exciting — at least what I watched of it before hitting the play.  Of course, if you like penalties, turnovers, mistakes on both sides of the ball, and failed drives — well, there were plenty of those to go around in the game’s first three-plus quarters.

The incredibly long layoff had a lot to do with that — you know, the thirty-seven days between their last games and the game last night (a travesty considering the hypocritical nonsense the NCAA uses about wanting to keep players studying as a reason to not have a playoff) — but what went through my mind on more than once occasion before I finally gave up on the game was — Maybe these two teams aren’t the best two in the country?

They definitely didn’t play that way.  Last night was just more proof positive as to why, so long as the mega-conferences continue to deny a true playoff and deny schools like TCU this year a chance to fairly and legitimately compete for a title, the idea of Auburn [Title To Be Vacated in 2014] as a truly deserving national champion is a bad joke.  I won’t even go into the whole mess surrounding Cam Newton and what the NCAA’s unwillingness to make a tough stand now regarding his entire eligibility does to the legitimacy of [Title To Be Vacated in 2014]’s claim to being the nation’s best — but I’d be lying if it didn’t give me one more reason to turn off the television happily last night.  (It seems I missed Cam Newton embracing his agent father at the end of the game, despite Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs telling reporters beforehand that Cecil Newton Sr. would not be in attendance by mutual agreement — another strong indication that, when it comes to the truth, neither the Newtons nor the school’s officials are going to be the place to find it).

Unfortunately, as long as the masses didn’t join me in abandoning the game sooner, true reform in the ranks of NCAA football won’t be anywhere on the horizon.  The good news for me as I get older, however, will be that there will be one less night I’ll have to worry about staying up late to see the ending of a game.

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Weekend Quickies

Posted in College Basketball, College Football, Comic Books, Entertainment, Movies, News/Current Events, Personal, Sports, The Wrapups with tags , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2010 by thelasthonestman

It’s a hit-and-run update this weekend (but thankfully not like the hit-and-run my wife suffered earlier in the week), as my personal schedule gets a little tighter — though I’m not going to complain about the reason.  I’m one of the lucky ones out there, as I’ve just picked up some supplemental income in the form of a new job.  That makes me one of the fortunate ones in a country where unemployment is now sitting at just under 10% and where unemployment is at a seven-month high — even as we’re smack dab in the middle of what’s supposed to be the biggest retail time of the year.

The Economy will be fine! We're going to recover any day now! Nothing to see here! Nothing to see!

It’s not just retailers shedding jobs, however — industry, financial institutions, and the government are all cutting their workforce — which makes some of the people making claims that we’re entering a recovery look about as clueless as the late Leslie Nielsen telling us there’s “nothing to see here.”  We’re a long way from getting to where we want to economically, and so long as our Congress continues to work in their own self-interests (and the self-interests of the people supporting their re-election bids) and we continue to ignore the problems that aren’t going away — the deficit, a loss of our manufacturing base, and the lack of creating new technologies to spur new industries, just for starters — then we’re going to continue heading in the wrong direction.

— Speaking of the deficit, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that while people being polled these days are in favor or cutting the deficit, viewing it (correctly) as a major problem our country is facing — they largely want the deficit to be slashed while not touching the programs that are important to them.  Well, of course.  It’s that kind of narrow thinking — and a belief of entitlement that our parents and grandparents never had, but that current generations have come to embrace — that’s led us into the quagmire we’re in now.  And unless everyone is prepared to ante up in the form of sacrificing something, then the problem won’t ever get fixed — until as a nation we find ourselves truly looking into the abyss (cue ominous music).

— I saw a large uptick in the traffic here over the last week, and a large part of it were people being drawn to the site searching for Jimmy Valvano-related items.  Jimmy V Week just ended, and for those of you who somehow aren’t familiar with the story, The Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded by ESPN and the late coach Jimmy Valvano.  Over it’s over 18 years, the foundation has raised over $100 million for cancer research.  I wrote a piece about it last year around this time that included Valvano’s inspirational speech from the 1993 ESPY awards — yow owe it to yourself to listen to it if you’ve never heard it (and even if you already have).  Click here for the piece.

"Someday, the Heisman Trophy Club will just pretend I never got this."

— As we head into the weekend and the announcement of the Heisman Trophy winner on Saturday, my friend Steven pointed me over to direction of the Heisman Trophy Winners list at the official Heisman Trophy website — for a good chuckle (and once you’ve finished marveling at the days when players from Army, Yale, and Princeton could actually win he award) scan to end of the list and to the winners of this past decade.  See anyone missing?

While we’re at it, maybe we can take bets on whether or not Cam Newton will be conspicuously absent from the list as well in another five or six years.  If I had to guess, Vegas has that result off the board.

— And finally, the trailer for the new movie from Marvel Studios — Thor (based on the comic book hero of the same name) debuts today (at 6:00 PT).  All I can say is that, if the footage I saw that was leaked a few months ago is any indication, Marvel is hitting it out of the park again so far as their adaptations go.  With the Captain America and Avengers movies forthcoming, it’s a great time to be a comic book fan!

As soon as the trailer is available, I’ll try to get it up here — so check back later tonight!

— With that, I hope everyone has a great weekend — and I’ll see you back here next week.

The NCAA Is More Of A Joke Than Usual — And Other Friday Revelations

Posted in College Football, Fantasy Football, Fantasy Sports, NBA Basketball, Rants, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2010 by thelasthonestman

It’s the weekend, and while I should be in a good frame of mind, I’m not.  There’s a lot of things putting me in a sour mood this morning — none of them life-threatening or earth-shattering — but just a lot of things that are aggravating me, and in most of these cases, only me.

But that’s one of the reasons why I have this outlet — to vent — and you’d be sadly mistaken if you thought I wasn’t going to do exactly that.

My first round draft pick

— There are plenty of times I hate fantasy sports.  Today would be one of those days.  It’s been said that no one wants to hear a person complain about their fantasy teams, and I can’t disagree with that — so if you’re one of those people, then by all means, feel free to skip to the next blurb below.  Or, you can attempt to enjoy my misery.

All year long, no matter what fantasy sport I played in, I’ve been killed by injuries.  My baseball season imploded under a record number of DL trips by players I owned, a total greater than any franchise had suffered over a nearly twenty year history of my league — a total that outpaced the second-worst total by almost double!  (And yet, I still finished in the money anyway — go figure).

Several of my football teams have been also hampered by bad luck with injures — I’m looking right at you, Pierre Thomas.  It’s gotten to the point where whenever I see someone get hit, I assume the worst and get really happy when my guy actually is able to come back on the field and contribute (if you watched the Eagles-Texans game last night and are saying to yourself, “I wonder if he owns Andre Johnson”, then give yourself a prize).

But today takes the cake.  After a terrible start for my one fantasy basketball team that matters, fueled by a cornucopia of injuries — Aaron Brooks, Nene, Jeff Green, and Brandon Roy’s lack of cartilage — the season might already be in danger of slipping away.  Facing a shaky opponent, the week was looking promising — until the flu of all things wiped out Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, and David West all in one fell swoop.  A winning week looks now to be another huge loss that will leave this team all but dead and buried — which I guess is appropriate.  What’s next to hit the guys I own — the Ebola virus?  2011 can’t come soon enough — hopefully, it’ll be a healthier year for guys I own.

Does the city of Cleveland own a dog? If so, I'd like to kick it please.

— Other than the bandwagon jumpers out there — otherwise known as about 90% of the people describing themselves as  Miami Heat fans — absolutely no one wants to see Miami win an NBA Championship this year.  The bush league way that LeBron left Cleveland, the idea of players like James wanting to take the easy way out to try and win a championship, the ridiculous amount of hype given to the Heat by the media, particularly ESPN — all of these things have made me a fan of anyone-playing-Miami.  As a lifelong Bulls fan — and as the son of a lifelong Celtics fan — I have always held my highest degree of contempt for the Los Angeles Lakers — but if it came down to it, I’d root for them to walk away with the trophy from David Stern this spring over the Miami trio.

If there was a game anyone with a heart could hope for Miami to lose, it would be the emotional game last night that featured James’ return to the city and people he discarded so callously.  Miami has struggled mightily this year, and frankly, the Cavs just aren’t that good.  Would it have been too much to hope for just one night where the underdogs of Cleveland could answer the challenge and vanquish their tormentors?

Evidently so.  The game last night wasn’t even close.  The bad guys won, the good guys lost, and I’m reminded again why I’m not half of the NBA fan I was twenty years ago.  If there’s going to be a work stoppage next fall in one of the major sports, why can’t it be in basketball instead of the NFL?

Reggie Bush -- meet your successor

— And finally, there was the news yesterday that the NCCA has ruled that Cam Newton, Auburn quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate, is eligible to continue playing — despite the fact that the NCAA found that Newton’s father was shopping his son to schools looking for the highest bidder.

Really?

Granted, there’s no actual smoking gun — yet — that details that any money or other illegal benefits that went directly to the younger Newton.  But really — there’s no repercussions here?  Oh wait — Cecil Newton now will have limited access to the Auburn program in the future.  Wow — I bet that severe punishment is going to completely eliminate parents from shopping their kids in the future to big football schools in an attempt to cash in on their living and breathing lottery tickets.

On the other hand, maybe the NCAA’s ruling has given people a blueprint to start bidding wars for high school athletes while the kids in question maintain a plausible deniability to retain their eligibility.  Go NCAA, go!  As usual, the entire concept of amateur athletics continues to be a sham, the NCAA continues to be a completely inept, corrupt, and outdated institution, and Auburn heads towards a “National Title” game — a joke in itself as long as we don’t have a playoff — with a player who should probably be ineligible.  Does anyone want to take a guess as to when Auburn vacates this year’s victories — sooner than USC did, or later?

— Everyone enjoy your weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Monday.