Archive for December 2007

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Happy New Year, Knicks Fans!

Knicks Rumors & News

The Knicks went 28-50 in 2007.

Meanwhile, nearly two weeks after GM and Coach Isiah Thomas was quoted saying it would be fair to evaluate his performance in a “couple of weeks,” Zeke declared on Monday that the team will “keep moving in this direction.”

Which direction?

“Me as the coach,” said Thomas.

Chad Good As Gone? Maybe Not…

Jets Rumors & News

According to the Daily News, there are “rumblings” that Chad Pennington’s days with Gang Green might not be numbered, as had widely been assumed. Via the News:

Because of [rookie Kellen] Clemens’ inconsistency, and because the offseason quarterback market is hardly enticing, the Jets may decide to keep Pennington and his $4.8 million salary in 2008. With more than $27 million in projected cap room, they could afford it.

That would create quite a soap opera, considering Pennington’s presumed desire to be traded or released. A week ago, Pennington’s father, Elwood, told a Knoxville newspaper that his son would be better off going to a contending team where he could be a starter again.

Thing is, Pennington is signed through 2011 and the Jets will be in no hurry to unload their most accomplished quarterback. Pete Kendall, redux? speculates that the Jets could simply be trying to raise their asking price for Pennington by downplaying the team’s readiness to trade him. Personally, I can envision scenarios in which the team cuts ties …

Vilma Recovering, Off Crutches

Jets Rumors & News

According to a brief mention in the Newark Star-Ledger, Jets LB Jonathan Vilma’s mysterious knee surgery earlier this season was performed in order to remove floating bone chips and fragments from his right knee.

As with all their injuries, the Jets have been extremely tight-lipped about Vilma’s condition, and speculation began to emerge that the linebacker had undergone microfracture surgery, a serious procedure that would have severely impacted Vilma’s value on the trade market.

On Sunday, Vilma made an appearance on the sidelines without crutches, another indication that the injury is not serious, and that his rehabilitation is progressing smoothly.

Assuming the former Pro Bowler is on his way to a clean bill of health, it’s extremely probable that Vilma will be dealt in the offseason. Rookie David Harris has excelled during Vilma’s absence.

Jets win….and lose

Jets Rumors & News

The dismal Jets ended their dismal season in dismal weather conditions with a dismal 13 – 10 OT victory over the dismal Kansas City Chiefs.

In what should come as no surprise to Jets’ fans this season, their victory at the Meadowlands actually cost them in the long run, as they dropped from 3rd to 6th in the 2008 draft pecking order. Ironically, with San Francisco’s first-round pick this year, the Patriots will draft #7. My guess is the two head coaches will not be calling each other to share their thoughts on talent.

The 2008 draft must be used to bolster an anemic offensive line and possibly secure another QB of the future. Kellen Clemens (13-25, 115 yards, 1 TD) was average at best yesterday, and in fact, average at best the last half of the season after taking over the starting QB position. Those who think with the glass half-full will say it was the poor blocking in front of him.

Speaking of glasses half full or empty, fans found out when they arrived to the stadium …

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

QUITE FRANKLY: Where have all the sports heroes gone?

Once upon a time, there used to be a sports hero for everyone, no matter what sport you followed. A figure you could look up to and count on, someone you could always rely on with the game on the line. Even in the face of defeat, your hero stands tall, because in your eyes, he can do no wrong. What happens when that invincibility is taken away? Are you left with an image of glory or an image of wrong?

Today’s sports world doesn’t offer up many sports heroes. Sure, there is an abundance of superstars, but how many of them are the “model” superstar? What makes a player a sports hero? Is it determined by a game winning hit in the World Series?, a game winning basket to clinch a playoff series?, a game turning drive that caps a comeback and sends your team to the super bowl? As a fan, do we hold off the field accusations and behavior against our heroes thus deflating some of our fondest memories? …

Giants get kudos for effort against Patriots

Giants Rumors & News

The New York Giants came close, but they couldn’t quite do enough to stop the New England Patriots from finishing off their perfect 16-0 regular season.

I will have more thoughts later on the Giants’ 38-35 loss to New England Saturday — probably after I’ve had a chance to sleep on it — but here is a very quickly put together list of ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ for you.

Kudos to …

• The New England Patriots: Going 16-0 and recording the first unbeaten regular season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins is truly historic. The Giants made them earn it, opening a 28-16 lead, but the Patriots showed why they are a great team. They are an easy team to hate, but you still have to tip your cap to them for a great achievement.

• Domenic Hixon: Returning kickoffs for the first time as a Giant Hixon had a 74-yard return for a touchdown. He also had a couple of other nice returns and ended up with 221 yards on 8 runbacks. I suspect we will see him …

Pre-game Jets’ questions

Jets Rumors & News

As I ponder what to wear in today’s unpredictable weather in Piscataway, I started thinking about some questions that I’m waiting to see answered by 7pm tonight. 

So without further ado, some questions heading into today’s season finale at the Meadowlands. Some serious and at 3 – 12, most not.

Did the grounds crew even bother changing the logos on the field after last night’s Giants game?

Will the shuttles even be running today or will they let the few cars driving to the game just come park as close to the stadium as they want?

I have an extra ticket for today’s game. Will I even be able to give it away?

Will the lines for the fun activities under the bubble be short enough that even I will have the patience to kick my first field goal of the season (if so, I hope the medics are still working).

Will I be able to take attendance by a show of …

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Is Saturday’s game the Giants’ Super Bowl?

Giants Rumors & News

Highly respected sports blogger Dan Shanoff is taking the position that the New York Giants should forget about the playoffs and sell out everything to try and defeat the New England Patriots Saturday.

The 10-5 Giants, as you know, host the 15-0 Patriots Saturday night with the Patriots trying to complete a historic undefeated regular season.

Here is Shanoff’s reasoning.

Pats at Giants in the regular-season finale is bigger than any Giants playoff game, and the Giants should compete in it like it’s their Super Bowl: I appreciate that the Giants have to prepare for the playoffs, but does any fan really think that the Giants have a chance to win the NFC, let alone the Super Bowl? And even if they do win the NFC title, who cares? Like they wouldn’t get mowed down in the Super Bowl?

Wouldn’t it be even bigger for the Giants to deny the Patriots their 16-0 season than to win this year’s meaningless NFC Championship?

History would certainly remember these Giants for that in a way that they wouldn’t remember them for …

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Knicks Will Fight Steph Grievance

Knicks Rumors & News

In a season that has already had far too many subplots, Stephon Marbury’s bereavement leave continues to complicate an already complicated season. The Brooklyn-born point guard is in his third leave of absence from the team after twice attempting to return to action in wake of his father’s death on December 2nd.

While publicly, the team continues to support Marbury during this time of grief, privately it seems evident that the organization would like to see their 20-million-dollar man back on the floor at some point in the near future. Speculation is mounting that Marbury’s November feud with Coach Isiah Thomas could be a contributing factor to the guard’s reluctance to return to active duty.

It is a conspiracy theory that gained steam last week when Marbury filed a grievance through the player’s association challenging the nearly $200,000 fine levied against the guard for leaving the team upon learning he would be removed from the starting lineup for a game against the Phoenix Suns. Yesterday, the Knicks reaffirmed their position …

Cullen K.O.’ed at the Garden

Rangers Rumors & News

Via the Raleigh News & Observer:

Matt Cullen had two assists in his first trip back to Madison Square Garden with the Carolina Hurricanes this season. His second visit didn’t end as well.

The Hurricanes center was injured during the second period of Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers when he was hit coming across the middle by former teammate Colton Orr.

It was a brutal collision and left Cullen with a broken nose and a probable concussion. Orr was challenged by Carolina’s Mike Commodore while Cullen lay still on the ice, and when the dust has settled, the officials had slapped the Rangers enforcer with five-minute majors for fighting, interference and a game misconduct.

The ejection was probably best for everyone involved and allowed for the rest of the game to proceed without further incident, however in truth, the hit was clean. Cullen had carried the puck into the offensive zone and dropped it to a trailing teammate …

Another Sex Suit, Another Settlement

Knicks Rumors & NewsRangers Rumors & News

Madison Square Garden has settled its second sexual harassment lawsuit in the span of 16 days, agreeing to a settlement with Courtney Prince, the former captain of the Rangers’ cheerleading squad. While details of the settlement were not announced, the agreement comes on the heels of the Anucha Browne Sanders trial, which saw Sanders awarded $11.5 million in damages.

While Prince’s case focused on a Garden P.R. manager and lacked a flashy defendant such as Knicks GM and Coach Isiah Thomas, the plaintiff’s accusations were perhaps even more lurid than the allegations made by Browne Sanders. For a complete account, including illicit propositions, graphic sexual language, and manic hypersexuality, check out the New York Times.

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007
Giants Rumors & NewsJets Rumors & News

Roger Clemens’ attorneys are finally kicking their act into gear and launching their own investigation into the allegations against the Rocket, according to the New York Times. Meanwhile, the Bergen Record checks in with Joba Chamberlain as last season’s dominant setup man begins his transition back to the starting rotation.

David Ortiz doesn’t think Santana will land in Boston.

Giants fans, ever the historians, are selling their tickets en masse for Saturday’s season finale against the Patriots. Jets fans, meanwhile, are compiling their draft boards.

Looks like the Eddy Curry – Zach Randolph experiment is nearing an end, a move that most people around the league saw coming from Day One. It’s likely that either Curry or Randolph will begin tonight’s game in Orlando on the bench. Stephon Marbury will once again be absent from the lineup as he continues to struggle with the death of his father.

And speaking of Randolph, don’t look …

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