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This weekend's sports highlights
Sunday, November 5, 2006
Posted by jaygross
Comments: 0

1) Colts beat the Pats

Congrats to the Colts, they played a pretty good game and did what they needed to do to win. After Mr. Clutch missed the 46 yarder, I really thought Brady was going to drive down and tie it up. Not a good time to let the ball go right through your hands Kevin Faulk, but at least it is only regular season.

I do have to say how impressive Manning's ability to make throws while he is getting hit and his ability to avoid pressure just long enough to find receivers. Between his execution and the Pats penalties, he did a great job keeping drives alive.

I just don't get why Belichick didn't run the ball more, they looked unstoppable in the first half. Hopefully it'll be different when these two teams meet in playoffs.

2) The Bears losing to the Dolphins?

I thought the Bears have been a bit overrated all year, but Miami has been terrible all year and has Joey Harrington as their QB. My illegitimate brother Rex has been throwing  as many interceptions each week than the number of  blogs I post (about 3). I know the NFC is week, but there's no way this is the best team around - San Diego, Baltimore, Indy, New England, and Denver could all beat them.

It was such a joke they beat Arizona with Rex's 4 INT's and 2 fumbles... So undefeated wasn't going to happen with their next games at Giants, at Jets, and at New England.

3) Glibert Arenas pours in 44 as Wizards beat my Celtics

He took a break from his regular vacations at WackoLand to torch my poor team and drop them to 0-3. When this guy is on, he thinks he can make shots from anywhere and has no problem trying to prove it. He reminds a lot of World B Free (the ultimate super chucker), except Gilbert's teams win when he catches fire.

I do happen to think Eddie Jordan has a nice group there with Jamison, Caron Butler, Jarvis Hayes, and Etan Thomas. I'd expect them to have a nice season and get knocked out of the first round of the playoffs.

On a side note, it's too bad we can't clone Paul Pierce a few times... We start him at power forward in the opener and he pulls down 19 rebounds

4) Larry Johnson runs over the Rams

When this guy gets in his groove, watch out. I figured there would be some slowdown with future HOF Willie Roaf retiring and Trent Green going down, and it did happen. Today LJ dominated with 172 yards and a touchdown after a big game last week. Looks like he is getting ready to go on a huge roll like he did last year.

5) Ravens beat Bengals

The Ravens are now 6-2, have the scariest defense in the NFL, have good receivers Clayton-Mason-Heap, and have McNair. I would be very scared to play this team in the playoffs, are you listening Peyton Manning??? This is my sleeper pick to win the Super Bowl.

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Must see TV Sunday Night, Colts at Pats
Saturday, November 4, 2006
Posted by jaygross
Comments: 0

This is what many of us have marked on our calenar as THE regular season game no to miss. 7-0 Indy comes to 6-1 New England for their annual grudge match. I am a die hard Patriots fan (suffered two 1-15 seasons in 3 years in the pre-Parcells era), so I can't wait.

I absolutely can't stand all the hype Peyton Manning gets. I accept that he is a great talent and will one day hold every passing record imaginable, but there is more to being the best than just putting up the best fantasy stats ever. Let's not forget he has fantastic weapons (Harrison, Wayne, and Edge should all be HOFers) and he plays in a dome.

Winning in the big games is what seperates the very good (Manning, Marino, Fouts, & Warren Moon put up huge numbers) to the truly all time greats like Unitas, Montana, Otto Graham, Bradshaw...

Then there's the Manning antithesis, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. They win, they win, and then you take away key guys and they still win. These guys can adust to just about anything and any opponent given preparation time. Look at how they abandoned the run and picked apart Minnesota with 5 receiver formations - Brady made mediocre receivers look awfully good.

Then there's Manning, who consistently gets flustered by blitzing 3-4 schemes (Pittsburgh, San Diego, New England). In last year's playoffs, I felt like I needed to reach through my TV to perform the Heimlich on the Colts after that chokejob. And it was so bush league to throw his linemen under the bus after the game, you're the QB who calls your own plays and you need to call for adjustments.

Here's why I think New England will win:

  1. Indy can't stop the run
    The Broncos had 175 yards on 17 carries last week, so good luck stopping Maroney and Dillon. Tony Dungy's cover 2 defense needs the horses he had in Tampa, but I am just not seeing Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, and John Lynch in their primes on this Colts defense (Freeney is about the equivalent of Simeon Rice then). I expect to see more runs than from a tourist who drinks the water in Mexico.
  2. The Pats defense is going to stop the run
    I don't buy into Addai being as good as Edge. The Pats have yet to allow more than 17 points this season. They completely shut down the run last week, and Minnesota has Birk, McKinnie, and Hutchinson up front (much better than the Colts' line). Toward the end of the game, the amount of pressure they brought on poor Brooks Bollinger was awesome - Tully Banta-Cane got confused and thought his name was Derrick Thomas (I have now sunk to a new level mentioning Tully Banta-Cane in a blog).
  3. Home Field Advantage
    The Razor will be rocking with fans tailgaiting for too many hours - I have tailgaited at Foxboro, its awesome. Although the forecast is clear from snow and rain, it should be in the high 30's to low 40's with wind - not exactly favorable conditions for passing downfield.
  4. The Pats receivers are getting healthy and acclimated
    Last week Brady hit 10 guys and had TD passes to 4 different guys. To the whole world's surprise (mine most of all), Reche Caldwell looked darned good getting open. Chad Jackson and Doug Gabirel are finally on the field and have made some nice runs after the catch and TE Ben Watson is a matchup nightmare for LBs.

If I am wrong, I am ready for all the trash talk... But I still need to see Indy win in January before I shut up and change my opinion.

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Collecting Signed Sets
Thursday, November 2, 2006
Posted by jaygross
Comments: 0

I commonly get asked about the challenge of collecting a complete autographed set (I was quoted in Tuff Stuff about set collecting a few years back). I am working on about 15-20 sets these days to varying extents - I need 9 of 300 to finish 1991 Proline and 19 of 353 to finish 1989 Hoops. It can be incredibly frustrating and expensive, but it has given me direction to my collection and has made collecting so enjoyable. Getting that Paul Farren, Bryan Cox, or Jim Farmer card I need has been just as exciting as getting a bigger name star.

I know quite a few of our members are working on sets, and many list the sets they collect in the Autograph Trading section. There have been so many folks on this site have helped me over the years.

Jason, one of premium members, posted a message on our message boards about his Yahoo Album site. He is working on getting a few baseball sets autographed and has scanned in the cards he has:

  • 1983 Donruss HOF Heroes
  • 1953 Topps Archives
  • 2001 Fleer Greats of the Games
  • 1954 Topps Archives

Jason has done an amazing job, and I especially love the HOF Heroes set pictured below (Greenberg, Cronin, Ruffing, Mantle, and Ted Williams are so impressive).Hopefully I'll be able to find time to scan in some of my sets.

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