Friday, September 09, 2011

Proof that the University of Michigan produces the best NFL talent. period.

Take pride, Lloyd Carr: No draft class in college history has produced the type of contracts that Michigan's Class of 2007 has.
This summer alone, former first-round pick Leon Hall signed a four-year, $39 million extension with the Bengals; former second-round pick LaMarr Woodley signed a six-year, $61.5 million extension with the Steelers; former second-round pick David Harris signed a four-year, $36 million extension with the Jets; former second-round pick Alan Branch signed a two-year, $9 million deal with the Seahawks; and former fifth-round pick Steve Breaston signed a five-year, $20 million deal with the Chiefs.
All together, Michigan's draft class of 2007 earned $165.5 million worth of contracts this summer.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

my proposal to make the NFL and it's playoff system better


Not that I don't love the NFL or that I don't think the playoffs are great... I LOVE them. both. I love the races at the end of the season, knowing that some teams, in the last 2 or 3 games, MUST win to have a chance to get there... so at this point for them, every game is, in it's own sense, a playoff game for them... and they play like there's no tomorrow... this is what makes the game so great...

and this is the aspect my proposal takes off from...

There are 16 weeks in the NFL regular season. There are now reports that the league is looking to move to 18 regular season games. The players are not excited about this for several reasons, the most important being that there will be two more games of regular wear-and-tear on their bodies and also, their salaries remain the same.. but for two more games, witch diminishes each game check. My proposal eliminates all of this and also makes everything about the league and the playoff race even more exciting.

The proposal:

Make the regular season 14 games (15 weeks with one bye for each team, playing each divisional opponent once). Throughout the entire season, teams are playing for seedings and home-field advantage in the new playoff system. The first round of playoffs would start in week 16 (after 14 games for each team) with EVERY TEAM in the tournament. The first two rounds of the playoffs will be inter-divisional based on divisional seedings (1 vs. 4, 2 vs 3 and winner vs. winner in the second round). This will decide the division champions. Once the division champions are decided, these teams will be re-seeded based upon their regular season records and will determine the match-ups for the next two rounds of the playoffs. At the outset of each round, seedings will determine match-ups and home field, just like they do in the current playoff system with the Super Bowl being the final game: AFC champ vs. NCF champ.

In this format, every team has a chance... if you're a team that gets hot at the right time you could shake up the entire picture. And the regular season is not all for naught... you play for your division, seedings and home-field in the playoffs. This would also appease those who want to make the regular season longer with a longer playoff system.


Thursday, January 06, 2011

So, you want to be the next Michigan football coach?

Perhaps there's a lesson to others in Michigan's woes: If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere.
You want to be the coach to restore honor? Fine. But there's a long list of stringent requirements and preferences, so you might want to make sure you're qualified to be a Michigan man.

1. The only color you hate worse than scarlet is gray.
2. You promise to ask yourself at least once each day: What would Bo do?
3. You must be able to correctly spell Bennie Oosterbaan.
4. You believe whoever dots the "i" in Script Ohio should go on the TSA terrorist watch list.
5. You know all the words to "Victors" and can satisfactorily explain why the last line of a song about winning the Big Ten goes, "the champions of the West." You also won't mind when the band plays it 68 times on any given Saturday.
6. If you consider Legends and Leaders to be goofy titles for the new Big Ten divisions, you'll keep it to yourself.
7. You consider the three most pressing problems facing the nation to be the economy, the war and the seven-game losing streak to Ohio State. You're just not sure of the order.
8. It doesn't matter where you coached last, so long as you two don't end up in court.
9. You have never bought any memorabilia from Terrelle Pryor.
10. You agree that the only place Michigan is supposed to give up 52 points in a game in January is at the basketball arena.
11. You voted for former Wolverine Gerald Ford for president.
12. You wouldn't be caught dead coaching in a vest.
13. If you commit any violations, they will be for overtime parking.
14. You know at least three good Michigan State jokes.
15. You are willing to agree to the following contract clause: You can be terminated for moral turpitude, felony conviction or if Michigan ever loses to Toledo again.
16. You can't understand why the 100-24 combined score of the past three losses to Ohio State has not been declared a disaster area by the governor.
17. You have always been under the impression that the Seven Wonders of the World included the Big House.
18. You won't mind that half your fan base wishes you were Jim Harbaugh.
19. Your game plan will not be based on the premise that if your offense scores 40, you might have a chance to win.
20.. When you were a kid, you thought your dream date was either Raquel Welch or Ann Arbor.
21. You can explain in terms easily understood by the layman why the devil reincarnate is among us and goes by the alias Jim Tressel.
22. You think Olentangy is a silly name for a river.
23. When you need a good stiff drink at home, you pour it into a Little Brown Jug.
24. All you want is a program your helmets can be proud of.
25. You will fill your staff only with coaches old enough to remember the last time Michigan beat Ohio State.

*(courtesy of USA Today)

Friday, July 30, 2010

what's so amazing about grace?

it's waking up every morning, knowing that the air you're about to breathe is a gift from God.
it's taking one step at a time, understanding that God's path for me is anointed and ordained.
it's seeing four walls around me and a roof over my head and suddenly realizing my perspective of life is not like those less-fortunate.
it's going to work and realizing that I am one of the lucky ones able to provide for my family.
it's having food in front of me three times a day, but understanding that it's only my Savior that sustains me.
it's looking into the eyes of my beautiful wife knowing I never should have done this well!
it's seeing my friends who have been infected with this grace line up one after the other, ready to serve for the greater good of God's kingdom.
it's being completely humbled by looking my sin straight in the face, knowing that what I deserve is eternity in Hell.
it's understanding that the beauty God put in nature and on this earth is only a glimpse of what He is truly capable of.
it's watching my son being born, seeing how perfect he is in every way, knowing that I have done absolutely nothing to deserve to be a part of this miracle.
it's looking in his baby eyes every day that reminds me that if God's grace is for me, then it is for everyone. I don't deserve any blessing I have ever received on this earth, but I will let it be known that it is only by His grace I am blessed at all.
I love you Jesus.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

wait 'til next year boys.

Last week, the Tigers were a flawed team that still had a chance in a forgiving division.
This week, they're just a flawed team.
Their lineup, minus Magglio OrdonezCarlos Guillen and Brandon Inge, isn't close to being good enough. Their rotation, beyond aceJustin Verlander, isn't close to being consistent enough. Their bullpen, after losing Bobby Seay and Zach Miner this spring and Joel Zumaya at midseason, isn't close to being deep enough and experienced enough to make up for the other problems.
Yes, it's true, the Tigers are still just three games out of first place. But it's also true that Matt Garza's Monday night no-hitter tells you a lot more about where the Tigers are right now than the standings do.
And that's why, after being one of the more active teams in the weeks leading up to this Saturday's non-waiver deadline, the Tigers could end up being one of the quieter teams at the deadline itself. That's why, if the Tigers make a move at all -- and sources said they're still looking hard -- it will almost definitely be made with at least one eye on 2011.
That's why, despite being a team that always likes to go for it right now, the Tigers of this July should be a team that's all about next year.
The rest of this year could be painful to watch, but the payoff in 2011 could make up for it. The Tigers already figured to be one of teams with the most money to spend this winter, and now that Ordonez's $15 million vesting option won't kick in, they'll have even more.
With Miguel Cabrera in the middle of their lineup, Verlander atop their rotation, Jose Valverde at the end of the bullpen and perhaps $60 million to fill out the roster, the Tigers could turn themselves into a division favorite -- or more than that -- by next spring.
The players they don't trade away this week could be the ones who help them win next year. Or, they could be the trading chips needed next July, when the right move really could help.
Remember, the Tigers were always focused on 2011 and beyond, because so many bad contracts come off their books after 2010. They went into this year thinking that they'd have a chance if everything fell just right, but that they'd also have set themselves up to be a potential powerhouse team next year.
So for three months, enough went right that the Tigers stayed in the race. For three months, they looked good enough to think that maybe a July trade could make the difference -- this year.
The Tigers looked at starting pitchers like Dan Haren. They looked at relievers like Scott Downs. They looked at hitters like Adam Dunn and Mike Lowell.
They were everywhere, and they seemed to be in (at least to some extent) on everyone.
And that was fine, as long as not much more went wrong.
Well, you know what, more did go wrong. Ordonez broke his leg, and Guillen was hurt, too. A lineup that was already weak now looks like Cabrera and a bunch of kids and fringe players.
Would the Tigers have won, even with a healthy Ordonez, and even with a helpful trade at the deadline?
We'll never know, but it's pretty clear that they won't win now, and that general manager Dave Dombrowski couldn't make enough moves to fill all the holes, even if he wanted to.
It could be that the Ordonez injury helps the Tigers long-term. It could be what keeps them from dealing for a rental player who may or may not have helped, while at the same time giving them more money to spend for when they'll have a much better chance of winning.
The Tigers like Ordonez, and they may well try to re-sign him. But it won't be for anything close to $15 million, because 37-year-old outfielders who hit 12 home runs in 84 games (as Ordonez has this year) command less than half that in today's market.
In any case, that decision will come later. The decision to be made this week is much simpler.
If the Tigers can make a move that helps them in 2011, go ahead and do it. If they can't, forget it.
And if it means there are more nights in the coming weeks where the Tigers look as bad as they did against Garza on Monday, so be it.
There's a real chance that the coming years will make up for it.

-article by Danny Knobbler - CBS sports

Saturday, June 19, 2010

History Says Matt Stafford To Calvin Johnson Will Explode This Year

See that smile?

Maybe he knows what we should all know.

While doing some research on my last article—where I compared how the Detroit Lions added players in their first two years of Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, Donovan McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles, and Drew Bledsoe with the New England Patriots among other teams—I stumbled across something that might be exciting to see unfold.

While Dallas and Indy both rebuilt around a No. 1 overall pick at quarterback with Troy Aikman and Manning, both teams had a young wide receiver on the team already with Michael Irvin and Marvin Harrison, respectively.

In both cases, when they paired up with the QB, they formed a Hall of Fame duo, but neither WR had distinguished themselves before they had an entire offseason to work with the quarterback.

Let's look at the Dallas situation first.

Irvin was drafted the year before Aikman and head coach Jimmy Johnson came on board, and had a decent rookie season with 32 receptions for 654 yards and five TDs, while starting 10 games.

He was headed toward another decent season in his second year and Aikman's rookie season, when he was injured after six games and out for the season. His stats were six games, 26 receptions, 378 yards, and two TDs.

That's a pace of around 70 receptions, 1,000 yards, and five TDs. Another decent year but nothing really special.

In that offseason, Irvin was still recovering from injuries and didn't get the chance to work with Aikman in his first full offseason.

In his third and Aikman's second season Irvin ended up with only seven starts and 20 receptions. Kind of a lost season for the duo, maybe the "white house" wasn't the best rehab location for "the playmaker."

After that season things changed dramatically. Irvin and Aikman had an offseason to work together and it showed the next season when they teamed up for 93 receptions, 1,523 yards, eight TDs, and Pro Bowl berths for both.

More importantly, it was a return to the playoffs for Dallas where they beat the Chicago Bears only to be crushed by the Lions.

Crushed by the Lions in the playoffs.

That wasn't a mistake typing it twice, I just liked the way it sounded. Of course, they had a QB and we didn't so things changed a little after that game, but it sure was nice when it happened.

Know what? I don't think you guys will mind so I'm going to say it again.

The Cowboys were destroyed by the Lions with Eric Kramer at QB, and the threat of Barry Sanders behind him, 38-6.

Man that felt good.

Anyway, back to our feature.

Irvin and Aikman never looked back, that 93-reception and 1,523-yard season parlayed into five consecutive Pro Bowls and a Hall of Fame career for Irvin.

Oh yeah, three championships in four years, too.

With the Colts, Marvin Harrison was a two-year veteran with a couple of decent years when they drafted Manning.

With an average of 69 receptions and 851 yards in those two years he was an established NFL wide receiver, but he wasn't making any travel plans to Hawaii at the end of the year.

In Manning's rookie season, Harrison came up with 59 receptions for 775 yards and seven TDs.

Of course, he missed four games with injury.

Is this stuff starting to sound familiar?

Young WRs who were good, but not great before the QB got there.

Both WRs injured during the QB's rookie season?

Are we ringing any bells yet?

So what did Harrison and Manning team up for after they had a full offseason to work together?

How about 115 receptions, 1,663 yards, and 12 TDs.

That was the first of eight consecutive Pro Bowls for Harrison, and what should be a future bust in Canton, Ohio.

Are we seeing a connection here?

The young QB had that time to build a relationship with the WR and things just explode.

Think this was just two examples?

Check out Johnny Unitas and Raymond Berry, if you want a little history lesson. Even Joe Montana and Dwight Clark, though Clark doesn't deserve to be in this discussion of great WRs.

Though the roles were reversed with David Carr and Andre Johnson, it wasn't until they had that offseason together that things clicked.

It's not just WRs though, Bledsoe and the tight end Ben Coates did the same thing—decent in the QB's rookie year, but give them an offseason to work together and things just click.

With the Eagles, tight end Chad Lewis went from 20 total receptions in his first two years to 69 receptions and a Pro Bowl berth in McNabb's second year.

By the way, both Dallas and Indianapolis had tight ends step up in the second year for them, too. Jay Novacek went from a previous career-high of 39 receptions to 59 in Aikman's second year, while Ken Dilger and Marcus Pollard picked it up nicely for Manning.

Another coincidence was both the Colts and Cowboys added a first-round pick running back in year two of the Aikman and Manning eras—hmmm.

But this was suppose to be about how top QB and WR duos have formed, and it's pretty obvious that they need a good offseason's work first.

Neither team made a significant change at the other WR spot to free up their guy. It was simply building that chemistry that did the trick.

Some people are starting to question Calvin Johnson a bit, just how good he is after all. But they were asking the same questions about Irvin and Harrison at one time, and things turned out pretty good for them.

I got a feeling that Johnson will be just fine for the Lions and history says that starts this year.

-Blue in Greer

Saturday, March 13, 2010

my personal wet burrito recipe

I made these from scratch last night and they really turned out good!

take boneless chicken breasts and cut them into small cubes. meanwhile, in a frying pan on medium heat put in vegetable oil, diced onions, crushed red pepper (eliminate this if you don't like it spicy!), about a tablespoon of mild jalapeno tabasco sauce (this is more flavorful than hot, i promise) and basil. when this gets to a simmer, put in the chicken cubes and add salt and pepper. when they are cooked through, put a lid on the pan and cook on low for 30 minutes, stir occasionally.

i added black beans (drained) for the last 10 minutes as well to this mix.
use a strainer to get the chicken, onions and beans separated from the juice. save the juice.

okay, for the red sauce.. simple.... two cans of red enchilada sauce + I mixed in about half of the juice from the chicken mixture and stirred it in. this really adds some good flavor!

inside the burritos i put the chicken/black bean/onions in, then i added cooked white rice and mex-mix shredded cheese. i placed the burritos in a 9x13 (with some non-stick spray), drenched them with the sauce, and put more shredded cheese on top of the sauce. 30 minutes at 400.
once out, i added a bit more shredded cheese and chopped scallions on the top.
my sides were refried beans, spanish rice, sour cream, chopped lettuce and diced tomato!

i know this is really different from any other wet burrito recipe, but i just went with my gut and it turned out really good!! it takes some time to do all of it but it was so worth it!!!
let me know if you try it...