Blogging the Bloggers: Plax’s first night in jail, Tennessee’s dance team & more

YARDBARKER (via NO GUTS, NO GLORY) notes that it was a tough first night in jail for former Giants’ receiver Plaxico Burress. Apparently one of the other inmates yelled out, “The Giants suck!” Inmates, they have no regard for anyone’s feelings…

DRAFT ZOO highlights the Week 4 games to watch in college football, while also breaking down the keys to victory for certain teams.

UNCOACHED noticed that the University of Tennessee dance team likes to party.

REAL CLEAR SPORTS lists the top 10 surprises of the 2009 MLB season.

THE BLEACHER REPORT writes that in the race for quarterback supremacy, the NFC is closing in fast with signal callers like Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Jay Cutler and Matt Ryan.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Breaking down the 2009 NFL Offensive Rookie Year candidates

Around this time last year, I compiled a top 10 list of Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates and ranked Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan No. 1. He went on to throw for 3,440 yards, 16 touchdowns and led Atlanta to a remarkable playoff appearance, all while making me look like some kind of OROY-predicting genius.

Of course, I also listed Titans running back Chris Johnson at No. 7 behind less-productive names like Darren McFadden (No. 4), Kevin Smith (No. 5) and Rashard Mendenhall (No. 6), hence making me look like some kind of OROY-predicting moron.

To see my top 10 ranking from last year, click here. And for my top 10 ranking of the offensive rookie of the year candidates for this season, see below.

1. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos
While the knee injury he suffered in Denver’s preseason opener is a concern, Moreno is expected to be ready for Week 1 and will be given every opportunity to shine in ’09. Granted, he’s stuck in a crowded backfield and could be eased into the season after hurting his knee, but he has the potential to be an every-down back at some point this year. He was the most complete back in April’s draft, has outstanding vision and should get plenty of opportunities to make plays in Josh McDaniels’ shotgun-heavy offense. He’ll also benefit from running behind the Broncos’ stellar O-line. Expecting him to put up rushing numbers similar to those of Chris Johnson (1,228 rushing yards) last year might be a little ambitious. But if Moreno stays healthy, a 400-plus yard receiving season in McDaniels’ system is certainly doable.

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Ten second-year NFL breakout candidates

Players like Matt Ryan, Chris Johnson and Joe Flacco have already pulled a seat up to the proverbially NFL dinner table after turning in solid rookie seasons. But which second-year players (who didn’t have great success in their rookie campaigns) are set for breakout seasons in 2009?

Here are 10 that jump out to me:

(Note: I consider players like Ryan, Johnson, Flacco, Jonathan Stewart, Matt Forte and Steve Slaton as already having breakout seasons, so you won’t find them on this list.)

In no particular order:

1. Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders
Justin Fargas is a favorite of head coach Tom Cable’s in Oakland, but the Raiders didn’t select McFadden with the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft not to take full advantage of his talents. Thus far this summer, the Raiders have lined McFadden up not only at running back, but also at receiver and even quarterback. With Cable calling the offensive plays this season, McFadden is set to see plenty of opportunities to excel in Oakland’s offense and as long as he can stay healthy (a turf toe injury slowed him down last season) the former top 5 pick could emerge as the Raiders’ most potent offensive weapon. The one part of his game that he’ll need to improve on, however, is his ability to run between the tackles. If he can’t, the hard-running Fargas will steal plenty of McFadden’s touches this season.

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Rick Reilly = that annoying ”friend”

Rick Reilly puts together a top 10 list of the best sporting events to see live and I couldn’t disagree more with his top 5.

5. Tour de France — Like trying to get to 20 Super Bowls in 23 days, but worth it. Pick a climbing stage, bring friends and a bike, ride the course in the morning before the race (you’re allowed), have lunch in a hamlet atop some exquisite Alp, watch the heart-skipping finish, have a bottle of Bordeaux, spend the night, bike down in the morning. Rinse and repeat.

4. North Carolina vs. Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium — Fans pulling the hair of Tar Heels players as they inbound the ball; students camping out for months in K-Ville for tix; the hilarious chants from the Crazies, who once yelled at Grant Hill’s parents, “One more kid!”; public school vs. private; an electricity that makes the Final Four and its corporate crowd seem like a three-day seminar on bunions.

3. Wimbledon — There’s nothing in America within a par-5 of it. It’s a Windsor Castle garden party with grunting. It’s queens and cobblers, cheek to cheek, over grounds so huge it would take you and your Toro a month to mow. It’s a phantasmagoria of color — greens and purples and yellows — and that’s just Bud Collins’ pants.

2. Kentucky Derby — My life’s aspiration was to be Damon Runyon, and the Derby is as close as I’ll get. With its wooden stands, elegant barns, men in seersucker suits and women in hats you could land an F-14 on, it’s 1927 everywhere you look. Don’t miss the fillies the day before in the Kentucky Oaks or the Barnstable Brown Gala or the awful race-day breakfast at Wagner’s Pharmacy, across from Gate 3. If you hear a tip there, book it, because everyone around you is a trainer, an owner or a groom.

1. Masters — Sneak into the clubhouse for the peach cobbler and steal into the Eisenhower Cabin, where some paintings are actually by Eisenhower. Do the par-3 tourney Wednesday and Arnie’s first tee shot Thursday; see the droop-shouldered cut players driving out Magnolia Lane Friday, Amen Corner Saturday and golf history Sunday. Because Augusta already has most of the money printed in America, it has not sold out an inch. There are no ads, just flowers. No luxury boxes, just $1.50 egg salad sandwiches. Timeless.

You know that friend that we all have? You know the one – the guy/girl that only likes things that are not in the mainstream? All of his or her favorite bands are underground and all the movies that he or she likes are ones that nobody else enjoyed because they, “just didn’t get it.” We’re okay with these friends, but we know damn well that the only reason they like certain things is because they’re not in the mainstream.

Yeah, that’s Reilly in this piece.

I’ve never been to the Masters, Kentucky Derby, Wimlbedon or Tour de France, so as far as I know they’re the most thrilling events of all-time to see live. But I’m more focused on Reilly here. Was he just trying to be different with this list? Is he trying to separate himself from other top 10 lists? Because I find it incredibly odd that he left out the main four (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL) out of his top 5.

If he did so just to be different, I find him more annoying than every before.

AskMen.com’s Top 10 Sports Movie Pep Talks

AskMen.com put together a ranking of the top 10 sports movie pep talks of all-time.

Here are the site’s top 3:

1. Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks in “Miracle”

2. Al Pacino as Tony D’Amato in “Any Given Sunday”

3. Gene Hackman as Norman Dale in “Hoosiers”

I love Russell’s speech in “Miracle” for the obvious reasons, but something about Pacino’s monologue in “Any Given Sunday” hits me hard every time I watch it. Maybe it’s because of the movie or because Pacino is one of the greatest actors to ever grace the big screen, but that “inches speech” is the best in my opinion. No actor can say the word “f**king” better than Pacino.

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