2010 Year-End Sports Review: What We Already Knew

Let’s be honest: Sports bloggers know everything. Just ask us. As part of our 2010 Year-End Sports Review, our list of things we already knew this year includes Brad Childress’ biggest fail, Wade Phillips’ demise in Dallas and John Calipari’s troubles. We also knew Kevin Durant was the next great superstar (who didn’t see that coming?), Roger Clemens is the ultimate windbag and that “Matty Ice” knows fourth-quarter comebacks. We should have gone to medical school…

Contributors: Anthony Stalter, John Paulsen, Paul Costanzo, Drew Ellis and Mike Farley

LeBron is a frontrunner.

We all were a little surprised that LeBron left Cleveland, but the writing was on the wall. Growing up, LeBron didn’t root for the local teams. He followed the Yankees, Bulls and Cowboys, which in the 1990s constituted the Holy Triumvirate of Frontrunning. He wore his Yankee cap to an Indians game and was seen hobnobbing on the Cowboy sidelines during a Browns game. He says he’s loyal, but he’s only loyal to winners…unless they only win in the regular season, of course.

July 08, 2010 - Greenwich, CONNECTICUT, United States - epa02241974 Handout photo from ESPN showing LaBron James (L), NBA's reigning two-time MVP, as he ends months of speculation and announces 08 July 2010 on ESPN 'The Decision' in Greenwich, Connecticut, USA, that he will go to the Miami Heat where he will play basketball next 2010-11 season. James said his decision was based on the fact that he wanted to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Brad Childress’ biggest flaw cost him his job in the end.

There were many reasons why the Vikings decided to fire head coach Brad Childress roughly a year after they signed him to a contract extension. One of the reasons was because he lost with a talented roster. Another was because he never quite figured out how to best utilize Adrian Peterson, which is a sin given how talented AP is. But the main reason “Chilly” was ousted in Minnesota was because he didn’t know how to manage NFL-caliber personalities. He didn’t know how to handle Brett Favre, which led to blowups on the sidelines and multiple face-to-face confrontations. He also didn’t have a clue how to deal with Randy Moss’ crass attitude, so he released him just four weeks after the team acquired him in a trade from New England. Childress was hired in part to help clean up the mess in Minnesota after the whole “Love Boat” scandal. But the problem with a disciplinarian that hasn’t first earned respect is that his demands fall on deaf ears. In the end, Childress’ inability to command respect from his players cost him his job. You know, on top of the fact that he was losing with a talented roster, he didn’t know how to best utilize Adrian Peterson, he…

Love him or hate him, George Steinbrenner will forever be one of baseball’s icons.

You may have hated his brash attitude, the way he ran his team or the way he conducted his business. You may even feel that he ruined baseball. But regardless of how you may have felt about him, there’s little denying that George Steinbrenner will forever be one of Major League Baseball’s icons. Steinbrenner passed away in July of this year. He will forever be a man known for helping revolutionize the business side of baseball by being the first owner to sell TV cable rights to the MSG Network. When things eventually went south with MSG, he created the YES Network, which is currently the Yankees’ very own TV station that generates millions in revenue. During his tenure, he took the Yankees from a $10 million franchise to a $1.2 billion juggernaut. In 2005, the Yankees became the first professional sports franchise to be worth an estimated one billion dollars. While many baseball fans came to despise the way he ran his team (mainly because he purchased high priced free agents with reckless abandon due to the fact that he could and others couldn’t), don’t miss the message he often made year in and year out: The Yankees are here to win. He didn’t line his pockets with extra revenue (albeit he generated a lot of extra revenue for his club) – he dumped his money back into the on-field product. Losing wasn’t acceptable and if the Bombers came up short one year, you could bet that Steinbrenner would go after the best talent in the offseason, regardless of what others thought of the approach. How many Pirates and Royals fans wish they had an owner with the same appetite for victory?

Read the rest of this entry »

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

Disappointed Jeremiah Masoli is allowed to play this year? Blame the NCAA.

BOISE, ID - SEPTEMBER 3:  Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli #8 of the Oregon Ducks throws a pass during pre-game warm-ups before the game against the Boise State Broncos on September 3, 2009 at Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Allow me to make one thing clear: I don’t think student athletes should have the opportunity to avoid punishment just by switching schools. It makes zero sense to watch a player misbehave, get kicked off their respective team and then still allow him to play football that same year for another program.

However, had the NCAA Division I Subcommittee for Legislative Relief not clear former Oregon Duck and now current Ole’ Miss Rebel Jeremiah Masoli to play this season, then they would have been hypocrites.

Masoli has mucked up every opportunity he’s been given so far and quite frankly, didn’t deserve another chance. He was suspended by Oregon for stealing from a frat house in January following the Ducks loss to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl and then was kicked off the team months later after receiving a citation for marijuana possession.

But because he switched schools, now he’s allowed to play this season. That’s not right, which is why the NCAA had denied his waiver claim earlier this week. Simply put, players shouldn’t be allowed to transfer and leave their issues behind them.

That said, the NCAA can’t allow players like Ryan Perriloux (LSU) and Darius Barksdale (Ole Miss) to get kicked off their respective teams and then play for Jacksonville State (at separate times, mind you) that same year and not allow Masoli to play for Ole Miss. It’s hypocritical, even if Jacksonville State is a much smaller program than Mississippi. (The size of the school shouldn’t have anything to do with the NCAA picking and choosing whom its rules should apply to.)

Thus, the NCAA essentially got it right by getting it wrong the first time. They should have enforced the rule with Perriloux and Barksdale (and those are just two players who transferred from their problems – how many more were there?) and then it could have stuck to its guns with Masoli.

As with most things, the NCAA screwed the pooch.

NCAA being hypocritical when it comes to Jeremiah Masoli

Dec 29, 2009; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Jeremiah Masoli at press conference for the 2010 Rose Bowl at the Marriott Los Angeles Downtown. Photo via Newscom

I don’t feel bad for Jeremiah Masoli that the NCAA has denied a waiver that would have allowed him to play at Ole’ Miss this season without having to sit out a year like most transfers.

The kid has had his chances and he has blown every single on of them. But that doesn’t mean that the NCAA wasn’t hypocritical in its ruling.

In a press release following the announcement, the NCAA said: “The waiver exists to provide relief to student-athletes who transfer for academic reasons to pursue graduate studies, not to avoid disciplinary measures at the previous university.”

On the surface, I agree with the statement. Masoli didn’t transfer to Ole’ Miss to further his education – he transferred so he could play one more year of college football in hopes of getting drafted into the NFL.

Don’t forget that after he plead guilty in January on a felony burglary charge, Oregon suspended him for the entire 2010 season. So essentially, the waiver allowed him to leapfrog the suspension at Oregon and play at Ole’ Miss without facing any discipline.

But while I agree with the rule in principle, how is Masoli any different than Darius Barksdale or Ryan Perriloux?

Barksdale never suited up for the Rebels, but was charged with DUI and driving without a license in August of last year, then, when enrolled at Ole Miss for the spring semester, Houston Nutt suspended him for an undisclosed violation. Finally, just before practice began this year, Barksdale was kicked off the team entirely.

Read the rest of this entry »

2010 SEC College Football Preview: Alabama still reigns supreme

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07: Head coach Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrate with the BCS Championship trophy after winning the Citi BCS National Championship game over the Texas Longhorns at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California. The Crimson Tide defeated the Longhorns 37-21. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Here’s a quick and dirty look at how I see things playing out in the SEC this season:

#1 Alabama
Led by head coach Nick Saban and Heisman winner Mark Ingram, this is by far the best team in the country. While they don’t come weakness-free, the Tide have the best combination of talent and coaching in all of college football. They play in the nation’s toughest conference so there’s always a chance that they could lose a game during the season, but this is your clear national title favorite. Their defense might be even better than it was a year ago.

#2 Florida
The Gators lost Tim Tebow, Riley Cooper, Aaron Hernandez, Maurkice Pouncey, Carlos Dunlap, Jermaine Cunningham, Brandon Spikes, Ryan Stamper, Joe Haden and Major Wright from their squad last season. In one word: Ouch. Outside of running back Jeff Demps, they lost their top player at nearly every position, which would usually destroy a program’s chances of competing the next year. But this is Florida – they reload every year. This year’s crop of starters has seen time in either part-time action or spot starts over the last couple of years, so the Gators will compete. Are they a top 5 team? We’ll find out soon.

#3 Arkansas
All right, so I might be drinking too much of the Ryan Mallett Kool-Aid by ranking the Razorbacks ahead of Georgia and LSU. But even though Bobby Petrino is a turd, the man knows how to run an offense (a college football offense, that is) and Arkansas will be explosive on that side of the ball again this year. The question is whether or not their defense will step up so that this team can reach its full potential. As it stands now, it’s probably safe to say that Arkansas is going to have issues slowing teams down this year, but I just can’t stop starring at that offense. It’s like a tractor beam of hotness.

Read the rest of this entry »

From a football standpoint, Masoli well worth the risk for Ole’ Miss

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli #8 of the Oregon Ducks attempts a pass against the Ohio State Buckeyes at the 96th Rose Bowl game on January 1, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Last week, University of Mississippi head coach Houston Nutt sat at the roulette table of life down on his luck. He had just suffered another huge loss when Raymond Cotton decided to transfer and when he looked down at his chip stack, he realized his next play had to be all-in.

Things haven’t really gone Nutt’s way over the past couple of months. Last year, many college football pundits thought that the Rebels would be a sleeper in the SEC West. But in their first real test of the season, they were beaten by South Carolina in Week 3 and stumbled to a 9-4 overall record, which included a 4-4 finish in the conference.

Following the season, Nutt lost his starting quarterback when Jevan Snead surprisingly entered the NFL draft instead of returning for his junior year. That left Nathan Stanley to compete with Cotton (a highly touted underclassmen) for the Rebels’ starting quarterback job.

But last week, Cotton decided to leave the program, which left the Rebels with Stanley and former junior college star Randall Mackey as the only other quarterbacks on scholarship.

So Nutt decided to take a chance.

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Posts