Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday Smorgasbord 12-16

  • Later tonight the Redskins will be taking on the New York Giants and shockingly enough, the Skins still have a shot at making the playoffs despite being 6-7. But the Skins MUST finish the season at 9-7 if they don't want to have to hope for all kinds of help to make the playoffs. However, with the injuries, blown leads, and the death of Sean Taylor this season; I don't think making the playoffs would be good for the Redskins. Should they make it, they'll be the second Wild Card in the NFC and have to play every single game on the road and will likely start in Seattle. Should they win that game they would end up in Dallas. Before the season I thought the Skins would be an 8-8 team and with luck could finish 10-6. All but two, maybe three, of the 7 losses are of the inexcusable kind which is really why I think making the playoffs would be an unjust reward for their season.
  • D.C. United has shaken things up by trading Bobby Boswell to Houston for Goalkeeper Zack Wells. While this is certainly a shock and a disappointment to some, it is rather clear to me that United needed to do something to shake things up after a second consecutive Supporter's Shield season ended with a grand flameout in the playoffs. Last year D.C. responded by changing their Head Coach, so now it is only natural that the players take the hit. Who's next is anybodies guess but D.C. needs to build a team that can handle not only the long MLS schedule but the various international tournaments D.C. finds themselves in. It's been clear the last couple of seasons that D.C. ran out of gas late in the year and that more than anything else needs to be addressed.
  • Clearly 25 games wasn't enough to get Chris Simon's attention as last night he tried to stomp on Jarkko Ruutu's foot. So now Simon faces another lengthy suspension and the NHL Front Office finds itself in a dilemma. The 25 games handed to Simon last year could serve as a baseline but it clearly wasn't enough. So what options does the NHL have now? If they end Simon's career the question will end be asked, why now? Why not sooner? Why did Simon have to take six suspensions before being thrown out of the NHL for good? What about a guy like Todd Bertuzzi? Simon's actions haven't ended anybodies career the way Bertuzzi's have but you're going to throw Simon out of the game and not Bertuzzi? And if Simon isn't thrown out of the NHL for good, it once again will illustrate that the NHL doesn't care about discipline. Furthermore, I don't even have to look, I know that the hand wringing crowd is wringing their hands saying "Chris Simon is a good guy, he made a mistake, this doesn't say anything about him as a person or about the game in general" but could somebody please tell me why the fighters are the ones giving the NHL a black eye over and over again? If fighting was removed from the game, players like Chris Simon would not be around to swing thier stick and stomping on opposing players. It would also mean that the hand wringing crowd could stop wringing their hands.
  • I'm not surprised that it didn't take too long for somebody to try to take advantage of Philly's cease and desist order from the NHL. I watched the last part of the Flyers' 8-2 humiliation of the Penguin Scum on Tuesday night. I didn't see the whole game but I thought it was rather appropriate that as the Penguin Scum tried to goon things up with stupidity like Canadian Diving Team Captain, Secondary Assist Cindy Crosby and Geogres Laraque trying to take out Martin Biron and that the Flyers, for the most part, responded by scoring Power Play goal after Power Play goal going 4 for 11 and running the score up instead of trying to retaliate in kind. That is how you put an end to that kind of nonsense, beat them badly on the scoreboard because who looks worse coming out of the game? Philly head coach John Stevens even kept notorious hothead Ben Eager on the bench and continued to score as the Penguin Scum's frustration and goonery increased. And what kind of message did the Penguin Scum really send? They sent the message that they can be easily frustrated and picked apart on the Penalty Kill. Something tells me that wasn't the message they were trying to send with their actions.
  • Back when I was a student at the University of Maryland, the fans couldn't wait for football season to end and Men's Basketball season to start. The arrival of Ralph Friedgen as Head Coach changed that as now Maryland fans for the most part ignore the Men's Basketball team until after the Bowl Game has been played. The football team will be playing in the Emerald Bowl on December 28th but that may not give Gary Williams enough cover after losing to the Ohio Bobcats on Wednesday night at the Cable Box. So what went wrong? Well Gary has a young team and the Mid-Majors are closing the gap in NCAA Division 1 basketball. But the Terps are still in the ACC and they don't start playing like it, it will be an even longer season than they think. As for Gary, despite winning a National Championship and making back-to-back Final Four appearances six years ago; I now have serious doubts that he can survive making a third NIT appearance in four years despite having a great recruiting class coming in next fall. The Maryland fans are very fickle and some have already turned on Friedgen despite pulling the Maryland football program out of the trash heap. The long knives have been out for Gary before and he's always been able to avoid them but he's eventually going to be caught by them. Gary could very well need an appearance in the Sweet Sixteen this year in order to save his job.
  • Oh yeah, MLB finally came out with their much anticipated Mitchell Report and is anybody surprised by what was and wasn't found? While it is nice to see some players admit their guilt, you have to wonder about those who are still attempting to issue denials. A better question than "why are there no Red Sox in the report" is "why didn't anybody accuse Roger Clemens before Mitchell fingered him"? A certain anchor from a certain sports network on a certain message board a couple of years ago alluded to pitchers, not the power hitters, being the worst abusers of steroids in baseball. Much like Big Head BALCO Barry Bonds*, the transformation over the years of the Rocket wasn't even subtle but George Mitchell was the first to publicly accuse him of cheating. I don't think it is too much of a stretch to say that the media played as just a large of a role in covering up this scandal as the owners, players, and their union did. Personally, Clemens' denials are just as laughable as Big Head BALCO Barry Bonds*' and after the report, Clemens' career is just as over. But how history judges these guys will be the final verdict many of them receive.
  • This week, the Caps are on the road facing the Red Wings tomorrow night on Versus, come home for a Thursday night game against Montreal, and then head out to Long Island for their last game before the Christmas break on Saturday night with all three games this week starting at 7 pm. The Terp men come back from Final Exams on Saturday afternoon when they host American at 4 pm while the women end their Exam hiatus with their annual three-day Terrapin Classic. They host Richmond and UMBC on Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm each day Richmond and UMBC play each other at the Cable Box on Friday. And the Redskins will finalize any potential playoff plans next Sunday when they travel to Minnesota to play the Vikings on Sunday night on NBC. The winner of the game will be all but assured the second and final NFC Wildcard berth.
  • And while we haven't done a Sunday Smorgasbord in quite some time the smart and longtime readers of this blog already know that comments, criticisms, corrections, questions, suggestions, and Christmas gift ideas are always welcome at "capsnut" at gmail dot com.

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