Tag Archives: David Beckham

Quick Hits: 11/16/09

I have not posted lately, and there are a couple of reasons for that.  The main reason is that my wife and I are expecting a baby any day.  Not that I have blocked sports out completely – I am reading Bill Simmons The Book of Basketball – and have of course watched The Vikings and as much soccer and basketball as allowed.

Here are some quick and thoughts.

1.  The Vikings look like a legit team.  I know what most of are thinking, of course they do, they are 8-1.  But some of the Vikings faithful will remember that the purple also had a 6-0 start in 2003 and pooped all over themselves and did not make playoffs.  So yeah, I held out judgment until now.

2.  I watched the Texas Longhorns Men’s Basketball team play the other night.  I am having an internal struggle as to which team is deeper, Texas or Michigan State.  Both have experienced leaders, but Texas has a killer freshmen class.  Good thing they play each other in Texas on Dec. 22nd.

Warriors Bucks Basketball

3.  Who has Brandon Jennings on his fantasy basketball team?  That would be me.  I have also received a ton of hits on this site because of this post, when I said the following about Jennings prior to the draft:

“I have not seen much of him after the high school all-star games, but I do not like what I have heard.  The word is that he reminds people of Iverson, and I am not a fan of Iverson.  Jennings is quick, picks the flashy over fundamental, and looks to prompt himself.  Sounds like Sebsastian Telfair all over again.  But he could do very well playing for Golden State.”

We do not get a lot of Bucks games, but what I have seen you can sense a level of maturity that and respect for the game that was not there before.  Teammates respect him, he carries himself very well in interviews, and he plays within the offense.  None of which were said about him before he went to Italy.

4.  The other night I had trouble sleeping because I did not get to see the end of the LA Galaxy – Houston Dynamo match-up.  I am old and need sleepy-time.  Now, I am not a David Beckham rub – I prefer Mr. Donovan – but I was thinking about what it would mean to soccer in the US if the Galaxy win the MLS Cup with Beckham.  Everyone would forget Grant Wahl’s book – Yes, that is the second sports book reference at Barnes and Noble. I have a membership.  Everyone would forgive the trip to Italy, and all the other Beckham mess.  Everyone would ignore the response he got from his own fans when he came back.  All because he made it about the team, and they won.

Side – note:  I am not sure which is worse,  three different links to www.bn.com or the fact that I struggled sleeping thinking about the outcome of the game.

Stephen Jackson

Breaking News: The Golden State Warriors sent Stephen Jackson to the Charlotte Bobcats. “In a deal that NBA front-office sources said came together quickly Sunday night and received the needed league approval Monday morning, Golden State sent Jackson and guard Acie Law to the Bobcats in exchange for veteran swingmen Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic.”  from ESPN.com.

This may not seem like a big deal, but Jackson will fit in well with the Bobcats, while Charlotte did not give much up to get him.  Larry Brown got a player with offensive fire power, who still works on defense.  Now he has a starting line-up of Raymond Felton, Jackson, Gerald Wallace, Boris Diaw and Tyson Chandler with D.J. Augustin, Gerald Henderson, Derrick Brown coming off the bench.  Can you say “Up-Grade”.

And Jackson will be on his best behavior with Brown on the bench and the Greatest of All-Time – Michael Jordan in case you were wondering – not too far away.

Side – Note:  I bet that is the first ever blog post that has been interrupted by breaking news.  Well, at least on this blog.

5.  I watched all of ten minutes of the Kentucky Blue-White game, and I already love John Wall. In that ten minutes he had two dunks, at least four assist – two lobs – and was all over the place.  Kentucky coach John Calipari has done it again with another one-hit-wonder.  See: Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans.  I have heard rumors that Wall is even quicker than Rose.  That is unfair.

US Soccer Updates

Here is a sampling of the lastest articles on soccer in the US featuring the National Team, MLS and players playing abroad.

Garber: MLS fairer, more stable than European Leagues from the AP.

Beckham has chance to end career on a high from the AP.

Luring more athletes to play soccer the answer? by Jeff Carlisle, ESPNsoccernet

Dempsey to miss qualifier with sprained shoulder from the AP.

MLS Chief say Beckham may return after Milan loan by Rob Harris, AP Sports Writer

Goal.com MLS Rankings: Galactic Playoff Return Leads To L.A.’s Climb by Kyle McCarthy

Finalists for the Toyota Award Announced – And Other Soccer Goodness

While most of you are probably asking; “Is an award for a fuel efficient car?”  It is not.Landon Donovan

“…the 2009 Honda Player of the Year Award that honors the best performer on the U.S. national team.” and the finalist are: LA Galaxy (MLS) midfielder – Landon Donovan, Everton (English Premier League) goalie – Tim Howard, and Hull City (EPL) striker – Jozy Altidore.

Here is the press release from ESPN.com, which I quoted earlier.

This is a great topic as US Soccer has become the “IT” team as they upset Spain and made it the finals to play Brazil in the Confederation Cup this summer, and writer Bill Simmons has become a fan of the game, which gets them even more ESPN.com front page coverage.

The three finalists have proven extremely valuable to the US National Team.  Howard and Donovan have been regulars on the first team for years, but Altidore has just recently taken hold of a starting spot.  But if you take these players off the team, the US would not have a chance of getting to South Africa in 2010.

Tim HowardEveryone knows Donovan.  He has been the “next great hope” for nearly ten years , he currently is the captain of LA Galaxy, has always been good on the national team.  But this summer has seen take his game to a new level.  He has taken over for a when the team needed him and knows when and how to use his teammates.  His creativity and pace have pushed him to new confidence and has turned in some quality goals.

Howard has firmly taken his place on top the list of talented-bald-headed-American goal keepers.  Howard has kept the US team in many games.  When he is on top of his game, he seems to be one step ahead, getting to lose balls with authority and commanding the defense like a general.  He has been one of the best keepers in England on a team that is lacking a solid back line.Jozy Altidore

Altidore is unlike the other two.  He is here because he performed well this summer, but he is younger, only 19-year-old, and does not have the body of work like Howard and Donovan.  That said, Altidore is the future of American soccer and we have seen his progress against some of the best teams in the world.  Even from the early part of the summer, he have seen his first touch get better, and his ability to hold of defenders with his strength is impressive.  At this rate, we will see on this list of finalist for many years to come.

This is not the award for the best American player, its for the player who has performed the best for the US National Team.  It is tough a decision between Howard and Donovan.  You could really argue the case for either guy and it would make sense.

If the choice were up to me, I would pick…wait for it…Landon Donovan.

Without Donovan, the US would look lost.  The don’t have another player as creative as Donovan and he can change the game quickly and is not afraid to involve his teammates.

USA Roster – Honduras/Costa Rica from USSoccer.com

Players Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate Hometown Club/College Caps/Goals
Altidore, Jozy F 5-11 175 11/06/89 Boca Raton, Fla. Hull City (England) 19/8
Bocanegra, Carlos D 6-0 170 05/25/79 Alta Loma, Calif. Stade Rennais (France) 72/11
Bornstein, Jonathan D 5-9 145 11/07/84 Los Alamitos, Calif. Chivas USA 22/1
Bradley, Michael M 6-2 175 07/31/87 Manhattan Beach, Calif. Borussia Moenchengladbach (Germany) 36/6
Casey, Conor F 6-1 170 07/25/81 Gilpin, Colo. Colorado Rapids 14/0
Cherundolo, Steve D 5-6 145 02/19/79 San Diego, Calif. Hannover 96 (Germany) 54/2
Ching, Brian F 5-11 195 05/24/78 Haleiwa, Hawaii Houston Dynamo 43/10
Clark, Ricardo M 5-10 150 05/10/83 Jonesboro, Ga. Houston Dynamo 25/2
Conrad, Jimmy D 6-2 185 02/12/77 Temple City, Calif. Kansas City Wizards 26/1
Cooper, Kenny F 6-3 210 10/21/84 Dallas, Texas 1860 Munich (Germany) 9/4
Davies, Charlie F 5-10 160 06/25/86 Manchester, N.H. Sochaux (France) 16/4
Dempsey, Clint F 6-1 170 03/09/83 Nacogdoches, Texas Fulham FC (England) 59/17
Donovan, Landon M 5-8 150 03/04/82 Redlands, Calif. Los Angeles Galaxy 118/41
Feilhaber, Benny M 5-9 150 01/19/85 Irvine, Calif. AGF Aarhus (Denmark) 26/2
Goodson, Clarence D 6-4 170 05/17/82 Alexandria, Va. IK Start (Norway) 6/1
Guzan, Brad GK 6-4 210 09/09/84 Homer Glen, Ill. Aston Villa (England) 13/0
Holden, Stuart M 5-10 160 08/01/85 Houston, Texas Houston Dynamo 8/2
Howard, Tim GK 6-3 210 03/06/79 North Brunswick, N.J. Everton FC (England) 46/0
Onyewu, Oguchi D 6-4 210 05/13/82 Olney, Md. AC Milan (Italy) 49/5
Rogers, Robbie M 5-10 165 05/12/87 Huntington Beach, Calif. Columbus Crew 6/1
Spector, Jonathan D 6-0 180 03/01/86 Arlington Heights, Ill. West Ham United (England) 20/0
Torres, Jose Francisco M 5-7 135 10/29/87 Longview, Texas Pachuca (Mexico) 6/0

Bradley Names 22-Man Roster To Prepare For Final CONCACAF Qualifying Matches For The 2010 FIFA World Cup Against Honduras and Costa Rica.

Info from USSoccer.com.

Other American Soccer Articles

Destination 2010: America’s quest to play in World Cup 2010 all hinged on one week in Septemberby Luke Cyphers for ESPN the Magazine

Donovan ‘proud’ of Beckham’s MLS progress by Martin Rogers from Yahoo Sports.

Donovan should headline MLS’ Best XI lineupby Kristian Dyer for ESPNsoccernet.

Random David Beckham Thought

As I have stated before, I am almost done with Grant Wahl’s books, The Beckham Experiment. And after reading and watching some clips, I need to ask a question to all soccer fans out there.

Why has nothing been said about the fact since leaving ManU, he has always signed with clubs that have Adidas as thier kit/jersey provider?

Everyone knows that Beckham has been an Adidas guy for years, but I find this very interesting, for lack of a better word.  Maybe this is more commonplace than I thought.  But since he left ManU – jerseys made my Nike – he has been with Real Madrid, LA Galaxy and AC Milan – all have their jerseys provided by Adidas.

david-beckham-real-madridDavid_Beckham_LA_Galaxy6736626

Quick Hits: 9/28/09

NFL Bits of Info

  • Brett Favre is the first Vikings QB to throw for 300 yards since Daunte Culpepper did it in 2005 – that was 63 games ago.
  • Terrell Owens played a games without a catch fo the first time since is rookie season in 1996 – 185 games ago.
  • The Detroit Lions won!

Lamar Odom Married Khloe Kardashian

What?  Not sure I care enough to really want to know that details.  But here is the article from ESPN.com.

Minnesota Twins Still In The Chase

The Twins are only two games back and start a four-game series with the Detroit Tigers to determine the AL Central Championship.

While neither team has a great record, this will make for the most interesting baseball to watch in the remainder for the regular season.

For a solid preview on the series, take a look at ESPN.com’s breakdown.

CENTRAL W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA DIFF STRK L10 POFF
Detroit 83 72 .535 48-26 35-46 714 705 +9 Lost 1 5-5 77.0
Minnesota 81 74 .523 2 45-33 36-41 765 727 +38 Lost 1 8-2 23.0
Chicago Sox 75 81 .481 8.5 43-38 32-43 700 720 -20 Won 1 3-7 0.0
Cleveland 64 91 .413 19 34-44 30-47 752 825 -73 Won 3 3-7 0.0
Kansas City 64 92 .410 19.5 33-48 31-44 662 799 -137 Won 1 5-5 0.0

2010 Recruiting Class/Conference Rankings

ESPN.com has put it’s ranking for the college basketball recruiting classes of 2010 and the Big Ten have four of the top fifteen – Ohio State is No. 1, Illinois at No. 4, Michigan State at No. 9, and Michigan at No. 14  (Purdue is No. 20).

I made some statements last year saying that Big Ten is getting better very quickly and this is just more proof.  The Big Ten is going to be a very dangerous conference top to bottom, and this years BigTen/ACC Challenge should be very competitive – just like last year – minus the UNC and Duke games.

Jay Bilas has the Big Ten ranked as the No.1 conference in the country and here are his points.

The Big Ten always has been strong at the top, but the bottom of the league often has let the league down. For too many seasons, the Big Ten has been unfairly criticized for its style of play and the relative weakness of the lower third of the conference. Not this season. There is nary a doormat in the league, as Northwestern, Iowa and Indiana all will be much improved and much more competitive nationally. Michigan State and Purdue are the two best teams in the league, and the Spartans make a great case for being the best team in the country. Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio State will be in the national discussion all season. It should have happened long ago, but the conference should finally win the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, an annual irritant to the Big Ten’s reputation. If a team survives this league’s slate, it truly will be among the nation’s best teams.”

To see Bilas’ full blog post, click here.

US Soccer

The US National Team has a massive game against Honduras October 10th, in their attempt to close the deal and book their tickets to the World Cup this summer in South Africa.  But due to security concerns, the game may be moved to a neutral site.

Depending on which site you read, some report that FIFA officials are ok with the game, and other report that there is much more concern and the game will be moved.

Here are a couple of articles highlighting the US Team and Goalie Tim Howard.

From ESPN’s Outside the Lines: Fever Pitch by Wayne Drehs.

Article on US and Everton goalie, Tim Howard: Howard’s game growing in stature at Everton by Ken Lawrence.

The Beckham Experiment by Grant Wahl

I am about two-thirds the way through the book and here are some thoughts so far.

  1. The book is a deeper look at somethings we already knew.
  2. I like Landon Donovan even more than I did before.  He tells it like it is.  Check out his website.
  3. Alexi Lalas is smarter than we give him credit – but I still don’t like to hear him talk.
  4. Beckham seems like a down to earth guy – as down to earth as a guy who made $50 Million in 2007.
  5. The “getting-to-know-you” aspect of the other players like, Donovan, Alan Gordon and Cris Klein is maybe the most important piece that fans don’t get on a regular basis.
  6. The dealings of the Galaxy, 19 Entertainment, AEG and others can be very shady at times.
  7. I make more money than a good chunk of LA’s roster – sad.

I will review the book more when I finish the book.   Here is a link to Wahls Sports Illustrated archive.

Quick Hits 7/28/09

Brett Favre Staying Retired

Good god.  Is it over?  A few of the major sports outlets – i.e. ESPN.com, yahoo.com, etc. – are reporting that MN Vikings coach Brad “Why do I still have a job” Childresshas confirmed with the Star Tribune that Favre is staying retired.

This is really an unlikely outcome to the drama that has played on between Minneapolis and Mississippi.  I really did expecthim to sign with the Vikings, but lately the rumblings were that he was become more and more concerned with his legacy andthat the move to MN would destroy any relationship with the Packer Nation.

So, those suppose No. 4 Vikings jersey are going to be collector gold if they were actually made.  I have no feeling either way, but I am glad that it is over.

Mexico 5-0 Over US in Soccer

This game fell on it’s ass in about 5 minutes.  But they USA were fielding their “C” squad, with none of the players from the Confederations Cup in the stadium.  So take it with a grain of salt.

Mexico did look amazing with Tottenham’s Givoani Dao Santos and Arsenal’s Carlos Vela looking like they were playing against a JV High School defense. 

US looked tired in the second half and only Stuart Holden and Kyle Beckerman looked like players who deserve to have a chance to play on the “A” squad.Kevin Durant

Team USA National Basketball Try-Outs

The word on the street is the Kevin Durant is dominating the US Try-outs.  And Durant’s his shooting ability is something the team lost with Michael Redd going down with injury – Durant shot 42% from distance this season. 

Some people are saying, Durant isn’t good enough to play on Team USA, here is a run down of his stats last season.  48% from the field, 42% 3PT%, 86% from the free throw line, 6.5 rebounds per game, 1.3 steals per game and 25.3 points per game. 

You may say that his team is a losing team and his stats are not legit, but you can not ignore his shooting percentages, no matter the record of the team.

NBA Noise

  • Drew Gooden and Tim Thomas signwith the Dallas Mavs:  Who cares?  Not me.  Well, I must a little.  I put it in my blog!
  • Tyson Chandler and Omeka Okafer have changed teams:   It is a wash for now.  I like them both, but I think Chandler will struggle away from Chris Paul’s lobs.
  • The Timberwolves trade Etan Thomas, Damien Wilkins and picks for Chucky Atkins:  I like Chucky, and I like the changes.  Now figure out the Ricky Rubio situation!!

MN Twins Justin Morneau for AL MVPJustin Morneau

Please do not get blindsided by the easy coast.  Check out the stats.   Morneau is in the Top-10 in every major oeffesive category. 

There is no other player has that kind of collective stats, maybe teammate and BFF Joe Mauer.  New York’s first basemen Mark Teixeria and Tampa’s third basemen Evan Longoria are close, but Morneau has to be the leading candidate.

League Leaders – 2009
• Ranks 9th in AL in BA (.315) • Ranks 1st in AL in HR (26)
• Ranks 1st in AL in RBI (82) • Ranks 6th in AL in R (70)
• Ranks 9th in AL in BB (54) • Ranks 6th in AL in OBP (.400)
• Ranks 1st in AL in SLG (.595) • Ranks 2nd in AL in OPS (.994)

PS – The Twins have four of the top 25 homerun hitters in the AL – that more than NY, the Angels and the Red Soxs.

Morneau – 26, Kubel – 17, Cuddyer – 18, and Mauer – 17. 

Random Soccer Bits

Most Useless/Pointless Things in Sports

NFL CombineAs I listen to NFL type people tell us that is why is crucial to time a player run in a straight line for 40 yards in basically his underwear, it got me to think about some of the events, people and “things” about sports that really do not matter.

Here are a list of a couple events that are not needed in sports – in no paticular order.

1.  NFL Combinemaybe, just maybe, the least reliable way to evaluate talent (the NFL is far ahead of every other major sport in this category).  It is of course available for your viewing pleasure on the NFL Network.

2.  NFL Preseason – Who wants to play regular price for tickets when the starters don’t even play the game and don’t get paid the “salary”.  Check into the last part.

3.  NBA Regular Season Before the All-Star game. The games don’t matter until halfway through the fourth quarter.  Unless it is a great match-up and a team needs to make “a statement”.

4.  The Skills Contest during NBA All-Star weekend – It would be more entertaining if they pulled people from the crowd.

5.  The fact that the MLB All-Star game determines who gets homefield advantage for the World Series.  Then why play the rest of the season??

6.  About 73% percent of non-game programming on ESPN.

Billy Packer7.  A Salary Cap in the NFL – ITS CALLED A SIGNING BONUS.

8.  Fines that are anything less than $250,000.  People would listen a little more.

9.  Al Davis.

10.  Billy Packer – Kind of a creep.

11.  The One Year Rule in NCAA Basketball – There has to be a better solution.

12.  Different sized and shaped hockey arenas in college hockey.83008103CM002_SAN_ANTONIO_S

13. The New York Knicks outside of Nate Robinson and David Lee.

14.  Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks – All of you are incapable, just give the ball to Adrian Peterson please and either block someone or GET OUT OF THE WAY!

15.  New England Patriots quarterbacks – No matter who it is , they win.

16.  Player contracts in soccer– Recently, contacts have become meaningless in almost in every sport, but soccer is horrible – i.e. David Beckham.

17.  John Madden talking.

18.  Bracketlogy before March – some buddy needs something more productive to do.

19.  ESPN pretending the know and care about soccer outside of this country or any soccer player not named David Beckham or Landon Donavon.  And why do they always say their full names?

20.  Bobby Knight talking – they call him Bob now that he is at ESPN – it’s like Pacman changing to Adam, no one forgets.

21.  Club covers unless they are funny.

22.  The NHL in the south.

23.  Fantasy Baseball – too much work.

24.  Time “Limits” durning the actual draft process.  If you can’t make a deal and or figure out who you are going to pick.

25.  How diffrerent people yell the same damn thing every time Tiger Woods tees off  – Get in the hole

26.  This blog.