TV Log: Celebrity All-Star Game

We’re about three minutes before the NBA Celebrity All-Star game to kick off All-Star weekend, and before I start the clock on this log, you need to know that Justin Beiber is a West All-Star. This is obviously one of the big storylines coming into this game. Bill Simmons talked about it on his podcast but I didn’t listen to this one. I will later. (I am an avid listener I promise, Bill). It’s Justin Beiber. I want to know who else is playing in it though.

I think I heard something about Lil’ Romeo, but I’m not sure. But let’s talk about Romeo. This kid is good at basketball, folks. He’s legit. Oh and SportsCenter just went to the game live and it’s 6:00 p.m. in Illinois so we need to start the clock now. Start the clock now. Note: They just said Scottie Pippen. Let’s do it. Pippen, man. Pippen! I’m hoping for some great Pippen action – yes, there’s a chance he takes this game over. Geesh, start the clock.

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Eight months later: Picks 1-15 of NBA Draft ’10

This is my “thing.” I’m your NBA Draft guy for as long as you’ll have me. Now, I’ll usually do a review of the previous year’s NBA Draft when we approach the NBA All-Star weekend the following year. Since that is getting close, I took a look, and graded, each pick from the 2010 NBA Draft.

Most experts will do a year after. I do eight months.

1. Washington Wizards — John Wall, guard

The most impressive part about John Wall in the NBA is his assists per game (9.0). He is in the Eastern Conference, for the bottom-feeding Wizards, but he is competing with guards like Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose to be the best in the Eastern Conference. He has a long way to go. He needs to lead his team to winning ways, too. Grade: A

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What’s all this talk about Big Ben’s legacy

Last time I checked, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was 28-years-old. The last time I checked was today.

So why is there all of this talk on every sports show after the Super Bowl about the kind of legacy Roethlisberger has? He’s 28, and has many years left – my guess is six more.

Some over-analyzers, like the media people who thought the Packers’ inexperience would hinder them in the big game, think that this Super Bowl loss might have an effect on the legacy of Roethlisberger and his career.

Let’s just say I don’t exactly see eye-to-eye with those kinds of people.

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Packers maybe only NFL team that could do what they did

Maybe it was just fate, maybe it was luck, maybe it was just one great reason to praise general manager Ted Thompson for adding so much depth to the team, but I’ll be the first to admit that I was starting to worry when I heard cornerback Charles Woodson would not be playing the second half because he had a broken collarbone.

With Woodson out, Donald Driver out and Sam Shields out, the Packers still managed to have a prolific offense and a tough defense that they needed to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday’s Super Bowl game.

When you think about it, the Packers might have been the only team in the NFL that could have done that in that game.

After the game all of the players, such as AJ Hawk, talked about facing adversity all season with 16 player on injured reserve – a lot of them were starters at the beginning of the season.

Throughout the season, the Packers have overcome that adversity and found a whole lot of depth that was able to make up a Super Bowl-winning team.

They would be the only NFL team capable of doing what they did Sunday.

The Steelers couldn’t have done that. That’s for sure. Losing Donald Driver for the Packers is like the Steelers losing Hines Ward or Mike Wallace. Losing Sam Shields is like losing Ike Taylor for the Steelers. Losing Charles Woodson is like losing Troy Polamalu for the Steelers.

If those players would have been out for the Steelers, the Steelers would be written off.

It’s amazing.

The Packers can lose their biggest difference maker on defense, one of their best man-to-man cover corners, and their toughest and maybe best wide receiver on offense, and still win the Super Bowl.

I wonder how many of you thought the Packers would fold without Woodson? Comment!

The Packers did it. I love it. As a life-long Packer fan, I’ll admit, I went insane in my dorm room last night. Well worth it.

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Super Bowl prediction from Dallas

The most anticipated game of the season is just two days away (Sunday) and I think it’s about time that I said all that I need to say about the upcoming Super Bowl game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers.

Before I get started, I must let you know that I am going to try to make this pick without any sort of bias whatsoever. I want to be fair to the Steelers, as most Packer fans wont be.

There have been many story lines this week – Super Bowl Week – including “Pouncey’s leg,” “Roethlisberger’s late-night antics,” and “Driver’s chance.” I know I am missing some, but I want to use some of these story lines, and a lot of the most talked about match-ups in the Super Bowl to help me make my pick.

WARNING: I will mention things that I don’t think will have an effect on the game simply because other people think they will.

Pouncey’s Leg

If he can play, then he should play. But if he doesn’t play, don’t think twice about it because I sure wont. No matter who is lining up at center for the Steelers, it wont matter in the long run.

Yes, the center position is an important position, especially going up against the Packers’ BJ Raji, but losing one player from the line – even a rookie – doesn’t mean enough to sway my pick one way or another.

Rodgers vs. Roethlisberger

Has there been a more talked about script than this one all week? I don’t think so. Both quarterbacks come into this game as two of the top in the league.

Roethlisberger has the Super Bowl experience and Rodgers doesn’t; however, Rodgers, not Roethlisberger has been the hotter quarterback in the playoffs and at the end of the season. Even Roethlisberger admitted it at Super Bowl Media Day:

REPORTER: “Who is the hotter quarterback right now, Aaron Rodgers or Ben Roethlisberger?”

BEN: “Aaron Rodgers.”

Yes, he doesn’t want to seem full of himself, but he did admit it. And I think a lot of people would agree. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think one can single-handedly beat the other like, say, Michael Vick could single-handedly do to somebody else.

The Experience Card

This card has been played by about 99.9 percent of the ESPN NFL analysts, and I’m frankly getting sick and tired of hearing it.

Do we have to look at last year’s Super Bowl, which the experts have seem to all but forgotten about? Saints vs. Colts: Peyton Manning has a ton of playoff and Super Bowl experience, while Drew Brees doesn’t have hardly a smudge of playoff experience alone.

It doesn’t just apply to the quarterbacks either. The whole Saints team had hardly ever seen a playoff game before, while the vast majority of Colts players were used to it – a big chunk of them played in the Super Bowl against the Bears.

It’s something worth righting about because of the discrepancy – Pittsburgh = some odd 25 players, Green Bay = a solid 2 – but it’s not something that is going to affect the game. Maybe the first few minutes, but not much later than that.

Running the Ball

I will readily admit right now that there are much better odds that Rashad Mendenhall has a better game on the ground than James Starks. That would set up for an advantage Steelers, but it all depends on how much more successful he is.

Is he going to run for 100+ against the Packers’ defense? No. Is he going to get to 50 yards? Sure, maybe. But maybe even more important than the amount of yards Mendenhall and Starks gain is the amount of short yards they gain. It’s the 3rd-and-1 and 2nd-and-4 that both teams will encounter that will make the difference.

The wild card here then is John Kuhn – former Steelers’ scout-teamer and current Packers’ fullback.

Last Year’s Pick

Let us all take some time to remember my pick from last year: Saint 31, Colts 28. The Saints did end up winning, and the score was very similar to what I had picked. Maybe it gives me some credibility, maybe not. That’s up for you to decide. Either way, I’m 1-0 since starting this blog.

Defensive Backs

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my ultimate difference makers in this game: the secondaries.

I’m pretty confident in the the Packers’ secondary at the moment because I think they are solid all around. And then on the Steelers side a lot of people worry about Troy Polamalu, as they should.

However, I wonder how the Steelers will fair when the Packers’ use their four and five wide receiver sets to spread out the Steelers linebackers and secondary. Polamalu might have to face guard one of the receivers if the linebackers aren’t cutting it.

Even so, is the rest of the Steelers’ defensive backfield capable of guarding a group of receivers which the Bears’ Charles Tillman called, “Maybe the best ever”? That my friends, is the ultimate question.

The Pick

Packers 27, Steelers 21

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Eagles open up bidding war on Kolb

Fanhouse reported today that the Philadelphia Eagles plan to franchise tag All-Pro quarterback Michael Vick this offseason, to put him under contract for the 2011-2012 season. Also, Fanhouse reported that the Eagles will listen to offers regarding the trading status of quarterback Kevin Kolb.

We all know the story about Kolb and Vick this season. Kolb was name the starting quarterback for the Eagles to begin the season; however, when Kolb got injured in game one against the Green Bay Packers, Vick came in and tore it up.

I wrote a previous blog about how the San Francisco 49ers would be a good suitor for Kolb in a trade situation, but as I analyzed all of the options after hearing that the Eagles were actually going to go to the pawn shop, I realized that at least one team in every division of the NFL could use Kolb. And I can prove it.

Start from within the division (NFC East), which is the least likely destination for Kolb because Rule 1 of trading in the NFL is never to go within the division.

But the Washington Redskins have a spot for Kolb. Look at what happened to Donovan McNabb this season with the Redskins. McNabb went from first-string to third-string, and I don’t even understand how that happened.

The ‘Skins have ammunition for this trade, though. They have their top-15 draft pick this April, so that would be a good option if the Eagles and Redskins weren’t in the same division. It’s an option to help prove my point, but it’s not going to happen.

In the NFC North there are two teams that could cut deals for Kolb; one situation is ridiculous, though. It involves the Chicago Bears.

Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler took a hit when he appeared to quit on the team in the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers a week ago. If not quitting, he exhibited a bad attitude that a lot of Chicago fans didn’t like to see. This is as much of a long shot, and as ridiculous of a situation as their is, but the Bears are two of four team in the NFC North that could land Kolb. Only, it’s not going to happen because the Bears aren’t stupid… they already stuck up for Cutler, now trading him would throw the world a curve ball.

The Minnesota Vikings are going to be one of the most active teams in this trade talk I believe because they don’t have an extremely high draft pick like the Redskins do.

They need a quarterback badly unless they have a lot of confidence in Tavares Jackson. If they want to go with Jackson, then that’s great. But right now is the year that you have to choose. It’s Jackson or Kolb, make a choice.

I think that Minnesota is one of the top five most likely destinations for Kolb. I could see the trade including either this year’s first round pick or next year’s, but no matter where Kolb goes, the Eagles are going to want picks.

In the NFC South, there are three teams with quarterbacks of the present and future. There is one team that has a quarterback that a lot of people question. His name is Jimmy Clausen, and they are the Carolina Panthers.

One thing going against the Panthers, though, is that they own the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft in April. Why is this a bad thing? Who would want to give up the No. 1 pick! Seriously, when you have Jimmy Clausen, you aren’t extremely desperate for a quarterback. Clausen gives you at least a couple years to experiment with him.

I don’t think Kolb is worth a No. 1 overall pick, no matter how desperate you are for a quarterback.

Things get obnoxious when you get to the NFC West. There are three teams that would love to have Kolb, and all three have what it takes to get him.

First, the San Francisco 49ers are a good option of course with Jim Harbaugh coming in as head coach, known for developing quarterbacks. So that I don’t have to repeat myself, check out my previous blog on Kolb to the Niners.

The Arizona Cardinals are also a very likely suitor, up there with the Minnesota Vikings. The Cardinals have a top-10 draft pick this year and they have missed too many times on quarterbacks, and have tried out too many this season, to wait any longer. Kolb is better than any quarterback the Cardinals will find in the NFL Draft this year. Mel Kiper has them drafting a quarterback this April, but why would they if they could get Kolb.

Matt Hasselbeck is getting old for the Seattle Seahawks and Charlie Whithurst is about their only other option right now. However, Whithurst has played a little bit this year and coach Pete Carroll almost started him in the final regular season game as they tried to get into the playoffs.

The Seahawks are an option, but it seems Carroll might have some confidence in Whithurst in the future.

In the AFC East there are two teams that badly need a quarterback if they are going to have any shot of ever catching the New York Jets or New England Patriots in that division. The Miami Dolphins have shown a lot of respect for Chad Henne in the past few years. The view on him was about half and half that he was going to be good or he was going to be bad.

Turns out they still need a quarterback because Henne definitely is not cutting it.

Also, the Buffalo Bills are a team in need of a quarterback too. Trent Edwards didn’t work out and keeping faith in Ryan Fitzpatrick might not be the best thing for the future of this once glorious franchise.

In the AFC North, the Cincinnati Bengals are a team that seems to need a quarterback because Carson Palmer has said that he either wants a trade or will retire. Well, it doesn’t appear that the Bengals are willing to trade him, and the Eagles aren’t going to swap QB for QB, so we will see how ballsy Palmer is.

The Tennessee Titans in the AFC South badly need a quarterback, and a coach for that matter. Vince Young is apparently on the trading block, but again that wont matter to the Eagles. Seriously, the Eagles are going to just want draft picks – first rounders.

Finally, the Denver Broncos are another long shot team in this grand scheme of things that I am using just to make my point. I think they like what they have with Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton, but I suppose you never really know what a team will do.

So there, at least one team from each division in the NFL could use Kolb in one way or another. But let’s cut the crap and get down right to my predictions on the top-5 most likely teams to land Kolb. This time the teams are in order. Thank goodness for some order!

Arizona is No. 1 on the list simply because they have the highest pick combined with the most willingness to make a deal for Kolb, who may or may not be worth the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

Minnesota is No. 2 on the list because look at what they have to compete against in the NFC North: Aaron Rodgers (currently in the Super Bowl), Jay Cutler (led the Bears to an appearance in the NFC title game) and Matthew Stafford (shows promise). Right now, Tavares Jackson can’t compete with that. The Vikings have the No. 12 pick and would love to draft a quarterback, but if they can’t get one then they might pull the trigger on this offer.

Miami is No. 3 because everybody seems to be taking their talents there these days. Miami is desperate. They’ve had a coaching train wreck this offseason and need a bandage. They have the No. 15 pick in the draft, and if they feel they can’t make a splash with that pick, then they need to give it up and go get a quarterback.

San Francisco is No. 4, but they might have enough going for them that they can land Kolb. Kolb wants to play in the bay area, and the Niners have a formula that could get him. Give up the No. 7 pick if new coach Jim Harbaugh doesn’t like any quarterbacks in the draft, and go get a quarterback. Kolb would go from one QB savvy coach, Andy Reid, to another.

Tennessee is No. 5 and the longest shot to land Kolb. They need a quarterback, yes, but they need a coach too. Plus, who really knows if Vince Young will be traded away.

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Wozniacki’s dress, racket fail her in Aussie semis

Number one ranked women’s tennis player Caroline Wozniacki lost today to ninth-ranked Li Na, a tennis player with a name exponentially shorter than Wozniacki’s. This means the final will be between Na and third-ranked Kim Clijsters (who by the way, I’m personally rooting for).

For a little bit of information on Clijsters: Since retiring in August 2009, she has come back to the court and been 26-2 since un-retiring. Plus, she’s caring for a baby while in Australia to play in this tournament. However, the other day, Clijsters played two matches within hours of each other. She needed rest, so she said of taking care of her baby:

“We’re going to go to bed early. Maybe I’ll have to give the nanny one of those, you know.”

I know. But do you know? Let me explain. She talking about giving her nanny the heads up that she will be one caring for the baby that night, while Clijsters sleeps through the night.

We know the final and I look forward to it… I don’t think Clijsters should have trouble winning this one. Maybe if Wozniacki were against her, but she’s not.

I’m really upset that Wozniacki is out of the tournament, especially being eliminated via a tennis player whose entire name is the same length as my first name! (Li Na=4 letters, Alex=4, too)

Although Wozniacki had a big lead to start this match off, she couldn’t hold of Na, as Na defeated her in three sets. (As a side note, I am suddenly getting sick of referring to Li Na as “Na” or even “Li” or “Li Na” for that matter so I need to come up with a more complex name for her… This will bother me)

My headline infers that Wozniacki’s dress and racket failed her; however, could her dress have been a curse? I don’t even know if you can call it a dress. If I may, I think this “outfit” resembled an old lady bra underneath white mesh, attached to some sort of flailing tutu.

After the match, I couldn’t find a good picture of her outfit, but I found one of her in the distance. And actually just as I wrote that I found this… Oh, man it is so legit because she is just like a ballerina.

Let me give you some time to soak that deep into your skin… And… that’s enough.

My point is that you would think that a ballerina suit like that could affect a tennis player a little bit right? I mean if you go back to the first picture I linked to, the player in the foreground is Li Na (still looking to rename her). Her outfit is pretty tight to her skin and look what happened to her – she won.

It’s not every day that you see tennis players walk out with outfits that the wind can so greatly effect like Wozniacki pulled out of her closet.

The aerodynamics are not there with that outfit she has on, and there is a chance that it affected her; however, I have to say I’m still a fan. And it’s not what you think. I have to applaud a tennis player like Wozniacki who is not afraid to bring that out of her closet and onto the court.

Talk about playing mind games with your opponent. Imagine what Na (ugh) thought when she saw the No. 1 player in the world walk onto the court with that! Wozniacki got out to a big lead early on, and maybe Na’s head wasn’t in the right place.

Either way I applaud players who are characters, which Wozniacki clearly is. Last year, at the US Open, there was a lot of fuss over what she was wearing.

That’s it folks. I know every body remembers that. It was kind of a big deal, even if you don’t follow tennis. She’s a risk taker with a versatile wardrobe. Now please don’t get confused. This is not a fashion blog. This is a sports blog.

We’re talking mind games here. Wozniacki is becoming one of my favorite players to watch on the Tour, and even though she lost, her getup is making me even more interested in what she’ll do next. She’s a humble personality, and the tennis world is loving her.

You know what is craziest about her? She was born in 1990. We are the same age; in fact, I have a couple months on her, however she is a millionaire and I’m a college student.

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