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Everything posted by JohnO

  1. I don't doubt that Derrick Rose may be a better all-around player than LeBron. As a pure point guard, he's in a better position to influence the flow of the game and his team than is James, who seems to play 2-3 positions per game. However, not sure how you can say that he has more of an impact on his team's wins and losses than James. The Bulls were 33-49 the year before drafting him. They increased their wins to 41 the next year, stood pat at 41 his second year, and are on course for 57 wins this year at their current pace (34-15). He's also got 3 potential all-stars for a front court in Noah, Deng & Boozer, the latter picked up this past off-season. In comparison - James took a 17-65 team to 35 wins his first year, then 42, then 50, another 50, a slight regression to 45, but then the Cavs won 66 and 61 during his 6th and 7th seasons. This entire time, I believe one other Cav made an all-star team - Ilgauskas. And lest anyone think that James wasn't behind a boatload of those wins....Since he flew the coop for Miami, the Cavs, who returned either 7 or 8 players from last year's roster, including Mo Williams and Antawn Jamison, arguably their 2nd & 3rd best players from 2009-10, are on a course to win 13 games this year (8-43 now) - after 61 last year! Even if Rose has more of an influence on his current team than James does on Miami....and frankly, the jury's out on that, since LeBron's only played part of one season there (and Miami is on-course to win 59 games, up from 47 last year, but they also got Chris Bosh...), I think it's indisputable that James has had a much bigger influence on his previous team's losses. My guess is - if Rose got hurt or, God forbid, left the Bulls, they wouldn't fall to last place in the entire league. The Cavs have. P.S. While he's been hurt a bit so far this season, rookie John Wall of the Wizards is very close to Rose in physical skills, although I doubt that Washington management will ever get him a supporting cast like the Bulls have now.
  2. Thanks, everybody, for the b-day wishes! Yesterday was a lot better than Feb. 6 last year, when DC got hit by a blizzard, and I was hunkered down in the house, waiting for the power to come back on most of the day.
  3. To this day, Roy Buchanan's death remains a mystery. Everyone knows he was a Hell-raiser who used to get liquored or coked-up and then threaten his wife (or occasionally beat on her). The Reston (Fairfax County, VA) police were well aware of Roy and his binges, and were tired of his shenanigans. That particular night in 1988, he and an unnamed friend he brought home got hammered to the point they were getting abusive to Judy (Mrs. Buchanan), who tossed them out of the house. Roy wound up in a jail cell in the local station, where he allegedly hanged himself that night from the cell bars, using his shirt. Only problem was - he was covered in bruises, and appeared to have been choked, probably from behind by a billy club....and, as drunk/high as he was, he didn't appear to be in any condition to maneuver himself in that tiny cell to hang himself. The official verdict was suicide, which, under any other circumstances, would be believable. He had tried to kill himself before. I suspect he just ran into the wrong cop at the wrong time his last night. Judy kept the body on ice for several months while trying to raise funds for an investigation related to Roy's death. She sold several of his guitars, including Nancy, his '53 Tele main axe....which, BTW, was close to impossible to play as set up by Roy - the action was extremely high, and he used high gauge strings - 12's or 13's for the high E. Judy finally gave up, and buried him at a cemetary in Falls Church, VA. His death hit his old buddy and chief rival Danny Gatton very hard. Danny wound up killing himself in '94 - no controversy about its circumstances, though (self-inflicted gunshot to the head).
  4. This was a real shocker! Great, great player. It's a damn shame that every obit on Gary I've read so far keeps concentrating on his Thin Lizzy connection. While he was very tight with Phil Lynott, and was in TL on 3 separate occasions, he did very little recording or touring with them (playing on just one LP ("Black Rose") for its entirety). Scott Gorham and Brian Downey tried last year to talk Gary into participating in the latest incarnation of Thin Lizzy (who will be playing some US dates, including in NYC and Sayerville, NJ, next month), but he turned them down. He put out at least 20 solo CDs over the past 3 decades, mostly hard rock/metal throughout the 80's, then mostly blues material for the past 20 years. Among the bands he played with - G-Force, Colosseum II, and BBM (Bruce, Baker & Moore - Cream, only with Gary instead of Clapton). I saw him 3 times live, talked with him twice after shows....hellaciously nice guy, but hard to understand (very thick Irish accent)......RIP, Gary Below - a lengthy video (11 minutes) of Gary playing Roy Buchanan's "The Messiah Will Come Again" at the Montreux Jazz Fest, 1990.....starts slowly, but picks up steam. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9ruYs7Xxhg
  5. Charlie Louvin of The Louvin Brothers, perhaps country music's best duo ever (although devotees of the Stanley, Osborne or Delmore Brothers might contest that), rejoined his brother Ira this morning, due to complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 83, and actively performing until the end.
  6. JohnO

    2011 NFL Playoffs

    "After all, there is no "I" in team." No, but to quote Albert Belle, there is an "M" and an "E", as in "ME"! The "Grow Up" comment.....No offense, but this isn't high school! And in a professional sport where we had 2 playoff teams quarterbacked by (1) an ex-con who just served time for illegal dog-fighting, and (2) a guy who was suspended by his own team for a quarter of this past season for "extra-curricular activities" having to do with multiple accusations of sexual assault.....I don't really see where Jay Cutler's lack of cheerleading on the sidelines the other day, due to his personality, is a major issue! And this really bothers me.....WHERE were all of the tweeters, twitterers and other experts from other teams ready to crucify Cutler over whether he was hurt or not (and medical tests subsequently proved he was) when 2 very high profile players - Donovan McNabb and Albert Haynesworth (one of the highest paid QBs and THE highest paid defensive lineman in history) got benched multiple times (at least once apiece for injuries, real or imagined, and at least once for not performing up to snuff), and sat there pouting every single time? No cheerleading, no rah-rah stuff....and NOT ONE WORD from any of these a-holes who were openly critical of Cutler on Sunday. And in the cases of both of these Redskins, the local media and players on the team criticized the guys....unlike last Sunday, where no Chicago Bear was heard b*tching about Cutler....and yeah, rumor has it Urlacher did call him a p*ssy, but back in 2009. The Bears paid a fortune in players and draft picks to get this guy 2 years ago, and in this past season, his first under new Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz, the team went from 7-9 to 11-5 and the NFC title game. IMO, it will be criminal if this bullsh*t from last Sunday ruins his career in Chicago.
  7. JohnO

    2011 NFL Playoffs

    While I agree with Pat about the officiating, far be it from me to bring it up first - always comes across as whiny, plus let's face it - the league got what they wanted as far as the Superbowl match-up. Nobody wants to see a 14-10 score in the Superbowl. Regarding the criticisms of Cutler and his injury - Frankly, this looks more and more like a simple matter of his personality not fitting the rah-rah cheerleader born leader type that most people want their quarterbacks to have. I keep hearing about how he didn't stand on the sidelines, helping Collins and Hanie, and how he wasn't leading the cheers. Cutler simply doesn't have that kind of personality....never has, never will.
  8. JohnO

    2011 NFL Playoffs

    As a life-long Bears fan, all I have to say about yesterday's Cutler situation can best be summed up by what I said to my friend when they announced that Collins was coming in, and Jay C,. appeared to be injured......."About f***ing time! At least they might score now!!!" (Collins sucked too, but Hanie breathed some life into that corpse of a team.... Lovie's (or Martz's) best move yesterday.) Was Cutler hurt that badly? I assume he was....but even if he wasn't, the major complaint was how he played when he was in there, NOT whether he needed to stay in, short of a broken bone sticking out his leg! Bears fans wonder why the team gets so little respect. Could be Cutler's genius for stinking up the place/pulling his deer in the headlights impersonation during most nationally televised games. I don't care how good your defense is - your offense has to keep them off the field by holding onto the ball and, hopefully, scoring on occasion.
  9. JohnO

    2011 NFL Playoffs

    "Yes John, I went this past Sunday with Ira and his brother David! I thought it was great!! Dan Lauria and Judith Light were brilliant! Man....does he ever look like Vince. If anyone here is ever in the New York area, I urge you to go see it!!" I had a chance to see it the last time I was in NYC, in early November, but opted for the Pee Wee Herman Show instead! (Never a Packers or Redskins fan....)
  10. If I recall, didn't GB give Devine a pretty long leash because they thought that he would, given time, restore them to their former glory.....in the wake of Phil Bengston's 3 mediocre years? Bengston was in one of the worst-ever no-win situations, following Lombardi, unless he somehow managed to continue winning titles with that aging team. And Devine, 4 years later, wound up at Notre Dame, where he won a national title several years later, in his own pressure cooker of a situation - following Ara P. there. As a Yankees fan, I can certainly appreciate Miami maybe paying too much to get who they want....except not too many great college coaches who also have limited pro experience, wind up great in the pros, going back to Devine, Lou Holtz, Spurrier, Nick Saban recently, Pete Caroll (jury's out there). Methinks Jim Harbaugh would be a lot better off either staying at Stanford (with Luck returning), or, if he wants to become an NFL head coach, maybe serve as an offensive coordinator somewhere first for awhile. But Hell, I wouldn't turn down $8M a year!
  11. If rumors are to be believed, the Dolphins are apparently going to offer Jim Harbaugh around $8M per year to leave Stanford and come to the NFL....which would make him the highest paid coach in the league! This is utterly ridiculous, with Harbaugh having exactly 2 years of NFL coaching experience as an assistant (in Oakland in '02-'03). I realize he comes from a family with a strong coaching background (father Jack at Western Kentucky University, brother John with the Balt. Ravens...and his brother-in-law is Indiana U's basketball coach), and I understand he may have been a finalist for the Jets job a couple of years ago, when Ryan was selected, but......his strongest suit at the college level so far has been his recruiting skills (Andrew Luck), plus he's had two straight Heisman runner-ups playing for him (Toby Gerhart last year, Luck this year). And don't get me wrong, he may be a great pro coach.....but making him the highest paid one when coming straight out of the college level is an insult to the Bill Belichicks, Tom Coughlins and Mike Tomlins of the league (and the John Harbaughs as well). The last time an owner pulled this was Dan Snyder stealing Steve Spurrier from Florida, and making him the highest paid coach. Two years and a 12-20 record later, he dumped him to bring Gibbs out of retirement (making Joe G. the highest paid....but he had at least paid a lot of NFL dues.). The most likely beneficiary of this proposed move could be Mike Shanahan, who's only making $7M to coach and be the team VP.....(I think Belichick is #1 now, with a little over $7M). Snyder likes to be #1 in things like coaches' salaries, and he could raise Shanahan's pay (and after a 6-10 season, no less.......)
  12. IMO, McNabb would be a good pickup for the Vikings. He was on his way to a 4,000 yard season before the two Shanahans decided to bench him for Grossman. There's still a lot of life left in that arm, and he'd have much better pass protection in Minnesota.
  13. If Dan Snyder knows anything about football, he'll leave Mike Shanahan in place for at least another couple of seasons....but I don't think that he does. He generally has very little patience when it comes to rebuilding his team, and it wouldn't shock me to see him chase off Mike S. Snyder's owned the Redskins since '99, and has hired 7 coaches during that time, starting with Norv Turner, who had his best season as a Redskins coach his first year under Snyder, going 10-6 and making the playoffs. Since then - Norv got sacked after 13 games in '00, with Terry Robiskie replacing him on an interim basis. Scottenheimer got 1 year in '01 (started out 0-5, ended at 8-8, and they were one of best teams in the NFL at season's end), but Snyder just had to dump him for Steve Spurrier, the biggest name in college coaching at the time. After a 12-20 record in 2 years, Steve S. got dumped in favor of Joe Gibbs, who went 30-34 during his second tour of duty as Washington coach, and quit after 4 years, even though he had a 5th year on his contract. Since then, Jim Zorn went 12-20 in 2 years, and Mike Shanahan was hired for this past season. Most coaches need more than 1-2 years to rebuild a team. The question is - will Shanahan get a decent chance to show his stuff? Washington fans are not optimistic.....
  14. Interestingly enough, the NFL's parity, when it comes to the Super Bowl over the past 10 years, looks very close to that of MLB's World Series. 14 teams have participated in the past 10 SBs, 6 of which did so for the first time (TB, Carolina, Seattle, Arizona & New Orleans, Ravens).....and 5 of them are NFC teams. The past 10 AFC Super Bowl reps have been 5 teams - the Patriots 4 times, Steelers & Colts twice, Oakland & Baltimore once.
  15. Guys - Looking through this particular thread.... Sorry, but to me, it's kinda hard having much sympathy for the Bucs or their fans. That team has had 6 winning seasons and 4 playoff appearances, including a Superbowl win over the last 10 years! Yes, they've yo-yo'd up and down, as far as their yearly records, but so have the Bears, Saints and falcons, to name just 3 of the other NFC playoff teams. TB has gone from 5 to 11 wins (04-05), 4 to 9 (06-07), and 3 to 10 (last year-this)....and also from 12 to 7, and 11 to 4. Aside from maybe the Colts, Patriots, Steelers, and 1-2 others.though, this is what most NFL fans have put up with in recent times!
  16. While Tony's point is a very valid one, it's equally easy to criticize the other NFC playoff contenders as well. The Giants, for example, badly needing a win last week, stunk up the place against Green Bay....who, 2-3 weeks ago, held the Detroit Lions to 7 points, yet lost! Aside from Atlanta, every NFC team has rather noticeable weaknesses. Regarding Lovie's and Cutler's contention that the Bears will be going all out.....apparently, the oddsmakers do not believe them, and have made the Packers a 10 point favorite as of this morning...
  17. Cozmik - I couldn't help but notice that you were last logged in here close to a year ago - 1/4/10. Hope you're still lurking here - if so, I hope you had a great birthday!
  18. "That number one seed would be sweet, but highly unlikely" But by the time the Bears play this Sunday, it will be physically impossible if the Falcons beat the Panthers in the earlier game. Frankly, I can see good arguments for scenarios that include anything from resting all key starters, to playing everybody for the entire game. My guess is conventional wisdom will dictate Lovie's decision. If the Panthers pull a huge upset earlier, I think he'll go all out to win and get that #1 seed. If the Falcons win, and there's nothing on the line, I see him playing his starters for maybe a half, tops, regardless of the score. While I agree with Larry that the Colts had too much rest several years back, and possibly could have taken the Patriots, the main reasons that coaches want one of the top 2 seeds are the home field advantage and the extra rest.
  19. And guys - I wouldn't worry all that much about momentum after last year.....the Saints started out 13-0, and then lost their last 3 games....but still managed to turn it on for the playoffs, and won everything. In '07/'08, the Giants lost their last game to the Patriots (16-0 at the time), but then came back and beat them in the Superbowl!
  20. Interestingly enough, on ESPN radio this morning, they were fighting among themselves as to (1) whether the Bears should go all-out (and everyone in the world agrees that they should), but (2) will they?.....and most agreed that Lovie will decide right before the game, which, BTW, is at 4:15 PM......at which point, he'll know if the Falcons have won or lost. If they've won, all the Bears are playing for is a 12-4 record versus an 11-5 one, and nothing else. (Actually, 11-5 might get them 2-3 slots higher in next year's draft....). If the Falcons have won, I'll be shocked if Lovie doesn't play most of his starters sparingly. And I'm NOT saying I support that - just that it's very, very likely to happen. I agree, in a perfect world, everyone should go out and bust their asses every game, build up mommentum, etc., BUT Bears fans will also feel like sh*t (and Lovie S. will likely lose his job) if Cutler gets injured by the Packers late in the game, trying to win a game that the team just doesn't need. Overall, the main point is (or should be) winning the Superbowl, and nothing else. If you have to lose from this point on, make it game #16, and not the playoffs..... P.S. Every team's goal in the post-season is one thing - win and survive. After 15 games, trust me.....most players on the playoff-bound teams are physically beat up. An extra week of rest, if possible, for any of those players is the most precious thing on Earth to them.
  21. With the Bears wrapping up the #2 seed last night due to Philly's loss to Minnesota, I suspect Lovie will rest a lot of their players against Green Bay this Sunday. Chicago can still, theoretically, get the #1 seed and home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs if they win, but Carolina will have to beat Atlanta. The odds of a 2-13 team beating a 12-3 team on the road are not good.....
  22. I also just downloaded them. They sound great! Thanks, guys!
  23. Agree with Pat.....something wasn't right with the universe, with Mike S. coaching in SF....
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