Monday Morning Quarterback 1/15/07
Indy vs. New England in the Finale
If anyone would of told you that Peyton Manning and the Colts offense would never get into the end zone, but they still would win, you would told them to lay off the pipe. 5 fields goals later and a unforeseen great defensive play, Indianapolis defeats Baltimore to play in the AFC conference finals. Last week it wasn't shocking to see the Indy defense look good against a struggling Chiefs squad who had no business being in the playoffs. However, holding the Ravens offense to six points, especially after a season of permitting mediocre offense's to score at will, was a nice gift for Colts fans.
Indy shouldn't be packing their bags yet for Miami. A new concern has emerged and that is the lackluster play of QB Peyton Manning and the Colts passing game. Now granted Baltimore is probably the leagues best defense. Not getting into the end zone and relying on kicker Adam Vinatieri to save your ass, is not going to get you past the New England Patriots, even if you are playing at home. Kudos to Head Coach Tony Dungy and Defensive Coordinator Ron Meeks for finally bringing the defense to play just in time for the playoffs.
Most football fans would tell you that heading into the playoffs, San Diego was the team to beat. Unfortunately for the Chargers, they had to take on the post-season experience of Head Coach Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady. That proved to be enough as the Patriots defeated the Chargers. Both teams played well, but the Chargers made four turnovers and turnovers are the kiss of death in football, especially the playoffs. New England capitalized on the Chargers mistakes, which permitted New England to comeback from a 21-13 deficit in the fourth quarter.
Indianapolis and New England in recent years is similar to Frazier and Ali or Yankees and Red Sox when it comes to great rivalries. Expect a grudge match Sunday in Indy.
Chicago vs. New Orleans
In what was a game for the ages. My Bears needed a 49 yard field goal in overtime by a kicker who 16 months ago was working as a construction worker in Pennsylvania to defeat Seattle. Robbie Gould continued his pro-bowl season, showing nerves of steel as he punched the ball through the uprights to bring victory to Da Bears.
Both teams brought their A games, but neither brought their A+ game. Bears QB Rex Grossman looked great, but his offensive line left a lot to be desired. Seattle and their undersized defense put pressure on Grossman all afternoon. The one-two punch of running backs Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson played well as did wide receivers Rashied Davis and Bernard Berrian. Berrian as well as the highly overrated Mushin Muhammad did have costly dropped passes including Muhammad allowing a pass to bounce out of his hands only to be caught by Seattle. This was the only interception of a Grossman pass. The Bears defense put limited pressure on Seattle QB Matt Hasselback allowing the veteran to cut the Bears defense to size. The Bears did contain RB Shaun Alexander until the fourth quarter, but did stop him on a crucial 4Th down situation.
Simply put the Bears will have to step up their QB protection and pressure New Orleans QB Drew Brees if the Bears are going to have a chance at defeating a Saints team that is playing better football than the Bears. The Saints had a hard fought battle against a red hot Eagles team that many people including your brilliant blogger felt was the playing the best football headed into the playoffs. Behind the superb running of Deuce McCallister and near flawless play of Brees, New Orleans defeated the Eagles in what was a great game that may have been lost by the Eagles coaching staff more than the players. Sunday will be great. Go Bears!
250 Million Dollar Mistake
They made a great movie about his trade mark kick, he's married to a Spice Girl, my wife thinks of him during sex, his nickname is Golden Balls and his popularity in his native England rivals the Beatles. David Beckham is coming to America and he will see money that will make Tiger Woods look poor.
Beckham will begin playing soccer for the LA Galaxy of the MLS and will earn over 10 million dollars a season directly from the team, but nearly an additional 40 million per year in profit sharing and endorsements. I got nothing against Beckham with the exception he and his wife have been brainwashed by Tom Cruise. However as popular as soccer has become in America, it doesn't rival Golf, Baseball, Football or Basketball and that is why I don't believe he will be as appealing to consumers and sports fans in the United States as he was in Europe. Beckham also is no longer in his prime as a player and will not dominant as he once did. Athletes such as Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan could sell sand to Arabs because much of their fame was based on being the greatest ever at their respective sports. Beckham ain't Pele.
America is the greatest country in the world and that is why a rich and famous European wants to come to the United States and win the hearts and minds of it's citizens. I wish Beckham and his family success and happiness, but as far as those banking a quarter of a billion dollars on his name...I think you may regret it.
Happy Birthday Dr. King
Today we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. To many this is a day of joy and remembrance and it should be. Dr. King was not just a champion for African Americans, but for mankind. King believed in equality and justice as well as self-responsibility. As a Jew I am proud of the support the Jewish community gave Dr. King during his civil-rights struggles. No religious group or Caucasian community was more supportive than Jewish Americans. Dr. King was also a supporter of Israel and active in trying to maintain strong bonds between Jews and African Americans.
Arguably before and most definitely after his death, the division between Jews and Blacks have grown. What is ironic is that both groups have much in common, especially their history's of oppression and desire for equality. Since Dr. King's death, the civil rights movement have greatly lacked leadership. For decades Jesse "Hymietown" Jackson was viewed as the African American communities unofficial leader. Today Al Sharpton has taken over the title with Jackson still a major player. Both men are certainly not friends of the Jewish community and more importantly to African Americans, neither men have truly been positive figures. Both men are media whores more interested in their own political power and financial well-being than helping their respective communities. Blame instead of self-responsibility are the themes these men preach. Nobody in their right mind can say racism is gone, but great strides have been made since the days of Dr. King. These improvements have occurred in spite of the so-called work of men such as Jackson and Sharpton. I can only dream of what could of been if Dr. King would of been alive another 10, 20 or 30 years.
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
"Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring — when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children — black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics - will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"