Wassup Sports!?!?!?!?

17 year old Cale's very opinionated view on everything sports.

Posts Tagged ‘New York Jets

The Favre-Retirement Game

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Possibly the most challenging, controversial, and over talked about issue in sports is the annual Brett Favre retirement situation. I have a special attachment to this, because Wassup Sports!?!?!? first post was a prediction of Favre coming back wearing purple and gold. Of course, I was right and this blog was off and running. Now here we are again, at a disappointing end to another one of Favre’s seasons, with an interception being a possible last memory of a brilliant career. Whether or not Favre will come back is now the most talked about topic. No, it’s not the New Orleans Saints going to their first Super Bowl, or the Indianapolis Colts upsetting the Cinderella story Jets. It’s all about Brett Favre. He is the center of the football world until the Super Bowl, and then beginning again right after the Vince Lombardi Trophy is to be handed out. The crazy part of it is that Favre’s decision won’t be made until mid-August, after training camp is over, and the preseason nearly done.

I think this situation is the most obvious for dear old Brett. He’s coming back. It’s my gut feeling. Why wouldn’t the man? Everyone told him that a 40-year-old quarterback couldn’t play in this league. He showed those doubters. Everyone told him that the Vikings couldn’t make a serious playoff run. Favre led the team to a first round bye, and a playoff victory, only to fall in overtime of the NFC Championship Game. Everything is set up for Favre’s return. He will have a year of chemistry built up with his receivers, and the Vikings can add some defensive depth during the offseason. Most importantly, Minnesota will have to give Adrian Peterson the “Tiki Barber Treatment” to get him to stop fumbling the ball.

Believe it or not, I also think that Favre keeps coming back for the records. There is no doubt in my mind that he wants to be remembered as the best to play the game, and wants the statistics to back that up. Every year that Brett keeps playing is a year that he keeps building his stats, while QBs Peyton Manning and Tom Brady continue to ride the wave behind him. Of course, Favre’s goal is to win another Super Bowl and go out on top, similar to John Elway. There is no reason that Favre couldn’t do that with the Vikings. They are a great team. Minnesota’s offense blew away the Saints’ defense yesterday, but it was the turnovers that blew the game. If Peterson gets fixed, I believe the Vikings win that game.

Finally, it does come down to Favre’s ball control. Yes, he has been known to throw the big interception. He has now done it to end the past two NFC Championship’s that he has played in. I believe the saying goes “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Favre’s feeling the shame, and put in that position again it is doubtful that he lets go of that ball.

Yes, it is early, but I believe Favre is coming back to lead the Vikings to a Super Bowl victory. Love him or hate him, the man is a great football player and a warrior. There is no reason that he shouldn’t come back. However, with my luck, the man will retire, crawl into a hole, and never be heard from again.

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Wild Card Playoff Predictions

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NFC PLAYOFFS

#3 Dallas Cowboys vs. #6 Philadelphia Eagles

Personally, I am an Eagles fan. Unfortunately, I do remember sweeping the New York Giants three straight times last season, so I know it can be done. So far, the Cowboys secondary has shut down DeSean Jackson, and if he can’t make any plays, they are done for. Although, McNabb must step up his play to get Jackson the ball, for he looked absolutely lost last Sunday. I don’t see anyway my birds can pull this one out, as the Dallas defense is just on a roll, and they showed no way of stopping either the Romo-Austin or Romo-Witten connections last week.

Prediction: 24-14, Dallas

#4 Arizona Cardinals vs. #5 Green Bay Packers

I see this game as a bit of an easy matchup as well. Green Bay blew apart the Cardinals last week, and there is no reason to believe that they won’t do it again. The Cardinals are most likely going to be without WR Anquan Boldin, who can barely walk now with his MCL sprain and an upper ankle sprain. Yes, the man is tough, but even if he does play it would be a very small contribution. Without Boldin, the Packers can put the NFL’s best cornerback, Charles Woodson, up against WR Larry Fitzgerald all day, and blitz Warner nearly every play.

Prediction: 30-14, Green Bay

AFC PLAYOFFS

#3 New England Patriots vs. #6 Baltimore Ravens

This could be the best game of this weekend, as the Patriots prolific offense will matchup against the always ready Baltimore defense. However, the Patriots are missing the NFL’s leader in receptions, Wes Welker, and will be relying on rookie Julian Edelmen to replace him. Frankly, the x-factor in this game is Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco. He has had a pretty inconsistent season, but if he can play a good four quarters, with passes setting up the running game with RB Ray Rice, than the Ravens should come out on top.

Prediction: 24-21, Baltimore

#4 Cincinnati Bengals vs. #5 New York Jets

Yes, the Jets held Carson Palmer to zero yards on eleven passing plays. Yes, Chad Ochocinco injured his knee in pregame warm ups and was a non factor. Yes, the Jets walloped the Bengals 37-0. However, the playoffs are a different animal. Rookie QB Mark Sánchez will have to learn that mistakes are more critical now than in the regular season, and have to be held to a minimum. Also, the Jets must realize that just because their coach, Rex Ryan, calls them the favorites, doesn’t actually make them the favorites. The Bengals had absolutely nothing to play for last week. That’s why I expect a totally different team to take the field, and beat the New York Jets. I believe this was the toughest call on Wild Card weekend, as I had felt that the Jets were going to win earlier in the week. However, as we creep closer and closer to game time, something inside of me is telling that the Bengals will run through the Jets top defense, setting up the passing attack to WR Chad Ochocinco and former Jets’ wideout, Laveranues Coles.

Prediction: 20-16, Cincinnati

Two GMs, Two Different Sports, Two Big Mistakes

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Packers’ GM Ted Thompson and now former Toronto Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi really don’t have much in common. The Packers are an age old NFL team, while the Blue Jays are in the MLB and are north of the border. Although, what they do have in common is the fact that they have both made a mistake that may stain their careers forever.

Starting off with Thompson, and he will be known as “The Guy Who Traded Brett Favre.” It began in the summer of 2008, when Favre retired, again. Of course, as training camp grew closer, Favre got the itch to play again. Being tired of the same old song and dance, Thompson felt that it was his place to put his foot down, trade Favre to the Jets, and move on with QB Aaron Rodgers as the face of his organization. This is where Thompson went wrong.

Brett Favre (left) may come back to haunt Ted Thompson (right).

Brett Favre (left) may come back to haunt Ted Thompson (right).

The Packers went 6-10 in 2008, while the Jets went 9-7. Of course, both teams missed the playoffs, but this isn’t where the story ends. So the inevitable Favre retirement occurred again, and it seemed that he may actually have been done this time. WRONG. After months of speculation, Favre signed with the Vikings, which also happened to be the team he was rumored as wanting to go to in 2008. Thompson had tried everything in his power to prevent Favre from becoming a Viking, including putting a clause in the trade with the Jets that would have sent Green Bay three first round picks if he were traded to Minnesota. Although, the Jets released Favre upon his retirement, allowing him to go where he pleases.

 

Now, Favre is with the Vikings, who are 3-0. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Favre wants to beat down his former team for letting him go. Oh, and this game will be nationally televised on Monday night. This is where Thompson will be publicly humiliated for trading a future Hall of Famer, and possibly the best quarterback of all time. I don’t care who Green Bay drafted, or if Favre retired 500 times before he came back, Thompson should have never traded Brett Favre.

On the other hand, we have ex-Blue Jays’ GM J.P. Ricciardi. Toronto letJ.P. Ricciardi Riccardi go after not trading away ace P Roy Halladay. Ricciardi never found the package of super young talent that he so desperately desired, despite receiving many offers. So, Riccardi ended up keeping Halladay, which has now drastically reduced his trade value. Halladay’s value may have decreased so much, that the Jays may just let him finish out his contract, and let him walk to the Bronx and the New York Yankees.

Ricciardi’s mistake was different from Thompson’s. J.P. had many different options, and many different packages of players. Although, he kept pushing and pushing for a team’s whole minor league prospect pull, and no one would budge. Now, Toronto is in total rebuild mode, after letting OF Alex Rios go on waivers. The Blue Jays just figured that Ricciardi was just not the man for the job, because he failed to pull the trigger.

A general manager’s toughest decision may be deciding whether or not to trade a star player. There should be some obvious ground rules about these situations, and these two GMs have failed to follow them. Now, Ricciardi is without a job, and if Favre beats down the Pack and leads the Vikings to the Super Bowl, Thompson could be without a job too.

Trash Talking in Sports

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Recently, there has been a lot of trash talking in the sports world. Surprisingly, most of it hasn’t come from the regular characters, such as Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, or Shaquille O’Neal. No, now it has spread to coaches talkin’ trash.

Personally, I have no problem with trash talking in sports. While some view it as disrespectful, I find that it can be a sign of respect. If you are going to the lengths to talk trash, it must mean that you are proud of out performing your opponent, and why would you be proud if your opponent isn’t that good? Not to mention, trash talk spices sports up a bit. It makes headlines for newspapers, and gives people something to talk about. The words are often used as “bulletin board material”, or as words of motivation. This is all fine and dandy for the players that are playing the game.

The problem I have with trash talking is when the coaches get involved. Coaches are on the sidelines, in the dugout, or on the bench. They are not out on the field, and cannot do any better than the athletes that they prepare and put out on the field. If you can’t beat out your opponent on the field, why talk trash? The only time it is okay for a coach to talk trash is when it is directed at another coach. I won’t lie, it has been highly entertaining ever since Tennessee Volunteers coach Lane Kiffin was hired. In his first press conference, he boasted about how the Vols were going to beat Florida, the undisputed best college football team. Of course, Tennessee lost to Florida 23-13 last Saturday.

Although, the story doesn’t end there. After being a little rattled by Kiffin’s previous comments, Florida coach Urban Meyer took a shot at Kiffin saying

Lane Kiffin (left) and Urban Meyer (right) have been in a trash talking exchange lately.

Lane Kiffin (left) and Urban Meyer (right) have been in a trash talking exchange lately.

that he kept his game plan conservative and still beat the Vols. Of course, Meyer then went on to add that some of his players are sick with the flu, but Kiffin got the true message. When asked about Meyer’s comments and his thoughts on Vols’ players getting the flu, he said “I guess we’ll wait and after we’re not excited about a performance, we’ll tell you everybody was sick.” Kiffin said this because everybody believed that Florida would blow Tennessee out of Gainesville, but the game was decently close. Taking another shot, Meyer questioned whether or not Kiffin was trying to win the game, referring to a point in the game where Tennessee moved the ball downfield with short passes and runs. “That was how we needed to play at that time,” Kiffin responded. For a national champion, Florida coach Urban Meyer steeped pretty low questioning whether or not a fellow coach tried to win a game. If we can all remember, former Jets coach Herman Edwards made it very clear saying, “YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!”

From college to the pros, we go to New York where the Jets were talkingRex Ryan trash prior to their win on Sunday against the Patriots. Coach Rex Ryan said that he wasn’t going to kiss Bill Belichick’s championship rings, referring to the New England coach. This wasn’t nearly as bad as the Meyer-Kiffin exchange, and actually a time that it is okay for a coach to talk trash. Why is it okay you ask? Rex Ryan was talking trash to an opposing coach, and did not include players on the field.

All in all, trash talk is entertaining. However, it is only okay when used right, and appropriately. Frankly, I’m starting to think that athletes and coaches should have to take a class before they embarrass themselves. Just an idea.

NFL Season Preview: #23 New York Jets

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Overview: The Jets had an up and down season in ’08. After starting 3-3, the Jets went on a tear, winning five straight. However, they faltered down the stretch, mostly because of the play of QB Brett Favre, and went 1-4 in their last five games. Finishing at 9-7, the Jets missed the postseason, and made many changes.

Offseason Moves: New York got rid of Eric Mangini and hired former Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan. QB Brett Favre finally decided to retire, and WR Lavernues Coles left for Cincinnati. Those were the only key losses for the Jets in the off season. To replace Favre, the Jets drafted USC QB Mark Sanchez in the first round of the draft. New York also drafted Iowa RB Shonn Greene. Turning their focus to the defensive side of the ball, the Jets traded for CB Lito Sheppard, and signed DE Marques Douglas, LBs Larry Izzo and Bart Scott, and S Jim Leonhard.

Upcoming Season: The Jets have an uncertain QB situation, and a thin receiving core. New York still has RBs Thomas Jones and Leon Washington, but they proved to be a tad inconsistent at times. Although, the Jets defense should thrive this season, especially under new head coach Rex Ryan.

Mark SanchezPlayer to watch: With the looming QB competition, you have to be watching Mark Sanchez. Although he only started 16 games in college, he showed he could be an elite quarterback. Many fear that his lack of experience could stunt his development, but it looks like Sanchez could lead the Jets, and possibly as soon as this season.

Prediction: 8-8, 3rd in AFC East

You can’t expect Sanchez to lead the Jets to the division crown in his first season. Look for the Jets to combat the Patriots in the upcoming seasons, after Sanchez is fully groomed.