Quote of the week: "I stink, my coaching staff stinks, we all stink" - Dick Vermeil, St. Louis Rams
I couldn't have said it better myself
The Rams aren't alone in their collective stinking. Most of the NFC seems to possess the same aroma. New Orleans and Arizona are tied for the last playoff spot at the moment at 5-5 and they, uh, hell, they're New Orleans and Arizona. Why has the NFC gone south so quickly? The highly competitive NFC East has actually become wretched. The emergence of Atlanta has saved the West from the same fate. The Central contains the Bears and Lions…enough said. The key may be the lack of quarterbacking talent. Virtually every non-playoff team is painfully lacking at the position. With the exception of Jake Plummer, all the other QB's on the top teams are over 30. Hard to see things getting a lot better over there without a quick infusion of talent. On the other hand, Cade McNown, Tim Couch, and Daunte Culpepper are on the way.
The key to the Bowl Championship Series standings may be the NY Times poll. They have Florida State first and UCLA fifth. Because of the way it's structured, UCLA would just as soon the Seminoles held on to the first spot, as Kansas State would be helped more by FSU's drop than UCLA would. If all three teams keep winning this is going to be a very tight finish and may depend on whether Miami and Texas A&M keep winning. UCLA's problem is that they have very little room to improve in strength of schedule, while KSU moves up by leaps and bounds with every good team they play.
There's no NBA basketball, which leaves me desperately searching for something to watch after SportsCenter. The other night I found myself looking at PBA Bowling. I think the last time I watched bowling on TV, the pins were white, the balls were black, and the players were various shades of gray. Don Carter, Billy Welu, and Andy Varipappa are the bowlers I remember. Now, the pins are gold, the balls are all sorts of colors, and the bowlers try and get the crowd fired up. The match I was looking at featured some guy named Smith against a guy named Eagle. Mr. Eagle would flap his "wings" in birdlike motion for the excited fans after every strike. Interestingly, he didn't seem concerned that he was losing by 53 pins.
Speaking of nothing to do, I actually looked at the hockey standings yesterday. Now the NHL changed various rules to increase scoring. This appears to have failed, as there are only three teams averaging 3 or more goals per game. Here's an interesting tidbit: New Jersey leads the Atlantic Division with a 9-6-0 record. They've scored a grand total of 33 goals while allowing 35. The San Jose Sharks are considered one of the worst teams in the league, are in last place in the Pacific Division with a 3-7-4 record. They have also scored 33 and allowed 35. The Sharks have either been very unlucky or the Devils very lucky…or both.
So far, I agree with all the awards that have been announced. I would've voted for Glavine, Hoffman, and Maddux, in that order. Tom Glavine being the first Cy Young winner while not getting more first place votes than the runner-up seems perfect. His consistency was the key, not flash, not overpowering, just a good start nearly every time out there. There was a good case to make for several people, but he was the only guy who pitched well start to finish and his 20 wins reflected that.
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