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Damon in PlasticI’ll admit, I don’t know a lot about sports collectibles, regarding what the going rates are, if one model is particularly scarce or a limited edition. Something struck me as very peculiar, a Nomar Garciaparra figure in a Red Sox uniform was on sale for $6.99, which makes sense because he is no longer with the team. So then why is the Garciaparra figure in a Chicago Cub uniform still retail price at $12.99? He never did anything worth mentioning in his career for the Cubs except getting his groin pulled. Well, I leave you with this and wonder how much this baby in the picture will go for now?


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Larry BrownThe New York Knicks lost again last night to the Orlando Magic, dropping their record to 7-20. With this loss, they are now tied for the second worse record in the entire league, and have already played 18 different starting lineups. This year many Knick fans were hoping for a shot at the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference, but this is now pretty much a long shot, with no help in sight.

Larry Brown has to take a large portion of the blame for their disappointment. I thought he would be heading this team at least in the right direction, but right now they are clueless on the court, and the team has no identity. My biggest gripe with Larry Brown’s coaching is that he hasn’t even set on a rotation yet. All 15 players on the roster still don’t know their roles for the team, and Stephon Marbury has convinced me he is not an effective leader. I was hoping that Marbury’s circumstances in New Jersey and Phoenix weren’t entirely his fault, but his track record now speaks for itself.


orioles “Goodbye B.J. Ryan, Tejada wants to leave,  and we still have Sammy Sosa.  I need a hug.”

A funny thing happened on my way to the mailbox today.  I received a special invitation to get a jump on 2006 Oriole tickets.  “A Special Invitation for our most loyal fans”.  Yes, for those who were wondering, I live in New York City.  While I did attend two games at Camden Yards last year, I don’t think this should qualify me as a loyal fan.  I went to Baltimore twice this past summer to enjoy the weather and act like any other normal tourist and decide to catch a ballgame.

While I do enjoy the enthusiasm for new manager Sam Perlozzo, and pitching coach Leo Mazzone, and the O’s spending a 37 cents postage stamp on me, I think they are reaching the wrong target audience.  Hey O’s fans, support your team and go to more than two games next year.  Well if anyone else is interested call 888-848-BIRD. 


Early NBA Awards




Posted by Edwin Soto Categories: Editorial, NBA,

NBA LogoMark Stein at ESPN.com has brought us a “best of the best - so far” of the young NBA season.  Do you agree or are there any cop outs here?  Let us know…

East MVP of the Trimester
Chauncey Billups
West MVP of the Trimester
Dirk Nowitzki
Coach of the Trimester
Flip Saunders
Rookie of the Trimester
Chris Paul
Sixth Man of the Trimester

Mo Williams
Defensive Player of the Trimester

Marcus Camby
Comeback Player of the Trimester
T.J. Ford

All-Stars of the Trimester

Western Conference
F: Dirk Nowitzki
F: Tim Duncan
C: Marcus Camby
G: Steve Nash
G: Kobe Bryant
Eastern Conference
F: LeBron James
F: Jermaine O’Neal
C: Ben Wallace
G: Chauncey Billups
G: Allen Iverson


Florida PanthersFlorida at the beginning of what seemed to be a long and difficult uphill climb, have now surfaced with some pizzaz of actual contenders for the playoffs.  Between October 27 and November 23 they lost 12 games in a row but now led by an unlikely Jozef Stumpel, the Panthers are making a huge turnaround.  Stumple has scored 16 points in December so far, a distant cry from what his contribution was prior to this month.  How real is this Panthers team?  They outscored the seemingly unbeatable Sabres on Friday, that may be some proof.


Hall Of Fame

The headline for the MLB section of ESPN.com is A Helping of Rice.  This is a story of Jim Rice belonging to the Hall of Fame, and in my opinion, this story is an absolute joke.

The writer who covers this subject, Sean McAdam states right off the bat:  “For 11 years, I’ve resisted voting for Jim Rice for the Hall of Fame. This year, I plan to right that wrong.”  Ok let me get this straight, for over a decade, you believed Jim Rice was not Hall of Fame worthy, but now on the 12th year Rice suddenly should be a hall of famer.  That statement is just preposterous.  This first sentence should negate anything else stated in the rest of his article.

Sometimes these sports beat writers really stretch to make for an interesting story.  This just in: the hall of fame doesn’t need to induct boderline players just because there is no one else worthy for that particularly year.  Like my dad used to say, “If there is doubt, then that player doesn’t belong”.  Bottom line says, if you need to argue for someone to get in - case closed- they don’t deserve to get in.


With the flooding of New Orleans and heavy damage to the Superdome, the Saints lost their home stadium.  New Orleans is a relatively poor city, and faced with massive rebuilding and re-engineering costs it’s hard to imagine a speedy replacement or repair of the stadium. Team owner Tom Benson has found a temporary home field for the team in San Antonio.  Rumor has it he wants to make the move permanent, although he says “no decisions have been made regarding the team’s future, and any such decisions would be made after the 2005 season.” 

Alternately, he may try to convince NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue to let him relocate the team in Los Angeles. So far Tagliabue has stated that Louisiana is the home of the Saints and that he would like the team to relocate to Baton Rouge’s LSU Tiger’s stadium for the 2006 season, but a team presence in America’s 2nd largest television market must be very tempting for the NFL.

According to ProFootball Weekly’s Hub Arkush, the NFL could help New Orleans with the cost of rebuilding or replacing it’s stadium.  A program called G-3 empowers it to loan up to $150 million to teams in exchange for revenue from “personal seat licenses” (PSL) sold by a local government agency in the new stadium.  Because the NFL is a non-profit organization, it has access to loans at lower interest rates than the teams.  And by selling the PSL through the local government, the revenue is tax-free.

The team uses this revenue stream as well as 34 percent of the revenue from it’s club seats to pay back the league and the league pays off the low-interest loan.  The current cap could be expanded to cover most or all of New Orleans’ costs to rebuild - a great relief to the troubled city.

Benson’s temporary location of San Antonio may not be the ideal location for an NFL franchise—it’s the 37th market nationally, with 760,410 potential viewers—but it’s larger than New Orleans 43rd market (audience of 672,150.)  And Texans are proven football fans—in 2004 the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans were the second and third most profitable franchises, earning $205 million and $201 million respectively.  By contrast New Orleans is a relatively weak earner, twenty-seventh in the NFL ($149 million in 2004.)

Los Angeles has an awe-inspiring market (2nd nationally) of 5,536,430 potential viewers, but it’s football audience is (historically) relatively apathetic.  It lost the Raiders and Rams franchises in the mid-1990s.  Still, it goes without saying that the NFL would love to have a successful team in LA.

Other places a NFL franchise might prosper are: (These are pure speculation on my part, but all nine markets have more audience than San Antonio.)

Portland, OR – 23rd market with a potential audience of 1,099,890, the closest team is in Seattle which is probably too much of a rival to fully engage Portland fans.

Salt Lake City, UT - 36th market with an audience of 810,830, and the state is completely untapped by the NFL.

Hartford/New Haven, CT - 28th market, potential audience of 1,013,350, relatively close to the New England Patriots home of Foxborough, MA… But the Patriots revenues are very high indicating the market may be large enough to support this.

Greenville, SC - 35th market with a potential audience of 815,460, although the Carolina Panthers would have to give up their claim to South Carolina.  The football audience is great in this area—the Carolina Panthers are the twelfth most profitable team in the NFL.

Orlando, FL - Florida already has three pro football teams but they are all solid revenue earners.  An audience of 1,345,700 potential fans lives in this, the 20th market.

Sacramento, CA - probably too close to Oakland and San Francisco (which are relatively low-revenue earning teams.) But as the 19th market it has the audience (1,345,820) to support a football team.

Columbus, OH = 32nd market with an audience of 890,770 - far enough from Cleveland and Cincinnati to justify a team of it’s own?

Milwaukee, WI = 33rd market with an audience of 880,390 - maybe Wisconsin has enough football fans to support two teams?

Raleigh, NC: 29th market with an audience of 985,200 - way too close to Charlotte’s Panthers, but potentially large enough to support a franchise of it’s own.


New Orleans HornetsThe season did not start well for the New Orleans Hornets, the hurricane floods had forced the team move their home games to Oklahoma, their neighbors to the Northwest. Byron Scott was introduced as the team’s new coach last year, after Tim Floyd’s one year stint. Scott inherited a team that included Baron Davis, Jamal Mashburn, and Jamaal Magloire. Things went south pretty quickly with injuries and they went from a playoff contender to a team heading straight to the lottery. Fans were perhaps wondering if they were actually worse off with Scott under the helm rather than Floyd, who has had an abysmal NBA coaching record.
in his own right.

Click to continue reading Coach Byron Scott Has The Hornets Surprisng


NFL Week 15 Reminder




Posted by Jeff Chan Categories: NFL, Playoffs,

Hey NFL fans, just a friendly reminder that three games on the schedule this week is slated for Saturday.  With playoff implications on the line, you won’t want to miss the results.  Plus, fantasy players might miss their chance to correctly insert the right lineup.

The matchups on Saturday are:

Tampa Bay at New England
Kansas City at New York Giants
Denver at Buffalo

Giants will miss middle-linebacker Antonio Pierce, so this could play into the hands for the Chiefs who are desperate for a win after a devastating loss last week in Dallas.  If you just caught the replays of last week’s matchup between the Chiefs and the Cowboys, you might think K Lawrence Tynes blew the chance to tie the game at the end of regulation.  What most highlight shows didn’t point out was the terrible snap by the center that caused Tynes to mistime the kick.

ESPN analyst Sean Salisbury’s predicts that with the AFC West (Denver, San Diego, Kansas City) fighting each other off for the division and a wildcard spot, the Pittsburgh Steelers might run the table the next three games and should make it in the playoffs with a record of 11-5.  Pittsburgh will head to Minnesota this week, followed by a game on the road @Cleveland, and the finale at home versus Detroit.  Jacksonville, with three weak opponents left on the schedule, San Francisco, @Houston, and Tennessee, they seem to be in good shape to hold on for a wildcard spot also.

The NFC South will also be tricky, with Tampa Bay and Carolina tied, and Atlanta just one game out, but we’ll get a clearer picture after Saturday.  Tampa Bay will head into New England, but so far have been solid at on the road with a 5-2 record.  The two loses come from the lowly Jets and 49ers.  The 49er lost came after a QB switch to Chris Simms, and he has been progressing since.

Confused by the tiebreaker scenarios?  I sure am, here is a helpful guide to answer your questions.


Pittsburgh
The last placed Penguins with new rookie sensation Sidney Crosby may have to change their address after the ‘06-07 season, when their lease at Mellon Arena expires.  Penguins already have such a good history in Pittsburgh, they used to have a cool nickname for their stadium- the Igloo, but Mellon Arena is the oldest and smallest arena in the National Hockey League.  It’s been tough sports-wise for the city of Pittsburgh since 1992, if it weren’t for the NFL Steelers.  In 1992, the Penguins wrapped up the season by winning their second Stanley Cup championship.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman listed seven cities—Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Portland, Winnipeg, Quebec, and Hamilton (Ontario) have all expressed interest in getting an NHL team.  To me, there is already enough confusion: Hartford Whalers changing their name to the Carolina Hurricanes, Winnipeg Jets turning into Phoenix Coyotes, the Quebec Nordiques relocating to become the Colorado Avalanche etc etc…  For those reasons alone, I hope the Penguins are able to stay in Pittsburgh.


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