Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top Games of 2008

With 2008 coming to an end today, we're taking a look back at the year that was. Today, we reflect on the best games of 2008. Here they are in no particular order.

10. Super Bowl XLII: Giants defeat Patriots.



9. Kansas over Memphis in the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.



8. Tiger Woods defeats Rocco Mediate in the U.S. Open.



7. SEC Football Championship: No. 2 Florida derails No. 1 Alabama.



6. Olympic Swimming Men's 4x100 Relay.



5. NBA Finals Game 4: L.A. Lakers fall to the Boston Celtics.



4. 10-seed Davidson over 2-seed Georgetown in the Sweet 16.



3. Rockies over the Padres... in 22 innings.

2. Texas Tech over then-No. 1 Texas in Lubbock.



1. Rafael Nadal tops Roger Federer in an epic Wimbledon Final.



We hope everyone has a safe and joyous New Year's. Stay safe and stay sweet, folks!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Top Plays of 2008

As 2008 winds down, here at 4th and Fail, like everywhere else, reflect on the year that was. We'll start off with the Top Plays of 2008.
11. (Honestly, who makes a list with 11 items?). Alexander Ovechkin's sick goal falling down



10. Mario Chalmers' three-pointer in the NCAA championship game.



9. Michael Phelps' one one-hundredth of a second win in the 100-meter butterfly.

8. Usain Bolt's record-breaking sprint in the 100-meter dash.

7. Knowshon Moreno goes airborne against Central Michigan.



6. Graham Harrell to Michael Crabtree against Texas.



5. Tiger Woods forces a playoff in the U.S. Open



4. Manning to Tyree: The Catch, The Play, whatever you want to call it. We call it Amazing.



3. Dwight Howard in the dunk contest. We couldn't pick just one, so we give you all of his dunks from the night that saved the dunk contest.



2. Hakeem Nicks and his behind the back catch against West Virginia.



1. Philip Lutzenkirchen's riSICKulous play in the back of the endzone. Where I come from, we call this, "the Greatest."



The music is fitting, as this play truly was second to none in 2008.

Happy 24th, LeBron James.

To: LeBron James

From: Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers, Daequan Cook and the rest of the Miami Heat and their fans.

Happy 24th, LeBron!

What do you get the man that has everything? A back scratcher is out of the question, now.

How about this gift: a loss. You don't seem to have many of those this year, so we thought you could use one.

What? You mean to tell us that your fellow NBA-ers get that for your birthday every year that you play on December 30?
2006: Loss.
2003: Loss.
2002: Loss.
Oh well, just think of it as a running gag gift, LeBron, and be thankful your birthday isn't every day.

Now go enjoy your post-game birthday party at Karu & Y.


...And the Carousel Continues

First it was Rod Marinelli, as a shock to no one.

Then it was Romeo Crennel, also not very shocking.

Then Eric Mangini, as a bit of a surprise.

And now...

Mike Shanahan got the axe from the Denver Broncos after 14 seasons and blowing the AFC West to the resurgent Chargers.

So who will be the next coach to hit the unemployment line?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

0-16


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Enter: Addazio

Urban Meyer named offensive line coach Steve Addazio as Florida's new offensive coordinator today, filling the void left when Dan Mullen accepted the head coaching position at Mississippi State.

A few weeks ago, when Mullen first accepted the Mississippi State job, we gave a list of a few people we would've liked to see fill his shoes. Noticeably missing from that list: Addazio.

We figured the best bet was for Meyer to keep the job in-house, and we thought wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales would've been a good fit. Addazio, however, also seems to be a great pick to takeover for Mullen (who will call plays in the BCS National Championship).

Any number of coaches on the offensive staff at Florida would've been great choices, seeing as how they all have a say in scripting plays and organizing the offense.

We wish Addazio the best of luck taking over for Mullen, and hope he has as much success at the position as Meyer's past offensive coordinators have had (three of them have gone on to get head coaching positions).

Farewell, Pat White

Pat White finished his stellar career at West Virginia with a 31-30 win in the Meineke Car Care Bowl over UNC.

White was named the Player of the Game, finishing with 332 yards passing (a career high) and 3 touchdown passes.

He leaves West Virginia as the Big East's all-time total yardage leader, just ahead of USF's Matt Grothe (who set the record in the MagicJack St. Pete Bowl last week). Though Grothe will obviously reclaim that record if he returns for his senior season, a tip of the hat deserves to go to White.

While White may be remembered by some for missing key games (or parts of them) due to some questionable injuries, he also deserves to be remembered for being one of the better players of the past decade.

He finishes as the all-time leading rusher ( over 4,400 yards) among quarterbacks in college football history, and goes down as the only quarterback to go 4-0 in his career as a starter in bowl games.

Oh yeah, he's also been selected in the MLB draft three times. The guy is quite the athlete, and we hope he finds his place on an NFL team in the future because he's that good/entertaining of a player.

We'll leave you with this highlight reel of White's career at WVU. Enjoy.


Look At The Bright Side, Roy Williams.

According to reports, Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams is annoyed at his lack of a role in the offense since being brought it from the hapless Detroit Lions earlier this season.

In nine games with Dallas, Williams has 17 receptions for 194 yards and a touchdown. That's hardly what a receiver of his caliber is capable of, and teammate Terrell Owens (among others), thinks Williams needs a larger role in the offense, having this to say:

Owens: "If I'm Roy, I'd be frustrated."

Owens seems to be a glass half-empty kind of guy. Here at 4th and Fail, though, we like to take a glass half-full approach to things. Here's how we see the situation from Williams' point of view:

El Tomas Verde: "If I'm Roy Williams, I'm glad I'm not in Detroit any more and that I'm getting paid $45 million over the next five years."

The way we see it, having a smaller role on a team battling for a playoff spot heading into the season's final week is by far a better situation than having superior stats on a team that has the worst start in league history at 0-15, and heading into the final week with the potential of going down in infamy as the WORST. TEAM. EVER. (if they lose to the Packers at Lambeau, a place where the Lions haven't won a game at since 1991).

So man up, Roy, and look at the bright side of things.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Lakers, Spurs Star in NBA's Annual Showing of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"

First, let's start by wishing everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS! (Unless, of course, you celebrate Hanukkah. In which case, we wish you a Happy Hanukkah.)

Now, down to business:

The Spurs and Suns put on quite a game this afternoon, but ultimately, it was the Spurs stealing Christmas from the Suns on a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Roger Mason (Who?).

Meanwhile, the Lakers stuffed coal in the Celtics' stockings, ending their 19-game winning streak, dropping the Celts to a tragic 27-3 on the year, by pulling away late in the fourth quarter. Kobe finished with 27 points, but it was Pau Gasol's 7-0 run late in the game that sealed the win for L.A.

The NBA certainly hasn't let us down on Christmas day in recent years, and this year was no different. Santa has certainly been good to NBA fans.

Speaking of Santa: Dwyane Wade helped buy a new home for a Miami family whose house burned down recently. Is there anything this guy doesn't do? He leads the league in scoring; wins a gold medal in Beijing; stars in some hilarious T-Mobile commercials with our personal favorite NBA personality (just ahead of Shaq), Charles Barkley; and oh yeah, he also donated $10,000 dollars to three children's organizations and hosted 100 kids at Tuesday's Heat game against the Warriors.

Anyways, hope you all had a great holiday season and finally got that White Power Ranger Sword you wanted 14 years ago!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twas the Night Before Christmas: Miami Dolphins Version

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the league
Not a player was stirring, due to season’s fatigue.
The final week’s games set by the commish with care,
In hopes that the playoffs soon would be there.

The fans were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of touchdown dances played in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my team cap,
Had just settled our brains for Sunday’s first snap.

When out in the stadium there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the game I flew like Chris Johnson’s 40-yard dash,
And turned up the volume for this weekend’s clash.

The sun on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to the players below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But the Wildcat formation, striking opponents’ fear.

With a little old back, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Rick(y).
Two sacks more allowed than the Eagles, his blockers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Long! now, Alleman! now, Satele and Ginn!
On, Carey! On, Fasano! On Ndukwe and Martin!
To the top of the division! to the top of the East!
Now dash away! Dash away! On our opponents we feast!"

As Ronnie lines up in the power(ful) I,
When he’s met with an obstacle, Brown hurdles some guy.
So up to the division-top the Dolphins they flew,
With the record better than the ‘Boys, thanks to Pennington, too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard from the stands
The roaring and cheering from every fan.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the sideline St. Ronnie came with a bound.

He was dressed all in pads, from his head to his feet,
And his jersey was tarnished with chalk, even his cleat.
A bundle of tacklers he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His strides reminded us of Sanders, yes, Barry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And as a present, he gave the fans a show.

His mouthpiece he held tight in his teeth,
And the steam it encircled his head like a wreath.
His blockers had broad faces and little round bellies,
That shook when they laughed, like a (Super)bowlful of jelly!

They were chubby and plump, like a jolly old elf,
And they laughed when they saw him, break tackles himself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave fans to know they had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stats, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the tunnel he rose!

He sprang to his locker, after the ref’s final whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he jogged out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Monday, December 22, 2008

When Referees Attack

A couple of months ago we had the incident where Wilbur Hackett, Jr., an SEC football official jacked up South Carolina QB Stephen Garcia.

This past weekend, when the St. Louis Rams hosted the San Francisco 49ers, NFL official, Garth DeFelice gave the Rams' Kenneth Darby a right cross of his own.

We assume that DeFelice figured that, in a game between two NFC West teams that are well below .500 and playing for nothing of signifcance in week 16, someone had to make a SportsCenter-worthy hit.

Mr. DeFelice, we commend you for making a game between two sub-.500 teams in late December relevant. If not relevant, at least worthy of a few good laughs.

This also leads us to our new poll question: Who would win in a fight: Wilbur Hackett, Jr. or Garth DeFelice? Vote and let us know your opinion.

Now enjoy the video of the killer right cross.

Memorable College Football Leg Injuries

In case you missed it last night, Southern Mississippi wide receiver Deandre Brown broke his shin last night in the New Orleans Bowl in a freak accident. No one touched him, and it seems as though the mere force of friction of his cleats across the surface of the field caused the break.

(Warning: the video of said incident follows).




This reminds us how dangerous the sport of football can be, even when you least expect it. It also reminds us of some of the most memorable leg injuries we've witnessed in college football games. So without further ado...

5. Patrick Edwards, WR, Houston. Breaks his leg after running through end zone in effort to catch a pass and runs into metal carts.

Really, what are those carts doing so close to the field? In the back of the endzone, no less. What were these people thinking?

4. Byron Leftwich, QB, Marshall. Broke his left tibia in the first quarter of a game against Akron in 2002.

This one wasn't a knock out blow like the others on this list, however, the everlasting image of Leftwich's linemen carrying him down field after a completion, and the mere fact that he played through a broken tibia garners Leftwich a spot on this list.

3. Willis McGahee, RB, Miami. Blows out his knee against Ohio State in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl.

One of the most memorable moments from one of the most memorable BCS Championship games. It's tough to watch McGahee's leg bend backwards, but we're just glad he was able to bounce back and have a steady NFL career.

2. Joe Paterno, Head Coach, Penn State. Breaks his leg against Wisconsin in 2006.

You have to feel bad for an octogenarian getting his leg taken out by a college kid, especially when it's one of the winningest coaches in college football history.

1. Tyrone Prothro, WR, Alabama. Breaks his leg against Florida in 2005.

This one was particularly bad, because just weeks earlier, he gave us one of the most memorable catches in college football, EVER.


Any in-game leg injury we left off the list that you thought deserved to be here? Feel free to let us know in the comments.

Dolphins Football is RELEVANT in Late December

You know something is up when the Miami Dolphins are playing a late-December game with a 4:15 kickoff.

That something: the AFC East division crown is on the line against the New York Jets.

Coming into the season, if you would have told a Dolphins fan that Chad Pennington was going to lead the team to a 10-win season, with the division title, and subsequent playoff spot on the line when the Dolphins stroll into the Meadowlands this weekend and Pennington squares off against the team that sent him packing after the acquisition of Brett Favre, they probably would've asked you what kind of drugs you were on... and where they could purchase it.

But that's the case this week. For the Dolphins it's simple: win and you're in. Lose, and the season is over.

This Dolphins team is doing something special, with one of the greatest turnarounds in NFL history, and with a chance to have the fewest turnovers in a season ever. In other words, the Dolphins are relevant again in December.

We were beginning to forget what that felt like, but then we remembered: it feels good.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dwyane Wade is Back

Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight.

Through Dwyane Wade's first four seasons, it's seemed like he had fallen down several more times than that, and after cutting his season short last year, many questioned if Wade would be able to get back up this time around.

But...

Dwyane Wade's Belief is Stronger Than Your Doubt.

After tonight's 35-point performance, it's clear that Wade, who leads the NBA with 28 points per game, is back and possibly better than ever, and yes, that includes his 2006 Finals MVP performance.

On a night that was a showcase of two of the league's best shooting stars... um, guards, it was Wade's star that shone the brightest, outshining that of Kobe Bryant's. Despite only a 14-point fourth quarter from the Heat, they held off the now 21-4 Lakers, and held the leagues highest scoring offense (at 108.37 points per game) to just 87 points, that's 20 under their season average for you math whizzes out there.

Mike Krzyzewski, Wade's Olympic coach said that Wade was a champion before he was a champion and that he was the most humble star he has ever coached. Wade's willingness to come off the bench during those games just showed a glimpse of his leadership ability and his will to win. Those aspects are parlaying from Team USA to this young Miami Heat team.

If this past summer's Olympics were any indication of what to expect from Wade, the best is yet to come. He is playing at an MVP level so far this season, and this team lives and dies by how well Wade leads them game-in and game-out. Not only is he an MVP caliber player right now, but he is also deserving of the league's Comeback Player of the Year Award so far.

So as cheesy as those taglines from Wade's Converse commercials are, maybe the fine people in Converse's advertisement department are on to something. Maybe they know somethin about Wade that the rest of us didn't know. But the way he is playing, we will all know soon, and to steal a line from Nike's LeBron James advertisements:

We Are All Witnesses.

Or should we say: Wadenesses.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Facial Symmetry = Big Bucks for Quarterbacks

... or so says this study by economists David Berri, Rob Simmons and Jennifer VanGilder.

ESPN's First Take reported on this this morning with Skip Bayless and Jemele Hill, citing this article in the Kansas City Star.

Hate to break it to both of them, but they're a few months late on that news, as the New York Times reported on it months ago. That's fine though, because it gives us an opportunity to look back at that study and some remarkable observations from it:

- A "good-looking" quarterback makes up to $300,000 more than his stats predict. Conversely, a quarterback who's face isn't as symmetrical makes up to $300,000 less than other factors predict.

- Brett Favre is the "prettiest" quarterback in the league.

- The biggest beneficiaries of this trend: backup quarterbacks. Maybe there is something to say about a backup getting paid to look good on the sideline with a headset and a clipboard.

We really wish we were a backup quarterback in the NFL with a symmetrical face. It seems like a sweet job. Not as sweet as Stephon Marbury though, who is getting paid $21.7 million to stay away from the Knicks (read: Do NOTHING).

Will Someone Please Beat the Celtics?

16 in a row. Come on, really now?

It's not like the Rockets' 22-game win streak last season, because the Celtics are actually going to do something in the playoffs, you know, since they don't have the T-Mac curse to hurdle.

The Celtics are good. Really good. Someone needs to beat them. Only three other teams in NBA history have had as good of a 25-game start to the season (23-2) as the Celtics this season, the 1966-67 76ers, the '69-'70 Knicks and the '95-'96 Bulls. Of those three teams, all three went on to win the NBA championship that season.

If that's any indication, we think the Celtics are in good shape to repeat as champions this year.
With Rajon Rondo emerging as a star point guard, the big three of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce is turning into the Fab Four, and that simple addition could lead to another number for the Celtics: 18. As in 18 championships for the franchise.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pro Bowl Snub

The NFL released this season's Pro Bowl rosters today. There were a few obvious omissions, including Chargers QB Phillip Rivers, who leads the league in both passer rating and touchdown passes.

However, there are some less obvious omissions to the rosters, too. Most notably, Dolphins QB Chad Pennington. Sure, his statistics might not rival those of Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Jay Cutler, however, no one can argue that Pennington isn't a huge reason for the Dolphins insane turnaround this season.

The Dolphins have been searching for stability at the QB position since Dan Marino retired, and while the future of this team down the road lies in the waiting hands of Chad Henne, Pennington has given the Dolphins the stability and leadership they've been lacking at the position for all these years.

He may not put up gaudy statistics, 3,218 passing yards, and only 14 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, but Pennington has shown he is a great decision maker. He is a big reason the Dolphins have only turned the ball over 10 times through 14 games. They lead the league in turnover margin at +12. Pennington is also fourth in the league in QB rating and fifth in completion percentage.

If not for Pennington, the Dolphins would not be tied for first in the AFC East, and would not be fighting for a playoff spot.

Again, Pennington may not have gaudy numbers, but he leads the team where it counts, and probably deserved a spot on the AFC Pro Bowl roster.

But then again, it's the Pro Bowl, and nobody, players or fans, really cares about it either way.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Charles Barkley Thinks Auburn Did a "Turrible" Job

"I think race was the No. 1 factor. You can say it's not about race, but you can't compare the two résumés and say [Chizik] deserved the job. Out of all the coaches they interviewed, Chizik probably had the worst résumé."

- Charles Barkley, former Auburn forward, on the school's hiring of head football coach Gene Chizik.

Barkley definitely has a point here. Why would Auburn hire a guy who, in his two seasons at Iowa State, compiled a record of 5-19? There were definitely much more deserving candidates out there, namely, Buffalo's Turner Gill.

Sir Charles is telling it like it is, especially after ESPN's Mark Schlaback reported that two SEC coaches told him Gill would never get the Auburn job because he has a white wife. Apparently black coaches, white wives and the "heart of the South," don't mix very well.

This statement, among other things, is exactly why we would support Charles Barkley if he ever decided to run for a political office. It also happens to be why we think that he should have his own talk show, two hours, every day. It would undoubtedly be a hit.

This brings us to our favorite quotes, in no particular order, by The Round Mound of Rebound, Sir Charles Barkley:

Note: The famous, "that's terrible," and, "he's a knucklehead," are not included because they are said on a regular basis. It would be unfair to include them because they would take up the entire list.


10. "These are my new shoes. They're good shoes. They won't make you rich like me, they won't make you rebound like me, they definitely won't make you handsome like me. They'll only make you have shoes like me. That's it."

9. "We're just playing basketball. It's not like we're going out to have unprotected sex with Magic," - on Magic Johnson's return to basketball after announcing he has HIV.

8. After seeing Sam Cassell on the screen: "Phone home...," and then later, "Sam Cassell is a good guy, but he’s not going to wind up on the cover of GQ anytime soon"
We call that one a double whammy.

7. "I heard Tonya Harding is calling herself the Charles Barkley of figure skating. I was going to sue her for defamation of character, but then I realized I have no character."

6. "Yeah Ernie, its called defense, I mean I wouldn't know anything about it personally but I've heard about it through the grapevine."
We too, are fans of the concept of defense, but putting it to practice is a different story.

5. "We don't need refs, but I guess white guys need something to do."

4. "Any time a little midget does something like this, you gotta give him a 10!" - On Nate Robinson in the dunk contest a few years ago.

3. "I don't create controversies. They're there long before I open my mouth. I just bring them to your attention."

2. "Kids are great. That's one of the best things about our business, all the kids you get to meet. It's a shame they have to grow up to be regular people and come to the games and call you names."

1. Since we are on the topic of Auburn with this post, the number one spot includes a few quotes about Barkley's days at Auburn:
-1a. “When I was recruited at Auburn [university], they took me to a strip joint. When I saw Buffy, I knew that Auburn met my academic requirements.”
-1b. "All I know is, as long as I led the Southeastern Conference in scoring, my grades would be fine"
-1c. Ernie: “Auburn is a pretty good school. To graduate from there I suppose you really need to work hard and put forth maximum effort.”
Charles: “20 pts and 10 rebounds will get you through also!”

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sam Bradford: The 74th Heisman Winner

Congrats to Sam Bradford, who became the fifth Sooner to win the prestigious award.

A few notes on the Heisman this year:
- Tim Tebow received the most first place votes, but lost, the first time that has happened since 1956.
- Sam Bradford became the second sophomore ever to win the Heisman, joining Tebow, who won it last season.
- First time ever that no Heisman finalists were seniors.
- We now know why Graham Harrell wasn't invited to New York: he only received 213 points in the voting, compared to 1,726 for Bradford, 1,604 for Colt McCoy and 1,575 for Tebow.

This award makes the BCS National Championship game that much more intriguing. We now have the last two Heisman winners facing off against each other for the title. This is the second time that two Heisman winners will be facing each other in the national title game. In the 2004 season, Matt Leinart faced off against Oklahoma's Jason White, who won the previous year. That game also took place in Miami. It is also the first time since the 2005 season that a bowl game has had two Heisman winners playing (Leinart and Reggie Bush, USC, Rose Bowl).

Now the real question is whether or not the recent curse of Heisman winners losing their bowl game will continue this year: the last five Heisman winners, and seven of the last eight, have lost their bowl games (the lone exception being Carson Palmer in 2002). We hope that streak continues come January.

We would also like to thank all of those who voted in our first poll, we will have a new one up soon.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Good Day, Dan

The picking off of Florida and Oklahoma coaches began today. Florida Offensive Coordinator Dan Mullen will be named the new coach at Mississippi State tomorrow. Not to say that losing a coordinator wasn't expected, but we figured the first job would go to Charlie Strong, who is totally deserving of a head coaching position somewhere, though we wish he will stay.

Truth is, many people had been calling for Mullen's firing after the loss to Ole Miss, as evidenced here, and here. But then, Mullen backed away from his play caller from last season, and decided to use the arsenal of weapons he has on offense: Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps, Aaron Hernandez, to name a few.

This could be a huge distraction for the team headed into the BCS National Championship game against Oklahoma next month, as it's not clear yet whether Mullen will stay on with the team through the game.

On one hand, if he stays with the team, how much of his attention will be on the title game, and how much will be with working on buliding his own staff and hitting the recruiting trail?

On the other hand, if he doesn't stay with the team, who will take over the play calling for the national title game?

Is this a catch-22? Possibly. But we are sure Urban Meyer will come up with something so that this doesn't become a distraction for a well-oiled machine heading into the game in Miami.

The real question though: Who will Meyer choose to replace Mullen as offensive coordinator next season? We've got a short list of people we would like to see calling plays for the Gators come 2009.

- Kerwin Bell: The former Gator quarterback, and current head coach at Jacksonville University. He coached at Trinity Catholic, where Tim Tebow's backup, John Brantley was his quarterback. He built a winning program at Trinity Catholic, and is working on building the program at Jacksonville. We think he could be a good fit calling plays for his alma mater.

- Gus Malzahn: Current offensive coordinator for Tulsa. The guy has the most efficient quarterback in the country (yes, ahead of Sam Bradford and Tebow). He is also seen as an offensive genius, and while it's more likely he will take a head coaching job somewhere, it would be interesting to have him and Meyer collaborating to run this high-powered offense.

- Billy Gonzales: The current wide receivers coach. What he has done in his years as wide receivers coach is pretty impressive. He has 14 years of coaching experience, and could also fit in nicely in the coaching booth. He could be due for a promotion, especially since he has been one of Meyer's guys since his days at Bowling Green. It would be a good idea to keep the job in house.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mets Bullpen Destined to NOT Blow (Saves) in '09

The New York Mets today agreed to a three-year, $37 million deal with closer Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez.

K-Rod, who set an MLB record with 62 saves last season for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim could serve as a much needed remedy for a Mets bullpen that blew 29 saves last season.

With this move, the Mets bullpen is seemingly destined to not suck in 2009. However, they are the Mets, so we believe they will still find ways to blow games.

That being said, here are the five most likely ways the Mets will blow games, and probably a spot in the playoffs, in 2009:

1. The starting pitching rotation, now feeling as though the weight of the world hs been lifted from their shoulders, will have an ERA higher than K-Rod's new annual salary, not even giving K-Rod and the 'pen a chance to save the game.

2. The new Citi Field will be cursed by a construction worker burying a Hanley Ramirez jersey in the conrete structure of the stadium.

3. The MLB's new instant replay policy will backfire against the Mets during key games, showing that shots they thought to be homeruns are actually ground-rule doubles or foul balls.

4. Their starting lineup will fall victim to a series of unfortunate, and rather strange events like in The Simpsons episode, "Homer at the Bat." We can see it happening now: Carlos Delgado will overdose on nerve tonic, resulting in gigantism; David Wright will disappear into the "Springfield Mystery Spot"; Jose Reyes will be knocked out by a drunk at a bar and Johan Santana will think he is a chicken, as a result of a bad hypnotist. And in an ironic turn of events, Pedro Martinez will take Santana back to Martinez's home in the Dominican Republic and use him in cockfights.

5. They're the Mets, they'll find ways to blow games that we can't even fathom at the moment.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Bowl Committees LOVE IRONY!

Looking at this year's bowl schedule, there are a few things we look forward to, other than the BCS title game in Miami:

- There's a few intriguing matchups that we think could be good bowl games, and they are, as follows:

Texas Tech - Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl. Ole Miss turned out a lot better than people thought when they were when they beat UF this year, and Tech is, well, Tech. If rumors of Mike Leach to a school like Auburn are true, then this could serve as his introduction to the SEC.

Oregon State - Pitt in the Sun Bowl. Quizz Rodgers and LeSean McCoy. 'nuff said.

Wisconsin - FSU in the Champs Sports Bowl, and Cal - Miami in the Emerald Bowl. Because we enjoy seeing our rivals play before New Year's Eve.

Notre Dame - Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl. Wait, let's get this straight... Notre Dame goes 6-6 and gets rewarded with a vacation to Hawaii in December? So not fair.

Speaking of unfair, how would you like to play for Cincy right now? This past week they travelled to Hawaii for their regular season finale, and then in January they get to go to Miami for the Orange Bowl.

Now here is our FAVORITE part of the bowl schedule this year:

Notice the bowls in which the Utah Utes and BYU Cougars are playing in: the Sugar Bowl and the Las Vegas Bowl, respectively. That's right, folks, the two schools with strong Mormon backgrounds are playing in New Orleans and Las Vegas. What's wrong with that picture? EVERYTHING. The sense of humor and irony that the bowl selection committee has is overwhelming. We love it. Those cities tourism bureaus, on the other hand, are probably not as amused as we are. But from what we've heard, those Mormons throw some crazy parties... or not.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Florida's Run to the SEC Title: Scorched Earth

Florida 31, Alabama 20.

And with that victory last night in the Georgia Dome, Florida capped what was an amazing run through their last nine games, and the SEC Championship.

For those of us who weren't alive during the Civil War, Florida has gone to the trouble of re-enacting General Sherman's March to the Sea.

As a result of this dramatic re-enactment on behalf of the Gators, we think there is only one term that best describes what Florida has done to its opponents the past two and a half months: scorched earth.

It's as if this season Coach Urban Meyer has channelled his inner Les Grossman (Tom Cruise's foul-mouthed super-producer character in "Tropic Thunder")

In fact, they might be the same person, considering this quote by Grossman seems to adequately describe Meyer's message to anyone in Florida's way this season:

"So whatever you're thinking, you'd better think again! Otherwise I'm gonna have to head down there and I will rain down in a Godly f***ing firestorm upon you! You're gonna have to call the f***ing United Nations and get a f***ing binding resolution to keep me from f***ing destroying you. I'm talking scorched earth, motherf***er! I will massacre you! I WILL F*** YOU UP! "

Yeah, that about sums up Florida's run through the SEC.

Tonight, at 8, the final BCS standings will be released, and it's expected that Florida and Oklahoma will face off for the national championship in Miami next month. We're not gonna lie, we can't wait for that game.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What To Look Forward To Today

We'll try to keep it short here today, folks. So here's what you get to look forward to on this beautiful Saturday, the final Saturday of the college football regular season.

Noon: Army-Navy. So what if it isn't a marquee matchup between top tier programs, it's one of the greatest rivalry games in college football. Army appears to be really overmatched by the Midshipmen, but tune it, you might enjoy it.

1 PM: ACC Championship game coming to you live from Tampa Bay, Fla. featuring Boston College and Virginia Tech. Not the most intriguing matchup, but we'll probably watch it anyways, plus we here there are still tons of great seats still available! Sadly, we aren't kidding about that.

4 PM: Yeah you might have heard a little something about some big game in Atlanta this weekend, we're not sure. But seriously, Florida-Alabama in the Georgia Dome. SEC Title on the line. Trip to Miami for the BCS National Championship game on the line. 1 vs. 2 in the AP poll. 1 vs. 4 in the BCS. Any way you look at it, this is a national semi-final. This could be a game for the ages. Urban Meyer said Percy Harvin is looking doubtful for the game, so look for a huge game from the UF "quarkbacks."

What's a quarkback, you might ask?

"Quarkback (?kwork-bak), n. A running back loosely defined as being 5′9″ or less and weighing between 150 and 180 pounds and possessing 4.4 speed or less. Derivation: internet slang.
Example: Jeff Demps, Florida quarkback, ran so fast on his third quarter dash to the endzone he inflicted second-degree burns on SEC official Penn Wagers as he passed him.
"


4:30 PM: USC and UCLA play. We care little about this game, as it overlaps the SEC title game. Moving on.

8 PM: Missouri and Oklahoma in the Big 12 Title game. It's simple: Oklahoma wins, they're going to Miami. Missouri wins, and all hell breaks loose on the BCS, again. But Missouri can't stop the pass, so Sam "Robocop" Bradford will likely light up the Mizzou secondary like a Christmas tree.

That is all, folks. Enjoy what should be a great day of college football.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Who Benefits the Most from Notre Dame's Decision to Keep Charlie Weis?

Although we think it is utterly rediculous that the Fightin' Irish have decided to hold on to Charlie Weis to lead their program for at least one more year, we are, in a strange way, thankful that they decided to not give Weis the axe.

While it is a huge double standard that Weis (28-21 as Notre Dame's coach) is returning for another season while Tyrone Willingham (21-16) was given the boot in less time for posting a similar record. Plus, it's well documented that Weis' most successful team was with Willingham's recruits, but we digress. This post isn't about the unfair treatment of Willingham, it's about the biggest beneficiary, in our opinion, of Notre Dame's latest decision.

Just who is that beneficiary, you may ask? Simple: The University of Florida.

Let us explain. Had Notre Dame relieved Weis of his duties, it's no doubt who would be at the top of their very short list of head coaching candidates: Urban Meyer. The Irish tried scooping him up when they fired Willingham, but he opted for Florida at the time.

It's also no secret that Meyer's dream job is to be the head coach of the Irish. To paraphrase his stance on that job offer, it's one of the few jobs where his wife has no veto power over his decision. That has to make Gators fans a little nervous.

There's no doubt that Florida would be able to bring in the best coach possible to replace Meyer if such a situation were to occur, but we prefer to not think about that. We have a good thing going on here in Gainesville, and we don't want to lose that because of the Golden Domers.

Now why would Meyer leave a dream situation in Florida right now, who knows, other than to enter his own dream situation in South Bend. But Meyer is on the brink of doing something special with this Florida program: one win away from his second SEC title in three years, and so close to a second trip to the BCS championship game in three seasons. He has put a strangle hold on Florida's rivals (FSU, Tennessee, Georgia and Miami), amassing a 12-1 record against them. He is dominating the recruiting trail, and brining in some of the fastest kids in the nation (yes you Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps).

He has the potential of doing for Florida what Pete Carroll has done for USC. Meyer could become more revered in The Gator Nation than the Ole Ball Coach is, and that's saying something, considering Spurrier brought UF their first two Heisman trophies and their first national championship. In the next month, Meyer could potentially tie Spurrier in Heisman winners (if Tebow repeats) and surpass him in national titles.

So thankfully, the Irish held on to Weis, and Meyer will remain in his central Florida kingdom, for at least one more season.

We, as Gators fans, thank you, Notre Dame, for making the worst possible decision for your program, and the best decision for ours.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

808s & Heartbreak: BCS Remix

Sorry for the recent lack of posts, everyone. We just now awoke from our turkey-induced Thanksgiving comas. Not really, but we were catching up with family and friends the past week. So now that that's done with, we return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.

Last week, Kanye West's new album 808s & Heartbreak hit stores. Personally, we love the album and the new style. He really switches things up with his singing and tribal-drums-meet-orchestra-pit-beats. Know what else we love? College football. So we've gone to the courtesy of matching up the BCS' top 12 teams with each track off of Mr. West's new album. We list the tracks in order, with each team's BCS ranking in parentheses after the team name.


1. "Say You Will" - TCU (11) and Ball State (12). To quote the chorus of the album's heart monitoresque opening, "Hey hey hey hey, don't say you will, one day you will, I pray you will." That about sums up the Horned Frogs and Cardinals this season, they chose the wrong season to try to crash the BCS party, but perhaps, "one day you will."

2. "Welcome to Heartbreak" - Texas (3). It's like that line, "My Godsister's gettin' married by the lake, but I couldn't figure out who I wanna take." The Big 12 tiebreaker couldn't figure out who they wanted to take, so they looked to the BCS for an answer, and it turned out to be Oklahoma. Welcome to Heartbreak, Texas.

3. "Heartless" - Alabama (1). The one word to describe Nick Saban and his coaching staff, especially after those remarks in the week leading up to the much anticipated game against Georgia earlier this season. (Warning: Video contains some explicit language. Wait for the 1:04 mark for the now infamous "funeral" line).





4. "Amazing" - Florida (4). The best word to describe Florida's offensive blitzkrieg and defensive chokehold on their eight opponents since that loss to Ole Miss back in September. Turns out that that loss could be the best thing that happened to this team all season. It awoke the sleeping dragon. "It's amazing... so amazing..."

5. "Love Lockdown" - USC (5). They held Notre Dame to 91 yards of total offense, only nine in the first half. I don't care if it was against hapless Notre Dame, that's just down right impressive. They're defense has certainly had opponents on Love Lockdown this season, except for that trip to Corvalis, but oh well, they're one win against UCLA shy of a trip to the Rose Bowl, again.

6. "Paranoid" - Ohio State (10). We're pretty sure that coming into this season Ohio State started to doubt their ability on the big stage (see: 2006 AND 2007 BCS Championship game films). We think they were wondering all season what would happen if they went undefeated or had one-loss and were in the thick of things: would voters be hesistant to send them back to the big stage? "Don't be so paranoid... don't worry 'bout it... don't even think about it. You worry 'bout the wrong things, the wrong things." Hey, "a little time out," from the big scene might do you some good in the future.

7. "Robocop" - Oklahoma (2). One word to describe the machine-like efficiency that quarterback Sam Bradford has worked with to run the Sooners offense this season. He's first among BCS conference quarterbacks in efficiency (191.0), second overall. He's thrown for over 4000 yards and nearly 50 touchdowns. No defense wants to meet this Robocop in Miami because they may have trouble trying to stop him now.

8. "Street Lights" - Texas (3). Yeah, we're mentioning the Longhorns here again. We call this a double whammy back where we come from. Appreciate it. All those moments passed in front of you, Texas, just like street lights. What moments, you may ask? How about Blake Gideon's dropped gift-wrapped interception on the play before "the play" that decided the game. Or you could go with the Harrell-Crabtree connection that followed it for the game-winning touchdown. Or better yet, how about this moment: when this week's BCS rankings were released with OU ahead of you. Ouch. "You knew your destination," (the Big 12 title game), "but you're just not there, life's just not fair."

9. "Bad News" - Boise State (9). Congrats to Ian Johnson and Co. You guys went undefeated in the regular season for the third time in five years, and for that we tip our caps to our favorite BCS buster of all time (see: 2007 Fiesta Bowl). Unfortunately we have some Bad News, Broncos, you're likely going to be left out of a BCS bowl this season, despite your efforts.

10. "See You In My Nightmare" - Texas Tech (7). "I might see you in my nightmare, how did you get there?" That's exactly what they're saying to Oklahoma after that shellacking they took in Norman a couple of weeks back. It essentially eliminated them from the Big 12 title game, and a shot at the BCS crown. "And that you (already) know," Tech fans.

11. "Coldest Winter" - Penn State (8). After that last-second loss to Iowa ended JoePa's undefeated season, and a trip to Miami in January, the Nittany Lions are headed to Pasadena to likely face off against USC. Ouch. It's certainly going to be the coldest winter without that BCS trophy, especially after that potential loss to the Trojans. But hey, "memory is made in the coldest winter." These may be some memories that Penn State might want to forget, and quick.

BONUS TRACK: "Pinocchio Story" - Utah (6). Again, a tip of the cap, this time to the Utes, who have completed their second undefeated season in five years. They're currently ranked sixth in the BCS and are probably headed to the Fiesta Bowl in January. You certainly wish you were a REAL boy, don't you, Utah? At least then you might realistically get a shot at the national title. But until then, you'll have to settle for the other BCS bowls.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Things To Be Thankful For This Thanksgiving

Let's start off by wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there. We hope you enjoy surrounding yourselves with family, friends and food! (what more could you ask for?)

Now before everyone sinks into their turkey-induced comas later today, we here at 4th and Fail would like to acknowledge some of things that we, as sports fans and bloggers are thankful for on this joyous day.

1. Football. Really, what's Thanksgiving without some football? Even if it is the lowly Lions playing today, Turkey and Pigskin go hand in hand this time of the year, and we are thankful for that.

2. Rivalries. College football's rivalry weeks. It brings out the best in all players out there, the one game they pride their whole season on. Who care's if your team isn't bowl eligible this year, the season can be salvaged by a win over your big rivals. This weekend, as well as last weekend, are considered to be "Rivalry Week" in the college football world. It also happens to sandwich Thanksgiving. Coincidence? We think not. This weekend, we will be indulging in the Florida-Florida State game (which we regrettably will not be attending this year), surrounded by our family. Go Gators.

3. High Definition TV. Because, to steal a line from comedian Daniel Tosh, the lack of resolution was making it difficult for us to watch our favorite sports team on broadcasts like Raycom Sports (ew).

4. Turkey Bowls. Because we look forward to waking up from that turkey-induced coma to play some football with our friends. Nothing better than some pickup football over Thanksgiving break.

5. Bonehead athletes. Because they make for good writing. Sure, it's sad when they slip up and do stupid things, but as a writer, it's great.

6. You, the readers. Because without you guys, this would just be a glorified journal.

We're off to spend time with the family and indulge in some good eats, and hopefully some good football. Good day, folks.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

BCS Ultimate Doomsday Scenario

To quote Jigsaw of the Saw gorefest films, "I want to play a game," so let's play a game, folks. The game is called "What If: BCS Ultimate Doomsday Edition!"

Note, before we begin this game, we realize the unlikelihood that all of the following events occur, but let's be ambitious and think about the possibilities.

So now that Texas Tech was shellacked by Oklahoma, there's currently a three-way tie for the Big 12 South division title, and a trip to the Big 12 title game. It's been well publicized that the three-way tiebreak goes to the team ranked highest after next week's BCS standings are released. So barring a collapse by Oklahoma next weekend, let's assume they finish ranked ahead of Tech and Texas (who beat them, soundly, at a neutral site).

Anyways, next week we have Florida visiting rival Florida State. Obviously, being a Gator homer and student, we like the Gators to win this game. But remember, we're playing "What If.." here.

So what happens if UF falls to FSU, then the following week UF handles undefeated 'Bama in Atlanta for the SEC title. Obviously, both teams would be eliminated from a trip to Miami for the BCS title.

Now let's say, the same weekend, Missouri knocks off Oklahoma. Oklahoma would probably drop out of the picture, too.

We assume that Tech and Texas, at this point, should be left out of the title picture by virtue of not winning their conference. So with that in mind, do we nix USC from the argument, too, if Oregon State beats Oregon in the Civil War next weekend and wins the Pac-10?

Yeah, yeah, we know Oklahoma lost the Big 12 title game in 2003 and still wound up in the National Championship game. (That turned out real well, didn't it, Jason White?)

Or, for the hell of it, let's say (and we know this is the most unlikely of all the events listed here), that Notre Dame somehow topples USC next weekend.

What title game would America be tuning into in January?

At that point, does Utah and/or Boise State finally get the nod over all of these BCS schools? Does that ultimately make Penn State rise back into the top 2?

Utah and Boise State would be the only remaining undefeated teams ranked highly (sorry, Ball State), and Penn State would be the only BCS conference champion with one loss.

What would happen in the (extremely) unlikely event that all of these things occur? Would America even tune in to a title game of Utah/Boise State, Utah/Penn State, or Boise State/Penn State?

Our head is starting to spin just thinking of this doomsday scenario. We don't like this game of "What If: BCS Ultimate Doomsday Edition!" We quit.

Let's just snap back to reality, and hope that nothing out of the ordinary occurs and either Florida or 'Bama (and by that we mean Florida all the way), win out. And that whoever wins the Big 12 South beats down Mizzou for the crown, so America can get the matchup they want: Big 12 -SEC for the BCS National Championship.

Please and Thank You.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cam Newton Arrested for Stupidity

Florida backup quarterback Cameron newton was arrested Friday for stealing a laptop.

He wasn't caught when he stole it, but rather when the school traced the laptop back to him after he logged into the UF network from the laptop. Honestly, who is stupid enough to do that? Not that stealing a $1,700 laptop is a smart move to begin with, but c'mon.

Police initially entered Newton's dorm to investigate. They checked the serial number on the laptop, and left the dorm to verify it. After it was confirmed that it matched that of the stolen laptop, they re-entered Newton's dorm and: voila, the laptop was gone.

They found out that Newton had thrown the laptop out of the window of his dorm, and it was later found behind the dumpster of the dorm.

Maybe Newton should've thrown the laptop out before the police came in and read him his Miranda rights. But we guess that sitting on the bench for the past two seasons has really affected his throwing arm.

Regardless, Gator fans shouldn't care about Newton's arm anymore. Coach Urban Meyer should kick Newton off the team, in much the same manner that cornerback Jacques Rickerson was booted for felony assault by strangulation a few weeks back.

Entering his career at UF, Newton showed promise as Tim Tebow's backup in garbage time. He became a fan favorite after his performance at the end of the game against Tennessee in 2007:



But those days should be forgotten by Gator fans. Newton must be kicked off the team for this, it's inexcusable.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

How to Solve the ACC

So after week's of trying to figure out this whacky conference that is the ACC, we here at 4th and Fail have devised a very complex mathematic formula for determining the eventual conference champion, who will be crowned on December 6th in Tampa.

As of this week, nine of the conferences 12 teams were still in contention for a trip to Tampa. Only Duke, Clemson and NC State have eliminated themselves. Of the nine remaining teams, only Maryland and Miami controlled their own destiny entering the week.

So withour further ado, and after hours of computations and permutations and all sorts of advanced calculations, we give you our solution for how to pick the ACC champion:


Directions: Simply close your eyes, flick the spinning arrow and pray that it lands on the team of your preference if you're an ACC fan (or a betting man).


UPDATE: On ESPN's College Football Final show last night (December 6th/7th), before they showed the highlights of the ACC Championship game, they had a similar wheel-of-fortune-esque gameshow spinner that represented all the ACC teams. I've heard of them snatching other people's jokes from blogs, but material like this? Perhaps it's a bit of a "rip-off"? Oh well.

The ACC's Leading Rusher is... a Fullback?!?

Watching UM-Georgia Tech tonight, and the big matchup coming into the game was Miami's "vaunted" rush defense against Paul Johnson's triple-option offense.

Halftime: Georgia Tech 24 - Miami 3

At the half, Yellow Jacket "B-Back" Jonathan Dwyer has 128 rushing yards (on 10 attempts) and two touchdowns.

For those not familiar with the triple-option offense, the B-Back is essentially the equivalent of a fullback in most offenses. Coming into the game, Dwyer was the only back in the ACC over 1,000 yards on the season, and the only one averaging over 100 yards per game.

That's right: the ACC's leading rusher is essentially a fullback. The next closest rusher in the conference, Da'Rell Scott of Maryland, is 200 yards behind Dwyer on the season.

Oddly, that's not the craziest part of the ACC this season. With only two weeks remaining in the regular season, nine of the conferences 12 teams are still in contention to play in the conferences title game in Tampa on December 6th.

Coming into the night, Miami controlled its own destiny in the division, but GT is looking to shake things up yet again. If they hold on for the win, it's anyones guess as to who will win the ACC this season.

Williamson v. Childress: A New Angle on Betting on the NFL

If the NFL was already trying to ignore the elephant in the room, and not address the sports betting implications that Sunday's Steelers-Chargers game had, then Roger Goodell must be glad he doesn't regulate MMA fights.

We could see it now: the NFL presents Bare-Knuckle Boxing.

Confused? Let us explain:

Troy Williamson, former first round pick by the Minnesota Vikings, was docked one game's paycheck last season by Coach Brad Childress when he extended his stay with his family in South Carolina following the death of his grandmother. Childress later rescinded the fine, but lost Williamson's respect.

This weekend, Williamson's Jaguars host the Vikings, and Williamson had this to say about Childress:

"We can meet on the 50-yard line and we can go at it."

Wow. A professional athlete wanting to duke it out with a coach. Childress barked back with this comment:

"Do you need my reach? I'm not like a woman; I'll give you my weight. It's 190 pounds of twisted steel and rompin', stompin' dynamite."

Never mind the fact that Childress, 52, is twice Williamson's age, 25. Never mind that Williamson has ten pounds on Childress. Could you imagine the Vegas line on this fight? Forget the absurd amount that was bet on the Steelers-Chargers game last weekend, we think this matchup would have it trumped. It would definitely be the main event on our weekend card, even if Williamson went at it with his hands tied behind his back (as he suggested he would).

Minnesote defensive lineman Jared Allen likes Childress in a fight over Williamson, saying, "Coach Childress is a tough-minded guy. And he has a badass mustache. I put my money on whoever has a kickass mustache"
Go on Jared, you place that bet, we'll take you up on it, just don't let the Commish know you're betting on the NFL. Because as much as he'd like to ignore that elephant in the room, I don't think he'd take too kindly to one of his own players betting.

EMBRACE THE GAMBLING, NFL! EMBRACE IT!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Joey Porter is Gunning for Michael Strahan

Miami Dolphin LB Joey Porter has been gunning for opposing quarterbacks all season, so it's no surprise that his biggest target this season is... a defensive lineman?

That's right, Joey Porter is aiming for Michael Strahan, or at least for his single-season sack record of 22.5, set back in the 2001 season. That's what he told Jim Rome on his radio show this week.

Through 10 games, Porter, who many thought wasn't worth the millions the Dolphins are paying him, has recorded 13.5 sacks.

With six games remaining, Porter thinks he has a shot at the record. Let's take a look at the remaining schedule for Miami, and how the opposing teams' offensive lines rank in terms of sacks allowed:

- New England has given up the 5th most sacks through week 11 this season, with 33.
- St. Louis has given up the 7th most this season, with 32.
- Buffalo has given up the 12th most, with 25.
- San Francisco has given up the 3rd most, with 36.
- Kansas City has given up the 8th most, with 28.
- The New York Jets have only given up 23, that's the 17th most in the league.

If we were Joey Porter and were looking at that schedule, our eyes would be lighting up like a Christmas tree. Nine sacks in six games, that's nothing, Porter had 8.5 through six games to start the season, and that's including a goose egg in week 2 against Arizona.

So of the Dolphins' remaining schedule, only the Jets rank in the upper half of the league in terms of fewest sacks allowed. So if it comes down to week 17, Porter probably wouldn't have a great shot at the record, right? Think again. Keep in mind who is now lining up behind center for those New York Jets: Brett Favre. That would be the same Brett Favre who Strahan "sacked" to break Mark Gastineau's 17-year old record.
Porter even told Rome that he hopes Favre gives him the same opportunity that he gave Strahan in the 2001 season.

So if it comes down to week 17, and Porter is closing in on Strahan's record, let's hope Favre gives him the same treatment he gave Strahan:

If he's close to breaking the sack record, Porter hopes Favre takes a slip against the 'Phins in Week 17

Monday, November 17, 2008

Donovan McNabb Wasn't Aware There Are Ties in the NFL

Following Sunday's TIE between the Eagles and the Bengals, Donovan McNabb had this to say at his postgame press conference:



Our personal reaction was similar to that of the reporter at the 34 second mark, "Seriously?"

We still can't believe Donovan McNabb didn't know the rules to the game he gets paid millions to play one-third of the year. Really, Donovan?

You're going to stand there and tell us you weren't aware of ties in the NFL?

It's not like you were in the league the last time there was a tie, oh wait, never mind, you were in the NFL when the Falcons tied the Steelers in 2002, since you were drafted in 1999.

At least you didn't play one of those teams in the playoffs that year, either. Hold on, you mean to tell us you did play Atlanta in the NFC Divisional playoffs that year? I guess you weren't at all curious about what that 1 under the column that said "T" in their win-loss record was.

I guess when you're being paid to play a game, you don't concern yourself with minor details like that.

We assume you just thought the NFL overtime rules are like that of NCAA football (it should be, as we stated in an earlier post). But wait a minute, you enrolled at Syracuse in 1993, before the NCAA instituted overtime to eliminate ties in 1996. We'll give you a bit of leeway since the NCAA overtime system was adopted whileyou were still playing college ball, but still, come on.

As a professional, making millions of dollars a year to play a child's game, it's inexcusable to not know the rules of the game you play. Isn't it common knowledge to the average sports fan that NFL games end in a tie after one overtime?

Come on Donovan, stop being ignorant and educate yourself, please. At least do it before the outraged, and ever so classy Philadelphia fans try to run you out of town.

Does Albert Pujols Think He Deserved the NL MVP?

"I see it this way. Someone who doesn't take his team to the playoffs doesn't deserve to win the MVP"

That quote would be from Albert Puljols, back in 2006, in reference to Ryan Howard, who won the NL MVP honor that season.

Two years later, Pujols is being named the NL MVP, despite not leading his team to the postseason. The real question here is: does Pujols think he deserved to win the honor this season? If it's a yes, talk about hypocrisy. If it's a no, we wonder who his vote would have been for. Would it have been for Howard, who finished second in the voting, Ryan Braun, who finished third, or even Manny Ramirez, who finished fourth despite only playing in the NL for two months?

Personally, our vote would have been for Manny or C.C. Sabathia. Sure, neither of them played a full season in the NL, but both men did put their respective teams on their backs and carried them into the postseason. That sounds like the definition of "most valuable player" if you ask us.

But hey, that's why we don't have a vote here at 4th and Fail.

On a side note, if Sabathia accepts the reported $140 million dollar deal from the Yankees, it would give a new meaning to "most valuable" player (read: pitcher).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

An Open Letter to Roger Goodell

A month after watching the Jets and Raiders come within two minutes of a tie, NFL fans today were treated to the first game ending in a tie in six years.

Phildelphia Eagles 13, Cincinnati Bengals... you guessed it, 13.

Sure, it may have been the first tie in six seasons, but if you ask us, that's one too many. This is football, people, not futbol. Ties are not acceptable.

Yesterday we made an argument against a college football playoff, mentioning that it would make the game more like the NFL. Today we argue that the NFL should be more like its NCAA counterpart, with an open letter to NFL Commish, Roger Goodell.

Dear Roger Goodell:

Please, hear us out, Mr. Goodell: Adopt the college football overtime system! Your fans deserve better than this.

Your current system is boring, and can result in atrocities such as today's tie. C'mon, you saw the backlash that Bud Selig got when his Mid-summer Classic ended in a tie a few years back. You need to fix this problem, Mr. Goodell.

Currently, you have the teams play an extra quarter of football, not even guaranteeing that both teams get a shot at winning the game. One team can just march down the field and end it with one swift kick, while the other just watches from the sideline (like the Patriots earlier this week).

Fans want excitement, Mr. Goodell. Just imagine what your league could be like if you adopt the college football overtime system. Fans want to see high scoring games. Defense may win championships, but we all know that offense puts the fans in the seats.

Give each team the ball from their opponent's 25-yard line (or further back, if you so choose). Play a game of "anything you can do, I can do better." Make them go for two-point conversions starting in the 3rd OT. The fans would love it. We want to see equal opportunity for all teams.

Really, if a team comes back from a big late-game deficit and ties the game to force overtime, should they really be punished by a game of chance, and lose the coin flip? It's a bit unfair, don't you think?

Sure, these ties are few, and far between, but they shouldn't occur at all. College football's overtime system is one of the most exciting occurrences in sports, if you ask us. The NFL's, not so much.

So take a look at this problem in the offseason, Mr. Goodell. Adopting the college football overtime system could be what's best for your league. It might be the step you need to take to rid the NFL of its "No Fun League" moniker.

Besides, imagine what it would do to fantasy football scores when you have an overtime game. Our eyes are lighting up and we're starting to salivate just thinking about it.

Signed,

"Joe the NFL Fan"

So When You Say Miami, You're Talkin' Super Bowl...

Okay, so maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves with that statement. In fact, we know we're getting ahead of ourselves by mentioning the Dolphins and the Super Bowl in the same breath.



A little over a month ago, when we first started 4th and Fail, we kicked it off with a post about the Dolphins' crushing last-minute loss to the Texans. We asked if that loss would cause the 'phins to "spiral into oblivion" for the season, or if they would bounce back and contend in a "Brady-less AFC East."

After today's game-winning march down the field against the lowly Raiders, the answer to that question seems to be clear: they will contend.

It's not often we gladly accept a slice of humble pie, but this is one of those instances. At the time, we thought that the loss to Houston would, sadly, be a crushing loss for the 'phins. We'd like to apologize for ever doubting this up and coming team.

With today's win, Miami improved to 6-4 on the season. Let's take a look at what they've accomplished since that loss to Houston, which dropped them to 2-3 on the year.

Since that loss on October 12, the 'phins have gone 4-1, including four straight victories. During that winning streak, they haven't allowed 20 or more points in a game. This team has come alive, folks.

They are currently tied for the best division record in the AFC East, at 3-1, trailing the Jets by virtue of overall record and head-to-head tiebreakers. They are also currently tied for what would be the 6th and final playoff spot.

Remaining, the 'phins have what looks to be the easiest schedule left to play. Here's how it looks:
- Week 12: hosting the Brady-less Pats.
- Week 13: visiting St. Louis.
- Week 14: at Buffalo (0-3 in the AFC East).
- Week 15: playing host to the 49ers.
- Week 16: at Kansas City.
- Week 17: at the Jets, in a game that could decided the division. (Who saw that one coming before the season started?)

We know you can never chalk up victories by looking at the schedule, but each one of those games can be won by Miami.

This team is out to prove something. Chad Pennington is out to prove he is still an NFL starter (thanks again, New York, we appreciate you getting rid of him). Ted Ginn is out to prove he's not a bust, and is emerging as a star on this team (40-yard touchdown run today).

So while we may not be talkin' Super Bowl with these Dolphins just yet, Miami fans have reason to be talkin' playoffs. Playoffs?!?! Yes, Miami, Playoffs!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why College Football Needs the BCS

Yes, everyone, you read that headline correctly. I'm probably going to get tarred and feathered for this, but college football needs the BCS. Now before the angry mob descends on me with their pitchforks, hear me out, if you will.

College football, as much as most of you will disagree, is better off with the BCS in tact than it would be with this "8-team playoff" that so many seem to be proponents of. Sure, annually there are controversies and debates over who should really play in the national championship game and who's getting shafted by the system, but an 8-team playoff, while eliminating some of those scenarios, brings with it controversies and debates of its own.

Let's look at the first potential problem that a playoff could produce: how would the seeding work? Would you just take the top 8 "BCS" ranked teams and seed them 1-8, 2-7, 3-6, etc.? Because then you would inevitably leave out some big-money conference champions (yeah, you Big East).

If you were to seed the teams by the top 8 standings, you would have 2 SEC teams, 3 Big 12 teams, 1 Pac-10 team, 1 Big Ten team, and then one non-BCS team (#7 Utah). That leaves out two BCS conference champions: ACC and Big East. Those conferences would definitely be getting a raw deal, considering they are two of the six "power conferences."

On the other hand, if all 6 of the BCS conference champions receive automatic bids to this hypothetical playoff, we would potentially have UF-'Bama winner, Big12 winner (could be Texas Tech, Texas, Oklahoma or Mizzou), Penn State from the Big Ten, Oregon State or USC from the Pac 10, any cluster of teams from the ACC, and the same for the Big East. That would undoubtedly leave out multiple teams from this group: UF, Bama, Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma, all of whom are arguably the most talented teams who have been playing the best football all season. That wouldn't sit right with the fans, or those schools, now would it?

If you guarantee the 6 conference champions a spot, who gets the final two at-large bids? There's a plethora of deserving teams that would fall into that category, including the aforementioned teams, as well as Utah, Boise State, Georgia, Ball State, Mizzou, Oklahoma State and Ohio State. Though, in all fairness, Ohio State probably should be banned from this playoff based on recent big game goose eggs.

Now would you all prefer one or two teams gettin the short end of the stick at the end of the season every year, like we see with the BCS, or would you rather have a handful (or two) arguing they got screwed by the playoff system?

I know some of you out there are thinking, "hey, just make it a 16 team playoff then, that would solve everything." Wrong! That would add another four games to the would-be champions schedule. Add that to the 12-game regular season, plus a possible conference championship game (depending on the conference), you have a 17-game season for a team of amateur athletes. That's more than the NFL regular season, and that's just wrong.

While this is one major problem that faces a potential playoff, there certainly are others. Games like last week's Iowa upset over then-undefeated Penn State, and LSU's near upset of #1 'Bama would have lost a lot of meaning. With a playoff system, both of those teams would have already clinched a spot (if you're seeding the top 8 teams), and both would probably clinch by winning their respective conferences. A game like next week's Oklahoma-Texas Tech game would also lose a lot of meaning, they wouldn't be playing for a possible title game shot, they'd simply be playing for a higher seeding in the playoffs. A playoff, as has been argued several times before, would somewhat cheapen the meaning of the huge regular season games we see week-in and week-out.

The final point I'd like to make as for why college football is better off with the BCS is simple. What makes college football so great, and so unique? The answer is pretty simple: the pageantry, the fans, the idea that any given Saturday can shift the national title race. That idea is in large part thanks to the BCS.

If you all want a playoff system, I suggest you stick to watching those guys play on Sundays, because Saturdays are where this game belongs. Saturdays in the fall are unique to any other day, in any other sport, so let's keep it that way.

Besides, if things play out the way they should, with all the top teams winning out (though, it's never that simple), you all might get your playoff this season, at least a miniature one, with the SEC championship being a national semifinal, and the Big 12 title game serving as a play-in for the Big 12 South team (Texas Tech, Oklahoma, or Texas). Sorry USC, but play in a real conference first, then we'll talk about your national title prospects.

Now that I've said what I had to say, bring on the tar and feathers!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

FAMU First HBCU to Host ESPN's College GameDay

This weekend, the ever popular ESPN College GameDay will be coming to you live from Tallahassee, Fl. No, not covering FSU's homecoming game against Boston College, but rather from Florida A&M University as they play host to Hampton.

This will mark the first time that ESPN's weekly college football preview show will be broadcasting live from a Historically Black College and University.

Why this weekend, though? FAMU is only 7-3 overall (3-3 MEAC) while Hampton is 5-4 (4-2 MEAC).

At least we can all look forward to FAMU's marching band this weekend!

America: Where a Man Can Be Awarded $1.2 M For Being Hit in the Balls by Ball

What is this world coming to? A Miami-Dade man has been awarded $1.2 million, yes, that's right, 1.2 (Dr. Evil pinky raise) MILLION dollars for being hit in the groin by a baseball at Slugger's batting cages in West Miami.

Really?

Let's take a step back and look at this for a second.

For one, he was hit by a 60 MPH pitch. Major League players routinely get hit by pitches in excess of 80 and 90 MPH's, but you don't see them suing the opposing team's pitcher. If that's the case, we would see MLB players in court every week, throwing their salaries back and forth like a game of hot potato.

Second, the man did not go to the hospital until several days later. Again, really? As a man, a shot to the groin does not last that long. How do you really go so long without getting that checked out if the "pain and suffering" was worth $1 million?

Next, should Slugger's really be held responsible for this? The kid didn't have to go back into the cage and pickup the baseballs. But since he did, and got hit, is it really the fault of the batting cage place? Shouldn't the company that makes the pitching machine be held accountable for faulty equipment? The cycle on the machine was complete, and the light on the machine was off.
Could the employee really have seen that one coming? Doubtful. If he could, I'd like him to buy my lottery ticket this week, or at least tell me who's going to play in the BCS title game. You know, save a few weeks of insanity and poll-watching, and maybe do something productive with a Saturday.

Also, is the guy really that soft? I mean, c'mon, if Adam Sandler could take pitching machine-thrown balls head on in Happy Gilmore, don't you think this guy could've withstood one shot without suing the place? Perhaps it was all just a ploy, and he was really training for next season's hockey tryouts. But hockey players are tougher than that.

We're pretty sure Lhyvann Felipe was just training for hockey season, like Happy Gilmore.



Finally, if the guy really wanted some money that badly, he should've just gotten the surveillance tape from the place and sent it into "America's Funniest Home Videos." Nut-shots usually take home the $10K prize weekly, right? Next thing you know, all those people who submit those tapes of "cup-checks" are going to take those videos to court and sue whoever they can try to make accountable for millions.


But hey, that's the beauty of America, right? At least we know where this guy will fall under President-elect Obama's tax plan, eh?