Andy Dalton: Your Average Pro Bowler

Andy Dalton was added to the Pro Bowl roster yesterday. In fairness to the selection process, nobody really wanted this to happen.  The NFL decided the two teams should have a total of six quarterbacks, and originally chose Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, and Tony Romo. Manning, Rodgers, and Roethlisberger are injured and won’t play; Brady has a slightly more important game to prepare for.

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Big Ten Basketball Woes

Even Tom Izzo had to admit the top of the Big Ten isn’t all that strong. “This year, there’s no question that it’s been Wisconsin and the rest,” he told me yesterday. “Maryland is now proving to be in that class. But the strength at the top isn’t as good as last year or some of the other conferences.” For that reason, the conference as a whole has dipped considerably this season.

For a more in-depth look at the league’s struggles, read my latest for CBS Local.

Fred Wilpon: Finance Expert

epic fail The title of this post may seem like a joke, and it should be, but according to Major League Baseball, it is not. Continue reading Fred Wilpon: Finance Expert

He Came to Play School

“The NFL, after three [college] games, was really out of the question for me.”
–Cardale Jones at his press conference earlier today

Or was it? At first or even second glance, a quarterback declaring for the NFL draft after just three starts seems absurd. And for someone with two years of college eligibility remaining, as Jones has, it would be unprecedented. But quarterbacks with little playing time have been drafted and succeeded at the next level.

Matt Cassel had no choice but to leave USC in 2004; he had exhausted his four years of eligibility. Even though he’d spent his college career as a back-up, the Patriots drafted him in the seventh round. For all they knew at the time, Cassel could have been among the top quarterbacks in the country — after all, he backed up Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. A strong pre-draft showing was enough for New England to take a chance on a player who hadn’t started a game since high school. While far from a star, Cassel has proved to be a solid NFL quarterback.

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National Championship Preview Podcast

In the final Forward Progress podcast of the season, Steve and I break down the national championship match-up of Oregon and Ohio State, but mostly talk about all the annoying commercials that have been playing during bowl season. The pod checks in at 36 tight minutes. Enjoy!

I Went to an NBDL Game

When you drive past a marquee advertising a NBDL game the following night and you’ve got no plans, you can’t not go. My friend Lee agreed, so we went to last night’s game between the Westchester Knicks and Erie BayHawks.

Many others apparently felt the same way, as the Westchester County Center—better known for hosting sports memorabilia shows and reptile exhibits—was packed. We got in line for tickets and were immediately told they were running out and that there were no longer two seats together.* This seemed absurd to us, even in an arena that only seats 2,500 people. It turns out both the employee and we were right: While it was true that we had to buy tickets in different rows, once inside it was clear we’d have scores of seating options. Were the open seats no-show season ticket holders? I have no good answer.

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MLB Lifers

My great Aunt Naj used to tell a story about buying a Yankees yearbook. She liked that it would serve her not just for the year printed on the cover, but likely for a few seasons. “Nowadays,” she would say, “it’s outdated in five minutes.” She was born in 1928, more than 40 years before Curt Flood got the ball rolling on free agency, and didn’t like all the roster turnover of modern baseball.

When the 2015 yearbooks are released, Jimmy Rollins will not appear in the Phillies’ book for the first time in his 15-year career. He was traded to the Dodgers a few days ago. It was yet another reminder that the “lifer,” defined here as someone who played his entire career of at least 10 seasons for just one franchise, may soon be obsolete.

Continue reading MLB Lifers

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