El Clasicio indeed!
The NFL draft is coming up, and some things have already happened that has shaken the order of things.
Item number 1-McNabb to Washington. Hey, I like Donovan McNabb, but Philadelphia never warmed to him and he is probably better off in a different city with a clean slate. Dont get me wrong, McNabb brought some of this on himself; his attempts to keeo the team loose with his pre-game and sideline antics didnt come across well to a lot of people, and the fact that he couldn’t win the Super Bowl in his one appearance (an appearance where he seemed to be battling nerves or exhaustion(?)to put it nicely) didnt help his cause. His record however speaks for itself, and he will be in the Hall of Fame, right next to Jim Kelly, Fran Tarkenton and Archie Manning, three other quartebacks who also couldnt win the big one and went through a lot less criticism than McNabb. I wish him well.
Item 2-The draft. Im on record months ago as saying that Sam Bradford should go #1 to St. Louis. I think he will and i’m hoping with McNabb now in Washington, they pass on a QB and then Jimmy Claussen falls to the Raiders picking eighth. Good luck to the premier OJD player in this draft (of Jamaican descent) Ndamukong Suh.
Tim Tebow a 1st round pick?!? Someones joking right?
Item 3-Keeping the NFL theme, the NY Jets. I like the Jets; i’m a Raiders fan first, but of the 2 local teams, I have always rooted harder for the underdog Jets. I like what they’ve been doing with Rex Ryan, but the moves made this offseason were not good ones. Thomas Jones gone and replaced by Ladanian Tomlinson? Not a good choice. Antonio Cromarite? And now Santonio Holmes? Two recent, high pick, first round draftees who were given away by their teams. Two players (and in the case of Cromartie PLAYA) who bring baggage to a team one game away from the Super Bowl.
I’m not questioning the talent of these new additions, but I am questioning their character. Talent alone might get you some success, but character will maintain the success. And yes, character wins in every sport. If the Jets do not win the Super Bowl this season, what role will these individuals have played in that on and off the field?
Item 4-Ben Rothlisberger.
Whether he is charged with a crime or not, there is no question that he comess off looking like a major scumbag. The question for the NFL now is not whether he actually raped two women, it is and should be how long a suspension does he get? Yes, I believe he absolutely deserves a suspension for at a minimum showing a complete lack of commen sense. Again. For the third time, if you include the bone headed motorcycle accident with no helmet.
Ok, Commisioner Goddell, we know you like to come down hard on some players (Plaxicio, Vick etc.,) lets see how hard you come down on this particular a-hole.
Item 5-I watched two games in the last two weeks that left me amazed. Barcelona v. Arsenal and El Clasicio; Barcelona v. Real Madrid. I am a fan of Cristinao Ronaldo and Real Madrid, but there is no question who is the best player in the world right now. Leonel Messi is on another level, another dimension. The 4 goals against Arsenal, presently the second best team in the toughest league (the EPL) in the world, was a thing of wonder. He followed it up by another magnificent strike against Madrid in the showcase match of the worlds two best players.
What happened immediately before that goal showed you a lot about him. Madrid played a very physical game, fouling the Barca players and engaging in a lot of pushing, elbows and hard tackles. Immediately before his goal, Messi was knocked down by a Madrid defender. He got up, ran towards the penalty box, received the free kick pass from his teammate, beat two defenders and put the ball past one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Incredible stuff that only Messi has shown the ability to do on a consistent basis.
The only remaining issue is whether Messi, under the guidance of Maradona, can channel that mastery into a World Cup title for Argentina. We shall see.
Penn Relays next weekend. Whats up Philadelphia! The Jamaicans are coming!