Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Super Bowl Forecast

posted by MoneyMouth

Since Bicoastal Bias has already given you his take on the Super Bowl this weekend (no surprise, he picked the Patriots), I'm here to tell you his name should be Blind Bias and that the New York Giants will win Super Bowl XLII. Yes, you can re-read that last clause as many times as you want to, but I indeed said that the Giants will win this year's Super Bowl.

Now, you're probably right, I'm pretty crazy for picking the NY Giants. I mean, the Giants were a 10-6 team that only made it in as a Wild Card. They are the true definition of underdogs against the undefeated Patriots who are marking up the record books left and right with their names. But tonight, my eyes were opened to the fact that underdog's can actually win (plus, I feel the need to back my Patriots Will Lose blog). Let me explain:

I turned on the Kansas University vs. Kansas State game looking forward to an excellent match up between these two rivals, knowing very well that KU would pull the victory as they have done for the past 24 years. Unfortunately for the undefeated Jayhawks, the Wildcats came out firing and lead for most of the game, winning by 9. This ended their miserable losing streak to the Jayhawks and rung in a non-stop victory party that will probably last until next season. As I reflected on the magnitude of this victory for the Wildcats (even though it will do little to the Jayhawks in the long run), I suddenly realized there was another match up that would be taking place in the near future that resounded with similarities.

That's right; tonight's NCAA match up between KU and KSU was a foreshadowing--a prophesy, if you will--for this Sunday's NFL Championship game between the NY Giants and the New England Patriots. No one really thought deep down that the Wildcats could actually upset the Jayhawks (except for maybe Michael Beasley who guaranteed it), and no one really thinks that the Giants could possibly win this coming Sunday (even myself). But it's for that very reason that a Giants victory is actually likely.

Just remember: you heard it here first. Giants 31, Patriots 27

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Meet the Mets

posted by MoneyMouth

While most of the writers for this blog are focusing on the Super Bowl, yours truly is still keeping an eye out on the rest of the sports world, especially baseball. The news outlets are reporting that the Mets and the Twins have agreed in principle to a deal that would send Johan Santana to the Mets for four prospects. The deal will be final given that Santana and the Mets can work out a contact extension and that Santana can pass a physical. According to ESPN, Santana will probably looking for a 6 year, $150 million dollar deal.

Examining this trade, it's pretty unbelievable that the Mets were able to gain such a top-caliber pitcher and give up so little in return. It seems that not too many people are very impressed with the prospects that the Twins are landing in this deal, that is, in view of Santana's talent. Needless to say, the Mets are the obvious winners in this trade since they are already being projected as the number one team in the NL East. There won't be much that can interfere with that either, except for massive collapses which the Mets will be doing everything they can to forget about.

Honestly, I don't think collapses will be much of a problem this year for the Mets. Santana is arguably the best pitcher in the league, and the Mets will reap the immediate benefits of this trade as a result.

This Blogger's Breakdown of the Giants/Patriots

posted by BiCoastal Bias

I just finished watching the week 17 game between the Giants and Patriots, which was still on my DVR, coincidentally. Most will remember that this game went right down to the wire, with the Patriots winning 38-35. At the time, this was pretty surprising, the Patriots being the historic team that they are, and the Giants being the NFC's lowly fifth seed. After watching the tape, here are my three points that led to the Giants keeping this one so close:

1. Domenik Hixon's kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter. Not to take anything away from Hixon or the Giants, but this was the one freak play that you can't really plan for, and ended up having a huge impact on the tone of the game overall. Hixon's return was a result of a Patriots' celebration penalty on the preceding touchdown. (And by the way, that penalty was on Laurence Maroney, not Randy Moss.) The touchdown was one of the Giants' three in the first half, which led to them being ahead 21-16 at halftime, which led to . . .

2. The Giants came out of halftime looking incredibly emotionally charged. We've heard some stories leak out, concerning the Giants' halftime decision to keep their starters in the game. Whatever went on in there, the Giants came out looking inspired. Their defense forced an immediate three and out, something unheard of against the Pats, and their offense went down and staked a 12 point lead. They looked dominant.

3. Eli Manning played nearly flawless. From what I saw, Eli only made two mistakes in this game: he took a twelve yard sack in the third quarter which may have cost his team a field goal, and he threw an interception in the fourth after the Patriots had taken the lead. But he more than made up for these mistakes - he completed some passes that can only be made if your last name is Manning - specifically his third quarter touchdown to Plaxico Burress. I would be tempted to say something like "Let's see if this Eli shows up on Sunday" - but given the way he's played throughout the playoffs, he's earned the benefit of the doubt - I expect this Eli to show up on Sunday.

So what was it that eventually made the difference in this game? The turning point came with the Patriots first score in the third quarter, which put them within 5 points of the Giants. When the G-men got the ball back, all of that emotional momentum they'd been playing with vanished - and to make matters worse, they responded by playing conservatively. This basically sealed the game for Brady and co.

So with that history under our belt, here's BiCoastal's keys to the Super Bowl:

  • The Giants offense plays with emotion. The last match up saw plenty of scuffles between the Giants offense and the Pats defense. It seems clear that the Giants really need that fire, and need to control it, in order to hang with the Pats. In the Super Bowl, it's hard to say how this will turn out. Usually, the first quarter of the Super Bowl feels like an exhibition game, what with all of the hoopla surrounding the week, and the fact that it's played on neutral turf, the crowd doesn't play such a role. Nonetheless, at some point, the fact that this is the championship game will kick in, and we can expect to see plenty more chippy behavior when the Giants have the ball.
  • The Giants defense isn't good enough to play conservatively. Both the Jaguars and the Chargers played conservatively on defense against the Pats, which involved double teaming Randy Moss and rarely blitzing Tom Brady. The Giants aren't good enough to do this - it appears their secondary couldn't even contain Moss with the double team. So if they aren't pressuring Brady, they can expect he will find the open receiver, as they are just not good enough to keep up with both Moss and Wes Welker. My Giants gameplan would be to aggressively pursue Brady in all four quarters - be willing to take the risk of giving up the long ball if it means they have a chance at forcing a big sack or even a fumble/interception.
All in all, if the Giants are going to have a chance in this game, they must be willing to make it a shootout. They can't allow Brady to put together the long drives with pass after pass underneath to Wes Welker. If the game is full of quick scores and turnovers, the Giants will stay emotionally charged.

My prediction? The Giants will make it happen for a half, maybe even three quarters, but eventually the Patriots will put it away. Final score 40 -28.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

That's Nelly Basketball

posted by Travellin' Frappian

Heard on Oakland area sports talk radio this week:

Many "fans" and callers concerned that the Golden State Warriors have been losing, most recently Monday during the Martin Luther King Day matinee game against the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves.

Should we consider trading Baron? Should we pickup Chris Webber?

My favorite were the many callers wanting to know why they had so many 6'6" + guys hovering around the 3 point line instead of being in the paint.

Run and gun, as well as playing over your head and beating the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs is just Don Nelson Basketball. Of all the fans in the NBA, Warriors fans should know that.

Barry Bonds Esq.

posted by IntrinsicBent

I have been out of the loop recently, but when I saw an article about Barry Bonds and steroids on Yahoo yesterday I fought my gag reflex and read the opening sentence. I was glad I did both.

The article started out like this:

"SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Barry Bonds asked a federal judge to dismiss perjury charges against him Wednesday, arguing the indictment is "scattershot" and noted for its "striking inartfulness."

Did Barry go to Law School at Don King School of Law? Scattershot? Inartfulness? Are you kidding me?

I mean that verbage is splendiferous maladacious legalocity in the 3rd degree.

Actually, the funniest part of the article followed by saying:

"The lawyers said "the questions posed to him by two different prosecutors were frequently imprecise, redundant, overlapping and frequently compound."

Prosecutors asked Bonds several times whether personal trainer Greg Anderson supplied him with steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs beginning in 2000. Bonds answered "no" or "not at all," but his lawyers argued the questions were not clear."

O.J. should hire Barry as his lawyer. Not since Johnny Cochran has a defense tried to confuse the simplicity of a matter by such extreme misdirection.

It's ridiclievable.

Story Source

Tiki Room

posted by IntrinsicBent

Sometimes sports and life has a sweet way of regulating itself.

The latest taste of this is the Giants of New York (via New Jersey) going to the Super Bowl to face off against the undefeated New England Patriots. Not for the usual story lines which include whether or not the Pats will end up undefeated, Tom Brady and his Johnny Cash walking boot, or spygate.

It's sweet because it happened the first season after Tiki Barber retired from the Giants' team. Tiki seemingly attempted to launch his broadcasting career by flaming ex teammates Michael Strahan and Eli Manning, as well as head coach Tom Coughlin.

This sweet justice makes Tiki look like the anti teammate he probably was and begs the question: In order to get to the big game......did the Giants need............Tiki room?

I submit that the answer is yes.

Cheer up Tiki. Maybe Ronde will let you hold his ring. Hopefully you treat family better than you do ex teammates.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

NCAA Continues To Miss It

posted by MoneyMouth

Since we have a week off from the NFL and talking about Tom Brady's ankle seems rather pointless at this moment, lets point our energies toward the NCAA and men's baskeball. Today, ESPN has reported that O.J. Mayo might have violated NCAA rules by accepting a pair of courtside tickets from Carmelo Anthony. The problem with this is that the tickets were givien to Mayo for free (or reduced price) and that deal was not made available to the entire student body. The exception in this case would be if Melo was giving the tickets to Mayo as a friend, and not a representative of the Denver Nuggets. According to Mayo, that is exactly how it went down. Mayo told reporters that Melo was at Mayo's house party on Sunday night and offered Mayo the tickets if he wanted to go.

You have to admit that for the NCAA to jump all over this issue is pretty weak-sauce. Looking past the whole argument surrounding college players and getting paid, it just seems to be in the NCAA's best interest to simply overlook this incident and take Mayo at his word. Investigating this situation only makes the NCAA look bad and gives more fuel to NCAA players' feelings that they belong in the NBA where they don't have to put up with this kind of scrutiny. O.J. Mayo is certainly one of those players that could enter the draft when he wants to, so if I were the NCAA I'd be doing everything in my power to keep him around for at least another year.

Let it slide, NCAA. O.J. Mayo is good for college basketball, and I'd like to see him around for another year or two.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Time for LT to Consider His Legacy

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Before we get into the ins and outs of this year's Super Bowl match up, let's take a moment to reflect on one of this week's losers. The San Diego Chargers put up a great fight on Sunday, especially considering the many injuries their offense was dealing with. Phillip Rivers played well, on a knee that will most definitely require surgery this off-season. Antonio Gates was in and out as the game went on, playing on a dislocated toe. And then there was Tomlinson.

LT went to the bench after touching the ball three times on Sunday, and spent the rest of the game on the sidelines, mysteriously watching from behind his tinted visor. And while most Charger fans will probably give LT the benefit of the doubt, the rest of us will ponder on the fact that LT was the most likely of the above mentioned trio to play in Sunday's game, with a sprained MCL and "knee soreness" as reported at halftime.

Let me say that this blog is only about LT's legacy. There are plenty of excuses and reasons for LT's lack of contribution Sunday. There's the obvious one: he really was way too hurt to play. And then there's the fact that his backups (Turner and Sproles) have performed pretty well, and maybe their 100% is better than Tomlinson's 90%.

But none of these will show up on his legacy. So far, LT has established himself as one of fantasy football's all-time greats. His 2006 season was the best individual season any non-quarterback has ever seen. But as LT himself said in ESPN magazine at the beginning of this season, greatness is measured by Super Bowl victories. And in his first AFC championship game, he sat out while the rest of his team lost courageously.

It doesn't matter if his riding the pine was the best move for him - or even for the team. What we as sports fans expect of our greatest athletes is that nothing could possibly take them off of the field. During the fourth quarter of Sunday's game, Phil Simms speculated that this Chargers team had enough youth to return to this level for the next few years. But this is a conference with Brady and P. Manning - these days any year that the Pats and Colts don't meet in the conference championship feels like an aberration. The Chargers cannot take any chance at a Super Bowl for granted, and if this was LT's one chance . . . well, his legacy won't be much of a legacy at all.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

We will get the ultimate super bowl

posted by BiCoastal Bias

BiCoastal Bias here, giving my conference championship game predictions: Patriots and Packers. Not only will this lead to a rematch of Super Bowl XXXI, but it gives us one of those match ups that will attract the interest of the country.

Think about it - you'll have the New England Patriots going for the perfect season, playing the role of the dynasty/villain everyone wants to see lose; on the other side, Brett Favre, the lovable veteran who no one expected to be here and almost hung up his cleats for the last time before the season even started.

The problem? Over the next two weeks, you'll hear different variations of the story I just capped all over the sports media. Just remember, you read it on the Frappe first.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Taking Fanhood To a New Level

posted by MoneyMouth

Growing up, I always knew my dad was a bit broken hearted over the fact that I wouldn't root for the Kansas City Chiefs. He would kindly drop hints that I should be a Chiefs fan and tell me that even though the Raiders were technically our home team, it hurt him that I would insist on rooting for those thugs over his beloved Chiefs. But no matter how often my dad tried to argue the Chiefs into my heart, I would refuse to root for them (that is until the Raiders moved up to Oakland, and Bo Jackson was long gone).

Reflecting back on this, I now realize that what my dad should have done was forget reason and force me to be a fan, like this guy did to his son up in Green Bay. According to this report, when Matthew Kowald's seven year-old son said he wouldn't root for the Packer's during Saturday's game, Kowald resorted to taping a Packers' jersey to him so he wouldn't have a choice. Now that's what I call being a fan. I can't believe my dad never figured that out. It's so obvious! When your son says he's not going to root for the household team, reason isn't going to get you anywhere. Your only option is to force him into submission and duck tape that jersey on him so he can't get it off. Now that's what I call being a fan.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cheers for Anna Grant

posted by BiCoastal Bias

I thought this was a pretty cool story out of today's news. Anna Grant, a 14 year old girl, was honored for her excellence in the Punt, Pass, and Kick competition during halftime of the Colts' playoff game Sunday. Since she was wearing a Patriots' jersey, Colts' fans booed her - not surprising, and you can bet that Pats' fans would have done the same thing to a girl wearing a Colts' jersey.

Grant appeared to find the booing somewhat funny, as she smiled all the way through it, and to reward her courage, the Patriots are bringing her onto the field during Sunday's coin flip prior to the AFC championship. I'm pretty sure she'll get a different reception in Foxboro this time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


posted by MoneyMouth

I know it's not typical Frappe protocol to write about the NHL, but in this case, I just can't pass it up. In case you missed it, the Washington Capitals handed out a 13 year contract extension worth 124 million dollars last week. This marks the first time in NHL history that a player has received a contract worth over 100 million dollars. The lucky recipient: Alexander Ovechkin, a 22 year old Russian who came into the league in 2005.

While this isn't the largest average salary contract in NHL history, nor the longest contract ever handed out, it is a big deal that a team is handing out a decade-plus deal worth so much money. It wasn't that long ago that the NHL was striking and people like myself were wondering if my kids' kids would even know what hockey was. Then even when the strike was resolved, things didn't look very bright as teams struggled to put bodies in the seats, let alone get their games broadcasted on an accessible television network. In fact, from what I'm told, the Capitals still don't exactly fill their arena, and I doubt this is going to change that.

While I'm tempted to say that this contract is not a good thing for hockey since it only signals the rise in players' contracts and another possible collapse, I'm refraining because it also signals an interesting turning point in the league that might have more positive than negative. Let's face it, the NHL has gotten a little bit smarter since the last collapse and is recovering at a rate I don't think many of us dreamed of. The fact that I'm even mentioning some dude from Russia whose name I cannot pronounce is a good thing for the league. Add to that the media coverage they get for playing the occasional game outside and you start to feel like hockey just might be rallying to a new level. So is hockey back? Probably not, but at least you are thinking about it, and that is all the NHL really needs right now.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Lesson of Dallas and Indy

posted by BiCoastal Bias

What do Dallas and Indianapolis have in common? Both teams lost at home yesterday, after a bye week. But there's one more thing - both teams threw away their last regular season games - to divisional foes they had beaten earlier in the season. What's worse, those same divisional rivals needed victories to get into the playoffs.

Although I touched on this topic two weeks ago, I can't say I told you so, since I didn't actually think these actions would lead to their playoff demises. But now with the aid of hindsight, I think throwing away a regular season game had everything to do with failing in the playoffs.

I'd also like to draw a distinction between trying to get a little rest for your starters, and positively throwing a game away. For instance, both Green Bay and the Chargers (two teams still in the playoffs) rested their starters for part of their last regular games, and yet both teams still secured a victory. I already discussed what the other two remaining teams did in their last match up. On the other side of the coin, Dallas and Indianapolis basically gave away their last games - not even the prospect of shutting a divisional rival out of the playoffs was enough to motivate either of these teams. You can't deny that both of these teams played sloppily in their losses yesterday. Maybe they could've used that last game to actually improve, isn't that a novel idea.

Really, my major complaint is as a football fan: I hate to see teams mail it in, no matter what time of the season it is. Hopefully, the lesson of 2007 is that it pays off to show up to every game prepared, and ready to win.

Friday, January 11, 2008

NFL Divisional Round Predictions

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Well, since I promised to teach Intrinsic Bent my ways, I better get out my playoff predictions for this weekend's NFL games. Here they are in chronological order; I should warn you that there aren't going to be any shockers.

First up: Seattle at Green Bay. Everyone's already been reminded of the 2004 overtime game between these two teams, when Favre didn't have to win the game as much as Hasselbeck gave it to him by throwing a pick for six. I'm sure Holmgren and Hasselbeck are ready to exercise those demons, but unfortunately for them, this is Brett's year. The Packers' defense is better, and their running game is better, and that's the difference in this game. It might be billed as being a game between Hasselbeck and Favre, but it's the other elements of the game that will be decisive.

Jacksonville at New England. First of all, New England is the better team and will win this game - but I think a lot of the media is already looking past Jacksonville, who I'd say is the third best team in the AFC. This is going to be a great football game - Jacksonville represents the only good AFC team who the Patriots haven't already beaten this year, making this the perfect divisional playoff game. The Jaguars will have some success running the ball against New England, and will succeed in slowing the game down, but eventually, the Jags' defense will make a mistake, and as soon as the Patriots get that quick score, the Jaguars won't be able to catch-up. I'm taking the Patriots, although I wouldn't touch that 13-point spread the odds-makers are giving.

San Diego at Indianapolis. This game has been pegged by many as the most lopsided match up of the weekend. The Chargers' week 10 victory over the Colts is the only thing keeping this game's point spread to single digits. The Chargers just won their first playoff game since 1994, against a Tennessee team that barely beat the Colts' third string in the last week of the season. This is a Colts' team that has won a lot of playoff games over the last five years, and they are going to get the best of the Chargers. Though I would love to see Dungy's team pay for his ridiculous antics at throwing away late season games, it's just not gonna happen. Colts win. The good news is, the Colts have lost some key pieces as the season has progressed, and they'll be crushed in the AFC Championship game.

New York Giants at Dallas. This game is the most difficult, I think, to predict. That's because the powerful Cowboys often come across looking like a wildcard team. That's probably because when Tony Romo is bad . . . he is really bad. No, I'm not going to bring up anything about Jessica Simpson, but I don't know how confident Cowboys' fans can be, especially given Romo's blunder around this time last year. That being said, nobody expects Eli Manning of the Giants to get the best of them. I'll take the Cowboys, ho-hum.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Dear Ohio State fans: Y'all come back now ya hear?

posted by BiCoastal Bias

To all you Buckeyes out there, you made the Frappe's college football discussion interesting. I hope you keep reading, keep commenting, and keep trying to sell your T-shirts. Good luck next year, and congratulations to LSU.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Playoff Predictions: First Round

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Since it's the Friday before NFL playoffs start, I'm sure most of you are chomping at the bit to hear what BiCoastal Bias has to say about the upcoming games. As BucksInsider has pointed out, my predictions are usually gold. We'll start with the AFC, since . . . well . . . that's really the only conference where these games matter.

Tennessee at San Diego is the most interesting rematch in this round. San Diego beat Tennessee by 6 in Tennessee last month, which doesn't say much. But throw in the fact that the Chargers are now convinced that Tennessee ordered a cheap hit on Shawne Merriman in that game, and it looks like San Diego should have that extra motivation necessary to top Jeff Fischer's well-prepared squad. I'll take San Diego. (A more interesting question - will San Diego fans actually get to watch the game? This would've never happened back when the Chargers were 1 and 15 and forcing the city to buy every un-purchased ticket.)

Jaguars at Steelers: This will be a slugfest, and I think the Jags should come out on top. Garrard has played as good as anybody down the stretch. I don't think the Willie Parker injury will hurt Pittsburgh all that much, but it won't help them either. The Jags won at Pitt by a touchdown three weeks ago, and not much has changed.

Washington at Seattle: Everything about Washington's season makes me think they'll be able to top Seattle - except for the fact that the Seahawks are so good at home. I'll take Seattle, begrudgingly.

New York Football Giants at Tampa Bay: You hate to see the two worst teams in the playoffs get matched up together in the first round, but that's exactly what we have here. This is also an interesting competition between the prideful/beat-up Giants and the rested/rusty Bucs. I'll take the Giants, just for kicks.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

It's Not That Easy

posted by IntrinsicBent

I am fortunate to know successful people in various avenues of life. Some of them I am very close to. Just because you are a superstar in business/athletics/politics, does not mean you are good candidate to train and coach others to produce your same level of success.

In most cases, the better you are, the harder a task it is to have the patience to break down the task from the macro into tiny training morsels and repetitively instill it into others. It is difficult to teach someone the intrinsic drive, insight, focus, and perservance that after years of effort have become almost second nature to you.

There are examples of athletes that turned a career as a player into a successful coaching career. But for every athlete that has turned that corner successfully, I can give you at least 3 that lost it at the turn.

The better you were as a player usually proportionately lowers your chances of success.


What makes Scottie Pippen think he can just grab the clipboard and lead the Chicago Bulls to the playoffs?

The bovine faithful look to be clamoring for him to take the reins, but I ask again: What makes Scottie Pippen think he can just grab the clipboard and the lead the Chicago Bulls to the playoffs?

In his own words in the article he says, "What's my disadvantage?" Pippen asked. "No NBA coaching experience? [Scott] Skiles' record with the Bulls wasn't that great. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to do what you've done your whole life."

In regards to playing with Michael Jordan, he had this to say in the article: "With a guy who loved to touch it and shoot all the time, I was able to keep him under control," Pippen said, referring, of course, to Michael Jordan. He is quoted further down in the article as saying "How many titles did Jordan win without me?"

Then he seems to ramble towards the race card by saying there's a good old boys network and asks "What's the key to this good ol' boy system they have?" he asked. "You've got to go to Europe and coach two years? Sit next to someone for a year?

That would be a good start.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Undefeated and Classy

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Let's do some comparing and contrasting of three NFL coaches: Bill Belichick, Tony Dungy, and Tom Coughlin. We'll begin with their reputations among most sports fans: Dungy is widely considered a class act, Belichick is considered a scrooge who'll do anything to win, and as for Coughlin, well, everyone is wondering why this guy still has a job.

As far as all three of these coaches go, each of them had playoff positions locked up before the games of this last weekend. So, how did they respond?

If you watched Saturday night's nationally simulcast game between Belichick's Patriots and Coughlin's Giants, you saw an amazing game. Everyone expected the Patriots to go as far as they had to go for the win, and the Giants forced them to go all four quarters. The Patriots were playing to complete their regular season undefeated, as well as to break a few scoring records, both team and individual. The Giants really had nothing to play for, and since they didn't have the luxury of a bye week, most (including me) expected them to rest their stars and roll over on Saturday night. But Coughlin didn't let them do that, and NFL fans nationwide should be thankful.

Let's now jump to Sunday night's nationally televised game between Tony Dungy's Colts and the Tennessee Titans. This time, the game meant nothing to the Colts, and everything to the Titans. If Tennessee wins, they're in the playoffs, if they lose, they're out. Either way, the Colts have a bye week in the first round. So how did Dungy respond? He benched almost all of his offensive starters after one quarter of play. The Titans, playing against the second and third string Colts, barely survived, mustering a 16-10 victory. For any fan of the game (those of the Titan variety included), this was un-watchable football.

What's worse is that Dungy had the nerve to do this in front of his home crowd. With only eight home games a year, you could say that Dungy "cheated" his fans out of a game.

What I really don't understand is this: how does pulling all of your starters help your team in the long run? If a star player is nursing an injury, then having the luxury of resting him an extra week makes perfect sense. But as far as we know, Peyton Manning has had a very healthy season, and with a bye week locked up, does he really need a three week break between games? What happened to having a little pride in putting on your uniform and coming to play every week?

I've been using Dungy as a case study, but I know this sort of behavior is not limited to him. The Dallas Cowboys did the exact same thing on Sunday, as well as many teams who had no chance at a first round bye: Tampa Bay, Seattle, Jacksonville, and probably others I didn't notice. It's as if resting your starters is a luxury that NFL coaches can't pass up. In fact, even the media is becoming obsessed with it. During the fourth quarter of the Washington-Dallas game on Sunday, the Redskins had a comfortable two possession lead, and a victory would send them to the playoffs. With about ten minutes left, the announcer suggested that the Redskins oughtta start resting their starters. Really? Is sitting out for two offensive possessions really going to make a difference at how well they play next week, especially if it means risking the lead you have right now?

Hopefully, what Bill Belichick and the Patriots are able to prove this postseason, is that there is a real benefit to taking every game seriously. This doesn't mean running up the score, or leaving your star quarterback in the last series of a blowout - but it does mean taking every game as an opportunity to make your team better. And I don't see how letting your third string lose a game for you accomplishes that.