Sports Posts

R.I.P.: Byron Nelson

Golf legend Byron Nelson passed away today.

I was lucky enough to meet him twice. Both times at the PGA Show in Orlando, FL. But, one time is definitely more memorable than the other. It was probably 4-8 years ago, my memory isn’t that great with dates. Keep in mind that this is the major golf equipment exhibition in the world, attended by merchants, buyers and fans alike. These people are in golf and in the golf business. Byron Nelson was a legend. 52 wins (6th all time, behind only Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods), 5 majors. A record 11 wins in a row. He finished in the top 20 at an event 113 times. One of the greatest golfers of all time.

So, I look in the booklet and I see that Byron Nelson is signing. Byron Nelson is 85ish. He doesn’t have to sign, but he does. (He signed at the PGA Show more than once, evidenced by my meeting him twice and I’m sure he was there other times). Anyway, I see he is at the E. McGrath booth. They had a line in his name (nice shirts, I have several). So, we get close and I’m trying to see where it is and I don’t see anything. We find the booth and there is no line, so I’m not sure what’s going on. It was a small booth, so if there was more than 4 people there, they would have poked out of it.

I look inside the booth and there, sitting behind a table, with no one in front of him, is Byron Nelson. Freaking legend. I went up, got his autograph, thanked him and was on my way. But, I’ll never forget how there was no one there getting his autograph. I was astonished then, I’m astonished now. He was a piece of history, an icon in golf and, in everything I’ve ever seen and read, a great person. My thoughts and prayers are with those in his circle.

Nick Saban is My Kind of Coach

I already loved the guy. This just increases it:

“Our players do not determine what their outcome is relative to their future,” Saban said following Thursday’s practice. “They should be focused on what their responsibility is to be a part of this team. When guys don’t do those things there are consequences for it, and they don’t determine what the consequences are.

“We don’t have any of this stuff, ‘When it doesn’t work here, let me go someplace else.’ That’s not how it is. This is the real world. It’s business. You have a job and a responsibility. If you’re not capable, we’ll certainly support you and help you. But if you’re not interested in doing that, then we determine your fate. You don’t.”

When a reporter asked Saban if he is holding out hope that Wright will still play for the Dolphins, he said, “I don’t have any hope for anything. I have hope that he has hope that he can do what he’s supposed to do so that he can play for the Dolphins.”

Daunte to the Dolphins!

Awesome. Traded a second round pick for him and it is contingent on him passing a physical. Just one year ago, he threw for 4,717 yards with 39 touchdowns and 11 INTs. I know there are some concerns, but I am very happy. For quite a while, we’ve had the receivers and the running back. We’ve finally got the QB again (best one since Marino), I hope.

Via FinHeaven.

Sources: Dolphins to Have QB by Today

Dolphins’ QB search heats up:

The Dolphins are expected to have a new quarterback by the end of today, two sources said. The decision on which quarterback — Brees or Culpepper — will be based on today’s meeting with Brees in South Florida.

Wow. Really, it’d be awesome to get one of them. Since Marino retired, we’ve had… Jay Fiedler, Ray Lucas, Damon Huard, Sage Rosenfels, A.J. Feeley and Gus Frerotte. So, either one would be the best QB since Marino. I think if they were both free agents, I’d prefer Culpepper. But, since we have to trade for him, that means we have to give something up, unlike if we sign Brees. Still, I’ll take either one. Will be interesting to see who we end up with.

Via FinHeaven.

Sam Madison Signs with Giants

Unfortunately, Sam Madison, the former Dolphins cornerback, has signed with the Giants. He was my favorite player, but my favorite player really has to be on my favorite team, so I will have to come up with a new one, I guess.

On a related/unreleased note, the Dolphins were in the run for Daunte Culpepper, but the deadline passed and still nothing, so I guess that’s dead. We’re gonna meet with Drew Brees on Sunday, though.

Upset City

Last week, I pulled off a major upset in a series of very big upsets in a fantasy football league I was in to take the league title. It was a 20 team head to head league and the top 8 teams make the playoffs. I finished 7th. I was 9-5 with 3,518.69 points. The top 3 teams were 13-1, 4,013.39; 12-2, 3,797.15 and 10-4, 3,635.56. I was pretty much happy to win the playoffs and I was fully expecting to lose the first round because the team I was playing was very good and had done much better than me. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t give it my best shot, of course.

So, as the 7th place team, I get to face the 2nd place team in the first round. Up to this point, that team had scored 271.22 points per week whereas I had scored 251.33. That may not seem like a lot, but a 20 point average over 14 weeks is a pretty big margin. I ended up winning by a good marin – 286.76 to 258.78. This was a pretty big upset. So, from this point on, it was all gravy, really. I had an overall solid week, with my top 5 performers being Amani Toomer (25.60), Dallas Clark (23.50), Jason Taylor (23.50), Ronald McKinnon (22.00) and Zach Thomas (21.00).

Meanwhile, the 3rd place team routed the 6th place team and would be my next opponent. Through this point, they had scored an average of 262.62 points per week as compared with my 253.69. Entering this game, I actually felt that I had a legit shot. It was 7 vs. 3, but it was a very close 7 vs. 3. I ended up pulling off another upset, this time by a closer margin – 254.78 to 240.21. My top 5 were Clinton Portis (35.49), Amani Toomer (29.67), Trent Green (21.03), Zach Thomas (20.00) and Roy Williams (19.40).

This setup the final match, me (7) vs. the number one guy. Now, this was just a total mismatch. This was kinda like the Colts this season when they were at their height vs. the Rams or the Lions. If I won this game, it’d be like the 1972 Dolphins losing in the Super Bowl to a team with a losing record, kinda. I mean, it would be that unlikely. The 1st place team had come off of back to back total blowouts in the playoffs. For the year, their record was 15-1 with an average of 291.20 points scored per week. Me: 11-5 with an average of 253.76 points per week. That is a huge margin. This team was dominating every single week. But, in any sport, in fantasy football… anything is possible. And so, I had a great week, winning 308.70 to 264.89. I was led by Antonio Bryant (43.70), Clinton Portis (34.43), Mewelde Moore (33.78), James Farrior (25.50) and Zach Thomas (23.50).

And so, I pulled off the biggest series of fantasy football upsets I’ve ever seen.

A-Rod Not Playing in WBC

As was reported at, A-Rod will be skipping the World Baseball Classic. Anyway, I saw this quote in an article:

In an e-mail to The Associated Press, union COO Gene Orza wrote, “We haven’t spoken yet. We will. And having known and respected him since he was a drafted, my suspicion is that, in the end, fans around the world will see Alex in a WBC uniform.”

How about respecting his decision, instead of implying that A-Rod loses respect for not playing?

Mariano Rivera for 2005 AL MVP/Cy Young!

Do you feel that Mo should win the MVP or the Cy Young? Do you have a website? You can show your support. Read more at

Fred Funk

Funk headed for the Skins Game:

“They called and told me I was in the Skins Game and I said, ‘Which Skins Game? The one over Thanksgiving?”’ Funk, 49, said last week at the Presidents Cup. “I said, ‘How the hell did I qualify for that?”’ …

The foursome for the Merrill Lynch Skins Game, to be played Nov. 26-27 at Trilogy Golf Club in La Quinta, Calif., will be rounded out by some usual suspects — defending champion Fred Couples, Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam, who will be playing for the third straight year. …

“Tiger came up to me the other day and said Annika is the fourth,” Funk said. “He said, ‘If she outdrives you once, you will never, ever, ever hear the end of it.”’


Good Day for Sports

It was a good day, yesterday. The Dolphins upset the Broncos 34-10 and the Yankees beat the Red Sox 1-0.

I’m not sure what to expect from the Dolphins, but if they can play like they did yesterday, they won’t be so bad. Gus Frerotte surprised me. Then again, it’s one game. Jay Fiedler had games like that, as did Brian Griese. Time will tell.

The Yankee game was great as it was a must win if we’re going to have any shot at the division here in the last 20 games. Plus, we simply cannot afford to lose many games from here on out. Randy Johnson pitched an awesome game (7 IP, 1 H, 0 R), but the end was especially thrilling with Mariano closing the door.

To prepare for a standard work shift, Mariano Rivera will throw about 20 pitches in the bullpen. Yesterday, with pinch hitter David Ortiz waiting for him in the Yankees’ most important game of the season, the closer rode an adrenaline rush from the pen to the mound.

“I threw maybe 12 pitches,” Rivera said. “I knew that Ortiz was going to pinch hit. I wanted to face him.”…

“Maybe the pitch count was up there,” an uncharacteristically jubilant Rivera said. “But I work hard every time I’m going there. What can I say? It was a good one.”…

Rivera threw Damon 10 pitches, all of them cut fastballs with the intent of breaking in toward the lefthanded hitter. “I didn’t want to give him anything so he can get a little blooper or something like that,” Rivera said. “I won’t be able to sleep tonight.”…

“I could’ve thrown 100 pitches today,” Rivera said. “It didn’t matter.”

There is nothing I can say about Mo that I haven’t said before. Love the guy.