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Oct 28, 2010

Who Saw This Coming? S.F. Giants Win High-Scoring Game 1

All the prognosticators figured that Game 1 of the World Series between Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum would be a pitcher's duel.  At the end of the night, the San Francisco Giants outscored the Texas Rangers 11-7.  The Giants scored 6 earned runs against Lee in 4 2/3 innings, after Lee came into the game 3-0 with an ERA under 1.0 this postseason.

Seriously, did anyone see the Giants scoring more than 4 runs in this game?

Oct 27, 2010

Fox vs Cablevision: Will Customers Lose World Series?

The blackout of Fox channels on Cablevision in the New York and Philadelphia areas is still in effect, and now Cablevision customers are at risk of missing the World Series.  It looks bad enough...and could have been worse.  Imagine what the outcry would have been if the Yankees and Phillies were playing tonight?


Quick synopsis of today's news:
  • Opening night in the NBA:  Boston Celtics beat the new-look Miami Heat 88-80.   For most of the first half, the Celtics were up by 15 points or more.  Heat looked sloppy (especially LeBron James, who had eight turnovers) for a team that's supposed to win 60+ games this year.  Shaquille O'Neal looks like he's lost some weight, and "Big Baby" Davis played well for the Celtics.
  • The World Series starts tonight.  Texas Rangers vs. San Francisco Giants.  Not the matchup everyone was expecting, but should be fun to watch.  Rangers in the World Series for the first time in their existence, and the Giants try to win the World Series for the first time since they moved to the West Coast back in the 1950s.  Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum face off in game 1 - arguably two of the best pitchers in the game today.
  • Cliff Lee's wife claims she was harassed by New York Yankee fans while in the stands at Yankee Stadium during game 3 of the ALCS.  Cliff Lee will happen to be one of the top free agent pitchers this offseason and will most likely be targeted by the Yankees.  Umm, awkward...

Oct 25, 2010

What Happened to the Denver Broncos This Week?

Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels actually came out and apologized to Broncos fans and team owner Pat Bowlen for their humiliating 59-14 loss to the Oakland Raiders at home.  There's no excuse for giving up 59 points against anyone in the NFL, let alone your division rival, unless you just gave up and packed it in.

ESPN Radio's Mike Greenberg sums it up best.  Last week the Denver Broncos put up a really tough fight against the New York Jets and played well enough to win the game.  You would have figured they would have been angry after that loss and pumped up to redeem themselves against a division rival this week.  

Greenberg's co-host Mike Golic had one other interesting point about the Denver Broncos.  After starting out 6-0 last season, the Broncos are 4-13.  Ouch. 

Hopefully they can handle the 1-6 San Francisco 49ers this week.

Oct 23, 2010

Syracuse Beats #20 WVU 19-14: Proving They're For Real

After coming up with my theory for how the Syracuse football team will finish this season with 8 or 9 wins a couple of weeks back, I was beginning to doubt myself after last week's crushing 45-14 defeat at the hands of Big East conference rival Pitt.  Syracuse fell to 4-2 and looked overmatched against Pitt, and with upcoming road games against #20 West Virginia and Cincinnati, it would have been easy to chalk up those games as losses as well.

However, Syracuse stepped up their game in a big way with a 19-14 win against West Virginia.  Coach Doug Marrone has certainly proven his worth with Syracuse not only competing respectably against top ranked teams, again, but now beating them.  Since WVU was the highest ranked team in the Big East conference going into the game, certainly Syracuse can position themselves for a bowl (they only need 2 more wins to be eligible for one), and maybe even the Big East conference title.  Finally, Syracuse football fans can be excited as they look forward to meaningful November games for the first time in a long time.

Oct 21, 2010

2010 Indianapolis Colts: Issues With Alcohol

ESPN reported yesterday that Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee was arrested for public intoxication early Wednesday morning.  He had a blood alcohol content of 0.15 at the time of his arrest, so he had obviously drank a significant amount.  Fortunately, he was not behind the wheel of a car at the time.  The Colts do not have a game this week, which would explain why he was out very late on a "school night".  However, this is clearly not the way the Colts wanted their players to spend their bye week, so the team wasted no time in suspending Pat McAfee for one game.

Interestingly enough, McAfee is the fourth Indianapolis Colts player arrested on alcohol-related charges this year, and the second player arrested for public intoxication.  This is giving the Cincinnati Bengals teams of recent years a run for their money.  Fortunately the Colts are taking these charges seriously, but with so many alcohol issues this year, you have to wonder about the discipline on this team.  Does the team have to ban alcohol entirely during the season?  It may not be such a bad idea.

I can't help but notice that these things didn't happen to the Indianapolis Colts under Tony Dungy's watch.  Hopefully Coach Jim Caldwell can get a message across to his players before someone gets seriously hurt or killed.

Oct 20, 2010

Fox vs. Cablevision: Subscribers DO have a choice

News Corp.'s Fox 5 is being blacked out on Cablevision for the fifth straight day due to a failure to reach an agreement on fees.  Many viewers in the Northeast have missed the first three days of the National League Championship Series and this past Sunday's FOX NFL games. 

Cablevision seems to think that they can use their viewers as a pawn in the process of making a stand against Fox, but Cablevision need to be careful.  In many areas, subscribers now have the choice of Verizon FIOS TV service.  While this is the third channel blackout on Cablevision over the past 18 months, Verizon FIOS subscribers have not suffered any loss in service.

Oct 15, 2010

What Were They Thinking: 2011 Cleveland Cavaliers Calendar...with LeBron on the Cover??

Introducing a new feature here at Holdout Sports entitled:  What Were They Thinking?

Janet Cho of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that a Wisconsin company printed and shipped copies of the 2011 Cleveland Cavaliers calendar...with LeBron James on the cover.  It's a nice photo of LeBron about to do one of his monster dunks.  However, there's that minor detail about how LeBron used a live ESPN broadcast to announce his decision to leave the team back on July 8th. 

This begs the obvious question:  What Were They Thinking?  
  • It was well known that LeBron's contract with the Cavs expired at the end of the 2010 season.  It was talked about in the media for up to two years in advance.  Did they not realize that it was possible that LeBron might leave Cleveland?  Really?
  • Who decided to have a July deadline for determining who would be on the cover of the 2011 calendar?  They couldn't have waited a month to make sure they knew who would still be on the team?  Is there that much demand for Cleveland Cavaliers calendars that they had to be shipped out so early?
The company later revamped the calendar by shipping out a new version with Mo Williams on the cover, but there are still copies of the "collector's edition" with LeBron on the cover to be found out there.

The ultimate irony of this situation:  the name of the Wisconsin company that made the calendar is called Perfect Timing Inc.  Not good publicity.

Oct 14, 2010

Darrelle Revis Needs To Sit

New York Jets' coach Rex Ryan admits he made a bad decision by letting Darrelle Revis play against the Minnesota Vikings this past Monday night.  According to Rich Cimini of ESPN, Ryan "said he had no idea Revis was hurting until he watched the tape" of the game.  If that's true, the blame has to be shared by the assistant coaches up in the press box.  If it was easy enough for the viewers of the game at home to see Revis getting beaten left and right by Percy Harvin, the coaches should have been able to point out to Rex Ryan that Revis' hamstring wasn't holding up.

Rex Ryan wouldn't rule out Darrelle Revis playing Sunday, but the decision should be simple:  Revis needs to sit for as long as necessary.  At this point, if it takes 4-6 weeks, let him sit until his hamstring is right.  Antonio Cromartie is proving that he can step up his game against the top receivers, such as Randy Moss twice this season.  Plus, the Jets did draft Kyle Wilson for depth at the cornerback position.

When Revis held out this preseason, Rex Ryan said that the New York Jets would still be able to get things done on defense without him.  Now they will have to prove just that.

Oct 13, 2010

Phillips Feeling the Heat...Again

After the Dallas Cowboys started 0-2, owner Jerry Jones gave head coach Wade Phillips a vote of confidence.

Now the Cowboys are 1-3 and are trying to stay in the playoff hunt.   Again, Jerry Jones, along with executive VP Stephen Jones, have stepped forward to say that Phillips' job was "absolutely" safe

How many times has an owner stepped forward to defend their coach, only to fire them after the season ends?  Wade Phillips won a playoff game last year, and the Dallas Cowboys are only one game behind in the NFC East.  However, you get the feeling that no matter how many times Jerry Jones steps forward to defend his coach this year, if he doesn't make the playoffs, or falls short in the playoffs again, Phillips will be gone.

Syracuse Win Over South Florida Gives Fans Reason to be Excited

The Syracuse football team's 13-9 win over South Florida moves their record to 4-1.   According to CBS Sportsline ratings, this makes them the highest rated team in the Big East Conference.  This is a big step forward for a team which has suffered some major down years in the past decade.

Syracuse football coach Doug Marrone has said that the team's goal this season was to get to a bowl game.  Since the team has played two FCS opponents (I hate this whole new naming convention and would prefer to still use Division 1-AA), they will need 7 victories to lock up a bowl appearance.  This past weekend's win puts them in a prime position to accomplish this goal.

Syracuse is about to start the toughest part of their Big East Conference schedule, with their next 3 games against Pittsburgh, at #25 West Virginia, and at Cincinnati.  WVU looks strong, but Pitt and Cincinnati are having disappointing starts to their seasons, so it's not out of the question that SU can steal one of these games.  The team has momentum going into this weekend's homecoming game against Pitt, and the fan base should be rallying around the team

The next 3 games on the schedule are against Louisville, Rutgers, and UConn.  Syracuse has beaten Louisville the last 2 seasons and beat Rutgers last year.  UConn is coming back to the pack this year with some early season struggles, and they just lost to Rutgers this past week.  Plus, Syracuse will have the revenge factor on its side after UConn ran up the score with a late touchdown in last year's game.  At this point, if the team performs to its potential and doesn't suffer any major injuries, they have a great chance to win all 3 of these games.

The final game is home against Boston College.  BC is only 2-3 right now and doesn't seem to be one of the strong teams in the ACC this year, so that would seem to be another game that SU could win.  Therefore, if you tally them up, not only does Syracuse have a great chance at a bowl this year, but they could have 8 or 9 wins by the end of the season.  This will go a long way to help recruit better players next season and help build the program back to national prominence, which should give the Syracuse fans something to get excited about.

Oct 7, 2010

Clinton Portis Out 4-6 Weeks: What Happened to Redskins Depth at RB?

It was announced yesterday that Washington Redskins starting running back Clinton Portis will be out 4-6 weeks with a groin injury. The ironic part of the story is that the Redskins had running backs Willie Parker and Larry Johnson competing with Portis in the preseason, but both of them were cut.  Would have been nice to have at least one of them around.  Now they have to prepare to move on with Ryan Torain, who was on the practice squad just a few weeks ago, and Chad Simpson (no relation to Jessica or Homer as far as I know).

Oct 5, 2010

Titans Love Flipping The Bird

Tennessee Titans assistant coach Chuck Cecil gets caught flipping the bird to the referees on live TV.  Nice.  But can you blame him?  He's just following the fine example of owner Bud Adams, who was caught by cell phone cameras flipping off his own fans at last year's Bills/Titans game from the press box and ON THE FIELD (forward to 2:35 of this clip).  And they talk about the Jets being out of control?  Looks like someone needs some sensitivity training.  Come on, guys, have a little class.
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