Archive for November, 2010

…in no other profession, I can’t think of another profession where you are rewarded for yesterday’s scores like in baseball. In the NFL, with the salary cap, you’ll get cut as a good player just like Baby LT by the San Diego Chargers.

In the NBA, they’re not giving anyone 5 year deals past their prime, but in baseball – because it’s so driven by tradition and history, is that there is this sense that you’ve got to pay a player because he used to be great! That is idiotic as a business model and I am here to defend the New York Yankees, which is not to say that Jeter doesn’t have value – although he has almost none at short. I mean, him winning a Gold Glove is laugh out loud ridiculous!

Think about it this way, I got an email from my former baseball coach in middle school, die hard Jeter fan. “Andrew, it happens all the time, look at Donovan McNothing, McNothing get’s $80 million dollars” Coach, only $3.6 million of it is guaranteed! Pay attention please… that is not what he’s getting. He’s getting $3.6 million of it and will be screwed if he doesn’t get it at the end of this season.

I have to tell you something, during the baseball season, I tend to pay close attention to the baseball ratings for every game. The Yankees are the only – heck, forget Red Sox Nation, the Yankees are the only franchise that moves the meter. Texas, San Francisco…hell, nobody watched in baseball crazy Boston.

The Yankee’s don’t need anybody. Joe Torre left, their attendance went up. “Well Jeter funnels money back Andrew!” yes, I think he does, perhaps $7 million a year, I’m sure the Yankee’s have done a study, or maybe $8 million. I’d say to Jeter “here’s $24 million dollars AND you’re moving positions!”

But if you think Jeter’s got more power than the Yankees, you are nuts!! Let me ask you this, Jeter doesn’t talk much, he’s not real flashy, he’s not a home run hitter, he’s not going to draw any fans anywhere. Ken Griffey Jr. at his peak could draw fans, Mark McGuire drew fans, Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens…guys who throw 100mph, Stephen Strasburg as well, and they all have this freak show quality to them.

Jeter is not fast, not stealing bases, doesn’t hit for power, not a big personality, very reluctant to talk, he’s not moving the turnstile, so I got news for you. Go look at these other Yankee’s that left…they disappeared! Bobby Abreu had a good year yet you didn’t see him play. Matsui…you didn’t see him play either.

You leave the Yankees in this sport; you pretty much fall of the face of the earth! And I see the ratings; you pretty much fall of the face of the earth when you’re done with the Yankees. So I just don’t buy into this, “oh the Yankee’s better watch out on how they treat Jeter…” why do you think they have done studies?  Why do you think they’re playing hard ball folks? They’ve clearly done their homework.

They know what he’s worth and it’s not $21 million for 6 years. When you make the Yankee’s money, they do their research; they know every jersey that sold every single one of them. They know what Jeter is worth. I think the best thing Jeter has got going for him…there is no other shortstop on the market.

If Hanley Ramirez was available, Jeter is done! But he’s not, so the problem is that if you replace Jeter and you bring in somebody who is average…brutal! It’s like replacing Howard Stern; it probably makes the situation worse. So you have to bring in someone to replace Derek,  so that’s why when they let Torre go they brought someone in like Joe Girardi, who’s a bottom line tough guy, and a year or two later he wins the World Series with them and nobody cares about Joe Torre anymore

But this idea that the Yankee’s will fold and the stadiums will be empty without Jeter is a joke! Young people, such as myself, like Cano! Cano is probably the best player they’ve got by a mile. And some people are just like “I’ll never go to another game ever again” really? Seriously? You freakin live in Queens! What are you going to do when it’s August? They’re playing the Red Sox’s! What are you going to do? Go to a Mets game? Come on!!!


…there are a lot of different styles of coaches, you got the guy at Kansas State who is breaking clipboards over his knee, you got coaches yelling and screaming. I personally like Belicheck and Phil Jackson style…cerebral, smart, and respectful, they’ll poke you in the ribs at times.

Phil Jackson this past week was on Chicago radio and he was poking Lebron and the Heat in the ribs. Saying “You know the scenario that sits kinda behind the scene is that you’ll eventually see these guys that were recruited, Bosh and James, by Pat Riley and the owner are going to come in and say you know, we feel like you could do a better job coaching the team you know, we came here on the hopes that this would work or whatever…I don’t know, that’s just my take on it. Eventually if things don’t straighten out soon, you could sorta see the Van Gundy thing all over again”

Oh Phil Jackson, he’s stirring the pot. Is he stirring the pot? Absolutely! Remember what he said on November 11th of this year? Somebody asked Phil Jackson, Lakers coach, “are you going to win 70 games?” and he goes “oh it’s not going to happen for us, the schedule is too tough, the travel, the conference is tough, time zone changes…” which by the way, he is absolutely right! But then he goes “I think Miami can do that, I think Miami is talented enough to do that. Everything has to break perfect for you, you have to be very talented and I think Miami could do it!”  haha

By the way, he is right about the travel. In the Eastern Conference time zone, Boston, DC, New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey…they are like 40 minute flights from each other and a lot of easy W’s. Out West, the Lakers have to go to New Orleans, which is like 4 hours, Minnesota at 3 ½ hours, Dallas/Houston/San Antonio is like 3 hours…it’s just more difficult in the West.

Remember when Wayne Gretzky went to the New York Rangers? Wayne played in Edmonton and LA and the he goes to the Rangers – and Gretzky never liked to fly anyways, Gretzky said “this is incredible! God I could’ve saved 8 years on my legs and my back” Because in the NHL, the Bruins, the Devils, the Flyers, the Islanders, the Caps, the Penguins, the Whalers (at the time) they’re all like 40 minute flights from each other. You don’t get that out West. You’ve got much more space, much longer flights, it wears out on players. So Phil Jackson is right about that, but he’s tweaking the Heat in the ribs

By the way, he’s been doing this for years. Do you remember what Phil Jackson did with Kevin Durant? Right before the playoff series, he was asked about Kevin Durant and he said “boy! As far as the calls he gets on the floor, he gets to the line a lot. I’ll tell you, there are a couple of plays in that last game where I was pretty curious on how he got to the line. He gets a lot of ref’s treating him like a superstar. Boy, he gets to the line easy and often”

Kevin Durant, next day, reacts to it and goes out and stinks in Game 1, 7 for 24, 1 for 8 in 3 balls, 4 turnovers and then in Game 2 he’s gets 8 turnovers. He totally manipulated Kevin Durant and got right into his coconut. He did it with Steve Nash as well, remember the Steve Nash quotes? Right before the Phoenix series. Somebody had asked him “How do you simulate the Suns’ Steve Nash in practice?” and Phil is like “Well, you can’t carry the ball like he does, in practice. You can’t pick that ball up and run with it like Steve Nash does” hahaha, seriously…Phil Jackson is great!!!

Now there’s different styles of coaching, there’s the Mark Mangeno at Kansas “I’m going to explode unless I eat a salad and I scream at people” way of coaching. You got the Frank Martin at Kansas State who is just absurdly ridiculous. You’ve got Bull Pullini getting in guys faces’ and then you’ve got my favourite guy, the cool , sophisticated,  cerebral, sarcastic, poke the other guys in the ribs…Phil Jackson. He’s my very favourite coach in pro sports; Belicheck and Phil Jackson are my favourite coaches. Re-read that quote I posted earlier in this rant about the Heat. You can just read into how he’s poking Lebron and the Heat in the ribs.

By the way, the Lakers beat the Bulls earlier in the week and Derek Rose had like a million points and some great highlights, but as I’ve said before, I don’t want my point guard scoring that many points! Lakers just look so good, they are just absolutely philthy!

…when it comes to Quarterbacks, here is where I stand: I Love Tom Brady, Mark Sanchez is going to be the next Tom Brady, and Vince Young is a knucklehead. Brady beat Manning, Sanchez was the “Sanchize” of the Jets again and Vince Young imploded, so this past Sunday was a good day for me. I want to go back to this thing I said last week – and sports fans are emotional animals, I get it, it’s great! But whenever you do something, like on Monday Night Football, people just go crazy, because it’s the only game on. This time last week you were hearing people say “Michael Vick is unbelievable, he’s the greatest player ever, he should be this, and he should be that, he should be the MVP”

People are honestly not paying attention. As I’ve always said. Phil Jackson has been punished because he’s had good players. He’s the best coach in the league, everybody knows he’s the best coach in the league; he’s been the best coach in the league for 15 years. But he gets punished because of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. It should be noted that Doug Collins had Michael Jordan and Pippen, and he couldn’t win. Dale Harris had Shaq and Kobe, he couldn’t win.

I think Michael Vick is a great story, he’s having a great year…everybody loves his story; he’s the – for a lack of a better word, the “underdog”. I get it! He’s having a nice year. But he finally played a good defense on Sunday…no TD’s, no picks and frankly, Giants should’ve won the game, they coughed it up 5 times.  Go look at what Tom Brady – much like Phil Jackson – is being punished for.  “Well he’s got Bill Belicheck Andrew!” Excuse me; Michael Vick has got Andy Reid and three elite offensive talents. Tom Brady this year has beaten Joe Flacco, Big Ben, Peyton Manning, and Philip Rivers. 

You know how he’s done it? He’s beaten…elite coaches, elite quarterbacks, and elite teams. In 8 of his 10 games, no interceptions! He hasn’t thrown a pick or had a turnover in 5 games. And he’s playing elite teams, elite coaches, elite quarterbacks…but you say “well he’s got Belicheck!” Again, Michael Vick has got Andy Reid, in the weaker NFC. His wins are – get this and perhaps you’ll be able to see straight – his wins are against Detroit, Jacksonville, Washington….hold on a second!!!

Brady is beating better teams, with something called Danny Woodhead, two rookie tight ends, aging Dion Branch, no deep threat and Wes Welker coming off a brutal knee surgery. Are you kidding me? What Brady is doing…he’s beating the smartest coaches, the smartest QB’s in the brutal AFC, has played every game, 8 of his 10 games…no picks! The only two games he’s had a pick – the Jets and Baltimore…could be the 1st and 2nd best teams in the NFL.

So I look at Vick and Brady’s numbers and yeah, Vick’s numbers are nice, of course he hasn’t played for a month in the middle of it all. Here is Brady, the numbers in terms of completion percentage: 76%, 70%, 60%, 61%, 80%, 78%, and 72%. Vick only twice has completed his passes 71% of the time.

Let me go back to this Brady vs. Manning thing. Peyton Manning, back in 2004 – think about what Manning has had in his career. He gets into the NFL, he’s got Marshall Faulk, later he has Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison, 6 of 11 offensive starters are #1 draft picks. Brady has built his career with a much different set of tools. He’s New England’s ONLY offensive player to be named to a Pro Bowl in 9 YEARS!!!! Cory Dylan doesn’t count, he was an injury replacement. In 9 years, Brady has done it with no Pro Bowlers, no Marshall Faulk, no Dallas Clarke, no Harrison, no Reggie Wayne…nothing!

By the way, of the touchdown passes Brady has thrown in a Superbowl, it’s to a second rounder, a seventh rounder, an undrafted free agent from Western Carolina and a linebacker! I mean, it’s amazing – Peyton Manning by the way, has faced 21 of 31 NFL franchises at least 4 times. Who does he have the worst record against? Brady and the Patriots, he’s 6-10.

So I know that Vick is having a great year and I know Vick is wonderful to watch and I know his redemption story is amazing. Who has beaten tougher opponents with less skill around him? BRADY BY A MILE!!!! And yet were punishing him like we punish Phil Jackson, we’re punishing him because of Belicheck? Listen, Belicheck is a human being, Andy Reid – if Belicheck is the best coach, Andy Reid who is 11-0 I believe – he’s either 11-0 or 12-0 or even 13-0 off bye weeks, then Andy Reid is the 2nd best coach in the league and Philadelphia’s talent is great! Macklin’s great, Jackson is unbelievable. 

So I just don’t buy into this stuff and more and more people are just coming out and saying “well Vick is the automatic for MVP”. Let me ask you this, what’s tougher, AFC or NFC?  Not even close! AFC. I mean folks, the NFC West for the second time this year went 0-4 this past Sunday…for the second time! I mean, the worst team in the AFC is Buffalo, Buffalo is not terrible, and that’s the dog of the AFC. You want to know about another dog in the AFC, who is out of the playoffs? Cleveland! Cleveland is a pretty good team. They give you everything they’ve got!

In contrast, you’ve got several teams in the NFC who’ve just quit. I mean, Dallas at one point just quit, Minnesota just quit, and Carolina is done. “But Andrew, you love Brady” yeah, I do love Brady, I really really really love Brady. I think he’s unbelievable!

It’s interesting that baseball is considered sort of an individual sport, but we all know that pitching wins and similarly in football, we know that it’s a team sport but that the quarterbacks – overwhelmingly – are going to dictate how good you are. Very rarely do you see bad quarterbacks in big games and very rarely do you see great quarterbacks struggling for years. Great pitching in baseball, great quarterbacks in football, takes you to a great level.

All I’m saying is that when you look at these numbers, if you really do your research – this idea that the Patriots have had better players is just statistically not true at all. Both Brady and Manning have had one top 5 defense in the past decade, both mostly average about 12th in the league and both have had 3 in the 20’s. I went and looked it up. So if you take the emotion out of it, Brady has done more in big games.

 It’s very much like the Montana and Marino comparison, that entire argument is framed off Montana in big spots cause Marino has got better stats! In this era over the last decade – and we tend to judge era’s and decades. From 2000 – 2010, it’s sort of been the Tom Brady and Peyton Manning era in football. I mean there was the Elway/Marino/Montana era; there were a lot of great quarterbacks then. But the Manning/Brady era – we’ll go back (and they’ll play beyond this) but we’ll go back, maybe look at 2000-2012, their both in the prime.

Now statistically Manning is superior but who do we consider to be the best quarterback in the history of the game? It’s Joe Montana. Not because we consider Joe Montana/Dan Marino statistically equal. If you look at the numbers, statistically, Marino is at a different level. But, it’s funny between Brady and Manning. You start comparing – and I’m going to throw out some numbers at you, what Brady did against the Steelers this past Sunday, you say “we’ll Andrew, it’s just one game!” Noooo, of all the arguments – and when you start getting down and comparing Kobe to Michael Jordan, comparing Marino to Elway, when you compare the greats like Ted Williams, Babe Ruth…when you get up to the elite class of comparing great people, everything counts. I say that all the time in my rants…everything counts.

Superbowls? Big edge Brady…Playoff record? Big edge Brady…Stats? Big edge Manning. Against the Steelers? Big edge Brady. “But Andrew how could you…” Let me just throw this your way. The Steelers have been – Dick LeBeau, their defensive co-coordinator has been the Gold Standard for defensive co-coordinators for 15 years in the league, he’s the Gold Standard. The Steelers in the “Manning/Brady” era have been the Gold Standard, if not of the league but defensively, 4 out of the 10 years during that era. 4 of 10 years the Steelers led the NFL in defense, in terms of yards; I’ve got all the numbers here. So Gold Standard competition is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now, it’s not like Manning has been horrible, but he’s 2-1 with 6 TD’s and 4 picks, 84.3 QB rating. He’s much like A-rod in baseball. It’s not that he’s horrible all the team in the playoffs, but Manning is LESS OF A PLAYER.

The greatness of Derek Jeter isn’t that he’s massively better in the playoffs; it’s that he doesn’t dip. Go look at Tom Brady against the Gold Standard Steelers, he’s 4-1 with 12 TD’s and 3 picks, his QB rating is HIGHER than it normally is. Brady is a BETTER quarterback against the Gold Standard. Manning, less of a quarterback. That’s always been the Jeter/A-rod thing. It’s not that A-rod is always terrible and Jeter is always great. But Jeter, in regular season and playoffs, doesn’t massively dip. A-rod is a different player in the post-season and the biggest games.

So you start looking at Brady and Manning and you start throwing out playoff records – and that’s not even close! I mean, they’ve both played in 18 playoff games, Brady is 14-4 and Peyton is .500. In Superbowl’s, Manning is 1-1. In one, he was mediocre and lost and threw the big pick that lost, in the other; Joseph Addai was the star of the game.

So we’re going to look at this thing in like 15 – 20 years, and they both still have 3 or 4 years. But why is Montana better than Marino? Because of the biggest games. Superbowls? Huge edge Brady, playoffs? Huge edge Brady. Against the Steelers? Huge edge Brady. Stats? Marino and Manning.

And what I saw Sunday night was incredible! That first throw of the game – I should say this though, I like to watch a lot of these games by myself, nothing against Sports Bars, but because I like to take notes and because I’ll sit and watch the Red Zone Channel and because I don’t want to deal with commentary outside of the television, a lot of times I’ll watch games with myself. So Sunday night I’m watching the Steelers/Patriots game – and I do this occasionally, and this to me is what defines what a really big play is. When I scream to myself or I say something and I catch myself talking to myself. When Brady made the throw, the first touchdown, to the tight end over the middle and the size of the window that he could get it in was about the size of a chocolate cream pie, I mean it was literally that big, perhaps 60% bigger than a football. So Brady slides it in there, wedges it in there. On the road, against the Steelers, Red Zone…the guy is unbelievable!

And you know, he has bad games (against Cleveland), he’ll have a bad game (against Buffalo), but man Brady takes it to another level against the great ones. We’ll look 20 years from now, and you’ll go back and talk about Manning and Brady and you’ll say – and this is something that won’t get talked about “Did you ever notice how good Brady was against the Steelers? Really? Nobody was good against the Steelers…oh Brady was better than anybody else in the league against them”

If your a Steeler fan, and they have a huge fan base, you’ve seen Brady come into your stadium…Brady owns you! I mean, go ask people in Pittsburgh “Manning or Brady?” and Brady is doing it, without a hall of fame wide receiver, Danny Woodhead, Wes Welker coming off surgery, rookie Brandon Tait, Dion Branch past his prime. You know, he’s not walking into that stadium with…he’s going in with 2 rookie tight ends, say that out loud! Two rookie tight ends, Wes Welker coming off surgery, Julian Edelman who was a QB at Kent State, Danny Woodhead (who got cut by my Jets) and Brandon Tait.

So when you consider everything between Brady and Manning, especially as playoff QB’s, Brady is 14-4 and Manning is 9-9. Manning has played in 2 Superbowls, in one of them he played okay but made the huge interception and the other, Joseph Addai and the running game was the star, so he’s never had a great Superbowl. Brady has been a 2 time MVP and is a much better playoff QB. Tom, the best he’s ever been, is against the Pittsburgh Steelers over the last 10 years – the Gold Standard in defense in the National Football League. In 4 of the 10 years, so almost half, they’ve been the #1 defense in the NFL lead by Dick LeBeau.

Now predictably emotion, I work in the emotion business remember? “Andrew, you’re off your rocker! The team around Brady was better than the team around Manning” Hmm, I’d go check Pro-Bowl numbers if I was you. Manning has had Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, these are all Pro Bowlers. Start listing the Pro Bowler’s Brady has had to work with. Brady won a Superbowl with no passing game and no running game. He has won Superbowls off different teams, different cultures….come on now, and your statement must not be true then.

Another one I often get “Brady has been on better teams than Manning by far along with a better defense.” Oh really? I went from 2001 – 2009 (not counting this year) and looked up the defense for the Patriots and the Colts. Peyton Manning‘s has got one top 5 defense during that time, 3rd in 2007. Tom Brady has one top 5 defense in that time, finished in 4th in 2007. Both have 3 defenses in the last decade that have been in the 20′s. Manning has got one that was 29th, 21st and 29th. Brady has one that was 26th, 24th, and 23rd. 3 times Manning, in the decade, has a defense that was ranked 11th. 3 times Brady had a defense that was ranked 9th , 10th or 11th. Neither one, has had Dick LeBeau. Neither one has had “elite defenses” In fact in the last couple of years, I would argue that Brady has had no pass rush, a below average defense, a young secondary.

For the record, this is Belicheck’s youngest defense in 16 years as a head coach, rookies everywhere! Brady is doing it with rookie tight ends, Wes Welker coming off knee surgery, a kid who was a quarterback at Kent State and a rookie Brandon Tait (he’s either a rookie or it’s his second year) It’s unbelievable what he’s doing.

So these arguments that “well…better talent…” Now I’m getting this argument. “Well excuse me Andrew, but Belicheck is an elite coach!” Well didn’t you, the fans, always argue that Tony Dungy is an elite coach as well? Excuse me? You’ve always argued that Tony Dungy is an elite coach; he’s certainly an A minus coach, isn’t he?

…first of all, the Michael Vick performance yesterday was great! But it was only the 2nd most shocking thing last night in D.C. Donovan McNabb’s new contract blows away Vick in the shocking department…unbelievable! It comes 15 days after coach Shanahan controversial benching of McNabb and Snyder does what Snyder does. Massively overpay’s for somebody past their prime. Their offensively line needs to be massively re-built, you have no skilled players…so let’s get a 34-year-old player who is past him prime and pay him too much! 
By the way, the NFL owners – you know these days they’re all claiming poverty. They’re working on a new labour deal and then Dan Snyder goes out there and just drops $78 million to Donovan McNabb….I’m sure that’s going to go over really well with NFL owners!


Even T.O, who is pretty non-sensical made sense “how do you justify 78 to a guy in this type of performance” that was T.O. on his twitter. Here’s the thing that is interesting to me about this, I mean MIchael Vick – I’ll get to that later on. Great performance by Vick, but I still don’t like my quarterbacks running around that much. But Vick is exciting, he is exhilarating, he’s a great American redemption story and I’ll get to that.

But the story with the Shanahan/McNabb deal is just classic Dan Snyder. Brilliant, creative business guy, but horrible football guy , and I’ll tell you why at the end of this. They’ve been working on this deal, both Shanahan and McNabb, since early October. Then, in the last 2 weeks, they’ve got real differences. It’s not going to get better any time soon and he [Shanahan] humiliated McNabb. Well my thing is, I don’t care if you’ve planned a marriage for 3 years, if a month out you realize you have faith-based issues – so like real hurdles, you call the wedding off!

Now I’m no expert on marriage, but when your going into a relationship – Shanahan is not going anywhere, he’s got a lock tight contract, he has huge issues. In one of the insider subscriptions that pay up for on a bi-monthly basis – they were claiming that Shanahan is NOT happy with McNabb nor his progress…this is not a great relationship. McNabb’s people are not in love with Shanahan either claims this insider podcast.

It’s incredible to me when – because now you’ve locked both of them at the hip and it makes no sense to me. Basically Redskins owner Dan Snyder proved once again that just because you’re a brilliant guy it doesn’t make you a brilliant NFL owner. I mean, nobody in league history has signed this many players past their prime. Like Haynesworth, Sperrior, McNabb, Clinton Portess, Bruce Smith, Dion Sanders. If you look at this league, the teams that are winning in this league every year like the Colts, Patriots and Steelers, what do they do? They are frugal!

They get rid of guys, the Eagle’s do this very well too. Your thirty and your gone! By the way, your gone and sent over to the Redskins, haha. They are doing business the exact opposite way of the Colts, Patriots and Steelers have over the last decade, they are the winningest teams in the NFL. You turn thirty-two and your done in Philly, your done in New England, its incredible.

It’s interesting because the NFL is a league that rarely overpays its players, except the Redskins. Here is what’s very interesting to me. In the NFL, Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones are the two flashiest owners. That worked in the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s when it was a growing league that needed showman. It is no longer the flashy owners and the funny coaches’ league. The coaches that win are dry, sarcastic, poor communicators and have nothing to say. They are grumpy and they don’t like the media. They don’t mess around and they don’t wear cowboy hats.

The owners that win in this league are not flashy. That’s the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s NFL. Now guys in Harvard are all through this league, it’s a nuts and bolts, cerebral thinking man’s league. Frugal wins, accountants win, Harvard guy wins, high IQ wins. If you say “hey let’s overpay for that great past his prime player” I’m sorry, it doesn’t win in the NFL anymore. That’s why Jerry and Snyder are, combined, have only won one playoff win in a decade!

So this is not science, I’m not breaking new ground here. Go look at who wins in the league! Frugal, smart owner, who you don’t even know how they look like. Giants owner, Eagle’s owner. Outside of New York and Philly nobody knows what they look like. Flashy owners and goofy coaching don’t win anymore.

Now onto Michael Vick – this story is just unbelievable! I was texting back and forth with a buddy early this morning on my way to work and what Vick reminds me a bit off – You know when your driving with your wife, friend, sister, acquaintance, date and a guy goes by on one of those – they call them “crochrockets” those motorcycles. A former co-worker of my dad’s use to have one, he’s a motorcycle guy. And he goes past you at a 100km an hour on the highway and you and whoever your with are like “Wowwww!!! look at that….ohhhh, that’s not going to end well”

I still don’t want my quarterback running all over the field. It doesn’t – long-term – work in this league. Twice last night, Vick almost got decapitated. You cannot run like that, long-term, in this league. Michael Vick is brilliant, is exciting, is dramatic…but he won’t slide! They are going to fine him. So you get off the highway and you see that guy go 100km past you on that motorcycle and your first thing is “unbelievable! I want one of those!” and then you say “ohhh brother that’s not going to end well”

Are you really going to be surprised in four weeks if this is the headline ” Vick gets injured, Out for six weeks!” Heck, you can’t run as a Qb like how he’s doing in this league, you just can’t do it! Vince Young is significantly bigger than Vick and he’s always hurt.

…I’m going to start with this today, what is a good job? I want you to pretend (or maybe you don’t have to) that there are a couple of big jobs out there. What do you consider to be a good job? Now I’ve had the good fortune to interview with top notch companies and for really good gigs during my university co-op experience and some I’ve landed. I know there are 3 or 4 things I always think about.

#1 Do they have resources? Great resources? Do they have the best technology? Resource is the #1 thing to me. I use to always joke around at MLSE with some of my superiors saying “you can have the greatest surveyors in the world, but if it’s not properly done, the data is garbage!” So to me, resource is the key.

#2 Do you have an educated or talented employee base? Am I going to be working with good people? Again, you could be a superstar, but if you got a bunch of knuckleheads…bad job! How are your resources and how is your employee base?

#3 Do I have strong supportive bosses, but not medaling ones. I don’t want to deal with micro-management. You hired me; you’re paying me good money, strong boss, not a medaling one. #4 is it a good culture? Is it the right culture? Is it a driven, ambitious, ethical culture?

So the four things I look at, when there is a big job, and let’s say I want to apply to it – but let’s face it, we still got unemployment in this country. Now some people just want jobs and I totally get it. But, great resources, good employee’s, strong management but not medaling and the right culture.

So let me ask you this: Am I the only person who thinks today that the Minnesota Vikings job is a lot better than the Dallas Cowboys job? The Cowboys’ is open (face it, Garrett is not staying for long) and the Vikings job will be soon. Let’s compare the two.

With Dallas, I’ve got to face Andy Reid, Tom Kofflin and Mike Shanahan twice a year….No Thanks! In Minnesota, I get the Lions twice (looks like Stafford could be a physical bust…I mean the guy is an injury magnet) and I’ve got Levy Smith of the Bears twice and Jay Cutler…I’ll take Minnesota! I mean, I’m 3-1 or 4-0 right there.

In Dallas, I get some good players. Austin Miles is good, Terrance Newman and Tony Romo…those are good players. In Minnesota I get star players. Adrian Peterson, Jarred Allan, Percy Harvin. Look around the league folks, stars win games, not good players.

In Dallas, there are a lot of distractions…pretty girls, more strip clubs per capita, warm weather, and it’s the Big D. In Minnesota, its cold, in the winter it’s dark by 4:20pm and players are focused. In Dallas, I’ve got an owner who wants to be the GM as well. In Minnesota I get an owner who hires a GM to be a GM. Now the Minnesota short coming is “boy what to do with Brett Favre!”

Well that’s really not that difficult. You walk in and say “Brett, I’m going to draft a QB, stick around for another year, I’m not Brad Childress, and I like you. In fact I would ask you to please come back; I’m begging you to come back for a year. We can negotiate it after that, but I want you to be the mentor to a young next Brett Favre, please stay”. So that ugly relationship with Brad Childress, just patch that up. Then you say to him “Oh by the way, I’m going to keep the OC and use the same play book. So I’ll let you call your own plays, nobody will interfere.”

I’m not saying that the Dallas Cowboys job is the Notre Dame job, where the value and name is greater than the actual value by a lot. But it has some similar trait of the Notre Dame job. The name value is greater than the actual value. I mean with the Cowboy job, 6 times a season, I’m facing 3 of the top 5 coaches in the NFL! Facing Eli Manning, Tom Kofflin, Reid, Shanahan. In Minnesota I get real stars, winnable division, a great committed hands-off owner, no built-in dysfunction and that northern winter work ethic, Nordic toughness.

Let’s be honest, this is the sound of Dallas [party music in the background]. This is the sound of Minnesota in the winter [hard work ethic music lol] I get to party in Dallas, great weather, the outdoors. While in Minnesota you got dad telling his kids “hey kids, let’s go rake the yard and shovel the driveway as a team….alright!!” Nordic, winter, rust belt.

I read this quote from Troy Aikman the other day, he said “the talk of Jerry Jones stepping aside as a general manager is pointless to talk about, it’ll never happen” And people think that’s not a huge road block? Go look at the 2009 draft for the Cowboys; they whiffed on 10 of 12 picks. They gave up 3 picks for Roy Williams.

You know, I’ll never forget what a former co-worker at Airmiles, now in the gambling business, told me. He said “the Casino’s (especially in Las Vegas) hire from the rust belt. They don’t target the rust belt as consumers; they target Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Asian countries, London. But they hire from the rust belt, they hire from the Midwest. They want Midwest employee’s to bring that work ethos, but they are not going to target Iowa for their consumer base. They can go to local casinos and that’s where the money is”.

It’s interesting that we fall in love with the hype and the sexy, but Dallas has real road blocks, not a great culture, an owner who wants to and will be the GM and a bunch of good players. The Vikings job is a better gig! Your big road block in Minnesota is a hall a fame QB who is stubborn.

Look around the league, not a lot of guys in the last 2 years, winning more games than Brett Favre has, he wins a lot of games, players like him, I don’t have a backup that is capable anyways [Tavaris Jackson]. So I’ll go draft one of the good QB this year like Stanford’s Andrew Loch. I’ll sit him behind Brett for a year, maybe two and then let him play. Philip Rivers sat for two years, Drew Breeze sat for a while, so did Aaron Rogers, I kind of like my QB’s to sit.

…so I watched the Celtics and Miami Heat on Thursday night. And, you know, I finally came to the conclusion – and i’ve always felt that it’s a work in progress, what the Miami Heat are. They are basically a sandwich with no bread.

Its Grade A deli meat on a plate and it’s just hard to eat that stuff with your hands. And you watch the Celtics and you got Rondo here at the bottom with the bigs. Then you’ve got guys in the middle, all that good stuff in the middle. Paul PIerce and Ray Allen. Lakers have Fisher, Brown, Blake. Then they have Bynum and Gasol…They got Kobe, Artest, Barns and Odom in the middle. All you have with Miami is a bunch of deli meat in the middle, but you’ve got no bread! You’ve got no point guard and you’ve got no centre.

Tim Legglard was on ESPN radio last Tuesday and he joked about how if you can beat Miami off the dribble, your basically going to the tin and there is nobody there to stop you. To quote him, he said “They [Miami] do not have size; they don’t have a legitimate deterrent in the paint at all. The Lakers have 5 guys that they can – that’s 35 feet of people. Now there’s no need to panic and give up on the Heat. But it’s a legitimate concern. What are you going to do?”

Bottom line is, I feel right now that the Lakers are the best – and I sat down this morning and I really sized up Miami, Boston and LA. Now, there’s a bunch of teams in the league like Orlando, Portland, Chicago…but LA is the most skilled team in the league, they are the best finishing team in the league and they are the deepest offensive team in the league.

The Lakers don’t go long stretches struggling offensively, somebody always gets hot and now they are only better with Blake. They’re big’s are skilled, their defensive guys are skilled. Ron Artest is a defensive player yet he can score. The Lakers have the most skilled roster in the NBA; they are the best 4th Qtr finishing team and deepest offensive team.

Boston is the best defensive roster; they are the toughest team, the chirpiest team. They are the best team in the league for the first 3 quarters of the game. But Rondo doesn’t shoot, Garnett is past his prime and if Ray Allen is not hot and you’re locking down Paul Pierce, their offense can become a messy pretty fast. They lose a lot of big leads, but nobody locks you down like the Celtics.

And Miami has three excellent players, but no centre and no point guard and a limited bench. They are not in the Lakers class and not in the Celtic either. But again, it’s a work in progress, Lebron James said after the game that it’s a “…work in progress and you get to a point where you say that you try to rush it, rush the process you know, and we just can’t do that…” you can’t do that! 9 games into the season, if you count playoffs, you can play 110.

We’re not 1/10th into the season and Miami is going to the playoffs (right now there a 5th seed). An interesting number with the Heat, they are + 9, that’s their average winning gap. That’s 2nd in the NBA to the Lakers.

So when they win, they are big and flashy, but when they face elite teams with bigs, they need help. They need at the trading deadline (Feb. 24th 2011) they have to go out and get a big. They absolutely need Mike Miller back; he’s a big who can shoot. So it’s a work in progress, but I don’t believe that in this year, in my opinion, they will ever be as good as Boston and ever as good as LA.

When this team was put together, I said it then and I’ll say it now, it’s not built to win a championship this year. It is built to win a championship next year and for the following 7 years. It’s gonna have a 7 year window to win a lot of championships. All these guys have got 7 good years (Wade probably 5 years). They will un-doubtly add piece, because players want to play with Leborn, players want to play with Bosh, players want to live in Miami. But it is absolutely a work in progress and Dwayne Wade was pretty funny after the game saying “we don’t think we should be 5-4 at this time but we are 5-4 you know, you can’t run from your record. So all we can keep doing is going from here. I think we’re better than 5-4, they’re the best 5-4 team in the league…how about that!” Well maybe not, Denver is 5-4 and they just beat the Lakers (handing them their first loss of the season).

I always joke on my rants, saying that fans are emotional creatures. That’s why I love you, that’s why these rants are read, you read my blog and are crazy. I get all these e-mails, texts, posts saying “oh my god, they’re just terrible, there is no leadership here…” It’s not a leadership issue. How would you like to be the Knicks and your 0-4 on guys, they wanted Chris Paul, Lebron…they can’t get any of them, at least they’re not the Knicks. The Knicks are the anti-Yankee’s. They put their name in for everybody and can’t get anybody.

So Miami is going to get a lot of players to play with Lebron, this thing is going to take some time to work itself out, but that’s where we are today.