Archive for December, 2011

So I believe that we are so devoid of leadership in both Canada and the United States, that when we see a small glimpse of it…we go overboard! “Obama is going to change my life…all my bills will be paid!” Really? For a guy who lives in D.C, in the White House and who you’ll probably never get a chance to meet . “Tebow is going to…” what? He beat Caleb Haney. This is how much we have babied and held Tim Tebow’s hand. Sporting networks specifically like ESPN deserve a ton of blame for this. They keep calling this phenomenon – and they’ve never done this for any other player in any other sport in the history of the company. People over at ESPN keep calling it “Tebow’s Rookie Year” What the hell are you guys talking about? It’s his 2nd year! “Well, he didn’t start in his 1st year…”  you might say. Well neither do cornerbacks nor defensive tackles I’d counter argue. We don’t call their 2nd year their rookie years!! “But Andrew…” Listen, Tebow got a full training camp last year, had 2 or 3 OTA’s (organization training activities), had 3 starts, had film time, road trip personnel, he knew it all!

But let’s go ahead with your theory and pretend for a second your right. So I guess now have a new standard in sports called the “Tebow Rookie Rule” and if we indeed do have this new rule, are you now comfortable acknowledging that Tom Brady won a Superbowl as a rookie? Oh so now you have issue with that? People, you can’t have it both ways!! You just can’t! Tom Brady – I’ve argued is the greatest quarterback ever. He won a Superbowl in his rookie year and Joe Montana did not. “Andrew, but it wasn’t Brady’s rookie year…” ohh, but by your new “Tebow Rookie Year” it is! Does that mean I wipe off Troy Aikman’s 0-11 rookie year? Rookie years don’t count? What do I do with Big Ben? Who actually won a Superbowl in his rookie year? Does that mean he actually won a Superbowl while a senior at Miami of Ohio? Listen, Peyton Manning in his real rookie year set 3 NFL rookie records. 26 TD’s, 575 attempts…no hand holding! No option offense either. Vince Young won 6 straight, 8 of 10 in his real rookie year. Dan Marino was a pro-bowler in his real rookie year. Is that the game that you want to play now?

ESPN is as much to blame as everybody. It is not Tebow’s rookie year…it’s his 2nd year. He was so bad in his rookie year that he was 4th on the depth charts going into his 2nd year at one point. Stop it already ESPN…please!! The 2nd thing where we just babied Tebow to no end was when you’d be claiming “well, he is getting better…” I’d argue that so is Christian Ponder and Andy Dalton and Alex Smith and Cam Newton and Matt Ryan and Matt Stafford and Matt Moore. All these1st, 2nd and 3rd year guys are all getting better and better! Because other than Blaine Gabbert, what young quarterback isn’t getting better?  You have to weight that if you consume EPSN on a daily basis that the only getting any credit for getting better is Tim Tebow. I mean, even John Fox talked about that after the game on Sunday saying “ He’s gotten better every week. Like 6 or 7 weeks ago, people said he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. Well I think he can do that now and I’m sure of it…and I don’t think that’s why we lost the game tonight.” Congratulations folks! Tim can hit the broad side of a barn in his 2nd year in the league. “Well Andrew, his defense stink! They lost the game” Alright, so does Mark Sanchez on Sunday. Are you allowing Sanchez a mulligan for the defense? Jet’s defense gave up 420 yards, Broncos gave up 450 yards. “Yeah Andrew, but Sanchez threw 2 picks…” but he also had 2 TD’s. “Yeah, but Tebow didn’t throw any interceptions…” but he didn’t throw any TD’s and he also had a fumble. Stop babying Tebow!!

Fact: it is not his rookie year! He was so pathetic that he couldn’t get on a bad team in his rookie year. Fact: he completes less than 50% of his throws. Fact: his wins – often narrow, against backup’s in the league…where he got huge breaks. Fact: the 4 best teams he’s played – New England, Chicago, New York Jets and Detroit, he got all of them at home and in 2 of them, he was blown out! Yes Tebow can win you games. Tavaris Jackson’s won 3 straight, Alex Smith just won the NFC West, John Skelton has beaten Dallas, San Francisco and won 4 straight, yet do you want them as your future quarterbacks? Do you really?

My whole point is…I never gave Tebow a lot of credit for the wins! It was breaks, backup’s and defense. So I’m not going to blame Tebow for the loss on Sunday because it’s all been a bubble. The dot com’s,  the housing crisis, the Obama, the Tebow bubble…and they don’t grow to the sky. When you put “-mania” on the back of anybody’s name, it always goes down. The truth is, you shouldn’t buy or sell anymore Tebow stock today. What’s great about that division – and I think this is the ultimate irony and what’s great about the NFL. Do you realize that if Kansas City beats Oakland at home next week – with Kyle Orten and Denver stumbles on the road at Buffalo after back to back emotional games – which is certainly possible. That Tebow will face Orten…winner to the playoffs! That my friends…is awesome, no matter who wins! That is why the NFL is great. Tebow may face Orten…winner to the playoffs. Honestly, that will be the best football game of two average teams in the history of the National Football League.

A week ago – this is how ridiculous it got and I said this a week ago. If I had said a week ago “Tony Romo is miles ahead better than Tim Tebow” I would’ve gotten nothing but hate mail. Tony Romo’s last 7 games my friends, he’s got 18 TD’s, 2 picks, sole possession of 1st place. Tebow? He can still lose the last game and not make the playoffs. Slow down, take a deep breath…it’s just a great circus and bubbles always burst!


Alrighty, so I bounced back last week, going 4-1 (though did not publish it…take my word for it) after going 0-5 the previous week…which was just horrendous. So I’m 42-27, so I’m still hovering around the 60% success rate mark.


Steelers (+2 ½ ) over 49’ers

I’m taking the points with Pittsburgh. First off all, you’ve got two stingy defenses, you’ve got the Steelers with 10 days off, who have won 4 straight and are still battling for playoff position. The 49’ers on the other hand, have lost 2 of 3 and are banged up physically. What I don’t like about San Francisco is that they are atrocious in the redzone offensively. Last 19 trips have resulted in only 3 TD’s –worst in the NFL. If they do win, it’s close. When I get stingy defenses and I get a huge quarterback edge here, I’ll take the points. Pittsburgh beats San Francisco, take the 2 ½ at 17-16.


Buffalo (+1 ½) over Dolphins

The theme today in my picks is home dogs! The Dolphins are going to be missing Jake Long – they’re offensive tackle, they just lost their head coach Tony Soprano, you’ve also got front office moves…I’m not sure what they have to play for. The thing that Buffalo does very well is to protect their quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick has only been sacked 17 times – that’s the best in the NFL. Which means that he’ll be able to exploit –what I think is a good secondary that takes a lot of chances and can get burned. The Bills passing execution is very good – 5th best completing percentage in the league, Scott Chandler, David Nelson and Steve Johnson. I’m going to take the point and a half, I think Buffalo bounces back and beats a lifeless Miami team, 23-20.


San Diego (+3) over Ravens

I like the Chargers here…by the way, 7 TD’s with no picks for Philip Rivers in the last 3 weeks. Antonio Gates is healthy as he has been all season. Ryan Matthews has 3 straight 100+ yard rushing games…San Diego my friends, has gotten healthier. I’m sure you’ve heard the whole Philip Rivers/Norf Turner December thing; San Diego’s defense has now stepped up with only 4 turnovers in the last 2 weeks. I get a big edge because when Philip Rivers gets comfortable and they’re running the football and its play action…that’s a big advantage to me. Joe Flacco is still very much unsteady and he’s been unsteady in the second half of the season. Few teams do a better job at creating mismatches on offense than San Diego. I don’t like Norf Turner as a leader; I like him as an offensive coach. Baltimore – a team hard to figure out, are much better at home, travel across the country…I’m going to take San Diego with the points and the upset, 23-21.


Tampa (+7) over Cowboys

Dallas on the road this year has had 3 overtime games and 2 have been decided in the final seconds. By the way, Tampa is a young team….young teams tend to play high and low and better at home. As well, Tampa has beaten divisional rivals New Orleans and Atlanta on their grass. This game is on the NFL Network, it’d might as well be the biggest game of the year for Tampa Bay. Dallas is now in a sandwich spot, their coming off the emotional loss to the Giants, facing Philadelphia…generally teams, with a little bit of a letdown when you’re in the sandwich divisional thing. The Cowboys’ defense is leaking by the way. Rob Ryan is overrated! They gave up 510 yards!! Like I mean, I’ve always thought that Rex Ryan talks too much, but at least he backs it up! The Cowboys’ defense is getting worse under Rob Ryan. Dallas can run the football – that’s what Tampa does poorly, defend the run. In this instance, with DeMarco Murray out, they’ll be more passing. Felix Jones – made of glass, they’re not banging on his to have 25 carries. I’m going to take Dallas to win this football game 27-23 but I think Tampa plays inspired football and the Cowboys come out a little flat to start it off.


Broncos (+7) over the Patriots                                                                                           

80% of the fans are betting New England…that’s why I’m going the other way. 3rd road game in the past 4 weeks for New England, Tebow is 11:2 in touchdown to interception ratio. New England has got 2 receivers playing cornerback. Remember this about Denver… they haven’t allowed more than 13 points in 4 of their past 5 games – and that’s with a couple of those games going into overtime. The Patriots do a nice job of pass protection, but the Broncos have 37 sacks and they know that with a young rookie secondary, they’re going to have to put major major heat on Tom Brady. So I see a football game…low scoring, pound the rock, New England’s defense is the liability here, not Denver’s….yeah Gronkowski’s a nightmare to match up with, but Denver’s linebacker’s of Von Miller, Joe Mays and D.J. Williams are above average. Kicking game? Slight edge to the Broncos, cross country travel…New England wins 26-23 and I will take the 7 points.

So there was a huge trade Wednesday night in the NBA and the Lakers are certainly not very happy about this. The Hornets made a deal to send Chris Paul to the Lakers and the NBA stepped in and said “Nope! Not happening” Dell Demps, who played in the league, 41 year old, is a sharp GM…like what do you do when the NBA steps in like that? Well I guess you start over again and now they got him going to the Clippers. The good news for LA sports fan is that…at least he’s in the Staple Center. Bad news for Laker fans is…he’s with the Clippers. Now, I don’t know if, long-term, he stays because it’s only a 2 year deal. But the bottom line is that it’s a bunch of good players – Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman and a first round draft pick…it’s a bunch of good players for a great player. Even though that great player Chris Paul is coming off some knew surgery stuff and there are already some questions with his health…you gotta remember this – and I think sometimes that NBA insiders undervalue what I’m about to say.

Now, who won the trade Wednesday night? Who knows…who care’s! I mean, New Orleans lost a star and LA gained a star….and in the NBA, if I have 2 stars – Blake and Chris Paul and you have none, I win… this is a star driven league. In the history of trades in the NBA…the team who gets the star, sells more tickets, gets more free publicity, get’s more wins and usually wins the title…why? Because stars win in this league. It uses to be that you only needed one or two stars…now you need 3! Now Miami has 3…and they couldn’t even win the title! It tends to be a star driven league. But I always think that we tend to undervalue what stars mean…I’ll give you an example. If I ran a city – and this is never going to happen and all of you are lucky because of that, but one of the first places I would put money in…is in a convention centre. I am very pro-convention centre. Not just because of the square footage in the convention centre…but what it sucks into your city. More hotels, more restaurants, increases airport traffic. Everything gets sucked toward the convention centre –especially if you’re in a reasonably cool city.

It’s the same with stars in the NBA. If you get a star – even if you give up draft picks and all this stuff… if you get a star, it sucks everything else into your team. Shane Battier wants to take a pay cut to play for the Heat…this guy will take a pay cut to play here, Tyson Chandler “I’ll take a pay cut to play with Dirk” or “I’ll take a pay cut to play with Carmelo Anthony” It sucks things in and you don’t really realize it…that cool people want to hang around cool people. Basketball is the one sport; I contend…because you can’t do this in baseball, you can’t do this in football. You can tell how good a basketball player is in seconds, when he plays with other good players. Adam Morrison gets drafted and then you see him in his first practice and you’re like “Okay, we whiffed on that one! That’s not going to work…” Basketball talent jumps off the floor, it jumps out of the TV and it jumps out immediately.

Kobe Bryant wasn’t even good in his first year and you would watch for like 3 minutes and go “holy smokes is this kid a talent!” You could tell a game into Griffin’s career….remember when Bynum and Greg Oden, they were playing…Lakers/Trail Blazers Game 1, this was like 3 years ago. I wrote up a rant (back when I use to post them as facebook comments before this blog) and said that Bynum would have the better career. You could tell from his feet – like he moves his feet better than Oden did and that he’s got better hands. Forget about Oden’s health…Bynum is a longer, better feet big, better hands, he’ll be better! You can do that. Now, it’s hard to draft a guy from college to the pros because the difference in style, talent and tempo is like the Grand Canyon different. But Blake Griffin and Chris Paul…you’re going to find guys now that want to go play for that team because they want to hang out with the cool guys…the wanna go to Los Angeles! Stars want to be with stars in the NBA.

Now the Hornets did well, the Hornets got pieces…but Eric Gordon, like stars in this league aren’t going “I’ve got to play with Eric Gordon!  Hey guys, gather around…Eric Gordon is on television” Eric Gordon is a nice player, very good shooter, Chris Kaman and draft picks. I always felt that if I was the GM… I want draft picks, I don’t want B+ players, and I’ll take draft picks because at least with draft picks…you can get a star. But, especially in the NBA, if you can get the stars – Jalen Rose talked about this on ESPN radio Wednesday, that if you’re the Clippers and you’re in the same building with the Lakers…you’ve got to go get the guy, saying “A lot of people are forgetting about the elephant in the room. That’s Los Angeles! You need superstars to fill stadiums in the same building that you share with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Clippers have always been little brother…but now they have a dynamic duo without mention. Also, this increases the chances for Blake Griffin to stay” So many levels at work. Blake Griffin will want to stay, other stars will want to be there. Like, look at all the talent you’re going to have in that building on a nightly basis….that’s a lot! It’s nothing against the Hornets because they’ve got a bunch of players.

Chris Paul, however, makes people better! So if I can get a star player and the star player is a guard – like I was shocked on Wednesday to hear that Orlando passed, where they basically said “we’re taking Dwight Howard off the market. They did that with New Jersey offering 5 first round draft picks….are you kidding me?? You’re certainly not going to do better than me on that. All you have to do is just get 1 out of 5. Portland was involved, Orlando, New Jersey…there was 5 first round draft picks offered by the Nets. I could never, as a GM, ever pass that up… I just couldn’t! The idea…like if Orlando gets rid of Dwight Howard, that’s going to be a great number one pick.

So I’m watching this Jerry Sandusky situation – they waived their right to a hearing yesterday, so they’re just going to go to trial. So I’m watching the attorney, Joe Amendola, and whenever you got like an attorney on television…you kinda think he’s smart right? Cause the guy is on television! I mean, he’s representing a big client, he’s got a big case, he’s gotta be smart!! But as we watched in the O.J. Simpson case and as we’ve seen in other cases, there are a lot of C+ students that go even to Yale or Virginia or Georgetown Law School…not everybody is an A+ student. There are a lot of average law schools…I mean, you can go online and look up “average law schools” or “bad law school”. There are places in California that are internet only law schools. Where you can literally get you law degree in your PJ’s. So, not everything is Harvard, Yale and Virginia, Duke, Cal and all these great law schools…that’s just not the case.

But this guy is a really interesting guy because you’ve got Jerry Sandusky…and there has always been a sense that when you have a guy like Jerry Sandusky, who creep’s people out…you shouldn’t let him talk to the media before the trial “less said, the better”. So this is a guy who sat with Bob Costas in a studio in NBC a month or so ago and minutes before he was going to talk to Bob, he goes “hey Bob, how about you get Jerry Sandusky on the air. I’ll give you his phone number” that just doesn’t feel Johnnie Cochran-esk! Then, 2 weeks later he puts Jerry Sandusky down with the New York Times and once again, Sandusky comes off again as very creepy and just kind of inappropriate.

So yesterday I’m watching this whole thing – and as a family, we’ve dealt with 4 or 5 attorneys in my life…and most have been sharp! But, the thing about this guy is…never forget…fact: in his late 40’s, he got a 17 year old client pregnant….not great judgment! And this is also a guy who yesterday, at his press conference – who gave out a phone number, trying to be glib…and it was a porn site! This is what he said…a lot of people have been talking…like I don’t know if this is Bob Lee or who it is or Amand Ketayan …it’s somebody and he sort starts jabbing with a reporter at the scene yesterday and this is sort of what was said “ We let him go on national TV, we let him do the interview with the NY Times because we thought it was critical to this case – given the nature of it on how it started, the public’s opinion and the media’s opinion…that his guilt – which he always denied, that he go on national television and he go into something like the NY Times and tell people “I’m innocent” “ reporter than asks him “ do you think it worked?” and Amendola answers “ I think generally it’s worked, I think we’re getting now calls of support from people, who a month ago wouldn’t even talk to us…and the calls are coming in , more and more each day.” Reporter asks “calls from whom?” Amendola replies “calls from people who were involved in the trial…calls from other attorneys who are saying “you know what? You might actually have a defense here!” and what you’re doing here – and even though I’ve been critized by some of the national pundits…that what your doing is thinking out of the box in a case that was hopeless – and probably to many people is still hopeless..” reporter interrupts and asks “why was it hopeless?” Amendola replies “why was it hopeless? Because I think the media and the public said he was guilty when he read the presentment …”

I don’t know! And that was actually Bob Lee who was pressing Amendola – Jerry Sandusky’s attorney. I would never put my client…especially Jerry Sandusky, in front of the New York Times or Bob Costas…I really wouldn’t! I really think he is better left not talking. Now I didn’t go to Georgetown Law like this guy. I just think that certain clients, especially those who come off creepy in cases like child molestation or rape – which are just seen as so vulgar and violent and inappropriate and criminal…I don’t want my client talking. By the way with Sandusky…can you take off the Penn State stuff? Every time the guy gets cuffed into a car; he’s wearing Penn State stuff. You know that that school is like “dude, would you please take off our sports apparel?”

So I look at this case and it’s going to be so creepy and so weird…and I look at that attorney and I just think it’s going to go horribly round. I think the victims are going to speak and they’re going to be incredibly heartfelt and I think Sandusky is going to be creepy. This attorney is probably a smart guy…but he’s got weird judgment and I don’t think…as he is a guy who had an affair with a 17 year old when he was in his late 40’s, based on his judgment…he doesn’t see Sandusky as wildly inappropriate! Weird people don’t see weird in other weird people. I just found Sandusky to be really really odd.

People sometimes wonder – and I say this often, my blog is sort of like the weather channel and occasionally when a hurricane hits in the form of a Brett Favre story, Big Ben story or the Miami Heat…I’m not moving off the hurricane and I think it’s funny because this morning as I was typing this rant up, some buddies were like “why do you always talk about Tebow now?” I start writing up the blog this morning – I’ve got like 50 Tebow emails! None about Brady, none about the Packers…so why do I always talk about Tebow? I don’t…you do!! I just basically follow your lead.

By the way, when New England plays Denver this Sunday, it will be the most watched NFL game – outside of a Superbowl, by woman…ever! Brady against Tebow. That will certainly be the most watched NFL game that is non-Superbowl, by woman…ever! So yesterday, Tim Tebow’s pastor in Colorado comes out – I just love this! So he comes out and he said…well first off, his pastor is Wayne Anson and he says he knows why the Broncos is 7-1 since installing Tim Tebow as quarterback…it’s the players’ faith.  He said “it’s not luck, its favour…it’s God’s favour” and he was asked about it “do you think Tim Tebow, is not a religious guy, do you think by any way, would he be 7-1?” and the pastor replies “oh, of course not!” and so people are now like “oh boy, this just got messy, he’s going down that route…and people are freaking out”

So I’m not an overly religious guy, I’ve got my faith, go to church every Sunday, try to live and model my life after Christ and am very hush hush about because I don’t think it’s a selling product I’m doing…it’s just merely living according to some principles. Anyways, so I thought about this this morning. Let’s just suppose the Dude upstairs is helping Tebow…let’s just pretend for a second. Now, I’m not doing this to be glib…I tend to think it tends to be luck. I think Marian Barber is more Marian Barber idiocy or luck than it is the Man upstairs, but maybe the Man upstairs was like “dude!! Keep running…this way, come on!! Now go out of bounds….alright, hands off!” I don’t know…I don’t have an answer.

So let’s say that the Man upstairs is helping Tebow, think about this. If he indeed is helping him – what would He want to do the rest of the way? Well he’d probably move a few stones…he’d want to make it a little easier for Tim right? You’re probably smiling and smirking at what you just read but let’s say the Man upstairs wanted to make it slightly easier for Tim – whose faith is wonderful and he is spreading the gospel…but what would the Man upstairs want to do? Well, he’d probably want Tim to host a playoff game – a lot easier to beat the Steelers at home than at Pittsburgh and easier to beat the Ravens at home. Some buddies were mocking me…but I threw this out to them. Listen, Denver is 8-5…now it’s going to shock anybody (right Marc?) if they beat New England. It’s a 4 point spread…don’t kid yourself! They can beat New England. Have you seen the Patriots play defense? After that is Kansas City and San Diego. If they win this weekend…folks, you read it here first; Denver is going to go 11-5.

You say “yeah, but Andrew…Pittsburgh is 10-3” Yeah, but their next game is at San Francisco…losable game, and then they beat St. Louis. If they know they’re not going to win the division…wouldn’t they rest starters in the last game against Cleveland? Isn’t it possible that Denver would win a division, Pittsburgh the wild card….ohhh!! Now we see what’s happening here. Denver is going to host a playoff game at home if they win their division. You then start looking at all the teams; Baltimore goes to San Diego and to Cincinnati…excuse me? But those are losable games for them, heck…Baltimore lost to Seattle!! Baltimore almost lost to Arizona. I then also throw this out to them…to keep their eyes – and you should as well, keep your eyes on 3 games this weekend, Denver potentially beating New England, Baltimore at San Diego, Pittsburgh at San Francisco.

If Denver, San Diego and San Francisco win just think about this as well. Denver is the least offensive team left right now…like, they are not much offensively. Where are all the playoff games in the AFC going to be played? Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Denver, New York… isn’t it all sort of working in Tebow’s favour? Cold, freezing, 28 degree’s…who does that hurt though? That doesn’t hurt the defense… it hurts a great offense! It hurts Brady, Flacco, Big Ben…it doesn’t hurt Tebow, he runs the option. So if you start looking at things –if you start looking at things, assuming that there was divine intervention…what do I know. I mean, apparently somebody walked on water at some point… what do I know! All I’m saying is that…it’s sort of, starting to move in Tebow’s favour. Is that if they win this weekend…they are an 11-5 team and they’re already going to host one playoff game…don’t be so sure that they won’t hose a second. In a 9 degree blizzard conditions and Denver’s high attitude! That doesn’t hurt Tebow at all…it neutralizes both offenses. Translation? You’ve got a 10-10 game with 4 minutes left.

By the way, Denver’s got a better field goal kicker than anybody else in the playoffs. People, don’t start making or labeling me here with this religious overtone stuff…I’m just throwing it out there. Meanwhile yesterday, John Fox is asked about Tebow as the long-term future…and he still won’t commit to it saying “you know, it’s the quarterback position and it’s really hard to sit here and answer all these questions. Like, we don’t talk about the middle linebacker or the left-corner position. I think right now…we should just enjoy the moment because it’s a team game and we’re doing well as a team. I don’t like speaking too much of the future…I’m just happy for each day” Absolutely!! Nobody wants to commit to this thing…but if you start looking around, I can make an argument – with the Jets being a wildcard team. It’s a lot of cold weather teams, playing outdoor….it all plays right into Denver’s favour, you start looking at the schedule…they win this weekend…that’s an 11-5 football team!!

Meanwhile, the Ravens and the Steelers could rest starters, have tougher games, have to travel across the country…I’m just saying, I’m just saying! Yesterday…or this past weekend, you know…we have a weird relationship…America does with the NBA. Like you either love it or you hate! I was telling someone this morning that it was like Indian food, nobody is indifferent… “Well, I kinda like it…kinda not” No! You either love it or you hate…I love it!  With the NBA, you either love it or you hate it. Nobody is grey…I mean you’re either…small towns don’t like it much, big cities like it more. You love it in Miami, you love it in LA, you love it in Dallas, you love it in Houston, you love it in New York…but don’t like it in Lawrence, Kansas nor in Spokane, Washington. But, I’m watching all these teams and players move around…A)I can’t wait for the NBA season to start B) I don’t think anybody has any idea how good Miami is going to be this year. Last year, everything worked against them! Bunch of guys thrown together, Udonis Haslem gets hurt, they can’t figure out the point guard early, people are questioning Spolstra, Lebron is a mess in the finals. Now, Haslem is healthy, they add Shane Battier…teams are getting older…start looking around the league. LA is older, Spurs are older, Mavs are older, Celtics are older…and the Heat have all those players, 26, 25, 28 and they add Battier and they have chemistry and they have Haslem.

I don’t think anybody realizes how good Miami is going to be this year. They should be – and they are in Vegas, the overwhelming favourite. If they Lakers don’t add Dwight Howard…all the teams in their way, are either too old and Chicago doesn’t have a number 2 scorer. Battier is a great acquisition to go against Chicago’s guys down low. So I’m sitting there this morning and I’m listening to some of the Mavs’ players and the Heats’ new players…like Erick Spolstra talked about adding Battier – I don’t think anybody realizes, that is one of those moves, like Chandler to the Mavs  that nobody talks about, because the day that story broke, Albert Pujols went to the Angels. Shane Battier to the Heat is a gigantic move in the NBA. Spolstra said “he knows how to fit in but still be effective and many different styles of plays…he’s played on a lot of very good teams and above everything else, Shane Battier is a winner! That’s the type of guy that we want here, a guy who is accustom to winning and also committed and willing to do all the things that it takes”

So I was thinking about this this morning – there is a lot of angles to this and one of them is…you’ve got Cincinnati and Xavier getting into a fight during a game and players calling themselves “gangsta’s” I’m sorry, but Tim Tebow is just simply refreshing in the world of sports where many athlete’s call themselves “gangsta’s…sweet! I’m a gangsta” Tebow is different! And he’s different for a variety of reasons. But instead of talking to the non-football fan, I’m going to give you some respect and talk actually football for a second – because I do believe some of this is explainable. Again, I’m not going to talk to your sister or your mom , my 10-15% crowd that’s come in under the tent for these Tebow rants that I’ve been dropping…let me talk to football guy.

Of the 4 best defenses – now first we have to establish…Tebow is different, no questions asked! He talks different, he plays different…they’re running a wishbone. The 4 best defenses that Denver has faced – Miami, Jets, Chicago, Detroit and in all 4…Tebow could not move the football in the first 3 – 3 ½ quarters! He couldn’t move the football against the 4 best defenses they’ve faced. Yet in all 4 cases, those defenses went to some form of a cover three or a pre-vent defense…call it whatever you want. What does that allow for to happen? It allows incredibly pedestrian, below-average skill people for the Broncos – who can’t get open by themselves, to get open…I think it’s a mistake.

Tim Tebow – when facing aggressive defenses, and in fairness, let’s not blame Tebow for all of this. These receivers, tight-ends are below average…did you see the Giants/Cowboys last night? Then watch Denver’s wide out’s…they are far below average. Tebow completes 38% in the first 3 quarters, 4 ½ yards with a QB rating of 65. Virtually all those numbers double in the 4th quarter….why? Does Tebow get better? The receivers get better? Noo!! The 4 elite defenses go into the cover 3 or the pre-vent…allowing receivers – who cannot break free or get open on their own, to get open. Then Tebow can make throws that he would’ve been able to make when he was in grade 11 in high school. These are 9 yard curls, 12 yard outs…easy stuff for NFL quarterbacks. Tim has certainly, through hard work, improved!

But to me, what is happening here is very strange. I believe that Tim is different and therefore you have to play Tim differently. He’s not Brady, he’s not Rogers, he’s not Brees, he’s not Ryan…he’s closer to Vince Young. I believe that, against a Vince Young …we all acknowledge that you play different against a Michael Vick and I also believe that you have to play differently against a Tim Tebow. You never go into a pre-vent…they don’t have the players to score against an above-average defense. Now, this week Tebow plays the Patriots – they are horrific in the backend. So they will move the ball and that will be a competitive game. Like this team can move it against Minnesota, Kansas City and they’ll move it against New England.

But I think that these elite defenses have completely suffocated Tebow and that offense…then they go to pre-vent defenses and there is no room for it. I texted a friend this morning and said this to him : would you go out on a date with a woman for 4 hours? And for 3 hours and 50 minutes, your aggressive, you flirt, you turn her on, it’s all great…then, last 10 minutes you say “ I’m going to change her all up” and then she’s like “where did he go?” Think about another business, where you do something one way for 3 hours and 50 minutes or 80% of something and then drastically change everything in the last 20%, despite the success. I think Tebow is such a different animal, a different kid, a different spirit, a different thrower, a different runner, a different quarterback…you have to defend him differently than a Matt Ryan. I think this will take time…people will eventually figure it out.

I do think we all know that Matt Prador’s kicking is huge, the Denver defense is huge and that John Fox’s is huge. But this is a different team and I watched it yesterday – and by the way, it was not an easy watch for 3 ½ quarters. Caleb Heidi and Tim Tebow were being protected by their coaches, Romo and Eli Manning I prefer that for football – and God what a year Eli Manning is having, talk about carrying a football team. But I think with Tebow…you simply have to use different ideas, ideals and treat him differently because he is absolutely a different player.

By the way, John Fox was asked afterwards – and the answer is obvious but “why can’t you guys play the entire game like the 4th quarter!” and he said “I wish I could kind of adjust it and make it the 1st quarter, but you know…we’ll take it. I don’t know if they just kind of wait til the 4th quarter and tell themselves that they might lose this game and then they start playing…you’ll have to ask them, I don’t really know! But I know that this is aging me quickly.” You know, the other thing is that some of the Tebow stuff – like for instances, people are saying “Tebow is a rookie!” no he is not! He had a full year, he started games last year and then he came in this year.

Like the whole Elway comparison has been unfair…John Elway was asked, as a rookie, to come in a nd play 10 games with an awful team. By his 2nd year, he was 12-2 and was playing in the best division – at the time, in the NFL! The AFC West was as good as any division in football…so Tebow and Elway are not comparable. Networks like ESPN do a disservice and fans as well because the reality is that Tebow is still an incredibly limited quarterback who, through 3 quarters, against elite defenses…can’t move the football! He couldn’t move it against the Jets, could move it yesterday, couldn’t move it against the Dolphins, and couldn’t move it against Detroit. He can’t move the ball against elite defenses…so why change how you defend him? Why??? It makes no sense to me!!

I’ll be very interested – against the Patriots, a team with a coach that is secure enough to not change. Why do teams change? Because coaches like to protect leads and they don’t want to be ripped in the press. Belicheck has never played that game… he will play the “full throttle, rub it in, throw for it in 4th down” that’s the way Belicheck coaches! Go for it on 4th down, don’t go into a pre-vent defense – by the way, you could argue that the Patriots play a pre-vent defense all four quarters! You can pass the ball in New England anytime you want to pass the ball.

I have to tell you…I find it with Tebow, I find it refreshing….if we’re going to have, like would you rather have a bunch of knock-off’s of Tom Brady? I mean to me, Giants/Cowboys was absolutely excellent last night because it’s two really good quarterbacks. I would rather have a Tebow or a Michael Vick – if for no other reason, for a television product. I’d rather watch Tebow and Vick be contrarian…I don’t want either one of them as my long-term quarterback…as I’ve always argued. “Andrew, but Tebow wins!!” So does Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Big Ben, Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez…Eli Manning…they all win too! I like that style over Tebow…but I think Tebow is refreshing, I think he’s unique and now I think it’s time for football talk to defend him uniquely. I mean, you wouldn’t treat a kid who is socially awkward the same as a kid who’s got a big personality. We treat people differently through medication, through different devices all the time! Why would you treat Tebow – on the field, like everybody else! He’s not everybody else.

I am rarely shocked in sports – O.J. Simpson thing shocked me, Andre Agassi did meth was shocking as well – caught me off guard. What the NBA did last night is egregiously bad. I am a fan of the league and David Stern, but he made a humongous blunder last night. If you didn’t hear, the Lakers, New Orleans and Houston pulled off a deal. But David Stern – as a commissioner, thinks he knows more than 3 GM’s in this league, who have spent a combined 60 years scouting talent. “Oh but Andrew, the Lakers would get Chris Paul…” yeah, cause stars guarantee titles right? The Miami thing worked out perfectly right? Did you watch the NBA finals? Where Tyson Chandler and J.J Barea were borderline MVP’s.

“Oh small market teams…” yeah, when the Knicks sucked for a decade…do you know who ran this league? San Antonio!! Boston was awful, the Clippers are awful yet Orlando is good, Oklahoma City is good. Small market fans….stop it!!! I grabbed this morning the NBA standings from last season. Do you know that 7 of the worst teams in this league: Philadelphia – huge city, Toronto – 4th biggest city in North America, Detroit, Washington D.C., Houston, San Francisco/Golden State…these are all “throw up in your mouth teams!” All huge North American cities.

By the way, do you know who’s viable? Indiana! The Pacers gave Derrick Rose and the Bulls a punch in the gut. You know who else is viable for the last 8 years? Orlando!! Sacramento now has the “Tebow” of the NBA in Jimmer. Oklahoma City, Phoenix…all legitimately viable teams with young stars and getting better. Don’t tell me that all the big cities dominate and all the small cities don’t.  Don’t listen to low self-esteem basketball owners and fans. If Dan Gilbert owned the Lakers, he’s an opportunist…he’d love this deal

Here is a guy who got rich off high risk mortgages, quicken loans…he’s in the gambling business. You bought a franchise in Cleveland – declining population, declining business, declining economy…you rolled the dice Dan. For 7 years, you got Lebron…but the minute it turned; now you’re against domination in the league and getting star players. The Dallas Mavericks won a title with one star – a German, and a bunch of guys past their primes…that you’d never heard off. The Lakers – big city and the Knicks?…wacked early in the playoffs! If you don’t let Chris Paul go now…then New Orleans gets nothing?? Really?? That’s a better long term for the team and the league?

Listen, we do have – in the U.S and Canada, issues with smaller towns. Young pediatricians, young surgeons who graduate from medical schools, they come out with huge huge student loan bills and they don’t want to go to Mississippi…they want to go to Dallas, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Seattle and make money….that’s the U.S. and Canada for you! You have the right to choose. Players don’t…they get drafted into places, sometimes with bad and under-funded teams. So when they eventually can go…get out of their way!!

This is a horrible move!! And what’s funny about it – the mere idea that it was a bad move for New Orleans and Houston…no it was not!! You were getting draft picks and very efficient players. New Orleans was going to get Kevin Martin – who rolls out of bed and can drop 20 points, Luis Scola – who statistically is one of the most efficient bigs in the league. Lamar Odom…first round picks? Now the deal is squashed…you get nothing!! Houston was getting Pau Gasol, despite his post-season vagaries, he is an excellent big guy…is one of the best Europeans in the history of this sport! I mean, it’s ridiculous!! It is a terrible move, its an arrogant move…it’s a dictator move to some degree. David Stern and Stu Jackson don’t know more than GM’s!! all these teams did very well in this deal…absolutely shocking…horrible!! Stephen A Smith said on Thursday to not say to him that this deal was being blocked because of “basketball operations”

“New Orleans Hornets got a really really good deal in terms of the plays they received in this deal, so to make the argument that it was a basketball decision…I mean, that’s just flying in the face of common sense. There is no way on Earth that this was a bad basketball decision for the New Orleans Hornets. Bad PR maybe, because your losing a marquee guy. But in terms of guys on the basketball court – actual bodies and what they could do. Lamar Odom is not a superstar, but definitely he’s talented. Martin and Scola can ball…no way you can make that argument from a basketball standpoint” He’s totally right!! You can’t make that argument. So what you’re saying is that “you know more” as a league front office guy, than the people who’ve been scouting and running the teams for years!

By the way, this was a conflict of interest from the very beginning…the league owns New Orleans. It’s a Senator giving business to a company he owns. Phil Jackson, former Head Coach of the Lakers, said that when the NBA moved Charlotte to New Orleans and took over the franchise, he said “I’m not happy about it. I don’t know if New Orleans can support a team” Jackson went then onto say “well, what’s going to happen if Chris Paul wants a trade? Who’s going to pull the button on it?” When Chris says he has to be traded, how is that going to go? Somebody is going to have to make a very non-judgmental decision on their part and that is not going to irritate anybody else in the league” Big mistake…gigantic mistake!

Dan Gilbert – again, made his fortune in the high risk mortgage business. For 7 years he hit the lottery! He didn’t have any problem dominating the East with Lebron James if he could’ve. He didn’t have any problem if Chris Bosh or Dwayne Wade could’ve come to Cleveland! He didn’t have any problem with that!  He tried to acquire both!! But high risk billionaire Dan Gilbert is now upset that he didn’t do due diligence when he bought this franchise that Cleveland was a declining population, a declining city and a declining economy. Like a Milwaukee 30 years ago, it was much more glamorous…it’s not today though!

This also begs the question – and I not only blame David Stern but all these owners in the NBA, like I think we have too many pro teams, even in the big cities. Like Phoenix has 4? Salt Lake City is one of the only places in the U.S. that has got it right, 1! St. Louis has got it about right… but Pittsburgh has got 3? Have you seen the demographics? The population? Pittsburgh? Major university, NFL, MLB and NHL…really? It’s a one or a two pro sports town in my opinion. Nothing against Pittsburgh…do you really think New York needs the Islanders? Like even New York and LA have too many teams. But you know what happens? Guys like Dan Gilbert – to feed their ego’s, they desperately want in-leagues and then when they get them, they invite other expansion teams in…why? Expansion fees!! They get $30 million dollars when they allow somebody else in, so they love this. But then they are shocked, when like 9 years later, stars don’t want to go to these franchises with no tradition, under-funded that have been wedged into the league and the Dan Gilbert’s have made a fortune out of them.

It doesn’t reek of parody; it reeks of hypocrisy and jealousy. This isn’t a pro-Laker rant; it’s a pro-commerce rant in North America. Wal-Mart started in Arkansas…not New York City. Microsoft didn’t begin in New York, London or Zurich…it was north of Seattle in Redmon, Washington. The U.S. and Canada are filled with unbelievable stories from Target to Pepsi to Wal-mart to Microsoft to Apple starting in a garage…they don’t all start in big cities, they start with dreams in small towns and David Stern is listening to low self-esteem owners and fans…it’s baloney!! God Bless America…Occupy the NBA!! It has no place in this league because I am fighting for the little man today…wow, I’m soo ticked off that I’m sweating as I write this rant. The Knicks were terrible for a decade and when they were…San Antonio ran this league! God Bless Lamar Odom and his Juju B’s.