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2006-01-09 22:02
by Scott Long

Over the weekend, the "Open Season" column by The San Francisco Chronicle's Tom Fitzgerald included three lines from my NFL Resolutions 2006 piece. "Open Season" is a widely syndicated weekly column, which compiles the best sports quotes of the week. The column's quotes mainly come from great comedians such as Leno, Lettermen, Long, etc., plus the top sports columnists in North America. To protect its syndication value there is no official link online, but the column did prominently mention next to my name, so let me welcome all new readers who might have discovered this site from "Open Season".

As someone who has never been sold on Michael Vick, you might be surprised to know that I believe Vince Young can be an excellent NFL QB. Young is a leader and has the type of body that can absorb hits, two things I question about Micheal Vick.


Watching Joe Paterno's behavior the past few years, I don't think that he stays at Penn State because he loves coaching. I think he stays because he loves to yell at his players. Hey, name me an 80 year-old guy who doesn't dream of grabbing teenagers by the shirt and screaming at them?

I haven't posted any NFL picks the past couple of weekends. I think Week 17 is a complete crapshoot, as most teams are just playing out the string. For the first weekend of the playoffs I didn't like any of the games, as I generally go with the home teams, but most of the road teams were superior clubs. This was proven out by 3 of the 4 contests being won by the road team. I like all the home teams to win this weekend, but there is only one game I like against the spread.

When you look at the QB and Coaching match-ups, it's hard to imagine Denver winning, as New England has wide advantages in these 2 categories. Unfortunately for the Pats, Denver is a much healthier team who has the bonus of a large home field advantage.
3 star Denver (-3) New England


The most amazing stat I've ever seen in regards to a NFL Playoff game is the Washington Redskins winning a game despite managing only 120 total yards. They were so bad that Native American groups are now just asking for the Redskins decal to be taken off of the offensive players' helmets.


Over at Mike's Baseball Rants you can read the Toaster's bloggers thoughts on the Hall of Fame inductions. I will briefly recap my portion of the discussion. My HOF ballot would have Blyleven, Gossage, Sutter, and Trammell. While I'm in complete agreement with Rich Lederer's campaign to get The Dutchman into Cooperstown, I think the number 1 candidate on the ballot who should be in is Trammell.

At arguably the most important position on the field, Trammell is one of the Top 10 shortstops of all-time. He is downgraded because he was the 5th best at his position during the time he played. (Ripken, Yount, Ozzie, Larkin) This logic fails from my view. Was Roberto Clemente an unworthy Hall of Famer because his stats weren't quite on the same level as Mays, Aaron, Mantle, and Robinson? To be honest there is not much difference overall between O. Smith, Larkin, and Trammell.

Trammell was the MVP of the 1984 World Series and in my mind should have been the AL MVP of the 1987 season. (Finished a close second to George Bell.) Another bias against him is the notion that was Trammell even the best part of the Tigers double play duo? Lou Whitaker is one of the Top 16 second baseman of all-time, but I would rate him just below Trammell. Add to this that Trammell was a leader for the Tigers, while Whitaker was a me-first guy and it puts him a clear step below. I do think Whitaker should be in the HOF, but I believe he should have to wait a bit longer than the other 4. Why? For rolling up during the 1994 baseball strike in a limo and then compounding it by saying "I'm rich. What am I supposed to do, hide it?"

2006-01-10 06:35:00
1.   TFD

Re: Vince Young, I'll take the opposite side of that bet. Here's why: Against USC everyone knew the way he was going to beat USC on that final drive was by running the ball into the end zone after coverage brokedown. He had a roughly 20% chance of completing a TD within the 20, and a 90% chance of getting in via the run.

In the NFL when Vince is fourth down from the nine, he is going to HAVE to THROW the ball into the end zone for a TD. No way he's just going to be able to run every single time (he'll be lucky to make it 1/8 times in the NFL.

Ergo, although he's an OK passer, he's no great shakes. USC back four was average to better-than-average, and what he faced in the Least12 all year was atrocious. If he would have played in the SEC or BIG11 all year we'd have a much better understanding of his worth against even comparable COLLEGE pass defenses.

So I'll go on record, whoever drafts him 2,3, or 4 is going to grossly over pay for his services. Leinert has a much better chance to succeed. Drop back passers = much better NFL QB's all other things being equal.

BTW, Vick is MUCH faster and he hasn't been able to avoid the big hit in his career. Vince will get pelted, and although he's bigger and heartier, it is a ticking time-bomb having your QB run past the LOS.

2006-01-10 10:20:53
2.   TFD
BTW, just for posterity's sake, my HOF ballot would-have-been:

1.) Goosage
2.) Rice

Jack Morris just off, although I think I'll vote for him in subsequent years. How Rice still isn't the HOF is still mind-boggling to me. Jeez, did anyone watch baseball back then? The most hated/feared hitter in the AL in his time. (Translation for the more objectively centered crowd: pitchers hated to face him because he kept getting on base and driving balls a long way that never found fielders' gloves.)

BTW, yes there's no Blyleven there. There I said it. Commence with the dunce-TFD comments. I also don't think Sutton should be in either.

1:15 est 1.10.06

2006-01-10 11:36:04
3.   chris in illinois
Hey TFD!!!

If Tony Perez is a HOF'er then Rice, Murphy and Parker should be as well. Parker was at least as equally feared for the three seasons Rice was a superior player and a good fielder to boot. For that matter Dwight Evans was at least as good a player as Rice was over the span of his career.

No Don Sutton?? Don't take his broadcasting career into play OK??


2006-01-10 16:42:22
4.   RickM
Yeah for Bruce Sutter! Blyleven (SP) should be in too, and I like Trammel a lot.

Think about it, Matt Leinert could drop as far as #3 in the NFL draft.

2006-01-10 17:35:55
5.   Todd S
I like Seattle to cover this weekend.

I also like Vince Young's chances in the NFL. He's better at avoiding hits than Vick, and most importantly has a good work ethic.

Blyleven and Gossage.

2006-01-10 19:25:17
6.   Will Carroll
Here's all you need to know about Vick vs Young:

Vick: 6'0, 215 (inflated)
Young: 6'5, 233

Young's big enough to take hits that break Vick and the speed is comparable. Young could easily sacrifice a bit of speed, bulk a bit, and be a faster, younger Steve McNair. I still take Leinart.

2006-01-11 11:02:15
7.   TFD
Their speeds are comparable in the same sense that yours and mine are, but in the NFL .2 on the 100 is a HUGE difference.

Vick is by most estimates one of the Top 5 fastest men in the NFL. Young is not even close to that fast...

Young may be serviceable, hell he may even make a ProBowl or two, but he's not going to be a franchise player.

2006-01-11 11:46:20
8.   Scott Long
Yo Colin Cowherd Jr. (AKA TFD)

Vick is the most overrated player in the NFL. He would be an awesome slash type player (see Kordell Stewart), but he's just not consistent enough or sturdy enough to thrive over a 16 game season. I prefer drop-back passers myself, but I could see Young becoming a Steve McNair type for a few years, which is pretty great.

Not completely sold on Leinart. I think Bush is not an every down back, but he is explosive. He's no LaDanian, but I could see him as a slightly better Warrick Dunn, which isn't too shabby. If I were the Texans I would trade the pick for multiple No.1's, as I think the hype is a little too much on all of the Top 3.

2006-01-11 12:26:57
9.   TFD
Yo Scott, don't misconstrue my comments to mean that I'm a Mike Vick, Lova. On the contrary really. Vick's good, but not Colin Cowherd good.

BUT, he is MUCH faster than Young, and I think that'll make a big difference. (He does appear to make better decisions that MVick, a plus for him, but in the context of "running" and getting killed, his speed compared to Vick is a negative.)

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