Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Greatest Regular Season Night in Baseball... EVER!!!!

Anyone that was able to watch how the four most important games of the season played out last night will definitely remember it until the day they die.  The Cardinals, Braves, Rays & Red Sox were all playing for wild card spots last night and the "WOW" factor was in full effect.  Both the Red Sox & Braves 9 and 8.5 games leads respectfully, not to  mention they both had 3-2 leads over the teams they were playing against going into the 9th inning last night and blew those as well.  Unbelieveable!  How does that happen? For it to happen to 1 team in 1 season, ok we get it, but for the fate of two teams in two leagues to play out in identical fashion is quite stunning to say the least.

Now the Rays & Cardinals should get a lot of credit for fighting tooth and nail to just have a chance to have a shot at the playoffs, but the teams we have to admire the most is the Phillies and Orioles.  Philadelphia had nothing to gain in the standings by beating the Braves last night, but they played their starters for the entire series to tune-up for the playoffs.  That decision by skipper Charlie Manuel who is now the winningest manager in Phillies history, resulted in a 3-game sweep over their divison foes.  It also meant that this years Phillies won 102 games, most in team history.  Baltimore's skipper Buck Showalter motivated his team enough to compete with a far more talent group in the Boston Red Sox.  The Red Sox were playing for their playoff lives, but this was Baltimore's "Super Bowl".  When overpaid, former star outfielder Carl Crawford slid feet first instead of diving to make the catch on the game-winning RBI in the 9th, you can see the joy and excitement in all the O's eyes as they celebrated as a team that has just won the pennant.  The O's took the game to heart and kept the integrity of the game.  They didn't lay down and just let the season pass.  They made Boston work and ultimately destroyed their chances at a post season bid.  What's crazy is 3 minutes after the Red Sox blew a golden opportunity, they get to the locker room only to find out that the Evan Longoria had hit his second homer of the night in walk-off fashion.  The Yankees who were up 7-0, put in their bench and allowed the Rays to come all the way back to win. 

Now did the Yankees keep the integrity of the game in mind?  Most would say no, but I say, "GIVE ME A HELL-YEAH!" (Thank you Stone Cold).  The Yanks were up 7-0 for up to 8 innings.  They had every right to rest their players.  They have to play again on Friday.  What did they have to gain by playing their regulars in what seemed to be a blowout.  It is not their fault that the Red Sox won only 7 games all of September.  It is not their fault that the Red Sox did not win back to back games all of September.  And most importantly it is not their fault that the Red Sox were scoreboard watching and was a little too comfortable with a 3-2 lead with the last place Orioles after the 5th inning.  Don't blame The Yankees Red Sox Nation, blame your beloved Red Sox.  And Atlanta fans don't you dare blame anybody but yourselves either.  Did you guys really think that the worst team in baseball would hold up their end of the bargain?  Lets go Houston.

Seriously, that was the best night of baseball and maybe one the most exciting nights in sports in general.  So much drama, so much at stake.  I loved every second of it and I know most of you guys did too, well except for those Braves and Red Sox fans.  September 28, 2011 will go down as the best regular season night in MLB history.  Now how will the playoffs top that?  I guess we are going to have to just find out, because now we know anything can happen, I mean anything.

Blog by Haz Bey

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lincoln Finacial's Bad Investment

They Keep chasing me!!!
The Eagles had a very eventful off season with the signing of some so called big name free agents and the re-signing of the franchises best player, Michael Vick. With the money that was invested in DE Jason Babin, overrated, DT Cullen Jenkins, earning his pay, CB Nnamdi Asomugha, Jury still out, they could have maybe cut back on them and signed some vets for their sorry excuse for an offensive line and a LB that can play in space and make a tackle for their young and talentless Linebacking core. Oh yea, I forgot to mention they gave the often injured Mike Vick $100 Million in his re-signing. Now I'm no GM but I think I understand a little bit of how you show build a team and with no protection for your All Pro QB and no solid LB's how can you contend for a championship?

 I say Championship because the birds always go to the playoffs, somehow, but what they can't do is win the big one, the Superbowl. They are suppose to be in contention this season with all the acquisitions they made in the off season but a slow 1-2 start is raising some eyebrows. They lost a shootout with the Falcons who, I think man for man is not as talented as the "Seagulls" and then they comeback the next week and take a dominating loss to the G-Men. These two games showed not only do they need help, but the coaching on both sides of the ball is erratic. They did the right thing for once and spent a couple dollars but on the wrong personnel. This could backfire because next season they will not only be hesitant in spending for these names they might also be close to the Salary Cap.

Blog by Mike McClendon

Parody?..Too Early to Tell

Stevie Baby!
So the NFL is three weeks in and of course we will talk surprises and all that nonsense we do early in sports seasons, but we can point out a few interesting things to watch the rest of the season. For one, the Buffalo Bills are 3-0, as well as the Lions, and they beat 3 quality teams. Chiefs, maybe not significant now RB Jamaal Charles is done for season, Raiders in a thriller and the Patriots. Both the Raiders game and Pats game the Bills trailed in the second half and fought back to win. Reminiscent of Jim Kelly and all those Run n Gun comeback games he had in his prime. The Bills are showing "moxy" and bravado and with the "Bungals" (Bengals) on the schedule for next week they have a chance to be going into a tough match up with the "Seagulls" (Eagles) 4-0. I highly doubt the Bills will win the AFC East though because the Pats and Jets will be focused and revitalized once the season is in its "winner" weeks, and what I mean by that is teams who are use to winning or have the talent to win start winning games they are suppose win. The beginning of the season and ladder parts of the season all great teams are primed for the upset. The verdict is still out on the Bills but I think whole heartily they will fall back into the pack and maybe have 7 or 8 wins.

Soon to be, in my eyes, Americas favorite team to root for the Detroit Lion's are 3-0 and gaining momentum going into this weeks match up with the Cowboys. Detroit is full of young talent across the board and if QB Mathew Stafford stays healthy and WR Calvin "Megatron" Johnson can also stay healthy and continue to do work then they have an outside chance of getting a wild card spot in the NFC. They won't contend for the division yet because the defense has to improve in the secondary and Packers will exploit that and at times maybe the Bears too. But what they have proved is that they can win and their 3 wins against the Buccs', Chiefs (common win for teams), and Vikes, showed the world this team is exciting and ready for the big stage. They just have to stay healthy, get more of a consistent running game, and keep playing hard and with heart. I will go as far to say they will make a playoff appearance, THIS SEASON, if, and it's a big if in the NFL, they can stay healthy. It is a exciting team to watch and if they can beat the, "I can't get the snap count right because the D-Line is yelling at me" Cowgirls (cowboys), then we will be talking more Lions all season.

State of the Game
Three remaining teams are undefeated at 3-0, and one of which is the defending champs Green Bay Packers, the other two haven't seen the playoffs since the turn of the new millennium, they also share the longest current playoff drought at 11 seasons. There is a stable of teams at 2-1, of the 15 teams at that mark 9 of them were not in the playoffs last season, I know only 6 make it from each conference but you get my point. The 2011 season has shown some sort of parody but again it is extremely early and like I mentioned earlier, when the season gets into its "winner" weeks then the strong teams will leave the pack and some will fall back. 

Blog by Mike McClendon

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Best of the West vs. The Beast in the East

E-A-G-L-E-S  Eagles!!!
The so called beast of the NFC right now is everyone one's favorite "trending topic" Philadelphia Eagles. They stacked their roster with overpaid talent and spent a couple extra bucks than normal. So this makes the world think this is their year. (Laugh out Loud) Michael Vick took over last year and showed the world his black ass by putting together highlight after highlight last season. With him at the helm from the start of training camp the Eagles could possibly soar high and get it done, maybe. It all depends on health and keeping wide out DeSean "Action" Jackson happy, but I digress, I'll let my partner in crime Haz Bey tell you why the Birds are for-real.

HAZ: The Birds are for real for only one reason, Michael Vick.  In his short time as the Eagles starting quarterback, Vick has change the culture throughout the whole organization from a team that is good enough to compete with the elite teams in the league to a team that is ready to buy themselves a championship now.  Some may argue that during the "McNabb" tenure the Eagles held back on giving McNabb what he needs to get the franchise over the hump, but now with Vick playing at an all-time level, the Eagles management feels like they must capitalize on Vick's talent and maximize their chances on bringing a Super Bowl title to Philly.  Vick's presence alone attracted the services of Nnamdi Asomugha, the most sought after free agent in football this off season.  Not to mention with Vick running the show, Kevin Kolb needed to go, which made way for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to be part of a 3 headed monster at cornerback teaming up with Pro Bowlers Assante Samuel and Nnamdi Asomugha.  The Green Bay Packers are still the team to beat, but the Eagles will be one of the teams ready to dethrone them.

MIKE: I agree with you that Vick is a great talent, but to me he is the Dominique Wilkins of the NFL all highlights, all stats, and always injured. Like "Nique" Vick is going to "oooh" and "awwe" the crowd but also like the "human highlight film" Vick will come up short of getting the job done on the field. To me it's not just the Packers they need to worry about. They should keep in mind that the Saints are only two seasons removed from being champions, the Bears, believe me or not, were one game and one "wimpy" ass QB from being in the Super Bowl last season, and the whole NFC East is going to be gunning for this ,back up QB Vince Young,  proclaimed dream team. Haz the birds are not going to get it done behind Vick and his $100 Million arms and legs.

HAZ: Dominique Wilkins, great name drop, but not good enough my friend.  The Eagles produce too much talent on offense for Vick not to be successful.  Your hatred for the Eagles blinds you from the fact that Philly has a very favorable schedule which will automatically land them anywhere between 13-3 and 11-5.  That means playoffs and another division title.  No one team, not even the mighty Green Bay Packers wants to see Philly if they are clicking on all cylinders come playoff time.  Vick strikes fear into a defense not seen since the likes of Randall Cunningham and Steve Young.  So let's see what happens when I prove you to be wrong, Michael.

MIKE:Yea Yea, I've herd it all before. I will admit this though the birds are "flocking" together as a unit this year and the most electrifying man in the game Mr. Vick will probably take them deep in the playoffs, but like I always say the NFC is a toss up and who ever is hot at the right time usually prevails.


The laughing stock of the NFL from 2003-2009 has been the Oakland Raiders, not Lions, not Browns, and not even the St. Louis Rams. It has been one of the most popular and one of the winningest teams in football history the Oakland Raiders. With a bunch of no-names and a "soft" talking and playing QB in Jason Campbell the Raiders took a couple of steps in the right direction last season by going 8-8 overall and undefeated in division play at 6-0. If running back Darren McFadden can stay healthy and the Raiders can continue to play good to great defense then they have a shot to win the lowly AFC West.

MIKE: If Jason Campbell can stay average and not at any point of the season drop below average then the Raiders have a great chance of winning the division because they already have a great ground attack in McFadden and Michael Bush and in a pass happy league the Raiders are really good at rushing the passer. The only other flaw that worries me outside of Jason Campbell is the Raiders run defense. It has always ranked low in the league since 2003 but with 2nd year player Rolando McClain improving off his rookie season last year I think he will rally all the other young guys in that LB and DL core. Last year Raiders ranked 3rd in pass defense and even with the loss of Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha to the Eagles I don't expect that to change. Michael Huff and Tyvon Branch ranked high among safeties in interceptions and sacks and with a young CB group led by Standford Routt the Raider can stay in contention all season.

HAZ: Now the fact that you are saying that Jason Campbell will lead the Raiders to the AFC West title is ludicrous, he is the forth best quarterback in the AFC West which consist of 4 teams, plus I am pretty sure Phillip Rivers will have plenty to say on the field about it.  For the Raiders to win the division they will have to be lights out on the defensive side of the football, period.  With McFadden and Bush in the backfield, they should be able to control the clock with there above average running game, which will give the defense the rest they need to beat up on the opposition.   I do not think the loss of Nnamdi Asomugha will devastate this team at all.  There is plenty of speed on defense to contend with the likes of San Diego, Denver and Kansas City, but at the end of the day Jason Campbell is going have to make plays that will decide the outcome of a hand full of games this season and I do not trust that he will get the job done more times than not.  San Diego will rebound with a determined Phillip Rivers and capture the AFC West.

MIKE: LOL, laugh out loud! The fact that the Raiders went 6-0 in the AFC West last season is yesterdays history, I agree. But my point to you Mr. Bey is this, with a young and talented defense and one of the best front 7 in the league, check the stats, how can you bet against the Raiders to win the division when nobody else in the AFC West did anything this off-season to improve.? So I say your train of thought is absurd because Jason Campbell won't have to make plays to win the Raiders games, he will have to not lose games for the Raiders by being what he already knows he is, and that's an average QB. The main focus for the Raiders is to stay healthy and then I believe they can win the AFC West division and get back to the playoffs and get back to being the BLACK & SILVER of old.

HAZ:  Did you just tell me to check the stats? Jason Campbell doesn't have to win games, but he just can't lose games?  Oh you're telling jokes now, but seriously the Raiders are outmatched.  San Diego will not lose the AFC West again.  So now the Raiders must focus on the wild card.  Teams like the Jets, Steelers and Bills seem to be the early favorites to claim 2 wild card spots available come season's end, but if the Raiders can somehow win 10 games, they might just get there, which would be great for the league.

Raiders vs. Eagles Superbowl!!!
Will the Eagles and Raiders meet in the Super Bowl this year?  Probably not, but in the NFL anything can happen.  Both teams have a lot to prove, but for very different reasons.  The Eagles have put themselves in position to win a Super Bowl now and will have very high expectations to live up to all season long.  The Raiders on the other hand lost a lot close games last season and still wound up with an 8-8 record.  Now Oakland looks to take the next step of their progression and reach the post season by winning the AFC West.  It will be a very tough task, but it definitely not out of their reach.  The new season is upon us, so lets see where these two teams are at come January or even February.  Like Kevin Garnett said after beating the Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals... "ANYTHING'S POSSIBLE!!!"

Mike McClendon
Haz Bey
This Blog was written by both Mike McClendon & Haz Bey of  M & H SPORTS

The Wrath of Tom Brady

Haz Bey
Tom Brady's performance last Monday Night was absolutely amazing.  He had me literally screaming at the T.V.  Not because I was so excited to see him put up "God-like" numbers, but because he caused me to have my first loss in fantasy football this season.  I was playing in my money league against my friend Kyle and I had a commanding lead on him.  I called his cell midway through the 4 o'clock games last Sunday to talk trash.  I told him "Tom Brady would have to have the game of his life to beat me."  Now, me saying this to him must have angered the "Sport Karma Gods", because it would have been virtually impossible for Tom Brady to make up the huge deficit that my friend Kyle was facing.  Tom Brady has always struggled to beat the Dolphins in Miami only going 4-5 in his trips to South Beach in his career.  So I had no doubt that my week was won and it was on the next 1.  Wrong, wrong! Somehow a higher being gave Tom Brady the power to tap in to his inner quarterback and display a performance of a lifetime.  Much like Mike Vick's Monday night in D.C. last year and Brett Favre's memorable performance in Oakland a many years back, Tom played the quarterback position as if he was man amongst boys.  Just about every throw was on the money.  Every time he called a run it seemed to pick up 8 yards plus, then he would hit one of his targets for big gains down the field.  He looked like Peyton Manning out there running that offense up and down the field leaving the Miami defenders gasping for air.  517 yards passing.  Did you read that right? 517 yards passing.  He also threw for 4 tds and a fluke interception.  Nothing killed my spirits more than seeing Tom Brady in shot-gun formation from the 1 yard line with an empty backfield and seeing the formation that Miami was in knowing that they can easily get beat if Tom recognizes it.  Oh he did in a big way and when Tom let the ball in the air, I seen a safety for the Dolphins try to jump the route as if Tom didn't get enough air on the ball instead of playing back not allowing Wes Welker to receive the pass.  Then Wes gets the ball runs right threw a lame attempt at a tackle and runs up the sidelines for a 99 1/2 yard score.  I was yelling "NOOOOOOOO!" as the ball left Tom's hand all the way until Wes scored.  Tom Brady did it.  He made up the huge deficit I had on my friend Kyle causing him to beat me in fantasy in by only 4 points.  I had been humbled by Tom Brady.  It was full circle.  I said he couldn't do it and he proved me wrong.  He personally snatched victory right from my hands.  Much like his early career Tom had to prove people wrong that doubted him and 3 Super Bowl rings later what do they have to say about him now.  Nothing and that what I have to say about him, nothing.  You know though, let me say this.  Tom Brady is the best quarterback I have ever seen, seriously and I didn't need last Monday night's game realize that.  That is just what I have seen from him over his entire career and if you want to bet against him, be my guest, but more times than not he will prove you wrong.  That's just what he does, period.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who Can Stop the Phillies

Smoking Aces
Blog by Haz Bey
The Philadelphia Phillies are on a mission.  They are tearing up the league and are taking no prisoners.  The Braves recently came into Philadelphia for a series down 7.5 games in the NL East with an opportunity to cut the lead all the way down 4.5 games, which would have gave the young Braves all the confidence in the world to make a serious run at the NL East crown.  Let's just say that did not happen.  The Phillies swept the Braves, then took 3 out of 4 from the Brewers in Milwaukee while the Braves struggled to keep up.  With the Phillies clinching a playoff spot last night with their win in Houston on a 1-0 shutout by "Doc" Halladay, their lead in the NL East is at 11 games.  The Atlanta Braves do not have a shot to make up enough ground at this point, so the Phillies will win their fifth straight NL East title. 

The Core
No team in the National League competing for a playoff spot currently has what it takes to beat the Phillies in a playoff series.  The team that could slow them down though, the defending Champion Giants are on the outside looking in.  They have the pitching to frustrate the Phillies' hitters and the ball park that the Phillies historically do not perform well in.  Let's not forget that they beat Phillies to get to the World Series last year, but the Giants lack of offense has kept them out of contention this season. 

Will they do it again?
The Phillies pitching staff is as scary as they come.  Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Worley & Oswalt are just too much to handle on a nightly basis.  No matter when a team faces the Phillies they do not get a break with their rotation.  Then there is the Phillies hitting.  Rollins, Polanco, Utley, Howard, Pence, Victorino, Ibanez, Ruiz & Mayberry off the bench.  The Phillies are balanced and stacked all at the same time.  The core of this team has already won 1 World Series title and won 2 National League titles, so winning it all is already in their DNA.  With younger teams like The Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers rising, winning now is top priority.  At this point I don't know who can stop the Phillies, but the playoffs are all about who is playing their best ball at that particular time and if one of these other teams catch fire and are not intimidated by Philadelphia, we might be in for some great baseball come October.

Killa Cam


Killa Cam's first rushing touchdown

Blog  by Haz Bey
Cam Newton was amazing in his NFL debut.  The rookie threw for 422 yards with 3 touchdowns (2 passes, 1 run).  Cam only threw 1 pick early in the third quarter.  All in all a historic performance which will be remembered for a longtime.  Cam's play resurrected the career of former pro-bowler Steve Smith who was on his NFL "Death-Bed" playing with underachieving quarterbacks his last few years in Carolina.  Steve Smith was the best wide out of the league in week 1 with Cam throwing him the ball. 

Killa Cam's laughing at the critics
"Killa Cam" has a swagger to him that most rookies don't have.  He expected to win his first game, he expected to complete his passes, he expected to make plays.  So much confidence, so much potential, so much to look forward to.  I couldn't believe what I was watching on Sunday.  I found myself rooting for the man on every play, because he even made me feel that something special was going to happen.  If you watched the highlights from week 1 on the NFL season when they show the Panthers vs Cardinals highlights, they only show Carolina's plays even though they lost the game.  Cam's effect on that game made it unimportant on who actually won the game.  It was Cam's performance that people was concerned about, not how Kevin Kolb did in his first game as a Cardinal.  Does anyone remember how well Kevin Kolb played?  Probably not.  

Cam Newton is going to have some up and downs this season.  As well as he played against Arizona in week 1, he has bigger fish to fry in week 2.  The defending Champion Packers roll into town for a visit and it will not be easy for Cam like it was in week 1, but he will be playing at home for the first time.  There will be a buzz in that stadium that hasn't been felt in a long time and the fans of the Carolina Panthers can thank Cam Newton for it.  He made their franchise relevant again and if Cam can stay healthy, that buzz will stay around for a long time.