Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Why the NFL was wrong to fine Ndamukong Suh



Matt Schaub: Has a bright future in soccer

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke at a charity dinner Tuesday night at Ford Field and stated the NFL didn't suspend Lions' defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh for kicking Houston QB Matt Schaub in the groin Thanksgiving Day because "intent" was difficult to determine in this case.
Was it inadvertent? Many people are suspicious because Suh has gained a

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

NHL lockout carnage the result of a two-headed monster



Fehr every bit as culpable as Bettman

My column: http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/11/27/sports/doc50b4b696a9f23595304411.txt













Replay of my live video chat on Lions, Michigan, Pistons and Birmingham Brother Rice football coach All Fracassa.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

It is no mistake, fluke or coincidence the Lions are reeling



Too much Suh, not enough Lions

My column: http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/11/25/sports/doc50b2b0d0ef39d322774080.txt

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Ohio State Buckeyes have just roared right past the Michigan Wolverines



Wolverines dropped an opportunity vs. Buckeyes

My column: http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/11/24/sports/doc50b15d04b5356663347489.txt

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Lions Thanksgiving Day stinker lies at Jim Schwartz's feet

My column: http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/11/22/sports/doc50aeb662a525c418215880.txt


A real bad day at the office

Thoughts after 3 quarters, Texans, Lions

- That was the worst call I've ever seen in the NFL. Worse than Packers-Seattle game with the replacement refs, ect. Justin Forsett was tackled. Period. It was idiotic to not make that play subject to review, too. The explantion of why it wasn't reviewable is a joke. It should be automatic because it is a TD. It should not matter if the Lions threw the challenge flag. What? Get the call wrong 

Thoughts halftime, Texans, Lions

- For all the complaints about Lions' QB Matthew Stafford throwing sidearm, which I think is justified, he made a great sidearm pass while on the run to tight end Brandon Pettigrew for a first down to set up the Lions' second touchdown.
- It wouldn't surprise me if Stafford throws for close to 500 yards today. The Texans secondary is serious bad without premier cornerback Johnathan Joseph.
- Wide

Thoughts after 1st quarter, Texas, Lions

- Finally, the Lions put together a long drive to start a game and finished it with a touchdown. Quarterback Matthew Stafford made a brilliant throw on third and long to rookie wide receiver Ryan Broyles for a first down. There was a very good diving catch by Calvin Johnson on the drive, too.Then, the dominos fell. Not playing from behind is an obvious key for the Lions today. With Arian Foster

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Maryland and Rutgers do fit the Big Ten. This is why



Maryland adds market size, basketball tradition to Big Ten

In the past, when the Big Ten expanded, it was about adding elite programs to the stable.
Penn State and Nebraska had national championship pedigrees in football.Market-size was a secondary issue.
There isn't nearly as much "wow" appeal with Maryland and Rutgers athletically.
Rutgers, in particular, raises eyebrows and questions about

Michigan-Ohio State - it has more meaning this year

My column: http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/11/20/sports/doc50abb4f028b41463179528.txt

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Detroit Lions have earned their 4-6 record one mistake at a time

My column: http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/11/18/sports/doc50a978e504a2f697594483.txt


Matthew Stafford: One of his worst performances this year

Thoughts after 3 quarters, Packers, Lions

- Calvin Johnson's brilliance is sometimes difficult to comprehend. The 25-yard pass he caught from Matthew Stafford made Packers' safety Morgan Burnett look silly. Burnett is a good player, but that play was an example why Johnson is the best non-quarterback in the NFL. Defenses stack the deck against him. He still succeeds.
- It is difficult to not look at the fourth quarter of this football

Thoughts halftime, Packers, Lions

- First it was Minnesota's Josh Robinson. Now it is Casey Hayward. The rookie cornerback for the Green Bay Packers from Vanderbilt, who is tied for the NFL lead in interceptions with five after picking off Lions' QB Matthew Stafford in the second quarter Sunday, was taken in the second round with the 62nd overall pick of April's NFL Draft, eight picks after Detroit selected wide receiver Ryan

Thoughts after 1st quarter, Packers, Lions

- What Calvin Johnson does far better than any receiver the Lions have ever had, by far, is beat double coverage deep. The Packers did have a safety defending him over the top. He beat the coverage anyway. It was also a very accurate deep throw by Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford.
- While flipping a field position game that was bound to doom the Lions sooner instead of later, settling for a

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Michigan Wolverines ready to bring on "Ohio"

My column: http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/11/17/sports/doc50a80d6d7bdd9514285425.txt


Devin Gardner was brilliant vs. Iowa

Thoughts after 3 quarters, Iowa, Michigan

- Michigan's performance couldn't be more impressive than today. It is remindful of the Illinois' game earlier this season because it's difficult to determine if it is because the Wolverines are so good, or the opposition so bad. We know this, Michigan needs a Minnesota upset of Nebraska today because it seems unlikely they will get any help from Iowa next week.
- Denard Robinson's catch and run

Thoughts halftime, Iowa, Michigan

- Devin Gardner is throwing the ball exceptionally well today, better than his first two starts. He is hardly getting any pressure and is taking full advantage. His deep throw to Jeremy Gallon was excellent.
- Kirk Ferentz, Iowa's coach, has proven himself down through years, but the Hawkeyes' talent level is really down. That is especially true up front defensively. Usually, Iowa's front seven

Thoughts after 1st quarter, Iowa, Michigan

- Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges, mad scientist? Not really. Putting Denard Robinson at running back was a good idea to get him on the field today. Obviously, he is still having injury issues when it comes to throwing the football. It's senior day. The idea of Robinson coming from another direction is just one more thing Ohio State must prepare for and be concerned about next week. And

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Why recent comparisons between Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner are inaccurate and unfair





Gardner, Robinson: Perception is delusional

No quarterback I can ever remember in this state, whether it be college or NFL, has ever been judged by a more unfair standard than Michigan's Denard Robinson.
He has led his team to victories over Notre Dame (twice), Nebraska in his only meeting, Ohio State after a long drought by the Wolverines, Michigan State by making a couple clutch plays at

AL MVP Award could be the first of many for Miguel Cabrera



Cabrera defined "MVP" in 2012

My column: http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/11/15/sports/doc50a58f75039c7927078892.txt

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Why there is no downside to Detroit Tigers signing Torii Hunter

Under normal circumstances, I'd be questioning the Tigers signing a 37-year-old outfielder who will be 38 by the time the postseason rolls around next October.


Outfield defense now a Tigers' strength with Hunter added

Baseball players prime years are 27-to-33. They tend to slow down after that. And when it happens, the descent is often rapid, and difficult to see when it is exactly coming.

Detroit Lions are on Mission Improbable



Stafford, Schwartz: Need to figure it out

My column: http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/11/14/sports/doc50a3ceba857fc299356673.txt

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Why Torii Hunter is a much better fit for the Detroit Tigers than Angel Pagan



Torii Hunter: Rakes vs. left-handed pitching

- Torii Hunter is a different type of player than Angel Pagan. He is a run producer, not a table setter. Pagan (31 and turning 32 in July) is in his prime while Hunter 37 turning 38 in July) is older. Yet, Hunter, unless he suddenly runs into an age wall, is much more threatening in the batter's box than Pagan.
There was a lot of fretting among

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The finger of blame points everywhere for the Detroit Lions



Season turned upside down on Stafford, Lions

My column: http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/11/11/sports/doc50a0317554b7a949950483.txt

Thoughts after 3 quarters, Lions, Vikings

- Finally, the Lions got a big play offensively. Those bemoaning Calvin Johnson's lack of production this season are misguided. Yes, he should have more touchdown passes, and is banged up, but he is still very productive despite double teams. He has gone over 100 yards in five of the Lions' first first nine games this season, and had 94 in another.
- The Lions pass rush needs to be better. Even

Thoughts halftime, Lions, Vikings

-The idea playing against the Vikings is simple: If they fall behind, and they are forced to put the ball in quarterback Christian Ponder's hands throwing to pedestrian wide receivers (with Percy Harvin out), the Vikings' chances of winning are minimal. Give the Vikings a lead, with a great back, Adrian Peterson, pounding into the line play after play, and running down the clock, their chances of

Thoughts after 1st quarter, Lions, Vikings

- It's one thing to get beaten deep by Percy Harvin, it's another to get smoked by Jarius Wright. Christian Ponder to Jarius Wright? Ponder didn't even throw for 100 yards the last couple weeks. Wright was a solid college player at Arkansas, a fourth-round draft pick. But how he got that open deep down the field is a mystery. Ponder did buy some time by side-stepping the Lions' pass rush, but he

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Michigan Wolverines' close victories like one over Northwestern no coincidence

My column: http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/11/10/sports/doc509ed78d37c64495454936.txt


Devin Gardner was clutch again on Saturday

Thoughts after 3 quarters, Northwestern, Michigan

- Pat Fitzgerald went to Northwestern and was a star linebacker. Chicago is a great town and Northwestern is a tremendous school and place. But it's difficult to win there in revenue sports such as football and basketball. It's just the way it has been for nearly a half a century.
But it's very difficult to watch this game and not come away impressed with just how well-coached the Wildcats are.

Thoughts halftime, Michigan, Northwestern

- It was a disappointing drive at the end of the half for the Wolverines' defense. Northwestern backup QB Trevor Siemian is an excellent passer, though. He'd start on a lot of teams, and the Wildcats do an excellent job of using him in passing situations, particularly the two-minute drill. Northwestern is a very difficult team to prepare for because their offense is so diverse.
- Michigan's

Thoughts after 1 quarter, Michigan, Northwestern

- The issue in this game is not Michigan's offense. The Wolverines were going to score a lot of points in this game whether Devin Gardner or Denard Robinson is at QB. The big issue today is whether the Wolverines' defense can stop Northwestern's offense. The answer on the first drive wasn't a good one for the Wolverines. We'll see how it develops. Northwestern's second drive went better for

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Lions blowout bodes well for second half of the season



Leshoure was terrific Sunday

My column: http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/11/04/sports/doc50971b5704643327529118.txt

Thoughts halftime, Lions, Jaguars

- Finally, a halftime lead.
- The second quarter is indicative of what the Lions are capable of when they get on a roll. They are one of those teams that can get very hot offensively. After a mostly sputtering first-half of this season, perhaps the Lions are heating up. They have a lot of weapons on offense. They are using them all today, including getting the ball into the hands of Calvin

Thoughts after 1 quarter, Lions, Jaguars

- Granted, field position hasn't been in their favor, but another first quarter with no production offensively. Better starts are a necessity for the the Lions moving forward. They should be toasting this secondary. It's not that good to begin with, and is injury depleted.
- The Lions are only using Calvin Johnson in key situations. If the Lions could take a lead in this game, rather than having

Saturday, 3 November 2012

MSU Spartans have only themselves, not the officials, to blame

My column: http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/11/03/sports/doc5095d1f6ad415736107789.txt


MSU made Taylor Martinez look like Peyton Manning in 4th

Thoughts after 3 quarters, Nebraska, MSU

- The Spartans' offense is so plodding, it's painful. That this is one of MSU's better offensive performances of the season speaks volumes about the Spartans' issues. The Spartans were baled out by a terrible call on a alleged hit out of bounds on the final drive of the quarter.
- Honestly, I have never been impressed with Spartans running back Nick Hill, but there is no question he provided an

Thoughts halftime, Nebraska, MSU

- One factor noticeable in this game is that Nebraska has much more speed on offense than MSU has on offense. The Spartans' Le'Veon Bell does most everything well, and is defnitely a premier college running, but his lack of breakaway speed sticks out. Even MSU wide receiverTony Lippett's long TD reception in the quarter wasn't because of separation from defenders. He won a jump ball with three

Thoughts after 1 quarter, Nebraska, MSU

- Getting a touchdown in the first quarter has been unusual for the Spartans. It was an impressive drive. There does seem to be a carryover from late in the Wisconsin game, when MSU's offense finally pulled together.
- Taylor Martinez is an explosive college QB with outstanding big-play capability, but it is more than negated by his inconsistency. That was a beyond horrible throw he made on the

Thursday, 1 November 2012

MSU Spartans, Michigan Wolverines still on track despite struggles this season



Dantonio, Hoke passing adversity test



My column: http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/11/01/sports/doc50934f203d464298931784.txt