Saturday, January 30, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

Getting To Know Your 2010 U.S. Men's Olympic Hockey Team: Patrick Kane



We've been graced with the opportunity to squeeze in one more of these before the weekend officially hits. As mentioned, we're inspecting the forwards first, moving, at some point to the defensive pairings next week, and eventually, we'll tackle the goalies. We started with a guy that makes his home in the Central Division, jumped out west, headed east, and now we're back in the midwest again.

Patrick Kane is 21 years old. He plays right wing and shoots left-handed for the Chicago Blackhawks. The former first-round (first overall) draft pick is in the midst of his third professional season, and he's having a hell of a season. In his rookie campaign, he played in all 82 games, and, as just a 19-year-old, he amassed 72 points (21 goals, 51 assists), earning him a Calder Memorial Trophy. One season ago, he saw action in two fewer contests, but still tallied 70 points. This year, 54 games in, he has 21 goals and 39 assists for 60 points. He is the epitome of promising.

There are two things of note about Kane: 1) He is a fierce competitor on the ice, and will likely eat a Canadian or two for breakfast this Olympics. 2) If you are a cab driver, and you arrive to pick up Mr. Kane, at around five in the morning, keep driving. If you drive a limo, however, and Kane is with a few young ladies, you might want to offer them a ride.
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Getting To Know Your 2010 U.S. Men's Olympic Hockey Team: Chris Drury



The purpose of this feature is to familiarize our large audiences with the guys on the olympic-hockey roster. We're looking at forwards to start with, and I don't expect most folks to know who any of these guys are, but if you don't at least recognize the name Chris Drury, please e-mail me your address so that I might drive to your house and punch you in the guts, 'cause shame on you.

Drury won the Hobey Baker Award (top collegiate player) while playing at Boston University. He was selected in the third round of the 1994 NHL draft by the Quebec Nordiques, who, as you know, moved to Colorado and won a couple of championships fairly quickly. Drury was only with the team for the 2000 Stanley Cup Championship, but he won himself a Calder Memorial Trophy (most valuable rookie), and tallied 44 points for the team in the process. Soon after the championship season, he was traded to Calgary, but saw limited action, and spent the next three seasons as a huge offensive producer for the Buffalo Sabres, where he was eventually named captain.

Now with the New York Rangers, where he also sports the 'C' -- and is only the second American-born captain in franchise history -- Drury is one of three players slotted for American competition in Vancouver with previous olympic experience; both Drury and Brian Rafalski played for the team in both 2006 and the silver-medal winners of 2002, while Jamie Langenbrunner was on the '98 squad. Recent U.S. Olympic teams have tended to have a higher age average, as experience was tabbed an important aspect, but U.S. Olympic Head Coach Ron Wilson had different ideas than his recent predecessors (Peter Laviolette in 2006, the late Herb Brooks in 2002): at 32, Drury is the club's oldest forward. In 11 professional seasons, the Ranger has nearly 600 points, he has played in all 82 games in a season three times, and is known as a go-to guy in key situations, evidenced by his 47 playoff goals, 17 of which have been game-winners.
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Getting To Know Your 2010 U.S. Men's Olympic Hockey Team: Ryan Callahan



We're down to 18 days until the puck drops in men's olympic hockey in Vancouver. The women's games will get underway a few days prior, but we'll let our, uh, sister site cover those games. Meantime, we're getting familiar with the U.S. Men's roster, and we've started things off with the forwards. Once we've wrapped them up, we'll examine the defense, and finally the netminders.

Ryan Callahan is pretty much a badass, what with his Irish name and stature similar to mine. He's a 24-year-old native New Yorker, and as things would have it, he plays for the Rangers, specifically right wing. He's averaging just under 20 minutes of ice time per game this year for New York, and in that time, he's managed 13 goals and 15 assists. In just over three short seasons with New York, Callahan has scored a number of key goals for the Rangers, including a few game-winners that had post-season significance. While we don't know much about Callahan's endeavors with the lady, we can at least have a look at the contestant from "The Bachelor" that hooked up with the one-time producer of the same name, an endeavor that cost that Callahan his job.
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Getting To Know Your 2010 U.S. Men's Olympic Hockey Team: Dustin Brown



It's Friday. You ain't got no job, and you ain't got s**t to do. I'mma talk to you about hockey today. The Winter Olympics in Vancouver are less than three weeks away, and if you're going to spend any time watching the most important competition -- duh, hockey -- than it may behoove you to know a thing or two about who's skating for your country. I happen to be just the guy to help you out with that, but not at an overkill rate.

Dustin Brown is a right-handed shooting left winger who weighs in a few notches over 200 pounds. He stands six feet tall, has been alive for 25 years, and plays for the Los Angeles Kings. He's closing in on 40 points for the season and has logged over 1000 minutes of ice time. He was the Kings' first-round pick in the 2003 draft, but it took him a few campaigns to fortify his spot on the roster, at which time he earned a spot on the team's checking line, then led the club in goals the following year with 33. The year after that, Brown became the 15th captain in team history, and more notably, the youngest (at the time of appointment) and first American-born captain L.A. has ever had. We're not sure if he has a lady friend, but we know he's got a few fans out there. Dustin Brown will serve as one of four alternate captains for Team USA.
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Getting To Know Your 2010 U.S. Men's Olympic Hockey Team: David Backes



Let's keep this short and sweet: In 19 days, men's olympic hockey will get underway. You should be both familiar with the men on the roster that will represent your country, and fired up -- even though you hate hockey -- for these games. That's where I come in.

David Backes is a 25-year-old native Minnesotan who currently collects a paycheck playing forward for the St. Louis Blues. He's a right-handed shooter who's lit the lamp 10 times this season, and added 18 helpers for his 28 points. He's logged over 4000 minutes of NHL ice time, and spent 165 minutes in the sin bin last year. His high school honored him by retiring his jersey number Johnny five, and he spent his collegiate years skating for the Minnesota State University Stompers. Also, his wife is pretty hot.

See? That was pretty painless. We'll do about 22 more of these. Stick around.
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday Whatnot: Twenty Days and Counting



The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver will be underway before we know it, and I, for one, am freakin' pumped for some ice hockey, United-Fucking-States-of-America style. Granted, we're not gonna get mega-excited until the U.S. squad has advanced some, but know that the House of Georges will be bringing you extended coverage.

For example, the U.S. is in Group A, along with Switzerland, Norway, and Canadia. Group B includes Latvia, Slovakia, the Russian Federation (whatever the hell that means), and the 2006 bronze-medalist Czech Republic. In Group C we have Belarus, Germany, 2006 silver-medalist Finland, gold-medalist Sweden.

Your U.S. roster looks like so:

Defense:

•Brian Rafalski, 36 (Detroit Red Wings)
•Ryan Suter, 25 (Nashville Predators)
Paul Martin 28 (New Jersey Devils) Ryan Whitney, 26 (Anaheim Ducks)
Mike Komisarek, 28 (Toronto Maple Leafs) Tim Gleason, 27 (Carolina Hurricanes)
•Erik Johnson, 21 (St. Louis Blues)
•Brooks Orpik, 29 (Pittsburgh Pittsburgh)
•Jack Johnson, 23 (Los Angeles Kings)

Alternate Candidates:

- Matt Niskanen (Dallas)
- Ron Hainsey (Atlanta)
- Alex Goligoski (Pittsburgh)
- Matt Carle (Philadelphia)
- Rob Scuderi (Los Angeles)


Forwards:

•Zach Parise, 25 (New Jersey Devils)
•Chris Drury, 32 (New York Rangers)
•Dustin Brown, 25 (Los Angeles Kings)
•Jamie Langenbrunner, 34 (New Jersey Devils)
•Paul Stastny, 24 (Colorado Avalanche)
•David Backes, 25 (St. Louis Blues)
•Patrick Kane, 21 (Chicago Blackhawks)
•Phil Kessel, 22 (Toronto Maple Leafs)
•Ryan Kesler, 25 (Vancouver Canucks)
•Bobby Ryan, 22 (Anaheim Ducks)
•Joe Pavelski, 25 (San Jose Sharks)
•Ryan Malone, 31 (Tampa Bay Lightning)
•Ryan Callahan, 24 (New York Rangers)

Alternate Candidates:

- Jason Pominville (Sabres)
- David Booth (Panthers)
- Scott Gomez (Canadiens)
- T.J. Oshie (Blues)
- Brian Gionta (Canadiens)

Goaltenders:

•Tim Thomas, 35 (Boston Bruins)
•Ryan Miller, 29 (Buffalo Sabres)
•Jonathan Quick, 24 (Los Angeles Kings)

Alternate Candidate:

- Craig Anderson (Colorado)

There you have it, and so mark your calendars, kids: Tuesday, February 16 at 2 p.m. Central, it's Switzerland as the home team, your U.S. squad the visitors. Game. Fucking. On.
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday StubTube: 100 Percent Awesomeness



This clip has it all: Pre-microwave-oven-invention championship appearances, Denver dashing, old-school violence against the Raiders, 65 Toss Power Trap, and most of all, hope.

(courtesy of Arrowhead Pride)
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Studmuffins: pr_capone


No. I don't have any idea who the dude is either, but he did post this:

Guy goes up to the Bronco ticket counter and asks to buy playoff tickets... the lady at the counter tells him, "Sorry, the Broncos didn't make the playoffs."

The next day the same guys goes back to the ticket counter and asks for playoff tickets. The lady at the counter says, "Like I said yesterday, the Broncos didn't make the playoffs...there are no tickets to buy."

The next day the man arrives at the counter again asking for playoff tickets The lady at the counters says to the man, "THE BRONCOS DID NOT MAKE THE PLAYOFFS!"

The man responded: "I know, but I drive all the way from Kansas City just to hear you say that."


...over on a Chiefs Planet message board.

bane_58 follows it up with:

"Josh McFistpump's first season as the Donkholes coach,titled "Chokefest 09" ended the same way anyone with active brain cells knew it would.With a late season flop and an embarrassingly epic blowout by the Kansas City Chiefs at Pile High.Looks like their playoff run will remain IN-COME-PLETE! (sic)

(props to Arrowhead Pride for the link)
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thursday Think Tank: ESPN's John Clayton Finds Yet Another Reason for Our Very Own Cecil to Adore Him

The Iron Triangle of the House of Georges is still sorting out the final installments of our now infamous HoG25 series. Until it's complete, rest easy knowing that John Clayton will see your skewed 25, raise you 10.

Keep in mind that the HoG's very own Cecil, when he's not over-occupied with the notion of flogging the dolphin to his Peter King scrapbook, he's really over-occupied with the notion of rubbing pieces of John Clayton's underwear all over his skin.

For real.

From my side of the fence, the list looks okay. I'd probably swap five and six, though.
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Thursday ThumbTubes: The Canadian Tuxedo

Question: Am I rooting for Brett Favre and the Vikings?



Answer: Damn skippy.

(video courtesy of Sarah Spain)
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Thursday ThumbTube: The Sex Offender Shuffle

I say Damn!




(courtesy of With Leather)
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Remember That One Time?



Word on the street is that the Denver Broncos were also in the hunt for new Chiefs Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel. I'd offer a link to the story, but Denver fans won't believe it anyway. The question, then, is this: Will Mike Nolan demand a trade? Damn straight he will.

(image courtesy of National Football Post)
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sock 'Er




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Dave Talks Debacle

Here's a quick snippet of David Letterman weighing in on the NBC situation. Good stuff:



If you troll the Twitterspheres, support Conan here.
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Friday, January 8, 2010

Oops, He Did It Again

New Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis and Head Coach Todd Haley held a conference call with the media today to introduce Weis. The audio and transcripts are available here, but what's most important is the transcript leaves the most important phrase out of the introductory paragraph. Have a look:

"As I’ve been sitting for the last month or so at home looking at the NFL and studying the different teams in the NFL, one of things that was really important to me was, as I was looking for a new opportunity, I wanted to go somewhere where fit was the number one criteria. There are several teams out there that are in a hunt for different types of coaches but there had to be a mutual fit, and my relationship with Todd and my relationship with [General Manager] Scott [Pioli] and several other people in the organization just made Kansas City look as one of the prime landing spots for me *and as the process went through and this matriculated* I couldn’t be any more pleased to join this organization. Philosophically, what Todd has expressed to me coincides so closely with how I see things in the big picture that this marriage just seemed a very, very simple and plain one. I’m very, very excited to be a part of a growing process that has been started here in the last year. I’ve been able to watch the team from afar for the last month and gain more familiarity and I’m really anxious to get to work."


The Chief rule is...

...that Thou Shalt Not Keep our Famously Misused Words from Our Blessed Ears. If Weis wants to re-invent the official Stram dialogue, so be it.
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The Long Overdue Jason Kendall Post

This, given the alleged signing of Scott Podsednik to the Royals this morning, is obviously overdue, but I wanted to throw it out there so that others would see what, exactly, was said regarding the Royals signing catcher Jason Kendall to a two-year deal a few weeks back. Along with the holidays, some travelling, and generally other, more-exciting news going on, I couldn't get to it. But I also wanted to ask Joe Posnanski in person if he thought this deal was worse than the Yuniesky Betancourt signing, which I did. His response:

"Nothing is worse than the Yuniesky Betancourt deal." I disagree, but that's neither here nor there. The promised thoughts/Tweets as they pertain to the signing of Kendall, the departure of John Buck and Miguel Olivo, and my now-rapidly vanishing sense of faith in Royals General Manager Dayton Moore, after the jump.

Before we get to the thoughts, some quick bio:

1) Jason Kendall is 10 days shy of being six months older than me. I shouldn't really have to go on from there, but I will.

2) The Royals are his fifth team in 13 seasons.

3) He's a lifetime .290 hitter, .383 slugger, and has an on-base percentage of .369. In his seasons as a catcher, he's yielded a caught-stealing percentage of 29 percent, which, essentially, means that two-plus base runners out of every three, will steal safely against him.

Those are my thoughts. Here are the thoughts of Greg Schaum (minor-league expert, former Royals post-game radio show host), Rany Jazayerli (of Rany on the Royals), and Joe Posnanski (Sports Illustrated).

Posnanski:

"Per @Royals_Report KC signs Jason Kendall for 2 yr/$6 mil + incentives. Wonder what incentives Kendall offers. Free car wash?"

"Because, see, Olivo option would have only been for 1 year. Kendall deal is 2 years! So it's better. Ha ha. See?"

"Miguel Olivo hit more HRs last year than Jason Kendall hit last year + 2008 + 2007 + 2006 + 2005 + 2004 + 2003 +2002."

"One more -- Royals projected lineup by 2009 OPS+: 106, 74, 124!, 80, 86, 76, 72, 68, 68. But they're not done making moves."

Jazayerli:

"Dear God, it's worse than we thought. RT @Royals_Report: Hearing Kendall's contract is similar to Pudge's; so about $6 million for 2 years."

"And yes, I'm an idiot for not thinking it would be, uh, worse than we thought. I give this organization way too much credit sometimes."

"John Buck will be released, and likely signs a smaller deal. KC picked Kendall not to save $$, but because they think he's better than Buck."

"To put it another way: Royals declined the option to keep Miguel Olivo for $3.3 million for one year - then gave Kendall $6 million for two."

"Kendall hasn't managed a .330 slugging average since 2006. Hasn't managed a .350 slugging average since 2004."

"P&L District: Now just the District. RT @keithlaw: Kendall has so little power that when KC signed him, all lights in Kansas City went out."

"Kendall article coming soon. Just have to mention: John Buck already signed with TOR for 1 year, $2 million. Do I even have to spell it out?"

There's also Sam Mellinger of The Kansas City Star:

"A quick point that doesn't make KC catching any better: once non-tendered, guys hardly ever re-sign for less money."

"Royals had Buck for $3.5 million next year, or not at all."

"Energy spent complaining about John Buck's contract is like wondering if the patient in ICU is wearing clean underwear."

Jazayerli:

"@mellinger No, it's like patient with terminal cancer who's on the wrong ventilator settings and the MD just stuck an IV in the wrong arm."

"Doesn't matter to patient, but would you send a loved one to that hospital? Kendall isn't problem. Having FO that picked Kendall is problem."

Then, Jazayerli's post on the signing.

Posnanski:

"Pujols, Mauer, Ichiro, Holliday and Jeter all have higher BATTING AVERAGES than JK's SLG PCT since 2005," and his post.

Schaum, seeking optimism, I imagine, asks Royals fans:

"If the #Royals acquire JR Towles does this make you feel better about move for Kendall? Is Towles a more legit threat to eventually take job?"

And, finally, Mellinger's post, which he qualifies as "not happy."

Two days later, Schaum let's us know:

"Former #Royals catcher John Buck not un-employed for long as #BlueJays sign him. He and Chavez for now and hope Arenceibia develops."

Mellinger chimes in:

"Working on a package looking at the Royals' past decade. I might need a drink."

So you see? I could go on. The Royals gave up on two catchers who had some upside -- granted they gave Buck a long time to come around, but Olivo led the team in homers and had a stronger arm than any of the three -- to save money.

Jazayerli:

"Olivo: 1 year, $2.5M. Buck: 1 year, $2M. Kendall: 2 years, $6M. In Dayton's world, Kendall > (Olivo+Buck). We need a VP of Common Sense."

And I'll just leave it at that.
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Friday FunStuff: It's No "Press Hop," But...



...you do, in fact, play to win the game.

(clip courtesy of Deadspin)
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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thursday ThinkTank: Grading the Grades



(Editor's Note: I'm getting to this a few days later than initially desired, but at least, now, it's done.) On Monday, The Kansas City Star's Jason Whitlock, handed out grades for the 2009 Chiefs, a tradition in which he just logged his 10th year. Having read them for 10 years, I decided that I would like to assess his assessment, and what better way to do that, than in the style of the once/still beloved site known as Fire Joe Morgan. The numbers are, of course, percentages like the ones you get in school, assuming you've at some point or another, attended. Let's get to it.

A

Give this man a new contract


98 Jamaal Charles, RB: No-questions-asked MVP of the team. That’s an amazing accomplishment for a guy who wasn’t a significant part of the team’s offensive game plan until week nine. Some people worry about his durability. Does he have the necessary frame to be an every-down back? He has the same frame and running style as Tennessee’s Chris Johnson. Charles can handle 20 carries a game. A two-back setup is the way to go in the NFL.

Two words for you, bro: Larry. Johnson. As in: overpaid, overused. As in: Doesn't. Care. Now, I don't want to sit here and say Mike Cox could blast into those same holes, but Mike Cox is certainly willing and able to attempt penetration whenever and wherever necessary? Ooo. Comparing Charles to Chris Johnson. There's a first. A two-back setup? That's some divine thinking there.

92 Chan Gailey, offensive coordinator: Smartest man at Arrowhead Stadium. Collected a fat paycheck for sitting on his can while Todd Haley made a fool of himself trying to serve as head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Gailey’s image is untarnished after being fired by Haley before the start of the season.

Hmmm. Chan Gailey. Why is that name not ringing a bell? Oh, yeah. I remember. 'Cause he technically wasn't a part of the 2009 Chiefs. Pre-season don't count, bro. Lining up in the pistol and running the wildcat with Mark Bradley (cut) throwing passes to Tyler Thigpen (traded) was fun that one Sunday, but let's see: How many games did Gailey's offense win us? Oh. Right. Two. Haley's print on this team laid its foundation for the future this year. Gailey wasn't part of that. Haley knew it, made the move, and took his lumps. Brilliant move. How you gonna give a guy a new contract for 2010 if he isn't in the mix in 2009?

B

Exceeded my expectations.

89 Brandon Flowers, CB: Tied for 12th in the league with five interceptions. More impressive, he was fourth in the NFL with 28 passes defensed. The kid reminds me of James Hasty in that Flowers is agile and quick enough to play the pass and physical enough to be a force against the run. Put Flowers on a better team, and he’s a Pro Bowler.


Flowers is good. May one day reach a Pro Bowl, even as a Chief, and he'll likely have a longer shelf life than James Hasty. Also, "defensed" makes you sound kind of Canadian.

88 Chris Chambers, WR: Had an immediate impact after getting signed off the waiver wire at midseason. Chambers gave the Chiefs a long-ball threat. He scored two touchdowns in his first game as a Chief. The only reason he didn’t receive an A is because he dropped a crucial pass in the Cleveland game. A nine-year vet, Chambers can be Kansas City’s No. 2 receiver for the next two years.

One dropped pass drops him to a 'B'? Wow. My thinking is that a) that drop was only 11% of the dropped passes in that game, two of which were Dwayne Bowe's, one of which was actually in the end zone. Play a little run defense and tackle Joshua Cribbs, the Chiefs win that game, no one remembers Chambers' drop, one of very few on the season for him. I surmise that Bowe will ever surpass Chambers as a consistently better passing option for this team.

87 Tamba Hali, LB: Made a smooth transition from defensive end to outside linebacker. Hali had his best season as a pro. He recorded 8 1/2 sacks, forced four fumbles and made 62 tackles. He also drew at least a half-dozen holding penalties in passing situations. Those penalties are sometimes as devastating as a sack. Hali is exactly the player the Chiefs envisioned when they drafted him four years ago. He’s the perfect complement to an elite pass rusher (Jared Allen).

I don't know that I worry about defensive holding when you're one of the only talents on a defensive squad. Hali, making that transition, was half-a-sack shy of the team totals for 2008, which, to me, warrants an 'A.' Also, get over the Jared Allen trade. It gave us three awesome picks and rid us of an element that didn't want to be here.

85 Ryan Succop, K: He’s a bit overhyped because he was the last player selected in the 2009 draft. But Succop had a solid rookie year. He pretty much made every kick he was supposed to make, nailing 23 of 24 kicks from inside 50 yards. He was two of five from 50 and beyond.

Given the complete debacle that was the Justin Medlock/Nick Novak/Connor Barth experiement, this is as good an upgrade as you get. Also, I think Dick Vermeil was coaching the Eagles the last time the Chiefs had a kicker that could kickoff through the end zone. I give the kid an 'A.'

85 Derrick Johnson, LB: Yep, I’m giving DJ a high grade. He deserves it for not assaulting Haley. DJ rode the bench behind kickoff-coverage wedge busters. In the few snaps he was allowed, DJ had a knack for getting involved in big plays. He knocked Ben Roethlisberger out of the Pittsburgh game with an accidental knee to the head. DJ forced a Torry Holt fumble with hustle in the Jacksonville game. DJ kept the Chiefs in the Baltimore game with a 70-yard interception return. And, of course, DJ destroyed the Broncos with two pick-six returns. DJ was involved in more memorable Chiefs defensive plays than any other defender, and he played only 15 to 20 snaps a game.

I'm going to come off as way too positive I'm realizing, but given that Johnson uttered nary a peep during a very frustrating season for him, I can do no less than but to give him a 90. You just don't see that type of whine-free attitude often enough anymore.

85 Brian Waters, G: Here’s another player who gets extra-credit points for not slapping the (spit) out of Haley. I know, some of you think I favor Waters because he “feeds” me information. It’s not true. Waters played the good soldier all season and didn’t talk with the media all year, including me. I favor Waters because he keeps it 100 24/7. Despite the lack of professionalism from the head coach, Waters remained a true professional throughout the season. He was a leader. He played at a higher level than people give him credit for.

Nonsense. Haley owed Waters nothing. And, though I'm sure you were praying for the 22-players comment to blow up in Haley's face, he did in fact double Herm's win total from last year, and matched it from the previous. Waters played his typically solid game, but was also called for more penalties than I can remember. You're bitching about a linebacker getting called for holding -- which I raise a 'brow at -- but you don't mention an offensive lineman's flags? Those are the ones that are "as devastating as a sack."

85 Bernard Pollard, S: You want to talk about a clown suit? The one Pollard stitched for Haley will never be forgotten. Kansas City’s best safety was cut before the season and resurfaced in Houston as the savior of the Texans’ defense. Meanwhile, Pollard’s replacement, Mike Brown, struggled in pass coverage and run support. The Chiefs had some of the worst safety play in the league.

Let's see. When I click here, it looks like he played in 13 games for the Houston Texans in 2009, which, and this may come as a shock, are not the Kansas City Chiefs. Compare Pollard's '09 numbers with Brown's. They're not that much better. The only glaring difference is defensive-interception yards.

84 Dustin Colquitt, P: He was sixth in the league in net punting average (40.8) and second in the league in kicks downed inside the 20 (41). He had one kick blocked. Colquitt had a good year.

A good year. Does good equate to a low 'B'? Many folks wanted to name Colquitt the unofficial MVP for the team again. He certainly earned his.

82 Wade Smith, G: Did you know this offensive guard has been in the league seven years? I had no clue. I’m just glad Smith was good enough to make me forget Mike Goff. I’ve got no problem with Smith. He was on the field the day Charles ran for 259 yards. Maybe Smith can hold on to the job at right guard next season.

Wow. You give the dude who played in three grades almost the same grade you give Colquitt? Unpossible!

82 Andy Studebaker, LB: He won the Pittsburgh game with two interceptions. Enough said.

I'll agree with that assessment. The homer in me wants to give him an 88, but too much disagreeance is annoying.

81 Ryan O’Callaghan, T: One of many ex-Pats to find their way on the Chiefs’ roster. Ryan O looked like a bum blocking for Larry Johnson and, like the rest of KC’s offensive line, looked pretty good blocking for Jamaal Charles. He’s a former Patriot, so you know he’s not going anywhere. From what I understand Scott Pioli is negotiating a deal with Ollie Gates to have New England Clam Chowder added to the Gates menu.

I can only say this about this guy: The right side of the line looked entirely better this year whereas last year, they were like Jordan "I-65" Black.

81 Wallace Gilberry, DE: I like Wally a lot, and it’s not just because he has a unique name for a brother. Wally does something his higher-drafted defensive end teammates can’t do. Wally actually tackles the opposing quarterback in the backfield. He did it 4 1/2 times this season. The L$U Brothers — Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson — combined for one sack this season. Wally is underpaid.

Funny you mention a dude's ethnicity and salary in the same thought. Who'd'a thunk?

81 Corey Mays, LB: The reality is that Mays has no business starting in the NFL. He’s good special-teams player the Chiefs asked to play inside linebacker. When the coaching staff (under the influence of Scott Pioli) emphasized fundamentals over talent at the linebacker position, Mays became a candidate to start in Kansas City. He looked good in stretches. But at the end of the day, Mays didn’t record a sack, forced fumble or interception. He’s a guy who ran around trying to make ordinary plays and never getting close to a big play. It’s not his fault. New England and Cincinnati — his previous stops — never asked him to be a starter.

"ran around trying to make ordinary plays"? I struggle to think of a guy that was in on more tackles than any other member on the roster. Why's that? Oh. It's because only Demorrio Williams and Mike Brown had more.

80 Brandon Carr, CB: Playing opposite Flowers, Carr gets tested repeatedly. It’s a tough gig. Carr handled it well. He started all 16 games, intercepting one pass, forcing a fumble and breaking up 19 passes. Carr’s future is bright. Flowers is going to make Carr continue to elevate his play. Flowers and Carr can be as good as Hasty and Carter.

I know that many, many Chiefs fans are likely to appreciate the Hasty/Carter references. I am not one of them. The Marty days were grand for our generation, but they resulted in zero pieces of hardware. I like Carr. I hope his ceiling's higher than it appears.

79 Demorrio Williams, LB: He probably deserves a higher grade, but he loses cool points because he kept Derrick Johnson on the sideline. Plus, Williams was one of Haley’s favorite players. Let’s see, sacks, forced fumbles and interceptions — zero. Linebackers are supposed to be impact players, especially on a 3-4 team. Leading the Chiefs in (harmless) tackles doesn’t justify an elite grade.

Williams was one of the weirdest signings of the Edwards era. Why he wound up one of Haley's favorites is still a touch puzzling. While I agree with the philosophy here, I'll point out that the middle linebacker position has, for a number of years, been the one that leads the team in tackles. It's also been the one in which the Chiefs part ways with the dude, and he has success elsewhere. See: Donnie Edwards, Scott Fujita, Kawika Mitchell, et al.

77 Alex Magee, DE: Well, lookee here, another young defensive end who can locate the opposing quarterback better than the L$U Brothers. In his rookie season, Magee recorded two sacks, doubling the combined total put up by Dorsey and Jackson. I like Magee. A year in the weight room might make him more stout against the run. This kid has upside.

This philosophy would imply that Scott Pioli knows what he's doing, in that you've given two of his picks a better-than-average grade in their rookie year. We'll see.

76 Ron Edwards, NT: What? Big Suge — Edwards looks just like Suge Knight — has been with KC four seasons? Wow. Every year he’s not supposed to start. And every year the Chiefs can’t find anyone better to plug the middle of their defense.

Gotta admit. Losing Tank Tyler and keeping Edwards around surprised me. Twenty-three tackles, three pass deflections, and a fumble recovery ain't terrible. I see know reason to offer something higher, though.

75 Bobby Wade, WR: The only player on the roster with the necessary midsection courage to yell at Haley. How can you not like Wade? He’s a solid No. 4 receiver and a borderline No. 3. Wade runs good routes and has good hands. If he’s back next year, I’ll bet a thousand dollars he slaps Haley before the bye.

How can I not like Wade? Three fumbles, lower yards-per-reception than Bradley, Chambers, and Bowe. How many of our league-leading drops were his? He looked flashy in the first quarter, but a mere pan flash after. I appreciate that he came in, a-hem, off the streets, and immediately produced, but I can't give him any higher than a 70. Just catch the damn ball.

75 Mike Cox, FB: He’s lived with that name for 24 years. I won’t stoop to cracking a joke about it. He has no discernible talent other than a willingness to hurl his dumpy body in front of far more athletic bodies. It’s a job. It pays the bills. I ain’t hatin’.

Mike Cox prefers to be fidgeted with and hurled into other bodies. Mike Cox is not impressed with this analysis.

75 Jovan Belcher, LB: He started three games. His grandkids will never believe it. Hell, his friends and family don’t believe it now. I can’t believe it. Clancy Pendergast can’t believe it.

I can't, by any stretch, give this guy the same grade as Wade and Cox. I can't say why, but I just can't.

74 Lance Long, WR: It is not true that Lance rents the basement of Haley’s home. However, rumors that Haley will officially adopt Lance this offseason are gaining traction throughout the league. Haley sees himself in Long, a receiver with the talent to be a really good college golfer. Hey, maybe Long is Wes Welker Lite. But Haley might want to develop a Randy Moss at the other receiver slot before jamming Long down our throats. For now, let’s call Long a short Sean LaChapelle.

Awesome. Way to throw a golf reference in there. Tell LJ I think he's a bitch.

73 Mike Vrabel, LB: OK, Mike earns extra credit for not attacking Pioli. I mean, Vrabes is minding his own business milking the Belichick-Brady gravy train when Pioli decides Vrabes can be his locker-room snitch in Kansas City. A guy wins three Super Bowls in New England and then gets sentenced to a rebuilding project in KC that will be headed by Haley and Matt Cassel. You know Vrabel would give up one of his rings to get the hell out of here and back to Boston.

This might be the worst assessment of them all. I loved the intangibles that, at least in my mind, Vrabel brought to this team. You can tell he still wants to win, and pardon the cliche, but this locker room needs that kind of veteran leadership. I'd give him an 82. And hey, he was free.

73 Branden Albert, T: Let’s hope Todd “Jenny Craig” Haley lets Branden be Fat Albert next season. The slimmed-down version of Albert wasn’t as good as the heavier one. Albert is a good player. He’s not a bust. He can play left tackle in the league, and he can damn sure play guard.

The fact that Albert gave up so many more pressures/sacks having lost 40+ pounds really, really troubles me. I hope, in this one particular area, that Haley knows what he's doing. I'd give him a 78, though, especially for late-season improvement.

72 Jon McGraw, S: Guess which game McGraw missed? The one where a Cleveland running back impersonated Jim Brown and rolled up 286 rushing yards. Had McGraw played, Jerome Harrison probably would have finished with 270 yards. But McGraw is a good special-teams player and a solid backup at safety. He was thrust into the starting role when Jarrad Page went down for the year. McGraw is a good NFL player when he’s not overexposed.

If it's cool to toss race around then hey: One of two white-boy starting safeties in the league. Thirty-eight tackles, a fumble recovery, and a pick. Plus the dude hits like a Mack. I'll give him a 76.

71 Brodie Croyle, QB: After early-season talk that Croyle was pushing Cassel for the starting job, Brodie sat all year behind The Sixty Million Dollar Man. Brodie is a backup quarterback. He’s not good enough to really push Cassel. Brodie would be an ideal backup for the Colts, Chargers, Patriots or Saints — teams with established superstars at QB.

Mostly, because you didn't trash my boy, I'll say that that's fair.

70 Barry Richardson, T: Big Barry started against the Browns and didn’t embarrass himself.

Uh, okay.

D

Should consider summer school.

69 Rudy Niswanger, C: Had the bad snaps at San Diego. Still gets pushed around by the league’s top nose tackles. The Chiefs tried to claim Detroit’s practice-squad center late in the season, but the Lions moved him to the active roster. Rudy is the offensive lineman most likely to be replaced this offseason. He’s not awful. He’s just not good enough.


Pretty spot on. The kind of guy you'd like to make it, but he probably won't.

69 Donald Washington, CB: Man, I have high hopes for this kid. He’s from my hometown (Indianapolis), and he was coached in high school by one of my former teammates. This rookie fourth-round pick couldn’t crack the lineup as KC’s nickel corner. That’s disappointing. But I’m not ready to give up.

Yes. When you're not any better than DaJuan Morgan, a strong 'D' is about all you get.

68 Tim Castille, FB: Kid made a circus catch against Cincinnati. He then made the worst halfback pass I’ve ever seen in my life at Denver.

Without said circus catch, the Bengals game appears to be a blowout, but yeah -- how you don't know to consider that pass play covered and just chuck it out of bounds is beyond me.

68 Jarrad Page, S: Played hurt early in the season and then eventually ended up on injured reserve. He’s probably a good player, but more than likely he’ll be forced to prove it somewhere else. Maybe the Texans will get Page and pair him with Pollard.

Ah. Another Pollard jab. Didn't see that one coming. Page has been pretty solid for this terrible team since Big Herm drafted him. I'll be surprised if he's cut. His value shouldn't be overlooked. He's worth a 71.

68 Tyson Jackson, DE: I’m not as down on KC’s top draft pick as other media representatives. I like Jackson’s attitude. I believe he wants to be a good player. You shouldn’t judge a strongside, 3-4 defensive end until his second year. Did Jackson show me any flashes? No. But after watching Ryan Sims, Junior Siavii, Eddie Freeman and all the other young KC defensive linemen flame out, I’ve learned to be patient. Being the first to call a KC D lineman a bust isn’t as cool as it used to be.

This might could be the strongest assessment of the lot. Well done.

67 Leonard Pope, TE: Haley is as bad as Pioli in terms of loving to pick up scraps from his old team. Pope, Castille and Lance Long are all Arizona leftovers. Pope’s most memorable moment was jumping up and signaling first down after a 5-yard catch at Jacksonville. He was 10 yards short of the first down, but you had to love his enthusiasm.

Kid reminds me of Jason Dunn. I'm holding out for a hero, and that hero is Brad Cottam.

67 Glenn Dorsey, DE: OK, we’re two years into the Dorsey experiment, and GD is averaging a sack a season. Hmm. Dorsey was supposed to be the second coming of Warren Sapp when the Chiefs drafted him. He moved to defensive end this season because Pioli wants to play a 3-4. Glenn Dorsey is nobody’s defensive end. If he’s going to justify his salary, he needs to be a three-technique tackle in a 4-3 scheme. All the hype about how well Dorsey played this year was just noise intended to elevate his trade value this offseason. Let’s hope Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick — Pioli’s exclusive trade partners — don’t read this report card.

Todd Haley saw improvement in Dorsey. I saw improvement in Dorsey. I'll therefore say he's worthy of a 72. And here goes the company -- Derrick Johnson -- line: Next year should be his breakout season.

66 Brad Cottam, TE: Oversized tight end got hurt just as Haley was letting him on the field. Cottam looked very good in the Cleveland game. That’s how I will choose to remember him. He could be a player.

Yo. That's my jam. A middle 'D'? These are Tony Gonzalez's shoes he's trying to fill, and he shattered a vertebrae while landing on his head, and didn't fumble. At least give the guy a 70.

65 DaJuan Morgan, S: If you can’t beat out Mike Brown, you can’t get a high grade from me. Morgan is a disappointment.

Agreed.

64 Sean Ryan, TE: If you know why Ryan is on the roster, please e-mail me at jwhitlock@kcstar.com. I had no clue this guy has been in the league six years. He’s played for six different teams. Get this, he caught two touchdown passes this season, the first two of his career. I don’t remember the scores or his 12 other catches. I’m sure he deserves a higher grade, but I ain’t giving it to him.

He looked as good as Bobby Wade, which means he looked good for one game.

63 Matt Cassel, QB: The Sixty Million Dollar Man does not deserve an F. Pioli and Haley handcuffed Cassel by failing to provide him the proper tools to compete. The Chiefs led the league in dropped balls. Cassel was stuck with Larry Johnson at running back the first half of the season. Johnson’s slow-footed running put the Chiefs in a lot of third-and-long situations. Third and long is not a quarterback’s friend. Toss in the fact that Haley played musical chairs at receiver, and Cassel’s 16 TD-16 INT season makes perfect sense. Don’t give up on Cassel. He’s not a franchise quarterback. He might be Chad Pennington.

That number grade is a joke, obviously, but all your points are solid. He's not a franchise quarterback, but he's not fragile, which, to me, is the only edge he has, and may ever have over Brodie. Tons of adversity for the guy in '09, but he wasn't better than a 68.

F

Report to Clark Hunt’s office.

59 Ikechuku Ndukwe, T: This is the offensive tackle Bill Parcells pawned off on his son-in-law for a ham sandwich. Clark Hunt should forbid Pioli from speaking to Father Bill during business hours.


At least we got the pick back by sending them Thigpen.

59 Andy Alleman, G: This is the offensive guard Bill Parcells pawned off on his son-in-law for a tuna fish sandwich. Clark Hunt should forbid Pioli from speaking to Father Bill during business hours.

See: Ndukwe

58 Jake O’Connell, TE: I don’t like him because the only thing I can remember is him dropping a couple of passes.

Yeah. I do like him in that he was a late pick in the draft, and, for no reason whatsoever, I had it in my head that a tight end out of Miami-Ohio was going to be a pleasant little secret that nobody had eyeballed. Maybe an oops.

58 Thomas Gafford, LS: He’s getting replaced. Had at least one horrible punt snap and several bad field-goal snaps I remember. He’s no Kendall Gammon.

Fired.

57 Mike Goff, G: Whoa. Past-his-prime guard got blown up way too often. A terrible offseason acquisition. Kansas City’s running game improved when Goff suffered an injury and an LJ went down on Twitter.

See: Gafford

56 Mike Brown, S: An absolute disaster. Brown used to be a top-flight player. Age and injuries caught up with him in Kansas City. He took terrible angles on running and passing plays. Rumors persist that he’ll get 10 percent of Dallas receiver Miles Austin’s next contract after personally escorting Austin to the end zone twice in Kansas City.

I know that you and your boy Nick Wright had Mike Brown-bashing parties while you stuffed each other's holes with Scimeca italian sausages and Burnt Ends sandwiches from Gates. "absolute disaster" is beyond a stretch. He did take some terrible angles in a few games, but he also made some plays and got better in the scheme as the season went on. What? No Pollard cracks?

56 Clancy Pendergast, defensive coordinator: The assistant coach Chiefs fans love to hate, and Haley will soon scapegoat for KC’s defensive shortcomings. Buddy Ryan couldn’t stop the run with the personnel provided to Pendergast. I’m not sold on Romeo Crennel as the new defensive coordinator. Bill Belichick designed and implemented the defenses that won New England Super Bowls. Romeo is a nice name. Nothing more.

I almost threw up in my mouth when I heard that Haley brought him over from the Sun Devil State. It's bad when, even for a fleeting moment, you find yourself longing for Gunther Cunningham. You, sir, are fired. Or should be.

56 Larry Johnson, RB: Never took the diapers off. Undermined Joe Paterno, Dick Vermeil, Herm Edwards and Todd Haley. That’s about as wide a cross section of coaches as you could possibly have. Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis is the latest LJ sucker. All it took was one 5-yard carry against the Chiefs for LJ to make a fool of Marvin.

Man. Fifty-six is a solid 'F'. To me, the inverted-vagina symbol gets nothing more than a 40.

55 Scott Pioli, GM: Of Egoli’s many first-year crimes as general manager, his defensive personnel trumps investing $63 million in a QB and 63 dollars in receivers and tight ends. Nope, the defensive personnel he gave his first-time head coach was atrocious. Football 101 preaches: You can’t stop the run unless you’re strong up the middle. An average nose tackle (Edwards), an out-of-position defensive end (Dorsey), a rookie defensive end (Jackson), kick-coverage linebackers (Mays and Williams), a washed-up safety (Brown) and a midlevel safety (Page). The strength of KC’s defense was the edge players Carl Peterson left behind (Flowers, Carr and Hali). If the Chiefs open next season with Crennel as defensive coordinator and Charlie Weis as offensive coordinator, it will be official that Pioli doesn’t have one original idea.

Wait. Now this is definitely the worst assessment of all. You give Larry freaking Johnson a higher grade than Pioli? After one year? I'm not even going to get into this. Rumor has it that you think Pioli -- and you're already-tired nickname confirms it -- is a complete asshole, and hey -- you're Jason Whitlock, dude. Big Sexy. Ball State. Guy who preaches about a lack of positive black role models in America, then hypes upcoming columns with crime-and-ghetto references. You deserve better treatment from Pioli. Carl Peterson never treated you this way. Shenanigans all around. The perfect grade for Pioli is this: 'I'. It, in case you're feelings have blinded you, stands for "incomplete."

51 Dwayne Bowe, WR: He’s still dropping too many passes. The league suspended him for four games for violating its drug policy. He had his worst season as a pro. The Bowe Show needs a new location. Unfortunately he has no trade value. I know how this is going to play. Belichick is going to get on the horn and sweet-talk Egoli into handing Bowe over for a peanut butter sandwich and a double cheeseburger to be named later. Bowe will reinvent himself in New England and become a Pro Bowl player.

Too many drops? Check. PED violation? Check. Worst pro season? Check. H-I-larious (Update: Not really.) Pioli jab about getting less than value in return for him? Check. I don't know where this kid's head is or where his future lies, but I certainly can't pass him, especially after flipping a fan the bird at Arrowhead. The fan, in a non-classy move, hollered, "Don't drop the easy ones, Bowe!" during a moment of silence for Chris Henry, and Bowe gave him the finger. Bowe then dropped (at least) two balls that hit him in the hands, including the aforementioned touchdown pass. I'll give him a 57.

50 Todd Haley, coach: I know. You think I hate Haley. I don’t. The guy is really likable. He’s just embarrassingly immature. Good football coaches are patient. Haley has the patience of a mayfly, an insect with a lifespan of 30 minutes, and the game-day decision-making ability of a 13-year-old playing Madden video football for the first time. I’m going to cut my Haley commentary short because you’ve heard me moan and groan about Haley all season. I’m prayerful that he’ll do some heavy self-examination this offseason and come back next season resembling a legit NFL coach.

Complete nonsense. Todd Haley for president.
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Oh, No He Dih-uhn't



Yesterday, rumors gained momentum in speculating that the Chiefs were preparing to name Charlie Weis their new Offensive Coordinator. One source was pressing the former Notre Dame head coach before the hiring was announced. His response:

"When I have the opportunity to tell you something concrete, I'll be more than happy given the proper forum to make sure I do that," Weis said. "There are tons of positives about Kansas City. They are numerous. If that matriculates, I'll be able to give you what they are. But we've just got to wait and let it play out. I'm sure that whatever happens will happen rather expeditiously."


Un. Real.

(quote courtesy of CBSSports; photo courtesy of Arrowhead Pride)
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Monday, January 4, 2010

Monday Miscellany: Jackpot, Count It, Etc.

Broncos fan in a Chiefs hat. Very nice.



Pictured is Predominantly Orange's very own Kim Constantinesco. She, by virtue of her team's first loss to the Chiefs at InConstaninVesCo Field at Mile High Stadium, had to don the garb based on a friendly bet.

A more professional sports blogger would've suggested a drink at La Boheme, but, yeah...that I'm not.
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Friday, January 1, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Thing of the Year!



Screw bowl games. Winter. Effing. Classic. Think I'm pulling for the Bruins in this one.

Dropkick Murphy's are playing before the game, and ice conditions are perfect. Check out some shots of the Fenway transformation here. Game on!
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