The wrong guy won the Heisman Trophy
Shooting from the Lip
Looking back at a weekend of televised sports ...
Oklahoma's Sam Bradford had a season good enough to win the Heisman Trophy. He threw for nearly 4,500 yards and 48 touchdowns. He directed the highest scoring team in major college football history and has his team in the national championship game. So let's not take anything away from him.
Actually, come to think of it, I would vote to take something away from him. Another player should've won the Heisman and, no, I'm not talking about Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. I'm talking about Texas quarterback Colt McCoy.
McCoy threw for nearly 3,500 yards (about 1,000 fewer than Stanford), but his 77.6 percent completion rate was the best in college football history and tossed 32 touchdowns. But here's what puts him over the top: he rushed for 576 yards (more than Tebow and he led the Longhorns in rushing) and 10 touchdowns. And a little icing on the cake: he beat Bradford in the head-to-head matchup.
You wonder how much Bradford benefited from playing in the Big 12 championship game -- a game in which he threw for 384 yards and two scores -- and a game that many felt should've had McCoy's Longhorns playing instead of Bradford's Sooners.
It's hard to say Bradford didn't deserve to win the Heisman. He did. So did Tebow. But McCoy was the most deserving of all.
Worst of Dallas, Part I
I'm shocked -- shocked! -- that Terrell Owens is causing problems with the Cowboys. Thankfully, a couple of football analysts on Sunday's pregame shows pointed the finger where it deserves to be pointed.
"You know exactly what you are going to get in his 13-year history,'' CBS's Shannon Sharpe said. "The problem is not T.O., it's (owner) Jerry Jones because Jerry Jones reinforces that negative behavior and co-signs what T.O. says about throwing him the football to better their chances of winning games.''
"T.O. has never cared about anybody but himself,'' Fox's Terry Bradshaw said. "I'm disappointed that Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, didn't recognize this. No one questions T.O.'s individual talent, but it is about the team. … What Terrell Owens has done is destroy whatever hope the Dallas Cowboy fans or players have of getting to a championship.''
Worst of Dallas, Part II
Let's not hurt our hands patting the Dallas Stars on the back for dumping troublemaker Sean Avery. The Stars are cutting ties with Avery after his six-game suspension for disparaging remarks about his ex-girlfriend. The Stars knew exactly what they were getting when they picked up Avery in the offseason. In fact, the Stars wanted Avery because they felt they needed to play with more of an edge. Is anyone surprised Avery slipped over that edge? The bottom line is the Stars just now found out what his previous three teams did -- that Avery doesn't do enough on the ice to make up for all the problems he causes off of it and that he's more concerned with the name on the back of his jersey than the one of the front.
Warrick Dunn's heartbreaking yet inspirational story of overcoming the murder of his mother never gets any less heartbreaking or inspiring, and ESPN proved that Sunday with Greg Garber's excellent feature on Sunday NFL Countdown. The story centered on the Bucs running back coming face-to-face a year ago with the man convicted and sentenced to death for killing Dunn's mother, a Baton Rouge, La., police officer, during a bank robbery. The story featured a quote from Dunn that left anyone who saw it with tears:
"I sacrificed my own happiness. I sacrificed; making sure other people in my life came first because Warrick didn't come first anymore. I was so depressed. I was content being in the four walls in my house. I was content not going outside, watching TV all day. For so long I felt like these guys were taking so much away from me. This one incident has made me so hard and so closed that I wanted to continue to progress and move forward.
"To not hear him admit to doing it was tough. But, he got teary-eyed also by the statements that I made. I just really expressed how this one incident affected so many areas of my life, how I was searching for answers. I think it's the right guy … he did it. Why would you really care? I didn't ask him the question -- did you do it? But, he just said it wasn't him. If you didn't do it, then I don't know why you're here, but I forgive you or whoever did it. I think that showed him I was coming to peace with everything.
"She already knew what I just accomplished going to see the guy that shot and killed her. I know she's proud. She's proud that I hadn’t gone crazy, I hadn't gone down a wrong path, I've done something positive with my life.''
More kudos to ESPN for Saturday's fascinating two-hour documentary The Greatest Game Ever Played, which chronicled the 1958 NFL Championship Game between the Colts and Giants -- the game that jump-started the NFL's modern-day popularity. Using computer technology and three months of work, ESPN turned the black-and-white footage into color and showed never-before-seen camera angles. In a word, the picture was amazing for a game played 50 years ago. Interviews with those who played in the game didn't bog down the game footage, but enhanced it.
I still think NB''s recent documentary on the 2008 Paralympics was the best original sports show of the year, but ESPN's The Greatest Game Ever Played is a close second.
For those who didn't order the Oscar De La Hoya-Manny Pacquiao fight last week, HBO re-aired the fight Saturday after the Wladimir Klitschko-Hasim Rahman fight. And Pacquiao's destruction of De La Hoya looked even worse the second time around. HBO analyst Max Kellerman said Saturday: "Oscar De La Hoya is over. He's not a fighter. Not really. Not anymore. He can still beat some B fighters on his talent alone. But the days of him engaging in super fights with the elite of the sport are over. A lot of the reason he is not a fighter anymore is because Manny Pacquiao convinced him he is not a fighter anymore.''
Best reason to be angry
How about the Yankees? Once again, they are spending money like it's water. They're going after everyone and signed pitcher CC Sabathia to a ridiculous seven-year, $161-million contact.
On Sunday's Sports Reporters on ESPN, New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica said: "Now they do this at the same time they go back to the City of New York and ask for another $300-million in tax-free bonds to continue building (the new Yankee Stadium). … Isn't this how the economy got in trouble.''
ESPN's Todd McShay had a couple of interesting lists over the weekend. The first was who would be the top five picks in the NFL draft, assuming some of the following decide to skip their remaining years of college eligibility :
1. Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia.
2. Andre Smith, OT, Alabama.
3. Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech.
4. Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State.
5. Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma.
McShay also gave his top five quarterback prospects after Stafford and Bradford. Included in the list is Florida's Tim Tebow, who, according to McShay, would be a third-round pick in next year's draft if he decided to skip his senior season. (CBS's Charley Casserly said Tebow would be a "second-day draft choice.'') Here’s McShay's top QB list after Stafford and Bradford:
1. Mark Sanchez, Southern Cal.
2. Nate Davis, Ball State.
3. Josh Freeman, Kansas State.
4. Tim Tebow, Florida.
5. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech.\
NBC's Sunday Night Football crew went on and on about how the Steelers caught a major break when a replay reversed a call and gave them a touchdown against the Ravens at the end of Sunday's key AFC North showdown. Did the Steelers catch a break? Maybe. But the Sunday night crew, especially Cris Collinsworth, went overboard and failed to mention that had the original play stood, the Steelers could've easily kicked a tying field goal or might have even scored on the fourth-and-an-inch play. To say the Steelers got a little help would've been fair. To say the call cost the Ravens the game is just wrong.
Three things that popped into my head
1. Did Auburn really hire a guy (Gene Chizik) who is 5-19 as a head coach?
2. Saturday's Lightning-Senators game might have been the most boring thing on TV -- sports or otherwise -- all weekend.
3. The only fight that will make boxing's heavyweight division worth watching again is never going to happen -- Wladimir Klitschko taking on his brother Vitali.