The NFL's NFC East
All we hear is how great this division is, and Fox reporter Pam Oliver can't seem to go a week without a feature on someone in the division. But since the Cowboys dynasty ended 15 years ago, only one team from the NFC East (the 2007 Giants) has won a Super Bowl. The Eagles have never won a Super Bowl, and the Redskins haven't won one since January 1992.
Hitting for the cycle in baseball
Sure, it's rare. It has been done only 293 times — roughly the same number as a no-hitter (272). But it really has more to do with luck than skill. It's a right-place-at-the-right-time type of deal. After all, the last five guys do it? Pablo Sandoval, George Kottaras, Carlos Gonzalez, Kelly Johnson and Bengie Molina. Not exactly the Murderers' Row of sluggers. Look at it this way: Willie Mays never hit for the cycle, but B.J. Upton has.
Namath was one cool cat back in his playing days and he's a Hall of Famer, but quite frankly, we're not sure how he got into the Hall of Fame. His record as a pro quarterback was 62-63-4. He threw 173 touchdowns, but 220 interceptions. Everyone makes a big deal about him guaranteeing the victory in Super Bowl III, and he was the game MVP, but he was 17-for-28 that day for 206 yards and no touchdowns. Running back Matt Snell (121 yards, TD) should've been the MVP. Final thought: Current Jets QB Mark Sanchez has won twice as many postseason games as Namath.
USF football 'signature' wins
Every year, it seems, the Bulls win a big game against some big-time ranked opponent. In 2005, it was Louisville. In 2006, it was West Virginia. In 2007, it was Auburn and West Virginia again. In 2008, it was Kansas. In 2009, it was Florida State. In 2010, it was Miami. This year, it was Notre Dame. But what follows is the swoon that sinks the team to another four- or five-loss season and a trip to the Mediocre Bowl.
NCAA passing records
Just last Thursday, Houston's Case Keenum set the record for career touchdown passes in Division I-A with 139. He passed Texas Tech's Graham Harrell. The rest of the top six is Hawaii's Colt Brennan, Boise State's Kellen Moore, BYU's Ty Detmer and Hawaii's Timmy Chang, who just happens to be the D-I passing leader with more than 17,000 yards. With all due respect, there aren't any NFL stars on that list. Just QBs playing in the right system.
Everyone thinks this guy is a genius and, it's true, he won two Super Bowls with the Giants. But he didn't win either one without Bill Belichick by his side. (Belichick, meantime, won three Super Bowls as a head coach without Parcells.) After the Giants, Parcells went on to the Patriots, Jets and Cowboys and had a 3-5 playoff record during an 11-year span. In 19 years as an NFL head coach, he won his division only five times. Then he spent a few years sitting in a cushy chair for the Dolphins organization, which is now in complete disarray.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Okay, this has nothing to do with sports, but I couldn't let any type of "most overrated'' list pass without throwing in this movie. It's long, boring and, I don't care what anyone says, the ending makes no sense.
The Bears' offensive coordinator is supposed to be this offensive guru, but the fact is, he never won a Super Bowl as a head coach. He was the offensive coordinator when the Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV, and it's true that the Rams offense was explosive. But, again, these are the facts: They won that Super Bowl because the defense stopped the Titans on the game's final play. And the only reason they got to the Super Bowl that year was because the defense covered up for their lack of offense in an 11-6 victory over the Bucs in the NFC Championship Game.
Each year, a bunch of so-called experts announce which college football programs had the best recruiting years, fans and alums eat it up and it translates to absolutely nothing. In recent years, programs such as Notre Dame, UCLA, North Carolina and Miami have had multiple top 10 recruiting classes and haven't come close to competing for a national title. Meantime, Oregon and Auburn, which played for last season's national title, were not near the top on many recruiting lists the previous five years.
NBA slam dunk competition
The last time this thing was fun, Dr. J had an Afro and was carrying a red, white and blue ball. Okay, maybe it was when Spud Webb won it. We've had enough of this event. Same with the Home Run Derby and the NHL's SuperSkills competition.
The Bronx Zoo Yankees of the late 1970s used to fight like, well, zoo animals and they won back-to-back World Series. The 2004 Red Sox were self-proclaimed "idiots'' who featured Manny (Being Manny) Ramirez, and they, too, won a championship. Yet this year's Red Sox apparently got along so well that they hung out in the clubhouse drinking beer and eating fried chicken, and it led to one of the historic collapses in sports. Chemistry means nothing compared to an ace in the rotation, a power bat in the middle of the lineup and a few guys who can flash leather.
It's overrated, at least here in the United States. It's a tennis major, but the matches are played in the middle of the night, and unless you're a tennis diehard, there's no way you could name a classic Aussie Open match from the past, as you could with Wimbledon or the U.S. Open.
Mid 90s fastballs
Maybe 10 years ago, it was a pretty big deal when someone could throw 95-plus. These days, it seems as if every team in baseball has a handful of guys, including a couple of middle relievers you have never heard of, who can hit 97 or 98 on a radar gun. We all go "wow'' then forget about it when the batter rips that 97 mph heater into the gap for a bases-clearing double.
Look, the only good draft is the NFL draft. The baseball and hockey drafts, for the most part, don't try to be more than they are. But the NBA draft tries to peddle itself as a major event, and half the draft is made up of Europeans or obscure college guys that few of us have seen play. Meantime, the NBA draft lottery might be the worst thing on TV except for ESPN's Around the Horn and televised poker. So, let's get this right: It's a little show to announce the order for a draft that's still weeks away?
If you go to a sporting event and those kids wired on energy drinks hit the field with those bazookas that shoot T-shirts, fans go bonkers. Unless there are $100 bills inside those shirts, I don't get it. But fans look as if they'll knock over a couple of toddlers, a few senior citizens and maybe even the Pope to get … what? A T-shirt that you have no idea what it says? A T-shirt that might not even fit?
tom jones' two cents
Today, we look at some of the overrated things in sports. Mind you, the items on this list do have value or talent or meaning. We're just saying they aren't as valuable, talented or meaningful as most people think. That makes them overrated.
The A's general manager seems like a nice enough fellow, and since taking over as GM of the small-market team in 1998, the A's have made the playoffs five times. But they have won only one playoff series and now have gone five consecutive seasons without even a winning record. One playoff series victory in 14 years and Brad Pitt plays you in a movie?