Saturday, June 28, 2008
Some quick hits to get you ready for the weekend...and no, that isn't a Josh Howard reference...
-The Desperados did it again. They were eliminated last night by a team with a worse record, less of a talented core, and less of a chance. And once again, Dallas did it all at home in front of an AAC crowd. Is this arena cursed or what?
Clint Dolezel was his normal elite self, but his rival counter-part, Dragon QB Aaron Garcia, scorched the Dallas defense, going 28-for-39 for 330 yards and nine touchdowns.
The real reason the Desperados lost this game was on the special teams end. New York tried three onside kicks, catching Dallas off guard everytime. Two were converted successfully, which resulted in touchdowns. The comeback could not happen, and again the Desperados have a long off-season ahead of themselves.
-ESPN reported that Jerry Jones is working to sign Atlanta receiver Joe Horn. However, during the Desperados game, owner of both Dallas football teams, Jerry Jones, denied the report. Could this be a ploy or is their truth to this rumor? Also reported by ESPN, the Cowboys appear to be in the talking stage of re-signing Terry Glenn. The details look shady about if Glenn will sign the injury clause or not. It would be great to have Glenn back, especially if Joe Horn does not become a Cowboy.
-The Rangers are back over .500, after beating the Philadelphia Phillies 8-7. Ian Kinsler is helping to promote his All-Star campaign, going 3-4 last night with a homer and double. Texas takes on Philly again tonight, as Padilla faces Hamels on the mound. Padilla currently has the most wins in the American League with 10.
-We will have a whole column about the Rangers coming up next week, so stay tuned for that. Also, my co-blogger Patrick will have a full NBA Draft recap, as well as introducing us all to the newest Maverick, Shan Foster from Vanderbilt.
-Speaking of the Mavs, Avery Johnson was on ESPN earlier this morning talking about life as an unemployed ex-coach. Enjoy!
Friday, June 27, 2008
FC Dallas, the soccer team here for those who don't know, is a rare commodity in the MLS. Along with the Los Angeles Galaxy, FCD is the only other profitable team. In a relatively young league (established in 1996), this is quite a feat. It's soccer specific stadium, Pizza Hut Park, has been a great investment. Though it is a far drive to Frisco, the stadium has established itself as one of the best in the MLS, hosting the MLS Cup the previous two seasons. Currently, FCD is sitting in 5th place in the Western Conference on 17 points.
The big news surrounding the team is the signing of a new Coach, Schellas Hyndman. This comes after Collin Clarke had led the team to a more than disappointing opening to the campaign. Hyndman is a local product, coaching the SMU soccer team for the past 24 years. He ranks 4th all time in collegiate soccer victories, and has reached the final four 3 times. Clearly his resume with SMU is impressive, the big question mark, however, is if his college success will translate to the professional ranks. Thus far he has managed two games-- a one goal loss to the New York Red Bulls in his debut, and a 1-1 draw last night to at the Houston Dynamo.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Former Manchester United player and Jesuit product Kenny Cooper. Cooper has scored 8 goals to lead the team after missing last season with a broken leg. His leg injury also stalled his national team career, as he missed the Copa America Tournament. To date he has appeared in 2 games for his country and already has put one in the back of the net.
Also, the quickly improving Dominic Oduro has finally won a regular starting job, and has been the spark the team has needed of late. Look for him and Cooper to produce big this season--and hope for the re-emergence of out-of-form Juan Toja.
UP NEXT: a friendly (soccer term for "exhibition") match against CD Guadalajara (the original Chivas) on Sunday. The next league match is next Friday against a beatable Kansas City side. Hyndman will also have another chance for his first victory as coach on Tuesday in the US Open Cup against Miami FC.
There are two local sports teams here in Dallas that gets no publiciity and selling out their stadiums takes nothing short of a miracle. One begins their quest for a first championship, as they begin the road to the Arena Bowl tonight at home. I am talking about the Arena Football team, the Dallas Desperados. Just like the other two teams that play host at American Airlines Center, the Desperados have had their share of disappointments in the postseason.
Unlike the past two seasons, the Desperados do not have home field throughout the postseason and do not get a first round bye. This is actually a postive thing though, as the past two playoff trips ended just as soon as they began. Both seasons they went in as the favorite, with the best record, only to fall flat on their facemasks (get it?) with nothing to show for it.
Dallas heads into this postseason as the #3 seed, facing the New York Dragons, who have lost to Dallas six straight times. Dallas refuses to be overconfident though. "I think it was a good season because of all the things we had to overcome," head coach Will McClay said. "It will determine how good the regular season was by how we do in the postseason."
Both Dallas and New York lost important players to injury in the final week of regular season play. Dallas lost return specialist and back up receiver Josh Bush who broke his fibula against Chicago. New York lost their top receiver, Jason Willis to a dislocated ankle. These are big losses for both of these teams and whoever is better able to fill the void has the better chance of advancing. However, Dallas does get back arguably their best player, Will Pettis, who had been out the last 2 games due to a concussion.
It's win-or-go-home time for both teams, and all the action begins on ESPN at 6:30 pm. ESPN's preview of all the action is right here.
Part 2 of The Forgotten Teams comes out later tonight by my co-blogger, the man I call the soccer expert, Patrick Dunne. He will give you everything FC Dallas.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
While the biggest sports story around the nation is Shaq attacking Kobe with words, there are some big things happening here in the Dallas sports world. Plus, I'm more interested in the other rap battle...Lou Pinella vs. Ozzie Guillen
Wow, let's move on...
The rest of the Mavs fans and I can now have the "DIOP, DIOP" rap back in our heads, as Eddie Sefko of the DMNews reports that good old big man DeSagana Diop is back in Mavs colors!
There is good news as well as bad news about this. The Mavs desperately needed a backup center, and Diop seems to be the perfect fit. His numbers combined with Damps look marvelous, and Diop is a crowd and locker-room pleaser. Unfortunately, the Mavs are apparently using the entire mid-level exception on him. That leaves little room regarding the financial status to make anymore dramatic moves. Dallas still needs a scoring big shooting guard and a trustworthy backup point guard. We will see how this all plays out.
The NBA draft begins tonight, and it looks like the Mavs will be looking to use some cash to buy a late first round pick. If that doesn't work, then they will be stuck at pick number 51. Second round picks can sometimes be just what a team needs (see Ginobili, Korver, and Scola) and the draft is very deep this year. What the Mavs need to do is take the best possible player that is left, no matter what the position or reputation of said player.
ESPN's Chad Ford has the Mavs choosing 7 foot Turkish center Semih Erden. Chad obviously knows nothing about the Mavs. A center from Turkey, who's ESPN report on him is "null", would not be the best fit for the Mavs. The Draft kicks off at 6, with the second round beginning in the wee late hours of the night.
Coming tomorrow morning...a preview and full analysis on the Dallas Desperados, who begin the AFL playoffs tomorrow against the New York Dragons.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
As most know, Terry Glenn has recently made comments in which he has made it clear he wants to be released if the Cowboys (more specifically, Jerry Jones) make him sign the now infamous "injury waiver." Potentially, this could impact the Cowboys in arguably the weakest area of the skill positions on the roster. If Glenn is in fact released, the 'Boys will have Terrell Owens and not much else. Patrick Crayton would fill the second receiver spot--which he did formidably last season, and hopefully has improved more--and we then will be forced to rely on the young and inexperienced Sam Hurd and Miles Austin. Now, word around Valley Ranch is that the coaching staff is impressed with the strides Austin and Hurd have made and could easily become solid receivers. A big gamble, however.
Essentially, the injury waiver calls for a reduction in Glenn's salary from his $1.74 million guaranteed deal to $500,000 guaranteed--should he re-injure his knee. If there is not injury, then he will keep his original deal.
It is quite obvious that Jerry Jones is pinching his pennies here. In 2007 the Cowboys had a payroll of $106.6 million, so what is another measly million (POSSIBLE million) on top of that? Jerry Jones has thrown away much more money with much less production from players in the past (see Shante Carver and Dwayne Goodrich as notable examples). All of a sudden Mr. Jones (not Pacman...or, eh, Adam) is trying to be a man of principle, which is undoubtedly puzzling to most fans who have followed the Cowboys for any amount of time. Players are signed all the time with the risk that they may get injured, and Glenn is no different. If he were showing no desire to recover or not taking the necessary precautions to get back on the field, there might be an issue. But Glenn has done nothing but focus on helping his team and has handled his comeback well.
However, there are two sides to every story. Last season Terry Glenn was paid around $5 million for four (4) plays. If you do the simple math, that means he made $1.25 million per play. Now I am no personal accountant, but i'm moderately sure Glenn can feed his family on $5 million along with the worst case $500,000 he would make this year. He had his payday last season, and he didn't produce anything, so it may be fair for him to give up a little this year.
Patrick Crayton, perhaps hoping to hold on to the #2 receiver spot, seemed to side with Jones, saying "Jerry has a valid point saying we paid you (a $5 million roster bonus last year) and it's the least you can do." Logically, this makes sense, and is something I'm sure everyone is thinking. However, I do not think it is the place for Patrick Crayton to be offering his opinion. It is never a good thing to take sides in an argument between a teammate and a boss. Remember that, kids.
Appearing happy just to be interviewed, an overly excited Sam Hurd said this: "Hopefully he comes back to the team. We could really use him and everybody in our receiving corps loves Terry, I love Terry a lot." A much more neutral and tactful reply. However, it is possible that Hurd is revealing a little too much to the public with his worship-like comment about Glenn.
So now, due to this scuffle of player and owner/GM/controller of everything, the team is not unified. Not only does this affect Glenn and his role on the team, but is clearly causing more friction than a frivolous million should. One player decides not to back his buddy; another admits his love for him...this could be a strange training camp.
For this to be resolved, one man needs to decide to be the bigger man and bite the bullet. Neither will take a huge financial hit--this is a battle of pride. The quicker this is accomplished, the quicker the team can move on...and the quicker the media can return to its microscope coverage of T.O. If both men truly want to see the team succeed, they will reach an agreement quickly.
In other news, rumors are circulating about Anthony Henry being converted to a safety (bye-bye Roy Williams, possibly?) and Javon Walker is now asking to be dubbed "Pacman Walker" after his incident in Las Vegas. Hamlin, Henry, Jones, Newman and rookie Mike Jenkins have the potential to be a great secondary. We'll see.
Next up is coverage of the Dallas Desperados as they begin they're hopefully lengthy playoff run. Arena Bowl 2008!
Also be on the look for Texas Rangers coverage (above .500!) and a rare look at FC Dallas.
Monday, June 23, 2008
The DallasDedicated hiatus is over! Before you ask....no, we were not on strike.
We are back and better than ever.
Oh, the things that have happened since we last talked....
-Pacman Jones is now just Mr. Jones (or Adam Jones if you want to be proper)
-Terry Glenn is asking to be released unless Jerry Jones drops this whole injury clause contract mess (my fellow blogger Patrick will get all into this tonight)
-Josh Hamilton is second among all American League All Star votes, while Ian is second among second baseman.
-The Rangers are playing .500 ball, and are trying to maintain some consistent winning games.
-The Desperados have begun the AFL playoffs as a #3 seed, and will take on the #6-seeded New York Dragons this Friday.
-The Mavs have been somewhat of a standstill in the free agency department, but a lot of rumors are floating around. Also, Dirk and Rick are now a match made in heaven. More to come on that this week!
Let the blogging begin!