Monday, September 12, 2005 - NHL- Predators re-sign forward Adam Hall - NHL- Predators re-sign forward Adam Hall

The Preds put another piece of the puzzle together by re-signing Adam Hall. This is gonna be a fun hockey season in Nashville.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Titans - Steelers Thoughts and Notes

The offence looked ok, just ok, not great. There were a lot of screw ups like the delay of game after the big 50 some odd yard strike to Bennett in the first half that cannot continue. I expected some mistakes from the rookie tackles and the interception on the pass to Bennett was just a freak play but the fumbles have to stop.

The defense absolutely sucked! Did they just put jerseys on some blocking sleds and push em' out there? No one could tackle, no one at all. It was dismal, the Steelers were playing their #3 running back, for a minute their second string tackle as well and still popped off big runs! Beckham simply laying a shoulder pad on a guy at the goal line was just plain lazy. No excuses for that. There was little or no pass rush and if anyone got by the linebackers they were gone. I expected the secondary to be bad but this was awful. The D-line couldn't really stop anyone and if the Steelers managed to seal off Keith Bullock the runners could easily get by the linebackers. With a non- existent secondary that was an automatic 6 points.

As for special teams, at least they caught all the kicks. Ok, they got some decent return yardage on kickoffs and mostly kept the Steelers return guys contained. Shoulda played Pac-Man the Steelers didn't really need to punt and maybe Pac could tackle someone at corner. It couldn't have gotten any worse. Consistency at kicker would be nice too, but i saw that problem coming.

If the Titans continue to play this way, last year's 4-12 record will be un attainable. Hey, at least we'll have another good high draft pick, we all know now how much that can help...right?


Friday, September 02, 2005

Orioles Release Sidney Ponson

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Yea! It's about time! This guy has under performed on the field and been a very public screw up, off the field. Punching a Judge in Aruba after a DUI arrest, what an a**hole! Maybe this will help Ponson get his life together off the field and maybe have a career elsewhere. I wish him the best...Elsewhere.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Olympics Back On For NHL

During the lockout one of the major concessions the owners made was allowing the players to go the Olympics. Not that it was much of a concession. I can't imagine the owners, who are suffering a PR nightmare after the lockout being too upset at having their game showcased on national TV and on a world stage.

Well, during the last few weeks the fate of the NHL'ers in the Olympics has been in doubt. The Czech's and The Russian's had refused to sign a transfer deal with the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) The international governing body of hockey.

Basically the deal is when the NHL drafts a kid from a foreign country the NHL has to pay that country's hockey league a transfer fee, as compensation for the lost talent.

The Czech's and Russian's, two countries that lose more talent to the NHL than most, wanted to negotiate independently with the NHL on fees believing they could get a better deal. Well, not having the transfer deal in place jeopardized Olympic participation by the NHL. The league was using the Olympics as a bargaining chip and yesterday the Czech's signed the transfer deal. Russia still has not but the NHL has decided to go ahead with the Olympics any way.

Preds Lock Up Key Players

Over the last few days the Predators have been signing thier own restricted free agent players. They have locked up key players from their playoff run in 2003. Scott Hartnell, David Legwand, Steve Sullivan and Dan Hamhuis. These guys represent the core of talent that got the Preds to the playoffs in '03 along with the free agent signing of Paul Kariya this team may be poised to make some noise in the new NHL. - NHL - Changing stations: NHL finds new broadcast home

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ESPN decides not to match Comcast/OLN's offer for broadcast rights to NHL games. This means the NHL will air on the OLN network for the next two seasons. Comcast piad in the neighborhood of $200 million over two years. Later in the season some regular season games and the last 5 games of the Stanley Cup finals will air on NBC in a revenue sharing deal the leagug signed before the lockout.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Titans - Bucs Game

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Ah, the pre season.

The smell of the tailgate grills, brats, burgers, wings and of course the beer! It's that time of year again, Football season is upon us and we must get ready for another season of Tennessee Titans football.

Yeah, besides the food and drink there was a game too.

This is what i thought:

I was impressed with the offensive line play, especially that of Michael Roos. Roos has to be the front runner for the starting right Tackle job. The whole group functioned well as a unit all night, even the late game subs. Steve McNair looked good but I really didn't want to see him running for first downs in the first preseason game. If he gets hurt we are in trouble. That said, Billy Volek looked very good as well. Gino Guidugli looked absolutely horrid, aside from the run that helped set up the game tying kick. Couldn't we have kept that White kid around a couple more days?

I liked the way Travis Henry was effective as a receiver coming out of the backfield. It will add another dimention to the offence. The receiver corp didn't look so bad, a few drops but hell, it's only the first game. The Tight Ends produced well taking some pressure off the young wide outs. Once Calico and Brown get healthy the offence may not be so bad this year after all.

Defensively, there was some good play from the linebackers and front line. The Bucs were able to run to the outside a little too easily in the first half.

The corners, that's where I expected some problems. You just don't lose both starters and pick up right where you left off last year. Even though Pacman wasn't there the corners played decent ball.

Remember, Titans fans are used to watching a pro bowler named Rolle play corner, he ain't here anymore. They got beat a couple times and there were some bad penalties but with some work and say, a number one draft pick who can sign his name they might be able to hold their own. A little more heat on the QB's from the D-Line wouldn't hurt either.
As for the overtime, I was kinda beat and wanted to go home but both of these coaches have kicking duels in their camps. A couple of in- game, pressure kicking situations were just what they needed. Nice job by Rob Bironas to tie the game up. That kick would have been good from five yards further back.

Not a bad show for the first time out of the shoot and missing a few starters too. There's some hope here folks, these guys ain't bad.


Thursday, August 11, 2005 - NFL- Ex-Sooner White gives up pro football - NFL- Ex-Sooner White gives up pro football

Jason White, citing knee problems is giving up his bid to Become the Titans #3 Quarterback.


Reports say Comcast Corp. is very close to a 2 year $100 million deal to televise NHL games this season. An announcement could come as early as next week. Comcast owns OLN (Outdoor Life Network) and plans to air the games on that property. Comcast/OLN are preparing to expand the network's sports coverage after the success of the Tour De France. It's expected that they will also launch a High Definition channel before next season. Comcast, reportedly has an interest in expanding the OLN to an all sports channel to compete with ESPN and may also go after a late season Thursday/Saturday NFL package.

The NHL also has a deal in place with NBC to air some weekend games and select playoff games later in the year. The NHL is guaranteed no rights fees for those broadcasts and are only sharing advertising revenue with NBC. The league also has national broadcast deals with CBC and TSN in Canada.

The proposed OLN deal with Comcast would go a long way to improving league revenue which took a hit when current rights holder ESPN declined an option to air games this season. ESPN still holds a right to match any offer the NHL gets. So the whole Comcast/OLN deal still would hinge on weather ESPN is willing to match.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Preds Walking The Walk

Over the weekend the Nashville Predators signed Paul Kariya. This, for those of you that don't follow hockey is the equivalent of the Titans signing a guy like Randy Moss or Tom Brady. Kariya is fully capable of leading the league in scoring and is legitimately one of the 10 or 15 best players in the league.

I never in a million years expected to see a player of this caliber playing for Nashville. I know that Preds owner Craig Leipold was on the negotiating committee and he fought for an environment that the Preds could compete in. I never expected for him to make this kind of move. He has, in one pen stroke shown a strong willingness to try to bring a Stanley Cup to Nashville.

I expected him to to try to do things "On the cheap" and hold payroll down to make money. The acquisitions of Danny Markov and Darcy Hordichuck were what I expected. Players who were on a caliber with what we already have or in the case of Markov a slight improvement but not blockbusters.

The Preds already have a core of young Defenseman. Kimmo Timmonen, Marek Zidlicky and Mark Eaton (just resigned) are already with the big club. In the minors they have former top draft picks Dan Hamhuis and Ryan Sutter. Add to them this years draft picks Ryan Parent, Teemu Laasko and Cody Franson and the acquisition of Danny Markov and the Preds have gotten better at defense.

The core of talent that got Nashville to the playoffs in 2003 is all signed up for at least a year or two. Legwand, Hartnell, Sullivan, Erat, Arkhipov, Johnson, Walker and most importantly Tomas Vokoun are all under contract already. Those players were the key to getting the Preds their first ever playoff appearance.

I've said before that the Preds needed a bigger physical presence on defense to clear out the front of the net. Done, with Hordichuk and Markov.

I've said before they needed a bit more scoring punch on the front line. Oh boy is that done with Kariya! The Preds are built on speed and skill and Kariya has those qualities in spades. His game is an absolutely perfect fit here.

With just these additions the Preds have made a major improvement. With minor leaguers like Hamhuis, Upshall, Sutter and Jordin Tootoo poised to make an NHL impact and the recent acquisitions of Kariya, Markov and Hordichuk the immediate future looks really bright.

There are some rumblings that the Preds may not be done quite yet with free agency. I wouldn't expect another Kariya like blockbuster, but then again I didn't expect this one either. I wouldn't mind seeing them add one more veteran defenseman (talented as they may be they are very young).

The point of all this rambling and stating of the obvious is:

For the past year or so the Predators organization has talked the talk: "We want a financial environment where we as a small market can compete" (and are willing to blow an entire season to get it) . Well, they blew off last season and they got their financial environment.

Now the time has come to walk the walk and from all appearances they are walking it. They(NHL) changed the rules of the game to make it more exciting, they (Preds) have lowered ticket and concession prices (now how about those parking rates?). They have signed top flight talent and resigned almost all of the core of 2003's playoff team. We (Nashville fans) are going to get a better product at a lower price next season. Win lose or draw it will be entertaining. They have held up their end so far. While I wouldn't run out and buy season tickets just yet, I will buy some single game seats to show some good will.