Sunday, December 1, 2013

Live Blog: Chargers/Bengals

Because I got a wild's time for a Live Blog!

Today's Matchup...San Diego Chargers and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Here's how this is going to go today...I'm going to type and save, and then "Publish" sporadically...probably about every half hour or so.

So, if you want to follow along... You can just read here, and then click refresh every half hour or so.

It's not very efficient...but then again, we are talking about a Chargers game here.

Fair Warning:  Any and All Bengal fans.... I will be a HUGE Chargers homer.  I won't lie, or even pretend to be fair or balanced, or anything of that nature...I'm a Chargers fan.  I will blog as one.

Today's Game features the 7-4 Bengals, who are leading the AFC North and the 5-6 Chargers...who are in 3rd in the AFC West..and their only hope to make the playoffs is with a wildcard birth.

The Bengals have a good shot either way...Win the Division, or a Wildcard.

If the Chargers lose today...they are pretty much out of the playoff race.

Historically, the Chargers haven't fared well against the Bengals (using no scientific data whatsoever to back this just feels like, in the past several times they have faced...the Bengals usually win).

Most of the World/Nation will be tuned into the Broncos/Chiefs game this this Blog has a chance to be the only documented record that this game actually occured.
(I'm picking the Broncos in the other game...and I don't think it will be close.  I could be wrong, but I don't trust that Chiefs team.)

The Game is Scheduled to start in about 5 minutes.  Hold on tight.  Feel free to text or tweet me during the game...I may include you in the blog.

Let's Go Bolts!
We've got Ian Eagle and Charger Hall of Famer Dan Fouts calling the game for CBS today.  Also known as the combination of "The Bird and The Beard".  I like Fouts as the color guy...but he is a Charger Hall of Fame player...and probably had the best NFL Beard of all time.

Fouts beard fears no man.
Cincinnati burns a timeout on the first drive of the first half...that was werid.  Don't see defenses calling time outs that early in the game.

Chargers gaining some decent yardage, early on so far.  Although on all 3 first down plays...they have run the ball...this is kind of a pattern for the Chargers...they like to run on first down.  And they do it alot out of the Shotgun.

The Chargers decide to mix it up, and throw on first down, and run on 2nd and now they are in a 3rd and 10.  What do I know?  Rivers completes a pass to Gates for the first down, and he fumbles.  The Bengals recover, and CBS goes to commercial.

I think Gates could have been down...but I didn't see the fumble very well, because I was typing the blog.

BTW, Twitter is abuzz about the Vikings Bears game...could be a tie?  I refuse to turn the channel on the basis that I'm blogging this game.  I think Gates was down...but then again, I'm an unabashed homer.

The ruling on the field of a fumble, recovered by the Bengals will stand as called.  Not enough evidence to overturn it.  Darn.  The Bolts had a nice drive going there.

The "Red Rifle" takes the field.  Andy Dalton has been struggling this year, but I am a firm believer that the Chargers woeful pass defense will be just what he needs to get off the schnide.  Surprisingly, the Chargers hold the Bengals to a 3 and out on the first drive.

Ryan Mathews is running hard again today.  He's been pretty good this year.  He's not great, he's no superstar, and he's not going to put up big numbers week in and week out, but he's played well this year, and if he could stay healthy...he could end up making a lot of money in his next contract (probably NOT with the Chargers, however).

Bengals hold the Chargers...and we'll see Mike Scifres.  I love Scifres.  He's my favorite punter of all time.  Honest, if I were to ever buy a jersey of a would be Mike Scifres # 5.

Do I look like a punter, Punk?
Plus, he actually looks like a football player (unlike most kickers)...and he kicked collegiately at Western Illinois...who is in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the home conference of my SDSU Jackrabbits (Who incidentally dominated Northern Arizona yesterday in the first round of the FCS playoffs).

The Bengals are now moving the ball.  That lost fumble by Gates may be one of the most important things to happen in the game...because the Chargers defense, just can't stop anybody.

Just saw that Manning and Alex Smith each started their games off with an interception.  So, the best Quarterback to play in Kansas City the past two weeks, is Philip Rivers?  Right?  I mean, he didn't throw any interceptions.

The First Quarter concludes, and it is 0-0.  However, the Bengals are threatening...and will probably get a Field Goal at least...and that's if the Chargers can figure out a way to stop them...which they haven't on this drive.

The Law Firm punches the ball into the end zone on the first play of the second half, and the Bengals lead 7-0.  Remember back in the first quarter, when the Chargers weren't behind?  I liked that better.

Impressive Drive by the Bengals there.  Although... to be honest, the Chargers defense isn't very good.  They can't rush the passer, they don't cover well, and they are pretty much a poor tackling team.  Other than that, they are great.

Phil Rivers and his new favorite target, Keenan Allen...just made a beatiful hookup to continue a drive on a 3rd and 10.  Keenan Allen is special...I'm just gonna go out on a limb here.  Play following that...Rivers hits LaDarius Green Down the seam for a TD... Novak kicks the XP, and we're all tied at 7.

They just showed Bengals DC Mike Zimmer on the sideline, I was actually a fan of him being hired as the Chargers head coach last season, when it was clear Norv Turner wouldn't be retained.  I'm actually glad he wasn't interviewed, because I really like Coach Mike McCoy.  But I do have an appreciated for Coach Zimmer...his defenses usually play pretty well.

Chargers actually hold the Bengals to another 3 and out.  A Manti Teo sighting on the first play, breaking up a pass(he's quietly been playing better), and an actual QB sack on 2nd down.  Chargers get the ball back, but their decent field position is ruined by not 1 but 2 penalties, on the punt return.

Keenan Allen.  I just can't help myself.  He Good.  Can not believe he wasn't drafted until the 3rd round.  New General Manager Tom Telesco found a gem in that pick.  Anyway, he just made another beautiful catch.  But the drive stalls out...forcing Scifres to punt again...and it's downed inside the 5 yard line.

BTW, Ian Eagle just mentioned that Scifres has the highest % of kicks downed inside the 20 yard line of any punter in NFL History.  Don't you see why I want his jersey?  The Mike Scifres Jersey!  There should be a Kickstarter campaign for this...yes, buy me a Scifres jersey.

Unrelated Note:  Mrs. Coach...who doesn't like "Dumb Comedies" just burst out laughing at the Anchorman 2 Commerical that was just on.

The Red Rifle just threw the ball about 50 yards downfield...right to San Diego Free Safety Eric Weddle.  I'm not a Bengal fan but, What are you thinking, Andy?  That was not a good decision.  Thankfully, I am a Chargers good job.  Weddle returned it to the 45 yard line...good field position for the Chargers.

Meanwhile, Peyton Manning has thrown 2 interceptions in Kansas City, and Philip Rivers has yet to throw any there.  (also, as he played there last week...he's unlikely to throw any there this season)

2 minute warning, and the Chargers have a first down, on the Bengals side of the 50 yard line.

The Bengals defense rises up and shuts down the Charger offense though, and they are forced to punt.  Bengals get the ball back inside the 20 yard line (thanks Scifres) with just under a minute to play in the half.
-The Bengals play it conservative, so the Chargers burn a couple timeouts to get the ball back.
-When they do get it back (after a great punt), they run a draw play for Danny Woodhead, and that's the half?  Why burn the timeouts then?  Hoping for a good punt return, I guess.

All tied up at 7 at half time.  Pretty good game.  Honestly, I think the Chargers have been playing better, moved the ball better anyway... but the score is tied, because of that Gates fumble.

I think we need a picture to "spruce up" the blog here.  I just changed my facebook "cover" photo to this:

Go Big. Go Blue. Go Jacks!
In other unrelated news:  I'm playing some "Old Man Basketball" tonight at the gym.  I hope I don't get injured.  Just started my marathon training plan this morning.  This leads to an interesting Question:  What will there be more of... Points scored by the Chargers or Points scored by me tonight?  If I was a betting man...I'd go with the Chargers at this point, even with only 7 points at half.  It's been a long time since I've shot a men's size basketball.

First Half Stats that matter:  I drank 3/4ths of a pot of coffee in the first half by myself.  I'm going to lay off the caffeine in the 2nd half, probably need to drink water in the 2nd half because I'm playing basketball tonight.  Stupid Exercise.

Bengals get the ball to start the 2nd half.  They made it out to midfield, and there the Chargers decide to actually play some defense.  Andy Dalton gets called for Intentional Grounding on the incomplete 3rd down pass...which saves the Chargers about 10 yards....Keenan Allen fair catches at the 17 yard line, so that could have been the 7... that penalty may be something.  Anyway...Chargers ball, and I need to go get a glass of water.

Chargers are mounting a nice drive here, but let's see if they actually get points out of it.
-And right after I type that...Rivers hits Gates over the middle, and Dre Kirkpatrick rips the ball out of Gates hands on their way to the ground.  Turnover.  Bengals Ball.  Gates has now lost the ball TWICE in Cinci territory, at least in Field Goal range.  I know he's a future Hall of Famer and all, but Gatesy needs to pick it up.

And, let me say this...if that goes down as an interception...that's a crime.  because all Rivers did was throw a good, completed pass.  His Target is the one who gave up the ball.  Replay Review confirms...Bengals ball on the 25 yard line.  Egads.  It's hard being a fan of this team sometimes.

The Chargers D just blew up a flea flicker near midfield.  BGE looked to pitch back to Dalton, but held on, because a defender was back there.  Gotta say, I love the flea flicker, and that was the perfect time to call it.  2nd and short...near midfield.  Bengals convert on 3rd and short anyway.  Now they are really rolling, and the Bengals are into FG range at the very least.

And a TD pass from Dalton to AJ Green.  The XP by Mike Nugent is good, and the Bengals lead 14-7.  Green was so open on that play, even Andy Dalton could hit him.
FB Message from my favorite Mailman:  The most open AJ Green has been all year.

Let me make this proclamation right now...14-7, with 1:35 to go in the 3rd.  I fully expect the Chargers to tie this game, and then turn around and lose in the most heartwrenching manner imaginable.  It is the way of the Bolt.

On 3rd and 5, the Bengals Blitz, and Rivers calmly steps up and hits Keenan Allen.  Who wisely decided to NOT give the ball to the Bengals for no apparent reason.  A Danny Woodhead draw play, and we are at the end of the 3rd quarter comes to a close.

On an unrelated note:  My lovely daughter is making us homemade pizza for us, from the kitchen.  She's a peach.

Another unrelated note:  Just scrolled my twitter feed and someone had retweeted a quote from Coach K on there...this is common, I follow alot of coaches and people who follow his "twitter quote" account.  Although I have to wonder...why don't they ever quote him the way he talks to his team in the huddle or the sideline?  If the outside world knew how much he cursed at them, would he be as universally beloved?  I doubt it.

3rd and 10 at the Cinci 39 yard line...and throws incomplete for LaDarius Green...who was tackled by the Cinci defender while the ball was in the air.  Which is legal today for Bengals, I guess.  Here's the thing with Pass Interference...I know you can't call it on every play.  However, if you see a guy falling down and he runs into the open receiver's legs...and then he falls down, and still almost makes a one handed catch...that's probably pass interference.  I'm just saying.

Anyway, Scifres punts...fair caught on the 9 yard line (Thanks Scifres!), and it's Cinci's ball.

Bengals running back is tackled for a loss of 1 on the first play.  Bengals called for holding, and the Chargers take the penalty?  WTH?  Instead of 2nd and 11, it's now 1st and 14.  I don't like that decision.

Ona 3rd and 3... Dalton hits his WR Hawkins in stride, and he takes it 50 yards downfield.  Good Grief.  My prediction of tieing the game isn't looking very good right now.  C'mon Chargers...your season is on the line!  3rd and 6 from inside the SD 30, and Dalton calls a TO.  Good.  I need to pee.

Mikw Nugent on to kick the 46 yard field goal, and it's "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang" for Nugent.  17-7 Bengals lead...and privately my prediction of tieing the game before blowing it, is looking bleak.

The Broncos now lead the Chiefs 35 to 21.  (They trailed earlier 21-7...and one of those TD's was a Kick Return by the Chiefs)  The Chiefs just aren't that good.  I'm serious.  I think they make the playoffs and lose in the first round.  And, I think the Chargers will beat them in the 2nd matchup this season too.

And Keenan Allen breaks a long 3rd down gain...he fumbles the ball on his way to the ground.  This is going to be reversed (he was called down on the field)...and the Bengals will get the ball.  This is the curse of the blogger, because I wrote earlier that he didn't do he does it.  That's 3, count em, 3 turnovers by the Chargers on completed passes for decent gains in this game.  And each and every one of them have been recovered by the Bengals.  ARRGH!  Frustrating!  But what am I gonna do?  (although my chance to outscore the Chargers tonight at old man basketball are getting better and better)

The Mike Zimmer defense has done a great job against the Chargers today.  Held them to 7 points.  This after putting up 41 in Kansas City last week.

And The Law Firm fumbles...and Eric Weddle recovers and returns it to the 43 yard line.  Andy Dalton had to make the tackle.  The Chargers aren't done yet!  But they HAVE to score here.  Marching now.
-Woodhead, then Allen, then Woodhead, and they are near the 30 yard line.  Or as I shall, rename it :  The Fumble Zone.  The Red Zone is the 20 and in...the Fumble Zone is the 35 yard line and in. (This designation will be for the Chargers only).

Nick Novak drills a 48 yard field goal, and it's 17-10 Bengals.  Chargers will kick it away and rely (gulp) on their defense to get a stop, and get the ball back in the last 4 minutes.

In other news:
I love Keenan Allen.  I didn't love that fumble he just had a bit ago.

Oh my Lord... Penalty on the Chargers Johnnie Troutman for a late hit, after the FG, and so the Chargers are kicking off from their own 20 yard line.  Bengals are going to get great Field Position.  They return it to the 34 yard line...that kickoff was Boomed would have been a touchback.  Let's see if the Field Position plays a factor in this.

First play was a deep pass to AJ Green.  Bengals approaching FG range already.  That was really pathetic coverage by Shareece Wright of the Chargers.  Bengals pick up another first down, and there's 3:02 to play, and they are in Field Goal Range...inside the 30 yard line.

The Bengals are Riding the Law Firm down to inside the 10 yard line.  And we've hit the 2 minute warning.  The Chargers really needed 7 points, and not 3 on that previous drive.  Those 3 turnovers by the Chargers, especially the two by Gates in Cinci territory, are HUGE right now.  You have to think they cost SD at least 6 points (2 FG's)... which means this would be a very different game from a playcalling and strategy perspective.

First and goal inside the 5 yard line, under 2 minutes to go, and the Chargers are out of timeouts.  That will be your ball game.  Andy Dalton takes a knee, and he will need to do so, only one more time.

So long to the Chargers playoff hopes.

I am going to sign off.  Gotta eat some pizza and then get ready to play some old man Basketball.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Want to feel old?

I saw this on twitter yesterday.


Feeling old.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Last Time....

So, in case you missed it this weekend, the SDSU Jackrabbits defeated the USD Coyotes 27-12 this past Saturday.

Justice indeed does still rule the galaxy.

I got to thinking today, that since the series was suspended for about 9 years, because the Jackrabbits wished to move to Division I, and the Coyotes decided to stay Division II and become the "Princeton of the Prarie".  (PS.  How hilarious is that phrase now?) I was saying, since the series had been suspended for a while, and since SDSU had been winning most of the matchups before they quit playing(USD won just 2 of the last 10 before the move up in class) has probably been quite a while since the coyotes had beaten the Jackrabbits at football.

So, I thought I'd look it up.

The Date was:  November 4th, 2000

Just for fun...the last time the Coyotes beat the Jackrabbits in football:

The #1 Television Show for that TV Season was:  Survivor:  The Australian Outback
The #1 Song was "Come On Over (All I Want is You) by Christina Aguilera
The #1 Movie was Mission: Impossible II

Things that did not exist in 2000.

The iPod (2001)
The X Box (2002)
The Blackberry (2002)
Facebook (2004)
Playstation 3 (2006)
Twitter  (2006)
Wii (2006)
iPhone (2007)
Amazon Kindle (2007)
Android Phone (2008)

So yeah, I guess my point's been awhile.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I Know Nothing

"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing."
That's totally us, dude!
I consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable about professional football. (The National Football League, not the Premier League, I don't know much about soccer).
What I mean is, although I'm no super fan (I don't download video from the league, I don't 're-watch' games to break down film, and I'm not 100% certain who is on my team's practice squad.
However, I'm pretty well versed in all the schemes and trends of the league.  I know the difference between a "pistol" set and a "shotgun" set.  I know the difference between the 3-4 and the 4-3.  I know the preferred personnel to run either scheme.  
I understand the difference between a shovel pass and a screen pass.  I can name pretty much every player on my favorite team's roster (the chargers, and don't laugh at me, it's not polite).  In addition, I can probably name the 3 deep depth chart at just about every position on the team (although that's difficult with the injuries they have had).
When I watch the games I concentrate on what's happening as it unfolds, not just the result of the play.  I notice the play-action fake... I notice the crucial block that gets a guy through a crease for a gain instead of a loss...I notice the qb staring down a wr before an interception, and I notice alot of near misses:...near tackles, near sacks, near catches, near fumbles.
I enjoy the strategy of the game, always have.  When I was a teen and you coach play the "coach mode" or "strategy mode" (I can't remember what it's called now)  of tecmo bowl, where you just call the plays and watch...I was the only guy I knew who liked that.  I played like 4 full seasons of the doomed EA Sports NFL Head Coach Video game.  And that game sucked...but it was what I wanted.  (I actually bought the second version of the game, too).
In the 1990 season (when I was 20 years old and in college), when the pre-season booklets came out with the NFL Schedules...I filled out the Division winners, and the AFC and NFC Champion, and the Super Bowl champion.  (I missed one Division winner, but I can't remember who it was).  I predicted the Giants against the Bills in the Super Bowl back in August, and I was right.
But I don't understand the NFL today.
There is literally nothing you can count on.  
Week in and week out, there are things happening that don't make sense.
For example:  This past weekend the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (one of the worst teams in the league) played in Seattle against the Seahawks (one of the best teams in the league).  The Seahawks also boast one of the league's best home field advantages, a great defense, and insane atmosphere to play football easy win for Seattle, right?
Wrong.  They did win.  But it wasn't easy.  They had to battle back from behind (2 touchdowns behind), in the 2nd half to put the game into overtime.
This isn't uncommon.  It's the norm.
The NFL does NOT make sense.  
Let's take the Indianapolis Colts season so far.
Week one:  they beat the Raiders (OK, the Raiders aren't great, but they won)
Week two:  they lose to the Dolphins (wait a sec... maybe the Colts aren't so good)
Week three:  they beat the 49ers 27-7 (the niners were regarded as one of the league's top teams)
Week four:  they beat the Jags (OK, so the Colts are pretty good)
Week five:  they beat the Seahwaks (wait a second...the Seahawks are also very good)
Week six:  they lose to the Chargers, only scoring 9 points (The Chargers are a .500 team, right)
Week seven:  they beat the previously unbeaten Broncos (Wait...the Chargers just beat them right)
Week eight:  they play the struggling Texans, and barely win... coming back from a 21-3 deficit at the half.
Does this team make any sense at all?  
The Chiefs are 9-0.
(They went 2-14 last year)  But they are 9-0.  (Of course they play against back up quarterbacks nearly every week...and they haven't won impressively, except maybe against the Jags and the Raiders, but they are 9-0).
2 Weeks ago, Nick Foles, the Quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, posted a QB rating of 46 and only completed 37% of his passes....against a Dallas Cowboys defense that had already given up 400 yards passing 4 different times this season.  (So he must stink then, right?)
So last week, against the Raiders...he goes out and throws 7 Touchdown passes, completing 78% of his passes, and posts a QB rating of 158.3. (Which is basically a perfect score in QB Rating)
What I'm saying is... I don't know anything.
The game is too complex.  There are too many moving parts.  There are too many "almost" each and every game, for it to be predictable in any way, shape, or form.
So next time you hear someone complaining about their coach's play calling...just shake your head and agree.  Because someone who spends a few hours on Sunday afternoon must certainly know more who lives and breathes the game his entire life, right?
It's just not a simple game.  You can't predict what will happen.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Two Monks

I've always loved this little story/parable.  I thought I'd share it, since I haven't blogged anything in forever.

Two monks were on a pilgrimage. One day, they came to a deep river. At the edge of the river, a young woman sat weeping, because she was afraid to cross the river without help. She begged the two monks to help her. The younger monk turned his back. The members of their order were forbidden to touch a woman.

But the older monk picked up the woman without a word and carried her across the river. He put her down on the far side and continued his journey. The younger monk came after him, scolding him and berating him for breaking his vows. He went on this way for a long time.

Finally, at the end of the day the older monk turned to the younger one. "I only carried her across the river. You have been carrying her all day."

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Let us never forget.

Almost embarrassing.

I was just going about my day this morning, and I looked down on my watch on saw the date.

September 11th.

And right then and there, I felt ashamed.

And I also vowed to do my track workout this afternoon...which I had been actually considering skipping before I looked at my watch.

It wasn't really anything...not anything at all actually, but it was me being free...enjoying some time doing something I love.

Suck it terrorists.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

In defense of... Hanson

Yep, these guys.
Well actually, I should say "These Guys" because they are kind of grown up men now.

You know, the guys responsible for this:

I think we can all just cut Hanson a break, for a number of reasons:

1. First of all, MMMBop is one of the catchiest tunes of all time.
2. It's not Hanson's fault that they were young when they recorded it.
3.  I mean, that song is really catchy isn't it.... if you watched the video, you're humming it right now, aren't you.  You know you are.
4.  Did you know that Hanson is STILL together?  And putting out new music?
Check out their webpage:  They are actually on tour: Right Now
5.  Did you know, that they've made SIX studio albums, and that they are still recording?
6.  Their newest album"Anthem" was released this past June.
7. The first single "Get the Girl Back" actually cracked the VH1 Top 20 countdown a couple of weeks ago.

Speaking of which... how do the Hanson Brothers sound these days?

Actually, I gotta say...they sound pretty good.

8.  That "MMMBop" was one catchy song wasn't it? " I mean, between you and me, don't go spreading the word or anything, and I'm not proud of it or nothing....but that MMMBop, was one of the better pop songs I've heard.  Just don't admit that to anyone else.

9.  Did you know the Hanson brothers make their own beer?  Well, they do.  MMMHops from the guys who created MMMBop.

10.  So next time you hear someone rag on Hanson, or what a travesty it was for those young "kids" to dare to have a hit song, or what a piece of crap it was... You know in your heart, they are closet MMMBop fans, just like the rest of us.  They just want you to think they don't like it, out of some sort of twisted superiority complex.

 So, next time you hear "MMMBop" or "Get the Girl Back" on the radio, go ahead and turn it up, and don't worry about who can hear it.
Go see them in concert, buy  a poster or a t-shirt, download the new album, purchase a sixer of MMMHops...wear your Hanson Badge with pride..because, there's really nothing to be ashamed of anyway.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Bolts/Bears Breakdown

This isn't really a live blog...not like I normally do.

I just watched the game on my DVR, with a pen and notebook, and jotted down some comments, some of which are snarky, along the way.

I'm a terrible Chargers homer, and most of my comments are based as such.  I don't even pretend to be "journalistic".  Just a doofus with a keyboard.

Dennis Leary does the intro welcoming us to Monday Night Football on Thursday night.  Which I loved.

Wonder if Dennis ever thought he'd be doing stuff like this back when he was doing this for a living:
(warning:  inappropriate language...and alot of it)

Chris "Boomer" Berman is announcing this game, with Trent Dilfer as the color guy.  Boomer is sporting some sort of strange plaid suit jacket...although the plaid stripes are Charger Blue.

and the Camera goes to NEW San Diego Chargers Head Coach Mike "Dammit Jim, I'm a Coach, not a Doctor!" McCoy.  He's looking sporty in a Chargers Visor.  Graphic Says:  2nd youngest Head Coach in the NFL.  I'm actually excited for the McCoy era, as a fan.

Next up, NEW Chicago Bears Head Coach Marc Trestman...Trestman looks kinda like a computer nerd (and yes, the irony of someone who works as a Technology Director calling someone a computer nerd is not lost on me....I'm just saying).

Soldier Field playing Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" before opening Kickoff.  Nice Touch.

Devin Hester with a great return to the 37 yard line, and we are underway.

Jay Cutler has his "douche face" in Midseason form as he takes the field.  Never really like Cutler, but I used to really despise the guy.  Now that he's on the Bears, I really don't care so much.  I think the thing that bugs me the most is just the way the guy looks.
Ladies and Gentlemen... it's Jay Cutler!
Cutler just has the look of the guy who got a brand new Trans Am from his parents when he passed his drivers exam.  I have no qualms about his abilities as a quarterback, the guy can sling it, and he's played behind some terrible o-lines.  Honestly, I don't even think his reputation would be so bad if he didn't look so.... douchey.
Jay Cutler doesn't care what you think.
He's just got one of those faces, ya know?  Like one of the cool kids, who thinks it's fun to pick on the underprivileged.
Note:  I'm not saying he is this way at all, I don't know the guy, or even know anyone who knows him, or ... you get the point.  He just LOOKS that way.  He's got a douche face.  So tonight, I will call him that.

Douche Face drops back to pass and is sacked and fumbles.  Bears recover.
Second pass, and the Douchemeister is sacked's 4th and 24 for the Bears, and the Chargers D Line looks good, Corey Leguit is a beast-like person out there.

Chargers go no huddle right away.

Graphic Alert:  Philip Rivers has the 7th most wins of active quarterbacks.  That's a bit surprising.

The Bears hold at midfield, but the protection for Rivers was pretty good.

Douche Face retakes the field.  And Matt Forte breaks a long, long, run down the lest sideline.  Douche Face then throws a TD pass to Brandon Marshall and it's 7-0 Bears.  (Take that, dude who keeps calling me douche face!)

That was an impressive long drive by the Bears.

And now, it's Rivers turn to get sacked.  Rookie Right Tackle DJ Fluker was abused on that play.
GREAT story on Fluker in the San Diego Union Tribune.  Really rooting for him, very uplifting story.

Then Rivers is intercepted...on a play where the Chargers WR (Keenan Allen) is tripped and taken down by the Chicago defensive back...pretty obvious PI call there, in my opinion (and my opinion is biased).
-The Play is under review...the ball may have hit the ground.  Oh it did.  Replay confirms.  The Ref in the booth with Boomer and Dilfer also says this will be overturned...and the play is upheld.  Of Course.  So it's a Pass Interference No Call followed by a non-interception that is ruled an interception... I see how it is.

Douchey McDoucherton takes the field and immediately throws and INT to Donald Butler.  To be honest, I was expecting some sort of reveral on that, as no Charger touched intended WR Brandon Marshall, and Butler didnt' come close to touching the ground with the ball.

A classic sideline Douche Face on return from commercial.

Bolts come out in no huddle, and run the ball 4 straight times with Ryan Mathews...who is running hard, and wasn't injured on any of the 4 plays.

Max Starks gives up a sack and Rivers fumbles, the Bears recover.  Of course they do...because if we sack their QB and he fumbles, they pick it up and advance the ball a few yards... however, if they sack our qb our Charger players are perfectly happy to let the other team jump on the ball.  The Bears are just mean.

Forte scores and it's 14-0 to nothing and Cutler sends me a text that says "Who's the douche now?"  (This MAY NOT have actually happened).
-and the Chargers defense looked BAD on that drive.
-and the O-Line looked bad on that last drive too.
Bears...after a bit of a rocky start, look pretty good.

Then, Richard Goodman muffs the kickoff, and spins around looking for it, he can't find it...and finally takes a knee about .374 or a second before a Bear takes his head off... you can't make this stuff up.  Goodman better pick it up, he hasn't looked good this pre-season.

and the first Quarter mercifully ends.
-The Chargers start the 2nd quarter with some more no huddle, after the 1st down.
-When Rivers has time to throw, he's so good.  Staying no huddle for now.

It takes a full quarter for Boomer to mention that both starting WR's for the Chargers are out.  Donario Alexander tore his ACL, and Malcom Floyd hurt his knee this week..
-and then Jeromy Clary gives up a sack.... that's 3 different Offensive Linemen already.  Bill S. Preston, Esquire would proclaim "Most Non-Triumphant".

A Manti Te'o sighting... on the sideline, in a book.  Sprained foot.  The Chargers seem to always be among the most injured teams in the NFL.  It's something I pretty much count on.  Year in and Year out.

Backups in for both teams at the skill positions now.

The Bears Special Teams look phenomenal.
-the Chargers, not so much.

First a terrible return, then catch a break on a penalty that forces a re-kick.
And then, Keenan Allen (Rookie WR who looks promising) fumbles the return...and of course, the Bears recover.  Like I said before, the Bears are mean.

The Bolts get the ball back, and Clipboard Jesus (Charlie Whitehurst) has taken the field!  Perhaps he shall lead us to salvation.  Probably Not.  But "Clipboard Jesus" has to be the greatest nickname in the history of the NFL... or at least top 3.  It's up there with "Night Train" Lane, and "Slingin" Sammy Baugh.

"No...Guys... Seriously...Why do they call me Clipboard Jesus?"
And Jesus does not save on this occasion.  Whitehurst fumbles his first snap after entering the game, and of course the Bears recover, know the rule... the Bears are mean.

So, as a Chargers fan...we've had 4 Turnovers already and there's 5 mins to play in the first half.
To sum it up in one word, that one word would be "Atrocious".
-another FG by Robbie Gould and it's 20-0 Bears.

Douche Face and Computer Nerd are really kinda rubbing it in, don't ya think?

And the Savior is resurrected!  Whithurst leads the Bolts down the field ( kind of impressively) and Fozzy Whitaker runs it in for a TD.  20-7 Bears.  Clipboard Jesus not only led the Chargers down the field for a Touchdown on that drive... he didn't spike himself.

Now watch the Bears return this Kickoff for a TD.
-OK, he only got to the 24, and there's a penalty for being offsides, on the Chargers of they take over on the 29.  The Bears have owned Field Position in this game.  Hell, they've owned pretty much everything.  They take a knee, and it's halftime.

Yikes, that was depressing.  Not even gonna lie, I know it's preseason, and the games don't matter, and teams don't gameplan (much), but that was depressing.

The 2nd Half is ready to go...a bunch of FNG's and people just trying to make the roster.
-Pre-season's Fabulous!

Clipboard Jesus back out with the backup Offensive line who were terrible last week.

MLB Jon Bostic of the Bears just DESTROYED Mike Willie of the Chargers.  Just crushed it.
-that hit was clean and brutal.  Willies ears gotta be ringing after that one.

The Bears fumble a punt return, and the Chargers recover.  That's just not something I'm accustomed to seeing.  And the fun of backups playing continues... 2 fumbled punts by backup returners already, and we're just into the 3rd quarter folks.

You know I'm not holding a clipboard in any of these pictures, right?
Clipboard Jesus finds salvation in the End Zone with a strike to LaDarius Green for a TD.  Green had a TD last week too, and he's one Charger who has actually looked good this preseason (and in camp too, from reports).

And the Bears almost return the Kickoff for a Touchdown.  I was one too early on my prediction...Nice hustle by someone on the Bolts to catch him, I'm too lazy to look it up.    Michael Bush runs the ball in for the Bears, and it's 27 to 14.
-and the Chargers return their kickoff, comparatively, to the 13 yard line.

After a Charger punt, a random Boomer quote, "#1 punting to #11".  OK.  Thanks for that Boom.

2 straight plays with Bears penalties.  Backup Football Rules!  4th and 32 for the Bears.

CBJ (Clipboard Jesus, I'm getting tired of typing that's really not any shorter than Charlie Whitehurst), throws another Touchdown pass.  He's playing much better tonight than last week, and it's 21-27.
-I hope next possession, Rookie QB Brad Sorensen gets in.

Another Kick Return for the Bears out past the 30 yard line.  I am not joking.  It's like the teams are playing 2 different games on Special Teams.

DJ Smith has looked pretty solid at ILB for the Bolts.  Something to keep an eye on, especially with Te'o's injury.

You gotta love the Bears fans, it's 3rd quarter, in the pre-season...and they are cheering on their backups, doing the wave...Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego would be half empty by now.  Soldier Field is Rocking.

And another Manti Te'o segment, because we haven't heard anything about this kid, and his personal life.  And we certainly need a 2nd segment on a player not playing tonight because of precautionary measures.

And Sorensen takes the Field!  Yes!  I like this kid from Southern Utah.  I watched him almost lead his Thunderbirds to a miraculous comeback against my SDSU Jackrabbits a few years back.  He looked good last week.

And the Bears, block a punt.  You can't make this stuff up.  Don't forget our recurring theme tonight...The Bears are mean.

Man, the Bears hit hard!  Both on Defense, and Special Teams.  Just some big shots going on out there.

Sorensen and Ed "Rock" Baker lead the Chargers on a nice drive, and Sorensen throws a TD pass to Mike Willie and it's 28-30.  I have to say, the Bolts Backups look much better tonight than last week, when Seattle just took it to them.

But the Special Teams have been atrocious, in about every conceivable way, both games this PS.  Hold your breathe, there is a Kickoff coming.

The Bears win.  Final score 33-28.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Bridge Worth Crossing

Anyone out there seen the new television series on FX, "The Bridge"?

It's just my humble "Sports Doofus" Opinion, but you should really check it out.

The Bridge airs Wednesdays at 9 pm Central.
The Bridge is actually based off of a Danish/Swedish TV series called Bron.

Here is a brief breakdown of what "The Bridge" is about, according to Wikipedia:  The Bridge follows two police detectives – one Mexican, one American – and their joint effort to investigate a serial killer menacing both nations along the TexasChihuahua border.[1] Their investigation is complicated by the rampant corruption and general apathy among the Mexican authorities and the violence of the powerful borderland drug cartels.[2] The show title refers to the Bridge of the Americas that serves as a border crossing between El Paso, Texas and Juárez, Chihuahua, the setting of the series.[2]

There have only been two episodes so far, but they have got me completely hooked already.  Both lead actors are very good.  Diane Kruger (famous from the "National Treasure" movies) plays the American Detective, Sonya Cross, who has Asperger syndrome.  Her counterpart, Demian Bichir (who was nominated for an Academy Award for A Better Life), plays the Mexican Detective, Marco Ruiz.

Detectives Cross and Ruiz are the centerpiece of this show.
The give and take between these two vastly different detectives: Mexican and American, Male and Female, Veteran and Youngster, Laid Back and Aspergers... really makes the show enjoyable.  The supporting actors (Ted Levine, Matthew Lillard, Annabeth Gish) are all solid as well, and did Lyle Lovett make a surprise appearance as an attorney in episode two?  Yes, he did.  Lillard is particularly enjoyable in his role as a "down on his luck" alcoholic reporter, who has apparently drank himself from the New York Times to the local El Paso newspaper.

It's a good show, and it's good on many levels.  It's a murder mystery, it's a statement on race relations, it's a statement on living (and working) with a behavior disorder, it's all of these things.

Anyway, if you are like me, and enjoy good television series with strong writing and good performances, you should watch The Bridge.  I think you'll like it.

If you want to catch up on the first two episodes, you can watch them online HERE.

Check it out, it's really, really good!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Podcast Fever: Catch it!

First real blog post in over a month!  Woah dude, I've been slacking.

To be honest, I've actually been doing stuff.  Between little league baseball games, carpet installations, yard work, shed building, etc, etc, etc... I've really not had much time to sit down and put some thoughts into my blog.

So, one thing I have found myself doing, with increasing regularity lately has been listening to podcasts.  I know I've blogged about this in the past, usually just mentioning it in passing, but today I thought I'd look at the subject of podcasts as a topic in and of itself.

With the students and most of the staff out of the school during a typical workday, I'm left with a lot of time by myself...and while I'm busy, it's nice to be able to listen to things.  If I'm in the office for an extended period of time, I'll just open the websites and listen to the podcasts on my laptop, but most of the time, I'm moving around from here to there, and I just download the show I want to listen to on my phone... plug in the earbuds... and I'm spending an hour or so with Jay Mohr or Adam Carolla.

The great thing about podcasts is twofold:
1.  The infinite variety - take a look at the top downloaded podcasts on iTunes. Business, Comedy, Sports, Science, Religion... there is really no end to the kind of material you can access.
2.  Listener Control - instead of listening to a traditional "radio show" that airs at this appointed time, on the appointed channel, on the appointed days... with a podcast, you can pick and choose what shows you want to listen to, download them and listen to them at your convenience.

So, if you are a fan, of comedy and comedians like I am... the podcast is a virtual goldmine.  There are seemingly an unlimited amount of comedians who host their own podcasts.  I just did a quick search and found a good list of ten comedian podcasts.

I find the comedian podcasts are the easiest to follow when you are doing stuff, because if you miss something, it's OK.  I could see a news, or politics, or something a bit more serious and informative being much more difficult to listen to. (at least while you are working)

So, I thought I'd discuss a few of my favorite podcasts, and what I like about them here.

1.  Mohr Stories - Comedian/Actor Jay Mohr puts out his "Mohr Stories" on Mondays and Fridays each week.  The podcast is normally Jay recorded one on one with a guest.  The guest is often another comedian, sometimes an actor, but it could be an athlete (a recent episode with former Laker Rick Fox was very good), and sometimes a musician.

I think the reason this is my favorite is that I'm a sucker for impressions, and Jay Mohr does some killer impressions.  He'll being going along asking questions, and then all of a sudden he'll be doing Colin Quinn, or Christopher Walken, or Tracy Morgan, or .... whoever.
Probably the best episode of Mohr Stories that I've listened to was recorded with veteran comedian George Wallace.  I'm telling you, I was in absolute stitches listening to these two comedians go back and forth.

2.  The Adam Carolla Show - probably the guy who turned podcasts and podcasting into the phenomenon they are today.

Carolla hosted a very popular radio show in Southern California, and about four years ago, he took his show off the airwaves, and onto the Internet.

Carolla's show is different than most podcasts, as it still holds more of a "traditional radio show" vibe to it.  Carolla records his show daily and new episodes appear most weeks Monday through Friday (usually recorded the night before).   Each day Adam and his two co-hosts (Bald Brian and Alison Rosen) cover any number of topics of the day, (Usually during Allison's News segment).  And there are weekly features to this podcast... Dave Dameshek comes in once a week to talk about sports, they usually do a live show in front of an audience once a week (on Weds nights, and the podcast appears Thursday mornings).

Carolla is also different from most podcasters, in that he doesn't just have his show... he hosts a number of shows over his "Carolla Digital" Brand, including:

-The Adam and Drew show (Adam reuniting with his former "Loveline" partner, Dr. Drew)
-The Dr. Drew Podcast (Dr. Drew gets his own podcast, to go with his 15 million television projects)
-Ace on the House (Adam and his buddy Ray give home improvement tips)
-Alison Rosen is your New Bestfriend (Newsgirl Alison Rosen hosts her own podcast)
-Carcast (Adam and Matt D'Andria talk about... Cars!)
-For Crying Out Loud (Adam's wife Lynette and Stephanie Wilde-Taylor discuss children and child raising)
-Penn's Sunday School ( Penn Jillette and company talk about the news and stuff)
-This Week with Larry Miller (Comedian Larry Miller gets his own podcast).

I'm not really sure how Adam finds the time to participate in 4 different podcasts, oversee the production of 5 others, race cars on the weekend, become an alcohol distributor, appear on "dancing with the stars" and "celebrity apprentice", along with his guest spots on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and other podcasts... but I'm glad that he does.  I've listened to a few of the other podcasts on his network... the Adam and Drew show is very good, and Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend can be excellent, depending upon the guest.

3.  Sklarbro Country -The Sklar Brothers (Randy and Jason) host a podcast that discusses comedy and sports.  It is normally a weekly show, but occasionally they will put an extra episode on there.

You may remember the Sklars from their appearances on espn's Cheap Seats... but they also appeared on some of those VH1 "I love the " 80's, 90's, etc... shows.

I really haven't listened to this podcast that many times, only a handful to be completely honest.  But I really enjoy them every time I listen to them...they have good guests, they talk about sports, and they're hilarious.  This is definitely a podcast that I am looking to put into my weekly rotation.

4.  The Nerdist - hosted by comedian, TV show host, and all around nerdball Chris Hardwick.  Nerdist puts out new shows every few days, and the guests that Hardwick interviews varies greatly... most of the time they are people from the entertainment world, but they don't have to be.

The Nerdist lives up to it's name, and while it can be funny and insightful, and quite witty... it discusses video games, and the Internet, and Comicon, and all things of that nature.  In fact the intro music for the podcast sounds like something off of an early 80's video game.

Still, it's a good show...and actually the 2nd podcast I started listening to after the Carolla show.  However after a while I discovered Mohr Stories, which I enjoyed more.  However, as I have drifted into a podcast "frenzy" lately, I have been listening to the Nerdist more often again, and really enjoying it.

5.  Monday Morning Podcast - Comedian/Actor Bill Burr hosts the weekly "Monday Morning Podcast".... which doesn't always come out on Mondays.

One thing different about Burr's podcast... no guests.  He just sits down and starts talking about stuff... some of it is what went on the weekend before (this is where the podcast gets it's name, he records it when he returns home from a weekend of doing comedy shows), then he maybe talks about some stuff in the news, and then he maybe discusses a few letters or e-mails that have been sent to him.

Although he's kinda brassy and he's often making fun of and chastising his own fans, Burr's podcast just works.  It's kind of refreshing hearing somebody just sit down and lay it out's what I think, deal with it.

A couple other podcasts that I don't listen to, but I've heard good things:

WTF with Marc Maron - I did listen to part of one episode one time, last year...and he was so gruff, and just unpleasant I turned it off.  But I keep hearing good things, and this show always makes the lists of the top podcasts.... so maybe I should give Maron another listen.

Doug Loves Movies - comedian Doug Benson evidently sits down and discusses movies, and movie trivia with a couple of guests.  I really wanted to give the podcast a shot...but there wasn't an App for it in the android store.  I guess I could always just download it...and import it as an mp3 file from my computer.  I've heard a lot of good things about this, and I bet it's great... Doug Benson is super funny, and who doesn't like movies?

One thing I've been looking into lately is getting a "Podcast Manager".  Something like this.  A place where you can download and manage all your podcasts in one place.  I'm not sure how it works, and I'm not sure if I want to take the time to try and set this up.  If anyone out there uses a podcast manager, and really likes it...please let me know... I'll be sure to try it, and post something about it on here.

Alright, so to wrap up... if you aren't listening to podcasts... I think it's something you should check into.  And you don't have to be a comedy lover like I am, they come in all formats... news, politics, religion...whatever you're into.

I hope you enjoyed the discussion of these podcasts, and hopefully you will decide to give one (or more) of them a try.  They're free!  And they are quite often hilarious, and sometimes even a bit informative.

Friday, July 12, 2013

HLN Babes

Lately, I've been finding myself watching alot of Headline News Network in the mornings.

I'm not really sure why.

Morning Express host Robin Meade

Weekend Express host Natasha Curry
I know, I know, every network has their "News Babes".

Just thought I should give special mention to my two favorites.

Monday, June 17, 2013

All Time NBA: 1st Team

At Long Last, the self proclaimed Sports Doofus reveals his All Time NBA First Team!

Who made the All Time 1st Team for the Sports Doofus?
To see how we got to this point, click the links for:
All Time NBA:  3rd Team
All Time NBA:  2nd Team

Along the way, there have been a few surprises (Wilt Chamberlain 3rd team?... Larry Bird 2nd Team?), and some very difficult decisions have had to be made.

Just to reiterate, I am simply using my own opinion for these selections.  No hard and fast data that would raise one player above another.  Yes, I will use stats and awards and championships as my primary measuring stick, but when you get to this level, the best of the best of all time, you really just come down to personal preference, and I'm admitting that freely from the start.

Just a quick aside, what an NBA Finals we are currently enjoying right now.  As of this writing, the Spurs lead the Heat 3 games to 2, with the series heading back to Miami for game 6 on Tuesday.  It seems like this series is destined to go 7 games.  No one has won back to back games so far, and the Spurs would have to do so to prevent a game 7.  Can LeBron and company regroup to win their 2nd straight title, or will Danny Green continue his phenomenal shooting to clinch another title for the Spurs?  It's going to be very enjoyable to watch.

And back to the subject at hand...

The All Time NBA First Team!

Ervin "Magic" Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers, Point Guard

In four short years, Magic Johnson won a championship in High School, College, and the NBA (winning the Most Valuable Player in the NBA Finals as a 20 year old rookie).  How ridiculous is that?

Well, Michael Jordan didn't win his first Championship until his 7th year in the league, LeBron James didn't win his until his 9th season, Larry Bird did win his in his 2nd season...but Larry was a 5 year college player, whereas Magic only played 2 years of college basketball.  He was MUCH younger than Larry.

In fact, being a winner is really what separates Magic from most of the other all time greats.  It's not so much the number NBA Championships that he won (which is nothing to sneeze at, with 5).  In his first year in the league, the Lakers won the Championship.  In his last full season in the league (1990-1991) the Lakers lost in the NBA finals to the Bulls (the start of the "Jordan Dynasty").  

Magic was the NBA MVP 3 times, the NBA Finals MVP 3 times, and the All Star Game MVP twice (including the year when he was first diagnosed with HIV, and didn't actually play during that season, he was controversially voted in and played, and won the MVP).  In his 11 full seasons, Magic was named first team All NBA 9 teams (2nd team once), and was only left off his rookie season, in which he led the team to the Championship and won the Finals MVP.

The greatest thing about Magic wasn't his numbers, although they weren't terrible:  19.5 points per game, 11 assists per game, 7 rebounds per game.  Known for his passing, he only led the league in assists 3 times, and the highest he ever managed in scoring was 9th in the League (1987).  It was how he was able to raise the level of play of his teammates.

Magic made relatively unknown players into great players.  In his first team with the Lakers it was Norm Nixon and Jamaal Wilkes...with his later teams it was AC Green and Byron Scott.  It really didn't seem to matter who you put Magic on the floor with, simply by playing with Magic their level of play was elevated.  

Former teammate Kurt Rambis described it like this, "Magic is just this magnet... pulling everyone in, and if you get out and run, you are going to get to score".  And it wasn't just his play making ability, it was his personality and leadership.  Magic simply made everyone around him better, and made his teammates enjoy playing the game.

I think former Laker James Worthy described it best like this, "I don't think we'll ever see another 6'9" point guard, who smiles....while he humiliates you."

Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls, Shooting Guard

Michael "Air" Jordan is arguably the greatest basketball player of all time.  In fact he was once described by Larry Bird as "I think he's God, disguised as Michael Jordan".

There are very few quantifiable measures in which you look at Michael's career, and can not make the argument that he is the greatest.  He won 6 NBA Championships, 6 NBA Finals MVP's, 5 League MVP Awards (and it should have been more...honestly, they started picking other players I think because they were bored), 3 Time All Star Game MVP, Defensive Player of the Year in 1988, Rookie of the Year in 1985, was named "First Team" all NBA 10 times (and 2nd team once...wonder who was picked ahead of him?), and "First Team" All Defensive Team 9 times.  Not many guys who lead the league in scoring are named to first team all defense.

The statistics are basically unmatched:  30.1 points per game (which is first all time), 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals a game.  And he raised his level of performance when the games counted... his playoff averages:  33.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.7 assists.  He played better on the biggest stage.

Here is how dominant Jordan was, he won 3 straight NBA championships and then decided to "retire" and try baseball for a year.  After that didn't work out, when he re-entered the NBA and played a full season, the Bulls won 3 more straight Championships.  If you think about it, they possibly could have won 8 straight titles, I mean that isn't out of the's more likely than not.
(How difficult is this?  Well, LeBron has made 3 straight finals with the Heat...imagine him "retiring" now, and missing 2 seasons, when he came back would his his team be the "favorite" to win the title?  Let alone win 3 in a row?)

Personally, I like to think that the way to compare "greatness" is the company you keep when you are discussed.  Every time a new player comes along with great abilities (Kobe, LeBron) who are they compared to?  Well, they are compared to Michael Jordan.  That's really all you need to know.

LeBron James, Miami Heat/Cleveland Cavalier, Small Forward

As I wrote when discussing Larry Bird, up until this current season, I would have had Larry here.  However, the accomplishments of LeBron over the past season have pushed him past Larry Legend in my opinion.

LeBron James was drafted out of high school by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003.  In his 10 seasons in the League he has averaged:  27.6 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game, and 6.9 assists per game.  So he is certainly what you would call a "stat sheet stuffer".  He does everything.

The biggest criticism of LeBron has been that he wasn't a "winner".  Last season he won the NBA Championship and got that "monkey" off his back.  However, I'm not sure if this is a fair criticism.  In 10 years in the League he has led his team to the NBA Finals 4 times, and it's possible that his team could win back to back Championships this season (although his Heat trail the Spurs 3-2 currently).

In his short time (remember he's only 28 at this writing) in the league, he's won 4 Most Valuable Player Awards (only Michael Jordan, Bill Russel, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Wilt Chamberlain have accomplished this), 2 All Star Game MVP's, 1 NBA Finals MVP, and was the 2004 Rookie of the year.  He's been named First Team NBA 7 times (2nd team twice), and 5 times name First Team Defense.

Although he has more than his fair share of "Haters" stemming from "The Decision" to leave Cleveland and "take his talents to South Beach", LeBron is simply a combination of size, skill, and talent that is amazing to watch.

There probably hasn't been a man of his size who can run the floor and pass like LeBron since Magic Johnson.  There are few players in the history of the league who can just take it to the hoop and score on literally anyone as well as LeBron.  And I don't believe the league has ever seen a man who is such a versatile defender.  LeBron can guard every position on the floor.  From the opposing team's post player, to their point guard...and not only guard them, but shut them down, and take them out of the game.

As far as his physical talents go, there are no limits to what LeBron can do.  He belongs to the "Freak of Nature" team with Wilt Chamberlain.  There is just no one like him, not just currently, but there has NEVER been anyone like him.  He's a tremendous talent, and I really wish that many fans would stop with the hating, and start appreciating how good he actually is.

Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs, Power Forward

In his 16 years in the League, "Timmah" has been the definition of 2 things:  consistency and winning.  

In his rookie season in the League (97-98) Duncan averaged 21 points and 12 rebounds per game.  In his 16th season... 18 points and 10 rebounds.  And he plays less minutes now.... in fact if you looked at his "36 minutes average" he actually has BETTER stats now than when he was a rookie!

He won his first Championship in his second year in the League (1999), along the way won 3 more (2003, 2005, and 2007), and here he is in the finals for a 5th time in 16 years.  At this moment with the Spurs leading 3 games to 2, it looks very possible that he could win another and go 5-0 in NBA championship series.

You want some accolades?  Well, how about these:  Duncan is a 2 time MVP, 3 time NBA Finals MVP, All Star Game MVP (2000), and Rookie of the year (1998).  In that time he has been named to 10 All NBA First Teams (and 3 second teams, and a 3rd team thrown in), and made All NBA Defense either 1st or 2nd team in 14 of his 16 seasons.

If consistency is the mark of excellence, then Duncan certainly qualifies.  He has been a top 10 rebounder in the League in 14 of 16 seasons.  Top 10 in Blocked Shots in 13 seasons, he's just a model of efficiency.

The least "flashy" of any of my selections, there was a reason Shaquille O'Neal once called Duncan "The Big Fundamental".  He just does everything right.  He makes the correct post move, whether that be a power dunk, a fall away bank shot... makes the correct pass to the open man.  Always hustling and running the floor, it was just unreal to watch him play the Grizzlies this post season and consistently beat the younger Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph down the floor for easy baskets.

Another thing sometimes forgotten about Duncan, is his ability to hit a perimeter jump shot.  People think "big guy" and "Big Fundamental" and imagine the class "back to the basket" post up game.  Well, he can do that, but he is very efficient at catching the ball in the 18 foot area on a "pick and pop" play, and knocking down that jumpshot.  

Duncan doesn't really care about statistics, he's only cracked the top 10 in scoring 4 times in his career.  But his team is always competitive, and despite the changes around him in San Antonio...multiple players have come and gone, his team continues to be one of the best teams in the League.

Bill Russell, Boston Celtics, Center

Anchoring the team in the Post, the greatest winner in the history of the game, Celtic legend Bill Russell.

You want to win games?  Well, you can't do better than "Russ".  In 13 seasons, he won 11 Championships.  He also won the NCAA Championship in his final season at San Francisco in 1955... so he won 12 Titles in 14 years.  Not bad.

The definition of a "team first" player, Russell only averaged 15 points per game throughout his career (peaking with 18 ppg in 1960).  However, he averaged 22.5 rebounds per game throughout his career (leading the league in rebounds 4 times).  Blocked shots were not an official stat when Russell played, but he certainly would have been near the top in most seasons.

Known as the best defensive player of his generation (and perhaps any generation) Russell was the key to the Celtics dominance from the late 50's and throughout the 60's.  Russell shut down the paint for anyone who tried to get high percentage shots, and was then usually able to corral the rebound and make a great outlet pass to get the Celtics fast break started.

Russell was a 5 time MVP of the League, and the all star game MVP once (They did not give a Finals MVP at the time, although he would have won a few of those to be sure).  Russell played his career alongside Wilt Chamberlain, and those two are always compared against each other.  While Chamberlain often had the advantage in numbers (points, sometimes rebounds, assists, etc...) Russell almost always had the advantage on the scoreboard.

You want a leader for your team?  Russell was such a great leader that when Coach Red Auerbach retired, he named Russel to be a "Player-Coach".  How did that work out?  Well, the Celtics were able to win the Championship in 2 of the 3 seasons that Russell ran the team as "player-coach".

A true dominating force in the paint, with a lack of regard for personal statistics and the ability to play great defense and get the fast break started, Russell would be the perfect "centerpiece" to finish out our starting five.

So, how would this team fare on the court?

Russell and Duncan patrolling the paint, and absolutely owning the boards, outletting the ball to Magic Johnson running the fast break with Jordan and LeBron on the wings?  Nearly unstoppable.  

In the half court, they would be equally difficult to stop.  Jordan and LeBron can score on anyone, Duncan can score on anyone in the post, Russell would not mind to simply set screens and rebound... you'd never have to run a play for him...he'd simply score on "2nd chance" points.  Magic, with his size and passing ability, would be able to carve up a defense... getting Duncan the ball in his sweet spots, throwing alley oops to well... really everyone on this team.

And on the other end of the court, good luck scoring.  You have possibly the 2 best perimeter defenders ever, with 2 of the greatest post defenders (and rebounders ever).  Magic is really the only guy who wasn't a phenomenal defender, and with his size (6'9") you're going to have trouble shooting over him and getting around him.

Also, best of luck in the rebounding department!  Between Russell and Duncan, there aren't going to many left to go around, however... our smallest starter is Jordan at 6'6", and both Magic and LeBron are well known for their ability and willingness to rebound the ball.

This team would win easily against any other team you could throw together.  Championships, Leaders, Multifaceted players, Size, Athleticism, Will to win, Team First.... I just can't see them being beaten, by anyone... even the 2nd or 3rd team.

Thanks for reading!  I hope you have enjoyed my All Time NBA teams!  It's been a fun process!