Sunday, July 31, 2016

2012 Fantasy Football – Tight End (TE) Keeper Rankings

2012 Fantasy Football Tight End (TE) Keeper Rankings are based on a three year outlook for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 fantasy football seasons. 2012 Tight End (TE) Keeper Rankings are established for a standard fantasy football scoring system, with scoring categories including: Passing Yards: 1 point = 20 passing yards / Rushing Yards: 1 point = 10 rushing yards / Receiving Yards: 1 point = 10 receiving yards / Passing Touchdown: 4 points / Rushing/Receiving Touchdown: 6 points / Interceptions: -2 points / Fumbles Lost: -2 points

A *RISING* or *FALLING* status is included after specific players based on their potential ranking heading into the 2012 season. Each players age is listed after their name. For additional Fantasy Football information, check out the Hawk Fantasy Sports Facebook Page:

2012 Fantasy Football Keeper Rankings — QB Keeper Rankings — RB Keeper Rankings — WR Keeper Rankings — TE Keeper Rankings — Top 20 Hidden Gem Keepers

Rankings Updated: February 15, 2012

1. Jimmy Graham – NO = 24

2. Rob Gronkowski – NE = 22 — *RISING*

3. Jermichael Finley – GB = 24

4. Vernon Davis – SF = 27

5. Jason Witten – Dal = 29

6. Antonio Gates – SD = 31

7. Aaron Hernandez – NE = 22 — *RISING*

8. Brandon Pettigrew – Det = 26 — *RISING*

9. Owen Daniels – Hou = 29

10. Fred Davis – Was = 25

11. Jermaine Gresham – Cin = 23 — *RISING*

12. Greg Olsen – Car = 26

13. Dustin Keller – NYJ = 27

14. Dallas Clark – Ind = 32

15. Tony Gonzalez – Atl = 35

16. Kellen Winslow – TB = 28 — *FALLING*

17. Tony Moeaki – KC = 24

18. Jared Cook – Ten = 24 — *RISING*

19. Zach Miller – Sea = 25

20. Brent Celek – Phi = 26

21. Kyle Rudolph – Min = 22 — *RISING*

22. Ed Dickson – Bal = 24

23. Lance Kendricks – StL = 23

24. Evan Moore – Cle = 26

25. Marcedes Lewis – Jac = 27

26. Jake Ballard – NYG = 23 — torn ACL

27. Chris Cooley – Was = 29 — *FALLING*

28. Scott Chandler – Buf = 26

29. John Carlson – Sea = 27

30. Heath Miller – Pit = 29

31. Kevin Boss – Oak = 27

32. Dennis Pitta – Bal = 26

33. Visanthe Shiancoe – Min = 31

34. Todd Heap – Ari = 31

35. Benjamin Watson – Cle = 30

36. Jeremy Shockey – Car = 31

37. James Casey – Hou = 27

38. Julius Thomas – Den = 23

39. Rob Housler – Ari = 23

40. Jacob Tamme – Ind = 26



41. Virgil Green – Den =

42. Tony Scheffler – Det =

43. Anthony Fasano – Mia =

44. Joel Dreessen – Hou =

45. Daniel Fells – Den =

46. Delanie Walker – SF =

47. Michael Hoomanawanui – StL =

48. Randy McMichael – SD =

49. Jeff King – Ari =

50. Travis Beckum – NYG = torn ACL

51. Jordan Cameron – Cle =

52. DJ Williams – GB =

53. David Thomas – NO =

54. Martellus Bennett – Dal =

55. Kellen Davis – Chi =

Tags:2012 Fantasy Football – Tight End (TE) Keeper Rankings

2012 GOP Presidential Potentials

I mean really can’t the GOP actually find a real candidate? Look who they have chosen so far, Rick Perry who can’t remember from one debate to the next what he even said. Herman Cain who seems to like the ladies far more than they like him and who sometimes speaks in tounges when ask a serious questions or simply stares blankly into space.

Michele Bachman is a lot like Sarah Palin without the marksmanship or notes on her hand, and Mitt Romey should be named Mr. Flip Flop, if your not sure where he stands on anything just look outside to see what direction the wind is blowing.

And Newt, well what can you say about Newt, a womanizer who got religion and several million from somewhat dubious work related efforts. I wont call him a blowhard, thats for the late night talk shows to do.

If I were on Obama’s re-election committe I would be jumping for joy everyday as this daily joke fest gears up for more and more lame statements and blunders. And some of them have been truly wonderful to watch.

Herman Cain said he was going to run a new kind of presidential campaign, and now we know what that is, insult every woman he can think of as many times as possible in as many different ways as possible, like the former Speaker of the House and Anita Hill.

Rick Perry brain freeze during the last debate has become so famous that every late night host has made him fodder for the masses. Of course Perry didn’t actually realize he was fodder because he forgot what the word meant.

And I hope Michele Bachman really does intend to learn what states are what in the country she hopes to be elected as President. At the end of the day the GOP has only one real candidate, Mitt Romney and Mitt has a few problems that will hound him during the election.

First his religion is on the fringe, and I know that no religious test is required for office but in his religion you wears magic underwhere and God is a man living on a planet called Kolob. His second problem is he has had so many positions on the same issues that I have no idea what he stands for or where he even stands.

It will be quite a show for the next 12 months then Obama will get re-elected and Congress will again be the lame mess that is willing to trash the country to sustain a party line and then claim they want what is best for you and I.

isn’t that special.

Tags:2012 GOP Presidential Potentials

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Revealed

Ford is ushering in a new era for its prized Mustang model, as with the 2011 model, power ratings as well as efficiency figures are vastly improved. This has led to huge sales for the both the V6 and the new 5.0-liter V8-equipped models, as well as for the high performance versions from Shelby, like the GT350 or the GT500.

Now, the Mustang range is going to get even better, as the Blue Oval has formally unveiled the 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302.

That’s right, the Boss is back. After blowing away the muscle car competition over 40 years ago, with the 1969 Mustang Boss 302, the company wants to really emphasize the performance of the new Mustang breed. As such, the iconic badge has been resurrected and slapped on this brand new model.

“The decision to build a modern Boss was not entered into lightly,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “The entire team at Ford felt the time was right and with the right ingredients, the world-class 2011 Mustang could support a successful, race-bred, worthy successor to the original Boss 302.

As you can imagine, this road-legal 2012 Mustang Boss 302 will be based on the ’11 Mustang GT, but sport a wide array of performance equipment, including ones inspired by the new Boss 302R race cars.

More specifically, the new Boss 302 uses a 5.0-liter V8 engine, naturally aspirated but capable of outputting 440 HP with 380 lb-ft of torque. The inner workings of the mill were improved for the best performance, so don’t expect the fuel economy to knock your pony car loving socks off.

Instead, thanks to things like a new clutch, a short-throw shifter, the highly awaited adjustable suspension or the performance brakes, the Boss 302 is nearly two seconds faster than a regular Mustang GT. The bragging continues, as Ford engineers say the powerful Mustang is faster than the BMW M3 coupe on the famed Laguna Seca track.

In honor of this achievement, Ford will be offering a limited Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca model edition. It will boast an even more rigid chassis, as well as a stiffened body and the same aerodynamics kit as the 302R race car.

‘Regular’ Mustang Boss 302 models, if we can call them that way, will also get special accessories and customization options.

On the outside, you can get an array of sharp colors, including Competition Orange, Performance White, Kona Blue Metallic, Yellow Blaze Tri-Coat Metallic and Race Red. In honor of the original 1969 Boss 302, the roof panel, as well as the mirror housings, front grille surround or the rear wing can be ordered in multiple colors. In terms of aerodynamics, a new front splitter was added, as well as a rear spoiler and the aforementioned wing. Special wheels will also be available for the new Boss.

On the inside, the performance Mustang will use a darker pallet, with a metallic finish for the instrument panel, gauges and the door panels. Alcantara decorates the steering wheel while Recaro performance seats can be ordered as a (pricey) options. Don’t expect any luxuries though, as Ford has stripped things like sound proofing materials in order to save weight and satisfy hardcore fans.

In the end, the words of Dave Perical, the chief Mustang engineer, certainly highlight what the 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 is all about. “Boss is a hallowed word around here, and we couldn’t put that name on a new Mustang until we were sure everything was in place to make this car a worthy successor. We were either going to do it right or not do it at all – no one on the team was going to let Boss become a sticker and wheel package.”

Expect the new performance muscle car to appear around the middle of next year.

Tags:2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Revealed

2012 NASCAR Season Review – Roush Fenway Racing

One season after losing the Chase for the Sprint Cup in a tie-breaker, Roush Fenway Racing’s Carl Edwards suffered through a very disappointing season that saw him go winless in Sprint Cup Series competition. Where Edwards struggled, however, the rest of the team – Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Nationwide Series driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – shined in 2012.

Greg Biffle – Biffle was the surprise of the team, earning his best points finish (fifth) since his third-place run in 2008. Biffle led the Sprint Cup points standings from the season’s third race at Las Vegas through race #13 at Dover as well as three more weeks later in the season, capturing two wins, 21 top 10 finishes and three poles. He had the best average start (9.9) and average finish (10.2) of his career as well.

Matt Kenseth – In September, Kenseth announced he was leaving Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the 2012 season for Joe Gibbs Racing, but Kenseth remained committed to his team throughout the Chase, earning a seventh-place finish in points. He started out the season on a high note, winning his second Daytona 500, then capturing the pole for the July event at the same track. Kenseth came into the Chase ranked seventh, but slipped back as far as 12th in the first five races of “post-season.” He earned two more wins in 2012, both during the Chase (Talladega and Kansas), and ended the season with 19 total top 10 finishes.

Carl Edwards – Edwards did not rebound well from missing out on the championship in 2011, as has been the case in previous years as well – following his third-place points finish in 2005, he finished 12th in 2006, and after a runner-up performance in 2008, he finished 11th in 2009. Edwards’ disappointing 2012 included only 13 top 10 finishes, none of which were wins, and a 15th-place finish in points, missing the Chase entirely.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – Stenhouse Jr., who will be moving up to the Sprint Cup Series in 2013 as Kenseth’s replacement, won his second-straight Nationwide Series championship. Stenhouse Jr. won six times in 2012 and had 26 top 10 finishes in 33 races, along with four poles. Stenhouse Jr. struggled in his four Sprint Cup starts of the season, earning a top finish of 12th in Dover, three laps down.

Trevor Bayne – Bayne ran just six races for RFR in the Nationwide Series in 2012 due to sponsorship woes, but posted three top 10 finishes and a pole in competition. He continued his part-time ride for the Wood Brothers in the Sprint Cup Series, earning two top 10 finishes in 16 races for the team.

Paula is a freelance writer and photographer specializing in motorsports. She also covers NASCAR for and Skirts & Scuffs.

Tags:2012 NASCAR Season Review – Roush Fenway Racing

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: A Mercedes with Double the Hammer?

Past Jeep Grand Cherokees were standouts with getting through any type of weather, however, the SUV’s driving refinement was a shortcoming. Not only is the new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 able to get through the weather, it offers real ‘sports SUV’ performance!

So what does the new 2012 Jeep Cherokee SRT8 have to offer?

To start it is equipped with a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 pwerplant delivering 470 hp and 465 ft. lb. of torque. The transmission is a five-speed automatic, and the power is delivered through a rear-wheel bias all-wheel drive system. The five-mode Select-Track system (auto, sport, track, snow and tow) adjusts the engine’s power delivery, transmission shifting, transfer case torque splits, suspension dampening, and rear differential locking to provide distinctive driving characteristics. The SRT8’s 0-60 mph time is in a quick 4.8 seconds and its top speed in 160 mph. Furthermore, this 5,150 lb. Jeep can tow up to 5,000 lbs.

On the exterior the Cherokee SRT8 is bold and looks the part as it includes flared fenders that are filled out by 20 inch alloy wheels. At the front it has the traditional Jeep chrome grille combined with large air intakes. Furthermore, it has functional hood vents. LED daytime running lights provide a modern look to this rugged SUV’s appearance.

At the rear this Jeep looks somewhat like a BMW X5. The design is clean with large distinctive taillights integrated into the liftgate. There is a high-mounted spoiler, and at the bottom a set of four-inch exhaust tailpipes.

Of note is that the chassis for this Grand Cherokee SRT8 was part of the joint work between Mercedes and Chrysler as both automakers’ SUVs uses the same WK2 platform. See my previous article: 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML 350: Now fully worthy of the three-pointed star. Thus, this Jeep is in a league of its own compared to past Jeep offerings. It has wheel aches that extend out 3.8 inches. The roof is 2.4 inches taller, and the wheelbase is 5.3 inches longer than the 2010 model.

On the inside the interior has been upgraded and provides an upscale environment including plenty of headroom. Other features include a heated leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel with shift paddles, highly bolstered and comfortable Nappa leather and suede seats, plus carbon fiber instrument and door trim. Furthermore, there is a 6.5 inch tilting touch navigation screen with media hard drive and MP3 playback function. The stereo is a 19 speaker Harmon Kardon unit. There is 35.1 cubic feet of space behind the rear split-folding seat and 68.7 cubic feet with the seat folded flat.

The brakes are discs at all four corners measuring 15 inches at the front and 13.8 inches at the rear. The calipers are six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembo units. The SRT8’s 60-0 mph stopping distance is in a short 116 feet. The wheels are 20 inch alloys fitted with 295 44 20 inch Pirelli Scorpion Verde rubber.

At the front the suspension is independent with coil springs, Bilstein shock absorbers and stabilizer bar. At the rear the suspension consists of a multi-link setup, coil springs, Bilstein shock absorbers and stabilizer bar.

Active and passive safety systems include ABS, electronic brake force distribution, stability and traction control, blind spot monitoring, forward collision monitoring, tire pressure monitoring, and eight airbags (driver and front passenger, seat mounted driver and passenger, curtain first and second row).

The steering is well weighted and provides good driver feedback when hustling on twisty back roads. This Jeep offers suppressing grip and very sharp handling (.90 g on the skid pad). However, it has very good ride quality and is quiet in town. Thus, there is really no compromising with this SUV as it is really up to any and all driving environments.

The fuel rating for the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is 12 city and 18 mpg on the highway.

The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is priced at $55,295. Expensive yes, but its performance exceeds other high-end SUV offerings, some costing as much as $150,000.

If you want a well equipped and comfortable SUV that has a hammer of an engine, this Jeep should be high on your test/track drive list.

View the slideshow to see the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 inside and out!

Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price: How to Buy a Used Automobile, Sport-Utility Vehicle, or Minivan and Save money.” He welcomes your comments or car questions at his auto web site: Follow Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.

Tags:2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: A Mercedes with Double the Hammer?

2012 IndyCar to Help Teams Cut Costs

After years of being a “one-horse town,” the IZOD IndyCar Series is opening itself up to some diversity with the announcement of a new chassis and aero kit plan for the 2012 season.

Fans have been complaining about the lack of diversity in the cars in the series, which for the last five seasons have consisted of a Dallara chassis and a Honda engine. While Dallara Automobili will still be involved with the chassis, the aerodynamic kits giving the cars their “identity” will be opened up to other auto companies, aerospace companies, independent engineers, and even race teams’ own in-house designs. The aero kits, including front and rear wings, side panels, and the engine coverings, must be approved by the series and have a maximum price of $70,000; teams will be allowed two aero kits a year.

Dallara’s contribution to the program will be the IndyCar Safety Cell, consisting of the tub (where the driver sits), the undercarriage, and the rolling chassis. The price of the Safety Cell is set at $349,000, which is a price drop of 45 percent on the current chassis in use; there will also be a $150,000 discount on the first 28 Safety Cells ordered by Indiana-based teams, set forth by Governor Mitch Daniels.

In addition to cutting costs for teams, Dallara will be stimulating the Indiana economy as well, as the Safety Cells will be built in a new facility in Speedway, Indiana, just down the road from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The $12 million facility is expected to create at least 80 new jobs.

Other specifics of the redesign include improved visibility, better driver protection, a universal chassis platform for use on both ovals and road courses, and a weight drop from 1,565 pounds to 1,380 pounds. IndyCar officials will also be working with Honda and other engine manufacturers to develop engines for 2012 and beyond. The 2012 engine strategy features turbocharged engines producing between 550 and 750 horsepower (dependent on track type) and a time-limited overtake system producing a short gain of up to 100 horsepower.

These changes should be helpful for smaller teams running on limited budgets and sponsorship, as well as large teams who have also had sponsorship woes. IndyCar officials are also hoping the addition of the diversity fans have been longing for brings back fans who were disillusioned by the split between the Indy Racing League and CART/Champ Car, as well as add fans used to such diversity in Formula One and NASCAR.

Source: Nate Ryan,” IndyCar picks chassis for 2012, opens competition to finish job,”

Tags:2012 IndyCar to Help Teams Cut Costs

Saturday, July 30, 2016

2012 MLB Free Agency: 10 Cheaper Options Who Could Have All-Star Seasons

This season is far from over for some teams. For others, the prospect of a better 2012 is the only thing keeping teams going.

There will be some high-profile free agents available in the off season, but with great players come high prices.

The diamond in the rough, the scrapheap and the fading veteran are always available for a reasonable price. Some fail, but others can be potential All-Stars.

Here are 10 affordable players hitting free agency that could be All-Stars.

Brandon Webb

Brandon Webb is a Cy Young winner who’s run into some injury trouble in recent times.

He hasn’t pitched in earnest since 2008, but any team who is willing to take a million dollar flier on him could have an ace in the hole with legitimate pitching credentials.

Derrek Lee

Derrek Lee is a solid veteran who might have one more good year in the tank.

He’s bounced around from Baltimore to Pittsburgh this year.

A one-year, $5 million contract could lead to a potential .300/25/100 year in the right situation.

Chris Carpenter

Chris Carpenter is a veteran with a good career who is having a down year.

A .500 record and a sub-four ERA is still pretty good for a 37-year-old.

Carpenter is coming off of $15 million this year and has a $1 million buyout that I would expect the Cardinals to pay.

A one-year contract around $6-7 million would be enough to see if there is still magic left in Chris Carpenter.

Ramon Hernandez

Ramon Hernandez would have been an All-Star if he was a full-time catcher.

Stuck in an awkward platoon, Hernandez has been bandied about as a trade option from June till today. He will move on from the Reds this year and a number of teams could get this potential All-Star for around less than $5 million.

Kelly Johnson

Kelly Johnson is a very good hitter for the second base position.

If it wasn’t for a paltry batting average this year, he could have made the All-Star team. He’s trying to regroup in Toronto after his recent trade from Arizona.

Johnson makes a little under $6 million this year and with his poor average, probably will sign for around the same price.

He is a powerful second baseman-a rarity in the league-and could be a real bargain next year.

Grady Sizemore

The highly-touted Sizemore has been riddled by injuries over the past few years.

He’s said to be a potential 30/30 guy but hasn’t had a full season since 2008.

If the Indians exercise his buyout, he should see free agency with a reasonable price tag.

Health and wellness could make Sizemore a bargain gem in 2012.

Ryan Vogelsong

He’s already been an All-Star this year, so next year should be no problem, right?

Vogelsong made a big splash with the Giants this season, and since he is on a one-year contract, his price is due to jump.

10 times the minimum is just over $4 million. If Vogelsong can repeat his success of 2011, one team is going to a get a good bargain.As Vogelsong actually has a year of arbitration the Giants will likely be the ones to reap the benefits of his baseball rebirth.

James Loney

I’ve always been a big Loney fan.

Although he doesn’t hit a for a lot of power, he drives in runs, and when he keeps his head down, can be a borderline .300 hitter.

I think he’s worth $4 million to see if he can boost his power.

Joe Nathan

Joe Nathan is an electric closer when healthy.

The last two years have been less than stellar for Nathan’s career.

He’s in the final year of a contract that pays him more than $12 million this season. The rebuilding Twins are likely to buyout Nathan after the season, leaving him free to test the waters.

Teams will be cautious, but he will garner a few looks and still has All-Star potential.

Jimmy Rollins

Probably the gem of this group.

Jimmy Rollins is still an immensely talented player. Although he is aging, he is still a very good player. I see him moving to an AL team where he can play short, third or DH on occasion.

A team would probably need to pay around $8 million for Rollins’ services, and that value could be quickly recouped.

Tags:2012 MLB Free Agency: 10 Cheaper Options Who Could Have All-Star Seasons

2012 Little Caesars Bowl Preview and Pick Against the Spread: Western Kentucky Vs. Central Michigan

Western Kentucky and Central Michigan will play in a 2012 Little Caesars Bowl matchup that is as tasty as a $5.00 pizza. Western Kentucky was 7-5 overall this season and finished in the middle of the Sun Belt standings with a 4-4 record in conference games. Central Michigan had to win their final three games to become bowl eligible with a 6-6 overall record.

When Central Michigan is on Offense

Central Michigan ranks 65th in the nation at 29.3 points per game. Quarterback Ryan Radcliff only completed 59% of his passes this season but did manage to throw for 20 touchdowns with 9 interceptions. Junior running back Zurlon Tipton was outstanding this season for the Chippewas. Tipton averaged 6.1 yards per carry on his way to 1391 yards and 19 touchdowns. Sophomore Titus Davis has the ability to stretch the field and racked up 860 on 20.0 yards per catch.

Western Kentucky ranks 51st in the nation in scoring defense allowing an average of 25.6 points per game. Quanterus Smith is one of the best pass rushers in the nation and ranks fourth with 12.5 sacks. Defensive back Jonathan Dowling is fifth in the country with six interceptions, three of which came in an overtime win against Kentucky. As a team, the Hilltoppers had 31 sacks and 13 interceptions.

When Western Kentucky is on Offense

The Hilltoppers rank 68th in the nation in scoring at 28.8 points per game. Quarterback Kawaun Jakes completed 64% of his passes for 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season. The Hilltoppers lean heavily on the run and running back Antonio Andrews has the numbers to prove it. Andrews averaged 5.8 yards per carry this season on his way to 1609 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is also the third leading receiver on the team with 34 catches for 411 yards.

Central Michigan struggled defensively this season. The Chippewas rank 98th in the nation in scoring defense giving up an average 33.3 points per game. Central Michigan gave up 50 points twice this season and 40 points three times. The Chippewas rank 98th in rushing defense giving up 198 yards per game on the ground. Expect a big game from Antonio Andrew and the Hilltoppers’ rushing attack.

2012 Little Caesars Bowl Pick Against the Spread

Western Kentucky is currently a 5.5-point favorite over Central Michigan in the Little Caesars Bowl. Neither team was particularly impressive this season with the only win against a bowl team being Western Kentucky’s victory over Arkansas State. The big advantage in this game will be Western Kentucky’s running game against a very poor Central Michigan defense. Running back Antonio Andrews is effective in the running and passing game and will give Central Michigan fits. I’m taking Western Kentucky and giving the points.

Prediction: Western Kentucky 31 – Central Michigan 24

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Tags:2012 Little Caesars Bowl Preview and Pick Against the Spread: Western Kentucky Vs. Central Michigan

2012 GOP Field Shaping Up

With less than 18 months until the 2012 Presidential election, there is no clarity in the crowded, yet lackluster Republican Party field of candidates. The presumed front-runner, former Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, is trying to ensure voters that he is someone who can be trusted; someone who will stand by his beliefs.

Romney is my choice for the Republican nomination due to his political pedigree and history of success in the business world, a prerequisite for fixing our economy. However, he has been dogged by the Obamacare plan that is strikingly similar to his Massachusetts healthcare plan. It is important to note that Romney is right to an extent about why the Massachusetts plan was viable, whereas the nation-wide healthcare plan is not. Such a plan can work in smaller domains, which is why universal healthcare plans work in Europe; they have much smaller populations than the United States. Romney’s argument is simple, yet logical, and more Americans need to understand that.

Joining the field of candidates is businessman Herman Cain. Cain is an interesting candidate for the Republican party due to his background but has virtually no shot to garner the nomination. With no experience in elected office, this Tea Party candidate is not a viable solution to face Obama. The Tea Party will not persevere as it is too radical and does not appeal to the voting mass. That combined with the fact that no United States president has ever had as little experience as Cain, bodes poorly for a Cain nomination.

Republican stalwarts Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have already thrown their hats into the ring. The one Republican who has national attention, but has yet to announce a run for office is Sarah Palin. For the sake of Republicans and the American people, I plead Palin and her supporters to keep their mouths shut and forget about a presidential run. Palin has absolutely no chance to win the election.

I thought the Palin VP nomination in 2008 was a smart move by the GOP. Put up an attractive, female governor on the ticket to steal Clinton supporters and independents. Boy did that backfire big time. Palin showed the world that she doesn’t know much about foreign policy after her Katie Couric interview. Then, Palin decided to resign as governor of Alaska to do a doomed reality TV show, latch onto the Tea Party, and say outrageous things that she felt would garner support. Unfortunately for Palin and Republicans, she only appeals to those in the GOP who don’t know squat about anything, and Palin has effectively made Republicans look stupid.

There is time for the Republican Party to find the right candidate for 2012. However, some of the candidates with no chance to win must step down soon and try to unite the GOP. Otherwise, Obama will surely win the election due to the schism that is currently present in the Republican Party.

Tags:2012 GOP Field Shaping Up

2012 NASCAR Season Review – Richard Childress Racing

Richard Childress Racing is one of the mega-teams in NASCAR, fielding winning teams in all three top divisions – Sprint Cup, Nationwide and the Camping World Truck Series. How did this multiple championship-winning team owner fare in 2012 across the three series? Very well, but not well enough to win another title.

Sprint Cup Series – Kevin Harvick led the three full-time cars with an eighth-place finish in the Chase, not winning his first race of the season until the second-to-last event in Phoenix. Harvick had just 14 top 10 finishes in 2012, his fewest since 2009. Veteran Jeff Burton finished 19th in points, with just six top 10 finishes in 2012, while Paul Menard had a career-best season, with nine top 10s and a 16th-place finish in points. Brendan Gaughan competed in four races in a fourth RCR car, with a top finish of 22nd at Bristol in March. Elliott Sadler also raced the fourth RCR car at Daytona in February, finishing 27th, while Austin Dillon raced the car at Michigan in June, finishing 24th.

Nationwide Series – Sadler earned his second runner-up finish in the Nationwide Series in 2012, finishing second both times to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Sadler won four times and earned 24 top 10 finishes in 33 race, also winning the pole four times. Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year Dillon finishes third in points, winning twice and earning 27 top 10 finishes, along with three poles. A number of drivers competed part-time in the Nationwide Series for RCR in 2012, including Harvick, who earned two wins and 10 top 10 finishes in 13 races. Other moonlighting drivers included Tony Stewart, Joey Coulter, Ty Dillon (who earned a third-place finish at the inaugural Nationwide Series event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway), Gaughan, Menard and Max Papis.

Camping World Truck Series – The younger Dillon brother, Ty, earned his own Rookie of the Year award in the Truck Series, winning his first race and finishing fourth in the title hunt. Through the first 12 races of the season, Dillon never finished worst than 12th. The second full-time Truck Series team, with Coulter behind the wheel, also went to victory lane this season, and finished third in points. Dillon and Coutler both won three poles each. A third team saw seat time split between Tim George Jr., Gaughan and Harvick, who earned a win in one of his three starts in the truck.

Paula is a freelance writer and photographer specializing in motorsports. She also covers the sport at Skirts & Scuffs and

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2012 NASCAR Season Review – Kyle Busch Motorsports

2012 was a bit of an oddity in Kyle Busch’s world – it was a season where cutting back on his racing schedule was supposed to help him in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen – Busch didn’t even make the Chase. When he picked up his racing schedule in both the Nationwide and Truck Series at the end of the season, however, something strange happened: Busch’s qualifying runs and finishes improved, to the point where he was one of the best drivers in that Chase. When Busch did moonlight in 2012, it was for his own team.

Kyle Busch Motorsports, founded in 2010 by Busch as a Camping World Truck Series team, expanded its program into the Nationwide Series in 2012, and had some growing pains along the way. While both full-time teams had top 10 finishes in owner’s points with multiple drivers behind the wheel, consistency was difficult to find.

Camping World Truck Series – Jason Leffler was originally hired to be the pilot of the #18 Toyota Tundra in the Truck Series for KBM, a pairing that lasted just nine races before Leffler was released. Six drivers combined to race in the other 13 races in 2012, and in spite of the varied styles of driving each week, all seven drivers – Leffler, Kurt and Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Brian Scott, Drew Herring and David Mayhew – picked up at least one top 10 finish in the #18. The bright spots of the #18 team’s season: Scott’s victory in the #18 at Phoenix in November and the team owner’s runner-up finish at the season finale at Homestead-Miami – one of the best finishes of the season.

There was a second KBM truck in 2012, #51, and Hamlin took it to victory lane at Martinsville in October. In four additional races, NASCAR Mexico champ German Quiroga earned one top 10 finish in four starts in the #51. Overall, KBM’s Truck Series teams ended the season with two wins and 19 top 10 finishes.

Nationwide Series – expectations were high for the #54 Toyota Tundra in the Nationwide Series – and due to those expectations, it was a disappointing season. Brother Kurt Busch ran 11 races in the #54, winning at Richmond in April and collecting eight top 10 finishes. Kyle Busch competed in the remaining 22 races, earning 14 top 10s and three poles, but no wins.

Another disappointment for team owner Busch: he failed to win in the Truck Series for the first time since 2004, and failed to win in the Nationwide Series for the first time since 2003.

Paula is a freelance writer and photographer specializing in motorsports. She also covers NASCAR at and Skirts & Scuffs.

Tags:2012 NASCAR Season Review – Kyle Busch Motorsports

2012 Honda Fit Sport: An Impressive Top-notch Showing

The 2012 Honda Fit Sport was compared with five other subcompact cars and in a Car and Driver test and it came out on top. So what makes the Fit Sport so impressive?

Of the competitors (Chevrolet Sonic Turbo, Toyota Yaris SE, Hyundai Accent SE, Kia Rio5 SX, and Nissan Versa SL), the Fit is the tallest and thus offers a generous greenhouse and a 180 degree view outward from inside. It enables the driver to see way down the road.

Furthermore, the Fit Sport is fun to drive with its confident handling and brakes that are easy to modulate. Most of the time when a vehicle is fun to drive it lacks utility. However, the Fit Sport will carry much cargo when the second row seat is folded down (flat). The Fit has the most cargo space of the six vehicles compared at 21 cubic feet with the second row seat up and 57 cubic feet with the seat folded down (folding down the seat is a snap).

The interior of the Fit Sport is comfortable and will seat up to five. The controls are laid out for ease of use and work with Honda precision. The interior is appealing and looks like it is from a more expensive vehicle.

The engine is a 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder providing 117 hp and 106 ft. lb. of torque. The transmission is either a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic (the automatic is actually geared lower). The car’s 0-60 time is in 8.4 seconds and the braking from 60-0 mph is in 139 feet.

The suspension is MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear. The tire size is 185 55 16 inch.

The audio system is a six-speaker 160-watt AM/FM/CD unit with USB audio interface, MP3 auxiliary input jack, MP3/Windows Media Audio (WMA) with playback capacity, radio data system, and speed sensitive volume control.

Standard features on the Fit Sport include air conditioning with air filtration, power windows and door looks, cruise control, perforated leather-wrapped tilt and telescoping steering wheel, 10 beverage holders, door pocket storage bins (front), headlights on reminder, map lights, 12 volt power outlet, four cargo tie down anchors, rear window defroster, cargo area light, and more.

Safety features include dual-stage front air bags, side curtain air bags, ABS brakes, electronic brake distribution, vehicle stability assist with traction control, brake assist, and tire pressure monitoring.

The fuel rating for the Fit Sports is 27 city and 33 mpg highway.

The 2012 Honda Fit Sport’s starting price is $16,910.

If you want a fun drive that has utility in spades, be sure to test drive the Honda Fit Sport!

View the slideshow to see the 2012 Honda Fit Sport inside and out!

Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price: How to Buy a Used Automobile, Sport-Utility Vehicle, or Minivan and Save money.” He welcomes your comments or car questions at his auto web site: Follow Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.

Tags:2012 Honda Fit Sport: An Impressive Top-notch Showing

2012 MTV VMA Nominations: Adele's Lone and Ironic Nomination

The 2012 MTV VMA nominations have been announced, and British singer Adele only found one nod in her stocking this morning. Her powerful ballad “Someone Like You” was nominated for Best Cinematography. It is okay, you can reread that. Her sole nomination this year is for cinematography.

Oh the irony
Adele has a powerful voice, and in my opinion, “Someone Like You” truly highlights that. The piano drives the melody behind her, but her big beautiful voice strikes you right in the soul as the chorus hits. This vocally driven masterpiece happens to be one of my all time favorites.

I find it incredibly ironic that MTV would limit the performer that just won six Grammy awards for her voice is limited to one nomination for camera work. To heighten the irony, Adele has often had to deal with questions about her weight. (I am looking at you Karl Lagerfeld.) Now, MTV has limited their recognition of her to the pretty video category.

Are you kidding me?
I realize that the VMA’s are closer to the Teen Choice Awards than the Grammys, but MTV could find space for Selena Gomez & The Scene in the Best Female Video category and not Adele? Maybe I am too old to understand, but I am familiar with Gomez’s “Love You Like a Love Song”. This leads me to believe that voice, lyrics, nor cinematography have any effect on the Best Female Category.

But what do I know? I was there when The Buggles killed the radio star.

Tags:2012 MTV VMA Nominations: Adele’s Lone and Ironic Nomination

2012 NCAA Football Memorable for a Few Things

The 2012 NCAA Division 1A football season will be remembered for Alabama winning the National Championship over an outmanned and somewhat distracted Notre Dame team that featured LB Mantei Teo and his off-field problems with an alledged on-line girlfriend.

What will also be remembered about the 2012 season? The return of Southern California to bowl eligibilty and the absence of Penn State and Ohio State from bowl games. Both teams were placed on probation and basically put in the NCAA’s equivilant to “time out” with Penn State on probation for the misdoings of former defensive coach Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky was tried and convicted of molesting 20 boys in his care in 2001, while Ohio State’s misdoings involved exchanging jerseys for tattoos, cash and other improper benefits. Both teams had successful seasons under new coaches but were not eligible to play in a bowl or win a Big 10 title. The Trojans returned to the bowl party under a cloud of controversy when they put up a billboard telling all of Los Angeles that this was their town. The problem? The billboard was near their inter-city and Pac 12 rival UCLA. The Bruins quickly let them know who was king of Tinseltown and beat the Trojans in the final game of the Pac 12 regular season in Pasadena.

2012 saw a once strong Auburn program under Gene Chizik fall flat on their faces and the Tigers failed to win a single game in the SEC. The nail in the coffin for the Tigers, two years removed from winning a national title themselves, was a blowout loss to Alabama in Tuscaloosa. A few weeks later, Chizik was basically thrown under the Auburn bus.

2012 also introduced us to Missouri and Texas A&M joining the Southeastern Conference. Both the Tigers and the Aggies had decent seasons in their new conferences, with A&M giving us “Johnny Football” in the form of Johnny Manzel, who picked up football’s biggest prize, the Heisman Trophy. It was also a pretty good year for Vanderbilt, who for years was the laughing stock of the conference, as they went to their second bowl game in as many years for the first time in a long time.

Speaking of teams not seeing a bowl game in a long time, there’s Duke. Yes. That Duke. The one that plays that other ball. The round one with Coach K. They made their first trip to a bowl game since the Clinton adminstration by beating North Carolina on the last day of the season at home before losing in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte. Another team not exactly known for making it a bowl (Vanderbilt) went to their second bowl in as many years and had their second winning season for the first time since they went 7-3-2 in 1974 and 7-4 in 1975. It would have been nice if these two could have met in a bowl game in 2012. After all, this is Vandy and Duke we’re talking about. Two schools that aren’t exactly football powers that you have to make at least a 1600 on the SAT just to get looked at with somewhat hefty price tags playing in a bowl game. Kind of strange, ya think?

2012 was a good year for some teams, a bad year for others. It brought controversy but it also had excitment and thrills and a suprise or two. What will 2013 bring? Can Auburn rebound from their dismal season? Can the Crimson Tide repeat as national champions? Can Johnny Football be the first two-time Heisman winner since Archie Griffin pulled it off? There are more questions than answers and the 2013 season has yet to see the light of day.

But as ESPN’s Chris Berman once said, “That’s why they play the games.”

Tags:2012 NCAA Football Memorable for a Few Things

2012 Oscar Poster Unveiled

Each year the Academy of Motions Picture Arts and Sciences released its poster for its award show. This year they encourage all to collect and share. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled the poster for the 84th Academy Awards® today in Beverly Hills.

The theme for the poster, which was created by award-winning graphic designer Anthony Goldschmidt, and Mark and Karen Crawford of the design firm Blood&Chocolate is, “Celebrate the movies in all of us.”
Movies have been a part of all of our lives and this year the Academy has tried to invoke that message in all of us. And perhaps, the collector as well. Academy President Sherak said in an AMPAS release,

“Whether it’s a first date or a holiday gathering with friends or family, movies are a big part of our memory.” One more feature about the poster, which has the golden statuette on one side and floating like features embedded, can be downloaded shared.

In fact, they encourage it. The image is available on the Academy’s website, A quick glance at the poster one can see those floating objects.

They represent images from eight films which span eight decades. They are “Gone with the Wind” (1939), “Casablanca” (1943), “Giant” (1956), “The Sound of Music” (1965), “The Godfather” (1972), “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989), “Forrest Gump” (1994) and “Gladiator” (2000). Seven of the eight won for Best Picture. “Giant” did not, but, its director, George Stevens, won for director. “The Academy Awards not only honor the excellence of these movies, but also celebrate what they mean to us as a culture and to each of us individually,” Sherak added.

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2012 NASCAR Season Review – Turner Motorsports

Turner Motorsports cemented itself as a NASCAR super-team on the rise with its impressive performances in the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series in the 2012 season. In 2012, Turner Motorsports won 10 races, won its first NASCAR championship, and made its Sprint Cup Series debut.

Camping World Truck Series – Turner Motorsports supported three full-time teams and a part-time team for the 2012 season with big results: its first championship. James Buescher, driving the #31 Chevrolet Silverado, turned four wins and 14 total top 10 finishes in 22 races into the Truck Series title. Buescher earned his first career Truck Series win at Kansas in April, and followed it up with wins at Chicagoland Speedway and both races at Kentucky.

Nelson Piquet Jr., in the #30 Chevy, earned two Truck Series wins in 2012, the first of his career coming at Michigan in August, then following it up with the win at Las Vegas in September. Piquet Jr. ended the season seventh in points, with 15 top 10s and four poles in addition to the pair of victories. Miguel Paludo, in the #32 for Turner Motorsports, drove to a 10th-place finish in points, with five top 10 finishes and a pole at the season-opener in Daytona.

The fourth team had five different drivers behind the wheel, with Kasey Kahne winning at Rockingham in April in his only Truck Series appearance of 2012. Kyle Larson ran four races with the team, earning three top 10 finishes, including a runner-up finish at Phoenix in November.

Nationwide Series – a couple of months before Buescher earned his first Truck Series win, he got his first Nationwide Series win at the season-opener at Daytona. Piquet Jr. also got his first Nationwide Series win before his first Truck Series victory, at Road America in Wisconsin in June. Justin Allgaier, the only full-time Nationwide Series driver for Turner Motorsports in the #31, also picked up a win in Montreal in August, on his way to a sixth-place finish in points; he ended the season with 19 top 10 finishes.

Kasey Kahne and Brad Sweet combined for 11 top 10 finishes in 2012 (nine were Kahne’s) in the #38, while nine drivers combined to run the #30, with Buescher and Piquet Jr. getting the wins. Paludo also ran one race in a fourth Turner Nationwide Series car, the #32, at Road America.

Sprint Cup Series – Turner Motorsports took its first step into the Cup Series with a one-race deal with former Cup Series champ Bill Elliott behind the wheel, sponsored by Walmart. Elliott started sixth in the July race at Daytona, but finished 37th after getting caught up in an accident.

Paula is a freelance writer and photographer specializing in motorsports. She also covers NASCAR at and Skirts & Scuffs.

Tags:2012 NASCAR Season Review – Turner Motorsports

2012 Presidential Candidates Enter the Digital World

Since the creation of social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube , businesses and other groups have taken advantage of promoting their products or ideas through advertisement or the creation of mobile groups. Now the 2012 presidential hopefuls are gearing up to enter the digital world of social media in order to advertise their campaigns. Through social media efforts, they are hoping to reach more people in order to get to the Oval Office .

Newt Gingrich is one such hopeful, making a splash into the race with an official tweet at 9 a.m. Wednesday stating that he is making a bid to run for president. However, the same social media he hopes will gain him favor with the populace can also be used against him. Hours before his official tweet, people are abuzz with their reactions on Twitter. Many people are making statements wondering if he is the best candidate for the job. Some even believe he is too old for the presidency, that he does not have the best experience, and question his sense of lifestyle. He is not the only presidential candidate hoping to garnish attention from the U.S population through the use of social media network; other candidates are using social media for their own gain as well in this 2012 race.

Republican candidate Herman Cain, a self-proclaimed media guru, is amassing quite a following on websites such as Twitter and Youtube. His speeches on Youtube are reaching thousands of views every day, and his official Twitter account is becoming a well-commissioned social media site for his campaign. He has even coined his own social media reference on Twitter with terms like #citizencain.

In April, President Obama’s team announced his bid to re-run for president through a video posted on his website and massive emails sent to his followers. Unlike his 2008 campaign, Obama is now embracing social medial in this second campaign for the Oval Office. He further kicked off his social media campaigning with online video answering questions from Facebook’s home office. Millions of people are following Obama on Twitter and his infiltration into Facebook advertising is helping him create a large fan base in the Facebook world.

Independent Mike Bloomberg is also using the social media train to help assert his name into becoming a wanted presidential candidate. His new official website has links promoting his Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn , foursquare, YouTube, and flickr usage and accounts. He is an up-and-coming hopeful trying to build his own social media credentials as the easiest way for him to garnish support for his presidential run against the power of the Democratic and Republican parties.

In the social media world, the presidential candidates are trying to create their own followers on Twitter or advertise on Facebook their ideals and what they stand for. The value of viewership and promotion in social media is definitely taking a new turn in this 2012 presidential race.

Sources: Michelle Castillo, “How Herman Cain won the GOP and Won over the Online Community.”

Perry Bacon, Jr. “President Obama Kicks off His 2012 fundraising campaign in Chicago.”

Newt Announces his Run and Peoples Reactions

Bloomberg’s Social Media

Tags:2012 Presidential Candidates Enter the Digital World

2012 NFL Week 1 Predictions and Picks

It’s time for my 2012 NFL week 1 predictions and picks. The season kicks off with Dallas at the New York Giants on Wednesday, September 5. Who will emerge from this conference showdown as victorious in week one? The Giants certainly proved last year that winning down the stretch is far more important than what takes place in the early portion of the season. The Cowboys are a team looking for bigger and better things after struggling in 2011.

Eli Manning versus Tony Romo definitely sounds appetizing for the first week of the season. My predictions and picks for this game? I’d like to pick an upset and I feel that the Cowboys will be more than capable. However, I just don’t see Romo getting a whole lot of time against the Giants defensive line. For that reason, I predict the Giants will win an ugly one 26-21.

What’s next on the 2012 NFL week 1 schedule? Let’s look at the full slate of games on Sunday. Indianapolis is at Chicago to face the Bears. Is Andrew Luck capable of upsetting the Bears at Soldier Field? My 2012 NFL week 1 predictions and picks say that Luck will struggle early and often in his debut. The Bears win behind the strength of 3 Jay Cutler touchdown passes 31-13.

Philadelphia is in Cleveland to face the Browns. Oddsmakers might tell you the Eagles will walk away with a victory here. Those oddsmakers would be right. Michael Vick throws for 2 and runs for another touchdown as the Eagles win 27-14.

New England travels to Tennessee to face another young quarterback in Jake Locker. Tom Brady hits on all cylinders and the Patriots pick up their first win of the year 31-23.

Atlanta heads to Kansas City to face the Chiefs. Matt Ryan leads the way with 3 touchdown passes in a 30-16 Falcon win.

My 2012 NFL predictions and picks continue with Jacksonville at Minnesota. A lot could depend on whether Adrian Peterson returns or not in this one. I still think the Vikings down the Jags, who will probably be without Maurice Jones-Drew, by a 23-10 final.

Washington travels to New Orleans to face Drew Brees and the Saints. Can Robert Griffin perform “Cam Newton” type rookie magic starting in the week 1 NFL schedule? I don’t think so. Although I believe it could be entertaining. Saints still win 36-20.

Buffalo is on the road at New York to face the Jets. The Bills started well last season and struggled. I look for quite the opposite this year. The Jets get offense finally and beat the Bills 27-6.

St. Louis visits Detroit in what could be an interesting early season match up. Rams head coach Jeff Fisher could make a not so great team at least mediocre in his first year. For that reason, I think the Rams will play close but no cigar in Detroit. Lions win 31-23.

Houston hosts Miami elsewhere. The Texans Arian Foster runs wild with 3 touchdowns in a 33-10 blowout.

San Francisco travels to Green Bay to face the Packers. Aaron Rodgers is just way too much as the Pack gets in the win column with a 30-15 victory.

My 2012 NFL week 1 predictions and picks continue with Seattle at Arizona. This game seems like it could be irrelevent by mid-season. But I think the Seahawks could potentially challenge for a wild card position. Seattle wins on the road in the week 1 NFL schedule 22-17.

Cam Newton and Carolina are in Tampa Bay. Can the Panthers keep the offense going in 2012? My answer is absolutely. The Panthers roll to a 23-13 victory going away.

In what could be the most entertaining game of week one, Denver hosts Pittsburgh on Sunday night. The debut of Peyton Manning could potentially be run over by the Steel Curtain defense. But I don’t think so. Not in week one. The Broncos win thanks to 4 touchdown passes from Manning in a 31-27 battle.

The final games on the 2012 NFL week once schedule take place on Monday night. Cincinnati heads to Baltimore and San Diego visits Oakland.

My 2012 NFL 1 predictions? I’ll take the Ravens in a 24-17 victory and the Raiders at home 16-13. Ryan Matthews will not be available and I believe that could hurt the Chargers overall offense. Ray Rice gets busy with 110 yards and 2 scores for the Ravens in a week 1 win.

That’s all for my 2012 NFL predictions and picks for week 1. I’ll be back next week with another round of winners and losers.

Tags:2012 NFL Week 1 Predictions and Picks

2012 NFL Draft: Senior Quarterback Watch

Here are my top senior quarterbacks for the 2012 NFL Draft.

1. Nick Foles, Arizona ‘” Foles has great size and last season completed 67 percent of his passes, he is a good overall athlete. He needs to improve on some of his decisions when he forces passes into coverage and threw an interception in every game he played last year expect 3 games, and threw 3 interceptions in the Alamo Bowl. He has some of the same physical tools as Blaine Gabbert who was a first round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

2. Ryan Lindley, San Diego State ‘” Lindley has all the physical tools to make all the throws in the NFL, but what concerns me is that he has never completed over 60 percent of his passes in any season and the last two season has combined to throw 30 interceptions. He did show improvement from his sophomore season to this junior season and he should be better this season as a senior.

3. G.J. Kinne, Tulsa ‘” Kinne is a great overall athlete and has lead Tulsa in both passing and rushing for the past two seasons. He is a transfer from Texas and has all the physical tools to be a NFL quarterback, some are going to question the level of competition he has faced, but gets to open up this season against Oklahoma.

4. Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M ‘” Tannehill is a former wide receiver who started the last seven games at quarterback so he is a little raw but has all the physical tools to play at the next level. He has some good talent around him in wide receiver Jeff Fuller and running back Cyrus Gray and could really help himself this season.

5. Kirk Cousins, Michigan State ‘” Cousins is a good solid quarterback who is a leader and an accurate passer. The questions are does he have enough physical gifts to be a big time NFL quarterback prospects, right now the jury is still out on that.

6. Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State ‘” Weeden is a good quarterback who has a strong arm and threw for over 4,000 yards last year but will be 28 years old when the 2012 NFL Draft comes around and that will cause some concerns.

7. Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State ‘” Pryor is a better overall athlete then he is a quarterback right now and has started since he was a freshman and has been a very successful helping Ohio State win games. He improved as a passer last season and will need to again show that this season after he serves his five-game suspension.

8. Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois ‘” Harnish is a quarterback that I think will surprise some people this season and be a sleeper in next years draft. He is a good overall athlete who can make all the throws and move around the pocket and make plays with his legs. People are going to questions him playing in the MAC so will have to go out and have another outstanding season.

9. Case Keenum, Houston ‘” People might be right when saying that Keenum is a system quarterback but to put up back-to-back seasons of over 5,000 yards passing and 44 touchdowns is impressive and we will see how he comes back from his injury that cost him most of last season.

10. Dominique Davis, East Carolina – Davis is someone to watch this season, he started his career at Boston College and played some as a red-shirt freshman there even starting the 2008 ACC Championship Game against Virginia Tech where he threw for 263 yards. Last season Davis threw for 3,967 yards and 37 touchdowns, he completed 64 percent of his passes and rushed for 141 yards and 9 touchdowns.

11. John Brantley, Florida
12. Jordan Jefferson, LSU
13. Kellen Moore, Boise State
14. B.J. Coleman, Chattanooga
15. Michael Paulus, William & Mary
16. Matt Scott, Arizona
17. Brian Reader, Idaho
18. Austin Davis, Southern Mississippi
19. Stephen Garcia, South Carolina
20. Casey Therriault, Jackson State

Tags:2012 NFL Draft: Senior Quarterback Watch

2012 Movie Review

The 2012 movie review opinions are out this morning. As I read each 2012 movie review, I am reminded of the hype surrounding 1999 and the end of the world. We’re all still standing which leads me to believe this mass panic is a great way to drive people to movie theaters.

The Mayans predict the world will end in 2012. Director Roland Emmerich is renowned for movies about doom and gloom including Independence Day in 1996, Godzilla in 1998, the Day After Tomorrow in 2004 and in 2009 we get 2012. The movie features leading stars including John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Amanda Peet and Danny Glover.

The 2012 movie review from the New York Times gave this doom and gloom flick a less than stellar review. Manohla Dargas of the Times states:

Mr. Harrelson looks like he’s actually having the kind of good time stupid movies should provide but that this one roundly fails to deliver. Despite the frenetic action scenes, the movie sags, done in by multiple story lines that undercut one another and by the heaviness of its conceit. Humanity is dying, after all, as the television talking heads keep repeating, and while most of the dead are specks on the screen, Mr. Emmerich occasionally brings you close to the calamity.

Nick Chordas at the Columbus Dispatch wasn’t impressed by 2012 either and was quite straightforward about his opinion. In his 2012 movie review, Chordas states:

The end-of-days extravaganza 2012 isn’t just the disaster porn that the movie trailers and TV advertisements promise.

It’s far, far more stupid than that.

Massive shifts in the planet’s crust result in the leveling of entire continents — yet cell-phone service remains uninterrupted.

Billions flee for their lives around the globe — but the same half-dozen characters continually and randomly run into one another.

The U.S. president avoids being crushed by the Washington Monument — only to end up getting smacked in the kisser by an aircraft carrier.

I could go on, but the bottom line is that 2012 is a very dumb and often very funny movie.

Whether the humor is intentional can be debated — and probably will the moment 2012 arrives on DVD and promptly becomes a drinking game…

Colin Covert of the Star Tribune gave a positive 2012 movie review and stated:

Crowd-pleasing global annihilation is the goal of “2012,” and darned if they don’t accomplish it.

A big, loud, blow-you-out-of-your-seat blockbuster of the kind usually released in midsummer, it features all the stock cataclysms and characters of bygone doomsday epics. Once again we meet those familiar figures, the idealistic scientist, the pigheaded politician, the sympathetic and steadfast family man, and the obligatory cute females who exist to be imperiled and add love interest.

This time, however, they’re a bit more interesting than the usual disaster people doing the usual disaster things. “2012” is a have-it-both-ways hip/square doomsday movie. It serves up slaphappy sight gags in the midst of pulse-racing action crises, handling the threat of human extinction with just the right combination of facetiousness and sincerity.

Every 2012 movie review seems to find humor in this doomsday flick. While I don’t know if that’s what they intended, many do find all the end of the world hype humorous. After all, we were wrong in 1999…

Tags:2012 Movie Review

2012 Olympics Balance Environmental Impact Through Sustainable Development

The games of the modern Olympiad bring with them modern concerns about the environmental impact. From construction of the necessary venues to the international travel and worldwide broadcasts, the Olympics require a large investment of natural resources.

Plans for the 2012 Olympics in London are being guided with principles of sustainable development to tackle the environmental concerns inherent with an event on the scale of the Olympics. According to the official Web site of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games,, the 2012 Olympics are the first summer Games with sustainability built into all stages of planning.

The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has a sustainability plan that addresses climate change, waste and biodiversity. Objectives focus on the carbon footprint, water use, waste and recycling, sustainability of materials, biodiversity and ecology at Olympic venues, and other environmental impacts. One of the goals is to inspire lasting change toward sustainable living.

The creation of Olympic Park in the Lower Lea Valley area of east London is transforming a contaminated, industrial area to green space. The site (2.5 square kilometers, or nearly one square mile) will add more than 2,000 trees and over 300,000 wetland plants to create a park to be enjoyed by people and wildlife alike.

The sustainable development efforts at the park included dismantling, rather than destruction, of existing buildings to allow materials to be reused. In its first sustainability report released in April 2011, LOCOG reported that 98.5 percent of materials were reused or recycled during the demolition phase at Olympic Park, exceeding the goal of 90 percent. The temporary venues required for the Olympics are being designed for reuse and recycling after the Games.

Further environmental monitoring will be conducted throughout the ramp up to the Olympic Games. LOCOG plans to issue two more sustainability reports, one in the spring of 2012 and the final report in the winter of 2012-13, detailing the progress against environmental objectives for the 2012 Olympics.


Tags:2012 Olympics Balance Environmental Impact Through Sustainable Development

Friday, July 29, 2016

2012 Nissan GT-R Unveiled at the LA Auto Show

Nissan has officially unveiled the updated heavily-hyped 2012 Nissan GT-R at the LA Auto Show.

Car and Driver reports the much-anticipated “super sports car’ has been unveiled and is expect to be available in the US early next year. It will contain a set of design upgrades to the popular Nissan GT-R.

Unofficial tests have reportedly indicated the 2012 GT-R does 0 to 60 mph in under 3 seconds.

“The Nissan GT-R continues to be a multi-dimensional performance machine that lives up to the concept of ‘the ultimate supercar that can be driven by anyone, anytime, anywhere,‘” said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager of Nissan North America,” in a public statement.

“With the enhancements for 2012, including its 530-horsepower twin turbo V6 and revised styling, the GT-R legend continues to grow. We can’t wait for its arrival in Nissan showrooms, and on the streets, here in the U.S.”

The advanced VR38DETT 3.8-liter twin turbo V6 engine of the 2012 Nissan GT-R now produces 530 horsepower and 488 lb-ft of torque.

For more of what’s hot on the internet check out Forward Buzz.

The GT-R was the most anticipated reveal at the annual LA Auto Show.

Tags:2012 Nissan GT-R Unveiled at the LA Auto Show

2012 NHL Draft: The Oilers Pick Number One Again, Again

Giddy, embarrassed, surprised and depressed. As an Edmonton Oilers fan, I felt like I had taken a shot with all four of those emotions mixed in one bizarre drink. I think it is called Failure Celebration. Against the odds this time, the Oilers won the draft lottery and have the number one pick in the NHL draft for the third straight season.

The glass half full view for this year’s draft is that if you are going to be in the lottery you may as well win it. Let me be clear though, there is nothing enjoyable about your team winning the draft lottery three straight times. Nothing.

These “Reverse Dynasty” years have at least taught us a few things though. For one, if you want your kid to be drafted first overall it helps if his name rhymes with words like fall or fail. It just is not as much fun if your bad team does not get to ” fall for Hall,” be “cryin’ for Ryan,” or “fail for Nail,” even if I did make one of those up.

We are also learning just how loyal Edmonton Oilers fans are willing to be. How much we are willing to put up with. It has been six long years since that improbable run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final captured the city. The fall was quick and hard. The question is how much longer hope and optimism will sell?

There is some room to feel excited about the Oilers. There is a great young nucleus of players developing. Also, despite a 29th place finish, the 2011-2012 version of the Oilers was significantly better than the prior year. The penalty kill improved from being ranked 29th to 14th and the power play jumped from 27th to 3rd. Most importantly, the Oilers won seven more games and finished with twelve more points than the 2010-2011 team. Unfortunately those improvements only do so much when you are starting from rock bottom.

In the end this is still a team that finished 21 points out of the playoffs. Even with another improved season we may be looking at a seventh difficult season without playoff hockey. This is Edmonton though, and when it comes to hockey hope truly does spring eternal. If teams like the Devils, Blues, and Panthers can make twenty point improvements in a season, then why not the Oilers? I guess this fan is willing to buy hope and optimism for at least one more season.

Now excuse me while I take another shot of Failure Celebration to toast to what is hopefully the end of the Edmonton Oilers Reverse Dynasty.

Tags:2012 NHL Draft: The Oilers Pick Number One Again, Again

2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl Preview & Prediction; BCS NCAA College Football Pick

Allstate Sugar Bowl – Louisville vs. Florida January 2, 2013
The 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl features a strong one-loss Florida Gators team facing off against the Big East champion Louisville Cardinals. Louisville is the heavy underdog in this game and will try to defeat the Gators, whose only loss is against SEC runner-up Georgia. Here is a quick preview of both teams heading into the game and a game prediction.

Louisville Cardinals
The Louisville Cardinals went the entire season without playing one nationally ranked opponent. It is safe to say that the Florida Gators will be the best team that the Cardinals have faced this year. The Big East Conference seemed especially weak in 2012 and Louisville is the only team in the conference that finished ranked in the Top 25. After a 9-0 start, Louisville dropped two straight games against Syracuse on the road and UCONN in a close overtime loss at home. A close 20-17 win over Rutgers propelled Louisville into the automatic BCS berth given to the Big East Conference champion.

The Louisville defense has had an up and down year with a few bad performances including allowing 524 yards of offense against Syracuse. The Cardinals are 37th in points allowed per game with 23.8. Their defense does not look to stack up very well against the Gators’ offense.

The Louisville offense has been solid, not not spectacular. The Cardinals average 31 points a game, good enough for 48th in the nation. Sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had a good season with 25 touchdowns and 7 interceptions while passing for 3,452 yards. The Louisville rushing attack was split by running backs Jeremy Wright and Senorise Perry. Perry was having the more productive season until he was lost for the year with a leg injury. In their last game of the regular season, Wright had 22 carries for 17 yards. It is safe to say that the Cardinals rushing attack is in trouble without Senorise Perry and they will have to count on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater if they hope to compete against the Gators.

Florida Gators
Florida fans are looking forward to a BCS victory, but are not happy with the current structure of the BCS, and wish the playoff format was in place this season instead of having to wait several seasons. Currently ranked #3 in the country, Florida would be one of the four teams selected for the playoff format, and would have a chance to play for a championship. A close loss to Georgia gave the Bulldogs the spot in the SEC Championship Game instead of Florida, who would’ve then played Alabama. Florida will now have to settle with playing against a Big East opponent who they are heavily favored against.

Florida’s strength lies in it’s defense. They are 3rd in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 12.9 points per game, even while playing a schedule filled with strong offenses in the SEC. The most points they have allowed all year was 26 against Florida State, a game in which they won 37-26. In games against LSU, Missouri, and Kentucky, the Florida Gators only gave up a combined total of 13 points.

On offense, the Florida Gators have received contributions from running back Mike Gillislee and quarterback Jeff Driskel. Gillislee has rushed for over 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns. Quarterback Jeff Driskel has not been given many opportunities to take over games, but has contributed 1,471 yards through the air, 11 passing touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. On the ground, Driskel has rushed for 404 yards and 4 touchdowns. Although they are scoring only 26.8 points per game, Florida scores more than enough points with the stinginess of their defense.

Game Overview
The game will be controlled by the Florida Gators on both sides of the ball. Louisville has had a great season, but they do not have the talent or the experience to compete on the same level as Florida. Florida will win with ease in a lackluster game.

Betting Line: (December 12, 2013) Florida Gators -14

Prediction: Florida Gators 27, Louisville Cardinals 10 (Florida -14)

*All statistics are from ESPN via

Tags:2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl Preview & Prediction; BCS NCAA College Football Pick

2012 Presidential Election a “War of Words” or Lies

With public relations of any kind, words can carry great weight to influence positive or negative reactions out of people; presidential campaigns are no different. Putting the right “spin” on whatever a presidential candidate’s position is, can be very critical in winning the majority’s approval or disapproval.

Any election rides on what I call a “war of words” between any two rival candidates, though those words are expressed through political ads or by speeches on the campaign trail. The winner of any “war on words” wins the election.

There is also a “war of words” for this election between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney. Though this war is different from past presidential “war of words”, many of the words being used in the current election season are in my opinion, closer to outright lies than the usual rhetorical spin, at least coming from the Republican nominee’s campaign.

The first outright lie was the way the Romney team used a political ad that took words that Obama said right out of context:

“If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” Romney’s ad quotes the president. What the ad doesn’t show is the full context of Obama’s words in which he was quoting Sen. John McCain, meaning the words were actually McCain’s.

I knew when I first saw this political ad by Romney several months back, that his campaign would continue to resort to undignified and deceptive tactics to win this election, and they’ve proven me to be right.

Mitt Romney is also known to tell lies even about his own record, such as how many jobs he’s created while working for Bain Capital. Let’s not also forget his well-known flip-flop record of when he was the governor of Massachusetts and now that he’s the Republican nominee to be president.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has made claims that President Obama doesn’t have a jobs plan. Anyone who pays any attention to the news would know that President Obama gave Congress a jobs plan back in September of 2011 called “The American Jobs Act”.

Is Romney counting on enough voters who haven’t heard about the American Jobs Act to believe him when he makes that claim? Even if that is possibly true, it would still have a much more negative effect on those voters who know that he’s not telling the truth than those who don’t, and thereby causing him to lose favor with even more voters who actually know the truth about Obama’s job record.

Then there is pieces of campaign speeches that Mitt Romney has given, clearly making statements that are not only misleading but just right out untrue. In one speech Romney said this:

“One must ask whether we will still be a free enterprise nation and whether we will still have economic freedom. America is on the cusp of having a government-run economy. President Obama is transforming America into something very different from the land of the free and the land of opportunity.”

I think Obama would be wise during one of the debates between the two, to ask Mr. Romney to clarify his statement “One must ask whether we will still be a free enterprise nation…”

President Obama’s record for “free enterprise” is something to be proud of. Not only are taxes the lowest they’ve been since 1950 for all Americans, but corporations have made huge profits under his administration. Back in May of this year, the stock market reached its highest level since 2008 before the Great Recession.

Then let us also add to Obama’s “free enterprise” record the return of the auto industry – which by the way – Mitt Romney has tried claiming credit for himself.

It seems to me that the media is always taking snapshots of Mitt Romney saying things that aren’t true and eventually we have a whole portfolio of what Romney is all about and what Mitt Romney is about is a façade. Opportunely, that façade will be on display effusively when we finally arrive at the presidential debates between Romney and Obama later this year.

As always when it comes to Mitt Romney and what he has to say, character is always at the forefront of any thought of electing such a man as he. Voters must decide by November if they want to trust someone like Mitt Romney or stay with the status quo. The status quo to us voters may not be perfect for sure, but at least we all know what we’re getting.

Tags:2012 Presidential Election a “War of Words” or Lies

2012 Republican Presidential Candidates Power Rankings

  • 1) Mitt Romney Still the front runner, with a tremendous fundraising advantage. The fallout from the debt ceiling crises will define his campaign more than the other contenders going forward. He has wisely kept a low profile, trying to read the tea leaves. Last Ranking 1
  • 2) Michele Bachmann- She has arrived and out of Sarah Palin’s considerable shadow. Now the fun begins. How will she respond to the attacks and the inevitable close scrutiny? Last Ranking 2
  • 3) Tim Pawlenty- Still struggling to make a splash, but it is a long campaign process. Building grass root support? Last Ranking 3
  • 4) Herman Cain ‘” Getting name recognition with bombastic statements and some Muslim bashing. His candidacy is moving up .Last Ranking 7
  • 5) Ron Paul ‘” At some point he has to realize that his ‘truths” can only gain traction if he builds a movement. Last Ranking 4
  • 6) John Huntsman- Another Tim Pawlenty. He needs a splash but he might be working hard and quietly behind the scene. Last Ranking 6
  • 7) Newt Gingrich- The question. Can he pull a McCain? Because his campaign appears to be imploding. Last Ranking 5
  • 8) Rick Santorum- Why is he running? Last Ranking 8
  • 9) Gary Johnson-Former Governor of New Mexico. Even his outrage at the Family Leader Pledge did not move the meter. Last Ranking 9
  • 10) Fred Karger, Jimmy McMillan and Jonathon Sharkey.

Tags:2012 Republican Presidential Candidates Power Rankings

Thursday, July 28, 2016

2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame Finalists Brace for Immortality

In just a few weeks, Pro Football Hall of Fame voters will meet in Indianapolis, Indiana and decide who will be inducted into Canton this year. There were many reasonable and dubious characters for the voters to sift through, yet there were several of the dubious choices that made it as finalists instead of glaring omissions.

Wide receivers Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Andre Reed, running backs Jerome Bettis and Curtis Martin and guard Will Shields made the cut, as did the two senior nominees of defensive back Jack Butler and guard Dick Stanfel. Defensive back Aeneas Williams and defensive ends Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene and Charles Haley and defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy and center Dermontti Dawson and offensive tackle Willie Roaf and former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. also got into the final stage of the process

A finalist must receive 80 percent of the vote to be selected. Somewhere between four and seven enshrinees are typically announced annually, which will happen the day before the Super Bowl on February 5th, then inducted in August in the Hall’s 50th class.

Parcells and Shields were the only two candidates to make the list of finalists in their first year of eligibility. What will happen next is anyone’s guess, because it is next to impossible to read the mind of the voters after seeing this list of finalists.

First let’s get the obvious choices out of the way. These are players who belong in so much that they shouldn’t have to wait, even if there are a ton of worthy candidates who fit that description and have been buried for decades in the senior voters pool.

Jack Butler
Pittsburgh Steelers
9 Seasons
5 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Honors
52 Interceptions
10 Fumble Recoveries
9 Touchdowns

He is the last person to play in the NFL from Saint Bonaventure University because the school dropped their football program after 1951. Butler joined the Bonnies football team at the request of Bonnie athletic director, Father Dan Rooney, the brother of Steelers owner Art Rooney. Butler then joined Pittsburgh as an undrafted free agent rookie.

He retired early because of an injury, but his 52 interceptions in nine seasons were second most in NFL history at the time. He still ranks second in the Steelers history in total interceptions.

When he retired from playing, Butler became an NFL scout. He was the director of BLESTO for over 40 years until he retired at 80 years old in 2007. Butler has helped start the career of innumerable scouts, player personnel directors, and general managers in the NFL.

Butler was one of the hardest hitting cornerbacks to have ever played the game. Yet, he also had shut down ability, which is shown with his 52 thefts. Personally, I think his contributions off the field make him worthy two different ways.

But, sticking to just his play on the gridiron, there is no question that is is truly a disgrace that Jack Butler has not yet been inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame already. He goes into Canton if I voted, no question.

Dermontti Dawson
Pittsburgh Steelers
13 Seasons
7 Pro Bowls
6 First Team All-Pro Honors

Dawson first started out as a guard before switching the center and became one of the very best in the business. He has been a semi-finalist three times and and finalist twice. It is time he gets inducted.

Curtis Martin
Running Back
New York Jets
11 Seasons
5 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro Honors
14,101 Yards Rushing
484 Receptions
100 Touchdowns

One of the more underrated running backs of his era, Martin rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the first 10 seasons of his career. Reliable and durable, he led the NFL in carries and rushing yards in his tenth season.

Martin was much more than a guy who carried the ball. He was an effective receiver and fumbled just 29 times in his career. He is easily the most worthy running back in the 2012 class and surely gets my vote.

Willie Roaf
Offensive Tackle
New Orleans Saints
13 Seasons
11 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Honors

Roaf deserves induction this year. Plain and simple. I think there are a ton of blockers who belong, but the offensive line is usually overlooked.

Even though he missed 17 games because of injuries, Roaf started in every one of the 189 games he played in his career. A cerebral player with immense strength and incredible dexterity, the nimble tackle was rarely beat whether run blocking or protecting the blind side of the quarterback.

Willie Shields
Kansas City Chiefs
14 Seasons
12 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro Honors

Shields better go in immediately. He missed one start, but played in all 224 games in his career. He was always one guards in the AFC annually. He deserves induction now, but I have been saying this about Chiefs legends Jim Tyrer, Johnny Robinson and Ed Budde for years and years as well.

Aeneas Williams
Arizona Cardinals
14 Seasons
8 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Honors
55 Interceptions
23 Fumble Recoveries
12 Touchdowns

Williams is one of many cornerbacks who belong in Canton, joining greats like Lemar Parrish, Pat Fischer, Louis Wright and more, but he may beat them in the race for induction. Like them, he was a premier defender.

One fact easily seen is that Williams made opponents pay when they tried to move the ball in his direction. I believe he is worthy of immediate induction, but I been saying that about Parrish and others for years.

That is six guys right there ready to get inducted. If there is a seventh person to go into Canton in 2012, there is a tough choice to be made. The Hall of Fame has inducted eight or more men three times, yet not have done so since 1967. The voters have frequently gone with just four inductees inducted, an inexcusable amount, and have even inducted just three in 1973 and 1976.

Who will make that seventh selection is a mystery, but two candidates are members of the media and that may give them an extra nudge since they rub elbows with the voters both in social circles and the workplace. It would be better if the induction classes extended to eight again, after allowing the senior voters to nominate four players annually, because there is such a backlog of worthy players being slapped in the face with disrespect as they watch lesser players inducted instead.

If I were a voter who had just walked in and had to vote from this current group of finalists, I would be torn between two players. While both are certainly worthy, one played over twice as long in his career. While the rules that player participated in helped immensely, where the other played in an era would you could feed your family better by not playing football.

My pick would be :

Cris Carter
Wide Receiver
Minnesota Vikings
16 Seasons
8 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro Honors
1,101 Receptions
130 Touchdowns

Carter got to enjoy rules friendly to the offense in an obscene fashion. He had a gift, however, of making catches in the end zone.

That gift had him once released by the Philadelphia Eagles, where head coach Buddy Ryan the reason was that all Carter did for the Eagles was “catch touchdown passes”. The truth was that Carter was abusing drugs and the wide receiver credits his being cut as the wake up call that saved his life.

The Minnesota Vikings claimed him off the waiver wire right away, where he eventually started and would hold that spot the remainder of his Vikings career. One of Carter’s strengths was his conditioning and durability. Though he missed four games because if injury in one season, he played every other game possible for Minnesota.

He led the NFL in receptions once and in touchdown catches three times. Seven different quarterbacks were the primary starter in his 12 seasons with the team. Despite all the lunacy and confusion, Carter was a beacon of steady leadership and consistent production.

Carter accumulated double figures in touchdown receptions in five of his Pro Bowl years. What also made his production even more special is the fact he had to share receptions with future Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss, Pro Bowl wide receivers Jake Reed and Anthony Carter, and Pro Bowl tight end Steve Jordan.

Carter has been a finalist for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame four times so far. He ranks third in NFL history in career receptions, fourth in career touchdowns catches and eighth in career receiving yards and total touchdowns.

Then there are the old school fans who point to the obvious fact Carter never dealt with the ten-yard chuck rule, which makes it much harder to excel as a receiver, as opposed to the offensive-friendly rules he participated in. Rules that greatly inflate statistics and can help make a player look better than players who did not benefit from the rule changes. This fact has made modern statistics dwarf the numbers from the ten-yard chuck era.

Men like Mac Speedie, Lionel Taylor, Charlie Hennigan, Harold Carmichael, Drew Pearson, Gino Cappelletti, Sonny Randle, Cliff Branch, Harold Jackson, Pete Retzlaff, and LaVern Dilweg are just a few great receivers on par with Carter and are also awaiting their inductions. Men who dealt with a much rougher game, let alone the ten-yard chuck.

Carter has a feel-good story attached to his career, one that has now extended to where he provides analysis on television. With his career on the ropes because of drugs, he rebounded and became a leader and won the Bart Starr Man of the Year Award, the Bryan “Whizzer” White NFL Man of the Year Award and the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

Besides the 17 NFL records he either owns or shares, he is a member of the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team. He is one of the 50 Greatest Minnesota Vikings as well as being a member of their 40th Anniversary Team.

The Vikings have retired his jersey and have had a huge amount of great receivers to play for them. Cris Carter may be the best ever for this franchise and certainly deserves to move on to being more than a finalist this year.

Again, I want EIGHT in the 2012 class. It doesn’t have to be just seven going in, and this unwritten rule basically screws players because some paperclip pusher may think seven looks prettier on paper.

If the voters got it right and put in eight, I’d put in a guy who has waited forever and may never get this close again.

Dick Stanfel
Detroit Lions
7 Seasons
5 Pro Bowls
5 First Team All-Pro Honors

Stanfel lasted only seven years, but he was amazing in his time. His rookie year was the only season he did not earn an accolade. After four seasons with the Lions, he joined the Washington Redskins and suddenly retired at just 31 years old.

He played in an era where the pay scale was so minimal, players usually made more money working other jobs. Stanfel left the game so he could feed his family at a higher-paying job. There were just three starting offensive lineman in the NFL older than Stanfel when he left the game.

Yet many historians agree there were few guards better to play the game. Despite his limited years, Stanfel is a member of the 1950s All-Decade Team. I’d put him in Canton, so hopefully he gets inducted.

That leaves a group of finalists who will have to wait another year hoping that get this close again. There are a few worthy, then are a few I personally would not vote in simply because there are a ton of better candidates seemingly forgotten by the voters and they remain buried in the senior voters pool of candidates.

Here are the most worthy candidates we should one day see inducted into Canton :

Jerome Bettis
Running Back
Pittsburgh Steelers
13 Seasons
6 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro Honors
13,662 Yards Rushing
94 Total Touchdowns

Bettis was involved in one of the biggest steals ever, when the Steelers got him from the Saint Louis Rams in a trade. He ran for over 1,000 yards in eight of his first nine seasons, showing remarkable durability because his game was running between the tackles.

Not much of a receiver, he could be depended on once handed the ball. He fumbled 41 times, but he usually rewarded his teams with a pounding style that wore out opponents while chewing up the clock.

There is no question that Bettis is worthy of induction into Canton.

Chris Doleman
Defensive End
Minnesota Vikings
15 Seasons
8 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Honors
150.5 Quarterback Sacks Yards Rushing
8 Interceptions
2 Touchdowns
2 Safeties

Defensive end is a position stacked with worthy candidates who are not amongst the current semi-finalists. Men like Claude Humphrey, Jim Marshall, Coy Bacon, L.C. Greenwood and many others head a list of men at this position worthy of induction.

Doleman’s numbers do not lie. He was a play-making machine. But he was more than a pass rush specialist at defensive end, which is shown by the fact he exceeded 100 tackles twice in his career. Doleman did get more than 10 sacks eight season and led the league once.

There is no doubt Doleman is worthy of induction, and it would be a shame if he had to wait as long as other past greats like Humphrey or Bacon. Yet I can’t say he deserves to go into ahead of them too.

The remaining finalists is yet another demonstration many voters are clueless glad-handers who need to be replaced by the men who actually played the game and certainly know best on who and who doesn’t belong within the hallowed walls of Canton.

Eddie DeBartolo Jr.
San Francisco 49ers
23 Seasons

This guy is a finalist instead of a ton of worthy players? What a waste of space! I hope he never reaches these heights again. As just owners go, I could name a huge handful more worthy than a guy who left the game in disgrace.

Charles Haley
San Francisco 49ers
13 Seasons
5 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro Honors
100.5 Quarterback Sacks

The only reason Haley has been a semi-finalist three times and finalist once before is because he played on five teams that won Super Bowls. Strictly a pass rush specialist, he never had more than 69 tackles in a season.

Honestly, Charles Haley does not belong in Canton. He never led the league in any category, though he did have the good fortune to play on good teams and was able to line up at defensive end as well. There are way too many candidates more richly deserving of induction over him.

Andre Reed
Wide Receiver
Buffalo Bills
16 Seasons
7 Pro Bowls
951 Receptions
88 Touchdowns

Reed was a precise route runner who was more good than great. He never led the league in any category and exceeded 1,000 yards receiving just four times despite playing in a era that caters to offensive production.

What gets him this far is the fact he played on four teams that reached the Super Bowl. He had a Hall of Fame quarterback and running back helping him as well a set of rules that made him look better than he was. I classify Reed as a very good player, but I’d put a ton of wide receivers into Canton ahead of him.

The rest of the finalists were basically a group of guys where one could look back in NFL history and see a long line of better players still awaiting induction. Many becoming unknown and forgotten as time steadily moves forward, and one suspects a few of these finalists will soon join them in that classification.

Tim Brown
Wide Receiver
Oakland Raiders
17 Seasons
9 Pro Bowls
1,094 Receptions
105 Touchdowns

Brown certainly is a product of the rule changes that allows receivers to roam untouched after five yards, but he was more than just a pass catcher. Brown also made an impressive mark on special teams

My issue with his being inducted is the fact he was never selected First Team All-Pro and led the league in receiving just once. Brown did lead the NFL in punt and kickoff return yards once.

But is that worthy of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame? I say no and chalk him up as a good and reliable player who lasted a long time.

Kevin Greene
Los Angeles Rams
15 Seasons
5 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro Honors
160 Quarterback Sacks
26 Fumble Recoveries
3 Safeties

A hired gun as a pass rush specialist, Greene played for five different teams in his career. While getting to a quarterback was his main focus, he did get 87 tackles one year. He had 10 or more sacks in 10 different seasons.

Greene was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year once and led the league in sacks twice. He is a lot like Charles Haley in that he did just one thing really well, but the fiery player was versatile enough to create turnovers defending the pass on occasion.

He is worthy of being a finalist, but there are a ton of other outside linebackers I’d put into Canton ahead of him.

Cortez Kennedy
Defensive Tackle
Seattle Seahawks
11 Seasons
8 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Honors
58 Quarterback Sacks
3 Interceptions

Kennedy is a bit of a conundrum for me, as far as being worthy of Canton. He was a playmaker who sacked the quarterback pretty often for a defensive tackle. He did enjoy three excellent seasons where he piled up 242 tackles over that time.

Yet he recovered a measly six fumbles in his career and he had four mediocre season. I can’t say he is worthy, just because there are many defensive tackles, like Curly Culp, I consider superior. Yet it wouldn’t be that frustrating if he went in either.

Seeing how great general managers like George Young and Ron Wolf did not make the cut, while Ed DeBartolo did, brings to mind there should be another adjustment to the voting process for induction. Young and Wolf certainly belong, just like NFL Films creator Ed Sabol did a few years ago, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of the players.

The voters should separate coaches, general managers and contributors, giving them there own platform. Still have them require 80 percent of the vote, but add their induction to the ceremony instead of subtracting a player from the process.

Assistant coaches need to be included too. Great coaches like Bud Carson, Joe Bugel, Jim Hanifan and others had careers worthy of Canton, but the assistant coach basically is shunned by voters as inconsequential to their determination on who belongs.

This would bring enlarged classes some years, but there is nothing wrong with eight people inducted. There should be no limit on how many people can be voted in each year. The reason for this statement is because there of a former head coach and general manager amongst the finalists.

While he won two titles in a fish bowl like New York City, he got both too much attention because the area is literally saturated with members of the media and even houses the league’s headquarters. Many people have
buckled under the pressure, yet this man survived and even went on to coach another team that gets too much media attention.

Now a member of the same media that use to follow him around like lost puppies who hung off every utterance he put forth, there is a very good chance yet another deserving player will have a slot stolen from them in the 2012 class.

Bill Parcells
Coach/ General Manager
31 Seasons
172 Victories
2 Super Bowl Wins

Parcells is here because he coached the New York Giants, a team flooded with media attention. While a good coach who has 42 more victories than defeats, he also had some limited successes with the New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots.

Known as the “Big Tuna”, he was named NFL Coach of the Year three different seasons and is a member of the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team. He then went on to become a general manager and had mixed results.

Does Parcells belong in ahead of such legendary coaches like Buddy Parker, Chuck Knox, Tom Flores, Dick Vermeil and others? He doesn’t belong in ahead of Don Coryell, but the New York City factor might push him in. I think he fairly worthy, but I think that of a few others as well.

Then there is the man who should have been a finalist and inductee. He died last year without witnessing his deserved respect, but got to see the league cash in on his creation annually. The NFL offense of today still relies on his genius, despite the voters obtuse knowledge of football preventing him the rightful immortality earned years ago while still echoing to this very moment.

Don Coryell
Saint Louis Cardinals
San Diego Chargers
14 Seasons
111 Victories
First Coach With 100 Wins In Pro And College Football
Only Coach To Lead NFL In Passing 6 Straight Seasons
5 Division Titles

The biggest no-brainer of the semi-finalists. It is disgusting he hasn’t been inducted already, and even more revolting he passed away last year and will never get to enjoy his deserved respect from a game that still leans heavily on his genius to this very day.

Coryell played college football at the before getting into coaching. He succeeded George Allen, who later became a Pro Football Hall Of Fame coach.

He also showed his innate ability to develop players, especially on offense. He had 54 players go to the NFL from his college teams, including five players drafted in the first round. Nine of his players were First Team All-Americans. In 1967, he had eight players drafted, and five went in the first two rounds.

The Coryell coaching tree from his collegiate era is very impressive as well.

Joe Gibbs was a player on Coryell’s team at first and won the team’s Most Inspirational Player Award once. Gibbs later became a graduate assistant, then assistant coach at San Diego State.

He also was an assistant under Coryell with both the Cardinals and Chargers before becoming head coach of the Washington Redskins. Gibbs is a member of the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.

Another Pro Football Hall Of Fame coach who coached under Coryell at San Diego State was John Madden. Madden would join the Oakland Raiders and then become the youngest head coach of the league the next season at 32 years old.

Legendary men like Jim Hanifan, Ernie Zampese, and Rod Dowhower also coached under Coryell at San Diego State. Coryell’s 104 victories and .840 winning percentage are the best in Aztec history, and he is a member of the College Football Hall Of Fame.

He then moved to the NFL to lead the Saint Louis Cardinals. His 42 wins are the most by any coach in the Cardinals franchise’s history, and his five years as head coach with the team is the second longest tenure ever.

The San Diego Chargers would later hire Coryell. This was when “Air Coryell” was born as a common term, even though Coryell’s years in Saint Louis also featured high-powered offenses running under much of the same schemes also used in San Diego.

When Coryell retired from the NFL with 111 wins in 195 games overall, he is the first head coach with 100 victories in both professional and collegiate football.

To try and sum up this man’s career or impact on football is nearly impossible. Virtually every offense today, on all levels of the game, is a variation of his system. In his 14 seasons as a coach, his offenses led the NFL in net yards gained per passing attempt five times. They finished in the top-five of the NFL six more times.

His teams led the NFL in passing yards seven times and none of his teams finished lower than seventh. They led the NFL in passing touchdowns three times and finished in the top ten nine other times.

Many Hall Of Fame players and Pro Bowlers were coached by Coryell in the NFL. The list of players inducted into Canton includes Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow, Charlie Joiner, Dan Dierdorf, Jackie Smith, Fred Dean and Roger Wehrli.

Coryell changed the way football was played. It is still being played the way Coryell invented to this very day. The now all-to-common sight on multiple receiver sets was first started by Coryell, as are many versions of offenses being run these days.

They are all spawns of his genius.

Winslow stated it best when he said, “For Don Coryell to not be in the Hall of Fame is a lack of knowledge of the voters. That’s the nicest way that I can put that. A lack of understanding of the legacy of the game.”

An ignorance that has wrongly kept Don Coryell from taking his rightful place in Canton.

Tags:2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame Finalists Brace for Immortality

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