With all the wildness that allowed the Chargers and Eagles to crash the playoff party, one has to wonder who really has what it takes to see their season through and get that Lombardi Trophy confetti shine. Playoff predictions on Friday, but for now, here’s my top five.
I don’t care if Denver hasn’t made the postseason the last three years and finished this season 8-8 after an embarrassing loss to the San Diego Chargers. Why would you want to pay a coach 20 million dollars without being employed? Yeah he had John Elway, Terrell Davis and Sharpe, but didn’t he win two Super Bowls? Damn, what’s a man gotta do to keep a job these days? Two Super Bowls? Wow. I wouldn’t want to be Denver when the team who picks him up in the next 5 minutes has a lead against the Broncos with time on the clock. 146 victories in 14 years. It has to be mentioned the Broncos are 1-4 since Elway left but is this the NFL or the NBA? I guess Jeff Fisher has to win the Super Bowl huh?
A walk in the park gripping poetic blanket with philosophical basket. The romantic steam coming off reality’s sensual scientific dream. It satisfies mindful these as they in time come in threes. Come fly with me drenched as we touch the cascading open wide but far off tacit seas. Your heart, your mind just gave me a sign so please lay your head back with eyes so fine to waste some time as we soul unwind.
Isiah Thomas and Will Robinson share a moment after Mr. Robinson was honored by the Pistons in December of ’05
At first sight, you’d never know Will Robinson endured such a difficult early life. The former Detroit Pistons scout who discovered Joe Dumars and Dennis Rodman always had a kind word, a smile and pleasant disposition.
When I first observed him, when it seemed like he was the only person in the Pistons organization who had love for Isiah Thomas, I didn’t know what to make of him. As a young guy, I didn’t know his history, our history.
He was more than a pioneer of basketball; he was a pioneer for African-Americans. He was the first black college basketball coach in Division 1, when he took over Illinois State from 1970-75, and Doug Collins played for him. As Detroit Pershing coach, he helped champion Spencer Haywood’s cause to get into the NBA Draft straight out of high school.
Mizzo spoke to Spencer Monday and offered some words to describe the effect Mr. Robin son had on his life:
“He was the only father I ever knew. My father died before I was born. He adopted me and helped me become the man I am today. I was from a small town on the Delta in MI, so I knew nothing about a big city like Detroit and he made sure I found my way. Before he and I got to Pershing and won the state championship, they had a 35 year title drought. He was there every step of the way in my Supreme Court case. I don’t know if I would have beat the case with out his support. He was also a Detroit Lions scout. He lived a long life and I’ll miss him dearly.”
Robinson excelled at several sports, including basketball, football and golf. He wasn’t allowed to play on the course with his white counterparts, seeing as he was viewed as less than a man. He never complained, but never accepted society’s definition of what he should be.
By the time I met him at the Palace a few years back, his handshake and sincere eye-contact reminded me of a quality long-lost in today’s world. It was grandfatherly, respectful and most of all, touching.
At first sight, you’d never know what he’d been through, what obstacles he overcame, most times with little fanfare or what doors he opened. His name should be mentioned with the likes of Jackie, Muhammad and Bill Russell. Sadly, outside of Detroit, and maybe even some places around, Robinson’s name isn’t synonymous with excellence, kindness or sincerity.
Before Jack McCloskey hired Chuck Daly in 1983, he offered the job to Robinson, who turned it down. Robinson later regretted the decision, thinking maybe he would’ve been the coach of the Bad Boys. Then his name would be mentioned with those aforementioned greats, but Robinson couldn’t be as unassuming a personality as he would’ve preferred.
There’s a generation of kids, sports fans or not, that don’t have a connection to Robinson. His name doesn’t resonate with regularity. Hopefully, one day soon, lost generations will look back to the trials and tribulations of men like Robinson. Maybe then, we’ll all find our way.
Losing to your former qb gets you fired evidently. After dropping a must win season finale to Chad Pennington and the Miami Dolphins, the Jets have sought change. Reports out of NY have Eric Mangini out as head coach of the New York Jets. The Jets were on top of the world when they were 8-3, but subseqently went 1-4 the rest of the way and missed the playoffs. It wasn’t all Mangini’s fault because his quarterback threw picks at an alarming rate. Favre finished the year with 22 touchdowns and 22 interceptions–not a good look. Mangini was 23-26 during his tenure. Rod Marinelli has also been relieved of his coaching duties. Marinelli was 10-38 during his stint culminating with an 0-16 debacle this season. Marinelli was a victim of Matt Millen in my opinion. He seemed passionate about his job and tried to motivate his team week in and week out, but they just couldn’t get it done. Besides Calvin Johnson, there really wasn’t another position to brag about. He never really received a fair chance, but didn’t win when the opportunity was there. Sports has become win or go home and considering Detroit’s financial climate, heads had to roll. Romeo Crennel was also fired after compiling a 24-40 record. GM Phil Savage was let go, so the writing was on the wall and only a matter of time before Crennel’s firing went public. The Browns were obviously beset by injuries, but didn’t score a offensive touchdown in the last 6 games. When the Browns came into Philly, everyone knew Crennel was on shaky ground. He tried to do whatever he could, but the players never responded to his coaching philosophy. It also should be said there was no continuity in an offense where quarterbacks are falling like flies.
Since TSF is basically based in Philly because most of us live in the area, there really is no other game to showcase. Yeah we need a couple of squads to choke, but Dallas and Philly is always a top notch competition. Of course there’s a lot of other good stuff going on, but this town will eat itself if Philly goes out like a sucker.
9-6 last week. 18-11 on year.
Umoja to the TSF fam and anyone who stops by on the first day of Kwanzaa. As I listen to You Know How to Love Me by Phillis Hyman and marvel at the sheer impact of her voice, I give props to what I’m truly thankful for and also what I expect of myself in 2009. Since this is the last Friday of the year, I wanted to ask of you what would be your perfect storm for the next year. Crazy how we are experiencing years we as children held for science fiction, but like they say, time waits for no one.
By no means am I comparing my work to the amazing skills Phyllis used naturally, but listening and studying her the past few months has given me a powerful sense of urgency heading for big things in the new year. We can’t sit around and wait for people with other agendas to put us at the forefront of their corporations. Yes, I would love for my work to be showcased by a prominent outlet nationally if not just for how my children would be impacted, but it would be straight dumb to expect this.
(Photo: AP/Mark Duncan)
TNT’s NBA Coverage continues Thursday, Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. ET with the Cleveland Cavaliers @ Chicago Bulls followed by the Phoenix Suns @ Denver Nuggets
Game #1: Washington Wizards (89) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (93)
(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Besides some notable exceptions, the NFL season is pretty much shaping up the way most expected. Two teams some thought would be at the top of the league are now playing in the sandbox after animals squatted. Dallas still has a realistic shot if they could just beat their nemisis, the Philadelphia Eagles. Wow how time has changed…
Repeat After Me: Why Haven’t the Philadelphia Eagles Front Office Given Donovan McNabb Talented Receivers?Posted in Blogroll, Charles Barkley on December 23rd, 2008 by Michael Tillery
Donovan McNabb’s 2008 stats: 333 completions, 550 attempts, 3741 yards, 60.5 %, 21 tds, 11 interceptions for an 85.3 rating.
I bet you think these numbers are low huh?
Player of the Week: Derrick Ward
(AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
Wild week but it’s all come out in the wash. The Giants and Titans both rebounded to snatch the mantle of best in their respective conferences after slight lulls. Some teams were just pathetic and others surprised. Temple, I’ve reluctantly become an Atlanta believer. There I said it.
Lets get it!
(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Rajon Rondo is doing things no one thought he would be doing at this stage in his career. Yeah it’s early, but he has just as much to do with the Celtics record start as anyone else in the C’s locker room. Celtics are 26-2. Damn who were the 2? They have Pop Pop stories beating this monster…
I come in at the 59:00 mark discussing LeBron James in New York, Iverson in Detroit (and maybe Philly), the disrespect of the Philadelphia Phillies, Evander Holyfield and Aboriginal thongs–yeah you read it right.
Sometimes a player comes along and stamps himself into the fabric of whatever game he’s playing and Dock (not Doc) Ellis was that cat. He died Friday at age 63 from liver problems he was dealing with for a while.
Two huge games this week that could determine who gets to chill at home with it all on the line. Both games will be hard hittin’, chin skin splittin’, no pink socks and flip flops games so make sure you tune in or you might miss some sick sugar speed knocks. So so week 9-5, but look for the record to get better as I just jinxed myself.
Enjoy the weekend.