Monthly Archives: August 2008

The Rally Cap

So, with The Official 2008 Rally Post already written (Editor’s note: God, I am getting sick of those words), I thought it might be fun to do a quick background post on the rally cap. (Editor’s note: Number two is correct, and number three is hysterical).

Here is the “official” history of the rally cap from Wikipedia. Many people will tell you that it started in the 1986 World Series between the New York Mets and the Boston Red Sox, when Mets players flipped their caps in game 6. (Editor’s note: The Sox, of course, had to suffer through 18 years of The Rally Cap Curse). That, however, is not true, as the tradition derived all the way back in 1942, when Tigers fans would flip their caps to root on their teams. The Tigers tried it in game 5 of their 1945 World Series match-up against the Chicago Cubs, and they won that game, 8-4, and the series in 7. (Editor’s note: And the Chicago Cubs have been forced to endure 62 years of their own Rally Cap Curse. Does anybody else find it a bit odd that rally caps famously worked against the Red Sox and the Cubs?).

When does one employ the rally cap? Elect Jeff has a few rules, though I think its a far more complex endeavor. (Editor’s note: Of course he does. Because rally caps are sooooo interesting). Essentially, EJ says that you can’t bust out the rally cap until the 8th inning, it will only work if you are down by a few runs, and the traditional method of wearing the cap is by turning it as inside-out as possible and flipping it unto your head. That’s all fine and good, but I think we can be a bit more precise.

1. The cap should be worn as inside-out as possible and placed on the top of the head. Turning it backwards or sideways is not a rally cap.

2. When in a group or on a team, anybody with the proper hat (see articles 9 and 11) in the group must “rally” it. This is the only way to summon good luck. However, if in a large stadium of people, one group may don the rally cap while another may choose to abstain. (It has been suggested that the quantity of luck bestowed upon a team is directly proportional to the amount of people “rallying” their caps. This has been contested by a second school of thought, whose proponents argue that the quantity of luck is based upon the personal degree of enthusiasm for the rally. They argue that a very small amount of people can will a rally if they possess a highly intense enthusiasm for said rally – thus, the actual number of people wearing rally caps is deemed irrelevant. Neither theory has been proven)

3. If on a team, the cap may only be employed in the dugout. Again, everyone on the team must be rallying the cap (manager and coaches exempt).

4. A cap should not be worn before the 7th inning unless the team trails by more than 5 runs in a very meaningful game (i.e. Any postseason game or late August/early September game with relevance to a Divisional or Wildcard race)

5. It is acceptable to wear the rally cap in the 7th inning if trailing by at least 2 runs.

6. It is always acceptable to wear the rally cap after the 8th inning if your team is losing.

7. The rally cap may be used as a pregame ritual in a postseason series if your team is trailing in games by any of the following scenarios: down 2-0, down 3-0, down 3-1, down 3-2 if team had been down 3-1. However, the rally cap must be removed before the start of the game and only used again during the game if applicable to one of the preceding rules. (This is often viewed as symbolic, though in some circles it is considered to be on a higher plane of luck-summoning)

8. The rally cap has no impact whatsoever on any sport besides baseball.

9. The cap does not have to be the hat of the team being rooted for, but it cannot be a hat of any other baseball team. Any other cap is acceptable except for any hat relating in any way to the city of the opposing team. Thus, if the Phillies are playing the Rockies, and somebody is wearing a Broncos, Nuggets, Avalanche, or, for whatever reason, Coors Lite hat, that person must not rally their cap.

10. The rally cap must be continuously worn until the team either takes the lead or wins the game. If the team comes back from a deficit and takes the lead in the top of the 9th, for example, the rally caps must be returned to standard cap form. Failing to do so may transfer all luck to the opposing team.

11. Only baseball-style caps may be rallied. Any alterations to the following will fail to summon any luck: bucket hats, fedoras, beanies, visors, beret caps, ivy golf caps, pork pie hats, newsboy caps, anything with ear flaps, straw hats, fisherman hats, cowboy hats, etc.

(Editor’s note: The Pundit really needs to get out more. Actually, scratch that: he wouldn’t even know what to do with himself. Be sure to check in tomorrow for links and Part One of The Pundit’s NFL preview.)

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Waking with the Pundit

Quick note, then on to the links. Be sure to check out the post below this one; what was intended to be a Penn State football preview became The Official 2008 Rally Post. Wait, what? Well, I started writing the post in the 4th inning, when the Phillies scored their first run in a game they trailed the Mets 7-0. I continued to write the post all the way through the 13th inning until they won. I didn’t even watch the damn game – I listened to it and swiveled around to see the TV when something happened, but I didn’t watch. Thus, much akin to the rally hat, I have dubbed the article a “Rally Post.” In times of peril, when one of our teams is in need of a comeback, you can always open up the Rally Post and start reading. (Editor’s note: Is there no end to the follies of fandom? The answer to that, of course, is no, but who cares? Sports rule!)

Required Reading

Uh yeah, what a friggin’ awesome game it was last night for the Phils. This Phillies team reminded me, and apparently a lot of other people, of the team last year, the team that led the league in comeback wins. That was a team you could never count out of a game, a team with fight and heart, something until last night had been lacking a bit. From a baseball purist perspective, it had a bit of everything: timely hitting, strange strategical moves (The Mets walking two batters in the 13th after a Shane victorino triple to pitch to Brett Myers, because the Phillies had run out of bench players), strange substitutions, and, of course, beating the Mets. There were heroes everywhere: Jimmy Rollins went 5-7 with 3 RBI’s, 3 steals, and a run. Call me whatever you want, Jimmy (Editor’s note: I love it when you call me Big Pundit). Eric Bruntlett tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with a double after Jayson Werth singled, also with two outs. Jamie Moyer had one of his worst outings of the year, but the bullpen picked him up, not giving up a run after the 4th. It was truly a game for the ages, and, oh yeah, the Phillies are back in first. Can the Mets rebound, as they’ve seemingly done all year? The Pundit hopes the answer to that is a resounding no, because after last night, the stakes just got a bit higher.

Oh, right, other stuff happened yesterday to. Like good news for Eagles fans (Editor’s note: And Jon Runyan): Michael Strahan ain’t coming back.

The tale of two receivers…your daily Eagles fix focuses on DeSean Jackson and Reggie Brown.

Honestly, I’m still so juiced about last night’s game, I don’t really care about what else is going on in sports. Tune in tonight, I think it will be another dandy (Editor’s note: Hopefully Johan Santana will abide).

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Previewing Penn State…and The Official 2008 Rally Post

(Editor’s note: The Pundit started writing this post at approximately the same time as the Phillies scored their first run in the 4th inning of their game against the Mets. Why is this being mentioned in a preview for Penn State football? Read on, Punditeers.)

With my NFL preview starting on Thursday night, I realized I had failed to preview another sport I hold dear to my heart: College Football (Editor’s note: Plus, the Phillies are down 7-1 right now; methinks The Pundit needs distraction). I’m not going to do a full college football preview, but I am going to highlight a few points about my favorite team, the Penn State Nittany Lions. Now, I know what you’re saying: Why Pun, didn’t you go to Temple? Well, um, yes, I did, and I grew up following their basketball team very closely, still do. But football? Let me give the Andy Reid response here: “I’m happy to see that Al Golden has the team moving in the right direction, and I’ll continue to keep my eyes on them.” For now, though, I’m with Penn State, the team I’ve been watching intently since I was a wee little tike (Editor’s note: Now he’s just a wee little Pundit).

The Spread HD

Wait, did the word “spread” just appear in an article about Penn State? The same ground-and-pound, bruise-and-cruise, crush-and-rush Penn State of Joe Paterno lure? (Editor’s note: This writing is bore-and-snore). That’s right, folks, the new Penn State offense will apparently be a marriage of the new-school spread and the old-school wishbone. Expect to see receivers motioning to the backfield before the snap, both quarterback-halfback and quarterback-receiver options, and a passing attack more akin to an NFL style scheme. The idea, essentially, is to get Penn State’s playmakers, such as Derrick Williams, into mismatches against the opposing team’s defense. They certainly have skill position talent; it will be interesting to see if this new scheme can create opportunities for their ballers to excel.

(Editor’s note: The Phillies just cut a 7-1 deficit to 7-5 after 2-run HR’s by Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard. Apparently, this article is good luck. Could be a long article.)

Lead us to the promised land, Daryll Clark

Joe Paterno has announced that Daryll Clark will be the starter against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (Editor’s note: What in God’s green earth is a Chanticleer? Who the hell fears a Chanticleer?). Doesn’t mean we won’t see Pat Devlin at some point this season, or even that both won’t occasionally share the field; remember, Clark is a good runner. It seems, though, that Clark’s ability to threaten the defense with both his arm and his legs is a slightly better fit for the new “Spread HD.”

We know the receivers got game, but who are the RB’s?

They would be Evan Royster and Stephfon Green. Royster had a solid campaign his freshman year, and just might be the surprise star of Penn State’s season. All indications are that he is a very solid starter and should be productive. Then, there’s Mr. Green, he of the 4.25 forty. Call him High Times, ’cause he’s blazin’ (Editor’s note: Yo homie, The Pundit be working maaaaad street cred right there). He looks as though he’ll be threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball. Just watch the video here (click on the video to the right of the page), and try not to giggle too loud (Editor’s note: Lucy, could you get the Pundit some new drawers? Yeah, he’s watching Stephfon Green highlights again…)

Now don’t get defensive, but…

…the Penn State defense may not be quite as solid as in year’s past. The suspensions to Chris Baker and Phillip Taylor at DT will hurt a unit that wasn’t really stellar last year to begin with, and recently lost Devon Still. Obviously, losing Justin King, Dan Connor and Sean Lee will hurt. Especially Connor and Lee, tackling machines who set an aggressive tone for the defense. Will A.J. Wallace step up and blanket the other team’s number one wideout? Can the defensive ends, namely stud Maurice Evans, get enough of a rush to take some of the pressure off of a secondary with question marks? The Penn State offense, in a serious role reversal, may have to carry the defense this year. (Editor’s note: The Pun loves role reversals – he’s a real 21st century guy).

Should I stay or should I go now?

The Pundit highly doubts Joe Paterno is all that concerned with this question (Editor’s note: Or The Clash, for that matter). But if Penn State falters, is it time for Joe to step down? Many question whether or not he’s lost a bit of control over the program, especially given Penn State’s recent player transgressions. And he has certainly loosened his reins on game planning; one has to wonder if he’s become a figurehead, much like Florida State’s Bobby Bowden. The Pundit, for one, thinks that Joe Paterno, the most important figure Penn State football has ever had, should be carted to the field each week on a golden throne. And I also think that Paterno should delegate – extensively – from that throne.

(Editor’s note: Jimmy Rollins just hit an RBI single to close the gap to 7-6 in the bottom of the eighth. Keep up the rally writing, Pun.)

Oh, right. There are other teams to consider.

So, apparently Ohio State is good this year. Really good. The October 25th game, in Columbus, could be a match-up that determines the Big East champion. If, that is, Penn State can survive a late September / early October juggernaut of a schedule, that includes games against Illinois, Purdue (away), Wisconsin (away), and Michigan, the mystery of the Big Ten this year. Illinois still has QB Juice Williams and WR Arrelious Benn, and a better defense then some might think. Their running game, last year’s strength, is this year’s mystery, and may determine their fate. Wisconsin brings back 19 starters, and should run the ball effectively with P.J. Hill and solid RB depth. Oh, and Travis Beckum, their ridiculous All-American tight end, should only improve. Ohio State has my preseason pick for the Heisman, Beanie Wells, and enough talent to make Pete Carroll jealous. I firmly believe that these three teams should be the only three that threatens PSU this year, unless they underachieve, which they are fully capable of doing.

(Editor’s note: Eric Bruntlett just tied the game with a two-out, bottom of the 9th double. Carlos Ruiz steps to the plate, with the chance of making this, as The Pundit is calling it, The Official Rally Post. Ohhhhh baby, this is getting good).

So what’s gonna happen, Pundit?

State should coast against Coastal Carolina (Editor’s note: Ugggghhhh). Don’t give a dam about Oregon State, we’ve got a few more bullets in our holster. Syracuse? Oh brother. Temple? Well, um, you know they’ll come out swinging. (Editor’s note: Paging Mr. Reid). Then its Illinois, a game that I am scared of. Juice Williams is the type of player who can beat a team all on his lonesome; he did it last year to Ohio State. And if Illinois beats Missouri in their opener, they will have a lot of confidence coming into their meeting with Penn State. That being said, Beaver Stadium can quickly shake any team’s confidence. Plus, I don’t believe Illinois will beat Missouri – they have a lot to prove this year. Penn State in a scorefest. (Editor’s note: I could use more “scorefests” in my life) Purdue won’t be easy, but they should survive them. Wisconsin is a tough call. I think they’ll run the ball on Penn State, control the clock, and keep the ball out of the hands of the Penn State offense. Much as it pains me to say it, I think they’ll beat State in a hard-fought redemption game. (Editor’s note: Blasphemy!) Then, a huge test against Michigan. Wait, Michigan? That’s right, for a slew of reasons. For one, how will Penn State respond to their first loss? Will they be looking ahead to Ohio State? Not to mention that Michigan still has talent, and won’t roll over. This will be the character game of Penn State’s season, and I think they will respond, winning with a strong defensive performance after their disappointing showing against Wisconsin. Then, to Ohio State. I don’t think PSU can beat them in their house, unless something crazy happens. Too much talent for the damn Buckeyes, and just enough questions for Penn State. I’m afraid that, with the conference championship out of reach after losses to Wisconsin and Ohio State, they’ll lose focus and drop their game against Iowa. I don’t think, in any other circumstance, that this team could lose to Iowa, but in this case, with the Chip basically out of reach, they come out flat in a heart breaker for Penn State fans. They’ll regain their focus and win their last two, getting into a bowl, but their season will end with the bittersweet aftertaste of “what might have been”. Fact is, I feel as though this team is just a few key components away from claiming the Big Ten, and if they avoid Michigan and Iowa letdowns, could deliver a stellar showing. Should be an exciting and intriguing season in Happy Valley.

(Editor’s note: So, despite the fact that The Pundit is devoid of new content, and wanted this post to be finished hours ago, he refuses to finish it until the Phillies game is over for fear of ending its previous luck. He is steadfastly holding to the notion that if the Phillies win, this will become their Official 2008 Rally Post. Despite the fact that it is about Penn State Football. So, he continues to edit and add links and slightly modify filler sentences. Aaargghhh. Top of the 12th. Let’s go, boys!)

(Editor’s note: Top of the 13th. The Pundit refueses to end the post and watch the game. He hasn’t eaten in about 9 hours. He just exclaimed his love for swivel chairs. He’ll only turn around after hearing what is happening – he refuses to simply watch the game. He’s friggin’ batty, if you ask me. This is the classic case of a ridiculous fan thinking that they can somehow influence the result of a game by performing a rite of superstition. Holy shit, T-Mac just made a Penn State reference on the broadcast – something about Wheels’ notebook. It’s a sign, people. Go Phils!)

(Editor’s note: THE PHILLIES WIN!!! WHAT A GAME!!! They finally cap their magical comeback on a one out, bases load hit to center field by Chris Coste. A strange finish to the game. Shane Victorino started the inning with a triple. The Mets proceeded to intentionally walk the next two Phillies because the Phillies were out of bench players and had to send Brett Myers up to the plate. Charlie Manuel specifically instructed Myers not to swing so that he wouldn’t potentially hit into a double play. Myers was rung up, and the Coste shot would have likely been caught had Myers hit into a double play. As it was, Beltran was playing in and wouldn’t have had a play at the plate even had he been able to catch it. A crazy game with multiple moments of strange baseball strategy. Plus, hoping to avoid watching the game, The Pundit stumbled upon this article. Look where this schmuck predicts Penn State to finish! So, The Pundit can finally end his Penn State Preview. And, apparently, the Official 2008 Rally Post. He’s mumbling something about how this better be a great omen for PSU this year. Lucy, peel him out of the swivel chair, its time to go home.)

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Waking up with The Pundit

Quick grab-bag of links this morning.

Storylines in the National League as we come down the stretch.

Phillies complete a clutch sweep of the Dodgers, and here come the Mets!

Your daily Eagles fix here – who’s staying and going on the Birds’ roster?

Interesting article on the Redeem Team by Jason Whitlock. I’m not sure I agree with all of his points, but it’s certainly worth a look.

Oh, this will be good. Be sure to have the Phillies game against the Cubs on after the top of the 7th Thursday night, that’s all I’m saying.

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Fantasy Football Forecast

Alright, so as previously mentioned, I did not want to do a full fantasy preview earlier because I didn’t want anyone in the league I’m in to steal my genius (Editor’s note: The Pundit needs to get out more). But, I figured I should devote at least one post to the sensation that is fantasy football. Thus, I have devised a list of my top 25 players, and have come up with a collection of names to look over for waiver wire deals, steals and trades. Make sure to have at least three of my top 25 on your team, even if it means bamboozling (Editor’s note: Who said booze?) that guy in your league who has no idea of how to draft players and is excited that he got Drew Brees in the first round. Give him Marvin Harrison or something. (Editor’s note: Can Harrison’s new nickname be Colt .88 Special?)

1. LaDainian Tomlinson

2. Brian Westbrook

3. Joseph Addai

4. Tom Brady

5. Adrian Peterson

(Why Addai over Brady and Peterson? Why Peterson at 5? Simple: Addai is the safest pick of the three. It’s unlikely that Brady can repeat his legendary season of last year, especially because losing Dante Stallworth will hurt their passing attack. And you already know the fears with AD: defenses stacking the box and his injury history. Is Peterson worth the risk considering he was only 5.3 fantasy points better than Addai last year? The Colts traditionally field fantasy studs; I see no reason why Addai should regress this year.)

6. Steven Jackson

7. Marion Barber

8. Randy Moss

(Barber over Moss, and a slew of other running backs? I don’t think Moss will put up the ridiculous numbers of a year ago; meanwhile, Barber was already a stud, and now he’s getting all of the reps. Running backs are normally more consistent than receivers, and I think Barber is going to have a big year – I almost put him ahead of Jackson, but with TO and Witten around, he’ll lose some touches.)

9. Tony Romo

10. Peyton Manning

(Three QB’s in the top 10? And Romo ahead of Manning? Football is changing. The days of the 400 carry workhorse are temporarily over. Many teams are platooning backs now and relying more heavily on their passing attacks. Romo is the real deal, and with TO and Witten, he has excellent options. Meanwhile, Manning will still produce, but Marvin Harrison isn’t the guy he once was, and the Colts offense doesn’t conjure up the same degree of fear in defenses it once did.)

11. Terrell Owens

12. Clinton Portis

13. Ryan Grant (New QB in town means he may shoulder a heavy workload – and boy was he good when he became the starter last year, totaling 158.1 fantasy points despite only 10 starts.)

14. Marshawn Lynch (The rushing yards are there – 1115 yards last year. Expect him to score more than 7 total touchdowns this season, and hopefully do better than 18 receptions for 184 yards).

15. Braylon Edwards

16. Reggie Wayne

(Comparing these two is fun. Edwards finished last season with 224.9 fantasy points, while Wayne finished with 211. Edwards was a touchdown machine, scoring 16 – Wayne is a yardage machine, amassing 1510 last season. The main difference? Edwards should benefit from having a dangerous second receiver added to the mix in Stallworth, while Wayne will lose some touches due to the return of Marvin Harrison. Stallworth may steal a touchdown or two from Edwards, but he will also make it more difficult to double the electrifying Edwards, which could lead to a higher yardage output than last year.)

17. Willis McGahee

18. Maurice Jones-Drew

19. Larry Johnson

20. Frank Gore

21. Andre Johnson (This may seem a bit high for Mr. Johnson, but consider this: in only 9 games last year, Johnson posted 133.1 fantasy points. That’s an average of 14.8 points for game, meaning had he stayed healthy, Johnson likely would have been worth about 230 points last season. That would have been better than every receiver except for Mr. Moss. If he’s healthy, he’s a steal here – if not, he’ll still give you decent numbers when he’s on the field. 21 seemed like the right spot for him.)

22. T.J Houshmandzadeh

23. Drew Brees

24. Larry Fitzgerald

25. Marques Colston

Obviously, this list will be controversial, perhaps unorthodox, and certainly debatable. It is also pure gold (Editor’s note: Oh, that’s just arrogant). Again, be sure that you have at least three of these players on your team: QB-RB-WR, QB-RB-RB, or RB-RB-RB, which was how I went (Editor’s note: LT, Clinton Portis and Ryan Grant: not bad, Mr. Pundit). Now, on to my Golden Nuggets of Genius.

– Follow the Patriots carefully. Without Dante Stallworth, someone is going to step into the third receiver spot and get some looks. Conventional wisdom would suggest Jabar Gaffney, though don’t forget about Chad Jackson.

– I wouldn’t recommend drafting him, but if he gets a nice start, snag Aaron Rodgers quickly. The Packers offense thrived on short crossing patterns that allowed Greg Jennings and Donald Driver to gain yards after the catch. If he can manage the offense and avoid turnovers, Rodgers could be this year’s Derek Anderson.

– Be wary of drafting running backs from Denver and Tampa Bay, but seek them through the waiver wire later in the season. Mike Shanahan’s offense could move the ball with The Pundit at running back (Editor’s note: Speaking of fantasy…) and the Bucs added Warrick Dunn and Michael Bennett to their backfield this year. Remember, Earnest Graham started last year as a special teams player.

– Darren McFadden might not be this year’s Adrian Peterson, but he should be a solid player whom establishes himself as the Raiders’ guy. If one of your household name picks starts slow, try to dish him off for McFadden.

– I’m scared of Kurt Warner. I’m scared that if I don’t pick him up, he’ll have a big year. I’m scared if I do pick him up, he’ll be easy prey for defensive ends like he was in New York and will end up getting hurt. I’ll be watching closely.

– Someone has to catch the ball in Oakland. I say that someone will be Ronald Curry.

– Someone has to catch the ball in Miami. I say that someone will be Ted Ginn, Jr.

– Someone has to catch the ball in Chicago. I say that someone will be the other team’s defenders (Editor’s note: But don’t count out Greg Olsen).

– Devin Hester is a gamble pick – feel him out early in the season. He’ll likely be an inconsistent scorer, so if you’re going to play him, be sure to do your research on the opponent.

Alright, that’s enough fantasy for now. The real NFL preview is coming later in the week. Be sure to check the links in the morn.

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Vote Pedro!

Pedro Feliz tied the Phillies game this evening against the Dodgers with a two out single in the 9th, scoring Shane Victorino. Then, he hit a two out, three run jack in the bottom of the 11th to win the game. Pedro Feliz – you are the man! Props to Shane as well, who in both the 9th and the 11th got on base, including a single he stretched into a double in the 11th after Manny being Manny lacksidasically approached the ball in left. Damn, I am frickin’ excited right now. Only a 1/2 game behind the Mets and their crazy bullpen now. It’s going to be a damn fun September.

The Week in Review is below.

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The Week in Review

After my Saturday hiatus, I have returned to wrap up the week. Let’s get to it, kids.

The No-Show of the week goes to Jimmy Rollins. In all sincerity, this is not an effort to pile on after the “frontrunning” debacle. Fact is, Jimmy batted 3-24 last week with no extra-base hits, no walks (he was hit by one pitch) and no RBI’s. He did score 3 runs, which is extremely frustrating in its own right, because when he gets on base, the Phils tend to knock him in – he sets the proverbial table. (Editor’s note: I can never remember where you put the damn fork). That, and a lead-off hitter should get on base more than 4 times in a week, plain and simple.

The Stud of the Week is a split between Usain Bolt and Cole Hamels. Bolt set three world records (100m, 200m, 4x100m relay), and did so with relative ease. He’s not only the fastest man in the world, he is, at least for now, the fastest man ever. That’s friggin’ impressive. Still, not only do I like to reserve this award for local guys, but also for, um, citizens of this country (Editor’s note: Patriotic…or prejudiced? Judge for yourselves, people). Thus, Hamels takes the second half of this award. In two starts this week, Hamels threw 15 innings, surrendering 12 hits but allowing only three runs with no walks and eight K’s. The Phillies won each of his starts.

The All-Encompassing Thought of the Week goes back out to the Olympics. With the games coming to a close, The Pundit can’t help but get a little bit weepy (Editor’s note: Is it really neccesary to admit that?). Sure, the US underachieved a bit in track and field, but hey, Bryan Clay won the decathlon, the event in which the winner is dubbed “The Greatest Athlete in the World.” That’s pretty cool. And the Redeem Team (Editor’s note: Everytime I hear that name, I envision a large line of elderly women at a grocery store, fumbling for their coupon books) straight-up handled their business, knocking off Spain 118-107 in a game that was exciting and often a bit too close for comfort. US basketball may never dominate the world the way that the Dream Team once did, but something certainly felt restored and in its rightful place as the Redeem Team had their Olympic Golds placed around their neck. China not only put on a great show, but showed up as well, dominating the Gold medal count. That being said, the US performed admirably and finished with the highest overall medal count. Hold your heads high, American Olympians – we are all proud of your performances and the manner in which you carried yourselves. You represented us well. We were treated to breathtaking performances, enthralling finishes and fascinating storylines (Editor’s note: God, this whole segment sounds soooooooooooooo corny and cliche…but I think its true), and I for one will miss them.  Wait, what’s that you say? You say its just about time for football season? Welp, see you in London, Olympics (Editor’s note: Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do).

The Painfully Specific Thought of the Week is an NFL ditty. (Editor’s note: A ditty? What the hell is a ditty?) Let’s take a quick look at the statistics put up by the Eagles opening day receiving corps in 2007, and compare them to Mr. Boldin.

Reggie Brown: 61 receptions for 780 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Hank Baskett: 16 receptions for 161 yards and 1 touchdown.

DeSean Jackson: Rookie

Jason Avant: 23 receptions for 267 yards and 2 touchdowns

Greg Lewis: 13 receptions for 265 yards and 3 touchdowns

Total: 113 receptions for 1473 yards and 10 touchdowns

Anquan Boldin: 71 receptions for 853 yards and 9 touchdowns. Oh, and he missed 4 games, so if he had stayed healthy, he would have likely finished with about 95 catches for 1150 yards and 13 touchdowns. They have a word for something like this…oh, right, upgrade. Yup, it was upgrade. (Editor’s note: I don’t think he’s going to let this one go).

The Moment of the Week goes to the kick return of Quintin Demps and the punt return of DeSean Jackson. It was really exciting to see the Eagles do something positive on special teams, and the return by Demps was just awesome. I wasn’t able to see it happen live, but Merrill Reese, as he always does, made it extremely exciting to listen to. Before the Demps return, he said something to the tune of “I would really like to see a kick return here.” A few seconds later, and Mr. Reese had his wish. Then, before the punt return, he again said “Hey, you know what? I’d like to see a punt return, too.” Mike Quick chided him, telling him to save some of his luck for the regular season, but it was too late – DeSean Jackson was already weaving his way to the endzone. This prompted Reese to jokingly exclaim, “I’d like to be six foot four!” The man always had golden pipes; who knew they were so damn lucky?

I won’t be doing links in the morning, as I have to get up earlier then usual for work, but they’ll be back on Tuesday. Make sure to check in tomorrow night for my Fantasy Football preview. I know its a bit late to bust this out, but I didn’t want to give away any of my Golden Nuggets of Genius (Editor’s note: cough) before I had my own draft. Since I know many of you probably already had your draft, I’ll bust out my top 25 and focus on sleepers I think you should pay attention to. Also, a full NFL preview is in the works – should be exciting. (Editor’s note: Why, I’m practically lactating with enthusiasm!)

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