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Thomas Gerard | The Sports Report Girl

SRG’s 2010 Fantasy Football Guide: Tight Ends

August 30, 2010 by Thomas Gerard  
Filed under Football, NFL Football, SRG's Blog

Tight Ends

• Dallas Clark, IND – He is as reliable as they come at the position. Sometimes Peyton Manning will just lock in on him for an entire possession and opponents still can’t stop the duo. He is well worth landing in the #1 spot for tight ends, but just don’t take him before the 5th round. I believe this is a year where you can select a tight end late and have a great season.

• Antonio Gates, SD – If Clark is 1A, then make Gates a close 1B. You really can’t miss with either pick, as they are in a tier of their own for fantasy. Consistent touchdown production from this position throughout the season will always land you somewhere at the top of your league. And Gates is a magnet in the end-zone.

• Vernon Davis, SF – Finally had his breakout season in 2009, leading all tight ends with an incredible thirteen touchdowns. I don’t think he’ll quite hit those numbers again, but another double-digit touchdown campaign is definitely a possibility. I like Alex Smith to have more control of the offense and Davis will produce for the second season in a row.

• Jason Witten, DAL – I expect Witten to return to his old form in 2010. You know you have set the bar high when a 1,000 yard season was considered a down year. But it wasn’t the yards, it was his lack of touchdown, which was a fluke more than anything to me. He only produced two a season prior, but that number will drastically improve this time around. I think he’s good for eight this season.

• Jermichael Finley, GB – There is absolutely nothing not to love about the Packer’s offense. And Finley may be the most dangerous target they have. He is young, fast, and a freak of nature. He’s a star in the making and it won’t be long before he lands at the top of this list.

• Tony Gonzalez, ATL – The most consistent tight end the game has ever seen. Even on a down season, he is still good for six or seven scores. He’ll be as consistent as ever this season. Why? Because he is always targeted in the red-zone.

• Brent Celek, PHI – Celek was an early season pickup for me last fantasy season and was key to me winning my league. The Eagles have a surplus of young talent on the offensive side, but I don’t see Celek putting up as big of numbers as last season.

• Kellen Winslow, TB –A former 1st round draft pick, who came back to life in 2009. Josh Freeman is now in his second year and Winslow is worthy of being a starting tight end on your fantasy team.

• Visanthe Shiancoe, MIN – He doesn’t get many yards, but the last two seasons he’s hauled down eighteen touchdowns. Enough said.

• Greg Olsen, CHI – They say Mike Martz doesn’t produce valuable fantasy tight ends, but I’m not buying it completely. Olsen is too good not to get the ball and will have at least a handful of touchdowns in 2010.

Sleepers

• Zach Miller, OAK – I know it’s tough to draft a player from the Raiders, but he is very talented and will benefit from a better quarterback this season.

• Fred Davis, WAS – Chris Cooley is the current starter, but not worthy of being drafted high. Davis will come at a steep discount, and if Cooley is traded along with his large contract, Davis will shine. He is their future tight end and showed he could play last season.

• Owen Daniels, HOU – It’s hard to call him a sleeper, but coming off of an injury is always a tricky situation. Daniels was one of the best at his position in the first half of 2009 before he blew out his knee. He’s one of those guys that will get drafted super late this season, but could end up being a bomb to left field.

SRG’s 2010 Fantasy Football Guide: Wide Receivers

August 27, 2010 by Thomas Gerard  
Filed under Football, NFL Football, SRG's Blog

2010 Fantasy Wide ReceiversWide Receivers

• Andre Johnson, HOU – This guy is a beast! AJ is the best wideout in the NFL right now and the clear-cut #1 fantasy option at the position. He is what Larry Fitzgerald was in last year’s fantasy draft. The Texans love to pass the ball and he has great chemistry with Matt Schaub. I’m thinking at least 12 TD’s in 2010.

• Randy Moss, NE – Always a great addition to a fantasy squad. One of those guys that can be shutdown all game in terms of yards, but will still manage to have that one TD catch. He’s also in a contract year and needs to prove that he is worth one final wad of cash.

• Larry Fitzgerald, ARI – If I wasn’t iffy about Matt Leinart, he’d definitely be my #2, if not my #1 still. But I AM iffy about Matt Leinart: hell, who isn’t? He hasn’t exactly proved that he is up to the job quite yet, if at all. On top of that, Larry sprained that same knee in his first preseason game that bothered him last season. He could definitely have another big year, which is why he remains this high, but it’s less likely this time around.

• Calvin Johnson, DET – Too high? Maybe. I love him in this position. He battled a ton of injuries last season and will come back with a bang this year. Matthew Stafford is in his second season, Jahvid Best has to be respected in the backfield, and Nate Burleson is the best WR to line up opposite CJ in a few seasons. He’s going to have a very big season!

• Miles Austin, DAL – It somewhat pains me to put him this high, especially after saying I would never draft him as a top five WR. But after seeing him in the first preseason game, he really is a top-tier guy. He is the Cowboys #1 weapon on offense and Tony Romo is a very good quarterback. He’ll put up similar stats to 2009’s.

• Greg Jennings, GB – He didn’t live up to expectations for most fantasy owners last season, but this year he will. What’s not to love about the Packer’s passing attack? It’s flat-out nasty! He always seems to have one huge play in him a game. He’ll enter the land of double-digit TD receivers this year.

• Brandon Marshall, MIA – Marshall is back in Florida, close to where he played college ball. A change of scenery is exactly what he needed. The only scare here is that he is Miami’s only real pass-threat. But with his size and ability, he’s too good to pass up. Plus, he has his money now, so it’s time to zip it and play ball, which he will.

• Roddy White, ATL – A very solid #1 wideout fantasy option. In 2010, he returns to the big-play, deep-threat guy we all know him to be.

• Reggie Wayne, IND – Too low? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m not too big on Mr. Wayne this season, clearly. He had a great first half in ’09, followed by a very mediocre at best performance in the final six games of the season. Manning has an abundance of players to throw the ball to: Dallas Clark, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie, and Anthony Gonzalez. The Colts are just as successful when they get everyone involved, leaving Wayne to fall slightly in this year’s rankings.

• Steve Smith, CAR – He seemed to enjoy a chemistry with starting QB Matt Moore. The Panthers love to run the ball, but Smith is always a major threat downfield, so I like him returning to his old ways this season.

• Marques Colston, NO – As a fantasy owner, you want a scoring threat, and Colston is Drew Brees’ guy in the red-zone. He will put up about 10 TD’s, but will never have over 1,500 yards because of the stacked Saint’s offense.

• Desean Jackson, PHI – Probably the best deep-threat in the NFL. Won’t ever have a ton of receptions, but is good for several long TD catches each year, which is worth being drafted this high.

• Chad Johnson, CIN – Everyone says that the Bengals are a run-first offense now. Ya, ya, ya… I like Johnson to return to double digits in TD catches this year with the addition of T.O and Antonio Bryant as distractions. And I refuse to call him Ochocinco.

• Anquan Boldin, BAL – A great addition to a well-balanced offense and he finally has his money. Boldin makes for a very solid #2 fantasy receiver.

• Steve Smith, NYG – He may be a reception machine, but not a TD machine. Another solid #2 fantasy receiver. He would be higher, but I think Hakeem Nicks will make his presence felt more this year.

• Michael Crabtree, SF – Despite missing games due to his holdout, he proved he is a star in the making.

• Dwayne Bowe, KC – Is he a gamble? Yes. But is he worth it at this position? Absolutely. Cassel is healthier this year and the offense is now in the hands of Charlie Weis. I think you could hit a homerun with this pick.

• Donald Driver, GB – He’ll gain right around 1,000 yards this season to go with 5-8 TDs. If you want a safe, value-pick, look no further.

• Mike Sims-Walker, JAX – He’s a big body and will be healthier this season.

• Percy Harvin, MIN – With Sidney Rice out half the season with a hip injury, Harvin will see even more looks from #4. He has migraine issues, but that won’t stop him from catching balls all over the place this year.

Sleepers

• Johnny Knox, CHI – He is my biggest guy to have a breakout year this season. He’s the Bears fastest receiver and Mike Martz loves speed. He’s going to go over 1,000 yards with 7-9 scores, with the possibility of having the year Miles Austin had last season. He is my ultimate homerun sleeper this season at the wide receiver postion. That’s right, I said it.

• Hakeem Nicks, NYG – Another speed guy. He will eventually supplant Steve Smith as the Giant’s #1 WR.

• Kenny Britt, TEN –Vince Young will continue to get better and Britt will be his favorite target. Britt has the potential to be a top-tier NFL receiver someday.

SRG’s 2010 Fantasy Football Guide: Quarterbacks

August 23, 2010 by Thomas Gerard  
Filed under Football, NFL Football, SRG's Blog

Quarterbacks

• Aaron Rodgers, GB – Hands down my #1 overall fantasy QB. Not just because he singlehandedly won me my fantasy league in ’09, but because he is the “real deal”. He threw 33 touchdowns a year prior, and I expect that number to be similar, if not a little higher. Green Bay offense is also loaded with offensive firepower. The sleeper of it all though for Rodgers is the fact he can run and will create at least 3 touchdowns on the ground this season. Should be off the board by no later than early 2nd round.

• Peyton Manning, IND – You may be thinking, “Where’s Drew Brees?” But if you want a safe, consistent pick year-in and year-out, Manning is the choice here. Manning is more experienced and has a plethora of wide receivers to throw to. Match that with his chemistry to Dallas Clark and you really can’t miss on this draft pick. Plus, he’s had seven months to think about that Super Bowl loss. I would not be surprised to see him throw 40 TD’s this year.

• Drew Brees, NO – Here he is. Depending on what research you trust, you will find these top 3 QB’s arranged in many different orders. ESPN has him as the only fantasy signal-caller worth taking in the first round. I completely disagree, but that’s what’s great about fantasy, we all have our own opinions. Brees is certainly worth drafting in the 1st round, but so are Rodgers and Manning. He will always have great numbers with the system Sean Payton runs in the French Quarter, but this is where I’d take him. My theory: I don’t like guys coming off of Super Bowl wins.

• Tony Romo, DAL – 2010 is the year the Dallas Cowboy offense will explode. Romo quietly had a great season last year, and 2010 is going to be his best yet as a Cowboy. Miles Austin is his new #1 receiver. Rookie Dez Bryant adds big-play ability. Witten will rebound from this 2-TD performance in ’09. And you can’t discount Roy Williams yet, he will surprise some this year. Plus, Romo’s a year removed from Jessica Simpson, so his head is clearer than ever.

• Tom Brady, NE – I really like Brady this season. Of course he’ll never come close to his incredible 50-TD season back in ’07 again, but that’s understandable. Wes Welker’s injury isn’t too scary because I think he’ll come back strong, and if not, second year man Julian Edelman has shown he can play. Moss is always good for a 10-TD campaign and the Pats have some young tight ends for Brady to hook up with. Match all of this with Belichick’s tendency to throw the ball, up three scores, with under two minutes to go, and Brady is a solid fantasy QB.

• Matt Schaub, HOU – He led the league in passing yards last season with over 4,700 and he has the NFL’s most dominant WR in Andre Johnson. A very nice combination.

• Philip Rivers, SD – He’ll be without Vincent Jackson for at least the first three games and some pretty inexperienced receivers will fill in. However, these WR’s will fit the bill. Antonio Gates will probably get more looks than ever, which is good as a fantasy owner. He’ll throw 25-TDs, but don’t be surprised to see his INTs go up.

• Joe Flacco, BAL – Player on the rise. Now in his 3rd season in the NFL, Joe will be better than ever. The Ravens also brought in Anquan Boldin, which may be the piece they’ve been missing for years. This season is his opportunity to make a statement that he will be good in this league for years to come.

• Brett Favre, MIN – No one wants to hear anything more about #4, so I’ll leave it at that.

• Eli Manning, NYG – Had his most TDs thrown last season and the Giants have some young WR’s for him to play with.

• Carson Palmer, CIN – He is too talented and has too many weapons now not to land this high.

• Jay Cutler, CHI – Mike Martz has to help, right? Not unless he improves his decision making.

• Donovan McNabb, WSH – New system, but same success.

• Matt Ryan, ATL – Rebound season.

• Kevin Kolb, PHI – Good enough to land in the top 15, but will have some growing pains inheriting the Philly offense.

Sleepers

• Matthew Stafford, DET – Last year’s #1 overall pick could turn some heads this year with a pass-first offense and the additions of RB Jahvid Best and WR Nate Burleson.

• Jason Campbell, OAK – Not a fantasy starter, but a solid backup with tremendous upside. New scenery is always good.

• Alex Smith, SF – A team on the rise and Smith’s final chance to prove he can play in this league. Combine that with Crabtree, Davis, Gore, and Westbrook. He has the talent. This is the year he puts it all together.

SRG’s 2010 Fantasy Football Guide: Running Backs

August 19, 2010 by Thomas Gerard  
Filed under Football, NFL Football, SRG's Blog

NFL season kickoff is now less than a month away, which can only mean one thing: Fantasy Football. That’s right; it’s time to do your research for the 2010 NFL season. Get your league together, buy your magazines, make your rankings, and do some mock drafts. As you know, every fantasy season brings an abundance of new players to the top of draft boards. So starting here, every few days SRG Fantasy Football analyst Thomas Gerard will do his positional rankings. Let’s get started!

Running Backs

• Adrian Peterson, MIN – He is only 25 years old and a beast of an athlete. Coming off a year in which he had 18 touchdowns, he is a fantasy football machine. Brett Favre is back and Chester Taylor is gone, which is an even better situation for prospective fantasy owners. Look for AP to be in on more 3rd down plays this year and to hold on to the ball better. Combine all of that with probably 15 TDs and AP is a great start to your team.

• Chris Johnson, TEN — Most projections have him ranked #1 overall, but for me he had almost “too good” of a year last year. I’m not a huge fan of guys coming off of “monster” years. He has the ability to break for a TD at any moment and is faster than anyone in the NFL. However, he is a smaller player and touched the ball a lot of times last year, so that lands him in the second spot. He will have a big year again, just nothing in comparison to what he put up last season.

• Ray Rice, BAL – Rice straight up stole the RB job in Baltimore last year away from Willis McGahee. He will get even more carries this year than he did a season prior. Combine that with the fact that even when he is not carrying the ball, he has a great chance of catching the ball out of the backfield. The one downside is that McGahee is a highly-paid man who will steal some goal-line opportunities. That doesn’t worry me much though. I think Ray has the possibility of putting up a year such as CJ did last season. He may not rush for 2,000 yards, but he will get around 1,750 and 500 receiving.

• Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX – This guy always figures a way to get into the end zone. Another tiny guy, but get’s a ton of carries inside the 20-yard line. A solid pick. Look for a similar year to the one he put up last season.

• Steven Jackson, STL – Many rankings have Jackson a lot lower than this, but I like him this year for a number of reasons. First, the Rams are terrible and will run the ball a shit load. Two, the Rams have a rookie QB. Three, the Rams have a better offensive line. Four, he has no backup and could carry the ball 375 times this season. Fifth, he is an awesome pass-catching RB. Finally, he is coming off of a 4 touchdown season, which will only go up. Side note: I’m a Rams fan.

• Frank Gore, SF – Frank missed two games last year and still put up good fantasy numbers for an entire season. The 49ers are better offensively and will probably pass more than in previous years. Look for similar stats to ’09.

• Rashard Mendenhall, PIT – I really like him this year, especially with Big Ben’s suspension. He is young, quick, and plays for a good team. Look for him to have his best year yet and carry the Steelers while their QB is out.

• Deangelo Williams/Jonathon Stewart, CAR – I’m sorry, but at this point, I see them as virtually the same RB. They split the carries almost evenly and had virtually the same numbers a year ago. I know Stewart is coming off an injury, but he always is and has done just fine. There’s no need to separate them. A good strategy would be to wait until the 4th-5th round and grab Stewart, meanwhile picking up talent at other positions.

• Michael Turner, ATL – His 370 carry season made him vulnerable to injury last year, after a breakout season with the Falcons. I’m hesitant about putting a guy coming off of an injury too high on this list, especially with Jason Snelling emerging as a solid backup. Even with his injuries and lack of receptions, he is still a top 10 RB. However, this is a very hit or miss spot.

• Ryan Grant, GB – The Packers have an awesome passing game and love to throw the ball. But Grant still had 280 carries last year, to go along with 11 TDs. I think he’ll be slightly less productive as last year, but is still worth of landing in the top 10.

• Jamaal Charles, KC – Would be higher if not for the arrival of Thomas Jones and McCluster.

• Beanie Wells, ARI – With Warner gone, I think the Cardinals establish a little bit more of a run game.

• Shonn Greene, NYJ – Injury prone, but the 2010 playoffs proved he can flat out play. Don’t draft too early.

• Cedric Benson, CIN – His 2009 season came out of nowhere. Will get his fair share of yards, but uncertain about the end zone.

• Knowshon Moreno, DEN – Would also be higher if not for pass-happy Josh McDaniels.

• Ryan Matthews, SD – Prove me something first.

• Lesean McCoy, PHI – The new Brian Westbrook, but has Mike Bell as backup.

• Justin Forsett, SEA – Breakout alert!

• Matt Forte, CHI – Could be a steal at a great price.

• Pierre Thomas, NO – You won’t see me drafting a New Orleans RB.

Sleepers

• C.J. Spiller, BUF – He hasn’t played a down in the NFL yet. But with the injuries to Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch, he could take over the reins from Day 1. Future Chris Johnson.

• Felix Jones, DAL – He will slowly get more carries from Marion Barber as the team’s future and feature back. Plus Jerry Jones always favors an Arkansas boy.

• Steve Slaton, HOU – He’s battling Arian Foster for the #1 job and most likely will split carries at best. But with his speed and game-breaking ability, an injury to Foster or a breakout game by Slaton, could make for an MVP-like late-round fantasy pickup.

Tie Versus England Is A Win For American Soccer

June 13, 2010 by Thomas Gerard  
Filed under Other Sports, SRG's Blog

After the match yesterday, someone said to me, “That was a very uninspiring game.” It was obvious the man lacked knowledge of the game, as most Americans do. I kindly smiled at the man and politely disagreed saying, “I could not have been more inspired.”

Yes, there were only two goals.
Yes, there wasn’t much threat from the American side in the second half as the English controlled the majority of possession.

And yes we did not win the game. So what is there to be excited about?
A lot actually.
We just tied England, one of the best teams in the world. They are full of talent. They have a world-class manager. And they have a rich football history. This is their sport, not ours. Many fans weren’t giving the United States much of a chance, saying we would get blown out of this game. To me that is just ignorance. This is a sport where anyone can beat or play with anyone on any given day. It’s as simple as that.

Over the past couple years I’ll admit that I was not very excited about the team being put together for this World Cup. I am used to seeing a bunch of kick and run and not much soccer sense on the pitch from the U.S side. Yesterday’s performance gave all Americans a reason to be excited about our team’s chance the remainder of the way.

For the majority of the first half, the U.S. was controlling the pace of the game. We knocked the ball around great for our standards. We didn’t panic like I did after an early first strike from Steven Gerrard. Our composure was brilliant.

We also managed to take one of the best strikers in the world in Wayne Rooney out of the game. He was nowhere to be seen. Our defenders did an excellent job marking him and an even better job of clearing the ball from our end in dangerous situations.

With that said, Tim Howard is the anchor of our team. He is one of the best keepers in the world and will keep us in every game. The guy plays with heart and purpose. He is aggressive and committed to every play. He came up huge yesterday and a strong goalie can take you a long way.
This was a great way to start the tournament and a huge confidence builder. The result is what matters most, and the Yanks gave fans a reason to be inspired the rest of the way.

Co-players of the game for the United States: Tim Howard and Steve Cherundolo
England’s man of the match: Glen Johnson

Next game: Slovenia 10AM eastern Friday morning. Support our team. Support our country. This game brings the world together.

NFL Draft: Round One Review

April 23, 2010 by Thomas Gerard  
Filed under Football, NFL Football, SRG's Blog

1.     St. Louis Rams – QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma — As expected, the Rams take their new franchise quarterback.  It’s always a gamble nowadays taking a quarterback #1 overall, so you better be sure you have the right guy.  The Rams got a tremendous athlete who has great character.  It is their most needed position, so he is the right pick.  Being a Rams fan, I am happy.  Anything is better than Marc Bulger.
2.     Detroit Lions – DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska – The Lions get the player at the top of most expert and team’s draft boards.  The guy threw opponents around like rag dolls in college.  A beast of a player, and a great addition to a struggling organization.
3.     Tampa Bay Bucs – DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma – They wanted Suh, and end up getting McCoy – quite the consolation prize.  Extremely talented, a sharp guy, and full of heart – as seen by the huge hug he gave Roger Goodell.
4.     Washington Redskins – OT Trent Williams, Oklahoma – I would have taken Russell Okung.
5.     K.C. Chiefs – S Eric Berry, Tennessee – An absolute playmaker.  I saw him play several times during the college season, and he is everywhere on the field.  Could be the next Ed Reed.  Gotta love that comparison.
6.     Seattle Seahawks – OT Russell Okung, Oklahoma State – They get arguably the best offensive tackle in the draft.  He is also the heir apparent to Walter Jones.  Great pick… which makes me sick.
7.     Cleveland Browns – CB Joe Haden, Florida – The Gators produce ridiculous athletes, but I don’t like taking corners this high in the draft.  It’s risky.
8.     Oakland Raiders – LB Rolando McClain, Alabama – You never know who Al Davis will take.  Some say this was a reach, but I love the pick.  He simply makes tackles, and just anchored the Crimson Tide defense to a national championship.
9.     Buffalo Bills – RB C.J. Spiller, Clemson – A very interesting selection for a team that is already set at the running back position.  Spiller is the biggest playmaker and probably the most talented in the draft.  Marshawn Lynch must be on his way out of town via a trade.  Otherwise, this pick does not make any sense.
10.     Jacksonville Jaguars – DT Tyson Alualu, Cal – As James Earl Jones once said, “Who the HELL are you?”
11.     San Francisco 49ers – OT Anthony Davis, Rutgers – Traded up to get him.  This guy looks badass!
12.     San Diego Chargers – RB Ryan Matthews, Fresno State – Made a big move up the board to land their replacement to L.T.  I have seen him play once, and he looked good, but nothing too special.
13.      Philadelphia Eagles – DE Brandon Graham, Michigan – The guy looks insane on tape.  Plus, he single handedly won me $100 when I took Michigan +10 vs. Ohio State back in November.  So naturally, I love the pick.
14.      Seattle Seahawk – S Earl Thomas, Texas – Another good pick from my favorite team…  I just threw up.
15.      New York Giants – DE Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida – He is one of the most freakishly athletic guys in the draft.  I’m a little skeptical about a guy though that only played one year of DI ball.
16.      Tennessee Titans – DE Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech – Don’t know much about him, but is certainly a great value pick at #16.
17.      San Francisco 49ers – OG Mike Iupati, Idaho – This guy is an absolute giant.  A nice Hawaiian off the field.  A nasty interior lineman on the field.
18.      Pittsburgh Steelers – C Maurkice Pouncey, Florida — He certainly had an interesting family scene when shown after he was picked.  Not to mention, he has a twin brother who is just as big.  Scary.
19.      Atlanta Falcons – LB Sean Weatherspoon, Mizzou – Made a lot of plays for the Tigers.  A true leader with an incredible personality.  He does tend to disappear sometimes though, so consistency is an issue.
20.       Houston Texans – CB Kareem Jackson, Alabama – Another piece of the national championship defense.  A good pick for a team that desperately needed a corner after the departure of Dunta Robinson.
21.     Cincinnati Bengals – TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma – The fourth Sooner taken in the first round, and a new weapon for Carson Palmer.  He has off-the-charts athletic ability.  An Antonio Gates type player with Pro-Bowls in his future.  Their fans just have to be happy they didn’t select someone from prison.
22.     Denver Broncos – WR Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech – Was not expected to be the first wide out taken, but Dez Bryant’s character issues allowed him to be.  Will be a great fit in Denver for a team that is lacking at the position after the Brandon Marshall trade.
23.     Green Bay Packers – OT Bryan Bulaga, Iowa – An offensive tackle from the state of Iowa is always a great thing in my book.  With a daily diet of corn and beer, they are born to protect QB’S.  For fun:  I like the Pack to win the NFC next year.
24.     Dallas Cowboys – WR Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State – Jerry Jones moves up a few spots to land a game breaker.  His suspension last season was just silly and his supposed character issues were all blown out of proportion.  A guy with this amount of talent should have never fallen this low.  Steal of the first round.
25.     Denver Broncos – QB Tim Tebow, Florida – A true leader, competitor, and champion.  But, what the #$*% was this about???  Most confusing move of the first round.  But hey, at least they have GOD on their side.
26.     Arizona Cardinals – DT Dan Williams, Tennessee – A very boring pick for me, but Arizona has a lot to replace after a depleting offseason.
27.      New England Patriots – CB Devin McCourty, Rutgers – The Patriots need major secondary help and got some here.
28.      Miami Dolphins – DT Jared Odrick, Penn State – Hard worker and comes from a Joe Paterno defense.  If he’s good enough for The Big Tuna, he’s good enough for me.
29.      New York Jets – CB Kyle Wilson, Boise State – #1 Revis, Cromartie, Wilson….Someone is going to be upset with their lack of PT.  #2 Who knew Boise State played defense?
30.      Detroit Lions – RB Jahvid Best, Cal – I’m a big fan of this choice here.  The Lions are slowly building a solid, young core group of players.
31.      Peyton Manning Colts – LB/DE Jerry Hughes, TCU – A linebacker/defensive end with running back speed.  Another great Indy pickup.
32.      New Orlean Saints – CB Patrick Robinson, Florida State – The Super Bowl champs get some secondary help for the second year in a row.
Final Comments:
-          Is it me or does Mel Kiper have one of the best slick jobs of all-time?
-          Those Coors Light commercials made me extremely thirsty.
-          Gruden didn’t realize he was on-air when he said “dumbass” to Kiper.  I’m sure there was a lot more where that came from.
-          Jimmy Clausen was not taken.  I can’t say that was a major surprise, but one team will land a great value pick in the second round.
-          It’s hard to believe a specimen like USC’s Taylor Mays stays on the board after round one.  Wow.
-          What a great moment when the Make-A-Wish kid read the Steelers pick.  That was awesome.
-          I can’t wait for the 2nd round!

Thoughts From The 2010 Masters

April 13, 2010 by Thomas Gerard  
Filed under Other Sports, SRG's Blog

OUR CHAMPION: Phil Mickelson

Coming to The Masters, Phil was winless on the year in his first seven events, recording one lousy top ten. His remedy: Augusta National. With an incredible track record at this event, Phil found his A-game. He still struggled off the tee at times, but this course can be very forgiving, and Phil avoided the “big” mistake.

The one thing I do admire about Phil is the way he stays true to himself and the game he plays. His risk-reward strategy may be crazy at times, but it paid off over the weekend. I mean why wouldn’t you go for the green in two, from 207 yards out, in the pine straw, behind two trees, on the down slope, have to carry a creek, up two shots, at The Masters, with five holes to go. It makes sense…

With the victory, Phil cemented his name in Augusta history with three green jackets. It’s hard not to be happy when he wins a golf tournament. His personality is contagious. He interacts with the fans. And he is exciting to watch play. He is a true champion.

To me, it was truly synchronistic that Phil won The Masters for two reasons:

1.) His wife, battling breast cancer, attended a tournament for the first time in almost a year.
2.) With all of the Tiger hoopla still circulating, what a refreshing scene it was to see Phil embrace his wife and kiss all of his children after the victory. Golf needed this. Sports needed this. Hell, I needed this.

On a side note: I am convinced that Phil and Bones (his caddy) are having a contest to see who can go the entire year without putting on any sunscreen. I give Phil the edge at this point with a slightly redder complexion.

THE RETURN OF TIGER

This is my take on everything “TIGER”:

* It is amazing to me how he always manages to end up in contention, no matter how poorly he is playing. It’s as though he has some magical magnet that pulls the field back to him.

* It is absolutely ridiculous that some so-called experts were picking him to miss the cut this week. It’s like betting the sun it will not set every night.

* It was ideal that he played in the same group as K.J. Choi every day.

* Saturday’s 6th hole showed Tiger has been working on his positive reinforcement. After a poor tee-shot, he loudly said, “Tiger Woods, you SUCK. God dammit.” What a beautiful day at Augusta.

* Was Tiger really wearing sunglasses all week as a result of his bad allergies or because it was an easier way to look at women?

* I love the idea, but it was way too early for the Nike commercial with Tiger and his father’s voice.

* My prediction: Tiger will win both the U.S. and British Opens.

THE SENIOR TOUR

* Fred Couples played well again at Augusta, and it is always fun when he is in contention. The first round leader and ’92 Masters champ hung around all week. Fans love the laid-back, no glove, free swinging Couples. The guy also wears spikeless shoes. I have to admit it; he may be even cooler than we think.

* Tom Watson continues to defy his age. For the second time in a year, the 60 year-old hung with the young guys at a major. He continues to defy his age. It goes to show that if you play smart, keep the ball in play, and stay within your own means, you can always be successful on a golf course. Look for him to be in the hunt again at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, where he won the major in 1982.

RANDOM COMMENTS

* It looked as though England would end their 0 for 56 major drought with Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter leading the tournament heading into the weekend. They failed yet again to win a major golf tournament. The last player to win from England was Sir Nick Faldo at the 1996 Masters.

* Speaking of Faldo, he talks too much about his glory days on air. But I guess I would too if I had three green jackets.

* The youngest player and low amateur of the tournament was 16 years old — Italy’s Matteo Manassero. Wow!

* Wouldn’t it be fun just once to see the name Carl Spackler on the leaderboard?

* Rumor has it that Stevie (Tiger’s caddy) goes commando every year in his all white Augusta jump suit. I think it’s safe to say he put his briefs on this year in light of everything that has happened with Tiger.

* My dad is still convinced the birds heard in the background during play are computerized. I wouldn’t put it past The Masters committee in doing such a thing.

* I will never watch another Forrest Whitaker movie again after hearing his voice-over IBM commercial every break in action.

WRAP-UP

The Masters proved once again why it is the best and most exciting tournament of the year. The scores were low. The roars were loud. The weather was beautiful and the course in pristine condition. There were storylines everywhere. At an event filled with such tradition and history, the golf gods were smiling down, as Augusta shined in all of its glory.

I say it every year, but this time I mean it: I am going to Augusta next April.

Thomas Gerard

The NFL Draft: A New American Holiday

March 26, 2010 by Thomas Gerard  
Filed under Football, NFL Football, SRG's Blog

One of my favorite sporting events of the year is now less than a month away: the NFL Draft. It is a day where jerseys are turned in for thousand-dollar suits, scores are converted into draft grades, and college football players become multi-millionaires without a fraction of professional experience.

Only football in America could bring such attention to an athletic event where there is no ball, field, score, or sweat (unless you are Brady Quinn). What once was considered an afterthought, the draft has been turned into a year round discussion beginning with the start of the college football season. It is considered a holiday by some diehard football fans.

These days scouts work non-stop to establish the best evaluation on every player in the nation. They know everything from their best 40-time to their bench press reps to their passion for the game. Hell, there is so much time, research, and evaluation of potential draftees that scouts could probably tell you the last time someone had a beer. Players see their stock go up and down more than Kirstie Alley’s weight.

But no matter what team you bleed for every NFL Sunday, fans always take notice of who is available to improve their organization’s chance of success for the upcoming season. And the 2010 NFL Draft has a handful of intriguing prospects:

Ndamukong Suh – Widely considered the best available player in this year’s draft class. Constantly drew double and triple teams at Nebraska. Mel Kiper has said Suh may be the best defensive tackle prospect he has seen in 30 years. But is a DT really worth the financial investment of a #1 overall pick?

Sam Bradford – Could have potentially been chosen over Detroit’s Matthew Stafford as last year’s top pick. However, Bradford decided to return for his junior season at Oklahoma, which turned out to be a nightmare. A terrible shoulder injury required season ending surgery only a few games into the season. He still decided to leave school. His stock went straight down, but is now straight up after arriving at the combine with a much bulkier frame. He is currently the odds-on favorite to become the St. Louis Rams QB of the future with the #1 pick.

C.J. Spiller – The most exciting college football player since USC’s Reggie Bush. This guy can fly in the open field. He is a true game breaker, and should be the first running back taken off the board early in the first round.

Tim Tebow – One of the best college football players of all-time. Not the most talented quarterback in the draft by any means, but has the heart and leadership qualities that have NFL GM’s drooling. It will be interesting to see which team will take a risk and grab him earlier than he should go.

In addition to this year’s collection of talent, the drama has increased even more. No longer will it be on a Saturday afternoon. ESPN has now made it a three day and night affair, starting with the first round on a Thursday April 22nd. The second and third rounds continue on Friday evening, with the remainder of the draft concluding Saturday morning.

When the date finally decides to arrive, all evaluations, player rankings, and mock drafts can be thrown out the window. Because as a GM, player, or fan, you never know which direction teams will head. That is what makes the NFL Draft exciting. It is the reason why I tune in to draft day!

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