DRAFT: Matt Forte, RB, Bears Forte was last season's breakout rookie, totaling 1,238 rushing yards, 477 receiving yards and 12 total touchdowns. And this year, with Jay Cutler in the fold, Forte should face fewer eight-man fronts. Granted, there is some growing concern in football circles that the former Tulane star is more a numbers guy than a legitimate force on the football field. They point to the fact that Forte averaged less than four yards a carry last season and only broke 100 yards three times in 16 games. Most surprising of all, there are apparently people who value actual football ability over the ability to post meaningful fantasy stats. Weird!
The story of the US Open has been 17-year-old sensation Melanie Oudin, who has shocked the field by making it to the quarterfinals.
Who is this girl? Here are some facts about Melanie Oudin.
The young phenom advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating Elena Dementieva, Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova.Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin has reportedly mailed her radioactive poison.
Melanie Oudin was born September 23, 1991 in Marietta, Georgia. She is 5-foot-6 and weights 130 pounds. I just included that last bit there because 17 year-old girls love it when their weight is published for the whole world to see.
Oudin says her hero is Justine Henin because "she proved you don't have to be tall to win things." Poor Melanie. She is completely unaware that all of the good trophies are kept high up on shelves where she can't see them. Sad.
Oudin has a twin sister, Katherine, who attends public school, while Melanie is home schooled so she can focus on her tennis. Friends of the family know Katherine as the sister with lighter hair and braces, while Melanie is known as the one without a childhood who will have a lifetime of regrets.
Oudin's father, John, is of French descent. This is probably why Oudin often plays back at the baseline and doesn't advance to the net. Get it?! Because she is scared. IT'S A JOKE ABOUT FRENCH PEOPLE BEING PUSSIES! Man, good stuff there. Enjoy.
Oudin plays right-handed. And she has a two-handed backhand.
Oudin's favorite singer is Chris Brown. Really. So she must be a huge fan of two-handed backhands.
Her nickname is "The Oudini." She is so-dubbed because she is often able to escape tight situations in her matches. However, so far she has been unable to escape being given horrible pun nicknames.
Most kids who love sports dream of hitting the game-winning shot or throwing the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl or crushing a home run to win the World Series. But Tyler Stallman is not most kids. He is much larger than most kids.
"Fat" you could even say. "Morbidly obese" if you were trying for accuracy.
"For as long as I can remember, since he was a little boy, Tyler has dreamed of being an offensive lineman," said his mother, Jackie. "And I think he can do it. Look at him. He's a tub."
Most days Mrs. Stallman can find her son outside in the yard of their trailer home imagining himself throwing the winning block in the Super Bowl.
"And Peyton Manning drops back to pass but they are blitzing him!" Tyler will say. "Who will block for him? Oh! It's Tyler Stallman! What a block! It's the play of the Super Bowl! Also, a touchdown was scored on the play."
"He would be out there for hours every day," said his mother. "But usually he gets winded pretty quickly and comes inside for a snack and a nap. Or he'll just collapse in the yard and wake up and drag himself in later when he gets hungry."
Stallman's bedroom is a testament to his desire to be an offensive lineman one day. Its walls are covered with drawings of great linemen.
"Nobody sells posters of linemen, so I have to draw them myself," says Tyler. "This one over here is William Roaf. I traced the body from a Santa decoration we put up at Christmas."
If Tyler keeps working hard at the dining table, some think he has a legitimate chance of playing in the NFL one day and living out those dreams.
"He's only a kid now," said Jack Riggins, head coach of the local high school team. "But he definitely has the girth I look for in a lineman. I like to build my teams from the line out, and I have my eye on this Stallman kid. I've tracked him since his birth announcement in the paper said he was 13 pounds. If he can stay fat for the next three years and not fall prey to society's pressures to be slim and healthy, I think he can be a star."
For now, though, his football career will have to wait, as none of the youth league uniforms or helmets fit his enormous body.
Tyler says he won't let anything stand in the way of his dream.
"Look at this," he said, opening a container of Oreos for dinner.
"I'm so proud of my boy," said his mother. "He's going to be rich one day and get me the new house and stomach stapling I've always wanted."
"Grmupfh," promised Tyler, his mouth full.
NFL rosters have been cut down to 53 players. Some bigger names didn't make it. I spoke to my sources to find out why.
Jeff Garcia, QB, Raiders Coaches says Garcia did everything asked of him and provided just the veteran leadership they wanted. He just wasn't a good fit with the team because it turns out many of Oakland's plays have S's in them and Garcia's lisp confused play calls at the line of scrimmage.
Ian Johnson, RB, Vikings It was a numbers issue with the former Boise State star in Minnesota. There were just too many quality backs already on the roster. But Johnson may have earned himself a spot on the practice squad with a dramatic proposal to head coach Brad Childress.
Carey Davis, FB, Steelers Davis has been a solid contributor for the Steelers and had a good camp. But Pittsburgh wants to limit distractions this year while trying to repeat. And some coaches worried his first name was a subtle request for more carries.
David Tyree, WR, Giants Tyree struggled catching the ball in camp and coaches were not open to his idea of wearing helmets on each of his hands.
Alex Smith, TE, Patriots Alex Smith was hurt again by sharing the same name as that piece of crap 49ers quarterback. He struggles to break through those expectations no matter how well he plays.
Andrew Walter, QB, Patriots Bill Belichick got a hankering to cut someone and Walter just happened to be nearby at the time.
John David Booty, QB, Vikings Booty lost his job because some old turdbag simply can't move on with his life.
DRAFT: Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions The No. 1 overall pick in this year's rookie draft has been named the starting quarterback for the Lions. With no expectations on him this season and weapons around him like Calvin Johnson and Kevin Smith Stafford could post solid numbers. Consider him for your backup quarterback position. Consider him even more if you play in a keeper league. If Stafford is available in the mid to late rounds, take him. Remember: fantasy football isn't all about winning; it's about fun, too. And by the mid to late rounds, fantasy drafts begin to wane a bit. If you pick Stafford, not only do you get a potential future quarterback, you get a Detroit Lion. And that's a good 10 to 15 minutes of joke fodder. Funnest. Draft. Ever? Maybe. And it's all thanks to you.
September 7, 2009 Column
Stuff You Might Have Heard
Stanley Cup disappointed to have to spend the day with Mark Eaton
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton got his 48 hours with the Stanley Cup yesterday and today, a fact that didn't sit well with the famous trophy. "You have to understand. The Stanley Cup gets to hang out with some of the greatest players of all-time," said Mike Bolt, the trophy's handler. "Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin. So when it has to spend time with these mid-rate players, boredom comes quickly." Eaton, who has scored 62 points in his nine-year career, took the Cup back to his hometown of Wilmington, Del. "Ugh. It was brutal," said Bolt. "Wilmington is a dump. I noticed that the Cup tried to knock itself onto its side so it could roll into the path of a bus. But it's my job to keep it upright in those situations."
The intention was to simplify things in his first season on the job. But now first-year head coach Chip Kelly is starting to worry that scripting out his team's first 425 plays could backfire.
"There is uncertainty when a new coach takes over so I wanted to get past that," said Kelly, the new head coach at Oregon. "From the first day of spring practice, I've been drilling these opening 425 plays into my players. And they know them to perfection."
While many coaches script the opening plays of a game, Kelly took it a step farther a step that led to some awkward scenarios in the team's season-opening loss.
"The goal line dive play we ran late in the game on that 3rd-and-long we needed to pick up wasn't ideal," said Kelly. "It was in the script. We got three hard-fought yards. But we needed nine. There was nothing I could do. It is regrettable. But, if you think about it, I don't think we would have been behind at all had we not punted on 2nd-and-goal at the two back in the second quarter."
That scripted play took almost guaranteed Oregon points off the board. It also allowed Boise State to pick up 18 yards to the 20 when the punted sailed easily through the end zone.
"It was our first game. There are going to be some growing pains regardless of the script," said Kelly.
With that lesson learned, Kelly says he will tweak things going forward.
"The offense was executing things perfectly," he said. "The situations just weren't always the best. We need to start putting them in better spots on the field. So next game we will script our defensive plays, too. I'm thinking a weak-side blitz on the 11th play of the game will be perfect."
September 5, 2009 Column
Stuff You Might Have Heard
BYU fans to celebrate upset victory with lights-on sex
Ecstatic over their Cougars' upset victory over Oklahoma in the season opener, BYU fans say they may throw caution to the wind and celebrate the win the most crazy way they can imagine. "Lights-on sex," said BYU season ticket holder Don Smith. "Not the room light, of course. They didn't win the national title or anything. The hallway light. But still golly. I can't wait. Miriam says she is up for it. Gosh, this is so golly!" Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall says he can hardly wait to get back to the team's hotel. "My wife gave me a kiss after the game. Open mouth! I think we're going to have intercourse tonight. And not simply for procreation either."
Jagodzinski [jag-o-zin-ski, dum-ass, mor-on]
1. to lose a stable job while carelessly and publicly seeking another job, only to eventually lose the job you moved to, leaving you without any job at all.
Jobless, his life in shambles and with no way to pay his bills, Jeff chided himself for engaging in such careless jagodzinski.
2. any person who engages in jagodzinski.
That guy can't keep a job. He's a total jagodzinski.
Picture: Your typical jagodzinski looks a lot like this guy, complete with that stupid grin and haircut and expanding chin area.
Every other sports media outlet has a format in which talking-head morons yell foolish, reactionary blather at each other, resulting in absolutely no cogent point other than that they are foolish, talking-head morons.
Now SportsPickle has such a format, too Gallo Vs. Magary pitting site founder DJ Gallo against guest columnist Drew Magary, a very fine set of morons indeed.
Today's debate the Michigan practice time scandal.