Saturday, December 11, 2004

Saturday sports stuff

image from the AP (Scott Audette)

I know I'm testing the patience of the few who read my blog by writing about sports. Thanks for sticking with me.

Simply the Best?
University of Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards won the Biletnikoff Award Thursday night, given each season to the best receiver in college football. I'm biased, of course, since I'm a Michigan fan and watched more of their games than any other school's (including, sorry fellow Hawkeyes, Iowa), but this was an obvious choice. This past season, no other wide receiver had more of an impact on his team's games than Edwards. If it's possible for a receiver (who, remember, needs the quarterback to throw the ball to him) to win a game by himself, then Edwards did that against Michigan State. Deserving as he was, however, I still did a double-take at this quote from Edwards:

"I can honestly say that I feel that I'm the best receiver to ever come to the University of Michigan."

The young man certainly doesn't lack confidence. (Of course, that's probably what makes him so good.) I'm sure Dad and I will discuss this while watching Michigan play in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. Is Braylon Edwards the best receiver Michigan's ever had? As long as I've watched Michigan, they've never had a receiver who could not only catch the long pass well, but also go over the middle for shorter catches where he was sure to be hit by defenders, and even turn those short plays into long runs for touchdown scores.

Dad will probably side with Anthony Carter, whose playing days I remember, but barely. From what I've seen (on tape), been told, and read, Carter could do all of the above, as well. Even more impressive is that Carter set every Michigan receiving record in an era when coach Bo Schembechler was hesitant (to put it kindly) to throw the ball very often, preferring the safer, more conservative, more controlling method of handing the ball to the running backs instead. Had Carter played in the more creative offense Michigan plays today, who knows what he could've accomplished?

It Was Nice to Dream
My Detroit Tigers are losing out on some of the free agents they were targeting this off-season. Yesterday, 3rd baseman Troy Glaus signed with Arizona and centerfielder Steve Finley chose to play with Anaheim. Oh well. I was surprised Detroit was in the hunt for those guys in the first place. But the Tigers made a splash when they signed Troy Percival a couple of weeks ago. And I still feel the need to convince myself that Ivan ("Pudge") Rodriguez, maybe one of the best catchers ever to play, chose to play in Detroit last year.

But there are still plenty of good players available. And now that they see Detroit seems to be serious about putting together a good team (especially with the Major League All-Star Game coming to Detroit next summer), a couple of them should fall the Tigers' way. At least I hope so. It was fun to be excited about the Tigers again last summer.

That Ship Has Sailed

I should write something about the charges that Oakland County prosecutors filed against five Indiana Pacers players and five Detroit Pistons fans, in lieu of last month's "Malice at the Palace." But I've already blown a lot of gas on that stuff. I do think it's interesting, however, that the prosecutor laid most of the blame on the jackass who threw the cup at Ron Artest. It's hard to argue with that after watching the footage, but I think a lot of people would've guessed that the prosecutor would try to make a name for himself and go after the millionaire professional basketball players.

One More Thought

If the National Hockey League has suspended play because of a labor dispute, yet no one seems to care (media, fans, etc.), how much trouble is that league in?

The Detroit Red Wings' Brendan Shanahan put it perfectly in a column yesterday by Mitch Albom: "There are plenty of other people who will entertain the audience if you pull yourself out of the entertainment market."

As much as people love sports, once they figure out there's something else to do, they usually do it.