Monday, August 11, 2008


I'm a little late in getting this post up today (but since I am doing this blog for fun, I guess there is no deadline). Notes from Saturday night.

-Nice work by the 1st team defense. 2 takeaways that led to points. While it's hard to get excited about the Indy offense minus Peyton Manning, it is nice to see a starting unit that was without Damione Lewis, Jon Beason, Chris Harris and Ken Lucas (did I miss anyone?) perform the way they did. Nice work by Adam Seward as well (who has earned the unofficial nickname "Shogun" by one of the beat writers, because of his long hair and beard).

-Nice work by the 1st team offense, but I temper that by saying they only had to gain 39 yards in their 2 series. Not their fault. Just saying wee didn't get to see much of them, save for Jake Delhomme knows which way to turn to hand the ball off. DeAngelo Williams and the offensive line were quite good. I temper that by reminding all the Bob Sanders and Dwight Freeney did not play for Indy, still, that's a big chunk of the Indy starting defense. Reason to be excited there.

-Special teams are still a sore spot. Rhys Lloyd is making nit hard for the Panthers to think about cutting him. Got a text message during the game asking if it was legal for the kicker to boot the ball into (or even through) the end zone. It was sarcastic, of course, because the Panthers have lagged behind the NFL in the touchback category. Lloyd could change all that, but to keep 3 kickers, they have to be down a player at another spot. It's a tough numbers game, and if you recall my post last week, I had 55 players in mind--the roster size is 53. the Panther coverage units seemed to struggle when Indy actually COULD run back a kick. I'm gonna dive into those numbers a little later today.

-Over the weekend, nice to see Padraig Harrington raise the Wannamaker Trophy after winning his 2nd major of the season and 3rd in the last 6. Ben Curtis called Harrington "Tiger-like." In the last year and a half, maybe so, but let's slow things down right there. Tiger is Tiger. Jack Nicklaus was Jack Nicklaus. Arnie was Arnie. Paddy Harrington is a world class player, but let's not deify him, just yet. If he does this for 10 years, then we can do so. Tiger is just that good.

That being said, it makes you wonder if Tiger would have finished behind Harrington in this year's British and PGA. He was in the field at the British in 2007 when Harrington won the Claret Jug. A frothy pint of Guinness was hoisted in Ireland (and elsewhere) in his honor, no doubt, and deservedly so.

I also am starting to wonder if the "best player never to win a major" label is weighing Sergio Garcia down a bit. He says all the right things when he comes up short, but it might be because he's had enough practice saying them. I want to see a guy like Garcia claim a major, and the 2009 Masters might be his best chance, considering Tiger may not be 100% by the time Augusta rolls around. Then again, he might be, and this conversation is over.

-Kyle Busch wins again. Yippee. Starting to get boring, guys. The 18 is whipping everybody's rear wing out there. Maybe the other teams should try something different. Like get better. Otherwise, this could be the year the Busch claims his first championship. 2 things will likely happen after that. One, people won't care because they dislike Kyle. Two, anyone who does like Kyle won't care because he's been so dominant. A title would be expected. He has 9 wins this season, and the Chase hasn't begun. I have no idea what his lead would be under the old system (without a 10 race Chase), but the season would be over under that format. Now, the season will likely be done with 5 races left, rather than 10.

Mike Solarte

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