Posts Tagged ‘Holland’

Why Brazil Failed In The 2010 Fifa World Cup.

July 16th, 2010

Many of you will claim you saw this coming a mile away. Others like me were totally caught off guard by it, but when all was said and done in South Africa after Spain's victory over Holland, Dunga's Selecao were already home watching behind a T.V screen like the rest of the world. What went wrong? Well, I shall analyze.

I believe Carlos Dunga's stubborness, in many ways, contributed to this embarrassment. Now I know we must not fully place the blame on one man, but his choices leading up to this World Cup were very controversial and he listened to no one. I was at first a huge advocate of his because during his three years in charge before the festivities began in South Africa, the man brought a sense of stability and urgency to the team that I had never witnessed before as a Selecao fan, winning us the Copa America in 2007, Confederations Cup last year.

However, he totally threw out the notion of "Samba" football and "Jogo Bonito" in the process.

We all disregarded that because Dunga's new scheme was winning us games. For the first time Brazil had a better defence than it's attack, not to mention it played with two defensive midfielders at all times. This team would no longer pass the ball around it's opponent in an oozing fashion to win games.

Instead it became an unstoppable counterattacking machine built to suit the likes of physical beasts such as Maicon, Lucio, Felipe Melo and even the striker Luis Fabiano. Kaka would become the main catalyst because of his speed. There was no longer place for flair; players like Alexandre Pato, Ganso, Ronaldinho and Neymar, all fan favorites, would not find room when the final 23 were named, but inexplicablym guys like Grafite, and Kleberson did.

Now alarm bells were ringing a little bit so Dunga made the press out to be his No. 1 enemy, and his character started to change a little on the sideline. It couldn't be more evident when he lost his composure during the Holland game.

We went out 2-1 in a game in which we led going into halftime. That had never happened to Brazil before in a World Cup game but somehow Dunga made it happen with the European type of squad he had gotten the Selecao to become. It was only fitting that one of the players he admired the most had a hand in both of the Dutch, goals then proceeded to stomp on Robben and exit the game in shame. As time wounded down there was no real player on the bench that could grab the game by the scruff of it's neck, Robinho tried his absolute best, Kaka was out of form pretty much the story during the whole cup. Fabiano's name was hardly ever mentioned.

The inevitble had happened finally Dunga's Brazil were exposed, but all realistic fans knew it would happen sooner or later. Bert van Marwijk read us perfectly and had the perfect game plan and succeeded even though it was ugly.

As the final whistle blew and the camera crew focused on the young Brazil fan who was crying in the stands, my heart wrenched, but to him I say we will bounce back in 2014 in our own backyard.

The lion sleeps but it will awaken soon. Hopefully it roars back to it's Samba roots!


Oakland Raiders: Learn the Players’ Names

July 16th, 2010

I challenged my associates to learn the names on the Oakland Raiders roster. The easy way to start was to learn the names of the guys with the same last name.

Here is a list of the entire roster with the names of the men who have the same last name underlined:


# Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Age Exp. College
84 Adeniji, Damola WR 6-3 215 23 R Oregon State
21 Asomugha, Nnamdi CB 6-2 210 29 8 California
69 Barnes, Khalif T 6-5 325 28 6 Washington
32 Bennett, Michael RB 5-9 205 31 10 Wisconsin
10 Bodiford, Shaun WR 5-11 185 28 4 Portland State
7 Boller, Kyle QB 6-3 220 29 7 California
73 Boschetti, Ryan DT 6-4 310 28 6 UCLA
30 Boyd, Jerome S 6-2 225 24 2 Oregon
33 Branch, Tyvon SS 6-0 205 23 3 Connecticut
57 Brown, Ricky LB 6-2 235 26 5 Boston College
27 Brown, Stevie S 5-11 215 22 R Michigan
90 Bryant, Desmond DT 6-5 290 24 2 Harvard
29 Bush, Michael RB 6-1 245 26 3 Louisville
74 Campbell, Bruce G/T 6-6 315 22 R Maryland
8 Campbell, Jason QB 6-5 230 28 6 Auburn
66 Carlisle, Cooper G 6-5 295 32 11 Florida
25 Cartwright, Rock RB 5-8 215 30 9 Kansas State
59 Condo, Jon LS 6-3 250 28 5 Maryland
78 Cooper, Chris DT 6-5 285 32 8 Nebraska-Omaha
71 Daniels, Alex DE 6-4 260 23 R Cincinnati
31 Eugene, Hiram FS 6-2 200 29 5 Louisiana Tech
13 Figurs, Yamon WR 5-11 185 28 4 Kansas State
12 Ford, Jacoby WR 5-9 185 22 R Clemson
3 Frye, Charlie QB 6-4 220 28 6 Akron
76 Gallery, Robert G 6-7 325 29 7 Iowa
48 Goethel, Travis LB 6-2 240 22 R Arizona State
5 Gradkowski, Bruce QB 6-1 220 27 5 Toledo
52 Groves, Quentin LB 6-3 265 26 3 Auburn
97 Gunheim, Greyson DE 6-5 265 24 3 Washington
67 Heard, Kellen DT 6-6 355 24 R Memphis
79 Henderson, John DT 6-7 335 31 9 Tennessee
75 Henderson, Mario T 6-7 300 25 4 Florida St ate
85 Heyward-Bey, Darrius WR 6-2 210 23 2 Maryland
15 Higgins, Johnnie Lee WR 5-11 185 26 4 Texas-El Paso
17 Holland, Jonathan WR 6-1 195 25 3 Louisiana Tech
99 Houston, Lamarr DE 6-3 305 23 R Texas
53 Howard, Thomas OLB 6-3 240 27 5 Texas-El Paso
16 Hubbard, Paul WR 6-2 225 25 1 Wisconsin
24 Huff, Michael FS 6-1 205 27 5 Texas
11 Janikowski, Sebastian K 6-2 250 32 11 Florida State
37 Johnson, Chris CB 6-1 200 30 7 Louisville
94 Joseph, William DT 6-5 310 30 7 Miami (Fla.)
93 Kelly, Tommy DT 6-6 300 29 7 Mississippi State
9 Lechler, Shane P 6-2 225 33 11 Texas A&M
60 Loper, Daniel G 6-6 320 28 6 Texas Tech
55 McClain, Rolando LB 6-3 255 21 R Alabama
20 McFadden, Darren RB 6-2 210 22 3 Arkansas
22 McFadden, Walter CB 5-10 180 23 R Auburn
89 Miller, Nick WR 5-9 180 23 2 Southern Utah
80 Miller, Zach TE 6-5 255 24 4 Arizona State
34 Mitchell, Mike SS 6-1 220 23 2 Ohio University
40 Moline, Chane FB 6-0 250 22 R UCLA
51 Morris, Chris C 6-4 305 27 5 Michigan State
18 Murphy, Louis WR 6-2 200 23 2 Florida
83 Myers, Brandon TE 6-4 250 24 2 Iowa
56 Nixon, David LB 6-3 235 25 2 Brigham Young
58 Norris, Slade LB 6-3 245 24 2 Oregon State
82 Owens, John TE 6-3 255 30 9 Notre Dame
65 Parsons, Alex OL 6-4 300 22 R USC
72 Pears, Erik T 6-8 305 28 5 Colorado State
28 Porter, Joe DB 5-10 205 24 2 Rutgers
45 Reece, Marcel RB 6-3 240 25 2 Washington
98 Richardson, Jay DE 6-6 280 26 4 Ohio State
63 Rodd, Brandon G 6-4 305 24 1 Arizona State
26 Routt, Stanford CB 6-1 195 26 6 Houston
64 Satele, Samson C 6-3 300 25 4 Hawaii
81 Schilens, Chaz WR 6-4 225 24 3 San Diego State
91 Scott, Trevor DE 6-5 255 25 3 Buffalo
92 Seymour, Richard DE 6-6 310 30 10 Georgia
77 Shaughnessy, Matt DE 6-5 270 23 2 Wisconsin
61 Smith, Allen G 6-4 300 24 R Stanford
86 Stewart, Tony TE 6-5 260 30 10 Penn State
36 Thomas, Joey CB 6-1 190 29 5 Montana State
41 Tonga, Manase FB 5-11 245 26 R BYU
68 Veldheer, Jared T/C 6-8 315 23 R Hillsdale
70 Walker, Langston T 6-8 360 30 9 California
23 Ware, Jeremy CB 5-10 185 23 R Michigan State
1 Waters , Swayze K 5-11 180 23 1 Alabama-Birmingham
19 Watkins, Todd WR 6-3 195 27 3 BYU
54 Williams, Sam OLB 6-5 260 29 8 Fresno State
96 Wimbley, Kamerion LB 6-4 255 26 5 Florida State


# Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Age Exp. College
44 Lawton, Luke FB 6-0 240 29 5 McNeese State


As I rallied the folks around me to cheer for the Oakland Raiders, the idea of this name game popped up. It will be more fun in 2010 if we know the names of all of the Oakland Raiders.

Go Raiders! What's in a name? Victory, we hope!



Oakland Raiders: Which Draft Was Better—2007 or 2008?

July 16th, 2010

Is it quality or quantity when it comes to judging how good of a draft you had?  Let's look at the Oakland Raiders' drafts from 2007 (11 picks) and 2008 (five picks).  Now some picks from 2008 were traded to acquire the 2007 picks, but to me whatever year the player was drafted is the year that counts.  If a pick was traded for a player, then it doesn't count.



1. Jamarcus Russell—currently seeking NFL employment and fighting a possession of codeine charge.

2. Zach Miller—currently the starting TE and is pro bowl caliber. 

3a. Quentin Moses—cut from camp in 2007. 

3b. Mario Henderson—currently the starting left tackle fighting to keep his job. 

3c. Johnnie Lee Higgins—currently the punt returner who is fighting to keep his job.  Also sees time at WR and is fighting for playing time there. 

4a. Michael Bush—splits time at RB and was the leading rusher last year. 

4b. John Bowie—often injured DB and was never worth anything. 

5a. Jay Richardson—rotates in on the DL and is fighting for his roster spot.

5b. Eric Frampton—cut from camp in 2007. 

6. Oren O'Neal—solid FB who had a good rookie year but couldn't stay healthy after that. 

7. Jonathan Holland—practice squader that has played both WR and CB.



1. Darren McFadden—splits time at RB and is often injured. 

4a. Tyvonn Branch—currently the starting SS and led all DBs in tackles last year. 

4b. Arman Shields—WR injured in camp as a rookie and failed physical in 2008. 

6. Trevor Scott—tied for Raider lead in sacks the last two years.  Started at DE and moved to LB where he currently starts. 

7. Chaz Schilens—has been injured a lot, but when healthy he is on the money and has superglue for hands and is competing for the starting WR spot.



Of our five picks in 2008, four are still with us and are locks to make the team.   Of our eleven picks from 2007, five are no longer with us and only two are locks to make the team. 

Holland is likely gone after camp, but Richardson, Henderson, and Higgins will have to fight hard just to make the team.  Henderson is the most likely to still be on the team of the ones that are fighting for their jobs. 

It seems to me that 2008 was the better draft since we've already lost just as many from the 2007 draft as we drafted in 2008.  Plus we have more locks from the 2008 draft and that is where the quality plays in. 

Questions have already been raised about our 2009 draft class since only one really stood out positively as a rookie, but one year is not long enough to really make that kind of judgement.

In conclusion the end result is 2007: 11 drafted, five gone, four on the bubble, two locks; 2008: five drafted, one gone, four locks...2008 was clearly the better draft.

Mike Modano To Detroit Red Wings WILL Work, If Given the Chance

July 15th, 2010

Ken Holland comes from a world where the TV announcers say, “He’d probably like to have that one back.”

He comes from a world where, when you make a mistake, they turn a red light on and 15,000 zealots with leather lungs might try to boo you out of the building.

It’s a world where you’re assailed with dozens of vulcanized rubber discs every night as the last line of defense. And when Holland played goalie for the Red Wings, he was often the only line of defense.

It was 25 years ago this summer when the goaltender Holland became the scout Holland. The Red Wings assigned him to Western Canada, mainly because that’s where he was born and reared.

Then it was 12 more years of working his way up in the organization, this time wearing a suit instead of the tools of ignorance.

Holland bided his time, learning how to put a hockey team together, as the apprentice of Scotty Bowman, no less.

The Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1997 and it was determined that Bowman would no longer hold the dual titles of coach and general manager. Holland was promoted.

Almost immediately, the naysayers were out.

Keith Gave, more right than wrong as Red Wings beat writer in those days, pegged it badly.

No way, Gave wrote, could the Red Wings stay on top with a rookie GM.

Gave fretted over the return of Bowman to strictly coaching duties.

Holland then went out and made some astute trades—several at the March deadline—and the Red Wings repeated as Cup champs, despite the loss of Vladimir Konstantinov to a tragic car accident.

It was following that Cup when Holland returned to his goaltender days and made a move that I believe he wished he could have back.

He didn’t name it specifically, but I hit Holland with the question late in the 2005-06 season.

Go back into goaltender mode, I said into the phone, and tell me what trade or signing you’d like to have back, looking back on your almost nine years as Red Wings GM.

He acknowledged there was one, for sure, that made him wince.

He wouldn’t tell me what it was, for fear of embarrassing the individual involved.

I submit that the soft goal he let in was the signing of defenseman Uwe Krupp in the summer of 1998.

Krupp was a hulking man who, on skates, could almost have looked over the glass without even stretching. He wasn’t a hockey player, he was a building on blades.

The German-born Krupp was signed from the hated Colorado Avalanche, where he had scored the Cup-winning goal for them in overtime in 1996. He wasn’t known for being extraordinarily physical, given his size, but how physical does have a building have to be? You’re still going to bounce off it.

Krupp came to the Red Wings, his wallet stuffed, and before long, his back got creaky.

Krupp dressed for only 22 games during the 1998-99 season. He wasn’t heard from the next season, or the season after that, his back too painful.

Then it was discovered that Krupp, while he was supposedly too hurt to play hockey, was participating in dog sledding.

That made the Red Wings mad.

It got ugly and into the courts. In 2001, Krupp said he was healthy and wanted to come back to the Red Wings. The Red Wings told him to stick it in his five hole.

Showing more fight in the courtroom than he had shown on and off the ice for the Red Wings before and after his injury, Krupp finally won the right to play for the Red Wings after all.

He suited up for eight games in the 2001-02 season, Bowman not thrilled with him at all.

Bowman gave Krupp a shot in the playoffs, putting him into the lineup for Games One and Two of the first round against Vancouver in Detroit. The Red Wings lost both, and Krupp was minus five.

Bowman yanked Krupp and declared privately that the tall German building would never play another game for the Red Wings. And Krupp didn’t.

Holland threw a ton of money at Uwe Krupp, when the Red Wings really didn’t need another defenseman, despite Konstantinov’s loss the year prior. The ‘98 Red Wings won the Stanley Cup, but Holland, in the pre-salary cap world of the time, couldn’t keep from tweaking.

I believe it was the signing of Krupp to which Holland referred as being his “mulligan”—Holland’s word to me in 2006.

Holland hasn’t had too many mulligans in his 13 years of managing the hockey club in Detroit.

There are those who fear he might be on the verge of another one, if he’s able to entice 40-year-old Mike Modano to play this season, and do so as a Red Wing.

The signing of Modano doesn’t look as olly-olly-oxen free as it did a couple weeks ago. Where the Red Wings looked to be Modano’s only suitors then, other teams have been mentioned lately as sniffing around the Westland native; the Minnesota Wild and San Jose Sharks are the two late entries.

There might not be enough money, when all is said and done, at Holland’s avail to sign Modano, when put up against what the Wild and/or Sharks could possibly offer.

If that’s the case, then the hand-wringers who worry about adding a 40-year-old center to the Red Wings roster need not fret.

The worry warts would have more credibility, to me, if Holland’s track record with aging veterans was pocked with cautionary tales.

Instead, it’s the polar opposite.

“We feel Mike Modano can help us,” Holland told the papers. “We feel like he has some hockey left in him.”

Those might have been the exact words Holland spoke in the late summer of 2001, when the Red Wings brought Brett Hull in when the interest in the veteran sniper was less than overwhelming.

Hull wasn’t exactly fending off teams with a hockey stick when the Red Wings called. He was 37, and even though he had just scored 39 goals for the Dallas Stars, teams were put off by Hull’s run-ins with coaches and his loud mouth.

Holland took a swing with Hull, and that swing didn’t result in the need of a mulligan.

Hull scored 30 goals and the Red Wings won another Stanley Cup.

The worry warts think the Red Wings need to get younger, and the last thing they need now is a 40-year-old Mike Modano clogging the pipeline for players like Darren Helm and Val Filppula.

I’ve written it before: they do something funny with the water that flows from the Detroit River and into Joe Louis Arena. Somewhere in the bowels of JLA lies a fountain of youth.

Dominik Hasek. Luc Robitaille. Chris Chelios. Dallas Drake. Joey Kocur.

Shall I go on? I can, you know—for quite some time.

The Red Wings are more successful than other NHL teams with aging players because those players are brought in to play specific roles; they’re not asked to do what they did when they were 10 years younger.

Compare that to the Detroit Lions, who all but embarrassed DBs Todd Lyght and Eric Davis during the Matt Millen administration because the Lions wanted Lyght and Davis to be the players of their mid-to-late 20s, not their early-to-mid 30s.

There were times when I actually felt sorry for Lyght especially, who was asked to cover, with his 33-year-old legs, receivers nearly ten years his junior. The results weren’t pretty.

That kind of nonsense doesn’t go on with the Red Wings. With the exception of Hasek, who was brought in at age 36 to be the starting goalie, the Red Wings make sure the aging guys are signed only if there are enough other pieces surrounding them to camouflage their deficiencies.

Mike Modano might not be a Red Wing, after all. The longer he takes to decide might mean the decision doesn’t bode well for the Red Wings.

Doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have worked.

Kenny Holland feels Modano can help the Red Wings.

That’s good enough for me, and ought to be good enough for everyone else.

Holland is a man of few mulligans, after all.

Top 10 Worst Feelings in the Sports Summer of 2010

July 15th, 2010

What an intense summer of sports we have had so far. June and early July were packed full of great sports stories such as the Stanley Cup, World Cup, and NBA Free Agency.

Now that the MLB All-Star game is over and the ESPYS are on television, you know things are going to start simmering down a bit until the pennant chase heats up in September. Because of this sizzling start to summer, I have composed a list of some of the worst feelings of the sports summer. Enjoy.

10. Hitting out of a bunker at St. Andrews – The British Open begins this week and players better be prepared to be patient. The Old Course is infamous for its’ 112 pot bunkers that have ruined so many rounds that might have been. The Road Hole bunker on 17 and the “Hell Bunker” on the par five 14th are two of the scariest places a golfer can find himself. Hitting backwards is often is the safest option on many of these bunkers, some of which have stairs installed in order to enter and exit these enormous sinkholes of sand.

9. Dropping a 138 game fifth set at Wimbledon – In an 11 hour epic game, that will be remembered long after who won and lost, Nicolas Mahut dropped the fifth and final set of his first round match versus American John Isner 70 games to 68. The match featured triple digit aces by both players and 168 consecutive service games held. After 113 aces in the first round epic, Isner recorded none in his straight set defeat in the second round.

8. Losing $750 in divorce settlement with Elin - Yep, that’s right. Three quarters of a billion dollars straight out of Tiger’s vault to the Swedish supermodel in the couple’s divorce settlement. Good luck finding a new man Elin.

7. Getting passed by Danica Patrick – After watching that GoDaddy number seven car fail to win a race in the IndyCar series, do we really want to see that GoDaddy car making its’ way to NASCAR? In Danica’s first Nationwide series race, the driver finished 24th and seemed to be quite pleased with herself. Yeah I know the car handles differently and switching over is a tough thing to do, but Danica needs to learn how to handle her indycar before she tries multi-tasking. Like your commercial says Danica, you’re no Jaun Pablo. Remember that.

6. Scoring an own goal in the World Cup - There were three own goals in this year’s World Cup (Denmark, South Korea, Brazil) but none were more damaging than Felipe Melo’s in Brazil’s quarterfinal loss to Holland. The Brazilian defender collided with goalkeeper Julio Cesar on a Wesley Sneijder free kick early in the second half to deflect the Sneijder kick into the goal for the equalizer. The mistake gave the Dutch the momentum they needed as they went on to exit Brazil with a 2-1 upset victory.

5. Thinking that Lane Kiffin is making you stay at USC - Luckily for blue chip recruit Seantrel Henderson this is no longer a problem. The nations’ 2009 top recruit signed with the Trojans after discussing with coaches the possibility of probation. Obviously, Lane’s staff wasn’t completely honest with the 6’8, 337 pound monster as he signed a letter of intent to play in Los Angeles on March 23. Upon the news of USC’s probation, reports came out that Kiffin was not going to allow Henderson to leave the Trojans but on July 6, Kiffin did the right thing and allowed Henderson to be like LeBron and take his talents to South Beach.

4. Losing a Perfecto on a blown call - The only man in the world sicker than Armando Galarraga is Jim Joyce. How can you not feel for that guy? On June 2nd you blow the biggest call of your career to lose a perfect game for a kid nobody has ever heard of and you take it like a complete man in extraordinary fashion. Not only did Joyce accept full responsibility for the call but he showed up the next day to umpire behind the plate in Detroit after the commissioner’s office gave him a day off.

3. Getting a DUI with red panties between your legs - This is something that usually would have nothing to do with sports. This is also something you would not expect a big time college athletic director to do. Georgia A.D. Damon Evans was pulled over drunk with a 28-year-old girl who was not his wife on the first night of July. When Evans was asked by the officer why he had red panties between his legs, Evans responded saying “She took them off and I held them because I was just trying to get her home”. Im sure the wifey understood Damon.

2. Being a Cleveland sports fan – The fumble, the drive, the shot, Jose Mesa, Art Rooney, and now King James. No title in 46 years and the Browns currently have the most impressive roster in the City of Rock. Good luck with the Delhomme era Clevelanders.

1. Playing for team North Korea and Kim Jong Il – All I have to say about this one is be glad North Korea players that none of you were on this list at number six.


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