Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL considering mandatory echocardiograms

The NBA has required this test for its players since 2006. From ESPN-

Between the time of Bears defensive end Gaines Adams’ death last Sunday to his funeral Friday, the NFL’s Cardiovascular Committee began discussing the possibility of subjecting all players to a heart scan called an echocardiogram, starting with potential draft picks invited to the NFL scouting combine next month.

NFLPA medical director Thomas Mayer told ESPN that the medical examiner who performed an autopsy on Adams stated the enlarged heart that led to his death could have been detected by an echocardiogram.

But, as Mayer pointed out, the process is complicated.

Is the fear of legal liability going to influence a doctor? Are cardiologists going to agree on whether a player has an enlarged heart or an athlete’s heart? Does that mean he’s systematically finished as a football player?

More likely, a questionable echocardiogram could lead to more sensitive tests, such as a cardio catheter procedure.

As a person who had major cardiac surgery less than 18 months ago, I see mandatory electrocardiograms as a good idea. Putting the policy into place will be complicated, but it shouldn’t be used as a reason not to do this. My heart condition, a bicuspid heart valve and ascending aortic aneurysm was very serious, and till as little as two weeks prior to my operation, nobody knew I had those conditions. Some heart problems in addition to a enlarged hearts, show few or little warning signs.

I would also add that a large amount if not majority of NFL players, are grossly overweight. Heart testing is for their own good.


Ugly finish- Carolina beats New Orleans 23-10

The Saints go into the playoffs without any momentum. From AP-

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton decided the risk of injury outweighed heading into the playoffs on a positive note.Car-NOR

The backups responded with an ugly performance that sends the No. 1 seed in the NFC to the postseason on a three-game losing streak.

Jonathan Stewart rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown and the Carolina Panthers finished their disappointing season with a 23-10 win over the lifeless Saints on Sunday.

Drew Brees came out for the coin toss and never saw the field again, allowing him to break the NFL record for completion percentage in a season. Backup Mark Brunell had few options with many other starters resting, too, and New Orleans (13-3) looked nothing like the team that less than a month ago was flirting with a perfect season.

It allowed the Panthers (8-8) to finish on a three-game winning streak amid questions about the future of coach John Fox, defensive end Julius Peppers and quarterback Jake Delhomme.

By getting back to .500, I think the Panthers preserved Fox’s job.

As for the Saints, I never thought they were great team even when they reached 13-0. The basis for my opinion was mostly came from their early season encounter with the Miami Dolphins. Their defense looked suspect to me. I know Drew Brees didn’t play in today’s game, and other starters were rested. Still I can’t pick New Orleans to make it to the Super Bowl. Arizona I think is the one to beat.


Meadowlands Fumble II- Carolina routs NY Giants 41-9

The last game played by the Giants at Giants Stadium may have been the most embarrassing ever. From AP-

Matt Moore and the Carolina Panthers turned the New York Giants’ farewell to Giants Stadium into one of their ugliest moments in franchise history.

Playing in front of Lawrence Taylor — possibly their greatest player — and knowing they still had a shot at a fifth straight playoff berth, the Giants (8-7) embarrassed themselves against the Panthers, a team with nothing at stake. Moore threw three touchdown passes, Jonathan Stewart rushed for a career-best 209 yards and the Panthers (7-8) shredded New York’s defense with scores on six of their first seven possessions in a 41-9 victory before a disgusted final sellout crowd Sunday.

The Giants’ postseason chances are microscopic.

The Giants would have to win their final game against Minnesota and have Dallas lose their last two. I don’t see that happening.

I grew up on Long Island and lived there till 1976. After moving to Florida, I still visited the New York City frequently. That and having a father who liked his children to sporting events, enabled me to go to most of the major sports stadiums, arenas and racetracks in the area. Other than perhaps Freehold Raceway in New Jersey, Shea Stadium was the ballpark we went to the most often.

Giants Stadium, which opened in 1976, is the only major sports facility open prior to 2009 in the NY/NJ area that I have never been to. Down here in South Florida, I have never been to Dolphins Stadium or the BAC where the Florida Panthers play. I’m seriously thinking of ending the later blackout. There are two upcoming Panther home games that won’t be on television.


NFL changes return to play concussion rules

Nearly 1/5th of NFL players surveyed said they hidden or downplayed the effects of a concussion. From AP-

NFL teams now have new, stricter instructions for when players should be allowed to return to games or practices after head injuries, guidelines that go into effect this week.

In the latest step by the league to address a hot-button issue, commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to the 32 clubs Wednesday saying a player who gets a concussion should not return to action on the same day if he shows certain signs or symptoms.

Those include an inability to remember assignments or plays, a gap in memory, persistent dizziness and persistent headaches.

The old standard, established in 2007, said a player should not be allowed to return to the same game if he lost consciousness.

Wednesday’s memo also says players “are to be encouraged to be candid with team medical staffs and fully disclose any signs or symptoms that may be associated with a concussion.”

The new guidelines sound good in practice(I think they were overdue. A player not able to think clearly has no business being on a football field.) but I doubt they will be adhered to. Coaches are under pressure to win and most NFL players aren’t inclined to challenge these people who have authority over them. A person is also more likely to press on and shrug off any ill feelings they have. I know I have for maladies large and small, including a slight concussion I suffered six years ago after an auto accident.


Carolina QB Jake Delhomme has a broken finger

The Panthers are 4-7 and coming off a loss to the New York Jets. From AP-

A broken finger — not coach John Fox — may bench struggling Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme.

Fox said Monday that Delhomme fractured a finger on his throwing hand late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets and may be replaced by untested Matt Moore next week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Delhomme threw four more interceptions against the Jets, completing only 14-of-34 passes for 130 yards with a passer rating of 12.7. The Panthers (4-7) didn’t score a touchdown in the 17-6 loss that virtually eliminated them from playoff contention.

Delhomme has a career-high 18 interceptions this season, tied with Detroit Lions rookie Matthew Stafford for second-most in the NFL behind the Chicago Bears’ Jay Cutler (20). Fox considered benching Delhomme a month ago after he threw three picks in a loss to the Buffalo Bills but decided against it.

Moore hasn’t started a game since 2007. I expect him to be the Panthers QB for the rest of 2009. Carolina is not going to make the playoffs this year. At this point, I’d be surprised if they finish 8-8.


Throw it away- NY Jets beat Carolina Panthers 17-6

Today’s win was only the second for New York since October began. From AP-

Darrelle Revis returned one of the Jets’ four interceptions 67 yards for a touchdown and New York overcame an injury scare to quarterback Mark Sanchez before holding on to beat the Carolina Panthers 17-6 on Sunday.Panthers Jets Football

Thomas Jones had a 3-yard touchdown run as the Jets (5-6) won at home for the first time since beating Tennessee in Week 3. New York also kept its slim playoff hopes alive by sending Carolina (4-7) to its second straight loss.

Sanchez left for four plays in the third quarter with an apparent injury to his left leg that at first looked serious. After being worked on by trainers, Sanchez tested the leg and returned for the next series.

It’s still early, but my gut tells me Matt Sanchez is going to be the next disappointment at Quarterback for the New York Jets. For over 30 years the franchise has been seeking the next Joe Namath. Richard Todd, Ken O’Brien, Chad Pennington, and now Sanchez were drafted in pursuit of that goal. Sanchez may prove me wrong, but at the moment he looks more Art Woodall than Broadway Joe. The Jets were the team of my youth, and I still pull for the team(except when they play Miami. Then my loyalties are divided)but I’m pessimistic at present. Too many draft disappointments make a fan that way and Sanchez’s passer rating of 61.1 don’t help either.

| | Permalink | Send TrackBack
  • OTB Sports linked with Carolina QB Jake Delhomme has a broken finger...

Backup power- Miami Dolphins beat Carolina Panthers 24-17

The Dolphins get to 5-5 after starting the year 0-3. From AP-

Ricky Williams showed he’s still got it.R Williams

The 32-year-old Williams rushed for 119 yards and scored three touchdowns, and the Dolphins beat the Carolina Panthers 24-17 on Thursday night for their fourth win in six games to get into the AFC playoff picture.

A day after learning Brown is lost for the season to a foot injury, the Dolphins (5-5) continued their surge after an 0-3 start behind Williams. The 2002 NFL rushing champion had a receiving and rushing touchdown in the same game for the first time in his career that included a couple of lost seasons.


DeAngelo Williams rushed for 122 yards for the Panthers (4-6), but Jake Delhomme had his streak of three games without an interception snapped. His desperation pass into the end zone was knocked down as time expired.


Dolphins coach Tony Sparano hinted his team might abandon the wildcat without Brown, who was placed on injured reserve Wednesday. Miami didn’t use the formation until the second quarter. It coincided with the Dolphins’ first touchdown drive — Chad Henne’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Williams, who wrestled away from linebacker Na’il Diggs.

Miami took a 14-3 halftime lead when Williams took the direct snap at the 1 and got to the end zone ahead of linebacker Jon Beason.

Carolina narrowed the score to 17-14 but a Ricky Williams 46-yard touchdown run with a little over minutes left in the game essentially locked it up for Miami.

The Dolphins rarely used the Wildcat. It isn’t the same without Ronnie Brown. Brown can throw the football as well as run it. Williams so far as I know is no threat with his arm. Backup Quarterback Pat White wasn’t seen last night.

Miami has turned it around this year but I remain pessimistic for the year. They have games left with New England, Pittsburgh, and Houston which they will be lucky to win one of. The rest of the schedule, including Buffalo a week from Sunday, is weak. I predict Miami to finish 8-8 for 2009.


Miami Dolphin RB Ronnie Brown to miss Carolina game

This news comes as no surprise in light of the short week.

Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown will miss Thursday night’s game at Carolina because of an injured right foot, and his status for the rest of the regular season is uncertain.

Coach Tony Sparano says Brown will see a specialist for further evaluation. Brown is the Dolphins’ leading rusher.

Ricky Williams will replace Brown and start for the first time this year. He’ll also become the primary triggerman in the wildcat.

The Wildcat isn’t the same with Williams running it. Brown can pass the football, Williams can’t so far as I know.

I’m concerned about Brown’s status for the rest of the 2009 season. A specialist isn’t necessary for a minor ankle sprain. Two years ago Brown’s season was cut short by a knee injury. Dolphin fans may be seeing a repeat this year.


The Saints keep marching in- New Orleans beats Carolina 30-20

The Saints go to 8-0. From AP-

The New Orleans Saints moved to 8-0 for the first time in club history Sunday when Drew Brees overcame two early turnovers to pass for 330 yards and a touchdown in a comeback 30-20 victory over Carolina 30-20.

While the Saints’ defense did not intercept a pass for the first time all season, the unit forced three turnovers on fumbles. The last produced New Orleans’ seventh defensive touchdown of the season on Anthony Hargrove’s strip, recovery and 1-yard return late in the fourth quarter.

DeAngelo Williams rushed for 149 yards and two TDs, and Carolina gained 182 on the ground. However, it was Williams’ fumble at his 1 with just more than 2 minutes left that led to New Orleans’ clinching TD.

I watched parts of this game plus the Saints wins against Miami and the New York Giants. Their offense looks almost unstoppable. Can they go 16-0?

The next two games for New Orleans are against St. Louis and Tampa Bay, two of the worst teams in the NFL. After that comes a game against New England. I think the well balanced Patriots will stop the Saints march to perfection.


Carolina Panther Dante Wesley receives one game suspension

This for a hit he made in a game against Tampa Bay yesterday. From AP-

The NFL suspended Carolina Panthers special teams player Dante Wesley one game without pay Monday for launching himself into defenseless Tampa Bay returner Clifton Smith.

Wesley left his feet and hit Smith in the neck and head with his forearm and shoulder as Smith waited to field a punt late in the second quarter on Sunday. Smith sustained a concussion and both benches emptied onto the field. Wesley was immediately ejected.

Smith had not signaled for a fair catch and Wesley said he mistimed hitting him. But NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson called the act a flagrant violation of player safety rules.

“The prohibited contact in this case went well beyond simply interfering with the receiver,” Anderson wrote in a letter to Wesley. “Instead, by striking your defenseless opponent in the head and neck area, you committed an unnecessary and unnecessarily dangerous act that is specifically prohibited by the rules.

Carolina coach John Fox said the hit wasn’t malicious or intentional. It was brutal for sure and I don’t think the NFL was wrong in suspending Wesley.


Visitors Since Feb. 4, 2003

All original content copyright 2003-2008 by OTB Media. All rights reserved.