Sports Outside the Beltway

Denver Broncos Greg Eslinger Gettin’ Props

Denver Broncos backup center Greg Eslinger was named to the All-NFL Europa League team today. Ok, so I heard it over at Mile High Report.

Only time will tell but I think Eslinger is going to be a solid player in the NFL. Just remember where you heard it….

Eslinger was a four year starter at the University of Minnesota. After his senior season at Minnesota in 2005, Eslinger was named the winner of the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s outstanding interior lineman, and the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation’s best center.

The Broncos selected him in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL draft.

As of now, Eslinger has to wait in the wings. After all, He is Tom Nalen’s relplacement. Big shoes to fill.

I also believe Eslinger will be a solid player. Although, I am going to go a step further. Remember, he has excelled every where he has been. Greg Eslinger will be a very good player in the NFL.

FYI for all you Greg Eslinger haters out there. It has been announced that the 2nd year Center, currently playing for the Cologne Centaurions has been named to the All-NFL Europa Team.

Who’s hatin’? Let’s get em!

In all seriousness, who can hate on that trophy case. Eslinger has more honors than most could dream of. I won’t like it when Tom Nalen retires. As, with all my favorite players.

Father time has to come calling. And, the back-up plan looks very good.


Denver Broncos This Years Darkhorse?

So, who is this year’s team?

Don’t like the 5-1 Indianapolis Colts , 6-5 New England Patriots , or 7-2 San Diego Chargers ? OK, here’s a radical suggestion: D. As in the Denver Broncos .

I think it’s quite obvious were my money is going. But, do you want to make some money? Listen up!

Going off at a mere 9-1 to win the AFC and a big 17- or 18- or even 20-1 to take Super Bowl XLII, some gamblers have got to be thinking about Mike Shanahan’s boys.

There is a lot of talk about New England’s off-season. But, take this into consideration.

As good as the Patriots’ offseason was, the Broncos can boast one amazing addition in cornerback Dre’ Bly, adding him to an already respectable ‘D’. This creates the most fearsome secondary in the league; today’s speculative depth chart puts the starters as Champ Bailey, Bly, John Lynch and Nick Ferguson.

Check out this and other examples of the overhauled Denver Broncos at realfootball365


Denver’s Top Five Current Athletes

FanHouse is posting the top five current athletes for America’s top 20 sporting cities. Here are Denver’s.

5. Joe Sakic: One of the classiest players anywhere in sports, Sakic is nearing the end of a long and distinguished career spent entirely with the Avs/Nordiques franchise. Age is not slowing him, either: he put up 100 points last season for the first time since 2000-01. A Hall of Fame lock whenever he decides to hang up his skates, the only thing keeping him down this list is the relative popularity of the NHL.

4. Matt Holliday: The Rockies’ 27 year-old left fielder is emerging into one of the best hitters in all of baseball. Last year he hit .326 and launched 34 homers; this year he is hitting the stratosphere with a .362 BA and an OPS that breaks the 1.000 barrier (he’s currently at 1.015).

3. Champ Bailey: The best player on the state’s most popular team, Champ had a ridiculous ten interceptions last year en route to All Pro status. Now if only the Broncos had John Elway still kicking around…

2. Carmelo Anthony: Though he’s overshadowed by draft mates Lebron James, Darko Milicic, and Dwyane Wade, ‘Melo also just happens to be one of the best players in the game; certainly he’s one of the highest scoring. Would have been an easy #1 on the list until the Sixers got restless and decided to blow the team up. But they did and thus…

1. Allen Iverson: Iverson is one of the most iconic players in the sporting world, to say nothing of the NBA. Though his tenure in the city is short — note to self: do not make hacky joke re: Iverson height here, good job self — and his impact on the court debatable (the Nuggets could have gotten bounced in the first round with or without him), by the criteria established above Iverson is number one with a bullet.

I don’t know, shouldn’t Champ Bailey be #1? After all, he is “The best player on the state’s most popular team”. I think I would also swap Melo and Iverson. Just for the simple fact, the City of Denver has a longer relationship with Carmelo Anthony. Joe Sakic is a great choice and great man. And, Matt Holliday would make the Blake Street Bombers proud.

10. John Elway, No One In Particular (It could be the year 2302 and Robot John Elway could still run for governor with a platform of WOOOOOOO I’M JOHN ELWAY and win 80% of the vote.)

Funny! But, true. haha


The Rockies Win, The Rockies Win

I spoke earlier about the invasion of the evil empire. Well, the first game is over and the Colorado Rockies beat the New York Yankees, 3-1. How about those powerful Yankee bats at Coors Field? What did it? Pitching. Josh fogg went 7 innings allowing 4 hits and 1 run. Not bad for someone who sucks, according to bronxbanter.

Josh Fogg kinda sucks, though, and he’ll take the mound tonight against the Yankees. One might not be surprised to find that Fogg’s only two wins came on the road and that his ERA at home is 2.77 runs higher than his road mark, though one might be surprised to find out that those two wins game against the Mets and Red Sox. What’s more, the Rockies have won Fogg’s last three starts and Fogg’s ERA over his last four starts (two home, two on the road) has been 3.91. Then again, opponents have hit .326/.375/.495 against him in those four starts, so, even when he does well, Josh Fogg sucks.

And, although in the eight there was a bases loaded scare. LaTroy Hawkins, came through to force a ground out. The bullpen pulls through.

Yorvit Torrealba was masterful in his game calling and added a home run. The Rockies recorded three runs off Yankees starter Mike Mussina, with Matt Holliday and Garrett Atkins posting RBIs. Great game Rockies!


Evil Empire Invades Coors Field

It seems every night I see the New York Yankees on ESPN, ugghh. MLB, please install a salary cap! I have had enough, and here they come to invade the Colorado Rockies and Coors Field.

Nearly every series preview has everything to do with them Yanks, sportsnet. What about the Rocks? Maybe its the forgotten time zone? Whatever it may be, the Colorado Rockies have been playing at the same level as the NY Yankees. But, fly under the radar. Maybe, I shouldn’t complain about the lack of coverage. But, the Rockies are playing great ball.

Colorado (35-34) scored 19 runs in its two victories at Fenway Park and continued its hot hitting against the Devil Rays, totaling 22 runs in taking the first two games of the series. They failed to complete the sweep Sunday, falling 7-4.

This is why they are the Evil Empire

The Yankees began this season with a $195 million payroll. That’s $52 million more than the nearest team, the Red Sox. The Rockies ranked 25th in baseball with a $54 million opening-day payroll.


Tiger and Elin Have a Baby Girl!

Tiger Woods announced the birth of a baby girl, Sam Alexis Woods on his website. Both Mom and Daughter are doing well and resting peacefully. Congratulations to Tiger, Elin, and their family.

I think Michelle Wie’s days are numbered. haha

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NFL Power Rankings 2007

It looks as if other’s are just as anxious for this coming season as I am. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Anyway, Mr Dumas over at 411mania, put out his version of NFL Power Rankings.

Here is his Top 10.

1. Indianapolis Colts-Defending Super Bowl Champs, ‘nuff said.

2. New England Patriots- Made it to the AFC title game last year and added some key players. Randy Moss was a good move but adding the do-it-all defenseman Adalius Thomas is where the Pats will get the most bang for their buck.

3. Baltimore Ravens- Losing the aforementioned Thomas hurts, but defense is still the premier unit in the NFL. Adding Willis McGahee will take pressure off their aging QB Steve McNair. Look for this team to give the Pats and Colts all they can handle in the chase for the Lamar Hunt trophy.

4. Chicago Bears- Defending NFC Champs. Assuming LB Lance Briggs plays, DT Tommie Harris stays healthy, and QB Rex Grossman learned from last season’s rollercoaster ride, this team will once again represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

5. San Diego Chargers- Best RB in the NFL—check. Best TE in the NFL—check. Young, efficient QB—check. Starting the season against the Bears and Patriots might have them off to a slow start, though. If new coach Norv Turner doesn’t screw things up and somehow gets the secondary to make some plays, the Chargers will be right back in the thick of things.

6. New Orleans Saints- QB Drew Brees is a proven passer (4,418 yds, 26 tds in ’06) and RB/WR/KR/PR Reggie Bush showed flashes of what he’s capable of doing in the near future. If defense can continue it’s better than average play (13th in points allowed per game), this team has a shot at revenge against the Bears.

7. Denver Broncos- It was the best offseason, it was the worst offseason. Worst because the team saw two players meet untimely deaths (CB Darrent Williams and RB Damien Nash), the best because they cleaned up in the free agent market. CB Dre’ Bly, RB Travis Henry and TE Daniel Graham will all contribute. Former Florida pass rusher Jarvis Moss will help immediately. Inexperienced QB Jay Cutler only question mark.

8. Philadelphia Eagles- QB Donovan McNabb was on his way to an MVP season before he got hurt. He’ll be healthy and playing with a chip on his shoulder. RB Brian Westbrook will have another superb year and the defense might surprise people with the addition of LB Takeo Spikes. This team will be in the playoffs.

9. Dallas Cowboys- Squeaked into the playoffs in ’06 but ’07 depends on QB Tony Romo. He plays well, this team goes far. He doesn’t, they don’t. RB tandem Marion Barber and Julius Jones will be tough to stop and defensive-minded new head coach Wade Phillips will use his talented personnel wisely.

10. Cincinnati Bengals- QB Carson Palmer and WR Chad Johnson are the best big-play duo in the NFL. Off-the-field issues ruined everyone’s Super Bowl pick last year but look for the opportunistic defense to put Palmer and Co. in position to put up some serious points in ’07.

I can’t say I agree with the placement of the Denver Broncos. I don’t think they should be any lower than 4, and certainly not behind any NFC team. Denver has had some very key additions this off-season. The gaps in last years team seem to have been filled. With such players as Dre Bly, Travis Henry, Daniel Graham, Sam Adams, Jimmy Kennedy, Brandon Stokley, among others. has a good list of the additions and subtractions.

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Champ Bailey VS. Deion Sanders

Pete Prisco put out his Top 50 Players in the NFL. And, he said something that I have heard many times before.

The highest-rated defensive player is Broncos corner Champ Bailey in the fourth spot. He got my vote as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year last season and is the best cover player since Deion Sanders.

And, I can agree with where he has Champ Bailey placed on the list.

1. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts: You’d be hard-pressed to find people — outside the Boston area, that is — who would argue about him owning this spot now.

2. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: He’s just a hair behind Manning. Look out now, though, with all those receivers on the roster. This could be a special year for Brady.

3. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, San Diego Chargers: He’s a sensational all-round weapon. If he plays long enough, he might break all the rushing records.

4. Champ Bailey, CB, Denver Broncos: He is the best defensive player in the league. You can compare him to Deion Sanders, which is high praise.

But, my question is. Isn’t Champ Bailey Better than Deion Sanders? And, I know Deion was great! But, here are the numbers.


First of all, Champ without question is more physical than Deion. Champ has already surpassed Deion in tackles. And, at the same point in his career Champ has five more interceptions than Deion. The way I see it. Champ Bailey barring injury, is better than Deion Sanders.

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Kobe Bryant Wants Out, Again!

Kobe Bryant posted this on his website today,

Wassup y’all …

Man, today is one of those surreal days for me and my family. When you love something as much as I love the Lakers its hard to even imagine thinking about being elsewhere. But, the ONE THING I will never sacrifice when it comes to basketball is WINNING. That is plain and simply what it’s all about. It’s in my DNA. It’s what pushes me to work as hard as I do. It’s my daily passion and pursuit.

The more I thought about the future, the more I became convinced that the Lakers and me just have two different visions for the future. The Lakers are pursuing a longer-term plan that is different from what Dr. Buss shared with me at the time I re-signed as a free agent. I have seen that plan unfold for the last three years and watched great trade opportunities come and go, and have seen free agents passed on. That has led to the Lakers not winning a playoff series. All of that was frustrating in itself, but then, this week to have someone “inside” the Laker organization try to blame me in the media for us not being a contender right now — that is what brought me to my current position today.

I want it to be clear that I still love, with all my heart, the Laker Legacy. From Mikan to West to Goodrich to Wilt to Kareem to Magic. That will never change. And the support my family and I have gotten from Lakers fans is undeniably the best. I will also always believe that.

But, now there is a new road ahead. I am gonna keep grindin and keep workin to get back to competing for Championships. Sometimes the trek up the mountain is tough. But, I know we’ll get there.

Strength and Honor,

So, is Kobe going to talk to Phil Jackson and change his mind again. Or, is this it. What a soap opera. Stay tuned, for tomorrow’s episode of As the Los Angeles Lakers turn. Ha


Rockies Continue Hot Streak in Win Over Devil Rays

By taking the first two games of the three-game series, the Colorado Rockies clinched their fifth consecutive series, tying a club record. Thats Hot! For the second straight night the hitter’s spotted Rockies pitching 4 runs. A grand slam by Brad Hawpe, and the Rockies never looked back from there. Getting two more bombs, a 2 run shot off Garrett Atkins bat. And, a solo from Willy Taveras.

Not to be outdone. The Rays put up two home runs themselves. But, it wasn’t enough on this night. The Rockies win 10-5.

The Rockies, winners of four straight, improved to 35-33, and five games behind the Padres in the National League West, and are a Major League best 17-6 since May 22.


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