Sunday, December 26, 2010

Soaring High

If there was any doubt if Blake Griffin would be able to recover after his pre-season ending injury last year, I think he’s canceled all doubt throughout this point of the season. The former College Player of the Year’s NBA debut was put on hold due to a broken left kneecap during the Los Angeles Clippers final exhibition game against the New Orleans Hornets. The question no longer stands if Griffin will be good, but how good will he be!
The Clippers currently stand at the bottom of the Western Conference record wise, but the support from their city has returned. Griffin’s electrifying above the rim play brings fans off their seat every game giving the city something else to cheer for other than the Black Mamba and Los Angeles Lakers. Griffin may be a rookie, but his quick and ferocious jumping ability puts him at an unfair advantage against his opponents. Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard may be the Superman of the NBA, but Griffin has proved that he isn’t the only one that can fly.
Not many crowds will root for a team that holds the third worst record in the Western Conference, but not many teams have a player with Griffin’s vertical leap. Every game Griffin plays is bound to be in Sportscenter Top 10. Griffin isn’t the only catalyst to the Clippers emergence as players such as Eric Gordon and DeAndre Jordan have attributed to the resurgence of the team. The Clippers are still extremely young squad and are building team chemistry game by game. Their record doesn’t indicate their talent level or capability to challenge any opponent. In a couple years, this team will be a force to reckon with and may be the top sheriff in Western Conference and city of Los Angeles.
Looking to be crowned Rookie of the Year, phenomenon, Blake Griffin, is well on his way. From his montage of dunk facials to his tenacity on the boards, Griffin can develop in to one of the faces of league. Griffin has already entered the top flight fraternity amongst the best dunkers in the league and will improve gradually in other aspects of the game barring injury.
The media sort of had a loss of memory of Griffin’s sensational, tough hard dunking style in college. Knock Knock… He’s back! Griffin is on a young and team and in a great city to manifest his talents. This double-double monster plays fearlessly and his engine doesn’t stop running. Be extra careful around the paint because you may end up in his poster or highlight reel. Griffin may even have the credentials to bring back the Slam Dunk Contest, a contest that had been declining tremendously year by year. Despite it only being one year, Griffin is on a journey of achievement.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Blame Game

For a team that had hopes to win the NFC East and even make a run at the Superbowl, it was hard to swallow the effort displayed by the Philadelphia Eagles in the first half against the New York Giants. Eagle fans weren’t only stunned that they were trailing by a wide margin, but at how much difficulty their offense had with the stingy G-men defense. The script completely flipped in the 4th quarter, though, as the Eagles showed the league why they’re so good. As we all saw, the Eagles ended up scoring a miraculous 28 points in the final 7:18 of the game with Desean Jackson scoring the game winning touchdown on a punt return as regulation expired. I’m still in awe over the performance by the Birds. It was like the scene out of Space Jam when Bugs Bunny grabbed the water bottle labeled “Michael’s Secret stuff” and the Looney Tunes started playing like beasts. The final eight minutes of the game was a total state of shock for fans on both sides as the Eagles made a stunning turnaround.
So how did this game from Hell for Giants fans take place in their very own Meadowlands? Let’s play the Blame Game. There are several candidates up for this great distinctive honor, starting with:

1. Matt Dodge
Any punter in their right mind during this situation would know not to kick the ball to Desean Jackson. The man has proved a countless number of times how fast and deadly he is with the ball in his hands. Kicking the ball to him in this scenario is asking him sincerely to score. Jackson practically is the best returner in the game right behind Devin Hester. The man loves to cross the pylon in big game situations and what better way to do it than against your NFC East rivals in a game that everyone assumed was heading into overtime.

2. Special teams
As far as NFL rules state, there must be 11 men on the field for a team. Matt dodge is one, so that means he had 10 other guys with him during Jackson’s punt return. Dodge wasn’t the only one that Jackson evaded during the play. 10 other guys attempted to catch him or missed him. Dodge shouldn’t be the blame for the whole game or even this play. One player doesn’t equal 38 points. Remember that the Eagles also recovered an onside kick which led to a score. Stressing my main point again, games aren’t judged by one play!

3. Offense
Each NFL football game has 60 minutes of regulation. The Giants offense only played 30 minutes this game against the Birds. They came out striking without fear in the first half scoring 24 points with a commanding 21 point lead into halftime. In the second half, the Giants "O" scored only seven points. Games aren’t won on by a play, drive, or in this case a half. These things may give you momentum, but they don’t win a game. You have to do the little things and keep progressing throughout a game no matter what the circumstance is. Eli may have finished with 289 passing yards and four TD’s, but it obviously wasn’t enough.

4. Defense
As previously mentioned, the Eagles scored more points on the Giants in the final 8 minutes than they did in the whole game. The Eagles offense was electrifying and couldn’t be stopped no matter what play they called. Vick got whatever he wanted and the chains kept moving play after play. No matter how good an offense is, no defense should let this amount of points be scored on them in this amount of time.
You can decide who’s to blame, but we may have found the spearhead behind this all? Drum roll please.........

The Eagles were obviously prepared and coached for this situation better than Giants, which brings about the 5th candidate, Coach Tom Coughlin. Before you yell down the throat of a rookie for a punt, you should first look at what you did wrong. All great teams know how to handle themselves in the face of adversity. The Eagles proved their resilience while the Giants showed no signs of it. As the great boxer, Mike Tyson, said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

Play of the Week

With 14 seconds left in regulation, Philadelphia Eagles Desean Jackson scored on a game winning punt return.