I challenge you to find a more impressive coaching performance in any sport in any country than the one Jose Mourinho has done in this year's Champions League. Inter is not the best team in the world, but after their 3-1 win over Barca yesterday, it looks like they are now the odds on favorites to win the competition that crowns the best team in the world.
If you're talking talent, this year's Barcelona squad is at least one of the most talented if not the most talented of the last decade, but their Champions League hopes are as good as dead after yesterday. Jose Mourinho is not coaching a team that pisses away a 3-1 lead in the second leg of a matchup, even if it is with this "Martian" (the Italian press' description of Barca's otherworldly talent) Barca squad as the opposition.
Did the 14 hour volcanic ash necessitated bus ride Barca had to take to Milan for this match affect the outcome? Yes, almost certainly it did. But after Barca took an early 1-0 lead, Inter scored 3 unanswered goals. 3 in a row is just a woodshed beating, and now Mourinho's team has done that to the 2 most talented teams in Europe, Chelsea and now Barca.
Bayern and Lyon square off in the other semi today, but really, at this point it seems inevitable that what they are playing for is second place. Nobody's beating Jose Mourinho's team in the Champions League this year.
As for this historically talented Barca team, they're now in danger of suffering an epic late season collapse that sees them win neither the Champions League or La Liga, when it seemed inevitable that they would win both. They have a 1 point lead over Real Madrid in the Spanish league, and Real's schedule is much softer than Barca's down the stretch. The reprucussions if they come up empty on both could be interesting.
-Meanwhile, I hit Pro Football Talk this morning and find a headline that reads "RAMS DON'T WANT ROETHLISBERGER". Dude, when the Rams don't even want your date raping ass, you have hit rock bottom. Adam Schefter says the Steelers are trying to deal him. I think Ben Roethlisberger is a scumbag of epic proportions, but hey, if you're an NFL GM, 80% of your roster is scumbags and you're lying to yourself if you think otherwise. If I'm a GM, I go get him, and put him on a very very short leash. QB's in their 20s who have already won 2 Super Bowls don't grow on trees. He's young, and he'll get his character issues straightened out, and now has a lot of incentive to do so, because if he screws up again his career his over. I think he's a good risk.
- And if I'm the Steelers, I'm thinking reeeeally long and hard before I trade Roofylisberger. They signed Byron Leftwich yesterday, and if your alternative is Byron Leftwich, that's not a very good Plan B.
- A couple of years ago, Tony Scheffler was a hot fantasy guy at TE for the Broncos. He has sucked hard in the interim, and now he is traded to the Lions. Going to the Broncos in return is LB Ernie Sims. Sims was the 9th overall pick in the 2006 draft, and started out looking like he was going to be a really good player, but then the reality of being a Lion set in and he got progressively worse.
- The Patriots are going back to the old WR well that sometimes pays off for them (Randy Moss), and sometimes doesn't (Joey Galloway). Torry Holt is now a Patriot, and they could be relying pretty heavily on him with Wes Welker's health questionable.
- Pass rusher Jason Taylor will be a new toy for Rex Ryan to play with. He signed with the Jets as a FA yesterday. Taylor had a mild resurgence (7 sacks) with the Dolphins last year, after being the Redskins annual free agent bust in 2008.
- Did someone say "Redskins"? And "bust"? Both of those now apply to DT Adam Carriker, who the Rams made the 13th pick of the 2007 draft. He's been injured alot in his short career, so we'll see if that problem clears up with the Redskins, because they have such a good history with free agent signings.