Monday, April 5, 2010

McNabb Traded to Redskins, Arsenal and Barcenal Give Us A Classic, Chelsea Tops Man U

- Donovan McNabb's decade plus run as starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles is over. He's been traded, and surprisingly traded to a team in the NFC East, the Washington Redskins. This trade doesn't make the Redskins contenders, it merely kind of stabilizes one of the legion of problems this team has had in the Dan Snyder era, the quarterback position.

What it does say to me, though, is that at this point the Eagles don't really think a whole hell of a lot of Donovan McNabb. When Brett Favre left the Packers, the Packers made a point of doing everything they could to avoid him going to Minnesota in 2008, because they didn't want him coming back to haunt them twice a year. While he did eventually end up in Minnesota, and did in fact haunt them by beating them twice last year and costing them home field in the playoffs, he had to do a one year stopover with the Jets before he was able to end up there. The Eagles say the hell with all that, they're sending Donovan to Washington and aren't really worried about facing him twice next year and for the forseeable future.

The closest parallel I can draw here, is when the Patriots let Drew Bledsoe go after he got hurt in the beginning of their first Super Bowl season (2001), and he signed with Buffalo. Bledsoe and McNabb have a lot in common. They both were highly regarded college quarterbacks and first round picks, they both peaked early, they both played in one Super Bowl and lost, they both were probably regarded as better pros in their day then they really were. Bledsoe had a couple of decent seasons in Buffalo and later Dallas, but after he left the Patriots his career generally continued its downward arc. His replacement, Tom Brady, became Tom Brady. I'm not saying Kevin Kolb is Tom Brady, but the Eagles are doing the right thing by turning the keys over to him.

I know I'm kind of all over the place here, but McNabb has always been a lightning rod for me. I think Rush Limbaugh was right about one thing in his life, and McNabb is it. I think he's been very overrated and if there is anything that annoys me it's when the media fawns over someone for no reason. That's not McNabb's fault, but something about him has just always rubbed me the wrong way. The national media is always falling all over themselves to make excuses for him whenever he fails to live up to expectations, or chokes in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, or fights with TO, or doesn't know that a game can end in a tie, or dur dee dur dur and so on down the line, and now that he's on the Redskins I don't forsee an end to the excuses being made for him.

It's Opening Day of basebol season! I know because as I write this Obama is getting ready to throw out the first pitch in Washington DC. His pitch was horrible. But he was wearing a White Sox hat, so good for him.

So in honor of Opening Day..lets do a This Week In Baseball style run down of This Week In Futbol....blink blonk...blink blonk

- Wayne Rooney scored in the second minute of Man U's CL match in Munich against Bayern, so everything was going according to plan. But things didn't end so well, Rooney got hurt, and Bayern scored twice in the final 16 minutes of the game to pull out a stunning 2-1 win in the first leg against the club that is the favorites to win this thing. Gary Neville's handball just outside the box gave Frank Ribery a free kick which deflected off Rooney for the equaliser, and Ivica Olic scored the game winner, followed by Rooney being stretchered off the field.

- The scoring started early in the all Ligue 1 quarterfinal matchup between Lyon and Bordeaux. By the 14th minute it was already 1-1. Michel Fernandes Bastos had the go ahead goal in the 32nd minute for Lyon, and Lisandro Lopez added another goal on a PK in the 77th minute to give Lyon a 3-1 advantage heading into the second leg.

- CONCACAF also has a Champions League, it's just not very good. All the semifinalists are from the Mexican League. Toluca and Pachuca tied 1-1 in their semi.

- Last week I wrote something about Arsenal being soft and not having the heart of a champion and bluh bluh bluhhh. Well, they showed otherwise in the first leg of their CL quarterfinal against Barcelona at the Emirates. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice to put favored Barca up 2-0, but Arsenal got up off the mat with a goal from sub Theo Wolcott, and Cesc Fabregas added a PK goal late to even the match up at 2. A nice comeback for Arsenal but it comes at a high cost as both Fabregas and Andrei Arshavin were injured.

- A disappointing home leg leaves Inter vulnerable to elimination when they head to Moscow for the finale against CSKA. Diego Milito scored to give Inter the 1-0 win at the San Siro, but their 2010 Champions League destiny is still very much up in the air with a match at a difficult location still to play. Meanwhile, the priceless Jose Mourinho said last week of Italian football, "I don't like it and it doesn't like me."

- UNAM won 1-0 in their CONCACAF CL match against Cruz Azul.

- The Europa League is also down to its quarterfinal round, and there was a lot of action on Thursday. Liverpool went up 1-0 at Benfica, but Ryan Babel was sent off with a red card, and Oscar Rene Cardozzo scored twice on PK's to give the Portugese side a 2-1 win in a dubiously refereed match. Fulham's Europa League run continues to be a nice story, they are on top 2-1 after the first leg of their matchup with defending German champs vFL Wolfsburg after a win at Craven Cottage. Ruud van Nistelrooy gave Hamburg the edge in a come from behind 2-1 win over Belgian club Standard, and Valencia and Atletico Madrid tied 2-2 in an all-Spanish quarterfinal.

- MLS action on Thursday night, Houston beat Real Salt Lake 2-1 on a pair of PK goals, in homage to the Liverpool loss. Bryan Ching was injured, which will hurt the Dynamo. Edson Buddle had a pair of goals in LA Galaxy's 2-0 win over Chivas USA in the "Superclassico", and the Galaxy are off to a 2-0 start.

- I don't think I've covered this at all, but in case you're interested, the teams currently in position to move up to the EPL, Newcastle, West Brom, and Nottingham Forest, whoa it's been a while for them huh?

- Chelsea has righted the ship after the landmark CL loss to Inter, and it looks like they could get a Premier League title. Saturday's 2-1 win at Old Trafford featured a goal by Drogba where he was clearly offside, but Chelsea dominated the action and deserved the 3 points. The Blues are now on top of the league by 2 points over Man U, and 3 over Arsenal, which ground out a 1-0 win at the Emirates over Wolves.

- Tottenham suffered a huge blow to their CL hopes with a 3-1 loss at Sunderland. The Black Cats were awarded a ludicrous 3 PK's in this match, and won despite missing 2 of them. Former Spur Darren Bent scored in the first minute, then proceeded to make just 1 of 3 penalty attempts, but it was good enough to deal his old team a crushing loss. Man City now moves into the 4th spot on the strength of a 6-1 demolition of Burnley, who looks like they are headed for relegation along with Portsmouth and either Hull or West Ham.

- Barca got 2 goals from Bojan Krkic as they held serve in their never ending game of ping pong against Real for the La Liga lead. They easily handled Athletic Bilbao 4-1 at Camp Neu. Sevilla got a 4-0 win over Richard Alpert's hometown of Tenerife, as they continue to battle Mallorca for the final CL spot from La Liga.

- Status quo holds atop Serie A, as all 3 teams in pursuit of the Scudetto win. Inter throttled Bologna 3-0, with 2 goals from Diego Motta. AS Roma remains 1 point back with a tough 1-0 win at my ancestral home of Bari, while AC Milan lurks 3 points back after surviving a see saw 3-2 win at Catania.

- In MLS, NY Red Bulls are off to a surprising 2-0 start. They got an upset 1-o win at Seattle, their first road win in 27 matches.

- A great week for Bayern Munich, not only did they get that huge win over Man U in the Champions League, but they vault into 1st place in the Bundesliga by topping the old leaders Schalke 2-1. Bayern got a pair of rapid fire goals early in the match from Franck Ribery and Tomas Muller.

- A similarly wonderful week for Lyon, as they follow up their win over Bordeaux with a 2-1 win at Stade Rennes that vaults them into a 3 way tie for the lead in Ligue 1 with Montpellier and Auxerre.

- PDM division leaders Monterrey got a 1-0 win at home over Pumas on a Walter Ayovi PK.

- Any Liverpool aspirations of still getting to the Champions League despite this lousy season took a big hit on Sunday when they could muster only a 1-1 draw at Birmingham. They are now 4 points back of Man City for 4th place.

- Real Madrid remains tied atop La Liga with Barca. They won 2-0 at Racing Santander. A PK goal for Cristiano Ronaldo, and an insurance tally added by Gonzalo Higuain, who now has 24 goals in this La Liga campaign.

- Chivas and Club America renewed their rivalry, and as expected Chivas came away with the 3 points at home in a 1-0 win. America continues to struggle, they are a mediocre 5-5-3.

1 comment:

Patrick N said...

Great post. McNabb is overrated. Also, I've always felt bad for Newcastle being relegated the year I picked them to be top 6 EPL. My bad.