Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday Ramblings - Worst of the Decade

What a sloppy game, but a big win for the Packers over the Ravens. There were 10 first downs due to penalties (9 pass interference) during the game and both quarterbacks realized when the play broke down, just throw it deep and there’s a pretty good chance of a penalty. Tramon Williams of Green Bay showed on multiple occasions his favorite play is an arm bar to grab the receiver to try and improve his closing speed. Unfortunately for him, the refs were aware of his specialty. Jon “Sunny” Gruden tried to blame the penalties on the weather before adjusting his knee pads for any discussion regarding Charles Woodson (who played for Sunny in Oakland)

With Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate declaring for the NFL Draft, the next Notre Dame coach will be coming into a serious rebuilding situation with a pretty bare cupboard. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results, right? I mentioned the similarities between Brian Kelly and Charlie Weiss yesterday. Now they’re also going to talk to a young hotshot from Stanford in Jim Harbaugh. Well, that sounds really familiar too, so where have I heard that story? Oh yeah, Notre Dame hired Ty Willingham from Stanford, and well, we all know how that turned out. How about some creativity or a new idea in South Bend?

UPDATE: Harbaugh says he is not talking to Notre Dame and has no interest in the job. Maybe the Irish will call Bob Davie to see if he has a brother?

As we wind down the last few weeks of the decade, there will likely be a ton of rankings and ratings of the “best of the decade” in everything from music to movies to sports. I’m going the other way and I want to cover some of the worst of the decade. It’s time to look at the worst draft picks in the NFL and NBA during the decade. It’s also time to look at the worst champion in baseball, basketball and football during the decade. As the decade ends with the year of “transgressions” from Tiger to David Letterman to Steve Phillips and so on and so on…….let’s look at some other teams and drafts that scraped the bottom of the barrel.

Worst NBA Draft Pick – Darko Milicic (#2 Overall, Detroit Pistons)
In judging the NBA draft, I tried to discount many of the foreign players taken later in the first round because in many instances they weren’t expected to actually play in the US. As a result, many of the Spurs picks were not eligible. However, Darko Milicic was the second overall selection in 2003 ahead of guys like Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony. He has bounced around like Lucy Pinder without a bra and is on his 4th team in 6 years, and is averaging 5.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Honorable mention for the worst pick of the decade goes to Marcus Haislip (#12 by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2002), Mateen Cleaves (#14 by the Detroit Pistons in 2000) and Adam Morrison (#3 by the Charlotte Bobcats in 2006).

Worst NBA Champion – 2006 Miami Heat
There were 5 franchises that accounted for all the titles during the decade, the Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Heat & Pistons. The 2006 Heat were a flash in the pan and the team where Pat Riley threw his “friend” Stan Van Gundy – the coach who bears an uncanny resemblance to Ron Jeremy - under the bus so he could take over the coaching duties to get the title. They beat underwhelming teams from Chicago, New Jersey and Detroit to get to the Finals, where Dwayne Wade and Shaq were on the positive end of some very shoddy officiating. Honorable mention goes to the 2004 Pistons who did not have a 20 point scorer, and benefitted from the infighting between Shaq & Kobe to beat the Lakers.

Worst MLB Champion – 2006 St. Louis Cardinals
The 2006 Cardinals went only 83-78 in the regular season and made the playoffs solely because the rest of the NL Central was so weak. They had a worse record than the second place teams in the NL East and West. Albert Pujols was their only legit offensive weapon, and their pitching was not going to scare anyone. Chris Carpenter went 15-8 with an ERA of 3.09, their only starter with an ERA under 4. They got through the playoffs on the suddenly hot arm of Jeff Suppan, which he parlayed into getting overpaid by the Brewers where he has stunk since then. Oh, and if you need any more proof, David Eckstein was the World Series MVP. A guy that is barely bigger than Verne Troyer was the MVP, proving that the league had finally decided to pay some attention to steroid abuse.

Honorable mention goes to the 2005 Chicago White Sox, where journeyman Jon Garland won 18 games, and Paul Konerko powered the offense to the title over the Astros.

Worst NFL Champion – 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers were a collection of Tony Dungy players coached to the title by Jon Gruden, who the Bucs had bought from Oakland during the off-season. And that paid off tremendously as Tampa played the Raiders in the Super Bowl, and Gruden’s knowledge of his previous team paid off in the Super Bowl, when league MVP Rich Gannon had 5 interceptions. Gannon gave it up easier than a ___________ (choose your own adventure: Vegas Cocktail Waitress, Perkins Waitress, NYC club VIP Hostess, Porn Star). The Bucs had Brad Johnson at quarterback, which immediately puts them among the worst champions of all time. They didn’t have a 1,000 yard rusher (Michael Pittman had 718 yards) and Keyshawn Johnson barely topped the magic mark receiving (1,088 yards).

Honorable mention goes to the 2001 Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens had a horrid offense, but had a legendary defense so they can’t be completely discounted. Their defense practically outscored their offense, with Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and the always-hungry Jon Jurkovic.

Worst NFL Draft Pick – Charles Rogers (#2 pick by the Detroit Lions in 2003)
I tried to discount how bad Rogers was due to some unfortunate injuries, as the guy broke his collar bone twice. But then I remembered how much he also loved the ganja and had a work ethic that rivaled JaMarcus Russell. He was drafted right ahead of Andre Johnson, who has turned into one of the best receivers in the league, also making the pick of Rogers that much more egregious. Rogers played in only 15 games during his 3 year career catching a total of 36 passes for 440 yards and 4 touchdowns. Rogers was among the draft blunders by Matt Millen, sandwiched by Joey Harrington in 2002 and Roy Williams in 2004. Maybe the problem was Chris Tucker took a break from filming Friday and Rush Hour and took Rogers place in the NFL?

Honorable Mention: There are a bunch of them, including the defensive linemen Justin Harrell and Jamal Reynolds both drafted by the Packers. Yet it came down to Rogers compared to Courtney Brown, the #1 pick in 2000 by the Cleveland Browns who lasted less than 5 years and played only 61 games, compiling 19 sacks. Another contender was JaMarcus Russell, the #1 pick in 2007 who could dominate an all-you-can-eat buffet, but couldn’t read a defense. In 28 games, Russell has thrown 17 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, with a passer rating under 66. His only redeeming quality at this point is that he is still fairly young and could maybe have a Vince Young revival? It’s unlikely, but possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment