Philly Sports Live

Shammell’s Tuesday Tirade – What a week!

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Thanks for swinging through for this week’s edition of the Tirade. Hope you all had a safe and happy holiday! That being said, the Thanksgiving holiday has got me all tied up and thrown off, so thanks for hanging with me in this being a day late! We have tons to cover in the week that was. Apparently Philadelphia has a closet drug user, the Eagles are starting to clear house, fantasy football is coming down to the wire for man, the NFL is getting dirtier… I think you get the picture. Without getting too into detail, allow me to begin!

 

UNEXPECTED News of the Week- Eagles release Defensive End Jason Babin

You gotta start somewhere, right? This move had me absolutely baffled. Granted, his performance has slipped considerably this season. Last year, he was considered one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL with 18 sacks on the season. In 2012, Babin only has five and a half sacks under his belt, which is not much to write home about. Considering this, you have to wonder if that may be due in part to a change in defensive coordinators and defensive schemes. There really is no way to know exactly why, but I don’t think it’s because he has nothing left in the tank. Babin was put on waivers, and I truly doubt he’ll make it all the way down the line without one team putting a substantial bid in for him. The best part of this whole situation was probably how Babin handled the news. In an interview with ESPN Radio, he admitted to laughing when he got the news. The Pro Bowl defensive end was quoted as saying, “Anytime you see Andy Reid come across your caller ID, you know it’s (laughs), probably not a good thing… All I could do was, almost, I laughed. Like, alright Coach, if that’s what you gotta do. It caught me off guard. I think it’s safe to say he laughed before he realized that he is still owed about 18 million dollars of his contract.

Since we had so much surprising news, why don’t we double dip this category?

 

UNEXPECTED News of the Week (part II)Carlos Ruiz tests positive for Amphetamine

Chooch! Say it ain’t so! The All-Star catcher has been suspended by the MLB under a sanction of use of a banned substance. It seems as if Ruiz’s urine test didn’t go quite according to plan as he tested positive for Amphetamine. Ruiz admits to using Adderall, a prescription drug often used by individuals who have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. Unlike teammate Cliff Lee and former Phillie Shane Victorino, Chooch is NOT prescribed Adderall by his doctor. Many players say Adderall boosts vision and awareness, both key aspects to the game of baseball. In 2011, more than 100 MLB players had a prescription for Adderall, which is well higher than the rate of users in the general population. These performance boosts could help any ball player, especially for a catcher who saw a HUGE numbers jump in 2012. Ruiz went from batting .283 in 2011 to .325 this past season. These numbers could have jumped due in part to a good hitting regiment during the offseason, or any other number of reasons. However, it’s a shame that his 2012 season will live in question; a year where he was one of the very few bright points of a struggling Phillies squad.

 

DUMB News of the Week- Red Wings Prospect slammed for DUI

Now this type of stuff happens on a daily basis to professional athletes, but not to this magnitude. Riley Sheahan, a center for the Grand Rapids Griffins and former first round pick, was nabbed going the wrong way on a one way street in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan on October 29. The 20 year old Ontario native TWICE registered a BAC of .3, more than three times the legal limit for a non-minor, and teetering on alcohol poisoning. The charge aside from the DUI was by Michigan law deemed “super drunk”, which, if convicted, carries a 180 day jail sentence, and possible deportation. It gets better. Sheahan was also found in possession of fellow Wings prospect Brendan Smith’s drivers license. He claimed he always carried the 23 year old’s ID with him, so he could get into bars. To ice the cake, he was taken downtown wearing a huge purple Teletubby costume. I’m sure Bubba and the boys loved seeing Tinky Winky stroll through the front door of the police station. With the NHL and NHLPA still at a deadlock “negotiating,” the center may not actually miss any NHL time… Man, what a relief!

 

BEST Game of the Week- Penn State vs. Wisconsin, NCAA Football

What a doozy this one was on Saturday afternoon. Facing their bowl and conference postseason ban, Penn State entered this game with nothing to lose. The pregame ceremony included unveiling the numbers “2012” on the outside of the stadium press boxes where Penn State commemorates “the greatest teams to play at Penn State.” Until this year, the wall was consumed entirely by conference and national championship teams. It was senior day in Happy Valley, and given the circumstances of what these men went through to make sure Penn State football wasn’t lost in the aftermath of the biggest scandal in sports history, commemorating their efforts was top priority. Also part of the pregame was an emotional introduction of senior linebacker Michael Mauti. Mauti, who injured his knee the week before, was unable to play in his last game at Penn State. He is partially credited for leading the charge of eligible players to not transfer from PSU after the bowl ban was announced. All Penn State players donned a large number 42 on the sides of their helmet, which is an honor usually reserved in the NCAA and NFL for players or coaches who have recently passed away. It is also even more surprising considering the traditional nature of the Penn State uniform (it came under much controversy when new head coach Bill O’Brien decided to put names on the backs of the jerseys before the season). The Nittany Lions, who entered the game winning seven of their last nine games, would match up against a tough Wisconsin side who boasts the likes of senior running back Montee Ball. Before the first quarter was over, Ball reached the end zone to not only put Wisconsin up 14-7 over the home side, but while crossing the goal line, he broke an NCAA record for career touchdowns with 79. A depleted Penn State side headed to the locker room at the half looking for redemption. They would come out wheels blazing to tack on 14 unanswered points. With time winding down in regulation, Wisconsin put together a drive that saw a late touchdown, sending the game into overtime. With Penn State held to a field goal, Wisconsin was then given the opportunity to string together some more last minute heroics. With nothing to show for the first three downs, Wisconsin set up to kick the field goal. The kick sailed wide left and Beaver Stadium erupted. A very emotional ending to a very emotional day in State College. For his efforts in leading the Nittany Lions out of the dungeon in 2012, head coach Bill O’Brien was awarded with the Big10 Coach of the Year Award.

 

WORST Fantasy Performance- LaRod Stephens-Howling, Running Back, Arizona Cardinals

It was partly expected with the return of Beanie Wells to the lineup this week, but I don’t think anyone would have expected one carry for a guy who just came off of a 22 touch 127 yard performance against the Atlanta Falcons just the week before. It’s a tough spot for owners who have relied on “The Hyphen”, who saw a considerable jump in the amount of carries he got when Wells went down with an injury earlier this year. The Cardinals have gone on record in stating that their goal is to make Stephens-Howling a more involved member of their special team’s core, and keep him there solely. It may be time to dump LSH for a more suitable back, or try and make a trade for one quickly, considering playoffs have either started or are about to start for most leagues out there.

 

BEST Fantasy Performance- Robert Griffin III, Quarterback, Washington Redskins

The rookie lit up the national stage on Thanksgiving for all the right reasons. RGIII is looking more and more like the real deal week in and week out, and as time goes on he is becoming more and more reliable as a fantasy keeper. The Baylor product was 20 for 28 for 311 yards and FOUR touchdowns on Thursday, repeating his TD total of the previous game against Philadelphia. By ESPN Standard scoring, RGIII is the most valuable fantasy player this season, totaling 242 points through week 12. He faces a tougher opponent this week in the New York Giants, who kept Aaron Rodgers in check this past weekend. Griffin III has far more scrambling ability than Rodgers, and he averaged 9.9 yards per carry the last time he faced the Giants. You should be able to ride RGIII through the end of 2012, and I’d also recommend him as a keeper if you are in a keeper league.

 

The WHAT THE HELL Moments of the Week- NFL Players Getting Dirty

What in the world is going on in the minds of some of the NFL’s finest lately? Well, for Ndamukong Suh, it’s nothing different. But even Saints lineman Brodrick Bunkley got a little filthy this past weekend. As we all sat and watched the NFL games on Thanksgiving with our families, I couldn’t think of a better way to cap the afternoon off than with a nice healthy groin shot. Suh, one of the most highly touted defensive linemen in the NFL is also widely known for his mean streak and continued dirty play. He has received several fines and even a suspension from the office of Mr. Roger Goodell, but it seems to be falling on deaf ears. Especially considering the fact that last Thanksgiving was the last time he had been disciplined for his dirty play. You may remember Suh putting a little stomp to the arm of a defenseless Green Bay Packers O-line member last turkey day. It was because of this that he received a two game suspension. Fast forward to 2012, and a tumbling Suh very evidently propelled his foot toward the nether-region of Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. As if that’s not enough unnecessary roughness for one weekend, you have Brodrick Bunkley who thought it’d be a great idea to kick a defenseless San Francisco 49er in the back of the head while he was on the ground… get this, AFTER A FIELD GOAL. I know the line of scrimmage can get a little testy, but come on man! It is understandable that emotions get the best of some players, but if this behavior continues, the NFL will turn into a jail league. It may be helpful if players start realizing that every play is captured from about 15 different angles, and with high resolution zoom and slow motion, you are not going to get away with picking your nose without America seeing it. I feel it’s time Goodell makes a statement of monumental proportions, especially to a repeated offender such as Suh.

That’ll do it for this week’s Tirade! Be sure to check back next week for another edition! Feel free to sound off in the comments!

photo credit- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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