Tag:LaDainian Tomlinson
Posted on: November 17, 2008 1:03 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2008 1:15 pm

Six games left, Turner should get me my hooch

With six games to go, I'm feeling pretty good about things.

Not about the Redskins, who look more and more mediocre as the weeks go on, but about my Michael Turner-L.T. wager.

Way back when in late August, or maybe it was early September, a buddy of mine from college, Esquire Toledo, and I wagered who would have the better season: LaDainian Tomlinson or his one-time handcuff, Michael Turner?

I took Turner. He took L.T.

The running back who took three of the following statistical categories would be deemed winner, and the loser woulMichal turnerd have to hand-deliver a bottle of at-least-12-year-old scotch to the victor.

  1. 100-yard games
  2. Rushing yards
  3. Total touchdowns

I figured this was the season L.T.'s body would give out on him. I figured without his trusty fullback, Lorenzo Neal, L.T. wouldn't get those 5-to-7 yard scampers he's accustomed to. I also figured L.T. would continue his evolution into Marshall Faulk, which meant less carries and more receptions.

As for Michael Turner, I figured the Falcons didn't pay him all that money not to use and abuse him. I figured the Falcons' offensive line had the foundation to be a good running team. And I figured new coach Mike Smith would use the Jacksonville model of run, baby, run, to exhaustion in Atlanta.

Really, I figured, wouldn't it be ironic if the grasshopper bested the sensai?

Eleven weeks into the season I'm figuring to be the owner of a bottle of 12-year-old Aberlour Speyside single malt scotch whisky. Either that or a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue, but I'll leave the decision to Esquire Toledo when he brings it to our Fort Lauderdale office.

Here's the breakdown through 11 weeks:

                               100-yard games | Rushing yards | Total touchdowns
Michael Turner:         4 100-yard games | 971 yards | 9 touchdowns
LaDainian Tomlinson: 2 100-yard games | 686 yards | 6 touchdowns

Here's Turner's remaining six games:

Nov 23 Carolina 
Nov 30 @San Diego 
Dec 7 @New Orleans 
Dec 14 Tampa Bay 
Dec 21 @Minnesota 
Dec 28 St. Louis 

Here's L.T.'s remaining six games:

Nov 23 Indianapolis
Nov 30 Atlanta 
Dec 4 Oakland 
Dec 14 @Kansas City
Dec 21 @Tampa Bay
Dec 28 Denver

Turner's are tougher, with only mouth-watering contests vs. New Orleans and St. Louis, but I like a told-ya-so game vs. San Diego and Minnesota could be without its big run-stuffing Williams duo by Dec. 21.

L.T. should thrive against Indianapolis, Oakland, Kansas City and Denver.

But I have a nearly 300-yard head start and two 100-yard rushing games. Plus, the Chargers look like rhymes-with-Mitt and have devolved into a pass-first team. Throw in a loss to Indy next week coupled with a Denver win vs. Oakland and the Chargers could be playing for the draft in two weeks, thereby hampering the need to truck out L.T. week in and out.

Yeah, I'm feeling pretty good about this, but not as good as I'll feel sippin' on some scotch in six weeks. Scotch, scotch, scotch...

On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around 

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Klick of the Day 

Kind of like Hitler, but cuter

Posted on: October 27, 2008 11:27 am
Edited on: October 27, 2008 12:01 pm

Seeing an old Fantasy flame prosper isn't easy

I ran into LaDainian Tomlinson at a British pub Sunday around 4 PM. He was looking great, smiling, enjoying some wine and food with his owner. I heard he had regained his mojo, but I hadn't expected this.

Normally running into an ex-Fantasy player wouldn't have been a big deal, but the wounds were stiill fresh. You see, LT and I had what you Stop showing off!could call a tumultous relationship for little more than seven weeks.

I drafted him No. 1 overall despite recognizing what I thought were danger signs. I knew about his age, track record, sprightly understudy and Campbell's Chunky Soup connections but I bit anyway. There's just something so attractive about 115 rushing touchdowns. You think, I can be a part of 130 rushing touchdowns by the end of the season.

But the honeymoon ended around Week 4 in Miami. I stopped depending on him as my rock and I got testy as other owners started calling about his availability.

But I stood pat. I said to myself, "LT will change, he'll get back to the old LT the world knows." I even consulted my parents one Sunday morning, who both recommended that I stay committed to LT, that he'll come through.

But I kept reading articles, some by our own counselors of Fantasy grief, and I said enough is enough, particularly after seeing this in my most trusted source for Fantasy relationship advice, Cosmo:

"You won’t regret breaking up with a guy you’re feeling unsure about."

And that's what I did. I broke up with LT. I sent him packing, along with Marvin Harrison, for what I pegged as equivalent goods in Matt Forte and Vincent Jackson.

Then LT goes and accumlated 165 total yards and a touchdown across The Pond. Figures, you dump somebody and they go backpacking in Europe and have the time of their life.

On top of that ...
... LT vs. Turner

For those who don't know, I have a bet with a Toledo lawyer. I said Michael Turner would trump LT in three statistical categories throughout the course of the season. If he does, I get a hand-delivered bottle of still-undetermined scotch.

Name | 100-yard rushing games | rushing yards | total touchdowns

Michael Turner | 3 | 655 yards | 6
LaDainian Tomlinson | 2 | 551 | 5

On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around

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Shawn Rogers played stout trench defense. Derek Anderson is once again Houdini and the Browns played a good first half. Then there's Steve Heiden, who vs. the Jags, made From the Eyes of Jelly Donut think there's still hope in Cleveland after its 23-17 against Jacksonville.

In Act 2, Scene II of The Cleveland Browns Story, Derek Anderson once again reprises his role of Bernie Kosar and Shaun Rogers stars as "Aloha," which I'm told means hello, as in hello to the Browns' chances to take back their season. The Thoughts of a Gentledawg breaks down the big win.

Klick of the Day

Finding a fellow brain-muncher can be hard in this day and age
Posted on: October 13, 2008 2:07 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2008 2:27 pm

I am my own worst Fantasy enemy

I'm Henry. I'm Edward.

I am my own worst Fantasy enemy.

LeRon McClainI have few rules in life (like never buy meat from Icky Woods), let alone Fantasy life. But one Fantasy life rule I subscribe to is, if two players are relatively equal always start the one with the later kickoff time.

What this really means is, if you have players playing on Monday night, activate them. The logic being, it gives you reason to watch the game and players tend to perform slightly better on the national stage.

(Eric, do you have any data to back that last point up?)

Quiet, you.

I ignored my rule, opting to start LeRon McClain instead of Jamal Lewis. McClain registed a solid -1.5 points. I lost by 9 points. So if I hadn't started McClain, I would be down 7.5 points heading into Lewis' matchup with the Giants.

That's doable.

But this is Fantasy life. It's 17 weeks of suddenly relevant Christian Slater. In other words, it's a tortuous existence of being one's own Christian Slaterenemy.

The funny thing is, it's not my fault.

Fantasy football puts new meaning in the motto: it's better to be lucky than good.

It would have been better if I simply hit the Top Lineup button on my fantasy team. That's not being good, that's being lucky. Being good is picking the right spot to defy convention. Being lucky is drafting players who stay healthy, having the right waiver position at the right time and hitting the Top Lineup button.

(Eric, here's an idea. You have a half dozen fantasy teams. Chose one and always hit Top Lineup. See how that team does vs. teams you manipulate week in and out.)

Good idea, you.

Anyway, because I spend hours upon hours examining ever minute detail of my roster, activating players on Wednesdays only to put them back on the bench on Wednesday night, then activating them Friday, only to bench them Saturday afternoon, I am my own worst enemy, Fantasy speaking.

I'm not alone. I can't be. I bet you do it too. And you. There's nothing more frustrating than losing with points on the bench. I can take losing. I can take losing a close game. I just can't take losing with points on the bench.

Why? It's the ultimate sign of being one's own worst enemy, which, I've heard once or twice since the Olympics, stars Christian Slater as Henry, and Edward.

Michael Turner vs. L.T. 

If you recall, I have a bet going with a lawyer buddy in Toledo involving a bottle of at-least-12-year-old scotch. I said Michal Turner would outperform LT in two of the three following categories:

  • 100-yard game
  • Rushing yards
  • Total TDs

Here's the breakdown:

Name | 100-yard games | rushing yards | touchdowns

Michael Turner | 3 | 597 yards | 6
LaDainian Tomlinson | 1 | 405 | 4

On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around

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Klick of the Day 

Ernest Borgnine shares his secret to long life

Posted on: October 6, 2008 2:28 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2008 3:58 pm

Kimbo like Palin, but better for long run

If our goal this Monday is to connect politics and sport, here it goes.

(Uh, who said that was our goal, big guy?)

Kimbo Slice's effort vs. Seth Pertuzzi was alot like Sarah Palin vs. Katie Couric.

Kimbo SliceThe problem Palin faced with her interview a few weeks back wasn't that she was dumb or poorly versed in politics, it was that her intelligence was devoted to other things, like Alaskan politics, motherhood and killing mooses. She wasn't thrown into the mix with any expectation to know big concepts like Israel-Palestine or have quick recall on Supreme Court rulings she's supposed to hate. How many governors that didn't come through legislative ranks would?

The same sort of workings went on with EliteXC and Kimbo. He wasn't expected to be a great fighter out of the chute. Rather, he was going to get there. In the meantime, everybody will make a little coin on the big guy with the bushy beard beating up on tomato cans.

Unfortunately, the script changed Saturday night. One tomato can didn't get the message.

And in the short term, it looks bleak. But in the long term, this could be just what EliteXC needs.

Just like how Palin's interviews set the bar so low for her debate, there's a positive angle to Saturday night's loss.

The fledgling outfit can never be questioned as authentic now. The little secret that could -- Kimbo as Globetrotter -- was derailed. And it could potentially cripple EliteXC. But if it doesn't, the organization is stronger. It's no longer about building up a street fighter, it's about creating the best cards out there.

In short, the pressure is off.

EliteXC can go about its business finding the best fighters to fight, and not worrying about developing the star that Kimbo should be. 

Don't get me wrong, Kimbo is still the cash cow of this operation and will continue to draw people. But now that the secret is out, focus can shift to finding true fighters and relaxing the reins on Kimbo. Let the guy star the undercard, while putting the legit fighters at the top. Isn't that how it should have been from the get go?

Let's hope EliteXC thinks so. At the press conference after the fight (one in which Kimbo arrived roughly 30 minutes late to), Jeremy Lappen, one of the outfit's head honcho's spun faster than Paul Van Dyke.

"This is MMA, all the best have lost," he said, along with, "Kimbo showed just how big a man he is for taking the fight on such short notice."

Well, yes. But let's hope the spin stops there and reality sets in.

If EliteXC gets that Kimbo is hamburger meat masquerading as filet, Saturday night was a victory. But if despite this TKO in 14 seconds, they keep selling him as filet, there are serious problems with EliteXC's reputation.

Having people like Jake Shields at the top of a card isn't the draw Kimbo is, but if EliteXC keeps pushing Kimbo, or people like Kimbo it will lose its core. Getting their brand of MMA to the mainstream is important, but keeping the core intact is vital to survival.

After all, isn't that why Palin is on the ticket?

Michael Turner vs. LT


Each Monday/Tuesday I chronicle my bet with a buddy of mine. I said Michael Turner would win two of these three categories: 100-yard games, rushing yards and total touchdowns.

I'm looking golden so far as I await my bottle of scotch. 

Name | 100-yard games | rushing yards | touchdowns

Michael Turner | 3 | 543 yards | 6
LaDainian Tomlinson | 1 | 331 | 4

On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around

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Klick of the Day

This is the bonehead trifecta:groin shot, hit to the face, 10-yard penalty

Posted on: September 19, 2008 3:16 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2008 12:36 am

Do I bail on LaDainian Tomlinson?

Today, I need your help. You, you, you, and yes, you.

Everybody and anybody with an opinion, help me. I can't do this on my own. I thought I could Thursday morning, but I awoke Friday morning unable to.

I've lost sleep (not really) and asked everybody from loved ones to hated ones to ones who don't speak human (does rolling over on your back and squirting out a little pee mean "do it"?) what to do.

Here's the situation: I own LaDainian Tomlinson, and Thursday morning I was convinced I needed to get him off my team, ASAP. I was throwing so many trades around, I swear Trung Candidate was on the table at one point. I was reckless, at best. But one trade offer I proposed came back with a counter offer that has me hung up.

I would send LaDainian Tomlinson and Laveranues Leon Coles and in return receive Willie Parker and DeSean Jackson.

TomlinsonThose are the facts. Here's the background. I came into the year convinced this was the beginning of the end for L.T. but got "stuck" with the top overall pick of the draft. I took him.

His first game was promising, as you know, but then came the toe injury. That has me thinking "sell LT futures, sell now!"

But then the day went on, and I developed a fantasy-football induced split personality. This other version of me whispered to me, "Eric, it's just a toe injury and remember last year's slow start. It will all come together, just be patient, the worst is behind you."

But the other side then tells me: "Eric, this is the beginning of the end. You're ahead of the curve here. He's 29, banged up, has a sprightly backup making noise. Plus, the Chargers are evolving into a pass-first team. The guy's being phased out, bail now, look like a genius and get something in return."

Then I tell myself, "Eric, if there's one thing Norv Turner teams do well, it's run the ball."

Then I tell myself, "Yes, that's true, but a hurt LT is a hurt LT."

Other self: "It's just his toe! He says he'll be around 100 percent Monday night and heck, I'll be happy with a 75 percent LT."

Other me, "Yes, but if he's compensating for the toe, he'll risk hurting something more serious, like a knee, or hammy."

Other me, "yes, but IF HE IS HEALTHY, his schedule is tasty from here on out."

Other me, "yes, but he's the lone pitchman for Campbell's Chunky Soup this year."

Other me, "dear lord."

Other me, "make the trade."

Other me, "don't make the trade."

And so it goes. As of 2:50 PM ET Friday, I'm leaning toward not making the trade. I'm all in on LT, despite being a big Willie Parker and DeSean Jackson fan.

Can you, or your or maybe you help a blogger out?

On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around 


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Klick of the Day 


A good read on why it's OK for Vince Young to be a bit wishy washy.

Posted on: September 15, 2008 2:29 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2008 4:32 pm

Marvin Lewis needs to go ... find a better job

The great state of Ohio has seen better days. Many are without power and most are still numb from Saturday and Sunday night's losses.

But it's Sunday afternoon's loss, and those along the Ohio River who I feel for. Marvin Lewis

This is hardly breaking news, but the Bengals are no longer among the ranks of serious football teams. It wasn't too long ago media was chirping about how Marvin Lewis and Co. were changing the culture of the franchise. Winning had become expected and the team peddled in exciting offensive play.

Now the offense is non-dimensional and losing, once again, is the norm.

Culture 1, Marvin Lewis 0.

There is no rematch. The Marvin Lewis Experience is finished, and it's not entirely his fault. A coach can change culture, but unless he has the support of management, it's impossible to transition those changes into standard operating procedure.

Compare the Bengals to their Sunday opponent, the Titans. Under Jeff Fisher and more importantly supportive ownership, the team recently ushered in a new era (Vince Young in, Steve McNair out), severed ties with a notorious troublemaker and harnessed a potentially ugly situation in Albert "cleat" Haynesworth. There were times when the team sacrificed winning now for reinforcement of their franchise's foundation. Football often draws war metaphors, and the backbone of a good military regime is discipline.

The Bengals, on the other hand, believed in the idea talent trumps character. Talent does trump character for the most part in the short term. But year after year of executing that philosophy eventually cripples a foundation beyond repair. It creates a culture of uncoachability.

That means Marvin Lewis' time is done. He may not be the best game manager around, but there was a time, briefly when he could manage this franchise. That time has passed, and it's time for him and the franchise to move on. He's too good a defensive coordinator to be stuck defending his abilities as coach of the aimless Bengals.

Broncos, Turner vs. L.T. and Cooley's unit


Still not buying the Broncos as the Cowboys after Sunday's game? They may not run with the same authority but the Marshall-Royal-Scheffler trifecta isn't far off from the Owens-Crayton-Witten package...

Name | 100-yard games | rushing yards | touchdowns

Michael Turner | 1 | 262 yards | 2

LaDainian Tomlinson | 0 | 132 | 0

I figured Turner would come down to earth vs. the Bucs, but playing Kansas City next week could be just what I need to get that touchdown total up. A bruised toe on L.T. isn't helping my Toledo opponent.

I'm eyeing the Rosebank 1991 signatory scotch...

Chris Cooley is either a show-off, or needs to be more careful with his camera

On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around 

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Klick of the Day 

Watch out for Bears in Galveston

Posted on: August 29, 2008 12:26 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2008 12:40 pm

Alpha Blog: Chunky Soup says no m'am to NFL moms

The days of Donovan McNabb's mom pushing soup are finished. Campbell's soup has ended its run of Chunky Soup ads featuring NFL players and their moms, citing an aging football-watching demographic that's finally able to know what foods to ingest.

Tomlinson"LaDainian Tomlinson doesn't need his mom to tell him which products have protein and which products don't," Douglas Brand, brand manager of Chunky Soup told the Wall Street Journal Wednesday. "He's learned that for himself, and we've learned our customers want to do that for themselves as well."

Eleven years after the first Chunky Soup ad featuring fake Mrs. Elway and Mrs. (Terrell) Davis, we're finally getting it -- protein good, protein in soup-form, better. Mmmm.

So no more moms in Chunky ads telling their 20-something football sons what to eat after a tough game. It's a good thing too, it had been a while since TV let me know, "I'm a big kid now."

On to the best blogs ... around 

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Klick of the Day

Speaking of GMs, if I'm an NFL GM, I'm taking a hard look at this guy.
Posted on: August 26, 2008 2:11 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2008 4:19 pm

Alpha Blog: Wagering Turner will out-perform L.T.

Right around this time of the year, I get a crazy notion stuck in my head. It usually results in an ill-advised wager.

L.T.Last year, my crazy notion that the Texans would finish with a better record than the Colts led to a wager with one of our editors, Brian Stubits. In my defense, I figured Peyton was due for an injury year. Looks like I was a season off.

This season, my crazy notion involves running backs. I placed a wager with a buddy of mine, a Toledo-area lawyer, regarding the upcoming seasons of LaDainian Tomlinson and Michael Turner.

Being the bold blogger I am, I floated him the idea Michael Turner would have a better season (I'll share the stats we're following shortly) than LaDainian Tomlinson. Here's the logic, as disturbing as it may be.

I'm not buying the Chargers as a team. I don't believe in Philip Rivers' health and decision making. I don't believe in Chris Chambers' drive and I'm not convinced Antonio Gates is 100 percent. Also, I find Norv Turner incapable of putting together back-to-back double-digit win seasons. Of course, these beliefs, while not self-evident, don't necessitate any statistical decline in Tomlinson.

But maybe this does...

L.T. has 2,356 carries to his name and 458 receptions. If you'll agree with me Marshall Faulk is a similar player in style to Tomlinson, Marshall Faulkcheck out what happened after Faulk hit 2,300 carries. Faulk entered the 2003 season with 2,367 carries. He left that season with 818 rushing yards, 290 receiving yards and 11 total touchdowns. Faulk was 30 that year. Tomlinson is 29. There's no denying Faulk's erosion began a year earlier when he failed to top 1,000 yards, but running backs not named Curtis Martin tend to fall from grace rather quickly.  It's also not like Faulk was in an inept offense. The Rams were 12-4 that season under the guidance of Marc Bulger and Mike Martz.

So I'm banking L.T.'s wheels have a little wear and tear. But what about Michael Turner? What can we realistically expect from him in his first year as a non-handcuff? He's going to anchor an Atlanta backfield with Jerious Norwood that's going to function similar to Jacksonville with Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew. So 1,200-1,350 yards isn't out of the question. Fred Taylor, who Turner compares better to physically, racked up 1,202 in 15 games last season splitting carries with MJD.

However I think Turner's game lines up more with Jamal Lewis. They both weigh about the same, and catch the ball adequately, at best. Lewis averaged exactly 1,300 yards playing in pass-deficient Baltimore for six seasons.

Michael TurnerAtlanta, with a questionable quarterback situation is going to lean heavily on the run. I also think Atlanta, no matter how bad it's losing, won't be the type of team that airs it out in futile comeback attempts ala Arizona or Detroit of the past 10 years. Mike Smith is building something here and I'm not sure he's concerned with having his young QB throw the ball 40 times a game. Expect to see the ball still being handed off in the fourth quarter of Atlanta games.

I'm also not sold on the offensive genius of Mike Mularkey, but he has proven to harvest 1,000-yard rushers (Willis McGahee, Ronnie Brown, Jerome Bettis...).

So here's the wager. I need to win two of the three following categories: rushing yards, total touchdowns and 100-yard games.

I think I can take rushing yards and 100-yard games. Turner's proven to be explosive, despite his girth and I believe the Falcons are committed to running for four quarters. He won't win the total touchdowns battle since his team's offense isn't as well-oiled (even with San Diego's question marks) and he'll be lucky to record one receiving touchdown.

The wager is a bottle of 12-year-or-older Scotch to be purchased by the loser and delivered to the winner. I may be an ill-advised gambler, but when those are the stakes, there are no losers.

On to the best blogs ... around

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Klick of the Day


The 1986 draft strikes again. Kevin Duckworth is the third player selected in that draft to die. The other two? Len Bias and Drazen Petrovic

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com