Monday, December 28, 2009

Weekend Notes

As I continue the longest vacation in recent memory (6 straight days with only a 2 hour Titans pre-game show!) I feel the need to purge some thoughts...let's start with the death of the Titans season. Maybe the Wise-Guys had it right all along. When the over-under for wins came out at 9 for the Titans this season, we in the Dawghouse were incredulous! "Easiest money on the board! 10 wins in '07, 13 in '08! Come on, man!" Well, "Under" was the play. And maybe it was justified. What was no justified was the lack of preparedness and composure the Titans came out with against San Diego. Yes, the Chargers are he better team, but 42-17? And once again, with a big moment at hand, the Titans soil the bed. 11 years ago they rode a Music City Miracle into a Super Bowl appearance. They were flat in the 1st half of that Super Bowl, only to rally and come up short...see a pattern here? It's been this way for the Titans entire run in Nashville...and they've only won two playoff games in the 10 years since.
As for the future, the offense is in great shape, and I do believe you roll with Vince Young. The defense? KVB, Nick Harper, Keith Bulluck, David Thornton, Tony Brown could all be gone and the Freak checked out earlier this year...In any event, there will be massive turnover, but a check of the numbers will show that's not necessarily a bad thing. The real question is, how high up the ladder will the changes come?

Urban Meyer
I can tell you from experience that no coach should ever make career decisions before February. The stress of a season leaves many thinking, "I can't do this anymore". Now Urban Meyer may have a medical condition, and that can be physical or mental. Stress and anxiety go hand and hand, and anxiety often presents as heart issues. I believe he speaks from the heart when he says he needs to "Reprioritize" his life. I truly hope he gets this done. College football and the SEC are better with Urban Meyer and I honestly believe he'll be on the sideline when Florida opens it's 2010 regular season. This should be a wake up call for every coach in the land...sometimes I think we've lost some perspective.
Now a note of full disclosure. After the 1994 season, I quit my job as Special teams co-ordinator at D-III St. John Fisher College. At the team banquet they said nice things about me and presented me with a nice pen set. I was back before Spring Ball. I did not give the pen set back, but when I finally did "Retire" from coaching, at age 36, I did it in May...

Colts perfection
YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME! Only exception is a final meaningless game. "Resting" players 3 weeks before your playoff game is just stupid. And if you are unbeaten, it's even dumber. Up 2 touchdowns, 10 minutes left in the game...fine, but what took place yesterday in Indy was a disgrace. Not to mention the impact on all the other potential playoff teams. Finally, the only time the Colts actually finished the deal and won a Super Bowl, they played hard through the end of the season. This "Resting" theory is right up there with the prevent defense. And they threw away a chance at NFL immortality. Just a shame!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Greatness and Class

As Alabama closed out the 2009 SEC Championship, I stood on the Floor of the Georgia Dome and looked up at the megatron to see Tim Tebow, in tears, on the sideline...as I stared at the image, it occurred to me that, in a sense, Tim Tebow was responsible for both Florida's win in 2008, and this Bama victory in 2009. Later, Nick Saban took the podium and confirmed my thoughts. Tebow taught the Tide a lesson in perseverance and showed them where they had to raise their game to if they were to wear the crown. And then the Tide did just that. Tebow had one of those Tebow moments, marching his team right down the field to cut the Alabama lead to 12-10, much to close given the level of dominance the Tide were enjoying.
But then a strange thing happened. Alabama responded. With a vengeance. Catching the Gators in their 1st blitz of the game, Greg McElroy floated a screen pass to Mark Ingram and 69 yards and one review later, Bama was 1st and goal from the 3. One play later, it was 19-10, and it was clear that this would not be 2008. Nick Saban's $32 million dollar deal 3 years ago looks like a steal right now. And Tim Tebow is still the greatest college football player of our time. Greatness and class; which is which? You decide. You're right.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Con-Vinced?

Well, here we go again. All he does is win. Call is the "Comeback on the Cumberland" or the "Drive for Five" and in win number 5 in a row...or "The Oh My! by VY!"....OK, lets not call it that...whatever it was, it was special. Only the "Music City Miracle" was a more special moment at LP Field that the final 2 minutes of that game on Sunday. And with Young throwing for 387 yards, no INTs and one titillating, game winning TD, it is time to ask, have we seen enough? Enough to turn this team over, once and for all, to Vince Young. for this year, next year and until he fails over an extended period of time. Vince has bought himself a bad outing without ridicule, not that one seems to be coming anytime soon. The most important numbers from Sunday are 4 for 8. That's Young's rushing line. And none of those were called runs. Mike Hiemerdinger has provided VY with a tremendous plan, and Young is executing. How well? VY managed to push an NFL record 6th straight 125+ yard effort by Chris Johnson to second fiddle status. Johnson finished with 154 yards, featuring a 85 yard TD run that, at the time, seemed to put the game under control for the Titans. That feeling lasted about a minute as LaRon Stephens-Howling brought the ensuing kickoff back 99 yards...and just helped set the stage for the Vinsanity....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Time to step aside?

Well, I'm at a crossroads. After a second straight loss to my oldest son's team in Turkey Bowl, the writing is on the wall. Joe (far right in this shot from 2007 with Alabama, before he accepted a scholarship to Middle Tennessee and below in the MT locker room after the Maryland win) has, what Charlie Wies would call, "A schematic advantage" over me. The game is 5 on 5 and he had his team running the Wildcat, Spread Option and a couple of things that I'm not sure have names. My only hope is to hang in long enough for my 12 year old son, Tommy, to become an athletic mismatch, but alas, he does not want to be on my team anymore. This years game was lost 36-12 after last season's 24-14 setback. Until then, I had never loss...
This game held one other indignity for me. On a QB throwback play I swung the ball out to Tommy and then floated into the flat. Tommy floated it back to me and as I went for the ball, the Mexicutioner, the GM of Big Dawg Productions who moonlights as my Son-in-law, met me at the ball. A monumental collision resulted in me going head over heels in a hit worthy of ESPN's JACKED UP segment. Surely, Mex was also sprawled out on the ground and my only concern was to scramble to my feet before he got up. Only he never got down. Just kind of stood over me, only glancing away long enough to see if my pregnant daughter was concerned. She was laughing. So was my wife. And my other pregnant daughter. And the dog. Now I need to go ice down. And turn in my retirement papers...I wonder if this is how Brett Favre went out...oh, wait....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Really?

On Friday, I was named 2009 "Best Talk Host" in Nashville by the Curb Records AIR Awards, for the 2nd year in a row. I can't tell you how humbling that is when you consider guys like George Plaster and Phil Valentine, legends in these parts, were finalists as well. And, as usual, I kinda screwed up the acceptance speech. I needed to thank the people who's daunting task it is to make me look good...Charlie Saunier and, before him, Jonathan Shaffer. And I needed to thank the Mexicutioner, Al Llamas, who runs Big Dawg Productions while I'm screwing off on the show. And Brad Hopkins, who joined the show a few months ago to shore me up. And, really, my wife, who has allowed me to chase this career all over the country. And finally, the listeners, who don't vote on the AIR Awards, but put up with the way I roll the show. So thanks to all of you....and we'll just keep trying to do our best, because whether they give me that Award or not, I feel like a winner because of all of you!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Here we go again!

I have received many e-mails concerning the show not being on 730 WUMP in Huntsville again, and hopefully, I can address many of you right here. It's there call. I made some inquiries as to what was up, but, as is often the case, the devil is in the details, and I really don't have all the details, nor have a desire to know all the details. I do know that the syndication that we had embarked on was moving slowly, like everything else in this economy, and the show was a bit clunky for the guys in Huntsville to manage...technical stuff. Also, the individual who really pushed to bring us back there is no longer there, and that may factor in as well. I do know that the decision was ultimately made in Atlanta, so I don't feel my blood is on anyone's hands in Huntsville. In any event, there was concern about what the future of the show would be, so they felt it was time to bail out. I appreciate the time we had on the air there, and wish everyone the best, as always. I also love you listeners down there and remind you that you can stream the show at www.thomabraham.com, and listen on several phone base apps as well...in the meantime, we'll just keep doing what we do!

PS-Curb Record AIR Awards will be announced Friday. We are hoping to defend our 2008 award for "Best Afternoon Drive" show and "Best Talk Host" in Nashville award. We are also a finalist for "Best Midday Talk" show, so this could be interesting. Next year, we're shooting for "Best Graveyard Shift Talk Show"...just kidding on that one!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hey Bud, Really?

OK, I supposed at first that this could be a fake, but the report is being generated by Jim Wyatt, highly respected Titans Beat Writer for The Tennessean, and even though I can't get those guys to get my delivery straight, I still trust them. This was the first of TWO double barreled salutes the 86 year old Titans owner fired at the Buffalo Bills sideline during the Titans/Oilers 41-17 thumping of the Bills. The second came ON THE FIELD as time ran out. WITH THE COMMISSIONER IN ATTENDANCE!
Now some of the players think this is cute, even funny. And Bud will gain a certain measure of "Street Cred" in the locker room. Assuming this wasn't fired at Jeff Fisher for not getting Vince Young in the line up sooner, or to his own team for blowing the first month and a half of the season, or at my co-host Brad Hopkins for saying he didn't even get a letter after he retired, this is incredibly crass! If those same players let the double birds fly on the field, how much would the fine be? 10k...20k...50k per bird? I'm not sure, but I do know that a few years ago, one bird cost Jake Plummer $5,000 and Mike Vick got $10,000 for the putting the twins up to his OWN crowd...But what do you hit a guy who owns half of Texas with? I mean, the Titans are worth a reported One Billion dollars, and Adams paid $25,000. Clip him for an oil field or two? In any event, if the league has any credibility, he needs to get hammered for it. My only question is....WHY, Bud?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sammy Sosa now a white dude?

Not much to say here...but, wow? Sammy Sosa a White guy? Here is the story....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shemp....er, Matsui the right call...

OK, I know you have to be of a certain age to get the Shemp Howard reference...ya know, Larry, Mo, Curly of Three Stooges fame...Shemp and Joe are sometimes forgotten, if not critical Stooges...but the fact is Shemp...I mean Hideki was the right call for Series MVP. The arguments against are, DH and only 13 at bats, tied for the fewest ever by a World Series MVP. To me, those are exactly the same arguments for. In spot duty, the guy goes 8 for 13, with 3 homers and 8 RBI! Now defense and pitching are great, but someone has to produce runs and this guy did it at critical times. With A-Rod scuffling a bit and Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano MIA, Matsui came through in spades!
Captain Jeter is the other contender, and Lord knows I consider Jetes the greatest Yankee of them all, but for his .407 series average, he only knocked in one run, and struck out 6 times, often leaving men on base.
Some random thoughts; How big does the All-Star game look now when a DH wins the MVP...the AL continues to dominate the Mid-Summer Classic, get the home field advantage, and this year it paid off. Guess it does matter...Wouldn't you think that Matsui, a Yankee for 7 years now, could speak enough English to do a simply baseball interview by now? And speaking of interviews, does Chris Rose really have the gravitas to be handling the post game stage after a World Series? And finally, why is Hedeki Matsui "Matsui" and Ichiro Suzuki "Ichiro"? I mean, if Matsui goes to Seattle to finish his career with his countryman, what will they put on his jersey? I, for one, hope we never find out...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

All We Can Do!

Ok...we don't know what is wrong with the Titans. Maybe Vince Young can fix this. But just as likely, this is all about the "Curse". You remember. December 21st, 2008. Titans 31, Steelers 14. And then, there it was...the Stomping of Myron Cope's Terrible Towel. Now, as a life long Cleveland Browns fan, I knew what was coming. Misery. No Super Bowl, not even a playoff win over Baltimore to set up a Steeler redo. Nope, I knew it was DONE! Now, 8 straight losses later, it was time to do something about it. So in the idle time during commercial breaks in the Dawghouse, we started batting ideas around. A Ouija board or seance was suggested, to contact Myron Cope directly and ask for forgiveness...but none of us were thrilled with the idea of messin' with the occult. In fact, Hop said, "I won't even come in studio THAT day!" So we thought, "If LenDale and K-Bull would sign one of those things, and we shipped it to Myron's charity, maybe that would do it!"
Of course, this meant getting two aggravated, 0-6 NFL players to go along, and you know what? They said, "Sure!" Any port in a storm, I guess. So the Boys signed, Keith Bulluck even asked how he could make a cash donation, and we shipped the towel to the Allegheny Valley School for Children and Adults with intellectual developmental disabilities. We need to thank WKRN TV (Channel 2) in Nashville and WTAE TV (Channel 4) in Pittsburgh for helping us make this happen. The Mexicutioner, Al Llamas, was in charge of actually handling the Terrible Towel and getting it signed, since Hop and I refused to touch the thing...and, after all, he is a Steeler fan.
NOW LET'S WIN A FOOTBALL GAME!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fresh From the SEC Office...

Seems to be a ton of confusion about the ruling on Terrance Cody's helmet removal at the end of the UT-Bama game...A big part of this involves when the clock ran out and the establishment of possession. What would have happened had time been left on the clock? And if UT had recovered, could they have re-kicked, since the ball didn't travel past the Line of Scrimmage? So I asked Charles Bloom at the SEC office and this is what he said, "Thom – If there would have been time on the clock remaining, and based on what happened on the play, Alabama would have taken possession and a personal foul would have been called. If the kick goes past the line of scrimmage, the ball is touched by the receiving team, the kicking team recovers it would be the kicking team’s ball. If the ball stays behind the line of scrimmage, the kicking team can recover and take possession. Hope that helps. Charles" Seems pretty clear to me. One thing UT could have done was make an effort to recover the ball and advance it for a TD...again, since it hadn't gone past the LOS. finally, I got an e-mail from a UT fan irate that the SEC was conducting a cover up on behalf of Alabama! What a minute, isn't that what Alabama fans say, right before "Roll Tide!"?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rocky Block

Make no mistake, Alabama did not deserve to win this one. Yeah, Terrance Cody got the push and made the blocks, but amounted to a battle of soccer players. Lee Tiffin made his kicks and Daniel Lincoln did not. So it took a Tiffin to beat the Kiffins. And if Alabama doesn't figure out how to get the passing game going, this season of promise will dissolve into a Capitol Bowl type of year. Of course, every championship season has it's measure of luck, and Bama just cashed that check...
As for UT, all the talk about them getting worse before they get better is bunk. These cats can flat out coach, and we know they can recruit. They are on the scene and will become a factor next season...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

And Now the "If I Offended Anyone" Apology

And now a follow up after Jeff Fisher issued the "If I offended anyone" apology, complete with the "Check your priorities" closer... Be careful what you ask for…the reason the NFL is the 900 lb. gorilla it is is because people care, with great passion and big money, they care…if you laugh at that passion, then you are laughing at the very foundation of the NFL…Now Fisher issues some sort of veil apology, hiding behind the great charity work his was performing on behalf of Tony Dungy and the worthy Rockettown organization, founded by Christian artist Michael W. Smith, a close friend of Fisher's…Fine, but how does mocking his own team, and fans, further the cause? How about coming out, introducing Dungy, and then saying, "Coach, do you have a few minutes after the event to come down to practice and help me fix this mess...come on', you're not a Colt anymore, help out the Titans!!!" The place goes nuts, it gets national attention on ESPN, and Titan Fan sees Fisher doing anything to save the day…

What if a player pulled this stunt…how about KVB or Keith Bulluck or Chris Johnson rocking Colts gear and saying they “Want to feel like winners?” I’m calling BS on this move…



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Really?

Look, I know Jeff Fisher has a great sense of humor. At his off season roast, he handed Merle Hoge a Vince Young jersey and quipped, "Picked it up on the way over...there was plenty of 'em and they were on sale!" That was funny, given Hoge's anti VY stance. But the key there is OFF SEASON. That's the kind of stuff you do then. Not now. Not at 0-6. Not two days after they had to replace the scoreboard lights under the "Home" sign in New England. Can you see Lane Kiffin putting on a Alabama jersey..."Wanted to know what it feels like to be #1!"...or Barry Trotz sporting a Red Wing jersey..."Wanted to know what it felt like to win A PLAYOFF SERIES!" Wade Phillips putting on a Redskins jersey..."Wanted to know what it felt like to suck!"...oh, wait, bad example. But you get the point. This was a terrible decision...from a guy paid to make great decisions. Sorry Jeff, not a great way to start the bye week repair job.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Snow Job

They tell use not to play the "Blame Game". Well, how about the "Responsibility Game". The ugliest 4 letter word in sports is QUIT. But they say nobody quit out there...but facts are stubborn things and this team played like a factory worker who is starting a vacation next week...Now here's the painful part. I like Jeff Fisher. I think he has been a tremendous coach and most all who played for him respect and trust him. But he is now 0-6 after being 0-5 three years ago. This is unprecedented amongst coaches of his tenure. Cower, Holmgren, Gruden, Shanahan, even the hated Brian Billick were never 0-5...once, much less twice. Tony Dungy lost his 1st 5 games as Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and then the rest was history. All of those men won at least one Super Bowl; Shanahan 2. And they are all unemployed now. Some; Dungy, Cowher, Holmgren, of there own hand, although Dungy was let go in Tampa. The rest all asked to step down. As I said earlier, facts are stubborn things...it all we have left...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Put the Season in IR...

So there you have it....one of the most anticipated seasons in Titans history...gone in a month. 4 weeks, 4 losses. Thanks for coming, please turn out the lights on the way out. Such is life in the NFL....Half the playoff teams from one season to another turn over. But if the Titans were going to be one of those teams, it surely wouldn't be like this...without even a fight? 10-0 is a thousand years ago and now the boys are 3-8 since, with the unbeaten Colts coming in and a pre bye-week trip to New England up in the next 2 weeks. So the question now is, "Why?". Was Albert that big for this "D"? Yes. Do they miss Jim Schwartz? Yes. Has Kerry Collins' magic carpet ride ended? Yes. Defensively, these Titans need help with pass rush and the only answer now is to go young...not that Young, we'll get there in a moment. Kearse and KVB are not producing, and Nick Harper's best times are behind him. get young and see what you've got.
As for the offense, time to get Young. The line is fine. Chris Johnson is what we thought he was. Scaife is in his prime. Let's see more of Cook and Britt and it's time to settle the VY issue once and for all. Put him in, tell him he's the man, and let him be InVinceable. Then, if no one is conVinced by the end of the season, get ready to grab a QB to go with the rest of the tools and get this thing going again. This season is lost, barring a miracle. Might as well start making the moves for the future...and who knows...you make get surprised along the way...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hold your Head High

I'm not a big "Moral Victory" guy, but what UT did on Saturday in the Swamp was certainly admirable. They battled with one Crompton tied behind their back, and played inspired defense. Credit the Kiffins...Monty for a tremendous design and a fierce and confusing defense, and Lane for having the patience and wisdom to not take shots when he clearly had to be chomping at the bit. Tim Tebow was made to look human, and, in fact, his sideline ranting looked a bit foolish. For the record, Eric Berry IS the best pure football player in the land and will be collecting checks on Sundays long after Tebow is preaching on Sundays.
UT fan should feel very good about the future prospects of this staff. Couple this effort with that of Steve Sarkisian's Husky crew in dumping USC and it not hard to see the kind of talent Pete Carroll had on that staff at one time. Lane Kiffin learned to rely on the defense to keep him in the game and don't let the offense lose it...a lesson learned a week to late for the UCLA game, but at least it was learned...

Monday, September 7, 2009

SEC Week One Thoughts

EAST

Florida- A 60 point favorite, they won by 59….slackers. Really, we learned nothing.

UT- After a sluggish start, Vols did what they needed to do. In the end, only one of the super 6 freshman actually started the game, Marsalis Teague, but they all looked good. Montario Hardesty not ready to give up carries. Team looked loaded with offensive talent for the future, making finding a QB that much more critical…Crompton looked good after forcing the ball early but we need to see him and this whole team under some real stress. UCLA may provide that….looking for a 10-14 point win and a strong defensive effort to set up a chance to stay in the building in 2 weeks in the Swamp…

Georgia- What we thought…Joe Cox is not a first rate SEC QB. Might as well go with one of the young guys, because they are not going to do anything with this group…Huge game this week, home against SC….who.....

South Carolina- How long can Steve Spurrier watch this kind of offense? Very strong D again, but this reminds me of the offensive “Genius” Brian Billick in Baltimore..

Kentucky-Nice offense in hammering of Miami of Ohio…so like Vandy and UT, they can dominate bad teams from lesser conferences…Off this week…

Vandy- 433 yards rushing? 2 Freshman over 100 yards? Biggest opening day win since 1950? Great stuff…but it would have been much more impressive if Western Carolina wasn’t division 1 AA…I mean this wasn’t exactly Appalachian St.! Sorry Michigan fan!

WEST

Bama-500 yards of offense against that D? The line got better before our eyes…McElroy improved from rocky start and now he gets some to play in the Sun Belt for a couple of weeks before the Arkansas game…not even the better Sun Belt teams! FIU and North Texas…we won’t have much to say about the Tide until they play Arkansas. As for now, they look great on Defense and are the class of the West until someone stops them…

LSU-Giving up almost 500 yards to Washington? Come on, now! They should have ripped the Huskies…anywhere! I really think there is some serious slippage going on here…

Ole Miss-Memphis score was very deceiving…Snead really struggled…it will be interesting to see Memphis this week against Middle Tennessee in the Boro…may give us a better read on the Rebels…maybe just a wake up call…

Auburn-Very nice to run for over 300 yards in the debut…of all the cupcakes playing the SEC, Louisiana Tech was the best…took a while to wear ‘em down, but a good start…

Miss St.-Who knows? Southern? Really? Trip to Auburn will reveal a lot about both…

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Jing and the Yang

Look, it was bound to happen. Tiger was caught. Not by Phil or VJ, Ernie or Paddy...not by Sergio or the latest Spanish matinee idol. No, it was Yang. Yes....the dreaded 36 year old Y.E. Yang, which means "Tin Cup" in Korean. And this is OK. Because now we've got all off season to look forward to The Masters. And make now mistake, the golf season is over. Bring on the Pigskin! Tiger will stew all winter, come out next year, at age 34, golf prime, win the Masters and talk of a natural Grand Slam will ensue.
As for what all this means to "World Golf", slow down, Jim Nance! This win by "Tin Yang" is great copy. I mean, 36 years old...didn't pick up a club until he was 19...found out he could play at a local driving range...good stuff! But this will no more begin an "Asian invasion" in golf than Isao Aoki did back in the 80's. Keep in mind that Tiger is 1/2 Asian himself; his mother of Thai decent. Finally, there already is an Asian invasion in golf....it's called the LPGA....

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bird of Another Feather

"Hide your Beagle, Vick's an Eagle"? Only in Philly! There are several curious aspects to Mike Vick becoming a Philadelphia Eagle. Let's start with the fact that they have one of the top QBs in the league in Donavan McNabb, and a couple of years ago drafted the air apparent on Kevin Kolb. In fact, McNabb was so angered by the Kolb pick that he reportedly wanted out of Philly. Plus, they've got Jay Feeley, the definition of a back up QB. Add to this the fact that it was McNabb himself who lobbied for Vick, and it does seem rather odd. Now Mcnabb says this is good for the team, and that may be true, and good for Kolb. That's definitely NOT true. What is true, is that Vick may be in a perfect place to resurrect a career that was teetering BEFORE we learned he was involved in heinous dog fighting activities. Remember Ron Mexico? The Water Bottle? Philly runs a system he knows, and McNabb may be the best possible mentor this side of Tony Dungy. As for Dungy, is it crazy to think that he may be he next coach of the Eagles if Reid were to bail, or be bailed, in the next couple of years?
As for Vick himself....crime committed, time served, move on. That's the way we roll in America. Screw up again, and you are banned for life. As for the concerns of PETA...shut up already!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Easy, now....

So the PGA tour is going to fine Tiger Woods for busting on Official John Paramor for putting Woods and Padrig Harrington on the clock when they fell 17 minutes behind the pace during Sunday's final round at the World Golf Championships. First of all, the rule is stupid. They were the final group, holding up no one. And it was an epic golf battle. Who was complaining? Tiger's comments were spot on.
What I question here is the wisdom of the Tour fining the only guy who defines the tour. The only guy the golfing public cares about. The only guy who single handily moves the needle. When he's there, people watch. When he's not, they don't. If the Tour comes off looking petty here, and they would, what stops the Tiger in the Room from just staying home. Really, at $100 mil a year, who needs who more? Now, I'm not usually a guy who advocates the tail wagging the tour, but if it's Tiger's tail......Besides, what can you possibly fine the guy? Here's a better suggestion...review the rule. Tiger's temper tantrums are wrong...he's right here...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

How's that Feel?

Maybe I'm overly sensitive to this issue since I was born a raised a long suffering Browns fan. Like the Houston Oilers, the Browns last championship glory came in the early 60's. And like Oiler fan, Browns fan put up with some awful football for some fleeting good times in the 70's, 80's and 90's....and then the owner jerked the team away on us. Now, both Cleveland and Houston got pro football back (sort of), but at least Browns fan doesn't have to watch someone else wear their gear! How do these images play in Houston? Can you imagine seeing your beloved colors and logo in someone else's town? The Oilers should still be playing....in Houston. And the Titans should be in Nashville. the NFL "Retired" the Oiler name and gear when Houston returned to the league...it should stay that way. When an owner decides to move, then you leave it all...including the history. Bills or Vikings fans will understand as well, when the next owner jerks a team out of a football made town...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hate to see it go...

Today, ESPN 106.7 the FAN ceased to exist. You may think that I get some joy or satisfaction out of seeing the folks who brought me to Nashville flame out, but nothing is further from the truth. The fact is, that place represented a lot of passion for many of us. A sales team that fought the good fight. Jonathan Shaffer and Charlie Saunier who made sure we sounded bigger that we were. Leslie Pardue and a promotions team working with both hands tied behind there back. To me, the whole deal is really sad, since I believed we had something building there. And now it's just another old logo. As for the heart and soul of the deal, Shaffer's doin' fine, fills in for me sometimes and has a new show coming out on Friday Nights this fall. Charlie is still Crazy and doing a great job running the new Thom Abraham Show. Pardue is building our network. And me...I'm still drivin' this cab....oh wait, that's another song!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why we play the Games

It's all about the smile. OK, focus on the smile in the MIDDLE. This is what sport, in it's truest sense is all about. That's my 2nd oldest son, Tommy, beaming with mom and dad. The trophy is from the season finale tournament of his U11 travel team, the Diamond Rattlers, won over the weekend. The ball is a game ball off a 6 for 7, 9 RBI day, and the actual ball he sent over the right field fence to brake open an 8-6 game in the final inning. After he had his moment to brag, I guided him to the comments of Tim Tebow and winning with humility, as stated in the Bible. Not sure how that will work out, but for one moment, all the travel, all the practices, all the expense and all the weekends burned at the ballpark were set aside. For that smile. That's why we love sports. That's why we compete. Hopefully he hasn't peaked!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Better in Black and White

What a cruel game. I would not blame Tom Watson one bit if he never picked up a club again. Of course, Watson is a better man than me so I fully expect to see him competing on the Senior British next week, but really....
Watson was on the verge of doing something truly remarkable in sport. The fact is, what he did IS truly remarkable, but our society will only honor the win, not the 'almost'. As for the cruel part, 168 yards, center cut of the fairway, downwind, 1 shot lead, 8 iron in hand. Watson didn't fan it, didn't hook it, didn't chunk it or hit it in the forehead...he flushed it. Right over the flag. Shoulda took a 9 iron, but what 59 year old is thinking 9 from 168? The next hour was just painful. For him, and for anyone watching it. Maybe even Stewart Cink. As for Cink, I've been calling this for a few years now. What will be lost is the heroic 72nd hole birdie Cink makes to put the -2 on the board. The way he stroked it in the playoff indicates that Cink may now win a few of these majors. Confidence in the clutch has always plagued the lanky Alabamian, but now that issue has been pushed aside. I just wish he could have pushed it aside next month...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Why?

As the sordid details of Steve McNair's death emerge, the biggest question will be Why? Why did this have to go down like this? Why did McNair have the extra residence and relationship? Why did a fling end a life? And we will never really know, just like we never really know anything about those we praise on the field of play. We know McNair was tough as nails. We know he was a tremendous leader of men. We know he had skill beyond what we had seen in a running/throwing quarterback. And we know he did genuine work in his community, and for others. But we don't know about a man's personal life. Only those closest to him do. Now his wife, Mechelle, must deal with all the stories and innuendo. And his sons...who worshipped their dad the way a son does, must ask why? May God be with Mechelle and those young men...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fishin' for Trouble

Jeff Fisher has opened himself up to some good natured ribbing coming up on Monday, June 15th, at the Renascence Hotel in Nashville for the annual Cumberland Heights Friends Roast. Dubbed the "Fish Fry", you can attend the event for $150 with all proceeds benefiting the Cumberland Heights Treatment Center. I am honored to be amongst the roasters including Chris Mortenson and Merill Hoge of ESPN, former Titans great Frank Wycheck, The Zone's Mark Howard and Channel 2's John Dwyer. A mystery roaster is also scheduled to appear, along with some video roastings.
The Sporting News recently listed Fisher as the 4th best coach in the NFL, behind only Belichick, Coughlin and Reid. Pretty heady stuff, but it does make you wonder about the state of coaching in the NFL. The newbies that took top jobs last year did a tremendous job; Harbaugh, Smith and Sparano, all taking their teams to the playoffs. And we may have a budding star in the desert with Ken Whisenhunt...but look at the Super Bowls sitting at home right now. Holmgren, Gruden, Shanahan and Cower! I believe all 4 of those guys are back in the league next year...and the list will have a different look. In the meantime, Jeff Fisher may have avoided being speared by a marlin in Guatemala last week, but he's sure to be skewered Monday night!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dale and Danica, Door to Door?

This weekend means a lot to Americans. Memorial Day. Time to give respect to those who gave all so we can enjoy the greatest country on the planet...Also....time to Man the Grill! Emphasis there on MANing the grill. This is a guy's domain...we may not be able to boil water in the kitchen, but dammit, we can grill that meat to perfection! It's also a great race weekend. The Good Ole Boys are in Charlotte for the marathon that is the 600 and the IRL goes to Indy for that once great, once all important Indy 500. Oh come, on now...you know the 500 isn't what it used to be. And to be perfectly honest, blame the Euro influence. In this example, "Euro" stands for everyone from outside the borders of the US. No Unsers, no Rutherfords, no Mears...this race was great when the token Euro was Mario Andrietti and really, he was from Pennsylvania....like Franchetti is from Franklin, TN....Riiight! But I digress. The question again in Indy is will one time, half field winner Danica Patrick bolt for NASCAR. And were supposed to believe this would be a serious event to be something other than a side show. Back to Franklin's Franchetti. He WON the Indy 500. He was the IRL SERIES CHAMPION. How'd that NASCAR thing work out for him? Or any of the others that have come over in recent years? The most successful of the recent converts is Juan Pablo Montoya and he is really just a middle of the pack guy. And he was extremely successful without the fenders. Danica has done really....nothing. One win in 4 years, overseas, with a limited field. As I said, Side Show. Hype. Cute. Michelle Wie. Finally, don't go all Tony Stewart on me...he's one...and Danica is no Tony....

Monday, May 4, 2009

Passes the Sniff Test

So it was only a couple of days in shorts and jerseys. No pads, no vets, no D. But the early feeling is the Titans did something very good in snagging Kenny Britt and Jared Cook in the 2009 NFL draft. Britt is 6'4" separates and runs a quality route. Cook is a freak. 6'5", as fast as Britt, 246 lbs. and catches everything in the 615, and a couple in the 931. Add in speedster Nate Washington, vets Justin Gage and Bo Scaife and super-soph Chris Johnson and it may be time to check the scoreboard lights. The reason all this talent could flourish? An offensive line as solid as any in the league and a veteran quarterback who understands the system. Yeah, this could be fun.
Now if they would just represent the city and state that has embraced them and stop living in the Oiler past...well, that's another post...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thanks, Augusta National!

Let me take a moment to thank the Masters committee and Augusta National for giving us the charge back...for putting the birdie back in play among the azaleas and colored water. Now that didn't hurt, did it? 12 under was the winning score, and average of 69 per round...just right! Augusta has spent the last several years protecting par when, in fact, what makes the Masters the Masters is the extraordinary risk/reward factor. Phil Charging and faltering, Tiger charging and faltering, Kenny Perry, steady and then faltering, and the winner, Angel Cabrera, faltering then charging...well done! As for the Tiger/Phil show...Lefty may have gagged a couple of putts that could have put him in the playoff, but I gained a lot of respect for him Sunday. 67 is 67 and he did it in eye of the Tiger...Tiger's 68 was also impressive, but bogeys at 17 and 18? very un-cat like!

Friday, April 10, 2009

I Like it, I Love it....

Look, I don't know how this season is going to end up, but for heart and grit, you've got to admire the 2009 version of the Nashville Predators....not the '08-'09 Preds, just the '09 part! Since the All-Star break this team has the 3rd best record in the Western Conference and continues to battle back, night after night, to win games they seem out of. At one point this season, the Preds were the lowest scoring team in the NHL...yet, in the last 21 games they've had 10 games of 4 or more goals! And every time you count them as dead...they rise from the ashes for another 2 points! Will they finish the deal and make the playoffs? They need help on the final weekend of the season to do it, but if they do, don't count out this being the year they move beyond the 1st round in the playoffs.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Simply the Best...Ever

Look, I'm not one to get caught up in hyperbole. I have defended Jack Nicklaus' Majors record for years. But this is bigger than Jack...bigger than golf. Tiger Wood is simply the best champion we've ever seen. By "We" I mean those of us on the earth since 1960. For those of you older than that, go ahead and chip in....but we'll put our guy up against all comers. Oh, sure, Bill Russell won 11 championships with the Boston Celtics in 13 years and Otto Graham won 7 championships with the Cleveland Browns in 10 seasons...but those guys had some help.
What Woods has done in this era of athletes who are financially set for life at a young age, is nothing short of amazing. 77 wins, 15 majors and just hitting his prime years? Win the US Open on a broken twig, have major reconstructive surgery, win 9 months later in your second stroke play event back? And for good measure, do it with the King stage right, in the gloom? Where was Bagger Vance? We've scene The Great One, Michael, Ali and can barely remember Jim Brown. Petty, Earnhardt, Gordon on the track...Jimmy, Johnny Mac and Pete on the courts, but this guy, Tiger, tops them all.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Will the real Jay Cutler Please Stand Up?

Jay Cutler; battered, beaten, tough, canon arm, taking his team beyond their natural ability... Jay Cutler; whiny, prima-donna, thin skinned, needy....Jay Cutler; cut, dieseled, ripped, canon arms, needs to pee in a bottle, but junk shrinkage prevents...Three Jay Cutler personalities, but only two Cutlers...and one Bus Cook. That the Jay Cutler/Josh McDaniels story is still in the lead at every major sports web site is a story in itself, but one has to wonder, how did this get to this point? Does Cutler the QB really think he's above being traded? NFL history is filled with hall of Famers who were traded in there prime...and Cutler the QB is nowhere near a Hall of Famer yet! So McDaniels took a shot at getting his guy. So what? They turned over the offensive staff. So what? The new sheriff is only a few years older than you. So what? You are 17-20 as a starter. Something has to change. Show up, show off your arm, prove again that your the man! Then go bench press the upper deck of Invesco Field...oh, wrong Jay Cutler....

Friday, February 27, 2009

What's a Haynes-Worth?

So it is done. Albert Haynesworth is no longer a Tennessee Titan. And now the chants of "Cheap Titans" will begin anew. But let's look at history. A lot of history. Who was the last Defensive Tackle credited with leading there team to a championship...go ahead, start now and I'll give you till.....ever? Every position on the field is important, and clearly, a tackle of Albert quality improves the entire defense. But just as clearly, this is not a spot on the field that dramatically changes the end fortunes of a team. Sean Rodgers to Cleveland...Pro Bowl, no playoffs. Kris Jenkins to the Jets...Pro Bowl, no playoffs. Jared Allen, an end and previous holder of the "Highest Paid Defensive Player" title, to Minnesota...Pro Bowl, one and done in the playoffs. So this is clearly about the Benjamins for Big Al. Washington was already cap strapped, and they aren't going anywhere. The Titans got to around 11 mil a season, probably 30 plus guaranteed, and weren't in the conversation.
Finally, take a look at the final four in the NFL this season. The Raven found a QB and had the best back 7 this side of.....the Steelers. In the NFC, the Cards and the Eagles rode the wings of hot veteran quarterbacks to the title game. Albert got paid, the Skins got a great defensive tackle, and there fans are no closer to a title than they were at 11:59 last night...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What About Al?

So the game of Chicken has reached a new peak. Albert Haynesworth and agent Cliff Speak have allegedly said, "We'll see what the market will bare". And you know someone will come up with crazy money. Are the Titans being cheap....or shrewd? Haynesworth has been the game's most dominant tackle for 2 seasons now....2 contract seasons. He has told me, repeatedly, "Wait till I get paid!", implying that the better years are still ahead, under the cloak of financial security. But history shows it doesn't usually work that way. History also shows that these men, who toil in the most violent of environs, generally have a couple of huge years and then several steady ones. Has Big Al had his Big years? Fair question. What has surprised me is the indifference of so many Titans fans. They remember 5 pedestrian seasons. They remember the Stomp. They remember the 25 year old fan from Brentwood, in the hospital having had to have a hip replaced after being run off the road by a high speed Haynesworth. And they remember what it was like to have a job...or if employed, the prospect of a raise. Titan fan is in no mood for Athletes who turn down 9 million a year for 4 years...even if it is "below market value" for the player. Good luck, big fella. Say hello to Eddie George and Steve McNair on your way out...

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Dawg Has Landed!!!!

Why is every one so upset! We're coming back stronger than ever....well, sort of! Starting on Monday, February 16th, The Thom Abraham Show will debut on Sportsradio 560 WNSR in Nashville and 103.9 FM in Central Kentucky, covering Bowling Green, KY, Noon-3p central time. We'll also be doing some stuff on various ESPN Platforms....more on that to come! I am very
pleased to be able to return to the air in Nashville and to continue to be streamed here at thomabraham.com. More importantly, much to the chagrin of all these guys, I was stunned at the number of supportive e-mails I received from listeners and sponsors alike! And that was only from those that found me since my old corporate e-mail address was killed about 15 minutes after I got the word they were shutting us down! Man, those guys are efficient....or something... Chris Ladd, formerly of The Phil Valentine Show, will be producing the show and we even have an 800 number (888-702-5494) for those of you outside the 615 area code to get in. Many of the same suspects will be joining us as we welcome in a whole new midday crowd, and hopefully many of the original Junk Yard Dogs! Thanks for you Patience and we'll talk to you on Monday!














































































Friday, February 6, 2009

Didn't see that comin'!!!!

On Friday morning, I learned that Cumulus-Nashville had made the decision to flip the fan to all network programming. The reason given was tough economic times. These were issues that were much larger just my corner of the building. The show had done very well financially, and was awarded AIR Awards for Best Afternoon Drive show and Best Talk Host in the market. Alas, a corporate move was made and many good people in the building were left scrambling. Luckily, I have been blessed with a ton of support in the market and the region and, God willing, we'll be locked and loaded sooner than you think. Please check back on Monday for exciting news of where the show will land, and how you can jump back into the DOGHOUSE. In the meantime, feel free to contact me at thom@thomabraham.com. Now, I believe the Junkyard Babe is calling my name! See you all soon!

Monday, February 2, 2009

With All Due Respect...

Santonio Holmes' game winning catch in Sunday's Super Bowl will be a moment frozen in time. Right up there with Dwight Clark in the back of the end zone and David Tyree's circus job last year. But really, now, Ben Roethlisberger was the definition of 'Most Valuable Player' in Super Bowl 43. This Big Cat had more than 9 lives, continually extending plays until his receivers came open. Completing over 66% of his passes, for 256 yards, he accounted for all but 34 of his teams total yards. With no running game to speak of, Big Ben became a legend in front of our eyes.
As for the Steelers, they can claim "Greatest NFL Franchise" status. After 40 years of futility, Pittsburgh has won 6 championships in the last 34 years, claiming Super Bowls in each of the last 4 decades. That's roughly a title every 5 1/2 years. The Bears of the 40's, Browns of the 50's, Packers of the 60's all were dominant for a time, but the Steelers have endured the longest. All hail the Steelers....

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Time to Move On?

I hate giving up on a player. I always fear he'll blossom into a superstar somewhere else, leaving one kicking and screaming for being such an idiot! I am at this point with Vince Young. Word is that Jeff Fisher wants Kerry Collins back as his starting QB in '09. OK. Fine. Bring back Chris Simms as well since he fits the Collins mode and has started nearly as many games as Young. But then Young has to go. Don't let this drag out. Don't let him be a distraction. Don't keep wondering, "I wonder what VY could do?" Turn the page, package him up, get what you can get for him...The reality is, if Jeff Fisher and Mike Hiemerdinger really do want Kerry back as the starter next season, they've already turned the page on Vince.
Now back to my original concern. Who are the top QBs in the game today? Manning (both), Brady, Big Ben, Rivers, McNabb, Romo(?); all with there original team. Then the Young Guns, Flacco, Ryan, Cutler. The fact is, guys just don't get traded and work out somewhere else. A few have good years; Rich Gannon, Randall Cunningham. Some fall through the cracks; Brett Favre in Atlanta...but keep in mind he never played there. It's time to make a move....

Monday, January 12, 2009

Where to Now? One Man's Opinion...

As the Titans season ends with a thud, it's time to look at this group, by unit, and see what is next. This is just one man's opinion, but here goes:

Coaching Staff: There is a knee jerk reaction to say, “There goes Jeff Fisher again….not able to win the Big One”, but I have a real problem with this assessment. He did not fumble twice inside the 15 yard line. He didn’t hurt his ankle. He didn’t fall down or blow a coverage. What he did do was take a team that no one thought was a serious division contender and break Indy’s death grip on the AFC South. The staff is outstanding and will probably lose DC Jim Schwartz soon. LB Coach Dave McGinnis is a possible replacement there.Mike Heimerdinger got a ton out of an offense with one explosive player and a 36 year old re-tread QB….Mike Munchak (O-Line), Ernest Byner (Backs), Jim Washburn (D-line), Chuck Cecil (DBs) and Alan Lowery (Specs) are all very good. This staff is tremendous.
Grade: A

Quarterback: Huge question mark. Can Kerry Collins, 2676, 58.3%, 12/7, 80.2 rating, really do anything else? This may as good as it gets for him, and he can only slip from here. It’s time to see what VY can do with Dinger, CJ and a new weapon or two outside. It’s really the only option. Let Kerry test the market, and make him reasonable offer and a chance to compete for the job…if he goes…so be it…Don’t be afraid to see if there are any potential sleepers late in the draft.
Grade: B-

Running Back: Chris Johnson, 1228, 4.9, 9TD, 43 rec. 1 TD, is an elite player, but potentially injury prone. He had problems early in his career in college and we got a glimpse of that in the playoff game. It was also glaring how pedestrian LenDale White, 773, 3.9, 15 TD, 5 rec., is. Really just ordinary. Ahmard Hall, 13 rec. 2TD, is solid at FB. Will Rafael Little do anything? Does Chris Henry make the team? Ganthner?
Grade: B+ (but very top heavy)

Wide Receivers: Number 1 priority in the off season. Justin McCareins, 30/412, 0 TD, really brought nothing to the show. He’s a UFA and I’d let him go. Brandon Jones 41/449, 1 TD, is also a UFA. I wouldn’t hurt myself trying to keep him, but I’d make an offer. Justin Gage, 34/651 19.1, 6 TD, finished strong and has a role, but still not a number 1 guy. Lavelle Hawkins, 7/68, needs a look if his head is right and is ahead of Chris Davis and Paul Williams. TJ Houshmandzadeh (CIN) is the top UFA out there…Bryant Johnson (SF) or Antonio Bryant (TB) are worth a look. Draft may have 4 first round WR. Crabtree, Maclin, Harvin, Hicks all ready to jump right in…may need to move up from 28 to get any of them…
Grade: C-

Tight End: Bo Scaife, 58/561 and 1 TD, should be a priority signing. Along with Owen Daniels (HOU) and LJ Smith (PHI), one of the top 3 UFA TE’s. Alge Crumpler did not produce any where near expected with 24 rec. and 1 TD.
Grade: B

O-Line: One of the real strengths of the team, all the way across the front. Young, under contract and the one grizzled vet, Kevin Mawae, is an All-Pro. Roos and Stewart also All-Pro, Jake Scott is very solid and Eugene Amano is a comer. And Leroy Harris is tremendous depth and ready to step in for Mawae when the time comes, or compete with Amano. Group only allowed
12 sacks.
Grade: A+

D-Line: Got to get the Big Fella resigned…heart and soul of this very good group. Haynesworth had 75 tackles and led the team with 8.5 sacks. KVB had 4.5 sacks, but was dinged most of the year and at 5.6 mil, he needs to be in there. Young ends Jacob Ford, 7 sacks, and Dave Ball, 4.5 sacks are ready, and William Hayes shows promise. Tony Brown led the way with tackles for loss w/ 10 and QB hurries w/ 24 and is a horse. Jason Jones is a star in the making w/ 5 sacks and that huge game against Pittsburgh. Jevon Kearse’s return was mixed, with 3.5 sacks and some good pressure at times, but really, from an overall production standpoint, he was outplayed by Ball and Ford. And Kearse made 2.6 mil while Ball and Ford made $900,000 combined.
Grade: A

Linebackers: Another area of strength, with very good players under contract. Keith Bullock led the team with 120 tackles and has earned his 7 mil cap number. David Thornton (93) continues his steady play and is a team leader, and quality guy and in the 4 mil. range. Steven Tulloch (98) is a tackling machine and a huge value at under 600k. Ryan Fowler (27) is excellent depth, and a very good special teamer, but may be vulnerable at 2.5 mil. Only 14 solos, low % for a backer. The young guys all made nice special team contributions. All of these guys are under contract as well…
Grade: B+

Safetys: Chris Hope had an amazing year making the Pro-Bowl and being 3rd on the team with 93 tackles and adding 4 interceptions. He has earned his 4 mil. and is valuable to the room as well. Michael Griffin led the team with 7 ints. and was a first alternate for the Pro Bowl. Continues to improve and should be a mainstay for years. Had a few beats and missed tackles, but those will disappear with experience. Donnie Nicky is a solid special teamer and Vincent Fuller, though listed with this group, is the nickel. Fuller also excels on special teams and had 43 tackles, 35 solos.
Grade: A

Corners: Courtland Finnegan is a bonafide star and led the team with 20 PD and chipped in 5 int., while making 79 tackles. Nick Harper had 80 tackles and 17 PD and is very solid, but was picked on at times. Eric King seemed to be emerging until getting injured, and it remains to be seen how far he can go. Chris Carr was fine when called upon, but it more valuable as a returner. Depth may be an issue here, but everyone is under contract except for Rey Hill did not contribute this season.
Grade: B

Special Teams: Rob Bironas and Craig Hentrich are both UFA. Bironas should be more of a priority as Hentich is in the late stages of a great career. Bironas missed 4 FG this year, all 40-49 and had a 51 yarder. The miss in the playoffs was tough, but he has that kick more times than not. Hentrich averaged 42.8 with a 36.5 net. He had 27 kick inside the 20, w/ 13 touchbacks…a few more than you like. The return game was excellent with Chris Carr. Carr averaged 28.1 on KO Ret. Including a 55 yarder and 10.1 on Punt returns w/ a 44 long. No TD, but it seemed close at any time. Fearless returner.
Grade: B+

When looking at these grades, keep in mind, this team had the best record in the NFL. They are not a dumpster fire. The offense has questions, the defense is one of the best in the league with one HUGE free agent.