Monday, December 31, 2012

0 Should the Cowboys just give up on Romo?

By Kenny Howell

The short answer to the question in the title is yes. But the long answer will come in the form of a column starting now.

What else can you get from Tony Romo if you are the Cowboys? It's the same song and dance every year. He blows a big game when it matters, then he beats someone in week 1 or 2 the next year, everyone says, "no he's really good," and the process begins all over again. It's the real circle of life Elton John, noted huge football fan, was writing about in The Lion King.

Romo is going to give you some good, that is obvious. He has talent, just not when it matters, you know, games that actually mean something to a franchise. Other quarterbacks have overcome obstacles that were seemingly never going to happen. It didn't seem like that Peyton Manning was going to beat the Patriots or a broken neck, but he took care of both of those. Romo is never going to win anything on his own. Maybe he should take his talents to South Beach like Lebron, who also doesn't have that big game killer instinct, but that would mean he would play for the Dolphins. However, that would solve his problem of not winning big games, because the Dolphins are never going to play in any of those.

If I was Jerry Jones, I would buy a bunch of stuff cause that dude has a lot of money. But, also, I would draft a quarterback in the first round and start preparing for the future. Romo will keep you competitive enough, which he has for years, but he is never going to take you to the top. But Jerry Jones is an idiot, and he will use his draft pick on some dude who destroys the combine, but isn't actually good at, you know, football.

It's weird that America gets so much glee from the Cowboys failure since they are self proclaimed America's team, but they do. It's almost if America doesn't actually like them. But they called themselves that, so it can't be true. Anyway, people are going to stay happy for awhile if the Cowboys keep down the same path with Romo. That same mediocre path they have been on for years.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


People miss hockey, but really they miss the fighting. I mean skating and shooting is pretty cool, but everyone is bloodthirsty, beer drinking fools at a hockey game, and they want to see a fight. Luckily for fans Hunstville Havoc and Mississippi Surge game Friday, total chaos erupted after one player goes into the bench to fight another guy. The play-by-play guy tries to sum up everything that is going on, because there are about 50 fights it seems, and he kind of loses hope by the end. If it seems like the fighting is over and the video, stick around, because it will start again.

0 Justin's Week 17 NFL Picks

By Justin Koehn

Well it is the last week some teams will play this season. Fantasy leagues have all been wrapped up (unless of course you play though week 17). Lets do this one last time.

Pittsburgh (7-8) over Cleveland (5-10)

New York Giants (8-7) over Philadelphia (4-11)

Tennessee (5-10) over Jacksonville (2-13)

Indianapolis (10-5) over Houston (12-3)

New Orleans (7-8) over Carolina (6-9)

Buffalo (5-10) over New York Jets (6-9)

Baltimore (10-5) over Cincinnati (9-6)

Chicago (9-6) over Detroit (4-11)

Atlanta (13-2) over Tampa Bay (6-9)

New England (11-4) over Miami (7-8)

Green Bay (11-4) over Minnesota (9-6)

Denver (12-3) over Kansas City (2-13)

San Francisco (10-4) over Arizona (5-10)

San Diego (6-9) over Oakland (4-11)

Washington (9-6) over Dallas (8-7)

Seattle (10-5) over St. Louis (7-7)

Friday, December 28, 2012

0 Duke's punter Monday blasts one for 79 yards

Duke punter Will Monday kicked what might have been the best punt I have ever seen in the Belk Bowl last night against Cincinnati. It's hard to get excited about a punt, but this one was ridiculous.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

0 Best Table Tennis Shots of 2012

One thing we are known for here at Sports Shmorts is our extensive coverage of table tennis. Here today, we have the best table tennis shots of 2012. There are two things I have learned from this video. Table tennis players look funny and awesome at the same time while playing, and there is doubles table tennis? That just seems like people running into each other a lot. Anyway, these guys are pretty impressive.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

0 Don't make me feel for you Bama fan

Many of you have probably seen this already, but this sweet old man got tickets to the National Championship game for Christmas, and he reacts like an 8-year old that got a brand new bike. Do kids still like bikes or is their an electronic equivalent now? Anyway, he is proof that there are Bama fans out there that are human and not just people that spout off a fake number of national championships while tying their last rolls of toilet paper to Tide boxes.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

0 Justin's Week 16 NFL picks

Some teams are clinching playoff spots, while teams like the Titans are just playing for fun at this point. I saw a quote the other day that said the Titans are better than a 5-9 team. I'm no genius, but I do believe if you look at the record, they are in fact a 5-9 team. Before this season started, I predicted the Titans would win no more than 6 games. Looks like that is sadly going to be pretty close to reality. 

Miami (6-8) over Buffalo (5-9)

Dallas (8-6) over New Orleans (6-8)

Indianapolis (9-5) over Kansas City (2-12)

Green Bay (10-4) over Tennessee (5-9)

New England (10-4) over Jacksonville (2-12)

Washington (8-6) over Philadelphia (4-10)

Carolina (5-9) over Oakland (4-10)

Tampa Bay (6-8) over St. Louis (6-7)

Pittsburgh (7-7) over Cincinnati (8-6)

Houston (12-2) over Minnesota (8-6)

Denver (11-3) over Cleveland (5-9)

New York Giants (8-6) over Baltimore (9-5)

Chicago (8-6) over Arizona (5-9)

San Francisco (10-3) over Seattle (9-5)

San Diego (5-9) over New York Jets (6-8)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

0 5th grader Julian Newman playing HS varsity basketball

Julian Newman of Downey Christian High in Orlando, Fla. is still four years away from being in high school, but he is leading the state in assists per game at the high school level. The kid has talent, but if you have ever seen small Christian school basketball, his competition is not of the highest ilk. Most middle school teams at public schools could take down a lot of those teams. However, he obviously has ball handling skills and can score. How he isn't getting dominated on defense every time down the floor, I don't know.

Friday, December 21, 2012

0 Change is coming, but UT fans must be patient

By Shaee Flatt

It’s pretty early to start talking about next college football season considering this one hasn’t even ended for most teams yet, but with yesterday’s news of Tennessee QB Tyler Bray turning pro, I’ve decided to give an early outlook on next season.

First let’s start with some positives. The offensive line will be dominant. Tennessee will have, perhaps, the best offensive line in the country next season. This will be huge for the new starting quarterback as well as the running backs going in to next year. A great offensive line makes everything easier. Another positive is that the worst defense in the history of football will likely be pretty improved next season; the question is, how much? Tennessee returns nine starters on defense, and switching back the four man front helps the current personnel on the roster. For instance, Maurice Couch and Darrington Sentimore were awful off the edge last season, but could be pretty disruptive in the middle, where they truly belong. The Vols will also be helped out at linebacker, where they aren’t deep enough to run with four, but have a pretty solid top three. Suddenly, the front seven, when positioned how they should be, doesn’t seem so miserable. The problem though, will come in the secondary where Tennessee still won’t have the speed, or the pure coverage skills to be successful. In the SEC, you need speed in the secondary, and Tennessee simply doesn’t have it. Rising sophomore corner Deion Bonner is the only one with true SEC speed, and its unknown if he’ll even be around next year due to off the field issues. As for the safeties, they can’t get any worse. The only way to go is up. I’ll leave it at that.

On the offensive side of the ball, the first question is obviously on the quarterback. Tennessee will have a few options here. I think the most likely option is that redshirt Freshman Nathan Peterman gets the nod. He fits the new system the best, and was pursued by Coach Jones and his staff when at Cincinnati. The other options will be Junior Justin Worley, or true freshman Riley Ferguson. Worley hasn’t shown much promise in his brief playing time on the hill, but could get the nod if he out performs Peterman in the spring. It’s a long shot that Ferguson starts year one, but this is a kid who has great potential. Watching his film, he can make any throw on the football field, and also takes care of the football. As a junior, Ferguson posted 48 touchdown passes with ZERO interceptions, yep, zero interceptions. He received offers from Alabama, LSU, and Michigan among others before committing to Tennessee.

What worries me most about Tennessee’s quarterback situation is the guys they will be throwing the ball to. With Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson also leaving for the NFL, Tennessee will be very unproven at wide receiver. The Vols have talent at wide out, don’t get me wrong, but virtually none of them have really played at all. There’s Vincent Dallas, Alton (Pig) Howard, Drae Bowles, Jason Croom, etc., but the leading receiver next season will be tailback Rajon Neal. So you’d think the plan is simple, run the ball behind your dominant offensive line, chew clock, and try your best to win low scoring games. The only problem is, that is the completely opposite of what Tennessee will be doing in their new system under offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian. Tennessee will run an up tempo, no huddle offense, and will be playing as fast as possible. Sure, they could still run the ball, but running the ball in a no huddle offense, doesn’t melt the clock like it does in a pro-style offense. Therefore, Tennessee’s offense is going to have to produce points, and maybe a lot of them, to win football games next season. I think that’s pretty unlikely.

With road games at Oregon, Florida, and Alabama, along with the rest of the SEC schedule, Tennessee fans should be happy with a bowl game next year. 6-6 would be a solid start for Butch Jones. 6-6 would likely put the Vols at 3-5 in the SEC, which isn’t good, but it’s a major step up from the past two seasons. I think that Butch Jones, if given time, will do fine at Tennessee, but it will take time. 

Tennessee is seriously lacking quality depth at almost every position and it will take time to fix that. The key is here being patient. Unless Butch Jones turns out to be Derek Dooley 2.0, which I don’t think he will, Tennessee football will be just fine in the long run, but don’t expect much change right away.

Monday, December 17, 2012

0 Are we still having the "should you go for it on 4th" argument?

By Kenny Howell

Down by seven with 2:24 to go, Bill Belichick decided to go for it on 4th-and-1 deep in his own territory. The Patriots didn't make it, and the 49ers kicked a field goal to seal the game, although New England did make a decent run at it at the end.

Since the Patriots didn't make it, the Monday morning quarterbacks came out today saying he made a questionable decision, or the common second guesser question, "what was he thinking?"

He was thinking about winning, that is what he was thinking.

The Patriots had two timeouts and the two minute warning, that is correct. But what did they gain by punting away to the 49ers? If they run three plays, the Patriots use their timeouts and the two minute warning, then the 49ers punt back to them, they are probably in the same exact place they were, but now with less time and no timeouts. And the Patriots were 5-for-7 on fourth downs going into the game last night, when they were 1-for-2.

The NFL is such a scared league. I really believe most coaches would sleep better if they could just run it three times, punt, and hope the other team makes a mistake. Most teams are playing not to lose, and a few, like Belichick and his counterpart Sunday, Jim Harbaugh, are playing to win.

In his press conference last night, Belichick looked perturbed at all the questions about what some people are referring to as "4th-and-2: The Sequel." First of all, it was 4th-and-1, which Belichick repeated over and over, as if to say, if you can't get one yard, you don't deserve to win. The Patriots didn't, so they came away with the loss. But that doesn't mean Belichick should stop taking those chances. Those chances are sometimes what makes the difference.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

0 Is Josh Hamilton a good fit for the Angels?

By Kenny Howell

Is Josh Hamilton what the Angels need to get back to the top? The short answer is no, he probably won't take them to the top, but he may help get them closer.

There is no doubt that having Hamilton and Pujols hitting back-to-back is going to be big. Especially with Mike Trout probably already being on base. But the Angels were third in the league in runs scored last season, so is it going to make that much of a difference.

While Hamilton is a bigger splash for the headlines, and will definitely put people in the seats, that money should have gone to Greinke or another top pitcher. There are too many questions about the Angels rotation, and they finished in the bottom half of pitching last season. Or you could just save the money and develop the talent you have. I know that's not an option for some teams anymore, but if you want long term success, buying the next big name every year is not going to get you there. See Pujols from last year.

The Angels were 12th in the MLB in fielding last year, and Hamilton is not doing anything to help that. That's not low by any means, but being sound defensively gives you a better chance when your pitching isn't complete. Hamilton's defensive WAR rating last year was -1.2. Torii Hunter, who he is essentially replacing was 0.9. Not great, but it's obvious it is not an improvement.

Hamilton is going to get the Angels a lot of attention in May and June, but I think the jury is still out whether it is going to help them in October.

0 Justin's NFL Week 15 picks

By Justin Koehn

Well here we are only a few weeks from the end of the season. Some teams are locking up their playoff spots, while others are wondering what a playoff spot even is. I rolled with a 10-5 record last week so I hope to improve on that this week.

Atlanta (11-2) over New York Giants (8-5)

Houston (11-2) over Indianapolis (9-4)

Denver (10-3) over Baltimore (9-4)

Miami (5-8) over Jacksonville (2-11)

St. Louis (6-6) over Minnesota (7-6)

New Orleans (5-8) over Tampa Bay (6-7)

Washington (7-6) over Cleveland (5-8)

Green Bay (9-4) over Chicago (8-5)

San Diego (5-8) over Carolina (4-9)

Detroit (4-9) over Arizona (4-9)

Seattle (8-5) over Buffalo (5-8)

Oakland (3-10) over Kansas City (2-11)

Pittsburgh (7-6) over Dallas (7-6)

New England (10-3) over San Francisco (9-3)

Tennessee (4-9) over New York Jets (6-7)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

1 Tee Martin turning down UT is not the end of the world

By Kenny Howell

It would have been nice to have Tee Martin back on the sidelines for the Vols, but it's not going to crumble the program any more so than it already has been broken down.

Martin is a good coach and recruiter, and would have been a good face for the program, but there are plenty of other coaches out there that are as good, if not better than him.

There has been a lot of grumbling over the last several weeks that UT has lost its way because it got away from hiring Tennessee people. We lost our way because we hired bad coaches. What UT guy would have restored that? And if any of you say Gruden, by god I will burn this whole place down.

Tennessee football is not any different than any other football. We play by the same rules as everyone else, and our program runs pretty much the same. Just because a guy went to school here, or a coach formerly coached here, doesn't make them a better hire, or a necessity. Once the ball is snapped, their players still have to do what they had taught them to do.

This idea that people who have ties to other universities are purposely wrecking the program, or that they just don't care enough about it, is absurd. Why in the world would someone take a job, one that is very much in the public eye, and not try their hardest to be successful at it because of a love for an university they were once associated with? They would purposefully wreck their professional careers because they used to go to Alabama or Florida, and would love to see Tennessee suffer through mediocrity? The logic doesn't add up.

So, let's stop all the talk about Martin would have really brought us back to prominence because he knows the UT way. If he would have taken us back to the top, it would have been because he is a good coach, not the colors he wore in college.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

0 Worst free throw in the history of mankind

Appalachian State's Brian Okam brought free throw shooting to a new art of terrible with this hilariously...I don't know what it is. The ball travels maybe three feet forward and straight up. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

0 First day for Butch Jones at UT

In case you missed it, had an excellent video about the first day of new Head Coach Butch Jones, including his revelation to the team that they are going to run the Wing T (which was a joke of course). Good watch.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

0 Butch Jones' UT press conference

If you didn't get a chance to see it today, here is Butch Jones press conference about being introduced as the new head coach of Tennessee.

0 Justin's NFL picks

By Justin Koehn
As the NFL rolls into week 14, many of you are starting your fantasy football playoffs and getting ready to take the prize. I wish you luck! Here is my predictions for this week:

Atlanta (11-1) over Carolina (3-9)

Indianapolis (8-4) over Tennessee (4-8)

Washington (6-6) over Baltimore (9-3)

New York Jets (5-7) over Jacksonville (2-10)

Tampa Bay (6-6) over Philadelphia (3-9)

Pittsburgh (7-5) over San Diego (4-8)

Buffalo (5-7) over St. Louis (5-6)

Chicago (8-4) over Minnesota (6-6)

Dallas (6-6) over Cincinnati (7-5)

Cleveland (4-8) over Kansas City (2-10)

San Francisco (8-3) over Miami (5-7)

New York Giants (7-5) over New Orleans (5-7)

Seattle (7-5) over Arizona (4-8)

Green Bay (8-4) over Detroit (4-8)

New England (9-3) over Houston (11-1)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

0 Butch Jones to UT is good

By Kenny Howell

Butch Jones has started popping up now as Tennessee's next, top candidate for the head coaching job, and so, of course, the fire Butch Jones chants have already started.

But, I think people are just dismissing him because they don't know much about him, or they are expecting that Gruden may still be walking in the door any minute. I mean his plane has been scheduled to touch down in Knoxville every day for the past month, so it has to happen some time right?

Jones is a good coach, plain and simple. Wherever he has been, teams have won. As Central Michigan's head coach, they went to the MAC title game every year, and won it twice. He went on to Cincinnati, where they had a disappointing season to start, only going 4-8, but rebounding the next year with a 10-3 record and a share of the conference championship. In that 4-8 season, they lost to a top 10 Oklahoma team by just two points, and were in most of the games. Just came up short. That turned around in 2011, where, yes, I know, he lost to Derek Dooley, but I would argue that if Defensive Coordinator Justin Wilcox was still around, we would have won a few more this season, and we might not be having this coaching search.

The Bearcats won a share of the Big East title again this season, going 9-3. The only head scratcher on the schedule was a loss to Toledo, but they did beat Virginia Tech, who were admittedly down this season. Toledo did take Arizona to overtime on the Wildcats home field, so they weren't that bad. Probably still should have won that one.

Charlie Strong, who nearly became Tennessee's head coach, is 1-2 against Jones. Jones also is 1-0 against James Franklin, as they came away with the win over Vanderbilt at the Liberty Bowl last season.

A knock on Jones would be his defenses aren't that great, but I think if you get the right defensive coordinator hired, that stuff would fix itself. Cincinnati is 41st in total defense this year, so that isn't that bad.

Another big negative people see in Jones is his recruiting. He has never recruited the south. With Cincinnati, he has recruited anywhere from 49-59 according to Rivals. Anywhere from third to fifth in the conference. If Tennessee can get the right assistants in place, ones with ties to the south, then that will remedy some of it. Plus, winning brings recruits. How in the world is Nick Saban a good recruiter? He has the personality of an armadillo that is being constantly poked with a stick, but he gets top classes every year. A few things - he wins, he has good assistants and he is at a school with a rich history. Tennessee is that as well. Also, I think it is positive to show that he wins with lesser talent, so if Tennessee stays middle of the pack with recruits, they still have a chance to be good.

Do I think that Butch Jones is going to win a national championship at Tennessee? Probably not. But I think he can get them within striking distance. And, even though some people hate to admit it, that is what Tennessee needs right now. They need someone that gets them near the top because, eventually, those guys on top are going to fall. And having a good coach, not just a good recruiter, in place will help knock them down.

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