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Tsuj’s Ten: Battle of the Jims

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

1) The Jim Harbaugh vs. Jim Schwartz fight was remarkable to me, if also unrivaled in its stupidity.  The ‘9ers coach, jubilant after his team’s comeback victory over a previously undefeated team, shook hands with Detroit Lions’ head coach Jim Schwartz with a little too much vigor—the “handshake” was more along the lines of how he’d treat one of his players, not the opposing head coach—and then the two exchanged words before a larger scale quarrel broke out among players.  According to the LA Times, the NFL is reviewing the mini-tussle.

Stevie Johnson tweeted the following:

Now, I don’t really know what Stevie Johnson is saying here.  I was just trying to give the story a slight Buffalo angle.

2)  I’m glad that Drayton Florence owned up to his roasting yesterday after the game.  He had little to no chance against one of the top receivers in the game (Nicks), and Mario Manningham is pretty underrated (if a little erratic).  That’s fine; I don’t think the result is any different if Leodis McKelvin took Florence’s place in those situations.  The obnoxious part is the no-call on the third down incompletion to Fred Jackson where the Bills’ running back was obviously interfered with by Jacquian Williams (12:20 left in the third quarter).  I’d like to see a good explanation for that one, as the Bills were approaching Giants’ territory, and New York scored on the ensuing possession. 

3)  It was great to see the local response after Naaman Roosevelt’s first NFL touchdown.  My Facebook feed blew up with praise for the former University at Buffalo Bull—former Spectrum writers to SIDs to college football fans—and @UBsportsinfo tweeted: “Naaman Roosevelt with first career TD reception. 60-yarder not too shabby.. Great job @nyce18.”  The Giants’ secondary is clueless when it comes to tackling, but Naaman sure looked electric.  It’s too bad Fitzpatrick didn’t look his way too often after the score.  With Donald Jones on the shelf for at least two more games, more touchdown opportunities will come for the unheralded—at least in NFL circles—former Bull. 

4)  We’ll keep this one short: the UB Bulls football team traveled to Temple and was annihilated 34-0.  The Buffalo run defense allowed 400 yards rushing—a ridiculous statistic—rendering Khalil Mack and Steven Means as rushers useless off the edge.  The Owls ran on 65 of their 76 snaps, and there was no reason to test the arm of Chester Stewart.  Veteran safety Josh Copeland was routinely whiffing at tackles, and it was an altogether forgettable day for Jeff Quinn’s team after such an inspiring win against Ohio.  The special teams (Fardon had a punt blocked, Temple scored off a fake punt) sputtered and the offense closed the game with five consecutive three-and-out drives.  There’s nothing positive to take away from this game. 

5 & 6)  The illustrious Ben K. and I took in UB Bulls’ Madness, the tip-off event of the college basketball season.  While it wasn’t the smoothest event (sound difficulties, a few too many theatrics for our taste), it was nice to see new faces like Raphell Thomas-Edwards, Xavier Ford and Will Regan (ineligible for 2011) in Bulls’ uniforms.  The highlights were:

A) Two students from the crowd hitting big shots in the team spot-shooting drill
B) Zach Filzen winning the three-point competition with relative ease, as Tony Watson II, last year’s champion, shot miserably. 
C)  Javon McCrea donning his fuzzy homecoming crown and trying to shatter the backboard with his dunk attempt in the slam dunk contest. 
D) Corey Raley-Ross’ preposterous leaping ability on display, even though Mitchell Watt won the contest again.  (For old time’s sake, here’s the video from his ESPN-highlight rainbow dunk last year.)

(Photo credit: Dave Marino)

7)  The St. Joe’s Marauders visited Steubenville, Ohio and lost for the eighth consecutive season (and probably more, because MaxPreps.com doesn’t have statistics for St. Joe’s before the ‘04-05 season.)  Chad Kelly and the ‘maroon and white’ only trailed 22-20 at halftime, but a 21-0 third quarter by the Big Red—highlighted by a gorgeous 85 yard screen pass to Jo Jo Pierro—doomed the Marauders.  St. Joe’s hosts Donald Wilson Secondary School from Whitby, Ontario on Saturday—the first meeting of the International Goodwill Series. 

8)  There was so much pre-match hype surrounding the Manchester United vs. Liverpool contest that I woke up at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday—it’s a Saturday!—to watch.  Steven Gerrard’s clever free kick directly at Ryan Giggs’ loins forced the aging veteran to abandon his position in the wall, startling a helpless David de Gea and spotting Liverpool to a 1-0 lead at Anfield.  Substitute Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez knotted the score with a header off a beautiful Danny Welbeck flick, and that’s how the match ended.  Frankly, it was kind of boring.


9 & 10)  Mulling over the United States men’s national team’s two friendlies, a 1-0 win over Honduras and a 1-0 loss to Ecuador, a few points are pretty obvious:

A) The U.S. still struggles to finish chances.  Jozy Altidore is a solid target forward—not a game-breaker, Clint Dempsey is better served as a withdrawn forward and Juan Agudelo is simply too young.  Unless Charlie Davies returns to pre-injury form (doubtful), the Yanks will probably be forced to turn to Omar Salgado, Teal Bunbury or even German-American Terrence Boyd sooner rather than later. 

B)  Jurgen Klinsmann gushes about Kyle Beckerman’s value to the national team as the defensive center midfielder who wins 50/50 challenges and torments opposing attackers.  He’s better than Jermaine Jones, I agree, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable entering a World Cup with Beckerman in my starting XI.  A valuable bench player?  Sure.

C)  Gooch is back.  Oguchi Onyewu was stellar in his second half substitute role vs. Honduras, earning a start against Ecuador.  He obviously showed better than Tim Ream, who was at fault for Ecuador’s goal, and exhibited the pace that many thought he’d lost due to injury.  It’s now or never for the 29 year old, but we’re hoping he continues his strong run of play, because he’s an asset at full fitness.

Featured photo courtesy of ESPN.go.com.

TAGGED: buffalo bills, college football, javon mccrea, jim harbaugh, jurgen klinsmann, st. joe's, temple owls, u.s. soccer, ub bulls

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