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Archive for November, 2010

The NFL Loves James Harrison’s Wallet

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James Harrison

Who likes what more? Does James Harrison like hitting quarterbacks (and other offensive players) more than the NFL likes hitting Harrison’s wallet or is it the other way around? Whatever the case, it certainly looks like the two entities have a symbiotic relationship. Harrison provides the NFL with highlight material, and make no mistake about the NFL’s hypocrisy when it comes to using hard hits in their promotional materials, and they, in turn, love taking money from Harrison with the same vigor he hits defenseless receivers with.

For the 2010 season, Harrison has already totaled $125,000 worth of fines, all of which came from questionable hits.

His latest fine comes from the hit he laid on Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, a blast that cost Harrison $25 grand. PFT has itemized the others:

[Harrison] previously has been fined $75,000 for a hit on Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, $20,000 for a hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees and $5,000 for a hit on Titans quarterback Vince Young.

The funny thing is how much these fines vary. It also makes me wonder how the NFL determines their punishments. Where, exactly, was the $50,000 difference between the hit on Fitzpatrick and the hit on Massaquoi? Further, I thought repeat offenders were punished more severely if their behavior continues. Judging by the NFL’s fine scale for James Harrison, that is apparently false.

Russell Westbrook Dunking

Russell Westbrook

Citing that he doesn’t believe he’s an acrobatic dunker, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has decided to not participate in the upcoming Slam Dunk Contest when the NBA’s All Star festivities kick off on the weekend of February 20th. While the news has been accepted with some degree of personal sadness — blame my self-admitted man-crush on the OKC guard — it’s easy to understand Westbrook’s decision. He’s a power dunker who will mash it in your face during a game, but he doesn’t break out double windmills in the process.

In light of Westbrook’s decision, I figured this post would be a great place to feature a tribute to the kinds of dunks we’ll be missing out on:

Russell Westbrook dunks on the entire world after the jump >>

Hawkeyes or Heartbreakers

Iowa Hawkeyes*** Intentional Foul would like to welcome Nate Westre, one of our new sports writers. Stay tuned as he’ll be a regular writer full of opinions, wit, and a ridiculous amount of sports knowledge! Thanks Nate! – Chris ***

Thanksgiving is knocking at our doors, and the rules say we’re supposed to be thankful right? Being stuck here in central Iowa has me a little sportily-challenged at the moment so I apologize if I’m not thankful for the less-than-stellar performance from the favorite local university.

The Iowa Hawkeyes football team was ranked #9 in the preseason with a sleeper’s chance at a national title. Fast forward to week 3 and a trip to Arizona. Keep in mind the Hawks hadn’t won in the Pacific time zone since 1987. You can imagine the result, a loss to the Wildcats on a huge TD drive in the 4th quarter. Hey, one loss won’t kill the season. The Rose Bowl is still an option.

After the jump, more Hawkeyes heartbreak >>

C.J. Wilkerson Absolutely Smashes Oklahoma

C.J. Wilkerson plays for North Carolina Central University, which shares space with a more famous school in Durham, North Carolina. While they may not be the program their same-town brothers are, in Wilkerson, NCCU has a dunker who’s every bit as explosive as his Duke counterparts. While his Eagles wound up losing to Oklahoma — they made the Sooners earn it, however, 71-63 — Wilkerson’s dunk needs to be acknowledged along with all the the other early-season smashes that are being raved over.

I’ll wait patiently until a Duke player outdoes Wilkerson’s dunk. Until that time, the title of “most authoritative dunker in Durham” belongs to him, and by default, Durham’s “other” team.

As for contenders for Wilkerson’s crown, my money’s on Nolan Smith.

Nike’s Concept or Really Good Photoshop?

Giants Concept Uniform

Portions of the Internet are buzzing about some images of Nike’s concept for NFL uniforms, which the company get the rights to produce in 2012. Thanks to a post in The Baltimore Sun’s forum, there’s been a lot of reaction, and the question is, are folks reacting to Nike’s work or the work of some enterprising Photoshoppers.

If other forums are to be believed, again, this is the Internet we’re talking about, these “concept car” uniforms are Photoshop reproductions, variants of existing designs, and this post over at a forum is supposedly ground zero, courtesy of poster “El ramster.”

My friends made these! just a concept more to come later

Other sites are in on the act,too.

Considering the NFL’s draconian approach to the uniforms and the associated rules, it’s hard to see Nike getting so much leeway to completely alter the look of so many teams. That being said, some of the concepts, which are based on Nike’s Pro Combat series, are pretty cool. Some, on the other hand are not. Here are a couple of hits and a couple of misses, too:

After the jump >>

Andray Blatche Does A Great Albert Haynesworth


Against the Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche demonstrated the absolute perfect way to absolutely not play pick-and-roll defense. It was so bad, in fact, it reminded me of masterful demonstration of effort and perseverance Albert Haynesworth displayed against the Philadelphia Eagles.

That is to say, none.

After the jump, visual evidence of Blatche’s imitation of Haynesworth >>

Kemba Walker’s “Michael Jordan Flu” Game

Kemba Walker

One of Michael Jordan’s most famous performances came during the “Flu Game” in Game 5 of 1997 Finals. In it, a virus-ridden, dehydrated Jordan scored whopping 38 points, while having to be carried off the court. It was a transcendent performance that only solidified Jordan’s position in the pantheon of NBA greatness. Fast forward to 2010 and the Connecticut Huskies have a performance to add to their program’s lore.

While it won’t be universally recognized like Jordan’s flu game, it was an impressive performance nonetheless.

During the Huskies’ 89-73 win over Vermont, Kemba Walker dropped 42 points (21 points in each half. Synergy!!!), all while battling stomach issues. Walker’s scoring barrage came from an efficient shooting evening (15-24, 4-9 from 3, 8-10 from the line). The guard also tallied eight rebounds and three assists, and without his outburst, UConn struggles to beat the Catamounts. Keep in mind, Walker posted those numbers while battling stomach issues.

Now, as you can see in the lead photo, Walker didn’t appear like he needed Scottie Pippen to carry him off the court like Jordan did, but that doesn’t mean his performance was any less impressive, or any less valuable.

In fact, Walker himself realized his scoring outburst was needed:

Video and more after the jump >>

Blake Griffin: Still Dunking

While his Los Angeles Clippers continue to lose (1-11), their prized rookie continues to do what he does best: dunk on anyone silly enough to get in his way. His latest victim? Anthony Tolliver, center for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Before Griffin’s career is all said and done, I honestly think Blake Griffin will have dunked on every living member residing in the United States.

You. Me. My mom. Your mom. Obama. His successor. All of us.

And we’d all be better for it, too.

Considering the struggles Griffin is facing as a Clipper, one wonders if he’ll opt for the LeBron/Dwyane Wade style of restricted free agent extension instead of signing for the max? That way, he’ll be able to get away from that moribund franchise and do something good with his basketball ability. Of course, Griffin could be a glutton for punishment and feel that he, along with Erics Gordon and Bledsoe, can change the fortunes of LA’s second basketball team.