NFL General

The first in a soon-to-be long string of "shocking" NFL predictions

Say hello to your newest
1,000-yard rusher

The NBA season is officially over, signifying the official starting of the countdown to the NFL kickoff. We’re still trying to figure out who our keeper is going to be for this year’s fantasy team, but, luckily, we still have time. And between now and then, we’ll probably flip flop between players over a hundred times thanks to crazy, outlandish predictions like these from FBKid’s Sports Minute.

Fbkid’s top ten shocking predictions for the NFL season

10. Matt Forte will run for 1,000 yards as a rookie

9. Drew Stanton will be the starting quarterback for the Lions by the end of the year

8. Keith Rivers will win defensive rookie of the year

7. The Oakland Raiders will be a playoff spoiler come December

6. The Carolina Panthers will make the playoffs

5. Jonathan Stewart will win offensive rookie of the year

4. The Buffalo Bills will make the playoffs

3. The Pittsburgh Steelers won’t make the playoffs

2. The Cowboys won’t be representing the NFC in the Super Bowl

1. Troy Smith will be the starting quarterback for the Ravens week one

We’ll go out on a limb and say the Cowboys won’t be representing the NFC and TO will once again go home with snot coming out his nose and tears streaming behind his Kool Moe Dee shades. Either way, you need to get your popcorn ready because you’re going to want a snack while you wait for the season kickoff to roll around on September 4. Skins in New York to face the Super Bowl champs, in case you were wondering.


[FBKid’s Sports Minute]: top ten shocking predictions for the NFL season

Florida Panthers

Richard Zednik is one tough hombre

Richard Zednik spoke to the media for the first time since his horrific, neck-slashing accident almost two weeks ago, stating he’s ready to get back on the ice. It’s some pretty impressive stuff considering it looked like he might not even make it out of the arena alive as he left a river of blood in his path following the injury.

I want everyone to know that I am recovering and feeling well and hope to return to the ice as soon as I feel medically fit,” he said.

Zednik lost five pints of blood when he was accidentally sliced by the skate of teammate Olli Jokinen in a game against the Sabres.

The 32-year-old forward said he barely felt the skate slice into his carotid artery, but with blood gushing from his neck he knew he was in trouble. “I was like, Whoa. I knew I had to get to the bench.”

He said it felt “like being stabbed and quickly realized it was serious”.

He was discharged from Buffalo General Hospital a week ago and returned to South Florida. Zednik wants to play again as soon as possible, but it’s doubtful he’ll return this season.

Zednik said, “I was cut before on my face and I didn’t feel it. This time it wasn’t a cut, it was like a stab. I felt like somebody stabbed me. It wasn’t the pain, it was more like ‘What’s going to happen?

Don’t worry, you weren’t the only person who felt like that. We believe the entire world was wondering about your fate. We don’t pretend to be some huge hockey followers, but we are thrilled to hear of Zednik’s recovery and we guarantee we’ll be watching in awe when he returns to the ice for the first time.


[]: Panthers’ Zednik: “I Can’t Wait To Be Back On Ice”

Florida Panthers

Richard Zednik’s throat gets slashed by teammate’s skate

Hockey is a sport that is not meant for the weak at heart. And we aren’t just talking about the players. If you’re the least bit squeamish then you might want to turn you head for this.

Florida Panthers forward Richard Zednik took an inadvertent skate to the throat during yesterday’s game against the Sabres, having to undergo major surgery as a result.

That is easily the most horrifying accident that can happen in professional sports and, frankly, we’re surprised it doesn’t happen more. But we’re thankful it doesn’t. In fact, once every 19 years is about all we can stomach to be quite honest.


[]: Panthers’ Zednik Cut on Neck by Skate

Florida Panthers

Ed Belfour picks a fight with a cop

There must be something in the Miami water system that makes athletes go nuts because James Posey wasn’t the only athlete to get wasted and do something stupid last night.

Ed Belfour was arrested early this morning after he refused to leave a South Beach bar and decided that he would settle the dispute in a good ol’ slugfest, just like on the ice. Belfour took a “fighting stance” and shoved the police officer who was to assist him from the club. Then the Florida Panthers goalie really started resisting.

Belfour pulled away from the officer trying to arrest him and grabbed his shirt. The hockey player then fell forward on the ground, kicking and refusing to place his hands behind his back, the report said.

The skirmish ended when the cop zapped the blitzed Belfour with a Taser gun. Very becoming, you stay classy Eddie.

Police reported that Belfour had slurred speech, blood shot eyes and smelled of alcohol and charged him with disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer without violence. Too bad there’s no “resisting an officer with a tantrum” charge on the books.

Belfour’s partner in crime was teammate Ville Peltonen who got picked up on charges of criminal mischief after snapping a pole off a fire truck. But who cares, after all he didn’t even get electrocuted.


[MSNBC]: Belfour arrested after trying to fight cop
[]: Panther players arrested in alleged police scuffle

NHL General

Crashing the Zamboni: Thrashed By Lightning

1. As Ugly As It Gets
Talk about a severe shellacking: Tampa Bay demolished the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday night by an astounding score of 8-0. Where did this offensive explosion come from? It came, in large part, from Vincent Lecavalier, who scored a hat trick and also added two helpers to the stat sheet–now that’s a monster night by any human beings’ standards. Marc Denis recorded the shutout but had a relatively easy night, only having to sop 21 shots from a usually potent Thrasher offense. For the Lightning, it concluded a four-game losing streak, and kept them in the middle of the road in a Southeast Division led by Atlanta.

2. BIZZARO NEWS BREAK: Florida Beats Buffalo?!
No, folks, you do not have to adjust your computer screens. The headline was correctly written, and we apologize for any sudden outbursts of shock or disbelief. Strange things happen in this game of hockey, and a very strange thing happened on Thursday in Florida: the Panthers defeated the Sabres, 3-1. Stephen Weiss had a solid night for Florida, contributing to the tune of a goal and an assist. For the Panthers, it was their second straight victory–but perhaps more importantly, their offense was able to put pressure on Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller. Miller made 35 saves, and gave a solid performance despite the loss. Don’t look now, folks, but we think a Panther comeback is in the works…

3. Beantown Shreds The Leafs
The Boston Bruins made sure that Toronto stayed cold on Thursday night, downing the Leafs by a score of 3-1. Boston’s Wayne Primeau had a goal and an assist– and also assisted netminder Tim Thomas to a easy night. Thomas stopped 23 of 24 shots to earn his twelfth victory of the season. It was the sixth straight loss for Toronto, who has dropped back down to the middle of the road in a busy Northeast. The Maple Leafs could be in danger of slipping to last if they keep performing as they have been of late.

Check It Out
CBC Sports takes a look at the retirement of Joe Nieuwendyk, and explains why he decided to hang it up without regret. With a guy like Joe Nieuwendyk, it doesn’t seem too surprising that he’s not dissatisfied or unhappy with his decision.

Game of the Night: Edmonton at Dallas
Stars have won three straight games

The Last Shot
San Jose winger Mike Bell was arrested and charged with a hit-and-run as well as a DUI on Thursday. Reports say his vehicle slammed into a truck waiting at a stop sign… can you say “dumb”?

NHL General

Crashing the Zamboni: Feeling at Home on the Road

[Editor’s Note: Welcome to “Crashing the Zamboni”, a daily blog by Eric Caterina. Eric will be covering the NHL this year for Sportscolumn.]

1. Road Ice Advantage?
After losing the first two road games of the season, the Nashville Predators are feeling comfortably at home while away from the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville. With their 3-2 win last night over the Vancouver Canucks, Nashville has now won five straight road games, and seven of their last eight overall. None of their road victories have been overly dominating performances; four out of those five wins came in one-goal nailbiters. So what is the key to the Predators’ road ice advantage? Tomas Vokoun. The goaltender from Czechoslovakia is in his eighth year with Nashville (his fourth as a full-time starter). Even though the offense on this road stretch wasn’t tremendous, Vokoun picked up four of the five victories, never letting the puck slip into the net any more than two times. He’s given them a chance to win, and they’ve done just enough to walk off the ice with a W. This stretch of games could help Nashville tremendously in the longrun — it looks to be a two horse race in the Central Division between the Preds and the Red Wings.

2. Sharks Edge Panthers
Christian Ehrhoff’s last-minute goal gave the Sharks a 2-1 victory over the Panthers last night in Florida. The Power Play tally kept San Jose from slipping to third in the Pacific Division — where it’s possible that the Sharks and Stars could be playing catch up to keep pace with Anaheim for the year. Ron Wilson’s club has arguably the best special teams in the league, with an NHL best 28% on the Power Play this season. San Jose’s win put them at 7-0-1 in their last eight against the Florida Panthers (who eventually could get into the thick of things in a packed Southeast Division). This kind of dominance is similar to what we’ve seen in the Toronto-Atlanta series, as posted yesterday on Crashing the Zamboni.

3. Grinding It Out
Pure passion is hard to find nowadays in professional sports, where money is tossed around like a rag doll and the only basis for your expectations is your contract. That’s why it was refreshing to find this story on Florida’s veteran journeyman, Gary Roberts. In reading, it’s clear that this man is actually enjoying his time in professional sports, taking on an attitude unlike so many other big-time athletes. While the T.O.’s of the world are relishing in front of cameras and signing new shoe deals, sports’ real heroes continue to work hard just to spend that extra day in a big league jersey. Kudos to Gary Roberts for grinding it out, staying under the radar, and still going out and performing every night–he could teach some of today’s athletes a thing or two, if only they were patient enough to watch and listen.

Check It Out
It was hard not to laugh at this ridiculous report that Alex Auld got hurt “horsing around”. Not sure what’s funnier: the story itself, of Ed Belfour’s lame excuses as to why it happened.

Game of the Night: Nashville at Edmonton
Oilers look to stay undefeated at Rexall Place; Nashville has won five straight on the road.

The Last Shot
Montreal’s Chris Higgins scored his third shorthanded goal of the season last night, taking the NHL lead in that category.

Carolina Panthers

Panthers fan gets new truck after a stupid practical joke

Gets a Ford F-150

Remember when you were a kid and there were ads in the back of comic books that offered a 50-foot yacht for $10? And then you ordered it and it was a little toy boat with 50 friggin feet attached to the bottom of it? Well, it wasn’t funny then and it’s still not funny now. And the folks at Fox Sports definitely don’t think those type of jokes are funny anymore.

On August 24, during a preseason game, Dick Stockton and Daryl Johnston started promoting a car giveaway at the end of the game so fans would stay tuned. At the end of the game, Tony Siragusa presented Greg Good, who dresses up as “Catman” for Panthers games with a new white Porsche. Unfortunately it was just a toy car. Good (who might not be so bright) thought it was a token of a real car and couldn’t believe his good luck. Then he found out that it was just the toy car and was understandably very upset.

There was some uproar in the Charlotte area after a Charlotte Observer columnist named Scott Fowler took up Good’s cause. Fox Sports president decided to hand out some punishment over the incident to his staffers and will personally give Good a new Ford F-150 pickup for his troubles. Now… can we stop with the stupid jokes during football telecasts?

[ESPN]: After joke at Panthers game, ‘Catman’ to get truck
[The Smoking Gun]: Woman sues when “100 Grand” prize turns out to be chocolate bar

Carolina Panthers

2004 Carolina Panthers loved their steroids

Who wants to inject me in the ass?

The Charlotte Observer today reported that 6 players from the 2004 Super Bowl Panthers team took “disturbing, particularly alarmingly high amounts” of steroids on their late season Super Bowl run. Among the players named by the newspaper are offensive linemen Kevin Donnalley, Jeff Mitchell, Todd Steussie, TE Wesley Walls, Defensive lineman Henry Taylor, and some practice squad scrub. All this was pieced together during the investigation of Dr. James Shortt who plead guilty to illegally distributing steroids and human growth hormone.

The performance enhacing drug of choice was HGH which cannot be detected in urine tests. The NFL does not currently require blood tests. It’s no surprise that the NFL drug testing policy has been called a joke.

The report says that more prescriptions were written to cover up the harmful effect of the original steroids such as shrunken testicles and hair loss for Jeff Mitchell. We don’t have any fancy degrees from any fancy medical schools but we do know that if anything starts shrinking around your groin area, it’s best to stop doing whatever it is you’re doing. That’s just a general rule of thumb for guys.

Remember kids, if you want a leg up on your competition, all you gotta do is shrink your balls.

[Charlotte Observer]: Medical records of ex-Panthers reveal ill effects, multiple refills leading to Super Bowl

[Charlotte Observer]: NFL needs to clean up steroids act

San Francisco 49ers

Odds and Ends (07.17.06): Didn’t Jerry Rice retire already?

We could’ve sworn that Jerry Rice retired last year when he finally figured out that he couldn’t play when he couldn’t even break into the lineup for the Denver Broncos. But now, Jerry says he wants to sign a one day contract to retire as a Niner. We think it’s always a classy move when a player of longstanding tradition goes back to the ball club he started with to retire. However, Jerry Rice should have retired as a Niner about 6 years ago before he tarnished his legacy. Of all modern football players hanging on to glory too long, Jerry Rice might have been the saddest of our generation.

In other news…

[BBC]: Wayne Rooney can only sleep with something sucking or blowing on

[Reuters]: Garnett is proselytizing in India

[Newsday]: Dallas Stars sign Eric Lindros

[Kukla’s Korner]: Hockey isn’t doing too well in LA

[Yahoo ]: Doctor who supplied several Panthers with steroids gets 1 year in jail