Saturday, November 28, 2009

Alles Le Toux

MLS held the expansion draft for the expansion team Philadelphia Union on Wednesday. I was prepared to lose a player, after all Seattle was a playoff team and had left some decent players unprotected. I was quite shocked when I found out that the player was Sebastian Le Toux. I’m still a little perplexed by their choice.

I love Le Toux, he’s a hard worker and a fan pleaser. But the reality is, his salary to play quality ratio was a bit skewed. Sure, he’s a great sub and a nice fill-in guy. However, for 100,000 dollars against the cap I think Seattle could do better. Really, so could Philadelphia. Personally, I was hoping that Philly would have taken Pete Vagenas off of our hands especially since he had little play time and is a huge hit for the salary cap, but monetarily speaking, Le Toux was a good choice for the Sounders coffers.

Despite being an advantageous choice for Seattle’s coinage, there was a great outcry from the fan base. Le Toux was one of those players that when he came on the field, the stands would erupt in a cheer of Le TOOOOOOOUX. You could feel the pace of the squad pick up and the energy of the stadium would become more electric. It is very nice to have a player like that.

However, as a fan, we must remember that we are fans of the entire team. That means the team is bigger than one player. While Le Toux will be missed, we should not get hasty and claim that he should have been protected. We should not deride the organization for making tough decisions. Sometimes players go. Sometimes, even good players get cut. Sometimes our favorites are out of favor with the Front Office.

While I will miss Le Toux, I liken his departure to other favorite players of my favorite teams. I felt a bit of loss at first, but also a hopeful optimism that the organization (in this case) is doing what they can to increase the depth of the team. At least in this case I can hope that Le Toux will have an impact with Philadelphia.

In honor of Le Toux’s departure from Seattle I am picking 5 sports departures that have happened in my life that were more devastating than Le Toux to Philly.

1Sonics to OKC (It doesn’t get a whole lot worse than this).
2Jerome Bettis to Pitsburgh (was my favorite player on the Rams at the time)
3Kurt Warner to New York (Led the Rams to their first and only Super Bowl)
4Ken Griffey Jr. to Cincinatti(Was everyone’s idol at school when I moved Washington)
5A-Rod to Texas(This was about the time I stopped following the Mariners religiously)

Hopefully we can all keep things in perspective.


Sunday, November 15, 2009


Every franchise that should, refuses to say it but I think it’s time that the Seahawks do it. Rebuild! Like every fan, I hate that word. It’s almost like quitting but sometimes it’s better to quit before you’re too far behind.
We have the pieces to build around i.e Aaron Curry, Max Unger and Brandon Mebane, John Carlson even Justin Forsett looks like he has a bright future if given the chance. But there is a point where you must realize that signing veterans to fill a gap here and there doesn’t work (Housezdheaamdhaahfh, Julius Jones, Ken Lucas even Edgerrin James proved that point. I know that injuries have played a major part this year. Again! But injuries to key players in consecutive years are a subtle hint.
You have to BUILD A WINNER because you can’t just piece one together. There’s a huge difference between adding a player to put you over the top then adding that type of a player to a team where the foundation has already starting to crumble. I thought that Housezdmahahahahaha was that guy, it’s only been a year so the jury is still out on him. After the departure of Steve Hutchinson, Robbie Tobeck and the demise of Shaun Alexander we knew that the running game and the O-Line was in a serious trouble. Look where we’re at today. Hasselbeck had to throw the ball over 50 times to beat the Lions … the Lions. That is not a knock on Hasselbeck, I believe he can be productive for two more years. Just enough time to develop one.
What do we do?
Here’s what we do. The secondary needs to come down. I like Josh Wilson and Marcus Trufant but we need to do something with the rest of them. Kelly Jennings wore out his welcome a longtime ago. Deon Grant is getting old. Jordan Babineaux is a great nickel and dime guy but a starter ... c’mon. And Lucas sucks, he can’t cover the Cardinals, just watch what Fitzgerald and Boldin have done to him the last 3 years and we signed him, give me a break I believe the O-Line has potential but they need stability because. I really like the guys we have but they’re all out of position. If we could get a pure Left Tackle and some solid backups then that would solve a lot of problems. What Forsett did to day against the Cardinals gave me some hope for the O-Line.
All we need is another Running Back. I really believe that Forsett could help but we need someone who puts his head down and runs defenders over. Can I get an Amen?


The Inescapable BCS problem

I realize that in college football it is difficult to decide a national champion. There are way too many teams for there to be an accurate assessment of which teams are better than others, especially with the nature of football as a rough sport. However, there has to be a better way than the BCS, which in all fairness is better than the previous “National Champion” decider.

The reason why the system is flawed is pretty simple. Playing football is not the deciding factor on determining the winner. Sure, the premise is that the computers calculate rankings based on games. But games are more than stats and score lines. Games are matchups. Two top ranked teams that never play each other may match up very well or there may be a disparity in a running game or a defense. The point is, we don’t know if they don’t play.

In particular my gripe is that teams that are in mid conference schools are doomed to have doubt cast upon them. They have to schedule difficult non-conference games. They have to win difficult non-conference games. Then, they have to be perfect in conference to even be considered. Consider Florida’s Non-conference schedule with creampuffs like Troy, Florida International and Charleston Southern. Only Troy has a winning record while FIU has only 3 wins and CS is at .500. To me, it seems that Florida’s number 1 ranking is unwarranted due to their non-conference schedule. Sure, they have beaten SEC teams, but not impressively so. The scheduling of these schools strikes me as a way to increase their hype through dominating beat downs.

Now when you consider Boise State or TCU their ranking is dependent on their non-conference games. The reason TCU is above Boise is that TCU has been blessed with ranked opponents within conference. I hate to wonder what if, but let’s suppose for a second that Fresno State has beat Wisconsin and Cincinnati, two teams that they lost to by 8 points or less. Boise would likely be ranked ahead of TCU. In short, it seems odd that ranking is not decided by how you play, but who you play. Florida is rewarded by winning against SEC schools while Boise and TCU are punished for not having the privilege of playing SEC schools. Especially when you consider that the only reason for BYU’s ranking was a victory over a very weak Oklahoma team (YES THEY ARE WEAK) and Utah’s ranking was shaky as well (no victories over ranked opponents).

I understand why TCU is considered the better team. But, a system that is nearly entirely determined by how your opponents play and rewards schools for scheduling cream puffs needs to be abolished. On one hand you have Florida which continues to be rewarded for scheduling weak teams but has a strong conference. On another hand you have TCU which scheduled decent opponents, but benefited from overrated in conference competition. And, if you were an alien and had a third hand, you have Boise which attempts to schedule as strong a non-conference schedule as possible and struggles due to the mediocrity of their league. There are only two solutions in my opinion. Either create a playoff so we can see which teams are truly better all around, or allow schools to be able to shed conferences specifically for football, since this problem seems to be specific to that sport. For example, I would support Boise State being able to oust Wazzu from the Pac-10, since at the moment they are dead weight. I love the Cougars, and want them to win, maybe they could win in the WAC. They Beat Idaho! Just sayin.