Category Archives: Maria Menounos

The great majority of Celtics fans ended the loss the right way

The one idiot who dumped a drink on LeBron James as he left Boston Garden Thursday night cannot obscure what the rest of the Celtics faithful did as the game wound down. Now this is the way to end a game — and they did it the final four minutes of the game.

Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd continues to impress

I’m not quite sure what exactly he did, but Michael Floyd must have done something right at his Pro Day at Notre Dame.

I’m not a huge fan of the Pro Day, but the buzz about Floyd after Notre Dame’s was overwhelmingly positive.

Gil Brandt of NFL.com actually opined that Floyd might be the best receiver in the draft, ahead of Justin Blackmon. Then again, most mock drafts have Floyd going in the teens, but usually no later than the Jets at 16.

Wrote Brandt:  “Floyd really moved himself up the charts Tuesday, and again, his performance should at least have people putting him side-by-side with Blackmon; as I wrote, personally, I would rank Floyd higher.”

Why do I write about Michael Floyd again? Perhaps because I’m starting to get obsessed with him.

And perhaps because Maria Menounos maybe also likes him, and she has pressed forward in Dancing With the Stars despite dealing with the pain of two broken ribs. Talk about a gamer.

In talking to people around the NFL, I’m getting reviews that Floyd is big-time and he wants to work hard to make amends for his mistakes (a DUI) at Notre Dame. You keep hearing things like “big-time,” “the real deal,” “he really cares,” and “freakishly strong.”

The word on Floyd is he’s bigger, stronger and every bit as fast as Blackmon. One NFL insider told me Blackmon looks small but plays big while Floyd is big and plays big — for whatever that’s worth.

If it means anything, Marvin Lewis of the Bengals and Lovie Smith of the Bears were the only two head coaches present at the Pro Day. The Bears took Floyd out to dinner the night before. Smith was joined at the workout by new GM Phil Emery, who told the Chicago Tribune: “We’re looking for dynamic football players, playmakers. And we’ve got a couple of them here.” (The other being safety Harrison Smith.)

It takes no genius to think that both of those teams would exult if Floyd were there when they pick, Cincinnati 17th and the Bears 19th. But with the buzz growing, both teams might have to trade up if they want him. The Bengals have two first-round picks, so they could offer those, or a first- and second-round choice. The thought of Floyd opposite A.J. Green has to give every other AFC team the willies (that’s a technical term … look it up).

In attendance for the Browns were new senior offensive assistant coach Nolan Cromwell, receivers coach Mike Wilson and scouts. The Browns have to be pondering the option of trading down a few spots, acquiring another pick and taking Floyd.

Floyd also has worked out for the Eagles and visited with the Panthers.

Coming next: Michael Floyd’s English Essays.

No NFL free agent is on Dancing With the Stars …

But Maria Menounos is.

And for that we are all grateful.

No All-Star spot for Varejao

The reaction in Cleveland to Anderson Varejao not making the All-Star team has been predictable outrage.

Tables have been pounded, hair pulled out and the word “snub” thrown out like Happy is at New Year’s.

Except folks need to understand: This is basically a Cleveland thing. And it’s time we understand.

Varejao is a very good player having a very, very good year. An argument can be made that he’s every bit the player Roy Hibbert is and that Varejao should have gone instead of Hibbert.

But Hibbert plays for a winning team, and that probably carried the day. And this is more annoyance than outrage.

Compare the numbers: Hibbert averages 13.6 points, 9.9 rebounds. Varejao is at 11 and 11.8. The assists are about the same, Varejao is ahead in steals and leads the league in offensive rebounds, Hibbert has more blocks. Both are shooting 50 percent from the floor, 67 percent from the line.

One web site called hoopstats.com ranks Varejao the 27th best player in the league overall, and the eighth best center. Hibbert is ranked 34th overall, and 10th at center.

This is basically an argument, and where a person lives might affect the thinking. The two players numbers are virtually the same. Yes, folks in Cleveland know that Varejao’s contributions do not all show on the stat sheet. But I’d venture a guess that folks in Indiana would say the same thing about Hibbert.

I’d have preferred Varejao go because a guy who gives the effort he gives every night deserves to be recognized. But it’s not an outrage that he didn’t go.

And nationally, it’s barely a blink of an eye that he missed.

ProBasketballTalk.com did not list Varejao as one of its snubs.

NBA.com ran a poll asking which was the biggest snub, and listed four players. Varejao was not one of them.

Yahoo said Tyson Chandler deserved it, but never mentioned Varejao.

Minka Kelly (above) has not weighed in, nor has Maria Menounos (right).

If anyone wishes to be upset, perhaps it should be that Dirk Nowitzki was included even though he admitted he didn’t’ deserve to be and even though he missed some games to improve his conditioning (?).

There seems to be some general anger that Kyle Lowry missed, and some murmurings that Josh Smith was deserving.

But Varejao is getting absolutely no national attention … err … love.

Which highlights the provincial feelings in these parts.

Give Varejao credit. He’s played great and he gives every ounce he has. But let’s save the outrage for real outrages, not for ones that seem that way.

Winners of the Super Bowl ad-fest and day after are …

OK, so Maria Menounos has gumption. Lots of gumption.

She is a huge Patriots fan, and she bet that if the Giants won she’d do her show Extra outside in New York City wearing a Giants bikini. She lucked out — the temperature was about 50. But then again, doing a TV show in boots and a bikini in that kind of weather takes some kind of courage. And is being some kind of good sport. It’s the reason she has become the up-for-debate unofficial woman/babe of this blog.

Of course the bet had it that she had to “bare all” while her co-host, Giants fan A.J. Calloway, would have to wear a Patriots cheerleader outfit if New England won. This does not seem equitable.

Perhaps she needs an agent.

As for the ads, there was one clear winner that night, and longtime readers will recognize who it was. She appeared not once, but twice on Super Bowl night. Really, Adriana Lima had a better night than anyone this side of Eli Manning.

The ad offended the sensibilities of some, but at the same time the flowers are so beautiful.

At some point, this blog will soon head back to sports. Colt McCoy anyone?

 

Just where would the 34th NFL team play?

Roger Goodell said on NBC the other night that if the NFL added a team in Los Angeles, he’d prefer it be an expansion team, and if that happened he’d prefer to add two teams rather than one.

He backed off that statement in his Super Bowl media appearance on Friday, but that still leaves open the question: What city would have the 34th team?

The NFL map of teams presently looks like this, with  the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest pretty well saturated:

There are some vast open area – the Dakotas, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, that area up there.

But there just aren’t the population centers in the Northwest outside of Seattle and Portland, so it’s hard to see Bismarck or Cheyenne joining (though Kaycee, Wyoming, the home of Chris LeDoux, should be considered … Won’t you paint me back home in Wyoming…)

Portland would be logical, except it lies very close to Seattle, so territorial issues might arise. Same with two other logical choices: San Antonio and Toronto, both of which would be great homes to the NFL. But Jerry Jones is not likely to give up the San Antonio area, nor are the Buffalo Bills likely going to give up Toronto.

The league has talked about international expansion, which brings London into play – even though Dublin, Cork, Galway or Limerick would be a better place, for all the obvious reasons. In Canada, Montreal would be a nice choice, but it just doesn’t seem likely given most NFL players do not speak French.

All told, there are 24 states that lack an NFL team, including Hawaii and Alaska. Hawaii would be an intriguing proposition for journalists, but teams would balk at the length of that trip. Alaska would be great, but also has distance issues.

Many states can be immediately discarded. Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut … Same with Arkansas, New Mexico, Delaware and Iowa.

The most populated states without teams are Virginia, South Carolina and Alabama. But the Redskins have always been Virginia’s team. Norfolk and the Hampton Roads area is well populated, but it just doesn’t seem (to paraphrase Elaine Benes) “NFL worthy.” Columbia, S.C., could have a team, but the stars and bars still flies in a good part of that state. Birmingham is a way cool city, a very underrated city. And it is a football haven, so it’s a possibility – even if it has to share a fan base with Alabama and Auburn.

The Sport Journal did a pretty detailed study of the most likely places for NFL teams by using mathematical formulas and algorithms and other complicated stuff. Areas like New York and Washington and Los Angeles were rated a perfect 1.0 with all factors considered. Cleveland is rated. 99, Cincinnati .71.

Cities closest to 1.0 that do not have a team: San Antonio (.56), Salt Lake City (.51), Sacramento (.43) and Columbus (.39). Of those, the most likely to get a team is Salt Lake City. (Sacramento is too close to Oakland, Columbus between Cleveland and Cincinnati.) But Oklahoma City, fueled by Rick Horrow’s genius in getting the city to build an arena for a potential NBA team, has proven it can support basketball. It might be able to support the NFL as well.

There is one major city that lacks a professional sports franchise that probably deserves one: Las Vegas.

Leagues are reluctant to expand to Vegas due to the state’s gambling laws, but the population of the Vegas area dwarfs that of Salt Lake City (1.95 million to 1.24 million).

Other populations of areas that lack an NFL team:

Birmingham – 1,120,000

Honolulu – 953,000

Los Angeles – 12,828,000

Louisville – 1,950,000

Oklahoma City – 1,252,000

Portland – 2,224,000

Richmond, Va. – 1,250,000

Sacramento – 2,142,000

Salt Lake City – 1,124,000

Virginia Beach – 1,671,000

 For argument sake, Iowa City is 152,000, Bismarck is 108,000, Albany is 870,000 and Bend, Or., 157,000.

What does all this mean? Well it means I have no idea where the 34th team would be (assuming the 33rd is indeed Los Angeles).

The first criteria, of course, will be the area most willing to pay the NFL an exorbitant expansion fee – perhaps one approaching $1 billion. Any city that would fall over itself to do that would be welcome, maybe even Kaycee,  Wyoming.

The second criteria would be to ask Maria Menounos where she would prefer. Menounos is an NFL reporter by virtue of her work at Media Days, of course. Sadly, Menounos is busy at Super Bowl parties, so she can’t be reached. So it’s on to really trying to think it through logically.

Since many teams will prostrate themselves for the NFL, it comes down to a guess. The most logical choice would seem to be Portland, Toronto or San Antonio. But all have territorial issues. The most bold choice would be Las Vegas. The more interesting ones would be Salt Lake City, Birmingham or Honolulu.

My guess: Salt Lake City, with Birmingham a close second.

Maria Menounos was seen in Indianapolis

There was a Maria Menounos sighting at the Super Bowl.

Maria Menounos has sort of taken over this blog because last year at Media Day I noticed her. She was doing interviews, and she was, well, noticeable.

This year she was again at Media Day, working for Hot Clicks.

Who is Maria Menounos, you ask?

Glad you asked. It gives a reason to include this photo.

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On Tim Tebow — and Maria Menounos

Maria Menounos ‘Tebowed’ prior to the Golden Globes on Sunday.

This is a good thing. For one, it allows a photo of Maria Menounos (left). One can never have enough photos of Maria Menounos, as a general principle. Especially at the Golden Globes. One of those on-line fashion mavens opined that she did not look all that splendid in yellow. That is certainly debatable.

What Maria Menounos — yes, that allows for yet another photo of her to be posted (below) — also does is allow for the smooth segue into Tim Tebow, who looked like what he is on Saturday against New England.

That would be a young quarterback with an exaggerated motion who can barely complete 50 percent of his throws. Even with his intangibles, Tebow has a long way to go to be NFL-caliber. He’s simply got too exaggerated of a motion (did we mention his motion is exaggerated?), which means he can’t get rid of the ball fast enough, which means he’s susceptible to poor throws (low completion percentage) and sacks.

This is pretty much what happened Saturday night. Tom Brady gave Tebow a lesson in real-life NFL quarterbacking.

There’s no shame in that. I mean, it allowed us to get Maria Menounos photos here, for crying out loud. In addition, Brady has schooled a lot of NFL quarterbacks. He is simply the best quarterback of this generation. His precision and attention to detail are beauteous to behold. Sort of like … well … Maria … never mind.

Tebow heard all the jokes again about his play. How he’s not qualified and not good enough and all that stuff. He even had a famous actress whose name we shall not repeat imitating (mocking?) him as she entered the Golden Globes.

But when a guy has the character of Tebow, it’s pretty much a shame he gets ridiculed for his play. Rick Reilly detailed part of what Tebow does off the field that is special. Wrote Reilly after detailing some heart-stopping stories: “I believe in his heart, his there-will-definitely-be-a-pony-under-the-tree optimism, the way his love pours into people, right up to their eyeballs, until they believe they can master the hopeless comeback, too.”

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright even weighed in by saying this: “I feel like (Tebow is) the face of sports right now, and rightfully so. He gives the whole nation something to believe in.”

OK, that’s a bit much.

But the point is clear.

When guys have those kind of values, it’s hard to get too down on them because they can’t throw a football like Tom Brady. Tebow’s career will play out; his selflessness will linger for quite some time.