That is the tallest man in the world, Sultan Kosen he is 26 years old and 8 foot, 1 inches tall.
Holy Cow was that a crappy a first half but the 2nd half was pretty good as the Cowboys beat the Panthers 21-7. They should have beat them by a lot more but the defense sure did look good.
Embattled defense rescues Dallas Cowboys in 21-7 win
03:43 AM CDT on Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Column by JEAN-JACQUES TAYLOR / The Dallas Morning News | firstname.lastname@example.org
ARLINGTON – For the first time this season, Mr. Fix It's defense sacked an opposing quarterback. The defense also collected its first turnovers two interceptions and a fumble this season.
Miracles do exist.
In the process, Mr. Fix It's defense proved it's capable of playing a complete game as the Cowboys beat Carolina, 21-7.
The Panthers aren't that good offensively.
Yes, DeAngelo Williams is a nice running back, and we all know the real Steve Smith is one of the NFL's best receivers. But quarterback Jake Delhomme has struggled, which is the primary reason their offense has been unproductive.
Still, you should give Wade Phillips credit for listening to his players and simplifying the game plan. More base defense and fewer gimmicks.
It makes sense.
Players who know what they're doing, play instinctively. They play fast. They play aggressively because they know what chances they can take within the scheme.
Players who aren't sure what they're doing, think way too much in a game where one false step can lead to disaster.
That's why the Cowboys spent much of the game in their base defense.
Delhomme passed for 220 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Williams rushed for 64 yards, while Smith caught just four passes for 38 yards.
None was a factor.
Terence Newman, awful last week against the Giants, played easily his best game of the season. He shadowed Smith safety Ken Hamlin provided deep help – and did not allow a reception of more than 15 yards.
So was the job the run defense did on Williams, who gained 1,515 yards rushing and scored 18 touchdowns last season.
Linebacker Keith Brooking played his best game, and defensive linemen Jay Ratliff and Igor Olshansky did a good job of holding their ground at the line of scrimmage.
The Cowboys sacked Delhomme three times twice in the fourth quarter and pressured him much of the game. He never came close to finding a rhythm.
Ratliff recorded the Cowboys' first sack of the season in the third quarter. Mike Jenkins had collected the defense's first turnover, in the second quarter when he intercepted Delhomme's underthrown pass.
The unit that failed to stop the run in Week 1 or the pass in Week 2 kept both facets of Carolina's offense in control.
Phillips and the players vowed to play better after their raggedy performance against the Giants last week left the Cowboys near the bottom of the league in most key defensive stats.
"We couldn't do nothing but get better," Bradie James said.
In the end, the game is about making plays.
No more. No less.
It's funny, as I watched the game last night I began to wonder if part of Tony Romo's problem is that the coaches want him to be more of a pocket passer, I thought are they crimping his style? Apparently Randy Galloway doesn't agree with me.
No sign of Crazy Tony in Cowboys simpler game plan
By RANDY GALLOWAY
Ft. Worth Star Telegram
ARLINGTON —The multitude of critics called for it, loud and clear: Better the safe and smart Tony Romo than the mindless craziness of a week ago.
So after eight days of ongoing local and coast-to-coast rip-jobs, Tony was back in front of a national TV audience Monday night, and compared to the let-it-rip Romo you once loved, and, of late, hated, this almost looked like a political statement.
Forcing nothing, risking nothing — well, almost nothing — Romo was effective but so un-Favre like, Bret probably disowned him. And if Tony even bored himself, at least a turnover-free performance and a 21-7 victory over the Carolina Panthers allowed him to crawl back into the good graces of Cowboy Nation.
Not that Romo and Co. were exactly rolling thunder, as a 13-point output for four quarters represented the struggle that it was against a Carolina defense that was missing two starters due to injury, had a rotation mess in the middle of the line due to earlier injuries, and with several other dinged up players on the field despite missing practice all week.
But be safe, be smart, and do so even while under defensive heat in the first half, which was not one of the usually reliable Marc Colombo’s finer moments at tackle.
Then again, when Romo isn’t giving away gifts, the odds are good the Cowboys will win. Well, at least that’s the case when the other quarterback is having his problems in the turnover area. Thank you, Jake Delhomme, for helping Wade Phillips survive another week as a defensive coordinator under fire.
Overall, Romo handled very balanced play calling from Jason Garrett — balanced but questionable — and did throw 33 times, with 22 completions for 255 yards. Four different receivers went over 30 yards in catches. Only once, on a throw back all the way across to field to Tashard Choice was there ever a "there he goes again" moment. That pass, by the way, was complete for a nice gain.
And while Dallas’ offensive frustration was building well into the third quarter, Romo never wandered into the panic area, although a scoreless first half and then a worrisome failure to find the end zone on the first possession of the third quarter could have been enough to send him over the edge.
Apparently they are freaking out in Charlotte. They were a 12-4 team last year, currently they are 0-3.
It's woe and 3 for Panthers
Cowboys seal victory on Newman's interception
By Charles Chandler
ARLINGTON, Texas Mercifully, the Carolina Panthers have a bye this weekend.
They can rest, hope to get healthy and contemplate a season that might already have slipped far, far away even though it is only three weeks old.
The Panthers lost a game Monday night they admitted they had to win, falling 21-7 to the Dallas Cowboys at snazzy new Cowboys Stadium.
Carolina is 0-3, a hole so deep that only three teams in the previous 19 seasons have overcome it and gone on to reach postseason play.
"It stinks," said left tackle Jordan Gross. "There's no way to sugarcoat it. We haven't won in a long time and we're losing ugly."
The Panthers' last win was last year, back when they were 12-4 and on a roll.
Counting their playoff loss to Arizona in January and a 0-4 preseason, they've suited up eight consecutive times without a victory.
Their goal of making the playoffs for the second consecutive season for the first time in franchise history doesn't seem realistic.
But coach John Fox continues to preach hope of a turnaround.
"We've got a lot of football left and we're only through a quarter of the season," he said. "We've been on three-loss skids before. We really need to stick together."
The Panthers are 0-3 for the first time in Fox's eight seasons as coach. The other two times they started 0-3 were under Dom Capers - their debut season in 1995 when they finished 7-9 and '98 when they wound up 4-12.
Carolina's offense, which is supposed to be the team's strength, couldn't do much against Dallas' defense in the second half.
The Panthers punted without a first down on their first four possessions after halftime, then got the ball back at their 10-yard line with 5 minutes, 57 seconds remaining, trailing 13-7.
DeAngelo Williams' run for a first down gave some hope for a rally, but that dissipated moments later when quarterback Jake Delhomme was intercepted by Dallas cornerback Terence Newman, who returned the pick 27 yards for a touchdown.
A successful two-point conversion raised Dallas' lead to 14 and gave the Cowboys the cushion they needed to improve to 2-1.
Wide receiver Steve Smith said he was to blame for the interception, not Delhomme, because he failed to run his route properly.
Fox said of the play: "We obviously weren't on the same page."
The Rangers got crushed last night and the Angels officially clinched the AL West. Would you belive though that the Rangers still have a shot at the wild card? Not a realistic one but they do. Here is what has to happen, the Rangers need to win all 6 of their remaining games and the Red Sox need to lose all 6 of theirs. One Ranger loss or one Red Sox win will officially eliminate them. Hey, I said it wasn't much of a chance.
Rangers fall hard to Angels
By JIM REEVES
Ft. Worth Star Telegram
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Needing a miracle, the Rangers had vowed to fight to their final gasp as they opened a last-stand four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim here Monday night. They never dreamed the Angels wouldn’t even give them room to breathe.
It wasn’t painless, but at least it was quick.
The Angels clinched the American League West division championship by burying the Rangers 11-0, forcing them to watch glumly from the visitors dugout as they celebrated in front of more than 40,000 fans at Angels Stadium.
In the Rangers’ post-game clubhouse there was no talk about the strides the team made this year, no satisfaction over staying in the race until the final week of the season.
“To be honest with you, the first thing that crosses my mind is just being (hissed) off,” said Michael Young, who returned to the Rangers’ lineup at third base for the first time in two weeks and only the second time this month. “I don’t care about the future or what our team shapes up like next year. I don’t care about that. I care about winning now.
“In the big leagues you either go to the post-season or you go home. We didn’t get it done and that’s not a good feeling.”
The Rangers began this final seven-game road trip knowing they had to win all seven games and then get some help from the A’s. Instead, they never had a chance.
The Angels jumped rookie starter Tommy Hunter for three runs in the first, two on Kendry Morales’ home run over the center field fence and never let up, knocking Hunter out in the third and building an 8-0 lead by the time four innings were complete.
Angels’ right-hander Ervin Santana did his part in finishing off the Rangers, spinning a seven-hitter and persuading the Texas hitters to roll into three double plays.
The Rangers are still alive -- barely -- in the wild card race, because the Red Sox lost 11-8 to Toronto earlier Monday, but the Texas loss trimmed Boston’s magic number to just 1.
The Rangers not only couldn’t hit and couldn’t pitch, but couldn’t play defense either, chipping in three errors to make it an all-around miserable night.
“I don’t think we laid down and gave them anything. They just beat up on us tonight,” manager Ron Washington said. “Our backs was against the wall. They came out and jumped on us early and kept pouring it on. We couldn’t get nothing going against Santana. That’s the bottom line.”
The lone bright spot -- but only about 40-watt bright -- for the Rangers was that Young returned to the lineup and went 2-for-3, including a first-inning double that represented the team’s only extra base hit. Washington wisely gave Young the rest of the night off after six innings when the game was clearly out of hand.
Hunter, pounded for seven runs in his last start against Oakland, put up even less resistance against the Angels, coughing up another seven this time in just 2 1/3 innings, by far his most abbreviated start of the season.
“I just told them to keep their heads up,” said Washington, who pointed to the Rangers’ recent 2-7 homestand as the real culprit in dooming the Rangers. “ We didn’t get it done but there are still games to be played. We didn’t finish first but I’d like to win as many more games as we possibly can. We certainly don’t want to fall all the way down to third or fourth, that’s for sure.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t accomplish what we had a chance to accomplish but I’m very proud of those guys in that clubhouse. They’re not happy but they played their hearts out and when it was all over, the best team won it.”
He’s right, the Rangers weren’t happy and the best team did win.
At least the game was on late and I wasn't awake to watch the Angels celebrate, that would have drove me nuts, even though it is a good story.
AL West title is sweet, and bittersweet, for Angels
By Mike DiGiovanna
Los Angeles Times
They clinch fifth division championship in six years with 11-0 rout of Texas, then start the celebration -- but only after an emotional remembrance of the late Nick Adenhart.
The champagne-and-beer showers, the ear-thumping hip-hop music and dancing, the victory cigars -- all the trappings of a traditional division-winning celebration would have to wait.
Before the revelry came a remembrance.
The Angels clinched their fifth American League West title in six years with an 11-0 romp over the Texas Rangers in Angel Stadium on Monday night, and after a huge group hug in the middle of the infield, players and coaches quickly retreated to the clubhouse.
But before any corks were popped, Manager Mike Scioscia spoke for several minutes about the fallen Angel, Nick Adenhart, the 22-year-old pitcher who was killed along with two friends in a car crash on April 9, just four days into the season.
"It was definitely very emotional," reliever Kevin Jepsen said. "It was Scioscia saying, 'No matter what happens, everywhere we go, Nick is with us.' He's been with us the whole way, and he's pulling for us. He was a part of this team. He can't be here to celebrate with us, but he's in our hearts."
The Angels got the party started, dousing each other with large quantities of booze, but Adenhart was again in the middle of it, a clubhouse attendant taking Adenhart's No. 34 jersey around the room and players pouring beer and champagne on it.
The Angels then jogged en masse to the center-field wall, where a picture of Adenhart in mid-pitching motion has been affixed since the tragic crash. Players bowed their heads, tapped Adenhart's face, and some poured beer over his head.
"Nick Adenhart should be here celebrating with us," center fielder Torii Hunter said. "But the good Lord took him. Now, we're just celebrating in his name. He's a very important part of the team. We're playing hard for him. Trust me, he's here in spirit and in love."
The Angels have gotten used to such celebrations, having advanced to the playoffs in six of the last eight years and winning the World Series in 2002.
"They never get old," said pitcher John Lackey, the Game 7 winner in the 2002 World Series. "You've got to celebrate, for sure. We've been together since the middle of February, it's been a long journey, and a lot of things didn't go as planned."
For that reason, many Angels said, this celebration felt different.
"This one is special because we're one short," pitcher Joe Saunders said of Adenhart. "We miss him. We wish he was here with us. This season is dedicated to him. We're celebrating for him and for his family. We're trying to win this thing for him."
Added Lackey: "He's definitely in our thoughts. This is the first step of our goal. We're going to take him all the way."
The next step is a likely AL division series rematch with the Boston Red Sox, who eliminated the Angels in the first round of the playoffs in 2004, 2007 and 2008 and need just one victory, or one more Texas loss, to clinch the AL wild card.
"They're going to get a battle," Saunders said. "They've had our number in the postseason. We've got nothing to lose. We're going to give them everything we've got, and hopefully, we'll play until November."
The Angels achieved their first goal Monday night by crushing their closest pursuers in the division, throttling the Rangers with their bats and smothering them with their pitching and gloves.
Ervin Santana, who entered with a 7-6 career record and 6.67 earned-run average against Texas, threw a seven-hitter for his second shutout of the season, and the Angels racked up 12 hits, including three each by Bobby Abreu and Maicer Izturis.
Vladimir Guerrero hit a run-scoring double and Kendry Morales followed with a towering two-run home run to center field in the first inning, giving the first baseman 33 homers and 104 runs batted in on the season.
Erick Aybar hit an RBI fielder's choice in the third, and Izturis keyed a three-run third with a two-run single.
Abreu tripled and scored in the fourth and hit an RBI double and scored on Hunter's single during a three-run sixth.
Dennis' College Story of the Week:
This one is just crazy scary, the USC running back had a throat surgery after a bench press incident. I'm not sure much more has to be said to make that any scarier.
USC running back Stafon Johnson hurt in weight-room accident
By Gary Klein and Ben Bolch
Los Angeles Times
USC running back Stafon Johnson underwent more than seven hours of throat surgery Monday after he was injured in a weight-room accident on campus.
Johnson, a senior, was in "critical but stable" condition, a California Hospital Medical Center spokeswoman said. His post-surgical prognosis is good, she added.
Johnson, who starred at Dorsey High, was just starting a set of bench-press lifts near the end of a midmorning workout when he apparently lost control of the bar and it landed on his neck, Coach Pete Carroll said.
Johnson reportedly spit up blood through his mouth and nose.
Reserve quarterback Garrett Green and fullback Stanley Havili did not see the accident, but both said they saw Johnson sitting quietly as he awaited the paramedics.
Carroll said Johnson's neck had been stabilized with a brace before he was transported by gurney to an ambulance.
"This is a guy who's been an integral part of our program for years," Carroll said. "Everybody loves Stafon. . . . When you're as connected as we are, we feel every bit of this. . . . We all feel a bit damaged today and injured. . . . It's a bad deal."
Surgery began about 2 p.m., according to family friend John Eatman, a former high school teammate of Johnson's.
Eatman was among about a dozen friends and family members gathered at the hospital Monday evening.
"Right now we don't know anything," Eatman said outside the hospital. "We're just hoping he's all right."
Johnson's mother, Kim Mallory, was at the hospital but declined to comment through a family spokesperson.
Another source close to the family, who asked that they not be identified because they were not authorized to speak on their behalf, said surgeons had planned to realign Johnson's larynx and they were hopeful that he would regain his voice.
The hospital spokeswoman said the doctor said while it is unlikely Johnson will be able to complete the season, he is expected to make a full recovery.
Carroll said incidents such as Monday's were rare.
"With all of thousands of reps that guys take, for the most part, guys don't get injured," Carroll said. "Unfortunately, this one happened today."
USC did not make strength and conditioning coach Chris Carlisle available to the media. However, a news release posted on the school's website said Carlisle was within feet of Johnson when the accident occurred.
Carlisle also said that such a weightlifting accident was rare.
"I've seen players have the bar slip and fall onto their chest, but never in my 25 years of coaching have I heard of someone dropping a bar on their throat," Carlisle said on the website.
Carlisle also said an assistant strength and conditioning coach was acting as a "spotter" for Johnson at the time, but he did not identify the staff member.
It's only been a week but it appears people are watching new shows this fall. 6 shows had higher debuts than any show last fall. I know just from my couch I can say this, there seems to be better new shows this fall, I figure that can't hurt.
New shows rolling this fall
Debut series drawing unexpected numbers
By James Hibberd
Sept 28, 2009, 07:36 PM ET
After two years of new shows opening to middling numbers, broadcast is showing renewed signs of life this fall.
Many veteran series continue to decline, but audiences are checking out new programs in higher-than-expected numbers.
"Viewers have shown an encouraging willingness to sample new shows," said John Rash, senior vp-director of media negotiations at Campbell-Mithun. "It's proving that the death of the scripted series, let along network TV, is greatly exaggerated."
After only a few weeks, broadcasters have rolled out six new shows that generated at least a 4.0 rating among adults 18-49 in their series premiere: NBC's "The Jay Leno Show" (5.3); Fox's "The Cleveland Show" (4.9); CBS' "NCIS: Los Angeles (4.4); and ABC's "Cougar Town" (4.4), "Modern Family" (4.2) and "FlashForward" (4.0).
By comparison, at the same point last year, the highest-rated new show was "Worst Week" (3.8), which benefited from the biggest comedy lead-in on TV in CBS' Monday night block.
"It was really terrific week for network TV," CBS scheduling chief Kelly Kahl said. "People sampled new shows, they came back for returning shows. Practically every network had something to feel good about. We got people back in the house."
Even syndication, which has been particularly hard hit in recent years, has a reason to celebrate. Freshman talker "The Dr. Oz Show" has performed very well in daytime.
" 'Dr. Oz' appears to be a hit," said Bill Carroll, vp-director of programming at Katz Television. "It's still too early to know for sure, but the early numbers are promising."
Carroll gave some credit for broadcast's numbers to Jay Leno's nightly primetime show, saying that all the media attention surrounding the program and relatively early premiere might have helped other premieres.
"After being focused on cable all summer, all of the attention around Jay Leno caused viewers to check out broadcast again," he said.
While every network seems to have a reason to celebrate this week, each also has a couple of concerns.
CBS generated a jaw-dropping rating for the return of Tuesday's "NCIS" and its new spinoff and also drew a sizable audience for new drama "The Good Wife." Longtime Thursday procedural "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," however, continues to take worrisome hits since the departure of William Petersen last year.
Fox's "House" was one of the few veteran shows to improve this fall, and the network's Thursday lineup of "Bones" and "Fringe" has improved the network's time periods in the evening, though "Fringe" is taking a pounding from tough competition in the slot.
ABC opened new Wednesday comedies "Modern Family" and "Cougar Town" to network TV's biggest half-hour premieres in two years, while also launching Thursday night drama "FlashForward" to a terrific number for its early 8 p.m. time period. The ABC pilots also picked up some encouraging additional sampling on Friday night in repeats. Sunday's "Desperate Housewives" fell steeply, but fellow top-rated soap "Grey's Anatomy" only dropped modestly on Thursday.
"Jay Leno" continues to draw better-than-expected numbers for NBC while also steadily eroding. Wednesday's "Mercy" opened modestly, and Thursday's second episode of "Community" fell more than one might hope.
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds died yesterday. I was just telling the story of her the other day, I thought she was Julian's teacher, didn't realize she was his age.
Lucy of 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds' fame dies
By Gregory Katz, Associated Press Writer
LONDON — Lucy Vodden, who provided the inspiration for The Beatles' classic song Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, has died after a long battle with lupus. She was 46.
Her death was announced Monday by St. Thomas' Hospital in London, where she had been treated for the chronic disease for more than five years, and by her husband, Ross Vodden. Britain's Press Association said she died last Tuesday. Hospital officials said they could not confirm the day of her death.
Vodden's connection to The Beatles dates back to her early days, when she made friends with schoolmate Julian Lennon, John Lennon's son.
Julian Lennon, then 4 years old, came home from school with a drawing one day, showed it to his father, and said it was "Lucy in the sky with diamonds."
At the time, John Lennon was gathering material for his contributions to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, a landmark album released to worldwide acclaim in 1967.
The elder Lennon seized on the image and developed it into what is widely regarded as a psychedelic masterpiece, replete with haunting images of "newspaper taxis" and a "girl with kaleidoscope eyes."
Rock music critics thought the song's title was a veiled reference to LSD, but John Lennon always claimed the phrase came from his son, not from a desire to spell out the initials LSD in code.
Vodden lost touch with Julian Lennon after he left the school following his parents' divorce, but they were reunited in recent years when Julian Lennon, who lives in France, tried to help her cope with the disease.
He sent her flowers and vouchers for use at a gardening center near her home in Surrey in southeast England, and frequently sent her text messages in an effort to buttress her spirits.
"I wasn't sure at first how to approach her," Julian Lennon told the Associated Press in June. "I wanted at least to get a note to her. Then I heard she had a great love of gardening, and I thought I'd help with something she's passionate about, and I love gardening, too. I wanted to do something to put a smile on her face."
In recent months, Vodden was too ill to go out most of the time, except for hospital visits.
She enjoyed her link to The Beatles, but was not particularly fond of Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.
"I don't relate to the song, to that type of song," she told the Associated Press in June. "As a teenager, I made the mistake of telling a couple of friends at school that I was the Lucy in the song and they said, 'No, it's not you, my parents said it's about drugs.' And I didn't know what LSD was at the time, so I just kept it quiet, to myself."
Vodden is the latest in a long line of people connected to The Beatles who died at a relatively young age.
The list includes John Lennon, gunned down at age 40; manager Brian Epstein, who died of a drug overdose when he was 32; and original band member Stuart Sutcliffe, who died of a brain hemorrhage at 21.
A spokeswoman for Julian Lennon and his mother, Cynthia Lennon, said they were "shocked and saddened" by Vodden's death.
I guess this is what's it's come to, Rockers I dug as a teenager are now putting out stuff for my kids. I guess that ain't so bad.
Rockin' Heart sisters deliver bedtime CD, kids' book
By Kristin McGrath, USA TODAY
Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson are known for electric guitars and rock 'n' roll power ballads. The sisters' latest projects, though, might just lull their audience to sleep.
Ann's children's book, Dog & Butterfly, and Nancy's lullabies album, Baby Guitars, will be released Oct. 6 exclusively on Amazon.com. The releases coincide with the 30th anniversary of Heart's Dog & Butterfly, and a new version of the song recorded by the sisters will be available as a free download with the book's purchase.
As moms, both know what it takes for a smooth transition to bedtime.
Baby Guitars, Nancy says, has been well "road-tested" on children. She wrote and recorded the songs with Heart guitarist Craig Bartock five years ago as a gift for a pregnant pal. Up until now, the recordings have been heard only by family and friends. (When Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes became parents in 2006, Nancy passed along a home-burned copy to his team for daughter Suri.)
"Friends of mine have said, 'Oh, my God, this music really works on my kids,' " says Nancy, 55. "They'll be in meltdown mode, and you put it on and there's sort of this atmospheric change in the room."
Baby Guitars features "pure, innocent" sounds like acoustic guitars, mandolin, harp and Japanese koto. The tracks are instrumentals, recalling Nancy's work scoring Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous, written and directed by husband Cameron Crowe. Her 10-year-old twin sons, Billy and Curtis, drew the cover art, and Billy's beloved blanket inspired Nancy's favorite song on the album, Silky.
"The comfort zone of that blanket when he dragged it around in the house, I was trying to describe that feeling," Nancy says. "It's got a slow shuffle. It's kind of fun."
Ann's Dog & Butterfly book also is catered to the "soft souls" of children, Ann says. The book is inspired by the same event behind the song and album of the same name — her sheepdog, Moffa, chasing a butterfly.
"At that time, it was kind of comical," says Ann, 59. "But all of a sudden, there was a metaphor for me."
She says the book's deeper meaning gives children something to think about after they hear the story of a puppy that's able to catch a butterfly only after he lets it come to him.