BOB MATTHEWS SPORTS TALK
Weeknights 6:00PM - 8:00PM
on WHAM 1180
Email Bob here.
For over 25 years, Bob Matthews has held the title of Rochester's most popular sports writer/commentator. For over 20 years, Bob has hosted WHAM's nightly sports talk program...consistently ranked at the top of his time slot!
From 1978 to 2012, Bob Matthews was a sports columnist for the Times-Union and Democrat and Chronicle and a regular "As the Sports World Turns" contributor to the Gannett News Service. He is the only person to be selected Press-Radio Club Sportswriter of the Year (five times) and Sportscaster of the Year, and was a pioneer inductee into the Frontier Field Walk of Fame.
A Rochester native, Bob graduated from Brighton High School where he played varsity baseball, basketball and served as student council V-P. Bob is also a veteran, serving his country in Vietnam.
Always opinionated and outspoken, Bob's proudest accomplishment is advocating for Frontier Field. His all-time favorite athlete...former Red Wing Luke Easter. One of his sports regrets……not being around for the glory year of the Rochester Royals.
49ERS ARE MY PICK: I TRUST KAEPERNICK MORE THAN FLACCO
HAS ALEX RODRIGUEZ PLAYED HIS LAST GAME?
I”D TAKE GLENNON NO. 8 – IN THE SECOND ROUND
RANDY MOSS HAD TO BE KIDDING
The San Francisco 49ers are my pick to win Sunday’s Super Bowl 47 over the Baltimore Ravens and I’m surprised that they’re favored by only 3 ½ points.
A few reasons I like the 49ers:
I don’t think Baltimore can stop San Francisco’s read option offense. The dynamic scheme began to click when the more versatile Colin Kaepernick replaced unfortunate veteran Alex Smith at quarterback in mid-November. Kaepernick has a stronger arm and much more mobility and speed.
Running back Frank Gore is my pick for Super Bowl MVP, particularly if Baltimore is soft inside while paying too much attention to the threat of Kaepernick running outside. I won’t be surprised if speedy running back LaMichael James makes his presence felt.
I have more faith in Kaepernick than in Baltimore veteran Joe Flacco. Kaepernick is dangerous with his arm and legs. Flacco seldom runs and relies heavily on deep throws. He’s on a roll (3-0 with 8 TD passes and 0 INTs in the AFC playoffs) but he’s always been streaky and he’s due for a poor game.
If either starting QB is hurt, Alex Smith would be more likely to come through than Baltimore’s relatively inexperienced Tyrod Taylor.
Both teams are loaded with big names on defense, but San Francisco has more players in their prime. Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs have seen better days. Lewis in particular could be in for a long evening trying to run down Kaepernick and James.
God might watch the game but I’m pretty sure he won’t be favoring Baltimore and Ray Lewis.
Two things worry me about the 49ers: kick returner Ted Ginn Jr. and kicker David Akers. I’ve seen Ginn botch too many kicks to have any confidence in him. Big edge to Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones. Akers has struggled all season. My big hope is that the 49ers won’t need him to make a kick with the game on the line.
My pick: San Francisco 27, Baltimore 20.
MAYBE A-ROD HAS PLAYED HIS LAST GAME
Not too long ago, baseball fans were speculating that Alex Rodriguez would pass Barry Bonds as baseball’s all-time home-run king and Hank Aaron as the clean all-time home-run leader.
Things have changed. Now I’m not sure that A-Rod will get the 14 HRs he needs to pass fourth-ranked Willie Mays.
Here are baseball’s all-time HR leaders (and the number of HRs A-Rod needs to catch the sluggers ahead of him):
Barry Bonds – 762 HRs (116 HRs)
Hank Aaron – 755 HRs (109 HRs)
Babe Ruth – 714 HRs (68 HRs)
Willie Mays – 660 HRs (14 HRs)
Alex Rodriguez – 647.
Is there a chance A-Rod has played in his last Major League Baseball game? I wouldn’t be shocked.
Barry Bonds was 43 when the 2007 season ended. But he had an excellent season for the San Francisco Giants: 126 games; .276 batting average (94x340); 75 runs; 66 RBl. He led the National League in walks (132), intentional walks (43) and on-base percentage (.480) and was 2nd in OPS (1.045; on-base percentage+slugging percentage).
He obviously still could hit at a very high level. He’d have been a terrific designated hitter in the American League. But he didn’t get a nibble.
Was there collusion? Was he blackballed? Or did 30 teams figure he wasn’t worth the trouble and would poison the clubhouse? Who knows?
Is Alex Rodriguez destined for the same fate?
IS MIKE GLENNON TOO RISKY FOR THE BILLS?
North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon – and potential Buffalo Bills No. 8 overall draft pick – is featured in the current edition of USA Today Sports Weekly. The headline: Glennon a mixture of pluses, minuses. Doesn’t sound like a likely “franchise QB” to me. The drophead: QB has arm but may lack judgment (maybe he would be a fit for the Bills).
Glennon is compared by others – and himself – to Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan in build, throwing motion and personality. That wouldn’t be bad. Ryan was the third overall pick in 2008 and many draftnicks think Glennon will be the first QB selected in April. USA Today Sports Weekly’s Dan Wolken wrote, “His draft range appears to be somewhere late in the top 10 to out of the first round altogether.”
Glennon’s assets are height (almost 6-7) and an NFL-caliber strong arm. Questions marks include a lack of mobility, thin body (220 pounds) and decisions in the pocket.He had a 58.5 completion percentage and 17 INTs as a senior and was 15-11 overall as North Carolina’s starting QB (he replaced Russell Wilson after Wilson ticked off coach Tom O’Brien by opting to try pro baseball instead of attending spring football practice after his junior season).
When was the last time the Bills got lucky drafting a QB? Glennon seems too risky for Buffalo to pick No. 8 overall. But he’d be a reasonable risk if he falls to the eighth pick in the second round.
RANDY MOSS: NFL’S VERSION OF BASEBALL’S MICKEY MANTLE
San Francisco’s Randy Moss took advantage of Super Bowl 47’s media day to anoint himself as the NFL’s all-time best wide receiver.
Because this is Super Hype Week, Moss’ self-serving opinion got much more attention than it deserved.
Moss reminds me of Mickey Mantle. I believe Mantle was the most physically-gifted player in baseball history: Awesome power from both sides of the plate and blazing speed. Mantle had a great career (including three MVP awards) but he isn’t high on anyone’s list of the all-time greatest players because of poor habits off the field and assorted injuries, mostly to his wheels.
Moss probably is the most physically-gifted wide receiver in football history. He was taller, ran faster and jumped higher than Jerry Rice. But Rice maximized his physical tools and had a vastly better work ethic than Moss, who freely admitted to taking plays off. Some critics think he took games off. He took the 2011 season off.
Moss on Tuesday said he’s not big into stats. That’s a good thing, because Rice has it all over him:
MOSS (14 seasons) – 218 games; 982 catches for 15292 yards; 15.6 yards per catch; 156 TD catches; 70.9 yards receiving per game; 25 runs for 159 yards and 0 TDs…His best season was 2007 with New England: 98 catches for 1493 yards and an NFL-record 23 TD catches; 93.3 yards receiving per game..
RICE (20 seasons) – 303 games; 1549 catches for 22895 yards; 14.8 yards per catch; 197 TD catches; 75.6 yards receiving per game; 87 runs for 645 yards and 10 TDs…His best season was 1995: 122 catches for 1948 yards and 15 TD catches; 115.5 yards receiving per game…Rice had a career-most 22 TD catches in only 12 games in 1987 (strike season; 15-game regular season, including three with substitute players).
Moss suggested that he had a greater impact than Rice. Wrong again. Rice has three Super Bowl rings. Moss is going for his first on Sunday, as a reserve for the 49ers.
If Moss had Rice’s work ethic, he would’ve been the NFL’s all-time greatest wider receiver. But he never did and never will.
A more reasonable debate would be: Is Randy Moss the NFL’s all-time second-best wide receiver? That would be a reasonable claim. But Rice vs. Moss is no contest by any stretch of the imagination.
ANDRE REED LIKELY TO BE DISAPPOINTED AGAIN SATURDAY
The newest Pro Football Hall of Famers will be selected and announced on Saturday in New Orleans. The 17 finalists are: first-timers OL Larry Allen, DT Warren Sapp, DE Michael Strahan, OT Jonathan Odgen; holdovers RB Jerome Bettis, LBs-DEs Kevin Greene and Charles Haley; coach Bill Parcells; OG Will Shields; DB Arenas Williams; WRs Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Andre Reed; owners Edward DeBartolo Jr. and Art Modell; and senior nominees DT Curly Culp and LB Dave Robinson.
Between 4 and 7 will be selected.
My guess: Parcells a lock… Strahan likey. Culp a chance. Bettis? Modell? I hope Carter is chosen to break the logjam at WR and boodt Reed’s hopes for 2014 or 2015.
There won’t be many dry eyes in America around 6:15 Sunday evening when 26 pupils from Newtown, Conn., sing God Bless America during the Super Bowl pre-game show. Alicia Keys will sing the National Anthem and she’ll have a tough act to follow.
On the subject of Super Bowl National Anthems: I think it would be a nice touch if a sponsor – or CBS – honors the late and great Whitney Houston’s by replaying her classic and unforgettable rendition of the National Anthem before Super Bowl 25.
Tiger Woods now has 75 PGA Tour victories, second only to Sam Snead’s 82. Woods needs 8 more wins to top Snead. Tiger recently turned 37 and there are signs that he is close to regaining his top form and many years of championship-caliber golf. For the record, Snead posted 17 PGA Tour victories after he turned 40.
The Rochester Knighthawks should be primed for a top effort at home Saturday night against the Washington Stealth. The defending National Lacrosse League K-hawks are off to a 0-3 start and haven’t clicked offensively. With the additions of superstar veterans Casey Powell and Dan Dawson, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be a goal-scoring machine.
Hannah Davis, the 22-year-old model who is causing a stir as the Direc TV Genie girl, reportedly is dating Derek Jeter. That isn’t going to cool speculation that the 5-foot-10 green-eyed Hannah is among the favorites for the cover of the 2013 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
There aren’t nearly as many clever nicknames in baseball as there used to be, but A-Fraud for Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez is an exception.
The New York Yankees reportedly are interested in long-time Cleveland Indians slugger Travis Hafner to fill the role as left-handed DH. That figures. It would’ve been a great move many years ago. From 2004 through 2007, he finished no lower than 8th in AL MVP balloting every season.
Will the New York Mets enter the 2013 season with a better starting rotation (Johan Santana, Matt Harvey, Jonathan Niese, Dillon Gee and Shawn Marcum) than the New York Yankees?
Peter King of Sports Illustrated wrote that the San Francisco 49ers, when they were about to trade up to obtain quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the second round of the 2011 NFL college draft, knew the Buffalo Bills weren’t interested in Kaepernick and traded with St. Louis for the No. 36 pick. I have two questions: How did the 49ers know the Bills weren’t interested in Kaepernick and why weren’t the Bills interested? Some NFL organizations are very sharp. Others are very dull.
Recommended viewing: The Harlem Globetrotters make their annual stop in Rochester Saturday, 2 p.m., at Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial. Everyone should attend a Globetrotters show at least once. The tricks never change but it always is a fun event, particularly for kids. I went to one live Globetrotters game, when I was about 7 years old. One big change is the price of tickets (now $25.25 to $124.75).
Can Lance Armstrong stoop any lower? Now he’s calling for amnesty and reconciliation because he says cyclists have cheated in the Tour de France since the event began. For example, they used to hop onto railroad cars. I wish Armstrong would go away and take Alex Rodriguez with him.