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Now in our ninth calendar year!
PCR #457 (Vol. 9, No. 52) This edition is for the week of December 22--31, 2008.

"Valkyrie" †by Mike Smith
A Very Fanboy Christmas †by ED Tucker
The Flaming Lips: Christmas On Mars †by Terence Nuzum
Favorite Topics Of Ď08 .... From First To Worst .... Arena Football Died? .... Nfl Picks .... Sports Talk Sports Awards! .... .... .... by Chris Munger
Merry Christmas .... .... .... by Matt Drinnenberg
Thanks And Thoughts .... Show Us!! .... Passing On .... In Case We Missed You .... Coming Next Year .... The Year That Was: Part Ii .... Top Movie Quotes .... I Leave You With This .... And The Oscar Should Have Gone To... †by Mike Smith
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Sports Talk

Favorite Topics Of Ď08
1) NFL Europe Closed Down
This was my favorite because it was my first topic for Sports Talk, and I really loved NFL Europe.

2) Aaron Rodgers Takes Over For The Packers
Aaron Rodgers took over, Favre went to New York, and the Pack had a dismal season behind Rodgers. This topic led to the most discussion on the boards concerning sports.

3) Charles Barkley calls the Washington Wizards the ďdumbest team in the history of civilizationĒ.
When Barkely did this he was regarding the calling out of LeBron James by trash talk during the Wizards-Cavaliers playoff series. He was right, as James and the Cavs beat Washington.

4) Bucs Blow Draft
When I said they blew the draft by passing on Michael Jenkins and drafting Aqib Talib, boy was I wrong. Talib is a team leader in interceptions and Jenkins has done close to nothing in Dallas.

5) Uniform Digression
I wrote about how some college football teams and mostly Arena Football teams where cutting back on uniform designs and quit being creative, when I wrote that I didnít know the AFL was having cash problems league-wide and thatís what probably led to the demise of dynamic uniform design in football.

6) Madden 09 Anticipation
Purchasing Madden 09 is ritualistic for most men 15-40, however this year Iíve noticed that the creator of the game -EA Sports- has lacked in impressing gamers by showing us something new and made a handful of NFL uniforms incorrectly.

7) NFL Owners Meet
When these guys met earlier this year they decided that they want more money back from the playerís union who receives 60% of the profits from the league. If they were considering this back then, then Iím sure they are pushing this hard now as some teams are having financial ownership problems.

8) Donít Let The Door Hit You
Bruce Gradkowski was cut, Jake Plummer would rather be fishing than play in Tampa, and Simms was released leaving the Bucs with only 5 quarterbacks left at the time. Now at the end of the season, the Bucs still have QB issues.

9) Rays Want A Stadium
They proposed it, we bickered, they tried to sell it, they killed it before we could vote on it, they showed us a great baseball team, we should show them a new stadium more accessible to Tampa Bay area residents.

10) Fox 13 F*** ups
Fox 13 News made fun of Jon Gruden for a miss-statement, totally forgetting that they are the leader in: wrong video clips for the anchorís story, chopped up video, mis-speaks, wrong or limited to no information on the reported story, running into the camera shot late and also telling you that there is a 10% chance of rain when itís pouring outside your home. But I guess they all mess up sometimes.

From First To Worst
Three weeks ago, the Buccaneers and their fans thought that their team was going to at least host one playoff game and maybe catch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Fast forward two weeks later and after a defensive meltdown in Carolina, and a pathetic effort in Atlanta, then a shredding by the Chargers, the Buccaneers find themselves in a position to where if the season were to end today, Tampa Bay would not even be in the post-season. This team is better than that. We all know that. Heck, the Bucs never lose to Atlanta! This was supposed to be the year. This was the year the Bucs were supposed to play in the Super Bowl in their own stadium. This was supposed to be the year we would finally see Grudenís offensive genius explode. Instead, our high production players like Garcia, Galloway, and Graham have fallen to injury, and although Ronde Barber can still pick íem off with the rest of them, Barber and Derrick Brooks are mere shadows of what they were. It wasnít supposed to be like this. After the 2002 Super Bowl victory, the Bucs were supposed to build upon their success, and become one the best teams in the NFL. Instead Jon Gruden chose to dismantle an elite team and let the window of opportunity close. Now we find ourselves here, staring another less-than-average season in the face, all the hope Bucs fans have is that even if the Bucs beat their last opponent of the season, the Oakland Raiders, they still face the possibility of being left out of the playoffs and if by some miracle they do make it in, they will have to go on the road to play that playoff game, possibly in freezing temperatures up north, and against a team that they have no chance of beating. Get ready Bucs fans itís going to be a long couple of years, Gruden is in for two more.

Arena Football Died?
Pending an agreement with the players union, its official, there will be no Arena Football in 2009. After I wrote about the league folding two weeks ago in Sports Talk, the AFL said they were going to proceed with their season. After finding out that the New Orleans VooDoo franchise folded up, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who also owns the AFLís Dallas Desperados wanted to close his franchise followed by additional expected closings by the Philadelphia Soul (last years AFL Champion), Cleveland Gladiators, and the Georgia Force. Maybe lack of better team names was their problem. Now, we play a wait and see game while the Arena Football League re-structures their organization and hopefully will kickoff in 2010. Without most of their teams playing in big markets, and continuing with an eight to ten team league they wonít get any television contracts. When the Arena League started they went for smaller media market cities like Tampa, Orlando, Des Moines, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids and so on, but they moved the Iowa Barnstormers and Milwaukee Mustangs and other teams, then gave those cities that lost AFL teams a team in the Arena Football League 2 (AF2 -Aflís minor league system), instead of expanding the AFL.

NFL Picks
Bucs 40 Raiders 20
I expect the Bucs to rip into Oakland, and everyone will be happy and think the slide is over but if the Bucs get into the playoffs theyíll lose there. Kiffin is leaving because he knows theyíve hit a brick wall in Tampa.

Jets 13 Dolphins 20
In what I think will be Brett Favreís last game (unless they make the playoffs), both the Jets and Dolphins are fighting for a playoff spot and need a win to get it. The Dolphins are led the quarterback that the Jets released to make room for Brett Favre, Chad Pennington and he will most likely end the Jetsí playoff hopes.

Browns 0 Steelers 31
Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, yes I said Bruce Gradkowski, the former Buccaneer will start this week for the Cleveland Browns against the leagueís top defense, the Steelers. Good Luck Bruce!

Sports Talk Sports Awards!
These people are who I thought were the best in the sports world. All award winners will receive 5 bucks in mcnugget money upon my meeting them (if I ever get the chance!) and are limited to Tampa Bay area sports figures and teams!

Coach of the Year: Joe Maddon of course, he took the worst team in baseballís history made them into winners without a big payroll.

Player of the Year: Mike Alstott and Evan Longoria
Alstott hasnít played one down this year, but he retired this year and man is he sorely missed. Longoria lit this city on fire by coming out of nowhere and having an mvp-like season as a rookie.

Team of the Year: Plant High School Football Team. These are guys are good and are the only team to bring a title to Tampa this year. (one nugget coupon for the coach!)

Worst Team: Tampa Bay Lightning. An embarrassing year, again.

Worst Coach: Jon Gruden. Gruden has completely picked apart a championship football team in its prime, and has skated by in a relatively weak NFC South division for years and has not won a playoff game since the 2002 season.

thanks for reading sports talk! Merry Chrismas!

"Sports Talk" is ©2008 by Christopher Munger.   All graphics this page, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2008 by Nolan B. Canova.