Dec 6, 2010

Basketball in NOLA is in Trouble

If you like having NBA basketball in Louisiana, it's time to step up and support it. The NBA is buying the team and for it to stay in New Orleans, fans have to show the league that they'll support the product. If fans continue to not show up and attendance dwindles, any potential buyer for the team will be free to move the franchise (only having to pay $10 million exit fee to the state).

I'll admit that I've only made a few games, and haven't been since before Katrina. I've never seen Chris Paul play live and my last game saw Speedy Claxton at point guard. But I do keep up with the team and watch them on Cox Sports any chance I get, but that's not going to keep them here.

I'd be upset if the team left and enjoy New Orleans being a major league city with two major sports franchises. Everyone loves the Saints, more so now, but the Hornets have been slow to catch on. So Hornets fans, do you want to keep the Hornets or let them leave?

Here are some potential cities that would be interested in the Hornets.

Nov 22, 2010

Doctor Who Christmas Special Trailer

Series 5 of the "new" Doctor Who, featuring the 11th Doctor Matt Smith and show runner Steven Moffat, upped the ante on everything the new series was under Russell T. Davies. Smith was great as the Doctor and followed fan favorite David Tennant brilliantly. The show gained momentum throughout the season and ended with an exciting finale. So what's next for Who fans? The Christmas special, of course:

Nov 19, 2010

LSU Bowl Projections

LSU football season is winding down and man, what a wild ride it has been. We've gone from middle of the rankings to let's fire Les Miles to our QBs stinking up Tiger Stadium to an win over Alabama and Miles eating grass to being the #5 team in the BCS rankings. You got all that?

So what does LSU's #5 ranking and 9-1 record get them? Well, it gives them a very, very, very outside shot at the BCS title game, but a good shot at a BCS Bowl. If not one of the big games, LSU will still be playing in one of the better SEC bowl tie-ins.

Here's a look at where a few sites are projecting the Tigers to play in the postseason:

Nov 17, 2010

Braves Strike First

With MLB's offseason just getting underway, the Braves made the first big move by acquiring All Star Dan Uggla from the Florida Marlins for All Star utility player Omar Infante and pitcher Mike Dunn.

Infante was fun to watch last year, but Uggla is a major improvement in the power area. By the end of last year, most of the Braves big bats were injured, and with Chipper Jones nearing retirement, they needed to bring in someone who could help Jason Hayward in the power/RBI department. Uggla should help in those areas, but his acquisition also means Martin Prado won't be manning second base next year. Prado is set to move to the outfield, or fill in for Chipper if he is slow to return from his knee injury or if Chipper decides to hang up his cleats.

Needless to say, the Braves roster will look a lot different than the one they fielded in the postseason, including the coaching staff.

Nov 4, 2010

Pierre Thomas' Days with Saints Numbered?

What is up with the Saints and Pierre Thomas? There is obviously more than meets the eye with this story.

A week or so ago, Jay Glazer talked about how Thomas was in Coach Payton's doghouse and could be inactive, even when he comes back from his injury. Coach Payton then had to address the issue, but never really said anything. He said that everyone is frustrated at the amount of time the injury is taking to heal and both sides said that they are on the same page.

Thomas has a high ankle sprain and the injury keeps lingering. The Saints are tight with injury news and when this first occurred it seemed it wouldn't take long to heal, but that could just be the Saints way of downplaying injuries.

But now the frustration has reached a new level and a new report says Thomas was almost traded to the Patriots for a corner back. So what does this mean in the short- and long-run? Thomas may come back after the Saints bye week, which means he'd return against Seattle on Nov. 21. That's also the target date for Reggie Bush's return. Thomas is a valuable member of the Saints, but he's not irreplaceable. I think the team really likes Chris Ivory and I could envision them with a Ivory/Bush RB tandem next year.

Thomas has been trying to get a long-term contact, paying starting RB money, but he's a platoon guy in NOLA. The Saints aren't going to break the bank on him and he needed a huge year to get the deal he wanted. Now, he's missed most of the season and his replacement may already be in place.

With all these reports on Thomas being on the outs and almost being traded, his days as a Saint are likely numbered. Where there's smoke, there's fire.

Hornets Improved to 3-0

Perhaps the biggest early surprise of the NBA season are the Hornets. They are now 4-0, give all-out effort and are fun to watch. I like the new pieces they've added, especially Marco Belilleni. The Hornets may have finally found a legitimate two-guard to start opposite Chris Paul. Hopefully, the team keeps it up and CP3 sees that he can win in New Orleans.

Oct 15, 2010

Weekend Predictions

One cupcake game and one big-time division game is on tap for LSU and the Saints this weekend.

LSU gets an unofficial week off after two down to the wire games with Tennesse and Florida. The undefeated Tigers welcome McNeese State to Tiger Stadium for the first cupcake game on their tough 2010 schedule. LSU finally has the offense in gear with Jarrett Lee getting more playing time. Maybe this is the week that Jordan Jefferson also contributes to the passing game. Can he complete more than 50 percent of his passes or throw for 150 yards? We shall see.

LSU 48
McNeese 0

The Saints on the other hand face an ulmost "must win" game at Tampa Bay. The 3-2 Saints sit in 3rd place in the division and can't afford to lose anymore ground the the Falcons or Bucs. Drew Brees will right the ship this week and the offense will have its breakout game.

Saints 31
Bucs 17

Oct 12, 2010

Thank you Bobby Cox

Thank you for making me a Braves fan. Thank you for being the only manager I ever watch coach my team. Thank you for all the playoff appearances. Thank you for the World Series title. Thank you for fielding the best pitching staff in baseball. Thank you for the ejections and the passion you brought to the game. Thank you for your slow walk to the mound. Thank you for the memories.

Panic Time?

After a disappointing, inexcusable loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Saints fans are wondering if its time to panic. Now it looks like panic moves are being made. First it was adding John Carney, now the Saints have added RB Julius Jones.

Coach Payton said that he was sticking with Ladell Betts and Chris Ivory, despite the mistakes that both have made in the last couple of games. Well, the next day, the team has signed Jones. What this move really means is that Pierre Thomas isn't coming back any time soon and when he and or Bush comes back, they may not be 100%.

I'm not sure what the issue is with the Saints this year. The defense is solid, yet unspectacular, but they haven't been the issue at all. The offense isn't firing on all cylinders and that starts with Payton and Drew Brees. Is Brees hurt worse than the Saints are letting on? I'm not sure if that's it, but he is a competitor and unless he couldn't walk, he'll be under center. The o-line isn't performing up to their standards either, add to that a subpar running game and receivers dropping passes, and you realize why the Saints have struggled thus far.

But is it time to panic? I don't think so. This is the "soft" part of the schedule (including last week's loss to the Cardinals) and I think the Saints will be fine. But they need to find their groove quickly.

Oct 8, 2010

Weekend Predictions

I'm feeling good about both LSU and the Saints this weekend. Neither have looked great, but a win over Florida would do wonders for LSU's national image, especially after that Tennessee game, and the Saints should be able to get on track with UDFA Max Hall starting for Arizona.

LSU 18

Florida 14

Saints 38

Cardinals 17

Sep 29, 2010

Saints Sign John Carney and Keep Garrett Hartley

After Garrett Hartley's chip-shot miss against Atlanta, the Saints have brought back veteran kicker John Carney. But Hartley isn't being shown the door. Instead the team cut WR Adrian Arrington.

On Arrington first, many fans are upset that he's the one who got chopped. We'll see if he clears waivers, and if he does, he'll likely go back on the Saints practice squad. If he doesn't get claimed, then it shows that fans have overvalue a player who, although he shined in this year's preseason, has been hurt and underachieved in his previous years.

Onto the bigger issue, now that the Saints have two kickers, who do they go with on Sunday? I still think Hartley will get the nod and feel that Carney was brought in more as a mentor/coach relationship, similar to last year. It's obvious that Carney doesn't have the leg strength anymore for deep field goals and there's no way they activate two kickers and a punter on game day, is there?

I think Hartley is in a funk, but the schedule is easier these next four games, so he should have a chance to kick a few field goals with out pressure. The question remains is how confident are the Saints in Hartley right now? Will we see Coach Payton going for more fourth downs instead of FGs? This will be interesting to watch play out.

Sep 24, 2010

Weekend Predictions

This weekend, the Saints and LSU have two big games.

#12 LSU will take on #21 West Virginia Saturday night in a tough out of conference game. LSU's passing game has yet to show up and many fans, including myself, are calling for Jarrett Lee to get some major playing time. Jordan Jefferson is the "safer" quarterback as he doesn't make as many mistakes as Lee (in Lee's defense he was a freshman starter at the time), but the safer Jefferson throws for under 100 yards per game. On the flipside, LSU's defense has been lights out and CB Patrick Peterson is a sure-fire top 10 NFL draft pick next year. They will have their hands full with West Virginia and I'm predicting a tight contest.

West Virginia 20

The Saints return home to face division rival Atlanta on a short week. The Saints have had two tough games to start the season, and they haven't shown the high power offense that Drew Brees and Sean Payton are accustomed to, but 2-0 is still 2-0. Losing Reggie Bush for a few weeks will hurt, but just look for the Saints to air it out even more. Atlanta comes in at 1-1, having blown out the Arizona Cardinals last week. The Cardinals look to be a mess though, so it's not clear yet how good the Falcons are this year. This is their chance to make a move at the NFC South crown.

Saints 27

Falcons 21

Sep 23, 2010

Hornets Make a Trade

The Hornets have made a trade today, acquiring PG Willie Green and C Jason Smith from the 76ers for F Craig Brackins and F Darius Songaila.

The Hornets needed a backup point guard, so they must like what Green brings. I don't know much about him, but more fans seem to be happy to acquire more size coming off the bench in Smith. Fans also seem upset to lose rookie, 1st rounder Brackins, but I'm glad they didn't give up their second 1st rounder, Quincy Pondexter. I'm excited to see him, and I'm not as sure about Brackins.

All in all, right now fans have to trust the new coach/GM regime and they are bringing in "their" players and filling the roster with "their" guys.

Sep 21, 2010

Saints Beat 49ers 25-22, Lose Reggie Bush to an Injury

The said it wouldn't be easy. They said the Saints would have a target on their backs and they'd get opponents best each and every week. They were right. The Saints took it on the chin last night against the 49ers and still managed to escape with a 25-22 victory to improve to 2-0.

There were some positives (ex. Garrett Hartley finding his kicking stride, Saints forcing turnovers) and some negatives (Saints run defense, Saints run game) to take away from the game, but it's still early in the season. This team is proving one thing though, they are not the 2009 Saints. This is a totally different football team than last year and one that will have to scratch and claw and do everything it takes to pull out victories.

No, it wasn't pretty, but 2-0 still feels like 2-0.

On a bad note, it looks like Reggie Bush has a broken leg and will miss about 6 weeks of the season. On the brightside, its just a bone break and not ligament damage, which would cause him to miss the season. The Saints run game was already struggling and the offense has yet to find its groove, so losing Bush is a blow.

Look for the Saints to bring in another running back while Bush heals. Right now, the team has Pierre Thomas (who should get a ton of touches now), DeShawn Wynn and Chris Ivory (who is nursing a knee injury). Ladell Betts was with the team and he may be brought back as a short-term fix.

Sep 20, 2010

MNF: Saints at 49ers

The Saints will end the second week of the season on the road at San Francisco. This could be a "trap" game for the Saints as the 49ers look to be in shambles after their week 1 blowout loss to Seattle, but this is a good team. They have a tough defense and they could cause problems for the Saints.

The 49er offense shouldn't be much of an issue for the Saints. Really, if they can stop Frank Gore, then the Saints will be fine. But it's always tough going on the road, especially playing all the way on the West Coast. Add to that the Monday Night Football atmosphere plus the 49ers retiring Jerry Rice's #80 jersey, and this could be a tough night for the Saints.

I'm not really seeing it though. The Saints are at the top of their game, and they'll be ready for this game. The big win against Minnesota last week becomes less meaningful if they lose to the 49ers.

Saints 27
49ers 13

Sep 10, 2010

Saints Beat Vikings, Drop Super Bowl Banner

Sure it wasn't the 34-31 shoot-out that most people envisioned, but a 14-9 victory is still impressive. The Saints left a lot of points on the field (Garrett Hartley, I'm talking to you) and could have made the game much more lopsided. But the end result is still the same. The Saints are 1-0.

There were lots of bright spots, especially on defense. It looks like Gregg Williams will have his guys playing even better in his system this year and they seemed to surprise the Vikings by showing them different looks (3-4, dropping more in coverage, not focusing on the blitz), proving that the Saints can beat you in multiple ways with multiple looks. That's scary, especially if the offense can get out of their mini-funk and put up the close to 30 points per game that Drew Brees and Sean Payton average.

Ah yes, times are good for Saints fans. Enjoy it Who Dat Nation and doesn't it feel great to have football back?


Sep 9, 2010

Saints vs. Vikings

It's game day! Saints fans have been celebrating since February, but it's time to put 2009 to bed and get ready for 2010. So let's see what the 2010 version of the Saints can do against the team they beat to get to the Super Bowl.

Get ready to hear all about Brett Favre, Brett Favre and Brett Favre tonight. While the Saints are favored heading into the game (all the ESPN analysis picked New Orleans to win), there are some questions surrounding them. Can the defense produce the turnovers they did last year, especially with Darren Sharper out? Can they stop the run? How will Malcolm Jenkins fair at safety? Who is going to fill in at linebacker? As you can see all the "questions" are about the Saints defense. As long as Drew Brees is throwing it and Sean Payton is calling the plays, the offense will be fine.

So what will happen tonight? I think this game will remind Saints fans of the Monday Night home opener against the Falcons, the first game in NOLA since Katrina. There was no way the Falcons were winning that night and the Saints dominated them. The crowd was nuts and they were the 12th man for the Saints. I see more of the same tonight. From the moment the banner drops to when Drew Brees leads the dome in a Who Dat chant, the crowd will be fired up. The team will respond and we'll see Favre on the ground.

Vikings 20
Saints 34

Sep 8, 2010

NFL Preview 2010

It's football season! Fake football is over and the real stuff gets underway in the NFL this week. The Saints and Vikings will kickoff the season on Thursday so what will this year in the NFL look like? Here's my worst guesses:

NFL Playoffs
AFC North: Baltimore Ravens
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts
AFC East: New England Patriots
AFC West: San Diego Chargers
Wild Cards: Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans

NFC North: Green Bay Packers
NFC South: New Orleans Saints
NFC East: Dallas Cowboys
NFC West: San Francisco 49ers
Wild Cards: New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons

AFC Championship: Patriots over Colts
NFC Championship: Saints over Cowboys

Super Bowl: Saints over Patriots

#1 Pick in 2011 Draft: Buffalo Bills

League Awards:
MVP: Drew Brees, QB, Saints (Drew should have won the MVP award before; finally he gets it)
Offensive Player of the Year: Chris Johnson, RB, Titans (Johnson is not easy to root for, but he does put up amazing stats)
Defensive Player of the Year: DeMarcus Ware, LB, Cowboys (Michael Strahan, your sack record is in jeopardy)
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Ryan Matthews, RB, San Diego (Filling L.T.'s shoes will be tough, but Matthews will show that he's the real deal)
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Brandon Graham, DE, Philadelphia (Graham can rush the passer and that will get him noticed
Comeback Player of the Year: Jake Delhomme, QB, Cleveland (Delhomme is coming off a couple of tough years in Carolina. After a strong preseason, he returns the the Jake of old)
Coach of the Year: Mike Singletary, San Francisco (A bad division will help them reach the playoffs, but Singletary will get recognized for leading the 49ers back into the relevancy)

Here are the Sports Illustrated experts' opinions on the upcoming season.

Sep 7, 2010

LSU to Open Next Season vs. Oregon in Dallas

LSU announced today that they will open next season versus Oregon in "Jerry's World" in Dallas. The game is dubbed the "Cowboy Classic." The only question is who will be LSU's coach?

Here's the 2011 schedule:

2011 LSU Football Schedule
Sept. 3 vs. Oregon, Arlington, Texas
Sept. 10 Northwestern State, Baton Rouge
Sept. 17 at Mississippi State, Starkville, Miss.
Sept. 24 at West Virginia, Morgantown, W. Va.
Oct. 1 Kentucky, Baton Rouge
Oct. 8 Florida, Baton Rouge
Oct. 15 at Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.
Oct. 22 Auburn, Baton Rouge
Oct. 29 Open
Nov. 5 at Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Nov. 12 Western Kentucky, Baton Rouge
Nov. 19 at Ole Miss, Oxford, Miss.
Nov. 26 Arkansas, Baton Rouge

Sep 3, 2010

Saints Wrap Up Preseason

The Saints finished the preseason with a 27-24 loss to the Titans. The fourth preseason game is typically the most meaningless and this year, the Saints took it a step further and rested most of the starters, since they open the season in one week on a Thursday night.

Now fans and players can look toward real football and the Minnesota Vikings. But there's still some housekeeping to do. The Saints have to get down to their 53 man roster by tomorrow. Names are already coming out as cuts, including DE Bobby McCray and RB Ladell Betts.

I'm not surprised that McCray was let go, again. He is a solid speed rusher, but he hasn't produced this preseason. Jeff Charleston and Junior Galette have outplayed him and both of those players contribute on special teams. Galette even blocked a punt against Tennessee, further helping his cause. Betts is coming off of a knee injury and the team may have placed more value on special teams, as DeShawn Wynn is younger, healthier and can provide more on special teams. RB Chris Ivory looks to have won the 3rd RB spot, as long as his injury from last night's game isn't too serious.

Look for other cuts to trickle in throughout the day.

Update: The Saints have announced all of their cuts. The most surprising and toughest news is that LB Jonathan Casillas has been placed in IR, ending his season. He was projected to start and was having a good preseason.

Aug 30, 2010

Saints Defeat Chargers, Look to be in Mid-Season Form

It didn't take long for the Saints to start to resemble last year's explosive team. After a dominating performance last week against Houston, the Saints continue to look impressive as they defeated the Chargers 36-21. What was most impressive is that the Saints outgained San Diego 552-323 in total yards, in a game that the starters played into the second half.

Here are some other thoughts on the 3rd preseason game:
  • There are no more questions. Chris Ivory, you have made this team. Ivory runs hard and then showed in the second half that like Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas, he is a threat to bring it to the house at anytime from anywhere on the field.
  • Patrick Ramsey played well and the race for Drew Brees' backup is still too close to call. I wouldn't be surprised if the Saints kept both Ramsey and Chase Daniel, with Ramsey getting the early nod as #2 QB. He has a stronger arm and brings more veteran intangibles to the table than the second-year Daniel.
  • Ladell Betts and DeShawn Wynn saw their first action in the black and gold, but neither was overly impressive in limited action.
  • The Saints had Adrian Arrington try his hand at returning punts. He didn't look all that comfortable, but it shows that the team realizes they will likely be keeping him around. As the #6 WR, he'll be inactive on gamedays, but he's one injury away from having to suit up and you want him to be able to do multiple things for you, not sure play receiver.
  • The reason Arrington is only #6 WR right now is that Courtney Roby is also having a solid preseason. Along with being one of the better all around special teams on the Saints, Roby is showing more as a receiver this preseason, and the Saints should have confidence inserting him into the lineup there.
  • David Thomas hasn't racked up much on the stat sheet this preseason, but the more I see him, the more I enjoy watching him play. He genuinely seems happy to be playing football and give 110% on every play.
  • Some guys have all the luck (or is it just skill), huh, Devery?
  • The Saints defense doesn't look much different that last year either. They can still get the takeaway, but they'll also give up some yards here and there and blow an assignment as well. Who's fault was the Chargers' second TD with the receiver wide open in the corner of the endzone?
  • The coverage units were better this week, save for one return, but now the biggest area the team needs to address is penalties. Leigh Torrance is lucky he got the pick-6 late in the game because before that he was a penalty waiting to happen. Two on the same play, just before his interception.
  • The Saints still have some really tough roster decisions, especially at defensive end, defensive tackle, linebacker and safety.
The Saints will finish the preseason this Thursday at the Tennessee Titans.

Aug 25, 2010

Saints Start the Cuts

The Saints have started making cuts to their roster. Yesterday, they released LB Troy Evans, WRs Mark Bradley and Rod Harper, G Tim Duckworth and CB Danny Gorrer.

None of these are major surprises, but Evans was a major contributor on the team the past couple of seasons, especially on special teams. With the poor special teams play in the first two preseason games and the depth at LB, the Saints are giving him a chance to latch on with someone else in the middle of the preseason.

Rod Harper was a fan favorite last preseason, but he hadn't done much this year. Bradley was brought in during the preseason, but I don't think he's seen the field in two games. Gorrer had little chance to make the team and Duckworth was also stuck in a numbers game along the o-line. His spot has been taken by rookie G/C Mark Tennant.

Aug 23, 2010

Saints Beat Texans in Preseason Week 2

The Saints played their first home game since winning the Super Bowl and defeated the Houston Texans 38-20. There were a lot more positives to take away from this game than last week's:
  • Chase Daniel is making a case for the #2 QB job. He played most of the game and completed 15/21 passes for 182 yards, 3 TDs and 1 Int. Besides the interception, which was a terrible decision, he looked great. It's surprising that Patrick Ramsey didn't even see the field, but I guess the coaches wanted to see what Daniel could do and he delivered.
  • Adrian Arrington is making the WR cuts really difficult. Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem and Lance Moore have the top four WR spots nailed down. Arrington is competing for the 5th spot with Courtney Roby, but Roby brings much more to the table via special teams. This will force the Saints to consider keeping six WRs.
  • The backup RBs continue to impress. Both Chris Ivory and P.J. Hill once again showed that Lynell Hamilton's injury may not hurt the Saints. Ivory runs hard and Hill contributed on offense and special teams. Unfortunately, Hill suffered an injury and was placed on season ending IR today. The Saints have signed DeShawn Wynn to take his roster spot, so just when you think the backup RB spot is in good hands, there's more uncertainty now.
  • Pierre Thomas may be the best RB in the NFL on the screen pass. How many times has he taken a screen to the house in the past two years? He did it in the Super Bowl and he did it again this week.
  • Reggie Bush is running like a man possessed. He looks like he has set out to earn the $8 million that many feel he is overpaid to earn this year. On the Saints first drive, I was seeing #5 running for the Trojans, not the indecisive #25 of the Saints we've seen in the past.
  • The Saints forced two Texan turnovers so Gregg Williams won't have to make them do extra work this week. On special teams, there's still some work to be done on coverages and thanks to Trindon Holliday still having trouble holding onto the ball, one of the turnovers came on a return.
  • On defense, Sedrick Ellis and Troy Evans each recorded a sack but Anthony Hargrove still gets stupid penalties. Two weeks in a row, he's been flagged for something.

Aug 18, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

You want two hours of fun, go see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. I saw it last night and had no expectations going in. I had never seen or read any parts of the graphic novels that the movie is based on and had only seen the trailer.

I actually thought I wouldn't like it, but only minutes into the movie me and the group of friends I was with were laughing and the laughs kept coming. There was subtle humor, outrageous situations and great music.

Scott Pilgrim is a fun flick and while it may not be for everyone, if you grew up in the Super Mario Brothers generation, you will like this movie.

Aug 17, 2010

Saints Sign Ladell Betts

The Saints have signed RB Ladell Betts to replace the injured Lynell Hamilton. I'm not sure what Betts has left in the tank. He's about to turn 31 and is coming off of a knee injury, but he will battle P.J. Hill and Chris Ivory for the 3rd RB spot. It will be interesting to see how Betts looks with the Saints and if the 3rd RB job comes down to special teams ability. Betts was a kick returner early in his career, but what can he give the Saints at this stage of his career.

In a surprising move, the team cut WR Larry Beavers to make room for Betts on the roster. You may have last seen Beavers returning a kick 94 yards for a touchdown against the Patriots last week, or you may remember him for muffing a punt but recovering it in that same game. With his kick return TD, many fans were giving him a roster spot similar to the way Rod Harper earned his way onto the team last year with his punt return ability. I guess the Saints didn't see much from Beavers in practice.

Aug 13, 2010

Saints Kickoff Preseason

The Saints kickoffed their preseason schedule last night at New England and fell 27-24 to the Patriots. There were highs and lows for the Black and Gold and definitely lots of areas to improve.

But that's what the preseason is for. There's a reason the season doesn't start in December. Here's a look at what stood out to me based on the first preseason game:

  • The starters put together a 10 minute, 20 play scoring drive, but it didn't happen until their 3rd possession. This forced the starters like Drew Brees and Reggie Bush to play a little more than Sean Payton anticipated. Hopefully, this doesn't go back to the old trend of the Saints being slow starters.
  • Garrett Hartley did a solid job filling in for Thomas Morestead when the punter hurt his shoulder, but you don't want your starting kicker to have to kick FG/PATs, kickoff and have to punt. That's a lot of work for one guy's leg. If Morestead missing some time, look for the Saints to bring in another punter as a camp body.
  • Besides Morestead, the Saints seemed to have come out of the game relatively healthy.
  • Larry Beavers is making some noise for a roster spot. His kickoff return for a touchdown in the second half will make the coaches notice him more, but his bobbled return later won't. He's got an uphill battle, but being a good returner in the preseason last year helped Rod Harper make the team.
  • The Saints will probably be OK at running back, even with Lynell Hamilton's injury. P.J. Hill and Chris Ivory looked solid, and I'd like to see more from them in the next few weeks.
  • Tackling and coverage (special teams and in the secondary) was poor. This is the first game and there wasn't much, if any, scheming taking place, so coverage isn't as big a deal as the poor tackling on defense. The special team coverage left a lot to be desired.
All in all, not great, but not terrible either. The guys fighting for a roster spot (like Adrian Arrington and DeMario Pressly) made some plays but overall, the team has work to do. I think a game like this is exactly what Sean Payton wants at this time. Sure, these are the Super Bowl champs, but he can point out a lot of things that need work. I hope to see some improvements by next week's game against the Houston Texans.

Aug 11, 2010

Hornets Wheeling and Dealing

New Hornets GM Dell Demps wasn't kidding when he told Chris Paul that they had a plan and had some trades in the works. The team pulled off two of those trades today. Dare I ask what's next?

The first trade involved four teams. The Hornets received Trevor Ariza, the Rockets got Courtney Lee, the Nets received Troy Murphy and the Pacers got Darren Collison and James Posey. Basically, the Hornets traded Collison for Ariza and forced Indiana to take on Posey's contract in the process. It's tough to give up such a young, promising point guard in Collison, but if the Hornets have to convince CP3 that they are in it to win it the next two years, it'll take moves like this.

Not long after the four-team deal was announced, news broke that the Hornets weren't done. They sent the disappointing Julian Wright to Toronto for Marco Belinelli. Wright was given opportunities to succeed in New Orleans and never took advantage of it. He's got all the athleticism in the world, so a change of scenery might be good for him. His fate was probably sealed with he refused to play in Summer League. I don't know much about Belinelli, but anything he gives the Hornets will be more than Wright did the past few years.

So CP3, what do you think?

Saints Suffer First Training Camp Injury

The Saints have been lucky thus far in training camp with injuries. Jeremy Shockey bumped knees with a teammate and Reggie Bush sat out a practice with dehydration. Other than the guys on the PUP list, the team is relatively healthy.

But today they suffered their first "major" injury when Lynell Hamilton hurt his knee during practice with the Patriots. Early reports are that it's serious and he'll miss the season. This may not be a huge blow to the team, but Hamilton was set to take over Mike Bell's role as the power runner and #3 RB.

Look for the Saints to bring in another RB for camp. The new guy may not make the roster though, as P.J. Hill and Chris Ivory have had their moments at RB in camp so far. The team did bring Ladell Betts in for a workout earlier in camp, so he may be the logical addition.

Aug 10, 2010

NBA Schedule Released

The NBA released its schedule today and the Hornets open the season against the Milwaukee Bucks. Here's a nice breakdown of the Hornets slate of games and here are 20 games to watch.

Saints visit the White House

In case you haven't heard, the Saints are the Super Bowl champions! Yesterday they had their visit to the White House, and it's still surreal to see the Saints recognized as the champions of the NFL. Well, enjoy this one last moment Saints fans because now that the White House visit has been made, it's time to put the 2009 season to bed. The Saints have started training camp for the 2010 season and will open the preseason Thursday night against the Patriots.

But before you move onto 2010, you can relive the White House visit below:

Aug 9, 2010

Congratulations City Champ!

The first true New Orleans Saint has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Congratulations Rickey Jackson!

Aug 4, 2010

Lost Spoilers?

It's crazy that Lost ended months ago, yet there's still news and "spoilers" coming out about it. How can there still be spoilers with a series that is complete?

Well, the upcoming DVDs will have loads of answers and even an epilogue section with Hurley leading the island, called New Man in Charge. Some people on the Web have seen this epilogue and you can find a recap of it, if you look hard enough. I started to read it, but then realize that this is the last episode of Lost we'll ever get. Why would I want to spoil it?

There's also talk of another DVD extra where Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse basically provide answers to some of the lingering island mysteries. I'm not sure if this is just a rumor or if it has been confirmed yet, but I hope it's true.

Lastly, it looks like Man in Black had a name all along. My guess is that the creators had a name for him, but then when they didn't reveal it right away they noticed how much fans grabbed hold of the fact that they didn't know his name and it became one of the shows big mysteries. My thinking is that they were having fun with us and decided to hold it back. Well, if you'd like to know his name, you can check it out here.

Jul 29, 2010

Ready for Some Football?

All but one draft pick is signed, most if not all of the veteran additions have been made (most recently resigning DE Bobby McCray and signing QB Patrick Ramsey) and the Super Bowl celebrations can finally start winding down ... that's because football season is here! The Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints reported to camp today and will begin practicing tomorrow morning to start their quest to "Two Dat!"

The Saints are still picked as one of the top teams in the league. Sports Illustrated's Don Banks has them #2 in his rankings, Peter King has them #5 and ESPN has them #2. ESPN's ranking is odd since all the experts picked the Saints #1 except John Clayton, who ranked them 7th, yes 7th. Unbelievable, but what else would you expect from ESPN.

The good thing, as always, the NFL lets play on the field decide their champion (BCS, we're looking at you), so these rankings are just preseason fodder for fans.

A few positions that fans will have their eye on in camp is LB, backup QB and all the draft picks. The best battle will be to see who replaces Scott Fujita at linebacker, and the coaches seem excited about the young guys on the roster. Backup QB is interesting with Patrick Ramsey battling Chase Daniel and rookie Sean Canfield. As for the draft picks, fans will be most excited about watching TE Jimmy Graham, who is raw but will be fun to watch practice.

I just can't wait to see the boys in the Black and Gold take the field again, this time as the defending Super Bowl champion!

Jul 26, 2010

Chris Paul Meets with The Hornets

The most anticipated meeting in recent memory finally took place today between the Hornets and All Star point guard Chris Paul. Following weeks of rumors about the possibility of Paul being traded and behind the scenes trade demands, the two sides finally met and from the reports, the meeting went well.

Following the meeting, Paul released this statement:

The meeting went well. It was great to get an opportunity to sit down with Coach Williams, President Weber and our new general manager Dell Demps. I expressed my desire to win and I like what they said about the direction that they want to take the team. I have been a Hornet my entire career and I hope to represent the city of New Orleans and state of Louisiana for many years to come.

This could be a PR move and damage control or it could mean that the trade rumors and demands were blown out of proportion. ESPN was one that kept fueling the trade rumor fire and they love to keep stories like this going.

Or it could mean that Paul has no leverage right now with 2 years left on his contract, so he has to toe the company line and give the Hornets a chance. This is far from over, but if the Hornets make some moves in free agency or with some trades and can get off to a fast start when the season begins, this will all be forgotten. Wins cure everything.

Jul 21, 2010

Hornets Get Their Man

The Hornets have hired Dell Demps to be the team's new general manager and from all accounts, it looks to be a good hire.

Demps, who previously worked for the Spurs, was coveted by both the Suns and Hornets. For a bit it looked like the Hornets would lose out on their #1 choice once again, as they did when they targeted Tom Thibodeau for head coach. Thibodeau went to Chicago instead and the Hornets settled for Monty Williams. This time it appears they landed their #1 guy and since the Suns fought so hard to get him too, Hornets fans should be pleased that they got a solid GM in place.

Now it remains to be seen how he'll be able to operate with a roster that needs upgrading and a shaky ownership situation. With star Chris Paul making noise in recent weeks, this is an important year for the Hornets to show that they can and will compete in the loaded Western Conference.

Jul 15, 2010

Braves Make a Move for the Playoff Push

On a normally quiet sports day (the day after the MLB All-Star Game), the Braves made some news by suring up a weak link in their lineup. Yesterday, the traded SS Yunel Escobar and P Jo Jo Reyes to Toronto for SS Alex Gonzalez and two prospects.

Escobar is a talented, young short stop and his presence allowed the Braves to trade now All-Star Elvis Andrus a few years ago, but Escobar is in the midst of his worst season ever with a .238 batting average and zero home runs. There's also been rumors for a couple of years that he has issues in the clubhouse, so the move isn't too surprising.

Alex Gonzalez is older, but he's having one of his better power hitting years. He is a great defensive short stop and with the Braves being built to win now, the Braves had to make the move. The two prospects they received, pitcher Tim Collins and SS Tyler Pastornicky, also have promising futures. Everything I've seen on the trade has praised the Braves for the move.

On another note, a belated congratulations to Braves catcher Brian McCann for winning the All-Star MVP!

Hornets Part Ways with GM Jeff Bower

The Hornets and GM Jeff Bower have decided to part ways and now the Hornets are searching for a replacement general manager. Many fans are excited about the move, especially with all the rumor and speculation surrounding Chris Paul. It's too early to tell if this change will help the Hornets retain Paul long-term, but it can't hurt.

In recent years, the Hornets haven't made the best personnel moves and are now strapped with bad contracts and not great depth on the bench. It was clear that changes needed to be made.

Rumors are flowing about who will replace Bower and many fans are hoping that former Portland GM Kevin Pritchard gets the job. Pritchard would bring a more aggressive approach, as in recent years he was a master at working the draft by moving around and acquiring more selections. The Hornets, in recent years, seemed more likely to trade out of the draft completely than to make a good move.

Bower always seemed to have a better reputation outside of New Orleans than he did here. He got fans excited with guys like Peja Stojakovic, Emeka Okafor and James Posey, but those same guys are the ones who's contracts are hurting the team now.

Chris Paul has made it known that he wants to win and wants to win now. Hopefully this change will allow the team to make some moves and keep the team competitive enough to keep CP3 excited about playing in the Big Easy for the long term.

Jun 28, 2010

Sean Payton: "Home Team"

My next book purchase? Definitely, "Home Team" by New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton. Everything I've read so far about the book gives it high praise. Of course any Saints fan will love to get a peak behind the curtain and learn what their team's head coach is thinking. Want a taste of what's included in the book? Check out the Times-Picayune's 10 Memorable Quotes. I'll be sure to put up my thoughts after I get a chance to read it.

Hornets Draft Recap

The New Orleans Hornets didn't sit back quietly with their one draft pick last Thursday. They decided that two is better than one and turned the #11 pick into two first rounders and shed a bad contract in the process.

At #11, the Hornets took center Cole Aldrich from Kansas. I was pleased with the pick, but we soon learned that Aldrich would be heading the Hornets former, temporary home of Oklahoma City. Initially, the reports were that the deal was for picks 18 and 21, but it turned out to be for picks 21 and 26. The Hornets also shed some cap space and sent the disappointing Morris Peterson to the Thunder as well. Peterson was signed a few years ago as a free agent, one that the Hornets coveted for a few years, but he never panned out in the Big Easy.

With their newly acquired picks, the Hornets took forward Craig Brackins of Iowa State and forward Quincy Pondexter of Washington. I don't know much about either player, but both should be able to contribute right away.

All in all, it was a good night for the Hornets. They got two young players that could give them solid minutes this year and shed a contract, making them able to be active in free agency.

Jun 24, 2010

NBA Draft Day

Happy NBA Draft Day! Growing up, I was a big basketball fan, but then again that was when we were watching guys like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Clyde Drexler, Dominique Wilkins, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Shawn Kemp, Hakeem Olajuwan, Patrick Ewing, John Stockton, and on and on and on. In other words, the NBA was in great hands and fans ate it up.

Anyway, I'm less of an NBA fan nowadays, but I do follow the Hornets and enjoy having a local team to follow. Over the years, the NBA Draft has slacked off as a must see event, but I still enjoy watching it (I enjoy any draft though).

The trouble in recent years is that fans don't know most of the players. With all the high school, one-and-done college and international players, fans didn't have a chance to learn about the new prospects. At least now, there aren't high schoolers in the draft, but that doesn't mean I'll know a whole lot of the players picked. But who cares, the NBA Draft is a good time. There's the pundits drooling over upside and length, the crazy suits, the international guys picked late in the 2nd round who happen to be in the audience and they make their way to the stage for a photo with the deputy commissioner, even though they are the 51st pick. What's not to love?

Anyway, the Hornets pick 11th and could go in many different directions, including trading Chris Paul. I'd put the likelihood of a Chris Paul trade at about 1 percent, but there could be some moves involving the Hornets whether its trading down (please don't trade completely out of the draft for financial reasons), getting rid of some contracts like Peja, Mo Peete or Emeke Okafor (I know Okafor is due a lot of $, but I'd like to see him stay), trading away backup point guard Darren Collison ... or some combination of all of these.

If the Hornets stay pat at #11, here's a look at what a few mock drafts have them doing:

Jun 23, 2010

Chris Paul on the Trading Block?

No way the Hornets would ever consider moving Chris Paul, right? He's the face of the franchise and the main reason the Hornets have had any success since they moved to NOLA. Well, don't get too attached to him now because I can definitely see scenarios where CP3 is traded.

Rumors have been rampart for a few weeks now and with the NBA Draft taking place tomorrow night, there's a chance that by Friday, Paul will no longer be a Hornet. How can this be, you might say? Consider this, the Hornets are in clear rebuilding mode. Last year, the GM took over as head coach. Now they have a 1st time NBA head coach in Monty Williams, who is also the youngest NBA coach in the league. CP3 has made it clear that while he wants to stay in NOLA, he wants to play for a winner more. So this whole rebuilding thing isn't for him.

Then, take a look at last season, Paul missed half the season with injuries. Rookie Darren Collison filled in and did a great job, especially for a rookie (And if they don't move Paul, Collison is the next valuable asset that could be traded). While Collison's no Chris Paul, he did average 12.5 points and 5.7 assists per game, and those numbers are surely to only improve with more experience.

The last thing to consider is that Paul only has two more years on his contract. That's something big to consider. His trade stock would only diminish the longer the Hornets hold onto him, since the closer he gets to free agency, teams will just wait until he hits the open market. With the Hornets ownership situation in limbo, the team may have to take Paul's contract into consideration. Can they even afford to pay him for his last two years of his deal? Then you have to look at what CP3 will do when his contract is up. If the Hornets have two more seasons of sub-40 win seasons and miss the playoffs, why would Paul want to stay? Let's even consider that they do make the playoffs in the next two years, are they better than the 6th or 7th seed in the loaded West? Being bounced in the 1st round surely wouldn't entice CP3 to want to hang around the Big Easy much longer.

So all this leads to the Hornets listening to offers for their franchise player. Fans won't like a trade involving Chris Paul, but it's better to get something for him now (and offers have included the #3 pick in this year's draft), and plan for the future.

Jun 22, 2010

Saints Cut Bobby McCray

In a surprising move, the Saints cut DE Bobby McCray yesterday. I was initially caught by surprise, but after reading more about McCray, I'm starting to understand it more.

This is not to label McCray as a bad guy at all, but there were reports that he was late for meetings a few times and missed assignments on the field. Pair that with the Saints signing veteran ends Alex Brown and Jimmy Wilkerson, and McCray's one-note pass rushing was no longer a top need for the team. Since he was due a roster bonus soon, the Saints decided to part ways with him.

Depth and competition is always a good thing for a football team, but who am I to question this Saints front office? They've pushed all the right buttons over the past couple of years and brought the city its first Super Bowl championship. I just hope that they aren't thinking they are better than they are and are just making moves because "we're the Saints and we won the Super Bowl, so we know best." If they feel that departing with Bobby McCray was the best thing for the football team at this point, than I'm cool with it.

Good luck elsewhere Bobby and thank you for your great hits on Kurt Warner and Brett Favre in last year's playoffs.

Jun 21, 2010

Saints Trade Jammal Brown to Redskins

The Saints have traded Pro Bowl left tackle Jammal Brown to the Washington Redskins. The return compensation is complicated, to say the least. The Saints will receive either a 3rd or 4th round pick and possible a 6th rounder in 2012 based on playing time or if Brown goes to the Pro Bowl. The 3rd or 4th rounder is tied to the Donovan McNabb deal, so if the Eagles end up with Washington's 3rd rounder, the Saints get the 4th and will send a 6th or 7th round pick back to D.C. If the Eagles get a 4th, then the Saints get the 3rd and will send a 5th rounder back. Clear as mud right?

Basically, the best thing for the Saints is for the Redskins to have a bad season, but Jamaal Brown to play great. Then they'd get a 3rd and 6th the following year for Brown and a 5th.

Many Saints fans think that Mickey Loomis got hosed in the deal, but I don't agree with them. Loomis was stuck with a disgruntled player who obviously wanted out. He lost his job to injury and missed out on the most historic season in franchise history, a season that proved the Saints would be fine without him. But decent left tackles are hard to come by, let alone a two-time Pro Bowl player so fans have inflated Brown's value.

There are a couple of issues here. Fans think players are worth more than they really are and there has to be a market for your players. Brown is coming off a season in the IR. No one really knows how he'll play after a year off, plus there have been rumblings ever since he got to New Orleans that his knees were shot and he wouldn't have a long NFL career. Along with his refusal to participate or sign his tender, the Saints decided to get rid of a distraction and get what they could for him. NFL teams don't like giving up 1st or 2nd round picks, but if they get the 3rd rounder, great. If its the 4th, great too.

I'm pleased with the deal. Brown wasn't in the long term plans for the Saints, especially after left tackle Charles Brown fell to them in the 2nd round this year. The Saints are set at tackle and have been good in the draft recently and now they have an earlier pick to work with next year.

Jun 17, 2010

It's Now Official

The last rubber stamp on the Saints Super Bowl win was taken care of last night when the team received their Super Bowl rings. It's hard to believe that in only a couple of months the Saints will be back on the field getting ready to "Two Dat" and repeat as Super Bowl champions. With their ceremony last night, the 2009-10 team can be put to rest and it's time to focus on the future.

But check out that ring. Who would have ever thought a Super Bowl ring would have the fleur-de-lis on it? For fans, the Lombardi Trophy is the ultimate prize in sports. That's true of players too, but you hear more players talk about getting a ring or how many rings does a guy have than the Lombardi. This is what the players play for and to read their quotes from the ceremony ... they were like little kids again. WHO DAT!

Jun 9, 2010

Hornets Introduce New Head Coach

Yesterday, the Hornets introduced their new head coach, Monty Williams. The good news is, he's the guy Chris Paul wanted all along. The bad news, he was the organizations second (or maybe worse) choice. We'll see how this turns out. Can't be any worse than having your GM decide he can coach (without prior head coaching experience) and taking over the job.

May 25, 2010

Lost Creators Go Into Radio Silence

After each season finale, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, the Lost showrunners go into radio silence so the audience can flesh out the season finale for themselves. This year is no different, but that radio silence will be a lot longer (at least until the DVDs are released this fall.

Damon posted his final Lost tweet after "The End" aired. It said simply, "Remember. Let go. Move on. I will miss it more than I can ever say." We will too, Mr. Lindelof.

Damon and Carlton pre-taped their final interview as well for Good Morning America. You can watch it below where they give their favorite scenes from the finale:

And for those of you who are most focused on answers, here's the ultimate list of unanswered questions:

May 24, 2010

The End

It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress. - Jacob

Well, last night, it ended brilliantly. After six great seasons, Lost ended its run as only Lost could, on its own terms. There was laughter and crying, fights and reunions. The finale had it all. Sure the ending will be what people remember, but the 2 1/2 hour finale captured the essence of the series and thankfully transformed the sideways world into one of the most meaningful aspects of the show.

On first glance, I loved 2 hours and 15 minutes and then only liked the end, but didn't love it. But I went back and watched it again (starting when Jack enters the church), and I don't think it could have ended any better.

I'm going to miss Lost, but I'm glad that it went out on its own terms. Not many shows get to do that. The creators got to share their vision for the show from beginning to end, and it was a heck of a ride. Sure there are some questions left unanswered and still some mysteries out there, but does it really matter? The island is a mysterious place, who wants to know everything about it and ruin our chance to speculate?

The Ending
The thing that most everyone will focus on is how it ended. The first 2 hours and 15 minutes built up to that church scene. Jack was clueless up until the end, sort of like the audience. I'll admit that while it was happening, I wasn't even sure what was happening. I started to worry that the end would be too vague, and we'd have no clue what just took place.

A lot of people are jumping on the "It was purgatory all along" bandwagon, but it was so much more than purgatory. Sure if you want to label it, purgatory is an easy classification, but I thought Michael's explanation for the whispers was a better justification of the purgatory theory than the sideways world was.

Lost is and always has been Jack's story. It began with Jack's eye opening in the "Pilot" and ended with his eye closing. Many had guessed that the final scene would be Jack's eye closing (even me) and when you think about it, that's the only real scene that it could be.

For years the show's creators have hinted at knowing the final scene of Lost, and fans have had a field day speculating what it would be, but as with most things Lost, fans over analyzed it to the max. Turned out it was the most simple, most logical final scene the show could have used. They even went further by having Vincent there to bring everything full circle from the "Pilot," as much of "The End" mirrored season 1.

In the sideways world, I like how the characters got enlightened at different points. I liked how some toyed with those not enlightened yet. It was like a big inside joke that they wanted each other to be in on, but each had to find out in their own way. I like how satisfied they were once they became enlightened. No one freaked out about being dead. They were happier than we've ever seen them on the show and they all created this together for each other, which is hard to understand. Us as Lost fans want to see everything happen on screen. How did they create this place for each other so they would all be together one last time before they moved on? Really, it doesn't matter. This place was created, and they were all able to share a happy moment together before moving on.

I thought that they'd be moving on back to the island. It just seemed that they were going somewhere, and the way every said I'll see you there, I thought there would be the island. It wasn't. It was the special place they created for themselves to meet up. Christian Sheppard (enjoyed Kate questioning and laughing at that name) set the record straight and helped Jack to realize what was going on (even when Christian opened the church doors, I thought outside would be the island instead of light).

The entire scene with his father was awesome. Of course the coffin would be empty. Its been empty for as long as we've known these characters (since they crashed). Ever since "White Rabbit," we've waited for Jack and Christian to have this kind of talk, and it was well worth the wait.

Other Tidbits:
Two Star Wars references in the first 10 minutes. What more could you ask for?

I was surprised that Smokey was disposed of so early in the finale, but that let the ending be more about the main characters. Once he became "mortal" was he even a threat anymore anyway? Why did he want to leave so badly? What would have really happened to the world if he did leave? As much as season 6 played up his desires, all we have is Jacob's word to go by as to what would happen if he got his wish.

I'm still not clear on why the island was at the bottom of the ocean in the sideways world. Is the island dead too? Was this just a red herring for us to think MIB had succeeded? Or was this part of the plan that they put together?

Jack's "mystery" wounds turned out to both be courtesy of MIB. His ever bleeding neck wound was from the tip of his knife and what Jack's mom had told him was an appendix scar turned out to be a stab wound.

I was surprised that Hurley took over for Jack. Many people were speculating that would happen based on Hurley's comment last week about at least it doesn't have to be him. I figured Jack's tenure would be a short one, but I guess I thought that he would be the last island protector. I'd love to see more of Hurley with his #2 Ben running the island and bringing people there.

Did Hurley get Desmond off the island and back home (remember the sailboat is still at Hydra Island)? That was the first order of business for the Reyes/Linus run of the island. I wonder what Hurley's "rules" for the island would be? Ben was catching onto the island's game and realized that just because Jacob ran things one way (with it almost impossible to leave the island), that didn't mean that was the only way to run things.

When Jack turned the island over to Hurley, he didn't do any special chants. He just had him drink and said now you're like me. I guess the leader does things his own way or maybe the ceremony doesn't matter as much as the next person's belief in being the leader.

Where exactly did Frank land Flight 316 and how do they explain where they've been? I know its not important to the series, but still an interesting question. Also, how much C-4 was wired on the plane? Surely Widmore wired it with more than just the one stack that MIB used to make his bomb in "The Candidate"?

I loved everyone's reaction to when they became enlightened. As tough as it had been to watch the sideways world all season, once they became enlightened they became the Lost characters that we've known and loved all these years.

I found the group inside the church somewhat disappointing. I expected more characters or for the church to be full of everyone who was involved in Jack's life. I know this isn't possible with the large cast, but it would have been cool to see everyone. I guess not everyone was "in" on the meet up in the afterlife or not everyone was eligible.

I'm glad that Christian confirmed that it was all real. If they would have alluded to the island time line have never happened or that the sideways world would be the ending time line (as many fans were upset about all year), I wouldn't have been happy. I also liked his explanation on the "now." It had a Doctor Who timey-wimey feel to it. I like that they didn't all die at once (some may have died 50 years after Jack), but they all were there together. It did have a Titanic feel to it though. What if Kate got off the island and live a happy life with someone else (like Rose in Titanic), but when she died, instead of spending eternity with her new husband and family, she went back with Jack.

I loved the Claire/Charlie enlightenment scene the best. Sure, I might have teared up a bit for that one. Surprisingly, I didn't at the end. That was the most emotionally touching of the night for me.

At what point did Rose and Bernard become enlightened? Seemed like they were in on it from the beginning of the sideways story on Flight 815. Throughout the sideways they played a part similar to Desmond in helping people along.

When and how did Boone become enlightened? I also find it a little odd that Shannon was the one who jarred Sayid as his true love, but it fit the story. It was just a bit off since he only knew her for such a short time, where he loved Nadia his whole life.

Ben didn't go into the church because he's not ready to move on. Now that he's enlightened, he wants to spend more time with Alex and her mother, Rousseau. Who would have thought that Ben would have made it to the end of Lost? I figured he'd see his demise sooner rather than later, but it was good to see him make it until the end.

What does it mean to not be ready yet? And what will happen to the characters who aren't ready or choose to stay in the in-between, specifically a character like Eloise Widmore? She seems to be fully aware of what's going on but isn't moving on.

When they first showed Jack outside the cave after we all thought he was a goner down there, I thought he was the next smoke monster. I'm glad they didn't go that route.

What are we to think of the changes in people's lives before they got enlightened now? Things like Jack having a son, being divorced from Juliette, Sawyer as a cop, Locke being paralyzed in a plane crash, Sun and Jin not married, etc.? Were these just things to keep them in the in-between or obstacles for them to overcome to enlightenment? What happens to David since he didn't exist in the real time line? Or did he? Was he someone else in the other time line?

What is up with the writers infatuation with drains? First Ben uses a dirty drain to summon Smokey, then the heart of the island is just a drain, and Desmond pulls the plug? That whole heart of the island cave is tough to comprehend, but this is Lost, so just go with it.

With all the earthquakes after the plug was pulled, I was thinking that we'd finally get to see the island volcano. Some of those scenes were a little too obvious that the actors were reacting to the camera shaking. Its tough to pull off real feeling tremors, but they showed these so much, they started feeling a little "B" movie-like. The foam boulders were a little unrealistic too.

Everyone was wrong about what would happen with the heart of the island. Locke thought the island would be destroyed (and it looked that that was going to happen if Jack didn't plug it up), but it made him mortal. Jack was wrong, but it allowed him (with Kate's help) to kill MIB. And Desmond was wrong because he thought he would leave the island and be with Penny in the sideways world. He had knowledge of the other time line, but did he realize everyone was dead over there?

The sideways had nothing to do with MIB winning the war or destroying the island. It didn't have anything to do with Jughead either, so I guess we got the definitive answer on Jughead not working. But why did Juliette say it did work? She clearly see the in-between world?

I'm curious to see how the finale holds up on subsequent viewings. There was so much tension and excitement built up leading to the ultimate end, but now that we've seen that ending, will we view the 2 1/2 hours differently?

There are tons more to discuss, but the good and bad news is, we now have nothing but time to discuss them. There's no more Lost. It's time to move on and let go.

Other Recaps and Analysis: