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Category: Polls

Should the Knicks' Jeremy Lin play in the All-Star game? [Poll]

Should the Knicks' Jeremy Lin play in the All-Star game?
New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin is one of the NBA's biggest stars, but he is not an All-Star. That's what happens when a meteoric rise to superstardom takes place mere weeks before the All-Star game, which will be Feb. 26.

Should the NBA figure out a way to get Lin into the All-Star game? Writers from around Tribune Co. will discuss the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses and join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.

Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times

If David Stern can nix the Chris-Paul-to-the-Lakers trade for "basketball reasons," he can surely come up with an excuse to send New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin to Orlando.

And don't just put him in some lame skills challenge, either. Let him play in the All-Star game and say it's for "humanitarian reasons."

PHOTOS: Absolute Lin-sanity

Lin would turn a ho-hum event into a Linernational phenomenon, generating interest across the globe. By the way, he might also make a more worthy starter for the East than Knicks teammate Carmelo Anthony, who was sidelined for most of New York's return to respectability under Lin.

Getting Lin to Orlando? Lin-genious.

Brian Schmitz, Orlando Sentinel

Jeremy Lin has been with the Knicks, for, what, two minutes? Now we want to change All-Star weekend rules for him?

There's a push to add him to the dreadful rookie-sophomore game in Orlando.

PHOTOS: New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin

If he were playing for Memphis, would anybody hold a write-in campaign? I mean, we’re treating him like he’s Tim Tebow in shorts.

I know the All Star stuff is all an exhibition, but if the NBA accommodates Lin, we'd have chaos and free-thinking, and David Stern loathes chaos and free-thinking. He's already quelled the Chris Paul rebellion, so don't make him crush Linsanity (although the league has to froth at all the All-Star marketing possibilities.)

I've got an idea. Lin can play if the All Stars agree to play defense in the actual game.

Continue reading »

Should the Pittsburgh Steelers part ways with Hines Ward?

Hines Ward

Hines Ward has played his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but that may change if recent rumors that the team is ready to cut ties with their all-time leading receiver are true.

Writers from around Tribune Co. discuss whether the Steelers should part ways with the two-time Super Bowl winner and MVP of Super Bowl XL. Please check back throughout the day for more responses and join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.

Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times

Although Hines Ward is not productive enough to merit the annual $4 million on the remaining two years of his deal, he’s shown a willingness to renegotiate to stay with the Steelers. Simply discarding him would be a mistake.

New offensive coordinator Todd Haley needs to turn his attention to cultivating a relationship with Ben Roethlisberger, who was very close to former OC Bruce Arians, and the young receiving trio of Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown still have room to grow. Each would benefit from the tutelage of the more physical Ward, who -– for the right price -– could have a Charlie Batch-type role of elder statesman, giving Haley and Roethlisberger time to bond. Aside from Ben and Hines, the Steelers are young on that side of the ball.

Yes, the Steelers would be giving up something more than money in keeping Ward -– typically, a team wants its fourth or fifth receiver to play special teams, and the soon-to-be-36-year-old Ward probably isn’t suited for that. But for, say, $1 million a year, he would still be a worthy investment.

Continue reading »

Is Jeremy Lin the real deal or a flash in the pan?

Jeremy Lin. Click for more photos.

Jeremy Lin is taking the NBA by storm. The New York Knicks point guard, who went undrafted out of Harvard and was waived by both Golden State and Houston this season, scored 38 points against the Lakers on Friday night and has no fewer than 20 points in each of the last five games.

But is "Linsanity" here to stay? Or is he an overnight sensation whose star will fade as quickly as it lighted up?

PHOTOS: Jeremy Lin

Writers from around Tribune Co. will discuss the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses and join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.

K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune

Jeremy Lin is the real deal -- as long as the expectation is NBA rotation player and not star. There's a reason Lin went undrafted, got cut and sat low on the depth chart until recently. And, yes, his breakout is one of the best story lines of this NBA season.

However, Lin's five-game run has come against three bad teams and a Lakers team with an aging Derek Fisher trying to guard him. Lin appears to be an excellent pick-and-roll player, so that skill should translate to him lasting. And he's of course in an ideal system for his skills with Mike D'Antoni emphasizing that set and Lin's ability to keep a live dribble to make plays.

POLL: Is Jeremy Lin the real deal or flash in the pan?

But expect advance scouting to catch up to Lin and his numbers to become more modest. He's in the league to stay, just not to star.

Continue reading »

Super Bowl 2012: Is Eli Manning the NFL's best quarterback? [Poll]


Eli Manning is now a two-time Super Bowl champion as well as a two-time Super Bowl MVP. So is he best quarterback in the NFL right now?

Eli Manning is now a two-time Super Bowl champion as well as a two-time Super Bowl MVP. In both games, the New York Giants quarterback led a drive filled with spectacular plays that culminated in the game-winning score with less than a minute remaining.

All that combined with the breakthrough year he had statistically leads one to wonder: Is Manning the best quarterback in the NFL right now? Kind of depends on how you look at it.

Of all the active quarterbacks, only New England's Tom Brady has more Super Bowl rings (three), but he is now 0-2 against Manning and the Giants in the Super Bowl and 1-3 overall, including a 24-20 loss back in November. This year, Brady threw for 5,235 yards (second-best all-time), 39 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Manning had his best year with 4,933 yards, 29 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger has been in the league the same number of years as Manning (eight) and the two players have two championships each, although the Steelers quarterback has made one more Super Bowl appearance. Their career statistics are similar -- Manning has thrown for 27,579 yards with 185 touchdowns and 129 interceptions, Roethlisberger 26,579 yards with 165 touchdowns and 100 interceptions.

Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, New Orleans' Drew Brees and Indianapolis' Peyton Manning (when healthy) have all put up better numbers than Eli Manning, who also has no regular-season MVPs to Rodgers' one from this year and Peyton's four overall. But Eli has twice as many Super Bowl rings as each of those quarterbacks.

What do you think? Vote in the poll, then leave a comment explaining why you voted the way you did.


Photos: Patriots vs. Giants

Manning is the man for Giants

Eli Manning, Giants don't let Super Bowl slip through their fingers

-- Chuck Schilken

Photo: Eli Manning. Credit: Al Bello / Getty Images

Blake Griffin vs. LeBron James: Watch, vote on the better dunk

Blake Griffin's monster jam on Kendrick Perkins during the Clippers' 112-100 victory over Oklahoma City on Monday night is being described by many as the dunk of the year.

The same phrase was being used all day on Monday after Miami's LeBron James electrified the NBA with his one-handed dunk while flying over Chicago's John Lucas III on Sunday night.

Clippers guard Chris Paul said of Griffin's dunk: "That's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen."

And unless Paul was nowhere near a TV or computer all day Monday, he had probably already seen the clip of James literally jumping over Lucas many times before making that comment.

James himself weighed in on the subject via Twitter just after Griffin's big play: "Dunk of the Year!! @blakegriffin just dunked on Kendrick Perkins so hard!! Wow!! I guess I'm #2 now."

Which do you think is the dunk of the year (or at least the dunk of the first month or so of the season)? Vote in the poll, then leave a comment explaining why you voted the way you did.


Photos: Clippers vs. Thunder

Clippers are exciting, Lakers make folks grouchy

Blake Griffin discusses his monster dunk over Kendrick Perkins

-- Chuck Schilken

Should the Indianapolis Colts hire Jim Tressel as their coach?

Writers from around Tribune Co. discuss whether the Indianapolis Colts should hire former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel as their new head coach

Writers from around Tribune Co. discuss whether the Indianapolis Colts should hire former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel as their new head coach. Check back throughout the day for more responses and join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.


Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune

Jim Tressel clearly is a pretty special coach. At least he was a pretty special college coach. It makes perfect sense for Tressel to be a candidate in Indianapolis. The Colts aren't looking for a candidate for beatification, or the next president of the United States. What they need is a man who can coach. 

Tressel hardly would be the only NFL coach or player with a skeleton or two in his closet. What we're not sure of is if Tressel's success at Youngstown State and Ohio State was primarily the result of his recruiting skills, as opposed to his coaching skills. He would need to be more than a salesman to win in the NFL.  

If Tressel helps the Colts win, no one in Indianapolis is going to give a darn about the NCAA rules he broke in Columbus.

Continue reading »

Eli Manning vs. Tom Brady: Who would you rather have? [Poll]


Eli Manning or Tom Brady? Which Super Bowl quarterback would you rather build a team around right now?

Eli Manning and Tom Brady are in the prime of their careers. They each have at least one Super Bowl ring, and in two weeks one of them will add another to his collection.

Which one of them would you rather build a team around right now?

When Brady starts for the New England Patriots in Indianapolis, he will be making his fifth Super Bowl appearance and looking for his fourth championship. He is 34 years old but shows no signs of slowing down -- his 5,235 passing yards this season are the second-most in NFL history. His 39 touchdown passes are the second-best in his 12-year career and his 105.6 passer rating is his third-best.

Overall, he has passed for 39,979 yards, 300 touchdowns and 115 interceptions. Those are impressive statistics, but they also might be seen as considerable mileage.

Manning is 31 years old and seeking his second Super Bowl win, after leading the New York Giants to victory over Brady and the Patriots in 2008. He passed for 4,933 yards -- by far the best of his eight NFL seasons -- to go with 29 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and a passer rating of 92.9 this year.

Overall, he has passed for 27,579 yards, 185 touchdowns and 99 interceptions. His numbers may not be as impressive as Brady's, but after what is being viewed as a breakthrough season, his best years may still be ahead of him.

You can't go wrong with either of the Super Bowl quarterbacks, but we're forcing you to choose one of them. Vote in the poll, then leave a comment explaining why you voted the way you did.


Patriots hang on to beat Ravens, 23-20

Giants jump in feet first to beat 49ers, reach Super Bowl

Eli Manning won't stay down against San Francisco 49ers

-- Chuck Schilken

Left photo: Eli Manning. Credit: Jamie Squire / Getty Images

Right photo: Tom Brady. Credit: Jim Rogash / Getty Images

Steven Tyler's national anthem: Worst ever? [Poll]

Steven Tyler turned in a beautiful rendition of the national anthem before Sunday's AFC Championship between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens -- that's "beautiful," the word that lost all meaning last year when Tyler used it to describe pretty much every "American Idol" performance, good or bad.

And Tyler's rendition of our anthem definitely qualifies as the latter.

It may not have been the worst version ever (although I'll leave that up to you to decide), but we're talking about a legendary singer who is now paid to judge other people's singing abilities. It should have been amazing.

Instead, it was weird and screechy. Obviously, it's a tricky song to sing, but Tyler is known for hitting crazy notes -- something he never hesitates to do at every opportunity on "Idol". He really only attempted one Aerosmith-esque note at the very end -- and failed miserably.

As for the worst anthem performances ever? Well, of course, there's obvious choices of Carl Lewis and Roseanne Barr, although we should probably keep in mind that neither of them are professional singers (and one of them is paid to make people laugh).

Christina Aguilera, another professional singer who is also a judge on a singing competition show, is another worthy candidate for cursing her hometown Pittsburgh Steelers with her bizarre performance at last year's Super Bowl. So are Michael Bolton, who was probably distracted by the worst echo I've ever heard and had to look at his hand for the lyrics, and Creed's Scott Stapp, who, well, just sounds like Scott Stapp.

I decided to limit the poll to celebrities, although you can feel free to write in any otherwise unknown YouTube sensation who has done really strange things to our nation's song. One thing to keep in mind while voting -- Tyler is the only candidate who is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Eli Manning refuses to stay down

Giants jump in feet first to beat 49ers, reach Super Bowl

Oregon's Chip Kelly turns down Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaching job

-- Chuck Schilken

Is Tim Lincecum worth $21.5 million? [Poll]

Tim Lincecum

Tim Lincecum is worth a lot of money to the San Francisco Giants. We can all agree on that.

Just how much is he worth? Well, that's where the disagreement comes in. The Giants have offered the two-time NL Cy Young Award-winner $17 million in arbitration, topping the $14.25 million the New York Yankees proposed for shortstop Derek Jeter in 2001 as most offered in arbitration history.

But Lincecum thinks he's worth a significant amount more. He asked for $21.5 million in salary arbitration Tuesday, which is almost the most ever sought in arbitration. Pitcher Roger Clemens asked for $22 million when he was with the Houston Astros in 2005.

Giants vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans says the team hopes to come to an agreement with the pitcher before an arbitration hearing. They were able to do so in 2010, agreeing to a two-year, $23-million contract when Lincecum was set to ask for a one-year deal of $13 million.

The front office is looking to lock up Lincecum and the Giants'  other star pitcher, Matt Cain, to long-term deals. But Lincecum may be set on keeping his options open with a shorter contract.

No matter how this turns out, Lincecum will earn the highest salary ever paid to an arbitration-eligible pitcher, besting the $15 million the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to pay starter Cole Hamels on Tuesday.

What do you think? Is Lincecum worth the $21.5 million he's seeking? Or is a mere $17 million enough for his services? Vote in the poll, then leave a comment explaining why you voted the way you did.


Clayton Kershaw asks Dodgers for $10 million

Dodgers sign OF Andre Ethier for $10.95 million

Angels agree to terms with SS Erick Aybar for 2012 season

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Tim Lincecum. Credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

Should Jim Caldwell have been fired by the Indianapolis Colts?

Jim Caldwell

This post has been updated. See the note below.

Jim Caldwell was fired Tuesday after three years as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts following a 2-14 season without star quarterback Peyton Manning. Caldwell, who took the team to the Super Bowl after the 2009 season and back to the playoffs a year later, was the latest to be shown the door by the Colts this month, following vice chairman Bill Polian and general manager Chris Polian.

Should Caldwell have lost his job under such circumstances? Was is it time to change direction for a franchise that has a new general manager in Ryan Grigson and presumably will draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck as the top pick in April's draft?

Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses and join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.

Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune

Jim Caldwell was not the reason the Colts went from 10-6 and 2-14, so if he was fired for failing to win, he was fired for the wrong reason. If he was fired because he was part of the old Colts and the team wants to head in a new direction, that makes more sense.

Gone is Bill Polian, the man who hired Caldwell. In his place is new general manager Ryan Grigson, who undoubtedly wants to put his stamp on the team with a new head coach. It’s also at least possible that Peyton Manning will be gone, replaced by Andrew Luck. So Caldwell’s offensive system that was so important to Manning may no longer be necessary.

Caldwell wasn’t incompetent; he merely got stuck in a situation in which all of the pieces around him changed.

Continue reading »

Should Bud Selig accept a two-year extension as MLB commissioner?

Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, who reportedly will be offered a contract extension by baseball owners this week. Check back throughout the day for more responses and join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.

Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times

Here's a better question: If he doesn't, who replaces him?

Selig is 77. He had proclaimed repeatedly that he would retire at the end of this year. No one believed him, not even his wife. No one formed a committee to search for his replacement.

This would be a good time for Selig to go. MLB just reached a new labor agreement, ensuring two decades without a strike or lockout. Revenues are up, to $7.5 billion. He pushed Dodgers owner Frank McCourt out the door.

But MLB runs by consensus, and Selig is the one who spends hours every day building that consensus. More power to him. Yet it might be nice if the new contract were accompanied by an announcement of a succession plan. Selig will be 80 by the time his new deal expires. There is baseball beyond him, and now is the time to prepare.

Phil Rogers, Los Angeles Times

Bud Selig loves his work, and he does it very well. Sooner or later, he’s going to have to walk away -– for his good, not the game’s. But that time is not now. There’s no reason that the 77-year-old Selig shouldn’t accept the owners’ offer of a two-year contract extension, which will mean he’ll run the game through 2014, more than likely spending his 80th birthday in the office.

It would be different, and Selig probably would have long ago resigned, if that office were not in downtown Milwaukee, a short drive from the house where he begins most days on a treadmill and ends them in front of a bank of televisions. Selig is well compensated, but the biggest concession he’s ever gotten from MLB owners is the understanding that in the modern landscape he can oversee 30 franchises as well from Wisconsin as New York.

He has plenty of work to keep him busy -– in particular the stadium issues in Oakland and Tampa Bay and the ownership issues of the Dodgers and Mets -– and he’s a man who likes to be busy. He has a solid corps of longtime second-in-commands, who serve him well, and he can delegate. He’s trusted by owners and the players. He won’t be around forever, but there’s no reason to hasten a succession that seems sure to weaken MLB’s leadership.

Continue reading »

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