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Bottom 5: The Hard Truth

David Stern: Stubborn, irritable, and apparently gassy

By Jeremy Blumberg

Peyton Hillis: You're needed on the field
Peyton Hillis (right) refuses to play and practice due to an injury and his prolonged drama has infuriated the Cleveland Browns front office. (Getty Images)

1. Drama Queen. The Cleveland Browns have had just about enough of Peyton Hillis and his antics in the locker room.  It seems every day he has some excuse on why he cannot practice and play on Sundays.  His current contract expires at the end of the season and he does not figure to return to the squad in 2012.  With the “Madden Curse” living on in one form or another, it seems that Hillis will have to think fast if he wants to continue playing in the NFL.  Less than a year ago, he was being praised as becoming the first white running back to rush for over 1000 yards since 1985.  The Browns just want the truth on why Hillis refuses to practice because team doctors decided that his injury is not very serious.  The only sure thing now is that when the squeaky wheel does not get oil, it gets replaced.

2. From Star to Cut. The New England Patriots have just cut ties with former Pro Bowler DT Albert Haynesworth by deciding to release him from the team.  Football has not turned out well for Haynesworth after his breakout season with Tennessee in 2008.  After getting a massive contract extension, he was a backup with Washington in 2010 and was seldom used on the Patriots this year before being released.  His $100 million contract could not look like a bigger waste of money right now.  The sad truth for Fat Albert is that there are currently no suitors for his services.

David Stern: Stubborn, irritable, and apparently gassy
NBA commissioner David Stern answers questions regarding the condition of the lockout and when it may end. (Associated Press)

3. NBA Lockout. This is not really news to anyone by now but David Stern and the 30 NBA owners have not made any progress with the players on a new deal.  The hard truth is that neither side is willing to cave and the sport in general is starting to suffer.  As of Wednesday November 9, 68 total games have been missed in the NBA and $221 million has been lost (NBA states that they make $3.25 million per game).  With contract issues being the subject between the two sides, not only is this season in danger of being skipped, but next year as well.  This hurts basketball not just at the professional level but college basketball in the long-run will suffer as well.  With players graduating and leaving school, this option will not be available and this will affect recruiting because some schools like Kentucky, Memphis, and UConn, rely on one-and-done players and recruit the next best guy but their philosophy will have to change if the lockout continues.

4. Colorado Buffs. The Colorado Buffalos are in their first season in the PAC-12.  However, maybe they regret switching conferences, at least for the moment.  The Buffs have not won a game in conference play and are 1-9 overall 0-6 in conference play.  Their only victory came against Colorado State and that was played at a neutral location.  They need to face reality and learn that just because other teams have switched conferences and it is a current fad, does not mean every team should do it.  One reason Colorado decided to leave the Big 12 was because they feared that the conference would dissolve and everyone else wanted to switch conferences.  Sometimes it helps to look before you leap.

5. Blackhawk Down. The Chicago Blackhawks are still trying to find their groove that helped them win the Stanley Cup back in the 2009-2010 season.  Unfortunately, they have lost three straight and were shut out to the St. Louis Blues in their latest defeat.  Very little has gone right for the Blackhawks this year and many fans are realizing that the Blackhawks had one magical season and it’s time to move on.  Believing that you will win every game is preposterous and the hard truth here is that the team is not as good as people thought it would be.  With the trade deadline approaching in the not-to-distant future, expect some players to be moved.

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