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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

SuperBowl 43

There are a few playmakers lining up for Super Bowl 43 in Tampa Florida. A playmaker is a football player who can of course make a big play, usually a long scoring play to gi ve his team the momentum. Both the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers will be fielding several Super Bowl Playmakers in Tampa. The Super Bowl has a history of playmakers stepping up for the big game. Marcus Allen, Lynn Swan, Larry Brown (yes I said it!) and many others have made their place in NFL history.

This article will break down the Super Bowl 43 playmakers for each team with stats from NFL.com. I will exclude the quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner as that is a given.

Super Bowl 43 Playmakers for the Arizona Cardinals

Larry Fitzgerald is the best wide receiver in the NFL at this time, bar none. Fitzgerald has stepped up his game in the NFC playoffs, where the whole word can see him shine. In 3 NFC playoff games, Fitzgerald has caught 23 passes for 419 yards and 5 touchdowns. His amazing 18.2 yards per catch in the playoffs set him up to be a playmaker in Super Bowl 43. In the 2008 NFL regular season Fitzgerald caught 98 passes for 1,431 yards and 12 scores with a long play of 78 yards. His average yards per catch was 14.9 which shows he stepped up his play in the post season.

Anquan Boldin is always a big play threat but has been injured in the playoffs after catching a long touchdown pass in the Falcon game. If Boldin is healthy and over his feud with offensive coaches, he can be a playmaker in the big game in Tampa.

J.J Arrington is a threat to break a play at anytime with his blazing speed. Arrington is used out of the backfield as a receiver or runner. But it is his kick returning ability that makes him dangerous. J.J. Arrington averaged 25.6 yards per kick return in the 2008 regular season. He also added a 93 yard touchdown return.

Dominique Rodgers- Cromartie is the Cardinals big play guy on defense. In the regular season he had 4 interceptions for 157 yards and one touchdown. He is a threat to have a pick six against Big Ben who tends to throw em up to see where they land at times.

Top 10 Tallest in NBA

1.) Manute Bol
Height: 7'7''   Weight: 225 Pounds
Manute Bol played 10 seasons in the NBA (1985-1995). He played for four different teams: Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, and Philadelphia 76ers . He averaged 18.7 minutes played per game over his career, but only 4.2 rebounds and 2.6 points per game. Considering all he has to do is catch the ball and lay it into the basketball without jumping, how come he only averaged 2.6 points per game? He was known for his blocked-shot ability. He set a rookie record in his 1985-1986 rookie season blocking 397 shots. He is also tied for the most blocked shots in one-half with eleven and is tied for the most blocked shots for one quarter with eight, in which he accomplished twice. He still holds the record for most blocked shots per minute with (.176). He also played with Muggsy Bogues during the Bogues 1987 rookie season pairing the tallest and shortest players in NBA history in one season. He is also the only player in NBA history to block more shots then he has scored.

2.) Gheorghe Muresan
Height: 7'7''   Weight: 303 Pounds
Gheorghe Muresan played only 6 seasons in the NBA (1993-2000). He played for two different teams, the Washington Bullets and New Jersey Nets. He averaged 21.9 minutes per game over his career, but only 6.4 rebounds and 9.8 points per game. Another big man, yet a fairy low rebounds/per game average. Some of you might remember Gheorghe Muresan from the movie "My Giant" (1998), where he starred with Billy Crystal and Kathleen Quinlan.                                         

3.) Yao Ming
Height: 7'6''   Weight: 310 Pounds
Yao Ming played 6 full seasons and is still currently in his 7th season in the NBA (2002-Present). He has played for the Houston Rockets his whole career in the NBA. He averaged 32.6 minutes per game, while ripping down 9.2 rebounds and scoring 19 points per game till this day. Unlike the 2 tallest centers in the NBA, Yao Ming has been a workhorse and knows how to tally a stat sheet and is the only player in the top 10 tallest NBA players that is still playing.                                                                     

4.) Shawn Bradley
Height: 7'6''   Weight: 275 Pounds
Shawn Bradley played 12 seasons (1993-2005). He has played for three different teams:Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, and Dallas Mavericks, where he spent the majority of his career. He averaged 23.5 minutes, 6.3 rebounds and 8.1 points per game during his career. Although he did average 2.5 blocks per game over his career, he has been known for a "Giant" who got dunked on many time.

5.) Chuck Nevitt
Height: 7'5''   Weight:250 Pounds
Chuck Nevitt played 9 seasons in the NBA (1982-1994). He did not play in 3 seasons over the 12 years of his career. He played for five teams throughout his career: Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, and San Antonio Spurs. He did not play more then 45 games in any season and just averaged 5.3 minutes, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.6 points per game throughout his career. Throughout his career he basically got play time during garbage minutes meaning his team usually had a big lead or was down to much to make a comeback, especially in Detroit. While in Detroit, the fans called Detroit's blow-outs, when Nevitt was able to get his minutes, "Nevitt Time". His nine seasons of minutes played totaled up to be about the length of 18 full NBA games.                  

6.) Slavko Vranes
Height: 7'5''   Weight: 275 Pounds
Slavko Vranes only played three minutes in one game with the Portland Trailblazers during his entire NBA career (2003-2004). He was drafted by the New York Knicks in 2003, but was released during the season, not playing one minute of any Knicks game. The Portland Trailblazers signed him a month after his release from the New York Knicks to a 10-day contract, where he played his only three minutes in the NBA. 

7.) Mark Eaton
Height: 7'4''   Weight: 290 Pounds
Mark Eaton played 11 seasons in the NBA (1982-1993) and spent his whole career with the Utah Jazz. He averaged 28.8 minutes, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.0 points per game throughout his career. Mark Eaton was known for being a monster on defense averaging 3.5 blocks per game over his career and during his third season in the NBA he averaged a whopping 5.6 blocks per game. 

8.) Rik Smits
Height: 7'4''   Weight: 265 Pounds
Rik Smits played 12 seasons in the NBA (1988-2000). Just like Mark Eaton, Rik Smits played his NBA career with one team, the Indiana Pacers. He averaged 26.6 minutes played, 6.1 rebounds, and 14.8 points scored per game during his career. Similar to Ralph Sampson and Mark Eaton, Rik Smits has had very a productive career.                                            

9.) Ralph Sampson
Height: 7'4''   Weight: 235 Pounds
Ralph Simpson played 9 seasons in the NBA (1983-1992). He played for four different teams: Houston Rockets, (where he spent the first half of his career), Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, and Washington Bullets. He averaged 29.8 minutes played, 8.8 rebounds, and 15.4 points per game throughout his NBA career. He was teammates with another 7-foot player ,Hakeem Olajuwon, they were nicknamed the "Twin Towers".Throughout the middle of his career he battled knee injuries because of his big frame and when he was traded for the Rockets he was never able to stay healthy for a full season of games battling with knee and back injuries.                       

10.) Priest Lauderdale
Height: 7'4''   Weight: 325 Pounds
Priest Lauderdale only played 2 seasons in the NBA (1996-1998). He played one season with the Atlanta Hawks and one season with the Denver Nuggets. During his two-year career in the NBA, he averaged 7.1 minutes, 1.9 rebounds, and 3.4 points. After he left the NBA, he went to play basketball in Bulgaria.