Monday, January 1, 2007
Elias Says ... Green not in Cards
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Dennis Green was fired as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals on Monday. Each of the last nine Cardinals head coaches with a tenure of at least five games, dating back to the team's years in St. Louis, had a losing mark: Green (16-32), Dave McGinnis (17-40), Vince Tobin (28-43), Buddy Ryan (12-20), Joe Bugel (20-44), Hank Kuhlmann (0-5), Gene Stallings (23-34-1), Jim Hanifan (39-49-1) and Bud Wilkinson (9-20). The last Cardinals coach to post a winning record was Don Coryell from 1973-77 (42-27-1).
The Cardinals' streak of nine straight coaches with a losing record is one shy of the all-time NFL mark, set by the Jets from 1962 to 1996. The Jets' string of 10 straight losing coaches started after Sammy Baugh left with a 14-14 mark following the 1961 season and continued until Bill Parcells posted a 29-19 record in his three years in charge of the club.
• Jim Mora the younger, who was fired as head coach of the Falcons Monday, made the postseason in his first season in Atlanta, but didn't make it in either of the last two seasons. Over the last 15 years, two other coaches made the postseason in their first year as a head coach, but did not last four seasons in that job, and those two coaches were each out after two years: Bill Callahan for the Raiders and Chan Gailey for the Cowboys.
The Falcons had started 5-2 this season and 6-2 in 2005. Under the NFL's 12-team playoff format, which began in 1990, two other teams have started 5-2 or better and not made the playoff in two consecutive seasons, the Chargers in 2001 and 2002 and the Dolphins in 2002 and 2003.
• Joe Sakic had three assists to move into 10th place on the NHL's all-time points list on Monday, knocking Paul Coffey out of the top 10. Coffey had been among the top 10 since the 1994-95 season.
Coffey is the first player to be knocked out of the top 10 since the 1998-99 season when Ray Bourque and Steve Yzerman replaced Stan Mikita and Bryan Trottier. Coffey's expulsion also means that Bourque is the only defenseman currently in the top 10.
• Alexander Ovechkin has been held without a goal in his last four games, his longest drought of the season. Ovechkin had three longer dry spells as a rookie last season: two six-game goalless streaks and a five-game streak.
• The Islanders lost in Buffalo Monday, and they have now lost all seven games they have played on New Year's Day. That sets an NHL record for the longest streak of Jan. 1 losses; they had shared the record with the Rangers, who lost six in a row from 1943 to 1951.
• The Timberwolves beat the Bobcats in Charlotte on Monday, leaving the Kings as the only team that has not won a game in Charlotte since the new franchise started up. The Kings are 0-2 in Charlotte against the Bobcats; the Timberwolves were 0-2 there before Monday.
• The Timberwolves overcame a 20-point deficit to win on Monday, the largest they have overcome in nearly nine years, since Minnesota won in Dallas on Jan. 17, 1998, 113-110, after trailing by 24 points.
• It was a short, unproductive night for Primoz Brezec: He fouled out in 12 minutes without recording a point. The last starting center to foul out so quickly while not scoring was Michael Olowokandi, who did it in nine minutes on Feb. 4, 2005.