Thursday, March 31, 2005


Danny Green

Danny Green [North Babylon, NY]   6-5, 180  SG/SF

I guess the New York pipeline is still flowing.  He looks destined to be Rashad McCants' replacement.  Awesome shooter....including the mid-range jumpers.

Bobby Frasor [Chicago, IL].    6-3, 175   PG/SG

Frasor will be a guy that can run the point and be the off-guard.  Kind of in the way Shammond Williams or Dante Calabria did. 

Tyler Hansbrough [Poplar Bluff, MO]    6-9, 225   C/PF

Tyler is the prized recruit for Roy Williams.  If you saw the Mickey D's game you saw how quick he is on rebounds.  He also hit a 3...showing his range.  If Tyler can get his conditiioning down so he can run the court as Sean May does...he could be another in a long line of excellent Carolina big men.

Marcus Ginyard

Marcus Ginyard [Arlington, VA]  6-4, 175  SG

Stolen from Maryland's backyard...Ginyard wasn't a McDonald's All American.  He'll make a nice backcourt mate with Frasor for the next few years. 


William Graves

William Graves [Greensboro, NC]   6-6, 235   F

Wednesday, March 30, 2005



Much to my dismay, the whole baseball world is centered around the Red Sox and Yankees. Turn on ESPNews...and you get those gripping highlights of their Grapefruit League game. Turn it over to ESPN...and you’ll have Peter Gammons force feeding both teams to you. I even listened to my favorite sports radio show, SPORTS BLOGGERS LIVE, and the "Steroid Free Baseball Preview" pretty much only spoke of the Yankees and Red Sox.

My sources have told me that MLB is on the verge of a major expansion that would turn the 2-team league to a 30 team league. Of course, only a few of these new teams will be allowed to spend any money....most will act as farm systems for New York and Boston.

Oh, it is a great rivalry. And the fact that these two teams have met in the last two ALCS and put up outstanding series is the reason for most of this recent love. But the Dodgers-Giants is a nice rivalry too....and they’ve had some memorable moments as well. I mean, I’ll take "the shot heard ‘round the world [Bobby Thompson] over Bucky Freakin’ Dent. Remember in 1993 when the Giants won 103 games....yet were eliminated by the Dodgers by a score of 12-1 on the final day....leaving San Fran a mere game behind the Braves?? That was two years after the Giants won the last two games of the season over the Dodgers to put them just behind Atlanta.

What’s the difference?? Well, the Dodgers and Giants screw each other over regularly. Both have had their days in the sun. In the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry....New York owned Boston. They'd still be owning Boston if they didn't have the mother of all meltdowns in last year's ALCS.  To the non-fans....the bandwagon guys choose the Yankees.....and the underdog lover chooses the Red Sox. However, the Red Sox have nowwon a World Series and finally laid to rest the dumbest story in all of sports [the Curse of the Bambino] they now become like every other team.

Actually....they?ve become the Yankees. The other teams scrimp and save to field a pretty good ball team. The Red Sox are like the Yankees in the fact that they have an open checkbook to do what they want. As much as they hate the the 28 other clubs they might as well have pinstripes. 


Normally, I?m not one to put up a "media bias". But, when ESPN is involved....there is noticeably some there. ESPN headquarters is in Bristol, Connecticut...which is about dead smack between Boston and New York. Notice that whenever a New England or New York team wins is the greatest victory of all mankind!! The New York Rangers win the Stanley is the greatest feat of all time!!! You would think that was the only Cup Mark Messier ever won [he won 5 with Edmonton]. Will they celebrate a Cubs World Series [heck just even getting there!] with the furor that they?ve done for Boston?? Not to say that ESPN isn?t all over Duke or the Lakers. They are. But they also tend to spend more time talking about other teams in those leagues than they do about any other baseball teams. If you stay up late can get some Mariners or Dodgers takes on the 2am Baseball Tonight.

Peter Gammons...the network's baseball Dick a Boston guy and has love for two teams.  The Boston Red Sox and whomever Pedro Martinez is pitching for. 

By the way....Opening Day is Sunday night...and ESPN has set aside a Yankees-Red Sox game to ring in the new year. All by itself.

It reminds me of the 2004 Presidential election. While the big media minds of New York, Washington and Los Angeles chirp in on what is best....everyone in the middle was solidified in their belief. Basically, middle America was slept on. While the ALCS was really great....the NLCS undercard of St. Louis-Houstonwasn?t too shabby either.

When interleague play comes around...we get treated to the Mets-Yankees Subway Series. Oh, it is nice....but I?ll take the White Sox-Cubs over them. The Dodgers-Angels, Athletics-Giants, Indians-Reds, Astros-Rangers and soon Nationals-Orioles all have that same regional feel and drama. Of course, only the NY series gets the major pub.

Again, this isn?t to slight these two franchises or their fans. They are great franchises....great fans....and great teams. And they should get discussed. But the Cardinals are good. So are the Marlins. And the Angels. If Bonds gets back soon then the Giants will be formidable. The Twins are pretty good. Heck, the Braves are there every year and they don?t get this kind of love.

I've lived in two cities pretty much my entire life.  Charlotte and Cincinnati.  Charlotte could care less about baseball.  It is basketball country and will always be.  Cincinnati, however, loves their baseball.  They take as much pride in their team as anyone.  There will be the 86th Findlay Market parade before Opening Day which is held in Cincinnati every year [any other team get to enjoy that?]. 

Of course, if Boston or New York comes to the Nati....everyone will run to get tickets.  But when the Reds show up and "The Stadium" or might as well be the Royals.  The talk around town is how the Reds opened up their pockets this year....and got their payroll to a whopping $50M by signing Eric Milton.  The Reds, no kidding, traded Denny Neagle to the Yankees for Drew Henson a few years ago.  Henson didn't want to be part of the they sent him back for minor leaguer Wily Mo Pena [which is turning into a nice deal for Cincy].  Since then, they've traded Gabe White and Aaron Freakin Boone to New York in other deals.  Oh, and you can thank the Reds for Paul O'Neill as well.

Heck, they've even traded Christy Mathewson to the New York GIANTS back in 1900.

So...I may elect to skip watching the season....since we all know that Boston and New York will fight to the death in October to see who gets to clobber the Marlins, Cards, Braves, Giants, or other.

At least that's what they are saying.

Monday, March 28, 2005


Congrats to the 2004-2005 North Carolina Tar Heels on their Syracuse Regional championship!!  This will be the first Final Four for Carolina since Guthridge's unprobable 2000 appearance with the 8th seeded Heels. 



Sunday, March 27, 2005


Coming all week this I did with the Super Bowl [The Sportz Super Bowl Jammy Jam]....I will have my SPORTZ NCAA TOURNAMENT HEADQUARTERS dedicated to ALL THINGS FINAL FOUR!!!  Of course I'll have game breakdowns....but I'll also have my top Final Four moments, lowest Final Four moments, the massive change that will sweep across the NCAA, recaps, asides and whatever else I can come up with.  Stay tuned!!

Friday, March 25, 2005

THE ELITE 8!!!!!!!!!

THE ELITE 8!!!!!!!!!!!!!



BIGGEST UPSET:  The only game that may be an upset was West Virginia-Texas Tech.  Sure Zona was a smaller seed....but WV in the Elite 8??  Though Villanova darn near turned the tourny on it's ear.

CONFERENCE THAT SUCKS: this stage of the game "sucks" is too strong of a word.  Give me a break!!  I keeps with the rythm of the other rounds.  But, the conference that has to suck this round would be the Big XII.  Texas Tech and Oklahoma State lost very close games...and now get to go home with Texas, Kansas and Iowa State.  A very respectable 5-5 conference record.  The ACC almost went from "The Best" to "Sucks" with losses by Duke and NC State and a close call from North Carolina.

CONFERENCE THAT SURPRISED:  The Big East...but not really in a totally pleasant way.  The top Big East schools [BC, UConn, Syracuse] combined for a 2-3 mark.  While West Virginia is in the Elite 8 and Nova darn near pulled off a big upset.

THE BEST CONFERENCE:  As of now....The Big Ten.  They've stuck three of the Elite 8.  Michigan State knocked off Duke....Illinois is still the favorite on their side of the bracket...and Wisconsin has a good shot against UNC. 

BEST GAME:  What a game Arizona-Oklahoma State was!!!  Both are legit title contenders and they played an awesome game for the full 40 minutes.  Salim Stoudamire is having one heck of a tournament....and popping that tough game winner just added to his legend.

WORST GAME:  Nothing against these teams...but it was Illinois-Wis Milwaukee. Illinois basically just kept an arms-distance away from the Panthers all game long.  The other games had a little more drama to them.

BEST PLAYER:   Salim Stoudamire.  Arizona's gun slinger hit the game winner over two Cowboys.

WORST PLAYERAllen Ray.  The Nova guard just couldn't find his shot all tournament long.  He went 3 for 32 in the Wildcats' three games....including 2 for 14 against North Carolina.  Tough time to go thru such a slump.

BRACKET OPENED UP FOR:   Louisville.  They slayed the #1 dragon....and now they have #7-seed West Virginia left.  I'm not saying it will be a rout...but it is a better matchup for them than UW.

BORING BRACKETSyracuse.  UNC will be a huge favorite against Wisconsin.  L'ville may be a big one against WV as well. 

LOOKING LIKE A CHAMPION:    North Carolina. 

Thursday, March 24, 2005




I'm not a big Suvivor fan...but I was rooting for this guy.  His name is James Miller...and I drew him in the "Survivor Pool" at work.  Well...he got the I'm done.  Check out everything else that happened on this week's show by check out my wife's blog: Suvivor : Palau - Bravenet Web Journal



I break down the NCAA's Sweet 16.  Do I think OSU or Arizona will play Illinois in the Chicago Regional final??  Who will win the track meet between Washington and Louisville??  Will North Carolina be upset in Syracuse??  Check out my SPORTZ NCAA TOURNAMENT HEADQUARTERS for all of the answers!!


Who will be left out of the NBA playoffs??  Kobe? KG? Iverson? Vince-anity?  As the NBA playoffs near [and the NCAA tournament draws to an end], I SWEAR that the SPORTZ' HOOPS LAND will be the place to be for NBA playoff coverage!!

From the matchups to the breakdowns....keep up with the HOOPS LAND!!

First off...check out my piece on the Lakers falling flat this season.




Keep up with fellow bloggers on the NCAA Tournament [you can hear my takes on it there], Spring Training and all things sport on AOL Sports: Sports Bloggers Live every Monday night live at 7:00p...then hear replays of the show starting Tuesday!!!  Call in and contribute!!



The hosts of the Sports Bloggers Live are fellow Redskins fanatics Jamie and Chris Mottram, the former being DCSPORTSGUY and the latter is Blog Boy.  They took my blog to unbelievable madd props and respect to them.  Check out Jamie's Mr. Irrelevant's AOL Sports Blog to read about a gay sheep, a game winning "jumper", and poppin' jerseys.....then read Chris's "Show" Me Your Blog about how ugly Sheldon Williams is and how "special" JJ Redick is.  Actually...if you scroll thru the replies on his blog, it seems he's started a makeshift Dook message board.  Hey...if you hate Dook...I'm always down with you!!



Monponsett and I ran around on the ol' Lakers Board and pretty much got hooked into this Blog World at the same time.  So, as sort of siblings in this World...I always have to pimp her site whenever possible.  Also a contributor to Sports Bloggers Live with the TOP TEN LIST....check out more hilarity of all things sport [and especially New England sport] at High Above Courtside.  Throw her a bone...I mean she only roots for the Super Bowl champion Patriots and World Series champion Red Sox.....oh, and her Celtics are all the sudden white hot. 



I always enjoy his blog since he, like me, likes to just break it all down.  And since I am a National League guy....I don't hold it against him that he's a Yankees fan.  By the way, George.....I welcome your Boston College to the ACC!!!  Check out Coztanza's Commentary


                              The NASCAR blog dude.  Accept no substitutes.  Welcome to the NRZ.

All I know about cars is that you turn the key and it starts.....then every once in a while throw some overpriced gas in it.  That is until you read Die Cast Dude's NASCAR Blah Blah Blog.  After reading'll feel you are a full-fledged gear head.  I'm from Charlotte [the hub of NASCAR] and while I'm not a fan, I find myself intrigued by Die Cast's takes on all thing racing.  If you love racing...definitely hit his blog.



Oh, God.  You gotta check out Bonds' blog that he "writes".  Today's entry further explains his rehab on his knee and how it sucks.  Also, he has a "shout out" board where he name drops.  Excellent!  Check it out at The Official Barry Bonds Site


This isn't a blog....but just a site that I go to to find the stupid side of sports.  It is called Bob Reno's   On it, you'll find coaches that slept with their players....hazing involving wangs....DUIs....and the occassional teabagging incidents that seem to be the rage for wrestling teams. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

11 NCAA Tournament Questions for Sportz'


1-WILL NORTH CAROLINA FLAME OUT?? I don’t think they will...but there is a chance that they might. After winning a big game against Duke in the regular season finale...the Heels were told about how great they were and even got quite a few #1 votes in the polls. So...they go to the ACC tournament and lay an egg against Clemson which they recovered from, then laid another one against a hungry Georgia Tech squad. Same thing could happen here. Carolina is widely recognized as the "team of the tournament" thus far and could slip up enough that Villanova, Wisconsin or NC State upends them short of the Final Four.


2- WHICH TOP SEED LOOKS A LITTLE SHAKY? To be honest, three of the four top seeds have tough roads to the Final Four [the lone school with a somewhat easy road is UNC]. Washington will play a #4 seed Louisville that is actually ranked higher than them in the AP and who is maybe the hottest team in the country right now. Duke has not looked good at all...and has a very tough Michigan State staring at them on Friday...with Kentucky or Utah on Sunday. Very tough. While Illinois seems to have an easy game against UW-Milwaukee.....they have to face the winner of Arizona-Oklahoma State. Either of those schools are capable of winning the whole thing.


3-DOES MILWAUKEE HAVE A CHANCE AGAINST ILLINOIS? They have a better shot than you would think. While the Illini are a great, great squad....Milwaukee?s style of play may cause a few errors in Illinois game plan. Hey...on any given day, a Bucknell can beat Kansas.


4-CAN WISCONSIN GET TO THE FINAL FOUR? They sure can. I think they?ll beat NC State. But to beat UNC??? That will be tough. However, the defensive nature of the Badgers might actually cause problems for the Heels. Wisconsin won?t allow UNC to get as many possessions....and I?ve seen how Carolina can sometimes struggle in a half-court game.


5-WILL WE SEE DUKE V KENTUCKY III???? Yes. But, they both have huge tasks ahead of them with Michigan State and Utah. Neither team is a pushover and brings their own type of challenge to the Crews In Blue. But...I do see those teams battling in the Elite 8. 1992 Laettner hit that shot in the Elite 8 that sent Duke to the Final Four and a National Title. And in 1998, Kentucky made an awesome comeback to win and sent them to a National Title.


6-SPEAKING OF 1992, DOES BOBBY KNIGHT GET BACK TO THE FINAL FOUR?? No. While I got them losing to West Virginia.....even a T Tech win pits them against Washington or Louisville. The Red Raiders simply cannot beat those teams [though a Knight-Pitino matchup would be nice]. That doesn?t diminish what Knight and Texas Tech has done. He is right.....this team has had a great season just getting to this point.


7-WILL THE WILDCATS GET TO THE FINAL FOUR?? I say yes. But which one?? I think Arizona and Villanova will be gone before Saturday.... but I have Kentucky beating Utah and Duke to get to St. Louis.


8-WILL A COACH THAT HAS ALREADY WON A TITLE, WIN ANOTHER ONE?? I say no. Obviously, Roy Williams and Bruce Weber are leading the top two schools right now....and neither has cut down the nets. But with Izzo, K, Knight, Olsen, Tubby and Pitino out never know.


9-WHICH REGION IS THE TOUGHEST?? Chicago Region. Sure, there is a #12 seed alive there....but it in the only region with a #3 seed and only one other region has their #2. I mean, Arizona and Oklahoma State will battle Thursday night for the right to battle Illinois on Saturday. Wow!!


10-WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT THIS WEEKEND OF GAMES?? I?d actually change two things. One, there should be NO reason that North Carolina-Villanova should be played at 10p in Syracuse. That is horrible. I mean, who plays 10p local time hoops?? The second thing I?d change is to have all of the Elite 8 games played on Sunday. Not that there is anything wrong with two games on one day and two on the next....but it is just so much more dramatic when all of the tickets get punched on one day.

11-SO, WHO IS IN YOUR FINAL FOUR??  Right now I have North Carolina, Kentucky, Oklahoma State and Louisville.  North Carolina beats Oklahoma State in the title game.

Oh, That Barry!

                          Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds is stating that he may be out until midseason....if at all.

In a "news conference", Barry did his best Barry impression of moping about how it is the media’s fault that he doesn’t like him....and now it is forcing him to be "tired". I guess it also was the media that injured his knee and will cause him to miss the opening of the season.

"I really don’t have much to say anymore. My son and I are just going to enjoy life. My family’s tired. You guys [the media] wanted to hurt me bad enough, you finally got there. You wanted me to jump off a bridge, I finally have jumped. You wanted to bring me down, you’ve finally brought me and my family down. Finally done it. From everybody, all of you. So know go pick a different person. I’m done. Do the best I can, that’s about it….Inner hurt, physical, mentally. Done. I’m mentally drained. I’m tired of my kids crying. Tired."

Reading that makes you think of several things. First off....the timing. Yes, he just had knee surgery yet again and it was highly unlikely that he would be ready for opening day. He has never missed an opening day in his 19-year career. And this could be a special year for the Giants. They are the favorites to win the NL West...and have a pretty good shot at a World Series.

Second....sorry, but it just makes you think of steroids. With his involvement in the BALCO case, a recent story about an ex-girlfriend [read: mistress] saying he used steroids, possible tax issues and the recent Congressional hearings on steroids in baseball...the timing for this looks bad. I mean, after the public relations nightmare that the hearing became for baseball and especially Mark McGwire....Barry may be looking to exit as soon as he can. I mean, McGwire retired while he was still putting up major numbers and was so close to becoming the fourth man to 600 home runs.....yet he scurried out before steroid testing began. Barry may do the same thing just 52 HR shy of Hank Aaron.

Third, it seems that Barry is in full spin mode. He went from "I just love playing the game" to "I?m tired" in less than a month. He went from Brett Favre to Ricky Williams in less than 30 days. Amazing.  He's just sitting all alone, eating his feelings.  Well, not alone.  He brought his 16-year old son to act as a buffer so the questioning wouldn't get too intense.  Not only was Barry "tired" but his family was "tired" as well.  C'mon guys...he just wants to spend some time with his family.  Family is important to him.  That is when he isn't cheating on his wife.

Oh, yeah....this really sucks for the Giants, eh?  I mean, you are only taking the 7-time MVP out of their lineup. 

                                Felipe Alou

Here is my take on isn't just frustration. It has been obvious that BALCO and the steroids whispers are getting to him, justifiably or not. Not to mention that all the rehab work he has done over the past few months was meaningless after his latest surgery. All of that can make someone depressed.  So could dealing with the fact that there is your grand jury testimony leaked, your adultery leaked, your tax issues leaked and no one believes your "flaxseed oil" story. 

Yet, it seems to me that everything I just stated is one person's fault.  Barry Bonds'.  He can blame the media all he wants.  But did the media make him take steroids??  Did the media cheat on his wife for nine years?  Did the media say in front of a grand jury that he thought he was taking flaxseed oil?  Did the media forget to report income on his tax return?? 

Boo-hoo.  In the words of Gunnery Sgt R. Lee Ermey in "Full Metal Jacket"...."You wanna quit?? Then quit!!!!" If you are tired of all this crap...then go home. Despite how bad Mark McGwire looked, if it wasn?t for this Congressional hearing....we still would think McGwire is in that "athlete?s retirement home" that they all hang out in. I?m sure Bonds could stay there.

Bonds could retire from baseball....where he doesn?t have to worry about a steroid test outing him...and get away from public eye which is what he apparently wants. He can show up in 5-6 years to see his mug go into the Hall Of Fame....make a speech...than go back to his mansion and play with his kids.

That is all written in the "McGwire Exit Strategy".

Monday, March 21, 2005

Oh, That Bobby Knight!!


I think it was the gals at the great 1980s show "The Facts Of Life" that said "You take the take the take them both...and there you have".....Bobby Knight.

Bobby Knight is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1994...and with a less talented team than he’s had in years. Quite an interesting contrast as Indiana, the team he was ousted from, didn’t make the tournament at all.

But, with the nostalgia and good feelings...Knight took it upon himself to open up old wounds about his time in Indiana.

"I stayed at Indiana six years too long because of the administration. The administration handled a lot of things poorly.    I was working for an athletic director [former IU AD Clarence Doninger] that didn't know his [expletive] from third base. I ended up staying because of the kids that I liked and the people I did like rather than focusing on the real negatives there."

"They created that for themselves.  The guy that's coaching there [Mike Davis] is a guy that I told Pat [Knight, his son and assistant coach] we were going to replace at the end of the season. There's no way that I would have kept the guy any longer than that. [But] That's their [Indiana] problem."

Let's are in the Sweet 16 again so you feel like it is a good time to bash Indiana who isn't in the tournament.  Not to mention you bash Mike Davis who may lose his job in the coming days.  Classy, Bobby.  Classy. 

Let it go, Coach Knight.  It has been, what, four years??  You even said you left 6 years too late.  It just didn't work out.  Now, you are building a nice program in Texas Tech which, by the way, is about on par to what you were doing in those "6 years" you had at Indiana.  Getting in the tournament with a less talented team on a 19-9 record and getting ousted in the first weekend.  I mean, if I look at it right, those "6 years" you overstayed your welcome go back to that 1994 Sweet 16, right?? 

This just looks like a situation of kicking a dead horse.  Indiana played a devil of a schedule this year.  North Carolina, Illinois, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Michigan State were on Indiana's plate and they are all in the Sweet 16.  They also had to play tourny teams Minnesota, Charlotte, Iowa and UConn.  And they still were on the NCAA bubble heading into Championship Week.  No one in the AD or new Coach Davis kissed your butt so you are a little bent.  I guess that is what happens to a meglo-maniac!

Bobby Knight is a great coach...and in 2007 he will probably pass Dean Smith on the all time wins column.  When I think of makes me realize that there are more than one way to skin a cat.  Smith was the nicest possible coach while Knight is more of a dictator.  Fine...both ways apparantly worked.  The only difference is that Smith has what Knight wants....a clean legacy with the love and butt-kissing he craves.  I mean, no one will say a bad thing about Dean Smith on the Carolina campus.  In fact, Guthridge, Doherty and Williams go/went to Coach Smith for advice all of the time...and his fingerprints remain on the program.  Knight will retire with broken ties to Indiana and could very well burn the bridges in Texas before he is thru. 

Either way....good luck against West Virginia.

What is going on!?!?!?!?!

It is Monday....which means we now have a 3 day break from the NCAA tournament. I, for one, will crawl out of Sportz Headquarters [my basement] and poke my head out to see what’s going on. I know about the Senate hearings on baseball....but there has been other things going on. How ‘bout a run down??

*ITS SPRING AGAIN!. The useless declaration on the calendar. The first day of spring. I don’t know about you, but the first day of spring tends to be a colder day than the last day of winter. Is it just me??

          Pat Summitt

*PAT REACHES THE SUMMITT. I’m a North Carolina I was asked [read: taunted] that Tennessee Vols’ coach Pat Summitt was set to tie Dean Smith’s career win total. First off, congrats to her. Second is apples and oranges. Heck, in the same sport it is apples and oranges. Do you think that John Wooden would get his UCLA teams to win 11 titles in this day and age?? Probably not. So why equate what a woman’s basketball coach does to what a men’s basketball coach does. That leads me to my next point...

*DO WE NEED 64 TEAMS?? The women’s NCAA tournament started with their round of 64 teams. Here are some scores in case you missed them. LSU beat Stetson 70-36. Minnesota beat St Francis 64-33. Rutgers beat Hartford 62-37. Ohio State beat Holy Cross 86-45. UConn beat Dartmouth 95-47. Tennessee beat Western Carolina 94-43. the talent pool rich enough for 64 women’s teams?? I mean, St. Francis scored 33 points!! Western Carolina lost by 51!!! Don’t get me wrong...there are blowouts in every sport. But, the largest margin of victory in the men’s tournament so far [49 games] is 28 points when UNC beat Iowa State today. There were NINE games in the women’s tournament that have had margins of victory larger than 28 pts [32 games]. Can they just go back to the 48 team field??


*BYE BYE LAKERS.  With 16 games left in the NBA season...the LA Lakers are sitting 32-24 and 3.5 games back of Denver for the final playoff spot.  Last year, the Jazz and Blazers ended long playoff streaks.  The Lakers, who currently hold the longest playoff streak, may have theirs ended soon.  LA has lost 5 in a row and are pretty much playing out the string.  Wow....I didn't expect the Lakers to not even get over .500 this year.  I guess there is major, major work that needs to be done here. 

*PAGING DENNIS RODMAN. If you haven?t heard, Steve Francis went flying into the hub of photographers underneath the Magic basket...and apparently kicked someone. He has been suspended indefinitely. Francis denies the kick. If he did kick the photographer...what a 180 from early this season for Francis. Francis went from Rocket All Star to guy holding up a trade that would send him to Orlando. He then got off to a nice start and had the Magic rolling. Then, he became a problem for the Magic...and the team falls out of the playoff running. His coach gets canned...and he kicks a photographer. Nice to see he?s serious about getting his team into the playoffs. Good job Francis!


*ROBERTO ALOMAR RETIRES. Alomar, who will best be known for his days in Toronto, retired this past weekend. Actually, he may best be known for his Orioles days when he spit on an umpire. The 12-time all star and 10-time gold glover may be on his way to Cooperstown.


*LAST DANCE WITH MARY JANE. Apparently Ricky Williams has been talking to new Dolphins? coach Nick Saban about a possible return to the NFL. It has beenrumored that Williams has stopped smoking the hippie lettuce. It has been about 6 weeks.....Williams is due for another injection into the sporting world. Look, stoner....either stay in or go outside...just close the freaking door!!! I?m sure Miami is tired of dealing with this crap....I know I?m tired of hearing about it. Keep your sandals on....and the Bob Marley CD spinning...and the incense burning...and the tie-dyes drying.....the brownies baking....the Funyons in the cabinet....and your Dazed And Confused DVD in the machine. You aren?t really willing to kill the weed to go to work now are you?

*FLIPPING FOR NASCAR. Carl Edwards won the Nextel Race in Atlanta....the day after winning the Busch race there. When getting out of his car after the Busch win, he did this back flip on the asphalt. And who says these guys don?t live on the edge??

*ORANGE LINE INFRACTION. Breaking news...the NHL is still dead. But, when [read: if] it does come back to may have a different look. rules changes or franchise shifts. No, the ice may be blue with florescent orange lines on it. Yes, really. The reasoning does have some merit. It may be more attractive to the TV viewer who can (1) see the players better on the ice...(2) see the puch and action better on the ice....(3) get rid of that nasty glare off the ice....and (4) a reason for anyone to watch a hockey game. It is being tested in Rochester.