Saturday, December 30, 2006

This Weekend, the Sportz NCAA Playoffs Begin


I grew up on Mr I'm going to live in the land of make believe right now.  Like Joe Lunardi does on ESPN's college hoops, I'm doing the same for football.  Yeah, I know that there isn't a playoff in college football...but who cares!  In my mind, there is.  And here is my bracketology.  It's based on a 12-team format where the 6 BCS conference champions get least 1 team from the non-BCS conferences...and 5 at large bids.  The lower seed plays at home. 

1-OHIO STATE* vs winner of....

4-LSU vs winner of....

3-MICHIGAN vs winner of...
6-USC* vs 11-OKLAHOMA*

2-FLORIDA* vs winner of....

Alright, the first round is in the books.  Using a Playstaion and some thinking, here is what came out:

Auburn 31-Boise State 20: Despite the cold conditions in Boise, Auburn comes out with the win
Louisville 44-Wake Forest 21:  They play for real in a few days
USC 34-Oklahoma 14:  USC is just too strong
Wisconsin 21-Notre Dame 20:  Two teams with a lot to prove...the Badgers move on.

That makes the quarterfinal matchups this:


Kobe Drops 58; 3 OTs; And I Was There


Sometimes it is tough being a fan.

I am a Laker fan who grew up in Charlotte.  So, every year I would go to the Charlotte Coliseum box office before the season started [that was pre-you can buy everything online] and get tix to the lone Laker game against the Charlotte Hornets. 

Then I moved to the Cincinnati area and getting to the Laker game was tough.  However, my wife and I did manage to get to the Laker games in 1999-2000 and 2001-2002.  Then the Hornets went bye-bye..  Since then, the Bobcats arrived....but our schedules didn't allow for a roadie to the game.  Not until this year. 

We come home for Christmas for a 10-day vacation [which has been, probably, the most relaxing ever] and the Lakers were in town smack dab during it.  So, my mom got us two tickets as presents.  Below is just some ins and outs of how our night went.

-The arena is nice since it's uptown.  The old Coliseum was on the outskirts of Charlotte where nothing was around it.  The Charlotte Bobcats Arena was fairly easy to get to and we parked about 2 seconds away.

-I don't know if this is the NBA's new thing [the same rule applied at Atlanta's Phillips Arena], but the doors open just 1 hour before gametime.  I don't like that.  I doesn't give you a chance to check out the arena and....spend money.  About half of the 19,000 was in line to get in and once 6:00p came and doors open, all you wanted to do was find your seat, then stand in a long line at the concession stand.  It used to be that the doors opened 1 1/2 hours before game time and you could check out all the stuff to do. 

-We had tickets in the upper level...but right at halfcourt.  A little steep for my wife's viewing pleasure [she didn't like the heights] but decent tickets nonetheless.

-They have this bar/club thing in the arena.  In the upper level on the baseline....there was an open viewing area, a bar and a jazz band playing.  Not our cup of neat, but pretty neat.

-We sat in front of a row of hill-jacks who had to scream the entire....and I mean  They are those people who get involved in every chant ["Who's basketball is it??  BOBCATS basketball!!!!].  Everything was "terrible!" or "ridiculous!".  He spent most of the night yelling at the Laker fans in the crowd, mocking Kobe Bryant and then chiding Bobcats' coach Bernie Bickerstaff over his coaching decisions.  Fans are fans and such....but sometimes too much is too much. 

-Oh, and it was a pretty good game.  Everytime my wife watches a basketball goes into overtime.  Everytime.  I know so, because its always when I turn on a game and say "there is only about a minute left in the game"....and then it goes into extra periods.  This one went into THREE overtimes.  Still, she enjoyed the did I.

-Kobe dumped 58 points....his third highest scoring output ever.  He had a spectacular alley-oop and his a ballsy three pointer to tie the 2nd overtime.

-He wasnt't the only player that went off.  Emeka Okafor scored 22 points, grabbed 25 boards and blocked 4 shots.  Gerald Wallace scored 28 points.  Matt Carroll scored a career-high 27 points.  And Raymond Felton scored 22 points and 15 assists

-Oh, and the City of Charlotte....figure out a better way to clear out the parking lots.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

All Right! Here Are Your NFL Playoff Scenerios



New England, Baltimore, Indianapolis and San Diego have clinched division titles.

San Diego can clinch home-field advantage with:
1. A win or tie
2. Baltimore loss or tie
Baltimore can clinch home-field advantage with:
1. A win and a San Diego loss

• Baltimore can clinch first-round bye with:
1. A win or tie
2. Indianapolis loss or tie

Indianapolis can clinch first-round bye with:
1. A win and a Baltimore loss

AFC Wildcard Scenerios

N.Y. Jets can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. A win or tie
2. A Cincinnati loss or tie and a Jacksonville loss or tie
3. A Cincinnati loss or tie and a Tennessee win
4. A Denver loss and a Jacksonville loss

Cincinnati can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. A win and a N.Y. Jets loss
2. A win and a Denver loss and a Kansas City win

Tennessee can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. A win and a Cincinnati loss or tie and a Denver loss and a Kansas City win

Jacksonville can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. A win and a N.Y. Jets loss and a Cincinnati loss or tie and a Tennessee loss or tie

Denver can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. A win or tie
2. A Kansas City loss or tie

Kansas City can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. A win and a Cincinnati loss or tie and a Denver loss and a Tennessee loss or tie


Chicago, New Orleans and Seattle have clinched division titles.  Dallas and Philadelphia have clinched playoff berths but are battling for the NFC East title.

Dallas can clinch division with:
1. A win with a Philadelphia loss or tie
2. A tie with a Philadelphia loss

Philadelphia can clinch division with:
1. A win
2. Dallas loss
3. A tie with a Dallas tie

Chicago has clinched the division and home-field advantage in the NFC.

New Orleans has clinched division and a first-round bye.

Seattle has clinched the division.

NFC Wildcard Scenerios

N.Y. Giants can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. A win and clinch strength of victory tiebreaker* over Green Bay
2. A win with a Green Bay loss or tie
3. A tie plus a Green Bay loss or tie plus a St. Louis loss or tie plus an Atlanta loss or tie and a Carolina loss or tie
4. A Green Bay loss plus a St. Louis loss plus an Atlanta loss and a Carolina loss

*N.Y. Giants clinch strength of victory tiebreaker over Green Bay if:
1. Detroit or Minnesota lose
2. Any two of the following results occur: Arizona loss, Miami loss, San Francisco loss, Carloina win, Houston win, Tampa Bay win

Green Bay can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. A win plus a NY Giants win + GB clinches strength of victory tiebreaker* over NYG
2. A win plus a NY Giants loss or tie plus a St. Louis loss or tie
3. A win plus a NY Giants loss or tie plus a Carolina win
4. A win plus a NY Giants loss or tie plus an Atlanta win
5. A tie plus a NY Giants loss plus a St. Louis loss plus anAtlanta loss or tie plus a Carolina loss or tie

*Green Bay clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over N.Y. Giants if: Arizona, Detroit, Miami, Minnesota and San Francisco all win and Carolina, Houston and Tampa Bay all lose.

Carolina can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. A win plus a NY Giants loss or tie plus a Green Bay loss or tie
2. A tie plus a NY Giants loss plus a Green Bay loss plus a St. Louis loss or tie plus an Atlanta loss or tie

Atlanta can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. A win plus a Carolina loss or tie plus a Green Bay loss or tie plus a NY Giants loss or tie
2. A tie plus a Carolina loss plus a Green Bay loss plus a NY Giants loss plus a St. Louis loss

St. Louis can clinch a playoff berth with:
1. A win and N.Y. Giants, Carolina and Atlanta all lose or tie.
2. A tie and N.Y. Giants, Carolina, Atlanta and Green Bay all lose.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Last Respects To Those We Lost in 2006


LAMAR HUNT, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS OWNER:  Mr. Hunt was one of the great innovators in sports and one of the few who thought about the big picture....not just what benefitted his own wallet.  Something to remember as 32 NFL teams have hope each and every summer as they report to training camp.

RED AUERBACH, BOSTON CELTICS PRESIDENT:  Another great man who helped take a league from the back page to the light.  Auerbach showed everyone what a dynasty was by not only coaching it....but building it brick by brick himself. 

BYRON NELSON, GOLFER:  You know that Tiger Woods cat??  Well, Nelson was that kind of golfer in his day.  Dude won 11 tournaments in a row!!!!!

BUCK O'NEIL, BASEBALL PLAYER, HISTORIAN:  Buck O'Neill was known more for his passion of keeping alive the Negro Leagues.  Because of him, the Negro Leagues will be remembered via the Hall of Fame he put together in Kansas City and by the long delayed absence in the Baseball Hall of Fame. 

CURT GOWDY, TV ANNOUNCER:  Gowdy was the voice to Super Bowls, World Series and nearly everything in between.

ERIC GREGG, BASEBALL UMPIRE:  Gregg was know as "that big fat guy" that was a MLB ump before the umpire's union foolishly called for mass resignations from many of their constituents.  Gregg was one of those umps that didn't get their jobs back when the union and baseball came to an agreement. 

IRONHEAD HEYWARD, RUNNING BACK:  A big back who loved to bowl over defenders and was the definition of short-yardage back.  He passed away at the age of 39 to brain cancer. 

STEVE HOWE, PITCHER:  Howe was the posterboy for the drug problems in baseball by being suspended SEVEN times by Major League Baseball before finally getting the boot.  He was the 1980 NL Rookie of the Year.

COREY LIDLE, PITCHER:  Yanks pitcher who died in a plane crash in Manhattan. 

BUD CARSON, NFL COACH:  Carson was the architect of The Steel Curtain and was one of the top defensive coaching minds in NFL history. 

FLOYD PATTERSON, BOXER:  Former heavyweight champion who took the title after Rocky Marciano retired.

KIRBY PUCKETT, MINNESOTA TWINS OUTFIELDER:  Puckett was small in stature, tubby by nature....but all heart.  His performance in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series is legendary. 

RANDY WALKER, NORTHWESTERN FOOTBALL COACH:  Walker died of a heart attack at the age of 52.

PAUL DANA, IRL DRIVER:  Dana died in a crash during warmups before the Toyota Indy 300.  He was only 30 years old. 

TREVOR BERBICK, BOXER:  The last man to fight Muhammad Ali and the guy who Mike Tyson beat to gain his first championship belt....Berbick was murdered in Jamiaca.

MAGGIE DIXON, WOMEN'S BASKETBALL COACH:  Dixon took their first NCAA tournament and passed away not too much longer after the season ended.  She was just 28 years old.

RAY MEYER, DEPAUL BASKETBALL COACH:  Meyer built DePaul into a national power [if you can believe that now]. 

EARL WOODS, TIGER'S DAD:  Mr Woods is the one who taught Tiger Woods the game and instilled the determination and focus to create Tiger into the legend he's becoming. 

Friday, December 22, 2006

NHL Is Looking To Re-Re-Align

The NHL realigned into the 6-division format when they added several teams in the late 1990s.  Now they want to go back.

The NHL is strongly considering realigning back to the 4-division league they were before the change in the late 1990s.  The reasons are based on keeping teams in their time zones and keep travel costs down.

Each conference would have a 7-team division and an 8-team division.  The alignment may look something like this:

NORTHEAST:  Boston, Buffalo, Montreal, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Washington
ATLANTIC:  Atlanta, Carolina, Florida, New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay
CENTRAL:  Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Nashville, St Louis
PACIFIC:  Anaheim, Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver 

The benefactors of this would clearly be teams like Dallas [who currently has to play their division road games in the Pacific times zone] and Minnesota [who has most of their games in the Mountain or Pacific time zone]. 


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Holidays....from Laker Fans!

by Lakr Mike
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the South
A river of fast food traveled into Shaq's mouth
His career on the downslide and on hold for a spell
Cause the weight that he carries causes his knees to swell
He sits on the sidelines and munches on snacks
The weight of his salary on his teammates' backs
But Heat fans don't worry - not one Heat fan's bumming
Cause they got their young savior - The Second Coming
He's humble, so humble, he's clearly a saint
So the refs blow their whistles when he drives through the paint
He's a natural leader and a real go-getter
Thinks only of making his teammates better
He's like Jesus + MJ, this kid is so fine
Shoot, he's turning DeWater into DeWhine
And the media loves him - they just can't wait
To declare this young player The All-time Great
But there's one little issue that stands in the way
It's Dark Side Kobe on Christmas Day
Everyone will be watching, before eating their dinner
What if Darth Kobe Bryant should emerge the winner?
What to say to our children, if DeWhiner does stumble?
Civilization, as we know it, would surely crumble
And what kind of lesson would society learn?
Oh, do something quick, Commissioner Stern
Create a new rule that would clear the floor
Of players who wear number 24
Or tell all your refs to swallow their tooters
When Kobe gets grabbed like some waitress at Hooters
Let the Heat beat the Lakers - nevermind the truth
That's as useless as a Dade County voting booth
DeWhine is the greatest - we must believe
Please giftwrap the game, this Christmas Eve

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Now What, David Stern?

If you haven't yet heard about the brawl at Madison Square Garden, then tune in to ESPNews or any other news source to check it out.  It isn't as bad as the "Malice In The Palace"....but it isn't a shining moment that the NBA wants to put in it's cap.

I will say this: while the brawl was isn't like this hadn't happened before.  We've all seen ugly fights occur in the NBA ranging from Jeff Van Gundy holding on for dear life during a Heat/Knicks brawl several years ago to Kermit Washington's punch on Rudy Tomjanovic three decades ago. 

But we live in a time after that Pistons/Pacers brawl.  The difference with that brawl was the fact that it was players and fans fighting....which tore down the imaginary wall between the performers and the spectators.  Aside from the this fight spilling into the first courtside rows, fans weren't involved.  Still, after the "Malice in the Palace" and the subsequent regualtions on players afterwards....this was ugly.

Of course, what it shows is that no matter what you do.....this crap can happen.

After "the Malice", the NBA has gone overboard on trying to polish it's image.  Last year, they forced players to dress a certain professional way when on company time.  Players complained...but eventually caved in.  Last summer, the NBA fought for and won the right to restrict who can enter the draft....essentially ensuring the league is bringing in somewhat experienced players with a little time away from home into the league.  Players complained....but compromised.  This year, players were informed to not constantly whine to the officials.  Players complained....but they are caving in.  Now, the NBA is regulating all kinds of uniform codes....from headbands to wristbands. 

All of this was done to clean up the NBA's image.  Huh?  Why?  The NBA is trying to bridge the gap from the younger, black, hip-hop culture and the paying fans....mostly middle/upper class and white. 

Of course, Michael Jordan introduced the baggy shorts and he wore a wristband above his elbow and no one cared. 

It's a shame that Stern views the NBA like this.  Just like I said in the intro, the NBA is essentially the same as it ever was....just younger.  When Stern took over....the great players left college in the junior or even [gasp] their sophomore year.  Now, if you are a college senior in the draft, you may as well be washed up. 

He began his tenure during the heart of the Magic-Bird rivalry and at the beginning of Michael Jordan's career.  I'm a big fan of Stern, so I don't subscribe to the "Stern just got lucky because he got in when the getting was good."  Stern has done a stellar job at running his league and help use it to make his sport much so that the NBA is filled with international players and Team USA doesn't dominate international competition anymore. 

But just like we all have these great memories of that Magic/Bird/Jordan is the same as now.  Magic acknowledged participating in wild sex parties...and eventually contracted HIV.  Bird has an illegitimate child.  Jordan has a well chronicled gambling addiction and was outed as having an extra marital affair.  We also had potheads and hotheads as we do now.  We have Ron Artest now....we had Dennis Rodman then.  Bling??  Didn't Michael Jordan used to play with a big chain around his neck??

Are the cornrows any worse than the afros or porn 'staches worn years ago??  Tattoos??  Everyone has a tattoo now.  No big deal.  I mean, those crazy 80s NBAers broke in that earring thing.  Allen Iverson whining out of Philly??  Didn't Magic Johnson get coach Paul Westhead fired from the Lakers??  The draft busts of recent years because of their youth??  What about the Curse of the 1986 Draft?? 

Give me your Darius Miles....and I'll give you Isaiah Rider.  Give me Kwame Brown....and I'll give you Pervis Ellison. 

This was an ugly brawl????  Did you ever see the Dr J v Larry Bird fight???  And those two players are among the most beloved NBA players ever.

My point is that just dressing it up nicely doesn't change what's inside.  And I'm not implying that NBA players are the thugs people think they are.  They aren't.  They are, essentially, the same young men as ever played the game before.  And just like before, they make mistakesand lose their cool from time to time. 

Now, that isn't an excuse....just a fact.  What the NBA should do to curb this crap is lay down strict punishments.  Why not?  Putting it out there that anyone fighting will face serious consequences would help limit this kind of garbage.  In the NCAA, if you get in two altercations....of any are done. 

But here is the thing:  even if they lay down a law that makes player very weary of doing anything....something still could pop off.  After "The Malice", Ron Artest has done nothing to warrant any kind of worry [well, aside from making rap albums].  But Stephen Jackson, who was also a big time instigator in "The Malice", has had problems come up ever since....including a incident that saw him firing a gun outside a club.  You can't keep everyone in line.

However, you can do your best to see that everything can be done to limit it.  These things happen.  So punish them severly so that they don't happen as much.

And when it eventually happens again....punish them again. 

Monday, December 11, 2006

Hey BCS Honks!! Stop "Caring" About The Student Athletes


This time of the year centers on the BCS fighting in the college football world.  And why not?  It sucks.  We all know it sucks....but the money is too good to change anything now.

So...just admit it.  Admit it.  Just say, "look, we make a ton of guaranteed money right now and aren't really thrilled about giving that up for a stupid playoff."  That's fine.  At least you are being honest.

Just don't drag out that garbage line about "a playoff would force the student athlete to miss classes."  Bull-corn!!!  That could be true, in some ways, but it isn't the reason they refuse to make a Division I football playoff.  Here's why.

YOU LIKE THOSE CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES:  Oh, but those conference championship games that everyone loves so much don't force students from their classrooms?  I guess that Florida and Arkansas athletes weren't inconvienenced at all that they had to travel to Atlanta to play an extra game.  I'm sure they attended every class.  These conference title games have become gold mines for conferences that the ACC was willing to throw 50 years of basketball history under the bus to get in on this money.  Puh-leese!

YOU APPROVED THAT 12TH GAME:  Remember that??  This was the first season under the new 12-game season format.  So...instead of having 4, 6, 8, 12 of 16 schools play a few extra are cool with all 100+ football programs running out for that extra game.  And that game is usually an invite to a lower tier school so they can be stomped, you can sell out your Big Houses and Stadiums and pimp your program to fat cats with big checks. 

MARCH MADNESS:  Sorry, but....March Madness.  It is the pinnacle of playoffs in American sport.  Those kids miss a few days of class, don't they?  And when is the last time any school declined an invite to the NCAA's so their guys can concentrate on schoolin'???  Heck, there was even a floating idea of expanding the tournament to 128 teams this past spring.  Whomever makes the Final Four misses the same amount of time as the finalists for the NCAA football title tilt.  And I'm sure all those kids who camp out in Krzyeywyyskajfskkuuerkski-ville all attend every one of their classes too. 

THE FANS:  Get out of here! Don't give me that lame excuse.  You know...the "but the real fans won't travel with the team for multiple games" excuse.  Now, I'm not into using the bowls in a playoff....but stop crying for me, Argentina!  How many actual students [you know, the people who attend the school and for whom the team was meant for] will be able to go to the BCS Championship game in Arizona??  Probabaly less than 1,000.  The rest go to corporation guys, friends of the program and rich idiots on Ebay.  Oh, and since Fox is now doing the games....I'm sure the cast of "The War At Home" and "House" will be all up in the stadium. 

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Independence High School Wins 7th Straight Title....108th Straight Game

                 Independence Patriots running back (45) Dequan Leak fights for extra yardage as the Riverside High defense collapses during first half action of the 4AA state championship game at Wallace Wade Stadium Saturday night.

Independence High Charlotte, NC.....where I, the Sportz Assassin attended high school from 1990-1993.....won their 7th straight North Carolina state 4AA football championship by beating Durham Riverside, 49-19. 

The win was also the 108th consecutive win by the Patriots.....the longest active streak in the nation.

In fact, the record is the longest winning streak by a public high school.  A Catholic prep school, De La Salle in Concord, CA [who is currently #1 in USA Today's high school football rankings] owns the longest streak ever....151 wins that spanned from 1992-2003. 

Another Independence alum, Chris Leak, will be quarterbacking the Florida Gators in the BCS Championship game on January 8, 2007. 

Thursday, December 7, 2006

LaVar Arrington: "The organized crime."


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants linebacker LaVar Arrington equated the players union with organized crime Wednesday, 24 hours before he was scheduled to testify before Congress at a hearing involving his former agent.

Lawmakers will be looking into the NFL Players Association's suspension of Arrington's former agent, Carl Poston, stemming from his handling of a contract the linebacker signed with the Washington Redskins near the end of the 2003 season.

Arrington contends the union acted unfairly in taking away Poston's livelihood.

"They suspended him without a hearing, the NFLPA," Arrington said, sitting in front of his locker at Giants Stadium. "If you are educated and you pay attention to what is going on around you, they do a lot of foul stuff. It's like organized crime, to be honest with you. They are bad."

Union head Gene Upshaw told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday that Poston made a major mistake in the contract by omitting an alleged second $6.5 million roster bonus that was due in 2006.

"This isn't just about LaVar," Upshaw said. "This is about the other players this guy represents. We have a duty to the other players."

Upshaw added that the union and not Poston is officially Arrington's agent and that it tried to recover the money for Arrington when the mistake became known in January 2004.

"When we got into this, we did it to protect LaVar," Upshaw said. "I couldn't care less about Poston. I felt we'll take care of him [Poston] later, and we did."

Arrington plans to tell his side of the story to the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, which has scheduled an oversight hearing for Thursday to examine the NFLPA's arbitration process.

The subcommittee also plans to hear from NFLPA general counsel Richard Berthelsen; and a law professor, according to a witness list" e-mailed to The Associated Press by House Judiciary Committee press secretary Terry Shawn on Tuesday.

Arrington contends that his $68 million, eight-year deal was hastily closed late in the 2003 season because the Redskins wanted to beat a deadline for salary-cap purposes.

Arrington said the Redskins faxed a final version of the contract without including the provision for a second $6.5 million roster bonus in 2006.

"I guess when they sent that, there was deception involved from the start and I guess they were hoping to bank on that and they got away with it," Arrington said.

Neither Arrington nor Poston noticed the error. Arrington signed the contract.

"I had no reason to believe at that time that if you are going to give me an eight-year contract and you are going to sit there and rob me, but that's the type of organization it is," Arrington said in another blatant shot at the Redskins.

Arrington had a falling out with the Redskins in 2005, and he bought out his contract this past offseason and signed with the Giants.

Upshaw said Poston had 14 days to review the contract after it was signed and he didn't discover the error.

"I ended up telling LaVar about it at the Super Bowl," Upshaw said.

The NFLPA's disciplinary committee recommended in March that Poston be suspended for two years. After several hearings about the case were postponed, the NFLPA suspended him.

Upshaw said all the meetings were postponed by Poston for excuses ranging from injuries to family problems.

"I don't know about the whole thing with the NFL, but I definitely know the PA does things that they definitely shouldn't do, and I don't think by any means, by any stretch of the imagination, do they always have the players' best interests in mind," said Arrington, adding he felt the Redskins and the players association were in cahoots in getting Poston suspended.

Arrington said he wasn't trying to lead a revolt against the union and its leaders. He said the suspension of Poston without a hearing was unfair.

"There are some things that they as an organization need to do a lot better," he said.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

What Troy Smith Has To Look Forward Too

Troy Smith will enter the pantheon of elite people to win the Heisman Trophy.  The Heisman is just another notch in the pointlessness of college football.  Those college football honks are right....the games are great.  And thank God, because if they weren't, we'd be done with it.  Smith will win the Heisman because he's the quarterback of the best team in the country.  Oh, he's had a really good year TV time and all the trappings. 

Anyways, this award is the pinnacle of some footballers lives.  After this, the road ends...especially for quarterbacks.  Here is a look at past Heisman winning QBs over the past 15 years and my rankings about how their careers after the fact went.

8-CHARLIE WARD, 1993:  Charlie Ward wasn't drafted in the NFL....but was drafted in the NBA and MLB.  He's at the bottom of the list because he has had no football ties after winning the Heisman.  But he did have a long NBA career that just recently ended. 

7-JASON WHITE, 2003:  This is how dumb the Heisman is.  Jason White almost became the 2nd player in history to win the award twice.  He was a finalist again in 2004...but came up short.  White never played in the NFL....and wasn't even drafted.  The Titans signed him as a free agent, but White "retired" before getting a shot.

6-ERIC CROUCH, 2001:  This guy has been a journeyman in more ways than one.  He was drafted by the Rams, who wanted to try him out as a WR [the Packers tried that too].  The Chiefs eventually took a look at him and sent him to NFL-Europe to learn to play safety.  Now he is a QB....for the Toronto Argonauts.  By the way, Crouch has yet to play a down in the NFL. 

5-GINO TORRETTA, 1992:  Torretta bounced around the NFL as a insurance QB...but nothing more.  His only chance to play was in garbage time for the Seahawks in the final game of the 1996 season. 

4-DANNY WUERFFEL, 1996:   "Waffle House" was a drifter in the NFL and had a momentary comeback when Steve Spurrier decided to make his Washington Redskins into a U of F All Star team.  He's been retired for four years and is currently doing a lot of religious work in the community. 

3-CHRIS WEINKE, 2000:  Weinke was about, oh, 45 when he played at Florida State.  He is 34 now, just 6 years removed from winning the Heisman.  He's spent his career as a backup for the Carolina Panthers. 

2-MATT LEINART, 2004:  Leinart's just a rookie and starting for the hapless Cardinals.  Still, he's had really fine moments and could be a better than average QB in the league.

1-CARSON PALMER, 2002:  Palmer is legit.  He's an All Pro that is the cornerstone to the resurgence of the Cincinnati Bengals.  Most likely one of the top five quarterbacks in the NFL right now. 

Top 10 Athletes of the Year

Recently the DC Sports Guy listed the Top 40 Sports Figures of 2006  [and fellow blogger and Mottram listed his Top Ten Athletes of the Year at SavedByTheBlog. 
The list was compiled from a bevy of sports bloggers, including myself.  So I'd like to share my top 10 list that I sent in on the subject. 
1-TERRELL OWENS: Who else could top this list?  He made a much hyped signing with the Cowboys.  He recorded a rap song about how much he hated the Eagles.  He sat out most of camp with a bad hammy.  He broke his finger in his 2nd game with Dallas.  He nearly overdosed on pills.  He threw his QB under the bus.  He cost his team by an excessive celebration after a TD....then dropped the could-be game winning TD catch.  He also has had a knack of purposely keeping himself in the public eye by doing these things. 
2-KOBE BRYANT: As a Laker fan, of course I covered Kobe a lot.  He had that amazing 81 point game against the Raptors.  He was an MVP candidate.  He watched his former running mate, Shaq, and his current rival, Dwyane Wade, win a NBA title.  He led the NBA in scoring with the highest average in 20 years.  He hit a huge shot to win a playoff game.  He changed his jersey number to 24.  His Black Mamba photos in Slam magazine. 
3-TEAM USA: Not one person, but one entity.  Did anyone in our sporting world disappoint like this??  The team that was supposed to be a factor in the World Cupcame up with the event’s worst showing.  The basketball team that was supposed to take back our dominance finished with a bronze at the World Basketball Championships.  At the newly formed World Baseball Classic, Team America wasn’t a factor.  Floyd Landis [see below] put a black eye in the cycling community.  Our women’s soccer and basketball teams were also upset this year.  Not a great time for the Red, White and Blue. 
4-BUCK O’NEIL: One of the greatest men passed away this year.....that happened to play a little baseball.  But Buck O’Neil was more than that.  Mr. O’Neil was a walking, talking history book about the Negro Leagues and the impact those players had on a game that didn’t embrace them.  His tireless and loving work led to the baseball writers to place a group of Negro Leaguers into Baseball’s Hall Of Fame....a list that, somehow, didn’t include him.  Nonetheless, he was the induction speaker for the group and made one of the greatest speeches the Hall has ever seen.  Rest in peace, sir. 
5-MICHAEL IRVIN:   Another Cowboys receiver makes the list.  Irvin has made a career being cocky....but before it was fine because he was playing.  Now as an analyst for ESPN, he’s been chewing on his foot more than expected.  First he called out Giants running back Tiki Barber for publically pondering his retirement mid-season.  Next, he’s busy making racist comments like implying that Cowboys QB Tony Romo must have some African-American blood in his DNA since he’s such a good athlete. 
6-SHAWN MERRIAN: The NFL defensive rookie of the year exploded in his sophomore season to become a Defensive Player of the Year candidate.  And then it was announced that Merriman would be suspended for steroid abuse.  This put a light on the abuse in the NFL and sparked questions about the sporting world’s hypocrisy on the subject.  If someone of Merriman’s caliber did this in Major League Baseball, all hell would break loose.  What is the extent of the abuse in the NFL??  
7-JOHN L SMITH:  The now former Michigan State Spartan coach had a year which saw him meltdown.  His Spartans tanked away a large 2nd half lead to Notre Dame.  He lost at home to lowly Illinois....only to smack himself during the postgame news conference.  And then was canned.  Not a bad stretch there, L. 
8-PAUL TAGLIABUE: The NFL commish called it a day this year...just after working out labor peace and navigating the world’s most successful sports league into that status.  The fact he seemless left the job and saw Roger Goodell take over just shows you the kind of operation he turned the NFL into. 
9-THE DUKE LACROSSE TEAM:   This is story that has so many issues circling it that it has become a fishbowl.  The fact that a black stripper accused the mostly white lacrosse team of rape took over the Duke campus, the Durham area and the nation by storm.  Race and elitism have become the top issues of this accusation that may uncover more dirt before getting resolved. 
10-FLOYD LANDIS: Landis took the reigns from Lance Armstrong by winning the Tour De France in impressive fashion.  And then his drug tests came back negative...sparking a debate about doping, testing, leaking results and why we even care about cycling.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Great Week To Be a Tar Heel

                                Casey Nogueira

Wow...this was a great week if you are a fan of the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.  In nearly any sport.

The men's basketball team played a thrilling game against the ESPN/USA Today #1 ranked team.....Ohio State...this past Wednesday and came away a winner, 98-89.  It was the kind of game Heels fans loved to see since it was against one of the top teams in the nation and there was some adversity they came back from in the game. 

Three days later, the Heels closed the gap in the ol' All Time Winningest Program battle with Kentucky....a game that was stuttering but that UNC had control of during most of the 2nd half.

The #2 ranked women's hoops team took on Tennessee, in the biggest game in the women's game to date.  The Heels dominated the 2nd half and beat the Lady Vols, 70-57. 

Earlier in the day, the women's soccer team won it's 18th National Championship.  That soccer team is as dominant as any tem the school has.

And, the feel good of all this, is that new football coach Butch Davis has been making the rounds at all the events to help put his presence in Carolina's eyes.....and Carolina's presence in his.  And he takes over a program that, despite being horrid this year, did beat NC State and Duke.

Not a bad week.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Sanity Reigns: It's Ohio State v Florida

The BCS announcement has come and gone with nothing really surprising.  The BCS Show was about as exciting and thrilling as having a seeding show for, say, the NHL playoffs.  You're just not the NCAA Tournament show, guys.

BCS BOWL: OHIO STATE v FLORIDA:  This is the game that should be for the championship [wanna know why I feel that way....just look below].  Florida navigated thru the best conference in the nation with one loss and the Buckeyes are the undisputed #1 team across the board. 

ROSE BOWL:  MICHIGAN v USC:  The typical Pac-10/Big 10 matchup stays intact wtih both teams pining that they aren't in the national championship game.  This will be a great game that's set in a perfect place for such a match-up.  Still, we all are going to have to deal with the Wolverines whining that they don't get a 2nd chance to play Ohio State again. 

ORANGE BOWL:  WAKE FOREST v LOUISVILLE:  Two schools who are loving being in a BCS game.  Louisville always felt they'd be here...but Wake Forest?  This probably goes under the "the only reason people are watching because there is nothing else on".

SUGAR BOWL:  LSU v NOTRE DAME:  The sad thing is this is probably the biggest mismatch of them all.  Notre Dame has done nothing to deserve a BCS bid....except draw fans well.  Then they get LSU who is could win the title if there was a playoff and are at nearby New Orleans.  The Irish enter the game with an 8-game bowl losing streak.

FIESTA BOWL:  OKLAHOMA v BOISE STATE:  One good thing the BCS has done is allow easier access for non-BCS schools to get in.  Boise State uses the new rule to their advantage.  They get Oklahoma who is one the hotter teams in the country despite having a season of bad luck. 

Sportz Assassin's NCAA Football Playoff


I grew up on Mr I'm going to live in the land of make believe right now.  Like Joe Lunardi does on ESPN's college hoops, I'm doing the same for football.  Yeah, I know that there isn't a playoff in college football...but who cares!  In my mind, there is.  And here is my bracketology.  It's based on a 12-team format where the 6 BCS conference champions get least 1 team from the non-BCS conferences...and 5 at large bids.  The lower seed plays at home. 

1-OHIO STATE* vs winner of....

4-LSU vs winner of....

3-MICHIGAN vs winner of...
6-USC* vs 11-OKLAHOMA*

2-FLORIDA* vs winner of....

Florida Or Michigan??

USC has been beaten which totally pleases me.

Nothing against USC, but I want this BCS thing a mess.  I need it.  Last year, I was disappointed that everything worked out well.  It happens.  There is a saying about the sun shining and a dog that describes it.  Not this year. 

If anything, this year proves you need the playoff for a myriad of reasons.  The fact that we must wait for a computer to spit out who is the #2 team in the nation feels so great!!  I mean, why not have a computer determine our Super Bowl teams??  If it did, there would be no great Steelers playoff run.  Or if a computer spit out or World Series match ups???  I guarantee the St Louis Cardinals wouldn't have been there. 

So who does deserve to play Ohio State in the BCS National Championship Game???


Or Michigan?

If I had a vote, I'd vote for Florida for several reasons.

CONFERENCE CHAMPS:  First off, Florida has won something already.  The Florida Gators are the Southeastern Conference Champions.  Michigan has won nothing. 

MICHIGAN HAD IT'S CHANCE:  I'm not dead set against rematches...but not this one.  These two teams just met with Ohio State barely winning.  A rematch makes no sense because it really isn't fair.  Is it fair that Ohio State has to beat Michigan twice while Michigan must beat the Buckeyes just once to win the title???  If Florida and Michigan are that close for that chance....why not let the team that didn't get a chance to play OSU??

THE SKED:  Who has Michigan beat??  Wisconsin and Notre Dame.  And neither of those two schools has beaten anyone.  Florida has had to beat Tennessee, LSU and Arkansas and navigated thru one of the toughest schedules in the country.  Also, the Gators beat nine schools that will be in bowl games.  Michigan beat just six.  Michigan beat 5 teams who had losing records.  Florida played and beat just two. 

RIVALRY KILLER:  I read somewhere that the worst thing that could happen between Duke and North Carolina in basketball is if they ever met in the tournament.  In such a bloody rivalry, that event would mean someone would have the ultimate trump card.  Same thing applies to Michigan-Ohio State.  Yeah, that game would be huge for that rivalry.  But whomever wins will forever have the "yeah, but....." on their side. 

WE'D GET A GREAT ROSE BOWL:  The Grandaddy of Them All Bowl will feature Michigan and USC doing battle.  What a great match up since both teams were right there in the running for the National Championship game.  Seeing this game would be a great appetizer for the BCS Bowl. 

Friday, December 1, 2006

The MVP Doesn't Have To Be In Playoffs


Albert Pujols commented that the baseball MVP winners should be from a team that made the playoffs.  This is basically because he didn't win the award....but non-playoff bound Ryan Howard did.

He couldn't be more wrong.

First off, Howard's Phillies actually finished the regular season with TWO MORE WINS than Pujols' Cardinals.....won became the worst team [record wise] to win the World Series.  In the wacky world of baseball's playoff rules, stuff like that happens.  Heck, the Cards had the 13th best record in the entire major leagues.  They made the playoffs because they played in a division where the rest of the clubs finished a combined 70 games under .500.  Hey, that fair?? 

Second, we all know that the voting for the MVP award is as controversial as any award is because the word "valuable" is in the title.  What determines value....and how can you measure it?  Some view it as stat driven.....which Howard was better.  Some view all the intangables like leadership, drive and determination to be great.  Some play the "well, if you took this guy off his team" game.  Then have a couple hundred of those opinions thrown into a pot and try to figure it out.

When I think of how odd MVP voting is...I always hark back to 2000 when Shaquille O'Neal won the NBA MVP award near unanimously.  The one decenting vote was made for Allen Iverson because, it was thought, without him the Sixers would be horrid. 

Guys like Cal Ripken, Barry Bonds and Andre Dawson won MVP awards on teams that weren't that good. 

So to throw a blanket statement that the MVP should come off a playoff team is dumb.  The MVP is a personal award;  the playoffs are a team goal.  If the best player having the best season plays with a bunch of garbage....does that make his season worthless??  Ask Steve Carlton. 

Steve Carlton won the 1972 Cy Young award [as well as finishing 5th in the MVP race] on one of the worst teams in the last 50 years.  The '72 Phillies went 59-97 and were dead last in the NL East.  But Carlton went 27-10 that season, with a 1.97 ERA and 310 strikeouts.  He also had an amazing 30 complete games...a number unheard of now.  Because his team stunk...should he have suffered??

Despite doubling the playoff teams with the introduction of the six divisions and wildcard berths over the last 12 still sends just 26% of it's teams to the playoffs.  Compare that to 37% of NFL teams and 53% of NHL and NBA teams.  In baseball, you have just a 1-in-4 chance of making the there are a ton of great seasons from players that would get swept under the rug by leaving them out of playoff voting. 

Since baseball did expand, only FIVE MVP winners came from non-playoff teams.  Bonds did it twice; Alex Rodriguez, Larry Walker and now Howard.  It happens.

Just enjoy your World Series, Albert, and let it go.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hypocrite Chicago Bulls

See that above??

Big Ben Wallace has a problem with the Bulls' stance on NO HEADBANDS.  The team has fined him for violating the ban in recent games.  Yet, the promotion the Bulls are using to urge people to purchase single or season tickets has.....Big Ben wearing a headband.


Go to BULLS: Ticket and Arena Information to voice your displeasure about the hypocracy of this entire ordeal.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ode To The Fantasy Football Commish


Real American Heroes: Mr Unloved Fantasy Commissioner | FANTASY FOOTBALL Blog - The FanHouse

I'm at my wits end....and have become completely bent in frustration.  I am the commissioner of a fantasy football league and a "pickskin pick'em" league and am about to go postal on all of them.

So, I had to write over on the NFL Fanhouse the above post.

With the hundreds, if not thousands of fantasy leagues out there....I'm sure there are tons of you who feel the same way.  You are the guy that is the glue to hold it all together.  If not for you....there would be chaos.  You are the guy with a pistol trying to hold together Iraq. 

So here is my rant about being the commish....which whenever I rant to my owners about "screw you, I'm done"....they come at me with, "no, I think you do a great job.  Don't let these guys run you off."

Screw 'em all!

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Sad Thing Is That The Redskins Are Still Alive


The Skins beat the NFC South leading Carolina Panthers yesterday.  And why not...they've beaten the Jaguars and Cowboys this season.  Oh, and lost to the Buccaneers and Titans [which now doesn't seem so bad].

The ugly thing is that the Skins are still right in the thick of the playoff chase.  Yeah, they are.

The NFC playoff picture shows the Giants and Panthers at 6-5 and leading the wildcard race.  Trailing them are the Vikings, Eagles, Niners, Rams and Falcons at 5-6. 

Washington [4-7] is just two games back of the wildcard lead with five weeks to play.  Seems impossible and it kind of is.  Until you remember:

-The Redskins own the tiebreaker with the Panthers due to that win.  Somehow breaking even with them is a reasonable goal.

-Next week the Redskins host the Falcons.  Atlanta has lost four in a row and are 5-6.  A win there, and the Skins tie with Atlanta and own the tiebreaker.

-After that, the Redskins host the Eagles.  Philly has lost Donovan McNabb for the season and are reeling a bit.  Washington hung tough in their earlier meeting....and if not for three huge plays given up, had a shot.  A win here puts them even with the Eagles [5-6].

-Then the Skins go to New Orleans.  That's a tough one.

-On Christmas Eve, the Skins deal with the Rams.  The Rams are 5-6, so a win there could open up a key tiebreaker.

-The last game is at home with the Giants.  Have you heard anything about their little skid of late??? 

Of course it's a tough run and one, frankly, the Skins haven't shown an ability to run off.  But if this team gets hot like it did last year....they are capable of beating all of these teams.  If so, they'd own the tiebreaker with the Panthers, Rams and Falcons [they already lost the tiebreaker to the Vikings and would own splits with the Eagles and Giants]. 

Hey, ya never know.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Week 4: Sportz College Football Bracketology


I grew up on Mr I'm going to live in the land of make believe right now.  Like Joe Lunardi does on ESPN's college hoops, I'm doing the same for football.  Yeah, I know that there isn't a playoff in college football...but who cares!  In my mind, there is.  And here is my bracketology.  It's based on a 12-team format where the 6 BCS conference champions get least 1 team from the non-BCS conferences...and 5 at large bids.  The lower seed plays at home. 

1-OHIO STATE* vs winner of....

Ohio State has clinched the top seed in my tournament with their undefeated season.  Arkansas and Oklahoma are actually tied for the #8 spot in the it is fitting they fight here.  Of course, a Razorbacks win in the SEC title game and they could move to the #4 or #5 seed.  Oklahoma could get bumped out all together with a loss to Nebraska in the Big XII championship game. 

4-FLORIDA* vs winner of....

Florida could move up to a #2 or #3 seed with an SEC title and a USC loss to UCLA. If West Virginia beats Rutgers this Saturday, Louisville becomes Big East champions.  If not, L'ville still gets in.  The Irish eek in despite their less than stellar resume. 

3-MICHIGAN vs winner of...

I still think Michigan is the #3 seed in the nation because (a) they are one of the best three teams plus (b) I want to put them in the opposite bracket as Ohio State.  LSU is deserving of the #5 seed, but I've moved them from a quarterfinal game with SEC mate Florida.   The winner of the ACC title game nails down the #11 spot.

2-USC* vs winner of....

USC stays at the #2 spot with the win over Notre Dame.  Hey, Wisconsin is a 1-loss team that no one is talking about.  They haven't beaten anyone...which is the reason they are the 7th seed.  BSU gets that non-BCS at large bid and the only team not named Ohio State that is undefeated. 

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dot Com Toilet Bowl

Thanks to my main man and fellow blog buddy Treesoup over at The Wildcat Blog in his shout out about this song dedicated to the crap called the BCS.  As you know, we here at hate the current bowl format and have been doing everything in our power [i.e. whining about it] to make a change. 

This year, we have the Bowl.  The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.  The Meineke Car Care Bowl.  The MPC Computers Bowl.  And the International Bowl.  This is better than a playoff system???  Please.  Anyways...enjoy the video. 

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!  In the sports world, Thanksgiving marks a great time in all areas of sport.  There a plethora of rivalry games in college football; the NFL is coming into the playoff stretch;  the NBA is starting to find it's legs;  NCAA hoops are in tournament mode;  baseball's offseason gets heated up; and the NHL is in full stride.

So while you are looking for some talk at the Turkey Table...feast on these opinions that you can steal for your own....

OHIO STATE ARE ALREADY THE NATIONAL CHAMPS:  Here is another problem with the BCS:  Ohio State has already won the national championship.  Honestly...what other school can make a case for a national championship but the Buckeyes??  They beat the #2 ranked team TWICE this year [Texas, then Michigan] and navigated thru the season undefeated.  Yeah, they could lose the BCS Bowl....but that would place them among a ton of 1-loss teams.  And if I survey everything....Ohio State still has the best case for a title. 

THE AFC WILL WIN THE SUPER BOWL AGAIN:  How can't they??  The Colts, Chargers, Patriots and Ravens are playing lights out right now and can topple anything the NFC throws out there.  The Bears??  Please.  Rex Grossman is as shaky as Katherine Hepburn after she drank a pot of coffee while smoking some crack.  Seattle won't have the home field to bank on this year and must get their two main cogs back in the flow of things.  The Cowboys are playing better than anyone in the NFC right now...but can this team actually stick together to make a big time postseason run??  The Giants and Panthers do their best to trip themselves up.  And who really believes in the Saints?? 

LIKE MY HEELS:  The UNC Tar Heels have played four games thus far...and are a decent 3-1 after losing to Gonzaga.  The problem I have is the way the team performs in the first half.  Too much one-on-one play and too many bad shots.  We've had deficits in all but one game so far...and it finally bit us in Madison Square Garden.  Still, these growing pains are accepted, but need to be worked on going into a stretch where the Heels face Tennessee, Ohio State and Kentucky in the span of 8 days. 

HOW CAN THREE TWINS GET MVP VOTES???  Heading into the American League MVP voting...I couldn't care if Derek Jeter won or not.  But now I really think he should've won....mainly on the voting results.  Three of the top seven AL vote getters were from the Minnesota Twins.  So, if the Twins had three of the best players in the is one the most valueable in the AL????   Take one of the team....and there are still two guys who are having an MVP season.  One of those guys, Johan Santana, won the Cy Young award.  The other, Joe Mauer, won the AL batting title.  So how is Justin Moreneau so darn valuable???  To be fair, Jeter didn't have any teammates that high in the voting....but A-Rod, Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon finished 13th, 14th and 15th...for whatever it's worth.

THE NHL IS SOOOO COOL:  To be honest, I have paid zero attention to the NHL season thus far.  The NHL regular season is horrible and a bear to watch.  I do love the Cup playoffs...which even lessens the drama of the regular season.  I will say that I miss the "mighty" Ducks. 

Monday, November 20, 2006

Where Are My Redskins???


BUCCANEERS 20-REDSKINS 17 [Sportz 1-0 this week; 87-57 this season]:  Look, I accept the fact that it will take a miracle for the Skins to make the playoffs.  But there is a shot.  If Washington won this game, they'd be 4-6 and possibly just two games back of the top spot in the NFC East [provided the Giants lose to the Jags tonight].  We get the Giants and Eagles in our have games with the Panthers, Falcons, Rams and Saints....teams we'd be battling for a playoff spot.  Tough sked??  Yeah, but you can't call yourself a playoff team without beating up on some playoff hopefuls. 

Never mind that now.  This team is dead.  Dead.  We ran the ball just 20 times in a close game.  Twenty.  I know there's no Portis there....but Ladell Betts is pretty good and we dealt away a 3rd rounder for TJ Duckett.  This once vaunted defense let Tampa rush for 181 yds on it.  And...if we keep up like this, we'll end up with a 3-13 record and the #1 pick.   Or did we trade that away for Troy Vincent????

STEELERS 24-BROWNS [Sportz 2-0, 88-57]:  Big Ben did it again.  Threw for a slew of yards and TDs....and interceptions.  And Willie Parker scored two more times.  And in the screwed up world, the Steelers are right in the playoff mix.

PATRIOTS 35-PACKERS 0 [Sportz 3-0, 89-57]:  Was that theraputic?  New England vented off a two game losing streak by smacking around G-Bay.  It was so bad that Favre was okay to re-enter the game after an injury....but they figured it was over. 

CHIEFS 17-RAIDERS 13 [Sportz 4-0, 90-57]:  If the offense did anything...Oakland could be a pleasant surprise this season.   Their defense is not bad at all.   But the offense blows.  LaMont Jordan and Randy Moss have been huge busts [Moss caught as many passes as I did].  Oh, and the Chiefs overcame Trent Green's sluggish return because they have Mr. Larry Johnson. 

DOLPHINS 24-VIKINGS 20 [Sportz 5-0, 91-57]:  Miami won this game despite rushing for -3 yards.  Yeah, NEGATIVE THREE YARDS!!!  Hey, weren't these Vikings supposed to contend in the NFC North?  Well, I think the Bears have almost clinched their division now. 

BENGALS 31-SAINTS 16 [Sportz 5-1, 91-58]:  This game could've turned into the shootouts both played last week...but the Saints couldn't convert in the redzone.  Bad turnovers and big plays given up defensively created this loss.  And without Marques Colston, Drew Brees was held to 510 passing yards...the 6th highest in NFL history.  Not bad.  Neither is that Carson to Chad hookup which has resulted in 450 yards over the past two weeks.  Not bad at all.

BEARS 10-JETS 0 [Sportz 6-1, 92-58]:  This game stunk to watch. 

More to come later...

NBA and NHL All Star Voting

Yep, it is just a few weeks into the season and it's already time to make your NBA All Star game picks.  This year, that's a big deal since the game will be in Las Vegas and you'll get to pick a pool of players in which at least ONE of them will get in some sort of trouble that weekend.

Vote for the NBA All Star team here: NBA All Star Balloting 2007

Also, vote for the NHL All Star team here: All-Star Ballot (2006-2007)

PART ONE: Who Do I Think Should Play Ohio State???


This is PART ONE of my look at the current state of the BCS and its involvement in deciding our national champion in college football.   I've said my piece on why we need a playoff system....but I'm not using this to beat that dead horse.  This is just some takes on the system as it is. 

We know Ohio State is in the BCS National Championship Game in 51 days.  But who will play them?

It's the big question of the weekend...and really over the next three weeks before the final BCS standings all week.  For the three weeks after the bowls are set, we will discuss who got screwed.

I think over 260 million people have aired their opinion on this I'm going to weigh in with mine.  Who should be the next team to take their swing at 'em??

SHOULD IT BE MICHIGAN?  That's the odd chip in this mess.  Michigan has one loss and that was at #1 Ohio State by three points.  With the system as it is right now....I say "yes".  Yes, because if the system is designed to pit the two best teams in the country....then these two teams [who may be the best] should meet for the title.  Now, that's my feeling under the current system.  However, I DO NOT LIKE the fact that Michigan....who didn't win their conference....should have a chance to win the National Championship if they can't win their conference.  This ain't basketball; they have a tournament.  I also don't like the fact that Michigan could win the title because they beat the Buckeyes in the do-over game in Arizona.  How's that fair to Ohio State??  Why not have a third meeting a week later to break the tie?? 

SHOULD IT BE USC??  I, personally, think that USC has the strongest case for a shot at the title.  They would have beaten Arkansas and Notre Dame [both are fighting for a shot at the title] plus toppled Nebraska, Oregon and California....and a few others that we may see in bowl games this winter.  The stinker is that USC's loss was to ugly Oregon State.  Nothing against the Beavers....but Michigan fans can point to their loss being to Ohio State, and Florida could point to their lone loss to Auburn.  USC does have Arkansas cornered due to their win in Fayetteville earlier in the season. 

SHOULD IT BE FLORIDA???  I think Florida needs Notre Dame to beat USC for the Gators to have any shot at getting there.  Still, the Irish could pass them up.  Florida will have big wins over Tennessee, LSU and Arkansas to buoy them a bit.  The problem is that voters have been turned off by this team's squeaky wins and the fact that the SEC wasn't the Mighty Conference it was supposed to be [it still is the best in the nation].  To me, their advantage over Michigan is the fact that they are champions of a conference [which Michigan isn't]....possibly the nation's best conference.  Their loss to Auburn isn't a shameful one. 

SHOULD IT BE ARKANSAS????  In the same conference, Arkansas thinks it has a shot.  It's a small one, but a reasonable one.  They'd have to beat Florida in the SEC title and pray that USC gets beaten by Notre Dame.  Why?  Well, USC put a 50-14 beating on them waaaaay back in September and the voters would tend to use that tiebreaker against the Razorbacks.  But that's it.  Arkansas would have won all 9 SEC games this year...the best conference in the nation.  They would have beaten LSU, Auburn, Tennessee and Florida to get there.  Uh, but they also beat Utah State, Southeast Missouri State and Louisiana Monroe to get here. 

SHOULD IT BE NOTRE DAME?????  The Irish have a tough arguement.  They've beaten no one of note [the win over the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets is the best they have]...until they pop USC.  Even then, Michigan drubbed them by 26 points at Notre Dame Stadium and those kind of things get held against you....especially when voters are sizing up those resumes. 

SHOULD IT BE BOISE STATE??????  Yeah, just because they are the only other undefeated.  Yeah, if they were in the SEC...they'd have a few losses.  So?  They are a Division I school in a Division I conference.  If that means you cannot compete for a championship than that's a shame.  Why even have them around??  Oh, you need San Jose State available to pad your victory total?  They aren't one of the top two teams in the nation....but why not let them in?? 

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Steve Spurrier To The Miami Hurricanes???


I'd hate to be at the Coker house this Thanksgiving.

As the Miami Hurricanes coach sits down with his family to eat, drink and give thanks this holiday....he will be walking onto a chopping block just as the leftovers are being put away.

The Miami Hurricanes play Boston College on Thanksgiving Day.  Larry Coker is expected to be fired not long after the final whistle sounds.

Coker, you remember, won a National Championship with the Canes in his first season at the helm....capping off a great program transition built up by Butch Davis, who left the Canes for the NFL's Cleveland Browns [Davis was just named the new coach to fellow ACC member North Carolina earlier this week].  But under Coker, the program had gotten a bit out of control....with a brawl against Florida International being a signature moment of the demise. It doesn't help that Miami is 5-6 and with a loss to BC on Thursday, would be bowl-ineligible.  Amazing, since this was a top 15 team when the season began.

With Coker out, word is that Miami will go after Steve Spurrier....currently the South Carolina head coach.  That could work out for nearly everyone...since Spurrier would be able to go back to Florida to coach and be able to compete for a national championship...something that isn't likely [but not impossible] at South Carolina. 

Week 3: Sportz College Football Bracketology


I grew up on Mr I'm going to live in the land of make believe right now.  Like Joe Lunardi does on ESPN's college hoops, I'm doing the same for football.  Yeah, I know that there isn't a playoff in college football...but who cares!  In my mind, there is.  And here is my bracketology.  It's based on a 12-team format where the 6 BCS conference champions get least 1 team from the non-BCS conferences...and 5 at large bids.  The lower seed plays at home. 

1-OHIO STATE* vs winner of....

Ohio State has clinched the top seed in my tournament with their undefeated season.  With Rutgers' loss to Cincinnati....the Big East race boils down to Rutgers or Louisville.  A Rutgers win means they and the Cards are 6-1 in conference...with Rutgers owning the tiebreaker by beating Louisville.  A Rutgers loss means Louisville and West Virginia tie at 6-1 in conference...with Louisville owning the tiebreat with their win over the 'Neers.  I think WVU wins.  LSU is scary enough that they could win this tournament. 

4-FLORIDA* vs winner of....

Florida could move up to a #2 or #3 seed with an SEC title and a USC loss to Notre Dame.   Speaking of Notre Dame, they could launch up to a bye with a win over USC.  Most likely, they'd take the Trojans spot on this line and could actually take the #2 seed with a few other losses by teams out there.  Whomever wins the wild ACC gets the final spot in this tournament.  If it is G-Tech, it's a rematch with the Irish. 

3-MICHIGAN vs winner of...

I still think Michigan is the #3 seed in the nation because (a) they are one of the best three teams plus (b) I want to put them in the opposite bracket as Ohio State.     Most likely the Texas/Nebraska winner in the Big XII title game sits here.  It also puts up a great regional matchup with Arkansas.

2-USC* vs winner of....

USC jumps to the #2 spot with their win over Cal and Michigan's loss.  If USC beats Notre Dame next week, they'll lock this in with an impressive season filled with wins.....not the cupcake sked of normal.  Wisconsin is the one team no one is talking about....and should they?  Boise joins Ohio State as the only remaining undefeated team....and have a high enough BCS ranking to warrant this seed. 

Friday, November 17, 2006

R.I.P. Bo Schembechler

           Bo Schembechler


The "Manly" George Michael Set To Leave


Sometimes, really late on a Sunday night, I'll leave some channel on that I was watching something on earlier in the evening....and then I see something that makes me think of younger days.

The George Michael Sports Machine.

It will be going off the air soon....part of the NBC cuts and layoffs.

Literally, it was SportsCenter before SportsCenter blew up.  He had all the action from the past weekend's sports events....especially football.  He stood there with his clipboard and touched a magic TV that would wisk the hightlights to our living rooms [or bedrooms].  I remember staying up late when I was supposed to be asleep and watching the NFL highlights. 

Highlights.  That's all it was....highlights.  No group of "experts" sitting around a table and telling you what to think of the weekend's action.  Just highlights and the occassional puff piece on some athlete.  He'd also show highlights of crap like a ping-pong match as if it was the seventh game of the World Series. 

I will miss it....even if I don't miss it.  With ESPN, FoxSports and the internet.....the Sports Machine became behind the times as quickly as it emerged as a groundbreaking show. 

Thanks for the memories, Mr. Michael!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Do You Like the Kentucky Wildcats???

My main man Treesoup has made another comeback with his new Kentucky Wildcats blog....

Please check it out.  You'll be hard pressed to find another fan who puts together a blog so complete with facts, figures and just good ol' fandom than this.  Thanks to him for getting me the site in time for the annual Kentucky-North Carolina battle in early December. 

Glad to have ya back, Soup!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Chin Up, Bobby!


Here is my official take on this whole Bob Knight thing.

One...he should resign from basketball before he breaks Dean Smith's record.  Okay, not really...I just don't want him breaking Dean's mark.

Seriously, this isn't a big deal.  Not as big of a deal as it has been made into.  At least, not on the surface. 

If you are reading've played sports at one time or another.  And most of us have had a coach slap our helmets, grab our jerseys, grab our arms, hit our shoulderpads or whatever.  It is part of sports that isn't pleasant...but it happens.  More often than ESPN cameras get a hold of.   My feeling is that if the kid has no problem with it and the parents have no problem with it...this should be put to bed.  The parents entrusted Knight with their child...and they knew going in that he's a tough love kind of coach. 

Again...on the surface.

The problem lies with Knight.  Yeah, if this was any coach but Knight, the story wouldn't be as big.  Of course not.  That's the American way.  If you have a history of crap behind you....what you do now affects your judgement.  If you committed a small crime but had no history of criminal might get a light sentence.  But if you have a long rap sheet...they are gonna come down a bit harder.  That's the way it is.  If you have a history of head-butting players, choking players, pulling out bull-whips at press conferences, tossing chairs during exhibition games against the Soviet Union, slamming stuff around your boss' office, and cussing at everyone you've ever met....then, yes, you are going to be looking down upon a bit. 

On the other side, don't give me that "well, this isn't as bad as the other stuff Knight has done" crap.  What is that??  If OJ Simpson lopped off the head of just one person....does that make it just a bit better since it "isn't as bad as other stuff" he did?? 

What I wish would happen is that Texas Tech's AD have a little chat with him and tell him to watch himself and don't get into the habit of striking players....errr....students.  But, that should be it. 

Look I am NOT a fan of Knight's at all.  I don't think much of his schtick and I think he has both an anger and accountability problem.  Has he ever admitted to doing anything wrong???  Ever???  Yes, he is a great coach and he probably gets more from his players than any coach in the history of college hoops....but this act wears thin. 

If I Would Have Committed Those Murders......


OJ is a sick fool.

A sick fool.

Right after the weekend devoted to giving thanks, remembering our history, shopping 'til we drop and spending time with loved ones....OJ Simpson is going to tell us how he "would have" murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.  Ya know....if he were going to do it. 

What?!?!?!  Oh, the interview is there to pimp his book, entitled "If I Did It"....which comes out on November 30th.  The interviews [in two parts] will be shown on Fox on November 27 and 29. 

So if the mother of my kids was slain and I was on the biggest trial in the past century for doing it, but was acquitted....I should go out and right a book about how I would have done it. 

Dude!  Why are you even thinking that??  It's one horrible thing to even think about "how would I have murdered her"....but to put it down on paper and try to charge people to read it???  He has a special room booked in Hell already...and he knows it.  Adolph Hitler better start moving the furniture around, because he's going to have a weird roomate [that is if Saddam Hussien doesn't move in first].  If he was still in the NFL, he'd be flagged for excessive celebration. 

Watch the promo for it here:

Below is the article on this mess:  O.J. will discuss 1994 killings on Fox - Sports -


Ex-NFL star to say 'how he would have committed' killings of ex-wife, friend

MSNBC News Services
Updated: 11:45 a.m. ET Nov 15, 2006

Fox plans to broadcast an interview with O.J. Simpson in which the former football star discusses “how he would have committed” the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend, for which he was acquitted, the network said.

The two-part interview, titled “O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened,” will air Nov. 27 and Nov. 29, the TV network said.

Simpson has agreed to an “unrestricted” interview with book publisher Judith Regan, Fox said.

“O.J. Simpson, in his own words, tells for the first time how he would have committed the murders if he were the one responsible for the crimes,” the network said in a statement. “In the two-part event, Simpson describes how he would have carried out the murders he has vehemently denied committing for over a decade.”

Simpson, who now lives in Florida, was acquitted in a criminal trial of the 1994 killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman. Simpson was later found liable in 1997 in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Goldman family.

Denise Brown, the sister of Nicole Brown Simpson, said in a statement, "We hope Ms. Regan takes full accountability for promoting the wrong doing of criminals and leveraging this forum and the actions of 'Simpson' to commercialize abuse," the Washington Post reported.

Brown also said Simpson's two children "will be exposed to his 'inexplicable behavior and we will provide them with our love and support during this time."

The interview will air days before Simpson’s new book, “If I Did It,” goes on sale Nov. 30. The book, published by Regan, “hypothetically describes how the murders would have been committed.”

In a video clip on the network’s Web site, an off-screen interviewer says to Simpson, “You wrote ’I have never seen so much blood in my life.”’

“I don’t think any two people could be murdered without everybody being covered in blood,” Simpson responds.

Messages left with Simpson and his attorney Yale Galanter were not immediately returned.