Friday, April 27, 2007

Is Boxing Dead?


The De La Hoya-Mayweather fight should be a doozy next Saturday.  Possibly the best fighter out there against the most popular.  For the first time in a looooooong time, I even am debating about buying it on Pay Per View.

But I probably won't.  Why?  I can watch the replay on HBO and not really miss anything.

See, it used to be that fights were a big deal.  I've had so many fight parties in my time ... which turned out to be better than any other kind of parties I've ever been to.  You'd sit back with your buddies with some drinks, pizza, wings or whatever ... talk about other fights you saw, or other sports going on, while the undercard fights go on.  You may even throw $5 among friends on those small fights just to pass the time. 

When the fight comes on, everyone gets in that "fight sitting stance".  Ya know, both feet flat on the floor, back not touching the chair/couch, leaning up with your elbows on your knees. 

Those times are gone now.  See, as a man barely into his 30-somethings, I've witnessed the change in the boxing world first hand.  This upcoming fight is the biggest fight we've seen since ... well, I can't remember.  And that's sad.  There used to be a really good fight once a month.  Then, maybe four great fights a year.  Now, you are lucky to get one. 

Of course, the sport itself has turned off fans.  The corruption and seediness of boxing makes people feel they are watching a glorified WWE match.  When we do get the fights we want to watch, we get them several years too late [read: Tyson-Lewis, Tyson-Holyfield].   We have too many federations handing out too many belts to know who is really the champion.  On top of that, many casual boxing fans feel that whatever they are watching is just a puppet show, anyways.  The promoter-boxer relationship has the feel of a pimp-ho relationship.   One does all the real work while the other takes the lion's share of the money. 

And we must pay for it.  The NFL, NBA, MLB and NCAA all have their championships on free TV.  What, you don't think people would pay $50 to watch the Super Bowl???   Those leagues understand that you don't thrive when you exclude people from watching your sport.  With all the new TV contracts going around, the NFL, NBA, MLB and NCAA are trying to get more games on the air.  The only one that isn't ... the NHL ... is, well, you see what's happening there. 

Same with boxing.  Look, I'm not saying that boxing has to be on ABC anymore ... but let the HBOs and Showtimes televise these big fights live.   Maybe show some more boxing on network TV.  Look at what response ESPN's The Contender got.  Don't ya think it can happen again?

If not, boxing will be replaced by the mixed-fighting circuits.  The UFC seems to be more of a must-see than anything boxing has going right now.  UFC fans are young, devoted and passionate about the sport.  Ya know, kind of like we 30-somethings were about boxing.  The UFC fights are seemingly legit, have much more action and more accessability.  UFC has their once-a-month PPV deal ... but you can also watch these kind of fights on basic cable. 

And let me tell you this [full disclosure, I don't watch the UFC ... but have found myself at UFC fight parties], UFC parties are more and more frequent and have vaulted the organization to break PPV records.  They also benefit from a nice cable deal with Spike TV.

I wish boxing could get back to this state.  Back when kids went to school Monday morning and talked about the big fight that weekend.  Back when you would rotate who got to host this month's fight party.  Heck, back when you knew 10 friends who were into boxing enough to fork $5 apiece for the PPV costs. 

Kobe Freaks the Matrix

Kobe Bryant just abuses ... well ... heck, just watch it for yourself!

Dunkin' Chicks

I stole this from AOL's The Fanhouse where I ... the Sportz Assassin ... also do my blogwork.  I haven't stopped laughing since I saw this.  I swear that I've had tears streaming down my face since seeing this.

I got this from a post about the Rockets-Jazz playoff series from The Mighty MJD.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Odd Stat For Nationals Fans

The Nationals set a National League record when they failed to score in the first inning Tuesday at Philadelphia. Washington hasn't scored a first-inning run in 20 games this season. The only other NL team to advance 19 games into a season without scoring in the first inning -- and this was quite a surprise -- was the 1975 Reds, a.k.a. the "Big Red Machine."

Thursday, April 19, 2007

NBA Intros Thru The Years

Here is CBS's intro to the NBA back in the 1970s.  Wow.  What a song.  Makes me glad that I only lived during the second half of that decade.  What graphics!

Here is the CBS intro before Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals.  Ya know, the one where Magic went nuts on the Sixers?  Go about 2:30 into the clip to see the techno intro.

Here is what most of us remember of the NBA on CBS.  This is the intro before Game 4 of the 1984 NBA Finals.  To me, this is the best intro the NBA has ever, ever, ever, ever had.  Ever.   Nothing beats the beat just as the graphics end and game tape begins.  As for the final graphic of the intro when the ball bounces from halfcourt into the basket? Classic! 

Of course, the NBA on NBC was almost as great.  Almost.  The theme music defined the NBA during the 1990s and the graphics were a huge upgrade.  The big difference is that NBC realized it had bottled lightning.  In all the years they had the NBA, they didn't go away from this intro.  Still, nostalgically speaking, the CBS intro wins by a nose. 

And this is ABC's intro.  Ugh.  Sorry, but having the Pussycat Dolls singing the opener does nothing.  I know that ABC/ESPN is working on the fact that sports fans like good looking chicks, but that's why God invented cheerleaders.  Now, if ABC kept stuff like this for their intro ... maybe we'd enjoy it a bit better. 

Bill Walker Ripped Into Bob Huggins

         | 04/18/2007 | K-State’s Walker is healing

MANHATTAN, Kan. | The rehabilitation is ahead of schedule. The anger toward Bob Huggins has been put aside. There is no fear of being lost in the Michael Beasley craze. And the friendly wager with his new coach won’t be decided until at least next March.

Kansas State’s Bill Walker is intent on making the bet last until April.

The whirlwind of activity here in recent weeks, including Huggins leaving and the promotion of Frank Martin to head coach, has subsided. Walker, for one, is glad things seem to finally be normal again.

“I look forward to winning the national championship,” Walker said. “That was my main goal since I went to college.”

Walker, who, along with Beasley, gives K-State a reason to dream big even without Huggins, has moved past the disappointment of Huggins leaving him behind. After all, Huggins was the reason Walker took the accelerated path to K-State, arriving in November.

Walker never believed the West Virginia rumors.

“He gave me every indication that he was staying,” Walker said of Huggins.

When he learned Huggins was leaving, Walker became angry. He didn’t hear about it first from Huggins, and that hurt.

“He’s somebody I trusted,” said Walker, who’ll be a sophomore in 2007-08.

Walker admits he unloaded on Huggins once he told the team he was going.

“Just anger,” Walker said. “I told him what I thought.”

Walker had every right to think he was in no-man’s land. He had come to K-State because of Huggins, and suddenly, he was alone. But not once, Walker insists, did he contemplate leaving.

“I make the best of my situations, regardless of who is the coach,” Walker said. Walker endorses Martin every chance he gets, and Martin champions Walker with a similar fervor.

“He’s as mature of a 19-year-old as I’ve ever been around,” Martin said.

Walker’s take on Martin: “I’ve been around enough teams to know he did more than any assistant coach I have seen. Basically, he was our second coach this past season.”

The season ended early for Walker, who was sidelined for the remainder of the year Jan. 6 when he suffered a knee injury in the Big 12 opener at Texas A&M. He had surgery to repair a complete rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, and was expected to need four to six months of rehabilitation.

But according to Walker, he is 80 percent healthy. Walker says he’s able to cut again on the floor, but jumping is a no-no. He says he works out three hours a day.

As for playing with Beasley, rated the No. 1 player in the country by, Walker embraces it.

“If we’re going to win the national championship, we have to coexist,” Walker said. “I respect him. I don’t think I’ll have any problem with him. This doesn’t have to be my team. That’s not what’s important.”

Walker has phoned Huggins and apologized for his tirade. Otherwise, he’s taking 12 hours of classes and working on his outside shot. That’s where the bet enters the picture.

He attempted nine three-point field goals last season and didn’t make any. Walker is determined to dramatically raise that percentage.

“I made a bet with coach Martin I shoot over 40 percent on those,” said Walker, adding it simply was a gentleman’s bet.

Walker went on to say he isn’t considering a challenge of the NBA rules to try and enter the draft in June. Instead, he’s all about continuing to build success at K-State.

“We have enough talent to win it all,” Walker said. “Anything less than that, and we haven’t accomplished anything.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Washington Nats Wear Virginia Tech Hats



WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals wore Virginia Tech baseball caps during Tuesday night's game against the Atlanta Braves as a tribute to the victims of Monday's shooting rampage at the school.

"It was an honor to wear that hat," Washington center fielder Ryan Church said after his team's 6-4 loss. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families."

Nationals players wore a few different versions of the hats; most were burgundy with "VT" in orange or white. Manager Manny Acta, pitching coach Randy St. Claire and other coaches wore white "VT" caps with burgundy stitching.

Left fielder Chris Snelling's cap will be sent to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., while Acta and some players autographed their hats, which will be sent to Virginia Tech.

"The Nationals have you in our hearts and in our prayers," relief pitcher Chad Cordero wrote above his signature.

The Nationals said the idea of wearing the Virginia Tech caps came from a fan from Calvert County, Md., who e-mailed team president Stan Kasten.

"When I read it, I thought, 'Wow. This is really nice,'" Kasten said. "It was the very least we could do."

He said the team ran the tribute past Major League Baseball beforehand and commissioner BudSelig and chief operating officer Bob DuPuy "were instantly supportive."

The Nationals held moments of silence for the victims of Monday's shooting before their home games Monday and Tuesday. Washington's RFK Stadium is a drive of about 4 hours from the university's Blacksburg campus.

"This happening in our backyard, we're more sensitive to this than anybody," Kasten said.

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is from Virginia Beach and went to college at Virginia Tech rival Virginia.

"It was special, especially for me, them kind of being the school we always wanted to beat, more than anybody else," Zimmerman said. "It kind of shows you how little sports mean. ... It makes you realize how lucky we have it and not to take any days for granted."

Joe Crawford is Done, Son


Joe Crawford tossed Tim Duncan for laughing on Sunday.  Now, the NBA is tossing Crawford.

The NBA has suspended Crawford for the rest of the season, including the playoffs.  He and NBA commish David Stern will discuss his future sometime after the NBA Finals. 

This is the third huge penalty handed down in the sports world in the past few weeks.  The NFL suspended Pac-Man Jones for the 2007 season for conduct off the field.  Last week, shock jock Don Imus was fired for terming the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy headed hos". 

It appears, like Imus, Crawford may ultimately lose his job.  Apparantly, Crawford may exit on his own.  From

In an e-mail to colleagues that was obtained by Bloomberg News, Crawford described his conversation with Stu Jackson, the NBA executive director for basketball operations who oversees referees.

"I told him I would throw Duncan out again if he did what he did," Crawford wrote. "So if my employer does not think that was acceptable, then I have a problem."

Crawford declined to comment on the e-mail to Bloomberg News, as did Jackson.

However, in his e-mail to Bloomberg News, Crawford appeared to imply that he didn't expect to officiate an NBA game again in his career.

"Please do not be sad for me," Crawford wrote to Bloomberg News. "I have had a great run and a great career and nobody will ever take that from me."

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Happy Tax Day to the Athletes Who Don't Feel the Need To Pay

Happy tax day to those of you that who be late to their own funeral.  While the rest of us took care of our duties already, you are still fumbling trying to find all your W-2's, receipts or your Uncle Herb who said he'd do your taxes for you because he saw a show about it on MSNBC.  God bless ya!

So, in honor of you tax procrastinators who plan on paying your share, here is the top 10 tax evaders in the world of sport....compiled by the great people over at The Wade Blogs:


1. Pete Rose (1990 & 2004): Poor Pete is a repeat offender... the all-time hit king was hit with a $1 million tax lien in 04, 15 years after he had to spend 5 months in federal prison on tax evasion charges. One item it appears Rose will never be able to itemize or expense is that special summer trip to Cooperstown (at least during his lifetime).

2. Steffi Graff (1997): Not only does she have to dodge her husband's racket but thanks to her Dad Steffi barley dodged German prison. Read more on her $6.55 million ordeal here.

3. Darryl Strawberry (1994): Maybe when the Straw listed his dependents on his tax form in 94... he mistakenly listed cocaine, percosett, mary-j, etc. Strawberry's foul play included failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars he earned at various baseball card signing events. Darryl was called out and ordered to repay $350,000 in back taxes.

3. (tie) OJ Simpson (1997): The Juice got squeezed by the IRS for more than 700K according to reports a decade ago

4. Boris Becker (2004): Becker was slammed with a $500,000 fine but avoided jail time when he was convicted of tax evasion when he admitted he lived in Germany after first claiming to reside in Monte Carlo. Becker now lives a life of limbo... sure he now resides in tax haven Switzerland but he has to endure everyday hearing about Swiss wunderkind Roger Federer.

5. Don King (1985): Given his haircut who would have thought when Don listed $3.5 million worth of hair products as a business expense that it would have raised eyebrows with the IRS? All kidding aside King faced 29 counts of tax evasion when it was alledged he diverted over $1 million in corporate receipts to his personal use. Sure he got off on most charges but King still dons a rap sheet longer than Kid Dynamite including charges of manslaughter and murder.

6. Lawrence Taylor (1996): In 1996 no. 56 got 86'd for faling to file his 1040. LT was sacked for 3 months house arrest and 5 years probation and flagged for 500 hundred hours of community service.

7. Diego Maradona: Sure Maradona has been reportedly suffering from hepatitis of late but given Diego's penchant to take a dive we can't help but notice the the convienent timing of his April ailment during tax season. The Argentinian soccer star was charged with tax evasion while he lived in Italy. Thewadeblogs can't help but wonder if Diego argued that he thought his missing tax forms were filled out by "The Hand of God." Speaking of which check out this funny clip we did recreating Maradina's famous goal.

8. Barry Bonds (2006): While the jury is still out on the Bonds Balco case, it is no secret that the Feds were pulling at all the strings in order to nab Barry. In a move reminiscent of how they caught "The Godfather" Al Capone, the Feds were hoping to put the hurt on Barry before Bonds put a hit on Hammerin' Hank's mark.

9. Wille McCovey: It is interesting to note that Barry Bond's godfather's teammate was also charged with tax evasion. Hopefully Wille has finally dug himself out of McCovey's Cove and the HOFer is still not taking a bath.

10. Andre Agassi (1999): Hey Steffi.... before you have dinner with Andre you better make sure he doesn't get lead to the back and ordered to do the dishes. According to The Scotsmen, Andre skipped out on a 27,500 pound tax tab in the UK. 

Monday, April 16, 2007

MLB Does a Great Job With Jackie Robinson Day; Media Didn't

Lance McAllister, who has a show and blog at 1530HOMER - The Sports Animal in Cincinnati, throws an interesting and provocative line into the waters of the Jackie Robinson Day yesterday.

I am with him that it was a great moment for baseball.  This is a league that consistently bungles things like this.  Just wait for when Barry Bonds hits #756.  But Bud Selig and the league handled this excellently.  Players were allowed to wear #42, which is retired from every team, including some teams having everyone wear the number.  I feel that was the best thing to do...since everyone who puts on a baseball uniform [whether you are black, white, latino, asian or anything] has been effected by what Jackie Robinson did 60 years ago. 

This time, the media screwed this up.  While baseball was celebrating Robinson's career and acheivements ... the media dwelled on the fact that there aren't as many black players in baseball and that too many people were donning the #42 jersey.

Now, why there aren't as many black players is a very valid question and needs to be addressed....but not during this time.  This has been an obvious issue for over a decade now and seems to have slid under the media's attention until the freakin' weekend that Mr. Robinson's legacy is being celebrated.   The media forgets that because of Jackie Robinson....EVERYTHING is more integrated.  Baseball was Jackie's way. 

Also, look how many non-white players there are in the league.  The Latin Explosion has been just that ... and the bridge from the MLB to Japanese baseball [and Korea, and Chinese] has had quite a few visitors.  This is as a diverse league as any where people from all over the globe are playing in this game.

That's a great thing ... and something worthy of the celebration of Jackie's memory.  Now, the media is doing a good job shining a light on this issue...just did it at the wrong time.  And if the media really cares about this issue, they won't let it die after the #42 jerseys are packed away.   


Here is Mr. McAllister's take on the situation:

Sunday was the 60th anniversary of the greatest impact moment in sports history.....and yet look what was done with it by the media and players.

Ken Griffey Jr was one of the few that got it right. Jr chose to celebrate and honor Jackie and the impact of that moment. Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier......his story is about the struggle for inclusion and diversity. It's the story of triumph and impact. What did the media and players do with it?
The media focused on the dwindling number of blacks in the game and what MLB hasn't done to create more interest in the game for blacks.   It's as if the media expects MLB has to hold blacks by the hand and lead them to the game.

Some players actually whined that too many players were going to wear #42.

Tori Hunter even blasted the Astros for having no black players, and for having all their players wear #42. Had no Astro worn #42, Hunter would have blasted them for ignoring the moment. 

Am I the only one that sees tremendous diversity in MLB? 40-percent of MLB players are non-white. Consider the NBA is 80-percent black and the NFL is 70-percent black. Sounds like MLB is doing a hell of job in diversity by comparison.

Why such a desire for the racial scoreboard?

Is it about just creating controversy? Is it a desire for a quota in sports? I don't get it.

Why does the media bend over backwards to focus on baseball's 8% of blacks in the game when 40% of MLB players are non-white. That is the success of Jackie Robinson. Blacks, Latinos, Korean, name it, they are playing MLB. How proud Jackie must be that players from Cliff Floyd to Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Javier Valentin to Ichiro Suzuki are playing baseball. 

What a great game. It's not just Americas appears to be the worlds. MLB just set an attendance record for spring training. MLB will set break the regular season attendance record for the fourth straight year. What's wrong with that?

The media and players should be embarrassed to have missed or ignored those points......and cheapened Jackie's moment by using it for an agenda. What a shame.

Duncan Laughs, Gets Tossed

Here is the video of Tim Duncan getting ejected from yesterday's game with Dallas.  He was ejected for....laughing.  Laughing.  Laughing.

I am one of the people who really likes the fact that refs can T up guys for complaining too much.  I have been turned off by the constant whining players make on calls.  Discussion, fine.  Yelling everytime you miss a shot [or even make one], old.

But this is crap.  Duncan sits there on the bench and laughs.  Sure, he's laughing at the call made on the floor ... but how is that worth a technical?  He wasn't on the floor, no one really saw him, and that action is nowhere as bad as some of the other things that happen on the floor.  But he was shown the door.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Baseball Needs a New Schedule Guy

Whomever does the scheduling for Major League Baseball needs to be fired!  Sure, there is the freakiest cold front in the history of mankind killing the east coast right now ... but this isn't the first year [nor the last] that cold temps will make a mockery of the baseball world.

Today in Cincinnati, where I live, it was colder for the Reds game [30 degrees] than it was for any of the Bengals home games this past season.  And they play in December!  That game was supposed to be played at 7:00pm ... but they moved it to 1:00pm because no one was going to come and sit in the freezing cold tonight. 

No one can predict the weather, but the schedule guy needs to work on his craft.  Why have games in Cleveland, Chicago, New York and Cincinnati right now?  Why not try to schedule home games in either warm weather places or domed stadiums? 

I mean, right now the Twins are playing at the White Sox.  Why not switch that series to Minnesota?  It isn't that big of a travel deal and at least those games won't be snowed out of the Metrodome.  Why did the schedule guy schedule a dome team to play in Chicago in the first week of April?

And spare me the "well, it's not fair to have a team on the road that long" argument.  It's weak.  There are 9-10 game road trips all season long.  Let those cold weather teams take them early [and late].  I'm sure none of those guys mind spending the first week or two in a warm cozy venue than standing outside in 30 degree weather.  I mean, these guys just spent the last 5 weeks in either Arizona or Florida. 

Also, Toronto [a domed team], Boston, Baltimore, Oakland, NY Mets, Pittsburgh, Cubs, Dodgers and Arizona [another domed team] have yet to play at home.  Technically, Cleveland hasn't either ... but that's because their games keep getting snowed out.  Why not have the opening 6-10 games in Texas, Houston, Florida, Tampa, Atlanta, LA, San Diego, Arizona, Minnesota or Milwaukee? 

Meanwhile, those warm weathered teams must take their road trips during the summer months when it is boiling hot in their hometowns. 

It's not like it's something that doesn't happen.  For years, the NFL wouldn't schedule a day game for the Arizona Cardinals during September because it was too hot.  That's why the Cards seemed to make their way onto Sunday Night Football in Week 2 every year.  Now, with a dome, it's not a big deal. 

I understand that it's not possible to have every game in a warm weathered place ... but Cleveland should wait to have their home opener around the 2nd week of the season. 

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The NBA Needs To Get Rid of the Six Divisions

Look, if you asked me a few years ago about the NBA [or the MLB or NHL or NFL] spreading out into more divisions ... I would've told you I was for it.  To have more divisions means to have more things to play for [like division titles] and places teams that are geographically close to each other in a nice tidy division.

Well, screw that.

While the NFL and MLB has made it work, the NHL and NBA really haven't.  At least the NHL merits the divisional format, somewhat, by having divisional foes play each other more than anyone else.  However, the NHL has become a bus league where facing your 'rival' eight times a season loses it's luster. 

The NBA doesn't do that.  So why have all these divisions? 

DIVISION TITLES ARE MEANINGLESS:  They are meaningless because it all depends on the teams in your geographic region.  Take the Miami Heat.  The Heat have played pretty much the exact same schedule as the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Yet, the Cavs have won four more games than the Heat.  Yet, because the city of Miami is near Washington, Orlando, Charlotte and Atlanta ... the Heat will be division champions and get a good seed in the playoffs.  Cleveland plays in a division with nearby Detroit and Chicago, the top two teams in the entire conference.  Because of that, the Cavs are slated to be a #5 seed while Miami is #4. 

THE NBA FIXED THAT WITH IT'S PLAYOFF FORMAT:  Yeah, right.  This will most likely be the second straight season [out of three possible] that there will be a top seeded team that won't have home court advantage in the first round.  Last year, the #6 Clippers had the homecourt over the #3 Nuggets which caused a firestorm because the #5 Grizzlies didn't have the homecourt.  Instead, they got to face #4 Dallas who had the West's second best record.  So the NBA decided to fix it a bit but it's still screwed up.  While the new way would have had the Grizzlies face the Nuggets last year, what's the point of having a division champ guaranteed at least the #4 seed? 

THE NORTHWEST DIVISION:  I'm all for the southeast teams or central teams or southwest teams all bunched together ... but what about the Northwest Division?  The division spans three time zones and stretches from Minneapolis to Seattle.  Meanwhile, Milwaukee and Chicago are just little road trips to them, but they travel there just once.  You may not think that's a huge deal, but Milwaukee has just seven road games in the Pacific time zone.  Minnesota potentially has 14. 

To be honest, I'd rather see the NBA break up into two conferences only.  Just have a 15-team East and a 15-team West with the top 8 teams getting a playoff berth in each conference. 

To be really honest, I'd rather the NBA just take the top 16 teams regardless of division or conference and place them in the playoffs.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Kansas State Deserves What They Got


Bobby Huggins is leaving Kansas State for West Virginia.  Ha!

K-State had to know this was coming.  Huggins was controversially dumped at Cincinnati, took a season off, then came back onto the scene at Kansas State.  Of course, it didn't take a rocket scientist to know that Huggy Bear was to stroll off to a better job if any came along. 

West Virginia did.

West Virginia is a good job for Huggins.  First off, it's his alma mater, so you can't fault him for jumping at that.  Also, it is in the Big East Conference which is more basketball friendly than the Big XII [though that conference is great at hoops].  Plus, he can go up against Cincinnati a few times in the future.  It is a good spot for Huggins to be in.

So why is K-State mad?  They must have believed that Huggins was buying into the school and was set to start something big in Manhattan.  He had his team on the NCAA tournament bubble and was bringing in one of the best recruiting classes in the nation.  Many were dreaming of the day when the Kansas-Kansas State game would matter to anyone outside of, well, Kansas State.  But the bigger, better deal came along ... and Huggs jumped ship.  They feel spurned.  Still, they should've known better.

Oh, Huggins is wrong as well.  He proved his loyalty to the school that brought him in by jumping at the first chance out of town.  Sure, it was a place that he really wanted to go.  Just as Billy Donovan could've done at Florida, but didn't.   However, you knew that Huggins wasn't going to stay at K-State, didn't you?

Also, I hope that for some reason Michael Beasley can't follow Huggins to West Virginia.  Screw him.  Beasley first committed to UNC-Charlotte before dumping them when Huggins hired away the coach that brought Beasley in.  Now Beasley gets to feel the same thing that Charlotte fans felt when Beasley reniged on a promise.  Same goes to Bill Walker, who was to follow Huggins no matter where he went.  Walker began his colleigate career at Kansas State early for Huggins [and was quickly injured] so Walker must sit out if he wants to take his act somewheres else.  I mean, these big time recruits weren't coming to Kansas State for either the school or the basketball tradition, were they?

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Jeff Van Gundy Isn't a Complete Idiot....


Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy recently stated that he believes that all 30 NBA teams deserve a shot in the NBA's draft lottery.  Currently, there is a lottery taken using the 14 teams that didn't qualify for the playoffs.  Van Gundy says everyone should join in the fun.

First off...that's dumb.  For one thing, the entire point of a draft is so bad teams can get young big-time prospects to help them become better.  Those drafted prospects are relatively cheap, so you have monies to sign a good free agent to run alongside him.  If the Suns, Mavs and Spurs are allowed into the lottery, then the entire point of the deal is smashed.

However, Van Gundy has a point hidden in there.  One of the usual questions that get asked at this time of year goes like this: "is it better to be the #7 or #8 seed in the playoffs; get pounded by a top seed;  or is it better to miss the playoffs, suck in your pride and hope for the best with the ping-pong balls??  What Van Gundy is proposing would help to answer that question.  If everyone has a shot....then go for the playoff push.

The lottery is flawed.  Right now, the bad teams are falling all over themselves to suck so they have a shot at drafting Greg Oden or Kevin Durant.  The worse you are, the higher the percentage it is to win the lottery.  It ain't guaranteed...but you have nice odds.  It used to be that lottery team had an equal shot at the pick [they used to just have envelopes in a sphere and picked the top picks that way].  However, that was deemed unfair as a near playoff team could get that top pick instead of a desolate team.

I like where Van Gundy is headed....but he's wrong to include them all.  However, I .... the Sportz Assassin .... propose this:  the 14 teams that miss the playoffs and the 8 teams that lose in the first round of the playoffs are eligible for the lottery.  How is that?  I was looking at just adding the #7 and #8 seeds from each conference in the lottery....but then teams may dog themselves out from the #6 seed to get there.  I went this way because no one would intentionally lose a postseason series just to gain a slim shot at the top draft pick.  That way, the only teams exempt from the lottery would be the "elite eight" teams that are fighing for a berth in the conference finals.   Sure, those good playoff teams that lost would probably get a microscopic chance at gaining the top prize...but as any state lottery official will tell you, "you can't win if you don't play!"

Just as the bad teams want a star youngster to build their franchise around, a mediocre playoff team would love to have that same star to be the final piece of their puzzle.  I mean, that's where those teams who drafted the #1 guy end up eventually....right?  Ask Yao Ming, LeBron James, Elton Brand and Kwame Brown. 

Let them play. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Cincinnati's Mayor Needs To Stay Off the Mound

This is Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory throwing out the first pitch at the Reds Opening Day game with Chicago.  He should just retire from ever ... EVER ... doing this again.  I don't know what's funnier:  seeing the umpire surprised the ball was hopping toward his feet or the look on Eric Davis' face.

Rappin' Rove

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Happy April Fools Day!


Over on AOL's Fanhouse [where yours truly is a contributor], the lead story is Kobe Bryant's 97-point outburst against Toronto yesterday.  Of course, the story isn't true as the Lakers didn't even play yesterday [and that would maybe trump a boring Final Four off of SportsCenter].

Three things crept into my mind when I saw this.  (1) It's insane that we could actually believe Kobe scored that many points.  Seriously, it is.  I mean, you can't put any other NBA player's name on that line and figure anyone would think it could be real.  But, with Kobe you can.  (2) The strength of the Fanhouse.  I mean, some people actually believed the story ... which means that there are sports fans out there that check out the Fanhouse for their breaking sports news.

And (3), it got me thinking:  what other headlines could sway people from reality?

*Peyton Manning Tests Positive For Steroids

*Phil Jackson Apologizes For Mistakes

*Royals and Pirates:  World Series Favorites

*Pac-Man Jones and Chris Henry Win "West Virginia University Positive Image Awards"

*Alex Rodriguez Comes Through In the Clutch

*Shaq Blames Himself for Lakers Breakup

*Matt Millen Is Named Executive Of The Year

*Kerry Wood Will Not Miss a Start

*MLB Plans Celebration of Barry Bonds' HR Record

*Pete Rose Has Been Reinstated;  Will Manage Reds

*Soccer Taking America By Storm

*More People To Watch Women's NCAA Final Four

*NHL and Versus Extend Television Agreement

*Tiger Woods' Life Sucks

*The NBA All Star Game to Return to Las Vegas

*Duke Voted Most Popular Team Among Urban Youth

*West Virginia Fans Arrested After NIT Championship Celebration Gets Out of Hand

*Augusta National To Allow Women Members

*Tim Hardaway:  Drag Queen

*Dick Vitale Won't Accept Coach K's Phone Calls

*Billy Packer Is Greatest Thing About the NCAA Tournament

*Greg Oden To Return to Ohio State

SportsCenter Spoof

This SportsCenter spoof from above was sent to me by Southpaw of  It's a hilarious take on the mockery that the show has turned sports into.  Enjoy.