Monday, December 29, 2008

Redskins' 2009 Schedule

Here are the Washington Redskins opponents for 2009:

Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles
New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
St. Louis Rams
Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs

Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles
Atlanta Falcons
Carolina Panthers
Detroit Lions
Oakland Raiders
San Diego Chargers

Not a bad schedule, but the roadies are a bit much. They must travel to the Giants, Eagles, Falcons, Panthers and Chargers -- all playoff teams. Still, they get the Chiefs, Rams and Lions who were the worst teams in the NFL this season.

The schedule will look at lot like this past season. They will, of course, play all three NFC East teams twice again. They will also host the Saints, Rams and travel to Detroit just as they did this year. They will also hit the West Coast a couple times (Oakland, San Diego) just as they did this past season (Seattle, San Francisco).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Reggie Theus Looks Like Cheryl Miller

The Kings fired him .... errrr .... her .... err .... yeah.
(Hat tip: The Big Lead)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Naughty Temple Fan Gets Some Pub

This pic was flashed by a Temple fan as ESPN was going to commercial. The Owls were pounding Tennessee at the time ... and the fan decided to show a picture of what that must feel like for the Vols.

For a closer look:

Why Don't We Use BCS Rankings Across the Board??

If you have read this blog over the past four years, you know that I hate the BCS. I know we are stuck with it because the money is too good.

My thing is this: Why don't we use the BCS rankings to create the other games? I mean, the people for the BCS always say "we get the best possible matchup" due to the system. So why not have a whole month full of great matchups and then (TRY TO) place them in bowls that are accessible to both schools. Well, after you slot the #3 through #10 BCS teams in the four BCS bowls.

BCS: #1 Oklahoma vs #2 Florida
SUGAR: #3 Texas vs #4 Alabama
ROSE: #5 USC vs #6 Utah
FIESTA: #7 Texas Tech vs #8 Penn State
ORANGE: #9 Boise State vs #10 Ohio State
COTTON: #11 TCU vs #12 Cincinnati
CAP ONE: #13 Oklahoma State vs #14 Georgia Tech
GATOR: #15 Georgia vs #16 BYU
HOLIDAY: #17 Oregon vs #18 Michigan State
CHIK FIL A: #19 Virginia Tech vs #20 Pitt
LIBERTY: #21 Missouri vs #22 Ball State
OUTBACK: #23 Northwestern vs #24 Boston College

Aside from #25 Ole Miss, I don't know how the rankings kept going (maybe the BCS should publish that too). I mean, if all everyone cares about is great football matchups, than the ACC and Big East shouldn't mind if their teams get knocked out of the big, big money and make room for schools who could bring better games.

Monday, December 8, 2008

BCS Bowl Announced and I'm Not Happy

Gee whiz! That was fun! We had to wait all day long for Fox to tell us what any honk could have predicted all day: the five BCS bowl matchups.

I'm not surprised by what we got, but I am disappointed. Why do we have to have a two-loss Ohio State team in a BCS game and not undefeated Boise State? And, hell, they put them with a Texas team that is pissed off and whose fans will make the relatively short trip to Glendale, AZ for the game. Can you say another Buckeye Beatdown?

It is because Ohio State is a golden goose for bowls. Their fans travel well, they buy tickets, they rent hotels, they spend money in these host cities. To hell with if they could actually give Texas a game: we just need their fans to show up.

If they could justify it, any bowl would love to bring Notre Dame in. The Irish rewarded their boosters by heading to the Hawaii Bowl. Sucky season, but at least you can spend Christmas in Honolulu!

The ACC, which has been a running joke for a few years now, placed 10 of their 12 schools in a bowl game. The basketball crazy conference can't even get 10 teams in the NCAA Tournament in two years!!! Cincinnati is in the Orange Bowl.

We have these awesome matchups: Florida Atlantic vs Central Michigan, Louisiana Tech vs Northern Illinois, Rice vs Western Michigan and Tulsa vs Ball State. Hasn't Detroit suffered enough with the Lions that you are going to force FAU-CMU on them????

And the first bowl out of the gate? Navy vs Wake Forest. They've already freakin' played this year!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The ACC Gives Thanks to the Big East For a Great Football Season!

I know I'm a week late to give thanks, but I thought I need to point something out: Thanks for the Big East for making the ACC such a football power!

I'm being sarcastic, for sure, but it actually is true.

Boston College and Virginia Tech will be playing for the ACC Football Championship on Saturday. For the second straight season. Both BC and Tech (along with Miami) were taken from the Big East so the ACC could be a football conference, too.

I know that the rest of the world doesn't understand, but most of the fans of the ACC know that this is a basketball conference. We love hoops and hate what expansion has done to our conference.

I was for the expansion as it was going on because I thought that having some football super powers ... which Miami and Va Tech were supposed to be ... would make the conference better. It really hasn't. Instead of nine teams who clutter things up, we now have 12. It is highly competitive and there isn't as much sludge at the bottom, but this is far from an elite conference.

Let me say that Miami, Va Tech and Boston College have all been pleasant surprises in basketball, too. BC nearly won the ACC a couple years ago while Va Tech and Miami have been to the tournament, too.

The Big East Influence isn't just with Miami, V-Tech and BC. North Carolina has turned things around with ... Butch Davis who coached Miami when it was in the Big East. Tom O'Brien has NC State playing well ... after he was a darn good coach for BC when they were in the Big East.

Second to Last BCS Playoff Update

Yes, I hate the BCS system and think my playoff system is tops!

So here is my updated playoff picture:

#1-Alabama (SEC Champ)
#2-Oklahoma (Big XII Champ)

*-note, I switched the Florida and Texas seeds so the semifinals wouldn't be two SEC teams and two Big XII teams facing off again.

#12-Boston College (ACC Champ) vs #5-USC (Pac10 Champ)
#11-Cincinnati (Big East Champ) vs #6-Texas Tech
#10-Ohio State vs #7-Utah (Top ranked non-BCS Champ)
#9-Boise State vs #8-Penn State (Big Ten Champ)

*I also flipped Texas Tech and Utah so we couldn't have a Tx Tech-Oklahoma game in the quarterfinals.

I wish there was a way that I could include Ball State, but they wouldn't get in under my rules. "My rules" are that the champs of the six BCS conferences get in (Alabama, Oklahoma, USC, Penn State, Cincinnati, BC), as does the top ranked champion from a non-BCS conference (Utah). The other five spots go to the five highest ranked schools in the BCS that didn't earn a conference championship (Florida, Texas, Ohio State, Boise State, Texas Tech). My only other rule is that no more than three teams in any conference can get in.

The games are played at the home of the higher ranked team.

So ...

Boise State at Penn State, noon
Boston College at USC, 3pm
Cincinnati at Texas Tech, 6p
Ohio State at Utah, 9p

Cincinnati/Texas Tech at Florida, noon
Boston College/USC at Texas, 3p
Boise State/Penn State at Alabama, 6p
Ohio State/Utah at Oklahoma, 9p

Cincinnati/Texas Tech/Florida vs Ohio State/Utah/Oklahoma (at the highest remaining seed)
Boston College/USC/Texas vs Boise State/Penn State/Alabama (at the highest remaining seed)

National Championship game in Miami.

Monday, December 1, 2008

NFL Needs to Keep Lions On Thanksgiving

With the 0-12 Detroit Lions stinking up the season, many people are whining that they don't deserve to host Thanksgiving Day games anymore.

You people are stupid and lazy!

Forget that this is a tradition that spans 70 years. Forget that a decade ago you spent every Thanksgiving in awe of what Barry Sanders did.

Look at it from the NFL's view: you watched it!

They had a 10-1 team spank a 0-11 team and they had a ton of people watching it. What the heck else are you going to do on Thanksgiving??? I watched parts of the Texas-Texas A&M game just because it was on. The NFL would be wise to keep the crapiest of games on Thanksgiving. You would have watched the Chiefs-Raiders game had it been on Turkey Day.

Don't give me that crap that the Lions suck and it has turned their appearances on Thanksgiving into a big joke. How about the other two games? Seattle-Dallas looked like a winner when the schedule first came out but turned into a beatdown. Arizona-Philadelphia looked good all week but turned into its own turkey.

Tonight we get treated to a Jaguars-Texans game on Monday Night Football. No matter how much you think the game looks in April when the schedule comes out, it doesn't always turn that way when the game actually gets here. And Thanksgiving can't really have the same flex scheduling that NBC gets for its Sunday Night games.

With the three games on Thanksgiving, that means the NFL has to find five nationally televised games this weekend (to go along with the Sunday and Monday night football games). Plus, the NFL's highest rated time-slot is the 4:00 pm ET game; it draws more than either the Sunday or Monday night games.

Just enjoy the fact that we get to watch football on Thanksgiving at all.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oklahoma Jumps Texas. Again, Why The BCS Is Stupid

On what planet does the BCS make any sense? I hate the freaking thing and it screws with the foundation of sport.

Since Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech tied at 7-1 in the Big XII South Division, they go to tiebreakers. Since Texas lost to Tech, Tech lost to Oklahoma and Oklahoma lost to Texas, the tiebreaker falls to who is the highest ranked BCS team. So voters and some computers decided that Oklahoma was.

Oklahoma leaped over Texas in the latest BCS standings.

How? Texas beat Oklahoma in a neutral site game. Texas' lone loss was at Tech on the last play of the game. Sure, the Sooners blasted Tech a few weeks later ... in Oklahoma, I might add ... but isn't Texas the better team because, ya know, they actually beat Oklahoma???

Texas could expect to get screwed again. Say Oklahoma wins over Missouri in the Big XII title game and earns one of the title game spots. Now, suppose that #4 Florida beats #1 Alabama in the SEC title game. You know Florida will leap over Texas to earn the right to play Oklahoma in the title game.

That's right: Texas keeps winning and teams keep jumping over them.

And Florida's one loss was to Ole Miss ... at home!!!! I think the Big XII South was much more difficult than the SEC East. So how does Florida get to jump Texas?

Why even have the BCS rankings? Why not just have all the voters pick the two teams they want to see play for the championship? Then add in the computers' top two ranked teams.

In the history of the BCS, I have never seen a season end where we were like "thank goodness for the BCS!" I almost liked it the old way when bowls just picked up teams and then we crown a champion after the bowls.

Of how about doing what everyone else does: PLAYOFFS!!!!!

Oh my God! How exciting would a college playoff be this year with Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech, Florida, Alabama and USC???

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sportz' AT&T Commerical About Brian Westbrook

"Hi. Sorry, but I didn't get that phone call where you tell me to start Brian Westbrook on my fantasy team this week. Genius here doesn't have AT&T. I saw the injury reports and the fact the Eagles stunk the last three games and decided to sit my star running back for Ronnie Brown.

Now may fantasy team will be missing those four TDs Westy scored tonight against the Cardinals. Awesome!"

Thursday, November 27, 2008


This is ridiculous.

LeBron James is nearly two years away from being a free agent and all the buzz is in the NBA is what he will do then. ESPN even had a countdown ticker going for LeBron's free agency.

Sad day for the NBA when all we have to wonder is what one player may do in 2010.

How 'bout we all shut up about this?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

ACC Update - 11/23

Normally, I'd post the current ACC standings and break down the upcoming week. Well, since the ACC has come down to an easy-to-read four team race, I'll just tell you what's up.

The game that matters is Maryland at Boston College. If BC wins, they are Atlantic Division champs. If Maryland wins, Florida State becomes the division champs.

The game here is the Virginia-Virginia Tech rivalry. If Va Tech wins, they are Coastal Division champs. If Virginia wins, Georgia Tech becomes division champs.

Monday, November 17, 2008

ACC Update - 11/17

Another wild week in the ACC. Here is the update, with the list of division teams they have beaten:

Maryland (4-2): W: Wake Forest, Clemson, NC State
Wake Forest (4-3): W: Florida State, Clemson. L: Maryland, NC State
Florida State (4-3): W: Clemson, NC State. L: Wake Forest, Boston College
Boston College (3-3): W: Florida State, NC State. L: Clemson
Clemson (3-4): W: Boston College, NC State. L: Maryland, Wake Forest
NC State (2-4): W: Wake Forest. L: Maryland, Clemson, Boston College

Miami (4-2): W: Virginia Tech, Virginia, Duke. L: North Carolina
Georgia Tech (4-3): W: Duke. L: Virginia Tech, Virginia
Virginia Tech (3-3): W: Ga Tech, North Carolina. L: Miami
Virginia (3-3): W:Ga Tech, North Carolina. L: Miami, Duke
North Carolina (3-3): W: Ga Tech, Miami. L: Virginia, Virginia Tech
Duke (1-5). W: Duke. L: Ga Tech, Miami

Miami at Georgia Tech [Thu]: The top two teams in the Coastal Division fight it out for a spot in the ACC Championship game. If Tech wins, it could set off the mother of all tie-breaking procedures.
NC State at North Carolina: The Tar Heels have to get up off the mat after seeing their Orange Bowl dreams all but flame out. Look out: NC State is getting warm.
Clemson at Virginia: The Wahoos still have a shot at winning their division. Who would have thought that they would but Clemson wouldn't?
Boston College at Wake Forest: Are there any two teams in this league that drive you more bananas?
Duke at Virginia Tech: Duke's mission is to upset the Hokies attempt to win the division.
Florida State at Maryland: Maryland actually controls their own destiny and gets the Noles in their backyard. Best game of the week.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sportz' BSC Playoff Picture

Another week ... but not as much shakeup:

#1-Alabama (SEC Champ)
#2-Texas Tech (Big XII Champ)

#12-Cincinnati (Big East Champ) vs #5-Oklahoma
#11-Miami (ACC Champ) vs #6-USC (Pac10 Champ)
#10-Boise State at #7-Penn State (Big Ten Champ)
#9-Ohio State at #8-Utah (Top ranked non-BCS Champ)

I have 12 teams make the BSC: the champion from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big XII, SEC and Pac10. I also make it mandatory that the highest rated non-BCS school gets a playoff spot. The remaining five spots go to at-large teams ... with the cutoff point at three schools from one conference.

There are seeds and the games are played at the higher seed's home. The top four seeds get a first round bye. Obviously, I'm guessing on who would win the conference championship games.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Farewell to FireJoeMorgan

Goodbye to

"After 21 years, and almost 40 million posts (we'll have to check those numbers, but it's something like that), we have decided to bring FJM to an end.Although we have not lost our borderline-sociopathic joy for meticulously criticizing bad sports journalism, the realities of our professional and personal lives make FJM a time/work luxury we can no longer afford.

We started this site with two purposes: to make each other laugh, and to aid and abet the Presidential campaign of Bob Barr. Although we failed in the latter goal, we gleefully succeeded in the first, and thanks to a grassroots internetty word-of-mouth kind of a deal, we appear to have positively affected the lives of actual citizens as well, which astonishes and delights us to this day. We really never thought FJM would be for anyone but us. We are thrilled and kind of humbled to have been proven wrong."

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Crazy ACC

Another wild week in the ACC. Here is the update, with the list of division teams they have beaten:

Wake Forest (4-2): W: Florida State, Clemson. L: Maryland
Florida State (4-2): W: Clemson, NC State. L: Wake Forest
Maryland (3-2): W: Wake Forest, Clemson, NC State
Boston College (2-3): W: NC State. L: Clemson
Clemson (2-4): W: Boston College, NC State. L: Maryland, Wake Forest
NC State (1-4): L: Maryland, Clemson, Boston College

Virginia Tech (3-2): W: Ga Tech, North Carolina
North Carolina (3-2): W: Ga Tech, Miami. L: Virginia, Virginia Tech
Miami (3-2): W: Virginia, Duke. L: North Carolina
Georgia Tech (4-3): W: Duke. L: Virginia, Virginia Tech
Virginia (3-3): W: Ga Tech, North Carolina. L: Miami, Duke
Duke (1-4). W: Duke. L: Ga Tech, Miami

Virginia Tech at Miami: Huge game in the Coastal Division. A Hokies win puts them as the favorite to win it.
North Carolina at Maryland: Big game for both surprise teams. It is pretty much a must-win for both teams.
Boston College at Florida State: The Noles are in a dogfight with Wake for the Atlantic Division lead. BC needs a win or they are done.
Wake Forest at NC State: Wake cannot fall asleep against the Atlantic Division doormat.
Duke at Clemson: Both teams are out of the conference race

Sportz' BCS Update - 11/9

A few upsets and some confidence building wins (well, my confidence) and here is how my BSC playoffs look now. Two conferences dominate the top five seeds:

#1-Alabama (SEC Champ)
#2-Texas Tech (Big XII Champ)

#12-Pitt (Big East Champ) at #5-Oklahoma 3p
#11-Florida State (ACC Champ) at #6-USC (Pac10 Champ) 6p
#10-Boise State at #7-Penn State (Big Ten Champ) 12p
#9-Ohio State at #8-Utah (Top ranked non-BCS Champ) 9p

First round - 12/20
Second round - 12/27
Semifinals - 1/3
Championship - 1/10

Friday, November 7, 2008

Realigning the NFL Won't Solve Anything

Mike Florio of PFT and SportingNews wrote about radically re-aligning the NFL back to something like we had prior to 2002. Move back to three divisions in each conference.

I understand why he'd want to do this. We could have a bad Denver/San Diego team in the postseason but the Bills/Jets/Patriots/Colts/Ravens missing the playoffs.

Still, that is just the way it is. In baseball we see it all the time. With the realignment in the NBA, we have had bad teams with a lofty seeding. The NFL can't shake that either.

Even the old "three-team" format can't prevent this. In 1999, the Seahawks were 9-7 and won the AFC West. The three wildcard teams that year (Bills, Dolphins, Titans) were better. In 1990, the Bengals won the AFC Central with a 9-7 record. The Seahawks had the same record and missed the postseason. The 1988 Seahawks won the AFC West at 9-7 while the Colts and Pats sat home with the same mark.

But the best example was in 1985. The Cleveland Browns won the AFC Central with an 8-8 record. The Denver Broncos were 11-5 and missed the postseason.

See, it happened with three-divisions, too. Sure, the liklihood of is greater in a four-division format but that's just the way it is.

IF for some reason we did realign back to three divisions ... here we go:

AFC EAST: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots, Ravens
AFC CENTRAL: Browns, Bengals, Steelers, Colts, Titans, Jaguars

AFC WEST: Chiefs, Broncos, Raiders, Chargers, Texans

NFC EAST: Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles, Giants, Panthers

NFC CENTRAL: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings, Buccaneers, Falcons

NFC WEST: Cardinals, Rams, Niners, Seahawks, Saints

Don't worry about why I did any of it. It will never, ever, ever happen.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sportz' BSC Update - 11/6

I hate the BCS and no problem saying so. So, as I do every year, I'm delving into my yearly "BSC" playoff picture.

I have 12 teams make the BSC: the champion from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big XII, SEC and Pac10. I also make it mandatory that the highest rated non-BCS school gets a playoff spot. The remaining five spots go to at-large teams ... with the cutoff point at three schools from one conference.

There are seeds and the games are played at the higher seed's home. The top four seeds get a first round bye. Obviously, I'm guessing on who would win the conference championship games.

#1-Alabama (SEC Champ)
#2-Texas Tech (Big XII Champ)
#3-Penn State (Big Ten Champ)

#12-Maryland (ACC Champ) at #5-Florida noon
#11-West Virginia (Big East Champ) at #6-Oklahoma 3p
#10-Boise State at #7-USC (Pac10 Champ) 6p
#9-Ohio State at #8-Utah (Top ranked non-BCS Champ) 9p

I used the BCS standings to seed the teams. I did flip-flop Ohio State and Boise State since the Buckeyes have already played at USC this year.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Despite Not Being Elite, the Race For the ACC Championship Will Be Fun

No ACC team will be in the hunt for the National Championship. No ACC deserves to go to a BCS game.

But one will.

So the 2008 ACC football season is meaningful for one program who is in the guts of one of the wildest conference seasons ever.

No one outside the area cares, I'm sure, but pretty much every team enters November with a chance at a BCS bid. What other league can say that?

In the ATLANTIC DIVISION, the freaking Maryland Terrapins lead with a 3-1 mark. This team lost to Middle Tennessee earlier this year! In the COASTAL DIVISION, Georgia Tech already owns a 4-2 record and the lead. Here are the standings along with their tiebreakers within their divisions:


Maryland (3-1): W: Wake Forest, Clemson, NC State

Wake Forest (3-2): W: Florida State, Clemson. L: Maryland

Florida State (3-2): W: NC State. L: Wake Forest

Clemson (2-3): W: Boston College, NC State. L: Maryland, Wake Forest

Boston College (2-3): W: NC State. L: Clemson

NC State (0-4): L: Maryland, Clemson, Boston College


Georgia Tech (4-2): W: Duke. L: Virginia, Virginia Tech

Miami (3-2): W: Virginia, Duke. L: North Carolina

Virginia (3-2): W: Ga Tech, North Carolina. L: Miami, Duke

Virginia Tech (2-2): W: Ga Tech, North Carolina

North Carolina (2-2): W: Miami. L: Virginia, Virginia Tech

Duke (1-3). W: Duke. L: Ga Tech, Miami

As you can see, it is up in the air. In the ATLANTIC DIVISION, only 1.5 separate first from fourth (and 4th place BC still gets a crack at 1st place Maryland). In the COASTAL DIVISION, Georgia Tech lead but the only team they've topped within the division is last place Duke. The Jackets have a huge game at North Carolina this Saturday before hosting Miami.

Only NC State and Duke are really out of a shot at a BCS bid. Everyone else kind of controls their own destinies.
I'm sure Tampa is gripping for a Georgia Tech-Maryland title tilt.

Friday, October 31, 2008

This Commercial Needs to Stop!!!!

Please ... for the love of God ... make this commercial go away!!!

As I watch ESPN every morning before I go to work, I see the above commercial about 17 times in that period. It was one thing when it was just my sports shows, but now the commericals have leaked over to shows my wife watches to.

That "I had no idea my gold jewelry was worth so much money" feels like nails on a chalkboard!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stuff Like This Is Why Baseball Lost Me

You wouldn't know it now, but I grew up a HUGE baseball fan. Baseball was my love as my uncle played, coached and managed in the Major Leagues and my grandfather was Pete Rose's knothole (Little League) coach.

For the last 15-20 years, though, my love for baseball just isn't there anymore. I do like watching it from time to time, but it rarely pulls me in. Heck on Monday night, I watched the Colts-Titans Monday Night Football game (which I had no vested interest in) and not Game 5 of the World Series.

What happened in that Game 5 as I switched to it now and then was just pitiful. You all know what happened, so I won't go back into it.

I see it as Bud Selig gripping to have the Rays tie that game up so he could shut it down and not have to have a rain-shortened game end the World Series. I understand that, but there are rules in baseball in the regular season that also apply to the post-season (Joe Buck even stated that during the game).

Yet Selig admits that he wouldn't let a game end that way. What? Are we making rules up as we go now?

What if the Phillies were up 10-2 again? Would he have said it was cool to end it now? I mean, it does seem like a tough deficit but this is baseball were anything can happen as long as you haven't used all your outs.

I've been using this statement in other areas in my life: I'm not complaining as much about what just happened but the underlying circumstances that lead to it.

Halloween is Friday night. The World Series could still be going on then. That is freakin' ridiculous. Northern cities aren't fit for baseball on Halloween. There were snow flurries in Colorado during last year's "Winter Classic".

My view of World Series of late are players shivering in the dugout, players wearing hats with earflaps, long-johns and fans huddled under blankets. Ya know, a football game atmosphere.

I just said "my view". That's because you need to be in your 30s to actually watch these things. The games start at 8:37pm and end around midnight. The next generation of fans (kids) aren't watching these games finish. Most people who have a first shift job aren't watching these games finish either.

It isn't an overstatement either. I was a sophomore in high school during the 1991 World Series and missed several of the great finishes of those games. I did see the entire Game 7 ... but missed Kirby Puckett's awesomeness in Game 6. I would wake up to go to school and watch SportsCenter in the morning to see what happened in the game that previous night.

I'm far from a purist. I think more teams should be in the playoffs and want a 7-game divisional series. I do think some games/days should be shaved off the schedule and the playoffs started in September. Why can't we have a World Series day game on Saturday? Oh yeah, college football fans won't watch.

Well, many fans aren't watching right now anyway. It's like catching Saturday Night Live, Letterman or Leno: you see the first third of the show to see if anything interesting is happening, then shut it down and ask someone tomorrow if anything cool happened later on.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pheeling Phor Philly

With the Philadelphia Phillies on the brink of winning the World Series, I just wanted to congratulate the people of Philly.

This will be their first major professional championship since 1983. That year, the Sixers swept the Lakers for the NBA title. Since then, the Phillies lost the 1993 World Series, the Flyers lost the 1987 and 1998 Stanley Cup Finals, the Sixers lost the 2001 NBA Finals and the Eagles lost Super Bowl XXIX.

The Villanova Wildcats did win the NCAA Tournament in 1985.

The Phillies have been extra sad. In 125 seasons of Phillies baseball, their only World Series title came in 1980. Last year, they became the first franchise to lose 10,000 games.

When Boston fans were feeling cursed, I defended the city of Philly but citing their woes. Now you will get back to the big time.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Redskins Mid-season Report Card

QUARTERBACK: A. Jason Campbell has done an outstanding job learning Jim Zorn's West Coast Offense. We have broken a team record for pass attempts without an interception. Seriously, how amazing is it that any quarterback has started eight games and not throw a pick? Now how much more amazing is it that it is a guy who is learning his seventh system in eight years? His fumbling has returned, which worries me.

RUNNING BACK: A+ I was worried that WCO would mean less Redskins Offense. Run. Run. Run. Big play. Turns out that Zorn has dedicated himself to the run and Clinton Portis is having an MVP season. Portis leads the NFL in rushing and has tied O.J. Simpson's record for five straight games with at least 120 yards rushing. The Ladell Betts injury sucks and Shaun Alexander is showing me nothing.

WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT END: B Santana Moss started off with a bang, cooled off, and has now reasserted himself. Teams are scared to let him get going. Antwaan Randle El is having a pretty good year too, albeit nothing outstanding. Chris Cooley is as solid as they come. Rookies Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly have done nothing.

OFFENSIVE LINE: B I am satisfied with the line, though Campbell has been seeing a lot of pressure. Injuries at tackle have hurt. Still, this unit is blocking for the NFL's leading rusher.

DEFENSIVE LINE: C- They are doing a nice job stuffing the run, but do they know what a quarterback looks like? We still can't sack anybody unless they hold onto the ball for an hour.

LINEBACKERS: B London Fletcher is freakin' amazing. Rocky McIntosh and Marcus Washington are better than solid.

SECONDARY: A That grade is a bit inflated, but this unit has done an outstanding job despite all the injuries they've had to deal with. This secondary has held down the Giants, Saints, Cowboys, Eagles, Cardinals and Browns passing attacks. Chris Horton is an absolute steal!

KICKING: D. Scott Suisham is nice, but our punting still sucks.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C- We've allowed a couple of kick returns for TDs and Antwaan Randle El just isn't getting it done as a punt returner.

COACHING: B I must admit that I wasn't sold on Jim Zorn. Oddly, it was how he handled the loss to the winless Rams that sold me. I wanted to see him handle some adversity and he really kept his "stay medium" attitude.

Mike Singletary Is the Best Coach to Ever Hold a Whistle

Mike Singletary is my favorite coach to ever coach anything!

Why haven't we had a coach walk right into a job and completely call out a player before? And this wasn't something where a coach was out of line by placing blame on a player (coaches usually shoulder the blame publically).

How would you like to be Vernon Davis right about now?

By the way, I'm getting ready to run through a wall for Coach Singletary.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Where Have You Gone, Zubaz Man?

Why was this ever in style??? And why did I have some UNC Zubaz shorts back in the day? Ugh!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Phillies Need to Bring Back the Pinstripes

Congrats to the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays for getting to the World Series.

One request: the Phillies need to change their jerseys back to the days of their 1980 World Series championsip.
We need these jerseys back in our lives!

Sportz' NFL 7/17 Mark Review

With the NFL season 7/17 (or 41%) over, it seems like a good time to look at what we've seen. BTW, I have no idea who that guy is in the picture:


Surprise: Washington Redskins. The Redskins have to be the division's biggest surprise. Who had them at 5-2 and leading the wildcard standings?

Disappointment: Dallas Cowboys. The Boys were supposed to be dominate. A record of 4-3 and getting spanked by the Rams say otherwise.

Who's gonna win: New York Giants. Of all the teams in the division, the G-men seem to be the most consistent. Yeah, we can point to that Browns game last week but I think they've shown to be the division's top team.


Surprise: Atlanta Falcons. Rookie quarterbacks aren't supposed to lead a 4-2 team. Michael Turner and Roddy White have turned into top tier players.

Disappointment: New Orleans Saints. Those Saints have had all kinds of injuries that they haven't had a chance. Still, it is surprising to see them deep in the division basement.

Who's gonna win: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Carolina is a very good team but Tampa seems to be putting it all together right now. As long as Jeff Garcia can stay happy and healthy, they are the team to beat.


Surprise: Chicago Bears. Not a huge surprise, but who knew that they'd look like the favorite to win the division? With Kyle Orton at QB no less?

Disappointment: Minnesota Vikings. They were the darkhorse to win the NFC this year and have really been inconsistent. That vaunted defense has just looked horrible this year.

Who's gonna win: Chicago Bears. The Packers have fought back with a couple of wins ... but I trust the Bears defense a bit more.


Surprise: St. Louis Rams. Yeah, that 2-4 record isn't a surprise ... but beating the Redskins and Cowboys in successive weeks sure is!

Disappointment: Seattle Seahawks. Look, this team has been decimated by injuries and is a sad way for Mike Holmgren to leave the Pacific Northwest.

Who's gonna win: Arizona Cardinals. They are the only team in this division worth a crap.


Surprise: Buffalo Bills. They aren't pretty; they just get the job done.

Disappointment: New England Patriots. They can't help it that Tom Brady is lost for the year. But how does this record setting offense only muster 89 points this season (only the Chiefs have scored less).

Who's gonna win: Buffalo Bills. I need to see them against New England.


Surprise: Tennessee Titans. Who had the Titans as the NFL's last undefeated team? Anyone?

Disappointment: Indianapolis Colts. I hate the "they could be" line ... but the Colts could be 1-5 right now. Two wild comebacks against the Vikes and Texans have them at an ugly 3-3.

Who's gonna win: Tennessee Titans. It's been a long time since I've seen a team with both an offensive and defensive line that was so dominant.


Surprise: Baltimore Ravens. Not some huge surprise (they are only 3-3). Who else in this division is doing anything unexpected?

Disappointment: Cleveland Browns. How in the world did this offense look good last season?

Who's gonna win: Pittsburgh Steelers. And they should wrap this thing up in a few weeks.


Surprise: Denver Broncos. Teams with defenses this bad shouldn't hold division leads.

Disappointment: San Diego Chargers. The Bolts are following the Colts example of a disappointment. Can somebody wake up LaDainian Tomlinson?

Who's gonna win: San Diego Chargers. I'm banking on someone waking him up.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

That Miami-Florida State Experiment Didn't Work ... So Let's Realign the ACC

The ACC has the worst division setup ever. For football, they split into two six-team divisions to set up a conference championship game.

Instead of geography, the ACC decided to just divide the teams in no real manner ... aside from trying to have nothing but Miami-Florida State title tilts. That hasn't happened once since the league expanded and doesn't look as if it will happen anytime soon.

So why not just screw the idea and make the divisions better? The fact that the four North Carolina schools aren't in the same division is just stupid.

Sure, the ACC doesn't have an easy geographical divide. If you did a true "North" and "South" division it would split up the four NC teams. The league doesn't really have an East or West either.

So let's just put the four NC schools together ... add in Clemson (since they are in South Carolina) ... then add in Georgia Tech. The other six schools can all go to the other division.

ATLANTIC: Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, NC State, North Carolina, Wake Forest
COASTAL: Boston College, Florida State, Maryland, Miami, Virginia, Virginia Tech

Unless you want to have a North and South, but that will split up the NC schools

NORTH: Boston College, Maryland, NC State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest

SOUTH: Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina

How about the East/West?

EAST: Boston College, Maryland, Miami, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest

WEST: Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, NC State, North Carolina

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sucks To Be the Cowboys!

As a Redskins fan, my heart goes out to the Dallas Cowboys.

It sucks that we beat them in their yard. And then they barely beat the 0-6 Cincinnati Bengals. And then they lose to the Arizona Cardinals.

It sucks that Tony Romo will be out for a month and that 400-year old Brad Johnson will take his place. It sucks that Felix Jones and Terence Newman are also hurt.

It sucks that they will play the Buccaneers and Giants while Romo is out.

It sucks that Terrell Owens is bitching. It sucks that Greg Ellis is too.

It sucks that Pacman Jones is now out at least a month after being suspended by the NFL. It sucks that Jerry Jones' investigation came up as "all good!"

Man, I am hurting!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Workin' For a Rays-Phillies World Series

FOX Sports would love to see a Red Sox-Dodgers series. So would Major League Baseball. So would advertisers. And I'm guessing, so would you.
Not me. I want the Phillies-Rays in the World Series.
It is a matter of comfort. I don't hate Phillies fans. I don't hate the small amount of Rays fans. I have grown tired of Boston fans over the past couple years (and call it being a "hater" if you want). I really don't hate Dodger fans, but they seem to come out of the woodwork right now.I mean, we just got rid of Chicago fans.Since my Reds suck, I've hitched onto the Tampa Bay bandwagon. Who wouldn't love to see this team come from no where to the World Series?
I also have no hard feelings against Philly and feel sorry that they have just that one championship in 100+ years of baseball.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Week 2 Predictions!

Last week, I went 11-5.  This week, I hope to a bit better.

PACKERS AT LIONS:  Detroit will give Green Bay a game.  Why?  The Chewbacca Theory:  It just doesn't make sense.  Still, G-Bay takes it.  PACKERS WIN!

RAIDERS AT CHIEFS:  Did any team look worse than Oakland last week?  The Chiefs suck, too, but they did a decent job against New England last week.  CHIEFS WIN!

GIANTS AT RAMS:  Man, there are some bad teams to start off the picks, eh?  Plaxico Burress goes off on the Lambs.  GIANTS WIN!

COLTS AT VIKINGS:  The Colts are the better team and all of that ... but I think Minnesota pulls this one out.  If Matt Forte blew up Indy's defensive line, what will Adrian Peterson do?  VIKINGS WIN!

TITANS AT BENGALS:  Same thing here.  Bengals couldn't block the Ravens defensive front.  Now they get to face a better one.  TITANS WIN!

SAINTS AT REDSKINS:  I love my boys ... but how can I pick them after that horrible showing last Thursday!?!?!  SAINTS WIN!

BEARS AT PANTHERS:  This should be a close game (not a great one).  I think Carolina gets the win here.  Amazing that they could end up 2-0 without Steve Smith.  PANTHERS WIN!

BILLS AT JAGUARS:  There are a lot of people on the Buffalo bandwagon.  I'm not one of them.  JAGS WIN!

NINERS AT SEAHAWKS:  Seattle looked really bad against those Bills last week.  But the Niners aren't good enough to expose it.  SEAHAWKS WIN!

FALCONS AT BUCCANEERS:  Tampa's defense isn't what it once was ... but it is quite good enough to mess with Matt Ryan.  BUCS WIN!

PATRIOTS AT JETS:  I wanna pick New England in this one ... but I just can't.  I just don't want those Favre Fanatics to keep barking about ol' Brett.  JETS WIN!

DOLPHINS AT CARDINALS:  Miami has lost 20 of 22.  How can you pick them with odds like that?  CARDS WIN!

CHARGERS AT BRONCOS:  I do think San Diego will be itching to make a statement this week.  I also think that Denver is good enough to deal with it.  BRONCOS WIN!

STEELERS AT BROWNS:  Pittsburgh looked just as good as the Dallas Cowboys did last week.  Now they get to face Dallas' opponent.  STEELERS WIN!

EAGLES AT COWBOYS:  Philly usually plays the Cowboys tough, no matter where the game is held.  The final PHI-DAL game at Texas Stadium will end with a win for the home guys.  COWBOYS WIN!


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sportz Assassin's Week 1 Picks

Alright, Week 1 of the NFL season is upon us.  So, without delay ... here we go with my picks:

Redskins-Giants:  Both teams have injury issues.  The last time these two met, Washington cruised to a win.  Since then, Eli Manning has surged.  I just think this is too much for Washington right now.  GIANTS WIN.

Bengals-Ravens:  Both teams suck.  At least the Bengals are starting an Pro Bowler with a broken beak.  Ravens are starting the new fish.  BENGALS WIN.

Jets-Dolphins.  I think this will be a darn good game.  I know the Jets made some nice offseason moves, but they won just three more games than the NFL-worst Dolphins.  Still, Favre will find a way to pull this out.  JETS WIN

Chiefs-Patriots.  Are you kidding me?  PATRIOTS WIN

Texans-Steelers.  Houston is everyone's trendy darkhorse.  Yeah, I look for teams without a starting running back and a QB tandem of Matt Schaub and Sage Rosenfelds as my buzz-worthy pick.  STEELERS WIN.

Jaguars-Titans.  Interesting game.  The only thing is that David Garrard has more toys than Vince Young.  The boy with the most toys wins.  JAGS WIN

Lions-Falcons.  Why do we care?  LIONS WIN

Seahawks-Bills.  This is a game that makes us care about the Bills again.  Well, no.  But Seattle just has too much going against it right now.  BILLS WIN

Buccaneers-Saints.  Tampa should upset N'Awlins in this one.  I mean, the Saints have been in Indy practicing and not knowing what is going on with Hurricane Gustav.  I just won't bet against them right now.  SAINTS WIN.

Rams-Eagles.  The Eagles are focused ... while the Rams are just, well, not.  EAGLES WIN

Cowboys-Browns.  I'm not on the Cleveland bandwagon.  How could anyone?  COWBOYS WIN

Panthers-Chargers.  No Steve Smith for Kakalaka.  No win.  CHARGERS WIN

Cardinals-Niners.  This game is usually good in a morbid way.  Who would've thunk we'd be seeing Kurt Warner vs JT O'Sullivan?  CARDINALS WIN

Bears-Colts.  So what if the Colts will be rusty?  COLTS WIN

Vikings-Packers.  I may be one of the few people rooting for Aaron Rodgers to do well.  With all that Brett Favre mess going on, he really showed a lot by trying his best to stay out of it.  I want Green Bay to shine on Monday night.  PACKERS WIN

Broncos-Raiders.  Denver is my sleeper pick.  Oakland is still Oakland.  BRONCOS WIN

Oklahoma City Thunder ... THUNDER?

                        Image:OKC Thunder.PNG

The Oklahoma City Thunder.  Really?


So far, I am unimpressed.  Sure, there is already going to be some hatred from me since I don't think Seattle should have lost their SuperSonics.  But, you have to move on.

But the Thunder?

First off, guys don't like professional franchises that don't end in an "s".  I mean, we don't like the MLS or WNBA, do we?  See, they have those weird non-s-ending names.

Not to say the NBA doesn't have that (Jazz, Magic), but those names aren't horrid.  The "Thunder" sounds like a Roller Derby team.

I can already see NBA writers with their "And The Thunder Rolls ... ", "Thunder Boom", "Bringin' the Thunder", "Thunder-ous" and all the other easy headlines this name makes.  I mean, what is Thunder but a noise?  Quick hot air. 

The other is this logo.  I mean, c'mon.  I know they are all strapped for time ... but you'd think they could come up with something better than a cross between the Nets and Bobcats logos.  We all know how awesome those logos sell.

Maybe we have just run out of names for our sports teams. 

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Goodbye, Junior


Let me just say that this is a good deal for the Reds ... and I am sad to see Griffey go.

Despite the fact that he never brought his greatness with him, I liked the Ken Griffey Jr era in Cincinnati.  I didn't love it because we never made the playoffs, barely even sniffed being in a race and we didn't get what we thought we were.

Since his first season here, he has never been near the top of the stats in home runs, RBIs or average.  We didn't get a steady dose of his gold glove.  He was more Grumpy than Griffey.

All that was evident in his final week in town ... as he was warming up at the plate as well as getting into it with announcer Jeff Brantley.  That's a sad way to part ways.

Still, Griffey was a star (albeit a dimmed one) on a franchise that needed one.

Having said that, the Reds did the right thing by moving him.  Sure, they are paying his salary for the rest of the season ($4 million), but they are getting a couple of pitching prospects for a guy that wouldn't be here after a season where the Reds are out of contention.

I'm also happy for Griffey, who is at the end of his career.  Sure, he may have a few years left of DHing and some outfield duty somewhere ... but his chances to play in a World Series are almost gone.  He is going to the AL Central leading White Sox, who's biggest move could be watching Manny Ramirez traded from Boston (it could happen).

This could be the first in a line of moves for the Reds.  Adam Dunn's name is being bandied about Tampa Bay;  Josh Fogg is rumored to be heading back to Colorado.  Griffey's trade is ... for some, FINALLY ... the first move in an attempt to transition from the Griffey-Dunn Era to the Bruce-Votto Era. 

As I'm sad to see you go, good luck in Chicago, Junior!  I'll be rooting for you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What If the NFL Divisions Weren't Realigned?

When the Houston Texans joined our little NFL club back in 2002, the NFL decided it was time to realign into four divisions in two conferences (good move).

Still, it is always fun to go back and see how things would shape up had the NFL decided to keep the three division format (and, for arguments sake, putting the Texans in the NFC West).

AFC EAST:  Buffalo, Indianapolis, Miami, New England, NY Jets.
Now this is a division!  The Colts and Pats have been two of the most successful and photogenic teams ... so imagine if they (a) were fighting for a division title every year and (b) we got two games between them ... or maybe three!  Aside from that, everything would look the same ... except for some sad faces in Buffalo, Miami and NYC.

AFC CENTRAL:  Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tennessee
This was the only division with six teams and it had quite a run.  This is essentially the new AFC North with the Jags and Titans thrown in there ... two teams that were very successful right before realignment.  This would be one heck of a division with the Steelers trying to fend off the Jags and Titans (I love that Pitt-Jax rivalry!!!!) ... with Cleveland not too far behind.  Cincinnati and Baltimore both have talent ... but it isn't enough.

AFC WEST:  Denver, Kansas City, Oakland, San Diego, Seattle.
Remember that Seattle was an AFC team ... and judging what's been going on, they'd dominate their West division too.  Would it be any solace to Seahawks fans that if not for realignment ... they wouldn't have had to see their team get screwed over in Super Bowl XL?

NFC EAST:  Arizona, Dallas, NY Giants, Philadelphia, Washington.
The only addition is the Cardinals, who were then ... and still would be ... always trying to be a somebody in this division (or any division).  Still, Cards fans would love seeing the Cowboys come by every year.

NFC CENTRAL:  Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota, Tampa Bay.
Again, the only change is adding the Bucs, who sadly didn't get to strut their stuff as an Black-N-Blue Division beast.  Still, it would be a nice race with the Packers, Bucs and Vikings fighting for the division title.

NFC WEST:  Atlanta, Carolina, Houston, New Orleans, San Francisco, St. Louis
This division had the most changes since, well, most of its teams weren't in the west.  On paper this year, this would be the weakest division.  The Rams have stunk, the Falcons will stink and the Niners have been stinking.  Houston hasn't ever made the playoffs.  The Panthers and Saints are the most likely to have success, but neither can be trusted to do so.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

R.I.P. Seattle SuperSonics


The city of Seattle is the latest place to get screwed by an owner with an agenda.

No more SuperSonics ... oh, unless another team magically shows up in a few years.  As we've seen in Charlotte, that isn't always a good thing to replace an old franchise with a new one immediately.  And cities like Kansas City, San Diego, Vancouver, Cincinnati and Buffalo haven't seen the NBA come back.

It seems that every time something like this happens, it is the team wanting new digs and the city not wanting to pay for it (or know that their consituents will be mad if they make them).  Forget that smaller market, crap ... Los Angeles lost two NFL teams in the same year. 

I do feel bad for Seattle.  I've seen the Charlotte thing up close and this is one of those heart wrenching things a city can have happen.  These Sonics have been to the Finals and have a NBA Championship, so their mark has been made. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Shaq Reminds Us What Kind of Child He Is


The blog world is abuzz over this video from that has Shaquille O'Neal doing a freestyle rap at a club and takes shots at one Kobe Bryant. 

Here are some of the lyrics:

"I'm a horse. Kobe ratted me out. That's why I'm getting divorced. He said Shaq gave a bitch a mil. I don't do that 'cause my name's Shaquille. I love 'em, I don't leave 'em. I got a vasectomy, now I can't breed 'em."

That doesn't include him getting the crowd involved in chanting, "Kobe, how's my ass taste!?!?"

In our new world of cameras and the ability to record video darn near everywhere, it doesn't take long for something like that to come to light.  When called out on this, Shaq had this to say:

"I was freestyling. That's all. It was all done in fun. Nothing serious whatsoever. That is what MC's do. They freestyle when called upon. I'm totally cool with Kobe. No issue at all. And by the way, don't forget, six albums, two platinum, two gold. Anybody who knows me knows I'm a funny freestyler. Check the NBA DVD when I was rapping about Vlade Divac during my first championship run. Please tell everybody don't make something out of nothing."

Stuff like that is only "funny" if the other person is there with you ... laughing along.  When it is across the country without the guy there to defend himself, it really isn't.

Even if he is being truthful, what the heck is that?

KOBE BEEF:  We were all led to believe that this beef between Shaq and Kobe was in a cease fire.  Maybe they are cool; maybe not.  But it has been three years since the hatchet was seemingly buried and we could all get along with our own lives. 

So where does this come from? 

Look, we all knew that if Kobe and the Lakers had beaten the Celtics in the NBA Finals last week, he would have had the ultimate stamp on his career.  As of now, Kobe detractors will always point to his three NBA rings and say, "yeah, but Shaq was the reason you got them."  And, yeah, they'd be kinda right.  Of course, Shaq needed a young Kobe and (really needed) a young Dwayne Wade to get him his rings, too.

Still, Kobe just took a team that really isn't molded into anything and won the toughest Western Conference in a long, long, long time.  He has as many MVP awards as Shaq has. 

WHAT DID YOU JUST DO?:  There is also that little issue of talking smack to a guy who led his team to the Finals ... while you sat at home watching. 

This is the same Shaq that was bailed out of Miami (ya know, cuz they really sucked) and went to Phoenix.  Mind you, the Suns had the best record in the conference when they made that trade.  They ended up as the #6 seed, losing to the San Antonio Spurs in the first round.

Kobe's Lakers beat those Spurs in just five games in the WCF. 

To me, it is hard to come at a guy who had a season as Kobe had.  Remember, before the Gasol trade, the Lakers were right there in the mix as one of the best teams in the West.  And that team was playing Kwame Brown a lot. 

I understand there are the people that loathe Kobe Bryant and I understand most of their issues (as a Laker fan, I know he is a first class jerk).  Still, you have to be quite the moron to fault Kobe for not singlehandedly beating a 66-win Celtics team.

HOME WRECKER:  The worst part is Shaq pinning his failed marriage on Kobe.  What?

Sure, maybe Kobe crossed the "code" by squealing on Shaq during his Colorado fiasco of 2004.  Was he lying?  If so, then how could that ruin Shaq's marriage?  If he wasn't, I guess needing a little on the side means your marriage was already ruined.

Plus, it has been several years since this all went down.   Why would what Kobe said affect Shaq's marriage over the last few months? 

Because of the language of this rap, Shaq has lost his crime fightin' badge.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tiger Woods Touched Me and Walked Away

Last week, I was laid up in my house with kidney stones (uh, don't ever, ever, ever, every get 'em) so sleeping and watching TV were my two hobbies.

The US Open brought me some quiet relief as I got to just chill and listen to the soft sounds of the great game.  DirecTV (you aren't a sports fan unless you have it) had a package of four channels covering the event ... with one of the channels devoted to "the premiere group".

Needless to say, that premiere group included Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott on Thursday and Friday.

I am like many sport-lovin' Americans: I like golf, but don't really sit and watch it like that.  I will admit that I'm more apt to tune in to Sunday's final round if Tiger is involved than if he wasn't.  I hate that I'm like that ... but it is the truth.

So, this weekend was great.  Friday's action was tremendous ... I didn't get to see much of Saturday's play ... but Sunday afternoon I got in Tiger's back 9 and saw some great golf.  Monday's drama was great and -- for once -- all the post-hype around it is very deserved.  If only the people who were hooked in would stick around.

Since Tiger is done for the season, there will be a ton of fans that will be lost for the year too.  They, like me, want to see the Big Bad Tiger and all his greatness dominate (or pull out the tough victory).  Most don't want to see ... well ... those other guys.

That is a shame ... and a reality. 

I just hope that someone or a couple of someones do something extraordinary during this Tiger-free season.  Just as the NBA went a few seasons without Michael Jordan ... we need to see someone else try and take that place near or at the top of the golf world.  Maybe when Tiger comes back, someone will have the cojones and confidence to challenge him on a weekly basis.

As the whole Rocco Mediate Love Fest shows you, fans do long for someone to walk beside Tiger and make him ... at least ... work to win.

Hopefully I will stick around and watch.  I honestly will try to do so.

Lakers Seem to Always Duck Out of the Playoffs in Heartless Fashion


I am a Laker fan, and while I'm not surprised the Celtics beat us in the NBA Finals ... it was a bit frustrating to see them get punked in Game 6.  Losing by 39 points when your season (and a championship) is on the line is unbelievable.

However, should I have expected any different from the purple and gold?

To show us the point is a good friend LBerg who threw up some great numbers on the Lakers recent past in exiting playoffs.  Folks, it ain't pretty:


During the other night's debacle, it dawned on me that this was pretty much a rerun of how the last several Lakers playoff runs have ended.  So I went back and had a look at the scores of the last games of our last several playoff appearances:
2003 - SA 110 @ Lakers 82
2004 - Det 100 Lakers 87 (game was not as close as score - Lakers were down 30+ in second half)
2006 - Phx 121 Lakers 90
2007 - Phx 119 Lakers 110 (another game not as close as final score iirc)
2008 - Bos 131 Lakers 92
With the exception of 2006, all of these were series in which the wheels came off, where we were completely dismantled.  But 2006 of course might have been the worst one of all as we became only the 8th team in the history of the NBA to blow a 3-1 series lead.  And we were also destroyed in Game 5 of that series by a score of 114-97.
These playoff meltdowns don't paint a pretty picture for a team that has the best player in the game (and also had the Most Dominant Ever in 2003 and 2004) and the best coach.  It's one thing to lose in the playoffs, it's another to lose while getting humiliated.  Over and over again.
We had a great season and the future appears bright.  But Phil's 9th championship and Kobe's 3rd are getting more and more distant in that rear view mirror.  Most troubling is that when we've lost at whatever respective point in the playoffs the past several years, it's been in series in which we couldn't find sustainable answers for what the opposition was doing to us and we basically fell apart and then flat out quit in the final game of these series.  Not a pretty picture.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Junior Hits #600


Congrats to Ken Griffey, Jr and his 600th career home run.  He becomes only the sixth Major Leaguer to do it ... and the first in decades that didn't have a whiff of steroids surrounding the achievement.

I'm one of those people that never want to see Griffey out of a Reds' uniform.  Sure, the past eight seasons haven't been very good for the Red Legs, but it isn't all his fault (yes, he's the highest paid player and has had injury issues).

I just don't want to see the Reds pimp Griffey like the Giants did Bonds:  after Bonds collected the all-time HR record, the team all but wanted to push him out the door.  I don't want to see the same thing happen to Junior, even if his contract is expiring.

One of the great things about the Reds is their ability to embrace their history.  The Big Red Machine is still beloved whenever they get together.  Tom Browning is a hero.  Joe Nuxhall has been a legend.  This is the one city (besides Las Vegas) that Pete Rose can go and people still love him. 

It hasn't been like that for a while, at least not since the end of Barry Larkin's career.  The Reds fans haven't embraced anyone in the manner they used to.  It is a shame, because while he haven't had a front seat for Ken Griffey, Jr's prime ... we have been privileged to have one of the greatest players in baseball history call this town home.

Why would we push him away?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Interesting World Series Info

-The Reds are the only NL team since 1963 to sweep the World Series (1976, 1990)

-The last time two teams were both making their first World Series appearance was in 1906.

-Since 1920, the only time both World Series participants were titleless was 1980.

-We've never had a World Series featuring two 'expansion' teams.

-The 1990s were the first time since the 1930s that we didn't have a Yankees-Dodgers World Series.  It looks like it won't happen this decade, either.

-Since 1975, all World Series have been different matchups.  Meaning that there have been no duplicate series during that time period.

-The Boston Red Sox have played all current non-expansion NL teams in the World Series ... except the Braves.  They've faced the Reds, Cubs, Phillies, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants and Pirates.

-The Yankees have beaten all eight in a World Series.  They've also lost to six of the eight (not the Cubs or Phillies).

-The Colorado Rockies are the only franchise to face Boston in the World Series, but not the Yankees.

-The last six World Series has featured at least one Wild Card team. 

-The National League hasn't had home field advantage in the World Series since 2001.

-The only current teams to have never made the World Series are the Tampa Rays, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals.

-The Astros, Brewers, Padres and Rockies are the only franchise that have made the World Series but never won it.  The Padres are the only team to have made it more than once.

-The Florida Marlins own two World Series championships.  They own zero division titles.

-The Florida Marlins have never lost a playoff series.

-The Florida Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays are the only franchises to have made multiple World Series appearances and not lost.

-The Cubs, Giants and Reds are the only NL teams to win back to back World Series.

-The Red Sox, Yankees, A's and Blue Jays are the only AL teams to win back to back World Series.

-The Braves have won World Series in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta.

News Flash: The Reds Suck Again!


We have just entered May, but it already seems as if the 2008 season for the Cincinnati Reds will end the same way it has for the last 13 years:  without a playoff appearance.

The Reds are now 12-20 ... which means they are on pace to go 60-102.  All this and the team really hasn't had horrid injury issues, they've spent money and they hired a fairly successful (albeit controversial) new manager.

The GM has already been canned.

In reality, the biggest elephant in the room wears the #600.  When Ken Griffey Jr finally reaches the mighty 600 home run plateau, I fully expect the team to deal him away.  From a purely selfish standpoint, I don't want to see that happen.  However, the only think Griffey has to offer the Reds is the pub (and ticket sales) when he gets to that mark and the prospects he would be worth to a contending franchise. 

Obviously, the Reds would be fools to deal him now.  They can't wait to put the number 600 right into the media guide next to 4192.  Dealing him beforehand would be moronic. 

However, once he gets to the mark ... he's probably gone.

He could be followed out the door by Adam Dunn, who is seemingly always on the trading block.  There are other guys Cincy would surely want to deal away (Arroyo, Gonzalez) ... but would anyone want them?  The only veteran that I could see being off limits is Brandon Phillips. 

In will come those vaunted prospects from Louisville and Chattanooga and we will enter Florida Marlins territory. 

I don't mean disrespect when I say that.  It seems that there are two ways to win in today's baseball:  spend like a mo'fo or trade away your stars for top prospects.

The Marlins have chosen to do the latter.  They develop young talent into a contender for a season or two ... then deal them off (when they are due to get paid) for some more young talent.  Hey.  They've won a World Series doing exactly this.  Oakland and Minnesota have been pretty successful doing the same sorts of things.

There is no middle ground.  You very rarely see a team spend average amounts of money win.

The Reds have been stuck in this middle ground for a decade or so.  There is some good talent in the minors, but not an amazing amount.  There are some big salaries on the roster, but no one who wows you. 

And this is one of the reasons baseball has lost me a bit.  I used to love it but have now grown weary of it all.  While the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels and Mets can make constant trips to the postseason, the Reds, Brewers, Pirates and Royals can't get a sniff.

I'm not getting into all of that, but it does suck to sit here on Cinco de Mayo and know there is no point in the rest of the season.

Great Moments in Sports Video Games: Arch Rivals

Ahhhhh.  Remember Arch Rivals?  The old arcade and NES classic that featured two man teams going at each other with jump shots and right hooks.

You could be:

  • Blade: A crowd pleaser
  • Hammer: Rebound king
  • Lewis: Top shooter
  • Mohawk: Tough & mean
  • Moose: A real champ
  • Reggie: All-American
  • Tyrone: Defensive giant
  • Vinnie: A great player
  • You could play for Chicago, Los Angeles, New York or Denver.  Or how about Natural High and Brawl State? 

    Others tried but failed (including Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball, pictured below).  Arch Rivals had everything you wanted in a quick, B.S. style hoops game.


    Saturday, May 3, 2008

    Just Because You Struggle in the First Round Doesn't Mean You Still Can't Get There


    The Boston Celtics are looking at an embarassing Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.  Embarrassing because the Celtics were the NBA's best team during the regular season while the Hawks ... making their first postseason appearance in nearly a decade ... entered the playoffs with a losing record.

    We all might think this just shows this weakness to other teams which may try to exploit it.  Maybe ... but don't count the Celtics out of winning the whole shabang if they manage to pull out Game 7.

    Two teams in the last 20 years have had to go the distance in their first round series only to still go on and win the NBA Championship. 

    2000-Los Angeles Lakers.  The Lakers entered the postseason with the NBA's best record.  That still didn't keep them from struggling in the first round against the Sacramento Kings.  The Lakers won two, Kings won two, before LA closed it out in the series' final contest.  Shaq and Kobe would go on to win the NBA title.

    1995-Houston Rockets.  The defending champs were actually the 6th seed against Utah in the first round.  Still, the "heart of a champion" came through and Houston won the clinching Game 5 in Salt Lake City.  Houston would go on to repeat as champions ... sweeping Orlando in the NBA Finals.

    There have been six other teams in the last 20 years to go the distance in their first round series and gone on to lose the NBA Finals.

    2002-New Jersey Nets.  The Nets were pushed to a full five games in their first round series with the Indiana Pacers.  New Jersey would go on to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Lakers.

    2000-Indiana Pacers.  The same year the Lakers struggled with the Kings in the first round, the Pacers got all they wanted from the Milwaukee Bucks.  The series went the full five games with Indiana eeking out a 96-95 win in the final contest.  Indiana would go on to the NBA Finals and lose to the Lakers.

    1999-New York Knicks.  This one gets an asterick of sorts, because they were the #8 seed in a strike shortened season.  The Knicks took the #1 seeded Miami Heat to a full five games before disposing of them.  New York would go on an unprobable run to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Spurs. 

    1998-Utah Jazz.  We remember this Jazz team for nearly knocking off the Bulls in the Finals ... but they needed a full five games to beat Houston in the first round.  The Rockets actually had a 2-1 series lead before Stockton-n-Malone soared for the last two wins.

    1993-Phoenix Suns.  This was the MVP Charles Barkley season.  The Suns ... who had the NBA's best record ... actually lost their first two games against the Lakers (at home) in their first round matchup.  Suns eeked out elimination in Game 3, won Game 4 and pulled out an overtime victory in Game 5 to keep from being embarassed.

    1988-Detroit Pistons.  We all remember the magical Lakers-Pistons NBA Finals of that year.  Well, in nearly didn't happen (and not just because the Lakers needed to win Game 7s against the Jazz and Mavs along the way).  No, Detroit had a heck of a time trying to rid themselves of the Washington Bullets in their first round meeting.  After blowing out the Bullets in the first two games, Washington went home and pulled out two to send it back to the Silverdome for a winner-take-all.  The Pistons won and made their first trip to the NBA Finals.

    Thursday, May 1, 2008

    Two Mo' College Football Bowls


    The NCAA has decided that we need two more college football bowl games ... bringing up the total to 34 bowls.  That means there will be 68 teams that will see postseason play next year.

    Unlike many, I like it.  Not because I think we need two more bowls or that I'll actually watch the games ... but there is nothing wrong with giving these kids one more opportunity to play a game they love.  For many of them, it will be their final game.

    The games will be in Washington and St. Petersburg.  That's not so bad.  I'm sure that fans and players will enjoy the sunny St. Pete weather and all the things the Tampa Bay area has to offer.  And how about D.C.?  I'm sure there will be no shortage of stuff to see and do there.


    Karl Malone is Nasty


    Karl Malone may be a Hall of Fame basketball player, but he's also in the Hall of Fame of horrible dads.

    It's one thing to dismiss your offspring ... it's another thing when his mom was 13 when she had her.

    Yeah, Malone is quite disgusting in so many ways.


    Friday, April 11, 2008

    New Reality Show: Sports Cheaters


    There is a new reality show in the works where the best sports cheaters of all time will be forced to live with each other.

    Picture it Big Brother, Survivior and the NBA playoffs rolled into one.   The house will be on 1919 Black Sox Lane.

    Danny Almonte: the 20 yr old Little Leaguer
    Bill Belichick:  Film auteur
    Barry Bonds:  He's got nothing to do right now.
    Tonya Harding:  Olympic Skater/Redneck
    Ben Johnson:  The Steroid O.G.
    Mark McGwire:  But let's talk about the future
    Milli Vanilli:  Okay, not sports.  But you need something else in there.
    Rosie Ruiz:  Cheated at the Boston Marathon
    Stella Walsh:  The dude/chick who won a gold medal

    The winner will be picked by the figure skating judges from the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.


    Friday, March 28, 2008

    I Wanna Move Some NCAA Conferences Around

    Let me start out by saying that I'm not using feelings and total logic on this.  This is just want I'd want to see from our NCAA conferences in football and basketball.

    I'd like to see all of the BCS conferences get to 12 teams and each of them have a conference championship game.  It's unfair that the Big Ten doesn't have one but the SEC, ACC and Big XII do. 

    Other than that ... well ...

    ACC NORTH:  Maryland, NC State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia
    ACC SOUTH:  Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Ga Tech, Miami, North Carolina

    The only change I have with the ACC is trading Boston College back to the Big East for West Virginia.  Nothing against BC (they've been a great addition to the conference) but it just seems like a better fit to have BC back in the Big East and moving WVU down the coast).

    Big Ten West:  Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Wisconsin
    Big Ten East:  Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue

    The lone change is adding the Irish to the Big Ten.  Get over yourselves, Notre Dame!  You belong in this conference. 

    I'd put Notre Dame in the East since they usually battle Michigan, MSU, Purdue and Penn State anyways.  The only thing I don't like is how strong that division is.  Oh, well.

    PAC-10 North:  BYU, Oregon, Oregon State, Utah, Washington, Washington State
    PAC-10 South:  Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Stanford, UCLA, USC

    Obviously the biggest change is adding BYU and Utah.  I think that the two Utah-based schools would add a lot to the conference and they certainly have the athletic departments to pull that off.

    SEC East:  Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Vanderbilt
    SEC West:  Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Miss State, Ole Miss

    No changes here, though it was tempting to send Arkansas to the Big XII. 

    Big XII North:  Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska
    Big XII South:  Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech

    Again, I wanted to add Arkansas in ... but there is nothing I'd send out.  Well, maybe Colorado to the Pac-10.

    Big East Football Conference:  Boston College, Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, Temple, UConn

    Now, this is the football league (yes, with Temple).  The basketball league, below, will be split into East and West.  Now, I can't have a Big East West Division because it sounds stupid.  How about the "Big Mid-East" then??? 

    Big East:  Boston College, Georgetown, Providence, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John's, UConn, Temple, Villanova

    Big Mideast:  Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville, Marquette, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Syracuse, Xavier

    Not perfect, but it will have to do.  I added Xavier because we needed to replace Notre Dame with a non-football school.  I added Temple because they deserve to be back in the Big East.  Now, these guys can play twice against teams in their conference (16 games) and then four against teams in the other league that won't count in the conference standings.

    Atlantic 10:  Charlotte, Dayton, Duquesne, Fordham, Geo. Washington, LaSalle, Rhode Island, Richmond, St. Joe's, St. Louis, UMass

    Taking Xavier and Temple out definitely takes a lot of the star power from this conference.  Oh, well.  And we're dumping St. Bonnie to one of those smaller eastern conferences.


    Friday, January 4, 2008

    Gimme a Caption: Mangino Edition

    Here is a pic of Kansas coach Mark Mangino after the Jayhawks Orange Bowl win yesterday.  What a great pic!

    First off, it's the robust Mangino holding an orange with a grin that could be viewed as "yeah, I'm really gonna start eating this."

    It also looks like he's holding it like he's gonna throw it at someone: "C'mon!  Call me fat one more time!"

    Or "Dude!  I make this grapefruit look like an orange!"

    Maybe he is just saying "daaaaaaa Bears!"

    I know, I know.  It is a cheap shot calling the man big ... but he is.  He is also one of the better coaches in college football right now.  How in the heck do you build a football program at Kansas??  I mean, they just won the freakin' Orange Bowl!  He also seems to be a nice guy (never met him, but just upon viewing the times I've seen him speak).

    Wednesday, January 2, 2008

    If the BCS Is So Great Part II: Use It For All The Bowls!!!

                                                    Pete Carroll

    In a week, we will get to see Ohio State and LSU battle for our college football national championship.  The BCS system set up that game ... so that's what we are stuck with.

    Again, I hate the BCS.

    However, if it is going to stay ... then why do we use it only for the title game?  Why not for AAAALLLLLLLLLL the bowl games?  I just watched USC blow up Illinois and Georgia maul Hawaii in so-called "BCS bowl games".  Are they unimportant now?

    They picked the friggin' game!

    So why not use the BCS formula to give us all the bowl games so teams ranked near each other get to face off.   Then sort them out in the bowls with an eye towards proximity and prestige to get this done.

    BCS:  #1 Ohio State v #2 LSU
    ORANGE:  #3 Virginia Tech v #4 Oklahoma
    SUGAR:  #5 Georgia vs #6 Missouri
    ROSE:  #7 USC v #8 Kansas
    FIESTA:  #9 West Virginia v #10 Hawaii

    COTTON: #11 Arizona State v #12 Florida
    GATOR:  #13 Illinois v #14 Boston College
    CAPITAL ONE:  #15 Clemson v #15 Tennessee
    OUTBACK:  #17 BYU v #18 Wisconsin
    CHICK FIL A:  #19 Texas v #20 Virginia
    ALAMO: #21 South Florida v #23 Auburn
    SUN:  #22 Cincinnnati v #24 Boise State
    INSIGHT: #25 UConn .... expand the rankings for the top 64 teams who are bowl eligible so we can match up all 32 bowl games.