Friday, December 19, 2008

This and That

Time to try out some new slants on stuff. On topic that I have yet to tackle is the Association (NBA for short). This is mainly due to the fact that I have little experience with the NBA being from the Kansas City area. With no team to root for in my short lifetime, its difficult to make good opinions on everything, but I am going to give it a shot.

The first thing that shocked me about the NBA this year is that 6 coaches have been fired. Those coaches are as follows:
PJ Carlesimo (Seattle-no-more SuperSonics-no-more, OKC)
Eddie Jordan (Washington Wizards)
Sam Mitchell (Toronto Raptors)
Randy Wittman (Minnesota T'wolves)
Maurice Cheeks (Philly 76'ers)
Reggie Theus (Sacramento Kings)

So 6 coaches have been fired from teams with a combined record of 38-112. That's bad. That's really bad. The leader of the group, the midwest's own OKC (I refuse to call them by their actual team name), is 2-24. They are doing so with Kevin Durant averaging 23.2 points per game and shooting 48.4% (last year he shot 28.8%) from 3-point land. Pretty astounding.

The point is that these teams are bad. But, there are only 30 teams in the NBA. Six of them have been fired. That's 20%, and it's not even halfway through the season.

Are these teams really going to be better off with an interim coach and finding some bottom of the barrel coach next year? Probably not. Maybe a couple of teams will improve cohesiveness this year and try to build upon it next year, but the majority will not improve by firing a coach in the first half of the season.

Philadelphia, the best of the bunch with a record of 11-14, is only one game out of the eigth spot in the Eastern Conference. Over the course of the season a couple of lucky bounces could put the team in the playoffs. It wouldn't matter because the East is so loaded at the top with Boston (3 superstars and Rajon Rondo quickly becoming an allstar), the Cleveland Lebrons and Orlando with the best big man in the game Dwight Howard.

Quick interjection. If someone told you 10 years ago that the best big man in the NBA would be named Dwight, what would you think? With the Association being a "Hip-Hop" league and the likes of Shaquille, Rasheed, Kevin (ok, normal name), and Yao dominating the league how can Dwight fit in? Have you seen The Office on NBC? Dwight is the dorkiest character in the world. Let that name roll off your tongue.... Dwight. Dwwwwiiiiightttttt. Six letters and only one vowel.

Don't even get me started on Dwayne.

Back to point. The East even has the Pistons, always dangerous in the playoffs, and the Heat with D-Wade and a cast of newbies who will only get better as the year goes on. These bad teams really don't have a chance this year with the talent they have on their rosters. Something big needs to happen like a large free agent signing. A new coach, especially the ones that would be available now, is not going to make the difference.

Now, I'm going to make some picks for y'all on the upcoming NFL games this weekend. I would do the college bowl games, but the games this weekend are not worth it (c'mon the New Mexico Bowl?!?!?). I'll do more later when the games start to get good.

at Dallas (-4.5) vs. Baltimore
I have Dallas because I think they need it and Baltimore is frustrated. This also opens the door for a second AFC East team to make the playoffs
Pit (-2) at Tenn
Pittsburgh is the hot team. They can stop the run and have a game changing QB in Big Ben. Collins is not the same QB Ben is.
Miami (-4) at KC
Kansas City has been so close recently, especially last week at home (22-21 lost to SD), I have them covering the spread. Tony G will have a big game in his last home game of the season.
Zona at NE (-7.5)
The Pats have been hot and are battling for a playoff spot. The game is outdoors in the cold and Anquan Boldin has not produced for Arizona (159 yards, 0 td's, 1 fumble lost in last 3 games), he was one of the reasons for their early season success.
Cincy at Cleveland (-3)
I'll take Cincy. They've played better lately and Ken Dorsey is starting for Cleveland. The Browns haven't had much time to get situated with him at QB.
Philly (-5) at Washington
The Eagles.
The better team. The hot team. Washington lost to Cincy last week for crying out loud. Washington is the old busted NFC East team and Philly is the new hotness.
San Fran (-5.5) at STL
take this one by a score. They are playing for Mike Singletary and want him to stay head coach next year.
Atlanta at Minnesota (-3.5)
This is a tough call. Minnesota just lost half of the Williams monster on the D-Line, so I have to give the edge to Burner Turner and Matty Ice with the ATL. I think the loss will have a huge impact on the Vikings.
NO (-7) at Det
Detroit only has 2 more chances to win a game. I dont think they do it this week as Drew Brees lights them up for an absurd amount of yards. The Saints still have a shot at the playoffs.
Carolina at NYG (-3)

The G-Men need to rebound, but I don't think they do it against the hot, hot, hot Panthers. They take it with a mix of Steve Smith and their incredible running game.
NYJ(-4) at SEA
Brett Favre and the Jets have been 0-3 on the West Coast this year, but they take this one to setup a huge matchup with Miami for the AFC East title. Watch for Leon Washington to have a big day in the return game and sneak in a TD somewhere.
Hou (-7) at Oak
Wouldn't be a shame if Houston finishes 9-7, first time in franchise history above .500, and don't make the playoffs. They consistently find ways to finish strong, which is why they win this game, but can't win early in the year. If they hadn't blown a huge lead against Peyton and the Colts in Week 11 they'd be in the mix.
Buff at Den (-6.5)
needs a win to lock up the AFC West and does so at home against a struggling Bills team. After starting 4-0 and then 5-1, their only victory has come against the hapless Chiefs 54-31. No other team has fallen from grace as quickly or as far as the Bills.
SD at TB (-3.5)
Jeff Garcia is expected to start this week for the Bucs, who have a perfect home record this year. Look for them to take the game and make SD irrelevant until next year. Of note, former Jayhawk Aqib Talib, is leading all rookies with 4 int's on the year. Rock Chalk baby.
GB at CHI (-4.5)
After the last meeting in week 11, the Packers looked like favorites for the division taming the Bears and getting their running game back (Ryan Grant 145 yards rushing). Since then the Pack has gone 0-4 and look like the Lions best chance for a victory in week 17. The Bears take this one, and the Pack looks to next year.

That's all for today. Have a great weekend and any feedback is awesome. Until next time...


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Day Late, A Dollar Short

So now its time for what at least one of you readers has been waiting for. My breakdown of the Royals off season moves so far.

The Royals have been one of the more active teams this off season, especially before the winter meetings that just happened. The moves that they have made so far are as follows:

- Royals trade for first baseman Mike Jacobs from the Florida Marlins for pitcher Leo Nunez
- Royals trade for centerfielder Coco Crisp from the Boston Red Sox for reliever Ramon Ramirez
- Royals took care of some house cleaning signing some minor leaguers and trading one bigger name prospect, Tyler Lumsden, to the Astros for cash or a player (ended up being an outfielder named Jordan Parraz)
- Royals signed Horacio Ramirez and Doug Waechter (both pitchers) to one year deals
- Royals signed Kyle Farnsworth to 2 year deal worth $9.25 million

So now that you know you that lets give a preview of the lineup
Catcher - Olivo or Buck (this needs to be fixed, we need to stick with one guy)
1B - Mike Jacobs
2B - ??, with the loss of Grudzy, I don't know who they will stick there. Maybe Aviles?
SS - Aviles, another acquisition or the Mendoza-esqe Tony Pena Jr.
3B - Gordon - you can't take him out of the lineup
LF - David Dejesus, or Jose Guillen if he plays the field
CF - Coco Crisp
RF - Either Dejesus or Mark Teahan, depending upon if Guillen plays the field. I expect he would, but you never know.
DH - Probably Butler, as Guillen I think they will play Guillen in the field, but also could be one of the extra outfielders (Teahan) or the backup Catcher (Olivo has a better bat, Buck better glove though not by much). Or, if they want, they can try Kila Ka'aihue.

The Rotation will not change much at the top and will hopefully look something like this:
1 - Gil Meche
2 - Zack Greinke
Gets a little fuzzier after that
3 - Brian Bannister
4 - Luke Hochevar
Really fuzzy
5 - Kyle Davies / Horacio Ramirez / John Bale/ A free agent?

The bullpen includes plenty of returnees as well as the new guys I mentioned:
- Farnsworth
- Dougie Dub (for w, of course)
- Duckworth
- Joakim Soria, of course
- Joel Peralta, who I wish they would get rid of because he just doesn't cut when we need him
- Robinson Tejeda, who they think will be a pretty good pickup
- Jimmy Gobble, who they should also get rid of
- Rob Mahay, who is making a cool $4 mill and a decent guy out of the pen
- Devon Lowery, I don't know who he is either, but he was a September call up last year

So, now time for the breakdown on the deals. I hope that the pickup of Mike Jacobs is a good one. The Royals have struggled to get any production from that position at the plate (see Ross Gload and Doug Mint-kay-vich) and Jacobs has produced over the last 3 years, the bulk of his major league experience. He's averaging about 23 home runs and 70+ RBI's a year. On the downside, he is striking out over 100 times a year. Doesn't have very much speed, but does have a good on-base percentage (career average over 300, which is good for the Royals). I think that if they have found someone who will produce from first base and play decent defense (career fielding percentage .990 which is good), they have a keeper. Plus, he's not quite 30 and he will be in the prime of his career with the other young talent the Royals have put together. The Royals did give up a solid pitcher in Leo Nunez, but they seem to be able to find guys in the pen that can produce on a consistent basis (Soria, Nunez, Andrew Sisco, Mike MacDougal when he was good). In my book a relief pitcher for a 20 and, optimistically, 80 guy at first base is a good deal.

The other big pickup is Coco Crisp. He has been on the Red Sox team for the last few years after having a stint with the Indians. Of note with the Red Sox, they won a lot of games. Bringing in the mentality of winning games I think is always important. This guys has been a part of a World Series and you can't argue with that.
The thing that I like most about Coco is that he fits that stereotypical leadoff hitter. Someone with a good OBP (.331 for his career) and can steal bases (Average of about 20 over the last 5 years). He gets a few home runs, but you don't expect that from the leadoff spot.
The Royals have experimented with Dejesus, Joey Gathright (who is with the Cubbies now) and some random infielders (German, Aviles) at the leadoff spot, but have not had any luck. This should give the team someone who gets on base for the likes of Guillen, Jacobs and Butler to drive in.
Also, Dejesus can move from center field and not have to run all over the place to get balls. This should help his production in the field and at the plate.
Kansas City gave up Ramirez, who had a sub 3 ERA last year, but did so with only one pitch, a fastball. I think that the same thing rings true with him as it did Nunez. He was a good bullpen guy. Something the Royals have actually been able to find in recent years. If Coco fits the mold of a leadoff hitter. He will be better than that decent middle reliever.

The bullpen moves don't really interest me that much at this time. It is a bunch of guys that I know very little about. Farnsworth is a decent pitcher, and Waechter had a good year last year for the Marlins (4-2, with a 3.69 ERA in 48 appearances). They should be good veteran additions to the pen.The Royals already have a closer and most of the starters (hopefully). If Soria is the same pitcher he was last year and the starters improve even a little bit, this team should be looking at right around a .500 record. If you couple the increase in pitching with the potential increase in offensive production, this could be a team that stays in the hunt for the division until August.

Hope this gets people excited for the season in Kansas City, I know that writing about all this stuff got me excited. Stay tuned and keep the comments coming!


Monday, December 15, 2008

This just in...

December 15th, 4:41pm MST

I just found out on that Carl Peterson resigned as the Chiefs GM.

Give me a minute.

Just another minute.





YES! Since Peterson had taken over as GM, every team in the AFC West (including the Seahawks, who are now in the NFC) has made it to the Super Bowl except the Chiefs.

Ryan Sims, Greg Hill, Rashan Salaam, the resigning of Preist Holmes to a huge deal, the resiging of Trent Green, the acquisition of Bam Morris, Tamarick Vanover, Elvis Grbac, selecting Larry Johnson in the first round, not playing him, then running him into the ground with an NFL record number of carries, then resigning him to a big deal when he wasn't happy, making Jared Allen unhappy, having him leave only a very short time after he opened a cool restaurant very close to the Boulevard Brewery (ok, we did get some good out of that deal, he was going to leave anyway cause he wasn't happy, at least we got draft picks), Gunther Cunningham as a Head Coach, having Eddie Kennison as a number 1 reciever, that tight end/fullback/Hback who I can't remember right now who was supposed to be awesome and wasn't, signing Eddie Drummond as a kick returner, Dale Carter, letting John Tait go, and the list goes on an on.

Let's hope we don't have to worry about that stuff anymore.

Now, I am really rooting for the Chiefs to lose so they can get a better draft pick. I doubt they will screw it up as much now!

This is even better than when I found out Billy Packer was out at CBS!


Someone's got a case of the Mondays

Mondays: Usually bad, unless you don't have to work and get to just screw around all day.

That was the case for me today as I worked this last weekend and got Monday/Tuesday off in return. Not a bad deal; I just don't get to watch as many sports. I will try to keep this on the level since I did not get as good of an opportunity as I thought I would to watch sports.

Let's start it off with the usually college football rant. Saturday, Sam Bradford was awarded the heisman trophy. I must say congratulations, and I told you so. If you refer back here I told you that he would most likely win the heisman with the numbers he was putting up. Do I agree with it?


Just like the rest of college football, I have a problem with the way the media hypes up everything and takes control of every outcome. In my opinion the heisman should have gone to Colt McCoy.

Before you go thinking I am a Texas fan I would like you to consider some numbers from the two teams and players(Oklahoma and Texas):

Bradford: 4464 yards passing, 68.3% completion rate, 48td's, 6int's, 186.3 rating
40 rushing attempts, 65 yards rushing and 5 rushing td's

McCoy: 3445 yards passing, 77.6% completion rate, 32 td's, 7 int's, 179.2 rating
128 attempts, 576 yards and 10 rushing td's

The reason I brought up these numbers is to show why they picked Bradford and I picked McCoy (only, more stats to come to help my point). Bradford had more yards, more td's and a higher qb rating for a higher scoring offense. McCoy had a higher completion rate (insanely high, the current record is 73.6% completion by Daunte Culpepper of Central Florida in 1998, difference of 4%!!!) more rushing attempts - more knocks in the head - more rushing yards and more rushing td's.

So, let me guess you are still not convinced. And you shouldn't be... yet.

Check out the leading rushers for both teams:
Chris Brown, 1110 yards, 20 td's
DeMarco Murray, 1002 yards, 14 td's
Mossis Madu, 463 yards, 6 td's
Sam Bradford, 65 yards, 5 td's
Team Total: 2672 yards, 45 td's

Colt McCoy, 576 yards, 10 td's
Vondrell McGee, 376 yards, 4 td's
Cody Johnson, 336 yards, 12 td's
Chris Ogbonnaya, 331 yards, 4 td's
Team Total: 2123 yards, 32 td's

This means that McCoy had to do more for his team to be on top of the nation all year than McCoy did. Usually, when a team has a good running game that allows multiple backs to be successful, they have a great offensive line (see Oklahoma). McCoy had to make plays with his legs and arm due to the fact that Texas's offensive line was not what Oklahoma's was this year. You can tell me that Bradford was the "leader" of the best offense in the history of college football, but this year McCoy was not only the "leader" of a very prolific offense, but he did more and has the chance to SHATTER (I don't know how to make that any bigger, 4% in terms of completion percentage for an entire year is just mind boggling) - let me repeat that- SHATTER an individual college football record at a very tough position. That's why McCoy should have won the heisman.

I have to say that I did not get a great chance to go over the off season moves by the Royals, I will get back to you all tomorrow. I do know this though, they have acquired Coco Crisp, Mike Jacobs, Kyle Farnsworth, Horacio Ramirez, and another middle reliever who I can not remember right now. They did give up a couple of good middle relievers in Leo Nunez and Ramon Ramirez to get some of these guys. Also, there are rumors that they are trying to land Rafael Furcal (and the A's have offered him 4 years, 40 mill), meaning that they Royals are starting to spend some Dough. Will it work? Check back tomorrow.

Fantasy Football Rant:
So I made the playoffs in my big money league. I was #1 in the power rankings, but due to a slight decrease in points, ended up with the 2 seed and playing #3. So, I'm going over my lineup and I think, "Hey, Jay Cutler has been great all year, has no running back and is playing an ok Carolina team while needing a win to clinch the division." On my bench I have Tyler Thigpen. You know what happened. Thigpen got 20 points, Cutler got 10 and I am up by 4 going into tonight's game, in which my opponent has Desean Jackson (please fumble 5 times for negative 6 yards) and David Akers, who I can only hope pulls a hammy.

Also, I start Anquan Boldin, one of the better pickups this year and he ends up getting me 1 point. Will Franklin for the Chiefs had more than that! I had Mushin Muhammad on the bench who atleast got 7 points. Then to top it all off, I play Portis against the Bungles who gets 7 points and gets passed over for Mike Sellers for 2 goal line carries who subsequently fumbles the ball and the 'Skins lose by 7. Why didn't they give the ball to Portis?!?!?!? Why!!?!??!

Back to reality, reactions from the weekend:
Arizona beat Gonzaga with Free Throws. I love free throws and I don't really think there is going to be an elite team in College Basketball this year. When Gonzaga has moved up to #4 and loses to a mediocre Arizona team, you know there is a lot of parity.

Kansas played like the young team they are and Sherron (as much of a baller as I think he is) cost them the game. He took way to many ill advised shots, including the one at the end of the game, and did not pass the ball like a true leader should. I think he will get there and when another scorer comes around (Mario Little, who is now practicing and about 70% per Coach Self) he will be a better player.

Until that time comes, they need to run the offense through Cole-nan the Barbarian. He put up another double double with 12 and 13, but only got a handful of shots in the second half, when KU was trailing. I know that UMass made him the focal point of their defense, but he has to get more touches. Not only is he bigger than everyone else, he is more agile than most big men and can pass as well as any big man KU has had in my memory. He makes free throws and trusts everyone around him to make plays. Right now, he is the MVP on the team hands down.

NFL stuff:
NO lost to Chicago, but I still think the Bears are on the outside looking in for the playoffs.

Atlanta beat Tampa in a really boring game that went to OT because Turner can run the ball and Ryan doesn't try to lose games. Tampa doesn't have a great offense, and when their opponents keep composure and don't let the Tampa defense take over, the Bucs are in trouble.

Cincy beat Washington, who is out of the playoff race, and the Bengals (courtesy of a tie, yes a tie) have a better record than my beloved Chiefs.

Speaking of the Chiefs, that was despicable. They played relatively well for about 57 minutes and fell apart. The Chargers won to stay alive in the West and may just sneak in if Denver loses next week.

Denver, meanwhile, lost badly to the Carolina Panthers 30-10. Denver, without a good running back, went on the road against a decent defense and laid down. Carolina may have a chance to go far in the playoffs, but not of they go against a defense that can stop the run. Denver was not close to a team that could stop the run, but next week the Giants can be that team.

The Giants, however, lost to the Cowboys who are now in the 5th spot for the NFC playoffs. TO and Witten both got the ball after last week's whine and cheese fest in Dallas about who was getting the ball. Tashard Choice has picked up the running game for Marion Barber, who has been hurt and the defense is sacking everyone while getting healthy in the secondary. I didn't think it could happen, but the Cowboys will probably make the playoffs.

Speaking of the playoffs, Minnesota took one step closer to winning their division by trouncing the playoff bound NFC West champs Arizona. T Jackson looked like a quarterback. Pretty wild if you ask me. You cant count out Minnesota as long as they have Adrian Peterson running the ball. He is good, really good.

Seattle beat St. Louis. The score is not important. Neither team matters until next week when...

The Jets will travel to Seattle as they make a dash for the finish line in the AFC East. They managed to pull out a win in Buffalo, when they shouldn't have. Bad play calling by the Bills (it wasn't a missed field goal this time) cost them the game and let the Jets take control of their own destiny.

Miami and New England both won easily over San Fran and Oakland respectively. I think that the Jets - Miami week 17 match up will determine the East winner.

The Colts beat the Lions, now 0-14. They are really bad. I feel sorry for Calvin Johnson, who has quietly put up a pretty good year (1165 yards and 10td's). If I was playing the Lions I would double him at all times and let the rest of the Lions try to beat me.

Despite the win the Colts can't catch the Titans, who lost to the Texans in an AFC south matchup. I think Andre Johnson took it personally that I called Walter the best receiver on the team. He had 11 catches for 207 and a TD. Great day for a great receiver.

The other AFC south team, the Jax Jags beat a hapless Pakcers team making both teams 5-9. What happened to the Packers?? Really? I think their defense just stopped playing and their offense followed suit.

The only other game of the day was Pitt - Bal in which Big Ben threw a touchdown pass on 3rd down inside the 10 of Baltimore. It was a hotly contested call, but I think that the ball crossed the plane. If you looked closely, right when Holmes caught the ball, the ball was over the goal line. Then it came out. Really close play and Pittsburgh just finds ways to win. Its wild.

Ok, I'm sure you all are tired and I will get back to you tomorrow. Take it easy and keep up with the comments. Until next time....


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Keepin it real!

So thanks for the comments. Got one on the blog and one via email. Good start.

When everyone knows exactly how insightful, inspiring and absolutely absurdly awesome this blog is, I expect that number to increase dramatically.

Unfortunately, this column has to be short due to the fact that i have to go to my real job of pushing pills and keeping the docs in check.

First of all, I have to respond to the comment about the Big XII and the Great Lakes Conference. The GLC will not have a dispute for the conference crown because they don't have a playoff system in place yet. They still have the unbalanced schedule, as does the Big XII, but because the conference does not have at least 12 teams, they do not have a championship game. I think that if they did there would eventually be turmoil. It is bound to happen. Ohio State gets more pub than any other team save for Notre Dame (see Who's Beeper) and would already have a leg up on the competition because of hype and therefore rankings. Even if they do have a freshman quaterback starting who is know more for running than for passing and their heisman trophy candidate at running back was hurt for a good portion of the year. How can that team be in the Top 10?

As far as the Big XII is concerned, I think that it is a joke. As "Allen" so astutely pointed out Texas is not allowed to play in the championship game for the conference and the team that beat them out for that right lost to them on a neutral field. Imagine if that game had been played in late November instead of early October. That would have changed things drastically.

Side Note:
This is something else that grinds my gears about college football.
Everyone seems to forget about the body of work when voting. I know that bowls want teams that are hot to represent them, but forgetting that Texas beat OU head to head on a neutral field is ridiculous.

I think that Florida this time in the Championship game is what should happen. They beat the Number 1 team in the nation and come from a pretty good conference in the SEC. I really can't argue now with the choice of Oklahoma in the BCS championship because they won the Big XII. Probably they best conference in America with three teams ranked in the Top 7. Its still a crime that Texas did not get a chance to play for the National Championship like Oklahoma.

And, why not put Texas against Alabama in a bowl game instead of against Ohio State. Bowl alliances be darned, that would have been a better game. Texas will take care of the buckeyes, you heard it here first. It's all about the dollars when it comes to the BCS, (the games are on Fox, which is number 3 of 4 on my list of national stations to watch sports on) and they is the reason we will not have a playoff anytime soon.

Again on the BCS, I think the best teams in the nation should be represented in the BCS. If that is the case, Texas Tech should definitely be in and OSU should be out. Simple rankings based on a body of work. Tech is ranked higher than OSU across the board.

Based on that here is a list of my BCS bowl games, ideally and accepting the championship game.
Championship: Flo'rida vs. The Boomer Sooners
Sugar Bowl: 'Bama vs. Texas
Orange Bowl: Va Tech vs. Cincy (because no one really cares about either team anyway)
Rose Bowl: The Joe Paternos vs. The Petey Carolls (I think this is a really good game, but am afraid that USC will blow Penn State out of the water on the West Coast)
Fiesta Bowl: Utah vs. Texas Tech

*** Warning: Completely off the subject ***
Song of the Day: Three Cheers for Five Years, By Mayday Parade (awesome band, no pub - until now atleast - holla')

One more quick rant. Oklahoma plays the song Boomer Sooner too much. Its mind numbing. I can't understand how the members of the marching band do not blow their brains out from playing that song so much. Let me take you through a typical OU possession.

Kickoff return for 29 yard to the 34 yard line.

Play Boomer Sooner.

Run on first down for 6 yards.

Play Boomer Sooner.

Play Action pass on second and 4 for a gain of 23 yards to the opponent 37 yard line.

Play Boomer Sooner twice because the refs have to move the chains.


Play Boomer Sooner again because no one in the band knows any other song.

First down.

Play Boomer Sooner

Second down.

Play Boomer Sooner. (If this is a road game for OU one of the other team's fans are escorted after an attempt to assault one of the trombone players with their own instrument)

Third down resulting in a touchdown!!!!

Play Boomer Sooner twice.

Extra Point, good.

Play Boomer Sooner three more times because none of the marching band members were in the band in high school where they would have learned 16 different songs for fillers at football games.

My new conspiracy theory is that everyone on the OU sideline has a chip planted into their head so they do not hear Boomer Sooner. Then when the band plays it all game, they do not go insane and their opponents do. Leading to turnovers, penalties and overall terribleness.

The reason Texas was able to win was because they trained their marching band to drown out the OU band and also because I heard Colt Mccoy wears Chuck Norris Pajamas.

Thanks for continuing to read and stay tuned as I get to my other request, the KC Dayton Moore's (I mean Royals) offseason moves.
If you're lucky, you'll get a breakdown of the NFL to come as well!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Who's Beeper Keep Beepin' and Beepin'

I would like to try something new to hopefully get some input from those of you following the blog. Let's try to make this the most interactive post yet. Today is rant day and rant day is where I sound off on items that, as Peter Griffin would put it, "really grinds my gears". Let me know what grinds your gears and if I'm grinding yours.

Most of you already know where I stand on this topic. I think it's dumb and let me tell you why. First of all, rankings are determined in the pre-season regardless of any performance.
This year West Virginia, Auburn, LSU, and Clemson were all ranked in the Top 10.

Of those 4, only West Virginia received votes in the latest poll. They didn't even make the Top 25.

Why does this even matter. Especially early in the year many of the voters find it hard to move a team down in the rankings after a win. This allows teams like the four I mentioned to stay up in the rankings for a while. Then those teams lose to good or average teams who get the benefit of beating a "Top 25" team for later in the year. This improves the BCS standings of a team so they move up higher.

But that is a minor topic compared to the bigger issue of needing a playoff. This year there are atleast 5 teams (probably closer to 8) deserving to at least have a chance of reaching the national championship game. Oklahoma and Texas is the biggest issue. Texas, even though they beat Oklahoma on a neutral field and only lost to a top 10 team on the road, lost out on a chance to play in the Big XII championship because of the BCS standings.

Because of the limited number of games and large variations in the strength of conferences, there should be a playoff. If a team is more likely to go undefeated by playing cupcakes in before conference play, why shouldn't they.

I can't think of a college football fan that would not LOVE to see a playoff. Imagine having USC, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech, Penn State and a wild card like Utah in an 8 team playoff to determine national champion. You could still have the other bowl games mixed in during the weekdays around those rounds. That would be awesome.

If Texas and say Alabama play in a BCS game (assuming they are #3 and #4 behind OU and Florida) what would happen if Texas blows them away and Florida squeaks by Alabama in the SEC championship and OU in the National Championship? There could be a lot of arguing they should be #1. And it could happen, while the coaches have to vote with the BCS for #1, the AP poll does not. I almost hope that happens just so the folks at the BCS get put on the spot and has to come up with a lame excuse.

Notre Dame
They are on the TV all the time, even when they are bad. You don't see the any of the Big XII North teams getting lots of press for losing.
Notre Dame just finished 6-6 this year, kept their coach and still has a contract with NBC to show all of their games. I'm not blaming Notre Dame for this. Any school would take a contract from a major television partner. I just think the media pumps this school into our heads all the time a large portion of the public does not care.
I think at this point in time more people would like to hear stories about Ball State or Utah than Notre Dame. Utah will likely go to a BCS bowl game and both teams finished the regular season undefeated (as did Boise State). This just adds to my frustration with College football as a whole. Some one needs to step in and make it matter. (See: Playoff!)

***New Feature in this Post***
Song of the Day: just a way to let everyone know what I am listening to, or give a shout out to bands/artists that I think are great and need more pub. And, yes, I realize less than 10 people currently read this blog, but maybe, just maybe, one day this will be huge and everyone in America will read this. You can't blame me for trying.

Today's Song of the Day: "Live your Life" by T.I.

Former Athletes/Coaches who are Color Analysts on Broadcasts
This is one thing that drives me absolutely berserk. I understand that many players love the game so much that they pursue careers in broadcasting after their playing days are over. However, just because these guys played the game and may or may not have been a great player, does not mean they know how to pass on their insight into the game on to the general public.
Statements like, "To win the game you need to score more points than the other team" does not help. I think that 99.9% of the people tuning to watch the game realize that. If you had told me that same quote followed by something like, "and this team has struggled on offense this year" maybe I could actually think you were getting paid for something other than filling the air with nonsense, sitting in a luxury box and wearing a shirt that you think is a dress shirt that any normal sized man would think is a beach shirt. I will write down quotes from announcers (football announcers are the worst) that drive me up a wall as a fan. Stay tuned for that.

The Big 10 (I mean 11, I mean 10, but we have 11 teams)
What is that? Some body actually got paid to come up with a logo for the Big Ten conference that they magically squeezed the #11 into.
Change your name.
Start a new tradition.
This is the conference's chance to be creative.

List #6
Suggestions for new names for the Big Ten:
1. The Great Lakes Conference (courtesy of Mark, my twin brother, who unfortunately is a Kansas State fan)
2. The Boring Basketball Conference
3. Mid East Eleven Conference
4. MIMOMPINIP (Mich, Iowa, Minn, OSU, Mich St, Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern, Illinois, Penn State) This one is multi functional in the fact that you can change out letters!


This is my personal favorite, you can throw a conference or something on the start or end too.

The MIMOMPINIP conference championship!

5. North Central United States Conference
6. The North Huron/Erie Windy League
7. The North Plains Championship Conference

I know I have more rants, but I have no more time. I will have to continue this discussion later. Comment Please. It adds to the humor and overall awesomeness of the column.


PS. We need to come up with a cool name for the Mrs. I think that Mrs. DDSF is not cool enough. Sports Guy has the Sports Gal and Dr. Z had the flaming Redhead. Help with this one please!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Weekend Update

Hope everyone out there had a good thanksgiving with lots of food, television and family (all things I am thankful for). Now back to the sports world.

There was a ton of stuff that happened over the holiday. NFL, college football and even college basketball had eye opening games.

The first thing I would like to talk about is the BCS and college football. I am shaking my head right now writing this because I can not believe that Oklahoma is going to the Big XII championship game over Texas. I am by no means a Texas fan, but the fact that Oklahoma managed to jump over a team that won 49-9 over a conference rival is beyond me.

The argument remains that the computers never lie and have no bias. I disagree. The computer programs are made by some nerdy guys who either have a degree in astrophysics or another form of mathematics, or have just been making their own, subjective ranking system for 20 some years and have didn't even go to college (seriously, I'm not making this up).

List #4
The facts about Texas and Oklahoma - The Battle for the South
1. Texas beat Oklahoma on a neutral field 45 - 35. Say what you will about Dallas, its still neutral.
2. Texas and Oklahoma both beat Oklahoma State. Texas won when OSU was #6 28-24 in Austin. Oklahoma won in Stillwater when OSU was # 12 61-41.
3. Texas lost to Texas Tech 39-33 in the last minute in Lubbock. Oklahoma beat Tech in Norman, 65-21.
4. Texas beat a Missouri team ranked #12 56-31. Oklahoma beat a #16 Kansas team (no longer ranked) in Norman 45-31.
5. Texas also beat Kansas 35-7 in Lawrence.
6. Oklahoma beat TCU 35-10 in Norman.

7. Texas beat Oklahoma ON A NEUTRAL FIELD.

It does not matter to me if you compare the schedules and outcomes of the other games when comparing the two teams. What matters is that one team lost to the other. Oklahoma lost to Texas. Texas should go to the Big XII championship. End of story.

While we are on the topic of Oklahoma, Sam Bradford (assuming he doesn't tank in Kansas City this weekend) should win the heisman. He is on a team that is most likely headed to the National Championship game and has put up huge numbers (46 td passes - almost 4 a game- and lead a team to average over 53 points a game).

Now what matters to me the most was the Border War in Kansas City this past weekend. Kansas vs. Missouri in a game that didn't mean as much as it did last year. Kansas won 37-40. The Jayhawks got an inspired effort from Todd Ressing and Kerry Meier again, but the player that impressed me the most was Darrell Stuckey.

Stuckey is a Junior Safety from the Kansas City area, who has been KU's best defensive player all year long. He came up with 2 interceptions off the former heisman candidate Chase Daniel and also stripped Daniel after a 50 plus yard run. What I liked about the way he played, was that you could tell he knew exactly what he was going to do in the biggest plays of the game.

On the run by Daniel, Stuckey was chasing him down the center of the field trying to get into position for a tackle. Daniel tried to protect the ball somewhat and Stuckey reacted by getting into the perfect spot to swat the ball out at the perfect time. Daniel had just started slowing down as the defense converged on him, apparently getting ready for a slide or big hit. Instead Stuckey read this and immediately hacked the ball from Daniel's grasp and pounced on the fumble. A great play and much needed against a team with a lot more firepower in Missouri. He really just wanted it more than the Tigers on Saturday.

Reesing, 37 fo 51 for 375 yards 4 td's and 2 int's, and Meier, 14 catches for 106 yards and 2 td's (both in the last 5 minutes of the game), were huge for Kansas as well. Reesing showed that he can sling it many different ways, from bullets to floaters and short passes as well as down the field. Meier played with a hurt hammy, looked like an old man running on the field, but found ways to get open when it counted and come through with hands as soft as the microfleece blankets many of the fans were wearing; translation: it was cold and he still caught the ball, a very hard thing to do because the pigskin has turned in to a rock and less circulation to the hands means less feeling.

Lost in the mix of these three studs of the game was Desmond Briscoe, who broke the record for most receiving yards in a season for a KU player. He came up with 9 catches for 115 yards and a td and made the play of the game, athletically anyway, by grabbing a ball out of the air on the sideline with one hand that he and everyone else on the field had no business catching. Not only was he a huge part of the passing attack, but he woke up the Kick return unit that was abysmal all year long. Kick returns were supposed to be one of the strong points of the team with all Big XII return man of the year Marcus Herford back. That never happened as KU consistently had one of the worst units in the nation. Briscoe had 7 returns for a 27.9 yard average, and set up the Jayhawks with great field position late in the game taking a return back to the 50.

Other observations about the team:
Rojas is not a good punter, I don't care if he got a couple balls inside the 20, I think Kerry Meier could have done just as good of a job with no rush.
Jake Sharp needs to get some better play calls to be effective. He was great too, gutting out that game with a flak jacket (usually only used by QB's due to decreased mobility, but increased padding around the mid section) to protect his bruised/broken ribs.
Marcus Herford picked a perfect time to come up with his first catch of the year. His 31 yard grab down the sideline with Briscoe out was a huge lift for the team because it could have easily been dropped and it put KU in the red zone.

Other college football news included Cincinnati (they have a football team) winning the Big East and clinching a BCS berth, Virginia Tech and Boston college locking up spots in the ACC title game (what happened to Miami and FSU?) and Oregon State choking in an attempt to lock up the Pac 10 title against Oregon (they lost 65-38, yikes).

Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg accidentally in a night club with a gun that was not registered.

Really? You really did that to yourself? If it wasn't such a sad thing that he hurt himself and should go to jail, imagine his buddies laughing at him.
"You shot yourself??!?! Dude, you are an idiot! What is wrong with you? Don't you know that you should point the end with the whole away from you? HA!"

On top of all of that, the Giants are 11-1 and have found plenty of replacements for Burress. I doubt this will affect them, but Kevin Boss is hurt and he was a pretty big part of their run last year. The G-men already have more wins than they did last year as Super Bowl Champs, have almost as good of a defense (without Strahan and Osi U) and got a big road win by beating the Cardinals (imagine that happening in any of the last 10 years without laughing).

The NFC South is the best division in football, not the NFC East, with every team at least .500 and right now have two teams that are in the wild card spots for the playoffs.

Denver won the AFC West and San Diego is only 1 game ahead of the Raiders, who lost the Chiefs... at home... after beating Denver... in Denver... Go figure. Denver has the same division record as the 2-10 Chiefs.

Minnesota will win the NFC North.

The Colts won against the Browns, who lost their second quarterback for the year, and did not score an offensive touchdown.

Jacksonville and Houston play on Monday night to see who will give up thinking they can make the playoffs first.

College Basketball:
KU won over Coppin State
List #5
Observations from the game:
1. Morningstar made open shots. This could be huge later in the year when it really matters. I liked it.
2. Sherron and Cole are super heroes.
3. The second half defense was bad. I did not like this.
4. Taylor still shows a lot of promise and will be a great player for KU.

Other news from college basketball. A Top 5 Big East team got beat at home by a team who's mascot is a giant red blob.
That's right the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (Red Blobs) beat Louisville who was ranked #3 in the country. The Big East will choke down the stretch this year.

Tennessee met Gonzaga in the finals of a nonconference tourney in a matchup of top 15 teams and the Zags won. Good start for them.

Thats all for. Stay Tuned for Rant Day tomorrow or Wednesday!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

David Letterman, the spawn of a golden nugget and a tale of youth inexperience and free throws

First of all, I will most likely not give an update for the week after today, so Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. You should get plenty of sleep with all the terrible football on Thursday.
Texas - A&M, Det - Tennessee, Seattle - Dallas, and Philly - Cardinals (which only a handful of people get to watch due to the fact that not many people want to go to a bar on Thanksgiving night and even fewer people have the surprisingly legal NFL network).

Congratulations are in order for David Letterman's Alma Mater, the Ball State Cardinals. They finished the regular season undefeated. Albeit in the MAC, it is still quite an achievement. It's too bad the likes of Utah and the Bright Blues at Boise state are undefeated too. It would have been fun to watch the Cardinals in a big Bowl game. 12-0, way to go.

Speaking of zeros on a stat sheet, did you hear about Stephen Curry? The offspring of former Denver Nugget sharpshooter, Dell, was held scoreless last night after coming into the game averaging 35 points per game. I was initially amazed when I saw the stat, then I saw highlights of the game. The other team, who ended up losing by 30, double teamed Mr. Curry without the ball! That means they were consistently playing 3 on 4. What a ballsy move and what a silly decision. We will continue to follow this story throughout the year.

The KU game last night. Syracuse 89- KU 81, OT.
The Hawks played great in the first half with Sherron, Tyshawn Taylor (a great surprise) and Cole-nan the Barbarian dominated the first half for the Jayhawks.
Even Brady Morningstar made the highlight reel with a huge swat and three clutch free throws just before half after inexplicably getting fouled on a 3 from the corner.

The second half started out about the same, then KU turned the ball over about 4 times in a row to have a lead of 10 cut to 2 in a split second. The teams traded baskets, KU missed free throws (not just a couple, they missed 9 of 13 over a stretch in the second half, all too familiar against this foe) and eventually The Orange found a way back and won it in overtime.

I'm not that upset the Jayhawks lost, just more upset that Syracuse won. They didn't deserve it.

Today to break down the game, lets focus on the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
The Good:
  • The Play of the freshmen, (Especially Tyshawn and the Twins)
    • We saw some good decision making and scoring by TT (he was single handedly beating 'Cuse after about 10 minutes 11-10)
    • A variety of pluses from the two-headed Morris Monster (3 pointers, rebounds, passing - Marcus lead the team in assists with 6).
    • The team will continue to rely on these players, and in order for the team to succeed, they will have to perform
  • Cole's first half, Sherron's first 35 minutes
    • Cole was an animal, all over the place in the first half. The team kind of went away from him in the second half, but he still managed to get a double double.
    • Sherron played really good for most of the game carrying the team when they needed him the most. He hit a ton of clutch shots to give us the lead or stop a run. He will be a great pro soon.
  • Bobby Knight
    • After listening to Dickie V plug just about every east coast school as well as the 'Cuse guards all game long - that Harris kid is good, but I'm not that impressed with anyone else, KU was sloppy- I am more aware of the fact that I like the O'Reily Auto Parts-sweater-wearing former coach. He's just enjoyable
The Bad:
  • Turnovers (not the tasty apple kind either)
    • After only having 10 as a team against Washington, KU had 17. Not terrible, I will probably kill for 17 turnovers later in the year from this team, but all the turnovers came at inopportune times. Syracuse made quite a run after Sherron turned it over a couple times in a row.
    • On that note, the guards turned the ball over 13 times compared to 3 in the last game.
    • Syracuse only turned it over 14 times for the game.
  • Sherron's last 5 minutes
    • He tried to do too much. I understand that he doesn't trust the young guys yet, but he needs to. The team last year relied on each other to hit the open shot and won with it. Sherron tried to hit every shot himself and it didn't go as well as planned
    • I have decided to call Sherron Mighty Mouse. Imagine sticking a cape and big ears on that guy. Does he not look exactly like Mighty Mouse?!?!? Plus we need another super hero with Cole-nan the Barbarian.


You can't convince me I'm wrong. Impossible.

The Ugly:
  • Syracuse Uni's
    • The Nike uniforms that are form fitting look like they should be made for some guy trying to impress girls at the gym. Hold on a thought is formulating. Wait for it... Wait for it..... Wait for it..........
      So good marketing ploy; I want one of those uniforms. Just not an Orange one. Impressing girls is cool. Still ugly, they would just impress girls
    • Devendorf is the ugliest. His tattoos, his haircut, and I could be a lot meaner. He was trying to talk trash to Tyshawn, who totally out played him all game. As a freshman. Now that's ugly.
  • Free Throw Shooting
    • Yeah, it started good and ended terribly. After starting 5 for 5, Kansas went 6 for 15 to finish regulation. Awful. You can't blame it on one player either, it was a team effort.
That's what I got for the game. Kind of disappointing, but not too far from expected. This is a young team that has to learn how to handle pressure and how to be clutch. They have to learn how to close the door on teams (a trademark of every Bill Self team, save the one that won it all).

See you all on the flip side,

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The first KU Game

Love, Love, Love Kansas Basketball. Can't get enough of it. This post will be about KU's most recent game, their first real test of the year, against Washington.

Washington is not a great team, but they do have a potential all-american in John Brockman. It was an interesting matchup, especially with the youth and inexperience of KU.

The final was 73-54. Jayhawks win without a lot of trouble, except for on the boards. It's always easier to talk about your team after a win.

It's like facing a girl that you just asked out who said yes. It makes things way less awkward. On top of that, it means this girl does not think you are too bad of a looker, which is so not true....

Back to the game.

List #3

First Impressions from the Jayhawks basketball team after their first real test. A six pack on Tuesday Morning.

1. Sherron Collins is a stud.

He is going to lead this team and has already decided that. He has a sweet stroke, knows where to be on offense and defense, and is having fun doing it. The smirk on his face after he made his third shot (out of three attempts) of the game says that loud and clear. Plus, Billy Self trusts him to lead the team. He will be first team all-conference no doubt.

2. Cole Aldrich is ready for the NBA.

The way he controlled the paint all game long was just amazing. Not just the blocks that he had, but the way he altered shots and got Morris Twin #1 and Twin #2 going was great.

KU allowed 17 first half offensive rebounds and was up by 10. I dont think that will ever happen again in my life time. The reason they were able to do this is because they had Cole altering every shot.

He is a true center, not a power forward playing center (i.e. Nick Collison, who should be making more money for doing so in the NBA. There is no way he should be playing center, he barely played it in college. I wonder what he could do on a team that played him as that energy guy off the bench who relieves the star power forward. Put him behind a Rasheed, Timmy Duncan or Carlos Boozer and he would be the X factor in the playoffs. Or, put him in Mike D'Antoni's offense and be amazed at the speed.) and has already learned how to do whatever he can to help the team.

He rebounds, blocks shots, scores from all over the floor (he won me money in Vegas last year with that 16 foot goofy looking jumper; SWISH!) and even makes incredible passes to whoever is open. Would be atleast a first rounder after this year and will be a lottery pick if he stays another year.

3. The guard play (other than Sherron) is better than expected.

I was really excited to see Tyrel Reed play and start this year, only to be disappointed to see Brady Morningstar. After watching the game last night, I am totally for Brady. He does the little things and makes it happen. He runs the floor, plays defense (I might be worried later in the year when he plays quicker, better guards) boxes out well (best block out of the game as called by Bobby Knight) and is experienced (He's a red-shirt sophmore who went to prep school first. He's been around for a while).

Tyshawn Taylor is a great athlete and if he learns to control himself on offense, he could be a great compliment to the machine that is Sherron.

Throw in Tyrel Reed's defense and intelligence off the bench as well as Mario Little when he gets healthy (in the mold of Brandon Rush and a JUCO player who was preaseason newcomer of the year in the Big XII) the guard play could be pretty good.

4. The post play is questionable other than Cole-nan the Barbarian.

The Morris twins are going to be pretty good, but I think may have some attitude problems. Both of them got into the faces of the Washington players and could have showed more hustle and made better decisions with the ball.

There is no doubt these guys have talent as evidenced by the rebounds (15 by Twin #1 in the opener) and the ability to score (fade away jumpers and post moves that I didnt think was possible), but I would bet money they will get frustrated by not getting calls in league play, respond by making a dumb foul and seriously hurt this team by taking themselves out of the game.

If we are able to later in the season, look for the team to throw in a smaller line up with a Mario Little playing the 4. That will be danger for other teams with the offensive fire power it posseses, but will not work against BIG teams.

Stay tuned.

5. If Bobby Knight continues to announce KU games instead of Fran Fraschilla-Vanilla-Manilla, ratings will skyrocket.

Did you listen to Bobby Knight? He was great. Insightful, smart (not just former coach knowledgable, but former great coach knowledgable) and personable. When he's not pissed about his team losing, BK whopper is a pretty personable guy.

I will say he did get a little lovey dovey with Cole Aldrich, but I think everyone this year will. Atleast he wasn't comparing him to Psycho T in UNC or some center who's not as good.

Bobby Knight is my favorite color analyst right now. Gus Johnson is still my favorite announcer period, but he's lead. I think I have a man crush on GJ's voice. MMMMMmmmm.... Gus Johnson.

6. KU will compete. Let the excitement begin (atleast until tomorrow - hope we beat the Orange)

They can play defense, even when they can't rebound. They have a two headed monster in Sherron and Cole-nan. They will only get better this year, adding players and gaining experience as the year goes on.

Bill Self is a great coach. It's early, but he got his point of defense across already and gave the team a leader -Sherron- that is more than capable.

There's my take on the game, but just as a treat here are some stats that I liked from last night.

Team Turnovers: 10
Turnovers by Guards: 3
Meaning: The guys who should take care of the ball are taking care of the ball

Connor Teahan's stat line: 1 minute, 1 steal, 1-1 FG, 3 points and no turnovers.
Meaning: High School Musical is a fan favorite and helps the team morale when he is on.

Morris Twin's Stats
Good: 40 minutes, 17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 offensive, 3 blocks, and 1 assist
Bad: 8 personal fouls, 5 Turnovers
Meaning: Good and Bad all at the same time. They're freshman, but will be heavily relied upon this year, and need to grow up.

Peace out, see you tomorrow

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend Review

I know that I just hit on College Basketball last week, and I will give you the much anticipated explanation about List #2 (see College Basketball: Nostradamus Style), but first I must comment on the sports over the weekend.

College Football.
Lets just say its interesting. No conference really belongs in the BCS championship game other than the BigXII and the SEC. But here's the kicker, which teams belong in the game. Texas Tech could have made it's case by beating Oklahoma, but didn't. We still have a big game left (Bedlam! OU vs. OSU) so that will be determined later. There is no use getting all excited right now because there is still football to play. Plus, what happens if Mizzou wins the Big XII title game? Then who gets in? Too many questions, with no answers right now.
One question with a solid answer is that whoever wins the SEC title game should play for the National Championship. This is kind of sad if Florida wins because they have only one loss, but so would Alabama. Alabama's loss is to a top 5 team and Florida lost to an Eli Manning-less Ole Miss team.

Graham Harrell lost his heisman chances. Sam Bradford may have won it. If he plays like that again against OSU and in the conference championship game, he wins. Period.

Just my thoughts from each of the games over the weekend.
Chiefs 31 - Bills 54 : Bills are pretty good, but the chiefs should not give up 50+ to Trent Edwards. No team should. The Chiefs have been decimated on Defense, but still Trent Edwards. Seriously. Atleast Tony G is happy with 100+ recieving yards and a TD. First Ballot Hall of Famer. I don't have a say, but it will still happen. He's a stud.
Phi 7 - Bal 36 : If Baltimore's defense can keep playing this way in the playoffs, can Joe Flacco lead them to the playoffs? I don't think so, not without a sure fire #1 running back. Too much pressure on a rookie quarterback. Willis has been hurt off and on all year and Ray Rice and Leron McClain just can't do it. On another note, Philly has found a new starting quarterback and Donovan McNabb is headed to Minnesota this offseason. Let's just hope he's not another Daunte Culpepper.
Hou 16 - Cle 6: Brady Quinn = bad against average defense. If they were anywhere close to playoff contention fans would be screaming for Derek Anderson (he made the Pro Bowl last year for crying out loud). With Houston, while Kevin Walter may not get the pub of Andre Johnson, he may be Sage Rosenfelds (and the team's) best reciever right now. 7 TD's on the year compared to Johnson's 3. Over the last 3 games, he's averaging more yards per game and has 2 TD's compared to Johnson's zero.
TB 38 - Det 20: Detroit is bad, but how good is Tampa Bay. They have an aging team at the skill positions, (Jeff Garcia 38, Ike Hilliard 32, Warrick Dunn 33) but keep winning. Will that continue in the playoffs or will injuries play a role down the strech.
Chi 27 -StL 3: Matt Forte is an excellent pickup for the bears who needed a back to be consistent when mixed with the ever inconsistent quarterback play. Trent Green is still playing, but has not been the same since his concussion with KC. Too bad, because he is a great guy and someone that could be a great role model for kids.
NYJ 34 -Ten 13: Titans lose and LenDale White is not happy. The Jets look good and it starts with defense. Brett Favre was a great pickup, especially for the price, but so was Kris Jenkins in the middle of that defensive line. The J-E-T-S young corners are playing great as well. Let's see what happens the rest of the year. Favre still has time to screw it up or get hurt. Then it's up to Kellen Clemens. Yikes
NE 48 -Mia 28: Matt Cassel is good and Randy Moss is too, even if he is lazy. Miami has done a great job of turning the ship around, but doent have the horses to compete in the AFC East.
Min 30 - Jac 12: What happened to Jacksonville? They were supposed to compete in the South. Minnesota has a defense and if they get McNabb next year, look out, they could be great!
SF 22 - Dal 35: I still dont think that Dallas is that good, and will miss the playoffs (sorry Boy's Fans). However, they did get another win AND made TO happy. Roy Williams: 3 catches, 36 yards. Was he worth it? SF will find out more when they get a real QB and a permanent (atleast to start next year) head coach.
Oak 31 - Den 10: Oakland is starting to get better, but Denver played awful and Cutler was too busy arguing penalty calls to be in the game mentally. The Broncos still leads the division by 2 games over struggling San Diego, so I still give them the edge to win it. Can JaMarcus Russel be considered a good draft pick if it takes him 3 years to develop in to a starting QB on the professional level?
Atl 45 - Car 28: Matty Ice is a stud, so is Michael Turner who had 4 rushing TD's. Carolina's D needs to be better if they want to make the playoffs, or advance in them.
NYG 37 - Ari 29: Arizona played tough, but the G-Men are too good this year. They didn't even have Brandon Jacobs in and they still controlled the game in the Desert. Kurt Warner is no longer and MVP candidate in my book. 1 int and 1 fumble lost in what may have been the biggest game of the year. He's still better than anyone expected this year.
Was 20 - Sea 17: The Seahawks made it a game, but the 'Skins are destined to make the playoffs this year. Clinton Portis may not practice at all during the week, but will still produce come game time. If you're a Washington fan, a road win is a road win and you can't ask for anything more.
Ind 23 - SD 20: I think that if San Diego had Shawne Merriman, they would be a different team. They just don't have the intensity that they need to be a consistent winner. I also think that LT doesn't have the intensity either, but I'm sure its hard to when you have to carry a team. They can't get Gates the ball like they should and Vincent Jackson, Chris Chambers and Malcolm Floyd don't exactly strike fear into oppposing secondaries hearts.

So now onto the explanation of List #2. This is too much fun for me so I ramble and run out of time. I'm sure you're all pretty bored by now, but college basketball starts tonight (Thanksgiving week rocks for college hoops) and I need to get a jump on the year.
1. Kansas will not repeat as National Champion, but will make it interesting for the Big 12 title.
Kansas loses too much skill experience and heart to repeat. You can't replace the likes of a defense tandem of Chalmers and Robinson along with the heart and quality depth that you had down low with Kaun, Jackson and Arthur. On the flip side of things, Bill Self is still a great coach and will get this team to compete in the Big XII. The team has leaders in Collins and Aldrich (who dominated POY Hansborough last year in the Final Four) and a lot of talent. If they win all their games against the North - doable in a weak division - and win their home games against the South, they would finish 13-3 in conference. I can't imagine the South teams doing that.
2. Tyler Hansborough will not win POY again. And its not because he is hurt right now.
Hansborough is good, but he is good because he tries harder than anyone else. As deep as NC is this year, he won't play as much and his ceiling in college has practically been reached. Plus, he's a target now meaning that he won't get as many touches and will get fouled a lot harder. As far as my pick for player of the year, I'll take Blake Griffin right now. He's averaged a double double last year and has a better supporting cast this year, meaning he can do even more.
3. The Big East will get a record number of teams in the tourney and disappoint.
I just dont see UConn or Louisville getting it done. In the past, teams that won it all were a superior team (team in every way - Kansas or Florida), or had multiple super stars (Gordon and Okafor). No one in the Big East impresses me that way. I think Pitt could pontentially win it all because they frustrate the hell out of everyone they play; if you get teams on a bad night when they are frustrated, you have a good chance of winning. And they play defense
4. More bubbles will burst from major conference teams than from mid major teams, more so if you look at years past.
I just think the amount of parity in college basketball is at an all time high. With one and done recruits sometimes leaving a team in shambles, the experienced mid majors (Drake, Davidson, and Belmont for starters) find a way to get in the tourney. Plus, the Missouri Valley is getting close to being considered a major conference in basketball. That will just help other mid majors find their groove and get in the tourney. I also think the major conferences just aren't as deep as they once were.
5. The NCAA tournament and Final Four will be a huge hit. Excitement. Upsets. And my personal favorite, no Billy Packer. Ha!
As I just said, parity. That and defense are the words of the day. The tourney will be one of the greatest we've seen in a while. I think that we may have another George Mason, or just a lot of mid majors making the sweet 16. Is this the year Gonzaga and Mark Few make the Final Four? Maybe. Plus, no one will be subjected to Billy Packer this year. I can not wait for the tourney just for that reason alone. He was inflammatory, a poor analyst, wrong and played favorites. I know it is hard to not play favorites, but if you are the color analyst for the Final Four, you should be able to maintain some perspective on both teams. Here's hoping to Clark Kellog can pull it off
While we're on announcers let me rant for a second. Dickie V plays favorites all the time. I know it gets him good pub, but its just annoying. I love the small amount of time that he is a fan of my team, but it is few and far between the times he is absolutely in love with UNC, Duke, Syracuse and the rest of the East Coast. He has so much excitement, which no one has yet to duplicate (I'm rooting for Gus Johnson, the only announcer I actually look forward to) but it doesn't matter because of how biased he is toward the East Coast.

6. I will place a bet in Vegas on a "sure thing" with regards to the tourney and will lose. I just suck like that.
Mrs. DDSF and I have plans to go to Vegas for the opening weekend of the tourney. We went for spring break one year and by accident got so lucky we showed up for St. Patty's day and the tourney. Probably some of the most fun I have had in a long time. Now, we are not poor students too, so I dont feel so bad laying down a couple bets on games.
We went before and she wanted to put money down on George Mason to beat UNC. I told her she was crazy. I was wrong. This time i will bet on something like that and eat my words for real. With all the upsets, I think Vegas will make out like bandits stealing from everyone!

7. Free throws will impact a game in March.
It did last year. It will this year and every year hereafter. Free throws should be easy, but pressure and lack of ability to perfect an artform (sounds really good doen't it, "artform") will cause someone to choke and miss at an inopportune time.

8. This year's non-conference slate will be the best in recent memory. UNC - Mich St., Memphis - Tenn, Oklahoma - Davidson, Preseason Tourneys, ACC - Big 11 Showdown, Big 12 - Pac-10 whatever its called with no publicity.
We will have more early season games that go down to the buzzer, or upsets (already Michigan over UCLA - who will not make a fourth straight final four) because of _______.

Did you fill in the blank yet?

How about now?

What if I gave you a hint? (see words of the day)

Still nothing?


PARITY! There is so much parity in college basketball now that upsets will happen all over the place. More and more underclassmen are going pro and leaving their major conference teams with younger, inexperienced players.

Just a reminder, the words of the day are defense and parity. Don't forget

9. CBS will try to pump the Big 11 (not the Big 10, if there are 11 teams you can not call yourself the Big 10; Ridiculous, just ridiculous - dont get me started) and fail miserably.
Michigan with their new coach, Indiana with Tom Crean, Michigan State is not that good and Purdue (status post comb-over extrordinaire Gene Keady) may win the conference. They play boring basketball (even if you are a purist and love defense, its boring; argument over, I win) and even though they have made the championship game 4 times since 2000 (only Mich St. 2000 team won) I think they are falling behind the other major conferences. Just wait, you'll see.

10. One Shining Moment will play when our next national champion wins it all.
Just after we have a commercial for the Masters! And no Billy Packer! The right prescription for a perfect March.

Tomorrow may hold a breakdown of the KU - Washington game. Stay Tuned.


Friday, November 21, 2008

College Basketball: Nostradamus-Style

So I promised some insightful, entertaining or otherwise inflammatory sports information and I am so excited about college basketball I had to start there. I have to start with college basketball because of everything that the sport brings to the table.

List #1
Reasons I Love College Basketball
1. The pure excitement, intricacies and intensity of the game.

Basketball mixes adrenaline, heart, non-stop action, offense, defense, protagonists (the mid-majors come tourney time), antagonists (Duke - enough said), coaches who wear fancy suits, coaches who wear body paint (Bruce Pearl... ewww), coaches who wear mock turtle necks (Huggy Bear), coaches who wear shirts with auto store logos on them (Bobby Knight), crowds with funny signs, crowds with creative chants, and teams who are eligible for post season play whose mascots are completely out of place (in this years tourney, a 15th seed in the East Regional: the Wofford Terriers!). Even though the NBA stole it, "I Love this game".

2. The fact that coaches can actually use the pregame speech "On any given day", and teams will listen and respond. Do you think the 1985 Villanova Wildcats should have won the NCAA tournament over an extremely talented team from Georgetown which featured one of the all time college greats in Patrick Ewing?
Still thinking?
There is no way that team should have won. They shot 70% and still almost lost. But, they shot 70% and won. If you dont think your team can win at college basketball you have to be kidding yourself. George Mason made it to the Final Four as an 11 seed with a center listed at 6'7" who went on to try out for the New York Football Giants. If you dont think your team can win at college basketball, you are crazy.

Unless you go to the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

3. The greatest postseason format that exists. Ok, so other than the "opening round" game that only pads the win column for schools who really stand no chance in the Tourney, the NCAA basketball championship is the greatest way to determine a champion. Its a combination of skill, luck, heart and free throw shooting that determine who wins.

A freshman can lead a team to success (Melo in '03, which hurts) or a team can be so laden with a large group of upper classmen that they know what each other are dreaming about just by identifying the hertz of their snoring patterns (I'll go with Maryland in '02, cause it sounds good ; If you dont like that perhaps one of those Duke teams in the 90's).

4. Allen Fieldhouse, the Dean Dome, Cameron Indoor, that place at Michigan State, the Carrier Dome, The Pit. The arenas are old-school keeping the tradition of great and not so great programs alive. They give teams an advantage that is unlike any pro sport (perhaps save Lambeau Field in snow) and add another dimension to the sport that is unlike anything else.

5. History. So, I will be the first to admit that I am a terrible historian, but college basketball started so long ago and has moments that cause more goose bumps than jumping into a 40-degree lake in just a speedo.
Jimmy V running on to the court after winning the national championship is one of those moments I will never forget even though I wasnt alive. And the speech that he gave at the 1993 ESPY awards is something that sends chills through me just thinking about it.
And that is just one coach! Not even a player of the sport.
Christian Lattener, Texas Western, UCLA times 11, Championship Overtimes, Oklahoma A&M 1945-1946 (yes its true), James Naismith (the inventor of the game) being the only coach at Kansas with a losing record, Indiana State vs. Michigan State (Bird vs. Magic), Phi Slamma Jamma, C-Webb's ill-advised time out.
Awesome. Totally Awesome.

6. Alma Maters. I dont care who you are you have to root for your alma mater. Especially if they are good and especially especially if they win it all. You can rub the fact that your alma mater is better than your coworkers', your uncles' and your friends' all the time. Everyone is a fan. You just have to know what buttons to push (insert devilish smile).

7. Walk-ons. I dont think that in any other sport are walk-ons more needed. Football has a ton of scholarships to offer and can field about 3 teams for each side of the ball. Plenty of bodies for practice. In basketball, if you lose 3 players to injury or grades, you are down to 10 players. 5 on 5 gets really hard then. Walk ons prepare the team each week for up coming opponents and can even make an impact in the long run. Christian Moody was a walk on for Kansas and ended up starting for a two time big 12 championship team. Plus, they get the biggest ovation of anyone at every game. They are just one of the students in the stands.

8. Rivalries. Kansas-Mizzou, UNC-Duke, and an innumerable amount more. Again, everyone is a fan and you just have to know the right buttons to push. Push the wrong ones on the wrong day and you might get punched in the face, but if you're waiting in line at the DMV, that's not such a bad thing cause at least the wait doesnt seem so long.

9. 35 second clock. Teams have to play defense and have time to run complex offenses or just run out the clock. Its boring sometimes, but it adds another dimension to the intellectual component of the game. Let's say that each team took the entire 35 seconds and nothing more each possession during an entire game. That equals about 35 possesions each half, or 70 a game. So if each team shoots 50% from the field and takes only 2 point shots, the score would be 35-35. Ridiculous. It could happen.

On the other hand, Texas Tech just scored 167 points in a game, so the shot clock can be completely disregarded.

10. Kansas Jayhawks. I had to. It's my team, and maybe if this blog takes off the 'Hawks will be the inspiration for a long, well-paid second career when I am done with pharmacy.

So now that I have totally over exerted myself and let my dogs Pongo and Perdita (yes, from 101 Dalmations even though they are beagles) sleep to their hearts content I should get to my predictions for the college basketball season. I will elaborate later. Just a teaser for now.

List #2
2008-2009 College Basketball Predictions

1. Kansas will not repeat as National Champion, but will make it interesting for the Big 12 title. Remember, they play 10 of 16 games against the North.

2. Tyler Hansborough will not win POY again. And its not because he is hurt right now.

3. The Big East will get a record number of teams in the tourney and disappoint. Unless its Pitt, in which case no one really cares anyway.

4. More bubbles will burst from major conference teams than from mid major teams, more so if you look at years past.

5. The NCAA tournament and Final Four will be a huge hit. Excitement. Upsets. And my personal favorite, no Billy Packer. Ha!

6. I will place a bet in Vegas on a "sure thing" with regards to the tourney and will lose. I just suck like that.

7. Free throws will impact a game in March.

8. This year's non-conference slate will be the best in recent memory. UNC - Mich St., Memphis - Tenn, Oklahoma - Davidson, Preseason Tourneys, ACC - Big 11 Showdown, Big 12 - Pac-10 whatever its called with no publicity.

9. CBS will try to pump the Big 11 (not the Big 10, if there are 11 teams you can not call yourself the Big 10; Ridiculous, just ridiculous - dont get me started) and fail miserably.

10. One Shining Moment will play when our next national champion wins it all. (I had to get atleast one right, ok)

Thanks for reading and keep up with the comments, emails, etc. We will have Laura, Mrs. DDSF, be a guest post soon for all the ladies out there.

PS. Football is coming soon. Fantasy, NFL, BCS. Get Extreme!

Inaugural Post

Ladies, Gentlemen and everyone else,
Welcome to the Drug Dealing Sports Fan's opinionated, satirical and hopefully a little bit informative sports blog. This being the initial post, I should tell you a little bit about myself to let you know where I am coming from.

I grew up in the Kansas City area, rooting for the Chiefs, the Royals and the recently crowned National Champion Kansas Jayhawks. I just recently graduated from the University of Kansas (2007) and came away with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree (aaahhhh... now you get the drug dealer part). I lived, breathed and died Kansas basketball and football (yes football for all you doubters out there) for all my 6 years of college.

I have seen the Chiefs go from good to bad to worse (see: Carl Peterson).

And I have seen the Royals have one good year(2003: 83-79), waste an innumerable amount of first round draft picks on projects with no hope, and dream of a time when I was only 2 when Los Royals behind the infamous George Brett won the I-70 Series. Kansas City is great sports town with a plethora of good major and minor college sports teams and a couple of pro teams with continued hopes for the future.

Back to who I am... I just completed a residency in Pharmacy Practice at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City (where I met Ricky, who put up with my random sports ramblings despite a lack of productive or coherent sentences due to too much work, coffee and an inability to find enough sleep). When I completed my residency and got married -oh yeah, I mentioned that right - to my beautiful, understanding, and Jayhawk-loving wife Laura, we moved to the Denver, Colorado for new careers and excitement.

With the move came cool new jobs, but also sports fans who root for the Broncos - Chiefs fans don't like Broncos except for the ones on their fantasy football teams and never John Elway - and Buff fans who are too busy getting high (by going into the mountains of course) and consider their football program one of the elite in college football *shrug*.

Needless to say, I am not getting the same sports fix with the teams I love, so I decided to blog about them. While I'm at it, I thought I'd blog about other sports that come up and excite me (mostly college basketball and the NFL). This is the intro, so no wonderful, prophetic or candy-flavored predictions with this post, but those are up soon! Hope everyone enjoys and please feel free to add comments, suggestions, tips, point out my errors, ask for pharmaceutical advice, suggest good recipies, give financial advice or just ramble on your own whenever you find it fit!

Thanks, DDSF (Drug Dealing Sports Fan)