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!