Wednesday, February 28, 2007

MVC - Facts, Stats, and Attempted Analysis

What better way to get pumped about March Madness than to cover a conference who’s tournament play begins in less than 24 hours from the time I type this???

It appeared heading into conference play this year that the MVC had put together an even more impressive resume than last year, and last year the MVC got 4 teams in the dance, and it very well could have been 5 had Missouri State not been snubbed. The difference between last year and this year? --Last year, the bottom half of the MVC failed to win games against the top half, resulting in 6 teams with superb resumes. This year? The MVC is competitive throughout! It just illustrates something I had never thought of before, but which Mighty Mike prophetically warned me about before conference season started – it pays to have a bunch of bottomfeeders to beat up on!

The other problem is that two of the teams (N. Iowa and Wichita St.) have just gone to shit in the last two months and seem to show no signs of recovering. So really, this appears to be a 4-team race, with probably 3 bids going out. This is not as exciting as I had hoped when I planned this column last month! Plus, only Southern Illinois and Bradley delivered on Bracketbuster, while Creighton, Missouri St., Wichita St., and N. Iowa all went belly up.

Southern Illinois, Sag #15, 1st in conference at 15-3,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Virginia Tech, Butler, Minnesota,
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Arkansas, Indiana, Evansville
3P% - 36.7%, Reb. Margin = +1.9 , FT 69.4%, FG 45.5%, Opp. FG 41.6% –
Everyone knows about these guys, who’ve been ranked for the whole 2nd half of the season. They are led by senior guard Jamaal Tatum, who is only 6’2”, and averages 14.5 ppg. In each of the So. Illinois games I watched, he seems to defer to others but made all the big shots down the stretch against both Butler and Creighton. So. Illinois also has this guy Falker (6’7”) who has a sweet ‘do and likes to mix it up down low and gets a scrappy 13.1 ppg and 7 rpg (but a 61.1% FG%). Also of note, Southern Illinois likes to milk every shot clock, limiting the number of possessions for both teams (this info may be helpful for later on in the tourney).

Creighton, Sag #37, 2nd in conference at 13-5,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Xavier, Houston?, Missouri St. (twice)
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Nebraska, Dayton, Fresno St., Hawaii, Drexel
3P% - 34.6%, Reb. Margin = +1.9 , FT 75.4%, FG 44.8%, Opp. FG 42.2% –The name of their best player is sweet: Nate Funk. What’s not sweet is their resume, or their 3-point percentage. They did sweep Missouri State somehow though.

Missouri State, Sag #24, 3rd in conference at 12-6,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Wisconsin, Santa Clara,
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Oklahoma St., St. Louis, Winthrop, Missouri St. (twice)
3P% - 40.0%, Reb. Margin = +4.1 , FT 69.1%, FG 47.9%, Opp. FG 42.1% –
Their best player, Blake Ahearn, I profiled last year. I finally saw him in action when they played Oklahoma St. earlier this season, and it turns out that he really is just a spot-up shooter, and cannot create his own shot (though he shoots an absurd 47.5% from 3-point land!). However, Missouri State does have a second option in Tyler Chaney who shoots 42% from 3-point land. This team appears to be more promising than Creighton, plus they have the revenge factor going, since they were the biggest snub of the 2006 Tourney. NOTE: Both Creighton and Missouri State are slated to make the tourney at this point, but both can use some wins in the conference tourney.

Bradley, Sag #52, 4th in conference at 10-8,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Iowa St, Rutgers, Va. Commonwealth
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Illinois, Mich. St., Tenn. Tech
3P% - 42.6%, Reb. Margin = -6.9 , FT 67.1%, FG 46.7%, Opp. FG 46.8% –
What an odd team. A year removed from losing their prized center (O’Bryant) to the lottery, Bradley has a disgusting -6.9 rebounding margin. They don’t appear to play much defense, but they enjoy shooting 3s, as their top 3 scorers are 6’0”, 6’5”, and 5’10” and shoot 43.4, 50.3, and 40.1% from 3-point land. I don’t think I’d trust these guys, but they aren’t dancing without a run to the finals (at least).

N. Iowa, Sag #74, 5th in conference at 9-9,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: S. Illinois., Iowa St., Iowa, WI-Milwaukee
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Washington, Nevada, Loyola (IL)
3P% - 36.4%, Reb. Margin = +2.9 , FT 70.3%, FG 45.3%, Opp. FG 41.5% –
They have two big guys (Coleman and Stout) who both pull down 9 rebounds per game. They don’t really shoot the 3, but they appear to play better defense than most. What’s most concerning is that they finished the season 3-8 (after starting 13-2).

Wichita State, Sag #68, 6th in conference at 8-10,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: LSU, Syracuse, Creighton
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Appalachian St., USC, New Mexico
3P% - 36.0%, Reb. Margin = +2.4 , FT 71.1%, FG 46.0%, Opp. FG 43.4% –This is a very young team (top 2 players are seniors, but 5 freshmen and 3 sophomores. After starting out 9-0 and having the whole nation behind them after victories over LSU and Syracuse, it seemed like the sky was the limit. I was confused, because I remembered reading in a preview that they lost key players from last year’s sweet 16 team. Then, it turned out that LSU and Syracuse weren’t that good at all and the shit hit the fan and the team went into a losing tailspin they never recovered from. Their best player is a 6’8” forward, Kyle Wilson, who averages 14ppg, and 5 rpg, and shoots 38% from beyond the arc.

Games to watch (their tournament begins this weekend!)-
Friday – 2:35PM – 4-Bradley vs. 5- N. Iowa
Friday – 8:35PM – 3-Missouri St. vs. 6-Wichita St. (Missouri St. better win to avoid getting snubbed two years in a row)
Saturday – semis – 1:30PM and 4:30PM
Sunday – finals – 1PM

Rage Against The Simmons Machine

Bill Simmons is a self-appointed NBA savant, a guy who truly believes that he knows everything about the game and its history. And while it’s hard to discredit his passion or consistency when it comes to pro basketball, he’s still hampered by one small detail which kills a lot of his credibility: his incredible bias for all things Celtic.

Part and parcel with his Celtics bias is an almost instinctive urge to lash out at nearly all other established NBA players who played for other teams. And, unfortunately for me, no one player takes more hits from Simmons than my childhood hero Patrick Ewing.

At this point, we all know about the so-called Ewing Theory, which, when scrutinized, actually does not water. Over the years, Simmons has taken numerous cheap shots at Ewing, although he seems to have stepped up his attacks on Big Fella in recent weeks. In a discussion about Greg Oden, Simmons not only takes several cracks at Ewing but – shocker! – compares Oden to former Celtics legend Robert Parish:

"The more I watch him, the more he reminds me of Robert Parish – not just because he’s mellow like the Chief, but also because he doesn’t feel the need to PRETEND he’s anything other than mellow. For instance, Patrick Ewing’s fatal flaw was his misguided attempt to “evolve” into a passionate leader – which basically consisted of his (A) making jumpers and screaming at the top of his lungs, or (B) running over to a teammate who just made a big shot and screaming at the top of his lungs. It always seemed disingenuous to me, like he was trying to portray a character or something (“I’m the vocal franchise center and I can lead this team!”). In the long run, it hurt his game to some degree – Ewing didn’t have a dominant personality, he wasn’t an alpha dog, and above everything else that’s why the Knicks never won a championship during his era.

Oden has a self-awareness than Ewing lacked (and still lacks, as evidenced by his surreal attempt to reinvent himself as a 7-foot Ed McMahon on Ahmad Rashad’s remarkably bizarre NBA TV talk show), which is why Parish’s personality is a perfect comparison for Oden. The Chief never cared about stats, or touches, or showing off or any of that crap. He just wanted to win. I think Oden could be described the same way, and if you don’t believe me, watch the way he blocks shots – just like Bill Russell and Walton, he doesn’t block shots as much as he deflects them and keeps them in play (so they’ll lead to a potential fast break). It’s the single best thing about his game, an innate skill that can’t be learned."

This isn’t meant to analyze the merits of the Oden-Parish comparison. Honestly, I can’t say I know that much about Parish besides the fact that he played on the great Celtics teams of the 80’s, that he smoked tons of pot, and that he once shoved his wife down a flight of stairs. What I want to dispute is that Ewing was somehow a phony leader and that his passion on the court was contrived.

I watched pretty much every single game of Ewing’s career in New York and, upon Pat Riley’s arrival in 1991, Big Fella DID evolve into a more vocal on-court leader. But does that evolution have to be characterized as manufactured? Is it not possible that Ewing, playing for a legendary coach who installed him as the centerpiece of the team’s offense and defense, simply felt more at ease? The team was getting better and their prospects were brighter. After playing for five coaches in six seasons*, Ewing finally felt settled as the co-captain of a young and hungry team.

One other point to make about Ewing’s “failure” to win a championship: if the team ultimately never won because of #33’s inability to be a true leader, I’d love to hear what Charles Barkley’s excuse is. Because no one’s ever accused Barkley’s on-court antics as being over-the-top, right? And, certainly, Ewing never winning had NOTHING to do with the fact that he played a 15 year career in New York with only two of his teammates ever making the All-Star team. That’s right; John Starks and Charles Oakley each made the All-Star team once, in 1994. Wait, wasn’t that the year the Knicks went to the NBA Finals and lost in seven games?

I’ll end by saying that Bill Simmons knows a hell of a lot more about the NBA than I do. But from 1985-2001, he should keep his Knicks opinions to himself as I can say for certain that he doesn’t know a motherfucking thing. Go fuck yourself Simmons. You’re unreadable at this point.

*Hubie Brown, Bob Hill, Rick Pitino, Stu Jackson, and John McLeod

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Notes from the Periphery: You want to take a dingy?

Well another update from a backwards place where football is a game primarily played with, get this, feet. Its crazy I know. Here in Europe there are a dizzying array of tournaments, side tournaments, champions league, friendly matches and soirées all involving only one sport, what is called in the States "soccer". While Americans may claim soccer is boring or full of pansies there is a certain beauty to game if you watch it long enough. Frankly baseball and Euro football have a ton in common in how traditionalists of each of the respective sports describe their own.
Americans sometimes just can't understand the subtleties that make football great

NBA Trading:
Now if your brain actually gets dumber the more you watch basketball then perhaps the NBA Trading Deadline fizzle was a call to arms about NBA general managing mismanagement. Luckily there are few people out there who have evolved beyond picking insects out of their fur. At the basketball that includes Marc Stein and thats about it. I highly recommend for actual analysis, instead of some combination of Conventional Wisdom and Yak mating calls, to read his piece. There were actually some logical reasons for the lack of movement. The first is simply is that trading in the NBA is hard given the luxery tax and high salaries per player. The second is the quality of the upcoming draft class means few teams are willing to send away draft picks. Finally the East lacks any dominating figure and therefore few teams are willing to throw in the towel given the real possibility of winning the East. The result is a dearth of teams willing to do trades and in the NBA multiple partners are needed. This of course is not to say a few teams were trigger shy (Orlando and Minnesota) but those were the exceptions. Most teams had very logical reasons for staying pat.

I hate to tell you this, Bill ,but the secret to a good column is not: Boston something something I hang with famous people in LA something something I'm smarter than all NBA GMs something something.

NFL Draft:
Silly Season is in full force as the NFL Combine aka the Meat Market is happening. I'm not really sure why an 1/8th of a inch is the difference between a good player or a bad player in the scouting world but they really do buy that claptrap. Every year some player randomly shoots up the DraftBoards based on a 40 time or benchpress reps or an ability to make a grilled salmon. That does not mean its completely useless. Players that show up out of shape tend to get the red flag for character/motivation issues. Which are a big deal. JaMarcus Russel gets the Lendale White Award for flabbiness this year. Obviously he will end up on the Raiders. This leaves Detroit as one of the key movers and shakers in the draft. Will they trade down and take a defensive player, pick Brady Quinn or Joe Thomas (Wisconsin bred left tackle) or simply settle for the physical challenge (don't tell Millen there's no physical challenge. He won't believe you). Also of note the Cleveland Browns are 1-0 in 2007 when Tampa Bay lost to a quarter . The result is the Brownies are slotted #3 behind Detroit and seem to be considering nearly any offensive player not named Calvin Johnson (who I'm willing to stand by and say will be the best player of the draft)

Matt Millen with the number two pick is leaning towards asking where the bathroom is

Baseball Overseas:
Of all the spring training stories I've come across this one about Israel starting a baseball league may take the coffe cake (Not Suitable for Workish)

Quick Tech Note
You will note that this post has labels at the bottom. Labeling a post allows for easy searching for past articles on similiar subjects. For example any past piece that talks about the NFL Draft that has the NFL draft label can be found by simply clicking on the label at the bottom.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Cheers and Jeers: Celtic Cheers Edition

Cheers and Jeers: Celtic Cheers Edition


A post-mortem cheers to Dennis Johnson aka DJ. He died last night at the age of 52. I wanted to get into his career but thankfully Bill Simmons wrote a powerful tribute to one of less famous and underappreciated Celtics of all time. Larry Bird called DJ the best player he ever played with.

Jeers: “Making it Rain with Pac Man Jones.” The continued parade of NFL players entering the criminal justice system is getting ridiculous. My hope is that professional leagues (NBA mainly but looks like the NFL should join into the mix) begin some form of mandatory life training to help these young men. My fear is that the leagues will create some form of liability guard like a “bill of rights.” This would allow teams or the league to cut ties from problem players without hurting the team’s financial standing or salary cap position.

Several components of the Pac Man Jones story do not make sense.

1) If you carry a bag of money ($81,000) into a strip club, do you think the women are going to go after the $?? Last time a strip club was on the agenda, the women worked and danced for $. Has anything changed? Where was the TPS memo?

2) Two people got shot during the fight. Let’s see…. How much money do you make in a year? According to stats, Pac Man made about $850,000 for the 2006 season. Let’s assume that the strippers on stage grabbed $25,000. That means Pac Man stood to lose approximately 3 % of his annual salary in Vegas. Get over it.

Cheers and Jeers: The San Diego Chargers. This is the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story of the week. First, you fired Marty Ball. The BSD has angry and tortured souls (Cleveland Brown fans) who cry themselves to sleep thinking about Broncos annual teabagging of the Browns. The fans blame Marty for the Cleveland Steamers woes but it’s fair to say that with a career regular season record of 200-126 Marty is a decent coach. His playoff record is 5-13. Ouch. This gets people fired.

Wait, the story gets better. Marty’s mediocre playoff record was replaced with… drum roll please… Norv Turner? (58 wins, 82 loses, 1-1 in the playoffs) As a resident of the federal district, we hate Norv Turner. We love Art Monk. End Communication.

Cheers: To the classic hockey fight last night between the Sabres and the Senators. The fight gets double cheers because the goalie’s fought and the Senator’s goalie has to withstand the Sabres enforcer. Here is a link to a classic Rangers/Islander’s goalie fight between Salo and Cloutier. I wouldn’t mess with Patrick Roy in a goalie fight. He was nasty. I love hockey fights and will give jeers to anything that stops them!!

Happy weekend to all BSD and remember to keep it classy. Girl on girl karma sutra is complete. I’m going for the side dish this weekend or perhaps the rolling crab. A little Friday red-head?

Note from the IT Department

Blogger is being bloggedy. Blogger (i.e. google) is forcing everyone to accept the new blogger which means you need a gmail account. If you have one just follow the directions and you should be fine (you may be locked out of posting for a little bit if so just close your browser and then log into blogger using the gmail account information). Sorry for the problems. I'll get you Gadget...I mean Blogger.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

New York's Least Wanted

Back from mid-winter hibernation/trip to Europe with a vengeance.

In case there was any doubt, this is EXACTLY why Mr. Sheffield is in baseball’s version of Siberia. Defending AL Champions or not, Detroit isn’t exactly a nice place to live or earn a living nor is it a stone-cold lock to repeat (or even play .500 ball again).

Sheffield can rip Joe Torre all he wants but there’s nothing he can say that will convince me (or any other logical baseball fan, for that matter) that he belonged in the outfield over Bobby Abreu in last year’s playoffs. What’s ridiculous is that Sheffield will be Detroit’s full-time DH in 2007. So why rip Torre for something that Leyland’s going to do to you right now?

A major prima donna cancer, that’s what Sheffield is. He’s Barry Bonds with half the talent, and just as few friends.

SEC – Facts, Stats, and Attempted Analysis

Before I get to the SEC, I need to address some comments from Bobby Knight this week. Coach Bobby Knight believes that the rule mandating that players can’t enter the NBA until they are 19 is a disservice to college basketball, because people like Kevin Durant can choose to not attend any classes 2nd semester.

Bobby Knight is wrong in this instance though. While what he says about Durant could happen, such an occurrence would only harm Texas’s academic rating and could even result in the loss of scholarships. The NCAA has placed an incentive on the schools in ensuring that players remain academically eligible. (“With the NCAA’s new APR data, teams will be held accountable for student-athletes who leave school early for professional leagues and aren’t in good academic standing. Coaches must recruit players who will go to class and do the work. Otherwise, they will lose scholarships.”) Maybe Bobby Knight meant to say he wants “stricter” penalties for having a player leave after 1 year. Anyways, I just thought it was interesting how if Bobby Knight wants to criticize the NCAA, he can get a front-page NCAA article.

Now that that’s off my chest, on to the SEC (through Tuesday’s results)!

Florida, Sag #2, 1st in conference at 11-1,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Ohio State, UAB, Tennessee, Kentucky
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Kansas, Florida St., Vanderbilt (that’s it!)
3P% - 42.5%, Reb. Margin = +8.1 , FT 68.1%, FG 53.4%, Opp. FG 40.4% –
A sweet shooting guard in Green, an energy guy in Noah, a big-man in Horford, and they are the defending champs. We know they are the #1 seed and I am usually morally against picking a team to go back-to-back because it just hasn’t happened in 15 years (Duke did it), but this team makes me think that I will entertain the possibility, depending on the draw, injuries, and other weird superstitions I develop between now and the tourney.

Vanderbilt, Sag #50, 2nd in conference at 8-4,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Florida, Georgia Tech, Toledo, Kentucky, Tennessee
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: FURMAN! !, Appalachian St., Georgetown, Wake Forest,
3P% - 37.8%, Reb. Margin = -1.8 , FT 71.8%, FG 46.6%, Opp. FG 42.9% –
Two terrible losses out of the conference, but they have been playing well in the conference, and even beat Florida last week. Top player is a 6’7” swingman, Derrick Byars, who will shoot 3s, but also shoots relatively well from the floor (48.5%) (he had 24 pts, 8 assists, 5 steals, 6 Tos against florida). The 2nd leading scorer, a 6’6” G/F, Shan Foster, also went for 24 against Florida that night (he hit 5 threes, but normally only shoots 33% from beyond the arc).

Kentucky, Sag #16, 3rd in conference at 8-5,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Indiana, Santa Clara, Louisville
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: UCLA, Memphis, UNC, Georgia
3P% - 35.1%, Reb. Margin = +3.5 , FT 68.5%, FG 47.8%, Opp. FG 39.7% –
They lost to all the better teams they faced, but they did edge out Indiana. They rely on a 3-pronged scoring attack with a big-man (Randolph Morris), a 6’5” sharpshooter (Joe Crawford), and a PG (Ramel Bradley).

Georgia, Sag #38, 4th in conference at 7-5,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Gonzaga, Kentucky
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Western Kentucky, Wisconsin, Clemson
3P% - 38.6%, Reb. Margin = +6.8 , FT 67.9%, FG 47.0%, Opp. FG 42.5% –
Very few quality wins, if any… looks like a real balanced scoring attack between 4 players averaging between 10 and 14 ppg, with no real dominating threat on the inside or outside. But, basketball is a team game and if you believe a “team” can succeed, than this is the team for you to believe in!

Tennessee, Sag #34, tied for 5th in conference at 6-6,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Memphis, Texas, Kentucky
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Butler, UNC, OSU, Auburn
3P% - 36.6%, Reb. Margin = -1.1 , FT 66.0%, FG 45.0%, Opp. FG 45.2% –
They lost to Ole Miss, Kentucky, and Florida while superstar Chris Lofton was out with an injury, and none of the games were close. More importantly, as long as Lofton and his 20.7 ppg, and 45.6 3P% are in the game, Tennessee can be one of the better teams in the nation (though they have a mysterious 14-0 record at home, a 1-7 record on the road, but a 3-2 neutral court record). Last year, they were a #2 seed and got bounced by Wichita State in the 2nd round. I want to say that their experience from last year will be very motivating for them this year but the numbers aren’t too pretty for them as they don’t appear to play much defense or rebound that well.

Alabama, Sag #39, tied for 5th in conference at 6-6,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Iowa, Xavier, NC St., Oklahoma, Kentucky
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Notre Dame, Auburn, Ole Miss
3P% - 36.7%, Reb. Margin = +4.5 , FT 71.2%, FG 46.4%, Opp. FG 41.1% –
They have been struggling since conference play began. Not sure what it means. Their top 2 players are huge guys on the inside – Richard Hendrix, a big 6’8” sophomore averaging 15 ppg and 9 rpg, and Jermareo Davidson, a 6’10” senior averaging 15 ppg and 9 rpg. Hendrix shoots has a whopping 62.6 FG%, but a 63.5 FT%. Davidson somehow is only shooting 41% from the floor and has taken the most shots from the field.

Ole Miss, Sag #68, tied for 5th in conference at 6-6,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Tennessee, Alabama, Illinois-Chicago
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Uconn, Memphis, Saint Louis, LSU
3P% - 36.6%, Reb. Margin = +0.6 , FT 69.7%, FG 44.7%, Opp. FG 44.8% –
Played an incredibly weak non-conference slate, so they have to continue performing to have any chance of making the tourney. They use a balanced attack of a 6’1” senior guard, Clarence Sanders, and a 6’4” senior guard Bam Doyne. I think this is the first professional sports athlete I have heard of with the first name “Bam” since Bam Morris of the Steelers and the Ravens, who then left the NFL to serve time in the slammer.

Arkansas, Sag #49, 9th in conference at 5-7,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: W. Virginia, S. Illinois, Bama (twice)
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Missouri, Texas Tech, Texas
3P% - 36.7%, Reb. Margin = +2.6 , FT 70.3%, FG 47.1%, Opp. FG 41.5% –
I’m always a bit curious about Arkansas – their coach was coach of Kent St. for only 1 year before an Elite 8 appearance allowed him to jump ship for Arkansas. It’s kind of a case study in why jumping on a hot coach before you see his recruiting skills (or lack thereof) can be a poor decision. Arkansas really has yet to turn the corner, and this year has brought more inconsistency for the team, who aren’t even slated to make the tourney at this point. Their best player is a 6’1” freshman who average 14 ppg, 3.3 apg, 43.4 3P%.

LSU, Sag #73, 12th (dead last) in conference at 3-10,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Texas A&M (wow), Uconn,
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Wichita St., Texas, Washington, the whole SEC
3P% - 35.1%, Reb. Margin = +5.4 , FT 70.6%, FG 45.3%, Opp. FG 40.0% –
The poop has hit the proverbial fan if you well. They entered the SEC season 11-3. In the SEC? 3-10 ! From the Final 4 to an NIT 1st round exit! I knew that Glenn “Big Baby” Davis wasn’t anything much!

Upcoming games to watch:
Sat. 2/24 – Tennessee @ Arkansas – Noon
Sun. 2/25 – Kentucky @ Vanderbilt – 1PM
Tues. 2/27 – Florida @ Tennessee – 9PM
Wed. 2/28 – Georiga @ Kentucky – 8PM

Sunday, February 18, 2007

All-Star NBA Players I could – or would never – take in a fight and why

Now, I'm not a fighter by nature. Nor am I in peak shape to be "taking" anyone in a fight - especially not professional basketball players, seeing as I am only sixty five inches of girly nonathleticism. That being said, there are still a few choice players who I think I could take - and a few that I would NEVER in a million years take. Here's the spread:

Steve Nash – Hell no. He may not be the biggest man in the league. He may also not be the most well kempt man in the league. But what he lacks in finesse, he makes up for in scrap. That dude would scrap for his life in a pool of battery acid if he had to.

LeBron James – Depends if his posse is with him or not. LeBron talks the talk, but c’mon – the guy is from AKRON. He’s not even from a legit neighborhood like Buckeye and East 55th or any St. Clair address or even CLEVELAND. He’s a suburbanite who excels at talking the talk but who without his posse cannot possibly threaten a squirrel.

Tony Parker – Definitely. For one, he’s French. Second, he has a neatly groomed five o’clock shadow – any guy who maintains his facial hair to the number 2 setting on his Norelco isn’t going to scrap in a fight. His fiancée however, I would never take in a fight – that bitch has nails.

Kobe Bryant – On the one hand, the guy is a narcissistic prima donna who doesn’t leave home without his stylist’s approval and his wife’s threatening blessing. On the other hand, he’s got a rap sheet. Okay, so maybe he was never found guilty of anything, but he was certainly – and convincingly I might add – charged with rape and sexual assault. Under any other circumstances, I think I could take him, no question. But seeing as I am a woman, I would probably not take that bet without a bodyguard, manservant, or at least Steve Nash to back me up.

Duane Wade – I wouldn’t touch this guy. Again, he may not seem like the fiercest fighter in the field, but he’s a perfectionist. He also clearly maintains his boyish good looks very carefully and would hate to mess them up. Therefore, he would be an avid competitor, making sure that nothing happens to his precious face, while at the same time striving to kick my ass at any cost. Although this may make him seem formidable, I’d totally take him. All I’d need to do is get one good scratch to his face and he’d fold like a cheap zoot suit. It’d be a riot. (hehe)

Charles Barkley – Now, I know what you’re thinking. He’s old. He’s out of shape. He’s bald. But he’s also three hundred and twenty pounds of unleashed testosterone. He’s sick of being ridiculed for being “old.” And he still has a grudge against his refs. A guy carrying that kind of pent up rage (and that kind of pent up weight) is nobody I want to go up against. Gnarles Barkley on the other hand? Well, that’s a different column…

Scottie Pippen – Sure, why not? Okay, I know what you’re thinking: Didn’t you grow up watching the Chicago Bulls in their heyday and rooting for number 33 all those years? Don’t you remember when he was arrested for driving with a concealed weapon under the front seat of his car? Yes, it’s true. I was a fan, and I remember the “incident.” But the thing is, he looks like a pre-school teacher. Albeit, a very tall one, but nonetheless, he appears as though he works out on a court of daisies, with his sweat fanned off his forehead by butterflies. I could totally take the guy.

Dick Bavetta – He’s old. And there’s nothing wrong with that – after all, Charles Barkley aspires to be old someday. But he’s tough and he’s kind of a badass. He might not be super fast, and he might not quite have the best coordination on the court, but he looks like he’s been trained by the Navy seals in the art of super spy trickery along the ranks of Ethan Hunt and Dwight Shrute. You would think he’d fight fair because of his age and devotion to the rule of etiquette, but as soon as you pause for a moment, he’d pop a move that Larry Moe or Curly would be proud of. Unless you could get him in one swift punch, I wouldn’t bother. That’s one crazy mother.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Thursday Fun

Some of you have been wondering what I've been up to. This clip is a re-enactment of a normal day of class for me. For the record I am the equivalent of Uter (the exchange student that can't speak)

Cheers and Jeers: Norwegian Iceberg Edition

Norwegian Iceberg
• Fill with Ice
• 3 shots Vodka
• 4 shots Sprite
• 1 shot blue Maui

Due to polar bear conditions here in the nation’s capitol, the drink of the week is the Iceberg. The District of Columbia deployed three plows along one road, salted, and hoped for that fiery ball in the sky known as the sun to get to work on time. Unfortunately, the sun failed to reach work and sub-zero temperatures locked the city into ice. This week’s sport should be called “Falling and Flailing.” I ate my MJ Flakes made with 100 % RAGE so let’s get onto it.

Before going onto the important business of cheering and jeering before the long weekend, I need to rant on Valentine’s Day. The connection with sport is easy. Follow my logic. I adore women. I also want naked time with my woman so the sport is attempting to maximize the fun part while minimizing annoying talks, and minimizing damage to your relationship and wallet (inverse relationship).

Woman (on the phone): “What are we doing on V-day?” --- Translation --- “you’d better think of something” (My brain—what do you mean we??? Is this the royal we from the big Lebowski? We do not do anything. It usually takes individual effort. Damn… I would really love some naked time on Wednesday. Time to play along)

Woman: “I really do not care what we do” --- Translation--- “if you make me look bad in front of my friends I will kill you” (Making girl look bad yields zero sexy time)
Woman: “I want to feel special” --- translation --- “make me feel special” (Special means she will be frisky)
Woman: “I’m up for anything” --- translation --- “JACKPOT—music to my ears”

I f#cking hate Valentine’s because it’s the most miserable holiday of the year. I pay more for what I normally get and I get my balls busted just for sport. Onto cheering and jeering…

Cheers: To Duke’s 4 game losing streak. I don’t care for Duke. No defense offered except that Bobby Hurley was annoying and Christian Laettner stinks. Too bad they got back to their winning ways last night. I hope the committee sends them to the NIT or better yet to the 8-9 game!!

Jeers: To annoying parents of annoying children. The apple does not fall far from the tree. Special jeers to parents who think any of the following:
a) My child is special (maybe… but Special Ed doesn’t count)
b) My child is going to make money playing sports or earn a college scholarship (nope— get used to it)
c) My child is going to do great things!! (Who knows… but your child’s coping skills won’t be improved by forcing your child to help fix your broken dreams).

Check out this video of classic parenting skills. I wasn’t aware that wrestling was supposed to be comfortable.

Cheers: To Samuel L. Jackson as a hockey coach. I love this idea. The very best actors should coach children (Mighty Ducks doesn’t count…) and teach them the life skills of ball busting, the upper cut, and Ezekiel 25-17. Other suggestions for coaching moves?

Cheers and Jeers: The Celtics won a game breaking their losing streak at 18!! See kids? Good things can happen to bad teams.

Happy long weekend to the BSD.

The Four Greatest Words in the English Language

"Pitchers and Catchers Report"

Happy Spring, everybody!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

PAC-10 - Facts, Stats, and Attempted Analysis

Barring any absurd NBA news, I’m planning on writing on college b’ball from here on out until the end of the tournament. I found it helpful for myself (and I hope it was helpful for others) when I analyzed the MVC last year , so I’m going to briefly provide some info on some of the more intriguing multi-bid conferences this year. Here's my proposed upcoming schedule, and if other people have things to contribute, etc. feel free to write before or after me to fill in the holes.

2/14 – PAC-10
2/21 – ACC
2/28- MVC (before their conference tourney begins)
3/7 - SEC

First off though, Let’s kick off with an interesting fact that I found…men’s college b-ball teams are actually shooting better from the FT line than in the past....
“Guess what? Like a lot of things that are supposedly lost arts, the idea that free-throw shooting used to be a lot better is a myth. Last season Division I teams shot 69.1 percent from the line. In the previous 25 seasons that number was higher only once (in 2002-03, when teams shot 69.4 percent). The high-water mark for free-throw shooting was 1978-79 (69.7 percent), but in the "good old days" teams shot far worse from the line than they do today. From the season the NCAA started keeping track in 1947-48 (a miserable 59.8 percent) to 1974-75 (69.0 percent), free-throw shooting was better than it was last season only once (69.2 percent in 1965-66). Contrary to what you might think, the men also shot free throws better than Division I women's teams did last season (68.55 percent).” NOTE: Not sure where to find the stats for this season, but I still thought it was interesting that the men have better fundamentals than the women, in at least one category.

Now, on to the PAC-10 Analysis:

UCLA, Sagarin Rating#4, 1st in conference at 10-2,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M, Wash St, Arizona, Oregon;
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Oregon, Stanford, W. Virginia (all on the road
3P% - 37.2%, Reb. Margin = +4.1, FT 65.2%, FG 48.8%, Opp. FG 42.3% --
Lots has been written on UCLA, and they certainly will be one of the favorites to win it all, considering that their top 7 can matchup with just about anyone in the country.

Wash State, Sag #16, 2nd in conference at 10-3,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Gonzaga, USC, Arizona (twice),
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Utah, UCLA, Stanford, Oregon (all on the road
3P% - 37.5%, Reb. Margin = -2.7, FT 70.3%, FG 46.7%, Opp. FG 39.5% –
This team has come out of nowhere to be in the top 10. The strong negative rebounding margin is alarming, but I guess not as alarming when you realize that they hold their opponents to sub-40% shooting. Their top player appears to be a 6’1” Guard, Derrick Low, who will continue throwing up shots. He has scored as few as 2, and as many as 37 this year, and only averages 14 ppg.

USC, Sag #34, 3rd in conference at 8-4,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Wichita St., Oregon (twice), Arizona
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: S. Carolina, Kansas St., Stanford (among others)
3P% - 40.1%, Reb. Margin = +0.6, FT 71.0%, FG 48.4%, Opp. FG 36.9% –
Not sure what to make of this young team. They weren’t supposed to be good until next year, when OJ Mayo arrives, but Tim Floyd (yes, the one who stunk in the NBA) is still a good college coach. Their defense is very stellar, judging from the numbers. Plus, their top 2 scorers, Young and Stewart, shoot 48.3 and 44.4% respectively from 3-point land. This will certainly be a dangerous team in the tourney (if you’re like me, and believe in 3-point shooting and defense).

Oregon, Sag #18, 4th in conference at 8-5,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Georgetown, Nebraska, UCLA, Arizona, Wash St.
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: USC (twice), Washington, UCLA, Arizona
3P% - 37.4%, Reb. Margin = +3.6, FT 75.3%, FG 44.3%, Opp. FG 44.2% –
I was getting really excited about these guys when they first took down UCLA. But suddenly, they’ve lost 4 of 6. Plus, these guys aren’t playing great defense at this point, where the opponents are shooting just as good as they are! Also of note, the loss to Washington was when their best player, PG Aaron Brooks, was out due to suspension. I really like the intriguing storyline though of a man out to bring goodwill to the name of “Aaron Brooks.”

Arizona, Sag #10, 5th in conference at 8-5,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Illinois, Memphis, UNLV
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Virginia, UNC, USC
3P% - 34.7%, Reb. Margin = +6.6, FT 74.7%, FG 48.7%, Opp. FG 44.0% –
Played one of the toughest schedules in the nation to this point. Great rebounding team, but for some reason, they haven’t been able to consistently put up points. The good news is their losing streak (5 of 7) is behind them. The bad news is they still have to play USC, UCLA, and Stanford.

Stanford, Sag #49, 6th in conference at 7-5,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: Texas Tech, Fresno St., UCLA
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Air Force, Santa Clara, Cal, Gonzaga
3P% - 34.5%, Reb. Margin = +6.2 , FT 66.9%, FG 44.6%, Opp. FG 40.6% –
Their coach is the former coach of Nevada, who recruited Fazekas… took Nevada to the Sweet 16 back in 2004, allowing him to get hired at Stanford. Still not sure what to make of these guys. They have a lot of nights when they struggle to get to 50 points. Their top player is a 6’8” sophomore forward, Lawrence Hill, who likes to also shoot 3s, but still shoots over 50% from the field.

Washington, Sag #57, 7th in conference at 4-8,
Non-conference wins & key conference wins: N. Iowa, LSU
Non-conference losses & key conference losses: Gonzaga, Cal,
3P% - 35.7%, Reb. Margin = +8.5, FT 71.6%, FG 47.3%, Opp. FG 45.2% –
I don’t believe in these guys at all, I’m really a U-W hater. I’ve never liked Washington, or trusted them, even when they had Brandon Roy and Nate Robinson. There’s certainly no reason to trust them this season, when they don’t have any studs. They do have a 6’11” freshman center though in Spencer “For Hire” Hawes, and a 6’7” rebounding machine, Jon Brockman. It’s a real big team, but they don’t appear to play good defense, at least not yet. I still don’t trust them.

Upcoming games to watch:
Thur 2/15 – USC at Arizona – 8:30PM
Sat. 2/17 – UCLA at Arizona – 11AM
Thur 2/22 – Wash St. at Oregon
Sat. 3/3 – USC at Wash. St.

Winter Sports a go go

Okay, im not sure what the title means, but the craptacular weather inspired me to write about the greatest winter sport ever. That’s right, broomball. Now if you don’t know what broomball is or how its played, check out this link:
also, here is a great video:
I suggest playing that video with Led Zeppelin II in the background, or the Velvet Underground’s self titled album.
Now, I played broomball all through college, I think I was playing at least 3 games a week my senior year. It’s a great workout and a lot of fun, and if you wear an Ohio State sweatshirt and khaki pants to play in, then the experience is even better.
Furthermore, broomball was the forum for one of the greatest rivalries in sports history, between the Jews on Ice (the Miami Hillel team) and Phi Sigma Pi (ivan and my Honor fraternity). This heated conflict broke out in much tension in which a couple yarmulkes got knocked off. However, the key is that the Jews never won a game and phi sigma pi consistently tore those jews a new one on the ice. The most memorable of which was the stunning playoff game in which a key Lazarus no-look pass to Goldberg led to the go-ahead goal with one minute left and the game ended 2-1. It was a remarkable moment in sports history, ESPN classic is interviewing the key players this summer so they can air the game in its entirety with commentary.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Dumbest Games Ever Played

If you were the athletic director of a college baseball team, and bad weather forced the cancellation of your opening weekend games against a non-conference opponent, what would you do? Would you reschedule the games? Throw up your hands and cancel them?

Or would you send your team 478 miles away to play the games in the wee hours of the morning?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Cheers and Jeers: Greek Lightning Edition

Cheers and Jeers: Greek Lightning Edition
• 1/3 oz Ouzo
• 1/3 oz Vodka
• 1/3 oz Chambord raspberry liqueur ( Cassis)

To those BSD enjoying the benefits of a Mediterranean climate (MJ, Mighty I’m looking in your direction), I hate you both right now. It’s cold as balls right now. The wind begins somewhere in Manitoba and one can almost smell the Canadian influence on said air. Lousy Canadian Air. Professional football players are taking refugee in the Pro Bowl aka the San Diego conciliation game. Rather than flee from the cold, it’s time to join the party. To those BSD drivers who live in Denver, March 18-24 I’ll be skiing and staying in Dillon Colorado. Anyone want to join me?

Cheers: To NCAA bracketology- In the February doldrums, St. Patty’s Day and Quad vision approach. The beginning of the tournament is much like the Monday after the Super Bowl and should be a US holiday.

Cheers: Part Deux: To the continued rise of the mid-major: Last year, the George Mason “non-constitutional signers” destroyed my hopes of a UCONN national championship. Each tournament one mid-major breaks brackets and hearts across the country. Prior entrants include: Weber State, George Mason, Butler, Gonzaga (before people knew them), Valpo, Southern Illinois (go salukis!), and the Kent State Golden Showers. Who will be the next player?

The Top 25 demonstrates the rise of the mid-major at the expense of the traditional powerhouses. Top college players will depart to the NBA leaving the mid-majors with juniors and seniors. (Sorry mighty—man child Odeon will leave before winning a national championship). The likes of Butler, Southern Illinois, Air Force all populate the top 25.

Who will win the bracket challenge? NCAA time combines Zen elements of faith, combinations, permutations, stats, philosophy (you don't win friends with salad), and simple taunting. Good Luck.

Jeers: Tank Johnson joins the NFL “California Penal League” made famous by Wild Thing Ricky Vaughn. He joins the majority of the Cincinnati Bengals, half of the Baltimore Ravens, and Cobra Commander.

Jeers: To the Italian Government

“MILAN, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Workers scrambled on Friday to bring San Siro stadium, Italy's most famous soccer venue, in line with security regulations to prevent this weekend's game between AC Milan and Livorno from being played without fans. The match is one of 11 games in Italy's top two divisions which will be off-limits to spectators, barring last-minute emergency works at the stadiums, after Italy approved tough anti-hooligan measures earlier this week.

The package, which forces venues that are deemed unsafe to close their doors to the public, was rushed through after a policeman was killed by rioting fans in Sicily last Friday. All matches were suspended pending approval of the new rules.”

Let me get this straight?? We all know and acknowledge the issues of hooligans inside European futball matches. In classic Italian style, the cops and authorities ignore the issue until one policeman was killed (never mind how many fans). The government imposes security mandates and gives the stadiums one week to comply or be forced to play the game without fans? I’m exhausted. It’s time for a glass of wine. For V-Day, I propose Oliver Hill Aussie Shiraz. It's got remarkable flavor for $35. It comes with the Publius guarantee.**

Cheers: To the best way to keep warm during February. The 28 day calendar filled with girl on girl Kama Sutra positions (NSFWish). This link does not have nudity but I’ll give it the label to avoid any issues. Scared? Open the link!! Don’t be a chicken!! You know you want to see it. Who can argue with girl on girl Kama Sutra?

** Guarantee: If for whatever reason you do not like this wine, send me the bottle and I will drink it.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Notes from the Periphery: All things College

Hello from the other side of the world. While I'm sequestered away in the land of the flaming soccer fields I have managed to keep pace with the wild world of college sports. February seems to be a great month of sports as the NBA is in midseason form, pitchers and catchers are on their way and college sports pockmark the landscape. So here's a few updates on the college world. I leave the other sports to those more knowledge and speaking English on a regular basis..

College Basketball
While this is the heart of college basketball season its not as crucial as it used to be given today's weighting of the conference tournaments for tournament selection. That said this time of your will be crucial for two groups of teams...teams vying for a top selection and bubble teams. There is a big difference between a 1-2 seed and 4-5 seed. To ensure that, you need to play to near perfection and build up the national hype. While UNC's youth laden team has been inconcistent at teams (starting lineup at right) they had more than enough talent to stomp the Dookies at Cameron. If UNC can play the way they did in the second half they should have no trouble securing a number one seed.

On the flip side a team sliding around the other end of the tournament spectrum is Kansas State. Kansas State you say, they have sports teams? While they might not have evolution classes, central heating or team colors that won't make your eyes bleed K-State landed old drink em and drive em Bob Huggins. Say what you will about Huggins but he can recruit them. As such K-State has suddenly whipped off some wins in the wacky Big-12 and has the Purple Cornwackers (or whatever K-State's mascot is) at 17-7. However their rivalry game against Kansas ended up in a police style beatdown 97-70. Its signature games like this that the tournament selection team will look at to sort out that bottom part of the selection process. So watch for those upsets and those let downs.

College Football We all know the insanest part of any sports calendar is the NFL Draft. Grown men and in the case of Idaho, grown potatos, have been known to follow the NFL Draft with insane intensity. Even though draft is less of a science than a colossal random clusterf**k and that the only information available is either misinformation or from THE HAIR people still follow draft news. Well I'm here to tell you as inexact as the NFL Draft is College recruiting is ten times worse. Imagine 10 times the players with maybe half the accouracy. There's no HAIR to tell us who's good or what to make of it, just a half dozen geeks, who possibly spend most of their time playing cheeserolling (pictured at right ) . Frankly these people are less likely to have brain cells than the US Senate is to have verterbrae. That said a few very very broad strokes to paint. USC and Florida by far were supposed to have the best recruiting classes. USC landed Joe Mcknight, who is supposed to be the next Reggie Bush (he scored a TD in high school every 2.1 touches. and that was off the field). Notre Dame landed the supposed best QB in the land (Jimmy Claussen) for the first time since Ron Paulus and will probably start right away. Three surprising great recruiting classes were by South Carolina, Illinois (Ron Zook) and North Carolina (Butch is back). Oklahoma and Ohio State had solid classes but were fairly small as both were waiting for next year's solid in-staters (which is also short hand for a little disappointing).

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Jeff Saturday – Super Bowl MVP and NBA Mid-season Report

First off, I am no longer alone in believing that Colts’ Center Jeff Saturday was the MVP of the Super Bowl.

Now, it’s time for the NBA Mid-season report - –
Fast and furious style

Surprise teams:
Houston – Overlooked between T-Mac’s unreliable back, and Yao missing games due to injury, is that the Houston Rockets are right in the thick of things! I think this is mainly due to the supporting cast, which is night and day compared to last year.
Last year, players who were logging over 20 min per night included: Derek Anderson, David Wesley, and Stromile Swift, all of whom are either old and not very useful at this point [Anderson, Wesley], or just a complete underachiever [Swift]. This year they have: Shane Battier, V-Span (the PG from the silver-medalist Greece team), and Chuck Hayes (a 6’6” Kentucky guy, playing PF and averaging a ridiculous 7.5 rebounds in only 20 minutes a night while being the starter). Basically, the Rockets finally realized how they were better off with younger, energetic guys who play defense, and do all the little things, as opposed to “older, proven” commodities like Derek Anderson, David Wesley, and Swift. Of course, Battier is a proven commodity, but I salute the Rockets for giving some good minutes to V-Span and Hayes. Plus, Bonzi Wells may finally be healthy. He may not be sane, but he will definitely help until Yao returns.
Utah – in-shape Deron Williams, Boozer, and a center that can hit 3s (Mem Okur) has proven to be a winning formula!
Toronto – things have really picked up lately for the Raptors (finally above .500) – all of the rookies from the Euroleague are contributing, and playing well (#1 pick Bargnani, Anthony Parker, Garbajosa). Not to mention, backup PG Jose Calderon (also from the Euroleague) did a great job holding down the fort while TJ Ford was injured. Plus, the Raptors have Bosh who’s out for revenge against all of the USA for continually being overlooked on last year’s World Championship team. And I thought this team wouldn’t be making noise until 2007-2008, they could be a tough out in the East.

Disappointing team: Most disappoint team in my mind is the Milwaukee Bucks. Talk about bad luck! Redd was injured, PG Mo Williams could have made the all-star game had he not missed 5 weeks, Villaneuva was out for 6 weeks, AND Bobby Simmons is out for the whole season! These guys missed 4 starters at the same time, and going into the season, they didn’t have much of a bench! Luckily, they are in the East, and once Redd, Mo “don’t call me Szyslak” Williams, and Villaneuva are all playing together, they may be able to still make the playoffs because they are only 5 games out.
It’s also worth noting that injuries have already wrecked the Nets (Nenad Kristic out for the season, after averaging 16.4 ppg, and 6.8 rpg!), Hornets (missed as many starters as the Bucks for a while), and Grizzlies (had Mike Fratello as their coach, and his hairline did not inspire confidence).

Intriguing team: the Grizzlies! They may lose every night, but I love the fact that they fired Mike “Czar of the Telestrator” Fratello after a pitiful start when they still were trying to run the shot clock down on every possession. This is Fratello’s way of attempting to level the playing field. It failed miserably though. So, the interim coach came in, and said something like: “If we’re going to lose, let’s at least RUN THE ENTIRE game! The fans will love it, it’s exciting, and we’ll probably lose either way, so let’s make it fun at least!”
Actually, that’s not what he said, but that’s what’s happened, as the Grizzlies now run the ball as much as humanly possible.

Breakout players:
Kevin Martin, Sacramento – scores at will, but the team keeps losing
Andris Biedrins, Center – Golden state – puts up some crazy numbers for my fantasy team, but I haven’t seen him play yet.
Emeka Okafor – Charlotte – his back is holding up, and he’s finally living up to some of his potential

Finals Outlook:
At the start of the season, I went with San Antonio over Miami. I don’t think it was a wise decision of course. I wanted to pick Phoenix, but SI already had done it. Really, it’s hard to say, but clearly, the favorite is either Dallas or Phoenix, and San Antonio can only win in a long-shot. The East is such a crapshoot it’s not even funny. Every team is flawed in some way, so anything is really possible. Detroit? Washington? Chicago? They’re all capable. I guess I’ll go with Washington, only because, as pointed out on PTI this week, Arenas can hit 75% of his shots from the college 3-point line with only hand.
This video is way too long – but basically, Arenas bet DeShawn Stevenson on who could shoot better - Arenas with 1 hand, or Stevenson with 2 hands and behind the 3-point line (I'm as perplexed as you are). Arenas won the bet, but it wasn’t just a gentlemen’s bet – it was for $20,000! I think it was unfair to Stevenson, who makes considerably less than Arenas. Nonetheless, it proves that Arenas is an incredible shooter.

Monday, February 05, 2007

MMBSD: Dominic Rhodes for MVP

Super Monday should be a US holiday. I have not seen my fellow office staffers more zombie like than this morning. Considering that last sentence was a miserable grammatical construction, it’s time to discuss the game.

How did Peyton “you’ll be seeing me on TV ALL DAY” Manning win MVP? I’m so tired of hearing his skank arse speak on TV I’m going to vomit. Fine. You won the Super Bowl (congratulations) and now please taunt Eli and keep him locked in the basement picking his zits until he can win a big game. Do you think the Manning Family taunts each other?

Manning Family over the Holidays:
Peyton (after watching his awful commercial): “I made 88 million on that advertisement.”
Archie: “Shut up. You haven’t won a Super Bowl. I still own you. Look at me? I didn’t win s#%t in my career but people still love and remember me. Whatcha you got?”
Eli: “Daddy!!! Pay attention to me!!! I need Clearasil, braces, a new set of training wheels and Bobby Sue said she wouldn’t goto the dance with me. Make people love me!!”
Peyton (whispering to Archie): “Should we stuff Eli into the dog house or the basement?”
Archie: “The basement. The dog earns his keep around this house by barking at Houston Oiler Fans.”
Peyton (after stuffing Eli into the basement): “Now that I won the Super Bowl, I’m cooler than you.”

1) Dominic Rhodes for MVP: I’ll settle for a split MVP (with Addai). The Colts churned out 190 yards on the ground on a sloppy field.

Rhodes: 21 carries for 113 and 1 TD
Addai: 19 carries for 77, 10 catches for 66 yards

2) Cheers to the sloppy weather!! The dome Team proved they could play in nasty conditions. While Rexy dropped to snaps and forgot how to hand the ball off, Manning and company turned the ball over only three times (I know this sentence sounds odd but it’s true) compared to the Bears 5. I love outdoor games, bad weather, bone crunching hits, and I would have preferred this game to have been played in Fort Wayne Indiana in negative 10 degree weather. Dan Marino can wear his Isotoners. How can a team who plays at Soldier Field look so bad in a warm weather shower?

3) The Colts defense was plain nasty. They knocked Cedric Benson into the next time zone and you could hear the hits even in the rain. Now BSD provides insights into the mind of Bob Sanders and the Indy Secondary: “Who is this guy who keeps chucking the ball up into the Florida rain?? I have nightmares of Brady taking me out to a nice seafood dinner, and never calling me again but this guy is borderline retarded. I loved it. Keep throwing us the ball.”

4) Prince did not have a wardrobe malfunction. Janet Jackson sparked nipplegate and I was worried Prince might show us his true love of Ace and Gary. It was great to see him working in the rain but seriously… all I could think about was the “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories” <>

“Assemble your crew, I’ll be outside.”

5) As easy (and fun) as it is to blame Sexy Rexy, the vaunted Bears Defense looked stagnant. Rexy made several poor choices but he didn’t pound out 191 yards on the ground (See #1). Until he joins the defense, the Bears have nobody to blame but the D. The Bears are not a good come from behind team.

For next season, Rexy's training and preparation will involve a steady diet of no boobs, lots of film, and fearing Bob Sanders.

Super Bowl XLI Post-Mortem

Congratulations to the Indianapolis Colts for winning Super Bowl XLI. Ok, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way (so I don’t look like I have sore loseritis), here are my Super Bowl related thoughts:

1. The Bears would be wise to bring back Thomas Jones. Cedric Benson had two carries, fumbled once, and got hurt. Jones had 15 carries and gained 112 yards. For the playoffs, Jones out-rushed Benson 301-104. I’m not saying Benson will never amount to anything (although I have my doubts), but the Bears offense really clicks when Jones is running the ball well.

2. The Bears would be wise to keep an open mind on the QB position. Brian Griese is most certainly not the answer but Rex Grossman may not be either. Improvement comes with experience and Rex, being a glorified rookie, still has a lot to learn. But throwing up jump balls? Who does that? How can a coherent strategy be to just chuck the ball downfield and pray that it gets caught? That’s not acceptable from a starting quarterback and Rex’s inability to minimize turnovers makes me doubt his ability to last in the NFL.

3. Honestly, for a team from a bad-weather city, the Bears looked like they’d never played in the elements before. I’m sure the ball was as slippery as a wet bar of soap but some of those fumbles were ridiculous. I’d have expected that from the Colts, but not from a team that plays outdoors in miserable weather four or more times a year.

4. Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl MVP because people can’t stop worshipping him, even in spite of his sometime mediocrity. Joseph Addai was the Colts’ leading receiver with 10 catches for 66 yards and also rushed for 77 yards on 19 carries. All told, Addai accounted for over a third of Indy’s total offense. In the meantime, Manning went 25/38 for 247 yards with a TD, an interception, and a final QB rating of 81.7. Take away that busted coverage/lucky heave-ho touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne and Manning’s final stats are 24/38-194-0-1-65.0. Not so MVP-ish to me.

5. Why does one victory have to be legacy-defining? Outside of sports, can anyone think of another facet of life where one thing erases all other things that have come before it? Peyton Manning is a player who clearly understands all aspects of the position he plays and he plays it better than just about anyone that’s ever played before him. Anyone who disputes that clearly knows nothing about football. Likewise, however, it’s always been fair to say that Manning has never played as well in big games as he does when the stakes are lower. I think that still holds true since, after all, Manning had another lousy playoff season. Throwing three touchdowns against seven interceptions and compiling a QB rating of 70.5 in January 2007 is hardly excellence personified. Does everything have to be so black-and-white? Can we simply not say that Manning will go to the Hall of Fame but that questions about his playoff performances are still valid?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Notes from the Periphery: Super Bowl Edition

Hello from a very different time zone. I'd like to add a quick comment. I've already said I'm picking the Bears and well rooting for them but frankly thats not important. The most important part of any Super Bowl is the food. The food makes the game enjoyable, makes the halftime show survival possible and is required in order to focus on grading the commercials. As such here is an educational video on why meat is better than vegetables for Super Bowls. Thanks Troy

Thoughts On...

On Football:

As if we didn’t already know how this story would unfold, as if it isn’t totally anticlimactic, Brett Favre says he’s coming back for his 17th season in the NFL.

The Packers are, metaphorically speaking, a franchise lacking in balls. Two years ago, when Favre posted his worst season as a pro QB, the Packers should’ve told him that it was transition time. Instead, they hemmed and hawed and let Favre walk all over what was once a respectable franchise.

Now the Packers have 2005 1st round draft choice Aaron Rodgers stuck on the bench making top draft pick money and the kid’s got no foreseeable future in the NFL. He’ll likely be a 5th or 6th year pro before he’s comfortable enough to be relied upon and that’s operating under the assumption that 2007 will be Favre’s last year in the league.

Favre might be a Hall of Famer and one of the 10 best to ever play the position but he’s killing the franchise he supposedly loves. If I were a Packers fan (and thank heavens I’m not), I’d secretly root for Favre to get injured in training camp. It’s the only way to keep him off the field and let the natural course of progress carry forward.

On Baseball:

The Yankees are faced with a similar issue regarding one of their veteran players. Bernie Williams has been offered a non-guaranteed minor league contract to come to spring training.

Unlike the Packers, the franchise has made its decision to move on without Bernie. However, just like the Packers, the Yanks seem unwilling to cut the cord completely. Someone – Brian Cashman or Joe Torre – should quietly pull Bernie aside and tell him that they’ll let him run around and throw one last time but that this is his chance to go away gracefully. The Yanks should not be put in the uncomfortable public relations position of having to cut Bernie, nor should they feel like they owe him any loyalty at the expense of some younger (and better) options.

I’ve been hard on Bernie over the past several seasons. The truth is his skills had slipped to the point that he shouldn’t have been an everyday player going back to 2002 or 2003. But I hope Bernie does the right thing and calls it a career. Then we can celebrate him and thank him for his 16 memorable seasons.

On Basketball:

Switching gears for a moment, I have to say that after half a dozen years away from the game, I’m back into the NBA. Not only have the Phoenix Suns reinvigorated my interest in pro hoops but my local team is actually fun to watch on most nights. Sure they’re not a playoff team and, yes, they have their flaws, but the Knicks are showing promise that reminds me of 1987 (the dawn of the Ewing era).

I saw this in the paper today and it sort of irked me:

“Magic Johnson suggested last night that the Knicks’ treatment and subsequent firing of Larry Brown may have hurt Eddy Curry’s chances of making the All-Star team this season.” – New York Daily News

I don’t see what the firing of Larry Brown has to do with Eddy Curry making the All-Star team. If the other Eastern Conference coaches are holding it against the Knicks for firing a lousy coach who showed no class, they are entitled to their opinion. But to hold it against players who play for the franchise? That’s petty and pathetic.

In truth, it would’ve been hard for Curry to make it to the All-Star Game. Shaq was voted in by the fans (ridiculous, since he’s only played 7 games this year) and Dwight Howard and Jermaine O’Neal are very deserving. Curry was snubbed, but it’s hard to see who he should’ve made it over.

Besides, even though Curry is having a breakout season and is showing encouraging signs of maturity and talent, I’m sort of happy that he didn’t make it to Las Vegas this year. It’ll motivate him for next year, especially if the snub was because of some small-minded vendetta against Isiah Thomas and the Knicks.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Cheers and Jeers: Super Bowl Edition

Super Bloody Screwdriver
• 1 shot Everclear
• 2 1/2 oz Sunny delight
• 1 oz Tropical fruit schnapps

Pour in the Everclear. Add the Sunny D and then the tropical fruit schnapps. Best if served chilled.

Calling all BSD— What time is it? Game time!! Please break out your beers and prepare yourselves for the final football game until September. Sunday will be a day of cheering, mourning, taunting, and jeering. Can anyone do this? You will need a beer to endure the continuous clatter of ESPN arse-clowns analyzing the impact of media on Sexy Rexy. I’m tired of it. Let’s play the game. Thankfully, we have predictions from the epic match-up between Jeff George versus Jim Harbaugh.

Cheers: To the Super Bowl preview.

Mourning: Barbaro passing away. It is time to bury and mourn this wonderful race horse and move on. For people familiar with Barbaro’s multiple fractures, it was clear from the onset that he would never recover. The injuries were life threatening and he would never walk again. Half a year later, he was finally put down. Rest in peace.

Jeers: To Shaq “I gotta get a whopper”
Emmnueo Cibrin, 18, veered into O'Neal's parked 2007 Cadillac Escalade [at 4 a.m. following the Heat's return from an away game]... O'Neal and his bodyguard saw Cibrin leaving the scene, and leapt into the damaged SUV to give chase. They tailed Cibrin and passenger Junior Rondon for about five minutes before catching up… O'Neal has been sidelined much of the season while recovering from knee surgery, but that hasn't slowed his fight against crime. The 34-year-old has repeatedly used his police skills since being sworn in as a Miami Beach police reserve officer in December 2005.

Shaq seems well enough to chase down those guilty of leaving the scene of an accident but not well enough to chase down opposing centers. The Miami Heat has a record of 20-25. Get well soon Shaq because your team sucks.

(Thanks to With Leather and the Miami Herald)

Cheers: To the Top 10 Cheerleading Videos of the Year. This post captures everything from a great USC backside to catfights. Meow!

Jeers: To the end of the NFL. Relax… please do not exercise, engage in productive activity, speak to your significant other, or engage in sexual relations on Sunday’s between 1pm ET and say… the end of NFL primetime? BSD will research which sport fills the void left by football.

Final Taunts to Mighty: good luck finding a place to watch the Super Bowl. I’ll be here eating your sesame chicken. Please send money… my picks last week were bent over and violated.