Thursday, July 10, 2008

One Play Does Make a Difference....

Not just in a game, but in life. Great story from The Mag and writer Bruce Feldman. Talks about the tale of James Felton and how one Tracy McGrady dunk started a spiral down from what could have been an NBA career, to being dead by 27.

One was a star. One was a nobody. In a little more than 10 years, one would have a $155 million contract, a 24,000-square-foot house with a nine-car garage and a sneaker with his name on it. The other, after spending time at five colleges and in alcohol rehab, would be dead.

It's not a long article and definitely worth the full read. I could understand the argument that Felton was troubled, and it was many events, not just that one that led to that path.

But I think its larger than that. I think its necessary to look at how a 16 year old kid can be affected by one event, and more importantly, without the right support system, how it can start to crumble down on top of him. There are a lot of ties one could make to inner-city life, being a young black male, no father, sick mother, etc. and I think most people are smart to see how everything ties together. But it is a lesson for every crazy sports parent out there. Just because you yell at your kid to suck it up, doesn't always mean they can. And not being there does make a big difference too.

ESPN The Magazine: The Wrong Side of Great

Dick Rod...What a Douche.

West Virginia got what they wanted, one last "Up Yours" to Dick Rod as he scampered to smelly michigan. An agreement was reached for Rodriguez to pay the $4 million outlined in his previous contract with West Virginia, but of course, Rodriguez isn't fronting the whole amount. Not even the majority of it. According to the Detroit Free Press,

Rodriguez will pay $1.5 million, spread over three years, beginning in 2010. U-M said it will pay the balance of the sum, $2.5 million, immediately and cover Rodriguez’s legal fees later.

Lovely. I really think this sets a bad precedent the way this whole situation has played out. You know, with the whole comparisons to slavery and everything? These buyout clauses have got to be enforced from the beginning or scrapped altogether. I guess I can take some satisfaction that $2.5 million in booster bucks will be used for that instead of trying to buy their next recruits.

Or keeping their current players since they seem to want to jump ship too. And don't worry, scUM fans are being as classy as ever about it too. Make sure to look at the first comment after the story.

Way to go Dick Rod, see you in November.

Detroit Free Press: Rodriguez, scUM will pay buyout to West Virginia
Charleston Daily Mail: Rich Rodriguez's lawyer uses slavery in regard to coach's buyout
Deadspin: Rich Rodriguez and michigan buy 64% of West Virginia
Deadspin: Justin Boren transfers from michigan to The Ohio State University

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

College Basketball Is About To Be....Jammed!!!

The announcement came fairly quietly, but 2009 NBA lotter pick Brandon Jennings announced he was foregoing his opportunity to play at the University of Arizona, and honing his game in Europe.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. College Basketball is one of my favorite sports, but the creation of the mandatory one year rule for prep stars might do way more damage than help as many thought it would.

The arguments were allowing players to become more NBA ready, giving the college game an opportunity to have these athletes for at least one year, and make teams stronger throughout the NCAA. Also it was said that it would give young athletes a chance to further their education, to become more ready for the real world.

Opponents have said that this isn't true, and that renting a player for a single year does more damage to a program than it helps.

It is not as if a player has to do much at school as it is anyway. They have to pass two classes with a D average for the fall semester to be eligible for the basketball season. That is it. This doesn't sound like great preparation for the real world to me (Although, for the record, according to the end of Animal House, John Blutarsky did become a U.S. Senator).

So Brandon Jennings becomes the pioneer, the first one to say "Piss off college basketball, I was only coming for a booty call anyway." And as long as he is remotely successful, be prepared to see this happen again and again.

Sporting News: Arizona recruit Jennings opts to play in Europe

Has It Been That Long?!

Well apparently, I've been a lazy piece of shit, and haven't updated the blog in awhile. Well it is time to change that. I'll be working on adding (hopefully) a few blogs through the end of the week.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sports Guy New & Old

So not to keep up with the Bill Simmons stuff, but something I found interesting checking out the WWL this morning. Simmons has a new post on the leader about his ramblings. The surprising part was how it seemed to not be so tame as some of his other posts. A couple examples...

Speaking of "Idol," you know this whole David Archuleta thing has to be absolutely killing Michael Jackson, right? Twenty years ago, poor David would have been wearing a sequined glove and sleeping over at Neverland Ranch by now.

I know she's doing a fine job, but does it make me a sexist that I can't listen to Doris Burke analyze NBA playoff games without thinking, "Woman talking woman talking woman talking woman talking ..." the entire time?

...And can ESPN organize a Josh Howard roast so I can stand on a dais and make these jokes as someone like Jerry Stackhouse keels over in hysterics and does the slumped-over-and-pounding-the-table routine? (Whoops, I forgot -- you'll see Danny Moder leave Julia Roberts alone for the night with George Clooney before you see ESPN get involved with another roast. Scratch that thought.)

I mean, I'm not saying, but I'm saying. Maybe ESPN is starting to give into some of his "promises" a bit in trying to make the workhorse happy. Either way, interesting in the grand scheme of this apparent near pissing contest between Simmons and ESPN.

Simmons also updated his other blog with a new story on Will McDoogle. It was a pretty solid piece I thought. More than any other reason, I'm enjoying the older stories so far because it really seems like watching a writer develop or hit that stride. You can see some of Simmons shtick that he uses now start to show through back then. Just an interesting point of view to look at it through.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bill Simmons Is Reminiscing and Pissed

Deadspin got the ball rolling with their interview of Bill Simmons and it wasn't real hard to figure out he wasn't happy. Then came word of his non-espn blog and you could see he was keeping the anger flowing. Now today he updates with a "new" old article from his past making sure to take a pot shot as well.

"This particular one was written right as I was starting to find a groove and my column was starting to resemble what it's like now, only if nobody was killing five of the best jokes or making me re-write them so they weren't as funny."

Honestly, I've really enjoyed (for the most part) Simmons over the past few years, and this makes me near giddy watching this unfold. For his sake, lets hope he doesn't run into Cris Carter in the hallway.

You can check out his latest blog posting and his blog here.

Credits to Deadspin, Awful Announcing, and Sporting News for links above.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


So, arguably the best sporting event of the year takes place this week in the "Big Dance", the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. An even that has produced and crushed more dreams than possibly any other sports championship in history. I'm not gonna break everything down because you can find roughly 23097823509 other blogs/sites that discuss this in much greater detail, but I'm gonna give you some of my feelings as the tourney starts up.

How many REAL upsets will there be?

This is pretty intriguing. For me, upsets stop in the sweet 16, unless its an obscene difference in seeds, and the 8-9 matchup is never an upset. Also, these are the potential upsets I see by seed, not by point spread. Listed in the order of likeliness.

1. Davidson (10) over Gonzaga (7)
2. Siena (13) over Vanderbilt (4)
3. St. Mary's (10) over Miami, Fl. (7)
4. Baylor (11) over Purdue (6)
5. Kansas St. (11) over USC (6)
6. Temple (12) over Michigan St. (5)
7. St. Joseph's (11) over Oklahoma (6)
8. South Alabama (10) over Butler (7)

The big one on my sheet will be Siena over Vandy. I think Vandy is over-ranked, and in reality, I think they aren't that good. They were crap on the road, and Siena plays well away from home. Cheering for OSU, I saw way too much Big 10 basketball for any human being this year and it was horrendous. That being said, I like Tom Izzo as a coach, but if you shut down Neitzel, they struggle from the perimeter. Purdue is good but another team that doesn't play well away from home. Oklahoma got shellacked and you just never know how a team will bounce back from that, plus St. Joe's is getting a lot of support. Butler got shafted in this seed and then has to play South Alabama IN Alabama. Just has trap written all over it.

Which of the #1-3 seeds has a chance to lose before the first weekend is out?

So taking a look at the four #1's, 2's and 3's which might lose in the first two rounds. Again, listed in an order of likeliness that I think it could happen.

1. Stanford
2. Tennessee
3. Wisconsin
4. Xavier

Stanford, I just don't know about them. I mean, all I've heard is about the Lopez brothers, but I just don't see them as a powerhouse. Lone benefit to me for them is they are playing in Cali. If Marquette is knocking down the jumper they are dangerous, and whoever Stanford plays in the 2nd round will be bringing their defense to Anaheim.

I can't say this enough but Tennessee is undependable. Last year they choked down the stretch to OSU. This year they've looked mortal since beating Memphis, losing on the road at Vandy, and should have lost to Kentucky. Then bounced by Arkansas (an 8) who got run off the floor by Georgia (a 14) in the SEC championship. I just don't like em and a pissed off Butler would have all the non-Tennessee fans cheering them on in rival SEC country.

Wisconsin. You won the Big 10. It's comparable to getting dumped but getting the last scathing remark in. In the long run, it didn't do anything for you, but at that time, you felt much, much better. They play defense. That's all I can say, they have no go to scorer or dependable shooter in my opinion. I watched them in the game hold Michigan to 34 points, but the scarier thing to me was they didn't hit a shot for nearly 8 minutes in the 2nd half! I like Kansas St. matching up bodies, and if it's against USC, the PAC-10 schools are just stronger, period.

I like Xavier a lot actually. But they play a potentially hot Georgia team, and then a potential trap against Purdue-Baylor. Both have shown good things through the year, and you just hope they hype of "walking to the sweet 16" doesn't go to Xavier's heads.

Which teams look like they could win it all, but are too terrifying to trust?

This one is simple for me. Scariest teams (in my opinion) rated first.

1. Kansas (1)
2. Texas (2)
3. Memphis (1)
4. Georgetown (2)

I love Kansas. LOVE. Rock Chalk Jayhawk. And I think Bill Self is a real swell guy. But I do not trust Bill Self one bit in a big game. I just can't do it. Just too scary.

Texas, well, I don't like Texas to begin with. But they are one helluva team this year. The problem is, Rick Barnes coaches them, and he might be worse than Bill Self. No bueno for me.

Memphis...if I was up by 2 possessions against them with a minute to go, I might just foul them. Not even let them run their offense, just let them go and shoot their 62% from the line.

Georgetown can definitely win it all, but Roy Hibbert NEEDS to be on the floor. If they get in foul trouble and he has to spend time on the bench, thats Barney Rubble for them.

So smart guy, who is going to the Final Four and who is winning it all?

Here is my Final Four: East - UNC, Midwest - Georgetown, South - Pitt, West - UCLA

Yes Pitt. I watched them play a few times and now that they are healthy, they are hitting full stride. I mean, this is a team that can play with ANYONE in the country right now and they are full of confidence. The rest can't be that surprising.

I have UNC beating Georgetown and UCLA beating Pitt, with UNC taking home the title.

UNC is just too strong, and too good. They run the floor exceptionally, can handle any defense you throw at them, with playing some tough defense of their own. Rebound the ball better than most, and have outstanding shot blockers. They also have guys that can knock down the 3 with consistency and inside presence even with others on the bench. Just can't see anyone beating them at this stage as long as everyone stays healthy.

Last one, what teams are good enough to win it, without getting as much love from the public?

Here is a quick list of teams, in no particular order and ranked #3 or higher, that can win it all.

Louisville (3)
Pittsburgh (4)
Marquette (6)
U Conn (4)
Xavier (3)
Clemson (5)

We'll find out in a couple weeks how everything turns out, but no matter what, it makes March a wonderful time of year.