Tuesday, January 31, 2006

J-E-T-S W-T-F??!!

The New York Jets hired 32 year-old Brian Schottenheimer, son of Marty, to be their new offensive coordinator. Because when you think offense, the first name to come to mind is Schottenheimer. I'm sure that Brian Schottenheimer is well qualified to be running the offense of a professional football team. Why, just look at his resume: Coached for his dad at San Diego. Coached for his dad at Washington. Congrats, Jets' fans- you just landed the next Mike Shula.

The former Chargers QB coach is 10 years younger than Jets' QB, Vinny Testaverde. I'd love for Vinny to come back next year, just for the possibility that Brian tries to correct him on the sidelines, and NFL Films catches Vinny yelling to his coach, "Listen, I was throwing passes when you were still a gleam in your dad's eye!"

Nice Rack....er Racket. Nice Racket!

Some stuff I was reading and watching when I wasn't typing this...

ESPN.com actually stopped writing about Jerome Bettis being from Detroit for once; and when they did, they came up with some good stuff.

Ted Cluck watched the full week of Senior Bowl coverage on the NFL Network and wrote a very entertaining diary of the experience. Here's a snippet of the intro:

I love football, but I love the NFL draft even more. The draft had me at "with the 247th pick in the 1987 NFL draft, the Indianapolis Colts select Bob Ontko, LB, Penn State." If I were Tom Cruise, I would jump up and down on a sofa for the NFL draft. If I were John Cusack, I would lift a boom box above my head and play a Peter Gabriel tune.
For the past several years, my buddy Regner and I have been watching all 173 hours of NFL draft coverage together. We call it Draftmas, and wear the jersey of our favorite busts -- Rashaan Salaam (8 bucks and change on eBay) for me, Joey Harrington for him.
This year, Chuck Klosterman is doing a running blog of the Super Bowl hype from Detroit. Klosterman's writing is hit and miss, but the hits more than make up for the times when he just comes off as a pretentious music geek. I wonder if Bill Simmons is getting a little nervous that ESPN is handing out the bigger gigs to someone with a little more creativity? Oh well, I suppose Simmons could still do a Bi-Curious Guy Q&A with Tom Brady and polish the All Pro QB's nuts some more...

Everyone who said that Boston clearly got the better of the trade with Minnesota is feeling a little foolish today. Marcus Banks: 20 pts and 6 assists in 21 minutes; Mark Blount: 16 pts, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks in 28 minutes; Ricky Davis 4 of 9 shooting, 5 rebounds, 5 assists. Final score: Minnesota 110, Boston 85. The headline on ESPN: "Celtics Sczerbiak scores 22 in Loss to Former Team." Nice to see that ESPN still managed to keep the story focused on the New England team, instead of the three players that actually played well...

Villanova is better than Louisville. But you already knew that...

To noone's surprise, Mike Shanahan is making his overtures at Terrell Owens. I can't remember, was Jake Plummer the quarterback T.O. was predicting would have led the Eagles to an undefeated record if he'd been at the helm instead of McNabb? I know it was a QB that throws horrible INTs at the worst times, but the name escapes me...

And just because I want an excuse to post this pic... Scarlett Johansson credits tennis with helping her maintain her knockout body. "Tennis is great. You don't even notice how much you run. You get a nice body, taut legs and great butt." Ya know, I don't think anyone would complain about Title IX if instead of funding women's field hockey, all of the money was going towards creating world class tennis facilities at universities across America. Something to consider.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Titlin' the Day Away

If there are any poker players out there, right now Layne Flack is playing two tables of 10/20 NL Hold 'Em at Full Tilt Poker (link at right). He just made an all-in reraise move for $2,000 holding 4s2s. Unfortunately for Flack he was up against pocket Kings, and doubled up his opponent. If you've got 2k in cash to buy in to the table, Flack is definitely playing an action game.

By the way, feel free to put INSOMNIAC in the Bonus Code when you sign up for a 100% bonus. (sorry, i'm going to do a lil' more pimpin' for my ads now that I've got hosting fees).

Tim Hardaway was Unavailable

With ABC/ESPN in a full panic about having the Super Bowl in the one year that their beloved Patriots aren't playing for the Championship, network executives have made a panic move and hired Bill Belichick to be a guest analyst aside Mike Tirico during ABC's pregame show. Have they never seen Coach Bill during his press conferences? He's painfully boring and provides absolutely no information whatsoever. This is the most misguided in-studio guest since Fox had Jared from Subway stop by to give his low-cal analysis. I wish ABC had given Stuart Scott the anchor position for this gig just so I could see Belichick stare blankly as Stu is keepin' it real. As it is, the pregame should go something like this:

Tirico: Coach, the Seahawks have had a high-powered offense all season. But they haven't faced a defense like the Steelers yet. What do you think will be the keys to success for the Seattle offense?

Belichick (mumbling): If you want to score points, you gotta get into the end zone, If you don't get in the endzone, no points.

Tirico: And on the other side of the ball, what will Pittsburgh be doing on defense to try to stop Seattle's attack?

Belichick: mmgmgmgmg...tackle the guy with the ball.

Tirico: Let's send it back to you, Chris.

Chris Berman (pulling hand out of pants): Wow. Thanks coach. What a privilege it is to have the three-time Super Bowl Champion....ya think about the great minds in football history...Belichick, Lombardi, and who's next? Will it be Holmgren? Cowher?...Let's talk about the game...and, "I don't want to cause no fuss, but can I buy your Magic Bus?"

(Irvin, Young and Tom Jackson give rehearsed laugh.)

...Maybe I'll just watch the Lingerie Bowl instead.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Miracle at Maples

The things I saw when I wasn't cursing at my pc and the wonderful people at Blogger...

The Washington Huskies flight into Seattle will be a little bit lighter today, as freshman guard Justin Dentmon will be walking home. With Washington leading by 3 points, Dentmon fouled Stanford guard Chris Hernandez on his desperation 3 pt attempt with 0.2 seconds remaining. Hernandez stepped up to the line and hit all three free throws to force overtime. With all the momentum favoring the Cardinal, they cruised through overtime and won 76-67. Dentmon can be thankful that his coach was the usually calm Lorenzo Romar and not someone like Bruce Pearl or Bobby Knight, who likely would have dismissed him from the team, kicked him out of school, and had his parents incarcerated...

By the way, the Stanford crowd loses major points for rushing the court. It's a home game in the middle of the Pac-10 season. I don't care if it was a miracle to get into OT. Act like your team has won a game before, kids...

Men In Tights: This time it was King James wearing pantyhouse on the hardwood. He must get a kick out of Leggs, because he put the team on his back and carried them to a victory over Phoenix. It didn't hurt that the Suns are allergic to playing defense. Cav fans were not only treated to a 4o+ point performance by Lebron, but since the Cavs scored more than 100 points, everyone in attendance got a free Taco Bell chalupa! With a promotion like that, suddenly those $85 seats don't seem like such a bad deal...

From what I could tell, Kobe wasn't wearing the tights today. Either that, or he's switched to the "nude" variety to keep it sexy...

The San Diego Padres continued to assemble their old-timers team by signing Mike Piazza to a one year, $2 million contract. Ladies and gentlemen, Mike Piazza, Vinny Castilla, Andy Ashby, Eric Young....THESE are your San Diego Padres!!

Also in San Diego- Tiger Woods did what he does and won a golf tournament. I did what I do and watched anything other than a golf tournament...

Work, Work, Work

Ok, so I got the images back onto the main page, but I still haven't been able to get the archives working. I don't know if anyone actually ever clicks on the archives, but still, it would be nice to have.

I'd also like to have the comments page hosted on the new server rather than on blogger's. I'm sure this would be relatively easy if I had half a clue what I was doing. If anyone has any experience moving from blogger to their own server, or knows the code for a comments page that resembles the permanent link page, please leave a comment or hit me up with an email. Thanks.

Damn Those Alliance Vans

Ok, it looks like my images didn't make it in the move over to the new server.

I'm still workin' on some bugs here...

Saturday Night Fever

I did something really strange today and actually went outside and had a life on the weekend. I was confused and disoriented most of the time, but I survived the experience intact. Now I'm catching up on some games on Tivo. (Yes, I actually Tivo'd 8 hours of hoops today. Yes, I know I have a problem. No, I don't want any help.)

Georgetown is running an offense that big time basketball programs haven't seen in years. They pass the ball around, get everyone involved, move without the ball, and take good shots. I know- it sounds weird, but it's working for them. The Hoyas shot 51.7% from the field en route to beating Cincinnati 76-57. Georgetown, the only team in the Big East to have five players averaging in double digits, was led this time by Jeff Green.
"A lot of people who don't really understand the game equate playing well with scoring points," Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. "And Jeff Green has played well all year for us. Some games he's scored, others he hasn't, but he has played well all year."
Maybe Vince Carter was right afterall...

Thanks to Zach for pointing out the Oregon State cheerleaders' outfits to me. Other than watching Ryan Hollins trying to act tough despite looking like he could star in, "The Crying Game 2: So Many Tears," the Beavers squad in tight black (sorry, couldn't find a pic) were the most entertaining part of the UCLA/OSU game. As for the game itself, my jinx continues as Arron Afflalo struggled again from the field, although he did contribute with 10 rebounds. By the way, the Bruins shot 3-19 from 3 pt land. UCLA would have to make 65 consecutive three pointers to match the same percentage that JJ Redick (8-10) shot from distance Saturday...

Redick's line: 11-13 from the field, 10-11 from the line, 40 points, 4 rebounds, and one assist. That is damn impressive, and well, Kobe-like. Redick scores almost half of his team's points, and is considered the best player in the college game. Kobe does the same thing for the Lakers and is a ball-hog. Has Scoop Jackson written about this yet???

Speaking of ESPN writers, I get almost all of my Boston Celtics news from Bill Simmons. It's not so much that I crave biased, three page rants about teams I could care less about, but rather that I just can't stand listening to Tommy Heinson on the Boston tv coverage. He makes Dick Vitale sound impartial by comparison. So anyway, given that all my influence was from Simmons, I've always thought that Mark Blount was a sorry excuse for a basketball player who could only score if the ball bounced off of his head and into the hoop. But, actually watching him for the Timberwolves against San Antonio tonight, it's obvious that he has some game. He went 9 for 12 from the field, with 6 boards, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. If he can actually be a viable scoring threat in the post, he should be able to open things up for KG. Maybe the Twolves didn't get ripped off afterall???

You know those rotating ad banners that many stadiums have down by the scorer's table? While watching the Spurs' game, I noticed one that said, "I can't jump. But I can cook." Unfortunately, it was a Jack in the Box ad. For a minute, I thought the WNBA had finally found a slogan that I could get on board with!

Oklahoma was very impressive in beating Texas tonight, but good lord, what was going on with the Oklahoma cheerleaders? They were wearing red skirts that were reminiscent of a soccer mom's shorts. Their makeup looked like it was applied by the local trailer park's Avon representative. Then to top it off, they were all wearing baggy white tshirts that are usually reserved for college girls trying to hide their freshman 15. If this is what's become of the Farmer's Daughter, sorry, but I think I'll f*ck the sheep instead...

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Come Fly With Me

Unbelievable- I actually went 2-0-1 on my picks today. If Lebron could learn to hit a damn free throw in crunch time, it would have been a perfect 3-0. But I guess we can't have it all.

Especially if by "all," you mean PCP. Now I finally understand why the Birdman thought he could fly. Chris Andersen was dismissed from the NBA for violating the league's substance abuse policy. It's the league's policy not to reveal the specific drug that caused the violation. But judging by his slam dunk performance, I think we can safely rule out steroids. My guess is that he was dropping acid under that aqua headband of his...

New owner Henry Samueli has decided to remove the "Mighty" from his Anaheim Mighty Ducks. There may also be a corresponding change to the logo and uniforms. This won't really have much of an effect on casual fans or the players, but it's a serious blow to Emilio Estevez, who was really hoping that "D4: Oh Those Mighty, Mighty, Mighty Ducks" would be greenlighted...

Chris Paul is getting all of the Rookie of the Year talk, and deservedly so. But another rookie that's been very impressive is Pacer guard/forward Danny Granger. Tonight against the Cavs, he was hustling on both ends of the court and hitting his shots. He finished with 21 points on 8-11 shooting, 14 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 assists. He's looking like a steal at #17 for the Pacers...

NBAdraft.net has posted a 2006 mock draft. They have Atlanta getting the #1 pick and drafting Adam Morrison. Because that's what this Hawks team needs- another 6'8 forward. Their highest ranked PG is Rajon Rondo out of Kentucky. I'm partial to Daniel Gibson out of Texas, unless he encounters a shower head that has too much water pressure or something and gets another concussion...

Ron Artest and Kobe both played. But I'm tired of hearing about them both, so if you want to hear what they did, flip on ESPNews...

Friday, January 27, 2006

Her Game is Sick.

Is Amelie Mauresmo poisoning her opponents' water? For the 3rd time, including the semifinals and finals, an opponent retired during their match against Mauresmo. In the Australian Open finals, Henin-Hardenne struggled all match long- Whether she played poorly because she was ill or whether she was ill because she played poorly is open to debate. Judging by Henin-Hardenne's reaction- she grimaced, then told the judge, "I can't. I'm sorry," I'd say the illness was genuine.

Still, she should have pulled a McNabb and vomited on the court, then continued her play.

Gam Bowl

I'm a little late getting these picks out. Black Russians for lunch was a bad idea

Cleveland -4 at Indiana. Jermaine O'Neal, out. Peja, on an airplane. If there's any good news for the Pacers, it's that they can look back at history and see a Spurs team that lost David Robinson to a back injury for the majority of a season. They then tanked the season and landed Tim Duncan with the first pick of the next draft. Unfortunately, Greg Oden can't turn pro for another year, and the idea of an Adam Morrison lottery isn't all that exciting. So, I take it back Pacer fan...there is no good news.

Sacramento at Boston under 198.5. Ron Artest should play this game which should lead to one of two scenarios. Either he'll come out pumped and shut down Paul Pierce, or he'll come out crazed and start a brawl that leads to eight ejections. Either one will support the under.

Golden State +8 at Lakers. Jason Richardson is out, but this was going to be Baron's game anyway, so I'm not overly concerned. Yes Kobe will have his 40, but as long as the Lakers as a team have fewer than 104, then GS should beat the spread.

Are you feeling me???

I'm having trouble focusing today. I'm just too excited about tonight's opening of Big Momma's House 2. He's a cop...he's a woman...he's old...he's fat...AND it's a sequel (because so many questions went unanswered in the original). I'm used to most movies being formulaic, but this is such a bold move to try to incorporate EVERY formula all into one. They were going to have Martin change races too and play a cop disguised as an old, fat, white woman, but the studios decided that it would just be too much comedy for one audience to handle...

Catching up from last night...

UCLA and Oregon played a really ugly game on Fox Sports last night. UCLA scored only seven points in the first 13 minutes of the second half. But then in the last seven minutes of the second half, they held Oregon without a field goal. UCLA won the brickfest 56-49, and for now is in sole possession of first place in the Pac 10. Unfortunately for basketball fans, there were no other college games to turn to during the 7:30-9:30 time slot, as every Fox sports channel was showing this game. Cal was hosting Washington at the same time, a game that Cal led most the way and held on to win 71-69, although there is no video evidence to support that claim. I'm assuming that one of the reasons (besides saving money) FSN chose to put UCLA/Oregon on every channel , is because the Oregon cheerleaders usually rival USC as hottest in the country. However last night, half of the squad was wearing uniforms that you'd expect to see in a junior high jazz dance class. Very disappointing, and Karma made them pay...

After Kobe went off for 81, there were floods of commentary that said that many players could score 81 points if they were the only player on their team and decided to take over. One of the players put on such a list was Ray Allen. Well, last night in the Sonics/Mavs game, Luke Ridnour, V. Radmanovic, and Reggie Evans were all out, and the Sonics needed Ray Allen to take over. He responded by shooting 9-21 from the field, including 2-11 from 3 pt land and scoring 25 points. He also missed some wide open 3 pt shots down the stretch while the game was still close. I like Ray Allen, and everyone is entitled to an off night of shooting- but Kobe scored 61 in three quarters against the Mavs. Against the same defense, Ray-Ray should have at least put up half of that over the course of a full game...

The Celtics traded Ricky Davis, Mark Blount, Marcus Banks, and Justin Reed to Minnesota for Wally Sczerbiak, Michael Olowokandi, Dwayne Jones, and a future #1. I don't know if Danny Ainge made the team any better; but he did make them a little bit whiter, so I'm sure he's proud. His vision of rebuilding the Celtics as a "vanilla" roster is near completion...

I don't usually watch hockey until the playoffs, so I'm not all that qualified to speak on the subject. But reviewing a couple headlines from yesterday left no doubt that hockey players are the toughest in sports:
"Forsberg out two games with torn groin."
"Pacers' O'Neal to miss 8 weeks with groin injury."

Finally, I have to apologize. I made three basketball picks, but didn't post them here. I went 1-2, so those going opposite my picks would have been +1 for the day. My bad.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Respect the Cocks

South Carolina beat Florida last night to hand the Gators their second consecutive defeat, and all night long, I wanted to type that title, but Blogger was down. So I waited and waited, and now it's finally working and I've been able to get the Magnolia line off my chest. But honestly, it was a bit anticlimactic. Kind of like losing my virginity..well, except without all the apologizing.

In other hoops, West Virginia lost to Marshall after Kevin Pittsnogle guaranteed victory for the Mountaineers. Oops...Michigan beat Michigan State, giving further credence to the theory that you should never bet against the home team in the Big 10...Seton Hall put a beating on NC State, which gives the Big East two big wins over ranked ACC teams this week. The Big East is easily the strongest conference in the country this year. Although that isn't quite as impressive of a feat when you have 50 teams in your conference.

I somehow missed the semifinals of the Aussie open. I have no idea how I let this happen. Maria Sharapova may want to reexamine her habit of looking over at her father and coach after every point. I think she puts too much pressure on herself when she feels like she's being judged with every swing, and I'm sure Justine Henin-Hardenne was able to exploit Sharapova's tightness on her way to victory. The strangely cute Henin-Hardenne reached the finals in 3 sets where she'll face Amelie Mauresmo, who would be hot in her own right if she didn't, ya know, look like a man and all...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Jesus Walks

Kanye West will appear on the cover of the next issue of Rolling Stone, posed as Jesus, complete with a crown of thorns atop his head. I'm sure once this issue comes out, there will be plenty of righteous indignation coming to a Fox News Channel near you. But rather than pile on Mr. West, I thought I'd examine the parallels between the rapper and the savior. Here's what Kanye West and Jesus Christ have in common:

Both keep it real.

Both spoke out for the rights of the poor and needy.

Jesus had masses following him at the sermon on the mount. Kanye sold out the Palladium.

Both allegedly liked a little cannabis from time to time.

Both think George Bush is a total fuckup.

Neither are big fans of gold diggers.

Neither are Chinese.

So think about that before you go off on a crusade to judge Kanye West. And if that doesn't help, Kanye also admits that he's addicted to porn in his interview. Sure it's unrelated, but who can't sympathize with that?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Who Can't Hold Your Jock Now

Have you ever fantasized that you were Mel Kiper, Jr? Sure you have. We've all sat alone on a Saturday night, put a couple handfuls of mousse in our hair, and reviewed game film of the day's college action to see how quickly the right guard for Vanderbilt can get out of his stance. Sadly, once the BCS championship game is played, all we have left are our Tivo'd copies of Jefferson Sports action whenever we want a little thrill. Well buck up lil' draftnik, the NFL Network feels your pain. That's why all this week, the NFL Network will be covering the Senior Bowl practices live! Want to see Mathias Kiwanuka run into a heavy bag? Channel 212 on DirecTv is the place to be. Who knows, maybe if you study enough, you might be able to discover the next Vincent Jackson or Mike Mamula! Besides, you wouldn't want to look like an idiot the next time you're discussing Jay Cutler's arm strength when throwing the deep out, now would you??

Eight Percent of the SportsNation Loves Bowling

Ok, so it's obvious that ESPN has decided that they're going to latch on to Jerome Bettis as the central figure for Super Bowl 40, and I can understand why. He's likely retiring after the SB. He can be counted on for an entertaining interview and usually has a smile on his face. His fumble and Roethlisberger's tackle are, to this point, the lasting images of the playoffs. So ok, I can see why he's on the front page of espn.com this week. However, to have him as a finalist for this survey is a bit of a stretch:

Even crazier is that he managed to get 8% of the votes! The question is poorly phrased, but since the list includes both retired and deceased players, I can assume they mean greatest pro player to wear a Pit uniform of all-time. Now, I'm not piling on Jerome Bettis- I'm sure that if he played for the Carolina Panthers, and they were in the Super Bowl, he would be a finalist for Charlotte's greatest pro athlete. I also know that ESPN probably wanted to include an active Steeler to make the list topical. But Pittsburgh has a very rich history of professional sports, and to include Bettis for the voting is a slight to that tradition and history. Just off the top of my head, here are a few pros who wore a Pit jersey that are more deserving:

Honus Wagner, Willie Stargell, Barry Bonds, Mean Joe Greene, Swann/Stallworth

(Truth be told, Troy Polamalu is probably the greatest pure athlete on this Steelers team. But since he's only in his second year, I can see why he wouldn't make the cut.)

I suppose it's possible that 2,000 of the people that have logged on thus far are 12 and under, and have neither a sense of history nor an appreciation for hockey. It's possible that if instead of putting Bettis in the survey, they'd put Hines Ward or Ben Roethlisberger, 8% of the SportsNation would have clicked their radio button as the best Pit athlete.

(full disclosure: my original posting actually included two hockey players that were Boston, not Pitt legends...sorry, sometimes I'm an even bigger fool than usual.)

In Tonight's News

Sharapova Survives Sloppy Second... Maria Sharapova beat Nadia Petrova 7-6, 6-4 despite having 36 unforced errors and wearing what appeared to be a maternity dress. You'd think that with $18.2 million she'd be able to afford some better fashion tips to go along with her power serve. She'll play the winner of Davenport v Henin-Hardenne who are currently locked at one set a piece at the time of this writing..

I didn't watch Kobe Bryant go for 81 points Sunday night, but I did see Adam Morrison hit 9 of his first 10 shots, including a 28 footer that was nothing but net, on his way to 41 points in tonight's victory over USF. Adam Morrison's mustache makes him look like a rapist, and Kobe was accused of rape, so it's almost the same thing..right???

In a game that was only watched by ESPN executives, five girls in white jerseys put an undersized basketball through a hoop more times than five girls in orange jerseys, and then the five girls in white jumped up and down...

Which reminds me, there's nothing more annoying than watching the ticker on ESPN2 and seeing a score of two teams that you have a bet on, only to realize midway through counting your winnings that it was the women's score and not the men's. I can't believe that there's anyone out there in TV land that really needs to know college girl's hoops scores as they happen. Can't we just get those scores delivered to us in the usual, anticipated manner-- forcefed to us on Sportscenter???

Barry Bonds actually said all the right things when he pulled out of the World Baseball Classic, which I think was the right decision for him to make. The man is 41 years old and has a trick knee that flares up anytime there's controversy in the air, so he needs his rest. It will however be a shame that Team USA won't be able to showcase to the world what American scientists are capable of creating if given the proper funding...

Now that Arizona has lost guard Jawann McClellan for the season, Lute Olson is talking about reinstating Chris Rodgers, who just last week was kicked off of the team for undisclosed reasons. Gregg Doyel details the timeline of Lute's decision, and summarizes the situation thusly, "Lute hasn't won 753 games and reached the Hall of Fame by putting anyone's needs above his own. " The article is a good, quick read, and a story that I'm sure isn't very uncommon in the college ranks...

David Axelrod grabbed his son Michael by the ear, handed him to his PR man and made him apologize to everyone for wasting their time with talks of suing Antonio and Kendra Davis. He will now follow the direction of his hairline and recede from the limelight, where he'll continue to make big bucks working for daddy for a few hours each day before drinking wine in preparation for Bulls games...

I didn't bother watching any of day 1 of the Super Bowl hype. What was the story today? Did Jerome Bettis take reporters on a tour of all of his favorite buffets in his hometown, Detroit?

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Smiling Assassin Is Back

Pit and Seattle are in the Super Bowl and Kobe dropped 81, so somewhat lost in the shuffle is the fact that Martina Hingis has advanced to the quarterfinals of the Australian open, beating Samantha Stosur 6-1, 7-6(10-8)this morning. At 25, Hingis is practically middle aged in the world of women's tennis. After retiring due to injury (and the dominance of the Williams sisters) in 2003, I never expected to again see Hingis as a prominent figure in tennis. She did benefit from a fairly soft draw, but both Venus and Serena Williams were eliminated by soft opponents early, so I won't hold that against Martina.

Hingis' next opponent is #2 seeded Kim Clijsters. So the run may end soon, but it was still a phenomenal tournament for the Swiss Miss. Unfortunately, the tournament is an afterthought on ESPN2, but I guess it's too much to ask that we preempt the spoutings of Jay Marriotti and Woody Paige for a day.

Let the Fleecing Begin

Looks like Mike Tice and all his buddies have already begun screwing over the general public for Super Bowl tickets. Anyone wanting two tickets to the Super Bowl can expect to shell out at least 5k for their seats. Then of course, there are the inflated hotel prices and the fact that you have to spend a few days in god-forsaken Detroit.

So, average Joe will be taking out a 2nd mortgage on their home to see their beloved 'Hawks or Hypocycloids play the big game while the corporate V.P., who surely got the tickets for free from his company that's in bed with the NFL, gets some pocket change to spend on his mistress in Italy. Ahh...capitalism.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A Day of Whippin'

To anyone that saw my picks and immediately went against them both...you're quite welcome...

Pitt and Seattle both laid the smackdown early, so I don't have too much actual game commentary, as I wasn't even paying much attention by the 3rd quarter of each game. Here are a few things I did notice:

An early commercial informs us that Harrison Ford's Chrysler 300C can be seen in the movie, "Firewall." I believe his Han Solo vest can be found at "Out of the Closet..."

Why they get paid the big bucks: After Carolina threw a 50-ish yard touchdown pass, Troy Aikman gave this analysis, "That's the kind of play that the Seahawks did not want to give up." In the AFC game, Phil Simms opined that "Sometimes as a player, you gotta really pay attention to the rules." Thanks guys. I don't know what we, the viewers, would have done without you to guide us along the way...

By the way, how desperate to be on tv do you have to be to make a sign that says, "Coolest Broadcasters Simms & Nantz"???

If the most compelling storyline for Super Bowl 40 is that Jerome Bettis is from Detroit, we're in for a very long two weeks...

Speaking of Bettis, can we please stop all of this nonsense about Bettis being a future Hall of Famer? Bettis has had a very solid career, but to suggest that he's one of the elite running backs in NFL history is absurd. But, if Jerome is somehow given a bust in the hall in five years, how much do you think he'll weigh at the induction ceremony? I'm setting the over/under at 415 pounds...

On one play, Pittsburgh was called for pass interference when he hit Charlie Adams early. One of the linebackers (Foote?) was upset with the call so he threw his helmet, and was flagged for unsportmanlike conduct. Instead of enforcing both infractions, the refs ruled that with two penalties on the defense, one had to be declined, so only the pass interference flag would be enforced. That makes no sense at all. That means that theoretically, if a corner were to see that he'd been flagged for P.I., he could then lower his pants and urinate on the fallen receiver without it costing his team any yards. Good rule ya got there...

The way the Steelers were playing, it probably wouldn't have mattered anyway, but they caught a nice break on the reversal of Wee Willie Parker's fumble in the 1st quarter. That was a definite make-up call for the Polamalu call, and frankly I'm embarassed that I didn't consider that angle when I was making my picks...

If you happen to make a living as a female impersonator, the resurgence of Mariah Carey and the emergence of Carrie Underwood must feel like a gift from the big drag queen in the sky...

On the flip side, the web version of Candice Michelle's Go Daddy window washer and car wash commercial leave no doubt that she's all woman...

With the Seahawks' victory, the only remaining teams never to appear in a Super Bowl are: Arizona, Detroit, New Orleans, Cleveland, Houston, and Jacksonville. I have a feeling that when we're playing Super Bowl L, that list is going to look the same...

Paul Tagliabue's Picks.

Since the league has confirmed Joey Porter's accusation that the NFL wants certain teams to win, it's time to consider who the league and networks are rooting for in today's games. Let's look at the potential super bowl matchups and the way ABC would hype them:

Denver vs Seattle: It's Shanahan vs Holmgren- the Genius Rat and the Mastermind Walrus battle to see whose football mind reigns supreme.

Pittsburgh vs Seattle or Pittsburgh vs Carolina: Either of these matchups, and the network will talk about the Steelers going for Super Bowl win number five. They'll overwhelm us with nostalgia of the Steel Curtain, and draw parallels between the Immaculate Reception and the Roethlisberger tackle. The NFC team will be an afterthought in all of the promos.

Denver vs Carolina: Ummm...well....there's nothing to hype here at all. Well, if it were me, I'd go with the Battle of the Renees. Renee Thomas was the hot blonde Panther cheerleader who (allegedly) had a little lesbian lovin' in a bathroom stall. Renee Locklear is a member of the Broncos squad and may very well be the hottest cheerleader on the planet. Why aren't they in the Lingerie Bowl?! Of course, the NFL and ABC likely won't pursue that vision and will find something a little more meaningful. Maybe they can tie in Delhomme's Louisiana roots to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Or perhaps they could just do an Animal Planet show with all of the creatures living in Jake Plummer's beard?

The Steelers and Broncos play first today. If Denver wins, look for a few curious calls to go Seattle's way.

You Look Familiar...Didn't You Used to Be Undefeated?

Many times after an undefeated team loses their first game, some analyst will say that there is such a thing as a "good loss"- that it lifts the pressure that comes with being undefeated and can refocus players on the real goal, a national championship. In some ways, I can see how this would apply to this Duke team, as this past week, there were way too many people asking if Duke could be the first team since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers to go undefeated and win it all; and it was already beginning to wear this team down. However when I look at what happened to the Indianapolis Colts this season after suffering their first loss, it makes me wonder how potentially devastating Duke's loss could be. Much like when the Chargers beat Indy to put them at 13-1, Georgetown didn't just beat Duke- they provided a template for other teams to follow when they play Duke. Georgetown brought their big man out close to the three point line, forcing Shelden Williams out of the paint. With the key wide open, Georgetown ran a series of back cuts against Duke's sluggish man-to-man defense, which led to layup after layup. Pete Carril would have been proud. I expect many coaches to copy this strategy until Coach K finally relents and switches to playing some zone defense. Duke is still one of the 4 best teams in the country, but now their aire of invincibility has been shattered...

On the flip side, Florida and Pittsburgh never really had that aire of invincibility to begin with. They were just two solid teams who play a good brand of basketball, but time finally caught up with them. So while I'm sure there's disappointment in their locker room after losing to Tennessee and St John's respectively, I doubt that many players are feeling any sense of shock, but rather thinking, "It was fun while it lasted..."

With Texas Tech struggling this season, Bruce Pearl has captured the title of "Best Demented College Coach." There are a lot of ways to motivate players, and this week Pearl chose fear. I'm pretty sure his halftime speech was something along the lines of "Win or Die! No I mean it..you will die." Fun times...

It's hard to make huge jumps in the polls this time of year, but two teams could move 10 spots from last week's rankings. Tennessee could go from unranked to 16. Louisville could go from 15 to out of the top 25...

Thanks to Wisconsin for confirming what I'd suspected after watching them a few weeks ago- they just aren't that good. North Dakota State dared them to shoot from outside and Wisconsin obliged. The Badgers shot under 15% from 3 pt land (4-27) and 22% overall (16-72). If the Bisons had mixed in a little full court press, which Wisconsin has shown incapable of handling, this could have been a 20 point route...

Jordan Farmar is still looking for the basketball- and his keys and wallet. Mike Gansey picked his pocket clean to seal up the victory for West Virginia. Not to take credit away from West Virginia, who played a very solid game, but I thought Arron Afflalo's cold shooting was the key to UCLA's loss. Despite getting many open looks, he went 1-9 from the field and had a season worst 4 points. Just in case part of his struggles on national tv were part of some "Lounge jinx" I inadvertantly put on him with all of my hype, allow me to say that Ben Roethlisberger is the greatest 2nd year quarterback in the history of the NFL...

A little bit of order was restored in the Pac 10, with all of the favorites winning their conference games (UCLA was favored and lost, but played Big East WVU). The Pac 10 standings now look like this: 1(t). Washington,1(t) UCLA, 3. Arizona 4(t) Cal. While the order may shuffle a little bit, I think those four will continue to battle each other for the top spot and will also be the only teams from the Pac 10 invited to the Big Dance...

Adam Morrison was waaaaaay too excited after Gonzaga's one point win at San Diego. When you beat a 1-3 team in your conference by a single point, there should be a collective sigh of relief, not fist pumping and taunting. Later Morrison said, "This is a tough place to play." A tough place to play? The University of San Diego is a Roman Catholic university in a beach community! If he finds that environment to be tough, how is Morrison going to fare when they're playing in the NCAA tournament? (Although the way they're running, they have a good chance of playing the first two rounds at Cox Arena in, you guessed it, San Diego.) Gonzaga may be ranked in the top 8, but they are not an elite 8 team...

With Greg Gumbel likely in Denver preparing for the NFL, Gus Johnson was in the studio for CBS' basketball coverage Saturday. I'd like to think that as a society, we would not be in any way upset about a new black man being given control of the studio for a day. However to be safe, CBS instructed Gus to raise his voice by an octave for the day and put on a pair of glasses that previously had been reserved for someone's Jewish grandmother. Just a sad, sad day for broadcasting...

One piece of happy news I learned Saturday- Jenn Sterger, best known as "that slutty chick from FSU games," will be appearing in this May's issue of Playboy. Hopefully this will inspire more sorority girls to attend sporting events scantily clad in hopes of achieving a brief brush with fame. But not all sorority girls. After watching the G'Town game, I feel the need to provide the following guideline: If there is only room to fit one or two greek letters on your belly, then you may wear the crop top and paint yourself however you'd like. If however, there is room for three or more letters, then might I suggest the sweatshirt instead? Just trust me on this one.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I Never Said It Was Good Advice

So tonight, the Oracle made four picks and went 4-0. I made two picks and went 0-2. I don't have an exact count, but I believe my personal record since around Dec 1 of last year is: 4-1,023-2. Not exactly the road to riches. Nevertheless, it's my obligation to post some picks for the Championship games this Sunday, if for no other reason than to give my faitful reader(s) the opportunity to go opposite my picks and make a bundle.

Denver -3 vs Pittsburgh. There really is only one compelling reason to pick Denver and that is that Denver just doesn't lose at home. The Terrible Towels may have been able to invade Indianapolis, but I just don't see that happening in Denver. Last week, Edgerrin James averaged 4.3 yard/carry against the Pit defense, but the Colts abandoned the run early and quickly became one dimensional, allowing the Steelers to blitz at will. I think Shanahan will stick with the run and pound away with a combination of Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell, and use play action to keep the linebackers from blitzing too much. As for the Broncos defense, Champ Bailey can contain Hines Ward and the linebackers are fast enough to stay with Heath Miller. That means it's up to Randle-El and Willie Parker to beat the Broncos. I like the Broncos chances in that one. Still, I think this comes down to the last possession, with Denver needing to make a stand to win it. It won't be easy, but at the end of the day, Broncos fans will be sending their team off to Detroit.
Denver 20, Pittsburgh 13.

Carolina +3.5 at Seattle. If there's any team that could legitimately play the "no respect" card throughout the playoffs, it's the Seattle Seahawks. Even tho' the Seahawks are favored to win, just about every analyst I listen to has Carolina winning the game. If DeShaun Foster were healthy, I'd probably agree with them. Nick Goings is Ok, but he doesn't bring enough to keep the Seahawks defense honest. They should be double-teaming Steve Smith like he was a 19 year old auditioning for an Anabolic Video. For the Seattle offense, Shaun Alexander may very well be playing for his contract in this game. The jury is still out as to whether Alexander is the kind of player that folds under that kind of pressure. But money is a pretty good motivator, so I think he ends up in the endzone twice, including the game winner.
Seattle 24 Carolina 23.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Know When to Hold Em

Anyone w/ 10k and no plans for Friday night can join Phil Ivey for some 50/100 No Limit Hold Em at FullTiltPoker.com (link at upper right of page). Currently he's playing someone named Dustin Dirksen heads up. They both were at the table with around 20k at one point. Right now, Ivey has 33K and Dirksen has 9K. Ivey is leaning pretty heavily on Dirksen and taking about $500/hand, so unless Dirksen catches a hand soon, he's going to be on the rail.

Also for anyone else that wants a chance to play against the pros, Layne Flack and John D'Agostino have been playing a lot at Full Tilt lately.

Make Me Some Money

I haven't lost any cash on the NBA in a few days. My sportsbook must be worried about me. So here are a few picks for tonight:

Memphis at Philadelphia UNDER 188. Direct quote from The Oracle, "Sixers are streaky, Griz play it low scoring anyway. Unless Sixers are on fire, this one makes sense. Trouble is, Mo Cheeks had a 27 minute (that’s right, not half hour but a 27 minute) closed door “dear god we suck and have no teamwork” throw things at the wall team session after their last game. Should fire them up. Here’s hoping they’re fired up to play defense…." Sounds good to me.

The Oracle also likes: Milwaukee ML over Atlanta, Pacers +6.5 at Minn, Suns -8 vs Lakers.

Also on the slate for tonight:

New Jersey -1.5 at Boston. This is my pick, and I never win no matter what side I take on Celtics games. Be warned.

LA Lakers at Phoenix over 209. I expect this game to have about the same level of defensive intensity as an All-Star game. I also expect Kobe to take 30 shots.

Disclaimer: I gave these picks about 15 seconds of thought. Of course, I've been losing big after extensively breaking a game down, so maybe this will be a nice change of pace.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Mas Hooptie

It's a little after midnight as I start this entry and my 3 year old son is still awake. This is certainly going to set me back in my quest for 2006 Father of the Year. Hopefully an extra trip next week to visit our friend 'Summer,' the neighborhood Hooters waitress, will help my cause...

Any conspiracy theorists that happened to be watching Fox Sports tonight had a field day with the officiating in the Stanford/Arizona game. Twice in overtime, the ball was knocked out of bounds by an Arizona player, but possession was given to the Wildcats. The second missed call was especially egregious- the referee was staring right at the play and the Arizona player (Radenovic) was the only one even near the ball at the time it went out. Immediately after that call, while running back on defense, Stanford forward Matt Haryasz was yelling at an official, "You're robbing us!" Surprisingly, he didn't get T'd up. Probably because it's hard to blow the whistle while grinning from ear to ear. There is already a perception in the Pac 10 that referees treat Lute Olson favorably. Anyone viewing tape of this game would have difficulty arguing otherwise...

This year the Pac-10 is a conference where any team can win any given matchup. Well, unless that team is Arizona State. I hope Rob Evans has been investing wisely the last few years, because I forsee termination in his near future. As for the rest of the conference, only 2 games separate 1st place and 9th place...

Pat Summitt won her 900th game as a head coach, which I'm sure is very exciting to about 20 people- and anything that pisses of Geno Auriemma is a good thing- so congrats to her. But I've got a problem with people (mainly espn) creating graphics of "Winningist Division I coach," with Pat Summitt #1 and Dean Smith #2. They coached two different sports, why are they on the same list? Al Scates, the UCLA Men's Volleyball coach has 1,083 wins- why isn't he on the list, it would make just as much sense?! Pat Summitt is the all-time winningist women's basketball coach. Dean Smith is the winningist men's basketball coach and never the twain shall meet...

I missed this one earlier, but thanks to Greg for the link. Students from Duke and North Carolina competed in a 58 hour basketball game in Chapel Hill. Duke won the game, 3,688-3,444. I guess they're a little softer in the ACC, but where I play, it's first to 4,000 wins. Whatever. Nevertheless, this contest appears to have set a world record for longest continuous game. It must be specific to basketball, because I'm certain my college roomate obliterated that record playing Star Control 2 on the 3DO right after midterms...

In pro hoops, Kwame Brown showed why the Washington Wizards felt the team was better off with Kwame sitting at home during the playoffs last year rather than on the court. Twice in regulation in tonight's Lakers/Kings matchup, he blew point blank layups/dunks that would have given the Lakers a more comfortable cushion. He followed that up by forgetting his responsibilities on defense, failing to show strong on a pick and roll with Mike Bibby, and then sagging deep in the key while the Kings were trailing by 3 with time expiring, thereby giving a wide-open, game-tying look for Brad Miller. Kwame is living on borrowed time until Andrew Bynum and Ronny Turiaf start taking his minutes...

Detroit 105, New York 79. Let me get this straight. Larry Brown orchestrated his dismissal from the Pistons, which by far is the best team in the league, so that he could coach the Knicks because it was his "dream job?" Larry's gotta do a better job choosing which dreams to follow and which ones to ignore. I once had a dream that I was in prison and I had to sh*t myself so that I wouldn't be sodomized by 300 pound inmates, but I didn't wake up the next morning and stab a school teacher so I could make that dream a reality. But that's just me.

Here We Are, Face to Face

The NBA has suspended Antonio Davis for 5 games for entering the stands in last night's Knicks/Bulls game. Davis will forfeit $630,227.25 of salary as a result of missing those games. Michael Axelrod, the fan involved in the confrontation with Kendra Davis wants Antonio to cough up a million more for battery and slander. Once again, I'm forced to ask myself: "Is douchebag one word or two?" The "battery" in question was allegedly being scratched by Kendra Davis. The "slander" was Antonio Davis saying that Mr. Axelrod was intoxicated. Yeah, that sounds like it's worth a million.

To make things more interesting, Michael Axelrod's father is David Axelrod- a prominent political consultant for the Democratic party. Axelrod is senior partner of AKP Message & Media and played a prominent role in Barack Obama's 2004 election to the US Senate. That's just what Democrats need- another example of someone in their party running to the legal system anytime they feel slighted. I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly, but I would be absolutely shocked if those guys don't pounce all over this story and indict the party as a whole.

Republican or Democrat, if you'd like to contact Michael Axelrod and make sure he's aware of the possible implications of his 22 year old son's (who judging by his seats and his daddy, we can assume is already wealthy) lawsuit, or if you just want to make sure he's aware that his spoiled little boy is now a spoiled adult, you can contact him at axelrod@akpmedia.com .

Go! (clap) Bruins! (clap) F*ck SC! (clap).

Catching up on the day in sports while watching "Wild On.." and wondering what happened to my youth...

Antonio Davis went into the stands to protect his wife, who he saw was involved in a dispute with a fan. No punches thrown, as Davis was basically there to get a closer look. My guess is that David Stern will overreact with a big suspension and/or fine.
My favorite part of the video footage on ESPN was the guy in the stands who was absolutely paralyzed with fear while Davis was standing there. Then as soon as security begins to escort Davis away, he starts talking smack. Respect! Oh, and can we ban the two tools that were waving at the cameras to see themselves on the jumbotron from any future games, please?
Also, a fine piece of journalism by SI columnist Marty Burns who writes, "the whole incident could have been a lot worse." Yeah, I'd say that's a fair conclusion to draw anytime nothing happens! I drove home from the movies today, parked my car in the driveway, and went inside my house. But...the night could have been a lot worse!
From the way that Antonio Davis responded to this situation, one can only wonder: how is it that Jackie Christie never ran onto the court after Dougie caught a hard foul, or wrestled a cheerleader for smiling too big during a timeout?

Lebron James misses another clutch shot, this time it was a game-tying free throw against Denver with the clock virtually expired. Maybe Lebron's struggles in key situations is all for a new Gatorade commercial to follow up the last series where Jordan, Dwight Clark, and Jeter all fail to make the big plays--only this time they'll digitally enhance it so that Lebron actually hits his shots.

The Arizona Wildcats dismissed senior Chris Rodgers from the team. Lute Olson hasn't given any specific reasons for the dismissal. Strange move since Olson recently said of Rodgers, "Chris is the best on ball defender we've ever had," and aside from being late for a meeting, Rodgers hasn't been in much trouble. When Hassan Adams was arrested last month, Olson didn't even have him miss a start. Until more details surface, it appers that Lute was just looking for a scape goat while his Cats try to bounce back from a 3-3 start in the Pac 10.

Also in Pac 10 action, UCLA jumped on USC early with suffocating defense and won easily, 66-45. UCLA players credited the student body with energizing them. "Mindful of USC's upset loss to Texas in the Rose Bowl national championship football game, UCLA fans mocked Trojan fans by flashing "hook 'em horns" signs and chanting expletives. " It's been years since I've coordinated my expletives into a chant. I miss college.

Tomorrow's Coaches Anonymous meeting will have two new members, as the Dolphins have hired Scott Linehan, and the Lions hired Rod Marinelli. I suppose this might be a better course of action than going with the tradition of hiring retreads. But most of these coaches are so obscure, not even Joe Theismann was interviewing them before games this season.

With Tom Brady and Peyton Manning eliminated from the playoffs, it seems that the Super Bowl run is no longer even worth paying attention to any longer. Instead, just about every sports site has chosen to focus on putting out the earliest mock NFL draft possible. Listen, I love the draft as much as the next guy. Actually, I usually block out the entire weekend of the draft just to see all seven rounds live, so I probably like it a little more than the next guy. But it's only the middle of January. Shouldn't we at least wait to see how fast these kids can run 40 yards while wearing Under Armour before we start flooding the net with mock drafts?

Shaun Alexander has been pronounced ready to go for the Seahawks/Panthers game this Sunday. For the sake of the 'Hawks, I hope he's able to contribute more than clapping his hands on the sidelines, and generally looking like Lamar Latrelle (RealPlayer required)from Revenge of the Nerds. Although Lambda Lambda Lambda was the victor of the homecoming carnival, so maybe the league MVP is onto something...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sacrificing Wolves to the Devils

Duke 81 , NC State 68 . Philisophical question: If Duke plays on ESPN and Dick Vitale isn't there to announce it, does the game truly exist? NC State and Duke battled each other for 40 hard-fought minutes, but the true story of the night was the absence of honorary alum, Mr. Vitale. I've searched the net to see if there was any news detaling the abuduction of an old, rambling, bald lunatic, but found nothing to explain why Len Elmore was woken from his slumber and brought in to broadcast this game. Perhaps Dickie V contracted Hepatitis A from having his tongue in Coach K's ass for so many years? But that of course is simple, albeit probable, speculation. Len did a satisfactory job commentating on the game, although he wasn't capable of repeatedly answering the question- is JJ Redick: a) super b) scintilliating c) sensational d) all of the above?

As for the game itself, NC State had a good gameplan- double team JJ Redick on the perimeter on defense and crash the boards on offense. But the Wolfpack shooters went cold down the stretch and Redick and Dockery were clutch for Duke, who finished the game on a 16-3 run. Unfortunately for basketball fans there's an unbalanced schedule in the ACC, so these two teams won't meet again this season, unless it's in the ACC tournament.

A Little Something for Everyone

I was having one of those days where I needed a beer as soon as I woke up. But I try not to drink until the clock is at least showing double digits. So by 10:01, I was cracking open an Abita beer and washing my troubles away. If you're like me and having a rough day, but you can't access beer, here are a few links that might help ease your pain.

Things could be worse. You could be this guy. Of course, he thinks he's the coolest guy on the face of Godfather's great earth. However he is met with 170 pages of dissent.

Crazy football fan gets a unique punishment. No football on Super Bowl Sunday? Although I don't know how much missing Jake Plummer and Nick Goings really affects a Browns fan.

Twenty years ago, I would have thought this was the greatest auction in the history of mankind. Still, it would bring me some inner peace to join ONJ for a little Downward Facing Dog.

Sean Payton is going to be the next head coach for the New Orleans Saints. I guess Ray Nagin isn't completely accurate with his forecast.

If your retirement plan is hoping that your son becomes an NBA star, here's a little bit of help to get you on your way.

And if he's made it big, you could give money to feed the hungry and heal the sick....or you can buy $40 bottle of water.

I know there was more I was going to post, but I've been staring at Scarlett too long and have lost my train of thought...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Afflalo is the Man

It appears that now Sportsline's Greg Doyel has been reading my blog. In today's column he reveals that it's actually Arron Afflalo and not Jordan Farmar that is the best player for the UCLA Bruins. I've been writing that for about a month now. Of course, my readership is around 10 whereas I'm sure there are still at least a dozen people that read sportsline.com. So I guess I'll just give the nod to Doyle to be the first mainstream guy to notice that Afflalo is the hearbeat of the team.

Unfortunately, I think they only have a few months remaining before the team flatlines. I still think Afflalo pulls a Trevor Ariza and goes pro one year before he should (same with Farmar.)

Monday, January 16, 2006

TNT goes ATM

In case you missed it, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith had the following exchange tonight on the TNT postgame report:

Charles: Queen
Kenny: Fag
Charles: Queer
Kenny: Homo

...ok, it wasn't quite like that. Here's what they actually said:
Charles: I heard you were the stunt double for "Brokeback Mountain."
Kenny: I heard you were doing method acting.
Charles: It was your first role since "Deliverance."
Kenny: I didn't know your autobiography was out.
Charles: I was wondering why you've been wearing cowboy boots.

Meanwhile Ernie Johnson had the Mike Myers "what is Kanye West saying?" look on his face until he was able to get a hold of the conversation.

It was a bit ironic that they would have this exchange on MLK day- and while it was just two friends giving each other a hard time, I'm curious to see if any other media picks up on it and runs with it.

I Had a Bad Dream

In honor of Martin Luther King day, David Stern has announced that all black and latin players will be given the day off. Instead of the day's normally scheduled action, there will be an exhibition game pitting foreign-born white players against US-born white players. The starting lineups for the teams have been announced as:

Foreign Born Whities
PG- Steve Nash
SG- Marko Jaric
SF- Andrei Kirilenko
PF- Dirk Nowitski
C- Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Head coach: Del Harris

US Born Whities
PG- Luke Ridnour
SG- Kirk Hinrich
SF- Wally Sczerbiak
PF- Austin Croshere
C- Brad Miller
Head coach: Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Vegas set the pointspread at Foreigners -23. The over/under on total dunks in this game is 1.5.

(As for the pic, I'm sorry. But it was just so f'd up, I just had to post it.)

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Four of the most storied programs in college basketball lore- Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, and UCLA all lost at home today- the first time that's ever happened. It's still early, but it's possible that one or two of these schools might not even get an invitation to the Madness this season. Even if they do, none look poised to do any damage.

One storied program which is living up to the name on the front of the jersey is Duke. Duke fans might want to go travelocity now and book hotel reservations for Indianapolis. As much as it pains me to say it, they look unstoppable.

Memoirs of a Couch Potato

There's not much to say about this morning's NFC playoff game. Partly because the play was so lackluster, but also because I was watching the UCLA Bruins and the Washington Huskies play a tale of two halves in Pauley. It looks like the Pac 10 has a lot of solid teams, but no dominant team. For some reason, parity in the Big 10 means everyone is great and 9 should go to the NCAA tournament. But when there's parity in the Pac 10, it means the conference is in a down year, and they'll be lucky to get four invitations to the big dance. Ok, on to the football...

The Redskins were beat up and exhausted coming into the game, and it showed throughout their play the entire game. The game was so boring that near the end of the 3rd quarter, Tony Siragusa decided to interrupt the broadcast to talk about the weather. Congrats to the Seahawks, but let's move on to the AFC...

I'm really impressed by the NFL's committment to the United Way. Prior to the game, both teams went to their local homeless shelter and picked one guy to join their respective organizations. The Broncos chose a younger guy, gave him a jersey and let him play quarterback, while the Patriots took an older guy, gave him an old sweatshirt, and let him coach the whole damn team...

After watching Tom Brady get hit time and time again by the blitzing Broncos defense, I'm suddenly very worried about the five layers of security my Visa card provides me. It might pay to Discover for awhile...

No "619" eye black on him, but great job by Torrey Pines high school alum (San Diego) John Lynch in setting the tone for the Denver D. It was retro night for the Orange Crush...

The next time the Patriots need to borrow a guy from offense to play in the nickel package, they might want to leave Troy Brown on the bench and put Ben Watson in the game. His hustle and hit on Champ Bailey will give every assistant coach a giant woody when they run the tape in team meetings in mini-camps next season...

I didn't see any mention of it- was Champ Bailey's 100 yard return the longest play in NFL history that wasn't a touchdown? For a few fleeting moments it looked like Leon Lett was going to have a little bit of company in the NFL Films archives...

Which would be more embarassing: Being a DB and getting caught from behind by a TE, and turning your touchdown into a touchback, or fumbling when being hit by a punter??
Someone hand Todd Sauerbrun a cup- I think he might still be on some of that Carolina Kool-Aid.

If somebody had to finally beat Bill Belichick, it couldn't happen to a better coach than Mike Shanahan. Oh I'm sorry, I just thought of a better coach. Actually, I just thought of about 24 of them...

Bill Belichick's postgame press conference was exactly like whenever my wife says "we need to have a talk." Just say as few words as possible and bide your time until you can leave...

Crazy shift in tone on ESPN after the game as Sportscenter treats the Patriots defeat as a funeral, whereas on NFL Primetime, Tom Jackson had to keep himself from giggling. I'm a little worried that this game could cause a little bit of a lover's spat between Jackson and Chris Berman...

I went 0-1-1 today, although Seattle was -9.5 at many times during the week. So I'm giving myself a record of 0.5-1-0.5- sure it's a still a losing record, but sadly, half a win is more than I had in my last post, so I'll take it!

Friday, January 13, 2006

No Gambling. No Gambling.....ahhh, What the Hell

My confidence is shot, but I'll make some NFL picks anyway. If I'm wrong again this weekend, I'm going to let my local Hooters waitress make the picks. So I guess either way, I'm a winner.

Seattle -10 vs Washington. Shaun Alexander was the league MVP, but after this game, it will be evident why the Seahawks always franchise Walter Jones every season. The Seahawks O-line will open up some big running lanes for what has to be an exhausted Washington team. Once Seattle gets a two touchdown lead, the Redskins will be forced out of their gameplan and have to put the game in Mark Brunell's hands. This one might get ugly early.
Seattle 35. Washington 13.

New England +3 at Denver. I have a hunch that Kevin Faulk will be seeing the majority of the time in the backfield for the Patriots, who are going to spread the field and open up the offense. Once Denver gets into a predominantly nickel mode, Faulk will slash with some draws. I know Denver is pretty stout at home; but I also know that when CBS flashes up the QB comparison, one side of the ledger will say "Brady," and the other side will say "Plummer." Guess which side I'm going with.
New England 27 Denver 24.

Indianapolis -9.5 vs Pittsburgh. Indianapolis will start out rusty on offense- for two plays. Then Manning will hit Harrison deep down the field and the route will be on. Remember that until Jon Kitna remembered he was Jon Kitna, Cincy was scoring consistently through the air against Pitt. Manning will throw for at least 3 tds, and James will rush for two more.
Indianapolis 45 Pittsburgh. 20.

Carolina +3 at Chicago. I'm just going with the playoff experience on this one. Jake Delhomme, Steve Smith, DeShaun Foster, Julius Peppers, etc. have all been to the Super Bowl before, and will be hungry to get back. Chicago feasted on a soft schedule and has obvious flaws on offense. The Bears only chance is to force turnovers, and I don't see it happening this time.
Carolina 20 Chicago 14.

As a bonus, I think the 7 point teaser with Seattle and Indy looks really good. So now I've got a chance to 0-5. Isn't gambling fun!

Right now, I need this girl to cheer me up.

The Hits Just Keep on Comin'

If anyone has just been taking the opposite of my sports betting advice: congratulations- you made out like a bandit again tonight. Stanford 75, Cal 61. I didn't need any more reasons to hate Cal and Stanford, but this Pac-10 battle added fuel to the fire. Maybe "fire" is a poor choice of words, because Cal had none in this game. They were flat all game long, shot terrible from the line, and despite having more size, were dominated on the offensive glass. While I thought I'd done a good job scouting this game, I evidently missed the following transaction: "Chris Hernandez, Stanford- renews contract with devil. Terms Undisclosed." Eventually, he'll be picked up on serial murder charges, and I will no longer have to worry about that guy.

McCarthyism Reigns in Green Bay

Mike McCarthy's first play entered into the Green Bay Packers' playbook was the sweep. McCarthy started off his job by firing eight members of the coaching and general staff. The eight let go were: Secondary/safeties coach Joe Baker, offensive line coach Larry Beightol, special teams coordinator John Bonamego, linebackers coach Mark Duffner, offensive coordinator Tom Rossley, strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin, director of football administration Bruce Warwick and weight room assistant Vince Workman.

One guy that wasn't fired was defensive coordinator Jim Bates. "He's a man I respect, and the job he did this past year speaks for itself," McCarthy said Thursday. "I'd love to opportunity to sit down and see if we could work out the possibility of him working here."

(Translation: I didn't have any close, personal friends that I wanted to hire for Jim's spot, so he stays.)

To recap: McCarthy was hired as the Packers' head coach after being the offensive coordinator for a 49ers team that was 32nd in offense. Defenders of McCarthy will argue that there wasn't anything he could do because he was working with a rookie QB playing behind a suspect line. Now in his upcoming first season with Green Bay, if things don't go well, he'll have the excuse of working with an aging QB on the downside of his career playing behind a suspect O-line. Then in his second year, he'll have the built in excuse of working with another first year QB (presumably Rodgers). Not a bad gig at all. But I'm not complaining in the least. Personally, I'm hoping McCarthy is able to stay in the media spotlight for at least four years, as that is when, according to Green Bay papers, his daughter Alexandra turns 18- although I suspect some Freddy Adu, Dominican Little League team birth certificate tampering in that report.

Glutton for Punishment

I can't imagine why anyone would want to read my picks, unless it's to break the bank by going with the opposite of whatever I say. So for any contrarians out there, here's my bet for tonight:

Cal Pk at Stanford. Cal hasn't beaten Stanford at Maples since 1993, but that streak should end today. Cal got their wakeup call via its loss to Oregon State, and this should be a bounce-back game for the team. Leon Powe, DeVon Hardin (both potential NBA 1st rounders), and Rod Benson are undoubtedly the best frontcourt in the Pac-10. As for Stanford, center Peter Prowitt and forward Matt Haryasz will play but are both limited with injuries. If this wasn't a crosstown rivalry, I'd predict a blowout. As it is, I'll say Cal 74, Stanford 66.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Day in Hoops

This morning, my three year-old son pulled out a pair of my wife's nylons and asked if he'd ever be allowed to wear them. I told him when he's averaging 40 points a night for the Lakers, he can wear any women's clothing he wants...

Kobe Bryant may be a dick, but he sure does have balls. He demands the ball in the big moment and delivers time and time again. Tonight, despite having an off game and a sore wrist, he was absolutely money down the stretch. He may not be a great man. He may not be a great teammate. But if there's 5 seconds left in the game, there's nobody else I'd want with the ball in his hands...

If you aren't at work, here's a good Kobe related link...

If Lebron James wants to take any consolation in missing his potentially game winning jumper, there's plenty of footage of Kobe in his first couple seasons with the Lakers throwing up airballs as time expired. So there's hope for Lebron that in a few years, he'll be burying that shot. Still, I'll bet Wise Lebron whips Athlete Lebron's ass when he gets home...

I don't know if anyone watched the postgame on TNT, but when did Chuck Daly become Tony Curtis???

At the beginning of the season, both Indiana and Detroit were 10 to 1 to win it all. I liked both bets, but only put money on Indiana. That should have been a sign as to what kind of gambling season I was going to have...

In college hoops, Arizona loses at Oregon State. Corvalis is actually a tough place for elite teams to play. It's in the middle of nowhere. It's easy to take the Beavers lightly. The fans get up big for the game. If you can't take the crowd out of the game early, then you're in for a long, long night. The loss drops Arizona one game back in the Pac-10 race. I'm sticking with Cal to win the Pac-10 this year (1.5 pt dogs at Stanford tomorrow- are you kidding me??)...

UCLA lost center Lorenzo Mata to what looked like a pretty bad knee injury. If he's out for a significant period of time, UCLA will have lost their #1, #2, and #3 centers this season. They'll likely be starting three guards and two forwards vs Washington Saturday, who themselves start three forwards and two guards. With no centers in the game, it should be pretty high scoring...

Pitt is still unbeaten. I haven't seen any of their games, so I can't comment on this season's team, except to say that Pitt hasn't lost a step since Ben Howland left. Jamie Dixon is looking like the Bill Belichick to Ben Howland's Bill Parcells. Only, you know, on like one-one hundredth the scale...

And No Norman Chad either!

Erick Lindgren, Allan Cunningham, Phil Ivey, and Paul Phillips are all at 50/100 No Limit table on Full Tilt right now (link on right). Phil just took down a $8,000 pot from Cunningham. Paul Phillips is a little reluctant to trade blows w/ Ivey right now...


Interesting quote from Steelers LB Joey Porter regarding the Colts' offense:

"They don't want to just sit there, line up and play football," Porter told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "They want to try to catch you off guard. They don't want to play smash-mouth football, they want to trick you.

Joey's right- Indy does pull a lot of stunts at the line, trying to catch teams in substitutions, calling about three audibles per play, etc...Just like every other team in the NFL. But wasn't one of the big plays in the Steelers/Bengals game a direct snap to Antwaan Randle-El who ran around the right end, then threw a lateral across the field back to Roethlisberger, who then proceeded to launch a bomb downfield to Cedrick Wilson for a touchdown? That's not exactly smash-mouth football either...

Also if you haven't seen this clip of Sean Taylor spitting on Michael Pittman, check it out. Great audio off of referee Mike Carey's mic too. Thanks to MightyMJD for the link.

(by the way, I just noticed that MJD just blogged on the Porter quote too...only his is funnier.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


My bookie just cut four fingers off of my left hand.

Fortunately, that still left me with enough to count my one win out of six bets tonight.

Not good times.

Bringing a Donut Onto the Bench

Brent Musburger just announced that Louis Monroe will not be starting for Indiana because of hemorrhoid surgery he had over the weekend, but may still play in the game.

First, I'm sure Louis loves that his roids were just announced on national tv. Secondly, if you just had hemorrhoid surgery, the last thing I can imagine you'd want to do is ride the pine!

And to start the game, Indiana, like Monroe's ass, is on fire!

Hoopsters Under the Knife

Gregg Doyle has a very informative article detailing some of the key injuries that college basketball teams have suffered this year. To summarize, some instrumental players that are out for the year are:
Chuck Davis, Alabama; Armein Kirkland, Cincinnati; Nate Funk, Creighton; DJ White, Indiana; Demario Eddins, UAB; Josh Shipp, UCLA.

With the exception of DJ White, these are pretty recent announcements, and I expect their teams to struggle to adjust. So this week, I'll bet against all of these teams as they tinker with the lineup and try to find replacements. So for today, that means,

Auburn -2.5 vs Alabama.
Northern Iowa -8.5 vs Creighton.
Michigan St -4 vs Indiana.
Tulsa +15.5 at UAB.

In other games, I like Air Force -5 at Wyoming and Utah -4 vs San Diego State.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

F*cking Decency Groups

Like virtually every other professional cheerleading squad in America, the Detroit Pistons dances, "Automotion" released a 2006 swimsuit calendar (although the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders go the extra mile and produce a lingerie calendar). The Pistons sell the swimsuit calendar for $13, but they also gave a few thousand away at a Pistons' home game. Sounds like a good promotion right? Not if you're a member of the American Decency Association.

"To me, this is a form of prostitution," said Barbara Rotary of Pontiac, who said she saw the calendar while Christmas shopping and alerted the group. "The Pistons are profiting from using women's bodies this way." (Actually all the money goes to charity.)

The American Decency Association is essentially a Christian consumer advisory group. So here's a free tip for any consumers who might be looking for a hooker: If you're rollin' down 8 mile and you pick up a prostitute, and all she does is strip down to a bikini and sit on a rock while someone takes your money-- it wasn't solicitation, it was robbery.

I posted the January pic from the calendar to the right. As you can see, this probably wouldn't qualify as pornography in Tehran let alone the porn capital of the Western Hemisphere (another area where we've fallen behind Japan). The American Decency Association has started an email campaign against the Pistons and asked them to discontinue selling the calendar (which they of course refused to do since, you know, they're sane and all.) This isn't the first such campaign from The Association of course. They are also campaigning against a local mall because the mannequins are too sexy in Victoria's Secret. In fact, there's nothing the American Decency Association loves to do more than boycott something. Here's a sampling from their "Boycott Box":

Abercrombie & Fitch. Reason: Long term trend toward using sexual imagery that cheapens human dignity.

Victoria's Secret. Reason: aggressively foisting unwelcome sexual imagery upon the public via window displays, TV ads and catalogs.

Movie Gallery. Reason: The largest rentor of "adult" videos in America. Comes into smaller towns and drives out competition bringing in pornography.

Family Video. Reason: Masquerades as a family video outlet when it is in fact anti-family. Family Video rents X-rated movies.

Walt Disney. Reason: Allows homosexual celebrations in its theme parks, produces and airs such degraded television shows as "Desperate Housewives and "Life As We Know It"

Yum Brands. Reason: Hardcore advertiser of trashy shows like "Desperate ...". Say they are going to withdraw ads and then don't.

...What a fun world it would be if the American Decency Association had its way. The only way I could ever get some indecent sexuality would be to read the Old Testament!

By the way, the American Decency Association received approximately $300,000 in donations last year. President William Johnson used 25% of that as his own personal compensation. Although I don't know why he's taking that much money- it's obvious he never buys shit!

I'm having one of those years

Minnesota with a garbage time 3 as time expires to make it a 2 point loss instead of a 5 pt loss, and no cover for me.

I don't think I've ever seen a Men's college basketball team struggle with the press the way Wisconsin did. A girl's high school team sure, but at this level, teams should be able to do better than take one dribble and stop and then lob a ball into traffic over, and over, and over again.

At the beginning of the game, Brent Musburger said that after a year of being together, the Badgers will be able to contend for the whole ball of wax in 2007. Unless "ball of wax" is a tiny trophy given to the 4th place team in the Big 10, Musburger has lost his mind.

What a depressing, pathetic game to watch. Badger fans get the win. Badger bettors do not.

Rodents of Unusual Size

Pick of the day:
Wisconsin -2.5 at Minnesota. Wisconsin has only played two games on the road so far this season, and they've lost them both. But there's no shame in losing at Wake Forest and at Pittsburgh. Minnesota is coming off a loss to Northwestern and has quite a few players either banged up or sick. The Northwestern defense stymied Minnesota and held them to 49 points. If they struggle with Northwestern, then Wisconsin should be a living hell for the Gophers. Similar to last night's situation with Texas at Iowa St., Minnesota really hasn't played anyone this year whereas Wisconsin's strength of schedule is ranked #7 by sportsline.com.
Wisconsin 71, Minnesota 56.

I also like the Charlotte Bobcats -240 to win over the Houston Rockets. I suppose with TMac and Yao both out, Rafer Alston could step it up again. But Charlotte is desperate for a win at home after being absolutely shellacked on their road trip. But those three games were without Emeka Okafer. Okafer is expected to play tonight and that should be enough for the victory.

How Bout Them Cowboys?!

I've heard of The Church of Football, but billionaire oil tycoon Boone Pickens has taken it to a whole new level. He just agreed to tithe $165 million, 10% of his net worth, to the University of Oklahoma State athletic program.

It's his money, and he can do whatever he wants with it. While I also give money to my alma mater among other organizations, I've got to think that with $150+ mil, there are better ways Mr. Pickens can make an impact on his community other than providing Oklahoma State wrestling with bacteria resistant mats (actually, that probably is something they sorely need). I just hope that if in the near future, the Stillwater branch of the Red Cross needs some blankets, the Oklahoma State water polo team will let them borrow some of their new egyptian cotton towels.

(By the way, ESPN.com is starting a series on the role of boosters in college sports. It's a good read, if you have the time. )

Goose Still on the Loose

Bruce Sutter is in the Hall of Fame. Goose Gossage is not. Rob Neyer, Peter Gammons, Tim Kurkjian, and all the other espn baseball guys will have thousands of words to write about this. I just have one:



Just saw this on an ESPN chat:
geoff (minneapolis): Take a look at the first time candidates after next years group. There will be more Sutter type inductions in 2008 and 2009 because there is no one else to send in.
Rob Neyer: (2:18 PM ET ) You're absolutely right, Geoff. As I recall, there are zero easy choices in '08 or '9, and it shouldn't be a surprise if both Rice and Gossage get elected then. You have to figure if enough people keep saying that Rice was THE MOST FEARED HITTER IN THE GAME for another few years, enough voters will believe it.