Monday, February 28, 2011

Was There A Dunk Contest Conspiracy?

Cold envelopes, crooked refs, and now prejudging a slam dunk contest. This comes from benmaller.com, that the NBA had Blake Griffin named as the slam dunk contest winner. This is something straight out of the WWE.

Everyone knew that Griffin would win anyway. With all the hype he's received with his wicked dunks on Sportscenter night after night, he couldn't lose. Why would you want to have Serge Ibaka or JaVale McGee as you champion, when you can have Blake Griffin. Imagine all the marketing possibilities for the NBA and Griffin.

In this official media advisory it listed the “KROQ BLAKE GRIFFIN SHOWCASE” from 1:20 pm to 2:00 pm with the following description: “Five middle school students will showcase their dunking talents in front of 2011 NBA Sprite Slam Dunk Contest winner Blake Griffin.”
http://benmaller.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/blakegriffinnbarelease.png




That was sent an hour before the scheduled start for the dunk contest. The NBA and David Stern always try to throw us off when a conspiracy comes up. Now there is some kind of proof that it does exist. Of course they tried to fix it later.

Somewhere Vince McMahon and David Stern are having a drink with the shooter from the grassy knoll.

Burying The Hatchet

Remember when Antonio Cromartie threatned to smash Matt Hasselbeck's face in. All seems to be well now after running into each other last week and even posed for a picture. Me being the cynic that I am, figures this is some clever posturing for some union solidarity.

Actually they were at the Pro Athletes Outreach NFL conference in Florida last week. Look at them, looking like best buddies. Almost reminds me of Rocky and Apollo Creed. At least they seem to be getting along and all is forgotten.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chipper Jones Tells Cynical Fans What They Can Do

Last season Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones suffered a torn ACL and everyone figured that he should step away from the game. Jones isn't that kind of guy to walk away from something without giving it a try. That's what I see from him after countless years of watching baseball. At age 39 that just isn't in his nature.

Some writers, fans, and bloggers have written him off and according to him say that he's only playing for the money. Jones scoffs at that notion and quite frankly it pisses him off. I don't think he plays for the money at this point in his career. I just think he's one of those players that loves the game so much he might be buried in his uniform. He's still a dangerous hitter, efficient in the field, and capable of mentoring the youngsters. Jones alsomprobably wants to play to see can they make another playoff run and possibly get to another World Series. I don't think like some who think he does it for the money.

“If they think I’m doing this for the money, they obviously haven’t seen my bank account,” he said. “I’ve never played this game for money. Nor will I. My mind doesn’t work that way. I play this game because I love my teammates and they wanted me to come back.



“I still feel like I have something to offer, and the cynical fan can really kiss my ass. I really don’t care. There’s a bunch of true fans and the people who actually want to take the time to get to know me know who I am. The guy who sits in his mom’s basement and types on his mom’s computer, I couldn’t really care less about.”

Of course he plays for the money, but that's not his motivation. He plays for the money only because he gets paid for it. I think he'd play for free if you asked him. Just my opinion. Besides, he's made $141 million throughout his career and $127 million in the past 10 years. He'd have to drop money like Bryant McKinnie to burn through all that cash. 

Will Hill Is A Family Man

After having pictures of him with bikini clad women, and talking about his exploits and escapades, via the social media giant , Twitter, former Florida safety Will Hill says he's a family man and not the outrageous party animal everyone's made him out to be. He was more Benny Hill than Will.

Hill says he has grown up and has been married for a year, with three children. Damn, Will has been putting in work in the bedroom. This was said at the NFL combine in Indianapolis where Hill is trying to improve his draft stock. The only way Hill does that is by telling interviewers he's changed for the better and he's no longer the guy that talks about defecating in an airport bathroom.

"The photo, yeah, I'm at a pool party and people wanted to take pictures with me," Hill said. "It got blown out of proportion to, Will did this Will did that. People don't know I've been married for a year now. All that Twitter stuff was seven, eight months before my marriage. Everybody is going off previous things not knowing the real Will HIll. I'm a family man. I have three daughters. They all look up to me. There's rumors out here that Will Hill is a party guy. If I go out now my wife is with me and my kids. I don't go out to meet people or galavant. I sit back and just relax and enjoy my time."



Of course actions are louder than words and Hill has to do a lot aof convincing to NFL suits who are doing the drafting. He's going out of his way to show them he's not a troublemaker and he'll do whatever it takes to be a success in the NFL. He wants to let whoever is considering him that they'll get a player.

"They are not giving me skepticism, they are accepting me," Hill said. "They know guys make mistakes. You have to live and learn. I'm learning from this experience just being here and guys tell me what to do next time. I deleted my Twitter. I have no Twitter now. As a football player, they get a passionate guy. "This is all I know. I come on the field and I go to work. I cover much ground."


He'll have to do a whole lot more than talk about being a high character guy but getting rid of the Twitter account was a start.

 

Referee And Brazil Soccer Federation On The Hook For $96 Million

I'm not big on soccer. Don't like it won't watch it and will dispute it till I'm blue in the face that it's a legit sport. But this story caught my eye.

The Brazil soccer federation and a referee are sharing a $96 million dollar fine. That's like being sentenced to 120 years in prison. How do you pay that back. Their great great grandkids will be paying back that money. I understand that they're are a lot of people involved in this, but $96 million. I'm lucky to have $96 dollars.

All this over a match fixing scandal. You know if that happened over here there would've been conspiracy theories everywhere. Remember the Lakers-Kings playoff series? That has nothing on this.

A civil court has ruled that the federation and Edilson Pereira de Carvalho must share the fine for the scandal that forced 11 matches to be replayed after the referee confessed to accepting bribes from gamblers to ensure the outcomes of games. Corinthians eventually won matches that it had lost and clinched the title.-The Associated Press


No word on how this is going to be divided up. No college basketball point shaving scandal has ever been this large.

Quote Of The Week: George Karl

In the aftermath of the Carmelo Anthony trade to the New York Knicks, coach George Karl seems to have a high opinion of his team, the Denver Nuggets.

“You guys must think I’m crazy but I think we’re good. I had one practice with them, and I’m going ‘whoa!’ What always kind of mystifies me about this world of basketball is there’s so many brilliant minds in basketball; there’s so many guys that believe in the zone or believe in the triangle-and-two, or believe in the slow-down offense, or believe in the fast passing game offense — there’s so many ways to build a philosophy and win. But it seems like in the NBA you can only win with super stars. And I don’t believe that. I’ve always coached kind of doing what everybody else does, I do different. When I went to Seattle, nobody trapped and nobody did anything, so we fronted the post, and we double-teamed post-ups, and we doubled 40 or 50 percent of possessions a game and that worked. I just think why can’t you build a team where you don’t have a top-five player, but maybe a top-20 player at every position. That’s kind of what I’m thinking what we’re going to be. We might not have an All Star, but at every position and maybe even have a bench that has more versatility and explosiveness than anybody else. So you have six or seven weapons, you might not have a superstar weapon, but you have good weapons. And then play hard, play defense, and be the most unselfish basketball team that you can be, because team wins more often than talent in this league anyways.”

Someone has to have confidence don't they? I do think the Nuggets have a future after Carmelo if they make the right moves.

Charles Barkley Is The Number One Auburn Legend

Here's Charles Barkley in a radio interview with KJOX in Birmingham, Alabama talking about his All-Star weekend and more importantly his place in the Auburn athletic pecking order. And he wasn't shy about letting Cam Newton know where he stood.

Here's what he said to Cam Newton about his place at Auburn.

"You know, I finally got a chance to meet him. Since I keep getting him tickets to all these events, I joked with him, 'I keep hearing I'm getting you tickets to all these events.' I finally got a chance to meet him. He came over, we were actually staying at the same hotel and he came over and said hello to me. And I just told him how proud I am of him and the Auburn team, and what a great season they had. ... Then I said I love you, I'm proud of you, but you can't ever go any higher than No. 3 on the list behind me and Bo [Jackson]. No matter what you accomplished, I said if you had stayed another year and did what you did this year I might have moved you up. But right now, I'm No. 1, Bo [is] No. 2, and you're No. 3. And I felt bad that I had to move Frank Thomas down to No. 4."

We get what your saying Charles your the man at Auburn and always will be.


 


Nationals GM Rizzo,Jayson Werth Hates The Phillies

An excerpt from an article in the Washington Post caught an exchange between Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and new Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth.

Werth was taking some batting practice and Werth might've been taking a break when a reporter got this.

Once Werth got back behind the cage, Rizzo said, "I hate the [expletive] Phillies." The GM then ran off a list of borderline dirty plays and purpose pitches in recent years by the Nats' nemesis. "I hate the Phillies, too," said Werth. Unspoken, but hanging in the air was a new idea for the Nats: So, let's play more like the Phillies: mean, grimy and a little nasty. 

If this is the case then it's game on when the Phillies play the Nationals. I think it might've been more playful for Werth who probably has some friends on the Phillies. Besides they rescued him from the baseball scrap heap so how can he really hate them. Maybe it's because the Phillies didn't want him at an inflated price and brought back Cliff Lee instead.

I think it's Rizzo that has hate and contempt for the Phillies more than Werth. Maybe because the Washington experiment has turned out a bunch of losing seasons and the Phillies have turned into a National League powerhouse.

This might be the only time I check out a Nationals game this year.

Austin Daye Issues An Apology About The Shootaround Incident

After Saturday night's game against the Utah Jazz, Detroit Pistons forward Austin Daye gives an apology to fans and coach John Kuester.

  

He should be apologizing for his actions. Rodney Stuckey and Chris Wilcox should be giving out apologies as well. They act as if they're entitled and the big dogs on the team, when they haven't won anything in their careers. Daye and Stuckey will be here for a while so they need to straighten up. Wilcox is lucky to even have a job in the league so he really should be staying in line.

I'm not a Kuester supporter nor do I support the players in their pseudo boycott, but Joe Dumars needs to come out and give a state of the team speech or something. Come on down out of that ivory tower and give this team a dressing down in private. He's been quiet about this whole mess of a season.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

More From The Piston Laughfest

Here's the video evidence from the laughtfest Detroit Pistons players had at the expense of coach John Kuester.



I want to hear how Piston players respond to this. I'm sure they'll come up with some excuse like "a fan told a good joke" or something like that. Whatever it is, I'm not buying it. This situation promises to get wprse before it gets better. Hurry up and get the team sold.   

MJ Goes On The Defensive

No one is handing out any gold medals to Michael Jordan for running an NBA franchise. There was his draft pics of Kwame Brown in Washington and Adam Morrison in Charlotte. His trades have also been questioned in the past, remember the Jerry Stackhouse for Richard Hamilton trade?  The track record isn't sterling.

With the trade deadline now done and over, Jordan mad a few deals and is being questioned about the trade that sent Gerald Wallace to the Portland Trailblazers for Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks, and Joel Pryzbilla. Jordan says he loves the trade and speaks on the financial flexibility it gives the Bobcats. I can see where he's coming from since the Bobcats did get a first round pick out of the deal, which now seems like gold. I just don't like the deal. I just think they could've gotten more out of the deal.

The Bobcats aren't getting a high or even a mid round pick so it'll be like getting an additional second rounder. Secondly, I don't like the players they got in return. Jordan is looking towards building for the future, but if I'm a hardcore Bobcats fan do I trust him to build a team. I wouldn't trust him. But I'm not the one making the deals.

Jordan likes the way the team looks for future manueverability. He says he doesn't want to be the eighth seed. At least he has ambition. He feels with the moves they made, the Bobcats can be a force in the East. I don't think that's gonna happen soon because you need a marquee player or two and I don't see Charlotte getting any of those soon. I also don't think players want to be in the owner's shadow and sitting on the sidelines in their ear game after game. I'll give Jordan credit for believing he can build a winner in Charlotte.   

Phil Jackson Calls The Pistons Incident A 'Black Eye' For The NBA

Since when did Phil Jackson become the great sympathizer about the plight of the NBA. Earlier this week Jackson was telling reporters that th Sacramento Kings should stay in Sacramento, although his statement seemed a little slanted toward not having to share a part of the Los Angeles market with another team.

Jackson is now sympathizing with Detroit Pistons head coach John Kuester. Kuester has had to put up with a player mutiny and the image of Tracy McGrady laughing at his ejection from last night's loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Jackson called the "mutiny" a 'black eye' for the NBA.

"I feel badly for John Kuester," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "I think it's a black eye for the league. I know Detroit is in disarray right now at some level. You worry about a coach and, you know, his psyche after something like that happens."


I've seen Jackson be a backhanded sympathizer but he looks to be pretty genuine this time around. In do feel a little sorry for Kuester, but i believe he was never the man for the job to begin with.

Trevor Bayne Not Getting A Push From His Daytona Win

When someone wins the biggest event in a sport, normally there comes a buzz or push with winning. You know, Wheaties, Disneyworld, McDonald's, and numerous sponsors come your way when you win.

Trevor Bayne hasn't felt the love from sponsors after winning the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race in NASCAR. I don't know why since corporate entities love to be associated with a winner. He received calls from President Obama an vice president Joe Biden and has made the TV rounds. Yet nothing from sponsors. Maybe the sponsors will come knocking in due time. Maybe they're waiting to see if Bayne is the real deal.

“Maybe these first seven races we can get some momentum and some companies will want to come on board,” Bayne said from Phoenix International Raceway on Friday. “Our goal would be to run the full season. That would be awesome if we could do that with the Wood Brothers and for Roush Fenway. You’ll see this weekend, our car is solid white and that’s not because we think it looks cool. We need some people to come on board.


For Bayne's sake maybe he can get a few more wins under his belt and get some sponsors so he can run a full schedule and keep a pit crew.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Why Is This Man Laughing

The Detroit Pistons have a mutiny on their hands. About half the team decided not to show up for the shootaround in protest of head coach John Kuester.

Kuester's emotions boiled over late in the second quarter in tonight's game against the Philadelphia 76ers. He received two technical fouls for complaining loudly and say words not suitable for television. Kuester was upset about a non call on an Elton Brand pushoff. Well, one of the shootaround offenders, Tracy McGrady, thought the spectacle was pretty funny.

Maybe it's the fact that Kuester will soon be canned and McGrady will still have an NBA career. Joe Dumars, stp down from that ivory tower and take your turn on the sidelines in this joke of a season.  




Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chuck Long Facing Foreclosure

In these tough economic times you really don't like to harp on anyone's misfortune, but sometimes you can't avoid it. I guess former San Diego St. football coach and ex-Iowa Hawkeye great Chuck Long struggles with mortgage payments like the average citizen.

The house he bought while he was coaching San Diego State is scheduled to be auctioned off in foreclosure on March 23. Now it's not like Long is hurting for money or job security so why he defaulted on his payments is beyond me. 

Long bought the house in Poway, California in 2007 for $1.38 million. It was recently assessed for $893,000. Much less for what he bought it for.

Long was paid $700,000 from 2006-2009 so it's not like he couldnt've made the payments. Records show Long defaulted on his payments last August. He's now the offensive coordinator at Kansas.

Apparently Long knew nothing about the defaults or foreclosure, because in an e-mail he stated that it was "news to him" and that he's in escrow with a potential buyer. How do you not know when your house is going under. Ask any homeowner, they'll tell you that they're in the loop about their finances regarding their home. Let's see if Chuck can work this out to a better ending and learn from this mistake.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shawn Kemp Not Impressed With Blake Griffin's Dunk

Shawn Kemp was one of the hardest dunkers in the NBA before he went on a see-food diet and ate himself out of the league. His behavior didn't help, but his weight was a big issue. Hell, he was the most gifted fatman I've ever seen play (John "Hot Plate" Williams was up there as well).

Well the "Reignman" wasn't all that impressed with Blake Griffin's winning dunk at the slam dunk contest.



Kemp classified the dunk as weak and feels he could do better, even at age 41.

"I'm a big Blake Griffin fan, but that dunk at the contest might've been the weakest dunk in the dunk contest that I've seen in a long time. I love the choir and all that stuff was great, but you at least gotta jump over the car though right? He swung over the car and landed on the hood of the car. I think he should at least be able to jump over the front of the car. I'm 41 years old and right now I could do it. Two Smart Cars."


Ok he's right, but saying he could do it over two Smart cars. Seeing is believing. And until we see Kemp do it, it's all talk and wishful thinking. Good luck in training for that feat Shawn.

Walsh Is Being Undermined In New York

I'm late to the party on the Carmelo Anthony trade, but I still have a little something to say about it.

For starters, I think the Knicks gave up entirely too much in this deal. Don't get me wrong it's a tremendous trade, but it doesn't make New York an instant contender and they up some quality depth to get him. Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari aren't in the same class as Anthony, but they were rounding into solid players. I mentioned in another post that I would've called everyone's bluff and waited it out an got Anthony as a free agent since he was pushing so hard to get to New York. I wasn't sold that he would resign with New Jersey or anywhere else. If Denver traded him anywhere except New York and he didn't resign, then oh well. Play your chips in the free agent market and use the remaining players to fill another hole. I firmly believe the Knicks could've had him for nothing.

The primary reason why the Knicks felt like the had to have Anthony now is because of owner James Dolan. I believe GM Donnie Walsh didn't want to make the trade because he didn't want to gut the team in the process of making the trade. But Dolan undermined Walsh in the decision making process. And now Isiah Thomas comes out and takes partial credit for the trade. Call me nuts, but Thomas may be right. I don't believe Thomas seduced Anthony to New York, but Thomas still has Dolan's ear and Dolan listened. How in the world do you fire a guy and want to hire him back, albeit a consultant. The Knicks have a man in Walsh who knows what he's doing and are undermining his efforts to build the team. If I'm Walsh I bail out after the season so Dolan can have his lovefest with Thomas, because if Dolan doesn't listen to him now he never will. I almost feel sorry for him since he was brought there to put the Knicks back together, but now no one will listen to him.

It was a nice deal but it has Dolan's and Thomas's fingerprints all over it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Brian Wilson Has A New Party Buddy

Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants was invited to a private screening of "Major League" by none other than Mr. Wild Thing himself, Charlie Sheen this past weekend. Wilson was at Sheen's house along with former major leaguers Kenny Lofton, Lenny Dykstra, Todd Zeile, and Eddie Murray. It seems Wilson has found some new party buddies. Pete Rose reportedly was invited but didn't attend.

Wilson was flown to Arizona by Sheen to Los Angeles for the party. Wilson and the others had the privilige to try on Babe Ruth's 1927 World Series ring which he purchased at an auction some time ago.

Sheen, who is a big baseball fan said that he is "married...to baseball". He also called his little party the "ultimate VIP baseball excursion".

I'm sure there are many that have a differing opinion but consider the source.    

Tuberville's Raise Ruffles Some Feathers At Texas Tech

Teaxas Tech head football coach Tommy Tuberville is getting a $500,000 raise from $1.5 million to $2 million. All fine and dandy except that faculty members at Tech aren't too happy about it. With state funding being cut there was a pay freeze for Texas Tech faculty members. So when Tuberville got his pay bump, they were pretty vocal about it.

"If that was me, I would have turned it down. I would have been embarrassed," said Julian Spallholz, a human sciences professor and Tech faculty senator

Well Mr. Spallholz, there was a promise made to Tuberville to get a raise since he was hired for what Tech calls "less than market value". So don't count on Tuberville giving any of that money back anytime soon. This may seem slanted but no one spends big money to come see you teach a class. So if you have a problem bring it up to school president Guy Bailey or athletic director Gerald Myers and I'm sure they'll be more than happy to tell you where you stand in the pecking order.

I know it seems priorities are in the wrong place when it comes to athletics vs. academics, but when these school presidents mingle with others they like to brag about how athletically competitive their school is, not how academically prestigious they are. I hate to say it but they better get used to it.

If Mike Leach was still coaching there they might have a full blown riot, considering he was racking up lots of wins and made the football team nationally relevant. His salary would've been astronomical and I'm sure that would've made the faculty even more upset than they are now.

Dolphins Add Bryan Cox To The Coaching Staff

Bryan Cox was once known as one of the toughest, angriest guys in the NFL. Now he gets to come back to where his career started. Cox was hired as the pass rush coach for the Miami Dolphins. Cox, a former linebacker, spent his first five years in Miami.

He's been the defensive line coach for the Cleveland Browns the past two years and held the same post for the New York Jets from 2006 to 2008.

I'm not part of the NFL fraternity so I never knew that a pass rush coach ever existed. I mean, is there a kick block coach, or a punt return coach, or even a handoff coach. Don't get me wrong because I'm not trying to make fun of Cox. I just never knew the there was such a thing as a pass rush coach.

Former And1 Streetball Star Troy Jackson Found Dead

I found out from a co-worker that Troy Jackson, better known as Escalade on the And1 streetball circuit was found dead in his hotel room. It was something that caught me totally off-guard. A fact I never knew was that he was Mark Jackson's brother. Yes, that Mark Jackson.

Jackson was found unresponsive in his hotel room Sunday morning and there is no known cause of death. The results of an autopsy are pending.

Jackson was a former player at the University of Louisville where his nephew Mark Jackson Jr. now plays.

“We lost a great man of God, my Uncle,” Mark Jackson Jr. posted on his Twitter account. It “consoles my heart to know he’s in a better place WE WILL ALL MISS YOU!”






  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Warren Moon Now Cam Newton's Advisor

It seems when you retire from the sports world, if you play your cards right you can land any job you want. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate them for it, but it always seems that they can parlay any crack in the door into opportunity.

Warren Moon, the former Houston Oiler and Minnesota Viking quarterback is now an advisor to supertalented Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton. I don't know Warren personally, but he couldnt've picked a better guy to advise him. If you think Cam Newton went through a lot in his college days, that wasn't nothing compared to being a black quarterback when Moon was coming up. I'll give Newton credit he blocked a lot out to succeed and lead his team to a national championship.

Moon says that Newton must "confess to his off-field sins" during his college days at Florida and Auburn. He has been accused of theft and academic fraud at Florida, and his father allegedly shopped his services to multiple schools.


“That was when he was 18, but those are the things he’s going to have to face up to and hold up to,” Moon told The News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash. “He has the rare ability to block things out that are going on around him. He had all those things going on last year, but every Saturday he found a way to block that out and play at the highest level possible. Everybody wondered when the kid would crumble, but he never did. He’s a young kid who can deal with adversity."



“I see a kid who trains to be great; that’s what he’s all about, all he talks about, being great," Moon told The News Tribune. "His work ethic is so unbelievable that, if anything, you have to try to slow him down and keep him from doing too much. You see how much he wants to work at getting better, not just on the field, but in the classroom, studying film."

I do believe if Newton is as hard a worker as Moon says he is, he won't wear a bust label in the NFL. He's been getting some quality advice from Bill Cosby and now Moon. If he stays humble he won't be another JaMarcus Russell.

Chris Paul Should Sharpen Up His Skills

The New Orleans Hornets Chris Paul should be the subject of ridicule among is Western Conference teammates after his embarassing moment in the Skills Competition. Paul came out and blew a layup right from the jump. I bet little Abigail was thinking she drew Stephen Curry in this contest.



It's not like he blows wide open layups everyday, but as you can see from all the laughs on the sideline Paul will never hear the last of that one.

Charles Woodson Supports The Union Workers

The people in the State of Wisconsin are locked in a battle with Gov. Scott Walker who is trying to limit bargaining power for state employee unions. Not many athletes or entertainers would be in tune to what's going on with others that aren't in their line of work or in the same tax bracket. But the people of Wisconsin have found an ally in the Green Bay Packers' Charles Woodson.

Woodson released this statement on the situation going on in Wisconsin.

Last week I was proud when many of my current and former teammates announced their support for the working families fighting for their rights in Wisconsin. Today I am honored to join with them.



Thousands of dedicated Wisconsin public workers provide vital services for Wisconsin citizens. They are the teachers, nurses and child care workers who take care of us and our families. These hard working people are under an unprecedented attack to take away their basic rights to have a voice and collectively bargain at work.


It is an honor for me to play for the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers and be a part of the Green Bay and Wisconsin communities. I am also honored as a member of the NFL Players Association to stand together with working families of Wisconsin and organized labor in their fight against this attempt to hurt them by targeting unions. I hope those leading the attack will sit down with Wisconsin's public workers and discuss the problems Wisconsin faces, so that together they can truly move Wisconsin forward.
Woodson being part of the NFL players union sympathizing with the working people. I was quite surprised myself because not many take time to get a view of real life issues of people that are less fortunate.

Quote Of The Week: Charles Barkley

Leave it to Charles Barkley to put his spin on the Auburn-Alabama rivalry. Here's Charles' thoughts on Alabama fans accusing Auburn of cheating. Whatever the case it's like the pot calling the kettle black.

"Alabama accusing Auburn of cheating is like Snooki telling Halle Berry she's ugly," said Barkley on Pardon The Interruption. 

The Chuckster doesn't mince words when it comes to his school's biggest rival.

A 3 Year Old Doesn't Want Michael Young To Leave Texas

Michael Young of the Texas Rangers has fans of all ages. Apparently when signs pointed to the Rangers shipping him out of town the news hit this three year old pretty hard.

  

Young saw the video and thought it was "cool and cute."

"Cute kid," Young said. "I got about 10 emails that day and it was pretty cute. Very cool. It felt good. I’ve been here for 10 years and it was never my intention to leave here. I just came off a World Series. It was a lot of fun for me to be a part of. I envision more of that. It made me feel great. The fans in Texas have been great to me."

Maybe it'll give Young some thought about wanting to leave Texas.

Pierce Gets No Love In His Hometown

Why is that a hometown hero can't get any cheers when they come home for an All-Star game. Paul Pierce was the latest to experience the hometown hate. Pierce plays for the Boston Celtics, and with the All-Star festivities being held in Los Angeles that should tell you all you need to know. Hey, Kobe Bryant experienced this when the game was held in Philadelphia. At least you expect it there.

Part of it comes from the fact that the player is usually killing the hometown every time they go there. At least Pierce understands why they boo him and embraces the hate.

“When you play for L.A.’s biggest rival, it’s tough getting booed by the fans. But I’m sure if Kobe Bryant was from Boston, he’d get booed, too, if he went back there. It’s something you get thrown into once you become a Celtic or a Laker. It’s automatic, regardless of how you used to feel about the Lakers or Boston. Once you put on one of the uniforms from either side, you automatically inherit the rivalry,” It’s something you get thrown into once you become a Celtic or a Laker", Pierce said.


Dwayne Wade hears it when he goes home to Chicago. I don't think Rasheed Wallace ever heard it when he went back to Philadelphia. I guess the dislike only goes for select players.

 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Marcus Camby Might Retire If He's Traded

With the trade deadline looming some teams are looking to shed some money off their books for some younger, cheaper talent. Recently it seems some veterans aren't looking to move from their current surroundings. Chauncey Billups said that he would take a buyout if he's traded from Denver. Portland's Marcus Camby has done him one better. According to sources, Camby says he'll contemplate retirement if he's traded.

“Marcus has made plenty of money in his career, and at this stage would not be keen to move to a rebuilding situation,’’ the source said. “If he is traded, he would likely contemplate retirement.’’


When it gets late in someone's career, sometimes a player is comfortable in their surroundings and don't want to move their family all over again. I think this is the case with Camby. He likes playing in Portland and maybe he likes the city.

“He really wants to stay in Portland, it’s his No. 1 choice,’’his agent Rick Kaplan said. “It was incredibly important to him when he signed his extension and moved his family that he stay in Portland. I think by now he understands it’s a business, but that’s where he wants to be.’’


I'm sure Portland wouldn't trade him unless they got fair value of course. But he wants to be there. Right now for Camby it's not about money and it's not about trying to find the best oppurtunity to win a championship. It's about him and his family being in a place that's comfortable for them. Besides, it wouldn't be in the Blazers' best interest to trade him since they're not too strong at the center position. But you never know.

The Best Final Fours From A Talent Standpoint

In the past there have been some memorable Final Fours in college basketball history. I hate to date myself, but think back to 1982 and all the talent on the four teams that played. There were some, like last year, that were so-so. There were some that you really didn't want to watch because it was almost a foregone conclusion of who would win (2009 North Carolina). But they've all provided some fine memories.

I've provided a list, of my own opinion of course of the best Final Fours from a talent standpoint. That would be good college players, future pros, and McDonald's All Americans. Not all will agree, but I think it would be hard to argue. This only goes back to 1980, so because anything before that I wasn't born or vaguely remember, that would include the epic 1979 Bird vs. Magic showdown.

1982 Final Four- Houston, Louisville, Georgetown, North Carolina. When you look at the rosters of the teams involved you could've started a team from the four participants. And for those not in the know, Houston has a fine basketball tradition, it's just been kicked around for the better part of the last 20 years. This might be the best collection of talent in Final Four history.

The Tar Heels boasted Sam Perkins, Michael Jordan, and James Worthy. They also had fine complementary players in point guard Jimmy Black and Matt Doherty. This is how Worthy got the moniker "Big Game James" as he was named most outstanding player.

Georgetown had a young beast in Patrick Ewing and shooting guard Eric Floyd who both enjoyed solid NBA careers. Fred Brown was a steady point guard, never mind the bad pass to Worthy. Eric Smith also enjoyed a good college career.

Houston had Phi Slama Jamma. The best college fraternity ever. They were probably the best team never to win a NCAA title, as they went to three straight Final Fours and made two appearances in the finals. Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Young, Larry Micheaux, and Rob Williams all played in the NBA. Thing is, Olajuwon barely played on the 1982 team.

Louisville was always solid in the 1980's. Jerry Eaves, Charles Jones, Rodney McCray, Scooter McCray, Lancaster Gordon, Poncho Wright, and Milt Wagner. All enjoyed some time in the NBA and gave Georgetown all they can handle in the semifinals.

1990 Final Four- UNLV, Duke, Georgia Tech, Arkansas- As the season went on you knew UNLV was way more talented than any other team in the country. Reserves on that team could've been stars elsewhere. Man for man Arkansas was the only team that really could match their depth and athleticism. Duke was Duke and Georgia Tech had Lethal Weapon 3.

UNLV- Everyone knows about Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony, and Stacey Augmon. But they also had lights out shooting guard Anderson Hunt and tough guys George Ackles, Moses Scurry, and David Butler and plenty of reserves that could've been major players elsewhere. They didn't have too many tough games. Not that they had a soft schedule, they just made it look easy when they had it going. Just check out how bad they made Duke look in the title game.

Duke- This team had Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, and Alaa Abdelnaby go pro. Thomas Hill had a cup of tea in the NBA as well. Greg Koubek and Billy McCaffrey were pretty good players too. They weren't able to got toe to toe with UNLV, but you gotta give the Devils their due.

Arkansas- Todd Day, Oliver Miller, and Lee Mayberry all went to the NBA. They also were the headliners for Nolan Richardson's 40 minutes of hell style of basketball and could've won almost any three on three tourney. Early that season they lost a tough road game to UNLV on the road, 101-93. This team was deep and athletic and though they couldn't beat the champs they could match up with UNLV man for man if you looked at their roster and know basketball. Lenzie Howell, Mario Credit, Ron Huery, and Darrell Hawkins were also key members of this team.

Georgia Tech- The arrival of Kenny Anderson took the Yellow Jackets to another level. Dennis Scott went from a first round gunner to a lottery pick and Brian Oliver took his game up a notch to wind up being a first round pick in the NBA draft. Big man Malcolm Mackey eventually progressed into a first round talent after he left Atlanta.

1992 Final Four- Duke, Michigan, Indiana, Cincinnati. There were some loaded teams in the 1992 edition. Bob Knight was still bringing in big time players at Indiana. Duke was the defending champion. Michigan had the Fab 5. And Cincinnati had JUCO's and transfers that played with a chip on their shoulder.

Cincinnati- Coach Bob Huggins took this band of so-called misfits and brought them to the Final Four. The Bearcats were led by point guard Nick Van Exel and backcourt mate Anthony Buford. This team also had swingman Herb Jones and center Corie Blount. Blount had a run in the NBA and Van Exel had a very good career after college.

Duke- As with Kenny Anderson in 1990, Grant Hill took the Blue Devils to another level. Duke was already good with Laettner, Hurley, Thomas Hill, and Brian Davis. Add Antonio Lang and Cherokee Parks to the mix and you can see why they had a repeat champion. Hill, Laettner, Hurley, Lang and Parks all ended up in the NBA. Hill is still playing in  Phoenix right now.

Michigan- Fab Five. That pretty much sums up this team. Even though they've been taken out of the record books and the banners have been taken down, all of it still exists primarily because I watched it on TV and saw their feats take place with my own eyes. Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson, and Jimmy King all had time in the NBA. Big man Eric Riley also hung in the league for a few years. They also had former Michigan Mr. Basketball Michael Talley coming off the bench. It was about the Fabs, but they were had a few pieces outside of them.

Indiana- This team was loaded with McDonald's All Americans and a few pros. This was a team Bob Knight should've won with. Calbert Cheaney, Greg Graham, and Alan Henderson all went to the NBA. Eric Anderson had a productive college career. Damon Bailey was an Indiana schoolboy legend. Pat Graham was a good college player. Chris Reynolds was a bulldog at point guard. Just about that whole roster contributed and were highly recruited high school players. Just think what might have been had Lawrence Funderburke actually followed through to his committment to Indiana.

2001 Final Four- Arizona, Michigan State, Maryland, Duke- I guess this wouldn't be a conversation if Duke weren't in it. The Blue Devils had Carlos Boozer, Shane Battier, Chris Duhon, Mike Dunleavy, Dahntay Jones, and Jason Williams. Arizona boasted one of the, if not the best backcourt in the Gilbert Arenas and Jason Gardner. Michigan State came back for their third straight Final Four and Maryland had a very good run that year.

Arizona- At the time the Wildcats were known as Guard U. since they turned out so many top notch backcourt players. They had Gilbert Arenas and Jason Gardner. Richard Jefferson was one of the most lethal players in college. Eugene Edgerson did all the dirty work. And don't forget Luke Walton, Loren Woods, and Michael Wright. They came up short to Duke in the final game. But a majority of this roster ended up in the NBA or were Mickey D's All Americans. If it wasn't for Duke they would've won the title or maybe Maryland.

Michigan State- Even though they lost they're emotional leader in Mateen Cleaves this team was very good. The Spartans had some decorated high school players on this team and future pros. Zach Randolph was a one and done player. Jason Richardson was two and out. Charlie Bell was a good player at State and is still playing in the league as well. They also had Marcus Taylor, who left too early and Duke transfer Mike Chappell.

Maryland- The Terps had a very strong team and although they seemed to have some epic gags against Duke you couldn't sell them short. They weren't the most decorated players but gave max effort and some of them eventually ended up in the pros. Lonny Baxter, Steve Blake, Juan Dixon, Terrence Morris, and Juan Dixon all played in the NBA. The Terps did come back and win it all the next year after falling to Duke in the semifinals the year before.

Duke- With a team that had Chris Duhon, Mike Dunleavy, Shane Battier, Carlos Boozer, Jason Williams, and Dahntay Jones, it's a wonder that they actually lost any games at all. Casey Sanders wasn't chopped liver coming out of high school and he barely played. It wasn't a cakewalk for the Blue Devils as they had to mount as massive comeback against Maryland in the semifinals. As you can see they had a lot of pros currently playing right now.

2007 Final Four- Florida, Georgetown, UCLA, Ohio State. This is a year that nearly rivals 1982 in the number of pro players from the Final Four teams. Whether it turns out as many great players remains to be seen. But there was a lot of talent that hit the floor in 2007.

Florida- The Gators were on the back end of their two year run after years of underacheiving. Talent was never a problem as Billy Donovan procured some of the best talent there is. Whether it was all ethical is a different story. Corey Brewer, Al Horford, and Joakim Noah were all first round picks. Reserve Mareese Speights played another year for the Gators and was a first round pick for the Philadelphia 76ers. Taurean Green was a second round pick and Chris Richard has been in and out of the league. Walter Hodge and Lee Humphrey were solid backups and Hodge is playing overseas.

Georgetown- The Hoyas made a return to the Final Four led by NBA draftees Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green. DeJuan Summers also is playing in the NBA and Vernon Macklin was a huge recruit coming out of high school. Patrick Ewing Jr. played here and has been in and out of the NBA. This team put Georgetown back on the college basketball map.

UCLA- The Bruins made the second of three straight trips to the Final Four. They had talent to win it, they just happened to run into better teams in the Final Four. Russell Westbrook is All-Star material in the NBA. Arron Afflalo has been a good NBA player and was a first round pick. Darren Collison is an up and coming point guard for the Indiana Pacers. Josh Shipp was a good player but injuries got in the way. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is currently with the Milwaukee Bucks and was a second round pick. Only if they had a big man that could score.

Ohio State- The Thad Five. Coach Thad Matta has been reeling in top talent to Columbus since he took over. This was the class that started it all. Mike Conley Jr., Daequan Cook, and Greg Oden were all first round picks. David Lighty looks like he could wind up being a serviceable NBA player. The bench with Ron Lewis, Jamar Butler, Ivan Harris, and Othello Hunter provided quality depth.

In sheer numbers this could be 1982 all over again, but they'll need a lot of help to get to the level the 1982 teams were. That was the greatest Final Four since 1980. There have been some great ones and some great talent, but you can't beat the fact that there were some big time Hall of Famers, champions, and great players in that group.   

Ordonez: Cabrera Must Act Like A Superstar

If anyone on the Detroit Tigers is going to show Miguel Cabrera some tough love, it looks like it'll be Magglio Ordonez. Ordonez hasn't been named captain or anything it's just that he seems like he's the most critical of Cabrera's actions that may possibly send him to rehab after being arrested for alledgedly drunk driving, resisting arrest, and basically being a jackass.

Ordonez told John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press that Cabrera "must act like a superstar".

“Miguel is the franchise player of this team,” OrdoƱez said. “He understands that they are building the team around him. He needs to pull everything together. “He is a superstar, and he needs to act like a superstar. He needs to work hard. I told him before, and I will tell him whenever he shows up”.

It's clear that Ordonez supports his teammate and fellow Venezuelan. On the surface it looks like he'll sit Cabrera down and lay down the law. The Tigers desperately need Cabrera to be clean and on his best behavior. If he's going to keep having alcoholic relapses the Tigers would be wise to get rid of him.

No one knows what he does or what's going on off the field. He may have problems that we the fans or even teammates know the extent of. Whatever it is he has to figure it out and realize what's most important in his life. Ordonez says that he predicts Cabrera will pull it together. But will he do it for the greater good of himself of will he do it just to salvage his baseball career. His teammates are behind him, so he has support. There's no reason that I know of for him to pull the stunt that he pulled Wednesday night.    






 

Dwayne Wade Wants To Hear Your Boos

When the Miami Heat signed Chris Bosh and LeBron James over the summer to form the Superfriends, every basketball fan from coast to coast had some animosity. More so in the cities of Cleveland and Toronto, where Bosh and James escaped from to go to Miami. So when the Heat go to Cleveland and Toronto, Bosh and James get the business and Dwayne Wade gets cheers. Wade recently joked that he would like to get booed as much as James and Bosh.

"Yeah, that's like a slap in the face," Wade said, smiling in an interview with the Palm Beach Post. "You know, we go back to Cleveland, I got cheered. We come here, I get cheered. That's a slap in the face to these guys. No, those cheers are boos to me as well."

Even in jest Wade would never be vilified, except in his hometown of Chicago since he never really entertained the thought of signing with the Bulls. Also, he didn't bail out on his current team for another and leave a franchise in shambles. I'll say this, Wade was smart to recruit Bosh and James to Miami. Toronto wasn't going anywhere and we see what Cleveland is without LeBron. If anything Wade is guilty by association, and I say that jokingly. Wade will never be lustily booed unless he's in Boston, L.A.(against the Lakers), or Chicago.

Personally I think fans need to get over this I hate the Miami Heat thing. Since when do you see players giving up money to win. They still get paid an obscene amount and they also know they need other pieces around them to win. I'm sure it adds more fuel for them to win.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Penny The Rec League Legend

The last I heard about Penny Hardaway he was helping th University of Memphis recruiting efforts. There was also talk of him trying to latch on with the Miami Heat. Right now he has to keep his game sharp at the local muni.



Hardaway has a long way to go if he even thought about trying to make a comeback. He's looking a little beefy, which seems to be the case with a lot of retired NBA players.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lane Kiffin Open To A College Version Of Hard Knocks

USC head coach Lane Kiffin hasn't said or done too many smart things since he's become a head coach of anywhere he's been. Until he came up with the thought of having a college football version of the HBO series 'Hard Knocks'.

Kiffen says it's a random thought, but deep down he would love the light to shine on the Trojans once again. I don't really think you want that to happen, since the Trojans are on probation and they are probably still employing some of the same recruiting tactics as before. Kiffin wouldn't want the cameras rolling when some random player asks why the mortgage payment was missed or something like that.

I think it would be good to see an unrated version of the college perspective, although I don't think some schools would want their dirty dealings out in the open.   
  

The Oklahoma Version Of 'Black & Yellow'

Following in the footsteps of many that have copied Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa's hit 'Black and Yellow', Oklahoma Sooners safety Tony Jefferson has his own version. It's called 'Boomer Sooner', something he's been pushing locally.

It's something that won't be playing in my car, but at least he's doing something other than making trouble. Maybe this will be an inspiration for the Sooners and propel them to a national championship.

I don't mean to be ultracritical, but Jefferson's no "Swiperboy".

Shane Mosley Feels He's Doing Mayweather's Dirty Work

While Shane Mosley was out doing some promotional work for his upcoming fight with Manny Pacquiao, Mosley said he felt he was doing Floyd Mayweather's 'dirty work' for fighting Pacquiao. I guess you can count Mosley among many that feel Mayweather is dodging Pacquiao.

"I don't know what to make of Floyd not fighting this fight. It's mind-boggling to me," said Mosley, who lost a lopsided decision to the unbeaten Mayweather last year. "It's like I said on Twitter, it feels like I'm doing Floyd's dirty work."


I'm no boxing expert, but I've seen enough of Mosley to know that he isn't doing anyone's dirty work. I can understand how he feels, since Mayweather has ducked the issue of facing Manny in the past. Mosley is taking this fight because he feels he can actually win the fight. Mosley has never shied away from fighting the best in his career. He's had his share of losses, but also has beaten some of the best in his career. He lobbied promoter Bob Arum to take this fight. So I don't want to hear about him fighting somone else's battles. I don't see that being the case. I would hate to see him be totally outmatched in this fight, which many think he will be.

Mosley thinks Mayweather hasn't fought Pacquiao because he's a lefty and Mayweather has had trouble in the past against southpaws. As time goes on I'm starting to think Mayweather really doesn't want this fight. First there was the request for Olympic style drug testing. Now there are Mayweather's legal problems that are threatning to derail the fight altogether.

Mayweather's legal problems are far different from Mike Tyson's, but it does mirror the way how Tyson went in the tank before fighting Evander Holyfield. Remember that fight was going to be made before Tyson went to prison. The fight hd to be made after Tyson's prison stint and he was never the same fighter. I'm not saying that's how Mayweather's career will go but at the rate he's going he may never see the inside of a ring again.

Which will lead others to say they're doing his 'dirty work'.

Victor Martinez's Lavish Ride

Professional athletes usually don't tool around in "luxury" cars that the average man drives around in. Consider the case of one of the newest Detroit Tigers, Victor Martinez. I've heard about Justin Verlander's Ferrari, but to me Martinez's Rolls Royce Ghost takes it.

The car is retailed at $250,000 before customization. I'd have to work a lifetime to get one tire off of it. It is a nice car, but Martinez won't be in the major leagues forever bagging $12 mill a season. Be smart with that money.

Tigers pitcher Robbie Weinhardt had an interesting take on the car.

"Awesome," said pitcher Robbie Weinhardt, "My signing bonus ($15,000) probably pays for nothing on that car. Maybe the air freshener."

I guess you can buy those kind of items when you get big money deals like the one Martinez signed this past offseason.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wolverines Making A Run

Not much was expected from the Michigan Wolverines basketball team this year. You really couldn't blame the so-called experts. They were coming off a dud of a season in which they were picked to go to the NCAA tournament and didn't make any kind of postseason. They lost their top two scorers in Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims and the help coming in was young.

Well the youngsters have grown up pretty fast. The Wolverines outlasted Indiana yesterday 73-69 to improve to 16-10 and 6-7 in the Big Ten. They were led by Tim Hardaway Jr.'s 26 points in another solid effort by the freshman. They've won 5 of their last 6 and have played well on both ends of the court. If they just could hit some late game free throws to ice games they'd be all set. I won't knock them on it though since they've been winning.

The team seems to have bought into coach John Beilein's system and they're having different players step up. Whether it's Zack Novak bombing away from three or Jordan Morgan picking up dirty work points inside, things seem to be working out in Ann Arbor. A big reason is the play of point guardDarius Morris. He looked lost at times as a freshman last year, but he's really kicked it up a notch. There are a few things he needs to work on, but he should be at least second team all Big Ten. If it wasn't for Ohio State's Jared Sullinger, Hardaway might be the conference freshman of the year.

The Wolverines have made a nice run to put themselves in the mix for an NCAA tournament bid, but face a steep climb if they want to get there. They have games against Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Michigan State remaining. If they can somehow win three of those games and get a win or two in the Big Ten tournament, they might get in. Otherwise they still have some work to do.

The future appears to be bright for the Wolverines after some dark days and near misses. Hopefully for the Michigan faithful they can keep the momentum going in the right direction.

DeVier Posey Hates Wisconsin

After Wisconsin knocked off number one Ohio State on the hardwood and the football field, Ohio State wide receiver DeVier Posey had some strong words for Wisconsin. From the almighty Twitter account.

"I'll be totally honest I hate wisconsin.. With a passion Yeah I said it !!! I can't wait to play them again next season!!! Just being honest."Watching a game like that gets yo competitive juices going something crazy !!! Can't wait."



I'm sure Buckeye big man Jared Sullinger feels the same way after Badger fans provided fuel for these two teams by spitting on Sullinger. I'm down with a lot of the antics college kids do, but this isn't one of them. As far as Posey goes, he was on the wrong end as a player and spectator and I see where he's coming from. He's also one of the Buckeye 5 who are suspended for the first five games of the year. He better hope the Buckeyes aren't in the toilet by then.

Also Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith feels the same way. He responded, via Twitter of course, with "Feel ya bro!!!" . Nothing like some good ol' Buckeye solidarity.

Your turn Wisconsin.  
 

 





 

Mario Lemieux Not Happy With The NHL

After a game which looked more like ESPN's Friday Night Fights instead of hockey, Pittsburgh Penguins owner Mario Lemieux isn't too happy with the way the NHL handled the punishment between the Penguins and New York Islanders. He's so disappointed that he's questioning himself whether he wants to stay in the league. He also said the Islanders should bear responsibiltiy for their failure to control their players.

The game featured 346 penalty minutes, 10 ejections, 15 fighting majors, and 20 misconducts. Sounds like a rough night at the saloon.

“Hockey is a tough, physical game, and it always should be. But what happened Friday night on Long Island wasn’t hockey. It was a travesty,” Lemieux said. “It was painful to watch the game I love turn into a sideshow like that. The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport. It failed,” he said. “We, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game and the safety of our players. We must make it clear that those kinds of actions will not be tolerated and will be met with meaningful disciplinary action. If the events relating to Friday night reflect the state of the league, I need to rethink whether I want to be a part of it.”


Come on Mario, the Islanders' Trevor Gillies received a nine game suspension and Matt Martin for four games. The Isles' were hit with a $100,000 fine. All this for the Penguins' goalie Brent Johnson's Clubber Lang beatdown of Isles' goalie Rick DiPietro. What more do you want. All you guys got was one player drawing an automatic 10 game suspension for leaving the bench and no fines. Pittsburgh got over and Islanders GM Garth Snow wasn't too happy about that.

“When I saw the suspensions on both sides and the fines, I was a little bit surprised it was just our club that got fined, Snow said Sunday before the Islanders played at Buffalo. You can ask the league about it. There’s nothing we can do about it but put it behind us and get ready for Buffalo. I’m very proud that our team showed restraint,” Snow said. “We came to play hockey and obviously, there’s a lot of things that happen in the course of a game. I’m proud of the way our team competed, and I’m going to support my guys.”


The fines and suspensions were one sided indeed, but next time any of your goalies decide they want to square off with someone tell him to stay in the crease. I'm not choosing sides, but this was nothing more than retaliation for the Johnson-DiPietro throwdown. If you want to compete hard than fine, fighting is a part of the game. I'm not part of the hockey elite but I know all that foolishness doesn't belong in the game.

  





 

Drew Brees Defends Sean Payton's Move To Dallas

When New Orleans Saints Sean Payton decided to uproot his family and move to Dallas, all kinds of bells and whistles went off in New Orleans. The move was signed off by Saints owner Tom Benson and General Manager Mickey Loomis.

The rumors that came out of it were that the Dallas Cowboys were looking at Payton to fill their general manager post. Another was that Payton was having family troubles. Saints quarterback Drew Brees says it's none of that and everyone is making a big deal out of nothing. Where there's smoke there's fire but I don't think Payton is going anywhere right now either. 

"It's a non-issue,'' Brees said. "I think everyone wants to immediately jump to conclusions and all of them are so untrue. The first of which is his family and him are having problems. No, that's not the case at all. The other one is he's taking a job with the Dallas Cowboys. No, not true either. People want to immediately jump to conclusions as to why he's bought a home in Dallas but most players and coaches in the league have a home base, a place where they're either from or where they spent a lot of time before so they have a solid foundation. There's not a guy who's more committed to his team and the city of New Orleans than Sean Payton. I think he's proven that.''



If the Saints struggle early you know the Dallas move will be the focal point behind it. Everyone will say that Payton has an eye on a different job, so the Saints players will feel sold out or why do they want to play for someone who doesn't want to be here. This will be something to keep an eye provided there is an NFL season.

Demar Dorsey's Second Chance

After being denied admission to the University of Michigan and Louisville, Demar Dorsey will finally get a chance to play football after high school. He'll be coming to Michigan, but he'll be playing at Grand Rapids Communtiy College.

Dorsey was a high school All American safety who originally committed to Florida then made a last minute change and signed with Michigan. That's when the wheels came off of that plan as word got out about his past legal troubles and not being able to meet admission requirements. He then sought refuge at Louisville but was denied there also. Being a player without a home he's now taking the JUCO route to get to a BCS school. There's no doubt he has the talent, he'll just have to show the maturity to get there.

Head coach Tony Annese knows all about Dorsey's story and is more than willing to give the young man a second chance.

“It was one of those things where kids get connected with other kids and we've got several kids from that Ft. Lauderdale area and they just talked,” Annese said. “He liked the idea of playing for us and we have been ranked in the nation the last couple of years. We're a second-chance place so we evaluate it that way. We accept the fact that's who we are and we try to do the things that we need to do to help our kids get through those circumstances. We can put all the variables in place and try to direct them the right way, but it's ultimately up to the kid and how determined they want to be to get their life on the right track.”


I hope the guy does well on the field and in life. We all need a second chance from time to time. Prove yourself at Grand Rapids and I am sure an offer will come from a good school. Now is the time to get it right. Michigan could be one of those schools but knowing how they are about JC transfers I doubt it. Get good grades and stay clean.




































   

Quote Of The Week: Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen the drug machine was giving a little anti-drug advice to the UCLA baseball team earlier this week. I know it's strange coming from Charlie Sheen as he's battled an addiction to drugs and porn stars for years, so when I heard about his latest bender it didn't surprise me since he's been fighting those demons since the late 1980's.

"Stay off the crack. Drink a chocolate milk. Enjoy your moment. That's all I got." 

Well said Charlie. Maybe his next stop will be at the local high school.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dusty's Decisions May Have Doomed Harang

In the world of sports it doesn't take much for a player in any sport to lose it. Ask Jake Delhomme, Steve Blass, Jim Everett, Chuck Knoblauch, or Steve Sax. They were mental cases to say the least. Some are derailed by a strange coaching decision, like keeping a star player in a blow out game. San Diego Padres pitcher Aaron Harang was doomed by the latter.

When Harang was with the Cincinnati Reds, he says a relief appearance back in 2008 against, how ironic, the Padres, his current team. It was an extra innings game and Harang was summoned in by manager Dusty Baker, he of the weird pitching decisions. Harang pitched well in that game, but in his next outing, a start against the Pirates, he gave up six runs in four innings. You know Baker has ruined a pitcher before so this is nothing new.

Sometimes you need to conserve a pitcher for the long haul instead of using him for an early season extra inning game, especially if that pitcher is a starter that eats up a lot of innings for you. But you know Dusty, he consulted the wristbands and the wristbands told him to put in Harang.

"What it did," Harang said of the relief appearance to the San Diego Union-Tribune, "is fatigue me beyond the point of recovery. I started to change my arm angle to compensate for the fatigue and that’s when my forearm started to bother me. I feel like I’ve never been able to get back to the consistent, repetitive mechanics that I had," he continued. "The last couple of years have been, 'Try this, try that. Move your arm angle out a little.' I’ve had a couple of my old coaches call me, asking, 'What are you doing? You had so much success before doing the same thing. Now, all of a sudden, you’re turning your back on that?' "I got away from my main thing, which is throwing my fastball and throwing everything off that. I got to thinking I’m going to trick people and it just didn’t work."



I know the bottom line in sports in general is wins and losses. Sometimes you have to let one go early for long term success. The short term gain wasn't worth it for the Reds or Harang that season. Now Harang is working to get back to his old self while Dusty gets to possibly ruin Edinson Volquez or Aroldis Chapman.


http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/feb/11/padres-harang-homing-return-dominance/

Brandon Banks Injured In Late Night Stabbing

Washington Redskins return ace and recevier Brandon Banks was injured following a stabbing outside a Washington, D.C. nightclub early this morning according to reports.

They said the stabbing took place around 3a.m. at a club called 'the Park'. No offense to anyone in D.C. but that doesn't sound like a place that I'd like to be that late at night. Police said there ws an argument and a man attacked Banks and a friend he was with. The friend is in serious condition, while Banks was treated and released. The man that attacked them has been arrested and is in custody.

It's a good thing Banks was relatively unharmed and that it didn't turn into a Paul Pierce situation. I'm not going to sit here and preach, but these athletes need to learn that they're not untouchable. Anyone can get to you if they try hard enough.
 

Rex Ryan Predicts Super Bowl Win For Jets

The NFL offseason has barely started and Rex Ryan has put the pressure on himself and the New York Jets already. Rex and his wife Michelle were taking in a Knicks game last night and Rex predicted a Super Bowl win for the Jets while he expressed his disappointment with the loss in the AFC championship for the second straight year.

"It feeds the competitiveness in you," Ryan said. "You're sick that you missed out again, two years in a row. I know how important it us to this town and our fans, and how important it is to me, this football team. To come up short again, it's a huge blow. "But you do remember. It drives your competitive spirit, like there's no way, no way we don't get it done next year. That's how you feel. That's how I feel. You can't wait to get back and have at it again."



Hey, if you don't have confidence in yourself who will. That's why I like Rex. He has confidence in his team and the team feeds off of it. The Jets had their share of off field stories and the beat goes on with the Mark Sanchez story. But Ryan doesn't see it as a problem.

"Not everybody can play quarterback in this town," Ryan said. "It takes a special person, and Mark can do it. He's proved that he can do it. He's focused and determined. Some guys would wilt under the pressure of New York, of being in the city. But Mark looks forward to it. "You've got to have broad shoulders, he has broad shoulders. I always talk about skin like an armadillo—though I know it's armor, but that's the illustration we make to our guys. He's a great player, a great person, and he can handle this."


Rex has everyone's back on that team and they love him for it. I'm sure he may ruffle a few feathers every now and then but deep down they know short of committing murder or rape, he'll go to bat for them. I'm pretty sure they don't mind him going on record saying they'll win it all. That's what you play the game for and if your not then you shouldn't be playing.



  






"You've got to have broad shoulders, he has broad shoulders. I always talk about skin like an armadillo—though I know it's armor, but that's the illustration we make to our guys. He's a great player, a great person, and he can handle this."














   

Clay Matthews Laying The "Smackdown"

Here's some footage of Clay Matthews' appearance on WWE Smackdown.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Angry Mailman

Karl Malone says that Jerry Sloan would never quit anything. I believe that because Sloan was a tough, old man. Malone said the only thing Sloan was tired of was the garbage that came with the job.

I was caught way off guard when I heard that Sloan was resigning. He had been in Utah for 23 years and showed no signs of quitting. He was tough and he was old school. I believe his old school ways clashed with his new school players, specifically point guard Deron Williams. Williams says he didn't run Sloan out of town, which I do believe. I also think his attitude might've grated on Sloan so much that he just flat out got tired of it.

Malone says he will honor Sloan's legacy by becoming a coach himself. For some reason I don't see Malone as the coaching type but you never know. Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Isiah Thomas all coached at one point.  

Mr. Smith Goes To The Hall Of Fame

New York Jets wide reciever Brad Smith will be one of six inductees into the University of Missouri Athletics Hall of Fame. Not to knock Smith's athletic endeavors, but this will be the only Hall of Fame he'll get to. Nonetheless, it's a remarkable acheivment for Smith, who'll do plenty more athletically than I'll ever do.

Smith had a very good career as a quarterback for Missouri. He broke 69 school, Big 12 and NCAA records while leading the Tigers. Smith was also the first quarterback in Division I-A to throw for more than 8,000 yards and run for more than 4,000 yards and finished his career fourth in total offense with 13,088 yards. He also won a Heisman and a national championship for me on the Playstation. I just had to throw that in there because he was unstoppable in that game.

I hate the fact that Smith never got a shot at quarterback in the NFL. But he has a career, so I don't feel too bad for him.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Clay Matthews Tour

To the victor goes the spoils. That's what they say. The Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl and Clay Matthews seems to be loving it. Matthews has a little victory tour going on. There was Jay Leno, then WWE Smackdown, Ellen Degeneres. Next stop the Grammys.

Matthews will be presenting an award at the upcoming Grammy awards ceremony. There is no word on what category he'll be presenting in. I might watch just to see who he gives an award to. I wonder where the next stop will be on the Clay Matthews victory tour.

Nolan Smith May Be The Most Underrated Player In College Basketball

If you've read any of my previous postings that mention Duke basketball, you'll know that I pretty much despise the program. So when I decided to retire for the night last night and saw North Carolina up on Duke at the half by 14, I thought maybe the Heels will get them at home. I went to bed with a slight smirk on my face.

Much to my surprise, well maybe not, Duke came back for a 79-73 win led by Nolan Smith's 34 points. A great showing in his final home against their blood rival. Another thought came to my mind when I saw the score and highlights. Nolan Smith is underrated. I know Duke gets a lot of publicity and when they get a player that doesn't live up to the hype, that player still gets a ton of hype. But Smith has somehow seemed to be under the radar for sometime now. I feel that if it wasn't for Smith Duke might not have won the national championship last year. let alone compete for it. Sure they had Jon Scheyer for 12 years and Kyle Singler always got the hype, but Smith has been a solid player since he's been there.

When the year began all you heard was how Duke had an improved backcourt with Seth Curry and Kyrie Irving coming in.You hear about the incoming McDonald's All Americans, but not much about Smith. In fact the Irving one and done machine was in full effect until he had a foot injury. If there is no Nolan Smith this might be a team that would have about 5 or 6 losses. I'm not saying they're not good, they wouldn't be as good. You didn't hear Smith's name on many player of the year lists. Now he's getting that kind of recognition. To me he's Duke's most important player, just ask Baylor. He has an insatiable will to win and won't let them lose. As much as I don't like Duke, I do have respect for Nolan Smith and his game. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Knicks Would Be Wise To Wait On Melo

I was talking with one of my co-workers yesterday and we were talking about the neverending Carmelo Anthony rumors. More specifically about the Lakers trade rumor. The question was why the New York Knicks were trying so hard to land Anthony. I can understand the Lakers trying to pry him out of Denver. They could bridge the gap between Kobe Bryant's eventual decline and pass the torch to Melo. I can dig it. The Knicks, not so much.

I read a post from a fellow blogger whose site name escapes me right now where he put together a three team trade involving the Lakers, Nuggets, and Knicks where all three help themselves in the process. It's too much to explain so please excuse me for not breaking it down. My problem rests with New York. Melo wants to be there and the Knicks want him. It's a match. Everyone knows why Anthony wants to get out of Denver as soon as possible. It's simple, he wants to get paid before the new CBA (collective bargaining agreement). I can understand that. He'll only sign an extension with the Knicks. If I'm Donnie Walsh I just wait until the offseason to sign him and give up nothing. I know the Knicks want out of Eddy Curry's contract and can get rid of it in a trade. But why give up Wilson Chandler or Danilo Gallinari? I know the Knicks would like to get rid of Anthony Randolph, which would be good because maybe they recoup a first round pick in the process. Getting rid of Randolph makes the most sense since there is a logjam at his current position. I wouldn't be in a hurry to include Chandler or Gallinari. They've shown me something this year and if Melo comes to New York one of them would be a major player off the bench, something you always need in the NBA. The Knicks would also boast one of the better frontlines in the league.

I don't see why the Knicks are in such a to make this trade. I would wait to sign him and not give up a thing. I just don't see why they would want to give up a few core young players to get one in return. It's not like they would be a threat to win the title this year with him.The only way I make this trade is if this is the first step in some kind of master plan where the Knicks somehow get Chris Paul out of the Bayou or some other major player. Other than that, save your chips and play them elsewhere. It may get you more than you think.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I'm Sorry

Too bad there aren't many professional athletes like the Pittsburgh Penguins' Mike Rupp. I don't know him personally but I have to give him some credit for how he repaid a fan.

The Penguins forward was warming up for a game and hit the boards, accidentally knocking over a fan's beer. Instead of being a jerk he gave the fan a puck and some cash to pay for the beer.

"Mike felt terrible about it, so he asked the trainer to grab $10 out of Rupp’s wallet," Rupp’s agent Allan Walsh told the Toronto Sun.


"He then wrote an apology on a puck, signed it and taped the $10 bill around it. He went over to the glass, got the guy’s attention and tossed the puck over to him."

I'm sure Rupp has a fan for life.