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Just The Sports: 2006-03-19

Just The Sports

Saturday, March 25, 2006

NCAA Tournament Recap

UCLA 50, Memphis 45

What else can I say about this game, but that UCLA played less badly than did Memphis. Here are the numbers from the game. When you compare the two team's stats, you will see what I am talking about.

Field Goal Percentage:
UCLA: 14 for 42 (33.3%)
Memphis: 17 for 55 (30.9%)

Three Point Percentage:
UCLA: 2 for 8 (25%)
Memphis: 2 for 17 (11.8%)

Free Throw Percentage:
UCLA: 20 for 31 (51.3%)
Memphis: 9 for 15 (60%)

Also, before you get the notion in your head that these numbers are a reflection of great defense, they aren't. No defense is that great, but some teams are that inept at shooting. Well, someone had to win the game.

NCAA Tournament Recap

LSU 70, Texas 60 (OT)

Points in the paint: LSU 38, Texas 10. Looking at this stat alone one would think LSU also dominated the scoreboard and that Texas never had a shot to win this game. Nothing could be further from the truth as LSU made sure Texas was able to stay close with their questionable shooting decisions. Despite the fact that both Glen Davis and Tyrus Thomas for LSU were able to score at will from the low post, the Tigers went through infuriating stretches of the game where they insisted on shooting 3 pointers and jumpshots, even though they are not a good shooting team outside of the paint.

Case in point: With 10.5 seconds remaining in regulation and the score tied at 52, LSU had possession of the ball. Did they try to get the ball to Tyrus Thomas on the block? Of course not. Did they get the ball to Glen Davis while he posted up LaMarcus Aldridge? Oh God no. They did what any other team would do who had scored the vast majority of their points inside the paint. Davis heaved up an off-balance desperation 3 pointer that never came close to going on. To LSU's credit, they did have another attempt to win the game as Garrett Temple missed badly on a wide open 3.

In contrast, Texas tried harder to lose than LSU did not to win. Texas only scored ten points in the paint not because of LSU's suffocating interior defense, but because the Texas players did not even try to challenge LSU's premier shotblocker, Tyrus Thomas. Instead of seeing if he could live up to his reputation, Texas settled for jumpers and 3-pointers, lower percentage shots. It was as if they were scared of having their shot blocked. I assure you there are worse things than having your shot blocked in a game. Losing is one example.

Anyone who saw LSU play against Duke knew that if Tyrus Thomas and Glen Davis were challenged head-on, they would get into foul trouble. Yet, LaMarcus Aldridge, Texas's best big man, turned in an embarrassing performance full of turnaround jumpers and hook shots. He ended up shooting 2 of 14 from the field, but hey, at least his shot wasn't blocked that much.

Friday, March 24, 2006


The more I watch the UConn basketball team play, the less I like them. This is not to say they are not an extremely talented collection of players because they are. At least they are talented in terms of impressive team height and athletic ability. However, in spite of how good they look on paper, there is quite frankly something missing from this team. I will not be so cliche as to say they lack heart. What they do lack is a high team basketball IQ as evidenced by some of the horrible passes they throw during games.

My main problem with the UConn Huskies is with their sophomore forward, Rudy Gay. He has somehow tricked the media into thinking he is a great player. He is anything but. For someone not asked to be the leading scorer of his team and therefore is allowed to pick his spots, Gay still manages to take ridiculously bad shots.

A week ago to prove that what I was thinking was more than just a feeling I decided to calculate how efficient of a shooter Gay is. Calculating a shooter's efficiency is as simple as taking the number of points a player scores and dividing them by the number of shots it took for the player to score those points. Turns out Gay's shooting efficiency was an abysmal .98.

Couple that with the fact he consistently disappears in big games and any NBA GM who dares to draft him in the lottery will find out first hand that Gay will never be the player people think he could be. Gay also has the habit of appearing surprised when his opponents try to win the game. It is like he is silently asking the favorite question of athletes nationwide, "Don't you know who I am?" Yes we do Rudy, and I for one am not impressed.

Understanding Wide Receivers

Over the past several years, while wide receivers like Terrell Owens, Keyshawn Johnson, and Chad Johnson have become more about themselves and less about the team, the criticism of these receivers has grown exponenially leading to numerous questions being asked by the sports media and sports fans. Why do wide receivers always think of themselves as underpaid and why are they constantly demanding the ball be thrown their way are two examples of the aforementioned questions. While there is no denying that the majority of wide receivers are self-centered and egotistical, their abrasive personalities are not entirely their fault. They are simply a product of their position. In this post, I will point out four aspects of the wide receiver positions that contribute to the assholic attitudes you see in the NFL and every other level of football.

1. Where Wide Receivers Line Up

Football is the consummate team sport and yet, wide receivers line up on an island, isolated from the rest of the teammates. It is no small wonder then that they do not comprehend what their teammates have to go through on any given play to make it work. When this sort of isolation occurs, football becames a game of 1 vs. 1 or 1 vs. 2 rather than 11 vs. 11 as football was probably meant to be. In additon, lining up on an island means wide receivers don't even have to know what the snap count is. All they have to do is watch the ball and when it is snapped, they perform their job. There have been numerous instances where wide receivers have left the huddle early because they see not point in sticking around with the rest of their teammates when they don't need to know the specific snap count. Subtleties like that reinforce the thinking of wide receivers that they are alone on the field and can only depend on themselves.

2. Wide Receivers Are Always Open

At least in their minds, they are always open. I have yet to hear any receiver who will admit he or she was covered. Even when they are double covered, they still think they are open and wonder why the ball is not coming their way. Then they start to demand it, not taking into account it is not as easy to get them the ball as they think. This leads to arguments with the quarterback or the offensive coordinator or the head coach as to why he is not getting more balls thrown his way. As destructive as the receiver's thinking might prove, this mentality is best suited for success. The truly great players at this position have to think of themselves as superior or else they will not have the confidence necessary to perform at the highest level. It is really a catch-22 situation.

3. Getting Open

When wide receivers get open. the only people they have to thank for that is themselves. Running backs need good blocking from the linemen to break up a long run. In the same vein, quarterbacks also need adequate production from their teammates in order to get off a pass. But not wide receivers. When they get open, it becomes more along the lines of look at what I did in getting open. Look at how I burned that guy with no one else's help. Therein lies the root of the "me, me me" mentality you see time and time again.

4. Having Their Backs To The Ball

Having their backs to the ball does not allow wide receivers to witness the intricacies of line blocking and all the other protection schemes that are going on behind them. Basically all the things that make a play work So, for the most part, when a play does not work out or does not develop, wide receivers really don't know why. It is this ignorance that causes anger at the rest of the teammates leading to wide receivers questioning their teammates' abilities and further fracturing themselves from the rest of the team.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Elliot Kalb Should Not Be NFL Commish

After hearing news of Paul Tagliabue's (forced?) resignation, I had the same idea as Elliot Kalb did. However, hindered by procrastination, I was unable to complete my list of changes I would make to the NFL before Kalb put his list up online. Since to put my list up now would be imitation of Kalb, and therefore flattery, I have no other recourse but to make ridicule the changes Kalb suggests. Such is life.

1. Staggering game times

On the surface, this seems like a good idea. Don't be fooled by the surface. This is a very bad idea. Right now, college football staggers their times, which allows college football to be played for a full 12 hours on Saturday. The reason college football is able to do this is because there at least eight networks that carry the games. With the NFL, there are two networks which are allowed to cover afternoon NFL games. In addition to there being insufficient networks for games to be staggered, FOX and CBS have an agreement where only one network can show a doubleheader a week. Oh yeah, and that is the television deal which makes millions and millions of dollars for the NFL on a weekly basis. Good luck convincing the owners to give up a sure revenue source like that, Commissioner Kalb.

2. United States Football Classic

If Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig could pull together a World Baseball Classic, then I would copy the blueprint and put together a preseason USFC.

Yet again this is someone who obviously did not sit down and watch the World Baseball Classic seriously. Let's examine for a moment the blueprint he intends to copy. The World Baseball Classic was held at an awful time of the year for Major League Baseball, meaning that the best players in the world were not guaranteed to play. This is unheard of for other international competitions. The WBC also employed Little League-type rules including pitch counts and mercy rules. Does Kalb want to make sure quarterbacks only throw a certain number of passes a game? Perhaps he should change it to flag football, too.

The best players from California would have a team and compete against the best players from the state of Florida. Texas would field a terrific team. These games would replace preseason games. You would field eight teams, from eight states.

Where would the other five teams come from? Why are California, Florida, and Texas allowed automatic bids into the USFC? This reads like Kalb had the idea of California and Florida playing and then he remembered other states also play football so he threw together a few sentences, called it a coherent plan, and hoped no one would notice.

The games would be played over three weekends, with the championship game held on Labor Day weekend. Most NFL players would be back at their camps following the first weekend.

Most NFL players would not play in the games at all. Most players don't even show up for their own training camps so what makes Kalb think they would show up for his USFC. Unlike baseball contracts, NFL contracts are not guaranteed and if a player becomes injured in the preseason, there is really nothing to stop a team from cutting him before the season begins. On top of that, many NFL players' contracts are incentive-laden meaning they need to be as healthy as possible during the actual season they get paid for. Football is a sport where a player can actually get seriously injured in every game because of the extreme violent nature of the sport. There is no way this would ever work.

The championship of the United States Football Classic would essentially replace the Pro Bowl.

Does Kalb even know what the Pro Bowl is? It's an all-star game held after the season to reward the best players at their respective positions. After the season, not before. Also, Kalb mentions not more than four sentences before this one that the USFC would replace preseason games? So which one will it fucking replace, Elliot?

College players would be eligible to play in the United States Football Classic.

College players would probably be more worried about making the team for the franchise who is paying them to play.

3.Making the Super Bowl two-out-of-three series

Now, many people will laugh at this.

No, most people would have you committed.

I have a plan.

And I can't wait to hear it.

In my plan, the Super Bowl would be a best-of-three series played on consecutive weekends. The first game would always be played at the home stadium of the team with the best record. The second game will always be played at a neutral site that is rotated. If a third game is necessary, it would be played at the site of the team with the worse record.

First, football is too violent a game to force teams to play two or three playoff games on top of a seventeen week season and then have to play a three game championship series on top of that. Also, the reason other sports have playoff series is because it is the best way for those sports to determine who the better team is. Football does not have that problem because over the course of a game, it is pretty apparent who the better team is and who is most deserving of winning the game. And Kalb has come up with the most convoluted three sites for the three games. Never should a deciding game be held at the home of the team with the worse record. The whole point of home field advantage is to reward the better team for its success in the regular season. Kalb wants to reward a team for losing more games. Does that make sense to anyone?

6. Change the Hall of Fame voting

It's a terrible system that so many care and so few vote. The system for electing players into the Hall of Fame would be instantly revamped. My plan is to vote the premier players (Marino, Elway, and Barry Sanders, for instance) to lifetime enshrinement. Other players (Warren Moon and Harry Carson, for example) would be voted into the Hall for a 10-year period. After that, they would have to be revoted in. The Hall is getting too bloated. The truly elite shouldn't have to share space with so many.

I can't even bring myself to comment on this one. Just remember he got paid to write that shit.

7. Salary cap for head coaches, general managers

Enough is enough. I want a system where teams can take chances on new head coaches, without recycling the same names. I want to give incentive to minority hirings.

The NFL already has a system where teams can (and do) take chances on new head coaches. Over the last couple years, plenty of NFL teams hired men who had never been head coaches before. I'm just going to list the ones that immediately come to mind: Sean Payton, Rod Marinelli, Nick Saban, Brad Childress, and Mike Nolan. By the way, a salary cap for head coaches and general managers is in no way incentive to hire minorities.

Tournament Running Diary Pt. 2

Since there has been so much clamoring for another running diary from yours truly, I have decided to reward the many fans I have. The plan is to keep a diary for both televised NCAA Tournament games tonight. Whether or not I actually make it through both of them is another question. After a feast of grilled cheese sandwiches and Frosted Flakes, we're picking up the Duke-LSU game with 15 minutes left in the first half.

Duke vs. LSU

7:18-Duke 8, LSU 6. Nothing even remotely approaching exciting has happened in the game so far.

7:21-Shelden Williams has been unable to post up close to the basket because of the defense of Glen Davis and the fact Davis weighs 300-some pounds. Tyrus Thomas is an amazing shot blocker who is really going to have an impact on this game from the defensive side. Just blocked Melchionni and Williams in succession.

7:23-McRoberts attempts a feeble shot down low. Duke 10, LSU 6.

7:25-Paulus commits a turnover leading to a quick basket being scored by Darnell Lazare of LSU. So far, LSU is athletically superior to Duke at all five positions. Duke 10, LSU 10.

7:30-Duke continues to shoot horribly from the field as Redick misses a makeable lay-up and then McRoberts misses a tip-in.

7:30-Davis pushes Melchionni down for no reason. Offensive foul.

7:31-Duke, though, makes it clear they want to have no quality possessions in the game and turns it right back over to LSU.

7:32-Tasmin Mitchell hits a rare 3 for LSU. Most of their field goals are 2 pointers. LSU 13, Duke 10.

7:33-Shelden Williams answers for Duke.

7:33-Glen Davis fouls again. That's two for him.

7:34-Duke is ice-cold from the field. Redick misses another 3.

7:34-Lazare goes right at Shelden Williams for his 6th point of the game. LSU 17, Duke 12.

7:34-Tyrus Thomas commits an offensive foul on a fast break. Two for him. Hello bench.

7:35-Shelden Williams scores to make the score: LSU 17, Duke 14.

7:35-McRoberts mistakes the cheerleaders for his teammates and passes the ball to them. Unfortunately for him and Duke, under the rules of basketball, that counts as a turnover.

7:39-Darrel Mitchell hits an easy jumper from the lane.

7:39-Duke turns the ball over yet again leading to a Tasmin Mitchell putback. LSU 21, Duke 14.

7:41-Redick travels. Lazare scores again. LSU 23, Duke 14. I'm glad to know Duke is just happy to be in the Sweet 16.

7:42-Now Shelden Williams travels. They are like 8 year olds whose running with the ball is occasionally broken up by dribbling. Eight Duke turnovers so far.

7:43-Redick hits a 3 in transition like he always does. LSU 23, Duke 19.

7:44-Coach K is finally fed up with what he sees by the Duke players and calls a timeout. LSU 25, Duke 19.

7:47-CBS switches to the Memphis-Bradley game to piss me off. It's working.

7:48-And they switch back to the varsity game. Shelden scores inside since Davis is on the bench with two fouls. LSU 25, Duke 23.

7:48-Tasmin Mitchell gets an easy dunk. LSU 27, Duke 23.

7:49-Why Dockery is still shooting is beyond me, but he shoots and misses a 3 pointer.

7:49-Lazare cannot be stopped. LSU 29, Duke 23.

7:50-Now Tasmin Mitchell is traveling. Does neither team know the rules of basketball?

7:51-More missed 3-pointers by Duke. This time Melchionni does the honors.

7:52-McRoberts throws down a dunk.

7:52-LSU 31, Duke 27.

7:55-Shelden shoots a 3 to end the half. Out of a timeout, the best shot Duke could get was a Shelden Williams 3. LSU 31, Duke 27.

8:17-Glen Davis commits his third foul while guarding Shelden Williams. You think he could avoid getting his third foul a mere 29 seconds into the second half. Shelden hits 1 free throw. LSU 31, Duke 28.

8:20-LSU commits their 11th turnover.

8:21-Tyrus Thomas commits his third foul of the game. 18 minutes, 11 seconds left in the game and LSU's two best big men are in foul trouble.

8:23-Nice drive by McRoberts. Bad defense by LSU. LSU 35, Duke 31.

8:24-Davis muscles in a lay-up. LSU 37, Duke 31.

8:25-I can't wait until Dockery gets the memo that informs him he is not a good 3-point shooter.

8:28-Redick steals the ball and then forces up a wild left-handed shot. Fortunately for Duke, they retain possession.

8:34-Redick can't buy a shot right now. Another patented bad shooting game in the NCAA Tournament for JJ Redick. He's made a career out of them. 2 for 10 tonight.

8:38-Tyrus Thomas fouls Shelden Williams for his 4th foul. Look for Shelden Williams to score more points in the post. Shelden Williams makes both free throws. LSU 38, Duke 35.

8:43-Shelden fouls Glen Davis on a shooting attempt. It's Shelden's third foul. Davis hits both free throws. LSU 40, Duke 35.

8:44-Three by Demarcus Nelson. Finally someone other than Williams is doing some scoring for Duke. LSU 40, Duke 38.

8:46-Duke ties the score with a McRoberts alley-oop dunk. LSU 40, Duke 40. Another McRoberts alley-oop dunk. I bet LSU wishes Tyrus Thomas hadn't been an idiot and gotten his fourth foul so early in the second half. Duke 42, LSU 40.

8:48-Ten minutes left in the half.

8:49-Dunk by Shelden Williams. Duke 44, LSU 40. Tyrus Thomas, where are you? Or Darnell Lazare.

8:50-Glen Davis picks up his 4th foul of the game with a little less than 9 minutes left. That's basically game over for LSU. Nelson hits 1 of 2 free throws. Duke 45, LSU 40. Redick misses a dagger 3.

8:51-Rare LSU 3 by Darrel Mitchell. Duke 45, LSU 43.

8:52-Surprise, surprise. Dockery misses a wide open jumper.

8:53- Shelden hits two free throws. Duke 47, LSU 43.

8:53-Shelden Williams, otherwise known as Duke's whole offense, has picked up his 4th foul. Duke 47, LSU 43. He stays in the game. 7 minutes, 41 seconds left in the game.

8:57-Alley-oop dunk by Tyrus Thomas. Duke 47, LSU 45.

8:59-Tasmin Mitchell ties the game with a lay-up off a backdoor cut. Duke 47, LSU 47. 5 minutes, 37 seconds left in the game.

9:03-Tasmin Mitchell puts back a shot for LSU. LSU 49, Duke 47.

9:04-Tyrus Thomas blocks JJ Redick's shot for his fifth of the game.

9:05-Greg Paulus hits 2 free throws for Duke. Duke 49, LSU 49.

9:05-Tyrus Thomas dunks a putback over Shelden Williams. A 4-pointer according to the David Barbour Dunk Scoring Method.

9:06-Redick finally hits a 3. Duke 52, LSU 51.

9:13-LSU 53, Duke 52. Two minutes left in the game.

9:17-McRoberts stepped out of bounds. Way to go, Josh.

9:17-LSU calls a timeout. 1 minutes, 32 seconds left. LSU 53, Duke 52.

9:19-LSU has possession. 55 seconds to go.

9:20-Loose ball foul called on Greg Paulus. Tyrus Thomas to the free throw line where he makes the first and the second. LSU 55, Duke 52.

9:22-Blocking foul called on LSU's Darrel Mitchell. Redick to the free throw line to shoot his first of the game. Rattles home the first. Makes the second. LSU 55, Duke 54.

9:23-Tyrus Thomas gets a fast break dunk and follows that up with a block of Josh McRoberts. LSU 57, Duke 54.

9:25-Duke fouls Darrel Mitchell. He makes 1 of 2. LSU 58, Duke 54. Duke fouls Glen Davis. He makes 1 of 2, but gets his own rebound off the miss. LSU 59, Duke 54.

9:26-McRoberts fouls out and sends Glen Davis back to the free throw line. Nineteen seconds left in the game. Davis hits 1 of 2. LSU 60, Duke 54.

9:27-Redick misses a desperation 3.

9:28-Glen Davis seals the game with two free throws. LSU 62, Duke 54. Game's over. It might be time for Coach K to start recruiting athletic players again. Everyone else is.

9:36-Memphis wins. Who cares?

Gonzaga vs. UCLA

10:08-Gus Johnson, CBS commentator, describes Jordan Farmar as a terrific-looking sophomore. Nothing more homoerotic than sports commentating.

10:09-Adam Morrison hits an ugly floater in the lane. I'm not even sure he jumped. Gonzaga 2, UCLA 0.

10:10-Morrison is double teamed and travels.

10:11-UCLA has been trying to break the backboard with their shots so far. A couple more bricks and they will get their wish.

10:13-Holy shit. Mallon simply throws the ball out of bounds. Turnover for Gonzaga.

10:13-UCLA's Ryan Hollins hits two free throws. UCLA 2, Gonzaga 2.

10:15-Derek Raivio hits a 3 for the Bulldogs. Finally, someone has hit another shot. Gonzaga 5, UCLA 2.

10:16-Throwing passes to people in the stands seems to be the theme of the night for college basketball players. This time it's a UCLA player who tries to get the crowd involved.

10:20-While I wasn't paying attention, Gonzaga scored four more points. Gonzaga 9, UCLA 2. It's not looking good for me making it through both games. My short attention span coupled with the horrendous shooting does not equal sitting through this game.

10:22-Mbah a Moute hits two free throws. Gonzaga 9, UCLA 4.

10:23-Errol Knight has his shot blocked by Lorenzo Mata.

10:25-Mata (UCLA) makes one of two free throws. Gonzaga 9, UCLA 5.

10:27-Not going to happen.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Indignant Sportswriters

Nothing makes a sportswriter happier than climbing up on his high horse and railing on the perceived foibles and failings of professional athletes. Never mind the fact that professional athletes are so egotistical and self-centered because society makes them that way by worshipping them and putting them up on ridiculously high pedestals. Why discuss that when a sportswriter such as Phil Taylor can make himself feel better by tearing down an athlete who makes more money than he will ever seen in his lifetime? It's so much more fun to feel morally superior than to actually think.

Seems that everything has to be just right for a pro athlete to agree to enter a game these days. His contract has to be satisfactory, he has to play the position he prefers, the X's and O's must be to his liking, the coach has to give him a hug, and then maybe, just maybe, he will agree to grace the competition with his presence.

The nerve of these pro athletes to want satisfactory contracts and to do the job they want to do. Imagine that. It's almost like when people who live in the real world want to be paid according to their worth and make sure the salary is worth them taking the job. In fact, the more I think about it, it is exactly like that. And as for pro athletes wanting to do the job they want to do, well that's just a ridiculous request. I am sure that if asked Phil Taylor to stop being a sportswriter and be an administrative assistant, he would be okay with that because it is all about the team.

So it shouldn't be surprising that Alfonso Soriano, the Washington Nationals' second baseman -- and whatever you do, make sure you identify him as a second baseman -- refused to take the field at the start of the Nats' exhibition game on Monday because manager Frank Robinson had penciled him in as the left fielder.

What should be surprising is the fact the Washington Nationals traded for a player in Alfonso Soriano who has only one year left on his contract and who they knew for a fact did not want to switch positions from second base to left field. Also, they traded away Brad Wilkerson, a decent leadoff hitter, and now find themselves lacking in just that position. So forgive me for having no sympathy for a team who trades for an asshole and then becomes indignant when the asshole exhibits assholic behavior.

There was a time when pro athletes were expected to sign autographs without charging for them,

Right up until the time pro athletes found there were people stupid enough to pay for them.

when they were supposed to play their entire careers without committing a felony,

When was this time? There was never a time like this. You're an angry old man, Phil.

when they were supposed to be more concerned with championships than endorsement deals.

Championsips pay nothing. Endorsement deals pay millions. I don't understand how that is a bad thing.

Some of the blame for Monday's embarrassing scene belongs to Washington general manager Jim Bowden for not making sure that Soriano would agree to switch positions before acquiring him from Texas in the offseason.

I would say all of the blame. Trading for a player who doesn't want to be traded and moving him to a position he doesn't want to play is indicative of bad general management and a general manager who does something that stupid should be prepared the face the consequences.

What a Price to Pay

Let's say for a moment that a stranger comes up to you and asks a hypothetical question in which you have to choose between two possibilities: six months in jail and not seeing your brother play in the Super Bowl or five years in jail and seeing your brother play in the Super Bowl? If you chose the six months in jail, your name is not Tank Carter.

Instead of reporting to jail on Jan. 6 like he was supposed to, Tank decided he would cross his fingers instead and hope the Pittsburgh Steelers made it to the Super Bowl because his brother, Tyrone Carter, said they had a "good chance" of doing so. Then Tank would get the opportunity to watch the Super Bowl live, jail be damned.

Even after receiving the news from Judge Stanton S. Kaplan that his Super Bowl trip had landed him an extra 4.5 years of jail time, Tank showed no remorse. When asked whether or not he would do it all over again (it being attending a game he wasn't even playing in and where his brother only accumulated three tackles), Tank was quoted as saying, "Even knowing what I know now, I would do it again. It was the greatest game in my life." I certainly hope not.

One line in the article did attempt to explain further why Tank might be tempted to blow off jail to watch the Steelers vs. the Seahawks. Not sure if it did though.

Carter watched the Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks from the 50-yard line in Detroit and partied with rapper Snoop Dogg after the game.

Call me cynical, but this statement seems a bit disingenuous. While I am not disputing the fact Tank and Snoop Dogg were at the same party, I just don't think they partied within a fifteen foot radius of each other. The way I picture it is Snoop showed up at the party, drank some, videotaped girls showing their breasts, shot a porno in the VIP lounge, and then went home. Really, why would Snoop party with the brother of a back-up safety?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Scoop Jackson Hates English

Picking on Scoop Jackson, ESPN. com Page 2 columnist, is like picking on the retarded boy at school. Even thought you know it's wrong, well, the truth is it's so easy to do and a person gets tired. So when I found out Scoop had written an NCAA Tournament diary spanning four days, I couldn't resist. Anyone who dares to write a Tournament diary is opening up himself or herself to ridicule and if anyone makes it through mine, feel free to ridicule me. But for right now, find out what happens when Scoop Jackson and his friends get together and pretend they know something about sports.

The phone rang at 7:20 a.m. It was my man Biscuit. Aka: The Encyclopedia. "Happy NCAA day, boyee!"

An auspicious start. This is going to be fun. For the record, that greeting is vague and boy has one syllable.

By 11:10 a.m. Thursday, the crue was thick.

Misspelling words on purpose should not be done. It's not hip. It's not cool. It doesn't make you more black. It makes you look like you never went to school, which after reading some of Scoop's articles, I wouldn't be surprised if he never did.

Two days worth of fried chicken wings and catfish stacked on the stove. Cooler full of Heinekens in the middle of the living room floor. Ed (nickname "C," don't ask) walked in with the half-gallon of Jack and a two-liter of Coke. He peeped all the food. "What Joakim Noah's bringing the arch over?" It was 'bout to be on.

I, too, was confused when I read the question by Ed (nickname "C," don't ask). Then I realized he meant to say "ark" and not "arch." Or maybe Scoop just doesn't know how to spell ark. With his track record on spelling (see "crue"), it's anybody's guess.

Winthrop was balling Tennessee like Geno Auriemma was coaching them.

What does that even mean? On the one hand, Scoop is to be applauded for coming up with a simile. On the other hand, it is a bad simile.

In the NC-Wilmington game, my cousin Yahweh heard the announcers mention a player's name. "Dawg," he said, "Beckham Wyrick? With that name he's got to be the son of a Baptist preacher." Then they showed Wyrick as he stepped to the line to shoot a free throw. "Oh snap," my cousin said, "he's a white boy!"

And he still could the son of a Baptist preacher. There are Baptist preachers who are white.

I also detest the term "white boy," especially when used by blacks. It's disrespectful and reinforces a double standard when it comes to racial terms.

Then the white boy argument came up. Meaning, "Who's the baddest?" Not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good. RIP JMJ.

I'm really glad Scoop cleared that up for me because I just thought he was using incorrect grammar again. It's so hard for me to tell me with him.

Another thing, why the fuck is "RIP JMJ" in this article at all? Non sequitur statements are a sign of shoddy writing. I like pizza.

"You can't teach three things in basketball," Biscuit said. "Height, speed and how not to do dumb &*%$."

Biscuit, you can teach a a basketball player how to not do dumb &*%$. It's called coaching.

I called Leon. Left this message: "Texas is the only team with three superstars. Everyone knows about Daniel Gibson and P.J. [Tucker] but everyone is asleep on LaMarcus Aldridge. He might be the difference the rest of the tournament."

If Scoop Jackson ever deigned to do research, which I'm sure is a part of his job description as a sports writer, he would know no one who pays attention to basketball is asleep on LaMarcus Aldridge. No one. He is a consensus top-5 pick in the 2006 NBA Draft if he decides to declare for it. Of course it was probably a whole lot easier for Scoop to make ridiculously hyperbolic statements than to find out if what he was saying was actually true.

Math 101 Pt. 2

When the Clippers had won eleven more games than they had lost and everyone in the sports media was saying how they were now eleven games above .500, I was here to correct them and tell any who bothered to read my post the true method of finding out how many games above .500 a team is. Obviously, no employees bothered to read the post because they are continuing to lie to the public.

This time, they are reporting that with the Clippers win over the Rockets, the Clippers are now 13 games over .500 with a record of 39-26. They are not. They are 6.5 games over .500.

I am going to say this only one more time. Hopefully, someone who works for and someone who knows someone who works for will explain to that person how to do third grade math. For a person to be thirteen games above .500, the teams has to win 26 more games than they have lost. Not thirteen.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Peter Peter Peter

Peter is always good for saying at least two absurd things in the course of any article he writes. Today was no different.

Owens is a great football player in a 14-year-old boy's body.

I'm sure that what Peter really meant to say is not a reflection of what the sentence actually means. I'm sure he means that Terrell Owens has the mentality of a 14-year-old and not the body of one. That is, unless he knows a lot of 14-year-old boys who look like this. Obviously, the editors had more important things to do than actually edit Peter's article. Or this could point to my long held theory that no one holds any sportswriter or sports radio host accountable for what he/she says.

Next to the Super Bowl, the World Baseball Classic might be the best invented sports event of our lifetime.

To say that the Super Bowl is the best invented sports event of our lifetime is understandable coming from Peter King. He covers the NFL for a living so of course he is going to be a little biased. I get that. What I don't get is how Peter can seriously believe the World Baseball Classic is better than all other sporting events, better than the Olympics, the NCAA Basketball Tournament, the College World Series, the Master's, the Westminster Dog Show, basically any sporting event not named the World Baseball Classic.

For those of you who do not know, the WBC was supposed to be the baseball equivalent of the World Cup. The only difference is the WBC is a waste of everyone's time. How can Peter be in love with a contest where Korea beats Japan twice only to be beaten by Japan once and the one time that Japan beats Korea allows them to get into the championship game against Cuba? It defies all logic for someone to say something so imbecilic. They had fucking pitch counts for pitchers. And mercy rules. And tiebreakers that couldn't be solved by a goddamn NASA scientist. You've got to be kidding me, Peter King.

Oh Bill Simmons, Why Do You Do It?

One day I will quit reading Bill Simmons' articles, but until that day comes I will just make fun of them. For all you writers out there, when making an argument, it is best to state the point of your argument and then provide evidence to back up your argument. What is to be avoided is to make an argument and then provide evidence that contradicts your argument. Doing this makes you appear stupid. Unfortunately, Bill Simmons never learned that lesson and so he comes off as stupid.

In his latest article, Simmons lists the NBA teams with the best shot of winning a title in reverse order. Like most of his articles, this one is short on actual numbers and long on idiocy. However, I will focus on just a couple of his statements becausetaking things out of context always makes them funnier.

3. San Antonio
What's to like: The Spurs are the champs. And they OWN Phoenix.

What's not to like: In order ...

A) I watched Duncan heroically limping around against the Clips two weeks ago -- it's much more damaging to see in person, when you can pick up the little grimaces and self-conscious glances toward his bum foot. He's just not the same guy. The incredible thing is that Duncan can still control the game on one leg, and when they truly need him and his adrenaline starts going, he can have little spurts when it seems like he's fine. But the injury kills him defensively (he doesn't have the same lateral movement) and robs him of his lift for putbacks. I would guess that he's playing at around 70 percent. And considering that they barely won the title last season, that's not cutting it.

This paragraph seems reasonable enough. If he would only not contradict himself and do something like say Tim Duncan is still going to help the Spurs win a championship, I could finish the article without being confused in the slightest. If only.

Mitigating factor: Did I mention that Tim Duncan is on this team?

Yes, you did mention that right long with saying how you think he's at 70 percent, he can't play defense, and you don't think that will cut it for the Spurs winning another title. So I'm a little perplexed here. Are you saying all those points you made were actually meant to convince the reader that Duncan's injury will help the Spurs? Or hurt them? I thought I knew, but now I don't. And that, friend, is how not to make an argument.

Properly Scoring A Dunk

This is a theory I have been tweaking for awhile now and I am finally ready to reveal it to the whole world or at least the people bored enough to actually read my blog. The more I think about it and the more I say it out loud, the more I like the idea and think it will revolutionize the game of basketball as we know it. The rule change will involve changing the way in which a dunk is scored.

Anyone who made it through my NCAA Tournament Running Diary knows already that I think dunking the ball is significantly more difficult than making a 3 pointer. The reasoning behind that is simple. Only a select few can dunk the ball while anyone given enough chances will be able to make a 3 point shot. Therefore, a dunk should be scored based on level of difficulty. With that in mind, I have developed a scoring system to update the game of basketball. It is as follows:

2 pt. dunks-These dunks will consist of easy dunks, such as on an uncontested fast break or a simple alley-oop pass or a drive through the lane where the opponent opts to not play defense. These shots are really no different than lay-ups and should not be scored any higher than the lay-ups.

3 pt. dunks-Under my new scoring system, it will be very rare to see a player score a 3 pt. dunk. A player will be awarded 3 points on a dunk by doing something acrobatic in the air and throwing down a dunk usually reserved for dunk contests. Some examples of a 3 pt. dunk would be a 360, a windmill dunk, or going between the legs and then slamming it home.

4 pt. dunks-A 4 pt. dunk will only be awarded if a player from one team dunks on a player from the opposing team, including but not limited to posterzing the opposing player and also putting nuts (or labia) in the opposing player's mouth.

Just think for a moment of all the positive ramifications such a scoring change would have on basketball as a sport. Besides the obvious updating the sport, which I mentioned before, there will be an added level of excitement at the end of games. Instead of commentators posing the question of whether a team should go for a 2 or 3 pointer, they will also be asking whether a team should risk the chance of having its best athlete try to dunk on someone from the other team. Like the advent of the shot clock and 3 pointer, it's time to score dunks based on difficulty level.