Friday, February 09, 2007

See, I Told You the NBA Was Gay!

I can only imagine the pain actual Boston Celtic fans are going through these days. Lucky for me, I'm not one of them. Despite having 16 NBA Titles to their credit, the closest the Mean Green have gotten to a title in my "sports concious" life (circa 1991-92) was that disgusting Leastern Conference Finals appearance in '01-'02. Now, Glenn Rivers MD has managed to lead the storied franchise to an even more impressive record. Of course I'm speaking of the 16 consecutive losses the C's have just reeled off. And while I was recently encouraged by their struggles because I thought it would lead to a top draft pick, I'm quickly realizing even that probably won't provide the necessary lift the Celts need. I mean, it's bad enough that every night their lineup includes 3 or 4 guys that should still be in college, so adding another to that list, no matter how talented, probably won't provide much immediate help. Don't get me wrong, I'd still love to see Greg Oden or Kevin Durant wearing Celtic Green (preferably Oden), but adding either one of them will still put the C's a year or so away from actually competing for an NBA title. It also didn't help that when I sat donw and did the math (nerd alert), I realized that even with the worst record in the NBA, the Celts still only have a 47% chance of getting one of the top 2 selections in the draft. You heard right. Not the top pick, but one of the top 2 picks. On the flip side of that coin, the last few teams that did drop at least 14 straight in a season did end up with the #1 pick and franchise players (ex: Houston Rockets - Yao Ming, Cleveland Cavs - LeBron James). I guess what it boils down to, is that I've given up all hope when it comes to the Boston Celtics as long as Glenn the Dentist and Danny Ainge are running the show. Danny has assembled a bunch of kids that are still learning how to spell, let alone play hoops, and he can only seem to draft well in the 2nd round (Tony Allen, Ryan Gomes). Hell, at this point, I say go for all-time futility status. Stay on the bench Paul Pierce (He's still the leading scorer despite missing the last 24 games, in which the C's are 2-22). Lose the rest Boston. At least then you'll make it above the fold in the local papers. That is until someone decides to sneeze in Fort Myers in a few weeks. And oh yea, if you care to see loss #17 in a row, its Friday night @ home against the Nets. And I have a sneaking suspicion there are still plenty of good seats available. Call it a hunch.

Of course the major story this week was the announcement by former NBA bench warmer John Amaechi that he you say?...a homosexual. Inititially, my reaction was "Great, another mediocre athlete trying to make a buck with a tell-all book". Then it switched to, "You know, as selfish as this seems now, maybe the book can serve as an inspiration to others down the road to come out as homosexual pro athletes". But, after careful consideration, I'm back to be original opinion. Cuz seriously, who cares whether or not this guy is gay. Nobody knew who he was, and nobody cares now that he says he's gay! It would have been just as shocking to most if Amaechi came out with a book that said "I played in the NBA" or even "I'm from England". NOBODY KNOWS WHO YOU ARE! But hey, it's a hot button topic, and he's gonna make his money, so whatever. The more interesting part of the story is how current and former NBA players are reacting to the news. Charles Barkley, fresh off another million dollar Vegas bender (I hear John Daly is still waiting for him behind the Crazy Horse Too with a Big Gulp and an 8-ball), voiced the opinion that I expect most veterans to have. He says he played with gay guys, has gay friends, and could really care less what guys do in their personal lives as long as it doesn't interfere with their job as an NBA player. Problem is, the NBA is void of veteran athletes, and for that matter, college degrees. LeBron James has already come out and said that he would feel betrayed that a guy lied to him, and Stephen Hunter said likewise. These guys just don't understand. They may not like gays (not that there's anything wrong with that!), but they should either not comment, or take the company line like Chuck did. I personally can't wait until Ron Artest decides to weigh in on the issue. I'm guessing it will go somethin like this. "Well, if they buy my album, I like em. If they don't, then I'll sick my pit bulls on them". And honestly, I don't see the big deal here. While I find the actual act of homosexual intercourse revolting (only with dudes), I don't see this as any sort of new development. I'm sure there have been a ton of gay athletes that have flown under the Gaydar in pro sports, including the NBA, for a long time. But let's not bring Danny Ainge and Christian Laettner into this... (final note: was there no better title this guy could have come up with? What's wrong, were "My Life Bumping Sweaty Men"
and "Boys and Balls" already taken?)

News and Notes

*The Dallas Cowboys finally ended their search for a new head coach earlier this week when they tabbed former Chargers DC Wade Phillips. I personally don't know what's worse. The fact the Boys took this long to simply hire a fat, recycled coach, or the fact that his dad's name was Bum Phillips (former Houston Oilers coach). Seriously. His name was Bum. As in ASS, BUTT, REAR, or CAN. OK, now that I got that out of my system, I am going to truly criticize this hire. It has nothing to do with Wade's track record (he's only the second coach Jerry Jones has ever hired that has pro coaching experience; Parcells), but more with the fact that he can't handle T.O. Sure, Phillips is a great defensive coach and an expert when it comes to the 3-4 scheme, but he's too nice of a guy. And I don't want to hear how T.O didn't thrive under a hard ass like Parcells so this is the way to go, because that doesn't fly. Andy Reid is considered a players coach, and so is Steve Mariucci, and how did that work out? I would have liked to see Jerry take a flyer on a guy like Mike Singletary myself, but what are you gonna do. Now, it's only a matter of time before this thing self destructs. Not only is T.O waiting to pick Wade Phillips apart, but the second things begin to crumble, Dallas fans and Jerry Jones are going to start clamoring for new Offensive Coordinator and former Troy Aikman backup Jason Garrett. The second Jones tabbed Garrett as a coach on the staff, this whole thing became a disaster waiting to happen. Get ready to watch one of the most talented teams in the league chase it's tail for 16 games next season. At least it should make for some good fodder on Sportscenter, and provide us with many opportunities to look at Ed Werder's sexy mustache.

*Now, this next topic is a little sticky for me for two reasons. 1) I enjoy making stupid bets and 2) I am a man of my word, and as such, never like to go back on a stupid bet (luckily I've won most of the stupid bets I can recall that haven't involved alcohol, doing bellyflops into snow banks, or hugging not the coach). However, this one actually takes the cake as the oddest and stupidest bet I've ever heard of in my life. Some fool in Chicago (I have it on good authority that they're a dime a dozen in the "New York of the Mid-West") bet his friends that if the Bears lost the Super Bowl he would change his name to....dun dun dun...Peyton Manning! Bears fan, and world's biggest idiot not named Danny Ainge, Scott Wiese, made the bet in front of a bar full of fans, and is deciding to stick to his word. I'd be surprised, but many of you that know me, also know the people I know that live in and around the Chicago area. That's pretty much all I have to say about that. And just a suggestion for Wiese. Next time try offering to shave your head, rather than destroying your legacy. (If the Celtics ever win another game I'm changing my name to Greg Louganistein)

*And on the note of stupid things that happened during the Super Bowl, I bring you this little nugget. If I hear one more time how this Super Bowl was the 3rd most watched event in TV history I might vomit in the general direction of the people at the Neilsen Company. That's like saying and NSYNC album made more $$ in it's first week than the Beatles White Album. This just in. THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE, TV's, and MONEY AROUND TODAY THAN THERE WAS IN ANY OTHER YEAR BEFORE THIS ONE. But, if you still don't get it, then chew on this. More people own cell phones this year than in 1950. I can't believe it!

*Apparently Philadelphia Eagle's head coach Andy Reid is as bad at parenting as he is at winning big games. Not because both of his kids were caught using drugs in the past few weeks, but more so what drug they were caught doing. Both of Reid's sons were basically involved in traffic altercations that resulted in their arrest. One sone actually went as afar as to tell the police that he was on heroin at the time of his hit and run accident (which blood tests later confirmed....hey at least he's honest?) Didn't anyone tell these boys that heroin was out? Meth is the new heroin kids. From the extensive work me and my boy KB have done on the topic (don't worry it's through watching far too many documentaries on meth addiction, not actually using it), it's become clear that Meth is the way to go. It's cheaper, gives you a longer high, and can be made simply by mixing cough syrup, lighter fluid, and match tips! Don't believe me that it's the new chic drug? Just ask the pair to the right, none other than Tom Sizemore and Heidi Fleiss (it appears they are on a good deal of it in that picture actually). Sizemore turned his meth addiction into a reality TV show. Here's my proposal. Coming this fall to VH1 (or possibly ESPN 3), The Reid brothers star in their own reality show: Reid For Speed...ok don't like that title, then how about Crystal Clear, or perhaps From the Bowl to the Pipe: The Reid Brother's Story? Eh screw it, just have them meet up with Danny Bonaduce and get him hooked on Meth. He's due for a new addiction anyway.

*Just want to take a minute and give props to Bronson Arroyo for his new contract with the Cincinnati Reds. Hey, if they want to give him $25 mil by adding 2 seasons to his existing deal that's their business. Just another case of a team chosing to overpay for a commodity they are comfortable with, rather than risk loots on the open market. Or, perhaps part of that salary goes towards Bronson playing concerts in the parking lot on his off days. Either way. You don't hate the man (even if he does have a career mark of 47-44 and 4.21 ERA), you simply mock those that gave him the rediculous contract. (imagine me sticking my tongue out in the general direction of the Reds front office)

*Before I even mention this I'd like to preface it with "I have no idea why I'm even mentioning this". However, that being said, our good friend Floyd "Roid" Landis is back in the news. Before the Tour De France is set to start (I think it's a cycling race that some one-nut guys used to dominate), Landis is saying that he won't race in it, or again, until he clears his name in both the US and in France. Come one now, you remember Landis. His family is basically Amish (excuse my ignorance, but when you see a guy's family building a barn and his mom wearing a bonnet you tend to jump to judegment), and he shot himself full of Barry's Special Brew in order to win the Tour last year. Maybe he didn't actually use roids, but at this point that's pretty much irrelevant. A consensus has been formed, and all the petitioning in the world isn't going to change the public perception. That's what you get for chosing to be a cyclist, and for visiting France for that matter. Au revoir Roid!

The Dukies haven't been in my top 10 at all this season, and their collapse at Cameron Indoor versus the rival Tar Heels is a perfect example why. Simply put, this is the least talented Duke team I've ever seen. I mean I know coach K loves to bring in guys that have more desire for the game than actual talent, but this crop is just disgusting. Forget the fact that I haven't seen that many white guys dresed in white since I watched A Time to Kill, these boys just flat out suck. "Star" forward Josh McRoberts leads these chumps, and is the latest winner of what I like to call the "Luke Walton Award". Just because a guy is white, tall and can pass, doesn't mean he's a superstar! And another thing that has me goin' lately is the continued ignorance and inconsistency shown by the tool-boxes in the AP and ESPN polls. This week's example: Southern Illinois. Just one week ago, the Salukis were barely a blip on the top 25 radar, garnering token votes in both the AP and the ESPN polls. This week, however, "Oh So Il"l as I like to call them, has burst into both polls at #21 and #20 respectively. I know what you're thinkin'. They must have had a big win last week right? Well, if you consider beating 15-9 Wichita St. and at home against 16-10 Bradley big wins, then yes. But I certainly don't. With all due respect to the Missouri Valley Conference, the Shokers and the Braves, something just doesn't add up here. Fact is, these guys just don't watch enough games to qualify them as voters. You think it's a coincidence that the Salukis made their first national TV appearance and then appeared the next week in the top 25? I didn't think so. Let's get onto a poll from a guy that actually watches the games. Mostly a reshuffling again this week. Carolina nabs the top spot again, not because they beat Duke, but more because of the resiliency they showed in doing so. Also, Nevada creeps back into the top 10 thanks a to 13 point drubbing over Fresno St. Butler maybe have hit 20 3's on Thursday night, but that's not keeping them in my top 10. When you live by the 3, you inevitably die by it, and that doesn't bode well for a long tourney run...

College Hoops Top 10
1. North Carolina (21-3) 2
2. Florida (22-2) 1
3. Ohio St. (21-3) 3
4. Kansas (20-4) 6
5. Wisconsin (23-2) 5
6. Pittsburgh (21-3) 4
7. UCLA (21-2) 7
8. Texas A&M (20-3) 9
9. Memphis (20-3) 8
10. Nevada (22-2) NR

just missed: Butler, Marquette, Georgetown, Southern Illinois, Washington St.
dropped: (10) Butler

As usual, check out the FRAUDS right here

Big Games This Week
Holy Cross @ Bucknell - Before you even ask. The answer is, the Patriot League. And no, neither of these teams is going to be competing for the National Title. But when it comes to filling out those brackets, it's nice to at least have an idea of how a team can compete. And this is about as tough a game either of these two is gonna see from here on out. If Holy Cross can pull this one out, consider them at least a threat to pull a first round upset come March. Can you say 12 over a 5 seed? I knew you could!

Marquette @ Georgetown - I've been flip-flopping between these two. One week I like Marquette more, and the next it's the Hoyas. Winner of this one, moves ahead in the "Rooch is gonna pick us to go waaaay too far in the tourney" sweepstakes. (Both actually screwed me last year, but what can I say, I'm a glutton for punishment)

Florida @ Kentucky - If you ask this guy, the jury is still out on the Wildcats. They may be in the top 25 for the 3rd straight week, but they've lost to every ranked team they've played this season (vs UCLA, @ Memphis and @ UNC). Add to that, they're "best" win is probably an 8 point win @ Arkansas, who is 3-5 in their last 8. However, Randolph Morris is still their center and averaging 16 pts and 7 boards a game. Prolly not enough to topple the Gators, but if they can keep it close I might start singing a different tune. And maybe it will even encourage Ashley Judd to start showing up to their games again. If that's not inspiration I don't know what is.

UCLA @ West Virginia - I knew UCLA coach Ben Howland was a smart guy. Scheduling an out of conference game like this midway through the season is a great test for a team poised to make another run deep into March. The Bruins have been as good as advertised this year behind Aaron Afflalo (17 ppg), but they have to be weary of an 18-5 Mountaineer squad in search of a marquee win to impress the tournament committee. Plus, it's always good when you can catch a good west coast team before 10 pm (this one's at 1 in the afternoon).

Illinois @ Indiana - Dee Brown and Deron Williams might not be there anymore, but this Illini squad, led by seniors Warren Carter and Rich McBride, is showing all sorts of game at the right time of year. They've won 4 of their last 5 including an 8 point win over the Hoosiers in Champagne just two weeks ago. But don't sleep on Indiana either. Apparently I was one of the few who realized they still have stud forward DJ White (14 ppg / 7 rpg / 2.4 blk), who continues to leave NBA scouts drooling with his raw talent. Despite their loss to Illinois, the Hoosiers are 11-3 in their last 14 and their only bad loss all season was last week @ Iowa. Look for Kelvin Sampson and his boys to turn it around and hold court in this one.

Arizona @ Oregon - A lot of people are beginning to tout Oregon G Aaron Brooks as a token Player of the Year candidate, and for good reason. Sure, we all know that Kevin Durant's got this thing wrapped up, but the leader of the V is quietly avergaing 19 pts 4 rebs and 4 assts per game. Oregon has lost 3 of their last 4 though, and another loss could very well slip them behind the Cats and into 6th in the Pac 10. Piss poor for a team that was ranked 8th like 2 weeks ago. East coast bias? Try, we have the better teams on this coast and our teams play before most of the modern world goes to sleep.

Texas Tech @ Oklahoma St. - What once looked like a good Tech team, is now looking like ta team that could flat out miss the tourney. They've dropped their last 4, including @ Oklahoma and at home against Nebraska. You know Bobby Knight wants to/probably has choked someone. The Cowboys have been struggling too, coming off back to back road losses @ Oklahoma and a stunner @ (6-13) Colorado. But they have the home court and this one, and need badly to right the ship.

Creighton @ Southern Illinois -The winner is in the drivers seat in the Missouri Valley (or the Val to those of us in the know). That may not mean much to most fans, but both of these teams can ball, and the winner can stamp their ticket for the Big Dance. Even though both the Salukis and the Bluejays will probably both end up dancing barring a major collapse. And if anything else, watch to see So. Ill 6-7 junior forward Randal Falker (13.2 pts / 7.4 reb / 2.1 blk). He's one of the best players you've never seen, and is a major force behind the great Saluki defense. Not to mention he's got the ill dreads, and you have to respect that. I think.

Xavier @ George Washington - Even I have to remind myself now and again that the Atlantic 10 still exists, but that's what happens when UMASS leads your conference (stop laughing that wasn't a joke). Fact is, though, that there's a better chance that you'll see one of these guys in March instead of the Minutemen. However, I would like to note that UMASS F Stephane Lasme did record his 3rd triple double of the season Thursday night in a win over Rhode Island (18 pts / 10 reb / 11 blk). That puts him one short of the NCAA record of 4 held by Mike Anderson of Drexel, and some guy named Jason Kidd from California.

Duke @ Maryland - There's nothing that makes rival fans happier than being able to kick a team when they're down, and I'm sure the Terrapin faithful are no exception. Fact is, though, that Maryland is only 3-6 in conference play this year, and another loss could very well make it so they need a deep ACC tourney run to even make the field of 64.

St. John's @ Syracuse - I'll be honest with you. The only reason this game even made the list this week is because I went to Syracuse. However, if the Orange have any hope of making the Big Dance, their push will have to start here. While Rhode Island product Demetris Nichols has been the real deal this year (18.6 ppg / 5.3 rpg) the real story has been the continued lackluster perfomance from senior stiffs Terrence Roberts and Daryl Watkins, along with "dare I say BUST" Paul Harris (thats him over there ---> and I hope that name on his jersey is who he was playing for and not what he was selling). The 20 year old frosh claimed he was going to have a "Melo-like" effect on the team. Well I for one never recall Melo averaging 8 pts a game. I'm gonna tread lightly though, because it was this time last year that I officially buried my boys on the hill and left them for dead. But unless GMac is planning on slipping into an Andy Rautins suit and taking the court, I don't see much hope for these boys. N-I-T! N-I-T!

West Virginia @ Georgetown - Murderers Row continues for the Mountaineers. But hey, if you can't hang with the big dogs, then you should have stayed in your back woods shack, had sex with your sister and continued making your moonshine. Wooooooooo doggies.

Oklahoma St. @ Texas - The first game was a triple OT thriller and probably the game of the year so far. Translation: WATCH THIS GAME. And oh yea, it doesn't hurt that Kevin Durant is playing either.

Santa Clara @ Gonzaga - This Gonzaga team reminds me more of the ones you didn't hear about until March, rather than the ones in recent years that have started the season in the top 25. Zags coach Mark Few has a 3 headed scoring machine in Derek Raivio (18.3 ppg), Josh Heytvelt (15.5 ppg / 7.7 rpg) and Jeremy Pargo (12.4 ppg / 4.5 rpg) and a bunch of big bodies that can bang down low. Oh, and both squads are tied atop the West Coast Conference at 7-2. Then again, this one starts at midnite, so just catch the highlights.

Texas Tech @ Texas A&M - I wonder if when these two schools were founded, anyone thought that the Agricultural and Mining school and the Technical school would be battling in a game of hoops. I'm gonna go ahead and answer my own dumb question with a resounding NO.

Southern Illinois @ Missouri St. - I'm tellin' ya one more time. Don't sleep on the Val!

Michigan @ Michigan St. - This game is big in namesake only. The Big 10 is top heavy, and at 4-5 and 4-6 in conference respectively, you guess which half these guys are in. Times like these have Tom Izzo wishing those rumors about him coaching the Detroit Lions were actually true. NOT! (Note: you know people hate the Lions when you see a "Fire Matt Millen" sign on the College Gameday set for an Indiana/Wisconsin game)

Alabama @ Florida - All you heard all offseason was the hype surrounding Bama guard Ronald Steele, and how he was gonna tear up the SEC this year. Well, his scoring is down from 14.3 ppg to 9.5 ppg this year and his shooting % has dropped from 42% to 38%. You gotta imagine he's gonna step up sometime, and no better time than against the #1 team in the nation. Just maybe not on their home turf.

Duke @ Boston College -The last time the Dukies came to Chestnut Hill, the refs helped them sneak out with a win. And even though it's the Eagles that are shorthanded (see: Shawne Williams loves drugs), they have to smell blood in the water. As of the start of the week, Duke has dropped 3 in a row for the first time since 1999. Not to mention BC forward Jared Dudley has been straight off the heez this season averaging 20 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists every night.

USC @ Arizona - Loser of this one officially gets my Pac-10 FRAUD award. Let's go Trojans!

And just to show I have a little humility, I give you this. I couldn't believe it myself when I read it, but there it is. Check out what the inner city gangstas think of your man right here...

And as always, comments are more than welcome. Shout out to my man Neal Donahue for popping the comment cherry since I re-activated the option just a few days ago (so when I just said "as always", apparently I sue me)


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