Friday, February 29, 2008
Red Sox Update
-After the Sox visited the White House (minus Manny), George Bush did his best Jerry Seinfeld impression (minus the intellect), and Jerry Remy was sworn in as President of Red Sox Nation (minus the cigs). Eh who am I kidding. You know he was crushin' Marbs on the South Lawn with his loafers. Well in between the Prez makin' jokes about Manny's absence, or how his English wasn't any better than Dice K's ,some sort of ceremony actually went down, and I'm sure "Dubya" now has a Red Sox jersey with his name on the back. Ugghhhhh I shudder at the thought. Anyway, when all that was done, the Sox actually took to the field for the first time this Spring, and started gettin' down to business...
-OK, so when I said "business", I really mean they beat up on a bunch of college kids. And by beat up, I mean by a combined score of 39-0 over BC and Northeastern. Ewww. Hey, any game at this point is reason to smile, right? It's time to defend the title, baby. And I'm sorry if it seems like I'm lowering expectations, but I feel this season is a win-win. It's hard enough to repeat in this league, and with our stacked roster I just feel like we're playing with house money. Keep it locked here all season long for all the latest news and notes about this wicked awesome team, because you know the season won't be short on drama and entertainment.
With that little Sox update out of the way, it's time to get down with the ever evolving world that IS NCAA Hoops... -Yeah, I'd say I'm pretty pleased with myself for saying on Tuesday that Tennessee probably would never see #1 in my poll. Fresh off their big Saturday win at Memphis, the Vols went and proved one of two things with their loss @ Vanderbilt. 1) Memphis isn't nearly as good as we thought...or 2) The top of the SEC is a lot better than even I thought. I like Vandy 'n all, but I'm more apt to believe the former. That Memphis was a bit overrated. Obviously I would be part of the reason why people thought maybe Memphis was better than they are, but I also plan on being part of the new way of thinking that has them in the lower tier of the best teams in the Nation. I think it's more a case that they won't be peaking at the right time, and therefore will probably get picked off in the tournament, but either way they just don't look as good now as I thought they did a few weeks back. I'll do my best to rectify my past discretions with this week's top 10, but you'll have to read through the rest of this shit before you see where my mind finally settled...
-I've been pretty hard on Georgetown this season, but after a recent evaluation I realized I may not have been giving them the credit they deserved. Around the same time they were falling from my top 10, the Hoyas were in the midst of playing the bulk of the road games on their schedule. They didn' look all that hot in barely squeaking by some of those weaker squads, but we're talking about college kids here. Playing 4 road games in less than 2 weeks right after the New Year, is bound to take a toll on your average 18-21 year old, isn't it? So I've revised my position on John Thompson III and his Georgetown Hoyas. I like the way they keep games close. And I like the way they control the pace of the game, both big keys when it comes to tournament basketball. Roy Hibbert's still a stiff, I know. But the more I watch this team play, the more I see that aren't going to be such an easy out come March, no matter how boring their style is...
-Nothing like a little salt in an already gaping wound. With fans calling for his job, and criticising both his recruiting and in game strategy, it must not have been too much fun for PC head coach, Tim Welsh, to watch former Friar, Rob McKiver, go for a Conference USA record 52 points on Wednesday night. The knock on Timmy is that he can't keep the local kids around, his players don't improve, and too many of them decide to leave the program. Well, McKiver is from New Haven, he rode the pine as a Friar in '04-'05, and now he's averaging nearly 24 points a game as a Houston Cougar. If ever there was a nutshell, that's it. Your run is over Tim. You may have given it your best shot, but it's just not up to par with what people expected, and having ZERO NCAA tourney wins in nearly a decade isn't gonna get the job done at ANY school in a major conference. I know PC might be a little over their heads when it comes to competing with most of the Big East, but they've succeeded before, so it's reasonable to think they can do it again. Bring in a hot-shot young coach like UMASS's Travis Ford or another mid-major overachiever, and give the program the shot of energy it needs, and it's fans deserve...
-Oh, and while I'm already on the local hoops scene, what in God's name is goin' on with the Rhody Rams?! Just 3 weeks ago they sat at 19-3, and were in prime position to grab an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament. Fast forward to the here and now, and URI has dropped 5 straight, 6 of their last 7, and find themselves in virtual must win games from here on out if they have any hope of dancing in March. Star shooter Jimmy Baron, who had been averaging more than 15 points for the majority of the season, is averaging a touch under 9 points a game in that span, and the depth that seemed to be a strength early on in the season, is looking more and more like the team's major weakness.
-Seeing as the first time I posted my conference rankings it sparked such controversy, I figured it was about time I hit you with an update. Ian will be pleased to find the Big East in front of the SEC, but to be honest it's only by a hair, and was basically a toss up as to who was ranked higher.
Conference Power Rankings
1. Pac 10 (UCLA) 2
2. Big XII (Texas) 3
3. Big East (Louisville) 4
4. SEC (Tennessee) 1
5. Big 10 () 6
6. ACC (North Carolina) 5
7. West Coast Conference (Gonzaga) 8
8. Atlantic 10 (Xavier) 7
9. Missouri Valley Conference (Drake) NR
10. Conference USA (Memphis) 9
dropped: (10) Horizon League
So with all that in mind, I give you my latest top 10. UCLA has now established themselves as the team to beat, but this past week proved that there might not be as much separation between the top teams as we once thought. Then again, that always seems to be the case this time of year, doesn't it? Question is, why do we always seem surprised when it happens? Human nature I guess....OK enough psycho-self-analysis...and on with the rankings!
College Hoops Top 10
1. UCLA (26-2) 3
2. North Carolina (26-2) 6
3. Tennessee (25-3) 2
4. Texas (24-4) 7
5. Memphis (26-1) 1
6. Xavier (24-4) 7
7. Kansas (25-3) 4
8. Louisville (23-6) NR
9. Duke (24-3) 9
10. Vanderbilt (24-4) NR
just missed: UCONN, Stanford, Washington St., Georgetown, Indiana, Wisconsin, Marquette
dropped: (8) UCONN; (10) Washington St.
-I know there's a lot of movin' and shakin' goin' on there, but I feel good about it. I can honestly say that at this point, after posting those 10 teams, I feel more comfortable with my power structure than I have at any point of the season. Now that probably means all 10 of these teams are gonna lose their next game, but if I'm really that cursed then I think I got bigger issues than whether or not my top 10 is accurate. Here are the games goin on this weekend that will test my power and let us all know if I'm closer to being an evil genius, a pompus ass. Check 'em out...
NONE...There just aren't any good games this Friday, but Saturday is laced. I recommend using this free time to kick back and enjoy an adult beverage or two. Possibly even 8 or more. I know I'll be in NYC doin' my best Danny Bonaduce impression. Well, minus the roids and the spousal abuse. Whatever. You see what I'm gettin' at...
Washington St. @ Stanford
Vanderbilt @ Arkansas
Georgetown @ Marquette
Kansas St. @ Kansas
St. Mary's @ Gonzaga
West Virginia @ UCONN
Pittsburgh @ Syracuse
Texas A&M @ Oklahoma
USC @ Arizona St.
Mississippi St. @ Florida
Illinois St. @ Southern Illinois
Ohio St. @ Minnesota
URI @ LaSalle
Kentucky @ Tennessee
UCLA @ Arizona
Indiana @ Michigan St.
Villanova @ Louisville
Clemson @ Maryland
Pittsburgh @ West Virginia
Texas Tech @ Kansas
Well then. If that's not enough to feed your hunger for college hoops, then I'm afraid you may need professional help....and perhaps a sedative or two. Make sure to keep your eye out for the Kentucky Wildcats too. A win at Tennessee on Saturday and they're in the field of 64. Even without it, it's been 18 years since a team with 10 conference wins from the SEC has been left out of the Big Dance. And even though they only sit at 16-10 overall, their 10-2 SEC record, combined with some pretty good computer numbers, should make them close to impossible for the selection committee to resist...
News and Notes
-The Cardinals cut first baseman Scot Speizio earlier this week in wake of allegations that he tagged someone with his car on December 30th. Oh, and he was wasted when he did it. AND, he then proceeded to go to a friend's house, puke all over the place, and then start throwin' bows at his buddy. OK. Especially following the Josh Hancock incident where he was killed in a drunk driving accident, I see why the Cards would wanna make this move. What I don't get, is why the Cards decided to trot Tony LaRussa out there to say that this move was "consistent" with what he team was trying to do, and that they "didn't need guys like that around". What? You mean guys like you?...
Unless Cardinal GM Walt Jockety has some pending rape charge I'm unaware of, I think he's the guy they should have gone with to deliver that message to the media. Did they honestly not see the hypocrisy involved there? You think these guys with these big time jobs in this big money sport would be smart enough to know better...then BAM!...they show you their just as dumb as the rest of us...and in cases like this...prolly dumber...
-Speakin' of no-brainers, the reports from Houston Astro camp say the club is rethinking the 10-year service contract it has with embattled "misrememberer", Roger Clemens. Owner Drayton McClain says he's going to wait and see the results of this Department of Justice probe before he takes any action, but that's just a nice way of saying "We all know you're guilty, but we don't want you to sue us for wrongful termination". Cut him loose Drayton, there's no help he can bring to your team that's going to outweigh the constant distraction he'll be whenever he's around...Oh, and he's about to be a felon, and that CAN'T be good for ticket sales...
-Good looks by New York Giants head coach on his new 4-year $21 million deal. Not too bad for a guy that had most of the NY papers calling for his job no less than 4 months ago. Maybe he can use some of that loot to invest in a $2 ski mask for the next time he has to travel to Green Bay. Either that or a huge vat of Vaseline, cuz a man rollin' with those kind of cakes can't be roamin' the sidelines with his grill lookin' like somethin' Bear Gryls just plucked from the stomach of a dead camel...
-And I'm sure there will be a lot of activity in the NFL as free agency started up at 12:01 this morning, but instead of speculating as to what might do down, I'm gonna sit back and let shit happen before I throw my two cents in. Hopefully when you're reading this, the Patriots have already re-signed Randy Moss and added a nice piece on defense. There have already been a lot of older stars cut like Ty Law and Jevon Kearse, so there's bound to be a lot of interesting story lines to follow in the coming weeks...
-From the broadcasting game, Sean Salisbury told ESPN to pay him what he's worth, or he was hittin' the bricks. Apparently, the boys in Bristol didn't wanna pony up the cakes, so they sent the ex QB packin. Word is that Salisbury was annoyed at the money bigger named athletes got, despite doing a fraction of the work that Sean was putting in. The final straw may have even been when ESPN newbie, Marcellus "Dat Dude" Wiley, was brought on the scene, and despite limited duties, immediately started making more than Salisbury was making. So the dude took pictures of his unit with his phone and showed them to women in the office....so what?! Salisbury is the hardest working person in that joint, and he's gonna be missed on both the radio and TV ends of the operation. I'm sure he'll end up on his feet somewhere (more than likely with Dan Patrick and Michael Irvin), and I look forward to continuing to hear his insight. It took a while for the guy to grow on me. But the fact that he actually made sense on a continual basis, gave him a huge leg up on most of his colleagues. And who on earth is gonna take his place when it comes to bickering with super-nerd John Clayton? Hmmmm. Well I'm sure they'll find somebody, but somethin' tells me it's just not gonna be the same...Unless of course they let ME fight with Clayton. I'll beat his ass so hard he'll become addicted to painkillers, and well on his way to Celebrity Rehab II with Dr. McNamee...
Speaking of working hard in the sports biz (and potentially going to rehab), it's time for me to make like a tree....and get the Hell out of here! I'll be off visiting NYC and the Dirty Jerz for th weekend. If you're in the area, get at me. If you're not, then don't, because you'll just be wasting my time. Stay pimpin' kids, and I'll see you all next week...
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
-Basically everything I said the Tennessee Vols needed to do to win the game happened, and they were able to ride that perfect storm to a win in a sloppy game against the #1 Memphis Tigers. Tennessee kept the press up all game, and in taking their own quick shots, which is their style, forced the Tigers to take quick shots as well, getting off their game. Memphis matched Tennessee's 64 shots on 40% shooting, with their own brick-fest of 23-58 for a stellar 39% from the field. That's not the way Memphis got to 26-0, and the constant barrage of quick shots took stars Chris Douglas Roberts and Derrick Rose out of their element, and didn't allow bangers Joey Dorsey and Robert Dozier to get in position to control the glass. Bruce Pearl's boys are used to that style, and the fact that they controlled the boards (45 to 31) allowed for them to shoot poorly from the field, remain in the game until it was time to apply the dagger with just a few seconds left. And I didn't think it would rear it's ugly head in this particular game, but the Tiger's 9 missed free throws were quite obviously a major factor in the ultimate outcome. In a sloppy game, it's the team that controls all the intangibles and the team that brings the most hustle that comes out on top, and in that aspect, Memphis was just out-classed. Tennessee was able to impose their will, so I give them props for coming out with such a huge road victory. That being said, I'm not so sure I think they're the best team in the country...
-The one thing that's cool about a game like Memphis/Tennessee (other than the fact that you get to see Bruce Pearl molest ESPN super-hottie, Erin Andrews, during the halftime interview), is you get to see how good you're "measuring stick" is. You know. It's like you get to watch and say "I think these teams are the two best in the country, am I right?" For me, the answer to that question could possibly set up a whole restructuring of the way I view the Nation's top teams. In this instance, I think I learned that while very impressed with the way the Vols played, I don't come away from that game thinking they're the best team in the country right now. Why? Well because after watching the game, I realize I had Memphis ranked far too high at #1. I'm not saying they weren't #1 for a lot of the time I had them ranked there, but after watching them play Saturday night, I know for sure that as of right now there are at least 3 other team's I'd take before the Tiger's as my NCAA Champion. My pick right now (kiss of death), would be the UCLA Bruins. I watched that game and thought; If Tennessee tried to do that to UCLA, the Bruins would just roll with the punches. Then, in the halfcourt set, UCLA would be able to impose their will, thus creating the difference in the game. That's my opinion, but it's the opinion of a guy that's always scouting, as opposed to always watching. I look for ways teams can be beat, and look for ways that team can beat their opponents. On Saturday I saw two teams that I think UCLA could handle, and so even though they weren't involved, they were the biggest benefactor. At least in my delusional eyes...
...Oh, and it's a good thing I don't debut me latest top 10 until Friday. IF Tennessee wins @ Vandy on Tuesday night in another interstate battle, then they just might be #1 worthy after all. Although it's gonna take a good bit of convincing...
-The clear winners from the Bracket Buster games this weekend were Kent St., and the Missouri Valley Conference. First, "the Val". Headlined by the Drake win over Butler, the bubble teams in the Missouri Valley really did themselves a favor by coming away with a few quality wins. Southern Illinois pasted Nevada at home 74-49, while Indiana St. and Creighton both snagged road wins over Murray St. and Oral Roberts respectively. Maybe a little far fetched for Indiana St. (sorry Larry Bird fans), but those wins put Creighton (19-8) and Southern Illinois (16-12) right back in the tournament bubble discussion. I knew you boys could do it, and I'm glad to have you back. Now finish up strong and make me proud...
-Kent St. also may have locked up a tourney bid (barring a conference tourney collapse) with their BB win over St. Mary's. Good looks by Antonio Gates alma mater, but what it really got me thinkin' about was how did I really know St. Mary's was any good? They're now only 2-3 against the RPI's top 50, just 5-3 on the road, and their biggest wins are a game with Drake nearly 4 months ago, and a home win in overtime against Gonzaga. The Zags, on the other hand, are also 10-1 in the West Coast Conference, played the 10th toughest non-conference schedule in the country (St. Mary's #39), and have already proven they can hang with hard fought losses to Memphis, Tennessee and Washington St. Not to mention their early season win @ UCONN, which is a win that's getting more impressive as time rolls on. I say Gonzaga is a much more prepared, and much more dangerous team as we head into March and St. Mary's is a group that's more likely to flame out and be exposed, than they are a squad that has any chance of doing serious work come March Madness...
-And I can't wait to watch the episode of Intervention where Kelvin Sampson's family has to take away his cell phone. Mere days after being ousted for NCAA violations involving improper phone calls, Sampson's former players say many of them received text messages of love and support from him on the eve of their first game without him. To echo a famous Family Guy line..."Stickers! and Ponies! and MySpace.com!"...Stop texting, dude. You lost your gig because you couldn't get off the phone! Take the freakin' hint already! You know when Verizon tells you that you've qualified for free Hannah Montana concert tickets because of the number of texts you've sent, then you need to put the phone down, and step away from the recruits. You've got one week, and then it just becomes a really creepy stalker type thing, and the FEDs are gonna have to search your house for your ex-players practice shorts and/or tufts of their hair that you may or may not keep in small plastic baggies beside your pillow. (note: if those baggies exist, he may or may not tape the players picture to the bag and rub it against his cheeks until he falls asleep)
And before you check out this week's big games, I wanna let you know that I am as big a nerd as you thought I was, and I've already set up an NCAA Tournament Pool Bracket. I'll be sending out the invites in a week or so, but with only 23 days til the opening tip, I figured it's better to get it done now and start givin' peeps the heads up. And if you were somehow doubting that this year's pool would be any fun? I named it "Kelvin Samsung"....
Tennessee @ Vanderbilt
Ohio St. @ Indiana
Southern Illinois @ Bradley
BYU @ New Mexico
San Diego St. @ UNLV
Miami @ Clemson
Ole Miss @ Kentucky
Minnesota @ Purdue
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh
Texas Tech @ Texas A&M
Creighton @ Illinois St.
Notre Dame @ Louisville
Michigan St. @ Wisconsin
UCLA @ Arizona St.
USC @ Arizona
Maryland @ Wake Forest
Wright St. @ Butler
New Mexico St. @ Nevada
Robert Morris @ Sacred Heart*
*Watch yourself when it comes to the power struggle in the Northeastern Conference. between Bob Morris and Sacred Heart. Ahh, who am I kidding. It might be the game to end all games when it comes to the power struggle atop the NEC, but in all honesty, that's just a battle to see who has the inside track at playing in that "play-in" game. Besides, there's no way in God that thing's on TV unless your actually within 50 feet of either campus...On the plus side, I saw Rob Morris the other nite at the bar, and he says he's ready to take on all comers...that's the spirit, Rob!...
Red Sox Update
-As long as the Sox aren't paying by the pound for "El Guapo Duce", Bartolo Colon, then I gotta say I'm in favor of the addition. He was awful last year at 6-8 with a 6.34 ERA, but seeing as we're only risking a mil, and it's only a minor league contract, I like the risk vs the reward. All I'd want out of Bartolo, would be to forget for a few minutes that there's a pack of hot dogs strapped to the back of your neck, and give me 70-80 innings without getting blown out the place. If Colon can take some of the inning load from Lester and Buccholz, and maybe even fill in for Schilling in the rotation, then he would be a perfect fit for this squad.
-I said it was only a matter of time, and like the proverbial squirrel finding the nut, I was right on the money. The Sox locked up manager Terry Francona earlier this week for 3 years and about $12 million in a move that seemed as destined to happen as the Lindsay Lohan nude pictorial. He does a great job of controlling the personalities in that clubhouse, and while I don't always agree with some of his in game decisions, you can't argue with his 2 World Series rings. Kudos to Theo and the boys in the front office for gettin' this one done in a timely manner...
-The Sox will actually get down to business this Thursday. There's a split-squad game to kick things off, where half the team will face Northeastern, and the other half will battle the BC Eagles. As long as none of those frat boys try to brush back Manny and Youk, I'm sure the games should go off without a snag...
Diamonds...She'll Pretty Much Have To
-I'm the man when it comes to spotting "win-win" situations, and this one might be one the best cases ever! Word out of Barry Bonds camp, is that the slugger is ready to play, and will take his game to Japan if no team in the states wants his services. Oh, it gets better. The one team in the Bigs that actually seems to be considering Barroid, is the Tampa Bay "Rays". So you're tellin' me that Bonds is either going to be playing in Tokyo, or grazing the artificial turf in Tampa St. Pete? The thought of either one makes me give one hard laugh, followed by the laugh at the laugh sound I had just made. On one hand, it's Bonds towering over a bunch of tiny Asians, them nicknaming him "Big American Juice" or "#1 Supertime HomeRun King", and him trying again to break an All Time homerun record. Hey, he's only like 70 away from Japan's Sadahara Oh, isn't he?. I only hope the rumors are true, and that no other team does want Barry this year. I just happen to find that unlikely. I know he's like the worst guy ever, but since when has that ever been an issue for anyone else? If he can perform, he'll be on somebody's team, plain and simple. I see the truth, but I still gotta hold out hope. Whether it's Tokyo or Tampa, it's gonna be embarassing for Barry. And that's all I really care about...
-And speaking of shootin' yourself with cattle hormones, Derek Jeter says he's all for MLB blood testing for performance enhancing drugs. The Yanks captain said that the players were already giving blood for their yearly physicals, so it didn't see why it would be a problem to do it again. What Jeter fails to realize, however, is that he's thinking way too logically for Bud Selig, and unless he can draw up some sort of pie chart and a slide show to explain to the Commish why this should happen, this logical step won't be taken for about another 3-5 years. Use a lot of pictures, DJ, he's more of a "visual" learner...
-Roger Clemens, trying to prove that he's the dumbest man alive, or at least the most persistent, is going to show up to Houston Astro's training camp in a few weeks to honor the "special services" contract he has with the team. This all according to his son, Astro farmhand Koby Clemens. Now I'm no Rusty Hardin, but you really think it's the best idea for this guy to be performing any "special services" right now? Never mind the fact that he shouldn't be within 10 miles of a baseball diamond if he knows what's good for him. We get it, Rog. You somehow think you didn't juice. It was B-12. McNamee's a rapist. We gotcha. If you wanna keep on with this charade, then just do it on your own time, and keep it out of the clubhouse. If you want to apologize and come back to tell people your story, I could accept that. But this, this is just you continuing to show how big a tard you actually are. Oh, and tell your wife that people DO stare at the unsightly bulge that's beginning to mount in her crotch. Time for another visit from Dr. McNamee!...
...and let's see him show up at camp in the face of a criminal investigation being mounted by the same Congressional Committee that he insisted on speaking in front of a few weeks back. Now that it's basically been proven that he actually was in attendance at this Jose Canseco party, it looks like the FEDs are gonna' try to get a perjury case goin' against him. Yeah, speaking at that hearing was a great idea, wasn't it Rusty? Yet another strategic move from the same brain-trust that brought you "B-12", "the golf course receipt" and "misremember". These tards could fuck up a cup of coffee...
News and Notes
-Just in case you've forgotten in the few days since we've last spoke, Tiger Woods is still the PGA Tour's #1 Hustla. Much like I figured the Patriots would do in the Super Bowl against the Giants, Tiger capped off his amazing run at the World Match Play Championships with an 8 & 7 blowout victory over Stewart Cink. Turns out his win was such an exclamation point, that the day after ESPN was asking if he or MJ were the most dominant athlete of the SportsCenter era. And even better, he's now "expected" to win all 4 legs of golf's Grand Slam. Talk about setting the bar a tad high. I'm just gonna sit back and watch this guy do his thing. It seems like we say this every 18 months or so, but it really looks like T-Money might be playing the best golf of his career....yea that's right...again...
-So maybe you were a little low on Arkansas running back Darren McFadden coming into the NFL combine. Sure he has great in college, but the experts began to dissect his game, and all of a sudden people didn't seem quite enamored as they once were. Well, all that changed in my eyes for two reasons at this weekend's NFL Combine in Indianapolis. First off, the kid flat out flew in his 40 yard time, posting somewhere in the neighborhood of 4.33. (To put that in perspective, Minnesota's Adrian Peterson set the world afire last when he ran a 4.41.) Showing top end speed like that will tend to make GMs forget about a few character falls and the fact you might cough up the bean a little more than normal. Even more impressive was when I learned that McFadden plans on modeling his career after 2002 Pro Bowl running back, Travis Henry. Yup, Darren already has two kids out of wedlock, and there are reports out there that there are two more where those suckers came from. Should all of DMC's DNA test out to be legit, that would put him only 1 kid behind Travis The Impregnator, and well on his way to the 2008 Shawn Kemp Award. To be in contention for that title as a rookie? Let's just say I like this kid's chances of fitting in...
-Like I said before about Randy Moss. I trust the Pats will do the right thing, I just have no idea how they are going to go about doing it, so I won't even bother to guess. Well, a former Patriot player that still has strong ties to the team told me this week, that while the two sides can't negotiate for another month, a "gentleman's agreement" may already be on the table. Again, nothing can be announced because they aren't "supposed" to be talking, but from what I hear it's more of just an understanding between the two sides than it is a case of tampering. Besides, if it wasn't questionably illegal, then it wouldn't really be Bill Belichick and the Patriots, now would it?...
-As for the SpyGate controversy featuring Matty "VHS" Walsh, I read something this week that really put me at ease. When noted Patriot basher, and all around lunatic, Bill Polian came out and said the situation was handled brilliantly by the league, I figured Belichick and crew were in the free and clear. Not only is the Colts owner insane, but he loathes the Patriots, and would have stood a lot to gain had the Pats been proven of cheating. Matter of fact, I was rather surprised the nutjob didn't do the exact opposite, and basically join up with Arlen Specter, and tour the country in an RV trying to convince the world the Patriots need to be punished. If Polian doesn't think the Pats needed to be punished any further, and that no more investigating needs to be done, then by God that's more than good enough for me. Then again, if he's so nuts, maybe it's a bad sign that he agrees with Roger Goodell. Eh...
-And to finish up, I just want to warn everyone not to overlook No Country For Old Men just because it won the Best Picture Oscar on Sunday night. I know it might sound weird for me to say you would ignore it after it won, but a lot of time I feel people think the Academy only picks really artsy films and won't want to see a film that was voted #1. I get that, but at least with this film I can tell you it's not the case. Granted, it's not your typical TNT/FX movie that you can half watch while you fold your laundry, but if you give it the time and attention it deserves, I'm pretty sure you'll come away a fan...
-OH...I Can't believe I almost forgot!! Word out of A&E camp says that all my prayers have been answered, and Dog the Bounty Hunter will resume filming as soon as possible!! Let this be a lesson to all you Roger Clemens' out there. This guy said "nigger" on tape, but because he owned up to it, was almost immediately forgiven. Now he's back on the streets, saving people from "Ice", and introducing them to God. After all, nothin' says justice like a pair of Oakley's, some weird pookah shells in your hair, a paintball gun and a wife with a huge rack. YOU DA MAN NOW...DOG! I don't care if you're a Mexican....OR a whore!
It's been real, but it's time for this guy to hit the bricks. I'll be producing all week for Gresh & Zo on 99.7 FM and 790 AM, The Score. So while I won't be out painting the town red at night, you can bet your ass I'll be doing my best to make up for that with my daily on air performances. Feel free to check it out on your radio dial, or even go 21st century on 'em, and check the streaming feed at the NEW! and IMPROVED! http://www.screamfm.com/ .
Friday, February 22, 2008
-I'm starting off the week by continuing to defend the criticism of my conference rankings a few weeks back. In response to me having the SEC has my #1 conference at the time, my friend Ian demanded that I explain myself. He said he could see possibly another conference besides the Big East being #1, but thought that having the SouthEastern Conference being the one to do so seemed a little far fetched. I said that while the rankings mostly reflected my opinion and my "eye test", I felt the SEC was a better conference because it had more balance. More to the point, I said that while the SEC had 4 of it's 12 teams in the RPI top 50, while the Big East only had 7 of 16 teams in that zone. I also added that while Tennessee was #1, the best Big East representation at the time was Georgetown at #8. My claim was, that despite having more teams in the top 50, the Big East also had MORE teams out of the top 50 (9) than did the SEC (8). Semantics, I know, but that's what I said, and I'm right. Ian came back with the percentages, and how a larger percentage of the Big East was in, and I get all that, I just happen not to agree. I don't live and die by the RPI, I live and die by what I see on the court. At the time, I liked the top 6 of Tennessee, Vandy, Florida, Mississippi St., Arkansas and Ole Miss over the Big East's Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame, UCONN, Marquette and Pitt. Would my opinion be the same as I sit here today? Probably not, but that's how I felt at the time (now the Pac 10 would be #1). This whole thing is just a beauty in the eye of the beholder situation, and where one man sees gold the other might see garbage. Guess we'll know who the real genius was when these teams start to make their respective NCAA tourney runs...
-The real news in college hoops this week is the battle between #1 Memphis and #2 Tennessee set to go down this Saturday night. It's two great teams, two interstate rivals, and to make it even sweeter, it's a non-conference game just one day before the start of March. Gotta love those, man. In my opinion, the most difficult part of picking the NCAA Tournament games, is that you can really only hold teams up to other teams in their conference when trying to figure out how good they are. Sure, they may have played other squads in their pre-conference slate, but that was months ago. This game in particular, should give us a good idea of who really is the best team in the country. In my eyes, Tennessee wouldn't be a resounding #1 if they were to win, but a loss for Memphis would certainly tell me they were no longer the team to beat. Sounds a little skewed, I know, but follow me. Can I really reward Tennessee for winning a game that teams like Kansas, UCLA and UNC never got a chance to play? Of course not. I can give them credit for winning, but what's to say in watching them win I don't also think that those other teams I mentioned would have also been able to get the job done? Well we can cross (or burn) that bridge when we get to it. As for how I see this shaking down, really only one word comes to mind. Hectic. Memphis can score and run with the best of 'em, and if Bruce Pearl chooses to stick to his guns, the Vols will be running and pressing all game long. That's the thing with Tennessee to keep in mind. They play the same way when they're up 20 as they do when they're down 20. No lead is safe against them, and no lead is too big for them to surrender. One tip I would have for Pearl and his boys would be to put the #1 Tigers at the free throw line as often as possible. Memphis stars Chris Douglas-Roberts (CDR), Derrick Rose and Robert Dozier can light it up from the floor, but as a team Calipari's group is the WORST in the Nation shooting a shade over 58% from the charity stripe. That's a stat that certainly scares me when it comes to the tourney, but if nobody's been able to expose that weakness in their first 24 games, makes you wonder if anyone will from here on out. I like Memphis to hold home court in a tight, well fought, high scoring game. They're a little too big inside, and they're just a little too deep for the Vols to handle. Guess we'll see on Saturday. Make sure you don't miss it...
-And for proof that not every program can be as hard working and as classy as the two above, I bring you the Oregon St. Beavers. Before their home game against the Washington Huskies last week, several Beavers went down to the Huskies practice and taunted them during layup lines. Led by genius Marcel Jones, the (6-19) Oregon State players (who are also 0-13 in the Pac 10), warned the Huskies that this was "their house", and that they "didn't want any of this". As if that wasn't enough, Jones allegedly called the team hotel, and asked the Huskies to come meet him in the parking lot to fight! What is this guy's deal? Well, at least you can't say he wasn't pumped for the game, right? Must have gone out and really backed up his smack, huh? Sure did. Jones dropped a cool 2 beans, and the Beav promptly got blown out at home by 38 points. That's so funny it's just sad...
-Another guy that might want to learn to keep his yap shut, is Coach K of the Duke Blue Devils. Fresh off a week of trading barbs with UNC's Roy Williams, K and his Dukies promptly go out and lose to both Wake Forest and the Miami Hurricanes. Looks like you need to stick to makin' cheezy commercials, and keep convincing those scrappy whities you recruit to take more charges than PacMan Jones' credit card at "Uncle Willy's Breasts, Wings and Thighs: Where the only thing greasier than the chicken, is the bitches on stage"...complete with a complimentary "white T"...
-On top of all that, make sure to keep these insightful nuggets in mind while you're browsing my top 10, and passing judgment on how good these teams are...
*Make sure to look up when you walk out of the house, because there's a chance you might get smacked in the grill piece by Roy Hibbert's plummeting NBA Draft stock. I thought this guy had a good chance to get better, but it turns out he's just getting uglier. Never a good sign for the future...
*Bracket Buster Sunday (where all the Mid-Majors cross over to play each other and help their tourney resumes) is closely behind the end of the year conference tourney's when it comes to entertainment, so make sure to catch as many of these gems as you can....
*Xavier is still much better than most of you think, and are peaking at the right time, winning their last nine straight. Oklahoma transfer Drew Lavender is a dynamic playmaker and makes this team a serious force to be reckoned with...
College Hoops Top 10
1. Memphis (26-0) 1
2. Tennessee (24-2) 2
3. UCLA (24-2) 3
4. Kansas (24-2) 4
5. Xavier (23-4) 7
6. North Carolina (25-2) 6
7. Texas (22-4) 9
8. UCONN (21-5) 10
9. Duke (22-3) 4
10. Washington St. (21-5) NR
just missed: Purdue, Vandy, Butler, Louisville, Indiana, Wisconsin, Marquette
dropped: (8) Purdue
If you've gotten this far and still aren't convinced I have no idea what I'm yappin' aabout, then read up on what games you're gonna need to watch this weekend to keep pace with my madness...
Davidson @ Winthrop
Tennessee @ Memphis
UCONN @ Villanova
Arkansas @ Kentucky
Oregon @ UCLA
Oklahoma @ Texas
Kansas @ Oklahoma St.
Kansas St. @ Baylor
Arizona @ Washington St.
Saturday Bracket Buster Games
Drake @ Butler
Kent St. @ St. Mary's
Nevada @ Southern Illinois
Virginia Commonwealth @ Akron
Creighton @ Oral Roberts
George Mason @ Ohio
Siena @ Boise St.
Louisville @ Pittsburgh
Wake Forest @ UNC
Syracuse @ Notre Dame
Wisconsin @ Ohio St.
Xavier @ Dayton
St. Joseph's @ Rhode Island
California @ Stanford
Texas @ Kansas St.
Marquette @ Villanova
San Diego @ St. Mary's
It's gonna be a great weekend for college hoops, but I'm pretty much gonna be sayin' that about every weekend from here on out...
Red Sox Update
It's the season debut of the Red Sox Update, so let's just get right down to bidness...
-Another contract situation to watch is that of manager Terry Francona. He too is in the last year of his deal, and for the life of me I can't totally understand why this thing isn't getting done. Unless there's some sort of organizational philosophy, a-la-Moneyball, that prevents that manager from makin' loots, then just give this guy his 5 years and $25 mil and be done with it. I know Theo has many Moneyball-like aspects to his managerial game, but I would have figured he would have ponied up the loots by now. It's a drop in the bucket money-wise, and it's not like there's anyone you could bring in now that would command the respect that Tito's now 2 World Series rings bring to the table.....Cito Gaston better not be walkin' through that door!!...
-Not feeling the love so much is my former fantasy baseball team namesake, CokeHo Crisp. Covelli came out earlier this week and basically said that he ain't no backup, and if that's what he's gonna be, then he wouldn't mind leaving town. Terry Francona toed the company line of "we want Coco on this team", and to tell you the truth I bet that's exactly how he feels. What he doesn't say there, is that he wants him to take some pressure off Jacoby Ellsbury, and eventually slot himself in to the 4th outfielder/speedy bench guy. Coke wants no part of that, and will prolly find himself Jay Payton'ed sooner rather than later. Sure do hate to see him go, but I wouldn't mind if his exodus resulted in an extra arm or two. It's tough to give up on Coke, but sometimes it's better do to it early, before it ruins your life. I mean "he". And by life I meant team. Ah forget it...
Diamonds...She'll Pretty Much Have To
-I just couldn't resist. It's not like I just saw that Family Guy clip for the first time recently, but the last time I saw it, something in my head just clicked. At first, I thought I might be having a stroke, but then I realized I had just stumbled across the perfect name for my baseball notes section for this upcoming season. It doesn't really apply to the sport as aptly as "Diamonds Are Forever" did. But the fact that it has diamonds in the title, has shadow felatio, and is rather hysterical, are all strong enough selling points for me. Now, on with the show...
-Barry Bonds says he's in great shape and ready to play this year.....Yep, that was a roided out tree falling in the woods, and from what I can tell, not a single GM heard it make a sound. Better luck next time, Bar. See you across the street from the Hall of Fame in a few years trying to sell autographed copies of "The White Man Hates Me" by Barry Bonds and Joe Morgan....
-Oh, and Roger Clemens pulled out of a scheduled event with Disney this weekend because he thought he might be a distraction. Why's that, Rog? Because you didn't use performance enhancing drugs? Or because you didn't want Tinkerbell to accidentally hit up with a swipe of her wand, and give you another abscess on your ass. After all, that's where you're sayin' the first one came from, right?
Meanwhile, his little pal Andy Pettitte addressed the media this week and said that while he was sorry for what he did, he didn't consider himself a cheater. Hmmm. You took a substance that you knew you shouldn't be taking (cheating). You obtained it illegally (cheating). You didn't tell anyone about it (you knew you were cheating). And you didn't come forward until you were caught (lying bastard). I feel the vibe he's sendin' out there, but trying to make yourself look better than other roiders doesn't make you a saint. STOP GIVING GUYS A PASS FOR TELLING THE TRUTH AFTER THEY GET CAUGHT! Yes it makes them better than guys like Rose, Barry, OJ and Rocket, but it still makes them dispicable cheaters. Taking credit for coming clean is about as genuine as "not to be racist, but..."
And finally, I'd like to end on a positive story. OK, maybe it's only positive because it's funny to me, but it's still more uplifting than a bunch of rich, cry-baby cheaters. After getting out of the hot tub at his rental property this week, young Houston Astro outfielder, Hunter Pence, got up and walked straight through a sliding glass door. The door shattered, he bloodied himself up, and he will of course have to miss time in Spring Training while his wounds heal up. Oh, and I'm assuming we are all led to believe that Pence was 100% sober when this happened, and that, like he claimed, someone else had shut the door after he himself had recalled leaving it open. Yeah I can feel that. I'm always gettin' all sobered up and walkin' through huge panes of glass. I'd rather he said he had tried to kill himself, and failed, than have him lie to me and tell me he just didn't see the door. I know Windex is good shit, bro. But it ain't that good....
News and Notes
Let's get things goin' today with a little SpyGate talk. According to NFL officials, the league is close to a deal with former Pats cameraman Matt Walsh that will provide him with all the protection he needs to start spillin' his guts over his alleged misdoings wile with the organization. Listen. I have no idea what went on here or what didn't go on here. And I don't know who told who to do what or who was taping people's conversations. All I know is I want this guy to tell us what he's got already! Show somebody the tape, or admit that you lied about making it. Either way, let's get this freakin' show on the road! I mean it's not like any body is gonna be surprised by the results of this thing no matter the outcome...
As if the recent restructuring of the league's power structure via some dank trades wasn't enough to get me excited about the NBA for the first time in forever, they go and drop this bomb on me. According to David Stern, The NBA will be playing an outdoor exhibition next season in a experiment that could eventually lead outdoor regular season games. Nice! As long as the game comes complete with double rims and rusty backboards, you can count me in. This even opens it up for a legit game one day between the NBA's best street ballers, and the best guys from the AND 1 Bus. Oh wait, those guys are all bums in the D-League. Well I'm still down for playin' the game outside. It's how I grew up playin' the game, and it's a different style of the game that I think both the fans and the players will really enjoy...
If I had any doubt on whether or not I picked the right guy to be #1 on my All Time list this week, Tiger Woods did a great job of squashing it Wednesday afternoon. Down 3 holes through 13 to JB Holmes in the World Match Play Championships, T-Money just started goin' buck-nutty like only he can. Birdie, Birdie, Birdie, Eagle, Ballgame. Dude was sinkin' putts from 20 feet+ like he had a Buick commercial he forgot he had to shoot later that day. And that's the one thing that Tiger hasn't been able to really do in his career. Come back. But I guess someone must have told him that was the case around the 13th tee, because that's when he hit the gas and steamrolled to victory. He's just impressive, what can I say. And just when you think he might be plateauing or you've seen all he's got, he goes and throws in a virtuoso performance like this one. To update his progress, he beat Aaron Olberholser 3 & 2 in his 2nd round match, and will face off with Aaron Baddely in round 3. Needless to say, that fat left handed dude has already lost, and is no doubt in some king sized bed, spooning with Jared from Subway...Eat Phresh?...
So I'm flippin' through the channels the other day and I stumble across the Anna Nicole Smith E! True Hollywood Story. Intrigued by her large cans and her hunger for drugs, I decide to watch it for a while. I don't even get 5 minutes into the thing when who appears on my screen? Rusty freakin' Hardin, Roger Clemens little weasel of a mouthpiece. The whole thing went down when Anna's dead husband's son, who is older than her by like 30 years himself, was suing her to try and get all his dad's loots back...
(Anna starts to cry either because she's sad or high...or sad because she's not high)
Rusty: "You get yer self some actin' lessons with that money did ya?"
Anna (still sobbing): "Go to Hell, Rusty"
What a character that guy is. I mean, I guess it speaks to the fact that he must be pretty good if that rich oil guy hired him, but come on. This ain't the South, Rusty, and your gee shucks law tactics aren't gonna fly up here in the Non-Slave States. I don't know. Maybe I just thought it was oddly appropriate that while watching a story of a dim-witted Southerner kill their career with drug use, Rusty Hardin happened to pop up...
That's all I got for ya this week, kids. Hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember. Just because meth looks cool on TV, doesn't mean you should go out and try it. Unless you plan on taping it and posting it on YouTube, in which case I would appreciate if you passed that link on to me...
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
1. Tiger Woods
-He's won 13 majors before the age of 33 and revolutionized a sport while doing it. If there's been a more dominant athlete in my lifetime, then I must have been out takin' the world's longest whizz while that guy was doin' his thing. He's got the game, he's got the green and he's got the girl. He brings his opponents to their knees with his will and determination, and his performance in the clutch is second to none. Let me put it this way. Is there any other player in the last 25 years that's had a sport change it's rules and regulations because that one guy was running a muck of their game? I didn't think so...
2. Michael Jordan
-Before the Michael Jordan of Golf, there was simply his royal Airness, Michael Jordan. He was the best basketball player for more than a decade, and on his way to capturing 6 NBA Titles, he also managed to help carry Nike and Gatorade to the sports mainstays they are today. He was just as flashy as he was clutch, and that's a combination that doesn't tend to come around all that often...
3. Wayne Gretzky
-You know "The Great One" is good when a hockey hater like me has him #3 on my list. And never has there been a more appropriate nickname. Greatest stat in sports: Had Wayne Gretzky never scored a single goal (and by the way he's the league's all time leading scorer), he would still be #1 all time in total points with 1,963. That number, is simply his career assists. Simply amazing...
4. Shaquille O'Neal
-From what I've seen and from what I've been told, the only NBA big men to even rival Shaq's ability have been Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. The big man has essentially dominated since being drafted #1 by the Orlando Magic in 1992, and has kept us laughing as much as cheering on his way to 4 NBA Championship rings. Call him Diesel, call him Daddy, or call him Wilt Chamberneezy. Just make sure you call him the greatest big guy in the last quarter century while you're at it...
5. Roger Federer
-People don't like tennis, I get it. But the fact remains, it takes a true athlete to win in tennis, and there's no more complete tennis player out there than Switzerland's Roger Federer. Up until about 6 years ago, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi were far and away the best tennis players I'd ever seen, but Rog has made quick work of making those two legends second best. He's made the Finals in 14 of the last 20 Grand Slam tournaments (since 2003), and has brought home the title in 12 of them. He has no recognizable weakness in his game, and it's hard to imagine that his dominance is going to stop anytime soon. So while he may not be the flashiest player in the flashiest sport, he's quite possibly the greatest tennis player of all time, making him a no brainer for my top 5...
6. Tom Brady
-We live in the Age of the QB these days in the NFL, and there hasn't been a better QB in my lifetime than New England's very own wonderboy. His athleticism and raw numbers may leave a lot to be desired, but his results speak for themselves. Not only has he captured 3 Super Bowl titles in just 7 seasons as a starter, but he's done it in the most clutch fashion the league has ever seen. Simply put, Brady is the greatest leader in sports today, and the fact that he has the results to back all that up, makes him the greatest QB of my lifetime, and the greatest NFL player of my generation...
7. Ken Griffey Jr.
-Before there was A-Rod, there was "the Kid". Junior Griffey burst on the scene as a 19 year old rookie in 1989, and 593 homeruns, and countless breathtaking catches later, he's earned the title of MY greatest baseball player of my lifetime. That's the thing about Griff. If it wasn't his beautiful homerun swing, it was the way he climbed the wall to bring those homeruns back. He was the epitome of a 5 tool player. He could run, throw, hit, hit for power, and he sure as Hell could field his position. Too bad injuries cut his career a little short, or Barry Bonds may still be chasin' him for the homerun title...
8. Mariano Rivera
-One pitch. Mariano Rivera has thrown his way to 443 regular season saves, and 34 more in the post season, with his legendary "Cutter" that's as impossible to hit today as it ever was. Mo was the bullpen anchor of the Yankee dynasty that captured 4 World Series Titles from 1996-2000, and in that time established himself as the most dominant closer in the history of the game. To this day I still here the song "Enter Sandman" and get a queasy feeling in my gut that the Red Sox are about to lose...Well, until 2004 that is...
9. Pedro Martinez
-Let's finish off this run of 3 straight MLBers with my generation's Sandy Koufax. As dominant as Rivera has been with his one pitch, Pedro has been with about 5 different pitches. Since 1997, his final season in Montreal, Petey has dominated Major League hitters, compiling a 161-62 record, 3 Cy Young Awards, and helped guide the Boston Red Sox to the 2004 World Series Title. More than his credentials, it's the way Pedro did all this that makes him worthy of my top 10. I've had the chance to watch him pitch in person, and the way he kept the best hitters in the game off balance and swiping at air is what truly makes him a marvel, and one of the greatest pitchers of all time...
10. Deion Sanders
-This cat was so fast in his day, that he's known more for his high-stepping in the clear, than he was actually dodging defenders. Neon Deion made a name for himself on both the baseball and football fields, but it was his role as the first "shut-down" corner of my time that he will be remembered. He wasn't "shut-down" like we think of today, but the threat of him taking any interception all the way to the endzone was more than enough reason for league QB's to look the other way.
honorable mention goes to: Jerry Rice, Roy Jones Jr., LaDainian Tomlinson, Barry Sanders, John Smoltz, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Tim Duncan, Rulon Gardner and Andre Aggasi...oh and Roger Clemens + Barry Bonds would be on the list if they weren't too busy shootin' themselves up with God knows what...
...and Lance Armstrong is just a unitard wearin', one nutted, bike ridin' freak of pharmaceutical production. At the risk of actually ripping his credibility any further, let's just say I think pro bike riders are tools, and that's why he's not on the list...and yea cancer isn't funny, but having one nut is...
There you have it, folks. I'm sure many of you have more than a few problems with this list, but hey, that's why I made it in the first place.
Make sure to check back on Friday, as I fire back at Ian, preview the Memphis/Tennessee matchup this Saturday, and reveal my brand spanking new college hoops top 10. Be there pimps!
Oh, and be on the look out for the new and improved RoochNation website, which is being constructed as we speak. I hear it's gonna be pretty baller, but you'll just have to wait and judge for yourself. And make sure to tune in to 99.7 FM, 790 AM (in the Providence area), or http://www.scoreamfm.com/ to possibly hear the validity of RoochNation discussed LIVE on air with Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak! I'll be producing their morning show from 9 to noon, and they'll do their best to mock me and destroy my credibility. Talk about appointment radio! I'm takin' over bitches!!...
Friday, February 15, 2008
First and foremost, let me get the obvious out of the way. Like I so eloquently put it on Tuesday, no matter what your position was going into the hearings, there wasn't going to be anything you were going to hear that was gonna change your stance. And while I feel that prediction was fairly accurate, the one thing that may have swayed you, were you pro-Roger, was the affidavit of one Andrew Pettitte...
Deciding not to appear in front of Congress, Roger's long time friend and workout partner instead submitted an affidavit, along with his wife, that basically corroborated everything that Brian McNamee had to say. He admitted to additional HGH use in 2004, he said he talked to Clemens on multiple occasions about the Rocket's own personal HGH use, and he at no point suggested that Brian McNamee was lying when accusing Clemens of bein' on the juice. Now if you're askin' me, this is pretty huge. Before that, it was a classic he-said-he-said between Roger and McNamee. Now that Pettitte has come forward with this, while it doesn't really help McNamee's claim that he injected Clemens, it does show that maybe the embattled trainer is more believable than many thought. When asked why he thought Andy would lie about saying the Rocket used HGH, all Rog could say was the now legendary line, that Andy must have "misremembered." Not only that, but when questioned further, Roger even went as far as to say that IF Pettitte were using HGH, that Andy certainly would have told him about it. Wait. What? Dude, he already said he DID use it. So obviously, either you knew, or he didn't tell you about it! To sit there and say that you still think Pettitte is honest and your friend, but that he's wrong about these particular instances is just laughable. That crafty lefty drove a nail into your coffin with his words, at least in the court of public opinion, and the list is now growing of other guys that must be lying to make Roger's story legit. The Rocket looked bad going into this thing, but with statements like the ones that Pettitte made, "Roger Clemens, Steroid User" is quickly becoming a bell that's going to be possible to un-ring...
Now seeing as I didn't know that Pettitte bomb was gonna drop right off the bat, the only thing I had intended on focusing on, was how these guys answered the questions thrown at them. Simply put, their demeanor. I consider myself a great judge of character, and while I don't know either of these men personally, I felt like watching them under fire like this would give me a real good idea of their overall credibility.
Clemens came out like gangbusters. To me, he was looking to kick ass and take names, but too often looked like he was searching for answers. To be blunt, he looked like a liar. He couldn't get dates straight when trying to explain how he was telling Pettitte about his wife using HGH and not himself. (And by the way. How hysterical is it that his wife was using it?) He got caught about talking to his nanny the night before the hearing about her role in Roger, according to McNamee, being at a party at Jose Canseco's house. And, as it turns out, that was another lie they caught Roger in!
McNamee on the other hand, while not a great public speaker, was always calm and to the point. He looked like a man who wasn't going to be surprised by any line of questioning, he gave simple, straightforward answers, and unlike Clemens, never once needed to call on his legal team for help. I mean for Christ's sake. Rusty Hardin had to be told about 15 times that attorneys weren't allowed to speak at this thing because he tried to bail Roger out every time he was caught in another web of lies. And as for Hardin. That guy needs to learn to be keep his Texas sized pie hole shut after that whole taped phone conversation blew up in his grill. Oh, you didn't hear? Yeah, came out in the hearings that only a portion of the tape was played. And wouldn't ya know it. The missing portions were the parts where McNamee basically told Clemens that they both knew he had used performance enhancing drugs! Well I'll be dipped! I knew then that the whole tape phone conversation was dumber than any Polish invention you can name, and this just proves me right. Oh, and it gets better. To top his performance from last week, when he told the IRS guy investigating Roger that Clemens would "hand him his lunch" if the two were to meet, Rusty decided to take a run at one of McNamee's over zealous attorneys. When it was suggested by Richard Emery that Clemens would be pardoned by President Bush were he to be convicted of perjury, Rusty answered with "He's got to stop smoking his own dope." Brilliant Rusty. Way to look innocent. I guess that means he fits as Clemens' attorney perfectly. They're both dumb and from Texas. But good ole Rusty isn't doin' his client any favor in my eye.
Meanwhile, McNamee had no such issues. Matter of fact, he was so clear and succinct with his answers, that it gave all his haters even more time to call him a crook, liar and dirty little drug dealer. Basically, it's my opinion that if one of these guys was to be believed, based on this hearing alone, it would have to be Brian McNamee by a landslide. I'm not a Clemens hater, and while I have said for about 5 years now that I thought he was on the juice, that's strictly my impression of how I thought the two of them came across. McNamee provided answers, while Clemens responses just brought on more questions...
That brings me to the actual questioning by our elected leaders in the House of Representatives. Much like in hearings past, most of the questions were partisan garbage being asked by people that wouldn't know a syringe from a saloon, but that also made for some rather entertaining moments.
The GOOD came when reps like (D) Elijah Cummings completely undressed Clemens, and didn't allow the star pitcher to deviate from asked questions. Pretty much, they told him his story wasn't believable. Cummings in particular took no lip from Clemens. He repeatedly talked over him, prodded him to move along when he thought Roger was waxing poetically, and asked pertinent questions about how on earth we were to believe that everyone was lying except for him. That's what the fuck I'm talkin' about E-C! Use that 15 minutes you got. Get your questions answered. And tell that hick to shut the fuck up and answer your damn questions. Man. I may have voted for Obama in this year's primary, but I'm already eager to get to the polls in 2012 and cast my vote for Elijah Cummings. A man so clear and unbiased in his thinking, that he had the guts to tell Clemens that Roger was one of his sports heroes, and he still thought he was guilty as sin. Now there's a leader, folks! And as for the leader of the hearing, Henry Waxman, that guy was just a little over the top for my liking.First off, he looked like a cross between Mort Goldman ("Ohhhh God I think I just miscarried!") and Porky Pig, which is never good when you're on TV (that's Waxy right there with some cougar he prolly rescued from Don Burton's basement). And the guy was just so obviously pro-McNamee, that he used the gavel to shut Clemens up at the end of the hearing, so he could apologize to the trainer for some of the questioning he had received throughout the day. Maybe McNamee went around signing autograph's too, and he gave ol' Waxman a nice 8 X 12 glossy of him on the beach workin' out. Whatever the reason, Waxman wouldn't let Roger breathe most of the time, and often took time out to make sure the Rocket's legal time was mindin' their P's and Q's. He did run a pretty good show, though. I'll give him that. Just that it goes to show that ALL the whackos aren't on that one side of the Congressional aisle...and speaking of those boobs...
There were many low points to the hearing as well, that must have had Lincoln, Washington, and even Michael Douglas spinning in their graves. Wait, so you're sayin' Douglas is alive, and was never really President? Whatever... For instance, I really liked when a rep asked about the colors of the various drugs that were allegedly being injected, or when one Republican wanted McNamee to clarify what "it is what it is" meant. Right, because that's why we were there. To talk about Jose Canseco's ripper, the color of B-12 (which is pink by the way), and if it was true that Roger Clemens used to bleed through his dress pants, via his ass. Notice how I mentioned the guy was a Republican, and for good reason. Now I'm about as political as I am short and dim witted, so don't think I'm taking sides, but it was clearly evident to me which party was pro Clemens, and which was pro McNamee. The Dems would, for the large part, use their time to rip apart Clemens and praise McNamee, and the Elephants used their time to rip apart the trainer, while at the same time praising Roger for his work with children and his role model status. Only problem there, was that the only thing the Republicans had on McNamee was that he was an admitted liar. Sounds big when you first think about it, but there's one major problem. ALL OF US THAT THINK MCNAMEE IS TELLING THE TRUTH ALREADY KNOW THAT THE GUY IS A SHADY BASTARD AND A KNOWN LIAR! WE KNOW HE PROBABLY RAPED THAT CHICK, AND WE KNOW HE'S A LOSER WITH NO FRIENDS, WHO WAS JUST DOING ALL THIS TO GET CLOSE TO ATHLETES! Time after time he would be asked "So when you said on such and such a date that Roger never used roids, that was a lie?" And when he'd answer yes, these geniuses would look around as if to say "Well. He says he's a liar. So Roger must be innocent, right?" Dudes. He was lying to protect them, and now that he's been pushed to the brink, he's been forced to give them up. What about that don't you understand? And to ask "What kind of person saves syringes in a can for over 8 years?" I'll tell you what kind of person. Apparently, the smartest freakin' dude in the room! He may be a liar and a scumbag and a cheater, but at least the dude is consistent. Once he was fingered by Kirk Rodomski (gross) he felt he had no choice but to give these guys up, and everything he has said since then has been completely on par with that. Until he was threatened with evidence showing he was involved, he had no reason to give his friends and clients up. I know you can say that if he lied then he is probably lying now, but to me that's less consistent with the type of guy I believe Brian McNamee to bee. Like I said, he's a "hanger on." He'd do anything to protect the athlete's he worships and wishes to be. That is accept going to prison for them...
Indiana Republican Don Burton was the worst offender when it came to sleazy Republican rhetoric. Dude got up there and called McNamee "disgusting," when he himself was probably the dirtiest guy in attendance. He had a kid out of wedlock with an intern. Married the woman who was caring for his dying wife. And has been widely known for the last quarter century, as one of the biggest skirt chasers in all of Washington. Oh, and it gets better. His kid was busted for transporting 8 pounds of tree, and while waiting for trial, had his house raided. What was in the crib? Well funny you should ask. Only a 30-plant marijuana plantation, complete with a shotgun to make sure the natives don't try to sneak up and steal his buds. Way to point the finger, Burton, you FRAUD. I'm glad my tax dollars are paying for not only your laughable political career, but also your weekday romps around DC's finest flesh farms. What an embarrassment. He's lucky his fellow congresspeeps were dumb enough to toss out these gems, or he actually might have stuck out as the biggest retard in the room. Here's a sampling of some of the fine comments...that I was under the impression were supposed to be questions...
"I'm sure you're going to heaven" - some republican broad
"Me and my constituents would like to thank you for all you've done for New York and the New York Yankees" - some dumb broad from New York
"Roger Clemens is a titan" - the one and only Don Burton
"Which jersey will you wear into the Hall of Fame" - some other republican tard...who apparently doesn't know Roger isn't IN yet, and that they wear "hats," not jerseys...
Glad to see my tax dollars are going to good use. Those who supported Clemens, filled their time with praising all he's done, and belittling McNamee, simple as that. But I have to give Roger props. Looks like all the autograph signing and baby kissing he did leading up to this thing, got a lot of those reps on his bandwagon. Only problem, was that their "fan like" actions towards him, made his story look all that less credible...
And the more I think about it, the more I want to know what in the name of John Rocker this 4 1/2 hour thing was that we all watched on Wednesday? ESPN legal analyst Roger Cosack put it the best when he kept saying that this was a criminal trial that for whatever reason was being held in the House of Representatives, with no jury. Like, what was this thing? Wasn't it supposed to be some sort of hearing about people in the Mitchell Report or something? All of a sudden it just turned into the Rumble In the District, with Clemens in one corner and McNamee in the other. Waxman came right out of the gate and said that someone was lying, and they were there to determine who it was. Yeah, and wouldn't that usually be done by a trial jury? I'm no Constitution expert here, but I'm pretty sure that when you're getting your name slandered around town like one of Don Burton's hookers, you have the right to defend yourself, right? I just don't get it. So now these congressmen and women are to decide if there was perjury committed at this thing? Well, if there was, wouldn't you just do this whole blame game again in a normal courtroom? I'm not sure if this is a case of political red tape, or just a lot of grandstanding, but I do know this thing doesn't make a lick of sense to me from a legal standpoint. In short, I've watched enough Law & Order to know that this is NOT how shit is supposed to go down...
But as I said, and as I expected, we really didn't learn anything new from the hearings this week. If you believed Clemens before the hearings, then you still believe him now. That also makes you a complete imbecile, somethin' tells me we probably knew that about you already. People are going to believe what they want to believe in this thing, and seeing as their isn't any "usable" damming evidence on either side, it's likely we'll never have a definitive verdict. For me, it's pretty simple. Not only is it clear to me that Roger Clemens is lying, it's also clear to me that Brian McNamee is telling the truth. It makes sense to me that Roger Clemens juiced up. It makes sense to me that McNamee would have lied about it for years. And it makes sense to me that he would have saved those syringes in that beer can for all those years. Combine all that common sense with what Andy Pettitte had to say, and for me it's a slam dunk. Don Burton was right, Roger. You are a Titan. But you just went from being Vince Young, to PacMan Jones in about 4 and a half hours.
At least you don't have a failed drug test on your record from 2001. Barry Bonds now does, according to the FEDs, which means I'll be still talkin' about all this perjury and steroid bull shit on Tuesday. Wait. Now you're tellin' me there isn't a new positive test, but that the FEDs made a paperwork mistake in regards to Bonds?! Eh, I'm sure I'll still be talkin' about it on Tuesday anyway...
Let's put that circus aside for now, and get down to the nitty gritty with the great game of college hoops. Here's what I got...
-Well, my kiss of death struck the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this week. Just one day after I anointed them the best team in the Big East, they promptly go out and get beat on the road by red hot Connecticut. I guess it wasn't that bad of a jinx, seeing as they lost a game I pretty much said they should lose (see Tuesday's post), but I was prepared to put them as the top Big East team in my next poll, and now I can't really do that in good faith. Instead UCONN will take that spot, thanks in large part to their current 9 game winning streak, and outstanding play from point guard AJ Price and center Hasheem Thabeet. You may remember Price from when he collapsed due to illness, or perhaps when he stole those laptops, but the kid has finally come into his own as a player, and is making coach Jim Calhoun look really smart for stickin' with the kid through think and thin. Price, who is seen above takin' to the rack, is the ultimate floor general for the Huskies, and is leading the team in points, assists and 3 point percentage. Thabeet, on the other hand, has been a beast in the middle, going for better than 10 points, 7 boards and 4 blocks this season. Throw in a great supporting cast with Jeff Adrien, Stanley Robinson and Doug Wiggins, and it's quickly becoming evident that these Huskies might be primed to make a run that could remind us of the OLD Huskies...
-I wanna talk to Sampson! What once was just a funny line from the movie Half Baked, is now the cry of many hoop recruits hoping to one day attend Indiana University. That's right, IU head man Kelvin Sampson has been busted for illegal phone calls when it comes to recruiting....that's right...again. The same thing that got him run out of Oklahoma might be what runs him out of Indiana faster than you can say Bobby Knight. As of now, the NCAA is taking a real close look at the matter, and Sampson's job is on a game to game basis. This isn't good. Not for Sampson, not for the team, and certainly not for a school like IU, that holds itself to very high athletic and academic standards. Hell, this thing alone didn't drop them out of my top 10, but I'm tellin' you right now it didn't help. I always liked Kelvin and his teams at OU, so I hope this stuff is just a misunderstanding, but somethin' tells me the NCAA isn't gonna "misremember" all the stuff that's gone down in his past...
-I demand to know what on earth is goin' on these days in MY Missouri Valley Conference. I say "my" because I've been a huge supporter of the conference over the last few years, and they rewarded my faith in them nicely with the Sweet 16 runs of Bradley and Wichita St. deep in the '06 NCAA Tournament. That was a year that saw 4 teams get in from the 'Val, a number that since fell to just 2 in 2007. This season, with the struggles of perennial powers like Creighton and Southern Illinois, it looks as if the Drake Bulldogs could be the "Major" Mid Major's only representative. They're the only team in the league with fewer than 7 losses (they have 2), and the lone squad with fewer than 4 conference losses (also 2). To make matters worse, the Bulldogs at 10 are the only team currently in the RPI top 40, and one of only 4 MVC teams in the rankings top 100. I like having these guys around in my bracket so I can pick 'em for an upset or two, but it's looking like barring another team winning the conference tourney, the Bulldogs could be the only team dancin.' I'll cry a little inside, but I think I'll get over it...
-I don't know what's more strange. The fact that George Mason is good again, or the fact that they still have dudes on their team that were on the team that went to the Final Four. I know it was only 2 years ago, but doesn't it seem like a lot longer? Eh, maybe it's me. Either way, the Patriots are for real again this season, and with seniors Folarin Campbell and Will Thomas leading the charge, their experience could make them a tough out if they make the tourney field. You remember those guys. Campbell was the guy that made a ton of big shots, and the 6'7", 240 pound Thomas was the guy that after their run, people thought could make a good NFL tight end. Well Antonio Gates he is not, but his 16 points a 10 rebounds a game are enough to lead the team, and make them a solid contender for the Colonial Athletic Association's automatic bid. Thanks to their 55 RPI ranking, no big wins and their 135th ranked strength of schedule, I think that's the only shot they got at making the field...
-And for the last note of the week I just sit back and laugh at the disaster that is the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Not only does the name seem like an oxymoron to me, as only tards and bums live in Jersey, but the 0-26 "Highlanders" are flat out the worst team in Division 1 Hoops. And as if that weren't enough, their leading scorer shares a name with one of the most prominent names in the field of genocide. His name, is Nesho "don't call me Slovodan" Milosevic. Pretty much, the name makes me laugh so hard it hurts and the team is horrifically bad, so I felt I needed to poke fun. If you think that makes me a bad person, you know, laughing at a genocidal warlord....then I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree...
-I lied. I have one more thing. After I posted my Conference Power Rankings last week, my buddy Ian decided to hit me with a comment, basically telling me my rankings were a little off for his liking. Namely, he thought it was fairly outrageous I had the SEC ranked as the toughest in the nation, and the Big East as only the 4th. Well, I-Mann, my logic is this. First and foremost, I use the eye test for these things. Maybe because I've been so close to the Big East in the past I make sure not to overrate them, but I truly feel at this point that the SEC is the strongest conference. You pointed to RPI, yet I'm not sure why. Tennessee is the top rated team in the latest RPI rankings, and the SEC boasts 5 out of the top 50 teams. Now the Big East has 6 teams in the top 50, but that means they have more teams OUTSIDE of the top 50 in their conference than does the SEC. Also, while the Vols are #1, the highest ranked team in the Big East is Georgetown at #7. Look, you can argue any way you like, but it's my feeling that the SEC is the best right now, especially at the top, and I feel I've at least shown a little bit of evidence to help support my claim. I like the fact that Ian was motivated enough to fire back at me, and I totally respect his point of view. We just disagree. And as for his request that I avoid his face when I murder him with my response? I'd be doin' that mug a favor if I cracked it with my steel toe boots....so request granted....Ha!
In my rankings this week, Texas joins Purdue and red-hot UCONN as newcomers, thanks in large part to the Longhorns' big win over Kansas. Likewise, the Jayhawks saw their stock drop just a tad, but more so because of the impressive play of late by both Duke and Tennessee. I fully expect Kansas and UCLA to rebound and end up at or near the top as the season moves on, but as of right now these are the ten teams I feel would have the best shot, should the NCAA tourney start today...
College Hoops Top 10
1. Memphis (24-0) 1
2. Tennessee (22-2) 3
3. UCLA (22-2) 2
4. Duke (22-1) 5
5. Kansas (23-2) 4
6. North Carolina (23-2) 6
7. Xavier (21-4) 10
8. Purdue (20-5) NR
9. Texas (20-4) NR
10. UCONN (19-5) NR
just missed: Drake, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Washington St., Notre Dame, Butler, Louisville
dropped: (7) Georgetown; (8) Indiana; (9) Drake
Pittsburgh @ Marquette
Florida @ Vanderbilt
Stanford @ Arizona
Georgetown @ Syracuse
Arkansas @ Mississippi St.
Michigan St. @ Indiana
Texas @ Baylor
Memphis @ UAB
Virginia Tech @ North Carolina
UNLV @ BYU
Minnesota @ Wisconsin
Clemson @ NC State
Cleveland St. @ Butler
California @ Arizona St.
UNC Wilmington @ George Mason
Washington St. @ Oregon
USC @ UCLA
Seton Hall @ West Virginia
Xavier @ Rhode Island
Texas A&M @ Texas
Syracuse @ Louisville
Gonzaga @ San Diego
And I-Mann. If you wanna check these games out, and get back to me by next Friday with your top 10 and conference rankings, then I'd be more than happy to debate our opposing views right here on my little slice of cybrespace. Bring it on you horse sexing incest lover!....Ha!
News and Notes
-Arlen Specter is a tard. I wish I had a better way to put that, but apparently that's about as accurate as it gets. This ass-clown, in an attempt to get to the bottom of "SpyGate" had a meeting yesterday in Washington with Commissioner Roger Goodell. Before the meeting, Specter said it was his goal to convince Goodell and the NFL to give cameraman Matt Walsh full indemnity (that means he won't be charged with anything) if he hands over evidence that the Patriots cheated to win Super Bowl 36 against St. Louis. Yeah one problem there, Arlen. That shit already happened!! Goodell gave Walsh indemnity when you asked him to do so the first time. God dammit, man! If you're so Hell bent on fixing this perceived "problem," then at least pay attention to the issue when it's in the news! I'm beginning to realize why everyone thought there was a conspiracy to kill JFK. Not because of the way it went down, but because it was Specter's single bullet theory that ended up being the explanation! Seems like these days you can't turn around without seeing another example of our government's idiocy.
-Pitchers and catchers have reported to Spring Training!! Woo-Hooo! Expect the "Red Sox Update" to start appearing in a blog near you (this one) starting next week. It's time for the title defense, bitches. Getcha p-corn ready...I'll have all my predictions and all the latest news to start the season, so make sure to remind yourself to check it out. I find that writing a note often helps me not "misremember"...
-Oh, and apparently Brady Quinn was part of a group that was shouting homophobic slurs at patrons of a gay bar this week. See, I thought Quinn was gay, so when I heard this I really didn't get it. Turns out, he's not. So he better apologize. Learn somethin' new every day...
-Props to Devean George for using the power of his no-trade to block the proposed Jason Kidd to Dallas deal. He's obviously been to New Jersey before and wants no part of that dirty shit swamp, or the hoops team that happens to play there. Jay-Z or NO Jay-Z!
-As if we needed to be shown a sign that reality TV needed to be stopped, we got one that's equivalent to God coming down from heaven and killing Mark Burnett. OJ Simpson is going to have a reality show, in which he is followed around....in prison. I'm glad the over-exposure of reality TV has given me shows like Breaking Bonaduce and Flavor of Love III, but this is about as ugly and desperate as it gets. As much as I'd love to see OJ eat gruel with plastic utensils, and take a dump 2 feet from where he sleeps, I think I'm just gonna have to pass on this one. Just because the guy is finally in jail after all these years, doesn't mean that him somehow showing that to us will make all that other stuff he did just disappear....ya know...like when he butchered those two people to death?...oh wait...I forgot it was that racist Mark Fuhrman that set him up. Why didn't those two get their own congressional hearing? Now, THAT, I would have enjoyed to see...Man, thank God the writer's strike is over...
-The following things are funny. Guys with the name "Booty." Mug shots. And drunk guys being tasered when they try to fight the po-nines. That's why, when former #1 high school QB recruit, and record setting baseball bonus getter ($1.6 mil), Josh Booty, was taken to task by Orange County Sherriff's deputies this week, it struck me as news that needed to go straight into my blog. A wasted Booty was trying to climb into his whip, when the cops told him he was too intoxicated to drive. Instead of heeding their advice, Booty attempted to fight the cops, who quickly tasered the washed up, sloshed up QB and put him right on his ass. OK, so maybe it's not all that funny. But personally, I think anytime anyone gets tased is pretty hilarious. And seeing as Cops is one of my favorite shows, I like it when liquored up guys try to fight the police. I can only hope that he stepped on his own pack of Newports, cracked the pipe in his pocket and managed to rip his white t-shirt in his attempt at beating the 5-0. I always like to say. Anything worth doin' is worth doin' right...
-Another great part about this time of year, besides the rise of college hoops and my rapidly approaching birthday (March 7th....I'll let you know where you can send gifts), is the release of Sports Illustrated hallowed Swimsuit Issue. ESPECIALLY, when it doesn't have a roided out Debbie Clemens in it! Pretty much, it's hot babes, in barely-there bathin' suits, in tropical locales. If you need to be told why that is chill, then you're in the wrong spot, but I just figured I'd let you all know it's out...and by the way...they're real, and they're AMAZING!
-Don't forget to catch the NBA Dunk Contest this weekend. Gerald Green is the defending champ, but my money is own Orlando's Dwight Howard. Dwight was robbed of the title a year ago, and even though the NBA won't let him raise the rim to 12 feet for the contest, I'm sure he'll have enough to leave no doubt who the league's best dunker is......OK, so it still won't be him. But the guy is an athletic freak, and if he can replicate his performance from his previous appearance, it should at least be good enough to claim the title of best dunker actually ballsy enough to put it on the line in a contest. That's right, Vince. I'm callin' you OUT!
-And to wrap things up, I have a slight sin I would like to confess right here. I know I like to rip on Michael Jackson a lot for his freakish appearance and kid touching antics, but the fact still remains that the man made some ill jammy jams back in the day. And seeing as I'm now in possession of the new 25th Anniversary Thriller disc, I felt I should pass on how dank it is. Not only does it have all the songs that made it the best selling album of all time, but Akon's remix of You Wanna Be Startin' Sumthin is the stuff of legend. He took the best part of the original song, where MJ goes off on the "mama say-mama sa, mama coo sa" rant, and makes it the complete essence of the jam. I know it's got me rockin' out in my whip. And seriously, you think I would risk letting you all know that I was listening to Whacko in my car if the song wasn't really that good? I'm tellin' ya, if you haven't heard it, you really need to scope it out. I know he gives little kids wine in soda cans, and may or may not have an adult alarm in his room to warn the kids when their parents are coming, but he's still the King of Pop. Even in this day and age, that's gotta count for somethin...
Thanks for stoppin' by, and a special thanks to all of you that are checking me out for the first time. I can't believe it either, but over the last few months, the number of people viewing my site has grown rather exponentially. I know, because I spy on you. But that doesn't mean I'm any less grateful. You pimps keep up the good work, and I will promise to do the same.