Friday, February 08, 2008

The Assassination of Roger Clemens by the Coward Brian McNamee...

Well, you'll be glad to know I've come to a decision as to how I feel about the Patriots losing to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII. On Tuesday, when I published my first reactions, I was still in a little bit of shock, but now that I've had time to let all those emotions simmer and settle, I've come to this realization: While disappointed, I am not nearly as upset at the Patriots loss as I probably should be. Matter of fact, I'll even go as far as to say that I would rather the Pats season ended as it did, than if they went 15-1 in the regular season, and actually won the Super Bowl. Sounds stupid, I know, but I think it's just because "my" teams have already won 6 World Titles in the past 8 years (Pats, Sox, Cuse) that I am able to so easily dismiss this monumental failure as "just another loss". Essentially, I'm glad I was able to enjoy the ride that was the "Worst 18-1 season in NFL history", and glad that I was cheering for a team that at the very least had a chance to make some rather surreal history. So, it didn't happen. I get that. But it was a fun ride, and now it's over. It will reside in my memory bank next to so many other painful sports memories, it's just not something I feel the need to dwell on. We lost because we played like ass, and for some reason, that's easier for me to deal with. It's just time to accept what went down, and move on. It's time to turn the page, be thankful for the ride that we had, and be thankful that the Patriots had already won 3 Super Bowls before this disaster took place. Hell, if those other 3 titles weren't also tucked away in the memory bank, then I'd prolly be writing about good places to buy razor blades, and the 5 most effective home appliances you could sling into your bath tub...

Moving onto more pleasant topics...

You know how they say from death comes life? Well maybe that's not the exact quote, but you know, it's the principle of wherever there is an end, there is by definition a beginning? Well in my world, the "death" of the Patriots, however sad as it may be, has given birth to my #1 game, the beautiful poetry that is college basketball. Conference races are heatin' up, big time players are beginning to establish themselves and teams are startin' to jockey for seeding or even invitations to the Big Dance in March.

-To watch Duke and North Carolina play in a meaningful basketball game is one of the best experiences sports entertainment has to offer. Not only that, but the game usually serves as a great barometer as to where each team is at, and in turn gives us a great idea of how a lot of other teams stand in relation to the two powers. Well, while the atmosphere at the Dean Dome was great on Wednesday (thanks in part to the return of Dickie Vitale after vocal chord surgery), I'm afraid we didn't find out nearly what we thought we might in terms of how good these teams are. Duke shot lights out from 3 to win, and you can't expect that to happen every night. And UNC played without their starting point guard, and arguably best player, Ty Lawson, so you really didn't even see the real Tar Heels. We know both these teams can play, and both are National Title contenders, just don't think last night was a great indicator of how good either one actually is right now. If UNC is healthy when they travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium later this year, then we'll have somethin' to discuss...

-To be honest, even I don't get to watch all the games I advise you to watch, but for once I was actually glad I took my own advice. All be it by mistake, I happened to catch most of the Rider/Siena game this week, and in turn got a glimpse of Jason Thompson, one of the best kept secrets in division 1 hoops. OK, maybe he's not a total unknown to a lot of hoops junkies, seeing as he's a senior, but watching this kid play for mere minutes let you know that there was no way you want this kid and his squad paired up with your team in the first round of the NCAA tourney. The 6'11" Thompson is a freak of an athlete and is pacing the 17-5 Rider Broncos with 20 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks a game, and he does it all in impressive fashion. Better yet, his younger brother, 6'6" guard Ryan, is second on the team in scoring at 15.8 a game and is shooting better than 48% from downtown. Two brothers from a small school in a no-name conference? Why do I see myself watching this story on CBS after Rider pulls a first round upset? Hmmmm...

-There are guys that I stick up for, even if I don't like them or agree with what they say, simply because I respect the way they go about their business. It's a fine line that separates these guys from pure bred douche bags, but I've managed to make a distinction. When Bobby Knight walked out on his Texas Tech Red Raiders this week, he crossed that line in my eyes, and went from legendary mentor and disciplinarian, to a quitter and a fraud. Who walks out in the middle of a season? And I don't care how he's claming he's doing it to set up his son, Pat, as the Tech head coach. There are better ways he could have gone about his, and he knows it.

-Dude, what is the story with the Big 10 this year? The media is telling me that Michigan St. is supposed to be the top team, but they haven't even close to proven themselves as an elite squad in my eyes. Indiana is good, but how long is Eric Gordon gonna stay healthy? Wisconsin and Purdue are good, or at least seem good next to the other garbage teams they're playing. I know this damn conference is gonna burn me come tourney time, so I'm tryin' to figure them out now before it's too late. If anyone has any solid ideas, suggestions or observations regarding this group of football schools attempting to play basketball, then I'd be glad to hear it...

-And while Memphis stays atop my rankings this week (and remains the only team to have held that spot all season), there could be some trouble on the horizon for John Calipari and his men. Junior forward Robert Dozier, who's averaging nearly 11 points and 7 boards a game, was suspended this week after he violated curfew by going to a strip club, and Calipari has immediately thrown him on an extremely short leash. Citing the precedence of when he kicked Jeremy Hunt off the team a year ago, Calipari said "If he screws up again, he's gone. He's got one more chance". Losing Dozier would be a blow to the Tigers and their National Title hopes, so for the sake of the team, I hope he gets his act together.

As the teams get better, and the games become more meaningful, my rankings will begin to have more drastic swings. I was gonna say "my poll" was gonna have more drastic swings, but I know some of you are pervs out there and I decided I was better off not putting that image in your sick, demented heads. Well whatever, pervs. Here's my fresh, beefy poll for you to enjoy...

College Hoops Top 10
1. Memphis (22-0) 1
2. UCLA (21-2) 2
3. Tennessee (20-2) 5
4. Kansas (21-1) 3
5. Duke (20-1) 6
6. North Carolina (21-2) 3
7. Georgetown (19-2) 7
8. Indiana (19-3) 10
9. Drake (21-1) NR
10. Xavier (19-4) 8

just missed: Texas A&M, Washington St., Butler, Texas, Wisconsin, Purdue, Stanford, St. Mary's, Notre Dame

dropped: (9) Washington St.

And here are the big games for this weekend. This slate is highlighted by Purdue/Wisconsin, Baylor/Kansas, and USC/Washington St. on Saturday, along with that epic Siena/Rider rematch on Sunday...

San Francisco @ Saint Mary's
Niagara @ Rider

Marquette @ Notre Dame
Baylor @ Kansas
Purdue @ Wisconsin
Boston College @ Duke
USC @ Washington St.
Georgetown @ Louisville
Western Michigan @ Ohio
Houston @ Tulane
Central Florida @ Memphis
Hampton @ Delaware St.
Seton Hall @ Villanova
Hawaii @ Nevada
North Carolina St. @ Maryland

Indiana @ Ohio St.
Clemson @ North Carolina
Saint Joseph's @ Xavier
UCLA @ Washington
Arizona St. @ Arizona
Siena @ Rider
Southern Illinois @ Creighton

Kansas @ Texas
Villanova @ Georgetown
St. Mary's @ Santa Clara

More often than not, when I get into a good college hoops discussion with someone, the conversation at some point switches to which conferences are the best in the country. It's a popular topic that plays a crucial roll during the tournament selection process, and by posting my conference power rankings, I figure it will give my loyal subjects a good idea of where I'm comin' from when I'm making my poll. Like my normal rankings, this will fluctuate from time to time, but overall will remain more consistent. Each highlighted team represents which team I feel is the best in that particular conference as of right now...

Conference Power Rankings
1. SEC (Tennessee)
2. PAC 10 (UCLA)
3. Big XII (Kansas)
4. Big East (Georgetown)
5. ACC (Duke)
6. Big 10 (Purdue)
7. Atlantic 10 (Xavier)
8. West Coast Conference (St. Mary's)
9. Conference USA (Memphis)
10. Horizon League (Butler)

next 5: Missouri Valley Conference (Drake), WAC (Utah St.) , Mountain West (BYU) , Metro Atlantic (Rider), Mid American (Kent St.)

News and Notes
Well apparently Curt Schilling planned on picking up his salary this year with a mask and a gun, because reports out of Boston is that the chubby righty, fresh off signing a one year $8 million deal, might miss the entire '08 season with a dinged up right shoulder. I'm gonna take my normal approach, and reserve judgment on this thing until more facts come out, but for right now I just have to say I'm not surprised. I hope the Sox do try to get their loot back from SuperCurt should he actually be shelved for the season, but like I said I'm gonna save my real venom for when I have a better handle on what's goin' down...

Move over, Mikey Vick, and make room for Petey Martinez...and Little Jerry! Pedro appeared in a video on YouTube, which has since been taken down, that shows he and Hall of Famer Juan Marichal throwing roosters into a pit for a cockfight. The long and short of it is, Pedro's rooster got killed in the fight, and then I would assume there were many other fights right after. Martinez and Marichal were merely honorary figures at the fight (which is hysterical by the way. Is that like when they ask someone to do a coin toss for a football game?), but I assure you, there will be nothing honorary about the treatment they get from PETA over the next week or so. You gotta be smarter than that, Pedro. Sometimes, you just gotta stop and think before you hurl a rooster into a pit of death. Sometimes you gotta stop and say to yourself, is watching this cock kill this other cock worth the enjoyment, knowing that it could hurt my career? Sometimes you just gotta stop, and yell....Tam-alll-eeeee! And seeing as the video was taken down from YouTube, I'll leave you to think that the whole thing went down a lot like this. The second video is an editorial masterpiece, and the reason why taking a video off of YouTube isn't good enough anymore. It's also evidence that people have way too much time on their hands...

Is it me, or do those things look exactly like that dinosaur that killed Newman in Jurassic Park? Pretty much, those things are freaking insane, and the roosters should be the one's tested for HGH.....while their owners are tested for meth, crack, and lead paint chips...Oh, and there's no truth to the rumor that Pedro's "cock" could have avoided a violent death, but Grady Little decided to let him fight into the 7th round, where he was brutally murdered...

Speaking of dead cock's, it's quite possible that Roger Clemens is now officially fucked. Then again, it's quite possible that Brian McNamee is a liar, and is simply attempting to sell yet another whopper to the naive American public. In a nut shell, when Brian McNamee turned over blood stained gauze, and needles tainted with roids allegedly used by Roger Clemens to Congressional investigators, it just created another chance for you to ask yourself who you believe in this whole mess. Either you believe Roger, in which case you would believe McNamee is fabricating all this evidence. Or, you're like me and believe that this evidence just supports what McNamee has been saying all along, that he injected Roger Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone. I know a lot of people have been saying that it seems absurd that McNamee kept these bloody needles and gauze for what's been nearly 7 years, but I contend that it is totally keeping with what we know about him so far. The guy is a former cop, and has admitted to selling and giving drugs to high profile athletes. Those things combined tells me that A) he's paranoid, because all drug dealers are, and B) he knows how to cover his ass, because all cops learn that the first day on the job. He knew, even in 2001-2002 when he and Clemens were best of buds, that it would be smart of him to hold onto that "evidence", just in case. Whether his intentions were to black mail Clemens, or just to give himself a get out of jail free card in a situation like this one, we may never know, but I more or less would have expected him to hang onto this evidence rather than be surprised that he's done so. Listen, just like with all the other scandal, you chose to believe one side, and you continue believing them until you're blown over with evidence from the other side. So seeing as there NEVER is going to be solid 100% proof, barring a confession from Clemens himself or a breakdown by McNamee in front of Congress, you have to pick the side that you believe is making the most sense, and is the most believable. For me, I'm stickin' with McNamee, and I believe the evidence he provided is yet another nail in the Rocket's coffin. Besides, if this guy was innocent, would he be going door to door to individual congressmen and begging them to listen to his plea of innocence? Sounds like a desperate man, who got involved with some desperate people, and is now getting ready to pay for it with his reputation...

It's official, Johan Santana (or as I like to say Yo-Heng! Seng-teng!, which I say using the voice of Sir Smoke A Lot from Half Baked) is now a member of the New York Metropolitans, and the Mets are officially the team to beat in the National League. OR are they? While I agree the Mets were probably "one player away" from winning the NL last year, somethin' tells me that this move for Santana might not have been it. I understand he's been the best pitcher in the game over the past 6 seasons, but what I saw of him last season would have me a little worried, especially for the back end of this 6 year deal. He had his fewest wins since 2003, highest ERA (3.33) and lowest strikeouts (235) ever as a full time starter, allowed 9 more homeruns (33) than he ever had in his career, and set a career low as a starter with only 219 innings pitched. Granted, those numbers are by no means "bad", but it does show a rather steep decline from his recent dominance. Hey, I'm not sayin' the guy's arm is gonna fall off the second he takes the hill in Queens, or even that he's gonna be as successful as Steve "blood on the" Trachsel. All I'm saying, is like everyone else, I wanted Santana on my team, but upon further inspection, Santana, who will be 29 before the start of the season, might not be worth the risk. Maybe he's not breaking down, and maybe he'll go on to win another 4 Cy Young Awards or whatever, but from where I sit, the signs don't look "great", and I'm only payin' that much loot if he's a "great" slam dunk...

Shaquille O'Neal was traded from the Miami Heat to the Phoenix Suns this week, and the knee jerk reaction was that this was one of the dumbest moves in recent history. Why would it make sense to bring one of the biggest and slowest guys in the league to a team that does nothing but run up and down the floor at breakneck speed? I agree, that's a fair question to ask, and was one of the first I had myself. However, when you look at it from a franchise standpoint, it makes a lot more sense. And that's why you come to me. I have the real insight, while the rest of the sheep out there don't think twice before flappin' their gums with whatever opinion happens to wander across their desk. Fact is, the Suns have been ripping through the regular season since Steve Nash arrived, but have never even made it to the NBA Finals. Why? Well, each year, they run and gun their way to 50+ wins, and get stopped in the playoffs by teams that like to slow the game down. Phoenix has never had the answer for guys like Duncan or Dirk inside, and has been sent home early. Now, with even a diminished Shaq in the middle, Phoenix has the ability to play in those slow down sets, and has a guy in the middle that can still demand double teams to open up the outside shooters. You say it slows them down, I say it gives them another dimension. Now, are they good enough, and is Shaq healthy enough for them to make a serious run this year? That's a totally different issue. My point is, although this may be a reaction to the Gasol deal to the Lakers, don't think it was a deal for the sake of a deal. And don't think that it's a totally foolish move either...

The last thing Patriots' fans need right now is another reason for people to rag on them, but apparently with SpyGate refusing to go away, that's exactly what they're going to get. With Arlen Specter (above), the same guy who came up with the JFK "magic bullet theory", seems Hel bent on exposing the Patriots, and it seems he's going to get some sort of day in court. Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL have talked to former Patriots cameraman and assistant, Chris Walsh and have apparently offered him protection against any financial action the Pats take against him after his testimony. Again, this is something I'm going to let develop before passing judgment, but I still think the timing of this thing stinks. I first heard about this story when the original SpyGate broke after the Jet game, and for nothing to come of it until the middle of Super Bowl media week, tells me this Walsh guy, and more so Specter, are just in this for the spotlight and a few minutes of fame. I know the Pats have been shady at best when it comes to all this videotaping, and at this point I'd have to be naive or ignorant to think they weren't capable of this. But the way all this has come about has me thinking this might just be a lot of smoke. Guess we'll find out soon enough...

Now just because the Patriots laid an epic egg in the Super Bowl, doesn't mean I still wasn't able to come out a winner. Matter of fact, despite the fact that I went 0-3 between my pick and my tease, had I actually laid down the same amount of money on all my prop bets, I would have come out quite the winner. While I just missed out on my Wes Welker 9 to 1 yardage prop, I managed to hit on the National Anthem over/under, the Tom Petty song choice, the coin toss, Kevin Faulk not scoring, the over on Joe Buck's Peyton Manning references, Patriots winning the EA pregame simulation, and the number of Eli's completions as opposed to the number Peyton had in the Super Bowl last season. Eh, who am I kidding. Those wins were only cool when they were being tacked on to the fact that the Pats won the Super Bowl. Seeing as they lost, and I didn't actually put any loot on those props, this is just more of a way for me to stroke my ego after the disappointing way the season ended. Including the Super Bowl, I finished with a mark of 66-48-7 and a winning percentage of .575. Not bad, but considering the way I limped to the finish, not good either. I'll try to do better next year, and I hope you'll all still be around following the journey, and stackin' the paper...

As I've said many times, I know funny. And this my friends, is hysterical. Kevin Hart, an all state guard from Nevada, announced on Wednesday at a school press conference that he would be attending Cal to play football, choosing the Golden Bears over Oregon and Oklahoma St. Hart sighted his intense conversations with Cal coach Jeff Tedford as the reason he chose the Golden Bears, and said he looked forward to being a part of the class of 2011. Sounds great, right? A young man embarking on the great journey that is division 1 athletics. One problem. Hart was never recruited by any of those schools, and made the whole thing up in an attempt to pass himself off as something more than he actually is. At first, it looked like someone may have been scamming the kid, which would have been sad, like when a dog gets run over by a car. Instead, Hart was doin' all this shit himself, making it sad like Mike Tyson. I can't imagine being so pathetic and lonely that I'd have to make shit up like this, and I feel bad that this kid had to take such measures. But, wow. I would have loved to be at this kid's school when this went down. I mean seriously, who's in charge at this school? Mr. Belding, or Principal Skinner?

And seeing as I love movies probably about as much as I love sports, I like to pass along good movies for you pimps to check out whenever I stumble upon one. This week I was able to see The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (yea that whole long mess of a thing is the title), and I must say I was mighty impressed. The movie stars Brad Pitt, as Jesse James, along with Casey Affleck and Sam Rockwell as the brothers Charley and Robert Ford respectively, and delivers a strong, dark portrayal of the wild west hero and his startling demise. There's a narrator that I could pretty much do without, but the narrations aren't long or all that frequent, and does actually add a lot of missing facts that help you follow along. It runs a little long at 2 hours and 40 minutes, but Pitt does a great job of carrying you along with his great character portrayal. If you're looking for a bang-bang shoot 'em up movie, then this isn't gonna be for you. But if you're ready for an intense character drama pulled straight from history, then I highly reccommend you check this one out.

So. That's American Gangster, No Country For Old Men and now The Assassination of Jesse James...that I've watched and reviewed for ya. You better be gettin' off your ass and at the very least bootlegging these suckers. If anyone's seen, There Wil Be Blood, let me know what you think because that's the next flick I plan on watching. So far, the only personal review I've received, was when my boy Hunter told me his dad says it was "the most boring 3 hours of his life". Knowing "the Neil" like I do, I take that comment to mean I'll probably like this movie even more than I've expected! No offense, Mr. Schlesinger. And I mean that sincerely. You're a pretty big, and rather imposing man, and the last think I want is for you to send Jerry The Shoe to come visit me with a beer bottle and a burlap sack...

Alright, well have a good weekend, folks. And if you happen to see me out in the world in the next few days, I'll spare you the trouble....I know the Patriots lost. I can beleive the Patriots lost. And no, I don't care about fat Curt Schilling and his busted up wing...


I-Man said...


How can you say the SEC is the strongest conference right now?

Excluding Tenn. they are so suspect. Vandy is legit, but who is the next serious threat team in that conference? Kentucky? I get that the SEC is top five but number 1?

Of all the conferences, I obviously know the most about the big east, so i'll use them as an example.

Take out Tenn. and G-Town from both conferences and compare the RPI's/SOS/and overall resume of the top teams and tell me the big east doesn't look better on paper, and in reality? They better in all numerical catagories, and boast teams like Pitt/Notre Dame/Louisville/Marquette and probs the best other than G-Town, in UCONN. SEC has Tenn/Vandy/Kent

I'm not sayin the Big East is tops, but in my opinion they are at least better than the SEC.

Much love, you're a pimp, when you murder me just avoid the face's where i make my money...

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