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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Bud Selig Is a Clown"

Even with the Congressional hearings on performance enhancing drugs in baseball going on this week, there still wasn't nearly enough going on for my liking to help fill the monstrous void that football has left in it's wake. Screw the fact that the Pats lost. Like I said, it's in the vault. I won't forget it, but I'm over it. Even had they won, I'd still be looking to fill my weekdays, that are usually taken up by stories and fantasy news, and my weekends, which are obviously filled with games. Instead, now I'm left with hoping that there are good college hoops games on, and hoping that the prison documentaries on that night are ones I haven't seen. Or at the very least, is the one where the dude stabs that other guy in the neck with some sort of prison knife. Failing that, I'm stuck trying to picture chicks I know in sexually precarious situations, or wondering how I could somehow win millions of dollars playing poker while only investing a few PokerStars frequent player points. The good news, is that baseball is right around the corner. Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in less than a week in most instances, and in no time the talk of rotations, injuries, road trips, bubble gum, chewing tobacco and slump busters will dominate the air waves. Gotta love baseball coming back, man. Such a pure game. Well, except for this...

News and Notes
The big news in sports this week is taking place off the field, at the Congressional hearings in Washington D.C. Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee are gonna whip out their units to see whose longer, and at the end of the day, we won't know anymore about if Roger did or did not use performance enhancers. Nor will we find out for sure if, like McNamee alleged, Roger's wife shot up HGH to look good for the 2003 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Matter of fact, the only thing you're gonna know for sure after these hearings, is who you believe more. The key here, is actually watching the proceedings. As I've so humbly noted before, I consider myself a supreme judge of character. And as of right now, I'm fairly convinced that Roger Clemens did use performance enhancing drugs. I conjured that opinion from what I saw on the field, from what I heard from McNamee, and from how Clemens reacted to the allegations. Unless Brian McNamee breaks down before Congress, or Roger's defense team provides indisputable evidence that McNamee is lying, it's likely my opinion won't change at all. Oh, well. At least it should make for some good watchin'!...


And while I can't confirm which Waffle House dumpster he crawled out of, it appears that self proclaimed UN Peace delegate John Rocker is back in the news. Rocker, apparently on leave from the KKK or whatever drug rehab clinic he's currently in, surfaced to take shots at Bud Selig, saying the commish knew that the players were on the juice as far back as 2000. Rocker said he and his Ranger teammates were told how to take the steroids effectively, and without being caught by none other than team trainers and league officials. Of his own use, Rocker said "Bud Selig knew in the year 2000 that John Rocker was taking juice. Didn't do anything about it". Wow. And as if speaking in the third person wasn't convincing enough that Rocker is a studious, intelligent dude, he made sure to leave no doubt when he finished with this sparkling gem. "Bud Selig is a clown and should do the entire world a favor and kill himself". What? So now Rocker hates white guys too? Maybe these roids are even more dangerous than we thought. What's next? Sammy Sosa saying that, after all, baseball wasn't that "very-very good to him"? I really wish Rocker weren't such a moron, because as a guy right in the middle of the roid era I think he'd have some interesting thoughts and observations ot share on the topic. Too bad he's just a strung out, washed up racist. Funny, of course, but not someone whose word I'm about to take when it comes to guys and their reputations...

On the verge of the All Star break, the NBA is actually becoming interesting enough even yours truly to start taking notice. Now, usually I stay away from the "Association" because I don't like the style of play (lots of 1-on-1 and standing around), don't care for the officiating tactics (calls for stars and lots of makeup calls) and to be honest, the players just don't seem as "good" as they used to be. Believe me, I know how dumb it sounds to criticize their skill level when I am a huge college hoops fan (where they're definitely not as skilled), but I'd rather have 5 guys that are OK playing "together", than the world's best player going 1-on-5 and dribbling through his legs while the rest of his team hangs back and collects their hefty paychecks...

When it comes to the Celtics, I'm probably even more indifferent than I am with the NBA. Growing up, I wanted nothing more than to root for the C's, but seeing as their dynasty was collapsing about as quickly as I was growing, it never really seemed a good fit. Now that Boston is good again, I'm not dying with every win or loss, but their renewed relevance has caused me to at least stand up and take notice. One thing I've notice in particular, has been the great play the past few season of guys drafted by GM Danny Ainge in the 2nd round. Ryan Gomes was a great example of that in the past, but this year it's the play of guys like Leon Powe and Big Baby Glen Davis that have the much maligned Mormon receiving accolades. Now I know I usually rip Ainge, but even at the time of these pickups I was a big fan of them. Leon Powe was a force in college before a leg injury crippled his NBA stock, and Davis has always been a "match up problem" because of his big stature, and quick feet. Being able to see these guys contribute this season, and especially since the loss of Kevin Garnett to an ab injury, has been both enjoyable and impressive. Powe reminds me of a young Shawn Kemp. You know, before he had kids 9-50? He has a presence in the lane like few other players in the league, and the way he attacks the rim is just refreshing. Dude throws one down, and even the other team gives a little wince like you do when you just saw someone get kicked in the junk. Then there's Davis, who at 6 foot 9 and 290 pounds is exactly what I said he is; a match up problem. Charles Barkley always says, that you show him a guy that doesn't seem to fit the mold of the typical player at that position, and he'll show you a mismatch for whoever has to guard that guy. Simply stated. He may not look the part, but that's not his problem. He's too quick and nimble for traditional big men, and he's too big for the smaller guys to push him around. These guys are making the Celtics fun to watch again, and if the can keep up their great effort when KG returns to the lineup, then the "depth" issues that many critics said would hold the C's back, might actually turn into one of the team's strengths...

As for the rest of the league, I really only have one thought. Even after taking into account how big a douche bag rapist the guy is, I'm still likin' the chances of Kobe Bryant and the Lakers right about now. Now that the front office finally took a break from tanning and $8 coffees to finally bring Kobe some help in big man Pau Gasol, it looks like the pieces are in place for the Lake Show to step up and claim the leagues top spot. Bryant is the best scorer in the league, and probably one of it's most underrated defenders, and the fact that the team around him just got markedly better makes for a scary match up for any team in the league. I know I picked Dallas to win this thing before the season started, but had I known that Kobe was finally going to have a legit supporting cast that wasn't headed by a lazy underachiever from URI, then I probably would have given them the nod. At least that's how I'm leanin' right now...


Oh, and one more thing. Apparently when Latrell Sprewell turned down a $21 million contract from the Timberwolves saying he "needed to feed his family", he wasn't totally off base. I'm not sure how he's managed to fall so far so fast, but after not paying his mortgage for the last 13 months, or paying the fees for his $1.5 million yacht, both Spre's house and Milwaukee's Best boat are being taken from him by the bank. Oh, AND they want an additional $500,000 that they saw he owes in back payments. Now, I'm no financial advisor or nothin', but if you've earned more than $96 million over a 13 year NBA career, and you now have negative cakes left, then I think that means you're a certified retard. And that doesn't even count all the money from those pimpin' rims! Ain't NO money, like rim money, right? Apparently not. I guess the only thing to do now, is sit back and wait for his eventual Scott Baio like turn in the reality TV game. You know, the type of show where people wonder why you're on, and then realize it's just because you kinda sorta "used" to be somebody? Like, "Oh, right. Isn't that the dude with the cornrows that choked out the coach?" I'm thinkin it's either a makeover show where they teach him how to manage his loots called "Spending Spre", or maybe a Flavor of Love type deal where he tries to find a lover who lets him choke them out called "Latrel Sprewell Chokes Out Some Groupie Whore Who May or May Not Have Been in a G-Unit Music Video". Which direction the networks decide to go, we'll just have to wait and see!...

And from a rare look at the professional basketball league, I give you my latest from the amateur basketball ranks.

-A win is always a good thing. Obviously. But a loss, that's a different bag of delicious cookies altogether. For whatever reason, when it comes to college hoops, pollsters and fans like to penalize a team much too heavily for losing a single game, as opposed to really rewarding them for stringing a bunch of wins together. Maybe it's because the hoop guys see how it goes down in college football, where a loss ruins a season, and they try to emulate, I'm not sure. I know it just has never made a lot of sense to me. If the Celtics lost some random game to a beat team like the Knicks, it would hardly register a blip on the radar as far as what people thought about their chances to win it all. UCLA loses to Washington on the road on the other hand, and all of a sudden the freaking world is coming to an end. Listen, when it comes to judging loses, I usually use three criteria to judge how "bad" they were: 1) Did the team lose a "big" game, 2) Was it a "rivalry" game AND 3) Was the game on the road. It's important to remember that all tournament games are played on neutral courts, so just because a team lost on the road doesn't mean they would lose the game at a neutral site. And if the team isn't really preparing for a "big" game this early in the season, it's only natural for them to get upset. Look at Duke and UNC. In their respective games after their much hyped battle, both teams were barely able to pull out wins....at home. Those games are on the road, and those two teams probably lose just like UCLA. Kansas, on the other hand, losing by 3 @ Texas, basically tells me those teams are about equal right now. The Jayhawks knew it was a big game, and even though it was on the road, they still couldn't fight their way over the top. You could write that loss off as a rivalry game, but that criteria is usually saved for if Florida St. were to somehow beat Florida. So, a loss isn't always what it seems, and if you use these criteria to judge losses in the future, you should be able to get a better handle on who the top teams in the country are...

-Well I guess if you ask a question enough times, you're bound to eventually get an answer you like, right? That's the case with me and the Purdue Boilermakers. Last week I said I was looking for a Big 10 team to convince me they were the leader of that mediocre pack, and by winning at Wisconsin this week (something that nobody ever does...and I mean ever!), Purdue raised up and moved right to the front. They're 19-5. They're 10-1 in conference. And if they can avenge their only conference loss this Tuesday when they host Michigan St., they're will really be no argument as to who the conference's biggest dog actually is. People are pumped for Indiana, but they play in too many close games for my liking. I know they've been my top Big 10 team for most the season, but if the Boilers can keep it up, then that title is there's for the taking. The share the rock, they play sick D, and that's a lot more than I've seen from anyone else in that over-hyped conference...

-And while I'm makin' like Denny Green and "crownin' their asses", I'm a go ahead and tab the Notre Dame fighting Irish as the best team in the Big East. Again, I know this is another situation where I've had one team (Georgetown) as the best team in conference for the whole season, but as the season matures, so do the rankings. While Georgetown continues to struggle with just about everyone they play, Notre Dame has been impressing me with their balanced attack. They've won 5 straight after, ironically enough, a 19 point loss @ Georgetown, and while that loss doesn't seem to support my argument, it's just more of a match up problem than anything else. I like Notre Dame more against any other team, I just don't happen to like them all that much against Georgetown in particular. The reason I do like the Irish, is because they have all the characteristics I look for in a great tourney team. They rebound well inside with beasts Luke Harangody (20.3 pts / 10.3 rebs) and Rob Kurz (12.8 pts / 8 rebs). They shoot the 3 as well as they ever have (41% as a team), led by Kyle McAlarney at almost 46%. Their 13 turnovers a game leaves a little to be desired, I love the fact that they still have a positive assist to turnover ratio (1.4/1). And perhaps the most important thing, is that they shoot 74% from the free throw line as a team. They rebound, they hit foul shots, and they are explosive from downtown. Can't say nearly as many good things about the Hoyas these days, can ya? Oh, and the Irish better keep their heads on a swivel, because UCONN and 7'3" Haseem Thabeet are playing at a high level too, and are hot on their heels...


Here are the big games for this week. The Notre Dame/UCONN, Michigan St./Purdue, and Kentucky/Vandy games are big as far as really shaping conferences, while the Maryland/Duke and Houston/Memphis games are chances for a few "bubble" teams to get some signature wins. For a schedule of the prison and drug documentaries on this week, you'll have to consult your cable provider...

Tuesday
Michigan St. @ Purdue
Kentucky @ Vanderbilt
Louisville @ DePaul

Wednesday
Notre Dame @ UCONN
Maryland @ Duke
Houston @ Memphis
Wisconsin @ Indiana
Rhode Island @ Temple
Xavier @ Charlotte
Drake @ Southern Illinois

Thursday
North Carolina St. @ Boston College
Stanford @ Arizona St.
Belmont @ East Tennessee St.
Nevada @ Boise St.

Again. IF a game is in italics, it means it's a "must see". If you're actually watching the other games I list, then you are officially like me. A college hoops nerd with far too much time on your hands and not nearly enough interesting friends. Make sure to check in on Friday for my latest top 10 poll, as it's sure to be full of fantastic changes, sure to make you lose control of your bowels...


OK, so maybe the NFL isn't totally out of my system yet. Here are a reactions to the latest news in the headlines, and more than likely a few attempts at funny one liners by yours truly...

-I have to admit, from a personal standpoint, I'm still pretty embarrassed as to how I did in predicting the outcome of the Super Bowl. I take a lot of pride in being able to separate Brett "the fan" from Rooch "the unbiased pundit", and when I lose a bet so convincingly, it often takes a toll on my ego. Then I hear that Charles Barkley lost $400,000 betting on the Patriots to beat the Giants, and all of a sudden I don't feel so bad. And this isn't a rumor or exaggeration, folks. I hear the Round Mound of Rebound himself say it happened Wednesday afternoon on The Jim Rome Show, and to be completely honest, he seemed more miffed about the bad advice he received about the game than he was the financial loss. Gotta love Chuck, man. He likes to gamble, he likes to speak his mind, and he likes to mispronounce guys names. And hey, if saying "Darko Mil-Cheech", shaving your dome and making fun of pretty much everyone you work with can keep the loot rollin' in so you can place those extravagant bets, then I say all the power to ya, my man. Take notice, PacMan Jones. Instead of throwin' ur casheesh up in the air at strip clubs and shooting people to get it back, just toss all that loot down on a sporting event. I know you like to live by the mantra "No Rain, No Gain", but as Chuck has shown you, there are plenty of other reckless ways to waste your loot that don't involve putting people in wheelchairs or paying hookers to take their clothes off. Hmmmm. Maybe Charles is a role model after all...

-Former Patriots cameraman, Matt Walsh, who I believe I may have called "Chris" last week, doesn't appear to want to talk anymore about his role in allegedly taping the St. Louis Rams walkthrough before Super Bowl XXXVI. Big shocker there. This story broke along with the original SpyGate scandal, but didn't surface again until right before the Super Bowl. I said it before and I'll say it again. I wouldn't put taping the walkthrough past Belichick and the Pats, but at this point it doesn't look like there's any evidence to support that claim. This guy doesn't want to talk, because he doesn't have any incriminating evidence. I'm willing to admit there might be footage out there that would show the Patriots cheating, but this guy aint got it, so let's move on...

-And Redskins owner Daniel Snyder (right) continues to amaze me. The billionaire brat, who literally looks like the definition of a rich prick, decided that in hiring his 6th coach in just 9 years (Terry Robiskie, Norv Turner, Joe Gibbs, Steve Spurrier, Marty Schottenheimer) he would just hire the guy he had just made offensive co-ordinator. Never mind that Jim Zorn had never been a head coach, or for that matter, ever been a coordinator. Snyder decided that instead of going with ex-Giant coach, Jim Fassel, who basically helped construct the staff before a head coach was named, he wanted to not only hire Zorn, but give him a deal worth about $5 mil a year! Makes sense to me! After all, Snyder your typical "two steps" behind type guy, and after seeing the success of guys like Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh, he couldn't go out and get a no-named guy fast enough. As usual, only time will tell if this is a good hire, but I'm already thinkin' Zorn is only there to hold down the fort until Snyder decides to make a run at Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells, or the next great college football hotshot. It's so sick, and so pathetic, that it's starting to get predictable. Six coaches in 9 seasons....and that trend doesn't look to be stopping anytime soon after this hiring...

-And what's the NFL without Chris Berman, right? Well, turns out those nicknames can leave a lot of pain on the brain, and Boomer has no trouble telling you how he makes that pain fade away....and no, it doesn't involve Dana Jacobsen, a bottle of Belvedere, and a jar of chunky peanut butter...



A couple of those babys and a few Molson 22's and you'll be rumblin', bumblin' and stumblin' all the way to the floor of the restroom in your friendly neighborhood skin bar. I have to thank my main man, Jared "Pizza" Hutter, for giving me the heads up on this video, too. Without some of you guys out there scouring the Intraweb for me, I'd miss a lot of great stuff. I have to make sure and thank all the right people, and encourage them to keep the good ish comin' down the line, so that's what I'm doin'. Oh, and nobody calls Jared "Pizza", but I was just flowin' along with the Chris Berman theme. His real nicknames are Lord, Lord Shirtless, Nappy, Lord Nappy, Napkin, Lord Fuzzybottom III, Nappy Hutts and Hutman. Why anyone would need to call him Pizza after hearing all those enticing options, is beyond me...

From the "way to be ahead of the game" category, I bring you the most relevant thing since the I Love New York 2 Reunion Special, the '08 Olympics in Beijing, China. In what I can only assume is an attempt to build in an excuse for a positive drug test, the US Olympic Committee is shipping food over to China for their athletes because of their fear that eating the food in China could result in a positive test. Yeah, because whenever I eat Chinese food, I'm worried that I might be ingesting HGH or some other anabolic steroid. Listen, they don't test for cat, dog, lotus blossoms, or white rice, so I think our athletes are gonna be just fine. What a joke...



And while I'm already talking about sports that nobody A) watches on TV...B) cares about....and C) admits to liking to their friends, I gotta touch on the near death experience this week in the National Hockey League. In what I'm assuming was a hockey game between two different teams, Florida Panthers forward, Richard Zednik received a skate blade to the neck, and then proceeded to pour a couple quarts of his DNA out of his jugular and onto the ice. The video speaks for how gross and disturbing the event actually was, but I think the sadder part continues to be that this type of sick and twisted event is the only way the NHL can actually get anyone's attention. When it's just a bunch of dirty Europeans jukin' each other out and growin' bears, we aren't interested. But call us when another guy almost dies on the ice, because that seems to be the only part of your old world sport that anyone seems to find interesting. I can't wait until the WNBA starts allowin' pregnant chicks to play, one of them actually gives birth on the court, and another chick slips in the resulting fluid and somehow gets an "and 1". When the only way your sport gets noticed is because of near death gross outs or gambling scandals, then it's time to fold up shop, and head back to the woods. SO......pack up shop and head back to the woods....and stop subjecting us to the one highlight a month where a guy almost dies playing your "sport". If I want to see guys with beards cutting the throats of other guys with beards, I'll watch me a prison documentary. At least I can find what channel they're on...


That's it for me, pimps. Catch you all on Friday with a full reaction from the Congressional hearings, and a top 10 that'll make yer butthole pucker up...

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