Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Contraction Talk

I routinely find my radio tuned into 1450 am.  For those of us in Milledgeville, Ga. (yes...I know...everyone knows you don't have to remind me) that means ESPN radio.  Well the talk of NBA contraction came up today and got me thinking about what it would do to the league.

Now clearly the owners of the eight teams, who will be saved the ebarrassment of being named, would love to simply shut the team down and save the million upon millions of dollars they spend every year.  But how would David Stern go about doing this.  How could you just shut down NBA franchises and simply ship All Star caliber talent about the league?  Well the answer is you can't, so the idea of contraction is just silly.  The NBA is a league where it is very difficult to create a consistent championship contender, arguably the most difficult of the three major sports.  However, it is also the easiest to create a playoff team.  Sixteen teams go to the playoffs, eight from each conference, and judging by the talent pool available at the top of every draft one could easily imagine why this would be so.  The Wizards (John Wall), 76ers (Evan Turner) and Nets (Derrick Favors) are perrenial playoff partcipants in the near future especially considering how poor the East is.  So get over it...NBA fans aren't stupid.  Win and the money comes in.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Dime

Welcome to the first installation of The Dime.  Basically this will be a column updated regularly pertaining to a topic that I am "burning" about.  This could be from any sport and will typically be the most controversial portion of the blog (with the possible exception of my can't miss picks which seem to miss regularly).  Enjoy and feel free to comment with any of your own thoughts or even some ideas for future Dimes.

The Eagle that Seems to Fly a Little Too High
As I was watching the end of the Giants-Eagles game yesterday I couldn't help but smile watching Michael Vick dominate the fourth-quarter as if he was playing against some no-name JUCO team.  Vick led the Eagles to a miraculous comeback and should be solidly commended for his efforts on and off the field following his prison sentence.  Michael Vick has done everything he has been asked and more, revitalizing a team that was in much need of fresh face following the departure of Donovan McNabb.

But....this column isn't about the superhuman abilities of Vick, rather the super UN-inspiring actions of Desean Jackson.  The play itself: A breathtaking 61-yard punt return that highlighted every ounce of what makes Jackson THE most electric player in the NFL.  Then, of course, came the egotistical theatrics that also accompany the Eagle wide-receiver.  Take a look:

Amazing. Ridiculous. Stupid.  All come to mind when I watch this.  Note to Mr. Jackson: You're good.  You know it, we know it.  Stop with the pre-endzone celebrations.  They're lame and outdated and nobody wants to see them, especially your true fans.  Another example of these actions:

Another display of shear talent gone to waste with a disgusting display of poor sportsmanship.  I'm sure many of you feel as I do and then there are many that don't.  Some love it.  Growing up in Miami I was surrounded by people embracing this type of showmanship.  Personally the hand-the-ball-to-the-ref dance is much mroe effective.

But hey, what can you do?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm Back!

Well everyone I just want to thank-you for taking the time out of your day to read this...or pretend to read...whatever.  Somehow you've found yourself at this point and questioned whether or not to read on.  Well if you want proceed to that next paragraph down and if not, well thanks for the hit on my blog.

Basically, I'm here to vent on a few issues that have had me boiling for the past couple weeks or even months.  The blog is going to step out of the its general realm of straight college football and start focusing on varying sports and topics....shoot I may even touch on the possible celebrity gossip once in a while.  If you don't know me well enough that previous line was about as sarcastic as it gets.

Hate, Hate, Hate

Strong title huh?  Note the putrid green that I associate with the Boston Celtics and more directly the used-to-be "Big Three".  Now before you take this as my homeristic bias towards the Heat and the newly appointed "Big Three", trust me it is not.  If I am anything it is a realist and I will tell it to you like it is.  The Boston Celtics are the best team in the Eastern Conference and until the Heat prove they can beat them they will probably stay that way.  But, why do they think they are God's gift to earth?  What have they done since taking their talents to Beantown?  One ring.  Yet Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce feel necessary to consistenlty open their mouths to various media outlets as if this is some sort of significant moral victory.  Newsflash:  It's not.  You have as many rings as Dwyane Wade, Brian Grant, Eddie Jones, Brian Scalabrine...whoever.  You're not that significant.  Malone and Stockton didn't get praised for winning Conference Championships and neither should you.  Are you a great team? Yes, without question.  Are you the greatest thing since __________ (I didn't want to reference sliced bread here so fill in the blank with your own innuendo).  The Spurs and Lakers may come to the podium to flip the bird at the annual haters ball (yes, reference to Dave Chappelle viewers), but the Celtics, nah.  Ray Allen, you don't say much but your on-the-verge-of-crazy-glitter-wearing-jersey mother is and she probably makes up for it.  Now am I saying that I would do something crazy and slap my mom or cuss her out, no.  But, I would definitely not be giving her thousand dollar tickets to sit in the front row and wear that.

Basically, I have come to this.  I don't hate the Celtics but I have come to realization that I severely despise them.  It's not because they "win" because frankly they don't really win enough for me to care.  I despise them because of the way they go about their business.  Now before you jump on me about how Lebron made his decision I don't condone this move, however he doesn't run around making a mockery of himself on a nightly basis like Paul Pierce or KG.  Throwing powder doesn't constitute being a joke, calling someone a cancer patient at the free-throw line is (Yes, this happened.  Charlie Villanueva did not mishear, he's not foreign and didn't understand.  Of the two in the conversation he's the one who at least attended college for a year.)  But hey if they want to embrace it let them enjoy their glory, whatever is left of it.  Enjoy that lone ring...that is all.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Predictions for Week 6 (Oct.9)

Time for some picks!

Last Week: 5-1 for the third week in a row.  The Longhorns ruined it of course!
Overall:  17-7, not too bad considering I'm picking the best games of the week

No. 23 Florida State at No. 13 Miami Hurricanes
Dime:  This game has been close for the last decade.  It will be again.
Canes  21    Seminoles 20

No. 17 Michigan State at No. 18 Michigan
Dime:  Deanrd Robinson will get his yards, but the worst pass defense in college football....yes dead last....wil show up as well and Sparty will eat just enough clock to get the win in the Big House.
Spartans  45   Wolverines   35

No. 1 Alabama at No. 19 South Carolina
Dime:  Bama has shown that they are the best team in the country not any given day....every day.  There will be no lapse from the Crimson Tide and they will roll Marcus Lattimore and the Gamecocks.
Tide    33     Cocks   13

No. 12 LSU at No. 14 Florida
Dime:  The Gators looked lost last week.  They get to come home and it will serve them well. Les Miles' team is one of the shakiest 5-0's in history.  It will show.
Gators  20    Tigers 14

Upset of the Week
Oregon State at No. 9 Arizona
Dime:  I'm not sold on all.  I think the Wildcats may sleepwalk into this one and it will end their run at a national championship.
Beaver Fever   31   Zona 30

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Predicitons for Week 5 (Oct. 2)

Time for the weekly slate of precidictions and man do we have some good one's this weekend

Last Week: 5-1, Perfect week with the exception of the upset pick of Temple at Penn State, which I must add was very close (Temple led at halftime)
Overall: 12-6, steadily imporving and not too bad for picking some of the major games every week

Texas A&M at Oklahoma State
Dime:  Both teams are 4-0, despite being unranked.  Neither team has really played anybody and both teams are much improved from last year.  I expect the home crowd on a Thursday night to be the difference in this one as Kendall Hunter runs wild on a soft Aggie D.
Cowboys  40   Texas A&M  35

No. 16 Miami at Clemson
Dime:  Clemson has a lot to prove in this game as they are looking to grab hold of thr ACC race at Death Valley.  I'm up in the air on this one as I still don't know if I can trust Jacory Harris quite yet.  I'll take the Canes, but by the most miniscule amoutn possible.
Canes   24     Clemson 23

No. 21 Texas at No. 8 Oklahoma
Dime:  Look for the Longhorns to rebound following the embarrasment that was UCLA.  Oklahoma has been shaky all year with the exception of FSU and I don't see them coming into the game with aa much to prove as Texas.  The Texas D wins this one.
Longhorns 23   Sooners  20

Upset of the Week
No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 24 Michigan State
Dime:  As usual, I look for a game where I think a team looks vulnerable.  This is it this week.  East Lansing is an underrated home advantage and I expect Sparty to be emotionally charged for this one, as Mark Dantonio will be in the coaching booth.  I like Michigan State in another close one.
Sparty  28   Badgers   27

No. 7 Florida at No. 1 Alabama
Dime:  Bama showed its moxi last weekend at Fayetteville and return home to face another test in the Gators.  I like the Crimson Tides line to take hold of this game on both sides of the ball, once again methodically wearing down the speedy Gators.  It'll be close, but gota' roll with the tide in this one.
Alabama 27   Florida 19

No. 9 Stanford at No. 4 Oregon
Dime:  The Autzen Zoo will be absolutely nuts with Gameday coming to town.  This will make a huge difference in the game and cause Andrew Luck to make one mistake too many.  The Ducks video game-like offense will put up points in bunches, just not the usual 60 they are averaging.
Ducks   38     Cardinal   28

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Predictions for Week 4 (Sept. 25)

Back again with some more predictions for the well as a Thursday nighter for my Hurricane fans

Last Week: 5-1, Perfect score prediciton for Auburn-Clemson and a field goal off on Florida-Tennessee.
Overall: 7-5, Despite picking the toughest games of each respective week I expect this number to improve

No. 1 Alabama at No. 10 Arkansas
Dime:  Too much hype surrounding Razorbacks and Ryan Mallett.  Alabama might be looking ahead to the Gators next weekend....won't matter.
Crimson Tide  34    Arkansas 20

No. 19 Miami at Pittsburgh
Dime:  First game following a horrific performance from the 'Canes.  Look for them to rebound...though it will be close that's for sure.
Miami  27   Pitt   21

Upset of the Week
Temple at No. 23 Penn State
Dime:  Al Golden has done miraculous things with this program.  The team is a quiet 3-0 right now and look for them to be jacked headed to University Park for a 3:30 start time that may catch the Nittany Lions sleeping.  It's bold but:
Temple  21   Penn State 20

No. 22 West Virginia at No. 15 LSU
Dime: Late start time in Baton Rouge = More drinks consumed by entire fan base prior to the game.  Tigers in a rout.
Bayou Bengals   37    West Virginia 21

No. 24 Oregon State at No. 3 Boise State
Dime: I want to do it....Really, really bad....But, I can't and the practice Smurf Turf won't help the Beavers in this one.
Smurfs  35   Beavers 18

No. 12 South Carolina at No. 17 Auburn
Dime: Home field may mean everything in this one.  Marcus Lattimore will star...but in a loss.
Tigers 27     Gamecocks   24 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dimes and Duds



1.  Ranked Road Teams Struggle.....Oh wait.

In what was the pre-weekend theme, numerous highly-touted teams were going on the road for the first time.  How were these teams going to react?  Would new quarterbacks be able to step in and grab tough road victories in hostile environments?

Well despite what many thought, all those question marks passed with flying colors.  No. 8 Nebraska pummeled Washington infront of what seemed like an even distribution of fans at Husky Stadium.  Taylor Martinez did about as good a job as you can in your first start on the road.  He accounted for 137 yards on the ground and 150 more through the air.  Accompanying him in the backfield, Roy Helu Jr (110 yards) and Rex Burkhead (104 yards) kinf of did their part too.  Folks, if Nebraska's three headed monster in the backfield keeps performing like this it's scary to think of the possibilities of this season.  Washington scored 21 points, ending Nebraska's streak of 10 straight games allowing 20 or less points.  But let's be real, this Washington team did not "score" 21 points on this defense.  Heisman hopeful and #1 pick Jake Locker looked more like a chihuahua than a husky yesterday.  I think with that performance we can put the Heisman talk to bed.
Other teams heading from the confines of home were Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, and Florida.  All these teams won, and with exception of Arkansas who blew a 14 point lead with 10 minutes to play before taking it in overtime, and won pretty easily.  The Alabama game was over on Mark Ingram's first carry that went for 40 yards on an awful Duke defense.  Tennessee got to within seven of Florida, but never really stood much of a chance.  Texas also handled a conference foe in Texas Tech despite Garrett Gilbert throwing three picks.
All in all, the weekend of trap games turned out to be a phony.  Not a bad thing if you're a Husker fan.

2.  Arizona's Big Win Over Iowa

The Wildcats shocked me, that's for sure.  Arizona mustered up enough to take down the mighty Haweyes late Saturday night.  Arizona jumped out to a big lead via special teams and defense (big plus for the D Line that allowed only 29 yards rushing).  However, as most well-coached teams do, KIrk Ferentz and Iowa slowly came back to eventually tie the game in the fourth quarter. 
Arizona quarterback Nick Foles answered with an impressive 72 yard drive sealing the victory for the Wildcats.  Kudos to Arizona for stepping up (and even showing up) at home against a highly-ranked opponent.  Something we didn't see very much of this weekend.  The loss hurts Iowa's thoughts of a National Championship, but does nothing to hurt thier dreams of a Big Ten title.  The schedule sets up nicely for them down the road, getting Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Ohio State all at home.

3.  Mark Dantonio

WOW. That's literally all I could say when watching the end of the Michigan State game.  Guess that new contract Mark Dantonio signed was really worth every penny.  In an absolutely gutsy, Tom Osborne-1984 Orange Bowl-esk maneuver, the Michigan State head coach shocked the entire college football world and especially those fans sitting in South Bend.  On a 4th and forever in overtime he sent out the field goal unit for the apparent attempt at tying the game. 
Then it happened...holder Aaron Bates took the snap, rolling out to the right and hitting a wide open Charlie Gantt who rumbled in for the touchdown.  Sparty got an emotional victory....possibly too emotional.  After the game, around midnight, Mark Dantonio suffered a heart attack.  He is resting comfortably now.  Hopefully he will make a full recovery and make it back to the sidelines sooner than later. 


1.  Jekyll and Hyde Teams

Granted some of these teams won, it's almost more dissapointing because it shows their true potential.  Teams like Michigan and Colorado.  Then there are Turner Gill's Jayhawks.  Ay yay yi.  How can you lose to an FCS school one week, look great against the defending ACC champs the next, then get blown up by a mediocre Southern Miss squad.  The offense is flat out anemic.  They can't seem to put together anything consistent and it has to be driving former Husker Turner Gill up the wall.
Then there's Meeeeeeeechigan.  After a brillant performance against rival Notre Dame....a performance that led many around the country, including myself, think that the real Wolverines were back on the map....they go and do what?!?! Need a recovered onside kick to slip away from UMass.  The Minutemen pushed the Maize and Blue to the edge.  I then needed to analyze the whole resume.  Maybe Rich Rodriguez's team isn't all the good.  I mean really, they beat a UCONN team that just got dismantled by Temple (Note: Al Golden has done a PHENOMENAL job turning that program around....a bowl game last year and 3-0 to start this season), Notre Dame who let's face it, just isn't worth anything, and UMass.  Expect this team to struggle during the Big Ten slate, and I mean struggle to the point Rich Rod is history.

2. Florida's Offense

Ya, I was like everyone else who thought the first weekend woes were just due to rust and the Gators would shake that off and show that they're the most athletic team everytime the step on the field soon after.  Well they may be athletic, but they sure as heck aren't showing it on one side of the ball.  The defense has been stellar allowing a touch over two touchdowns a game.  John Brantley and Co. however, ouch. 
Brantley's longest pass accounted for....ahem 25 yards.  And I thought Tim Tebow was a medicore passer.  I heard a stat on TV Saturday that stated two of Jeff Demps runs this season have accounted for approx. 35% of the Gator offense. Huh? Is that serious? Yes, and so is this:  The Gators better their act together offensively fast, or Urban Meyer is looking at a 3 to 4 loss squad in Gainesville.

3.  The ACC.....again

Well they managed to string a couple wins together this weekend.  But can a conference look more unimpressive given the allotted talent pool in the region.  Despite Florida State and NC State, this weekend was another one to forget.  Wake Forest was blown out, Maryland lost to West Virginia handily and Virginia Tech (gasp) struggled to take care of East Carolina (They were losing at halftime). 
What more than losing to an FCS team at home could get your head on straight for the next weekend.  Bud Foster and the boys just don't have it this year and that will be evident when they begin facing better offenses.  Clemson managed to blow a 17 point lead, however that doesn't surprise me in the least.  Answer this: Is there another team in the country garnering more hype without doing anything than Clemson?  If so, it's hard-pressed to find.  I won't even mention Duke's high school-like performance against Alabama. 

Well that's it for this week folks.  Hope you enjoy and remember to check in every Monday for my edition of the weekends Dimes and Duds.