Monday, June 26, 2006

10 Weeks and Counting

Oh baby! I still have a few more weeks until I really get into college football. Not that I haven't longed for it on occasion the last few months, but the fervor doesn't truly hit me until mid July. The video will be a definite watch in mid August.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

...Two More Months....

It was an exciting NBA post-season. I loved every minute of it....BUT....the end of the NBA finals triggers the most painfully boring part of the sports year for me - the two months between basketball and football.

So after returning from the beach this weekend, I sat down tonight to watch my We Are.....Back Penn State DVD....ahhhh...what a joy it was to relive memories from the '05 Orange Bowl season. I still found myself somewhat misty-eyed watching Ethan Kilmer's leaping grab in the endzone against FSU or DWill's duck and run at the end of the NW game.

As long as Morelli lives up to his billing, this should be a good year for Penn State football. Now I just wish it would get here....

Friday, June 16, 2006

He's Baaaaack

So MJ is back in the NBA spotlight. He's now the 2nd largest owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, and will make player moves. That should work out really well, just like it did in Washington. Let's go over some of the fine moves Jordan the GM made during his time with the Wiz.

1) Who needs youth, let's trade this young guy Rip Hamilton for fellow UNCer Stack, who will take every shot there is. That worked out pretty well, especially when MJ came back to playing and wanted every shot also.

2) Signed Tyronne Lue to be the starting PG and lead the team. Ummm, no.

3) Traded a first round pick for Brenda(n) Haywood, another UNCer. Not only is he soft if he were playing PG, but he whines when he doesn't get 30 minutes a game. Now the Wizards still have him, which is a whole other story, but Jordan was the one that first traded for him.

4) I'm going to give Jordan some props here, because he was able to trade away Juwan Howard and his untradeable contract. Granted he didn't really get much (Etan Thomas was the best of the bunch, and he's always injured), but he did clear cap room that was used after Jordan left to sign Arenas. However, he did get Christian Laettner in the trade, which is almost a negative. And then he gave him meaningful playing team, so really not as positive as it first seeemed.

5) Drafting Kwame Brown, and then ruining his confidence. Enough said.

6) Even worse then drafting Kwame was not taking Elton Brand in a trade for that #1 pick.

So good luck Bobcat fans (I'm sure there are some). You've now hired Isiah Thomas part deux. Enjoy watching any good young player you have get traded (unless they are from UNC), and your draft picks be wasted. Hopefully Jordan at least knows how to get free agents to come to town. That was always the promise when Jordan was hired in Washington, but it didn't actually pan out until he left, hmmmm makes you wonder. Oh, and enjoy the fact that your GM likes to live in Chicago still, and watches games on TV instead of actually being a part of the team.

Beach Eve

Okay - so that may sound weird to everyone - but it's the annual pre-family vacation holiday for my family and everyone's all just had to share.

2-2 - I didn't get home until midway through the third when it was an 18-point game last night, but I watched the rest of the game. Maybe the Mavs will had been beaten out of them by that time or something? I missed the dominating performance to get the Heat to that point but I caught the resolve they showed to keep it that way - and to claw back to a 24-point win after Dallas had closed it to 10. THAT was the Miami Heat I saw play against Detroit - the same team that had been absent for 2 games in Dallas.

2-3-2 - Can anyone explain to me the point of this? Suppose Miami, which has all the momentum right now, wins a third one at home....they go back to Dallas with even MORE momentum and only have to take one of two for the title against a totally deflated team. I don't get this.

32 - Sure he's not the same Diesel I've been watching for 14 years....and maybe he's protecting his legacy....and he can't completely take over and dominate like the Shaq of old, but he still commands double teams and is still darn good. He's getting doubled and tripled frequently before he even touches the ball - still puts up respectable numbers (just not "Shaq numbers") but is running the offense from the post. The sequence last night where he got doubled and was holding the ball extended from the defenders swatting away Devin Harris like a gnat (to borrow from Hubie Brown), passed out to a shooter (I forget who) who missed a shot...that Shaq rebounded with authority, quickly drawing another double and sent the no-look to Posey (who unfortunately missed it. But he's doing it all...under constant pressure (credit Avery Johnson)....I have no problem with Shaq's contribution in this series. And way to hit the free throws, big guy!

20 - I think the last time I saw someone play this many significant minutes while needing to have retired two years earlier was Robert Parrish. Gary, I've loved watching you play for years. Some call you dirty, you've got a big mouth, but I think you're a competitor and one of the better PG's in the history of the game (I think ESPN2 recently ranked him #10 all time)....but, man...hang 'em up, buddy. Other than the jumper he hit at the end of game 3, Payton has been a complete non-factor in this series - and, in fact, a liability at times. Defensively (always GP's calling card) he can't hang with the faster Mav backcourt. Offensively - he's not as good as Eboy (and that's really kinda sad) - committing two turnovers and a foul in the middle of Dallas's pseudo-run in the 3rd. The offensive foul where he knocked Jet on his butt - that's stuff that the old guys in RecSpecs at the Y don't usually get away with and was probably the most blatant display of "I can't play at this level anymore" I've seen in a long time. I hope Miami wins so that GP can go out on top - but more importantly so that he has no motivation to come back for another year.

3 - He's good.

Employee Number 8 - Was that Toinne I saw playing a little defense last night? Where did this come from?

Brief shout-out to Big Ben - That might have been the first sincere apology I may have ever heard from a professional athlete and/or celebrity. I hope it wasn't just lip service. I love this kid - he's a class act.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Big Ben - A scary moment for any Steelers fan, or just fan of human life. (And my FF keeper league team!). I don't get why he did it. Sure he's just a matter of if he SHOULD. I guess there are a lot of ugly football players out there, though - maybe some big face/head scars give him an intimidating look now? By the way - you can find Ben's replica motorcyle helmet on Ebay.

Heat/Mavs - It was good to see the Heat get a win last night and make a series of it. The scary part is that they really outplayed the Mavs for most of the game and won by a nail-biting two relying on Gary Payton to hit a key late basket. That can't feel good. And I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing for them that Shaq has really yet to show up at this point in the series. They got a win and he didn't have to be dominating - but the question remains - is he still going to pull the 1 or 2 dominating games per series out some time in the last four? Or do the Mavs just have his number now? For the record, I really enjoyed the anecdote during the game about LeBron sending Wade encouraging emails. It just seems weird having celebrities email each other about "work" like any of the rest of us.

Tennis - Dare I say that I watched the French Open men's finals this weekend. It looked like Nadal just wore Federer down. Maybe the heat was a big factor? But it was pretty even early on but when they broke serve in the third it was all downhill for Federer....and Nadal seemed to get stronger as he got weaker. He made a valiant comeback in the final set...but it was too much. I can't remember the last time I watched a marquee matchup of this magnitude - 1 vs. 2....and what was it - 29 straight tournament wins vs. 59 straight clay wins? Pretty cool stuff.

College Football - Thanks, dad , for scoring me free tickets to the PSU/Michigan game on 10/14!!!

NFL - I'm just itching to get going....give me camp footage, give me preseason...give me anything!. I've got 2-4 more NBA games before I set into the worst part of the sports calendar!