A pretty unremarkable weekend for me. Gators won, impressively no less, and I got drunk, so all in all I'd say the weekend was a success. But, of course I'm still horribly bitter about some things and just plain dumbfounded by others...so without further delay, here are my thoughts.
My fantasy receivers are going to kill me...I'm not even making a joke here, they are going to cause me to have an aneurysm before too much longer. Last week, I made the adept moves (so I thought) of picking up Larry Fitzgerald and Donte' Stallworth (who I had already cut earlier in the year) because they were playing the inept secondaries of the Giants and Chiefs, respectively. Well these two along with the help of the ever unreliable Darrell Jackson combined to give me one , count it, one fantsy point yesterday. Are you kidding me? I could play my dog, Tinsley, my mother and my less-than-athletic office mate Jeff and get more than that, week-in week-out, but two first round picks and a pro bowler get me one lousy point. I guess I should be thankful though, since that one point (did I mention that my fantasy receivers only garnered one point?) was the difference for me this week as I rode my winning streak to an impressive four straight weeks. I'm like the Oakland A's of a few years ago, making all the right moves down the stretch and scaring the living hell out of anyone and everyone who may have to face me in the playoffs. Of course, if thats true then I'll be out of the playoffs in the first round and half the other GM's in the league will refuse to talk to me by this time next year.
"The Wire" was fantastic last night. I was literally pumped when the show ended last night. So much so that I told my girlfriend all about the emerging storylines invloving Stringer and Avon. She, inturn, was so intrigued about this that she proceeded to clean out her fridge while I gave her a full account of last night's episode. Nothing says "you have my full attention" like wiping down the crisper at 10:15 on a sunday night. Oh well, for those that do watch the show, I think we are in for a classic run of episodes as Avon and Stringer battle for control and leadership As Biggie once said, "Somebody's gotta die." Personally, your guess is as good as mine at this point.
Not that he is a Hall-of-Fame caliber QB, but isn't it a little sad to see Mark Brunell go out like he has this season? Yesterday's 1 for 8 performance before being yanked for ex-Javelin thrower Patrick Ramsey was just painful to watch. For a few years with the Jags, he was as dangerous a QB as there was in the league and now he looks like a flag football QB ( and not a very good one either).
I know that the Ron Zook firing is still fairly big news and the specter of Steve Spurrier going to South Carolina was an intriguing subplot to Saturday night's Florida-South Carolina game but that announcing was atrcious. It was almost as if the actual game itself was becoming a bother for the announcers because it was forcing them to interrupt their diatribes on both subjects to, well, announce the happenings of the game that they were BROADCASTING. A typical exchange went something like this....Play by Play Guy: Wouldn't it be something if Zook beat FSU and then the boosters were stuck thinking "Why did we fire this guy?" Bill Curry: It could very well happen with the way this team is playing tonight. Play by Play Guy: OJ Small with a 6 yard catch...so getting back to what we were talking about with Ron Zook. I couldn't believe the lack of attention paid to the game during some points of the broadcast. It's not like they were doing this in the 4th quarter when things were way out of hand, this went on from the opening kickoff. Hey! Guys in the booth. If you want to pontificate on varied subjects around college football, join Trev Alberts and Mark May in the studio. Yet, if you are actually at a game, how about concentrating on the action on the field.
A few more thoughts on the Florida-South Carolina game:
Once again, I may be biased but Florida has as much young talent (read: freshmen, sophomores) as anybody in the country. Almost every significant playmaker, save for Fason, Degory and Small, is in his first two years of eligibility. This team should be SCARY in each of the next two years if they hire the right coach and can avoid losing too many transfers.
Kyle Jackson made more plays in one half on Saturday than Cory Bailey has all year long. I'm sure Cory is a great leader and a nice guy but he is a below average safety and Jackson shouldn't have had to wait so long to get some meaningful playing time.
It was nice to see Florida actually go after the punter this year. I never understood why a special teams guru like Ron Zook was so reticent to try and block punts as a head coach. I mean, its not like we had Mel Gray back returning punts these last three years.
Brandon Siler is the real deal. If Channing Crowder comes back next year (he needs to) then the new staff should move him back to OLB, where he excelled as a freshman, and keep Siler in the middle. Crowder seems to get caught in traffic a little too much and Siler looks very natural in the middle. Everytime that South Carolina ran the screen he looked like the only guy on our defense who knew what was coming. He is very impressive.
Do you think that SEC groundskeepers have ever considered a bounty on Lou Holtz's head? No? Me neither.
Other thoughts from this weekend:
All you have to do is watch one Sixers game to realize why Andre Igoudala is starting at the 3 and not Glenn Robinson. Basically, Robinson can do one thing better than Igoudala: shoot. Other than that, Igoudala is a vastly superior defender, ball handler, passer and rebounder than the "Big Dog" and I think we all know that shots are at a premium in Philly to begin with...I mean, c'mon you have to feed Samuel Dalembert, right?
The Sonics remind me of an average intramural team. They have no legitimate post scoring, don't play much defense and shoot an ungodly amount of threes, but they are at least alot of fun to watch when they're hitting jumpshots. When they're not...well, lets just say that there is a reason there's a slaughter rule in intramurals.
Based on his recent performances, if Brandon Lloyd hits a slump in the coming weeks, I am seriously considering coming out in the papers and blasting his professionalism.
Say what you want about Kobe, the crowd at the AMA's certainly did, but when he puts his mind into dominating (as he did in the 4th quarter against the Magic on Friday) he is as unstoppable a player as you will ever see. He has an innate ability to hit ridiculously hard shots with guys draped all over him. My only criticism of him (as a scorer) is that he too often settles for jumpshots early on in games instead of consistently attacking the basket throughout the game. With that being said, it was nice to see the Magic show enough confidence in Grant Hill's ankle to put him out there on Kobe in the 4th. He didn't exactly shut Kobe down but he forced him into some really tough shots (most of which Kobe made) and generally looked unafraid to test his body defensively. Who knows how long this will all last with Grant but I , for one, am thoroughly enjoying it.
I don't like jerseys as a rule and have never (as an adult) bought a current players jersey but I may make an exception if the Cardinals acquired Randy Johnson. Good god, the Cards would be scary with him as their No. 1 starter. One question: Would it be wrong if I got "Big Unit" embroidered on the back instead?
Do you think that Butch Davis was egging William Green on in the lockerroom yesterday? saying things like, "Joey Porter said he'd never have let HIS girlfriend stab him...only a punk would let that happen to him." Is it really that hard to imagine this? Which team do you think stood to lose more in a fight between a defensive captain and a running back with a tenous, at best, hold on his starting job? Not that this sort of thing ever goes on in the NFL.
Do you think Mike Tice has ever met Rich Kotite? Would it be possible to get them together in January to compare notes? Somehow I don't think Tice is going to have to clear his schedule to make this happen.
I've always liked Roscoe Parrish...how can you not like a guy who's named after a place that serves Chicken & Waffles? With that being said, he has turned himself into a very good receiver this year. The adjustment on that touchdown catch was NFL quality. It's just too bad that he is 5'3".
Note to Georgia fans: That sound you hear is your window closing. If you couldn't play for national title in either of the last two years then you certainly won't next year. Not with the DJ Shockley Experiment at QB and while trying to break in what amounts to a whole new defense. I'm not saying that Georgia is going to fall into mediocrity but they shouldn't go selling their bowl rings on Ebay anytime soon. Not that any Georgia athlete would ever flout NCAA rules like that.
Dwight Howard is the first rookie to post double digit rebounds in his first 7 games since Wes Unseld. I think this is a VERY good sign. Not for the team that one day employs Howard as their GM, but definitely for the Magic.