Saturday, April 30, 2005

I wish all of these guys had thrown their freshly purchased jewelry out of hotel windows.

As I was watching the Sonics-Kings game last night and crying inside over the thought of John Weisbrod trading Cuttino Mobley and ruining the Magic's once promising season, I began to think further about Mobley and how he has to be one of the greatest second round picks of recent memory. This, inturn, got me thinking about the best second round picks of recent vintage. It's a longer list than I had originally expected with some very quality players on it, even a few stars. Here then are my picks for the first and second teams of the All-Second Round Squad:

First Team:

PG: Nick Van Exel
SG: Manu Ginobilli
SF: Rashard Lewis
PF: Carlos Boozer
C: Antonio Davis

Second Team:

PG: Gilbert Arenas
SG: Cuttino Mobley
SF: Ruben Patterson
PF: P.J. Brown
C: Mark Blount

First off, I have to apologize for putting Mark Blount on the list but the amount of serviceable NBA centers who have been drafted in the second round is predictably small, it basically came down to Mark Blount or Calvin Booth, which is never, ever a good choice to have to make. Also, I had to make an executive decision when it came to the point guard position on the first team. I believe that Gilbert Arenas will end up having a better NBA career than Nick Van Exel but it was hard for me to put him ahead of Nick the Quick based on the career that Nick has had up to this point...and I've had a pretty serious man crush (ngs) on Mr. Van Exel for over a decade now and I'd be lying if I said that it didn't play a role in this as well.

There are actually far more decent centers in the NBA who weren't drafted at all than there are decent second round centers, with Ben Wallace and Brad Miller being the two most obvious examples. Feel free to examine and criticize my picks in the comments section. Of course, you'll be wrong and I'll openly rip your choices but don't let that stop you.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Make up your own dam title...I'm waaay too important to be bothered with things like that.

I have been extra busy today with some tasks that are going to change the everyday details of my life in a pretty major way, as well as the pages of Drunk and Stupid, but we'll get to that stuff early next week. For those of you guessing out there. Yes, I did have yet another illegitimate child. Yet, since I wasn't taking care of any of my other babies, this one will be no different and has nothing to do with the changes which are fast approaching. The only major effect that this latest bastard will have on my life is that I'll once again be retaining the services of Vernon Maxwell's former attorney.

Moving on, I had to work a home game last night which finished up in just under 2.5 hours, thereby allowing me to catch the end of the Nets-Heat tussle as well as the entire Mavs-Rockets game. Since we're getting close to another exciting Manatee game at Space Coast Stadium, I'll supply my observations on last night's activities in the ever familiar random thoughts format.

- Is there any possible way for a white man to look goofier than when they put on basketball jersies over their dress shirt (this means you Roger Clemens)? Oh. I've just been informed that if said white man executes a high five in said outfit, that causes him to look much goofier than if he were to just wear the jersey-dress shirt combo. That makes sense.

-Can we all agree that any sign which incorporates any incarnation of the phrase, "Houston, We have a problem" should be outlawed? Furthermore, can we also agree that any person who breaks this law will immediately be escorted from the arena in which they have displayed this sign? I didn't think that anybody would have a problem with that.

- Who told Vince Carter that he had to fallaway on every single jumper that he took? Seriously. I want an answer on this because I'm just having a real hard time imagining Dean Smith demonstrating this technique in practice.

- Nenad Kristic sure seems like he's going to be a player in the NBA in a couple of years. The Nets would be wise to sign him to an extension this off-season. If they wait until next summer, they're going to end up paying him at least twice as much per season. On a related note, Nenad's nickname is "Curly". I don't know the origin of this moniker and, frankly, I don't care. I do have one question though...Can we get Curly on the back of his jersey like "Candy" or "Chili"?

- When are opposing players going to figure out that Jason Terry can barely even dribble with his left hand? It's ridiculous, he's been a starting guard in the NBA for like five years now and nobody closes out on his right hand. Coincidentally, the first person who ever caused me to pull my hair out with frustration over this sort of thing was none other than Terry's current coach, Avery Johnson. During the prime of David Robinson's career I used to sit and scream at my TV, "He's going left, HE'S GOING LEFT!!" everytime that Johnson got his hands on the ball. Of course, it never worked and Avery would slice through the lane and bank home a lefty floater as the announcers proceeded to praise Avery's ability to penetrate.

-Avery Johnson looks like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle...except for whole being green thing.

- Can the Rockets hire a coach to teach Yao Ming how to jump when somebody's comes flying down the lane? Jesus son, you're 7'6", block a shot already. On two seperate occasions last night, Yao stood motionless in the paint as Devin Harris and Marquis Daniels, respectively, attempted to drive the lane. On both occasions Yao flopped (unsuccessfully) in an attempt to get the charge instead of trying to block the shot of someone at least a foot shorter than him. I understand wanting to stay out of foul trouble, but if you're being called for fouls anyway then you might as well try and intimidate somebody, right?

- Udonis Haslem had 13 and 19 rebounds last night. Now, I know that playing with Shaq is a huge advatange for his teammates (especially Power Forwards) but its absolutely amazing to me that not one NBA team saw fit to take a flyer on this kid coming out of college. Just for the record, here is a list of the power forwards who were selected in the second round instead of Udonis in 2002: Robert Archibald, Carlos Boozer, David Andersen, Lonny Baxter, Sam Clancy, Chris Owens, Peter Fehse (?), Darius Songalia, Luis Scola, Randy Holcomb, and the immortal Corsley Edwards (now available for weddings and bar mitzvahs). I'll admit that I was surprised with the amount of decent big men who came out of this draft's second round but you're out of your mind if you don't think that Haslem should've been selected in this draft.

One last NFL draft tidbit: Has any JUCO stud ever made a worse decision when choosing a college then Brandon Jacobs did two years ago when he trasnferred to Auburn. A JUCO running back choosing Auburn at that time is the college football equivalent of your average man choosing to be the third man in a gangbang scene with John Doe and Mr. Marcus. Not that I know who those guys are or anything. I've just, uh...heard that those are the names of some well known porn actors.

As for tonight, I'm really not interested in any of the games, save for maybe the Sonics-Kings and that's only because both of those teams play about as much defense as your average intramural team. Regardless of my ties to each game(or lack thereof), it will be nice to have some meaningful (somewhat) games to watch while I'm working myself into a drunken stupor late on this evening. Anyway, enjoy your weekends and as always...drink more than you think you should.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

You'll get nothing and like it!!

Thats right, just like Spaulding Smails at the snack bar, you aren't getting a damn thing from me today. Because I'm too busy at work? Not a chance. Well technically, I AM busy and I AM at work but that is nothing than more than a mere coincidence. I finally joined the new millenium and went out and bought an iPod today. As a result, I've been busy transferring songs to it for the better part of the late afternoon.

If you were thinking about getting one of these newfangled contraptions, I highly recommend it. It is, at once, amazing in its technological abilities and unbelievably easy to use. Even my Mom who once asked what the "track" button on her CD palyer was for would be able to figure this thing out.

Well, I hate to be like the deadbeat Dad who takes his kid out for ice cream only to drop him back off at his Mom's house before he's even finished the cone...but thats pretty much exaclty what I'm gonna do. Now get out of my car and watch the leather seats while you're at it! Daddy has a big date with his secretary tonight.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Time to lick the donuts...

Like most NBA fans, I've been aware that Gilber Arenas is a nutjob for quite some time now. I guess it all started to come to light during Arenas' second season in the NBA, right around the time he started dropping 30 on people on a weekly basis while he was in the process of winning the NBA's Most Improved Player Award (and a hefty free agent contract from the Washington Wizards). Well as I was wasting copious amounts of company time today, I came across an article from Sunday's Washington Post which only served to round out my knowledge of Gilbert's overall wackiness while also helping to further develop my love (ngs) for the World's Most Famous Arenas. Here, now, are some highlights from the article for your reading pleasure:

-Gilbert is of Cuban descent (his grandfather) which immediately makes him at least 30% more crazy than any black NBA player. Personally, with a last name like Arenas, I would've guessed Lithuanian.

- Arenas wears size 13 shoes on his size 14.5 feet. Why? Well because he doesn't want his feet to look too big, Duh. I think we all know that any shoe size over 13 is just ridiculously large and definitely something to be embarrassed over.

- Gilbert's pregame superstitions include always listening to the same music in the same order while always parking in the same parking spot, all pretty standard stuff. Some of his other rituals include always eating Boston Market(?) as a pregame meal and tickling the armpit of Antawn Jamison before the opening tip. Read that last sentence again. Under no circumstances can I ever imagine why I would tickle the armpit of a grown man...okay, one. I can think of one scenario but there's no way in hell that I could ever think of another.

- After not being selected in the first round on the NBA Draft, Gilbert was so distraught that he threw his newly purchased jewelery out the window of the hotel that he was staying in. Shrewd move. Coincidentally, when I didn't get the raise I was expecting I ALSO threw my platinum chain and charm (Pac-Man, if you must know) out of the window...of my office.

-Finally, there's this quote from former teammate Troy Murphy which pretty much sums up Gilbert's personality for all, "They used to make him get doughnuts, a rookie thing. I would come in early and he'd be putting baby powder [as if it was powdered sugar] on the doughnuts or licking them and putting them back in the box. He would look at me and laugh whenever someone would eat one. That's when I shut down eating doughnuts."

I think that I speak for everyone when I say...Gilbert, you are an inspiration to us all.

Draft Thoughts, Part II

I'm back from yesterday with a few more thoughts on the NFL Draft and other assorted topics. None of the NBA playoff games were especially exciting to me so we'll just get right into today's discussion.

- Evidently somebody in the Jaguars war room has a thing for big, physical, raw receivers. First they totally reach for Reggie Williams last year (with the expected results) and then they go after Matt Jones with the 21st pick this year. The 21st pick was too high for Jones regardless of the team's situation at receiver. Yet, when you are as in need of a proven receiver/route runner as the Jags are, why in god's name would you use your first round pick on a guy who won't be productive for at least two years? It makes no sense. Don't you want to give Byron Leftwitch somebody who was at least a proven college receiver to throw to? I realize that their weren't a ton of options at the 21st pick but you may as well have traded down if you wanted Jones that bad. He was probably going to be there for a few more picks you know.

- Although the Bucs didn't get either of the guys that I wanted in the second round I was still pleased with their draft. Barrett Ruud was an extremely smart and productive LB for Nebraska and I'm sure that he'll fit right in with Monte Kiffin's D, though if they were going to select a MLB I would've rather have seen them select Georgia's Odell Thurman. Alot of people outside of SEC country aren't very familiar with Thurman because he didn't get nearly the pub of many of the other more media friendly Bulldogs (read: David Pollack and David Greene) but he was often the best player on the field for Georgia over his two years there. He has some issues with his character and overall intelligence but was a damn beast while at Georgia and should start for Cincinnatti from day one. Getting Stanford TE Alex Smith in the third round was also a very nice pickup. He struggles in his pass protection some but should really have a great opportunity to be an impact player int he passing game for early on in Tampa. Somehow I don't think the Bucs are building any game palsn around Anthony Becht this off-season. Finally, I really liked that the Bucs took a chance on WR Larry Brackins of Pearl River Community College. Brackins is a physical freak who will need the Bucs to have some patience with his mental development and maturity but he could really end up being a steal for the Bucs.

-A few other teams that I thought had good drafts were as follows:

Cardinals: Tough to pass up on Rodgers, but we all know that Denny Green hates QBs so it really wasn't that surprising. After that the Cards picked up as many as six guys who could start for them within a year or two.

Ravens: Getting proven playmakers like Mark Clayton and the very underrated Dan Cody made this draft a success from early on.

Dolphins: As much as it pains me to say this, Saban and Co. did a heck of a job plugging holes and assembling talent. When you can pick up three studs along the lines of Ronnie Brown, Matt Roth, and Channing Crowder in the first three rounds, you're doing well. Follow those picks up with an underrated corner like Travis Daniels and you're really doing big things. With all the talk about how Corey Webster slipped during his senior year at LSU, many people forgot just how good Travis Daniels was two years ago as well. He and Webster were the best corner combo in the nation two years ago and were both really hurt by an inconsistent LSU pass rush last year. Most people saw Daniels as a second rounder last year and the Phins were able to pick him up in the fourth. One of the best drafts that the Dolphions have had in many years.

I am not ready to say that the Chargers had a great draft (you've heard my thoughts on Merriman and I think they reached a bit for Castillo) but they used to middle round picks to select two palyers who could both end up being huge impact/role players on their offense in a couple of years. The first is Darren Sproles who will allow LaDanian Tomlinson to get off the field every now and then on third down while also making an immediate impact as a return man on special teams. With the lack of quality depth at WR, you may also see Sproles lining up in the slot in four and five WR sets next year. This brings me to the second player, Northern Colorado's Vincent Jackson. Most people have heard of Vincent Jackson as ESPN ran a story on him early in the college football season. He is a 6'5" 240+ lb receiver with 4.5 speed and enormous hands. Predictably, he is very raw and needs alot of work on his ability to read defenses and his route running, but his potential is through the roof. I really like this pick. Jackson may never pan out but with a team that doesn't have alot of holes, taking a chance on a possible future Pro Bowler in round four is always a shrewd move.

-Pittsburgh selecting Heath Miller was a very smart pick. Not only is Miller a proven commodity but he will also provide a security blanket for Ben Roethlisberger for many years to come. The option of Miller in the passing game will prove to be invaluable in the overall development of Big Ben as a passer. Pittsburgh definitely had bigger needs at corner but didn't panic and went ahead and selected the best player available, which was also at a need position, and still wound up getting a very good and physical corner in Bryant McFadden. Both of these guys will start for a very talented Steeler team next year.

That's all I 've got for now. I apologize for the lack of time sensitivity with this review but its been a crazy couple of days around here, what with me trying to figure out how I'm going to feed my family and all.

Note: By "feed my family", I mean afford the booze and various cable sports packages that make my life somewhat bareable.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

What, you've never slept in a nightclub?

Man oh Man! That Rockets-Mavericks game was a ball to watch last night. I can't remember being that into a first round playoff game that didn't involve the Magic since high school. It's not that the game had earth shattering implications to it (though the Mavs have made it VERY hard on themselves now), it was more that both teams were playing at a very high level of intensity AND offensive efficiency. Not exactly a common combination in the NBA these days. Shit, the score at the end of the 3rd quarter was 88-84 which is more than the finals of a ton of playoff games from recent years. The fourth quarter didn't dissapoint as Nowitzki broke out of a two game slump to knock down some big shots and give the Mavs a chance to win. They would've too, if Tracy McGrady hadn't drilled and 18 footer with two seconds left. Totally clutch, as he had been all game. I almost forgot how unbelievably talented McGrady is and how much he can dominate a game when he plays with passion and a purpose. I guess I shouldn't have forgotten how supremely talented he is but can you really blame me? It has been over almost three years since he's displayed any sort of competitive fire.

One last thing: I really like when coaches let their guys go ahead and bring the ball down (without calling a timeout) for the last shot. If you have a point guard or a wing who can handle and shoot it, you should always do this. By not calling a timeout not only are you not allowing the defense to setup but you are also creating a situation that is tantamount to a pickup game atmosphere where a player can simply go down with a head of steam and create a shot (for him or a teammate) by going one-on-one. Great move by Jeff Van Gundy to have the confidence in McGrady's ability to let go and not overcoach the situation.

After last night, I am truly pumped for the rest of the playoffs, though none of tonight's games do much for me. It's looking like a Pedro-Smoltz kind of night at the Home of the Musing's.

The NFL Draft had plenty to talk about so in the interest of wasting as little time as possible I'll go ahead and give you my thoughts in a random ramble that everyone can enjoy:

- I'm not afraid to say that Romeo Crennel is just plain old cute. Did you see him smile when he was being interviewed by Berman? The man is like a human teddy bear. My friend John Van Vleet thinks that we should make up orange shirts that have a huge picture of a smiling Crennel on them (similar to the shirt worn by PacMan Jones) with the words "Teddy Bear" on the back and sell them in Cleveland. I'm slightly ashamed to says this but...I agree.

-Everytime that the ESPN cameras showed Mike Williams on saturday he was yelling and gesturing at unseen people. What was he doing while waiting to be selected, trading commodities on the Tokyo exchange? I still don't know what he was doing during these live look-ins but once he was drafted, he was immediately surrounded by a plethora of school children during his interview with ESPN. So my guess is that Mike is involved in the enslaving and selling of young school aged children. He had to pay the bills somehow over the last year, I guess.

- My highlight of the day may have been the selection of Adam "Pac-Man' Jones by the Titans. Not only was he wearing a shirt with a picture of himself but he was also sporting a diamond and platinum Pac-Man charm. To top it off, it also appeared as if Mr. Jones had rented out a nightclub for his draft party. I like that, don't invite everybody over to your Mom's house on saturday morning, just have the party at a nightclub and you can sleep their the night before the draft. No fuss, no muss.

- Both of the University of Florida players who were slected in the first four rounds went far lower than their talent would indicate but I suspect that both will (eventually) be very pleased with where they landed. Channing Crowder will step right into Morlon Greenwood's vacated WLB spot while learning his craft from two future hall-of-famers in Junior Seau and Zach Thomas. If Crowder can just soak up all their knowledge and stay healthy he has a chance to be a perennial Pro Bowl player in that system. As for Ciatrick Fason, he got absolutely screwed by the NFL's obsession with measureables and ended up going about two rounds lower than he deserved. This is a guy who led the SEC in rushing despite averaging less than 20 carries a game. I don't care how you slice those numbers, that is impressive. Yet, he too should be happy about landing in Minnesota, a place where there is no consensus #1 back. My prediction for Fason is that he is starting by mid season and will universally be regarded as one of the steals of the entire 2005 Draft.

Speaking of stealing, the staff here at the stadium has a free dinner scheduled at Outback tonight and I am already late so I am gonna cut this review short and finish the rest up tommorrow morning.

Monday, April 25, 2005

I'll take a summer of unemployment checks for $200, Alex.

I know I always use the really lame excuse that I'm too busy to write ( I DO have a job to do...poorly of course, but the point is that I have to do it nonetheless) but today is yet another example of this happening and I'm going to lean on old faithful one more time. Basically, my office just received a call from an Orlando area TV station asking for our thoughts on the team being sold and it's probable move to Orlando. I'd say our thoughts are best captured by this phrase, "Steve Holt is a bastard! He doesn't even know who his father is ."

Now you may be currently muttering something about that phrase having nothing to do with any sort of sale of a minor league baseball team'd be right. The problem is that this phone call was the first that anybody had heard of the team being sold. Not exactly the way that you want to find out about the possible loss of your place of employment, though I would bet there is no good way to come upon news of this nature. Anyway, that's what has caused me to be so delinquent with any analysis of the NFL Draft or the brand spanking new NBA playoffs. I'll get to some of this tommorrow, assuming that I still have a desk and a computer when I show up late to work tommorrow.

Some of you may be thinking that I wiser man wouldn't be blogcasting (I know its a cheesily made up word. Thank you for noticing.) this sort of news to anybody with an internet connection for fear of losing his job. Well, you're right. A wiser man wouldn't do this sort of thing. Then again, I wiser man also probably wouldn't go skipping out of his office if he was fired right this second.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I need more draft analysis STAT!

Seriously, shouldn't Mel Kiper Jr., John Clayton, and Peter King be forced to produce (minimum) four columns of noteworthy draft material a day for this entire week. What the hell else have they been working on since Janurary?

Anyway...It's Friday!!! Nevermind, It's only Wednesday but its my Friday since I'm taking off the rest of the week. There's really no reason for me taking this vacation other than maybe pure laziness which of course isn't an acceptable answer. I am going to see The Roots in Orlando tommorrow night so that's a good enough excuse for Friday, but as for tommorrow...well I guess if you back me into a corner I'll have to go with...alcoholism. Apparently the judges have conversed and alcoholism IS an acceptable answer. Sweet.

I'm going to try to post some things in the next couple of days but they'll most likely be rather short and to the point. As my father always says, "There's something to be said for brevity." Actually, he never says that though he does often speak whimsically of Brevin Knight. Ok that's a lie too.

The Draft is fast approaching and we're starting to see some movement. The always over eager Redskins front office has traded into the #25 slot in an apparent effort to acquire Jason Campbell. As I mentioned yesterday, I think that Campbell can become a good starter in the NFL, eventually. Spending a first round pick on a somewhat inaccurate QB with questionable intelligence is...well, exaclty what you'd expect from the Dirt Worshippers. The other trade that went down yesterday was the Texans swapping second and third round picks for Phillip Buchanon. I was a huge Buchanon fan(both as a corner and punt returner) when he came out of Miami but since then he has been injured, inconsistent and a general disapointment. My guess is that he's spent a little too much time hanging out with Chaz Woodson. Maybe that's what the Texans think too and they are banking on him snapping out of this malaise once they pair him with a pro like Aaron Glenn. I sure hope so. Even if that is the case, it sure seems like the Texans overpaid for Buchanon. I can see giving up one of those picks but trading both is paramount to trading a late first round pick. With the depth of the corner class this year (and the overall draft) the Texans would've been better served to hold onto their picks and use one of them on a corner.

Anybody wondering why the University of Florida hasn't been a dominant program in recent years need only look at this year's draft for one of two main reasons...lack of experienced talent. Florida will have four players drafted this year, at most. After you get past Channing Crowder and Ciatrick Fason the only other players with even a chance of being selected are Mo Mitchell and Reynaldo Hill. The enormous Mitchell is more than likely looking at a free agent contract while Hill would be in the same boat if he hadn't run a 4.3 forty during Florida's pro day. For some perspective, Hill was so off the radar of NFL scouts that he wasn't even invited to the combine. Of course, after running the afforementioned forty in Gainesville, Hill will probably end up going in the fifth or sixth round. One other player to keep an eye on is OJ Small. He won't get drafted because he has very average speed but he was an extremly productive receiver in the SEC who runs great routes and has huge strong hands. He'll make somebody's team as a free agent and end up having a nice little career as a fourth receiver in the NFL. Oh yeah, and the Gators were coached by Ron Zook for the last three years, which never helps.

Of all the upcoming playoff series', the one which excites me the most is easily the Wizards-Bulls matchup. Two very young and exciting teams who have almost no playoff experience on their roster so they'll both be learning on the job. If pressed for an answer I'd go with the Wizards to prevail only because the Bulls will be without Eddy Curry and Luol Deng. Both of these teams have the potential to be at the top of the Eastern Conference for many years to come if they are able to re-sign some key free agents (Curry, Chandler, Hughes, maybe, maybe Brown) while keeping team chemistry intact, which is hardly a given in today's NBA. Besides the youth of each team, the other part of this series that excites me are some of the matchups we'll be privy to. Here's a quick rundown of some of the more intriguing showdowns:

Arenas vs. Hinrich: One of the more underrated defensive point guards trying to shutdown the league's most prolific scoring point.

Gordon vs. Hughes: Hughes does just about everything well, including defend and his size could really bother Gordon late in games.

Jamison vs. Whoever: This will most likely be Andres Nocioni since Deng is injured. If the Bulls were able to make Jamison work on defense by running some plays for Deng early then they'd stand a better chance of shutting down Jamison on the other end. As good a defender as Nocioni is, I don't think he has enough size to bother Jamison especially if he isn't forced to guard anyone on defense.

Steve Blake vs. Chris Duhon: Ok, this is only intriguing to Dick Vitale.

One thing that I forgot to mention about the Bucs draft is my hope that they are able to acquire Elton Brown. I believe that Brown has the potential to be the best offensive lineman taken in this draft and if there is one area that has been a constant achilles heel for the Bucs (even during the Super Bowl run) its the o-line. My dream scenario work like this: One of the Williams boys in the first round (I'd take Braylon Edwards or Ronnie Brown as well) followed by the Bucs selecting Elton Brown with their second round pick while Bruce Allen makes a trade for another second round pick which the Bucs use to select Mike Patterson.

One thing I forgot to mention last week: Steve Spurrier didn't even wait until the fall to start taking shots at Fat Phil Fulmer. Even going so far as to downplay the recent missteps by South Carolina players by comparing them to the numerous felonies that have been accrued by Tennessee players this spring. God, I missed that guy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Hey girl. Do you want to see my big board?

Do you think when he's had one vodka tonic too many that Mel Kiper ever says that sort of thing to the young NFL groupies wandering around Manhattan this time of year? If not, he should really give it a try. It's either that or pick up Ron Jaworski's scraps...which is a scary thought. On second thought, I apologize for ever bringing this up.

Soooo, I'm back and somewhat distracted by the latest Medeski, Martin & Wood album "End of the World Party (Just in Case)". By distracted, I mean that I'm sitting at my desk with my feet up while listening to the CD over and over again. It's not really that new of a release as it hit stores a few months back but I didn't decide to download it until late last week. For those of you not familiar with MMW, check out there website for more info on the trio.

As excited as I am about the upcoming NFL Draft, I have been unable to piece together any real coherent thoughts about the draft that I deem worthy of running on here. That should let you know just how disjointed my thoughts have been his week since I'll pretty much put anything on this site. With that said, I'm just going to hit you up with some quick random thoughts today until my brain decides to come back from its extended vacation. Maybe the teachers who ran the Ocean Breeze Elementary "Just Say No Club" were right about the evils of drugs after all. Oh well, its too late now.

- Golden Sate is my new favorite team to watch and the #1 reason I'll be subscribing to the NBA package next year. I don't know how good they'll be (Adonal Foyle does start) but they are thoroughly enjoyable to watch on a nightly basis.

-Thomas Davis will end up being a perennial Pro Bowl selection if he is moved to outside linebacker. He's a bigger version of Derrick Brooks and will be an immediate impact player in the NFL.

-I must be the only guy on earth who's not sold on Braylon Edwards. He's an extremely talented receiver, but I don't think he makes enough plays in crucial "move the chains" situations. I'll take Mike Williams if I had to choose between the two. Then again, I also thought that Michael Clayton was a bad pick by the Bucs last year. Ummm, yeah...I was a little off on that one.

- Warning: Hypothetical GM talk beginning now: If I needed a QB and Jason Campbell was available in the second round, I would draft him immediately. If he is allowed to learn the intricacies of quarterbacking in the NFL for a couple of years, he could be the best QB in this draft.

-I don't think that Adrian McPherson will EVER have the mental capacity to be a good starting QB in the league. I'd be willing to bet on it. Then again, maybe my mouth is writing checks that my butt can't cash. Get it? Bet on it...Cashing checks? Nevermind.

-David Pollack is going to be a fantastic special teams player, which is great...for somebody drafted in the fourth round.

- Channing Crowder has the talent to go alot higher than he's being projected and will be a steal on draft day provided that one specific thing happens when he comes into the league. The one thing: He is slotted at outside linebacker. He does not fight through traffic or shed blocks well enough to be an effective middle linebacker in the NFL. He will be much more effective if he's put in coverage and pass rushing situations.

- Admittedly, I only watched Maryland once all year but I can't escape the feeling that Shawne Merriman is going to be a huge bust.

- Say what you want about FSU (seriously, say whatever you want) but that school has a very impressive recent history of putting big time left tackles into the NFL. Alex Barron is just the next in line.

- Overrated: UAB WR Roddy White
-Underrated: USC DT Mike Patterson

- It's going to take Troy Williamson a couple of years to develop into a legit NFL starting wideout. He played in a glorified middle school offense at South Carolina and the difference in the mental aspects of the game are going to make his adjustment alot harder than your average rookie receiver.

-If the Bucs want to trade up for Alex Smith, then I'm all for it. I really think that Smith will be a heck of an NFL QB in a few years and his strengths are perfect for John Gruden's system. Unless the Bucs can grab him (for sure) then I don't see any reason why they would give up a second or third round pick to move up. At pick #5 you'll get two choose between a bunch of very good talent at WR and RB. If the Bucs draft Aaron "product of the system" Rodgers then I'm going to throw up.

-With tight ends being so in vogue (and effective) right now, how has Heath Miller managed to slide so much? I know that he's been injured but his play over the last two years at Virginia should speak for itself. The NFL's obsession with measureables drives me crazy sometimes.

-Alright, I'll say it...Carlos Rogers is better than Pac-Man Jones. Also, keep an eye on Corey Webster. He's going to start next year, guaranteed.

-Biggest bust of the draft: Fabian Washington. Here's a guy who has flown up draft boards based soley on his 40 time (which WAS amazing). Here's the problem: He wasn't overly productive in college, is undersized, and didn't exaclty face the highest caliber of receivers on a weekly basis in the Big 12. Other than Oklahoma, who else in the Big 12 has consistently produced NFL caliber receivers over the last couple of years? That's right, nobody.

-Wherever Ciatrick Fason goes, I hope it is to a team that runs some version of the West Caost offense. Philly would be a great fit for him.

-Clinton Portis is an awesome dude...

Monday, April 18, 2005

They should sell Mel Kiper Jr. wigs in the mall. Think about it.

It's just too hectic around here today for me to post anything so I'll get back into it tommorrow with some NFL Draft coverage. This should really be one of the more exciting (if you can call anything that involves that much talking exciting) drafts of recent vintage since their seems to be so much parody among the top 50-60 prospects. I am eagerly anticipating it...not as much as I'm anticipating the four day weekend that I have ahead of me but still, it should be fun.

I heard during the Jazz-Blazers game last night (yes, I was that bored...waiting for Deadwood.) that Jerry Sloan and the Jazz want Deron Williams in this june's draft. That would be a perfect marriage of a system and a player, if you ask me. Which, by the way, I know that you didn't.

We'll spend some quality time together tommorrow...I promise.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

If everybody was in shape, then who would we laugh at?

Finally, Draft Day is here!!!

What do you mean the draft isn't until next week? No. You're wrong on this one buddy. I'm watching the selections in the WNBA Draft right now.

Ohhh, the draft that everybody has been talking about is the NFL Draft? It all makes alot more sense to me now. Though I must say that I can't really understand why there isn't more made about the WNBA Draft. I mean, c'mon the WNBA is at least the seventh most popular professional sports league in America.

Actually, scratch that, I've just received word that Midget Billiards has moved into the number seven position. It was a good run while it lasted there WNBA.

The celebrity softball game was mediocre at best last night with both Herschel Walker and George "the Animal" Steele registering no-shows. Oh well. The highlights were few and far between but there was still enough going on to keep me mildly entertained.

-Former American Gladiator "Tank" was in attendance and brought along an illegal bat that he was telling everybody on his team to use. Just to review: Tank brought an illegal a charity softball game.

-Former Road Ruler Ibis looked as if she had never even seen a sporting event, much less participated in one. I've seen tee ball players with a better grip on the rules of the game than she had. In a completely unrelated note: She is absolutely beautiful...but could certainly use some one-on one time with a treadmill and a few less trips to Friendly's.

-The years (and more than a few plastic surgeons, I'm sure) have been very kind to Sheila E. I'd definitely call her a DILF...a drummer I'd like to fuck. What the hell did you think I was talking about?

-Former big league journeyman/pitcher Dennis Rasmussen is huge. I mean enormous. I'd have guessed offensive tackle or tight end if I'd been forced to guess a sport and position. The man is the size of a Grizzly Bear.

-Highlight of the night: Watching Eric Nies try to use the dugout fence to get himself up to the stands in order to sign autographs for his adoring fans ( more than likely some distant cousins). When the former host of "The Grind" pushed off the dugout fence with his feet, it gave way and caused Nies to fall (flat on his back) to the dugout floor some five feet below. Hilarious. The only possible way it could've been any better would've been if he'd banged his head on the dugout steps during the fall.

Further proof that ESPN is run by a bunch of monkeys who have no business running a network based on sports: On today, there is a poll asking fans to vote on the biggest bust in NFL Draft history with choices such as Tony Mandarich and Ryan Leaf. Another name on the list is former Tennessee Volunteer Heath Shuler. It's just too bad that the good folks in Bristol spelled his name Heath Schuler. Way to go guys. I wonder why Blare Thomas wasn't on the list?

I may be really late with this link as it is apparently the most downloaded clip on the internet but I just saw it yesterdy and I wouldn't be able to look at myself in the mirror if I didn't it share it with you. Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, April 15, 2005

I can play softball and I've been on television TWICE!

Tonight the stadium that I work at is going to be flooded with celebrities and even more crowded with the kind of people who worship celebrities and go to horribly boring events, like say...a celebrity softball game.

It's pretty pathetic when people derive some sense of self from adoring people who they don't even know. Yet, it is far more sad (and humorous) when the people being worshipped are such luminaries as Deney Terrio, Mike "The Miz" and Sheila E. Yep, that's what qualifies as a celebrity around these parts and I wish I could say that the good people of this community aren't pathetic enough to come out for an event of this nature. I could but I'd be lying. Not only will the slack jawed yokels of eastern central florida be attending this even tonight but they'll be doing it with the passion and enthusiasm that they normally reserve for tractor pulls and republican rallies. I promise to report back with the highlights of tonight's festivities tommmorow. Frankly, I'm just hoping that George "the Animal" Steele shows up and eats a turnbuckle.

Yesterday brought the news of Matt Walsh and Anthony Roberson declaring for the NBA Draft. One must first understand that declaring for the draft is not the life altering decision that it once was. I can remember sitting in my house dumbfounded as I perused the internet looking for confirmation of the news that my neighbor had delivered about Donnell Harvey declaring for the draft. When I found out that it was indeed true that Donnell had declared, I just sat in my chair thinking, "Why? Why would an undersized power forward with no discernible offensive skill declare for the NBA draft?" I couldn't figure it out and even if I could have , it was too late. Donnel Harvey was gone and there wasn't anything that could change that.

These days declaring for the draft is often an exercise in exploration. A player will enter the draft and go to the Chicago pre-draft camp in order to determine his draft status while also receiving advice from various NBA personnel on the areas of their game that need improvement. So I was not nearly as crestfallen when the news about Walsh and Roberson came down yesterday. Each player is entering the draft for different reasons and we will delve into them here.

Matt Walsh: Walsh and his father met with Billy Donovan shortly after the season to inform Billy of their plans. Matt intended to enter the draft and use the time before the draft as means for the evaluation of his game. If Walsh receives a first round guarantee (Ron Zook could also become an NFL head coach in this hypothetical world) then he would go ahead and enter the draft. More than likely he will return for his senior season at Florida with a better idea of how NBA scouts view him and what specifically he needs to improve in order to have a shot next year. Walsh has been working out at the IMG Academy in Bradenton for a couple of weeks already and will continue to do so until just before the pre-draft camp in Chicago. Now, I'm no NBA scout but this would be my guess as to the top three things that NBA scouts tell him to improve: Strength (stop working out with Tood Pinkston), Athleticism (only so much you can do about that) and Ballhandling. If he returns and has improved some of his obvious weaknesses, then Walsh has a shot to be the SEC Player of the Year and really improve his standing in the eyes of NBA scouts. Personally, I think that Walsh's only shot at the NBA is as a shooter off of somebody's bench but you can't fault the kid for trying to improve himself.

Anthony Roberson: Roberson is a different story altogether. First off, Roberson doesn't come from nearly the stable financial situation that Walsh does and there is word that he's receiving a healthy bit of pressure from his family to declare, which always makes a situation like this tough for a young kid. Further complicating the situation is the fact that Roberson wanted to declare after last season. Basically, Roberson had Donovan check with some of the NBA scouts that he knew and Roberson found out that he'd struggle to even be drafted at all, so he came back to Florida. After a year in which Roberson led the SEC in scoring and finished second in the player of the year voting, it stands to reason that Roberson's stock has gone up. It probably has but, with that said, it is still doubtful that he will be selected in the first round. Simply put, Roberson is not a natural point guard or a good enough ball handler to survive at his size in the NBA. He's a combo guard with an aversion to defense who also struggles to involve his teammates at times. I find it hard to fathom that Roberson will get anything more than cursory consideration as a first round pick, especially when you consider how overmatched he looked against Villanova's guards in the NCAA Tournament. Regardless, most people around the Florida program feel like Roberson is gone whether he receives first round guarantee or not. For further proof of this, one need only take a look a Florida's latest signee: Florida Air Academy PG Walter Hodge. Hodge was the MVP of the State Tournament and was considered the highest rated point guard still available by most recruiting analysts. If you're scoring at home (you need a new hobby) that makes two point guards in the past two recruiting classes for Billy D. If Billy really thought that Roberson might stay, wouldn't he have used his last scholarhsip on a big man or a wing player? I certainly think so. From a personal standpoint, I would love to see Roberson return next year with a greater commitment to defense and the mindset of taking the ball to the hoop more often. When you consider how weak next year's point guard class could be, his chances of making it into the first round are substantially better than this year which is as loaded a point guard class as the draft has seen in years. If he decides to declare this year then I hope that Anthony has a passport and a spanish to english dictionary.

My take: Roberson leaves. Walsh returns.

I think that Florida will miss Roberson next year (especially on offense) but they should be able to transition while still remaining a top tier SEC team by becoming a better defensive team on the perimeter (Roberson's defense was spotty at best) and if Walsh can handle being the go-to guy for an entire slate of SEC games.

Now where the hell is Eric Nies?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

It's nice being perfect and never messing things up.

Pay no attention to the day that blogger says these last couple of posts are from...actually pay attention and then go ahead one day. If it says wednesday, then it was posted on thursday. I know that its hard to believe that the good folks at blogger could screw something up, but sadly it IS true.

Who doesn't like drunks? Seriously.

Quick update today because I am unusually busy getting ready for tonight's game against the Jupiter Hammerheads. I know what you're thinking...what an awful name! I concur, though I have always thought that they could make the name alot better. All they would have to do is change their logo from the shark that they currently have to a picture of a half shaven dude with a bottle of liquor (preferably wrapped in a brown paper bag) pressed up to his lips while the cartoonish drunk bubbles floated upward from his head. I mean, wouldn't you wear a hat with a huge boozer on the front? I know that I would. That's probably a big reason why I work in MINOR league baseball.

Further proof that ESPN is laughably out of touch with the general sports scene: Tonight's Washington Nationals home opener is NOT going to be nationally televised on the Worldwide Follower. Instead, the country is going to get the Yankees-Red Sox for the nineteenth time this year. You've got to be kidding me with this shit. I know that the Yankees and Red Sox are a huge deal and everybody is enamored with this rivalry and that's great. Even with that, is there any possible excuse for ESPN choosing to broadcast yet another April matchup between these two teams instead of showing the first home baseball game in our nation's capital in over 30 years? What a joke.

Finally, If you are a fan of good hip-hop (see: nothing that appears on your radio or MTV) then go ahead and try and download Common's new album "BE". He's always been a great rapper but now he's back on the sauce, which has had a very positive effect on his music. It's not coming out for another month or so but you can just go ahead and steal it off the internet like me. Don't act like you don't already do worse than that on a daily basis.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

It's Africa hot out here....

Or more appropriately... in here. The AC is broke in the ticket office AGAIN, so I'm just sitting at my desk sweating. Out of curiosity I just went and checked the thermostat right outside my office and it read 83 degrees. 83 degrees? You've got to be kidding me, right? Simply put: NO. It is actually cooler outside (on a sunny April day in Florida) than it is in my 'effin office. I can't take much more of this so I'm using this as my excuse for not writing a whole lot today. Well, that and the whole back thing which makes the act of typing quite painful if I do it for more than three minutes at a time. Hopefully, our AC will be back tommorrow and my back will also be further down the road to recovery so that I can bless on you peons with my witty commentary on all things sports. Until then, I will leave you with a few things to chew on:

1) I went from second place in my fantasy baseball league (last thursday) to dead fucking last in the entire league (13 teams) in a span of less than a week. I guess I should pay attention to baseball and updating my lineup on the weekend, huh? Oh well. I'm just lulling my competitors to sleep anyway.

2) Bill Simmons, aka Sports Guy, is having a kid. That's great for him and I'm sure we all wish him the best, but does anybody else get the feeling that this is the end of enjoying anything that the man writes...ever? I know that's the first thing I thought when I read yesterday's column. I'm betting we're about three years away from sentences like, "Am I the only person who thinks that Dora the Explorer looks ALOT like a young Johnny Damon? I didn't think so." If things like this begin to happen and I don't mention it, then its safe to assume that I've hung myself with my shoelaces and that my helper monkey has picked up the blogging responsibilities on my behalf.

3) And finally, here's an excerpt of an email that I sent to one of my former roomates today:

"In case you hadn't heard, the NHL playoffs would have started tonight. Just imagine how excited you would be today. You would be able to watch multiple (that means more than one) playoff games starting at 7 PM tonight. Instead all you were able to watch was some even crappier than the NHL (hard to do) college hockey last weekend. I hope you are enjoying this beautiful era of sports without gay ass hockey. I know that I am.

Things could be least you have the memory of the Yankees winning last year's World Series to keep you warm at night...Ohh! My bad.

Go San Antonio Islanders!!!"

For the record, I don't hate hockey at all. I do, however, hate this kid and all of the teams that he supports. Aren't you pissed off that you don't know me better? I would be.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

This summer will REALLY be endless....

I'm still in quite a bit of pain today and am leaving to go see the Doctor here in a few minutes so I'm not going to get to a whole bunch much today.

The Master's has been discussed ad nauseum already but I want to throw my two cents in as well. Chris DiMarco showed alot of guts coming back from an awful morning on Sunday that would've really doomed many more talented players. He is as tough mentally as any golfer I've seen in quite a while. If he hits his chip on 18, nobody even remembers Tiger's chip on 16 which was probably the most amazing shot I can remember seeing at Augusta since Larry Mize's miracle chipa gainst Greg Norman. With that said, it is inexcuseable to have left the second shot of the playoff short (in almost the exact same spot). Make some adjustments will you. Di Marco definitely has to be considered in the "best player to never win a major" conversation after his Ryder Cup performance as well as his last two major finishes. I know that I'll be rooting for him to win one from here on out because, well...he's a Gator.

As for the Orange and Blue game on Saturday, not only was it attended by a record crowd (and approximately 13,000 more people than the Utah-BYU game of last year) but, more importantly it was attended by a huge number of former Gators who have been conspicuous by their absence in recent years. In one of his best (and somewhat under publiczed moves), Urban Meyer sents letters and called as many former Gators as possible (ranging from Cris Collinsworth to Alex Brown and everybody in between) encouraging them to come back to Gainesville and be a part of this renaissance of Gator Football. Meyer is restoring a swagger to the program that has been absent in recent years and he's reaching out to Gators of the past in an effort to connect the program's rich history with its exciting present and future. Alot of coaches aren't nearly confident enough in themselves to do something like this which clearly isn't the case with Meyer. There hasn't been a time like this for Gator fans since early 1990 and for me (who was 12) in '90, there has never been a time like this.

As for the game itself, it was a high scoring affair but that is in part due to Meyer putting restrictions on the defenses. His reasoning behind this was that the fans don't want to see a 3-0 Spring game and he's right. He is doing everything in his power to bring excitement back to Gator Football and thus far he has been an unabashed success.

I have yet to see the game (Tivo'd for tonight) but I have read the reports and here are a few names to remember:

Josh Portis, QB: Only 17, he enrolled early after switching his commitment from Utah. The California passer is 6'4" and runs a 4.4/4.5 with an absolute gun for an arm. He took almost all of the second team QB snaps this spring with Gavin Dickey playing baseball and Cornelius Ingram sitting the bench for Billy D. He broke a 20-30 yard run in nearly every spring practice. As the Orange team starter on saturday, he went 20-30 for 251 and one pick. If he isn't starting for Florida in two years, I'll eat my shoe.

Derrick Harvey, DE: The #1 or #2 DE recriut in the nation last year. He redshirted this past year in an effort to put on some weight. Was an absoulte pass rushing terror in the spring and followed that up with two sacks in the O&B game. Will start the year as a situational pass rusher but should be in the starting lineup by mid-season.

Reggie Lewis, CB: Converted WR who caught 13 passes in last years O&B game only to get lost in the WR shuffle last season. The brother of former FSU WR Ronald Lewis switched to CB this spring and impressed everybody with his size/speed combo. He is still learning the position but I expect him to take over the spot opposite Dee Webb from Vernell Brown by the opener versus Wyoming.

As always, there were plenty of guys who stepped up and made a case for playing time but those three were some of the more interesting storylines, from my perspective. Do I really ahve to wait until August for more football? God I hate the summer.

Monday, April 11, 2005

This sure is fun.

I threw out my back yesterday playing basketball and am in a considerable amount of pain now. As a result of this, I probably won't be posting anything else today. I'm thinking about calling it a day and heading home to lay on the couch. Anway, I'll be back tommorow to talk about the Masters (fantastic to watch) as well as the Urban Meyer Lovefest aka the Orange and Blue Game whihc was attended by 58,500 people. Just an amazing turnout no matter how you slice it. Now where's my vicodin?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Urban Revolution

In the immortal words of Duke Tango, “Ohhhh Baby!!”.

That’s right, it’s Friday and I have a full weekend ahead of me…well almost full as we have a home game tonight followed by a post game fireworks show, which means I probably won’t be leaving the stadium until around 11 or so. It's amazing how excited all of these slack-jawed yokels get for some fireworks. You really have to see it to understand the phenomenon.

Not to worry, I will fight through my disdain for all of the people that frequent our stadium if only because I know if I’m able to do this then they’ll be a nice cold glass of Jagermeister awaiting me whenever I arrive at my local watering hole. I haven’t been this excited about a weekend in quite awhile. Not only will I have the entire to weekend to myself but I’ll also be attending a concert in Orlando tomorrow night .

Oh yeah, and the Urban Meyer Era officially gets underway tomorrow as the Gators will grace Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for the annual Orange and Blue Game at noon. I just talked to a friend of mine who works for the UAA at Florida and she said that they’re expecting over 50,000 people to attend tomorrow’s scrimmage. Read that last sentence again. You don’t think that people are a little excited about the new guy do you? I was planning on attending the scrimmage as well in order to get a first hand look at the new spread offense. Yet, with tonight’s game having the potential to be such a late finish I figured that I would just catch the TV replay on Sunday afternoon. It’s great to live in an area of the country where football scrimmages are televised. There’s that and all the varied species of mullets that I get to see on a daily basis as well.

Other than that, I don’t have a lot today with the exception of a few random comments/observations.

- If I'm ever on "Pimp My Ride", I want a Slurpee machine installed in my car. Not some cheap knockoff Icee Machine goddammit. An effin' Slurpee machine.

- Kelenna Azubuike has declared for the NBA draft and signed with an agent. I have no idea what he was thinking since he’ll be lucky, actually very lucky to get picked in the second round. I would’ve loved to see Tubby Smith’s reaction when he heard this news. I’m betting his look was a combination of his normal “crazy eyes” and the look that you make when you unexpectedly step into a freshly “fumigated” bathroom. In a related story, every coke dealer with ties to the NBA just got a two way with nothing but a picture of Azubuike’s nostrils.

- Oklahoma State signee and McDonald’s Slam Dunk Champion Gerald Green is applying for the NBA Draft as well. Anybody who saw either his performance in the Slam Dunk Contest (which was lovely) or the post contest interview could’ve predicted that this was going to happen about two minutes afterwards. I haven’t heard a person sound so uncomfortable speaking the English language since the time I met Tony Pena during Spring Training when I was 12.

- I watched some of HBO’s “Hookers at the Point: Revisited” with my girlfriend last night. I have seen the original and various other incarnations of this documentary but she hadn’t so (per her request) I put it on for awhile, a very short while. I cannot describe to you how spectacularly uncomfortable it is to watch grainy footage of filthy hookers and even filthier johns having sex while sitting on the couch with your girlfriend is. I would’ve rather watched six consecutive hours of “The View”. Seriously.

- What’s the point of changing the name of a franchise from the Bullets to the Wizards if you’re just gonna end up wearing throwback jerseys (for 20+ games) and selling these same jerseys that say Bullets on them. Based on the original logic for the name change, isn’t this marketing strategy accomplishing basically the same thing that the good people in the Washington front office were trying to avoid?

Fuck you. Fuck you. You’re cool. Fuck you. I’m out!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Couldn't I be doing this with my G.E.D.?

It’s opening night of our Minor League season this evening, so I’m entirely to busy to write anything at all tonight. Well, there’s that and the fact that the AC is broken down here in the ticket office which, inturn, means that I am currently sweating while typing this post. I am not nearly dedicated enough to perform my job under these conditions, much less write for you schlubs.

In case you missed it, the Magic blew a very winnable game last night against the Bulls and are all but eliminated from the playoffs. Well done Weisbrod, well done indeed. I’ll be back tomorrow with something, though its probably not going to be much more than some pointless drivel. Then again, that’s pretty much what you’ve come to expect from me after all these months so why change now, right?

Uh-oh, I just heard “be ready for tarp” over the radio from our Head Groundskeeper here at the stadium. I really do have to go now. I sure am glad that I spent $50,000 on a Master’s degree.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Just cut the grass and give me my damn money!

I have to admit that I was a bit dissapointed in last night's championship game. This is not to say that it wasn't a good game, capable of holding my attention for a two hour span because it certainly was. I just never got the feeling that UNC was in trouble. Every time that Illinois pulled close, Carolina was able to hit a big shot and stem the tide of momentum that Illinois was steadily building. It was the very embodiement of the old adage about using so much energy to come back that you don't have enough energy left to finish off the comeback. Though this may not have been the case if UNC hadn't sccored off of the horribly out of control, bullshit shot that McCants threw up.

To me it took something away from the game to have it decided (not entirely, but somewhat) on such a bad play. I guess the idealist in me would rather see a game of that level of quality and intensity decided by somebody stepping up and making a defining play, not by somebody getting lucky. Illinois did it's job and forced UNC into an awful shot but still ended up giving up the lead due to Marvin Williams being in the right place at the right time. It was a very good thing for Williams that he only had to tip that ball in because he was clearly unable to do anything else productive on the court. All in all, it was a very entertaining game and Illinois showed a ton of heart to come back against UNC but, as we all saw, May was just too much for anybody that Illinois could throw at him. I have a few more random thoughts about the game that are as follows:

-It had a similar feel to the Syracuse-Kansas game of a couple years ago. One team jumps out to a lead and almost blows it down the stretch but, even as the lead was shrinking, you never really thought that UNC was in danger of losing.

-It's been said already but Illinois took way too many threes. I know that is one of the strengths of their game but so is dribble penetration and Illinois was not nearly aggressive enough off the dribble. The few times that Illinois did look to penetrate, they often were only looking for kick outs and not to challenge the defense which, with May killing you inside, would've been a good idea.

-My girlfriend, of all people, remarked that James Augustine must've been "too eager" last night and that is why he was committing dumb fouls and was unable to stay on the floor. I must admit that I was pretty impressed with that observation.

-Dee Brown completely disappeared last night. I can't even remember him doing anything on the offensive end for the last ten minutes or so. Honestly, by the end of the game, Luther Head looked like the only person who wasn't afraid to take a big shot. As a result of this, Head appeared really worn down by the end of the game. So much so, that I would've drawn up a play for Williams or Brown at some point and forced them to make a play, if only to give Head a bit of a break.

-My girlfriend also commented that "there isn't a good looking guy on either damn team". As you can probably imagine, I was much less impressed with this observation than her earlier one.

-If Illinois had pulled out the win, Jack Ingram would have gone down as a mythical type folk hero in the annals of Illinois basketball. It was impressive to see an unheralded reserve accept the challenge like he did and not shrink from it like so many regulars (on both teams) did.

- I was contemplating suicide at one point in the second half, if only because it would've spared me from having to hear Billy Packer yell about how great the screens that Illinois was setting were. I mean, Jesus, we get it...Illinois is setting great screens! Do we really need to hear about it every single time that they come down the floor? I don't think I've hear anybody say the word screen that often in my life, much less in the span of two hours. It's as if he was getting paid every time he could work the word screen into the broadcast. If that IS the case, then I'm all for what went down last night because that means that Billy is now able to retire and we can watch the Final Four in peace. Actually, knowing our luck, CBS will probably go ahead and hire Steve Lavin.

-One last thing: I didn't win the pool that is run by my sister, which is to bad since the prize was $240 ($10 per entry), but I did take top honors in the grounds crew pool here at the stadium which will payout at $85 ($5 per entry) and that's a nice bonus. More than the money I'm just really looking forward to talking smack to the members of our grounds crew from now until September.

Monday, April 04, 2005

St. Augustine is sooo old. I mean look at it, its old.

I have just returned earlier today from the wedding of a friend in St. Augustine which, in case you haven't heard, is America's oldest city. If you didn't know this upon your arrival to St. Augustine, I gather that it would take you approximately 5.2 seconds before you figured this out. Mainly due to the fact that every other sign in the city is in someway related to the founding of St. Augustine. Other than that minor annoyance, I found the city to be quite enjoyable and a much better destination than I would have ever imagined. I had been to St. Augustine once before, on the obligatory Florida public school field trip in fifth grade and had never given the city much thought since then. I must say that I was impressed with the quaintness of the city, more specifically, its downtown area. If I had to describe the setting, I would label it as a poor man's New Orleans, meaning that the architecture and such were similar to New Orleans, but on a much smaller scale. All in all, it was a very enjoyable weekend, which makes being at work today all the more painful.

Even though I was away, I was able to watch Deadwood and come to the realization that Ms. Isringhausen is a filthy slut, which I think is a good career move for her. I sure hope that Swearengen's eye gets better because I'm getting really tired of seeing it all full of blood and cockeyed. I got enough of that sort of thing from the locals in Gainseville over the past seven years. And Trixie has had seven abortions? Wow. I don't even have a joke about that.

One thing I do have plenty of jokes about is Shawn Kemp being arrested with another man last night in a Chevy pickup for possession of "a small amount of cocaine and 60 grams of marijuana". Good to see the Reign Man is back in the Pacific Northwest and spending quality time with his kids. Who thinks that Shawn Kemp would've been alot better off if he had just taken a cue from Kurt Cobain and went down in a blaze of self inflicted shotgun wound glory? I know I do. Then again, I also think that somebody should've assassinated Snoop Dogg after the release of "Doggystyle". I mean seriously, if he had died tragically, Kemp would be the straight from high school equivalent to Drazen Petrovic. If Drazen had squired between 15-27 kids across varied parts of Eastern Europe, of course.

In more drug related news...Can anybody tell me if there is a better, more exciting lead-in phrase than "in drug related news"? I mean, it always gets interesting after those four words, always. Anywho, comedian Mitch Hedberg was found dead at 37 in his New Jersey hotel room on Sunday morning. There has been no confirmation on the cause of death but anybody who has seen Hedberg perform can rest assured that drugs, in one way or another, were prominently involved. I was more taken aback by this news than that of the Pope's passing. Partially because we knew the Pope was going to kick it ,sooner or later, for awhile now and partially because I enjoy comedy alot more than I enjoy religion. For those of you unfamiliar with Hedberg's comedy, here are a couple of my favorite lines of his:

"I hate turkeys. If you stand in the meat section at the grocery store long enough, you start to get mad at turkeys. There's turkey ham, turkey bologna, turkey pastromi...Someone needs to tell the turkey, man, just be yourself."

"I can't get into flossing, I can't. People who smoke say you don't know how hard it is to stop smoking. Yes I do. It's as hard as it is to start flossing. You seem jittery. Yeah, I'm about to floss. "

"The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how much I play, I'll never be as good a a wall. I played a wall once. They're relentless."

"I bought a donut and the guy gave me a recieipt for the donut. I don't need a receipt for the donut, I give you the money, you give me the donut, end of transaction. We do not need to bring ink and paper into this. I can not imagine the scenario where I would have to prove that I bought a donut. Some skeptical friend. Don't even act like I didn't get that donut. I got the documentation right here."

I'm not exactly sure why I posted some of these, other than the fact that I think this guy was hilarious. Its always sad when a young talent dies, except when that young talent is planning on mailing it in for the next ten plus years. In that case, the young talent should just go ahead and die and save us all the trouble.

I am extremely excited about tonight's game. It has the potential to be one of the most exciting and competitive championship games in recent memory. There hasn't been a really enthralling championship game in quite some time and frankly, it always puts a damper (for me, at least) on the tourney itself when it ends on a whimper. If I had my way, tonight's game would end up with Illinois winning by a score of 86-84 or something close to that and both teams making big play after big play down the stretch. I have no real reason for wanting Illinois to win, other than my affinity for all three of their guards and my feeling that they are the best "team" that I can remember watching in the last five years or so. More than anything, I want a classic game and I want to see Roy Williams cry...maybe I should clarify that last statement, because win or lose, I think we all know that Roy Williams is going to cry tonight. I want Roy Williams to cry tears of pain and to cry as he thinks about another off-season spent answering questions about not being able to win the big one.

One last thing" Tonight is the five year anniversary of Billy Packer calling Teddy Dupay a "thug' after he laid a particularly hard foul on Mateen Cleaves during the 2000 National Championship game. If that foul made Dupay a thug than what the hell is Charles Oakley or Xavier Mcdaniel? The spawn of satan himself would be my guess.

Friday, April 01, 2005

I'm outta heeeere!

I am not even going to attempt to write anything with any level of redeeming value today because...Spring Training is over!! The final Spring home game ended about 35 minutes ago and my first weekend off since the Super Bowl is about to begin in less than an hour. Of course, I have to drive up to St. Augustine this afternoon for a wedding but the thoughts of two consecutive days off will be more than enough to sustain me until I can get some liquor in my system. I'll see you bitches on Monday.