Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ex MLB Commissioner Gets Candid

Ex MLB commissioner Fay Vincent has a new book, and a lot of opinions. Those two ideas may or may not be related. Vincent who was baseball’s commissioner from 1989-1993 has written a book entitled We Would Have Played for Nothing. The premise of the book is actually really interesting to those die hard baseball fans. Basically what Vincent has done is conduct a series of long (he claims 4 hours a piece) interviews with ex ball players as part of an oral history project for the Baseball Hall of Fame. All the interviews were filmed and submitted to the hall to preserve stories and accounts for generations of future fans. The book consists of excerpts from these interviews. This is the second installment of his project, the first of which was entitled The Only Game in Town. The first volume consisted of 10 interviews with players who were active during the 30’s and 40’s. We Would Have Played for Nothing takes accounts from 14 players active during the 50’s and 60’s. Some of the notable players taking part in the project include Whitey Ford, Brooks Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, Billy Williams, Robin Roberts. If that alone doesn’t sell you, then I highly recommend you try to catch some of the interviews that Vincent is conducting as part of his publicity circuit for the book. In terms of saying things that can either be seen as senile, not exactly politically correct, or just brutally honest he has become one of my favorite old timers since Bob Feller. I say that because around the beginning of the Baseball Opener Feller joined Hershiesher in the Baseball Tonight booth for a little diamond talk and insight. During their talk Feller explained that in his prime his fastball hit around 114 mph. He was serious. Now I have Fay Vincent looking a little past his prime telling Jim Rome that the famous “Shot Heard Round the World” was really a spygate style situation. He would go on to say that everyone knew that the Giants cheated, and that they didn’t deserve to win that game. Speaking in a tone that made it seem like it was common knowledge he claims that the New York Giants had someone in centerfield with a telescope that relayed back to the dugout the pitch calls. This would allow Bobby Thomson to know a fastball was coming and subsequently hit a three run walk off homer to clinch the 51’ NL Pennant. If there are any other tidbits of wisdom, or conspiracy in this book it is more than worth its cover price. Also, all proceeds go to the Hall of Fame and its preservation efforts so it’s a win win situation any way you look at it.

4Real Out….
More after the jump...

2008 NCAA Baseball Playoff Preview : Ann Arbor Regional

Ann Arbor Regional (Double Elimination)
Friday, May 30
Game 1 -- Eastern Mich. (25-32) vs. Arizona (38-17)
Game 2 -- Kentucky (42-17) vs. Michigan (45-12)
Saturday, May 31
Game 3 -- Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2
Game 4 -- Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2
Sunday, June 1
Game 5 -- Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4
Game 6 -- Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5
Monday, June 2
Game 7 -- Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5
Full Bracket
Starting Friday the Arizona Wildcats will be making their 34th postseason appearance in the NCAA Baseball Playoffs. During those 34 trips Arizona has made the College World Series 15 times including 3 National Titles and three 2nd place finishes. The Cats 38-17 record (12-12 in Pac-10 play) in 2008 was not enough to secure a position as a regional host site, but were able to secure the #1 seed in the Ann Arbor Regional. Michigan who won the right to host the regional earns the #2 seed with Kentucky the 3rd seed, and Eastern Michigan getting the 4th seed. Where as the .500 record in conference play may not seem impressive the Cats were one of five teams from the Pac-10 to make postseason play with ASU, Stanford, Cal, and .UCLA rounding out the field.

Game 1 pits the Cats against the Eastern Michigan Eagles who have gained some serious momentum resonating from their run in the Mid Atlantic Conference Tournament. The Eagles went into the MAC tournament as the two seed, winning three straight games for a rematch of the 2007 MAC championship against the Kent State Golden Flashes. A year removed from a 3-2 loss to the Flashes, the Eagles routed the defending MAC champions 12-4 on seventeen hits earning them a berth into postseason play.

While the momentum should not be overlooked, the Eagles will be facing a tough Arizona pitching staff who posted the Pac-10’s best era with a 3.91. The Cat’s staff also held opponents to a .257 average over the season.

The second game Friday pits Michigan (45-12, 26-5 in the Big Ten) against Kentucky.(42-17, 15-15 in the SEC). The two teams have never met in postseason play, but the Wolverines have a 14-1-1 all time record against Kentucky. Michigan is coming off of a Big Ten Championship, and will be looking to move ahead to a match up with Arizona for whom they are 12-41 all time. This is a seemingly inevitable matchup as the double elimination format would pit losing Michigan and Eastern Michigan teams against each other. The Eagles and the Wolverines are familiar opponents and have an all time record of 109-51-2, the Wolverines getting the best of the series.

How the other three finished their season:
Michigan: 3-0 in Big Ten Tournament ( 5-2 over Illinois, 6-1, 3-2 over Purde) Ranked #16 Nationally.
Kentucky: SEC Tournament W 9-3 over Alabama, L 8-7 Mississippi, L 13-4 Alabama). Ranked #24 Nationally.
Arizona: 3 game series against #4 overall Arizona State: L 13-6, W 4-3 in 11, W 7-4. Ranked #23 Nationally.

With Arizona taking 2 of 3 from the Sun Devils in their final weekend they improved their record against Top 25 teams to 8-8 on the season. This boasts well for the moral of the Cats going into postseason play, and look poised to a run at their 16th College World Series.

4Real Out….
More after the jump...

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Next One vs. The King

Taking a look at the Big Four Sports in North America, Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Hockey (Note: Golf has probably replaced hockey) only Basketball and Hockey have players that have been almost unarguably deemed a single player as the best ever in their respective sports. If you need further explanation you probably don’t need to read this article, but we are talking about Wayne “The Great One” Gretzky and Michael Jordan. Every upcoming player, next superstar, or stand out prospect is measured against these athletes as a way to glorify or dismiss their achievements. These two sports are enduring a number of changes both to the games themselves as well as the image and attitude of the organization and it’s fans. That brings us to the two players that have been most closely compared to the best in their sport; Sidney Crosby and Lebron James. We all know Lebron’s story, the high school kid out of St. Vincent-St. Mary’s in Akron Ohio, the number one overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Rookie of the Year, the stand out dubbed “King James”. The Cavaliers subsequently had the following records: 02-03 (Year before Lebron) 17-65, 03’-04’ 35-47, 04’-05’ 42-40, and 05’-06’ 50-32 final record and trip to the NBA Finals. The story line seems somewhat similar to Crosby who has been made the face of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the NHL. Crosby was picked first overall by the Penguins in the 2005 NHL Draft at the age of 18. The 2004-2005 season never happened due to a strike, but his rookie year the Penguins chalked up a record of 22-46-0-14, the following season their record jumped to 47-24-0-11, and finally this year he led the Pittsburgh to a 47-27-0-8 record and a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. That leads us into the question: which was more impressive? Who is really worthy of being compared to the greatest ever? Keep in mind that both are playing in so called small markets. Lebron is playing in a small market where his team has never won a Championship, and renewed the sport in a city dominated by Baseball and Football. Crosby joined a club that was presumed dead in a sport that was facing a similar fate. Football is the only thing keeping Pittsburgh alive, especially since the Penguins haven’t been good since the late eighties early 90’s where they won a pair of Stanley Cups and had some of the best players in the NHL i.e. Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr

Broken Down for Easy to Decipher Comparison

Crosby “The Next One”
Doubled Penguins record after one year
Took Team to Finals in 3rd year
Runner up for Rookie of the Year or “Calder Memorial Trophy”
Youngest player ever to score 100 points, and 7th player ever to do it as a rookie
2006-2007 Crosby became the youngest player to ever win the Art Ross Trophy for NHL scoring champion making him the youngest in the history of any of the Big Four.

Lebron “King" James
Doubled Cavaliers Record after one season
Took Team to Finals after 4th year
Rookie of the Year
Averaged 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game in his rookie season (3rd ever to do so)
2007-2008 Scoring Champion

You can go on for days with a number of youngest to and first to accomplishments for bother players careers, but it starts to get a little tedious. There probably will not be another MJ or Gretzky, but changes in the game allow for numbers to fall. After all records were meant to be broken. The question in my mind isn’t whether they are deserving of comparison or will meet those expectations, but whose accomplishments are more impressive in light of those comparisons?

4Real Out….
More after the jump...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Denver To Send Melo to The Nets?

The Denver Nuggets are reportedly in talks with the New Jersey Nets that includes one of the premiere players in the league. The rumored deal is that Denver will send Carmelo Anthony and Marcus Camby to the New Jersey for Richard Jefferson, Marcus Williams, and the soul of retired* Keith Van Horn. How does this all fit, and what is Denver getting themselves into. They Nets have the #10 pick in the upcoming draft while the Nuggets sit at #20. Early speculations said the deal may have been a lot different had the Nets landed a Top 5 pick. Looking at this there are a couple key things to keep in mind: First look at the stats.

Carmelo Anthony: SF Age 23
2008: 36.4 Min, 49% FG, 35% 3PT, 78% FT, 7.4 Rebounds, 3.4 Asts, 25.7 PTS
Marcus Camby: C Age 34
2008: 34.9 Min, 45% FG, 70.8% FT, 13.1 Rebounds, 3.6 BLKS, 3 Asts, 9.1 PTS

Richard Jefferson: SF Age 27
2008: 39.0 Min, 46.6%FG, 79.8% FT, 4.2 Rebounds, 3.1 Asts, 22.6 PTS
Marcus Williams: PG Age 22
2008: 16.2 Min, 37.9% FG, 78.7% FT, 1.9 Rebounds, 2.6 Asts, 5.9 PTS

Take those for what you will. The obvious is that everyone realizes that Carmelo Anthony is a superstar, but he is also a very young superstar. It is not a ridiculous argument that he could be considered in the Top 10 or 15 players in the NBA right now. I have love for Wildcat Jefferson, and he is a guy I would love to have on my team, but it is all about how they are going to fit into the squad. As far as Williams and Camby are concerned you are trading an aging Center for a young and inexperienced back up point guard. Granted the Nuggets won 50 games this year, which apparently is not good enough these days in the West, but there has always been the tension of two superstars on a single team. I feel as though Jefferson will fit in well with Allen Iverson, and would make up for the scoring that you would be missing without Melo there. On the other side of the trade you are sending Melo to another two superstar situation where Vince Carter does not have the track record of sharing the spotlight. We all know he tanked games to get out of Toronto/ Add a player like Carmelo who in my opinion has a similar ego/attitude and I think that could cause some huge problems for the Nets. Now I may be way off here, but let me know who you think is getting the better end of this deal if it goes through?

4Real Out…
More after the jump...

Sneaky Tailgating: Hidden Booze

With College Football season around the corner it brings to mind one thing.

Not the Bronze Stiff-Arm, or the Top 25 as are often written about here. Not whether or not certain players are going to be eligible. It's tailgating. One of my first post gave us the rules of tailgating. Tailgating is an All-American right, and not just sports related. The big reason College Tailgates are so important and are much more grand than professional sports tailgates is the lack of booze in most if not all College Football stadiums. But alas, the entrepreneurs of the world have found ways to get your liquid refreshment of adult beverages into the stadiums.
One of my personal favorites is the "Sippin Seat" or "Cushion Flask"

The seat holds exactly 750 ml of liquid. What else is 750 ml? Glad you asked. The standard size bottle of liquor is exactly 750 ml. So basically you can go to a game completely sober, and down your fifth of Jack as the game goes on and leave completely and utterly shitfaced. Congratulations, we're proud. Prices range from 29.99 - 49.99 on sites I searched.
There are countless other sneaky ways to bring booze into stadiums. The standard cell-phone flask or flask on a belt buckle are seen all over usually ranging from 1 to 4 shots, and are quite sneaky.

A few other options available are gender specific options for men or women to hide their booze in plain sight. Men can Sport the cleverly named Beer Belly that holds 64 shots or 6 beers.

This one is large enough that you could save money not only on the booze you don't have to buy, but also on the mixers you planned to pour it in. Ice pack to keep it cold sold separately. The downside is the inability to be shirtless during the game.

For women who want to remain looking their best in case they make it on ABC in between commercial breaks they can sport the similarly clever Wine Rack.

It comes in typical cup sizes and holds the same amount as the Beer Belly. Saves you plenty of money and gets you plenty drunk. Fill er up with Cosmos and Lemon Drops and enjoy the game ladies.

Similar empty bladders exist that can be hidden under your shorts or around the waist under that dated fanny pack. These are almost strictly for shots, they only hold about 12 shots worth of liquor.
A new one that I have never seen or heard before comes straight out of Caddyshack.

A Golf Club that holds either 38 shots, or the electric version that does not require pumping that disperses 43 shots. Either way it's a win win on those publick courses with the Whack Beer girls charging 8 dollars for a warm Miller Lite.

Many of you have seen the Binoculars before I'm sure that open up to allow between 7-15 shots from what I have seen around the net. I guess it's the break down whether you use one side or both.
One of my favorite sandal companies got in on the action too. Unfortunately these might not be as popular in November in South Bend or State College, PA.
Not pictured is the included funnel and key to remove the caps on the sides that allow you to fill the clear "canteens" on the bottom of each sandal. I believe it is 2-3 oz per sandal but have not found that information in my research.
There are hundreds of items out there for the sneaky drinker. What inspired this little diatribe. Well I'm sitting here at work, and as is commonly the case I am bored out of my mind. I've got nothing to do and wish that I was drunk. But how can someone drink at work without being too conspicuous. Well these thoughts went through my head while pouring powdered drink mix into a glass of water and a light bulb went off. To any of you chemistry majors who want to make a million dollars. Go back to your labs, dehydrate me a bottle of Jack Daniels and throw it in a fun dip envelope. Imagine having that at a game. Sure if you've got the beer belly or the sipping set you can get your booze into the stadium easy, but what next? you have to maneuver and pour it still, that alone can get you busted. But wouldn't it be great if you just pulled out an envelope and poured a tablespoon of powdered drink mix into your coke. Give it a quick stir. What could be easier. Think about it, those Freshmen who get busted for having booze in the dorms, what if they just had a vodka powdered and stored in that Gatorade or Kool-aid canister on their desk. Hell it could be premixed Fader-ade. For the sneaky alcoholic at work pouring some powdered Baileys into their coffee instead of creamer. The possiblities are endless. Please, someone out there. I beg of you. Invent this, make our lives better.

More after the jump...

Cue the entrance music

And now starting at Center for your Arizona Wildcats........Number 77 in your programs, Number 1 in your Hearts........The Big Daddy, To smart for his own good....Matt "Antoine MF Cason" Randle "el"......AHHHHHHHHHH the crowd goes wildddddddd.

Thank you, Thank you....I am thrilled to be here. Big up's to Dom for seeing that I had the potential to be great like every Arizona Cardinals 1st round pick in the modern era.
Let me start this first of many contributions by saying, Dom it's to late, All sales are final, you sir have probably made the worst decision ever. Who in their right mind would give me the keys and let me drive....oh well...here goes

Maybe an appropriate step should be to introduce myself. I am a T-Loc, that is to say a Tucson Native to the uneducated reader. I have been a Wildcat fan for longer than I can remember which in all honesty is sometime last week. My moods from week to week are determined by how my beloved Wildcats are doing. I served in the US Army for 5 years to include a wonderful 7 months in the sandbox full of explosions...Spring Break in Baghdad '03.

And now that we are through with the formalities let’s get on with the ranting and raving.....
I have been in a state of sorrow and depression over the state of affairs in Wildcat land the past year. Things seem to be at the lowest the can possibly be....oh wait...*News Flash*...Emanuel Negudu released from his letter of intent....and on and on it has been going for months on end. I used to trump sports conversations with the ol' class of the NCAA card. This is no longer possible, in fact we are quickly becoming the team people are just tired of hearing about because it is clearly not going to be good news.

Here is the sad state of affairs:

Jonathan Turner, who is innocent until proven guilty, was caught practicing his tackling with a girl who was passed out...Not Good

Josh Pastner, the glue to our basket cats program, gone because he couldn’t operate under the "system" as it was any longer. He (according to my sources) asked to be named associate head coach and given the freedom to offer scholi's to kids he evaluated. The "system" refused to see the reality of both JP's value and its' ability to effectively recruit the OLD way.

Sadly the MVP of last years team (Jerry'd), the most gifted athlete on the team (Chase) and one of the real prizes of the recruiting class (Negudu) all have jumped off this sinking ship.

Nic Wise is telling everyone who will listen he is leaning towards transferring, Jamelle Horne had to be begged to come back and now Brandon Jennings is struggling to qualify.

We have lost to the SCUM Devils in every contest worth mentioning this year. I can't even fall back on the softball team card.

But don't let me convince you that all is terrible in Wilbur’s cave....

We boast the National Champions in both Men's and Woman's Swimming & Diving with the national coach of the year in Frank Busch.

The Softball team is onto the Super Regional’s after being unceremoniously shipped to NY for the regional round and demolishing the competition. We are in fact hosting this round, starting this weekend.

The Bat Cats won 2 of 3 in last weekend’s series against Stanford and are back in the top 25. The reality is that if we can win 2 of 3 this weekend against “Tempe Normal” we even have a shot at hosting a first round regional this post season.

The Basket Cats have done a pretty good job of renovating the coaching stuff. Dunlap and Pennell are great coaches and great guys. This just in...Reggie Geary will be the 3rd assistant, thank god we made right by him for the whole Simon fiasco a few years back. Maybe our Karma will come back.

Willie hasn't suffered a concussion in months, that’s huge.

All of the de-commits that Dirty Dennis stole from us this past recruiting season are in serious academic trouble right now. Jarelle Barbour is not getting in, Ryan Bass is hurting and Gerelle Robinson is in a bad bad way.

Nic Wise is leaning but Lute was quoted as saying they met last week and that Nic wants to be the leader on next years team.

Jeff Withey is on the way....You heard it here first...This kid is really 7 ft and athletic...Having J Hill and Withey in the paint next year is going to be HUGE.

Jennings isn't in as bad a situation as some news outlets would have you believing. He scored terrible on his SAT's when he was at Compton Dominguez High school. His scores jumped "significantly" at Oak Hill and the NCAA wants him to take it again to make sure nothing fishy was going on. I can't help but assume that moving to the woods and attending a private school, basketball factory where they shot hoops and study everyday, all day probably helped.

Lastly, on a personal note, the athletic department (Rocky LaRose & Jim Livengood) are doing the right thing and putting Mike Dawson's name in the ring of honor. He was my step father and I have fought a long battle to see this happen. Ultimately nothing I did made it happen, although the grassroots pressure had to have had an effect. It looks as though they will be doing this without any fanfare; they told us that they never do a ceremony. I am just glad to see it happen and only wish it could have happened while Mike was still alive to enjoy some of the much deserved glory.

This seems like a good place to call it quits for now....
BEARing DOWN on national championships in Baseball and Softball

More after the jump...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hesiman Hopefuls : 2008-2009

Dom had posted his predictions for Heisman Hopefuls really early, and being of a competitive nature I wanted to challenge him and make a more accurate projection. In the wake of the NFL draft, and off field activities, i.e. Ryan Perrilloux being asked to leave the Tigers, many of my ideas have been thrown out the window. This has become a difficult task at present, but hey I love a challenge. This is why I will be breaking my hopefuls into a couple categories. The first two categories consist of Quarterbacks and Running Backs. The second category rounds out the list of Top 10 Hopefuls with a single wide receiver who I believe deserves mention. This is not to say that he is the only wide receiver deserving of accolades, but for this purpose of this article he makes the list. In the history of the bronze stiff arm there have been 42 Running Backs, 26 Quarterbacks, 2 Wide Receivers (Tim Brown 87’ and Desmond Howard 91’), and 1 Defensive Player (Charles Woodson CB 97’). I have written a couple times about how all of the awards breakdown, and how the voting isn’t always fair. My perspective on the matter continues to cloud my field of hopefuls, but without further ranting here are my predictions in no particular order and with some food for thought about each candidate:


Tim Tebow: Florida Gators:
Returning Starters: Offense 7, Defense 8
Relevant Information: Archie Griffin is the only player to ever win two Heismans. That being said no sophomore had ever been immortalized in bronze either. The media loves this kid, he is an animal, and his numbers speak for themselves. He would be my front runner, but the way in which McFadden got treated shows that a lot of the golden rules involved in Heisman voting have changed. Take that for what you will, but he has to be in the mix again.

Chase Daniel: Missouri Tigers
2007: 384/563 4306 YDS, 33 TD 11 INT
Returning Starters: Offense: 6 defense: 10
Relevant Information: One of the biggest surprises of last year was Daniel and his Tigers. They were one win away from the National Championship game, and he ended up a Finalist for the Heisman. Missouri boasts a lot of key returns to their starting squad including TE Chase Coffman ( 52 Catches for 531 Yards and 7 TDS) and WR Jeremy Maclin ( 80 Catches for 1,050 Yards and 9 TDS). If they can prove that last year wasn’t a Cinderella story we may see Daniel in the hunt once again.

Sam Bradford : Oklahoma Sooners
2007: 237/341 3121 YDS, 36 TD 8 INT
Returning Starters: Offense: 8, defense: 5
Relevant Information: Bradford led the team to an 11-3 record which is respectable in it’s own right. Two of those losses came in games where Bradford was injured or otherwise ( Colorado attempted only 19 passes and Texas Tech where he only completed 3). He brings back some favorite targets in WR Juaquin Iglesias ( 68 Catches for 907 Yards and 5 TDs) and TE Jermain Greshman ( 37 catches for 518 yards and 11 TDS). If he can get some support and better numbers out of RB Chris Brown I believe the Sooners and Bradford have a chance to be in the hunt.

Graham Harell: Texas Tech Red Raiders
2007: 512/713 5705 YDS, 48 TD 14 INT
Returning Starters: Offense: 10, defense: 8
Relevant Information: I have said that for the majority of Hesiman Hopefuls having a Championship Hopeful team is equally as important as skill. Once again Tebow changed those rules on many different levels, but TTech who in recent history has not received a lot of recognition this is especially true. Keys to being in the hunt: #1 Harell will have to lead the Raiders on the road against Kansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas State. Not mentioning games that are difficult playing a Big 12 schedule, these games will be crucial and a W will be more important than the stats. #2 He has huge numbers, and is surrounded by one of the most talented Receiving cores in the country. Play for a Big 12 Championship and he is the new Colt Brennan.

Matthew Stafford: Georgia Bulldogs
2007: 194/348, 2523 YDS, 19 TD , 10 INT
Returning Starters: Offense: 7, defense: 9
Relevant Information: Georgia looks poised to be a Top 5 team out the gates. That bodes well for anyone behind the helm, however, Stafford lost his #1 target in Sean Balley (615 Receiving Yards). Most likely his new favorite target will be Mohamed Massaquoi who had 32 catches for 491 yards and 4 TDs in 07’. Stafford’s main concern is the same as Boeckman, and why they are interchangeable at #5: Their Running Backs will most likely carry the majority of the load and subsequently get most of the credit.

Todd Boekchman : The Ohio State Buckeyes
2007: 191/299 2379 YDS, 25 TD 14 INT.
Returning Starters: Offense 9, Defense 9
Relevant Information: Boeckman will return as the Buckeyes quarterback this season with a chip on his shoulder. The Back to Back BCS Championship Runners Up have a lot to prove as a team and for the Big Ten as a whole. The go to guy for Boeckman this year will once again be Brian Robiskie (55 REC for 935 YDS and 11 TDS). Boeckman might gain some recognition as good leader, but most likely will fall to the same fate as Stafford when it comes to who is really responsible for the work load. See Below:

Running Backs:
Chris “Beanie” Wells : The Ohio State Buckeyes
2007: 247 Carries, 1609 YDS, 15 TD
Returning Starters: Offense 9, Defense 9
Relevant Information: Wells,a Junior, is past being overlooked as one of the best running backs after a class with likes of McFadden have moved to playing on Sunday. It appeared as he did not suffer a sophomore slump either, allowing him to move into the upper echelon of running backs in College Football. As far as I am concerned he is the top RB returning as of right now.

Knowshown Moreno: Georgia Bulldogs
2007: 248 Carries, 1334 YDS, 14 TD 0 Fumble
Returning Starters: Offense: 7, defense: 9
Relevant Information: Good Numbers, Good Team, add in another great season and I don’t see any reason he won’t be considered on of the best.

Noel Devine: West Virginia Mountaineers
2007: 73 Carries, 627 YDS, 6 TD
Offense: 8, defense: 4
Relevant Information: This will be Noel’s first real year in the lime light. Slaton took the majority of the focus last year, and Noel performed well in the back up situation. This year he will be under a new head coach, the system will be a little different, and he will be the main focus of the running game. The question is can he step up or will he sophomore slump?

LeSean McCoy: Pittsburgh Panthers
2007: 276 Carries, 1328 YDS, 14 TDS
Returning Starters: Offense: 8, defense: 7
Relevant Information: Devine’s main competition for the Big East Rushing Title. Pitt is a team that is on the cusp, and is always in the upset conversation. I think that there is a big gap when it comes to premiere running backs, but do not be surprised if you start to hear this kids name a lot more during the course of the season. McCoy might be suited on an impact list, players to keep an eye on, or any one of those lists but honestly I added him in anyways considering I think the RB race has only two men.

Wide Receivers:
Michael Crabtree: Texas Tech Red Raiders
2007: 134 Rec.1962 YDS, 22 TD
Returning Starters: Offense: 10, defense: 8
Relevant Information: The Numbers. He was a Freshman. That should scare everyone. He is one of ten returning offensive starters on a team that ended 9-4 in 2007. It is a long shot for him to be the third WR to ever win a Heisman, but it should not be taken out of the conversation. Crabtree has also made in known that he would like to return kicks while head coach Mike Leach says that he does not dislike the idea, but has no plans of making that happen. If Crabtree gets in there to return kicks, returns a few, and racks up the all purpose yards that might help his cause a great deal.

These picks will obviously change as the season gets closer, and I will continue to look for guys that are under the radar. Unfortunately, the Heisman is the radar, and if you are under it well then you obviously aren’t holding it.

4Real Out….
More after the jump...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Law of Three's: Who's Next

As I'm sure many of you have heard before, there is the so-called "Law of Three's" which essentially states that things, good and bad happen in patterns of Three. Some prime examples include The 2003 NBA Draft which brought the NBA LeBron, Melo and D-Wade, an ever better example of a great draft was the 1985 NBA Draft. No I'm not talking about Ewing. I'm talking about the back to back to back selections of Joe Kleine, Chris Mullin, and Detlef Schrempf. There is also the sad like Michaeld Jordan retiring, three times in 1993, 1998, 2003, or the untimely deaths of The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, and Mother Theresa.

We are in the process of yet another pattern of repetitive major cultural moments.

Annika Sorenstam: 293 tournaments, missed the cut 9 times. 90 Total Tournament wins (72 LPGA) 10 LPGA Major victories including a three-peat at the LPGA Championship 2003-2005. 8 times in a 16 year career she was the Number 1 Female golfer in the world. 5 times she was in the Top 5 (13 out of 16 total including the #1s). Without a doubt the top female golfer in history. She has decided that this will be her last professional season at the ripe age of 37.

Justine Henin: 41 wins over 9 year career. 7 Grand Slams. Three-time defending French Open Champ (2005-2007). One of 3 female tennis players I know that doesn't look like Predator. 5th All-Time in the money list. Currently the number 1 ranked female tennis player in the world. Gold medal winner, and she has called it quits at the ripe old age of 25.

The top Female Tennis Player and Female golfer have taken a step back from their respective sports while at the top. So the question is. Who's next? What female athlete will be the next to step away from the game?
More after the jump...

Jim Edmonds and Mitchell Report Backlash

DISCLAIMER: I am not in ANY way suggesting that Jim Edmonds will be, is, or was ever involved with Steroids, HGH, or any other PEDs. This is a statement on the Mitchell Report Backlash. Please do not bitch and moan about creating rumors or false information. Thank you.

Jim Edmonds signed with the Cubs. He will suit up in about an hour and 45 minutes and face off against the team the cut him 5 days ago (prior to the series with the Cubs). He spent years demolishing Cub Pitching, breaking Cub fan hearts, and making great plays. Jim Edmonds is, and has been for a long time a good, good ball player. Really one of the top Centerfielders of all time. Do not call me out on that. It hurts to say that, Edmonds is only recently a Cub and there is more hurt feelings than good as far as he is concerned. I'm not homering and saying that he's great because he's a Cub now. I'm honestly happy to have the guy on the team, he's got a great glove and (until recently) a great bat.

Here's the downside, his Avg. (.178) at this point in the season and his lone HR. Last year he only had the 12 bombs and a .252 Avg. I do not think that Edmonds ever was associated with steroids beyond shaking the hand of Mark McGwire in St. Louis. But the jaded, cynical, perspective that I have now post Mitchell Report scares me.

2 years ago I would have said, "Great! I like Edmonds, he'll help out (young centerfielder Felix Pie) and his bat will help the line up, even if he is struggling, and lost some power, what do you expect he's 37 and his clubhouse leadership will be great." And I would have meant every single word. And that is legitimately what I feel right now with Edmonds set to take the field in 93 minutes. Here's the problem. This was my first reaction, before being happy with the acquisition.

"Great, we got Edmonds. Look at his numbers 2000 - 2004 he was busting 30+ jacks a year, twice hitting 42. All of a sudden he hit 19 and 12 in '05 and '06. He clearly was juicing his whole time in St. Louis there's no reason for a drop off in productivity like that other than illegal substances."

Now 5 minutes later I realized how much of a cynical Asshole I sounded like, Edmonds has had a good career and I am genuinely excited about having him on the Northside, and I hope he has that Vengeance break out game against the Fathers in just over an hour, and he breaks some Redbird fan hearts when we head to the Lou in the future. He will be a great clubhouse guy. That's the ridiculous downside of the Mitchell Report and all of the Steroid use in the game. Even Edmonds, who has always been one of the good guys, can get that reaction from someone, and I know I wasn't the only person who saw a struggling Edmonds who used to hit 30, 40 HR a year not even able to put a bat on it.
Something did change between 2000 and 2006. It's called 6 years, 6 years older. That is probably the cause of the lower numbers. Good luck Jim, welcome to Chicago, have fun in the ivy at Old Style Stadium, formerly known as Wrigley Field, it's great to have you. And I sincerely apologize for being so jaded that I let the Mitchell Report, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, et. al. get my mind going down the wrong path.

More after the jump...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sad State of Affairs in the NFL

28. 28 Arrests this year. 28 Arrests this year of current NFL players. Take into account there have been 28 RECORDED Arrests and citations given this year, that doesn't count the guy(s) who got off sans police report, the Marvin Harrison's who have not yet been charged/called suspects, or the Matt Leinart's of the game who do things that negatively reflect on players and the NFL with no legal recourse. Again, I need to preface that this is THIS YEAR. In less than four an a half months, 19 weeks to be exact there have been 28, meaning, on average, more than one per week. In 2007 the number was 61, 2006 was 66. Over the past 279 weeks (2003-present) there have been 276 arrests on report. That breaks down to .989 arrests per week over the last 5+ years. And so far in 2008 we're on a 1.5 per week pace. Not a good sign.

In Tucson there is a local afternoon radio show on 1290 AM with former NFL-er Glenn Parker (former U of A Wildcat and member of my All-Arizona Football Team) who, at around 5:30 each day does the police blotter. The fact that a daily segment can be dedicated to athletes who are in trouble with the law is a sad state of affairs. Almost every time there is more than one athlete getting called out and 60% of the time at least one of them is a pro football player. This is ridiculous.

Everyone busts on the 'Nati for the amount of jailhousers that fill their roster but they aren't the only ones. Here's a little breakdown of arrests since January 2003.

Arizona: 2 (Larry Ned stole someone's laptop in an airport terminal)
Atlanta: 8 (Arrests range from Animal Abuse by Babineaux to Animal Abuse by Vick. Keep puppies away from Matt Ryan)
Baltimore: 8 (B.J. Sams, 2 DUIs in 14 months, Jamal Lewis and his Drug Trafficking charges are here as well)
Buffalo: 4 (Anthony Hargrove hit a cop)
Carolina: 6 (Jarrod Cooper does a double dip in 13 months, Jeremy Bridges pointed a gun at a female employee of a strip club a.k.a stripper)
Chicago: 11 (Tank Johnson leads team with 4, Benson still says he wasn't drunk and was mistreated)
Cincinnati: 19 (Chris Henry leads team with 6, A.J. Nicholson follows with 2, one for punching Girlfriend in the eye)
Cleveland: 8 (Ruben Droughns leads with 2)
Dallas: 4 (Dwayne Goodrich currently serving 12 years for Manslaughter)
Denver: 14 (5 Domestic Dispute/Assault arrests, Sam Brandon 3, Brandon Marshall 2)
Detroit: 6 (Stand up Gentleman Kalvin Pearson leading the list with felony aggravated battery on a pregnant woman and domestic battery by strangulation, Good Job A-Hole)
Green Bay: 6 (Joe Johnson appearing twice on the list. Mark Chumura's statutory rape/aggravated rape charge not included [2000])
Houston: 7 (Jerome Mathis arrested on charge of choking his common-law wife, afraid of commitment but not strangling his wife)
Indianapolis: 11 (No mention of Marvin Harrison fighting a guy who then got shot, with his gun, that was hidden at his car detailing shop, because he is not a suspect)
Jacksonville: 13 (4 of which were gun charges)
Kansas City: 11 (Jared Allen 2 DUIs, Larry Johnson 2 domestic Disputes, one allegedly involving a gun)
Miami: 11 (3 domestic disputes, Randy McMichael pulling a Kalvin Pearson by hitting his pregnant wife)
Minnesota: 24 (Sex Boat Scandal, Bryant McKinnie leads with 4, Koren Robinson - 3, AND they signed Jared Allen. Look out McKinnie someone's coming for your Team Lead)
New York Giants: 5 (Adrian Awasom leads the low-key G-men with his Extreme DUI 2 days before the Super Bowl, Nice job Eugene, at least it wasn't a prostitute)
New York Jets: 3 (2 DUI's and a misdemeanor Assault)
New England: 6 (Not including general bad person, homewrecker, blatent cheater Bill Belichick)
New Orleans: 5 (Not including Reggie Bush's USC indiscretions)
Oakland: 5 (only including Janikowski's most recent run-in, not including his 2 prior to 2003)
Philadelphia: 3 (Dhani Jones leads by being Charged with failure to obey a lawful command after allegedly refusing to stop dancing outside a South Beach club)
Pittsburgh: 9 (10 if you count the mascot getting a DUI in his costume)
San Diego: 11 (Leonardo Carson's arrest for kidnapping highlights the bolts)
San Francisco: 3 (Antonio Bryant highlights by getting a DUI after going over 100 mph on the freeway, REEEAAAAALLLLL SAFE there Antonio)
Seattle: 9 (4 domestic violence. Wayne Hunter puts the ASS in Assault for beating his Pregnant girlfriend)
St. Louis: 5 (Dominique Byrd arrested twice in 3 months)
Tampa Bay: 9 (Including, Michael Pittman's arrest for barricading his wife, 2 year old, and babysitter [who he also happened to take to our prom as a nice gesture 2 weeks prior] in a car by ramming it with his Hummer)
Tennessee: 16 (Pacman representing 6 of those)
Washington: 6 (4 were DUIs)

So there you have it, sure the Nasty Nati is a close second to Minnesota but they aren't the only ones on this list. 10 teams had double digit arrests in the last 3 years. Way too many (more than zero) involved women, specifically pregnant women which is inexcusable. 92, by my count, involved alcohol is some way, the majority of which were DUI or suspicion of DUI. Can't you afford a cab with that 6 digit income. Of course, in the instance of Todd Sauerbrun in December his arrests was for assault with his cab driver.

Also on the list were 30 arrests relating to Narcotics. There were, however, more than 20 since some of them were instead listed under the DUI/DWI list or in the Violence list since it fell in more than one. As for the violence list there were 73 arrests relating to some form of violence whether it was something minor like New England's Kenyatta Jones intentionally scalding his roommate with boiling water, but more of them were barroom brawls, nightclub fights, and wife/girlfriend beating. The remaining 75 cases ranged from the minor, refusing to leave a bar, public urination, to the major, manslaughter and kidnapping.

Some are more ridiculous than others like Santonio Holmes being cited along with 100s of others for disorderly conduct on Memorial Day weekend. Then of course there is Cedric Griffin who was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after being thrown out of nightclub for having his pants sag too low. But those are the minority. There are WAY more instances of these tough guys getting into fights, specifically when alcohol or apparently pregnant women are involved. 46 players were on the list at least 2 times in the last 5 years. Some were on 2 or more times but one fell prior to 2003 so their name did not make my lists/numbers. Not included in any of the numbers were former Pro-Bowlers Ricky Williams or Andre Rison Each with 3 arrests. Rison was arrested 3 times from February 2000 to August 2000. Once for false impersonation stating that his name was Officer Brock Middlebrook

I would like to think that Roger Goodell's crackdowns have made a difference but with 33 more weeks left in 2008, we're on pace to see a record high 74 arrests this year. This is not the way that things are supposed to be in the NFL. Part of the reason is the lack of (until recently) punishment by the NFL, but more blame has to be put on the cities where these transgressions are occurring. The fact that all of these guys are cited, released, and pay a fine a couple months later, does not deter them. Which is probably why there are so many people on this list twice. Sad State of Affairs.

Search through your favorite team/players to find out more about their indiscretions. A Number of these stats came from The San Diego Union Tribune, "Arrests/citations:NFL Players, 2000 - Present" <http://sports.uniontrib.com/sports/nfl/arrests.html>
More after the jump...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Give Credit Where Credit is Due

It is no secret that being flamboyant, outspoken, or controversial will make you the center of attention in the media. It is the public equivalent of nice guys finishing last. That being said just by being associated wth this site I am as guilty as the next person. Everyday I watch, listen, or read every sports media outlet like a high school girl looking for the latest gossip and dirt. I started thinking about that a lot today which led me to think of who my “favorite” baseball player is. The kind of question that was so simple when I was a kid. Now I have a hundred different explanations and reasons for my choices, most of which ends going over some many variables as to make it difficult to widdle a list down to 10 or even 20. These days I’ve realized that my soap box stance of keeping the sanctity of the game has seemed hypocritical at times while other times it simply was. Consider the following beliefs or statements that I have made whether on this site or during debates off the record:
• I believe in Tradition of Baseball, that some things are sacred and that it is the closest thing to pure sport that you can get.
• I watch the AL, like the DH, and think that a great offense is the best defense
• (It is no secret that I am a Cleveland Sports Fan) I would want to play for my home team at whatever cost
• It is not a question of whether I would sell out or not it is just a matter of when.

I can go on and on and I am not a great prophet of baseball, or of keeping it pure. I know that if I played I would not be so humble nor would I be winning any morality contests. I picture myself as Willy May Hays always swinging for the fences, and trust me it would take someone like Lou Brown to keep me in check. That being said I think that it is time to give credit where credit is due. I give credit to those to who keep the ideals alive, and have eluded being hypocritical in their “love for the game”.

This takes me back to my previous statement about it being so much easier to pick my favorite player when I was a kid. I had two posters on my wall: Kenny Lofton and Ken Griffrey Jr. Growing up I had a million arguments with my pops over who was the best modern era baseball player of all time: Bonds or Griffey. He wrote it off as me being young, but maybe it was because I was not jaded yet. I saw the game as a game, and I recognized who was the best, who played the hardest, and who had all of the qualities that I wanted to have. Lets run down some reasons as to why Griffey always has and always will be my favorite player and my choice in a debate for the best of all time:

First Off What Griffey Has Accomplished on Paper (Currently in 19th Season):
Career: .289, 597 HR (6th all Time, 1st Among Active Players), 2593 H, 1719 RBIS, 1561 R.
Gold Gloves: 10
All Star: 13
MVP: 1

What Could Have Been:
Taking away the 38 games he has played so far in 2008 he has averaged nearly 132 games a year in his 18 years. This includes 95’ where he played in only 72 games, 94 and 01 he only played in 111, and 02-04 combined he played in 203 games. Now this may not sound like much, and yes his career game average might appear to be counterproductive in my argument. The thing is that the type of injuries that took him out of these games is what is key. In 02-04 his injuries were all season ending injuries. He had broken wrists, including the infamous diving play in the wall(see pic) to make a catch. He played his heart out, and didn’t exhibit a lot of the normal wear and tear injuries that sidelined a lot of players these days. One of the biggest stats this effected was his homerun production, which is always at the forefront of debate because well chiks dig the long ball.
1993: 45, 1994: 40, 1995: 17 in 72 games, 1996: 49, 1997: 56 (5 away from the record in the year when McGuire hit 58), 1998: 56 (Again 5 away in the year McGuire/Sosa had their epic chase), 1999: 48, 2000: 40. Next comes 4 years in which he has shortened seasons due to injury. Take away 95 due to injury and he was averaging 47 homeruns over those 7 healthy seasons. If we take into account the 5 seasons of 01-04 and say he averaged 40 HR a year he would be sitting at 797 not 597 and have absolutely crushed the all time record. Even looking at Griffey as 39 year old ball player in what would be his twilight years he has averaged 30 HRs over his last three seasons.

Take that seven year span and look at his hit numbers. He average 166 hits a season over that period. Strictly looking at averages for projection and arguments sake he would have another 830 hits or so. That would give him 3424 for his career and passing Carl Yastrzemski to be 6th on the all time hit list.

The numbers are projections and what could have been are seemingly meaningless debates are made of, but what about the intangibles that he displayed. After the 1999 season Griffey asked to be traded. This was at the end of his hot streak that I have been using. During the middle of negotiations for a contract extension with the Mariners that would have earned him $148 million over eight years, instead he expressed his desire to be traded to the Reds so that he could be closer to his father. He wanted to wear his number, and be close to what really mattered. The Reds subsequently offered him 112.5 million over 9 years. Now this is not a sympathy situation by any means, but he did take a substantial pay cut as far as a top professional athlete is concerned.

Flash forward to May of 2008 and the Mariners are trying to establish a connection with Junior in hopes of a return. He has openly stated that he would not try to extend his career by hitting in the DH spot. His stance is that if he can’t play in the field anymore than he is too old to play. I love the homerun, I love the DH, I have for love Griffey, but I don’t know how a person could not respect what he has done for this game. He is soft spoken, humble, can never be accused of not playing hard every day, and has never been associated with performance enhancers. Talk about athletes being role models, well then he should be the poster child for it. He literally was for me. Even if the rest of the world has forgotten about Griffey, I haven’t, and will continue to acknowledge him as one of the best players to even play the game.

4Real Out....
More after the jump...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sir Chuck Comes in Clutch

This might be one of the funniest things that I have ever seen. Sir Chuck, known not to hold anything back let's loose on someone at TNT, goes as far as to call him a Dumbass on the air.

You gotta love Chuck.
More after the jump...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tebow Goes for New Record

First Sophomore to win the Heisman.
First Home-schooled athlete to win the Heisman.
First NCAA Div. I football player to throw and run for 20 TDs.
First Current Div I athlete to perform ritual circumcisions in the Phillipeans.


Wait, what was that?
Dr. Tebow, recognizeable here in blue with his broad shoulders and square haricut, went to the Phillipeans for his Spring Break and helped to remove cysts, pull teeth, and of course circumcise young impoverished youths.

Is there anything this young man can't do? Throw, Run, Surgical procedures, and of course we've seen him with some lovely ladies in the past, earning him the nickname, on this site of Double D-Bow.
Can't wait for the signs, shrits, and chants come SEC play next year.

More after the jump...

John Bale = Nuke LaLoosh

Royals Pitcher John Bale must have been too focused on his pitching in the late 80s to catch a little gem known as Bull Durham. Unfortunately for him, he missed out on some key teachings from the Minor League Home Run King, Crash Davis. The first time Crash met young Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh a.k.a. Meat, Davis taught him a very valuable lesson for a pitcher.

Scene: Dark Alley. Two Men bust through the back door, one a brash, drunk, young rookie in a hawaiian shirt coming off an incredible opening loss in the Carolina Leagues. The other an aged wise man who follows him to the alley. One Tequila the other Bourbon. A Fight ensues, and the brash rookie punches the wiser older guy, with his pitching hand. Something, that we find out, is the last thing a pitcher should do.

Flash Forward a few weeks, Crash has taught Meat plenty about the game, "sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains" and this time Crash is drunk (on Jim Beam Bourbon) and the Rook has good news for him. This time Crash picks the fight and Nuke gives him a solid hook. Crash's first response, "which hand'd you use?" Nuke used his non pitching hand. He learned in the Carolina Leagues.

It's simple, Mr. Bale. You make your living, using your hand. Your PITCHING hand. So why am I reading this story about a 5th year player on his 4th team who has appeared in 56 total games in his career and is in the rotation after a couple years in Japan, and is coming off the DL from a tight shoulder. You're in the show, you get to hit, or pitch rather, bright white balls at practice, someone is carrying your luggage for you. This could be your last cup of coffee before you head back down to the Carolina leagues. So why are you punching hotel walls with your PITCHING hand?

Are you kidding me? While you're on the DL, go rent Bull Durham. Listen to words of the wise Crash Davis.
More after the jump...

Friday, May 2, 2008

2008 Pre-Season All-Americans

The Draft is over, Hockey and Basketball playoffs are upon us, Baseball season is in full swing, which means one thing. College Football is right around the corner. So it's time to start covering it. Over the coming weeks 4Real, BC (if he has time) and myself will be coming up with our Pre-Season lists. Then, once the season is upon us, we'll update them weekly and you can compare ours with the others. So the first list that I have complied is The BearDown's Preseason All-American List looks as such:

1st Team Offense
QB: Chase Daniel, Missouri
RB: Knowshon Moreno, Georgia
RB: Noel Devine, West Virginia
WR: Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
WR: Jeremy Maclin, Missouri
TE: Travis Beckum, Wisconsin
OT: Phil Loadholt, Oklahoma
OG: Duke Robinson, Oklahoma
C: Alex Mack, California
OG: Ray Feinga, BYU
OT: Eben Britton, Arizona

1st Team Defense
DE: George Selvie, South Florida
DT: Fili Moala, USC
DT: Greg Hardy, Mississippi
DE: Michael Johnson, Georgia Tech
LB: James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
LB: Brandon Spikes, Florida
LB: Gerald McRath, Southern Miss
DB: Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State
DB: Vontae Davis, Illinois
DB: William Moore, Missouri
DB: Taylor Mays, USC

1st Team Special Teams
PK: Thomas Webber, Arizona State
P: Keenyn Crier, Arizona
PR: Brandon James, Florida
KR: A.J. Wallace, Penn State

2nd Team Offense
QB: Tim Tebow, Florida
RB: Chris “Beanie” Wells, Ohio State
RB: Joe McKnight, USC
WR: Mike Thomas, Arizona
WR: Percy Harvin, Florida
TE: Rob Gronkowski, Arizona
OT: Andre Smith, Alabama
OG: Herman Johnson, LSU
C: Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas
OG: Greg Isdaner, West Virginia
OT: Michael Oher, Mississippi

2nd Team Defense
DE: Ricky Sapp, Clemson
DT: Al Woods, LSU
DT: Terrill Byrd, Cincinnati
DE: Greg Middleton, Indiana
LB: Brian Cushing, USC
LB: Rey Maualuga, USC
LB: Dannell Ellerbee, Georgia
DB: Mike Mickens, Cincinnati
DB: Nic Harris, Oklahoma
DB: Derek Pegues, Mississippi State
DB: Kevin Ellison, USC

2nd Team Special Teams
PK: Austin Starr, Indiana
P: Kevin Huber, Cincinnati
PR: David Gilreath, Wisconsin
KR: A.J. Jefferson, Fresno State

Honorable Mention Offense
QB: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
QB: Todd Reesing, Kansas
RB: P.J. Hill, Wisconsin
RB: LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh
RB: Ian Johnson, Boise St.
RB: Eugene Jarvis, Kent State
WR: Kenny Britt, Rutgers
WR: Brandon Gibson, Washington State
WR: Brian Robiskie, Ohio State
WR: Demetrius Byrd, LSU
TE: Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma
TE: Chase Coffman, Missouri
OL: Eric Wood, Louisville
OL: Max Unger, Oregon
OL: Ryan Stanchek, West Virginia
OL: Robert Brewster, Ball State
OL: John Estes, Hawaii
OL: Andrew Gardner, Georgia Tech
OL: Matt Mandich, Arkansas State
OL: Anthony Parker, Tennessee
OL: Dallas Reynolds, BYU
OL: Sam Young, Notre Dame

Honorable Mention Defense
DE: Eric Norwood, South Carolina
DE: Tyson Jackson, LSU
DE: Auston English, Oklahoma
DE: Ian Campbell, Kansas State
DT: George Hypolite, Colorado
DT: Sen’Derrick Marks, Auburn
DT: Vance Walker, Georgia Tech
DT: Mitch King, Iowa
LB: Jerome Boyd, Oregon
LB: Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
LB: Marcus Freeman, Ohio State
LB: Scott McKillop, Pittsburgh
LB: Zack Follett, California
LB: Sean Lee, Penn State
DB: Courtney Greene, Rutgers
DB: Patrick Chung, Oregon
DB: Tony Carter, Florida State
DB: Ladarius Webb, Nicholls State
DB: Captain Munnerlyn, South Carolina
DB: Brandon Hughes, Oregon State
DB: Anderson Russell, Ohio State
DB: Rashad Johnson, Alabama

Honorable Mention Special Teams
PK: Jason Bondzio, Arizona
P: Ryan Shoemaker, Auburn
PR: Javier Arenas, Alabama
KR: Darius Marshall, Marshall

And Here's the Breakdown:

Most Offensive AA - Total: Oklahoma (4)
Most Offensive AA - 1st Team: TIE - Oklahoma (2) and Missouri (2)
Most Offensive AA - 2nd Team: TIE - Arizona (2) and Florida (2)
Offensive AA - By Division: SEC (9), Big XII (8), Pac-10 (7), Big East (6), Big Eleven (4), MAC (2), MWC (2), WAC (2), Sun Belt (1), Independents (1), ACC (1)

Most Defensive AA - Total: USC (5)
Most Defensive AA - 1st Team: TIE - Ohio State (2) and USC (2)
Most Defensive AA - 2nd Team: USC (3)
Defensive AA - By Division: SEC (9), Big Eleven (8), Pac-10 (7), Big XII (6), Big East (5), ACC (4), C-USA (1), Southland (1)

Most Special Teams AA - Total: Arizona (2)
Special Teams - By Division: Pac-10 (3), SEC (3), Big Eleven (3), Big XII (1), Big East (1), WAC (1), C-USA (1)
Most Total AA - Team by Team: Oklahoma (6), USC (6), Ohio State (6), Arizona (5), Missouri (4), LSU (4), Florida (4)
More after the jump...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What's Coming Up

So for those of you who have been with us for a while you should be fully aware College Football is our bread and butter here. Go ahead and search the archives, check out my Top 25, Heisman Watch, and more! Well with the competitive nature that 4real and I love so much we have decided to create a couple of varying College Football Predictions. Keep a look out for a revamped Top 25 and Heisman Candidates, and I've been working on my Pre-season All Americans. As things change throughout the offseason, and during the season we'll be doing weekly updates to our Heisman candidates, Top 25, and All American lists.
More after the jump...


Quite Frankly was one of the biggest atrocities to grace the TV Screen. The Stephen A. Smith Show on the Radio was one of the worst ideas since, well since Quite Frankly. And you want to know the sad thing. Smith has good opinions somewhere in the neighborhood of 80% of the time. He actually is smart, and knows what he's talking about. Unfortunately he is the single most abrasive voice in sports today. I used to listen to the Jungle on the way to and from home on my lunch break. I had already heard that entire hour while I was at work, but it was much, much, much better than listening to S.A.S scream and use stupid colloquialisms, try to sound hip and intelligent but coming off as gimmicky and obnoxious. I HATE Stephen A. Smith.

I should say I HATE(D) Stephen A. Smith ('s Radio Show). This morning he was on The Herd. Colin and S.A.S. discussed many things NBA (which is right up Smith's alley) They talked about D'Antoni, the Suns-Shaq deal, the Avery Johnson firing, and Kobe Bryant. It was early, and via cell phone, and Smith was being interviewed not filling up a couple hours on his own, screaming off his scripted takes, and you know what. He is really intelligent. When he isn't screaming and using the hip lingo, he's actually really well spoken. I can honestly say, if Smith were anything like he was this morning on The Herd I would actually probably listen to his show occasionally, especially when I wanted to hear Basketball talk.

To Stephen, I wish I could say you got the short end of the stick in an ever-changing market, but that simply isn't the case. Quite Frankly, you were abrasive and obnoxious, which is a damn shame because you also happen to be good at analyzing Basketball. If ESPN, or XM, or anyone, wanted to give you another show, I would be all for it, I really would, and I would listen. As long as it was taped at 7 or 8 am, and it was conducted through cell phones or microphones that are toned down. Or if you just stopped screaming, microphones make you audible, and you are in a sound proof radio booth, not a bar, no need to scream. You're talking to the masses on their daily commutes or while they're at work, not yelling and mixing in the obnoxious phrases.
More after the jump...