Wednesday, March 19, 2008

NFL Investigating Lack of Offers

If you follow sports one of the recent topics that has come to the attentino of Sports fans is Barry Bonds lack of offers to play baseball this season. He thinks that there might be collusion by owners not signing him.

At first glance you think, teams are going to do what's best for them, and if Bonds will help their team you have to assume they would sign him. But when I really got to thinking about it I started noticing other signs of collusion. What about John Rocker, did you see him on Pros vs. Joes, he's still got it. It's not just baseball either.

First off, I realized that I haven't received any offers to play football. I am obviously going to bring my case to the NFLPA and will send in a letter to Union President Gene Upshaw. This is absurd, why am I sitting in a cubicle when I am over the NFL age limits and a fully capable 23 year old. Don't the Dolphins need a lot of help. This is a little absurd. And I'm not alone, Tommy Maddox isn't in the NFL right now, why isn't he on any rosters. Curtis Enis is ready to strap it up for any NFL team. After Kordell Stewart was released by Baltimore he had "No Comment" that doesn't sound like an official retirement to me.

The NBA isn't innocent either former #1 overall pick and Rookie of the year Derrick Coleman was cut by Detroit not too long ago and isn't lacing them up anymore. Check up on Charles Oakley almost a year ago he said he wanted to comeback, even the Knicks aren't knocking on his door.

This is insane it's a monster conspiracy it goes beyond Bonds and the MLB it goes all the way across all three major sports.

Someone needs to take a serious look at this. Thank you Mr. Bonds for bringing this to our attention.

Or maybe, just MAYBE no one wants to deal with your ego, your Huge (literally) head, the steroid questions every week, the fact that you can only play 3 days a week at most and that you are useless defensively. Maybe it's because there's a chance you could miss the post-season due to jailtime or emergency forehead ear removal. Maybe it's because the only city whose fans cheered for you was San Francisco and they don't want you back. Maybe just maybe no one wants a cancer on their team asking for millions of dollars to get 1 walk in 3 plate appearances per game and 20 Home Runs on the season and they don't want to have to spend extra on syringe removal from both the field and the clubhouse.
More after the jump...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Famous Number 9s

We have tried to stay above the frey as far as the whole Elliot Spitzer thing is concerned, seeing as how little it relates to sport. Then again it's a topic on Jim Rome, Dan Patrick, and Colin Cowherd which means basically that it has become sport. So client number 9 got us thinking. What other numebr 9s can hang out with ex-governor Spitzer.

How about Adam "Pacman" Jones. Number 9 at West Virginia. I think we all know why Pacman has become famous in the last year, well mroe like infamous. Pacman can't stay out of Strip Clubs and loves throwing money at women. I wonder if Spitzer ever made it rain?


Then there's Tony Parker. After winning the Finals last year Parker went out and got married to Eva Longoria. All seemed well. Then Number 9 went out and had an affair 2 months later.






Are you familiar with Ben Johnson, the olympic medalist who was accused, and proven of doping. Number 9 had to forfeit his medals and records from the 88 games.





Of course you can't have a list of all time great cheaters without mentioning some of the Mitchell Report guys two of which are Matt Williams and Todd Hundley. Both sporting Number 9.




Then lastly, a personal heartbreak of cheating was when Bears Super Bowl Quarterback Number 9 Jim McMahon went on to wear number 9 at not one but 2 of the Bears hated rival teams. In some way it felt as if he was cheating on the Bears.
I guess that Gov. Spitzer will have some company in the pantheon of cheaters or womanizers that sport #9.

More after the jump...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Most Impressive?

The last couple weeks have shown us lots of impressive feats.  So which feats are the most impressive.

  • Georgia reeling off 4 wins in 3 days in a relatively tough SEC conference tournament.  They were 2-11 in their last 13 games against those same divisional foes.  I can't even think of something comparable.

  • Houston Rockets continuing their ridiculous stretch getting their 22nd win in a row over the last couple months, did I mention it is without their team statistical leader?  Oh yeah I did, here.  The NBA Record is 33 by the 1971-72 Lakers.  Not even the (NBA record) 72-10 Chicago Bulls won that many consecutive games.

  • Arizona, edging out Arizona State for their 24th consecutive NCAA appearance.  Consider this.  Over the last 24 years no one else has been there every season.  It was also the season the Tournament expanded to 64 teams so there are plenty of chances out there. Blue Bloods: Duke (13th straight appearance), North Carolina (5th straight), Kansas (19th), UCLA (4th).  All of whom fall short of Arizona's mark.

  • Tiger Woods notching another 5+ (his 3rd) tournament win streak and moving up to a tie with Golf Great Ben Hogan at Number 3 All-Time.  5 Times has a player won 5 or more tournaments in a row.  Eldrick owns 3 of those 5.
Go ahead and cast your vote at the poll on the right.  If you think we missed something let us know.  

More after the jump...

Arizona State in the NIT

Hey Arizona State. Shut up. You didn't get screwed, jobbed, cheated ripped off, et al. They played a weak schedule and that's what happens when you play a weak schedule. Unfortunately for them, when they planned the schedule it wasn't that weak, but with the way the NCAA is both football and basketball you can only go as far as the teams you play. If they turn out to be soft, it's an unfortunate turn of events. Now could the cips have fallen differently yes.

Arizona State scheduled Illinois in what swould have been a tough non-conference game. Unfortunately for them they lost and Illinois turned out to be towards the bottom of a very weak Big Eleven Conference. Then they beat LSU in OT in a statement game for the Sun Devils. Once again though that team was another that was supposed to be a lot better than they were.

They didn't think far enough a head it would seem. They didn't go above and beyond and they relied on Pac-10 play to be enough to get them over the top. The fact that their non-conference schedule was heavy on teams like St. Francis, Florida Gulf Coast, Cal Poly, Princeton, etc and light on the Xaviers of the world didn't bode well for them come Selection Sunday. Also, they only played 31 games. 1 less than USC and Wazzu, 2 less than Arizona and Stanford. Look at (by comparison) the non-conference schedules of the rest of the Pac-10 schools ahead of them.

UCLA: 31-3,16-2 in Pac10 Play, played 4 non-conference tourney teams (Portland State, Michigan State, Texas, Davidson)
Stanford: 26-7, 13-5 in Pac10 Play, played 1 non-conference tourney team (Siena)
Washington State: 24-8, 11-7 in Pac10 Play, played 4 non-conference tourney teams (Boise State, Baylor, Gonzaga, Portland State)
USC: 21-11, 11-7 in Pac10 Play, played 3 non-conference Tourney teams (Oklahoma, Kansas, Memphis)

Now you get down to UA, Oregon, and Arizona State. All 3 fighting for 2 spots.

Arizona: 19-14, 8-10 in Pac10 Play, played 5 non-conference Tourney teams
(Kansas, Cal-State Fullerton, UNLV, Texas A&M, Memphis) plus they beat Wazzu twice and USC once. (16-6 with a complete line-up, 3-8 without one or both of their starting guards)
Oregon: 18-13, 9-9 in Pac10 Play, played 1 non-conference Tourney Team (Kansas State). Beat ASU once, Stanford once, and Arizona twice.
Arizona State: 19-12, 9-9 in Pac10 Play, played 1.5 non-conference Tourney Teams (Xavier and maybe Coppin State the play-in team). Beat Arizona twice, USC once, and Stanford once.

All three have viable reasons. Both Oregon and Arizona State beat Arizona twice, and Arizona beat themselves plenty, but neither had more overall wins and neither played more than one tourney team out of conference. Add that to Arizona's two victories over Wazzu and the one against USC and they get the edge on the other two . In reality, ASU was 2-7 vs. the top of the Pac-10, which isn't that great. It comes down to RPI and ASU had one of the highest of All-time for a tournament bubble team (83) and it would have been the highest of a tournament team. Also the selection committee takes into acount the fact that the Wildcats were missing their only real 2 guards for a portion of the season and it is responsible for at least 8 of their losses, 6 of their Pac losses. So with that said Arizona goes in and Oregon's tough big road wins puts them slightly ahead of ASU. Which gets me to my next point.

The Pac should have logically sent seven teams to the Tournament. But the selection committee couldn't fathom sending 70% of a conference to the tournament no matter how deserving.

Arizona State should have gotten a second look and is probablybetter than some of the other at-large teams who are dancing, but oh well they didn't try hard enough. They had Coach K schedule their season but weren't able to go 12-1 in non-conference play like Duke. They also didn't have the luxury of a weak (ACC) conference to pile up another 10/12 guaranteed wins (Duke) heading into the tournament. Which is why Duke coudl easily fall to West Virginia or AZ in the 2nd round, and definitely won't make it past the Sweet 16. But that's another post for another time.
More after the jump...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

AFL Week 3


Week 3 action in Arena Football saw the Arizona Rattlers going up against defending Arena Bowl Champion San Jose Sabrecats as well as The Cleveland Gladiators facing off against the Columbus Destroyers for “The Battle of the Buckeye State Trophy”.

The Arizona Rattlers Still competing with themselves on the season ticket bet with their fans fell to 1-2 against the Sabrecats after tonight’s loss (63-43). The Sabrecats were in control for most of the game putting a 20 point hurting on the Rattlers. Turnovers were the story of this game as the Rattlers lost three fumbles as well as Smoker throwing 3 interceptions. With the win San Jose moves to 2-1 and the rattlers fall farther away from winning their playoff bet.

Next Week: March 21st vs. New York Dragons

In the Battle of the Buckeye State the surprise of the AFL continued to shock and awe as the Gladiators won a nail biter against the Columbus destroyers 59-57. It came down to the wire as Destroyer’s QB Nagy connected on a 33 yard pass with 20 seconds left to put the score at 59-57. They failed to convert the two point conversion, and after Cleveland recovered the onside kick it was all over. Philyaw behind the helm for Cleveland connected 19 of 28 passes for 209 yards and 5 touchdowns. On the receiving end Redd posted 7 catches for 74 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Amey had 6 catches for 71 yards and 3 touchdowns. With this big win over last year’s Arena Bowl Runner Ups Cleveland has moved to 3-0 and knocked Columbus down to 0-3.

Side Note For all of you Buckeye fans out there who are still wondering what happened to Justin Zwick: He is currently backing up Destroyers QB Matt Nagy. He didn’t exactly pan out the way we thought he would did he?

Next Week: Friday March 21st @ New Orleans VooDoo

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

Top Chef Chicago: Breakdown and Predictions




Top Chef Chicago kicked off last night and episode one kind of took me by surprise. For the first time I was having some really difficulty picking out clear cut favorites from the pack. This is usually a good thing considering that the level of talent should increase as the seasons progress, however, I felt that no one was impressive enough that they were all just good enough. So lets get into a breakdown of the first episode before I get into my early predictions on who will be this season’s Top Chef.

In Chicago so of course they gather the new contestants at a Pizza Shop and Stuff them with Deep Dish. I’m watching it with my friend The Garnes of Wrigley Fame and so now were on the horn with Rosattis getting our own Deep Dish (Subliminal Tactics Work). Now were watching the intros, and I am trying to note where they work and get an idea of their resume and personality to make informed picks. Note: This is increasingly tough because of the quality of contestants as well as the fact that Garnes is one of those people who doesn’t eat the crust and throws it back in the box. Not only that but after a piece or two she will start just eating the cheese and toppings leaving the remains of dough still in the box. So now I have to keep an eye on that and the show, this is proving harder than I imagined.

First: Zoi and Jennifer announce they are a couple. Everyone seems blown away. Is it the fact that they are a couple? Or that they are a same sex couple? I don’t know if it is an advantage (I see sharing ingredients, helping finish dishes, plating, ect.) I think the first time there is a clear cut advantage it will come up in the Judges table (probably by Andrew) and one of them goes home.

Second: Padma arrives:
Garnes: Looks like she got some botox
4Real: And she’s dressed like a who


Now the Order of the Contestants As I see after Episode One:

Richard: Not completely sold on this so called bag of tricks, reeks of Marcel but with a level head. For now he is my front runner. Besides doing too much with his “tricks” I had a hard time finding negatives then Garnes pointed out he was rocking pink crocs.

Dale: He may be a poor man’s Hung, but all in all looks like the kid may have some talent.

Nikki: I dig her. I don’t know why, but I think she is a solid contestant.

Manuel: Quiet, Hispanic Influenced Foods. Could go either way, biggest sleeper I see.

Jennifer: Part of the Couple: Appears to wear the culinary pants in the relationship.

Andrew: Talks a huge game, so much so that I think he is overcompensating for his skills. I think the producers keep him around longer than his knife skills would.


Erik: Love his laid back attitude, but it may be a little too laid back to be able to compete in a competition like this. On his lasagna “ I made glorified nachos I’m not proud of it”..those kind of comments make me route for you. Plus his bio pic looks like he is a cholo cooking on Easter.


Stephanie: Shock of the show: she takes home the elimination challenge. Did anyone see her shaking? I think she also mentioned that her down fall is nerves. I think that if you crack under pressure that you might be in the wrong industry, and multiple that by 1000 with being on a TV show based on having ice in the veins: you’re screwed.

Spike: Uh Your real name is Evangelos. You kind of look like you snuck in the backdoor and grabbed a jacket.

Antonia: Think she has some talent, but not overly impressed. Pretty standard middle of the pack contestant.

Valerie: Tom said if he had to guess what her dish was he wouldn’t have picked Chicken
Piccata. Does not exactly bode well for your standings.

Lisa: Nothing stood out for me either way. Neutral, probably eliminated in an anti-climatic way, and will have trouble remembering your name by the end of the season.


Zoi- Other half of the Couple: You came with your girlfriend and besides that your name has more vowels than consonants.

Mark: One word: Vegemite. It is only a matter of time before this Kiwi is gone.


Ryan: Starts off the Show Proclaiming his Culinary Dominance at age 11. Looks like that’s where he peaked.

Nimma: Eliminated. I can’t even begin to describe the feelings running through me every time she came on screen. I am so glad her stuck up, unskilled, slow talking anti-social self is gone. Proof Colicchio has my back.

Lastly: I love an episode with Anthony Bourdain. Did not expect to get one out the bat. The thing that confuses me though is the fact that Ted Allen and Gail Simmons are still listed as the judges, but couldn’t make an appearance for the first episode? I don’t even think Allen was in half of last season. What is the story here?


4Real Out….
More after the jump...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Steinbrenner is an Ass

Hardass Hank takes over for his Dad running the Yanks. Apparently there is a new regime in town who does not tolerate anything but success. In a story reproted by the Associated Press earlier today, the Yankees released one of their most anticipated off-season signings after a slow Spring Training appearance. According to the AP:


"TAMPA, Fla. - Billy Crystal’s “mahvelous” time with the New York Yankees is over.

The team released the actor on his 60th birthday, one day after he struck out in his only at-bat against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The announcement came at the bottom of the second page in Friday’s game notes. Under transactions, it said “March 14 Released INF Billy Crystal.”


Apparently the Soul-less Steinbrenner not only doesn't give the young infiedler a second chance, but then goes out and cuts him on his Birthday. There's a new boss in town in New York and success is the only thing acceptable. One wonders how far this practice of cutting players after strikeouts will lead the Yankees in the 2008 season.
More after the jump...

__________ Field (Formerly Wrigley)

As you are all aware by now, Wrigley Field naming rights are for sale. This is sacreligious to many of us. Not just the Cubs fans of the world but the Traditionalists and Baseball fans, don't like the idea of Wrigley not being Wrigley anymore. Now I still call the Suns Arena AWA and the DBacks still play at BOB, so Wrigley will always be Wrigley. But eventually someone is going to buy the name and it's not going to be the gum company.


And for all of you who say that Wrigley has been getting free naming rights for nearly a century, you would be wrong. The Stadium was named after William Wrigley who yes was involved in the Gum company, but it was named after the man.

Now I have been thinking. The owners are definitely going to take this option its Hundreds of Millions of dollars that will help the club. We understand that. But can't we at least agree on a name that's somewhat associated with Chicago or just baseball in general instead of some financial institution or retail center. How about:



Big League Chew Stadium: Cubs fans wouldn't be as happy if it had stayed Wrigley but it could potentially lead to Wrigley ponying up if a rival gum company takes over its' turf. Besides it could help in MLB's anti-tobacco campaigns and who didn't love Big League Chew as a kid. At least it's still baseball related.

Rawlings Field: Or really any baseball equpiment manufacturer. Once again, at least it would be baseball related. Plus the Cubs would get more free gear to make sure that no one is sporting anything other than Rawlings leather.

Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse Field: I could live with this. Have Dutchie put some advertising from the Harry Caray family of restuatrants and slap the Man's name on the outside of Wrigley. How does she afford it? Charge 1 extra dollar for every item on the menu. I'm sure fans would be happy to oblige. The naming rights would be paid for in 2 years with all of the traffic Harry's restaurants get.


Old Style Field: My personal favorite of my options. What Cub fan hasn't sat at Wrigley drinking a warm Old Style. Old Style is already the official Beer of the Cubs. The Red C is on their beer come summer. What better fit is there?

I'm open to more ideas. What else should Wrigley be re-named? What else is acceptable? Hit us up with your stuff.


More after the jump...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Billy Crystal's MLB Debut

Bill Crystal made his debut with the Yankees today during their spring training game against the Pirates. Crystal who earned a scholarship to Marshall to play baseball, finally had his dream of playing for the Yankees come true one day before his 60th birthday. In the first inning against Paul Malhom he took the count to 3-1 including a foul ball that nearly dropped in for a single. The next two pitches? Fastballs for the Strikeout. At least he got a piece, and got the chance to be in there for an at bat, plus there’s not really anything you can say when they tell you you’re being replace for Damon.





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

LVP: Yao?

Imagine this. Your favorite team is in the fight for the playoffs. They just put together 12 wins in a row in the competitive Western Conference. You’ve been slowly moving up into a top position in the looming playoffs. And BAM! Your Team leader in Games Played, Minutes, Points, Rebounds, and Blocks is done for the year. How does a team lose a guy putting up 22 points/11 boards per night. Not to mention he’s playing almost the entire game so his back-up is going to be a little cold.

That’s the thing Houston fans were faced with a couple weeks ago. They were riding high on a streak, looking down and half of the Western Conference with no end in sight then they lose their statistical team leader in almost every category. Well the Rockets did exactly what no one thought they would be able to do. They strung together 8 more wins, 4 of those wins against teams that would be in the playoffs if they started today.

What can we pull away from this rare streak, rare feat we are seeing in Houston right now. Well, first Yao is the NBAs least valuable player. What would the Cavs do without LeBreezy, Phoenix without Nash, Boston without KG, Lakers without the Mamba? I don’t see them stringing together 8 wins in a row and maintaining their hold in the Western Conference. Nothing against Yao but apparently they don’t really need him in Houston. Second, is Tracy McGrady stating his case for MVP? He was the Western Conference Player of the Week last week. Almost all of his numbers have increased, and in the two biggest games for Houston (New Orleans and Dallas) he hung a 41 and 31 on each of them respectively. Third, The Big Cookie Monster can still ball at age 41 after 17 years, and good for him. I guess not everyone has to hang it up after 17 years. I still laugh when I hear him talk though.

Whatever the case, Houston is making their case for some home basketball games in a couple months. I have always liked T-Mac, and would like to see him prove himself here in the spotlight, I would like to see if he can really do it after being on the brink for so long.
More after the jump...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

NBA MVP Thoughts




The race for the MVP this year may be as insane as the race in the West. The general consensus is that Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and Lebron James are the big four in the race.

From My Perspective I think that what is likely (Not what I believe it should be) is that the order goes like this:

1. Kobe Bryant: Lakers 45-19 (Currently 1st in West)
2. Lebron James: Cavaliers: 37-27 (Currently 4th East)
3. Kevin Garnett: Celtics: 50-12 (1st in the East, Best Record in NBA)
4. Chris Paul: Hornets: 42-20 (5th in West)

The problems:
With Kobe is that, well he is Kobe. Yeah he shoots too much, he is controversial, he isn’t the poster child of superstars anymore, but he plays for the Lakers and look where he has taken his team. Holding Garnett back? He is part of a three headed monster, and I don’t think there can be enough credit given to him singularly to deemed the most valuable player. Chris Paul? He plays in New Orleans, he is somewhat emerging as the premier point guard in the league, and his name is not attached to enough prestige to give him the credit he deserves. I think he should be in the top two of consideration considering his 21.3 points, 11 assists, and 2.7 steals a game.

Now for my homer critique of Lebron. I think without a doubt that he is the best player in the NBA. I think he has done more with less than anyone in this league. The fact that he led the Cavaliers to the Finals is enough to show that he is the Most Valuable Player in the game. The problem with his run at the honor is the fact that he plays in Cleveland, where he has had no big name help. Add to that the fact that the media is waiting for him to be the best player ever but not recognizing his team as great. With the new additions there still isn’t a lot of credit going to the organization for making moves to help the future.

Some Interesting Facts:
1. Lebron chalked up his 17th Triple Double Two nights ago against Portland. He has now tied Scottie Pippen and Bill Russell on this list of Career Triple Doubles (21st). It took Pippen 1178 games, Russell 963, but Lebron only needed 374.

2. Since Lebron entered the League he has led the Cavs in points, rebounds, and assists 46 times. Since that time the only player to lead all three categories for their team more often is Kevin Garnett with 63.

I’m not saying this is Lebron’s year. I think that last year he had a more legitimate argument for contention. The bottom line: Be considered the most dominant team in the East by the Media to claim it ,or win a Championship and get one the next year.

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

Shaq Attack: Part Deux

Many of you may have seen the Shaq Attach take out rows 3, 4, and 5 the other day. Well he's at it again.



You've got to love the reaction of the Suns Bench. Quickest moves I've seen in God knows how long
More after the jump...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lingering Thoughts...

It's late on a relatively slow day here at work so I've got a few thoughts and maybe some links for you all to tide you over until I have something worth while to talk about:

Irony (n. ay-ur-nee) - definition: The Cleveland Indians' Stadium has been named Progressive Field yet they still have weekly protests outside over their slightly racist mascot/logo. You should look at some of the old logos if you think that's bad. [Ed. Note] if I actually have to define what irony is and why it's ironic, please e-mail me what school you went to to ensure my daughter doesn't wind up at the same one. Thank you.

I don't know how well "Big Red" Seth McClung, a.k.a McLovin while in Tucson, has done since his gem against the Rockies a couple weeks ago. But we here at The BearDown wish him nothing but the best. Except when pitching against the Cubs. He was a good sport and even donated a couple baseballs to a few drunk fans in the left field bleachers.

Coming up shortly, is the few short months of the year where I do not make fun of 4Real for watching Reality Shows. Top Chef, along with Chef Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi is back on our TVs starting Wednesday. If you don't watch this you are missing out and it has nothing to do with a love of cooking. 4Real watches it and loves it, and he barely knows how to fry an egg. Of course he watches the entire Bravo TV line-up so I guess that isn't saying much. Either way I can't wait for this season's comedic relief. And of course the obligatory episodes featuring Anthony Bourdain.

"Women love Crepes, if there were a 6th Spice Girl her name would be Crepe Spice"


The picture at the left here is amazing. I have been waiting to post it forever but haven't really had a reason to. Sure, I could have posted it after the Patriots lost the Super Bowl or after more Spygate things came out, but I didn't. I don't remember where I found it, I don't actually know who it is donning that '85 Eason jersey. It always makes me chuckle to think that this is actually Tony Eason on January 26, 1986. I can't decide if it's funnier to imagine this as Eason pre his 0-6 performance, or post-game. You decide.

Thank God Lute is coming back next season, I know it goes without saying, but it still warrants being said. My distaste for what KO did this season gets bigger each day. Do I think Lute would have done better, absolutely. He knew these players with the exception of Bayless, and would have played them right all season long. I just pray with everything I've got that Budinger, Hill, and Bayless stay. Seeing as how Budinger and Bayless are projected lottery picks (according to ESPN) I don't forsee it happening. By the way, when was the last time a team had two lottery picks in the NBA but didn't make it past the first weekend of the tournament because there's a very high probability that may happen this season to Arizona. You can't blame the lack of talent.

Speaking of my glowing local report, Arizona Baseball (Ranked #1 and 2 in the separate polls) is 10-1, reeling off 10 in a row since losing the road opener at Georgia (5-6). The Wildcats take on (#20, 21) Cal State Fullerton this weekend, should be a nice match-up. For the record Arizona is #3 in the ESPN/USA Today poll but I choose not to recognize this poll until ESPN starts covering College Baseball to some extent.

If you have 45 minutes to spare head to http://www.danpatrick.com/ and check out Friday March 7, Hour 3. Rich Eisen comes into the show and if you, like me, watched ESPN SportsCenter in the mid-90s and saw Eisen and Patrick 3 times a week, you remember how good they were. Stay tuned until the end and listen to the FIFA soccer clip by Gary Miller. I couldn't stop laughing, and I was at work at the time. I actually paused it to go outside and compose myself. The downside is it's at least 25 minutes in and I don't know how to skip forward, I apologize. If you want click the link and mute it for a while and come back. It is worth it. I did it twice this weekend. The interview with USC Men's basketball coach Tim Floyd is a good one though it sounds like Floyd is half asleep at the time. Do yourself a favor. If anyone can edit this clip down, please do, throw it on YouTube or send me the link. If you do one thing that I suggest EVER, make it this one.

Sarcasm (n. sar-kaz-um) definition: How about the foul calls in that UNC-Duke game this weekend, pretty fair don't ya think? There definitely wasn't a homecourt bias in Cameron at all. UNC>Duke. That is all, and I'm not even a Tarheel fan.

Ok that's about it for random thoughts running through my head at the moment.

More after the jump...

Suns/Spurs and The Impact of The Big Saguaro...

...a.k.a The Big Diesel, The Big Aristotle, The Big Cacti, The Big-gie size Number 5 with Cheese, The Big Montezuma, The Big Divorcee, The Big Guy from Blue Chips I think his name was Neon, The Big Kazaam, etc. Will not be known as The Big trade bust for Mr. Steve Kerr.

You heard me right, and yesterday's game was the singular reason the Suns acquired Shaq. I said it the day the trade happened and everyone in the world (correctly) predicted that the Suns would drop, and that Shaq couldn't play their style of game. I agreed that this would happen but I still said it was a great pick-up for the Suns. People looked at me like I was Shaq's agent pitching him the lead role in Steel.

For those of you who don't have friends who are avid Suns fans (have been for at least 3 years or as long as Nash has been here) or don't live in AZ then you may have seen the Suns full of promise fade away in the post-season in recent years for no real reason. They were so good during the regular season. They scored 120+ per game and had the MVP/Leading MVP Candidate on their team. Then the playoffs happened.
They were still able to score 100+ per game, usually, but were slowed down just a little bit. The Playoffs also showed the Suns major flaw. They can't play defense, and their Center, Amare Staudemire, isn't a Center. He especially isn't a defensive Center. The factors of slightly less points on the board coupled with a lack of defense and compounded on a series of games where the other team is able to learn and find ways to stop them and the Suns couldn't make it out of the West. Their 6 and 7 game series that almost always had an OT game and a few technicals for good measure, were exciting as hell, but in the end they didn't have enough gas in the tank or defense to make it out of the West.

Enter the Big Rehab Assignment. Shaq makes his way to the desert. Everyone is excited about the potential that can come from this guy. People want to see him succeed. The last true great center, one of the best of all time in a Suns uniform. But he's too big, too slow, too old to run with the run and gun team. Now the team is losing. Losing a lot more than they're used to (since most die-hard fans have only been fans for the last 3 years, and yes I'm talking to you Toodles). Fans were upset, everyone in the nation was telling the Suns just how bad of a move they made. I stayed quiet. The reason "Los Suns" (shouldn't they have been "Los Sols" in the Latin Noche) picked up Shaq and dealt, a potential annual All-Star in the East, Shawon Marion (who is 6-7 years younger) is for games like yesterday.

Yesterday Tim Duncan's line was 17 points 10 rebounds. A nice line, a double double in fact. In the last 11 playoff games versus Los Suns he is averaging a Double Double and his numbers are as follows:

2007 Playoffs vs. Suns
33-16 Win
29-11 Loss
33-19 Win
21-11 Loss
21-12 Win
24-13 Win
2005 Playoffs vs. Suns
28-15 Win
30-8 Win
33-15 Win
15-10 Loss
31-15 Win
Average:
27-13

Yesterday:
17-10

With Shaq able to defend Duncan his numbers decrease. They might not seem like a tremendous decrease but look at it this way. With Shaq in the game Duncan is no longer their dump-off guaranteed bucket kind of guy, they come a little bit harder. And when the scores of the two teams are typically 7 (7.3 avg including the 20 point Suns win last year) points or less apart, taking 10 points away from Duncan could be the difference in a W and an L. (Yesterday's score differential 7 points).

Sure it wasn't a 100+ point game for either team. And Shaq still doesn't have the run 'n gun thing down yet, and probably won't. But in a 7 game series with a 2 time, coulda been 3 time MVP at the guard spot, and a Top-10 future Hall of Fame Center in the middle, things look good for a team that likes to score, a lot, and can actually play some D. Mr. Kerr brought in Shaq for one reason, to get by Los Spurs. And in a 7 game series they should be able to. But I don't think he expected the Lakers to take off like they have, and a Yao-less Houston looks increasingly better. If the new Shaq-led Suns can make it out of the west the question remains, can they get past the grind it down physical Pistons? It looks like the playoffs could be pretty good this year.

More after the jump...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Little Known Facts



So I came across a random fact the other day, and thought that I should share it. Al Gore is not the only one trying to take credit for important ideas and inventions. David Stern is apparently credited with inventing the smiley face. It may not be as important or insane as claiming to have invented the internet, but it gave me a good laugh. As the story goes he came up with it back in 1964 while working on an Ad Campaign for Washington Mutual. He says that he never thought about trademarking it, and seven years later it was registered by a Frenchman who created a company called Smiley World. I can't even think of anything else to add to this, and no I'm not making this up.


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

Slamball: The interview

I recently held an interview with Coach Brendan Kirsch about the return of Slamball. Here are his responses:

The BearDown: Thanks for taking the time Coach. For everyone unaware, give us your best breakdown of what Slamball is and what it offers the viewers.
Coach Kirsch: It's a hybrid of several sports, taking the most exciting elements and molding them to produce one of the most electrifying visual experiences in recent sports history. Slamball resembles full contact basketball played on trampolines. But it's much more than that. It's a blue collar professional sport played by athletes that have a LOT of heart and absolutely no fear. These guys hit and get hit twenty feet in the air.

TBD: What have the people involved with Slamball, both in the management as well as players and coaches, been up to for the last few years?
CK: Since its' hiatus in 2003, everyone has done a lot of different things. Coaches are coaching all over the world (mostly in basketball leagues.) Players are doing the same. Our players went back to the leagues they were playing in before Slamball's inception, but we have always kept a tight family when it comes to propelling Slamball back into the spotlight. It just wasn't the time in 2003. We believe it is the time now. Mason Gordon (Creator) and Rob Wilson (Director of Player Personnel) have not stopped developing the sport and working on the new league. They've worked nearly daily for five years to get us here. We've also played some Slamball exhibition tours in Europe, most recently in Italy.

TBD: Was it the European and exhibition success that prompted a return to the US markets. If so, what specifically made everyone involved decide this was the right time for a Return for Slamball?
CK: To tell you the truth, the success in Europe is exactly what we could have had here in 2002 and 2003. But as you know, our network was more concerned with trying to fit a professional sport like Slamball into the budget of a television show. Trust me when I say, none of us think Slamball is a "made for tv sport" but that's all we kept hearing. It was marketed wrong and our executives disagreed with network execs on a lot of fronts. We went underground. The sport is a beautiful thing. Anyone who has seen a game can see why it can (and will) be successful. In Europe we were just allowed to play. No network was trying to format the sport into a 30 minute time slot. We just played, and the following grew steadily.

TBD: What, if any, major (or minor) rule changes are we likely to see in the coming future?
CK: The principles of the game are the same. We discuss minor rule adjustments weekly, and you're just going to have that with a sports that has existed for 2 seasons. James Naismith invented basketball in 1891, but the 3-point line was not invented until 70 years later in 1961... The only difference is that basketball was not under the microscope of internet and tv as it developed. It's a blessing and a curse. Our sport will be developed in front of millions.

TBD: Many of the complaints of the original Slamball in the US was that it was more of a TV show than a sports league. What, if any, adjustments is Slamball going to make to alleviate this?
CK: As I said before, no one involved with Slamball thinks of it as a "made for tv sport". And with IMG we finally have a professional partner that understands what sport is all about. Combining IMG, Mason Gordon, Pat Croce (Commissioner) and Mike Tollin is a winning team and they are going to put a professional sport on the floor.

TBD: Seeing as how many sports fans gravitate towards regional affiliation, will teams continue to be in the "x" and "y" divisions or will there be regional associations?
CK: For this season, they will still be "x" and "y", but after this year, the 8 franchises will be sold to 8 different cities and divisions will be re-named.


TBD: Is Spike TV (formerly TNN) still involved or are you looking for/do you have another outlet set-up for the Slamball return?
CK: No, Spike TV is absolutely not involved with Slamball this year. Mason, Mike (Tollin), Pat Croce and IMG execs are shopping the television rights to a few different networks right now. He met with CBS and ESPN last week. An official decision will be made in coming weeks.

TBD: Will any of our past Slamball Athletes be returning for the new season?
CK: I have a feeling they will. But the beauty of Slamball is that it's a league with truly open tryouts. We have tyouts this year in LA on April 6th, NYC on April 9th and Bradenton, Florida on April 10th. Even the Slamball veterans who played both seasons have to go through the tryout process. That being said, I think we'll find that having played the sport before is going to give those guys an advantage. It will probably end up being a solid mix of superstars from season 1 & 2 and new hybrid athletes.

TBD: Will there be a focus on recruiting High School athletes since the NBA and NFL have age restrictions?
CK: No, one thing we want to make sure of is that people don't think we want to compete with the NBA or the NFL. We don't. A lot of sports "purists" hate Slamball because they don't understand, we want to be a mainstream sport too. Boxing and the UFC exist beautifully together. So does the NFL and the Arena Football League. We want to compliment the NBA and our season will run after the NBA playoffs is over. We aren't going to pull an "ABA" though and try to undercut either league in talent recruitment.

TBD: What can we, the viewer expect in the upcoming league?
CK: They can expect blue collar hard nosed and extremely talented athletes competing at one of the highest levels of sport. There are no multi-million dollar contracts, so these guys are just like you and me. But they step onto the court with absolutely no fear. And that fearlessness coupled with the ingenious design of Slamball, will make for a phenomenal season. And viewers are going to want to go along for the ride.

TBD: If you had to, and not including anyone who is or has ever been involved with Slamball, if you had to pick a prototypical athlete for Slamball who would it be? Would it be a Kobe type player or an Urlacher?
CK: It's a mixture of both. Kobe's athleticism with Urlacher's passion to hit people... hard... There are a lot of different kinds of athletes that have had success in this game, thus far. It all comes down to intangibles like fearlessness, intelligence, the ability to improvise on the fly...

TBD: If this is successful this time around, what moves do you think Slamball would or should make to make Slamball more accessible to the average person. Basically, would there be plans to construct Slamball courts in more areas where people would be able to play?
CK: Yes. After this season, the franchises will be sold to 8 different cities around the nation. That will be the foundation of the league. From there, we'd love to see Slamball in high school and college.

TBD: What do you see as the Niche for the future of Slamball?
CK: You, your readers, our fans and the product that Slamball delivers. We have been underground for 5 years. No doubt. But people know what Slamball is now, and there is no arguing that it is a poetic sport to watch and play. And for anyone that wants more information on Slamball, please visit www.slamball.net We are in the process of accepting player applications.


.::. Just Added, a link to the Official Slamball Blog on the side of the page.  Check it out .::.

More after the jump...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Proper Favre Tribute



I think that a proper accolades are deserved for Brett Favre. Dom once again has overpowered an article with Bias and has not given proper accolades to one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Now I will not go as far to say that he is the greatest quarterback of all time, but I think there is enough stats, highlights, and legend surrounding Favre to put a pretty solid argument in his behalf. Without a doubt he is my favorite QB ever, and the “Gunslinger” mentality that Dom so harshly dismisses is not only a major part of what made him so great, but a product of his personality as well. In my mind I think that there are probably three other strong cases that are usually made for who would be ranked #1 all time at the position, and because of that I will briefly run down highlight accomplishments to show how they stack up to Favre.

Joe Montana:
In 5391 Attempts he completed 3409 passes resulting in 40,551 Yards and 273 TDs to 139 interceptions. Final QB Rating: 92.3. Where he stands out is 4 Super Bowl Rings and 3 Super Bowl MVPs. He also was named to 8 Pro Bowls and 7 All Pro Teams.

Johny Unitas: In 5186 attempts he completed 2830 passes resulting in 40,239 yards and 290 touchdowns to 253 interceptions. Final QB Rating: 78.2. He was a three time NFL champion, 1 time Super Bowl Champion, 10 time Pro Bowl Selection, 9 time All Pro selection, and 3x NFL MVP.

John Elway: In 7,250 attempts he completed 4,123 passes resulting in 51,475 yards and 300 touchdowns to 226 interceptions. Final QB Rating: 79.9. He was also a 9 time selection for pro bowl, 5 time selection for All Pro, 1 Time NFL MVP, and 1 Time Super Bowl Champ in which he was the MVP.

Brett Farve:
In 8,758 Attempts he completed 5,377 passes resulting in 61,655 years and 442 Touchdowns to 288 Interceptions. Final QB Rating: 85.7. He was also a 9 time selection for the Pro Bowl, 7 time selection for All Pro, won 1 Super Bowl, and was a 3 time NFL MVP (Consecutive: 95-97). Career Wins: 160.

In seventeen seasons Favre did just about everything you can imagine. He was exciting and maybe you could classify it as risky, but you have to take risks to get rewards and that’s what he did every Sunday in Green Bay. Certainly his “Gunslinger” mentality was not only unorthodox, but very un-NFL To me that it was made him so appealing, and hey he ended his career with a better QB ratting than Unitas and Elway. In my mind he goes #2 on the list of all time Quarterbacks behind Montana. Favre in my mind played the game for the reason that you should play, he was just having fun. He holds every major passing record in NFL history, he is first balloter to the Hall, and I know if I have a chance to get home I’ll make the trip down to Canton to see it in person. I don’t even want to get into his streak of consecutive starts, all I’ll say is that you would be lucky for your QB to start all 16 games, let alone every game for 16 years.

I know that every major source of Sports media has been flooded with Favre videos and stories over the past couple days, but if you haven’t seen some of the videos of him wired for sounds or coaches talking about his personality you really should. Here are a couple links:

Farves Old Coaches Roundtable
Farve Watching his Own Wired For Sound Videos



Favre this 4 is for you….





More after the jump...

Like I Told You: I Put the Real in Reality TV




Well I wanted to just take a minute and brag about my seemingly never-ending ability to make expert picks. Whether it be baseball, college football, or in this case Reality TV. If you have been a loyal reader than you remember my post back in November in which I put odds on all of the contests for the fourth season of Project Runway. Dom has given out numerous blows to Reality TV shows and those who watch them. I on the other hand embrace them, especially since the majority of them are based on competitions of one sort or another. I just can’t imagine the hit that Dom’s manhood would take if he were to admit to watching or even eluding to the fact that he might be interested in watching a reality show like Project Runway. You can’t knock him too hard though he doesn’t exactly have the Renaissance man like qualities, or any of the other intangibles that it takes to be secure like myself. In the spirit of making anything a bet, a pool, or any other gambling scenario (if it were legal of course) I now give you the results of my latest reality predictions.

General Reality Rule: Every show comes down to a final three in a finale in which one is eliminated and then a winner is chosen dramatically from the final two.

Going into the Finale of Project Runway I had my #1 Rami, #2 Christian, and #5 Jillian in the final three. Remember these picks were based off of the first episode, and I did not change them midseason otherwise I definitely would have altered them slightly.

First to be cut is….Jillian. This is where I big ups myself as I now have my #1 and #2 picks left in the final two. Unfortunately or not, #2 Christian took home the title. That is where I would have flip flopped midseason so congrats for him. Uh most of you probably are done reading at this point, but makes no difference because it’s the small victories that taste so good. Just add it to the list of things I’m good at, even though I didn’t think it could get any longer.

Don’t believe me?
Check the Name….I’m Out….
More after the jump...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Breaking News: remember Slamball

I know I wasn't the only one watching Spike TV a few years ago as the Mob went up against the Steal. Trying to figure out, with my extensive Football and Basketball experience, which position I would play. Watching former Linebackers jumping up and down on trampolines smashing each other into the Glass. Well I just got a very interesting E-Mail. I'm quoting here:

Dear Dom:

My name is Brendan Kirsch and first of all, I wanted to tell you that I love the blog. Secondly, I wanted to ask you if you were aware of the sport "Slamball"? You may have seen the first two seasons on Spike TV in 2002 and 2003. It's a hybrid of several sports, taking the most exciting elements and melding them to produce one of the most electrifying visual experiences in recent sports history. To help you get a quick picture you could say that is looks like full contact basketball played on trampolines.


Coach Kirsch goes on to tell me that the projected beginning should be this coming June and that there will be open tryouts April 6th in Los Angeles; April 9th in New York City; and April 11th in Bradenton, Florida. So there it is. Like I said before I know I wasn't the only guy who was watching Slamball a few years ago. For those of you who thought it sounded like fun head to LA, NYC, of Fla next month and give it a shot. Check out http://www.slamballeurope.com/slamballnet/ for more info. Coach sent me a press release and if you want to see it you are more than welcome to e-mail me and I'll forward you a copy. There was also a video attached again, if you would like to see it, drop me a line. Let's just hope it's more competitive than these guys:

I plan to follow this with as much breaking news that I can. Until further notice, consider The BearDown your exclusive source for Slamball info. At least as long as Coach Kirsch keeps me in the loop. Comment at will, Are you interested? Will you watch? Will you tryout? Any good Slamball memories? Let us know and we'll keep you up to date.

More after the jump...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Gladiators Impress In Inaugural Game




Last Night Kosar’s Gladiators opened the inaugural seasons against the New York Dragons in front of 17,391 at the Gund. Twenty-Five seconds into the game Gladiators QB Raymond Philyaw dropped back to deliver a 37 yard strike for a touchdown on the club’s first play from scrimmage. Philyaw would go on to complete 18 out of 23 passes for 240 yards, 5 touchdowns and 1 INT en route to a 61-49 victory. Defensively the Gladiators looked impressive including an exciting goal line stand on fourth and goal on the three. Leading in receiving was WR Otis Amey who chalked up 101 yards and two touchdowns not to mention one on the ground. All and all it was a great showing by a team that was certaintly an underdog not only in this game, but for the season. The W gives Kosar, head coach Wilpolt, and his team a huge confidence boost.

Next Game: March 9th vs, Utah Blaze

Oh and a side note for those of you who are Chicago Sports fans: If you are still looking for Steve Bartman, maybe you should start at Chicago Rush games. Here in the AFL what banned him for life from Wrigley is legal, and encouraged by the players as seen in this highlight of your victory over defending AFL Champion San Jose Sabre Cats. Good luck gumshoes.






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

Brett Farve Retires

You can look back at past posts and know exactly how I feel about Mr. Farve, the Packer. And if you are new, he falls into the Shashefski of people who don't pronounce their name the way it's spelled. One of my pet peeves. Anyways I want to go on the record saying Farve went out the way I wanted to see him go out. Choking in a big game with a 70.7 QB Rating and his final pass being a game winning one, an interception to the New York Giants' Cory Webster. As I mentioned in past Farve columns, I don't like the player and I think he is one of the most overrated Quarterbacks of all time. With that said keep reading, he will go down in my book as one of the top Quarterbacks to play the game.


Brett Favre came into the NFL and for almost all of his 17 seasons was regarded near and far as one of the game's best. Today he made the right choice, walking away from the game while he still could walk. It's no lie that Favre has been suffering for over 2 years from aches and pains that go with almost 2 decades as an NFL Quarterback, and it was starting to show, specifically in cold late season games at Lambeau. The man who was once called, "an old Tony Romo" by Brian Urlacher will be linked to good and bad memories and remembered by many an NFL fan.


Again, he will go down in my book as one of the top Quarterbacks to play the game. I might not rank him as high as Marino, Elway, and Montana, but Favre belongs in the Top-10 of all-time and is definately a first ballot Hall of Famer. His will he won't he antics of the last 4 off-seasons were a tad unprofessional and a little damaging to the Green Bay franchise, but most can look past them. He ultimately did the thing that was best for him by walking away.


Most fans, love him or hate him, remember Favre as the guy who ran down the field and picked up his lineman. Who jawed back and forth with Strahan and Sapp. He played the game with a smile on his face from first gun to final whistle. He ran around, up and down the field, like a kid playing a game, his favorite game. All too often those kids who love playing the game are killed in College or their early pro careers and it becomes work. Favre had passion and fire, and I wish he had been on the Bears instead of beating Chicago routinely throughout the 90's. I may rag on Favre occcasionally, and I usually backed it up with, he is still one of the All-Time best, just overrated by the constant media lovefest. So in perfect hypocricy or whatever you want to call it, this one "media" member is joining in on the many Favre reports we will see and hear in the coming days.


He walked away early, a lot earlier than usual or expected, which is a nod to the Green Bay fans and organization. They will have the entire off-season to move on and officially give the ball to Aaron Rodgers. I think that is how you kind of know it's for real this time. He isn't putting it off for whatever, and yes they were selfish, reasons he did in the past. He woke up yesterday and realized that he was tired.


Favre was oft labeled as a gunslinger. I took offense to this being a good thing, because to me that just meant he was risky, and apparently lucky in his career. Though the results were not always the best for Green Bay and Favre (and recently were great for Chicago) the gunslinger mentality worked well in his earlier career when his ball had a little more umph on it.


I could say all sorts of negative things about Favre, and I probably will in the future and God knows I have in the past. But as a guy, who respects the game of football, on a day when a guy, who played the game the way it was meant to be played, walks away, I decide...he deserves, nothing but respect for what he has done.


If this is in fact the case the Favre has hung up his cleats he walks away with:


9 Pro Bowls

#1 in Passes completed, passes attempted, yards, TDs, and consecutive games played (as well as interceptions thrown.

He was in the top 5 or 10 in many other categories.


After 257 games, 8758 passes attempted (5377 completed), 61655 yards, 442 TDs and 17 years, Brett Favre walks away from the game that he loved, and he played with a smile for years. And before you can call me a hypocrite realize, I hated on Favre because he was a Packer, and that's what you do in rivalries. As Brett walks away from the game, he is no longer a Packer, or Bear Killer. Just one of the best to ever play his position, and he always did it with a smile. Besides it looks like he working on his Rap Career.
More after the jump...

Monday, March 3, 2008

Release Therapy



Ok after a couple weeks off the grid due to a hectic schedule, I've been able to sit down and go over the off season happenings of the Carolina Panthers. Initially I was excited to see that Dom granted me one of my Christmas wishes 3 months later by giving me Moose back...giving me a recieving core of... Mushin Muhammed, Steve Smith, Drew Carter, and Dwayne Jarrett. Not too shabby at all, in fact I'm pretty excited seeing as how Delhomme is progressing nicely post-surgery. However, Moose seems to be the only transaction that has been positive for Carolina. Mike Wahle, Dan Morgan, Deshaun Foster, and David Carr were cut, with Carr being the only one I was happy about(I've seen more athletic charisma at a pick up game of basketball in the Philippines). Since we cut one of our most valuable defensive assests in Dan Morgan, we've pretty much screwed ourselves, hoping for a steal on the Free Agent market, or end up doing some dumbass trade closer to the season to get a linebacker that's sub-par. With Foster cut, we have D'angelo Williams - who I'm a big fan of due to his explosiveness/quickness - and Nick Goings - who has been injured more times than Dan Morgan in the last couple years and is much less productive than a thumbless film critic. Now I know it was kind of weird that Foster was a starter on an offensive that should've been geared towards a more charismatic game plan - aka starting Williams- but he got the job done this year after Delhomme went down. So to repay him for a good job we cut him. Now we are left with two scat backs, when in all honesty its 1 1/4 scat backs with Nick Goings chasing the Steve Young concussion record. Given there are many good running backs coming into the draft this year, but I personally think we should sign a power back with a few years under his belt and concentrate on our sodomized defense. Kris Jenkins went to the Jets, Mike Rucker is officially a Free Agent and we're looking at Rod Coleman who's been plagued with injuries - wait wasn't that why we cut Morgan?- and the Bears still have the secondary, which according to Dom should be given back anytime now. Waiting sweetheart, waiting.

Bottom Line: we need to make moves quickly, because this is ridiculous. The managerial moves made here are about as consistent as John Fox's season-to-season records. Sign Derek Smith, stop destroying our defense, and for the love of god, start replacing/resigning people. Draft picks won't solve last year's mistakes.
More after the jump...

Yardbarker

Part of me belives that there is a good portion of you who are out there and read blogs. I base this on three things. A) This is a blog and you are reading it (caught you red-handed), 2) This specific blog was just me 4Real and BC screwing around doing nothing with our time and we are now getting over 200 unique visitors/day, sure that's not too high of a number but it's still more people than we ever aimed for and we don't advertise anywhere and lastly, C) Blogs, like it or not, are everywhere and in some circles are starting to be seen as legitimate media. Unfortunately members of the Rockies, White Sox, and USC organizations do not see blogging as legitamate or I would have been approved for some of the Press Passes I applied for. Anyway, back to my original point.

Blogs are everywhere, and if you read blogs you should be familiar with www.yardbarker.com. It is a blog hub where people submit their blogs for everyone else to read. It's a great site, and this is a free plug for them, because I flat out love the site. Plenty of great breaking information, as well as sarcastic humours articles and videos (much like you see on our site if you are a frequent visitor). Well Yardbarker offers one other thing that is unique to the Blogosphere. Athlete Blogs. Of course you have heard of Schilling and Agent Zero's blogs out there, who hasn't, they are discussed all over. But Yardbarker has a bunch of other athletes giving their perspective of things, as well as responding to articles written about them and their teams/sports.

So I thought why not rank the Top Athlete Barkers (for those yardbarker fans out there) and give the rest of you a list of some of the Athlete blog available on Yardbarker, these are the Top 20 scores, there are at least 20 Verified Athletes available and more are added all of the time.
On a very scientific scale of total Yardbarker score Divided by amount of articles the list goes as follows:

20) Frank Shamrock, UFC: 24 Articles (Since 10-22) 773 points, 6 comments.
19) Kyle Harrison, Lacrosse: 48 Articles (Since 8-21) 1623 points, 103 comments.
18) Jay Bruce, MiLB/MLB: 12 Articles (Since 12-17) 417 points, 54 comments.
17) Robert Guerrero, Boxing: 24 Articles (Since 7-23) 880 points, 107 comments.
16) Bryon Friedman, Skiier: 15 Articles (Since 10-25) 564 points, 36 comments.
15) Shaun Phillips, NFL: 8 Articles (Since 12-22) 307 points, 14 comments.
14) Cletis Gordon, NFL: 19 Articles (Since 1-17) 742 points, 65 comments.
13) Hakim Warrick, NBA: 22 Articles (Since 8-22) 970 points, 14 comments.
12) Bart Scott, NFL: 10 Articles (Since 7-19) 465 points, 11 comments.
11) John Lackey, MLB: 34 Articles (Since 4-20) 2223 points, 116 comments.
10) Chad Billingsley, MLB: 5 Articles (Since 7-10) 344 points, 46 comments.
9) Michael Conley, NBA: 38 Articles (Since 6-6) 2692 points, 65 comments.
8) Carmelo Anthony, NBA: 23 Articles (Since 8-28) 1651 points, 16 comments.
7) Dontrelle Willis, MLB: 12 Articles (Since 11-20) 868 points, 244 comments.
6) Baron Davis, NBA: 42 Articles (Since 10-2) 3094 points, 4 comments.
5) Rajon Rondo, NBA: 23 Articles (Since 8-21) 1715 points, 137 comments.
4) Ray Lewis, NFL: 6 Articles (Since 9-27) 478 points, 8 comments.
3) Diana Taurasi, WNBA: 32 Articles (Since 8-28) 2577 points, 27 comments.
2) Greg Oden, NBA: 63 Articles (Since 5-21) 6991 points, 223 comments.
1) Donovan McNabb, NFL: 31 Articles (Since 7-2) 3667 points, 5 comments.

Highlights include first hand accounts of drafts, All-star games, Spring Training, Minor League Baseball, Playoff wins and losses, award season, pre-fight updates, and a very cool account of McNabb responding publicly to a letter from an Eagle fan. As you can see it's top heavy with NBA and NFL but there is insight into lesser covered sports and college sports as well. For those of you reading this on Yardbarker let me know if I missed any athletes that should be considered for this list (Leandro Barbosa barely missed the cut, but his article after the Suns acquired Shaq was a fun read).
More after the jump...

"We'll give him back"

Apparently when the Bears go after someone whether, via trade or Free Agency, they only plan on renting or borrowing said player. So far in the off-season ex-Buc-ex-Bear Brian Griese has signed with Tampa Bay (played in Tampa for 2 years before the last couple in Chicago). The Bears also sent Muhsin Muhammad back to Carolina. "Moose" was the Bears #1 receiver for 3 years after playing 9 seasons in Carolina. Fear not Panther fans, Ricky Manning Jr. could be on his way back to Carolina if things continue this way. Other possible upcoming trades include Adam Archuletta back to Washington for a Ham Sandwhich. Expect Philidelphia to pick up recently released DT Darwin Walker.

More proof of this seemingly inane theory. The Bears have re-signed/extended 4 players this off-season:
Lance Briggs (drafted by Chicago)
Rex Grossman (drafted by Chicago)
Kyle Orton (drafted by Chicago)
Alex Brown (drafted by Chicago)

Sure they weren't able to re-sign Berrian, I guess it was just out of their hands. It's an odd phenomoenon in Chicago right now. I suppose Angelo is just saying let us borrow him for a couple years, if it doesn't work out I swear we'll give him back. I guess no one ever accused Angelo of not knowing how to share.
More after the jump...

Football In The U.S is a 365 Thing




With Spring Training in high gear and moving towards the upcoming season I realized that as un-American as it is, a lot of people don’t get as excited for Baseball as I do. So…in the spirit of making sure you all get your football fix I am here to remind you that this weekend (Mostly today) that the Arena Football season is kicking off.


For those here in Arizona, the Rattlers started off the season with a big win over the Utah Blaze. It was an exciting game for anyone who was able to catch it, with multiple touchdowns being exchanged down to the last second when the Blaze missed the winning field goal attempt. They would fall to Arizona 63-62. Depending on how you look at it that’s good news for the Rattlers and their big gamble with the fans. You can catch the Rattlers on ESPN 2 next Monday the 10th against the LA Avengers.

For those of you in my home state, tonight is the inaugural game for the Cleveland Gladiators. Bernie Kosar’s (CEO and President of the Club) new passion project takes on the New York Dragons. We can see if the Gladiators who relocated from last place in Vegas can fare better in Cleveland. Veteran AFL QB Raymond Philyaw will be behind the helm and will be carrying a lot of the load on his shoulders. I'll keep you updated periodically on both clubs as the season progresses if for no other reason than to see if Cleveland secures another losing franchise, and if the Rattlers refund will break the bank.



video

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

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Weekend Wrap-up



Hello out there sports fans. Hope you all had a nice weekend, or are still having a nice weekend, a few thoughts on the weekend that has been. 4Real, some friends, and myself attended the Rockies vs. the Brewers on Saturday for Spring Training. A Great time. A few pictures are on here for those of you in those blistery cold sans-baseball climates.

To that Moronic student/fan at the U of A vs. USC game Thursday, thank you. For throwing the bottle on the court as time expired for no reason whatsoever. It is classless and I hate it. One thing Arizona fans have always been is classy, die-hard fans. You made us look absolutely terrible, and on National TV no-less. I hate seeing that, and seeing it on my home-court is even worse.

To Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Seth McClung. It was us. Saturday when you were in Tucson playing the Rockies, there was a group of fans in the Sandpile enjoying their afternoon by the Brewer Bullpen. We had a great time and thanks for the numerous balls thrown to our area. Even though we are pretty sure that Bullpen Coach Billy Castro told you to throw one to us to shut us up. Which brings me to another point. Spring Training is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

To Kevin O'Neil, what the hell were you thinking? Early in the season you kept the total minutes down across the board. You never played anyone else, and with a shallow bench having no PT during the season, when these guys do get in the game they have no confidence. Case and point Kirk "Big Nasty" Walters. Yeah I know he has been injured, sick, slow, whatever the last couple years. But 2 years ago he was playing 20 minutes a game. There have been 10 games where he hasn't even seen the floor. In the closing seconds of today's game he got the in-bounds pass and froze due to lack of confidence and didn't take the open 15 footer to tie. I'm using this as the prime example this has been happening all season, especially lately. Look at Jamelle Horne, he has started multiple games, played all 40 minutes again Washington State and has also not seen the floor in Six games. The inconsistency on a program steeped in inconsistency right now does not make it any better. We're on the fence of getting in the tournament and you're still fiddling with your line-ups. Things don't bode well in 2 weeks. Speaking of which.

I know I'm not alone when I watch College Basketball games on CBS and hear the music, and you all know which music I'm talking about, and I just get more and more excited about March Madness.

Has anyone else noticed that there are Domino's Pizza Commercials featuring the voices of Mike and Mike, from ESPN. And that there is also a Pizza Hut Pac-man-ish game featuring Mike and Mike. No one has noticed that this is odd. Shouldn't there be some kind of no compete clause in their contracts somewhere.

There is also the fact that a search for College Baseball on ESPN.com leads you out of their site. Is anyone else intrigued as to why the alleged sports news leader doesn't even bother to have any internal College Baseball info on their site, yet they still have the ESPN/USA Today Top 25. How can they vote for the Top 25 if they don't even cover it?

Arizona Baseball is 5-1 right now after weeping Sacramento State at home and going 2-1 at Georgia. That's a pretty solid start to the season. New polls come out tomorrow but the Cats are still #1 in the Baseball America and the aforementioned ESPN/USA Today polls right now. Interesting side-note, if you check the NCAA Site Arizona is #1 and #5. That has to be some kinda first. Well I'm done for right now. See you tomorrow.

Go catch a baseball game with your friends and family. There has to be a college around you somewhere and if you are in AZ or FL catch a Spring Training game.

More after the jump...

Friday, February 29, 2008

Zell Inspires A Million Dollar Idea



So this Wrigley Field Naming Rights thing really had me going there for a while. Well tonight it took a whole meaning when I was talking it over with my best friend who reiterated how I thought any Chicago Native would: she was heated and rightfully so. Well the ideas really started flowing, first in the form of what would happen if that were to actually go the way it is planned? She assured me there would be riots in the streets. My first thought was of flipping cars lighting them on fire and subsequently starting the second great Chicago Fire. Her reaction to this…”How can I get my car to Clark and Addison so it can get flipped and set on fire? You know, so that way I would have to get a new car.” That a girl, now were talking. Then I remembered that a couple years back I gave her the idea to name her dog Wrigley. Well that inspired me, I mean maybe Zell is right. He is upset about the Wrigley Co. getting their name displayed for free for 80 years right? Excuse me, but Garnes’ dog has been walking around Lincoln Park constantly getting his named called out loud for the last couple years. Isn’t it about time the Wrigley Co. did the right thing and paid her for what they’ve been getting for free? If they don’t then we are just going to have to put poor Wrigley’s name on the market with the rights of renaming him going to the highest bidder. Well why stop there. The dog formerly known as Wrigley will be taken to the neighborhood formerly known as Wrigleyville fully equipped for alcohol distribution. We will also be accepting bids for the alcohol brand and any other signs you can strap, tape or mount to our four legged advertising machine. Email for more details….

4Real Out…
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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hometown Hero Trevor Crowe Off To Big Start In Spring




It’s officially here. Spring Training started today, and after a good convo with Dom planning our first spring training outing this Saturday I decided to take a closer look at my Tribe’s big win (Its Spring I know but Ws are still Ws) over the Astros today. Solid stats all around, some decent performances, but there was one guy in particular that stuck out to me: Trevor Crowe. Arizona fans might remember him from the 05’ team that went deep into the College World Series. At the University of Arizona he ended his career (In 171 games) with a .361 average 16 homeruns, and 122 RBI. This includes his 05’ campaign in which he hit .403 with 9 homeruns and 54 RBIs in 60 games. Those kinds of numbers secured him 1st Team All American, Co-Pac 10 Player of the Year, and a finalist spot for the Golden Spikes Award (Best Amateur Baseball Player in America). He would go on to hit .500 in the College World Series and be named to the ALL- CWS team.

Crowe entered the draft where he was taken 14th overall in 2005 by the Cleveland Indians. Crowe has been playing ball primarily with the Indians AA affiliate the Akron Aeros, and has had some decent numbers. I don’t want to put them here since Minor League players jump around so much that the numbers end up coming out somewhat skewed.

The Indians may need a solid outfielder, and are not shy about bringing young talent into their roster (Cabrera, Gutierrez. Sizemore). With the absence of Lofton in left field, is it unreasonable to think that Crowe has a shot of getting some playing time over Jason Michaels? He was invited to spring training this year and got some substantial playing time this afternoon against the Astros. In the first game of spring he went 2 for 3 with a walk and 3 RBIs. He may be a hometown favorite to us here at the BearDown, but if he keeps up his momentum through spring we may see him making the show in 26 days.


4Real Out…..
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