Friday, January 30, 2009

Momentum? Arizona 106 #23 Washington 97

A couple days ago I questioned our beloved Wildcats fire, whether they had any motivation to keep playing through the tough times that the program is going through. The Coleman/Budinger incident was obviously the catalyst for what the Cats needed. Last night was an example of that.

The Washington Huskies came to town ranked 23rd in the AP poll and leaving me a little anxious to see how our boys would look coming off our improbable win.

They were seemingly up for the challenge. That game was sloppy, the Cats made a lot of mental errors and turned the ball over frequently. If you caught the game then you got to see the four dozen or so close ups of Lute in disgust during the course of the game. Thanks Lute, this is your train wreck.

That being said, there were a number of notable moments that made this game entertaining and almost made me optimistic for the remainder of the season.

Nic Wise had a career night. To be honest, I trust him more than anyone on the court with the ball (mainly because Hill needs someone to feed him). Last night he proved why he is a corner stone for the squad. With a career high 29 points and 8 assists he looked great, but more importantly was his free throw shooting. Wise went 14-14 from the line including 8 late in the game while the Huskies were beginning to narrow the lead.

Free throws may be the single biggest thing you could take away from this game. Arizona made 41 of their 51 free throws. It is one thing to get to the line it is another to actually capitalize and going 80.4% isn’t too shabby. Especially when considering that Washington had nothing to write home about, converting 13 of 20 (65.0%) from the line.

As exciting as free throw stats are, the fire that I questioned seemed to be there. Especially in the waning minutes of the game when Washington’s Neanderthal Brockman (6’7 255) went up for a block attempt on Horne, subsequently throwing him to the ground and earning himself a flagrant foul. There was a little bit of talk between teams, and Budinger once again stepped up and got in the midst of the Washington huddle. It is nice to see these guys protecting their teammates, since there seems to be a reoccurring theme of technicals and hard fouls heading Arizona’s way.

Needless to say it was a big win for the Cat’s and they will be looking to come up big again against a Washington State on Saturday. The Cougars are coming off an upset of Arizona State and sorry to say we are hoping to repay them with a loss of their own

4Real Out...

More after the jump...

Was Penders Right?

Tom Penders' buddy at ESPN, Norby, has finally returned Penders' calls and it turns out, maybe Penders wasn't as crazy as we all thought. In a radio interview recently Penders accused ESPN of doctoring the video and adding X-Ray vision. Here is the clip in question:ESPN does add a spot shadow to show Aubrey looking down, which as I mentioned in a Previous Post is debatable. The intention is there nonetheless. Plus the ESPN announcer says, "He wasn't looking down at him, but it was foot on top of head" 2 seconds after the alleged X-Ray vision clip shown above....

We here at The Beardown actually got ahold of the video that Penders was actually talking about when he mentions the X-Ray Vision. We all assumed it was the above clip, but I guess Penders' buddy Norby sent Penders an earlier copy that does give Penders' case of ESPN doctoring the video a lot more credence. We weren't allowed to post the video, but I have obtained permission to post a screen cap:
There you have it. It appears Penders isn't as crazy as we thought. ESPN really did give Aubrey Coleman X-Ray vision in an earlier version and then took it out. Maybe he's right about Aubrey not intentionally stepping on Chase after all.

More after the jump...

Tom Penders is a Dirtbag

Earlier this week Tom Penders had the gall to stand up for what Aubrey Coleman did to Chase Budinger's face last Saturday saying that ESPN doctored the video and added the x-ray vision piece to make Aubrey look bad. What really made Aubrey look bad was stepping on Chase Budinger's face and shoulder. That made him look much worse than adding a little x-ray vision graphic.

Whether or not Coleman looked down to Chase there is indisputable evidence that he knew Chase was on the ground, based on the fact that he had just gotten called for a charge. He had plenty of time, 4 steps by my count (5 if you count the one on Chase's golden locks), to stop his forward progress, and I don't know maybe take a step to the left or right. But no, he chose to walk over Chase. Most players will help the guy up, even in a competitive rivalry game, or at the very least not step on their face.

In fact, Penders' account that Aubrey is looking up at the ceiling makes Coleman look even worse. It's like he's intentionally trying to make it look like an accident. No one in their right minds (other than Albert Haynesworth), knowing there was a body on the ground in front of them would take their eyes off of the floor. Most decent people would want to make sure they avoid the person lying on the floor.

Now whether or not Coleman intentionally stepped on Budinger's face is up for debate, but he definitely meant to step, or "accidentally" step on Budinger. In his interview with 1560 The Game Penders claims that there is video evidence from other angles that show Aubrey's innocence. The only thing I can think of is that the video angles are from a different game where Coleman was called for a charge and didn't intentionally stomp the player in front of him. I'm pretty sure that no matter where the Houston cameras were placed in McKale Center, it's pretty evident that Coleman knew exactly what he was doing...

To continue his quest to overtake Coleman as College Basketball's Biggest Scumbag, Penders went on to say that he had a sports psychologist come in to view the video and he said it was an accident. Furthermore, as Penders continues to try to dig the hole deeper, you know you can count on God's honest truth from this psychologist as he used to work for the Yankees. I just sit back and wonder if this was the same psychologist who claimed that Clemens "accidentally" chucked a jagged chunk of wood at Mike Piazza back in 2000.
Hell, I'm surprised Penders didn't punctuate his radio interview asking for a public apology from Chase Budinger for almost giving Coleman an ankle sprain or for smudging his Pumas.

More after the jump...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Top Ten: Super Bowl Distractions

The Super Bowl is mere days away, but it appears that the Cardinals and Steelers have been well trained by their respective coaching staffs. No one is out running their mouth, the seemingly bottomless supply of strip clubs has yet to be hit by rain clouds, nary a curfew violation has been made. But that isn't always the case, and as we've learned in the past, though there are only 4 days and 3 nights until the Big Game, there is still plenty of time for someone to make a splash.

So without further adieu, here are the Top Ten Super Bowl Distractions, in chronological order.

Super Bowl IV:
On the eve of his second Super Bowl, when the AFL was trying to prove they belonged with the NFL, Len Dawson was trying to prove he was just as good as any NFL quarterback. But in the week leading up to the game, Dawson was linked to a Federal Gambling investigation. Questions and rumors were afloat. Despite all of the distractions Dawson walked away with Super Bowl MVP honors as the Chiefs took down the heavily favored NFL representative Minnesota Vikings.

Super Bowl VII:
1972, Miami Dolphins have been dealing with building pressure each week. Their Opening Day starter Bob Griese was ready to play again after missing the final 9 games of the regular season plus the postseason with a knee injury. Earl Morrall had proven himself capable enough to finish what Griese had started. But that wasn't the biggest distraction. The biggest distraction was the pressure of trying to finish the perfect undefeated, untied season, trying to prove they deserved to be there (since they only beat two teams with records over .500 during the season), and redeeming themselves after the embarrassing Super Bowl VI loss to the Dallas Cowboys (24-3). Miami managed to hang on against the Redskins with a 14-7 win.

Super Bowl XX:
The punky QB known as McMahon had trouble going anywhere without causing controversies and distractions and in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, it was no different. McMahon managed to get associated with a quote that labeled the women of New Orleans as "sluts" which led to some boos during the game and plenty of questions leading up the Super Bowl XX. He distanced himself from the quote by saying that he would never have been awake early enough to make such statements. He also, in response to Commissioner Pete Rozelle fining him for wearing an Adidas headband, wore headbands with handwritten ROZELLE on them, and lastly was photographed mooning helicopters. It's safe to say that had the Bears lost the Super Bowl equal blame would have been put on McMahon's antics and the team's R&B hit (reached #41 on the Billboard Charts and received a Grammy nod) the Super Bowl Shuffle. The Bears managed to triumph in one of the most lopsided Super Bowls in history.

Super Bowl XXII:
"Doug, how long have you been a black Quarterback?" While that urban legend has been proved false, that doesn't mean there weren't many other questions. In the week leading up to the Super Bowl all Redskin Quarterback Doug Williams heard were questions about him being the first black Quarterback to start in the Super Bowl. Among those asked by reporters, as documented by the Washington Post's Michael Wilbon:

"Doug, do you feel like Jackie Robinson?"
"Doug, would it be easier if you were the second black Quarterback?"
"Doug, are you upset about all the questions about you being the first black Quarterback in the Super Bowl?"
and of course
"Doug, do you think America will be rooting for or against the Redskins because of you?"

Williams went out and did Jackie Robinson, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and all of the other civil rights leaders he was compared to or asked about proud as he threw for 4 TDs and took home the Super Bowl MVP.

Super Bowl XXIII:
On the eve of the Super Bowl Cincinnati Bengals Fullback Stanley Wilson was found by a coach in the bathroom using cocaine. Obviously, they had to punish him and he was left off of the Super Bowl roster. Of course, the next punishment was worse, as it was his third offense and he was subsequently banned from the NFL. According to a report by Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Wilson would have made a difference in the game as the turf was muddy and wet and Wilson excelled in those conditions. The Bengals lost to the Niners 20-16.

Super Bowl XXXI:
The Patriots were back in the Super Bowl for the first time since being embarrassed by the Bears eleven years earlier. They were led there by Bill Parcells who already had one ring to his credit. But Bill Parcells and team owner Robert Kraft didn't really see eye to eye and Kraft came on board after Parcells. Because of this there was a serious rift between coach and owner. Six days before the game a Boston Globe story came out that linked Parcells with a job opening with the rival New York Jets. Parcells was in contact with the Jets the entire week brokering his deal, which was complicated since he was still under contract. The distraction seemed the be enough as the Pats dropped to the Packers 35-21 and Parcells took a separate plane home from that of his team.

Super Bowl XXXIII:
This was the last Super Bowl of John Elway's career. He managed to play in 5 during his Hall of Fame career and everyone was wondering if this would be his last game, as many thought it would be for the 38 year old. But we can't forget the first 3 Super Bowls of Elway's career. The three out of four between the years 1987 and 1990. In Super Bowls XXI, XXII, and XXIV the Elway and head coach Dan Reeves led Broncos lost to their NFC counterpart, including the 55-10 drubbing in XXIV. Reeves was soon chased out of town, and he believed that the ill will was led by Elway and former QB coach Mike Shanahan. Now it was Reeves vs. Elway and Shanahan. Plenty of the media circus focused around that match-up and it was the talk of the week leading up to the game. That is until Falcon DB Eugene Robinson was arrested for solicitation the night before the game and took all of the remaining headlines. Many blamed Robinson for two of Denver's biggest plays of the game, one an 80 yard TD reception and another a long Terrell Davis run that eventually led to a TD.

Super Bowl XXXVII:
The Gruden Bowl. Chucky had essentially been traded by the Raiders to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after failing to get the Raiders past the AFC Championship game. Gruden was able to take Tampa past the NFC Championship game and right into the Super Bowl in his first year. His replacement in Oakland, Bill Callahan was able to do the same. The whole week there was talk of Gruden's knowledge of his former team and players. How much did he know? How big of an advantage did he have? Did Oakland have an advantage knowing Gruden's tendencies. But this story disappeared in the days leading up to the game, along with Pro Bowl Center Barret Robbins. Robbins, the leader of the Oakland Raiders Offensive Line went missing for much of the week prior to the Super Bowl only to reappear in the hospital suffering from depression and bipolar disorder. The Pirates beat the Pirates 48-21 and Chucky got the last laugh.

Super Bowl XXXIX:
In similar fashion to a previous Patriots Super Bowl, much of the distraction in the days leading up to the game focused around the coaching staff. Though as opposed to Bill Parcells eight years earlier, the conversation was about the Coordinators. Offensive "Genius" Charlie Weis had already committed to head to his alma mater, Notre Dame, as the Head Coach and many people believed, correctly, that Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel, was also on his way out to take over in Cleveland as the new Head Coach. The players all knew that the team was heading into a major restructuring and that this might be their last hurrah. In a case of the distraction perhaps helping out, the team rallied around their departing coaches and eked out a 24-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Super Bowl XLII:
Much like the Dolphins 16 years before, the Patriots were trying to finish an undefeated, untied season. The pressure was on but all season the Pats looked unstoppable. A few weeks earlier they had already defeated the opposing New York Giants and everyone had as much as given the Lombardi Trophy to the team from New England. The Patriots ownership decided to Trademark 19-0 The Perfect Season. The Boston Globe had already placed the 19-0 book up for sale on One small problem. They still had to beat the Giants. Thanks to the "Helmet Catch" and Evasive Elisha, along with constant pressure from the Giant Front Four, the Pats couldn't finish what they started and finished 18-1, a trademark bought by the New York Post for $375.00.

What distractions are waiting in the wings in the next few days? Will we look back down the road and blame a Cardinal loss on Anquan Boldin's pouting during and after the NFC Championship game? Will a Steeler loss be blamed on an unknown player disappearing or getting arrested on Saturday night? Who knows.

More after the jump...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Super Bowl Top Ten: Non-Game Moments

Everyone loves the Super Bowl and has memories of the greatest plays and the top moments.

Buddy Ryan and Mike Ditka being carried off the field after Super Bowl XX, Joe Namath running off the field holding up the number 1, Kevin Dyson coming up 1 yard short of the Championship, Hines Ward's TD catch in XL, the New England Patriots choosing to enter as a team, etc, etc, etc.

But there are other stories that come up during the Super Bowl Week. So here's my list, in chronological order, of the Top Ten Non-Game Related Football Moments - I wish I could have seen in person.

Super Bowl III - Being at the Miami Touchdown Club to see Joe Namath respond to a rowdy Colts fan by stating, "We're gonna win the game. I guarantee it". Amazing enough as the Jets were 19 point underdogs. Seeing Namath and watching his confidence leading up to the game in one of the most historic guarantees in sports.

Super Bowl IV - Being in the room when Ed Sabol of NFL Films convinced Hall of Fame Kansas City Chief Head Coach Hank Stram to secretly wear a microphone during the game. Opening the door for the access we see and love to this day every week.

Super Bowl VI - Being in Don Schula's office at 1:30 AM when President Richard M. Nixon called in to suggest a play that the Dolphins should run during the game. The Dolphins subsequently did call the play and the pass was incomplete.

Super Bowl XVII - Being outside of Tampa Stadium as Howie Long and his teammates are dropped off in a Cab 1/2 mile from the stadium due to limited drop off zones and traffic forced to walk through the throngs of Redskin and Raider fans to get to the stadium before kickoff.

Super Bowl XX - Tie - Being in the helicopter as Bears QB mooned photographers during practice to show off his recent injury or being in the room as McMahon had to announce he was misquoted as calling the ladies of New Orleans sluts saying he was a late sleeper and wouldn't have been awake early enough to insult the ladies.

Super Bowl XXXIII - Being there as Falcon DB Eugene Robinson received the Bart Starr award for High Moral Character mere hours before being arrested for soliciting an undercover police office for prostitution.

Super Bowl XXXVI - Being in the upper decks of the Superdome to see if Matt Walsh really was up there video taping the Rams practices.

Super Bowl XXXVII - Being in the Tampa Bay game film room leading up to the Super Bowl as Former Raider and (then) Current Tampa Bay Head Coach Jon Gruden walks his players through exactly what the Raiders were planning to do as Bill Callahan hadn't changed much of Gruden's offense from his time in Oakland.

Super Bowl XL - Being there as Jerome Bettis (who was originally from Detroit) spends an ungodly amount of money on tickets for family and friends in the Detroit area.

Super Bowl XLII - Being there as the New York Post editors obtain the trademark for 18-1 in retaliation to the New England Patriots ownership attempting to register the trademark of 19-0 leading up to the Super Bowl.
More after the jump...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Repeating History: Montana to Rice in 2010?

Quick, name the greatest 1-2 QB/WR combo in NFL history.

Studies show there's a 58% chance you named Hall of Famer Joe Montana and Future Hall of Famer Jerry Rice. There is also a 17% chance you said Manning and Harrison and a 9% chance you said Aikman and Irvin. With the remaining 16% coming up with a handful of different responses.

How many of you have heard the phrase, "History is bound to repeat itself" or some version of the idiom? Well this may not be the Bay, but Tucson may be re-creating history for a new generation., among other recruiting sites, lists the class of 2009 receiver Jerry Rice Jr. as being interested in, among others in the Pac-10 area, the University of Arizona Wildcats. The 3 star receiver has been gaining a lot more attention and is looking to pull in a few more offers come National Signing Day. Arizona is recruiting the son of the great Jerry Rice and still has a few more tricks up their sleeve. Just look at those eyes, tell me that doesn't resemble the young man's Future Hall of Fame father. also has given us some foresight into the 2010 recruiting class, to some extant, and who headlines the list of potential players interested in Tucson? Nick Montana, son of NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana. Montana has already received an offer from U of A, as well as Stanford and LSU, I'm sure Notre Dame will come knocking on his door down the road as well.

It's off in the not too distant future for sure, seeing as how Matt Scott is primed to lead the Kitty Kats for the next 2-3 years, but the potential of 2011 giving Wildcat faithful Montana to Rice is an intriguing thought for sure.

More after the jump...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Houston's Coleman Apologizes For Assaulting Budinger (Video)

This video was featured on the Houston Chronicle website where columnist Michael Murphy still doesn't believe that it was intentional.

Original Story from the Chronicle: Here

More after the jump...

Arizona Basketball: In Case You Missed it

I referenced the Chase Budinger Assault by Houston's Coleman in my last article, but didn't post it. I figured that I would include that video as well as the Nic Wise Technical against USC in case you had missed them.

The Chase Incident: Notice the Houston Celebration after. Classy.

The Nic Wise Incident: USC Technical:

Added Bonus:
It was recently brought to my attention that Kyle Fogg bears a striking resemblance to Ducky from Land Before Time. It has been confirmed.

4Real Out....

More after the jump...

Arizona Basketball and Coaching: Where's the Fire?

I usually try to stray away from writing too much about college basketball and/or our Basketcats, but watching both the USC and the ASU games with the boys left me with a couple thoughts that I can’t get out of my head.

The first thing came from a comment one of the girls watching the game with us. She mentioned something about how she liked when Pennell showed support and encouraged his players coming off the court even after making mistakes. At first this didn’t really resonate, but thinking back, could that be one of the major problems with this squad?

As Randle pointed out during the Houston game, Arizona had been playing sloppy and had turned the ball over something like 24 times up until the now infamous Budinger face stomp. I think Randle made a good point when he said that you didn’t see much passion out of anyone until that incident. Then the comeback came. It was a win that left me speechless seeing as we had NO business winning that game. Fortunately we did, and it might have been because something finally sparked in these guys.

It is no secret that this years team has been through more ups and downs than most teams should ever have to, but how can these guys play not to mention win without any semblance of motivation?

In the wake of Lute’s legacy the question remains, what kind of coach is right for Arizona? I’m not talking about experience. We know that Lute was one of the biggest names in College Basketball, and that the University feels as though they need to go after someone with either a strong Arizona connection or a big proven name. I don’t think that point is really debatable, and more than that I don’t really care to. The question I am asking is what kind of style is going to light that fire that the squad so desperately needs.

In my mind you have three basic types of coaches. Obviously there are hybrids and some coaches will share similar characteristics, but in the most basic of coaching essence it really comes down to three styles:

1. Lute Olson-esque: Coach O’s presence was iconic. He was the face of the organization and was respected by players, media and peers. Instilling wisdom and experience without as much as a single hair displaced on his head through the course of a game and some years a season. When you make mistakes it is a lot like facing your father: he is not mad, but he is disappointed. You do things because you want to make him proud, and that motivation feels almost self actualized.
2. Bruce Pearl-esque: The coach that can be identified as a players coach. The guy that showed up to a woman’s game with his chest painted. His hair is never in place, and he wears orange suits. Pearl is a more media charismatic version of Arizona’s equivalent Mike Stoops. You can always see the fire in this type of coach, and sometimes it may even distract from the players. The thing is no matter what is happening you know he will back his players and you hope that they would want to match his enthusiasm.
3. Bobby Knight-esque: The word dictator comes to mind. He shows you how to do it, you practiced it until you couldn’t physically go any longer and now you are expected to execute. There is no disappointment here, just competitive anger. His ship is run tight, he is always in complete control and the term zero tolerance will be used at some point.

Is Arizona ready to move to option #2 or 3? I don’t know if that is the case. Having an iconic face of a program like Lute Olson was doesn’t come along very often. As far as Arizona’s basketball program is concerned they are pretty conservative. We are talking about a program that gives prime student seating (Center Court: See Duke, North Carolina or any other big program) to Alumni. Don’t think that this isn’t a money game, because that is all that it is. Arizona is a fair weather state in every meaning of the phrase. Unless we move forward in what will appear to be a drastic way, then we will be most likely be left behind. The next year will speak volumes for the direction of the program, and whether we can sustain being a perennial top program will be in the balance.

4Real Out...

More after the jump...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Brett Grossman? Thomas Jones Speaks Out

Thomas Jones played 3 seasons in Chicago culminating in a trip to the Super Bowl. While there on a Super Bowl team, his Quarterback was none other than Turnover Machine Rex Grossman. How many times did Thomas Jones, a typically quiet, soft spoken guy, say anything negative about his Quarterback?


How many times did he call for Grossman's benching?


How many times did he say that Grossman was hurting the team?


So imagine my surprise of hearing the statements of the Former Bear while speaking about Jet Quarterback Brett Favre.

"We're a team and we win together ... but at the same time, you can't turn the ball over and expect to win,"

"The other day, the three interceptions really hurt us. I mean, that's just reality, If I were to sit here and say, 'Oh, man, it's OK,' that's not reality. ... I don't like it, I know everybody else on the team doesn't like it."

"If somebody is not playing well, they need to come out of the game,"

"You're jeopardizing the whole team because you're having a bad day. To me, that's not fair to everybody else. You're not the only one. So when you get to the wire and somebody is just giving the game up, I mean, it's just not [fair]."

Every single one of those statements could have been said a few years ago when Jones was frustrated watching Sexy Rexy throw the ball all over the place, having 3 INT days, but it seems that Favre's reign in New York was that much worse than Grossman's unholy time in Chicago. I'm just glad, as a Bear fan, that the Bears made the decision that they were sick of watching Grossman blow games for the Bears left and right.

Here's to an offseason without Favre flip flopping on decisions and making us wait to hear his decision, because even if he does want to come back, it doesn't sound like the Jets want him back. Two straight seasons of teams not wanting Favre to come back. It's nice to know that not only did he ruin his legacy in Green Bay, but he's gotten a lame legacy in New York as well.

Who's tarnished legacy is worse Favre's MVP and Super Bowl Champ to his newfound legacy of stringing out teams, blowing big games, and turning the ball over or Millen's legacy of a good College Player, Pro Player, Super Bowl Champ, and Analyst to his nearly single handed destroying of an NFL franchise? All Millen did was make a bad team worse.

More after the jump...