Elmhurst Pub Roundtable

Where the beer is cold and the conversation loud...

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hollywood Minute...

So Hollywood continues to prove my point. Last night I was sitting at home watching TV and two ads for "new" movies came on - She's the Man and Aquamarine. These movies were great...the first time they were made when the titles were Just One of the Guys and Splash, respectively. I think this is where things just start to irritate people. Are there no good ideas left out there for movies? If all we have are sequels and remakes, it's just plain sad. Sequels rarely live up to the hype of the original. How many sequels have even been NOMINATED for a Best Picture Oscar? One. Godfather II. That's it, that's the list. And, let's be fair, there have been some good sequels, but they're just few and far between. Each Bond movie is judged in its own right because of the drastically different story lines and there are certainly some that are better than others. Most sequels get worse. Let's look at Major League. 1 was fantastic, 2 was alright, 3 never happened (and I refuse to discuss it here). Even the Mission Impossible movies are harder to follow...course maybe that's because Tom Cruise is just a parody of himself at this point. Austin Powers is an exception, only if you're a Mike Myers fan, which I happen to be and I'll be first in line when they make #4.

Even worse are these remakes. Splash was classic. Just One of the Guys was only alright when it first came out. Why remake something that was good and something that was ok? In fact, there is no reason to try again with good, bad, or average movies. They were that way for a reason. Apparently, they want to expose younger generations to these movies. Well, fine, put them on TV or re-release the original. It's not even like the actors and actresses in these movies are names or ever will be names. If Amanda Bynes becomes the next Julia Roberts, then I'll eat my words. Don't think I have to worry about that any time soon. Let's add into this equation that certain actors are now playing the same character in every single movie. I'm looking at you, Harrison Ford. Have you changed demeanors since Patriot Games?

Movies are fast becoming overpriced and are not being attended with the same frequency. Certain ones will always succeed in theatres because of effects and the need to see certain imagery on larger screens. But with the advent of the home theatre, how long will this even last? Prices are ridiculous. When it costs a couple $20 for tickets, $5 for a soda, and $8 for a small popcorn, there's a reason more and more people are renting or just buying the film instead of heading to the theatre. Dinner and a movie is no longer a cheap date. Without original ideas and thoughts, this trend is only going to continue. Between movies and sitcoms, American media is nearing the bottom of a very, very deep hole with no real way out.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Who will you miss?


With the passing of Barney Fife himself and the corresponding memories that people older than us have with that age television star, I was thinking this morning about who I would really miss that I enjoyed watching on TV. When you look at it, we all kinda grew up in the pinnacle of prime time television, where great sitcoms lived. With the advent of reality tv and the lack of solid comedy on at night, this may become a smaller and smaller percentage. So let's talk about some of the people that will be missed as we move forward.

The first one that came to mind for me was Mark Linn-Baker. Who is he? None other than Cousin Larry Appleton on Perfect Strangers. I remember Friday nights not being complete until you saw what dumb stunt he and cousin Balki from Mepos pulled. You can't beat the dumb jokes and the "Dance of Joy". Sure, it was stupid and pointless, but that was the point of TGIF on ABC. Favorite memory: Seeing Larry hanging from a chandelier with Balki high above a great room for the house he and his new/future wife had purchased. Balki had knocked the chair and the two were left dangling. Definitely funny stuff. And let's not forget, it had one of the best theme songs in sitcom history. If you don't remember it, I suggest looking it up. A quick google search yields the result and it gives you an extra hop in your step the rest of the day. Sadly, this classic is not on DVD. Someday, companies will wise up. We have all the seasons of the crap on TLC as DVD but none of the old comedies.

Some others that came to mind were Jaleel White, strictly for his portrayal of Urkel. Since the guy has done nothing else since then, it's reasonable to believe that it's how he'll be remembered. I'll toss in Cliffy the Mailman if not for his tremendously irrelevant remarks. I'll even take a look at some of the people from wings, memorable characters like Antonio Scarpacci (Tony Shalhoub, who now plays Monk on USA Network). Newman, George, and Kramer from Seinfeld have to be up there too. Most of these guys never had other roles of have appeared sparingly on TV and in movies since. And we won't count the failed sitcoms that Jason Alexander has put out there. They have to last more than one episode to count. I think that's the key to missing someone. There are plenty more, but I think it has to be a character that had a bit role on a show or a show that is actually missed in its role as a sitcom.

So I'll open it up to the floor for nominations, but I thought it was an interesting way to go...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Gomes Saga


So let's recap how the 2005 NBA draft went. It's a league-wide consensus that the Celtics had the best draft of any team in the league. Gerald Green is considered to have slipped way too far in the draft and was a steal at pick 18. Ryan Gomes, our subject here, was considered a first round talent by some, yet fell all the way to 50. Orien Greene has stabilized the backup point spot in Boston, but wasn't highly regarded going into the draft either. Let's dig deeper.

Gomes was a 4 year star at PC, mature, all-time leading Friars scorer, and had a true understanding of the game. The knocks against him? You could watch as he sometimes would seem disinterested on the court, failing to get back on defense or taking lazy shots on offense. Maybe it was because he was that much better than every player in the Big East, but it's no excuse. Gomes dominated Emeka Okeafor twice and Hakim Warrick regularly. He was a double-double every night and saved his best performances for the bigger games. He's one of only 6 players in Big East history to score 2,000 points and have 1,000 rebounds. Yet, when draft night came, Gomes continued to slip behind players he was better than. Obviously, this happens all the time. I mean, the Celtics drafted Joe Forte over Tony Parker. People make mistakes. But, it's uncanny how the college senior has become more and more undervalued and underappreciated in today's NBA. Here are some of the players taken ahead of Gomes: Martell Webster (HS), Jaroslav Korolev (For.), Hakim Warrick (no one will convince me based on his lack of jump shot and marginal defensive ability since all he was in college was a weakside shot blocker that he was worth a pick at #19), Fran Vazquez (For.), Antoine Wright (Tex A&M), Francisco Garcia (Louisville), Julius Hodge (NC St.), Johan Petro (For.), Jason Maxiell (Cinci.), Linas Kleiza (Mizzou), Ian Mahinimi (For.), Wayne Simien (Kansas). And that's just round 1. Round 2 included Ronny Turiaf (Gonzaga, heart condition), Daniel Ewing, Bracey Wright, Travis Diener, 3 High Schoolers, and a few foreigners.

The Celtics have seen Gomes take over in the last four games, culminating in his first career double-double last night. He has admirably stepped in to the depleted front court and has continued to excel taking the mid-range jump shot we witnessed at the Dunk. He has a nose for rebounds, even though he's not a great leaper. Gomes has worked hard and even was second to Pierce in minutes against Utah. Almost overnight, the team has realized they have quite a player in Gomes. Something every Friar fan knew. Some say he didn't quite have a position, but he's turning into a good rotation guy that will certainly be effective in spelling the starters at the 3 spot. He might not be quick, but he's smart and knows how to play the game. Ainge even admitted they knew they were getting this in Gomes.

Inexplicably, he buried Gomes on the bench behind Reed, Scalabrine, and the towel boy for half the season. Tony Allen came back and Gomes spend 15-20 games being deactivated. It's decisions like this that have you questioning Celtics leadership. If you know that this is the kind of player you have on your hands, then why do you put players who are obviously less skilled in front of them? Justin Reed doesn't belong on most NBA rosters. Scalabrine should stick to being Michael Rapaport's stunt double because he looks lost on an NBA floor. Ainge claiming he knew the skills he had exacerbates the situation. He sees practices, he knows the players. Why force/allow Doc to bury a guy like this when you know he could be helping your team. The Celtics weren't going anywhere this year to begin with, and claiming those other players actually gave you a better chance to win is ludicrous.

But Gomes seems to naturally belong on the floor, complementing the other Celtics well and understanding what his role is. He may never be a star, but he's certainly in most teams 7-man rotation and should have a successful pro career doing that. You can't tell me Seattle wouldn't rather have his help off the bench than a foreign swing man that won't come over to play for them. The same is true in Orlando. What about Memphis? Would they rather have Warrick who is averaging just a hair under 2 points a game and has no discernible skill outside of leaping ability? Check out 82games.com for some comparisons. Fun site if you're a stat nut. The list goes on. Friar fans have enjoyed this quick little run Gomes has put together and we can only hope that when Jefferson and Perkins come back there is still room for Gomes to make the contribution that he has off the bench and that Scalabrine will be relegated to 12th man in.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Another Friars Rant...

So just when you think that they may be on the verge of forcing Welsh out, he wins a game. It's uncanny how this guy can do this. Let's set the stage for the final games of the season. The Friars, as of last Friday, had 5 games remaining - Cinci, USF, ND, Pitt, and Marquette. In all seriousness, they probably need three of these games. Immediately, they go out and lose a close one at Cinci. Who didn't see that coming? Sure, Cinci is a tough team and it was on the road, but this is a winnable game. Obviously, this game does have good things. The Friars dominated inside, as the Cinci D tried to key on McGrath (who still ended up with 16). And the freshmen continue to play well. That brings us to last night. A loss last night to a winless USF team would have been unforgivable. So, of course, they go out and take it to them and the Friars win by nearly 20.

But that sets the stage for tonite. Here's how the bottom of the Big East breaks down:

The Bottom 7:

South Florida - 0 and 13
Depaul - 3 and 9
Notre Dame - 4 and 9
St. John's - 5 and 9
Louisville - 4 and 8
Providence - 5 and 8
Rutgers - 5 and 8

What's the biggest game right now? PC vs. ND. They don't win that game, they don't go to the tourney. It basically becomes that simple. The bottom 4 will not make the tourney. We can safely put South Florida in that category. PC has a game lead on ND, 1.5 on Depaul, .5 on Louisville and SJ, and holds the tie-breaker over Rutgers. But this is as cluttered as it gets right now. PC won't beat Pitt at Pitt, mark it down. Marquette is playing great ball right now, so that will be a struggle. That leaves the ND game. Which would give them 2 wins and a 2 game lead on ND. should PC go 6-10 in the league, that should be good enough, but it opens a bunch of tie breaker formulas. If they lose all three, that would put ND ahead of them, probably Rutgers and St. John's as well. Makes it tough. How Louisville plays down the stretch also factors into this equation.

My bet: USF, DePaul, St. John's and ND miss out and PC makes it by the skin of their teeth.

Now that I've said that, here's what will happen: Louisville, PC, USF and DePaul miss out, making for a tournament without one of the league's marquee teams. If this happens, the embarassment to the program alone should call for Welsh to resign. If they make it and flame out again, well we can add to the record of one Big East tournment win in 8 years. Tim better keep these frosh happy, it's his only hope at this point.

Couple other notes:
--Has there ever been a more unpredictable league? You have to bring it every night in the Big East at this point. WVU is tough, but beatable, UConn nearly lost last night to ND at home, and G'town has to be the surprise of the league at this point.
--I hate Ted Sorandis. Just want to make that perfectly clear.
--I hate Boston College more every day. Just making the point.
--I'm tired of Manny being Manny. You're being paid $20 million a year. Show up and be happy. You play out the contract.
--Schilling thinks Lester is mature so far beyond his years that the kid could be a #2 or 3 guy on a staff today. I'm getting goosebumps about what a healthy rotation will look like 2 years from now - Beckett, Papelbon, Lester, Wakefield, Arroyo (In theory, and I know I'm missing a young pitcher in there).

Friday, February 17, 2006

Bryant Gumble

So, apparently, Bryant Gumble was on his HBO show the other day and made the comment that the best athletes in the world aren't at the winter games. He went on to say that this was the case because the teams at the Olympics are about as black as a GOP convention. HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!

Here's the full quote:

"Bryant Gumble on the Winter Olympics"And finally tonight the Winter Games. Count me among those that don't like 'em and won't watch 'em. In fact, I figure when Thomas Paine said, "These are the times that try men's souls", he must have been talking about the start of another Winter Olympics. Because they are so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try too. Like try not to be incredulous when someone tries to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. So try not to laugh when someone
says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of Blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention. Try not to point out that something's not really a sport if a psuedo-athlete waits in what's called a "kiss and cry area" while some panel of subjective judges decides who won. And try to blot out all logic when announcers and sports writers pretend to care about the luge, the skeleton, the biathlon, and all those other events they don't understand and totally ignore for all but three weeks every four years. Face it, these Olympics are little more than a marketing plan to fill space and sell time during the dreary days of February. So, if only to hasten the arrival of the day they're done, and we can move on to March Madness, for God's sake, let the Games begin."

How does he get away with this? Let's change some of the words around. Would a white commentator get away with saying, "Count me among those who don't like the NBA and won't watch it. So try not to laugh when someone calls these the greatest athletes in the world, despite the paucity of whites that makes the league look like the Democratic National Convention/rap concert/whatever,"? No. Rush Limbaugh was fired for saying less about McNabb (BTW, it now looks like his points are accurate). Why is there no outcry? Why don't people care? This is the double standard with regards to race that makes people angry. A white commentator would not be given any sort of second chance on this. A black commentator says it and it flies under the radar.

This is tantamount to saying that white athletes aren't as good. Are the greatest athletes in the world in Torino? Probably not, but they are the greatest athletes in their sport. Is it our fault that there are fewer black athletes that don't want to ski, skate, luge, or curl? Some of it may be economic. How many lugers do you see coming out of urban areas or even non-mountainous areas like Boston, NYC, etc.? But a lot of it isn't for lack of opportunity, as there are programs anyone can join where they will help you out and train you. Also, the definition of sport and athlete are two different things. I think skaters, be it figure, speed, or hockey, are athletes. I don't think figure skating is a sport because of how subjective the scoring is. They have since redefined the scoring system to at least give plausibility to the technical marks. Artistic is just that obviously. But is this any different than being judged by a panel of writers and pollsters in order to determine who are the two best teams in college football? The athletes compete, the writers judge. Simply because something like curling is not popular in the US doesn't make it a non-sport. But, then again, these are all called Olympic Events, not sports. So does that definition matter?

Bryant Gumble has made this a racial issue. It's not. We can't force people of any race to be steered towards one sport or another. Gumble has demeaned the athletes that compete in these games, saying they are not the best. Sure, there may be football players that can strap on a pair of skis and do what these olympians do. But there may also be skiiers that can swing a bat real well. Skiing has a circuit, as does bobsledding and luge. There is open competition in all these arenas, called World Cups. How does that make these people not the best in the world? Explain that one. I'm tired of giving these people this sort of forum to make comments like that. Stop playing the race card. Appreciate these for what they are. And don't constantly cry for more racial equality. The opportunity is there for participation in all races. I'll close with this, Gumble should suffer the same fate as Rush Limbaugh and be fired.

The stuff you can't say in print

I know I'm not alone in this one, but it's time to stretch out the vocal cords and be heard
On Tim Welsh:
Flat-out, this guy can't coach. When Pittsburgh was in the middle of its game-changing 19-3 run on Wednesday, erasing what was a seven point lead for the Friars, Welsh didn't call a t/o until the damage was done and the Panthers were up 49-45. Tim: memo to you and the rest of your cock-sucking staff, you have timeouts, use them. Don't wait until Aaron Gray and his 7-foot, 270-pound frame tools all over Herb Hill (I knew he would fall back to reality) and Randall Hanke (who I believe is STILL in the witness protection program). Stop the bleeding, and try and diagram some sort of play instead of bitching at the refs.

It also may have helped if you played Hill and Hanke at the same time instead of shuffling them out like a chinese fire drill.

On the Celtics: The more I hear about the rebuilding Danny Ainge wants to do, the more I watch the greatest moments in Celtics history on DVD. B/c there's no way NBA Entertainment is coming out with another part anytime soon.
The Celtics will always be stuck in neutral, a club that will either make the playoffs as a No. 7/8 seed or miss out and settle for a crappy lottery pick. In the NBA, there's the elite and everyone else. Those teams that are among the elite stay there (San Antonio) b/c they have smart people running the ship. The C's are stuck with Mr. BYU, and fans are willing to be somewhat patient b/c a). there's 16 banners hanging in the "new" Gah-den, b). Ainge is a link to the glory days, so that makes him exceptable.

On the Olympics: Who cares?

On spring training finally being here: Thank God!

On the World Baseball Classic: Not to sound like a broken record, but who cares?

Things I'm Tired Of

Because I have nothing valid to bring to the table at this point, I thought I'd point out a list of things that just need to go away at this point...
  • Spandex on men in the Olympics. Does every sport need to have this? Skiing, luge, Curling, Bobsledding, Ski Jumping, Cross Country, Skating of all kinds. I understand physics and aerodynamics, but isn't this just getting a little nuts? I feel like I need to go to a strip club just to make everything ok again.
  • Racism...and not in the way everyone talks about it. I'm talking the cry from every non-white-middle class-male that they are treated unfairly. At this point, the only oppression is being placed on the middle class male. Remember, everything we've ever done or said is wrong and nothing will be right until we're out of every corporate office, boardroom, athletic contest, etc.
  • Danny Ainge's Plan. We've heard about this thing since he took over and the Celtics are worse than when he started. Recently, he commented on the reason the Celtics weren't playing Gomes as, "They knew what they had with Ryan." Makes perfect sense, play Scalabrine and Reed ahead of a guy that you knew was good. Masterful job, Danny. This deserves its own entry.
  • Red Sox Fans. Nothing is good enough. Every guy that is coming off a bad year or good year that plays for anyone else is gonna suck. Every Red Sox coming off a bad year is gonna be fantastic. Example: No Red Sox fan seems to think Damon will have the same kind of year. Or Vernon Wells (who had the worst year of his career). But, Mike Lowell is gonna hit 40 bombs, Foulke is going back to the 2004 version, and Schilling is going to win the Cy Young. Find a middle ground here guys. Take off the rose colored glasses and be objective. And, remember, I'm a Sox fan.
  • Online waiting rooms. In this day of infinite technology, there is no better way to distribute tickets than an online waiting room? How come I don't know ANYONE that got Sox tickets? Anyone? Bueller?
  • Patriots Fans. This has to be the worst. It's like dealing with obnoxious Yankees fans. All I heard after the loss to Denver was that the Broncos didn't win the game, the Patriots lost it. Guess what? Taking advantage of a team playing poorly is winning the game. I listened to plenty complain that the best team didn't win that game. These are the same people that complained a couple years ago when Pittsburgh made that argument in the AFC title game. You can't have it both ways. They played poorly, barely won a weak division, and didn't deserve to go any further than they did.
  • Sports agents. If these aren't the greediest, most money grubbing people in the history of the world, I don't know what group is. After Arroyo signed a hometown discount deal, his agent comes out and says it was against the agent's advice. Sure protect your future clients, but then don't bash the guy for doing what his heart said he wanted. Guys like Drew Rosenhaus and Scott Boras make my stomach turn.
  • NBA and NFL Officials. How in a league that does as well as the NBA and the NFL can they not find people competent enough to handle the job on a daily basis? Calls in several playoff games turned the tide. And it's not always the calls as much as it is enforcement of calls. Consistency is all most fans ask for. If its called the same way in game 1, quarter 1 as it is in the final game, final minute then that's all people can ask. But it never is and that's what frustrates most players, fans, and media.
  • Having certain aspects of life being shoved down my throat as normal and acceptable. You can all guess what I'm driving at. And this is my place to sound off. I don't have problems with it, do whatever you want, but don't tell me it's normal, don't tell me it's what was intended, and don't tell me I have to treat it as such. From Hollywood, to rogue judges, to demonstrators, it's going overboard. Let them have their rights, but I don't like seeing couples of any type all over each other in public and if I wanted those kind of scenes in my movies there are some great places by Providence College that would rent me them or sell them. Oh and while I'm mentioning Hollywood...
  • Do movie writers and producers have an original thought anymore? Why is every other movie coming out a remake of something else. Like the new Harrison Ford movie. Has he played the exact same character in every movie for the last 20 years? Like since Patriot Games? Pathetic! And what they did to Glory Road was pitiful. I can guarantee the players that actually were in that game weren't throwing passes off the backboard to eachother. They even got facts wrong! See the Sports Guy for details on that. Even when they have a good idea, they screw it up.
  • American Idol. I like watching how bad these people are as much as the next guy, but when only 9-20 people made the cut in most of those cities, how come we only saw like 3 of them? Do we really have to emphasize how bad people are? I agree, tell them they suck, but don't make me sit through 45 of them in an hour. Slight overkill. Not that I watch that show...
  • Bad commentators. It's everywhere from baseball to football to basketball to the Olympics. How come people can't call a game normally? I don't need inane detail after detail about player X's life prior to going pro or hear about bad stories. Tell me about the game, show me the details that only former players can, and shut up every once in a while. These games can all tell a story, let them.
  • Isiah Thomas. Just go away. You ruin everything you do. Please stop. Or else ask the Celtics about the availability of Raef LaFrentz.
  • How dumb the generations preceding us must have been. Kids in elementary through high school now are being put through longer days, more standardized testing, more homework, more days in school. Why? Those prior generations are all making the rules. Do they realize that the intelligent person they are putting through schools has realized that they're all full of crap? Apparently they didn't learn enough. Which is evident in the way they make policy decisions.

And last (for today) but certainly not least,

  • The current state of music. Put on a rock station and most of what they play now is stuff that came out in the 80's. Not that I mind. Other stuff rotates in, but songs cut in the last 2-3 years are nowhere near as prevalent. Some stuff is timeless, I agree with that. But we're screwed if artists don't start putting some good stuff on CD.

End Rant.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Decisions...

I went back and forth as to where my next topic would be, mainly because there are always a few things in the news that strike your interest. Given that no one seems to have an opinion on a ything else I've thrown out there, I'll go with something that I at least find interesting. Course since I'm one of the 15 remaining NBA fans, this probably will get slightly less interest than pictures of a naked Bea Arthur. But, you're all stuck.

This weekend, the NBA will hold its All-Star game in Houston. Sunday's game will be the cap off to a weekend of events that include All-Star Saturday, consisting of the "Young Stars" Dunking Contest, 3-point shootout, skills challenge, and something involving the WNBA and an obese Magic Johnson. Thanks to TiVo, I'll get to watch all of this when I return from my weekend away. But, at the same time, I'm not sure I want to. Rob will think I'm channeling Bill Simmons here, but the fact is the events on NBA weekend have gone from fantastic and the highlight to the weekend to pathetic and needing to go away. It's really a shame. Growing up, I remember this being a great thing. Larry Bird, Dominique Wilkins, Dale Ellis, Jordan, Dr. J, all competed in these various events. It was a matter or pride, of entertaining fans, and of proving you were the best. That has entirely gone away. It's gone from being there to entertain fans to making sure you don't get hurt. Let's look at the three point contest. This does contain some of the game's best shooters - Ray Allen, Richardson, Nowitzki, Terry, Raja Bell (perennial dark horse), and Chauncey Billups. I'd make this a field of 8 and add two players in the actual game to the list - Rip Hamilton (leading the league in 3pt%) and either Pierce or Nash. 8-4-2-winner. It's a simple formula and there really isn't a reason that it couldn't be done. Honestly, that's my only complaint about this event though. It's stayed with some of the best shooters in the game and it's not the event's fault that the quality of shooting in the NBA is borderline abysmal at this point.

Next event, the Rook-Soph game. No problems with this one whatsoever. Fantastic idea, keeps the younger players in the NBA involved and gets them exposure on a major stage. Putting that much talent on an NBA floor at once is a great idea and whoever thought of this should be commended for it. And what about the skills challenge? Getting the best point guards in the NBA together is a great idea for something like this. Let's see their skills on display. My problem? How can they only find four guards that have the requisite skills to do this. I'd even make it a little more fun. Add a teammate into it and make them complete an alley-oop pass or give them bonus points for the more creative a pass they use. What about putting a dummy in the middle of the lane and making them drive around them for a hoop. Something like that. I like the basica set of skills they use, but I'd also make this event 8 guys with accuracy a more important part of the issue. Who do I add to the field (Nash, James, Paul, Wade)? How about Bryant (course you can't pass to yourself), Jason Kidd, Tony Parker, Mike Bibby, and, this year, Sam Cassell. NBA.com has the official rules for this contest.

Then we come to two events that need to be changed entirely. The "Shooting Stars" challenge and the Dunk Contest. Start with the Shooting Stars, where they team up an NBA, WNBA, and legend in a shooting contest. At least, this year, they've cut it down to 4 teams. I agree with Simmons here. You can't keep shoving the WNBA down our throats. How many guys have actually watched more than 5 minutes of a WNBA game? I refuse to. It's not quality basketball. Women's college basketball is more entertaining. But this is just a bad product that they can't even bring fans out to watch. Why keep this up? What's worse, the legends they select are just ugly to watch. Magic needs to lose 50 pounds. I don't think of Clyde Drexler as a Rocket, but as a Blazer. Steve Kerr will always be a Bull or a Cav, not a Spur since he was there for like a year. Dan Majerle, I'll cut some slack. It's not his fault. The fact is, no one cares about this event, no one likes this event. Give us more of the real all-star type events. No one even can move effectively in this event. The All-Stars don't want to get hurt, the WNBA players are women, and the legends are old. Great idea on this one. Put Marion, Bryant, T-Mac, and Parker here. I'd much rather see their skills go to waste than be exploited. At least make the WNBA players go topless or something.

Which brings us to the Dunk Contest. Seriously, let's just make this stop. In the contest this year: Nate Robinson, Hakim Warrick, Josh Smith, and Andre Iguodala. Combined, these guys don't average as many PPG as Bryant. Robinson is 5'9" and he's no Spud Webb. Smith was not that exciting last year. Warrick doesn't get off the bench enough in Memphis to have any discernable skill (but remember, he deserved to be drafted ahead of Gomes). Iguodala is a great defensive player and I have no idea whether or not he's athletic enough for an event like this. Course now that I said that, he'll probably win. Fact is, when you have the most exciting players in the NBA not participating, this event is useless. Look at it this way: Warrick wasn't good enough to make the rookie-soph game. How can he be considered a rising star, as the dunk contest title suggests? You either have to make participation a mandatory part of all-star weekend or make it worth the while of those you invite. $16K ain't gonna do it. Let's say you make it mandatory for all-stars to participate in these events, even guarantee that they wouldn't do the same event twice in a three year span. I'd break it down this way:

3 point: Arenas, Pierce, Hamilton, Allen, Nowitzki, T-Mac, 2 non-all stars (1 per conference) Raja Bell and Mike James this year to reward the better shooters. Give the conference winner even more. Otherwise, go with the idea below and use the rooks/sophs (Deron Williams and Nate Robinson).

Dunk: Bryant, Brand, Marion, James, Carter then use rookie - soph roster for 3 (Iguodola, Head, Villanueva). Allows for more conference battles again.

Skills: Nash, Wade, AI, Billups, Parker, then fill as necessary to even conferences with rookie-soph roster (Paul, Ford, and Devin Harris)

It might work. That, or totally revamp the whole thing. I won't get in to details on that. At least this involves the younger players more and gets that exposure while also making it a conference battle of sorts. Let them see who has the better conference. NHL, NFL, and even MLB do that in regard to the use of total points. Why not here? It at least makes for some better watching television. To a degree...

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Best Player in College Basketball

So the debate goes back and forth as to who is the true best player in the NCAA. As the tournaments (both conference and national) begin to near, it's time to take a look at some of the contenders. The two most obvious are JJ Reddick and Adam Morrison. The guys are 1-2 in the NCAA in scoring average and it's widely known that Reddick's shooting range starts the second he enters the gym. Reddick has an uncanny ability to come off one pick, not be open, but keep moving and get his shot on either the second or third pick he comes off. Paulus and Nelson as well as Dockery have had the ability to hit him in just the right spot every time. Add to that, the kid hits every free throw he takes. Those skills can't be overrated. But you never hear about the kid's defensive abilities and he doesn't necessarily make his teammates better. He also benefits from having fellow All-American Shelden Williams in the front-court. Opposing defenses can't key on him when they have another player to worry about.

Morrison on the other hand, has no other help. He's only trailing Reddick by a tenth of a point in scoring average while shooting a higher percentage from the field and at the same time hauling in nearly 4 more boards a game and only one less assist from a forward position. Reddick may be on the best team in the NCAA (truly debateable if you watch them play and compare them to UConn, Memphis, and even Nova). I'll take him over Reddick in this case without a second thought in my head. The kid has no supporting cast and is going to carry this Bulldogs team straight to the elite 8. Sure, they've flamed out before but when you have a player of his caliber who can take over a game at any time, you have to trust that he will be able to do that against some of the lesser early round teams. And they've been challenged. Look at the pre-season schedule and the Maui Invitational that they played.

But what about other guys beyond these two? You can't talk about Reddick without Williams. And there are other names that have to be discussed: Randy Foye from Nova, Darius Washington at Memphis, Quincy Douby of Rutgers, PJ Tucker in Texas, Rudy Gay at UConn, Dee Brown at Illinois all need to be considered in the top 10 of this race. I still think this is more than a two man game. Personally, I don't see how you don't give Morrison the edge over any of these other 9 players, and given who he has around him it shouldn't be close. Given the national coverage of Duke and the way ESPN pimps them up to everyone, you know Reddick will garner more support than he actually deserves.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Two posts in one...

Post one: Why don't the rest of you try responding or putting up your ideas?

Post two: Below...

It's truly amazing, when you sit back and think about it, how many problems there are in sports today. The past few years have seen a new era of steroid abuse and testing ushered in to all major sports, most notably baseball. Officiating problems have manifested themselves in all sports, from inept basketball officials, to questionable football officials, to weird baseball umpire calls. Now, most recently, we have gambling issues. Selfish players in all sports looking for the name on the back of the jersey, not the name on the front (I'm looking at you Kobe). This hasn't been a good year for sports overall in this sense. It all brings to mind the question of what truly is the current state of sport?

In an area like Boston, it is impossible to use attendance and ratings as a factor. People would sell out Fenway Park regardless of the level of play on the field (for the most part). Same is true in New York. But overall, baseball attendance isn't strong and steroids hangs like a black cloud over the league. Families can't afford to go to games as prices continue to skyrocket. Most recently, the Red Sox have even removed all games from free television in order to solely use NESN. Even the Yankees don't do that. Basketball doesn't sell out basically anywhere any more. Why? The NBA game is slow and boring and lacks the team concept shown in college basketball. Hockey was so irrelevant that it went away for a year and no one noticed. Football continues to capture the imagination, and is only gaining strength. It is the only true sport with a defined substance abuse policy, set penalties, and strict rules. But even they could be heading for a problem should a new collective bargaining agreement not be ratified.

The athletes of today are stronger, faster, and more "athletic" in general. But over all sports, we hear about these athletes in terms of issues of race that minority groups bring up in order to bring more "equality" to athletes, coaches, and front office personnel. Seemingly, it will only be equal when there are no whites in these positions. And don't try to mention that there are less than 10% of white, american-born, NBA players or that there are no white running backs or that only 2 starting NFL WR's are white. But be sure to mention that there aren't enough African-American quarterbacks, baseball players, and coaches. Contracts are ridiculous. We pay 8th men off of an NBA bench $7 million a year and superstars over $20 million. Pitchers, who are the most prevalent players on MLB disabled lists, continue to demand long term contracts and $7-13 million to finish .500 with an ERA around 4.30. NFL players hold out regularly, demanding to get market value. It's all causing more and more pressure on the multi-billion dollar industry that is sports.

In the past week, we've seen players pull out of the World Baseball Classic, using injury as a reason but ones that came about after it was announced that International Anti-Doping rules would be used and not those sanctioned by the MLB. One of hockey's legends is being implicated in an illegal betting ring. Imagine the outcry if HE is banned from the game? Referees have taken over the story of the Super Bowl, proving that consistent rule enforcement is necessary or this is the result. The NBA had a player banned for 2 years for abuse of a substance that can only be one of the following: heroine, cocaine, LSD. The NFL saw two of its legends - Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw - missed the parade of Super Bowl MVP's over money.

So what is that state of professional sports? I would argue for the first year in many, that it is worse than it was the prior several years. These issues must be solved, most notable those circling steroid and drug abuse. Gambling must be taken a hold of with a universal policy governing how problems like these must be handled within professional sports (excluding national and state court ramifications), ask Pete Rose about that. Race relations have to get better and we must appreciate the athletes for being what they are - excellent at their position. We cannot bemoan that they're aren't enough of X and Y in this league or that. But this is where the Olympics come in. Amateur athletes...for the most part...being their for the pride of their country, to be counted as one of the best in the world. I look forward to these next few weeks and the events that will take place. There will be no cries over race, nationality, or creed. Just athletes considered the best in the homeland trying to earn a medal (and the resulting endorsement deals).

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Hockey Gambling

In case you missed it yesterday, Rick Tocchet, assistant coach of the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes, was busted yesterday on charges of funding an illegal sports gambling ring based out of New Jersey. Tocchet, who spent his career with 7 different NHL teams, including the Bruins, is charged with having provided the funding for the venture that included the help of a Jersey state trooper. Investigators have traced over 1000 bets in the amount of $1.7 million to the ring. Articles yesterday discussed at least a dozen NHL players being involved as well as the wife of hockey legend and Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky.

So why talk about this? Simple. To me, it's only a matter of time before we find out that Janet Jones-Gretzky (who looked absolutely amazing in League of Their Own) was placing bets not for herself but for her husband. Let's face facts here, not many of us know a lot of women who have the ability to understand enough about sports to accurately wager on them. Period. That's not meant as a slight against women in general, but a statement of fact. Jones doesn't exactly look like the brightest bulb in the lamp. These 12 NHL players are, thus far, not accused of betting on hockey. Is it that these slips are more difficult to track? It's conceivable. Course, they may not have at all. Whatever the case, suspensions ARE warranted based on the individuals involved. Players in such high profile positions obviously need to be held to the same standard as every average Joe. There is no way we'd keep our jobs if convicted of various felonies. But, we don't play for the Ravens or Cowboys. It's also the reason I felt Sean Locklear should have been suspended, with pay, for the NFC title game. You have to be accountable for your actions. If you're being investigated for some sort of illegal activity, that company holds the right to tell you not to come in until things have been cleared up. In fact, not doing so represents a level of ignorance and reflects an attitude that outsiders should be concerned about.

Sports tends to be harder on sports gambling than on any other type of infraction strictly because of the manner in which the spiral can lead. First it's betting on one sport, then two, then eventually, your own. Obviously, we all know the story of Pete Rose. These players and the league have a lot to worry about. The league has been busy trying to rehab an image that was destroyed by the lockout. The players have legal ramifications and career problems to worry about in addition to any sort of court time that may result. Rightfully so. My stance is simple. If we're talking about bets on college basketball or NFL football, this is no different than the way we all have placed bets with friends or online in order to make a little money or make things more fun and interesting. While there will be a punishment, because let's face it this is illegal, it should not be anywhere near as severe as if there is any sort of trace that can be linked back to hockey itself. These guys have too much influence on the game itself, know too many people involved, to not make this a Pete Rose type of situation. There is a code hung in every locker room identifying the problems with sports gambling and steroids. It's a simple rule that must be adhered to. Let's hope for the sake of the game of hockey that this is kept to fringe players and that there is nothing to tarnish the image of one of the true legends of the game.

My opinion, regardless of anything, there should be suspensions. Illegal activity results in you getting suspended from your job, but with pay. Convictions should be handled more severely. But, to me, that should be the case in everything. That's how we would be treated, but we don't play for the Ravens or Cowboys.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Bar Tunes

Well, last night the little lady and I went out for a bit and ended up stopping at this bar down the way for a quick drink after we'd been out getting a birthday gift for my sister. It ended up being just that for a couple reasons, work today being one of them. But mainly it was because of the band that was playing there. They probably weren't horrible, but in a place meant to hold maybe 100 or 150 people, they were beyond loud and playing music that didn't even fit in with the kind of place it nomally is. You don't walk into an Irish bar and hope to see a band playing punk style music...well I guess it wasn't even that. They weren't a cover band either. I like to think that since Jared has better educated me in the ways of the Jedi that I know enough of that type of music to recognize SOMETHING out of 5 or 6 songs. Needless to say, we finished up our beers and quickly made our way to the exit. We were stopped by one of the staff members there asking what we thought of the band there and we relayed basically the same message. The whole thing, though, sparked a conversation between the two of us as to what constitutes "good" bar/drinking music. It gave me the idea to bring it up here.

Now I know everyone is going to throw out some classics like Bon Jovi, Journey, the stuff we listened to while drinking beers and playing games. But I'm talking more along the lines of people you see live. Most of us don't necessarily go out to see a particular local band. Let's face it, we aren't that cool. But we've all been out at places and heard a couple guys banging away on an acoustic or been to a place where a band ended up being on stage. Give you a for instance. Last year, spring/summer time I remember heading out with Mike and Tom in Boston and we went to Landsdowne. Instead of hitting the usual bars, we went to Copperfields. We were charged a 5 or 10 dollar cover and went down to see it be an almost amateur night theme. Berklee College of Music kids everywhere. Not a bad thing, most of these people are talented. But I can definitely say that the guy that was up there did not fit the style of music you expect nor was he really good. Another case of finish your beer and go. Music can make or break a bar. I mean, right now, one of the places I frequent is The Tap in Fan Hall. Sure, we all may have been there a lot, but the guys that play do a pretty good job, give you stuff to sing along to (even if it is the same almost every time) and you can still hold a conversation.

Mike and I were out in Vegas where we went to a country bar. Sure, it was for the mud wrestling, but the guys on stage there did a pretty good job and it made you want to stay and hang out. Couple that with random drink specials at weird points throughout the night and you had a solid place.

So what makes bar music? To me, it has to fit the decor of the place. It can't overpower you, most people still want to hear themselves think when they're out. And, if single, want to attempt to conduct conversation with members of the opposite sex. A lot of these places with the blaring dj's in close quarters make that virtually impossible. These bars in Boston should take a hint: We don't want to have to scream at the guy 3 feet next to us just to make a sarcastic comment. They lose their effect if not heard the first time. Make it easy on us, turn the volume down a bit, bring in songs everyone knows, and keep it in theme. I guarantee more people will turn out. Remember, I'm not talking club here, I'm talking the bars that most guys would rather be at. Clubs are a different animal entirely. In fact, let's not even think about that since we all know white guys don't dance anyway.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Super Dud

After watching what was supposedly the two best teams in the NFL go at it for a little more than 4 hours, conclusion was reached that I'm decidedly disappointed. If you think about it, with few exceptions, this was a bad year all around for the game. There was no natural rivalry between Pittsburgh and Seattle. In fact, even Joey Porter (Steelers LB) had to do his best to come up with something that would resemble trash talk in order to get himself excited to play. All we heard about all week was Jerome Bettis coming home to Detroit, getting the key to the city (by the way, the last key to the city of Detroit was given to Suddam Hussein, look it up). Even locally, where the stories could have been about Hasselbeck, the pride of Xaverian High School, and Lofa Tatupu, the pride of King Phillip Regional High, we heard about Bettis. It was enough to make even unbiased people hate on the Steelers.

Let's make it even better. The Stones looked horrific. One, couldn't understand a damn word out of Mick Jagger's mouth either during his bad vocals or his between song banter with the fans. I'm not quite sure he knew where he was really. As Rob put it so eloquently, I don't want to see that much skin jiggling on my rock stars. Keith Richards looked decidedly disinterested and whoever the drummer is I'm convinced had osteoperosis. Time to go collect Soc. Security guys, get off the stage. The national anthem done by Neville and Labelle was weird at best. They really could have used Janet Jackson's boob to spice this thing up. Well, how bout the commercials? That keeps everyone happy right? Bud Light had some great ones, and the cell phone commercial where the guy says his has "extra security" was pretty good too. Also, anything with monkeys is funny. Overall though, less than average. Could ABC have bought more spots for Lost and Desperate Housewives promos? What about the Code Black on Grey's Anatomy. I can guarantee I'll be using it around the office today just because it sounded absolutely hilarious.

As for the game itself, well I can't say I was thrilled. Has to go down as one of the more boring Super Bowls with moments of brilliance. Parker's 75 yard run wasn't too bad, as was Herndon's interception return. The trick play used for the final touchdown was pretty good overall too. But when you're talking about a game that was marred by some suspect officiating calls it's pretty bad. If Jackson pushed off on the first negated touchdown, it was negligible. No worse than the pick they ran to get Stevens the TD catch later. The clipping call on Hasselbeck's tackle after he threw the INT made no sense either (correct me if I'm wrong there, but that was the motion the official made I believe). And the fact they didn't go to the replay on several occasions wasn't defensible. Leavy as an official rarely overturns calls. Lowest % of all active officials. To me, that isn't the guy I'd want doing a big game like that. Why? I don't think his officials get all those calls right as much as he's stubborn. Anyway, too bad the Steelers won because now we'll get all those Bettis career montages on SportsCenter the next few months.

As a quick side note. Check out Ron Borges' article on Boston.com today. He put together a piece on race and quarterbacks. How Warren Moon is the first African-American quarterback elected to the Hall of Fame and the struggle of that race at that position, highlighting Seneca Wallace and Antwaan Randle-El. Maybe this is something I'll address later when I can think about it more rationally. Right now, I can't stand thinking about it. Other than to say, Seneca Wallace IS a quarterback and Randle-El wasn't one in college any more than Eric Crouch was.

Just keep telling yourself, pitchers and catchers report February 18th...

Friday, February 03, 2006

Hopkinton Murder

For those of you who don't know, about 2 weeks ago a mother and infant were murdered in the town Corinne works. The way it has been written is that it took two shots and they were all too clean. The mother was shot through the head, the infant in the stomach. The family had lived in town for 10 days adn the neighborhood had planned a house warming/welcoming party for the couple. That's how they were found. When neighbors arrived at the house, no one answered. Another neighbor returned the next day and when again no one answered, she called police and they found the bodies - tucked in the parent's bed with no blood in sight.

Where was the husband during all of this? England, apparently. The man had been there for a few days "visiting family". He has been interviewed by police, but is free to travel at his discretion and is only being called a "person of interest." Let's give you a little background on this guy. His business background includes multiple get-rich-quick and pyramid schemes online. Several of his websites promise obscene monthly profits. He owns eBay sites which have received numerous complaints from customers who haven't received merchandise. On top of this, he also is a suspected "porn king" and owns several sites that provide adult entertainment. He left for England solely to visit family, knowing he had a function in his neighborhood that weekend, and there are not any indications that family problems were the reason. He did not return to attend the funeral of his wife and daughter. Add to that, he wasn't exactly on the first flight back from England when he discovered that his family was no longer. Yet, police don't seem to be rushing to find anything out here.

Here's my issue. They have given the guy permission to travel, he's not being put under house arrest, isn't being escorted back to the United States, and has only been briefly questioned by investigators. Doesn't this seem odd? To me, the behavior he exhibted following the death of his family would be enough to put him under arrest. No man, even a GUILTY one, would stay away from his wife's funeral. Most would go even to avoid looking any sort of guilty. Certainly, his fingerprints will be all over his own home. But let's be honest, criminals all make mistakes and there must be something that would tie him to this case. I've watched enough episodes of CSI to know what they can do with even scraps of pieces of paper. I think my worry over this is the manner in which they are barely watching him. Behavior alone is reason to arrest someone. The guy suddenly won't talk without his lawyer, doesn't this all seem a bit odd? Although, it is entirely possible this guy created plenty of enemies for both himself and his wife. He registered eBay accounts in his wife's name and many negative comments were directed towards her. In that case, he's still guilty of aiding and abetting. He is the cause of all this. His actions are that of a guilty man, regardless of whether or not he pulled the trigger.

Anyway, this is a small-town murder that has captivated this area for the past few days. Course, maybe the guy is in England with OJ searching for the real killers. A tragedy like this is never easy for anyone to take and even harder to understand. Hopefully, the local police departments will find that one mistake and bring whoever did this to justice.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

McNabb Racist?

On my way to the dentist this morning, I put on WEEI to listen to Dennis and Callahan. Something I don't normally do since I can't stand the amount of time Callahan spends discussing politics. I'm glad I did this morning though. I had to leave before I caught Donovan McNabb's interview on ESPN and apparently he gave out several insights over his riff with T.O. If you all remember, T.O. came out and said that the team would be better off if they had Brett Favre as quarterback. McNabb, who's been gracious in every single problem that has come across this issue - the NAACP, Limbaugh, T.O., etc. - but this time was interesting. McNabb came out and said that T.O. saying Favre would be better is equivalent to a black on black crime. Had T.O. compared him to Vick, Leftwich, McNair, Culpepper, or AARON BROOKS that it would have been different.

Does this seem weird to anyone else? Why isn't he being crucified in the media? He even went as far to say that if he said they'd be better off with Steve Largent (one of the NFL's all time greats) or Joe Jurevicius, that the effect is the same, black on black crime. What if TO had said Brady or Manning, a QB who at this point is obviously superior to any sort of skill set McNabb has? Would he have reacted differently. Favre is arguably one of the top 10 quarterbacks of all-time. Granted, he was in the midst of his worst year ever. But how is this an insult? Favre, in his prime, was a three-time MVP, super bowl winner, fantastic leader. McNabb hasn't won anything, is no MVP, and is an inferior leader at this point. He tries to stay above the fray. Which is good, but not once, until now, has he taken TO to task in the locker room or in public. Let's take it one step further. What if TO had been asked about Elway, Aikman, Montana? Is McNabb better than any of those players? I say no.

The problem is, race is far too much of an issue here. Now, we can't compare athletes across race apparently because that may offend someone as well. We only compare white basketball players to Larry Bird. Keith Van Horn, Adam Morrison, the next Larry Bird's. But Kobe Bryant, LeBron, they're the next Jordan. The first comparison I've heard in a while is that Chris Paul plays the game like John Stockton with a better shot. But we can't say McNabb doesn't measure up to Favre. Can we argue the merits of Largent vs. Rice? What about Butkus vs. Ray Lewis? These are the arguments that keep sports fans interested. It has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with skill levels. This is where McNabb took a wrong step. He had public sentiment in his corner.

Today, he's lost one supporter. I thought he was above taking arguments to race. I thought he would know where his skills were far short of Favre's. I thought he had more respect for himself than to play the race card. Sorry, Donovan. You're on your own.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Spring board, yes

Ah, and the best part of this spring board was started by my cousin named Mr. David Gavvitt. The man who recruited Ernie D and then everyone else. The man who created the Big East, helped the Celtics andis now broadcasting and on the board for the Hall of Fame. And another man from PC, how about Billy Donavon who has made a good name for himself down there in Florida, how can you forget him. Pete Guillen, Mr. Time out Pete!!! Such great memories from him in thsi wonderful state, with guys like Mr. God Shammgod (definitly belongs on the all name team like CoCo Crisp). But you have to give Mr. Welsh some credit for this season. He hasnt had the best of luck wiht his palyers as of late, but he was able to keep Mr. Gomes here at home. He has also been able to salvage a so far successful season. And they hung in there with Mr. Calhoun. Don't give up yet on this team, the coach, most ahve already given up on, but that can make for a dangerous team, esp. if they can make it to NYC and maybe pull off a hot streak.

Time for Welsh to go...

So let's look back over the Tim Welsh Era at Providence College. Here are some stats:
  • 0-3 in the NCAA Tourney
  • 1-7 in the Big East Tourney
  • 2-4 in the NIT
  • 2 20-win seasons in 7 years at PC
  • 13 scholarship players lost (Jamaal Camaah, Marcus Jefferson, Donta Wade, Desean White, Gerald Brown, Rob McKiver, Jeff Parmer, Garnett Thompson, David Murray, Dwight Brewington, Rob Sanders, Maris Laksa, and JaJuan Robinson)
  • 53-61 Career Record in the Big East
  • Currently in position to MISS the Big East tournament

All these numbers led Providence to give him 2 separate contract extensions. After 2001, he received a 7 year extension. The 2004 extension put the contract through the 2009 season. Now, the argument has been made that Providence is a spring board for coaches. Many a solid bench-minder has used PC to jump start their career and move to a powerhouse program. Pitino to UK and Louisville, Gillen used it to move to Virginia, Barnes used it to move to (eventually) Texas. One found success. So maybe that's a reason to lock him up. But Tim has proven that you CANNOT give a gigantic extension to a guy after one good season. Let alone a guy who had yet to bring in most of the players on his current team.

So let's start with the positives. He recruited the top scorer in school history. At one point, he beat 4 top 25 teams in a row, but you have to go back a while to find that. He's the fourth winningest coach in program history and, according to the bio on the team website, is known as a fantastic recruiter. I'm starting to wonder if he wrote his own. And he always gives teams like UConn a good game.

But this team no longer wins those marquee games. They come close only to fall short (See: Texas, UConn, Florida, Pitt, Louisville, etc.) He's a 5 minute overtime away from having lost his last 5 games against our one rival, URI. The negatives are many. Other than the points listed above, he was responsible for bringing to campus the series of recruits that ultimately beat a bouncer at a local club to the point of reconstructive surgery. Welsh consistently fails when going head to head with any big time school. Craig Austrie, current UConn PG, was recruited by PC until Calhoun ultimately stepped in and stole the kid away. He lucked out with a guy like Geoff McDermott, who was recruited by both PC, Duke, and BC. We could offer him playing time. Seemingly, that's all we have to offer these players. He brought in Sharaud Curry, considered small to play in the Big East. Jury is still out on whether he will be a complete success. Watch him coach a game and you can tell the man has no clue how to work a basic substitution pattern. Charlie Burch was the 6th or 7th man on the team last year. This year he went a stretch where he received 5 DNP-CD's and a three game period where he played without scoring. My bet, he'll be player 14 to leave under the Welsh regime. Players don't know their role, and when they have no concept of when they will play and what is expected of them, it results in chaos, cold shooting, and ridiculous looking lineups. It's like watching Jimy Williams manager the Red Sox. Al Skinner and Welsh took their jobs at the same time. Look where BC is, and look where we are.

So that brings us to tonite. Friars lose by a point against Seton Hall. A game they led by 7 or 10 points at various intervals through the game. You can't tell me that the Friars don't have more talent at every position...even going as much as 7 deep. We're better up front, better in the backcourt. Yet they lose this game. The difference? Seton Hall wanted it more and they had a coach who knew the way to substitute in order to better exploit matchups. Welsh obviously does not and seriously will never learn at this point. It's been too long. All that adds up to it being time to go for Tim. If they can't buy them out, they have to hope someone comes along and asks them for permission to interview. GRANT IT!!! Let the guy go. Replacements? What about Fran Fraschilla, Bobby Gonzalez, Rick Majerus, PJ Carlesimo, hell the kid that runs the flag around the court probably has a better grasp of basic defensive rotations.

I think that about covers it. End Rant.

General Principle

Well, the fact is any idiot with an email address can have a blog. I'd like this to prove a little bit structured. Since I'm the owner/moderator type guy, I don't want one line responses if you intend to post. Let's try to have well thought out, reasoned posts. General discussion should be pretty easy. If you want to comment on a post, click comment but make it more than a "You're an idiot" statement.

I'll put up something reasoned out tonite after I head to the Friars game. Of course, given that I have to watch Tim Welsh coach, it may not be entirely coherent. If they lose, it will without a doubt be incredibly unintelligible (better than 70% chance). Other than topics like this, wouldn't mind if people checked in from various points. Tell us about the idiot in front of you at the airport check-in, the moron waitress you had, anything. Stuff that makes solid conversation and allows for humorous observations of daily life. Serious musings are alright as well, but much less fun. Got something on your mind? Blog it!

So let's get the ball rolling, have some fun, and keep it clean...this is a family program after all. Well not really, but something like that.

In the beginning...

So I was doing some thinking today and reading up on an old friend who started one of these for his group at Nova Law. I found it decidedly interesting and thought that I would use the same space to give a place for myself (and any others) to post random thoughts regarding anything we talked about playing beer pong back in college, or sitting at the round tables of Elmhurst, drinking $5 pitchers of Bud or Miller, eating $1 french fries and listening to some solid tunes on the jukebox.

Sure, we all talk a fair amount, but I thought this might be a way to include some more people in our weekly conversations. Otherwise, it's a place where I'll vent about different things. That said, post your favorite links, favorite stories, or random thoughts on news, sports, politics, and movies. Why not right?