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Tag:Media
Posted on: March 24, 2010 9:43 pm
Edited on: March 25, 2010 12:13 am
 

10 Things I Learned the Week Of Mar. 22nd

Hello loyal 10TILTW followers.  I've got plenty of things to hit on (wonder if I can keep it to 10) including some non-college b-ball takes (although it'll still be heavily in that direction).  Got some great ideas for points in today's paper, including a story about a 17 year old kid who's kicking ALL of our butts on the cbssports.com bracket challenge.  So enjoy!

1) Great week in the tourney forces me to rehash my main point from last week - This week's NCAA tournament was both a blessing and a curse.  A blessing in that you had highly compelling, interesting games, many glass slippers fitting for now.  Numerous overtime games where it came down to five minutes of crunch time with tired legs to find out who wants it more.  And several buzzer beaters including a few heartbreakers where a team had just scored the previous trip.  A curse in that my bracket blew up in my face, Kentucky is now the favorite, and because so many 9+ and mid-majors did so well, it has brought about a stronger push to expand the field.  I already hit on all the reasons why this would be a bad idea last week (at least to 96 teams.  I am open to the idea of a small expansion), so I'll direct you here if you want to see what those are: http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/
entry/10264446/20507349
.  My bigger problem now is that people are saying this will get more of the small fries in.  If by more, you mean about 6, you are absolutely correct.  But you are kidding yourself if you think by going to 96 teams, it's not going to just open up the doors to the North Carolina's and Connecticut's of the world.  I don't need to see .500 teams who have no business being there losing in the first round to the Northern Iowa's and St. Mary's of the world.  Plus, it'd be unfair to them to make them (UNI and St. Mary's) play the extra game when they TRULY deserve to be there.  Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now as it involves too much common sense.

2) Too many people buy into the #1 overall seed - Did you know since they started seeding the #1 seeds in I think 2004, only one number one overall has won it all?  That would be the 2007 Florida Gators who returned their top 7 players from winning it the previous year.  Even in 2008, the rare (I believe only) year where all four number one seeds made it (typically it's one or two), it still wasn't the number 1 overall seed that won.  I think it's a good thing they do it, I just think people (myself included) need to stop putting so much stock in it.  The difference between the top 5 teams is usually not all that much.

3) The Big Least - Okay, I admit it.  I bought into the hype, too.  8 overall teams.  Most 3 seeds or better.  And now after the first week of the tournament, you have TWO remaining.  That's equal to the SEC who had only 4 show up to begin with, none higher than a 4 besides UcK.  That's one more than the Pac-10 who only SENT two in the first place.  This can be described in one word, PATHETIC.  Do I think the Big East is overrated?  Surpirsingly, no, I do not.  I still think they are the best league in basketball (which is easy when you have 36 teams.  Okay, I know, it's only 16).  Do I think they are overhyped?  120%.  And do I think a lot of the Big East players bought into the hype of everybody (especially the four letter network) telling them how good they are.  Yup.  Look, these are young men.  They're barely not kids anymore.  It's bad enough when a 22 year old NFL rookie has his ego stroked.  It's worse for 18 and 19 year olds.  And blame the coaches all you want (and a little of the blame does go there), but trust me, most of these kids just couldn't be reached.

4) A seventeen year old is beating us - Did you know that Alex Herman, a 17 year old from the Chicago area has picked all 48 games played so far correctly?  The odds of doing that are 13,460,000 to 1.  And he entered his bracket here, on cbssports.com.  His remaining picks?  Elite 8: Northern Iowa, Tennessee, Syracuse, Kansas St., Kentucky, West Virginia, Perdue, and Baylor.  Final Four: Tennessee, Kansas St., Kentucky, and Perdue.  And in the title game, he has Perdue beating Kansas St.  Shoot, even if he doesn't score another point, he'll probably beat most of us.  And it seems to be in pretty good shape to pick up some more.  Good luck, Alex.  This is an amazing feat.

5) Five (seed) Bucks - How about the amazing run Milwaukee has been on in the NBA.  They are lighting it up, and currently hold the five seed in the East.  I know I wouldn't want to be playing a team this scorching hot heading into the playoffs.  Now, I won't be picking them to make the Finals, but Scotty Skiles and that team deserve tremendous kudos for what they have accomplished recently.

6) It's lowly at the top for the Nets - At a recent Nets game, CEO Brett Yormark left his seat to go yell at a fan who was wearing a bag over his head.  Yormark said he wanted to let the fan know he didn’t agree with the way he was expressing his opinion.  Dude!!!  you realize your team is 7-63 and might set the all time mark for futility, right?  What the heck do you expect?  Besides, he gave your pathetic club some of his hard earned money to watch a pathetic product, so leave him alone already.  Shoot, they still wear Mike Brown Bags in Cincy, and they've been decent the past few years.  But, as they say, a fish rots from the head down, and with clueless people like this running the organization, it's easy to see why they only win one out of every 10 games.

7) Overtime no longer over on FG drive - In a much needed change for the NFL before lady luck leaves them and they have a Super Bowl decided this way, teams can no longer win the coin toss, drive for a FG, and end the game in the playoffs.  Personally, I would like to see both teams get one crack at the ball, but this is a huge step in the right direction.  It means teams will at least wait till fourth down on that first drive to send out the kicker.  It means a more conserted effort will be made to move the ball once you get inside the 30.  And to Clark Judge who has a problem because teams can turn over the ball the first play at the 20 and the other team can send out their kicker on the next play, are you serious???  Yeah, let's punish the defense for doing their job.  35% of overtime games in the NFL end with the team winning the coin toss getting that initial FG.  And the team that wins the coin toss wins well over 50% of the time overall.

8) Another (especially four letter) media rant - I'm sickened by the disparity in coverage that the media in general, and especially a certain network who has become far too big and powerful for their own britches, of say the Ben Roethlisberger situation and the Warren Sapp situation (or Tiger Woods).  I would hate to think in today's day and age, this is a black and white thing, and I'm still not there, yet, but I am thinking about it which is a scary, scary thought to me.  How does ESPN get away with foo-fooing the Roethlisberger thing TWICE, once issuing a "Do Not Report" memorandum, and basically make him sound like an all around good guy, while other's are treated like scum?  Shame on you, ESPN.

9) Why hockey players are the best in the world - Wanted to share this snipet from today's paper (St. Pete Times) about Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vinny LeCavalier.

Way to go, Vinny!

“I was recently at my son Tyler’s youth baseball game and was very surprised to see (Lightning captain)
Vinny Lecavalier walk by. My 7-year-old son approached him for an autograph. This was on a Saturday afternoon after the Lightning played Thursday night in Toronto and Friday in Washington. I held my breath while hoping for the best and fearing the worst. I could not have blamed Vinny for politely declining the autograph request especially when my son could produce neither a pen nor paper.

This was not a hockey event, and Lecavalier must have been exhausted.

I was worried about how to explain the rejection to a 7-year-old boy with a poster of this man on his bedroom wall and the No. 4 on the back of his
own hockey jersey. To my surprise, Vinny found a pen and piece of paper. He asked my son for his name so he could personalize the autograph. We started to walk away when Tyler’s enormous grin faded. I asked what was wrong and he stated that he probably would’ve preferred a photo.

He then ran back to interrupt Vinny again and now has a wonderful pic­ture with two huge smiles.

Athletes are not required to be role models, but some are. We are lucky to have a team captain who goes far beyond what any fan has a right to expect. His work for charity, espe­cially at the All Children’s Hospital, is a huge benefit to this community. The fact that he is just as gracious and kind when no one is watching speaks volumes of his true character. Vinny, as a dad and a fan … thank you!”


— David K. Beach, Tampa
<!-- END FOR TRANSLATE -->

I got to experience some of this first hand when my own son was at All Children's Hospital almost 8 years ago when he was first diagnosed with Leukemia.  On one of the days he was there, Mr. LeCavalier was making rounds to the rooms visiting all the sick kids.  He absolutely made my day when he stopped by, and we talked for several minutes.  I think he was happy to find such a big hockey fan, but everything he did compelled me to call the local sports radio station from the hospital that afternoon to tell of my experience.  Later, in 2004, Brad Richards who was on the team at the time, would invite about 5 children with cancer and their families per night to sit in his suite at every regular season game, and I got lucky enough to go on the night that the Lightning clinched the number 1 seed in the East (they were playing the Panthers that night and won, which made it better, and afterwards, they had the Boston game on the Jumbotron who the Lightning needed to not win).  It was kind of a long night because needless to say the team stayed in the lockerroom watching the Bruins game, but afterward he came up and talked to all of us and signed autographs and the whole works.  Just like Mr. LeCavalier, he was very engaging and polite, and my son, who was already a huge hockey fan, also became a huge Brad Richards fan.  Unfortunately, it was hard to explain to him when we traded Richy to Dallas a few years ago.  Also as part of Mr. Richard's work with kids with cancer, I have a picture in my office of my son with Mr. Richards, Marty St. Louis, and the Stanley Cup, which my son got to see up close and personal.  I just want everybody to know how common this is for hockey players to do these sort of things, as you hardly ever hear about them (I've heard NASCAR drivers are really good at this, too).  Now, if only my Lightning hadn't decided to choke after the Olympic break.

10) NCAA predictions - Well, let's see if I can do better than I did last week and what I've done so far overall:
For Thursday and Friday, I'll take Michigan State over Northern Iowa, Ohio State over Tennessee (although if Tenn gets up 20 like they did in 2007, don't expect Bruce Pearl to let this one get choked away) which would guarantee a Big Ten team in the Final Four, Syracuse over Butler, Kansas State over Xavier, Kentucky over Cornell, West Virginia over Washington, Duke over Perdue, and for my lone upset and Elite 8 shocker, St. Mary's to continue their magical Aussie run (4 of their players are from down under) and beat Baylor.
For Saturday and Sunday, give me Ohio State over Michigan State, Kansas State over Syracuse (I know, I changed it, but am worried about Onuaku's health and K State has looked really good), Kentucky over West Virginia (bye bye Big East, zero Final Four teams for you), and Duke over St. Mary's.
Posted on: November 3, 2009 11:00 pm
 

10 Things I Learned the Week of Nov. 2nd

1) The Sports Media can KMA- For those of you who follow me regularly here, you already know my opinion of the sports media.  Well they did absolutely NOTHING to change that this week.  I give you, the Brandon Spikes youtube video that went viral.  Now, even as a Gator fan, I am not going to sit here and even try to defend Brandon Spikes actions, even though the Georgia running back in an EXTREMELY classy move did.  Honestly, Spikes could have been suspended for the whole Vandy game.  But what gets me, and makes me give a big STFU to Bulldog fans, is that the coverage on this story has been completely one sided, which is a huge shock (not.  Remember, sensationalistic journalism obviously sells these days).  I don't mind people getting on Spikes or asking for punishment or whatever, BUT PLEASE POINT OUT that the Georgia team nearly took his head off during the game, at least twice.  Here's a quote from Mark Richt, who I have a lot of respect for, but obviously received a different version of the game tape than what I witnessed.  Georgia coach Mark Richt said Spikes' "helmet went flying off ... and there was one time he got hit with his helmet off."  Um, coach, what about the time it was going to be third and a half a yard, but you were penalized 15 yards because YOUR OFFENSIVE LINEMAN TRIED REMOVING SPIKES' HELMET WITH HIS HEAD STILL IN IT.  But do we hear about this from the media?  No.  Do we hear an outcry for this guy to be suspended for at least part of a game?  No.  Instead you get the same clueless, classless drivel from Dennis Dodd and Gator Hating onesidedness from John Taylor of collegefootballtalk.com.  Sad thing is, a lot of what Taylor was saying WOULD BE RIGHT, if he just dropped the Gator Hating angle and reported both sides.  He went so far as to say " Even if Spikes was the victim of having his helmet ripped off a couple of times during the game, there's no justification for playing proctologist on a man's eyes.  None."  IF??  IF???  All he has to do is change that "if" to "though" and he'd have a lot more respect.  Georgia fans, you are disqualified because of the people in glass houses rule.  Bama fans, equally disqualified due to sour grapes for Spikes not signing there.  The rest of you, I'm open to your opinions.  Am I just refusing to take off my Orange and Blue colored glasses here, or do I have a point?  By the way, one last thing, Spikes put Urban Meyer in a no win situation here, and can the media please back off of him, too.  Oh, and great win by the Gators, their most complete win of the season.  Joe Cox looks like the new Johnathan Crompton (and ironically, Crompton is lately playing like people thought Jevan Snead would).

2) Quack attack shellacks USC- Wow.  Nearly 400 yards rushing.  Over 600 yards overall.  I thought Oregon would win due to USC's suspect defense that hasn't shown up for 3 weeks now, but I simply did not see that big of a beat down.  A huge thank you to the Ducks for FINALLY taking care of what the pollsters have REFUSED to the past 4 years.  Good luck to the Ducks in Pasadena, most likely on the 1st.  And can we please stop the talk of an Oregon Boise State rematch (unless it is on the 1st).  First off, it would be unfair to Boise State.  What do you do if the Ducks win?  Best 2 out of 3?  Best combined stats?  Secondly, should TCU win out, they will be the more deserving non-BCS team.  Plus, you cannot simply erase the Ducks loss, no matter how well they are playing right now.  Also, I think the Big 10 champ has to be playing on the 7th for the rematch to happen on the 1st.

3) Some Musings on the BCS poll- In a largely cosmetic move, Texas moved up to the number two spot because they played their second complete game in dismantling Okie State while Bama was on a bye leaving pollsters with lasting memories of the squeaker against Tennessee.  Another thing that hurt Bama that's been overlooked by everyone I've seen is that that Va Tech win at the begining of the year just doesn't look so good anymore after they lost to UNC.  Meanwhile a kudos to the poll for having the seven undefeated teams as 1-7 in the poll.

4) Bulls run through the Mountaineers- In a must win to get some respect, the Bulls played one of their most complete games in stopping their annual October swoon and beating the Mountaineers.  They absolutely shut down Noel Devine, and just seem to match up well with them.  While the top 3 in the Big East all have to play each other in the coming weeks, the Bulls are lurking just on the outside with the two loses ALREADY having played the big three.  Depending on how things break, the Bulls could finish second in the Big East with a pretty good bowl game.

5) Indiana must love instant replay- Look, I'm not going to sit here and say it cost them the game, as replay did not score all of those points in the fourth quarter, but HOW does that play get botched, ESPECIALLY WHEN CALLED CORRECTLY ON THE FIELD.  In order to overturn, there (again) HAS TO, HAS TO, HAS TO be INDISPUTABLE video evidence that the call was botched (see, Dustin Doe return for "touchdown" last week).  Still Iowa pulls that junk against most other teams, throwing five picks in a game, and they get buried.  I'll actually be pulling for tOSU come the 14th.  Iowa would be KILLED by the Ducks in Pasadena.

6) The Saints go marching on- What a great game on Monday night, and the Saints just might be the best team in the NFL (although I still think it's the Colts, a close second, though, as much as it pains me to say it).  I must say though that Matt Ryan cost the Falcons by locking in on Tony Gonzalez late in the game.  On the pass that was deflected, Porter already had excellent coverage on Gonzalez (and this was the turning point in the whole game, you go from being potentially up 3 to down 11).  Plus Sharper should have had another pick around the 2 minute mark.  Still, have to give the Falcons credit, too, for never quiting in the game, especially Coy Wire.

7) Favre sticks it to Ted Thompson, Green Bay fans- The whole amazing thing to me (other than Packers fans not wanting to run TT and his tremendous ego out of town) is the quick chemistry that has developed between Lord Favre and Percy Harvin.  People said going into the draft, Harvin had the most upside, it was just a question of would he live up to his potential.  Well, with Favre taking him under his wing, and Percy listening to the grisled vet, the Gator WR/KR could just be the NFL offensive ROY.

8) Other quick lessons taught to me- The Giants are massively struggling on D as one of the games I looked forward to turned into a huge blowout, the Phins swept the Jets (so much for the post week 3 talk of an all NYC Super Bowl) thanks in large part to 2 100+ yard kickoff returns by Ted Ginn Jr. who Dolphin fans were almost ready to run out of town (wonder if Roy Hall held Reggie Nelson for him), and will somebody PLEASE explain to me why JaMarcus Russell is STILL a starting quarterback in an FL that does not start with U, C, or A?

9) The series returns to the Bronx- I know, I'm breaking my own rule a bit here, but in what is turning out to be just like I expected, since it seems the Phillies can only win with Lee on the mound and Chase Utley can only bat with Lee on the mound, I like my Yanks in 6 predicition right now (and I definitely like the Yanks if it goes 7.  Hammels is not the same pitcher any more).

10) The Look Ahead- Next week I do my official NFL playoff predictions, so look for those.  In colleges, give me Notre Dame Navy, to see if the Midshipmen can repeat their performance of two years ago just so I don't have to worry about the Domers cracking the BCS Top 14 and getting an automatic birth, tOSU PSU in a huge Big 10 matchup, and Alabama LSU to decide who will be in Atlanta on Dec. 5th taking on the Gators (seems a little ridiculous that they locked that up on Oct. 31st).  In the pros, it's just Dallas Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Denver.  Oh, and if the Bucs lose again this week, if I can just throw them back along with their throw back uniforms.
Posted on: October 13, 2009 7:58 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2009 5:44 pm
 

10 (plus 3) Things I Learned the Week of Oct.12th

With Halloween fast approaching, this week, I give you, my loyal fans, the treat of a baker's dozen of topics that enlightened me in the sports world this week.  Usually, I keep these to 10, so as not to get too verbose, but certain weeks (I had one last year around Thanksgiving), no matter how hard I try and combine up my points, 10 just isn't enough.  And looking ahead to next week's slate of games, it might very well happen again.  The remote will be smokin' this weekend.

1) Huskers shuck Mizzou- In a game played under a heavy downpour, Nebraska could have easily packed it in going into the fourth quarter down 12-0, but instead amped up the D and used two picks to help Zac Lee throw 3 touchdown passes in the fourth quarter en route to ringing up 27 unanswered (missed a 2 pt. conversion) and a huge 27-12 victory over Big 12 north rivals Missouri.  Now the game later this year against Kansas looms big time and could determine who goes into Cowboys stadium on Dec. 5th.

2) Badgers/Tigers not yet ready for primetime- No, I'm not talking about the good ol' days of SNL, I'm talking about the current season of Saturday college football.  Two teams that were struggling for early respect despite being undefeated went down on Saturday afternoon.  I knew that Auburn's defense was inconsitent at best and Arkansas could score, but the fact that Auburn's offense took until the second half to show up, and by then it was already far too late, was a huge surprise.  As for Wisconsin, if you look at the pure stats, you'd think that they won the game, but they did just enough not only to keep tOSU in it, but win it convincingly.  You'd think there was no way since tOSU's offense had less than 200 yards, but there was all kinds of hidden return yardage for both the tOSU defense and special teams.  In fact, they accounted for three touchdowns for the Buckeyes.  Further proof that stats can lie.  The showdown in the Horseshoe on Nov. 14th looks huge now, and will likely decide who plays in Pasadena (no, not on the 7th).

3) Where's Johnathan Crompton and what have you done with him?- Look, I've already been on UGA's offense this year, looking basically lost losing Stafford and Moreno from last year, but I thought it was an absolute physical IMPOSSIBILITY for ANYBODY to make Johnathan Crompton look like the second coming of Peyton Manning.  Afterall, I forget if it was going into this game or the Auburn game last week, but here was a QB who's coach had ZERO faith in him as reflected by the offensive play calling, and had thrown 8 TD's and NINE PICKS on the season.  If I was Mark Richt, who I love as a coach, I'd want to hide after that defensive showing.  I do love ANYTHING that humiliates the Bulldog program, though, even if it is seeing Lane get his first SEC win.  Wonder if he was up all night Saturday singing "Rocky Top?"

4) Some "Snead" remarks about Jevan- Ugh!  So much for all that talk about Heisman darkhorse and number 1 overall draft pick.  This kid looks absolutely lost this season.  And his frustration is showing more and more every game.  Now, as much as I'd like to hang it all around his neck, okay, so not really, but a lot of the media and Ole Miss fans do, it's simply not ALL his fault.  First off, he needs some people around him to start to step up and make some plays.  But most of all, AT LEAST half of his problems I hang firmly around the necks of his offensive linemen.  Todd McShay ran a good piece on ESPN's College Gameday showing two clips from the South Carolina game.  On the first clip, South Carolina rushed TWO, count 'em, TWO people on the play, and Snead was still sacked.  That's unforgivable.  And so what does Houston Nutt do in response to this?  Well, since we can't block two with five, we'll keep BOTH running backs in for extra protection.  The result of this play?  South Carolina rushes three people against the seven, and while Snead had plenty of time, he has THREE receivers going up against EIGHT men in coverage!  Do you think anybody was open?  Nope, didn't think so.  So say what you will about the kid buying into his own hype, whatever, but there are some serious issues with one of the media darlings who was supposed to contend with Alabama for the SEC West this year.

5) Hold that Tiger- Really.  Did the experts not see this one coming?  Well, seeing as how Darst was the only one on this website to pick the Gators, and Kirk Herbstreit was the only one on Gameday to call it (more on this in a bit), even getting ribbed by Corso, obviously not.  Everybody was so wrapped up in the Tebow/No Tebow/Will he play/Won't he play (more on this next point) what effect will it have on the Gators that they somehow forgot that the Gators sported going into the game, the NUMBER 1 DEFENSE in the nation and the NUMBER 1 running game in the nation.  These remain whether Tebow or Brantley is under center.  Overall, a brilliant game plan by Urban Meyer to get a tough SEC road victory.  Florida was ABSOLUTELY DOMINANT of both sides of the line of scrimmage.  It's one thing to let your opponent know you're going to run dive plays 80% of the time early on.  To still do it and do it effectively against a team with the athletes on defense that the LSU Tigers possess is another.  And kudos to Herbstreit, for not only pointing out that Tebow will play (according to Herbstreit, he thought Tebow would play great.  I thought he played well, and as good as could be expected due to the concussion), but calling out the Gator defense, specifically Carlos Dunlap and Brandon Spikes and predicting they would play great and carry the Gators to the win.  While Dunlap played well, Spikes was a man amongst boys, and word came out that Herbstreit's comments made their way to the Tim Tebow of the Gators D, and he used it as motivation.  In fact, Meyer came out today and said if anybody else in the media wants to make similar comments about Tebow or Riley Cooper, to be his guest.  And to all the people (in particular Pac-10 fans who have absolutely no grounds to stand on whatsoever) who were calling this a boring game and the SEC overrated, this was good clean defensive, ram the ball down your throat and you can't stop us football.  And, it was the perfect gameplan for the situation.  If you don't believe that, just ask the previous 32 Saturday night opponents of LSU in death valley and ask them what their result was.  Offense is sexy, sells tickets, and can win you games, but defense wins championships.  PERIOD.  PERIOD.  PERIOD.  If you don't believe it, look up who's won the last three BCS National Titles and will likely be favored to do so a fourth time. 

6) I'm not a neuropathologist, but I'll darn sure play one in the newspaper/internet- Can the media stop already with the ridiculous pre-guessing and second guessing involved with Tebow playing the LSU game?  I'm sorry, Greg Doyle and William Rhoden, but I'll darn sure take the UF medical staff's opinion over yours any day.  I guess your journalism degrees somehow came with a minor in sports medicine.  I mentioned after the Kentucky game that it wasn't going to be Urban Meyer or Tim Tebow who decided on whether Tebow would be able to play, it would be the doctors.  None of the ridiculous speculation by these Web MD's changed that.  And honestly, with the D and running game, I believe that UF wins the game with John Brantley, so why risk it if he's not 100%.  I think the fact Tebow was on the field meant that he was (although obviously the playbook was scaled back a bit.  Sure didn't seem to shy away from contact, though, did he?).  Oh, and guess what?  Tate Forcier of Michigan has a concussion and has already been stated he will start if cleared.  Where's the outcry against Rich Rodriguez and Forcier should not play articles?

7) Horns Hooked in AP- Had to calm down a bunch of Longhorn fans this week who got their panties in a bunch because Alabama overtook them at number 2 in the AP poll.  First off, in the two human polls that are used in the BCS formula, Texas is still number 2.  Secondly, should the big three keep winning out, there's this little game in Atlanta on Dec. 5th that either Alabama or Florida will have to lose, so even at number three, keep taking care of your own business, and everything will work itself out.  Honestly, I'm not impressed by the fact that Texas seemingly has to throw the switch in the second half every week.  And if you don't think Florida and Alabama are the two best teams right now, we'll show you on Dec. 5th and again on Jan. 7th, IMHO (of course, one of them can lose before then, and I'll look pretty stupid.  I'll take my chances right now, though).  However, worrying about these things on Oct. 11th when any/all (we already know at least one will have to) of them can still lose is pointless.

8) DolphinMania runs wild(cat) on the Jets- Wow, what a game last night.  Another classic MNF in the rivalry between these two teams.  Honestly, I was a bit surprised that with defenses on both teams I would consider to be in the top half of the NFL, that neither team seemed to really be able to stop the other.  In the end, though, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski seemed to be the only ones outside the Dolphins offense who realized that on 3rd and goal from the three, with ten seconds left AND A TIMEOUT, that Miami just might run the ball.  As they both astutely pointed out, you get stopped, you call the TO and go for it on fourth down.

9) The best and worst of the NFL so far- Can you believe that the two best teams in the NFL right now might have met in week one, with one taking a miracle play to beat the other in the Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals?  Honestly, you look at all the undefeated teams, and nobody's played anybody except for these two, and they are still winning (yes, obviously the Bengals have the one loss).  On the flip side, I believe the Rams are the worst team, but if I had to pick a team to go winless this season, the team with the best chance based on their schedules is my Bucs.  And somebody PLEASE explain to me how a team has a QB go 2 for 17 passing and still wins the game?  And why is JaMarcus Russell still a starting QB in this league?  Just how many wasted first rounders are the Raiders going to have (that DHB pick looks awesome right now)?  Couldn't happen to a more hapless, senile owner.

10) Some NHL thoughts- Well, the Lightning pulled off the 4 point minimum I wanted last week (although not the way I expected) going 1-0-2, then picked up a huge win against the Panthers last night.  Right now, they are currently in first place in their division and have more points than the Redwings.  The Bolts D is playing better as of late.  The fact that this team still remains unable to score in shootouts, however, is bothersome at best.  The defending champion Penguins are off to a hot start amassing 10 points already.

11) A special look ahead to Thursday night's NCAA game- I usually don't take a whole point for a look ahead, but this week's Thursday night game is huge for the Big East.  Regardless of who wins, they need these two teams to put on a great show to bring some respect and interest back to the league, and I believe they'll do it.  It was mentioned during a recent Big East broadcast I was watching that the league needs Pitt to win to carry this league, but I just don't argee with it.  I think both Cincinnati and USF are perfectly capable of performing this function, and I think the winner of this game is likely to play in Miami on January 5th.  Of course, Pitt being undefeated in the conference is still not out of conversation, but I also think West Virginia, Louisville, and Rutgers when they play well, can all help this league.

12) Weekly look ahead- Wow, let's see.  In college, give me the aforementioned Bearcat Bulls game, the Red River shootout to see if OU's vastly improved D can carry their struggling (by their standards) O, Arkansas Florida to create a second common opponent for UF and Alabama to compare them better (I think UF had a better showing at Kentucky than Alabama did which somehow gets overlooked), Alabama South Carolina to see where these two teams really stack up, USC Notre Dame to see just how Doyle's number one QB in the land does against a real defense (a lot of people are picking the Irish in this game, which would be a huge blow to both the Pac-10 and my keep ND out of the BCS hopes), Nebraska Texas Tech to see if the black shirts can slow down the suddenly revamped and rerevved Red Raiders offense, and Virginia Tech Georgia Tech in what should be one of the better ACC matchups of the year.  If the Hokies dominate, look for them to enter the title picture if one of the big 3 slips up.  Like I said, the remote will be smoking.  For the pros, give me Carolina Tampa Bay sorry, I'll actually be in attendance for that debacle (although it could be worse, I could have tickets to KC Washington), the Giants Saints to see which nts team stays unbeaten, Vikings Ravens to see if Baltimore can recover from two straight tough losses, Bears Falcons to see which one of these teams is likely for real and wild card material, and finally Broncos Chargers to see if Denver can keep it going with a tough road game.  Good slate for the paid athletes as well.

13) MLB LDS look back and LCS predicitions- Well, I got three out of four right, although I had all of them going longer than what they did.  I knew Boston had some holes, but didn't expect them to get exposed that thoroughly by LA, especially since I thought playing in the AL East would toughen them up.  TBS lost a lot of money by all of the series ending so quick.  But that can happen in short series.  I know last year, Philly beat LA in the LCS, but I just think the Dodgers have too much for them this year.  Don't see it going less than 6, however (in fact, I'll call it Dodgers in 6), and as much as I hate to, I'll go Yankees in 5 setting up the LAD NYY series you know baseball is praying for for not only the east coast west coast thing, but also the Torre back to New York thing and Manny against the Yankees.
Posted on: October 1, 2009 12:21 am
 

10 Things I learned the week of Sept. 29th

Again a day late, but this time it was by choice.  See, I knew I was going to be long winded on a couple of topics very near and dear to my heart, the Bucs and the Gators (hence, the name BuccinGator).  Wanted the extra time to collect my thoughts and make sure I got everything out there.  So without further ado, 10 things ...

1) The Ol' Ball Coach shuts down Ole Miss- I'll start with the Thursday night game.  Now, I'm not going to jump on the Ole Miss was overrated band wagon.  In a year where many a team already has one loss, they were just beneficiaries of everybody else losing earlier in the year and their starting ranking which was probably a little too high based on what they did last year and returning Jevan Sneed.  But while SEC detractors point to this game as a sign of how the SEC is overrated and not that good, I point to this game as a sign of why the SEC is so great.  You better bring your A game every week, and you better be ready to play against some slobberknockering defenses.  I'm still a big Houston Nutt supporter (and Arkansas fans, check out how his replacement did this week.  More on that later), and I still like Jevan Sneed, just think it was a case of where they ran up against an equally matched South Carolina squad in their stadium, and got outplayed.  While Ole Miss was overrated through mostly no fault of their own, the fact is that South Carolina was probably more underrated.

2) Big 10 replay officials trying to overtake Pac 10 as being the most boneheaded and ignorant of the rules- Wow.  What in the world is the point of having a replay system if it's not even going to be used properly?  Come with me, my little chickadees, to last year, ironically involving the Michigan Wolverines.  Forgot which side of the play they were on, but there was an absolutely ridiculous call that thankfully had no bearing on the outcome of the game against Michigan State in which a receiver was awarded a touchdown because his foot smooshed the pylon, which the replay official THOUGHT was in bounds.  Nevermind the fact that 98% of the receiver's shoe was clearly Oscar Bravo.  Now, spin it forward to Saturday afternoon, where an Indiana University receiver and Michigan defender CLEARLY had dual possession of the ball upon hitting the ground and then the defender wrestled the ball away and was awarded the interception.  Even in the pros, where the ground does not end a play, the tie goes to the receiver.  And no, Michigan fans, there is nothing in the rule that deals with who has "more" possession or whatever else you were trying to argue.  I don't care if the defender has the ball locked to his chest, if the receivers hands are around the ball, that's it.  And to me, it definitely appeared that the IU receiver had the better possession until it was ripped out ON THE GROUND when the play is over in college.  Point is it's a moot arguement, and the rule clearly states that it should have been IU's ball.  Their coach had every right to chuck his gum a la "Mr. Perfect" Curt Henning, and they should have had the chance to see if they could produce the winning drive.  Now we'll never know.

3) The running of the Bulls D-Line- Daggummit!!!  The Seminoles just had absolutely no answer for the University of South Florida's D-Line.  And it's nice to see others step up and make plays while George Selvie is getting double and triple teamed.  They just decimated the Seminoles offense and forced four fumbles.  And the Seminoles secondary was non-existant on several plays.  It doesn't help that your best secondary guy is a smurf who plays 10 times his size.  I love Greg Reid, but all teams have to do is throw it whereever he's not.  And even if he's there, he can get picked on in goalline situations where his height becomes a true disadvantage.  The Noles need to solve their inconsistancy on offense, showing up only on odd numbered games (which bodes well for my Gators as they are game number 12).  Defensively, they are consistant, though.  Consistantly bad.  Going to be a long year for the Noles, who are still expected to win the Atlantic Division and make a trip to Tampa.  For the Bulls, though, this was a huge win for recruiting.  I hope both they and Cincy can stay undefeated heading into the upcoming Thursday night game here in Tampa.  The Big East could use the positive exposure that that game could bring them.

4) The "U" downgraded to a Tropical Storm- Again, I'm not going to jump on the Miami was overrated bandwagon, as I think it's great what they are doing, winning two games when many expected them to be "0-4 out the door."  I think they are still in for a solid year.  Just obviously were not ready to make that next step in a true return to national prominence.  Great game turned in by the Hokies.

5) Razorbacks hog-"Tide"- Again, I am not a huge Nick Saban fan, but you have to be impressed with what he is doing in Tuscaloosa.  Moreover, I love each and every time anybody, and I do mean anybody (okay, well maybe not Lane Kiffin, but it's close) in the SEC can put a beat down on that despicable turncoat of a man that coaches the University of Arkansas.  Sure, Saban is a bit of a turncoat himself, but what he did is Mother Teresaish compared to Petrino, especially what that waste of humanity did to the Falcons, a team that I am by no means a fan of.  Razorback fans, I hope every year you finish behind Ole Miss in the standings.

6) Rookie head coach makes a mistake most Pop Warner league coaches wouldn't make- Okay, I am officially convinced that the football gods are out to get me by putting a horrible Notre Dame football team into a BCS bowl game to be slaughtered.  Last week it was Michigan State icing it by throwing a pick.  This week, with no timeouts left and after being stopped on a running play and starting to scramble around in an effort to clock the ball which would have brought up third down with under 30 seconds left, Perdue gift wraps the game by calling a timeout FOR Notre Dame.  For what???  To get the right personnel on the field??  You already had the right personnel on the field the previous play, and if you SERIOUSLY wanted to make changes, let Notre Dame clock it, and THEN you can run out a new unit.  That kind of absurdity can't even occur at a high school head coaching level, much less the collegiate level.  It's not often coaches truely win or lose games for you, but in this case, Perdue's coach singlehandedly blew it by not being aware of the game situation.

7) Some general NFL musings- I can't pick a Bengals game right, so the Browns will probably win this week.  Brett Favre ripped my heart out and cost me my overall lead in my Pick 'Em pool.  But what a play.  The Vikings got him to make those plays in exactly those types of situations.  Still hate his guts, though, for the stunts he's pulled, especially this offseason, but have to give credit where credit is due.  The Patriots grounded the Falcons, showing they still have some work to do.  The Lions beat the Redskins in a game I called correctly.  Even though they were 0-2, the Lions were playing better football than the Deadskins, and it showed on Sunday.  Now even worse, the Deadskins play my Suckaneers this Sunday in the Toilet Bowl.  Ugh!  And finally, Jake Delhomme is finished.  Yes, the pick six was Steve Smith's fault, but there was absolutely NO reason for Fake to be throwing it there IN THE FIRST PLACE.  He was well covered and would have been tackled immediately in a situation where the Panthers needed to have a sense of urgency.

8) Hey, hey, hey, we're the Suckaneers- Oh my god.  I've slipped back into the seventh circle of Lemon [sic] Bennett hell with my favorite NFL team.  And Bucs fans have nobody to blame but themselves and the atrocious sports media we have down here in my fair city (although many are still trying to blame Jon Gruden).  The media here wants to be coddled to, and got it for years from Tony Dungy (who to be fair is a great coach and even better human being) and Rich McKay (who I can't say the same for).  Then came in brash Gruden who wouldn't bend to their every whim.  So they began running stories, began sowing discontent, and everybody down here bought it (except for the one piece of decent media, the Pewter Report, who told it like it was the whole time, good or bad).  Then Gruden gets the axe, which I didn't have too much of a problem with, except that you need to replace him with a Shannahan or Cowher.  Then came the whole Derrick Brooks debacle, which if Gruden had done, people here would have been screaming bloody murder against him.  Look I still hope Morris succeeds, but it is obvious this coaching staff is coaching very poorly and are currently in way over their heads.  And hopefully Buc fans will now pull theirs out of the sand and realize what a great job Gruden did with what little talent he had.  I know this team is rebuilding, but they were one fourth quarter defensive collapse in ANY of the last four games in which they were tied or had a lead in EVERY SINGLE ONE of them away from making the playoffs last year.  To take this many steps back is inexcusible.  I had this team pegged for 4-12, but now I'm thinking 2-14 is more in line.  And the yahoos down here were actually psyched after the Cowboys loss, spewing 8-8 or 9-7 and how great the offense is and how they'd been waiting for something like that for years.  Well, I for one was not buying it, and they were exposed by the Giants this week.  Fans forget, this team was 14th in total offense last year, which is respectable, especially when you can throw the type of defense out there we had thrown from 1997 through the first twelve games of 2008.  Now the defense is just plain horrible.  And the offense, I'm afraid fans will realize, is more in line with the 25th overall ranking they have right now than the 4th overall ranking they had going into the game, although with the D it's not likely to matter much.  Oh, and yeah, Jon Gruden was the one holding Michael Clayton back.  Since week one, he has TWO receptions and dropped a sure touchdown.  Yup, all Gruden's fault.  Clayton is a great receiver and worth every penny the Bucs spent on him this offseason.  Buc fans, reap what you sow!!!!  And to further my attack on the media, and why I think this area does not deserve baseball, the St. Pete times runs a horrid article on the Rays about a week ago saying how Jason Bartlett and Carl Crawford's best value (along with one other player) lies in trading them?  Are you FREAKING kidding me?  Bartlett, your team MVP, and Crawford, who you dumped Scott Kazmir's salary just so you could keep him?  And even at $10 million, which I think is ridiculous, in MLB terms is a bargain for a player of Crawford's talents.  Yeah, let's just go back to the dark ages of finishing last every year and drawing 5,000 fans a night.  Not like they had a winning season this year, right??  What's that, they did??  Could have fooled the press down here who got spoiled by a World Series appearance last year.  People down here want to make me vomit.  We are the biggest bunch of front running bandwagoners, and sadly, we're probably the best sports market in the state as Miami and Jacksonville are worse.  Pathetic!

9) ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!!!!!- I am so sick in the aftermath of the UF-Kentucky game of EVERYTHING that is coming out, that I feel like being concussed.  Everybody just needs to get off of everyone's cases right now, because everything that has been said is absolutely ludicrous.  As soon as I saw a replay, I knew exactly what had happened, and just became concerned for how bad of a concussion Tebow had.  Don't know why it took like 10 for most people to realize it was hitting the right tackle's knee coming down who was being blocked back into him, and not the hit that caused the damage.  The first person people need to get off the case of is the Kentucky blitzer (pretty sure it was an LB) who hit Tebow.  You have clowns like Dennis Dodd on this site running articles about whether or not it was a clean hit.  Are you freakin' kidding me?  Why not just have QB's wear dresses and play two hand touch?  And again, it wasn't the initial hit that was the problem.  It was a very clean football play.  The second person people need to get off the case of is the UF left tackle.  People, he was blocking the man he was supposed to block.  In football, you block inside out.  In that situation, the blitzer is TEBOW'S responsibility to pick up, and he didn't do it.  And if there was going to be a shift of the O-lines responsibilities pre-snap had the blitz been recognized, that would have fallen with either Tebow or the Pouncey twin that plays center, not the left tackle.  The third person people need to get off of is Urban Meyer.  The suggestion that it's the way Tebow plays and he runs to much is beyond ridiculous.  I must have missed where Tebow was injured on a running play.  I could have swore it was a pass.  And his style of play is irrelevant of the situation in which he got hurt.  Even a pocket passer like Peyton Manning would have been injured whiplashing his head and neck on the leg of an O-lineman.  Give me a break.  Tebow gives as much punishment, if not more so than he receives.  And the fourth person is Tebow himself.  Everybody's suggesting after this that he needs to change his style of play and this and that and the other.  That would be the absolute worst thing he can do.  You have to dance with the girl that brought you there.  If you really want Florida to become more of a passing team, just play John Brantley.  And enough with all the talk of Tebow and the LSU game and putting the national title above the kids health and whatnot.  It may surprise most people, but the decision for Tebow to play or not play this week won't come from Tebow or Urban Meyer, it will come from the UF medical staff, which I have every faith in making the correct call one way or the other.  And if Brantley has to play, I'll take my chances.  Obviously Tebow's leadership will be missed, and the style will be different, but if that's how they have to go, if we lose, we lose.  I still think UF has a shot to win even with Brantley at the QB spot, although obviously I would prefer Tebow.  Oh, and to top it all off, watching ESPNU on Sunday, they had reaction from a Gator fan at a Gainsville bar.  Here's what this genius had to say.  He talked about how upset he was that the UK players and fans were being all disrespectful cheering and celebrating when Tebow went down.  Um, excuse me?  Just exactly what game was this chuckle head watching?  Was it some different feed than the one from ESPN2 that I saw?  This wasn't the FSU game where the fans (surprisingly in my book, as I always thought FSU has great fans) were actually cheering when Percy Harvin went down.  Hell, I could have swore I was watching a UF home game as the 15,000 Gator fans in attendance were making far more noise than the Wildcat fans.  Want proof of that, watch a replay of the Chris Rainey punt block for TD.  No, the Kentucky fans weren't celebrating, and the only players celebrating were the one who got the sack and one of his teammates in the immediate aftermath.  Afterall, he had just made a great, CLEAN, football play.  It wasn't like when the Gator bench emptied, the Kentucky players were on the field dancing around a la, "Ding, Dong, the Witch Is Dead."  Come on ESPN, you broadcast the game.  You have to do a better job editing your pieces.  I'm sure there were other Gator fans at that bar with better comments than what this moron came up with.  All in all, though, this whole situation and experience just further enhances my dislike of most of the media.  But that's why knowledgable people stop by my blog, right?

10) A look at the week ahead- The things I am looking forward to this week are the Buccaneers Redskins game, the start of the NHL season!  The puck drops for real tomorrow night.  Woo hoo!!!  Look for some ice talk to kick in on my blog.  Anyway, to football, give me LSU Georgia and Oklahoma Miami, and in the pros Jets Saints (go Jets, if nothing else than to shut the Aint fans up), Steelers Chargers to see if the Steelers can regroup, and the MNF game of the Vikings and Packers for obvious reasons.

Bonus parting shot- Great job by the Cal Berkley Bears setting up their matchup with USC this week.  They go into Eugene against a struggling Ducks team and get absolutely SMOKED.  And thanks to Ole Miss, Penn State, Cal, and Miami for letting USC jump right back up in the polls, despite losing to a team that just got smoked by Stanford.
Posted on: September 8, 2009 6:44 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2009 10:12 am
 

10 Things I Learned the Week of September 8th

It's BAAAAACK!!!!  My friends, I welcome you to the proud and triumphant return of 10 things I learned this week, one person's slightly biased (hey, we all have them) review of the week that was in sports.  I do try to remain as objective as possible with these, but sometimes you'll see my Gator or SEC love shine through.  I'll be upfront that my favorite sports are by far football (college and pro) followed by hockey (pro) and then college basketball.  As such, my blog will be heavily skewed towards these sports while they are in season (assuming I'm not forced to quit before the Super Bowl like last year).  I will mix in pro basketball and baseball on occasion, but as I am not as heavily versed in these sports, don't expect too much from me.  For those of you who didn't catch it when I was running it last year, on Tuesdays (or if I miss Tuesday, I shall limit it as though I am talking on Tuesday), I shall put up 10 things that I feel I have a strong opinion about from the goings on of the previous week in sports.  Readship is encouraged, comments even more so. Well, here goes me diving back into the pool.  Enjoy...

1) Early season kinks- One game from college that pointed out the glaring difference between pro and college ball was the South Carolina vs. NC State game on Thursday.  That huge difference?  PRESEASON!!  Both teams could have used a game or two against live competition, in a HIGHLY mistake filled game by both teams resulting in a 7-3 final.  Now, I won't put up an arguement against people who say the NFL preseason is too long (it is), but I will fight tooth and nail against those who say it's unnecessary.  Not only to you have to determine exactly who your 53 best players are, but it cuts down on this.

2) Will the Pac-10 be USC and everybody else again?- Cal will hopefully provide them some competition, but one of the teams that was SUPPOSED to give them issues didn't even DESERVE to be on the smurf turf on Thursday against Boise State.  Folks, don't let the final score fool you.  If Boise State hadn't fumbled 100 times, losing about half of them, Oregon would have been CRUSHED.  I stayed up to watch that whole game, but it was a huge disappointment.  And, taking nothing away from Boise State, but had that been a competent team they were playing against, they would have been punished for those miscues (see: Ole Miss at Florida September 2008).

3) Grohing pains- Did I really just see Virginia, a January Bowl team from two years ago LOSE to William and Mary?  As in FCS (Div 1-AA for those of you still stuck two years ago) William and Mary?  If Al wasn't on the hot seat to begin with, his butt cheeks are firmly planted there now, and it might take pretty much winning out to remove them.  Of course, they weren't the only team that struggled against FCS competition.  Duke lost as well, and Iowa, a top 25 team, was lucky to escape against Northern Iowa.  And there was a board poster who suggested Iowa would remain a Top 25 team after that because "I've never seen a team get knocked out of the Top 25 for winning."  My response was, "Hello.  For a 21-25 ranked team after week 1?  Not only do I guarantee it has happened numerous times before, but that it will happen numerous times again, starting with Iowa."  Hmmm, guess who was right.

4) UGAly offensive performance- Well Bulldog fans, now you KNOW just how much the loss of Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno is going to hurt you.  But in spite of this, I was amazed at the lack of respect being shown to the Oklahoma State Cowboys (by posters, not pollsters for a change).  Look, I don't care how you win a game, if you win a big game, you win a big game.  And deserve all the kudos thereof afterwards.  So, "How 'Bout them Cowboys?!"  And Dez Bryant is a stud.  I think he'll be the next Calvin Johnson.

5) Stormin' Mormons overrun Norman south- Impressive, impressive win by BYU.  And let me be the first to say that it sucks that Sam Bradford will be down 2-4 weeks rehabbing his shoulder.  You never want to lose a player of his caliber, even as a college football fan in general.  The thing I took out of this game, however, was just how good OU's offensive line was LAST YEAR, and I'm absolutely shocked by how much they seem to miss the four starters they lost along that front.  Honestly, even with Bradford all year long, I don't think this offense would have thrown up NEARLY the numbers this year compared to last.  And OU fans, please DO NOT say you would have won with Bradford in the game.  It was 7-7 when he went down (and you could have been losing had BYU not had a case of fumbleitis), it was 10-7 your favor at halftime, you were up 13-7 very late in the game, and you were attempting a game winning FG at the end.  You had every chance to win this game, still.  Take your loss and hope you run the table and hope everybody in front of you loses.  Lord knows it's happened the last two years.

6) BCS Championship game buster- With BYU's win and astounding jump to 9th in the AP poll, could this set up for a Mountain West team not just making the BCS, but making Pasadena on Jan. 7th?  I have to say, a resounding maybe.  One of the things holding "mid majors" back was the ridiculous pratice of preseason polls, but the AP made up for that in one fell swoop with an 11 spot jump.  Personally, I think the first poll should come out after week 4.  By then, you have a pretty accurate gauge of where teams really stand.  BYU still has games against FSU (tarnished a little by their loss last night), TCU, and Utah.  As long as TCU and Utah win the games they are supposed to, and as long as there are not 2 BCS conference teams that are undefeated, I think BYU should be there.  And actually I think it would be better if there were 2 undefeated teams besides the Cougars, because it would make the Mountain West's "Why not us?" arguement stronger and we might take one step closer to actually deciding a champion on the field.  As for those BCS fruitcakes like John Saunders of ESPN who spew out the arguement that every week is a playoff and that not having it will diminish the regular season, see my comments on number five about OU and tell me they're not true.  Fact is, they KNOW they're not totally out of it yet.

7) Kickoff "Classic"- Let me be one of the ones to say the game for the most part lived up to it's name.  It was a great back and forth game against two good teams with good defenses.  And way to go Tide defending the SEC's honor.  Unfortunately for the SEC this year, all the strength is obviously in the West.

8) Restoring "The 'U'"- Big win for Miami last night in what was a very exciting keep you on the edge of your seat games.  I was a little surprised by the lack of defense.  Last year, Miami hung with UF for 2 1/2 quarters based on their D, which looked young and hungry.  I didn't see that D last night.  One of my Seminole friends got mad at me for suggesting UM should have won by a TD, or maybe a little more.  If you can fault the Canes for anything last night, it was the horrible play calling on the first and goal from the 3 when it was 23-14 where they ended up kicking a FG and the failure to recognize where Reed was on the field on the last kickoff.  You have to, have to account for that type of player on special teams and recognize that he was up front, so kick it long.  Kudos to the FSU special team staff for noticing what UM was doing, and adjusting for it.  And to Brad Nessler and Todd Blackledge, who I thought called a good game, get off the FSU kicker's back.  He did not cost them that game by missing the PAT.  You could say that if it happened at the end of the game, or had FSU not been able to score any touchdowns afterward, but FSU went for and made a 2 point conversion afterward.  And had he made the PAT, FSU would have kicked the PAT after the following touchdown.  So the situation was that FSU would be down 4 anyway, or down 6.  In either case, they would have needed that last TD.  What a leg on that kid.  Actually, what cost them the game was their horrible clock management at the end.  That, also, CANNOT happen.

9) A baseball thought- I am finally conviced that the Tampa Bay area doesn't deserve the Rays or baseball period for that matter.  If the Rays were having the year they are having ANY OTHER year, we'd be beside ourselves, but no, we're a bunch of spoiled brats for having won the ALCS last year.  And the media here is just atrocious and are making a bad situation worse (as they always do, see: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jon Gruden).  Just as a curious side note, for most of the year, the Rays would have been leading at least two other divisions in baseball (of course, it's zero now), and how sick are the Yankees that they are SIXTEEN AND A HALF games up on a team that is six over .500.  I can't stand the Yankees, but you HAVE to give them their kudos.  This might be the year A Rod finally wins a world series.

10) Weekly look ahead- The games I will be looking forward to are the Steelers/Titans to kick off the NFL season, Miami/Atlanta to see if both teams can keep the momentum from last year going, the Packers/Bears, and in college, Michigan/Notre Dame to see just how far the Domers have come along, South Carolina/Georgia to see which one of them seems destined for a long year, and to see if Melanie Oudin can continue her run in the U.S. Open.  Talk about a never quit attitude and a spunky spirit.  The Williams sisters won't play forever, and we don't have a male player worth anything noteworthy, so hopefully this kid will continue to develope and give us a reason to watch tennis as a sport.  I couldn't turn off her match yesterday. 
Posted on: July 24, 2009 5:42 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2009 12:22 am
 

5 Things I Learned About the Media

Okay, I'll date myself.  Why not, I advertise it on my profile page anyway.  I'm 34 years old.  And I'm going to sound like an old man.  Because I am going to start off this blog entry with a "Back in my days" blast.  Back when I was in school, I never took a journalism class, but learned the basics of such during my many years in English classes.  I was taught that an article should answer a simple eight word phrase, "Who did what, where, when, why, and how."  Point being, the media should be REPORTING to us the news.  However, somewhere along the lines in the P.C. wussification of our society, somebody decided that it was the media's job to MAKE the news, instead of reporting it.  Here I'll give you some prime examples, focusing heavily on the "world wide leader" in sports.

1) All the news that's fit to "Do not Report" - How was it that the four letter network chose to blatantly ignore the whole Ben Roethlisberger story for FOURTY EIGHT FREAKIN HOURS, and compound it with a cover up that is worse than the crime itself?  Look, I'm all for giving Big Ben the benefit of the doubt.  I'm a firm believer in innocent until proven guilty.  In fact, from what I've heard of the case, I'm surprised the girl hasn't filed criminal charges not only to launch an investigation, but get a state prosecutor to subpeona the security tapes she's claiming to be denied access to in a coverup by her coworkers.  But that still does not change the fact that a legitimate civil lawsuit had been filed in the state of Nevada, which despite the housing downturn, the last I checked was still part of the USA.  This is not something you can simply turn a blind eye to.  Look, in the end, she might just be somebody who is just seeking attention and/or money, but that is not something for you, ESPN, to decide.  Of course, it came out that ESPN had issued a "do not report" order, which was not the first time that had happened (see: Favre, Brett/Glazer, Jay/Inside Information).  Then came the information the order was based on a completely worthless, malleable policy of not reporting it without an accompanying criminal suit.  How do I know the policy is malleable?  Well, besides people inside the four letter network saying so, as was pointed out by a local radio host in what I consider to be the best apples to apples comparison, it sure didn't stop them from running the story right around the Glendale Super Bowl of a similar civil suit filed here in Florida against Randy Moss.  Then came a quote from somebody at ESPN as reported by Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com.  "Embarassing."  Enough said.

2) Who let the dogs out?  E  S  P  N - The four letter network then went on later that same week to report based on Michael Vick's meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday that Vick had been "Conditionally reinstated and would be suspended for the first four games."  Only problem with that.  Well, it hadn't happened.  At least, not yet.  It was quickly shot down by NFL spokesman Greg Aiello and ESPN had to hurriedly retract their own headline. Now, rumors are that the commish is indeed leaning that way, but if I were Roger, I'd suspend Vick for more or less than 4 games just to spite ESPN for leaking information instead of reporting it WHEN IT WAS NEWS.  Update:  Since this story came out, Goodell first threatened possibly not making Vick eligible for six weeks, but in the end only suspended him for two.  Kudos to the boss for weighing the situation and doing EXACTLY as I said.  Of course, people have now forgotten about this and ESPN didn't end up with the egg on their face that they should have.

3) The Erin Andrews debate - I read a couple great blogs on this subject by a couple of Mets fans (I know, who knew there were any left?) BigBluMasochist and Ifonlyweknew who each took one side on the Erin Andrews peephole porn incident, one taking the side of Erin being violated, the other the more cynical side of this was staged a la the infamous "wardrobe malfunction."  I'll post links to them here, I'm sure they won't mind.  http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/
entry/13947733/16149909
  http://bigblumasochist.blogs.cbsspo
rts.com/mcc/blogs/entry/10752270/16
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Now word is coming out that this was likely an inside job by one of her male ESPN coworkers, which, unfortunately does nothing to disprove either one of their sides of the story.  Now, I'm of the mind that Erin was indeed violated, and not just because she's the most famous alumnus of my high school alma matter.  I think she does a terrific job at sideline reporting, and have always appreciated her much more for the body of her work than for the work of her body.  That said, it speaks volumes that not only can I see BigBlu's side of the arguement, there's still a chance that he's indeed right.

4) SEC Media Daze - Obviously by my handle, I'm a HUGE SEC fan.  When word leaked out that Tim Tebow was not a unanimous first team SEC coaches selection, I was confused, but not overly miffed.  Afterall, I could make an arguement for Jevan Snead.  A weak one, but an arguement.  I was more upset that LB Brandon Spikes was not unanimous.  But, Tebow being Tebow, all the attention was focused on his "perceived" snub.  Of course, the SEC media had a field day of it, grilling each individual coach in a "whodunit" desperately wanting to know who the culprit was.  Of course, it was later revealed today, that this same SIXTY FOUR member media who was so OUTRAGED that a coach DARED leave Tebow off their ballot had THREE MEMBERS LEAVE HIM OFF OF THEIRS FOR THE MEDIA BALLOT.  Freakin hypocrites.  Also, it came out that the culprit was Steve Spurrier, who blamed it on an underling and then signed off on it.  This brings me to another subject.  Any of you who know me know of my opinion of the BCS.  If you don't know, check out some of the earlier editions of my blog.  Part of what is used to determine who plays in Pasadena this year is the Coaches Poll (which the BCS did something sort of right in forcing them to reveal their final ballot after they had voted not to back in May).  Team and conference biases aside, do you realize how many coaches do the exact same thing Spurrier did, giving it to SID's or the such and signing off on them, probably often times not paying full attention to what they are signing off on?  And even those that do vote themselves, do you REALLY think they have enough time to pay attention to all the games of all the teams they are voting on?  Finally, in what I think is one of the most blatant examples of what's wrong with the media today is that during a media days teleconference with radio people, Tim Tebow was asked by an absolute dunderhead if he was saving himself for marriage.  Um, excuse me.  As a Gator fan, do you think I give two flying figs whether he's slept with somebody or not.  And if you do care, shame on you.

5) Off Topic: Race Carding and Entering - Then came the story of the Havard professor who was arrested for trying to enter his own locked home when a neighbor called police.  He was so incensed that police dared think he was a burglar, that instead of producing indentification that he was indeed who he said he was and in fact lived there so the police could go on their merry way, instead immediately accused them of racial profiling and refusing to identify himself.  Now first, to be perfectly clear, the police are not without their own faults in this case.  First off, he requested an officers indentification, which by law in MA and policy most other places, he has to do, and the officer did not do so.  Also, do I believe the police could have handled it better than what they did?  Absolutely.  Look, I know abuses of power do happen and racial profiling and racism do exist.  I did not just fall off the turnip truck.  But what really got my goat was an article in the local fish wrap today that said in MA the law states he has every right to refuse to come outside and identify himself.  Excuse me???  That may be in which there is no question that he is indeed the resident, but they had been called on a breaking and entering.  They had no idea he did in fact live there or he was indeed who he said he was.  Put it this way.  Had that been the reporter's house being broken in to by an individual, I don't care man or woman, black, white, purple, whatever, can you just see how that conversation would go.  Police: "Excuse me sir, we've received a report of a possible break-in at this residence."  Theif: "Oh, that's okay, I live here.  Just forgot my key."  Police: "Well, would you mind coming out here and showing us identifictation, like a driver's license."  Theif: "No, and the law says you can't make me."  Police: "Oh, okay sir.  Sorry to disturb you.  We'll be on our way now."  And then it gets better.  Our president pulls his best Al Sharpton impersonation and says the police "Acted stupidly."  I can't believe how many people do not see that because of statements like this, because of people like Sharpton, that seperation is a self perpetuating problem and will never be rectified.  Racism is a very real and very evil thing.  But every time the race card is played it situations it shouldn't be, it's just like the tale of the "Boy Who Cried Wolf," to which people will become apathetic to the problem, eventually to the point where they won't believe you when the wolf really is attacking.  Anyway, the biggest point here is that there were mistakes made by both sides, so why only report half the story?  Answer, because it makes for better reading.  It's called sensationalistic journalism.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com