Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Tuesday Good Times

Dirk misfires, Bogut rejects Terry, Mavs lose …Hey, who goes into Milwaukee and wins?

Blame Howard's absence. Blame a schedule that had the Mavericks playing their fourth game in five nights. Dirk Nowitzki, who missed a ton of shots, said there are a ton of excuses the Mavericks could make.

They won't.

"We don't make excuses," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "We don't blame anybody. We look inward. We don't look outward when something goes wrong.
"There is a lot of fight in this team."

Fight wasn't the issue.

Efficiency was.

Nowitzki struggled from the field for the second consecutive night. He hit his second field goal with 48 seconds left in the first half. He didn't hit his third until 3:22 remained in the fourth quarter.

The forward was 5-of-22 from the field for 18 points.

"I was the Bucks' sixth man," Nowitzki said.

The Mavericks may have lost, but the biggest news out of the Kohl Center last night? That’s right. Doug Melvin has his mustache back!

Above, Melvin in early 2005.

Melvin in 2002.

Relax America, Doug Melvin’s lost mustache has found its home back over Doug’s upper lip. Dreams do come true.

Rangers consider Mesa, Looper, other bullpen help

Dre Bly pounds Harrington in the media

"If we'd had production on offense, in particular the quarterback position, Mooch wouldn't have been fired," Bly told the Detroit Free Press. "If Jeff Garcia hadn't gotten hurt, we wouldn't be in this position today. Mooch wouldn't have gotten fired."

Garcia missed the first five games after breaking his leg in the final preseason game. He started twice -- winning in Cleveland and losing to Chicago -- but then missed the Minnesota, Arizona and Dallas games with soreness in the leg.

"We're all at fault, but I just feel like Joey [Harrington]'s been here four years, and being the No. 3 pick in the draft, he hasn't given us anything," Bly told the paper. "He hasn't given us what the third pick in the draft should give us."

Phil Fulmer apologizes to fan with email

Click Here for a “sounds dirty but probably wasn’t meant to be from Suzy Shuster…

Great Site for Heisman projections

This game is confusing and maddening

And now, an email:

Hey Bob. I was just wondering if you were ready to take back your statement about the Bears not winning their division yet? That Bears D is the real deal. The offense may suck but you dont need much O when the D only gives up 13 points a game. They remind me of the Ravens team that won the Superbowl. Just curious? Jason

What is he talking about? Let’s review the November 17th blog :

In a related and yet unrelated story, I have been meaning to get this Chicago Bears thought on the record, and since we so rarely bring them up, now is as good a time as any:

The Bears will not win the NFC North.

Here are the current standings:

Chicago 6-3
Minnesota 4-5
Detroit 4-5
Green Bay 2-7

Look, I realize I am going out on a limb, because everyone behind the Bears really suck. But, I really feel this choke happening. Check out the final 7 games for the Bears starting this week:

Nov 20 H Carolina
Nov 27 A Tampa Bay
Dec 4 H Green Bay
Dec 11 A Pittsburgh
Dec 18 H Atlanta
Dec 25 A Green Bay
Jan 1 A Minnesota

This is the Bears without a QB or a RB. I know their defense is good, but they might be 8-8. I hate to say this, but I think the Vikings catch them on the last week of the season. And trust me, the Packers will protect their house on Christmas Day. I will be there to make sure of that.

So, I am calling it. Bears miss the playoffs despite having a 2 game lead today.

So Jason wants to know if I want a do-over after they have beaten Carolina and Tampa Bay. It looks like I may need one, but I still contend we will see them exposed soon enough. You must have an offense, I swear. And they don’t. We shall see. I would just like to ask their great defense not to hurt Favre Sunday.

Mix Sports and Church? …maybe not a great idea…

You can imagine my surprise when I got these emails this morning:

Dan, last night at the Rolling Stone concert, Delbert McClinton was the opening act. He gave you guys some pub from the stage about midway through his show. "Hi, I'm Delbert McClinton and I never listen to Bob and Dan on BAD Radio on the Ticket...NEVER, EVER!!" Congratulations.
Went to the RS Concert tonight. Instead of Merle Haggard as the opener it was the GREAT Delbert McClinton. In between songs one time he actually said randomly (to me anyway) no BS, he said, “Hi! I’m Delbert McClinton and I never listen to BaD radio on the Ticket. Never!. There was a cheer from the crowd that was there then! Is there a story there or just shocking. If not, get him on the air, but I understand Gribble is your producer so…………….
Congrats Bucks!
Stay hard!

I have always enjoyed ol’ Delbert. But who would have guessed?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Week 12 Stats

A Bob's Blog Exclusive.

We had the rarest of turnover occasions this past weekend when San Diego turned the ball over continuously, finished an unthinkable -3, while playing on the road and yet still won. The very first time this season this has happened. One other -3 team has won this year, but they were at home (Tampa Bay in week 4 "beat" Detroit on that very iffy call in the end zone that erased a Lions touchdown in the games final minutes. Bottom line: Go -3 and you never win. Go -3 on the road and it is impossible. Yet the Chargers did it in Washington on Sunday.

Week 12 Turnover margins for winning teams:
Atl +2, Den E, Tenn +3, Stl +1, Cin E, Car E, SD -3, Chi E, Min +3, KC +3, Jax +1, Mia E, Sea -1, Phil +4, NO E, Ind +1

Week 12 totals: 8-2-6
Season Totals 107-30-39 78%

Records for teams that finish:

+5 = 8-0 100%
+4 = 12-0 100%
+3 = 15-2 88%
+2 = 27-8 77%
+1 = 45-20 69%

Dallas’ results:

W - SD +1
L - Was +2
W - SF E
L - Oak -1
W - Phi -1
L – Sea +1
W – Arz +1
W – Phi E
W – Det E
L - Den E

Cowboys + = 2-2
Cowboys E = 4-1
Cowboys - = 1-1

What is the result for teams with 100 yard rushers? Week 12? 8-3. But the 3 that lost, all lost to teams that had 100 yard rushers, too.

Week 12 100 yard rushers
Atl W, StL W, Cin W, Balt L, SD W, KC W, Sea W, NYG L, Phi W, GB L, Ind W

Week 12 record for teams with 100 yard rushers: 8-3
Season total: 76-16 83%


See all of the details at the Smoking here
Revo wants Irvin to pee in a cup

Mavs need late drama to beat the Raptors …I know we spend a lot of time rating and debating Dirk on whether he belongs in the Top 10 in the NBA or not, but last night was another example that most nights, the Mavs have a player better than anyone their opponent has. Dirk was very average all night, and then came money time. And he dominated when it mattered.

Nowitzki missed 17 shots against Toronto's normally forgiving defense. But with Howard and Jerry Stackhouse out, the Mavericks need him to keep trying.

"We told him you have plenty of clips," Terry said. "Just keep shooting it."

Nowitzki did, scoring eight of his 29 points in the final 1:42. His two 3-pointers and a fadeaway jumper over guard Jose Calderon with 18.4 seconds left gave the Mavericks a two-point lead. Toronto's Matt Bonner tied the score with two seconds left.

The Mavericks had the ball on the side.

The play was designed to go to Nowitzki, but the Raptors double-teamed him as soon as he came off the screen. The Mavericks called timeout and decided to get the ball to Terry. Del Harris designed the play, prompting Johnson to say he owes his assistant coach lunch.

Terry, who scored 26 points for the evening, never hesitated as he curled off the screen and went to the basket.

"He's as clutch of a shooter as it gets," Nowitzki said.

Also, very nice evenings from Devin Harris and the center duo of Dampier and Diop (The Mavericks big pair of D’s). They all look ready to really help this team through this period of no Christie/Stackhouse/Howard (not in that order). Also, Adrian Griffin is here to rescue us.

Howard looks out to mid-December

An MRI exam revealed that Howard suffered a moderate sprain of his right ankle in the closing moments of the team's loss to Memphis three days ago. Club officials were reluctant to set a firm timetable for his return. But owner Mark Cuban was encouraged by the news and said it sounded as if Howard would miss up to three weeks but no more.

Avery Johnson said Jerry Stackhouse was still probably two weeks out before he can get back on the court.

To the surprise of only those who weren’t paying attention to Fightin’ Texas Aggie football, Coach Fran fires the Defensive coordinator

"After evaluating our defense, I felt like it was in the best interest of our football program to make a change at defensive coordinator," coach Dennis Franchione said in a statement. "I think Carl is an outstanding person and an excellent coach, but for whatever reason, we were not effective on defense."

Franchione said that a national search to replace Torbush will begin immediately.
The Aggies, who lost their final four games of the season, failed to reach a bowl game for the second time in Franchione's three seasons at A&M.

Remember the time when the Rangers drafted Barry Zito, and then let him return to the draft over $50,000? Well, they are now looking for an expensive do-over …Why would the A’s trade him inside the division where they might see him 6 times?

The Rangers are getting more calls from other teams about Soriano while they continue to explore every possibility of acquiring pitching. That includes Zito, the Athletics All-Star left-hander who could be on the trading block.

Major League sources said the Rangers are one of the teams expressing interest in Zito. The Athletics signed pitcher Esteban Loaiza on Monday to a three-year deal worth almost $21.4 million and have privately discussed the possibility of trading Zito.

"It's fair to say we've talked to every team about every pitcher who could get moved," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "But there's nothing we're ready to push the button on."

The New York Mets are also interested in Zito, who won a Cy Young Award in 2003.

Dat Nguyen to retire?
What a good Cowboy he was…

Today’s “you can’t write this stuff” department: Eagles fan runs on the field, sprinkles mom’s ashes during game

Christopher Noteboom, 33, of Tempe, Ariz., ran onto the field holding a plastic bag in his outstretched right arm, leaving a cloud of fine powder in his wake. As he reached the 30-yard line, he dropped to his knees and made the sign of the cross before laying down on his stomach. Security personnel reached him moments later and he offered no resistance as he was escorted from the field.

Noteboom, a native of Doylestown, said the substance was the ashes of his dead mother, a longtime Eagles fan who died of emphysema in January 2005, shortly before the Eagles' Super Bowl appearance.

"She never cared for any other team except the Eagles," Noteboom told WPVI-TV after he was released from custody on Monday.

"I know that the last handful of ashes I had are laying on the field, and will never be taken away. She'll always be part of Lincoln Financial Field and of the Eagles," he said.

White trash?

Borat to Kazakhstan: Bring it on!

Vince Young in High School

Goal of the year candidate? New York Rangers’ Marek Malik

Peter King MMQB

And just one point about the Hall of Fame debate, which will likely include Irvin the day before this year's Super Bowl in Detroit: I will support Irvin as enthusiastically as I did last year, because it is not our job to judge a player's off-field life. That's a by-law. What happened on the field is all that matters.

Peter is speaking idealistically. Allow me to speak realistically: Irvin has screwed his chances in 2006.

Replay doesn’t work in Seattle …Norm’s first hour today, no doubt…

And now, some various pieces of email:

Well it's about a quarter through the season, and I gotta say I'm disappointed. I love the fact they are calling stuff in the neutral zone but that's about it. I don't understand why the NHL insist on it getting away from the physical play.

Sure I've heard "Oh it's still physical, the hits are up" BULL. I watch on average 2-3 hockey games (other than the stars) a week. I always try and watch rivlaries ie Montreal-Toronto, Philly-New York etc.... and I gotta tell ya it's a complete lovefest. Now I don't need to see a complete Gettysburg on the ice, but for crying out loud put a stick in someones side every now and then. Get a little mean.

I'm my perfect little hockey world this is what would happen:

A) Put a enforcer in the competition commitee and see what happens.
B) Keep calling the stuff in the neutral zone, and obvious other infractions- stress OBVIOUS
C) Get rid of that stupid 5 min left in the 3rd don't instigate a fight, in fact get rid of the instigator all together.

The bottom line is the closer you get to the net, the more you have to let things go. Let these guys battle. It's like a football line of scrimmage without contact, it's truely sick to watch. I keep hearing how great the 80's were with all the scoring and end to end action, well as I recall there was still some physical play also. Anyways Bob sorry for the rant, just had to get that off my chest. I'm going to cry now.


Brandon, I wish I could disagree with you, but the truth is that I believe hockey may have made a horrible mistake of taking passion out of hockey. The games are now free of venom, and free of emotion. I am quite concerned that they have turned it into chick’s hockey.


Going to color bars during MNF halftime may be the most brilliant idea you've ever had. That Tim McGraw bit has got to be the most life draining segment in the history of television! I keep picturing Al Michaels signing off at halftime as his voice is lost in test tones.



Regarding the undefeated Dolphins praying for failure. Only other one I can think of is when Calvin Murphy, calling a Houston Rockets game, was verbally trying to make Chris Jackson-Abdul Rauf miss a free throw as he attempted to break the record for best FT% in a season.

Doug in Coppell

That is right. And I thought the only reason Calvin’s name came up anymore was This
And finally this:

Bob & Dan,

About the horse manure throwing incident. There is a public and a private response in Aggieland.

Public: this kind of behavior cannot be tolerated

Private: high fives all around.

The truth is that an enlightened few trumpet players in the sip band were using their instruments to try and "spook" the horses (very dangerous idea) and were told to cease. They did not desist and were promptly pelted with horse manure. Justice having been dealt out at the end of a shovel

And the beat goes on in the annals of Aggie and longhorn football.

I personally think it is hilarious. This freshman has become instant greatness in Aggieland, we will be laughing about it for years and years.


P.S. I understand the little Ticket is up for sale. You might want to ease up on the Aggies in general, Lowry Mayes who is Clear Channel is lurking. I mean he got rid of Howard Stern. I like you guys and hope you are around for a while.

Below, enjoy, Jeremy Shockey’s change of heart when he realizes the Field Goal was missed.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Week 11 Turnovers

A Bob's Blog Exclusive.

Do the teams that win the turnover battle win the game? In Week 11, it is 100%.

Week 11 Turnover margins for winning teams:
NE E, Dal E, Cle +1, Chi +1, TB +1, Balt E, Jax E, Oak +2, Arz +1, NYG +1, Sea +1, SD +2, Den +4, Ind E, KC +2, Min E

Week 11 totals: 10-0-6
Season Totals 99-28-33 78%

Records for teams that finish:

+5 = 8-0 100%
+4 = 11-0 100%
+3 = 12-1 92%
+2 = 26-8 76%
+1 = 42-19 69%

Dallas’ results:

W - SD +1
L - Was +2
W - SF E
L - Oak -1
W - Phi -1
L – Sea +1
W – Arz +1
W – Phi E
W – Det E

Cowboys + = 2-2
Cowboys E = 4-0
Cowboys - = 1-1

What is the result for teams with 100 yard rushers? In week 11, 100%.

Week 11 100 yard rushers
Cle W, TB W, NYG W, Sea W, Den W, KC W, Min W

Week 11 record for teams with 100 yard rushers: 7-0
Season total: 68-13 84%

Monday Without Cowboys Angst

Lots of links, very little original content today, but that is the way the cookie crumbles on a weekend with no Cowboys and no relevant college football on Saturday.

Irvin, at best, makes a very poor decision

Mr. Irvin told the AP that the drug pipe police found in his car belonged to an old friend who had left a Houston rehab center to spend Thanksgiving with the Irvin family in their Carrollton home.

"I know the type of demons they have to fight and I am going to help them, because it's the only way I can keep them from getting to my family. I have to clean up my friends because they are around my boys. It's upsetting."

Mr. Irvin said he put the pipe in his car rather than leave it in his house where his four children might find it. He said he intended to throw it away but forgot. Mr. Irvin would not tell The Associated Press his friend's name.

Again, even if you buy his story, you still have to suggest that the dude should realize that he cannot decide to “hold his buddy’s crack pipe”.

Lebreton on the case

Back in February, the first time Irvin did not make the Hall of Fame cut, I wrote quite a bit about the football aspect of it all. I was checking it out this morning to review it, and thought you might want to do the same thing:

February 8, 2005 and February 9, 2005


From the “you cannot write this stuff” department, Aggie tosses Horse feces on the Longhorns band ….

A sophomore member of Texas A&M University's Parsons Mounted Cavalry was charged Friday with throwing horse feces onto members of the University of Texas band before the A&M-UT football game.

John Richmond Sullivan, 20, was seen by a University Police Department lieutenant throwing a shovel full of horse feces onto band members at Kyle Field at about 10 a.m. Friday, according to an officer's affidavit.

UT band director Robert Carnochan told police that he and the band members did not want to press criminal charges, though they did want Texas A&M to discipline Sullivan, the court documents state.


Eagles accuse Jerry Jones of tampering while on the Ticket! …

Click here for the audio
Mavs try to make plans without Josh Howard for a while

Stackhouse is eager to return, but the Mavericks want to make sure his right knee is free from swelling before he makes his season debut. Doug Christie was waived last week, further weakening the depth at shooting guard and small forward.

"We're pretty light in that position without Stackhouse and with the Christie situation," Nowitzki said. "Obviously, I'm concerned. But what are you going to do? We've never seen him hurt. So we'll have to respond."

Coach Avery Johnson has several options for altering the playing rotation. He has had success with small guards Jason Terry and Devin Harris on the floor at the same time and could move Marquis Daniels to Howard's small forward spot.

Or he could slide Keith Van Horn into the lineup, with Nowitzki moving to small forward for a bigger look.


Jere Lehtinen is back with a vengeance

Lehtinen has points in five of the past six games, including four goals and two assists. He scored the first goal Saturday night in a 3-1 victory at Nashville and continues to lead the Stars with 12 goals this season.

Though scoring is up throughout the league, it's hard not to notice the 32-year-old Lehtinen's resurgence this year. With three game-winning goals in only 23 games, he is one shy of his total from 2003-04. And the winger needs only one more goal to reach 13, his total in 58 games that season.


Another week, another new and exciting way to get a loss Eagles 19, Packers 14 …And yes, I still care…

Coakley not having a blast in St Louis

"It's very frustrating when you're not on the field and you feel as though you could help," Coakley said. "When you're standing on the sideline, that's not the place you want to be. If you have an ounce of competitiveness in your spirit, in your bones, you want to be out there on the field competing with the guys.

"So, it gets tough at times. ... But I can't worry about what the coaches are doing. If I try to focus on what they're doing, then I'm not focused on playing football. I'm not going to get caught up in, why this guy or that guy is not playing. When you do play, just go out there and make plays."

A nice feature on the new Rangers GM …save for this very concerning quote:

Nevertheless, Daniels stressed at the GMs' meetings, "We're not the Yankees. We're not the Mets. We're not the Red Sox. We are a mid-to-lower-third-tier-payroll team. For us to accomplish our goals, we're going to need to continually be developing our own players.

" ... I don't want to be a team that has one [good] year. I'd love to have success at any point, but I want to be able to have success and sustain it for the long term."

Mid to lower third payroll team? The “lower third” constitutes teams 21-30 in major league baseball. DFW is media market #6. You do the math.

Here is some weekend +/- numbers for the Mavericks thanks to Mike Bacsik:

Memphis vs Dallas Loss Game 12

Terry -12, Daniels 0, Howard -4, Nowitzki -7, Dampier -7
Harris -24, Van Horn -16, Diop +1, Powell -16, Armstrong -5, Marshall -5, Mbenga -5

Dallas vs Miami Game 11

Terry +5, Daniels +23, Howard +12, Nowitzki +1, Dampier +2
Harris +9, Diop +7, Van Horn +5, Powell +1

Leia’s metal …I swear.

Friday, November 25, 2005


If only Efren Herrera was here to save us from our kicking spareness.

The Cowboys let a painful one get away. It is an interesting study in how to feel about a tough loss when you consider that there were plenty of good things to pull from the contest:

- They went toe to toe with one of the very best teams in the NFL, and for a good portion of the game looked to be the better team, and should have won.
- The Defense made it difficult on a very efficient Denver offense all day.
- Roy Williams is making game-changing plays routinely now (good ones).
- Jason Witten appeared almost unstoppable.
- Losing to Denver doesn’t hurt you much at all. AFC opponents don’t affect tiebreakers. Division showdowns next Sunday do.

Of course, we can also consider plenty of disappointing things from Thanksgiving Day:

- Julius Jones just doesn’t look like anything resembling “game breaking”.
- Billy Cundiff is still a very average to below-average kicker, and despite kicking a 56 yarder last week which gained a moment of love, has consistently been inconsistent since the day he arrived in Dallas.
- The offensive line’s play is very, very concerning both protecting its QB and running the football.
- A golden chance to perhaps have the division lead all by yourself by Sunday is missed. This is a game that you let get away.

I am not too worried about this result. But, there are things I am worried about. 5 games to go, and a huge showdown next Sunday in Giants Stadium.

Golden Opportunities escape the Cowboys

The Cowboys missed two opportunities to win in regulation.

Cornerback Terence Newman, who had an interception and recovered a fumble, dropped an interception at the Denver 25 with 12:23 left in regulation that he probably would've returned for the go-ahead touchdown. After forcing a punt on that possession, the Cowboys drove from their 45 to the Denver 15.

But kicker Billy Cundiff missed a 34-yard field goal wide left with 7:42 left that would've given Dallas a three-point lead. Before that kick, Cundiff had made 36 of 39 career attempts (92.3 percent) inside 40 yards.

The Cowboys re-signed him six days ago for games just like this. He made a 56-yard field goal last week that propelled Dallas to a 20-7 win over Detroit.

This time, Cundiff didn't come through.

Broncos OL makes another hero

When the Broncos defeated the Cowboys 24-21 in front of a national Thanksgiving Day televised audience and a boisterous, sellout crowd at Texas Stadium, the real hero was not Dayne for that 55-yard jaunt that set up a game-winning field goal by Jason Elam.

It was those guys blocking in front of him.

"How about giving Matt Lepsis some love?" Plummer said at his locker before his postgame news conference. "That guy's been unbelievable, but just because those guys don't talk to the media, no one writes about him. He tears up guys every week. We ran that last play right behind him."

Right down Highway 78. Meaning no disrespect to Dayne, who was given the All-Iron Award by CBS broadcaster Phil Simms after the game, or to Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell, who generally have carried the Broncos' ground game this season.

Nor is this meant to diminish the talents of Reuben Droughns, Clinton Portis, Olandis Gary and even Terrell Davis. But how many tailback stars do the Broncos have to create, seemingly upon a moment's notice, before people realize this incredible running attack is not about the runners but the blockers?

Ekuban proud to see the Tuna fail

While teammates celebrated, Ekuban stared across the field so he could revel in the pain disfiguring the face of Cowboys coach Bill Parcells.

"I saw frustration, I saw a ticked-off coach, and that's bigger than anything, better than anything I've felt during my seven years in the NFL," said Ekuban, looking for vengeance against Parcells ever since being released by Dallas two years ago.

"I wanted this one bad. To see the look on Bill Parcells' face when he was walking off the field, that's all the Thanksgiving I need. I don't need no turkey tonight."

Cundiff continues to be a spare; but will he continue to have a job?

With reporters lined up four- deep around him Thursday, Cundiff summed up the tenuous job status of an NFL kicker.

"I've been around long enough to know if you see me on Sunday, then you'll see me on Sunday," he said.

"Until then, hopefully I'll be in practice.

"They go off how you do in the game, and I didn't do well in the game. So hopefully I'll get another chance."

Horns and Aggies talk up the showdown

Understandably, A&M coach Dennis Franchione is playing the anything-is-possible card, reflecting on past upsets in a rivalry loaded with them.

Franchione even had Jacob Green, a former A&M defensive end, talk to current Aggies about the 1979 game, when a 5-5 A&M team stunned No. 6 Texas 13-7 and knocked the Longhorns out of a Sugar Bowl matchup against Alabama, the eventual national champion.

The last time Texas arrived in College Station with a guaranteed berth in the Big 12 championship game, in 1999, the Longhorns lost 20-16. Likewise, the last time A&M took the field with a South Division title assured, the Aggies fell 26-24 in 1998.

Texas defensive tackle Rod Wright predicted the "mental thing" will work today for the Longhorns, just like it used to work against them when facing the Sooners.

"This game, for us, is a different kind of swagger," Wright said. "You feel like, 'We've beat these guys for five years. We own them.' It's all on us, just like it is every week. If Texas plays Texas football, we'll win our sixth in a row."

Mooch fired by Lions today?

The Lions are 15-28 since 2003 under Mariucci, including a 4-7 record this year, a year that began with high hopes in the organization. Thursday's loss dropped Detroit 3½ games behind NFC North-leading Chicago, and 1½ behind second-place Minnesota.

"I take the responsibility, because I'm the head coach, and I should," Mariucci told the Free Press. "And that's what makes it a little bit frustrating, because where do you start? You identify where we need to be better, and there's a multitude of things."

You heard it here first (and I say this as a prediction, not as my desire): Steve Mariucci will be hired in Green Bay within the next 3 months. And by the way, how does Matt Millen survive AGAIN?

Delgado to Mets not without some complications

George Best passes away

So does Mr. Miyagi. R.I.P. ...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Cowboys-Broncos Thread

Happy Thanksgiving.

Talk Sports below.

I say Cowboys win, barely.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Cornucopia O' Sports

ESPN’s NFL Countdown is pretty good. I don’t watch pre-game shows, for many reasons, but if I did, that show is my default choice. They are also pretty good at free publicity by getting people to discuss their show for sensational reasons like Michael Irvin being a public shill for Terrell Owens, or Rush Limbaugh claiming McNabb is only highly thought of because he is black.

Well, evidently, they are at it again. This time, the docile Steve Young has angered Chris Simms’ daddy, Phil:

Young landed on Simms's son Chris, questioning whether Chris had the "mental toughness" to handle the "information overload" thrown at a starting quarterback. Young suggested this is because Chris Simms grew up in a "laissez-faire atmosphere."

Those are harsh words, since they seem to imply Chris Simms is: a) dumb and b) soft because c) he's a rich kid who d) didn't have to work for anything.

Phil Simms shot back at Young: "Come to my house, and we'll see how laissez-faire it is." (Attention Adam Smith fans: We have now set the record for laissez-faire references in a sports story.)

Then Simms warned Young: "You can say whatever you want about my son. The one thing that will get me mad -- and I'll stand in your face about it -- is toughness."


Keyshawn evaluates the Broncos

The Dallas Cowboys' well- hyped, short-yardage receiver was explaining why he thought the Broncos were either the best or second-best team in the NFL, along with the undefeated Indianapolis Colts.

"Depending on where the Broncos would play," Johnson said. "If they're playing in Denver, I would give them the edge. And if they're playing in Indy, then I would give Indy the edge."

He went on to explain the Broncos are tops because of how coach Mike Shanahan built his roster, consistency in their running game and their top receiver, Rod Smith.
Johnson then delivered a backhanded compliment to Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer.
"I like the fact that (Shanahan) has Jake Plummer on a leash," Johnson said. "He can pretty much control him and not allow him to make the mistakes he's made in the past."

Even the stars are struggling to understand Plummer's streak of eight games and 219 passes without an interception. One explanation is that in the past eight games, the Broncos held leads of at least 13 points.

It probably is no coincidence Plummer's three interceptions came when the Broncos were losing. Two came in the fourth quarter against Miami in the season opener and the other came in the third quarter of the second game, when the Broncos were trailing San Diego by four.

Scott tipped me off to this out of the Florida papers about Blalock

Monday afternoon the Marlins informed the Rangers they were no longer in the Beckett sweepstakes. The Rangers, who were dangling two-time All-Star Hank Blalock and one of two minor league pitchers who were former first-round draft picks, the Marlins had off-field concerns about Blalock.

I do not mind filling in the blanks here, as the RUMORS indicate that there are some level of alcohol concerns with Hank going around. Are they true? Perhaps, or perhaps not. But since so many people are asking me if I have heard these rumors, I am not going to hide it from you. I have heard them. I have no idea if they are well founded, and further, I do not know what “alcohol concerns” means specifically. And, let’s not forget the rumors making the rounds a decade ago about Troy Aikman’s sexual preferences, before we get carried away with the idea here.

Mavs beat Rockets …I realize that no T-Mac means very little fun last night, but I did want to see Stromile Swift again, just to make sure that I didn’t completely miss the boat on him, too (see: Memhet Okur). But, despite all of the NBA blowhards telling me the Rockets got Swift and therefore the final piece of the puzzle, Swift is still really spare. He is the same underachieving LSU big man-who went in the lottery- and now is still a major tease. Luther Head’s got plenty of game. Combine that with Deron Williams in Utah, and that Illinois squad is looking pretty solid.

To the shock and amazement of nobody, The Doug Christie era in Dallas may be over

Owner Mark Cuban said Christie is evaluating his options after having his surgically repaired left ankle re-examined by his doctor in Seattle. Retirement appears to be increasingly likely for Christie.

The Mavericks expect to know something concrete within the next couple of days.

I’ll never forget those 7 games and 26 points he scored here.

Thankfully, Marquis Daniels is playing acceptable basketball again, making me wonder if Daniels + Stackhouse still might be plenty enough to get you by at that spot…Provided Stackhouse is healthy at some point of the season.

Jiri Fischer doing well

But his hockey career is in doubt

In general, when a professional athlete drops in the field of play, it's sometimes because of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, said Dr. Hakan Oral, a University of Michigan cardiologist. It's a genetic condition that results in a thickened heart muscle, which is vulnerable to potentially fatal electrical disturbances, particularly during competitive sports.

Former Boston Celtics star Reggie Lewis and Loyola Marymount player Hank Gathers died from complications of this condition.

``Seizures occur due to the interruption of blood flow to the brain during these episodes,'' said Oral, also an electrophysiologist at U-M's Cardiovascular Center.
Among other potential causes are electrical disturbances in the heart itself and rhythm issues caused by an extra nerve fiber between the upper and lower chambers, Oral said.

``These are rare conditions,'' he said.

Until studies are finished, doctors won't know when, or if, Fischer can return.

I received this email from a p1 who was at the game; Here is his report:

Hi Bob,
I'm a huge fan of BadRadio and a hockey fan as well. I saw your post on Fischer's collapse on Monday night and thought I might email you, since I was at the game.

I happened to be in Detroit on business, having landed at about 5 PM. I had appointments the next day at a large bank there, but as a sports fan I try to go experience the local flavor when I can. Typically that means a baseball game, but I'm now working on my hockey "collection." Monday that meant Joe Louis Arena, the Yankee Stadium of Hockey (I've now seen hockey in only three places: Dallas, MSG, and Detroit).

AT first I assumed an asst coach had suffered a heart attack, but after a few minutes someone nearby had phoned a friend watching the game and heard a puck hit Fischer in the throat (wrong, of course). The crowd took the whole thing in stride. Maybe it's the more working-class nature of the crowd or something else, but everyone seemed pretty unfazed by the whole scene. I was a little unnerved by the response of certain players. Chris Draper and a couple of others were
very demonstrative in their efforts to 1) get some medical help (took about 5 minutes to get a defribillator to the bench, to his obvious dismay. He and others kept skating over to an exit area, screaming and waving their arms); and 2) get Jiri's wife to his side. Several minutes in she showed up at the same exit area and two players literally grabbed an arm, picked her up, and skated her as fast as possible to the bench area. The urgency with which they moved was a little disconcerting. It took a good hour after that before they finally told us the game
was off. Thankfully Jiri's fine, of course.

I am not a Dallas hater. In fact, I think we have things pretty good around here. I know plenty of self-hating dallasites, though, who complain about the fans here, that we're not a good sports/hockey town, etc. Two observations about my experiences at MSG/The Joe vs. AAC: 1) TheJoe and MSG are barns, compared to the AAC. Obviously, they both have the disadvantage of being built many, many years before AAC, but the fact remains that as I circled the Joe, looking for a lace to get some decent food I saw tons of hockey history in the form of photos and memorabilia surrounded by Little Ceasar's pizza (interestingly not any better at the source than here in D) and generic hot dog/sausage stands. And their version of a bar is a counter with a couple of whiskey bottles and a Budweiser tap. Otherwise, lots of concrete and mustaches (not just on the men). 2) Lots of empty seats. Of course, it was the Predators on a Monday night, but the percentage of empty seats rivaled anything I've ever seen at the AAC. While the fans are more knowledgeable about the sport, it's not as if they were appreciably rowdier. I was amazed at the low level of crowd noise for many of those first 12 1/2 minutes. (MSG was different; they actually had coordinated cheers to yell out that the opposing team's color analyst sucked [apparently he'd beaten them years ago with a shot that still hurt]). Bottom line? Yeah the experience felt a little more hard-core/authentic at The Joe, but I'm more than happy seeing my hockey right here in The D.


Crosby versus Ovechkin Round 1

Crosby leads NHL rookies with 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) in 22 games and is on a pace to match Lemieux's 100-point rookie season in 1984-85, while Ovechkin has 22 points (15 goals, seven assists) in 21 games.

For comparison's sake, Crosby's scoring pace is higher than that of Martin St. Louis, who won the 2004 scoring championship for Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay with 94 points in 82 games. Ovechkin's is close to it.

27 points in 22 games means one thing: Sidney Crosby is worthy of the hype. If you did not see the game, at least watch the Sportscenter highlights this morning. Crosby and Ovechkin are beyond special talents.

Baseball Analysts look at the Beckett trade

Sports Guy goes nuts over trade …and makes a very astute observation about prospects in baseball:

Still, those Bagwell/Andersen disasters are the exception, not the rule -- it's much harder to project the fates of minor-league prospects than you might think. For instance, the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo ran a column in August of 1990 which featured the following quote from a National League scout: "Boston's got good depth. They're sneaking into the top 10 pitching organizations in baseball. As far as lefties go, they're as good as anyone."

Well, here were the top-10 pitchers in Boston's system (according to Cafardo's article): Dave Owen ("he's chunky but tough"); Derek Livernois ("a young Mike Boddicker"); Josias Manzanillo; Kevin Morton; Paul Quantrill; Scott Taylor; Jeff Plympton; Brian Conroy; Tom Fischer; Eric Hetzel. And just for kicks, the No. 1 positional prospect (ahead of Bagwell and Mo Vaughn) was an outfielder named Greg Blosser, about whom Cafardo wrote, "The mouths drop when people see him." Out of those 11 players, the only guy who had anything remotely resembling a career was Quantrill, a half-decent reliever who bounced around both leagues for 14 seasons. Nobody else made it.

And that wasn't the only year like that. Check out these Red Sox-related quotes from Peter Gammons in the Boston Globe:

January, 1991: "It may well be that 40 years from now, the players remembered most from the early '90s will be Roger Clemens, Ellis Burks, Jody Reed, Mo Vaughn, Jeff McNeely and Eric Wedge."

October, 1991: "Adds Twins coach Terry Crowley, 'There's no question that Jeff Bagwell, Mo Vaughn and Phil Plantier can be terrific major leaguers for years, but if his back comes around, I still believe the best player of all those guys will be Tim Naehring. He has that rare fire.'"

March, 1994: "It has been a good spring for the Red Sox future, with Greg Blosser's encouraging adjustments to utilize his power, Jeff McNeely starting to define his game, Luis Ortiz' response to Frank Malzone and the eye-opening performance of Frankie Rodriguez last weekend."

Sorry, Boys; Danica Patrick is off the market

The 23-year-old driver, who finished fourth in the Indy 500, and physical therapist Paul Hospenthal, 40, were married Saturday in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Team spokesman Brent Maurer said Patrick has asked Rahal Letterman Racing to release virtually no information on the ceremony. Maurer could only confirm Tuesday that Patrick was married and that car owner Bobby Rahal was there.

Celebrate the Holiday with classic Mike Tyson quotes

Don't count on a Thanksgiving morning blog. Not saying it won't happen, just don't count on it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Good Morning to Texas. You still have no pitching. Back to the drawing board after the Red Sox swooped in and grabbed Josh Beckett. Is it better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all?

Revo gives A for Effort

Yes, sadly, the Rangers came up short Monday in their effort to land Josh Beckett from the Florida Marlins, who rather stupidly elected to take a lesser deal from the Boston Red Sox because the Marlins didn't want to pick up even Hank Blalock's modest contract.

Disappointment at the corner of Ballpark Way and Randol Mill was palpable, and it should be.

This was the kind of deal the Rangers have been needing to make for years, perhaps even a once-in-a-decade-or-two opportunity. That it fell through left new general manager Jon Daniels almost literally sick to his stomach.

But for those of us who have been begging the Rangers to become more aggressive in acquiring pitching on the trade market, even this failed effort signaled that there's a new sheriff in town, and he's pulling no punches.

"This was a tough negotiation that we played strong in from the beginning," Daniels said in a conference call late Monday afternoon to announce that the Marlins were going in another direction. "Our goal from Day 1 was to do whatever it takes to obtain a No. 1 pitcher.

"That was our No. 1 priority, and it still is."

Makes you feel like standing and cheering, doesn't it? Imagine how we'll feel if the Rangers manage to actually land a decent pitcher someday.

Evan Grant on Daniels losing out on first stare-down

"The longer it went, after we were willing to meet their asking price, the more we thought another club would be involved," he said. "I don't think I was surprised when I heard from them."

Daniels downplayed the possibility that the Marlins might have made the deal if the Rangers had included the pitching prospect earlier in the process. This would have been Daniels' first deal as Rangers GM. He took over in October for John Hart.

"You can certainly play the 'what if' game and the decision-making process, I'll look back on," Daniels said. "But I think it was clear that the Marlins were looking to maximize their gain in exchange for two very good players."

T.R. Sullivan

Jiri Fischer collapses during game

Everything stopped in Joe Louis Arena on a surreal Monday night, the night Jiri Fischer's heart stopped. The Red Wings' defenseman was in stable condition later Monday at Detroit Receiving Hospital. Team officials said he was awake, responsive and in good spirits while greeting teammates, as he recovered from what was called a seizure.

There was no more hockey on this night, surely one of the scariest in NHL history, absolutely the scariest night the Wings could ever remember. The Detroit-Nashville game was stopped in the first period, to be resumed later, a decision that didn't even need to be debated. All involved needed time to compose themselves, and figure out what they saw.

Jiri Fischer video …Very concerning…

Texas with furious comeback beats West Virginia

We all know Dallas has the best resume of any NFL team since the birth of the Super Bowl, right? Here is a few “I’ll be darned” items in the wrong direction.

During Sunday’s Cowboys-Lions pregame show, Mickey Spagnola suggested that the Lions had just one playoff win since 1957. That reminded me of the one win they had, when they steamrolled the very young, very talented, but not ready-for-primetime Dallas Cowboys in 1991 in the Silverdome, 38-6. The Lions are 1-9 in the playoffs since the 1960, with their one win being against maybe the greatest group of players in this NFL generation.

What other team holds that odd distinction of stinking, and yet rising up once against the Boys?

That’s right Cardinals fans. The Arizona Cardinals (formerly of St Louis and Chicago) have exactly one playoff win since 1947: Texas Stadium in 1998.

Honorable mention: Carolina Panthers, who once had only 2 playoff wins – both against America’s team. Of course, they now have 4 (Rams and Eagles, too).

What says vintage cold weather football like not running the ball and not stopping the run? Packers lose AGAIN

Thus, the Vikings swept Green Bay for the first time since 1998 and improved to 5-5, still within hailing distance of NFC North Division leader Chicago (7-3).

The Packers saw whatever dim hopes they might have had to claim the division title for the fourth straight year all but extinguished.

As it stands now, the Packers are one of four National Football League teams mired at 2-8. Houston is the only team worse at 1-9.

Limited to 48 yards rushing at halftime, the Vikings pounded away for 112 in the second half to finish with 160.

Meanwhile, the Packers had to settle for 21 yards on the ground as neither Samkon Gado nor Tony Fisher found any room to operate behind an offensive line that was clearly whipped at the point of attack by the Vikings' stout front seven.

meet Edward G. Hochuli

Rockets here tonight …I must tell you, there slow start is surely a surprise. Especially when everyone assured me they were going to be better than the Mavericks. It is still early, but they look like they have no guards again…Who thought Bob Sura was so valuable?

But as the Rockets return to American Airlines Center tonight for the first time since they were whipped more thoroughly than any team has ever been whipped in Game 7 of a playoff series, they face more than the rolling Mavericks.

Staggering since the 116-76 drubbing, the Rockets bring the worst record in the Western Conference to Dallas as the worst-scoring team in the NBA.

And there are indications that a shakeup might be needed.

With no backcourt player making better than 40 percent of his shots, the Rockets have begun to wonder whether their time has come and gone.

Mike Bascik turned in these +/- numbers for Game 4:

Game 4 Loss Mavs vs. 76ers

Terry +13, Christie -9, Howard -14, Nowitzki +9, Dampier + 5
Daniels -16, Van Horn -24, Harris -16, Diop -16, Armstrong -7

I would type some thoughts about UFC 56, but I would rather just show you.

I give it a very solid review. I don’t want my $35 back.

And, finally this email:

What next for the Rangers? I hear they may hold a wednesday press conference naming Hank Blalock as their captain. --Mike B.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Week 10 Stats

Week 10 Turnovers
Jax +3, Ind -2, Det +1, NE E, Minn +4, Chi -2, Buf +2, Den +1, Car +4, Sea E, TB +2, GB +2, Pitt +2, Dal E

Week 10 totals 9-2-3
Season Totals 89-28-27 76%

Records for teams that finish:

+5 = 8-0 100%
+4 = 10-0 100%
+3 = 12-1 92%
+2 = 23-8 74%
+1 = 36-19 65%

Dallas’ results:

W - SD +1
L - Was +2
W - SF E
L - Oak -1
W - Phi -1
L – Sea +1
W – Arz +1
W – Phi E

Cowboys + = 2-2
Cowboys E = 3-0
Cowboys - = 1-1

Week 10 100 yard rushers
Jax W, Ind W, Chi W, KC L, Sea W, Wash L, GB W,

Week 10 record for teams with 100 yard rushers: 5-2
Season total: 61-13 82%

Amazing what you can get done during commercials of a Packers whip.

Week 9 Stats

Week 9 Turnovers
Atl -1, KC E, Jax +1, Cle -1, Cin E, Car +4, SD -2, Min +2, NYG +1, Sea +4, Chi +1, Pit +2, Wash E, Ind +1

Week 9 totals 8-3-3
Season Totals 80-26-24 75%

Records for teams that finish:

+5 = 8-0 100%
+4 = 8-0 100%
+3 = 11-1 92%
+2 = 19-6 76%
+1 = 34-19 64%

Dallas’ results:

W - SD +1
L - Was +2
W - SF E
L - Oak -1
W - Phi -1
L – Sea +1
W – Arz +1

Cowboys + = 2-2
Cowboys E = 2-0
Cowboys - = 1-1

Week 9 100 yard rushers
KC W, CLE W, SD W, Min W, Sea W, NO L, Ind W

Week 9 record for teams with 100 yard rushers: 6-1 86%
Season total: 56-11 84%

Week 8 stats

I realize week 8 was a while ago. But, better late than never, right? I am trying to catch up, allright?

Turnover numbers

Week 8 Turnovers (winners listed with turnover margin)
Hou +1, Chi E, Dal +1, Cin +4, Car E, Oak +1, St L -1, NYG +3, SD -1, Mia E, SF +3, Den +2, NE E, Pitt +1

Week 8 totals 8-2-4
Season Totals 72-23-21 76%

Records for teams that finish:

+5 = 8-0 100%
+4 = 6-0 100%
+3 = 11-1 92%
+2 = 17-5 77%
+1 = 30-17 64%

Dallas’ results:

W - SD +1
L - Was +2
W - SF E
L - Oak -1
W - Phi -1
L – Sea +1
W – Arz +1

Cowboys + = 2-2
Cowboys E = 2-0
Cowboys - = 1-1

Week 8 100 yard rushers
Dal W, Jax L, StL W, NYG W, Mia W, SF W, Den W, Den W, Buf L,

Week 8 record for teams with 100 yard rushers: 7-2 78%
Season total: 50-10 83%

Week 9 soon to follow.

Another Successful Sports Weekend

Last week, the Cowboys played at a very low level for most the game and still won.

This week, Drew Bledsoe, who had been a main reason this team was in a position to win the division, played easily his worst game of the season. And the Cowboys still won.

Face it. This team is pretty good.

In fairness to Bledsoe, if that was your worst game of the season, a game in which you didn’t throw an interception, you must be having quite a season. He is. But yesterday, he was throwing balls behind receivers, bouncing balls to receivers, and just flat out missing anything that resembles accuracy in his game.

But they didn’t need him like they will on Thanksgiving Day.

The Cowboys won yesterday based on two things: A solid running performance and another effort from the defense that held the opposition to very little.

The defense is the reason this team is so dangerous. They just don’t seem to get beat very much anymore. Since losing to Oakland on October 2nd, the Cowboys have played 6 games. During that stretch they have given up 76 points total; basically, 12 points a game. You combine that to an offense that has shown what it is capable of, and you can understand the optimistic feelings around here for the first time in a long time.

This game was easily one of the more difficult games to watch. The Lions have very little again this year (almost 50 years in a row now) and the Cowboys knew that the only way they lose is if they give it away. But, they did not.

Denver awaits on Thursday. They are 8-2 and will not be a pushover.

Cowboys appear to be for real

Although he has made it a point not to publicly discuss his expectations regarding the 2005 Cowboys, Parcells didn't complain about wins in 2003 because this franchise had just suffered through three consecutive 5-11 seasons. And he didn't complain about wins last season because they were few and far between.

He complained Sunday because the Cowboys surpassed last season's win total on a day when they didn't come close to playing their best football.

He trusts quarterback Drew Bledsoe and likes the combination of Jones and Marion Barber (53 yards and two touchdowns). The defense ranks among the best in the league, and the NFC does not have a dominant team.

Clearly, Parcells thinks this team is a contender.

"It's just me. It's not them. My standard is different," Parcells said. "I want them to play up to my standard."

Lions lack of discipline cost them a chance

The Lions couldn't match up with the Cowboys, but they helped beat themselves with 17 penalties for 129 yards. Seven penalties gave the Cowboys first downs.

"It's hard to beat them when we beat ourselves at the same time," linebacker Donte Curry said.

There was nothing fancy or particularly dramatic in the way the Cowboys attacked the Lions. They used a conservative offense, knowing the Lions' offense has trouble moving the football, and kept mistakes to a minimum.

It was obvious the Cowboys knew they were too good for the Lions. Only the Cowboys could beat the Cowboys -- and they didn't let that happen. They committed only five penalties, and none gave the Lions a first down.

Did you like Charles Rogers yesterday? He will be available this winter:

Charles Rogers is done in Detroit.

Sure, there are still six games left. But Rogers, a former Michigan State receiver who was the second pick overall in the 2003 NFL draft, doesn't appear to have any chance to return to the Lions next season.

Especially since the Lions want their money back from him.

The Lions confirmed a report, by Fox on its pregame show Sunday, that they have filed a grievance with the NFL seeking the return of $10.41 million from Rogers' $14 million signing bonus.

According to the report, a clause in Rogers' contract permits the forfeiture of money for a violation of the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

Beckett deal done??

There is a possibility that the deal could be resolved today, although it's likely that Beckett would have to pass a physical before any trade becomes official.

The main focus of the trade continues to be the Rangers acquiring Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell for third baseman Hank Blalock and young pitching.

The Rangers had been reluctant to give up Danks or Diamond. But, realizing this could be their best chance at a No. 1 starter, they told the Marlins on Sunday they were willing to include one.

Rangers officials also made it clear this was the best offer they're going to make. One problem is Florida owner Jeffrey Loria is traveling in Italy and has to sign off on any deal.

The Red Sox were offering minor league shortstop Hanley Ramirez and a pitcher, but the Rangers felt they had the better offer. If the Red Sox, who are still without a general manager, increase their offer, that could leave the Rangers empty-handed.

By the way, I think this is a trade you must do. It is nearly impossible to get a 25 year old front-of-the-rotation guy to Arlington, and frankly, I began losing faith in Hammering Hank about a year ago.

Take a look at Beckett’s numbers : The ERA is wonderful, and that proves that his stuff is dominating (also a World Series MVP is not a bad thing, either). But two things. #1) If you think he is a 20 game winner, you need to check his win totals his four years in Flordia’s rotation:

2002 = 6, 2003 = 9, 2004 = 9, 2005 = 15

That is the right direction, but one 10+ win season requires one to “tap the breaks” on 20 wins.

And #2) despite what I heard this weekend on my station, the premise that he is a 200 inning horse is also an optimistic appraisal of his first four full seasons:

2002 = 107, 2003 = 142, 2004 = 156, 2005 = 178

He has had chronic blister issues, which are certainly not a high level concern, but they are a decent clue as to why he averages about 25 starts and not the 33-35 that a horse makes.

All that being said, you must still do this deal. Cross your fingers that the Red Sox don’t screw up this deal.

Jimmy Burch On the controversy in Lubbock

Three plays in the final 27 seconds of the Texas Tech-Oklahoma game went to the replay booth, all of them with game-deciding implications and bowl ramifications riding on the verdicts.

When it was over, the winning coach -- Tech's Mike Leach -- said he departed Jones SBC Stadium after a 23-21 victory with "mixed feelings" about the value of the replay system. In the losing locker room, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops hailed the fact that replay made a gut-wrenching loss easier to stomach.

"I feel better knowing there is a system in place [where controversial plays] are all looked at and you are going to get the correct call," Stoops said.

Not necessarily. Yes, the close calls will be reviewed. And one egregious error --
an on-field touchdown call while Tech receiver Joel Filani bobbled the ball -- was corrected with nine seconds remaining Saturday.

But determining the correct call in every situation comes down to having officials positioned properly on the field, with videotape replays from enough different camera angles to provide conclusive evidence.

Personally, I was amazed at the final 30 seconds on Saturday. Were it high school football, we would no doubt be talking about the fact that the umpire was an uncle of the Tech RB and that the head linesman lives in Lubbock, and all of the other favorite “home cooking” conspiracies. How that referee could blow that Filani catch that bad was shocking. Also, the spot of the ball on that 4th down was generous to say the least.

I picked the Red Raiders to win this game, but there is something that feels dirty about that outcome on Saturday. Nevertheless, Tech has earned a Cotton Bowl berth, and for that they should be congratulated.

NFL Network dude thinks Cowboys will get T.O.

Amphetamines and the Texas Rangers

In fact, one player (who is not named in the report) told federal investigators that the illicit use of speed is "part of the baseball world." The athlete added that he even steered clear of clubhouse coffee for fear that teammates had spiked it with amphetamines. "I can guarantee you there has [sic] been players, when a team is struggling or a team is going through a bad streak, they will spike the coffee," the player told House officials. Dan Wheat, a former Texas Rangers head trainer, told probers that the use of speed was "prevalent" among big leaguers and he considered it a bigger problem than steroids. The report quotes Wheat recalling how he once asked a player, "Of the nine players on the field, how many took greenies today?" Wheat said that the athlete responded, "eight."

Hopefully, you are familiar with our intern, MLB Pitcher Mike Bacsik …Well, he is a huge Mavericks fan, and this year he has been given the enormous responsibility of tabulating the +/- numbers of the individual Mavs. Hopefully, you understand +/- (if you don’t, it is basically the score while you are playing). So here are his numbers so far as he attempts to play catch up.

Game 1 Win Mavs vs. Suns
Terry +14, Christie -1, Howard +8, Nowitzki +5, Dampier -2

Harris -15, Van Horn +9, Diop -3, Daniels -14, Armstrong +14

Game 2 Loss Mavs vs Jazz
Terry -13, Christie -16, Howard -16, Nowitzki -15, Dampier -14

Daniels +5, Van Horn -2, Diop +12, Harris +4 Armstrong 0

Game 3 Win Spurs vs. Mavs
Terry 0, Christie +18, Howard +14, Nowitzki +32, Dampier +3

Daniels +9, Harris +19, Van Horn +7, Diop -7

Game 8 Win Hawks vs. Mavs
Terry +4, Daniels +12, Howard +12, Nowitzki +4, Dampier -1

Van Horn -2, Harris +4, Diop +12

Danny Devito to soil solid new show

Danny DeVito will co-star in FX’s It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia next season, the network said Wednesday.
The series’ second season is set for a June debut.
FX president and general manager John Landgraf was partner and president of DeVito’s Jersey Television prior to joining the cable network.
“Danny is one the funniest and most acclaimed actors in the business, and his decision to join the cast of cast of Sunny is a tremendous boost for the series,” Landgraf said in a prepared statement. “Danny’s return to regular series television in Sunny speaks volumes about the quality of the show and the talents of the creative team behind it.”

Fun with Hockey Players Opinions:

I enjoyed my weekend hockey reading this morning, but thought I would make sure this blog’s readers saw that two of the greatest hockey players of our generation apparently don’t see “My NHL” the same way.

Steve Yzerman told the Detroit Free Press:

"Everybody keeps saying this is great. It's not great," Yzerman told the Free Press. "It's not hockey."
"There are penalties all over," he told the newspaper. "I'll just use Mathieu Schneider's penalty as an example. He steps up and takes his guy out, and his stick gets caught and the crowd cheers so the referee puts his hand up. There has to be some discretion. The referees have to use some judgment on what is a penalty and what is not. They've taken judgment out of it and I think it's somewhat made it easy on the referees just to call anything, because there is no judgment.
"Good referees used to have good judgment. Now they've taken that out of the game. I'm not saying I'm blaming the referees for it, I just feel the whole thing has to be adjusted and they have to look at this seriously. They can't continue to call irrelevant things that have no business being called."

Meanwhile, Joe Sakic told this to Eric Duhatschek:

"a lot more fun" playing this year, following the end of the lockout.
"The game is what it was supposed to be a long time ago," said Sakic. "It's the way it was when I first broke in --a lot more flow, a lot more exciting for the fans. We're enjoying ourselves a lot more.
"The most important thing is, we finally corrected it and it's going well and everybody's enjoying it."
There are some who would suggest the game isn't physical enough any more, but Sakic disputes that.
"I still find it physical," he said. "All you're not seeing is the hooking and holding and who wanted to see that anyway? Without the hooking and holding, guys should be able to skate in there a little harder and make the bigger checks. I'm seeing big checks, especially out here in the West. It's intense."

The bottom line remains that this is still a transition process. The hockey appears better, but Yzerman is an awfully big fish to be disavowing what we are watching. It will be interesting to see how many follow him, or Super Joe.

In other news, I saw Paul McCartney last night. I enjoyed it for sure. I would say it was somewhere between very solid and solid. Perhaps the close proximity of his visit to that visit a few weeks ago by U2 have left me thinking I wish these two acts would have come to town in the opposite order so that I might have ended on a high. But, all of that being said, I am now proud to say that I saw McCartney live, and there were several moments I really loved.

To see Hey Jude, Eleanor Rigby and Penny Lane performed in person were wonderful. But I kept catching myself wondering things about Paul rather than just enjoying the show. I realize it is not his fault that I could not focus, but I was wondering several things while sitting there:

Is he the most famous human alive? I figure yes, but Muhammad Ali and Michael Jackson might have something to say about it.

Why does he still tour? I am happy he does, but what is in it for him?

How many times has he had to sing, Hey Jude?

Will he hold his guitar over his head after every song? Yes.

But, again, I am happy I saw him. Good times.

Philpot’s review

UFC 56 minute by minute review ...

I will try to write more about UFC 56 tomorrow, but for now, Rich Franklin is a bad man.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Hot Stove Heats Up

Newberg with a great job this morning on the trade talks ...

Let me haul off and reprint the whole thing and assume Jamey doesn't mind:

The Dallas Morning News has modified last night's story by Todd Wills and Evan Grant, characterizing a trade that would send Hank Blalock and John Danks to Florida for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell no longer as one that will "likely be done by Monday," but instead as one that "could be completed as early as today" but that the Rangers are "wrestling with parting with Danks."

T.R. Sullivan writes in this morning's Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Texas is trying to find a way to consummate the deal without including Danks or Thomas Diamond, presenting a number of alternative scenarios, one of which involved Josh Rupe going instead. The Marlins apparently declined the offer. Sullivan acknowledges that Danks "appears to be the likely one to go" and that the deal "could be completed in the next couple of days," possibly to allow the Rangers to run Beckett through a physical.

But several Florida-based newspapers are reporting this morning that Texas is working on a deal with a third, unidentified team to acquire a pitcher to flip to the Marlins instead of Danks or Diamond. The Palm Beach Post speculates that the separate trade could be as simple as moving Adrian Gonzalez for a pitching prospect who is acceptable to the Marlins.

There is also the possibility, according to the Miami Herald, that Florida, which had planned to move outfielder Miguel Cabrera back to third base, could make Blalock its first baseman if Carlos Delgado is traded, or that the Marlins could even trade Blalock.

The Post adds that Texas and Florida have discussed scenarios that involve center fielder Juan Pierre.

Also, Newsday reports that the Yankees asked Texas about Alfonso Soriano -- with plans to move him to center field -- but were unwilling to trade Robinson Cano and/or Chien-Ming Wang. The Rangers are likely to sit tight with Soriano until Rafael Furcal rebuffs all but one team and signs.

Stay tuned.


Friday, November 18, 2005

Breaking News: Keane leaves ManU

If you don't like soccer, ignore this.

If you do like the world's game, this may rock your world ManU's skipper leaves team ...Is it the end at Old Trafford? First Becks, now Keane? The days of dominance were fun, I am sure. But, this is gutting to those boys.

Now, Cristiano Ronaldo's gay blonde hair roots are in charge.

Friday of Sports

There are only a few college games I care about this weekend, but most of those that I do care about are because of rivalry reasons (Ohio State-Michigan, Virginia-Virginia Tech). But, I am not worried about that. I am wondering what we will see on the turf in Lubbock as Texas Tech welcomes in Oklahoma.

I have no idea what the experts are picking, but I assume they will be thinking that the safe pick is the Sooners. They win big games and their opponent, the Red Raiders, generally fold in the biggest games against their Big 12 South superiors.

But, Not so fast. This sets up perfectly. Tech loses to Oklahoma State. Oklahoma beats the Aggies. One team is feeling great. One team is feeling embarrassed. And let’s not forget the prize. Oklahoma doesn’t want to play in the Cotton Bowl. Texas Tech would be flattered to play there. (Note: Actually, they should both avoid this game since another SEC blowout is on the menu.)

Anyway, I feel pretty good about picking Tech tomorrow. Just a hunch, but give me a rocking home win for Texas Tech.

Battle for the Cotton Bowl is in Lubbock

Texas Tech players are motivated to help coach Mike Leach erase his 0-5 record against Oklahoma's Bob Stoops, his former boss, when the teams meet Saturday in Lubbock in a showdown with Cotton Bowl implications.

"They [the Sooners] have owned Tech in the last five years," quarterback Cody Hodges said. "It's a big challenge for us ... to get a win for coach Leach against his former team."

Leach discounts the theory that OU defends his team better than other opponents because of increased familiarity with his offensive system.

"There is no more legitimacy to that than the fact that everyone else has had trouble with them, too," Leach said. "I am in a long line of people that have struggled with Oklahoma."

Rangers not interested in going to 5 years on Burnett …And I think I am fine with that…

Rangers shift interest to Matt Morris …Now we are talking. I never felt good about Burnett given his price, but it would seem to me that Morris is A) more accomplished and B) I would think somewhat cheaper. I would be very excited to see Morris land here.

Morris, 31, was 14-10 with a 4.11 ERA for St. Louis this year. He missed the 1999 season because of elbow surgery, but, over the past five years, he is 79-45 with a 3.82 ERA.

That ties him for the eighth-most victories by a major league pitcher in that stretch. His 993 2/3 innings over the past five years are 18th among major league pitchers.

The Rangers like him because he is strong, durable and keeps the ball low. Paul Byrd, another free agent, fits that description and is also high on the Rangers' list.

Paul Byrd is known as the “Major League Player that most looks like Kelsey Grammer”.

Owens back in Philadelphia for his hearing today

It is believed that the Eagles were trying to cut some sort of deal with Owens and the NFL players' union in an attempt to keep the case from being ruled upon by Richard Bloch, the arbitrator assigned to the hearing.

Team president Joe Banner was in meetings late Thursday and did not return a phone call last night.

Owens returned to Philadelphia on a Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta, but he granted no interviews and apparently did not return to his home in Moorestown, N.J., the site of his news conference 10 days ago after Eagles coach Andy Reid announced his four-game suspension without pay.

If Owens' case goes to a hearing Friday, it will be argued by lawyers from the players' union and the league.

Richard Berthelsen, the general counsel for the NFL Players Association, has said the union would argue that the Eagles' punishment of their star receiver for conduct detrimental to the team was excessive.

Berthelsen said the offense has a four-game suspension limit and the Eagles have said that they plan to deactivate Owens during the final five games of the season, which the union will argue deprives the receiver a chance at earning incentives and a trip to the Pro Bowl.

Sources with the Eagles have said that the money in this dispute does not matter to the team as much as ridding it of the headaches the controversial receiver has caused. Owens stands to lose $823,529 if Bloch rules against him. The Eagles have also maintained that they are entitled to $1.8 million of the receiver's $9 million signing bonus from last year because they believe Owens violated his contract terms when he failed to show up at a mandatory post-draft camp in the spring.

With more than $2.6 million at stake, the Eagles could dangle that money in front of Owens in the hope that he would agree to end his dispute and cut ties with the team.

Detroit News does a feature on Drew Bledsoe

"I have some guys around me that are really playing well, and my guys up front are giving me good time to throw the ball," Bledsoe said in a conference-call interview. "I've had room in front of me so that I can step into most of my throws, and when I do that, I am fairly accurate."

"Fairly accurate" is an understatement. Bledsoe has completed 64.6 percent of his passes with 14 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a passer rating of 96.8. He and Marc Bulger of the Rams are the only NFC quarterbacks with a rating higher than 90.

Bledsoe's throwing ability never has been in doubt, but he is more of a drop-back passer than a scrambler. He has been sacked 22 times this season.

The Canadian Press looks at the Stars resurgence

The Stars, meanwhile, are improving on the power play, which is the way to succeed in the new NHL. They've scored at least one power-play goal in 10 straight games, although they still sit only 19th overall with the man advantage after a slow start this season.

"That's one area we'd love to improve on to win a few more games and maybe get up in games by a few more goals," Arnott said.

The Stars have also tightened up defensively, giving up only 13 goals in the last
seven games for a 1.86 average.

Goalie Marty Turco is a major reason for that with his stellar play as he has rebounded after a slow start of his own this season.

Heika tackles the attendance issue in hockey

1 Race Left; It is Smoke’s Cup to lose in Florida

The 10-race Chase for the Championship, in its second year, started with 10 drivers and is down to the final four. Stewart leads Jimmie Johnson by 52 points, Carl Edwards by 87 and Greg Biffle by 102.

Stewart is guaranteed the title, which comes with a bonus of more than $5 million, if he finishes ninth or better at the Ford 400.

Four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon said even under the best circumstances the first time around is always tough.

''You feel extreme amount of pressure from the competition, from the media, from every direction,'' Gordon said. ``And it's hard to handle that. I think the second time around is always sweeter and I think he's doing a fantastic job with it.

``And I think everybody will agree that Tony has matured and I don't know, maybe his therapy is finally working. Who knows, but I think he's really come a long way. And that makes him a real threat for this championship this year and future ones.''

FWST Media Insider

Must be fun being an Atlanta Hawks fan Mavs 87, Hawks 78

A couple of notes from the game:
Josh Howard was great (10-13, 25 points).
Everyone else struggled (22-68 for 32%).

The Mavericks exploded for 11 points in the first Quarter and despite winning both home games this week have put together amazingly pathetic offensive performances.

Big Damp responded from his 0-0-0 job on Tuesday with 0 points, 8 rebounds, 0 assists, 6 fouls and 6 turnovers. Looks like he has turned things around.

Oops. I forget UFC 56 picks. Of course, since I don't know much about the opponents, my picks should not matter at all.

But, give me Hughes over that loud-mouth Riggs, and while I think Quarry-Franklin is much closer, I will stick with the champion, Franklin.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Arnott Turns a Trick in SoCal

The bad thing about seeing Jason Arnott dominate a game is it reminds you of the fact that we don’t see it often enough. He really has all of the tools, and when he turns it on he is amazing.

HockeyBuzz link

It could very well be developing into a 2-horse race in the Pacific Division, as for the first time this season there is a margin of substance between first place and last place (7 points). However, the margin between 1st and 2nd place in the Pacific is now non-existent as Dallas wins in Anaheim and ties the Los Angeles Kings atop the division.

This completes a very successful road trip for the Stars in California as they took 6 points in 3 games with wins against San Jose, Anaheim, and then Anaheim again. They started the trip with a loss in Nashville, but then things turned around quickly against their division rivals.

Last night, it was plenty of center Jason Arnott, as he pocketed a hat trick with goals 6, 7, and 8 providing most of the offense in 4-2 win over the Mighty Ducks.

Arnott’s performance caps off a solid road trip for him, and with Mike Modano playing at his high level, this team now has two lines that require the opponents full attention in any given game. Clearly, that combined with Marty Turco’s reacquainting himself with quality goaltending has made Dallas a very difficult opponent lately.

One can only imagine where they will be when they get Bill Guerin and Brenden Morrow scoring goals like they did in 03-04. After combining for 59 goals last season, the two have just tallied a total of 10 this season. They were the top 2 goal scorers on the team last year, and this year are 5th and 6th on the team in goals.

The Stars have now won 7 of 9 games since October 29th, and despite looking lost most of the first month, now appear to have found their way and are playing very solid hockey. Especially given that many of these performances have come on the road, where they performed in such a mediocre fashion last season, Dallas is elated with how they have turned on the switch in November.

They return home for 5 of 6 starting Friday against Columbus.

Also, Klemm out for a while …So, let’s welcome back John Erskine…


Genius expose of Jay Mariotti’s contradictory drivel of 2005 about the White Sox …You got to read this.

I won’t even attempt to pull out the gold. There is too much.

Bears get in wacky FBI shooting range fight

The Bears only can hope Miller's return also helps take a magnifying glass off the team's longstanding relationship with the FBI and an FBI gun range in North Chicago. Miller and Kreutz began the day that ended in the fight, Nov. 7, by attending a gun training program at the facility, according to several sources. They also began drinking at the facility while enjoying a barbecue with FBI instructors and agents attending a terrorist training program, the sources said.

There was no combination whatsoever of drinking and gun use, the sources insisted, and the players attended a classroom session before going to the range and firing weapons. Machine guns, pistols and a sniper's rifle mounted on a tripod were described as typical of the type of weapons Bears employees have been trained on at the facility through the years.

An FBI spokesman confirmed that about a dozen Bears players attended the controlled shoot as part of an annual liaison day between the FBI and the Bears that they've done for "a number of years.'' The FBI runs similar liaison shoots with other groups.

One source said "just about every'' employee who has been through Halas Hall has been to the range at some point. Sources refused to confirm or deny that the fight took place at the facility but did say players were on their own with no FBI agents present.

Miller and Kreutz had been rough-housing and were separated before the altercation, sources said. Miller was being led out a door when he turned around and went back to where Kreutz was standing.

Kreutz struck Miller in the face when he approached, the sources said, and Miller went down. He responded by hitting Kreutz in the head with a five-pound weight, resulting in a cut that required 13 stitches to close. The players apparently concocted the story of the household fall in part to protect the FBI agent who had arranged for them to visit the range.

"We're still investigating where the incident itself happened between the two players'' and whether it was even on the premises, FBI spokesman Frank Bochte said. The inquiry is not a criminal investigation, he said.

In a related and yet unrelated story, I have been meaning to get this Chicago Bears thought on the record, and since we so rarely bring them up, now is as good a time as any:

The Bears will not win the NFC North.

Here are the current standings:

Chicago 6-3
Minnesota 4-5
Detroit 4-5
Green Bay 2-7

Look, I realize I am going out on a limb, because everyone behind the Bears really suck. But, I really feel this choke happening. Check out the final 7 games for the Bears starting this week:

Nov 20 H Carolina
Nov 27 A Tampa Bay
Dec 4 H Green Bay
Dec 11 A Pittsburgh
Dec 18 H Atlanta
Dec 25 A Green Bay
Jan 1 A Minnesota

This is the Bears without a QB or a RB. I know their defense is good, but they might be 8-8. I hate to say this, but I think the Vikings catch them on the last week of the season. And trust me, the Packers will protect their house on Christmas Day. I will be there to make sure of that.

So, I am calling it. Bears miss the playoffs despite having a 2 game lead today.

Colts have huge test this week at Cincinnati And the 1972 Dolphins look on

The Indianapolis Colts don't want to talk about it, and the 1972 Miami Dolphins don't want to think about it.

The Colts are the 21st team in the 86-year history of the NFL, and the 11th since the merger in 1970, to start a season 9-0. Only the 1972 Dolphins have finished a season undefeated.

"It's really way, way too early to even think about that," Colts coach Tony Dungy said. "... It's really not even anything to talk about at this point. We had some goals coming into the regular season, and certainly our goal was not to go 16-0."

The Colts have a long way to go to an undefeated season. In fact, they are not even halfway to 19-0 -- 16 regular-season victories and three in the postseason. That's why the 1972 Dolphins won't acknowledge a threat to their record until a team reaches 10 wins.

Full Preview of UFC 56 …Matt Hughes for President…

Dude is sick

RUGBY fan Geoffrey Huish told yesterday of the moment of madness when he hacked off his own TACKLE — because his team Wales beat England.

Single Geoffrey, 31, took an agonising ten minutes to perform the horrific op using a pair of blunt wire cutters.

Then he put his severed parts in a blue plastic bag and staggered to a social club to announce his desperate deed to fellow Wales fans.

Jobless Geoffrey finally collapsed with blood pouring from his groin as horrified drinkers put his testicles in a pint glass of ice. They were handed to paramedics who rushed him to hospital — but surgeons could not sew them back.

Geoffrey spent several months in a psychiatric unit as experts tried to fathom his actions.

Since, I have received this email plenty, Here is the gay LSU fans link…

Speculation in England is that Henry will leave the Premiership …that will be a shame. The most deadly striker I have seen…

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Gana Diop was one of the only halfway decent things to come out of last night’s tedious basketball game at the AAC. In the first 3 quarters, the Nuggets and Mavericks waged a war of who could drive more fans away from the sport. Horrendous offense with horrible shooting and careless ball handling helped make the 1st half almost unwatchable. The Mavericks had 18 turnovers mid-way through the third quarter.


But, Diop was playing a game that was so good, some of us were wondering if his upside might propel him past Erick Dam-spare. Dam-spare put on a foul exhibition last night that was amazing, all the while without any production . 0 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 4 fouls and 4 turnovers. Nice. Meanwhile, Gana was grabbing every rebound close, blocking shots, and showing some level of care.

And then, when Carmelo Anthony tried to win the game in the final seconds, there was Diop, an actual shot-blocking Mavericks center, to save the day. Well done. 37 minutes for the big fella, and they all were well spent.with 16 rebounds and 6 blocks.

He may develop into something.

Diop and Dirk save the day

Nowitzki took charge offensively with 35 points. He had 11 in the fourth quarter – one fewer than the Nuggets.

"You saw a great player get better and take responsibility," Denver coach George Karl said.

Diop, meanwhile, anchored a defense that came alive after a complete meltdown at the start of the second half. He had 16 rebounds and altered many shots besides the six he rejected.

Congress does something worthwhile! under pressure, the player’s union caves to actual steroid penalties

Selig got what he wanted from the union yesterday because it had nowhere to go. He and it knew that Congress was waiting with a death penalty for players who tested positive for steroids. No matter what the union proposed short of the commissioner's position, he rejected it, knowing the Congressional sword hovered over the players' heads.

Given his choice, an angry union or a threatening Congress, Selig chose to follow the representatives and senators who battered him like a punching bag at past hearings. He didn't like the blows he endured, and he was prepared to do what he thought necessary to ward off more blows.

Unlike his predecessors, who had always discouraged Congressional inroads into the game, Selig invited Congress into Major League Baseball. He would rather negotiate an agreement with the union, Selig said, but if no agreement were forthcoming, he would endorse Congressional action.

You might not want your politicians involved in sports, but in this case, I don’t think there is any question it is the only way this gets done.

Here are the actual new roid penalties

• First positive test -- 50-game suspension, up from 10 days.

• Second positive test -- 100-game suspension, up from 30 days.

• Third positive test -- Lifetime ban, with player having right to apply for reinstatement after two years and an arbitrator being able to review reinstatement decision. Under the previous agreement, the earliest a player could be suspended for life was for a fifth positive test.

• In addition, a conviction for possession carries a 60-to-80 game penalty, while a second offense carries a 120-game to one-year penalty. A third offense nets the offender a lifetime ban. If a player is convicted for distribution, he will be suspended 80-to-100 games, while a second offense equals a lifetime ban.

Meanwhile, Ducks trade Federov in a salary dump….

…the clear objective was to shed Fedorov's $6.08-million annual salary and free up significant space under the $39-million cap.

General Manager Brian Burke didn't hide this fact during a conference call. The team had little flexibility, and Wright's salary of $947,333 and Beauchemin's salary of $500,000 will drop the Ducks' cap figure to about $34 million.

"I can't sell this as a stand-alone hockey deal, and I won't," Burke said.

Federov is another example of a supporting player in one city being brought over to lead a new team and failing miserably. Very similar to when Pippen was brought to Portland to lead a team, when he was never the leader in Chicago. Doesn’t work.

FWST Soccer Insider looks back at MLS Cup …And ways to continue to insure growth in the league…

The MLS board of governors couldn't come to a decision on the "David Beckham rule." The notion is that each club could break the bank to bring in one marquee player, such as Beckham, as long as the club paid the player's salary rather than using the league salary pool.

One day after coming off life-support is hardly the time to try and pull off a "Triple Lindy." MLS growth is inherent on single-entity, all-for-one financing.

MLS at Year 10 can ill afford to get into bidding wars on the world market, much less the big market/small market dilemma that could befall the teams. If AEG spends $10 million to get Roberto Carlos to Los Angeles, wouldn't that force Salt Lake to go spend equally as much on Michael Owen? At this point, MLS is far better served by investing in stadiums such as Pizza Hut Park rather than players who might bring short-term hype. This league was designed to give American players an opportunity. I'd rather see 100 local boys earn $100,000 each than one guy making $10,000,000.

Honestly, I cannot imagine David Beckham or Roberto Carlos would ever swallow enough pride to play here. I don’t care how old they are, they will never need the cash. I understand Becks likes the USA, but then I would advise him to buy a place in NYC…

Michael Redd buys his dad a church

throwing in the towel ….


Burger King strikes college

William Hung sings and perhaps mispronounces a key word

The Napoleon Dance again

Borat angers Kazakhstan

Let’s entertain some mid-week email:

Being the hockey authority on the ticket wanted to let you know of several Mexico Hockey teams traveling to Dallas for a local Thanksgiving tournament. There will be a Bantam, Midget and the Mexico National Hockey team.

The web site for the Mexico hockey association is listed below: Mexico . The web site for the tournament is Here . The Bantam and Midget team will be playing in the local tournament while the Mexico National team will scrimmage the several Midget AAA teams in the area the same weekend.

While it may not be the greatest hockey it could be some great sound bytes. Please let me know if you want to get in contact with Mexico hockey teams.

Carl Choate

Nice. Thanks, Carl.

Hey, Bob

Wanted to share a great youth football story with you. I coached a 5th & 6th grade team for a local catholic gradeschool for 10 years. My Q-back called a timeout, came over to me and said that my tailback wouldn't be quiet in the huddle. I gave him the old one about how he's the boss on the field. The "field general". That he had to take charge when the situation got out of hand. He gives me the thumbs up and heads back to the huddle.

Normally there's a din of chatter at most of these games but I swear the entire field fell dead silent for one of those rare moments just in time to hear my fifth grade QB holler at the top of his lungs for my tailback to "SHUT TH' F--- UP!!!

About 80 sets of eyes immediately fell om my shocked beyond belief if I'd instructed this child to say that.

What made this so funny is that this kid weighed about 55 lbs. and wore a Vince McMahon mask on a helmet that tilted funny because he was always losing an ear pad. Looked like that Norman Rockwell painting . I'll never forget that game as long as I live.

Needless to say the refs called a timeout to help my Q-back understand on-field-propriety a little better.

Thanks for the read,
Long time P1, Bill DeOre

That is a wonderful story! Awesome.

And then this, in response to Last Thursday’s Coach Fran Rant

I agree that the blame for this mess does not fall entirely at RC's feet. However, there are a couple of items I'd point out about your blog stats.

1) Out of the 10 Aggies drafted from '03-05, 6 of them never played for Fran. They were drafted in 2003, and 5 of those guys were first day picks. So that is 10 picks down to 4. And I won't dwell on the fact that RC took a buttload of quality NFL prospects and went 6-6 with them.

2) RC didn't recruit Montgomery (as you mentioned), reducing 4 down to 3 in RC's tally.

3) Of the remaining 3, one was a 6th rounder (J. Taylor) in 2004 that hasn't caught a ball this year and only caught 6 last year, and another is a 5th round (Hangartner) that hasn't played at all. T-Murphy was the only quality NFL pick that was recruited by RC and played for Fran so far.

4) From 1990 to 2003, there was an average of 4.5 Aggies drafted in the first 7 rounds each year, and we averaged 2.6 first day picks (first 3 rounds) during that time. During that span, we always had at least 1 player go in the first 3 rounds and we always had at least 2 players drafted in the first 7. Those streaks magically stopped in 2004 when a 6th rounder was the only thing we contributed to the draft.

Just a little Norm stats for you, but I do think we have a talent problem with our upperclassman along - and we've got a coach that hasn't shown the ability to "coach 'em up" either.



Thank you- your points are well taken, and my math was faulty- But, it does beg the eternal question that I believe does not have a sure answer, and yet so many assume it does. Just because the upper classmen are spares, how do we know they would not be stars in some cases with the proper coaching? Did R.C. suddenly and conveniently forget how to recruit in 2001 or did the quality of the 4-5 years of college coaching those recruits should receive suddenly disappear? Again, we will never know the full answer, but I have a hard time believing that a guy with his talent track record would go in the opposite direction so suddenly-