Sports from the point view from the guy that holds the clipboard for the guy that holds the clipboard.
Friday, September 26, 2008
I base this argument on a few assumptions, correct me if I am mistaken.
1) Any playoff format I've seen proposed will either allow for every BCS conference champ, every conference champ, or the top 4, 6, or 8 ranked teams.
2A) USC will win the Pac-10 anyway. I am assuming that one conference loss will not be enough to take the Pac-10 title from USC. Because they lost to a team that will lose more than one conference game and because USC will either have a better conference record or a better overall record than any other team in the Pac-10. If they lose again, like in '06, then we'll talk about the impact of this game differently. But that won't change what the game meant when it was played, nor what it means right now.
2B) USC will finish in the top 4, 6, or 8 in the polls if they end the season with just this one loss. They beat Ohio St, and if Ohio St wins out and USC wins out there is no way you can drop USC low enough to be out of almost any playoff format. USC has a cupcake schedule and should win out. We said that at 7pm last night too, but that does not change anything. People are also confident that Ohio St will win out and take the Big Ten. From USC's point of view Ohio St winning the Big Ten is all they need, even if the Buckeyes drop a conference game.
I do not think these 2-3 things are much of a stretch, and if they aren't then what does this game mean if we eliminate the BCS and go to a playoff format? It removes the meaning from this upset. I can even safely say that USC could lose a 2nd conference game and still have a 50/50 shot at winning their conference. That would really only eliminate them from a 4 team playoff format and possibly a 6 team, but it would still keep them in any format of 8 or more teams.
So I ask you to really look at the effect's that a playoff would have in the regular season. Understand the emphasis that would be placed upon winning the conference and not just having the best season you can. With the way things are currently set up USC is just looking at the Rose Bowl now, and hoping somebody else loses in an upset bigger than they did. As of right now the Big 12 and SEC undefeateds are in control of their own destiny. Even with one loss the winner of either conference can claim a tougher schedule than either USC.
Taking that argument one step further. Both teams knew what they were playing for last night. Both knew that USC had little to gain and much to lose, while Oregon St had much to gain and nothing to lose. Insert the game into a playoff formatted world and that game does not have the impact that it does now. So we must ask the question, "Does Oregon St step up and play as hard as they did if this game does not ruin USC's season?" That is a fair question. The Beavers played their hearts out last night, does that happen if losing this game cost's USC nothing?
One month in, and in their first conference game USC has seriously hurt their chances at playing for the National Championship. In a playoff based college football world, this would not be case. Say what you will about the BCS, the "regular season's value" argument cannot be ignored.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
My first reaction is that they dialed down the scoring a bit. They did not dial it down enough, we definitely should have seen some 3's last night. The judges already have their favorites but we'll save that until after tonight.
Let me thank my Editor right now, her notes played a big part in this. and it's her fault I watch this show.
Cody. Little Zach is stuck in the middle of the pack and his going first hurt him. They did a great job and I want to hate him but I can't. His crush on Julianne humanizes him to a point that it makes me almost tolerate him. He was better than Maurice, and once he works on his footwork he'll be a real threat to win.
Misty. Did they even watch her dance? 4th? Give me a break she had the best dance of the night. Slumping shoulders was her biggest crime. The score was the judges. She will win this. She reminds me most of Layla Ali. Great personality, and once she lets loose she will destroy the competition.
Warren. Wow, he moved much better than I thought. I really didn't think he'd have the foot work needed. That being said, no way he actually did a Cha-Cha! Go re-watch it, then watch anyone else's cha-cha, and tell me he actually did the dance. Not his fault, but the judges should count this against him.
Brooke. She was very good, but she did look like she kept forgetting the moves. She was much better than I expected and will play the 40ish mother of 4 card very well. Toni, Misty, and Lance were all better though.
Ted. I love Ted. I hope he stay son the show as long as possible, but come on! He was awkward, stiff, and had the Jason Taylor Hand of Doom. He's going to poke an eye out with that thing. (Sorry Jeff.)
Maurice. Although better than expected he was still s
"Warren Sapp gets Kym Johnson. He will make fun of her accent in the first episode. He will last to the second episode." WRONG! See above.
"Warren Sapp - Dead duck" -again, wow was I wrong.
About Jeff: "Or well, we'll enjoy his 3 dances." Did I say 3? I meant 1. really.
"Moving around a professional kitchen is like dancing..." hahahahahahahah What moron said that?
"The hottie curse will hit BB." -Yeah 40+ Mother of 4, she ain't going anywhere as long as the kids are in each "practice clip".
"This pair is my call for first dead. Toni has no audience left, her "Q" rating is in the gutter" Toni is going to be spending lots of quality time in your living room.
About Suasn and Tony: "Unless she sucks badly they go far." She sucks.
About Maurice and Cheryl: "She can take Maurice to the top, if he has the personality for it." Although I think he'll come crashing down to earth about halfway through, he has the personality.
The judges, and some fans, don't realize it, but it's Misty's show to lose.
Bye Jeff! We will miss you.
Monday, September 22, 2008
There will be weekly re-caps.
Toni Braxton - Former VH1 project. She'd have had a reality show if they did those things 10-15 years ago. Supposedly did some Broadway but she has been MIA for a while.
Rocco Dispirito - Moving around a professional Kitchen is like dancing. I hate saying that, hate it. I already hate this guy due to my hatred of the Food Network. I know he's not on Food Network, but I have still never heard of them, and I almost always root against these people. Despite his graduating from BU, he's out in my book. He'll be that competitor that I hate but always moves on. There is one each season.
Maurice Green - One blog I read and love (AA) claimed, dismissively, that ex-athletes always seem to win. Dancing is about one thing first and foremost: footwork. The athletes that have won have had good footwork going in due to their sport. And those that have come close to winning fall in the same boat. Sprinting may or may not be enough in itself.
Kim Kardashian - As mentioned with Brooke Burke, one of these chicks is going down early. (Done giggling?) And it may not be the worse dancer. Why is she famous again?
Cloris Leachman - She will rock the pity vote hard. Unless she sucks horribly she will make it to the 2 dance portion of the show (past the half-way mark).
Cody Linley - This kid could be dangerous. He is a little Zac Efrom clone (the blonde mimbo from High School Musical) and if he can dance at all the old women will swoon over him in a highly inappropriate but unspoken of way. (What? I just spoke of it? Ooops.)
Susan Lucci - Again with the pity vote, plus the Soap Opera crowd is the target audience of this show. She is a juggernaut going in and can pull off a Marie Osmond type run very easily.
Misty May-Treanor - My early favorite. Again with the footwork, she has it. Moving on sand will translate very well into moving on the dance floor. A fierce competitor with a great personality, she should win. Plus, she is just the right amount of attractive, not too hot, but still beautiful. Guys, she will look better in a dress than she does in her volleyball uni, promise.
Ted McGinley - Awesome! The guys forced to watch this show will love him. He rules. Personality? Check. He may not last but we'll love every second he is there.
Jeffrey Ross - I hope he has the positivity needed for this show. It's corny, but the positive attitude is a big part of the appeal of this show. People are trying to win but they also become friends. If he can turn his jerkiness aside, similar to Adam Carola last season, then he'll do ok. Or well, we'll enjoy his 3 dances.
Warren Sapp - Dead duck. He doesn't have the footwork that Jason Taylor had. He's a "big boned" DL not a speed DL like Taylor. He'll be fun, the guy has a great personality. That and he'll try hard, this counts for a ton on this show.
That is half the story. Their partners matter greatly. And can be the difference between winning and losing.
Lance gets an newcomer, Lacey Schwimmer. No relation to David. She apparently has done very well on So you think you can Dance. I don't watch that dancing show so I'm forced to trust Wikipedia (*crosses fingers*).
Toni gets Alec Marzo, and while he is damn good, you have to be to be married to Edyta. This pair is my call for first dead. Toni has no audience left, her "Q" rating is in the gutter and this show is like the NFL, you can't get into game shape during the season. You can't build an audience during the show large enough to help you win. You need to bring some people in with you. But who knew who Helio was? Helio has 1,000x the charm that Toni does. He's oozes charisma, unless she has it hidden well, she's done.
Brooke gets Derek Hough. this guy is a winner. He could compete successfully at almost anything. He hides it well but he wants to win. That will not be enough. The hottie curse will hit BB.
Rocco gets Karina Smirnoff. This is the wildcard pair. Moving around a professional kitchen is like dancing and he will take to it well because Karina is a damn good teacher. They will surprise most. And I will hate him for no good reason. Agian irrational hatred, any sports fan can understand this.
Maurice gets Cheryl Burke. Cheryl is the Patriots of DWTS, she wins and people love her or hate her. But she is probably the best at this competition. She can take Maurice to the top, if he has the personality for it.
Kim gets Mark Ballas. Mark is also very good and comes from a family of dancers. He can dance and teach. That combined with KK's reality show will, sadly, bring them past the halfway mark.
Cloris gets Corky Ballas. Corky is Mark's dad. He can teach dance. This is the darling couple and no one will want to see them go, but they are going to leave early. They will be adorable though.
Cody gets Julianne Hough. Ah Julianne, Mormons aren't supposed to dress and dance like that, but that does not stop you? They could surprise people because as I mentioned above he's has potential. Julianne is always very good, almost as good as Cheryl.
Susan gets Tony Dovolani. Tony is smooth as hell and Susan has a large and tailored fan base. This is the power couple. Unless she sucks badly they go far. He's too good and she is too popular. This show is like a home game for her. She's new to the game but she still has home court advantage because the audience all know her and love her.
Misty gets Maksim Chmerkovskiy. He nearly won with Mel B. Add his skill with Misty's competitiveness and her athleticism being the proper type to help her learn to dance and you have the Winners. They will smoke everyone. Oh yeah and Misty has a personality that America has only partially seen and that they will fall in love with.
Ted gets Inna Brayer. One thing people love about DWTS are the contestants that have no chance but will honestly try. They will make you laugh and enjoy them. We always feel bad for the pro dancer that gets stuck with these people. They will have a short but very enjoyable runs It is bittersweet. Imagine playing on the Kansas City Royals, you suck, but then imagine enjoying it, and then having it end quickly.
Jeff gets Edyta Sliwinska. Edyta is awesome and has abs that rival any Olympic athlete. When wondering if this show is a sport, look at her abs and ask yourself if she could do more sit-ups than Michael Phelps, the answer is yes. As for how they will do see, Ted and Inna.
Warren Sapp gets Kym Johnson. He will make fun of her accent in the first episode. He will last to the second episode. Again, see Ted and Inna.
So that's the breakdown. Misty and Maksim win, and everyone is fighting for second place. My money on the other two finalist will be Susan and that chef guy.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Now I understand that talking about Hogan opens up many cans of worms. We could talk about wrestling, Vince McMahon, Chris Benoit, and even Hulk's wife because all have a history steroid use. I'm not going anywhere near any of them, because none of them were in Rocky III.
Let's break this down.
The guy was the World Title holder in three different promotions a total of 13 times. Alright to be honest wrestling is a stunt-show and the wrestlers are highly accomplished stunt men. They don't wrestle but they put on quite an impressive display of athleticism. You climb to the top of the third turnbuckle jump onto a guy in the middle of the rink, make it look like you killed him while making sure you killed neither him nor yourself. I don't watch wrestling anymore, but did as a child and "sampled" it in an ironic way for a bit many years ago. I'm going to be fair and give them credit for what it is they actually do.
In his own words he took "Injectables and orals. Anabol, decagabril, testotosterone." With deca being his preferred drug. He uses the "they were legal" excuse, and made sure he had perscriptions for as many of his doses as he could. Granted he was not covering his ass so much as he was scared of getting ripped off with fake drugs. And I know what you are thinking, all wrestlers are on steroids what's the big deal? We'll get to that in a minute.
Hulkamania. Go up to any 30something squat down a bit, flex your arms downward and scream at them "Whatcha gonna do brother?!?!?!" and they will laugh. Or at least I would. This guy was in Rocky III! The first Rocky I ever saw. I did not even realize until I was in HS the the first Rocky won an academy award. I thought they were all as "awesome" as Rocky III. Everyone knew someone who had one of those red and gold tear-a-way shirts. He had a Saturday morning cartoon, and I'll go on record right now and say he'll be the only member of this club with that claim to fame. Shy of Big Mac he could also be the most recognizable member as well. You can also say that he was the man that put wrestling on the map. Every person wrestling now owes him, big time.
Hulk further emphasizes the point that in some circles steroid use is just assumed. No one seemed to care that professional wrestling was awash with steroids. Honestly do you remember the trial I referenced when it was happening? Although he did use them to get bigger, he also used them to heal from injuries. That's a big deal for someone who spends 90% of the year on the road, and is in a physically strenuous job. When Hulk started using wrestling was not the big industry it is now. If you were hurt you did not perform, no play = no pay. That's just how it was, until Hulk changed it all. He is easy to vilify because without him wrestling would have stayed in the shadows and never would have had the impact on America that it did. So thanks for cheating you big jerk, you and your 22" guns shoved this "sport" down our throats. If you had not taken steroids we would have been spared the words "Vince McMahon Billionaire".
Remember kids, say your prayers and take your vitamins!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Remember that summer? When McGwire and Sammy Sosa together brought baseball back from the cancellation of the 1994 World Series? It was the summer my mother cared about baseball. It was cute watching McGwire try to do Sosa's complicated home run hand jive. At the time, it felt pure and it felt right. No one thought twice about McGwire's huge arms. We were blissfully ignorant of all issues steroids, as far as baseball was concerned. We did enjoy it, we loved it, and we thought we were watching something special and wonderful.
Wow, we were wrong. What we were witnessing was the highest level of cheating in American sports history. It touched all of us. We were all duped, and when the little bottle of androstenedione was found in his locker we got just a hint of how deep this scandal would run. We also go a taste of the excuse to end all excuses "It was legal at the time".
Ok let's break it down.
The guy set the rookie home record at 49. was the first player to hit 30+ home runs in his first 4 seasons. He ended his career with 583 home runs. A twelve time all-star and a rookie of the year in 1986. The guy should have been a first ballot hall of famer.
This guy was a lifer. He was juicing right from the beginning. Unlike Barry Bonds there was no before and after photos. This guy was jacked his rookie year and was only slightly more jacked when he hit 70 home runs in 1998. He is the reason we have the "Steroids = Home Runs" myth. He was hitting the long ball as a rookie and was doing it until he retired in 2001. Andro was his drug of choice, because that's all we know of. He won't talk about the past, and thus is denying himself and us a sense of closure that many of us want.
I'll play the race card. He was white, so it was a shock to America that he could cheat. The questions surrounding his use have had an impact on how we view baseball players, and how baseball players handle their drug use. He gave us the play stupid card. His actions inspired Jason Giambi's I'm apologizing but I'm not going to tell you what I am apologizing for. They inspired Raphael Palmero's lying to congress, and Sammy Sosa's "I need an interpreter" maneuver. And how can we not give McGwire credit for Barry Bonds' righteous indignation, and blame the media tactics.
As much as we want to, we cannot go back and change the past. We are all dirty from that summer. How do we handle the emotions we feel now? For me, you are reading it. For others it is anger, denial, and acceptance. We are stuck with what happened and stuck with no truth about how it happened.
Maybe instead of the Mitchell report, baseball should have done what some countries have done after a reign of tyranny. They looked to Truth and Reconciliation hearings. A place where people were free from prosecution but were asked to tell the truth. A place where people could hear all sides of the full story and make amends so that everyone could move on. The window for something like this is long past and Selig would never have the guts to even try it.
McGwire does not want to talk about the past, but what is baseball without it's past?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Originally written: March 28, 2008.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
The original standards were set in my first piece and a follow up piece I did an hour later after a Google search revealed someone doing something similar. The other blog is no longer around and I wasn't going to let it sway me anyway.
Great on the field
Impact off the field because of Drug use
Retired or Banned (at least effectively)
Rodney Harrison is borderline great on the field. He's the best there is right now at his position, but is he Canton bound? I'm not sure. He is not retired nor has he been baned. Jose Canseco was also not "great", although he was the first ever member of the 40/40 club. If his career ended with a little more dignity he'd be in Cooperstown.
Great on the Field (a good argument for real HOF, or best there currently or at the time at his position)
Impact off the field because of drugs (what did we learn from them)
Retired or Served a Suspension due to the use. (I won't speculate on current players that have yet to be busted. But if you have been busted you're fair game. If you're retired then I have no problem with rumors.)
Baseball = Bad
Football = It's ok you aren't a bad guy.
Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you, from my very own New England Patriots, the NFL's "dirtiest" player Rodney Harrison.
He was suspended for the first 4 games of the 2007 season for admitting he used Human Growth Hormone. Many in the NFL cried foul at Patriots fans for not giving him the same treatment that Roger Clemens got when his name was part of the Mitchell report. But let's be fair to Bostonians, Clemens never helped us win a title. In fact he had a reputation for blowing the big game while he was pitching for the Red Sox. It's ok to be upset with someone who cheated but never helped his team by doing so. Harrison on the other hand has been a self-less team player and only took HGH to "help" him "recover" from an injury. You know so he could get back and help the team. He did miss nearly all of the 2005 season with injuries (three torn ligaments in one knee). So don't blame us for being hypocrites, blame Clemens for being a selfish choker. It really is that simple.
As for the rest of NFL fans and the media? What the hell is wrong with you people?!?! Cheating is cheating! Drugs are drugs, and drugs are bad, be it 'roids, HGH, EPO, pot, E, LSD, coke, heroin they are all bad! Aren't they?!? Why can an NFL player miss a month and it's no biggie, Harrison will be enshrined in Canton, but a baseball player is ruined forever? Honestly the only reason Harrison gets any flack at all is because he plays for the Patriots. If has was still with the Chargers and this happened it would not have even been remembered by most.
Why are we as fans, the media do start out that way, have different emotional triggers for these two sports? Is it because we view football as a more physical game and thus deserving of some more leeway? That we can't imagine, STILL, how steroids can help a person hit a baseball? Let's look at Harrison, the way he plays is violent. He goes all out on every play and wants to hit the other team as hard as he can. While see a big jacked up baseball player with a toothpick in his hands seems kind of ridiculous. Look at Bonds, he was all 'roided up and he wore armour to the plate like a big baby. Yes fastballs HURT and yes Rodney wears pads, but all football players wear pads. Not every baseball player does.
There is also some BS going on here and it is one further proof that steroids are different than other drugs. The only other drug with this level of hypocrisy tied to it is pot. Hands up for each of you reading this that knew in their lifetime one active policeman that smoked regularly (once a week). More than half of you should have your hands raised.
Maybe the issue is that NFL players have been more honest about their drug habits than baseball players have. They've been publicly dealing with the issue for over 20 years, while baseball had gotten a free pass until this millennium. Even Rodney was quoted as saying "I took a banned substance." That's 100x more specific than what Giambi apologized for. Is it fair to say that it's ok for fans to overlook current NFL transgressions because we spent so long over looking baseball's?
So what do I say about a guy on my favorite team? And not just a guy, but a crucial player? See 2006 AFC championship game and that pass to Dallas Clark up the middle late in the 4th quarter. Harrison was not there because he was injued, a healthy Rodney does not lat a TE make that play. I honestly don't know. If I walk away from the Patriots, I know that all teams have someone as bad on their team. So I'd have to walk away from sports, and that is something I'm not ready to do. So I file this under the way things are. I'm addicted to sports and the people I root for are desperate to win. Color me the enabler then because I'll plead guilty to that charge.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Today we step away from main stream sports to take a brief look at the world of competitive BodyBuilding. We turn our eyes toward "the King", as MuscleMag International refers to him as. Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
He is a 7 time Mr. Olympia, 6 of which were consecutive. Say anything you want, you don't mess those guys. They may not be able to scratch their backs but they are huge. Artificially so!
He admitted using steroids, "while they were legal". Ah yes, it wasn't cheating because everyone was doing it. Where have we heard that before? Oh yes, that is Baseball's excuse.
Well he shows us that steroids have been around for a long time, this is not at all a new problem. He also shows how much, in the right context, Americans are willing to tolerate. He gets away with it because he "stopped", he was "honest" about his use, and it was culturally acceptable in his sport, so he was not ever counted as a "cheater". When he was making his name in movies during the 80's, people knew of steroids and we did not really think too much of it. We thought it was something done only by those people who had a reason to do it, so he got a free pass. He even appeared in an anti-drug music video, sponsored by President Ronald Regan called Stop the Madness.
It was just understood that he was on steroids. So he, I feel, more than anyone shows us how mainstream steroids are. This is not a case of forgiving and forgetting something that occurred over 20 years ago, this is a tacit acceptance of steroid use by a major political figure in America.
Again we have to point to the hypocrisy of our reactions to steroid use. Poor Barry Bonds has suffered everything short of pitchforks and torches and he can't get a contract to save his life. Yet Arnold is a popular governor and is a major force in the American political landscape. So you can run for office with a steroid track record but you can't ever get into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Canton Ohio, yes
Olympic gold medal, no
Mr. Olympia, yes
Yellow Jersey, no
The lines are clear but I can't figure out how they were drawn.
So, a big thanks to The Governator. You are clearing a path for all those kids in high school who use steroids. Thanks to you they all know that they have a future in politics. Well done sir.
- ► 2009 (31)
- BCS Defender: USC loses to Oregon State again.
- Re-poster: The Eyes of Chestnut Hill are upon Thee...
- Dancing with the Stars: First Dance
- Re-Poster: DWTS Pre-view!
- Steroids Hall of Fame: Hulk Hogan
- Re-poster: Bill Buckner
- Steroids Hall of Fame: Mark McGwire
- Reposter: Why we really Love March Madness
- Steroids Hall of Fame: New Rules
- Steroids Hall Of Fame: Rodney Harrison
- Steroids Hall of Fame: Arnold Schwarzenegger
- ▼ September (11)