Friday, January 22, 2010

From the Winter Olympics file....

More evidence that Ice Dancing isn't a sport and has no place in the Olympics.

Not only did the Russian pair not meet the criteria of 'performing a dance reflecting of another culture' but they were so bad at it they offended the target. Their costumes were terrible, the dance incorrect, yet they find themselves sitting in 1st place after the first dance.

Sorry ice dancing, but your run is done. It's time to pack it up and put you in the same category as dance and other artistic endeavors. In short: lets get this fiasco out of the Olympics and replace it with something truly competitive.

Say.....snowplow ice design or something.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sports Shorts (10/18/10)

Let's face it, "the best weekend in the NFL" just wasn't that great. In fact, it sucked.

On the other hand, the PGA tournament was exciting. Even without El Tigre in the field. Maybe because of this, I'm more enjoying the golf season more so far.

UH extends Sumlin's deal. Thus ensuring whatever school ultimately ends up poaching him will have to pay a bigger buyout.

OSU lands Holgorson. While I've got some Sooner friends that are (very mildly) upset about this, I'm happy. What the Cowboys really need however is a stiff defense.

It's time to think about your brackets. That's right in January. (Hint: K-State is going to be a sleeper pick as a 3 seed.)

As a consolation prize, Mayweather v. Mosely is fair. Just fair.

Aw geez...Don King? Don King?

Of course, No fine, no anything for Thierry. FIFA is increasingly a joke.

Schumacher and Mercedes? Naw...that's still just wrong.

Lance is rolling again. I expect him to win this, and show up strong in the tour.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Meet Team Radio Shack 2010:

Friday, January 08, 2010

Let's get one thing straight....

The better team won last night, regardless of Colt McCoy's injury. Did the game lose a little bit of luster? You bet. Was it disappointing to see Colt go out like that? Yup. But just like UT-Austin fans wouldn't accept any Bradford-out-for-Oklahoma excuses, (You didn't hear that OU was the 'better team' after hat game right?) it's not right to suddenly hear them now. Yes, it sucks that McCoy went down. I, for one, would have liked to see him in the game for the duration. That being said it's pertinent to look at the "facts", as UT-Austin fans like to call them.

Colt McCoy wouldn't have helped UT-Austin's tackling. - Nope, not one bit at all. The fact is Ingram and Richardson ran all over the UT defense. What this did is limit the Alabama passing game to obvious situations, where they were predictably terrible. Ingram bowled over UT-Austin defenders (62 of his 111 yards were after contact) and Richardson flat-out ran them.

Texas wasn't an offensive house of fire on Colt's drive - Early on it looked like Nick Saban was going to gift wrap the game for the Longhorns. That being said, after the inexplicable fake punt attempt the mighty Colt McCoy led Texas vaunted spread offense exactly 36 yards in 10 plays. He was 2-2 passing with zero yards and had 1 rush attempt for zero yards. Texas jumped up 6-0 because Alabama gave it to them, not because Colt McCoy was some super QB before he went out of the game.

It wasn't Gilbert's fault the Texas receivers had stone hands. - Here's an idea: Catch a ball in the first half. Or, in the case of Michael Williams, make a meaningful catch sometime in the game. And don't give me that hogwash about the officials either. What was clear fairly early on was that this group of officials were going to allow the hand-fighting that takes place when a receiver and DB are positioning for the ball. It was the same for both schools, like it or not. The only pass interference they flagged all night was an obvious obstruction. If I remember correctly they flagged Alabama for holding on a crossing route as well. Yes, they missed the Terrance Cody false start (I'm still not sure how you miss that guy) but besides that obvious blunder they got the game pretty much right.

Colt McCoy can't call the plays - Two words: shovel pass. What in the blue hell was the Texas coaching staff thinking? That being said....make a tackle.

Maybe this was a fitting end to a football season that promised so much and delivered less. First Sam Bradford went down in his first game, then Tim Tebow got a Bible verse knocked off of his cheek and now we have Colt McCoy not getting to fire a meaningful shot in the B(C)S Championship Game. In this season of "what ifs" maybe its fitting that we get the ultimate what if....

What if the championship were settled on the field via a playoff, as opposed to a one game, winner-takes-all crap-shoot where the loser is always left with an excuse to hang their hats on?

Nah, never happen. (At least, not until the 'guardians of the game' give way to a new generation.)

Until then: Congratulations to your B(C)S Champion Alabama Crimson Tide, and congratulations to the University of Texas-Austin Longhorns for a great season. Congrats also to Colt McCoy, Mark Ingram, Mack Brown & Nick Saban for showing class. (See the coaches handshake after the game if you don't understand what I mean.)

Boo to you T-Shirt Longhorn fans. For, once again, making the championship game all about perceived slights against you and those you claim as yours.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

The B(C)S Championship Game

Because it's required.

Far be it from me to question sports journalism deep-thinkers like Ivan Maisel and Richard Justice but I'm having trouble finding enough points in UT-Austin's arsenal to give them the nod over Alabama in tonight's game.

Sure, I understand that Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley are the best couple since Torville & Dean, and yes I understand Mack Brown is the bestest, hippest, coach in since like...ever, but I still have a problem getting past that 'Bama defense. More accuately, I have a problem seeing McCoy, Shipley and company getting past that 'Bama defense.

Much is being made of Terrance Cody, and rightfully so, but their LB's and DB's aren't anything to sniff at either. Javier Arenas could be the best cornerback you've never heard of, Cory Reamer & Orlando McClain are big linebackers with speed, something that Big xII teams rarely have to deal with. Plus, it's hard to get the Texas aTm & Nebraska games out of my memory when evaluating Texas, nevermind the Wyoming game. For all of the hype, Texas O-line have been average this year, their running game is abysmal, and Colt McCoy inexplicably took the first half of the season off.

Contrast that with Alabama's offense, anchored by a sound running game and possessing a tall, speedy WR corps, I expect them to run the ball often and turn loose Maze and Jones on Texas' undersized DB's. One twist: I expect that Texas will key on Mark Ingram, and I predict he will struggle. Where Alabama will stun Texas is with Trent Richardson, who is probably more talented than is Ingram. He's faster and runs heavier as well. Look for big things from him.

The kicking games are about even, as much as is made of Texas fine kicker Hunter Lawrence, Leigh Tiffen is just as decorated, and just as accurate. Shipley is a fine punt returner, as is Arenas. Both Fitzgerald and Tucker are quality punters.

To me, the key to this game is the play of McElroy, the Alabama QB. Does he do a good enough job managing the game to put Alabama in a position to win? Does he protect the ball?

I say he does, and Alabama has a big game offensively as Sergio Kendall and Co. struggle to get any meaningful pressure on the pass game, or penetration on the run game.

Not a blowout (Texas is too good for that), but not terribly close either. Say....

Alabama 24 Texas 10

And Boise State sits on the sideline with a legitimate case that it's a better team than both of them. Enjoy the game.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

There's no such thing as running up the score in a rivalry game

By all accounts, this wasn't a rivalry game. There's also evidence (provided by KTRK's Christine Dobbyn) that this whipping was pre-meditated, and that the players for Yates went into the game with the expressed intent of scoring 200 points on an out-manned Lee team.

Now, I'm not exactly sure when the right time is to cut bait and back off a little, but if you're still employing a full court press defense and fast breaks in the second half when the halftime score was 100-12 then I've a feeling you're going to face some backlash from most people who at least have a superficial relationship with the concept of sportsmanship. Nevermind that these were High School kids, not young adults in a College program, or well-compensated professional athletes. Nope, 15-18 year old high-school kids who are supposed to be learning valuable life lessons from the wizened coach who's job is to craft them into productive adults......

Except, at Yates obviously, that's not what boys basketball is about. It's about winning and setting records and going through life never having to look askance at those who are beneath you. It's about self-congratulatory chest-pounding after dunking the ball over someone with 1/10th your athletic ability. It's about a coach who desperately wants to go undefeated and have his legacy forever cemented in the hall of Texas High School Basketball honor. Obviously, the folks at Yates are OK with this. They've made the decision to sacrifice sportsmanship in favor of winning, and winning big.

And that's fine. Because it's not about what I think, or what you think, it's about what the coach, kids, their families and the school thinks. And they think that what they've got going now is pretty cool. As long as their willing to accept the other side of it, because all good things will come to an end, and eventually they'll be on the losing side of a whipping in some sport. Hopefully it will be epic in scope. I also hope that people point to this when their coaches and parents gripe about being 'disrespected' and all of the other nonsense that goes along with it.

Because, when they do, I'm going to point back to this, and remind them that they're invited to open up a can of silence. Nobody cares how you feel.

As for the Lee team? Their coach had a chance to teach his players about losing with dignity even when faced with an impossible situation. He could have taught them about how to react when all of the chips are down and you're facing insurmountable odds. Instead, he pulled the victim card, blamed everyone but himself, and let his team lose control. The losers in this game were short-changed by their coach as well.

Both coaches are lucky that they're not being rated as teachers by whoever it is handles the hiring/firing decisions at their respective schools. Because if they were, both would be turning in their whistles today. This game wasn't a failure of the kids, it was a failure of both coaches to teach the kids how to be adults. That's the real tragedy here.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Go Texans!!...Dangit Bengals....

As I'm writing this fans of the Houston Texans are busy screaming at the Cincinnati Bengals as they get ready to face another New Year's Monday with no playoff berth on the horizon for their (on and off) beloved Texans. While it's true that, technically, the Texans had a shot at the playoffs this year they needed what amounted to a Rube Goldberg contraption of losses and tie-breakers to get them there. So why it may seem easy for fans of Steel blue, Liberty white and Victory red to cast dispersions at Chad Ochocinco and the boys perhaps a bit of perspective is in order.

First off, congratulations to the team for finishing the season 9-7, the first winning record in team history. Second, congratulations to the fans for making enough nosie to make it difficult for the Patriots 2nd string rookie quarterback to mount a rally. Finally, congrats to the 1560 crew for making a blowout game entertaining. (on Twitter anyway.) All of this is great fun, but it hides some very real problems that the Texans need to address should they have designs on next year's playoffs.

That's next year however, what Texans fans need to do is realize what went wrong THIS year. For example:

The Jaguars won three games against teams with winning records. The Texans were responsible for two of those wins, the Jets the other.

Dunta Robinson is a shell of his former self. He should not be re-signed.

The kicking game fell apart.

At times, the offensive game plan looked as if it was drawn on the back of a McDonald's napkin. Kubiak's supposed to be an offensive guru right?

This are still the "yeah but" Texans as far as the rest of the league is concerned.

Mario Williams and the rest of the D-line have severe motivation problems.

Some of these problems are items that can be fixed in the draft, but some of them are issues that are systemic and could be hard to fix. Mario Williams is your defensive bell cow, and he only seems to be willing to lead the pack two weeks out of the season. Absent a heart transplant for Williams it looks as if it might be wise to invest a draft pick on a high-motor guy, and a defensive back with some ball skills, and a back-up running back, and depth at corner....

In other words this team didn't make the playoffs for a reason, a reason that had little to do with how the Bengals or Colts played. Beat a team quarterbacked by David Gerard one time and the Jets wouldn't have mattered. (Hell, beat the Jets for that matter)

It was announced today that Kubiak is coming back so it will be a 2010 of (hopeful) Texans improvement versus a Texans rebuilding under the pipe-dream of Bill Cowher.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, but there's not much in the history of this franchise to suggest that a great improvement is in the cards.

Sports Shorts (01/03/10)

Sugar Bowl: Florida 51, Cincinnati 24 - A game that wasn't as close as the lopsided score indicated. At no point in this game did Cincy come close to challenging Florida. Missing Kelly (who called the plays) really hurt the offense. Were this a first round game in the playoffs it'd be tolerable, instead....

Pappa Johns Bowl: Connecticut 20, South Carolina 7 - For a couple of years now I've been of the mind that Steve Spurrier needs to consider hanging it up. He's obviously not having fun, nor putting in a full day any longer. His team's bowl record is atrocious.

Jerruh er..Cotton Bowl: Ole Miss 21 Ok. State 7 - The Ok. State offense, sans Dez Bryant, looked painfully like the 2004 Texans offense helmed by David Carr with plays called by Joe Pendry. That's not to say that Ole Miss played worth a damn either. Neither team wanted to win this game, and the Rebels ended up on top almost by default. On another note, calling this game the "Cotton Bowl" while playing it in the Jerruh Dome didn't feel right at all.

Liberty Bowl: Arkansas 20 ECU 17 (OT) - Fans of both teams were considering burning their kickers in effigy after this game. Just another bad, boring bowl game thrown our way by a system that's designed to produce somnambulant television in the name of sponsorship dollars.

Rose Bowl: Ohio State 26, Oregon 17 - Good win by Ohio State, the wife was finally happy on Jan 1. More importantly, however, it illustrated how overrated the Pac-10 has been this year. The argument against giving the Mountain West conference an automatic B(C)S bid is that the bottom of their conference is weak. Here's the question: Is playing New Mexico State & New Mexico any weaker than playing Washington State & Arizona State? I'm not so sure. I can tell you that playing BYU and Utah is a tougher test than playing Oregon State and Arizona.

Alamo Bowl: Texas Tech 41, Michigan State 31 - Well, a win against 1/2 a team is better than no team at all I guess. I was glad for Ruffin McNeil and the players who didn't have anything to do with this mess, felt sorry for Mich St. and all of their players who weren't involved in their mess. Pathetic game site: Some middle-aged soccer mom holding up an anti-Adam James sign. A woman in her 50's cracking on a kid playing football? You stay classy Tech fan.

Armed Forces Bowl: Air Force 37, Houston 20 - A bad game for Case Keenum equates to a whuppin' for UH, whose hampered-by-five-years-of-bad-recruiting-during-the-Briles-era defense didn't have the quality of personnel to stand up to the Air Force running game. Amazingly, after a 10-win season I read several UH fans calling for coach Kevin Sumlin's firing. The choice to replace? Tommy Tuberville. Were I king of football I'd say yes, let Sumlin head to Ok. State, Tuberville go to UH and the Pokes could be competing for the Big xII championship while the Cougars receded into irrelevance once again.

More on those classy Tech fans.

Unfortunately, Wes Welker appears to be hurt and it doesn't look like a minor injury. That sucks.

The UFC pulled off a stunner of a card last night despite injury-cased doubts. They're really the only game in town, but they're still quite a game. (That being said I'd like to see more Japanese fights get some attention over here. They put on great shows in The Land of the Rising Sun.)