Tuesday, February 22, 2005

2005 San Francisco Giants: It's Now or Never

Originally posted on "Is it Sports?" by Kevin. With Kevin, we got a completely different perspective, San Francisco Giants talk. The Giants ended up 12 games under .500 and in 3rd in the crappy in NL West in 2005, but they had a lot of craziness on their team with a bunch of old guys, mostly on steroids. Here is Kevin's preview.

For all those who pick the Giants to finish near the bottom of their division, I laugh at you. For all those who say Barry Bonds wont win the NL MVP award again this year, I crack a smile. If there's one thing the Giants have been the last eight seasons (besides controversy ridden over steroids) its consistent. The Giants have had a winning season, and finished either first or second in their division EIGHT STRAIGHT SEASONS. The NL MVP award has reigned in San Francisco FIVE STRAIGHT SEASONS, with Bonds winning the last four. You cant take anything away from a team that changes faces every year, changes playing style every year, and even changed managers, yet still performs consistently. I don't know how these guys always get it done, but you aren't hearing any complaints from this Giants fan. So now that we've cleared things up that the Giants will at the least finish in second in the NL West, going through 6 pitchers and giving up 7 runs in the bottom of the ninth to the Dodgers the day before the season ends to lose the division (ugh), lets go through each player and discuss how this old-timers club is gonna get it done this year.

First Base: Probably one of my favorite baseball players of all time, but also one of the suckiest players of all time, JT Snow. He does just enough in a few clutch moments (i.e. game tying 3-run home run of new Giants closer Armando Benitez in the 2000 NLDS, ironically a game the Giants lost to the Mets in extra innings because of a go ahead double by now Giants third basemen Eduardo Alfonzo) and just enough defensively to make you cringe as you write him into the lineup thinking of his offensive stats. Can we have a designated fielder? Surprisingly, Snow hit .327 last year, although in just 113 games in an injury ridden season. The thing to remember though is that he's a career .267 hitter, which means I would be surprised, obviously happily surprised if he puts up the same numbers this season. You gotta feel bad though for a guy that grew up rooting for the California Angels, played his first four full seasons with them, and then promptly loses his only world series appearance with the Giants to those same Angels in their only World Series appearance.

Second Base: Jeff Kent, oh how I miss thee, even if you did break your wrist performing motorcycle stunts in the parking lot of the Giants spring training facility, err I mean falling off your Texas sized truck while washing it. Even though Kent has been gone for two seasons, I think we should spend some time to discuss this character. He left San Francisco to play for his hometown Houston Astros, and then left Houston to play for his hometown Los Angeles Dodgers (he actually cried at the press conference because he was "coming home". How many hometowns does this guy have? Anyways, that was then and this is now. We have Ray-Ray Durham, quite possibly the most overrated leadoff hitter in baseball. Durham went from 8 straight seasons with at least 20 or 30 steals for the White Sox, to 7 and 10 in his first two years with the Giants (Greeaaaat). Is it good if your leadoff hitters average is .279? I think its a safe bet to say no. Durham did hit 17 home runs last year, which is always nice, but again what good is a leadoff hitter with a bad average, no speed, and few hits. Id much rather have some dude from Japan, or my beloved Jeff Kent.

Shortstop: What's with all these old guys? Well at least we have a young, up and coming shortstop in Omar Vizquel. I think it will be funny in two years when Snow, Vizquel, Grissom, Alou, Bonds, and Reuter all retire in the same season. I hope the Giants have a backup plan. Last year the Giants were paying Deivi Cruz $500,00 to put up a .292 average. This year they are paying Omar Vizquel $4 million a season to put up a .291 batting average. Its always smart to sign a 37 year old to a three year deal. He does fill the speed hole in the elderly Giants with 19 stolen bases last season for Cleveland. Vizquel is the kind of player a major market team who claims to have a mid-major market budget can afford.

Third Bade: Eduardo Alfonzo. Hahahahahahaha. What a loser. I bet Alfonzo didn't see two mediocre at best seasons ahead of him when he signed with the Giants and spent $47,000 on apology/thank you for the good times ads on top of taxis in New York City. Alfonzo actually hit .289 last year, an upgrade from his .259 average the year before. Sometimes I like to use batting average to blast a guy because of my personal feelings. Other time I ignore it when I prop a guy up because of my personal feelings ( on that note look for future posts about the best player in baseball Troy Glaus). Nonetheless, you know your a bad power hitter when Marquis Grissom hits double the amount of homers as you. The guy does look good though. Its obvious he gets his haircut before each game, and I guess you want to look good sitting on the bench. Because that's where I hope Felipe Alou, Giants manager will put him. Pedro Felix, the Giants other second basemen hit 22 home runs last season, and could also replace JT Snow when he gets hurt mid-season.

Left Field: Do I really need to talk about Barry Bonds. I guess I have a few things to say. Its kind of weird when the best player in baseball that everyone hates is on your team, and it kind of sucks to realize you have the best player in baseball but cant win a world series. I still think he will hit at least 40 home runs next season, and its kind of obvious the Giants are trying to push for a championship in his last few seasons. I will say one thing though. You don't hit .362 by taking steroids. You hit 73 home runs by taking steroids.
Bonds and Palmerio either talking about steroids or viagra

Center Field: What better to compliment a 40 year old left fielder than a 37 year old center fielder (just wait till we get to Moises Alou). I got to hand it to this guy though, pretty amazing. I don't joke around when I get to my outfield. The guy has hit 20 and 22 home runs in his last two seasons with the Giants, and promises to do the same again this year.

Right Field: Aloooouuu. The guys 38, but he hit 39 home runs last year. This will be the first time since I can remember, probably since they signed Bonds, that the Giants signed a guy who hit more than 30 home runs the previous season. The Giants at least have a steady backup for Bonds, after platooning from Alfonzo, to Snow to Santiago to Feliz to Aurilia to Grissom after losing Kent. If nothing else, Alou is going to get pitches to hit being behind Bonds. I wonder what Daddy will think of his sons urinating habits in the clubhouse. Lets just hope they do better together than they did in Montreal.

The Backups: Michael Tucker....at least he's not starting anymore.
I cant believe Michael Tucker tried to challenge Eric Gange to a fight. What an idiot.

Catcher: Now that we survived the "Cancer" (I actually liked the NL leader in RBIs for catchers) AJ Pierzynski, the Giants picked up Mike Matheny. Supposedly, his defense and pitcher management is so good that he is worth the money he's making. But I cant help but cringe at that .247 career bating average. Add that with the pitchers spot and that's two automatic outs every season. But I guess the cardinals still got it done with him last year. He's a moral and ethical upgrade at the position for the Giants, after Santiago taking roids and Pierzynski kicking the Giants trainer in the balls (true story). Lets hope ethics wins championships.
Little do the 2004 Giants know, a cancer stands within them.

Pitching!: Jason Schmidt can be the best pitcher in baseball. He can also be pretty mediocre at times. Nonetheless, the goatee and snarl scares me, and that's why I think he will win at least 15 games next year. Brett Tomko was horrible until he saw a sports psychologist. Now he's unstoppable. Lets hope for more of the same. Kirk Reuter is an old country boy slack jaw from Illinois who the clubhouse lovingly calls Woody because of his resemblance to the Toy Story character. That's fantastic. A 9-12 record last year isn't. Noah Lowry is the giants second lefty in the rotation, and this midseason call up was 6-0 as a starter, and amazingly has yet to lose a game in the majors. He could be the next Livan Hernandez, who started 10-0 as a rookie. Lets hope he doesn't pull a Hernandez and blow game 7 of the world series (still a little bit bitter here). Finally, the last starter is from my home island of Oahu in Hawaii, Jerome Williams. He's pretty good for growing up in ghetto Waipahu. On the downside the only Giants game I went to last year he walked the bases loaded and then gave up a bases clearing double before leaving the game injured and not returning for the rest of the season. I guess I'm bad luck. The bullpen flat out sucks, as everyone saw last year. The Giants traded their set up man Felix Rodriguez to the Phillies mid season for Ricky Ledee, who had a bout 5 hits for them the rest of the season. They then promptly blew at least 10 late leads in the last few months to miss the playoffs by a lone 1 game. In two seasons they traded set up men Felix Rodriguez and Joe Nathan, and lost Robb Nen to a career ending injury. Too bad the last game Robb Nen ever pitched in a fabulous career is game 6 of the 2002 World Series where he blew a lead in the 8th inning that would have won the Giants the championship. I'm assuming Matt Herges will take over that role this year, since he pitched himself out of the closer role last season. The good news, they got Armando Benitez as their closer. The bad news, he really sucks under pressure. All I can say about this bullpen is well see.
Jason Schmidt is too hot to handle

Projected Starting Lineup:
Ray Durham
Omar Vizquel
J.T. Snow
Barry Bonds
Moises Alou
Eduardo Alfonzo
Marquis Grissom
Mike Matheny

Projected Starting Rotation:
Jason Schmidt
Noah Lowry
Brett Tomko
Kirk Rueter
Jerome Williams

Well see how things work out. Both the Dodgers and Diamondbacks have lost and added superstar players, the Padres will continue to grow as a team, and the Rockies, well, they will always lose all their road games. The Giants may not be the preseason favorite to win the west, but then again when are they, and things always seem to work out.

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 21, 2005

What I Learned from Basic Cable

Originally posted on "Is It Sports" by Ryan. It's tough running a sports site in February, where there is pretty much nothing going on, so this post holds true to the original name, Is It Sports? No. To answer Ryan's question about Charles Nelson Reilly, when he wrote this, the answer was "is" but sadly today the answer is "was" because he passed away in 2007.

When I was in middle school and high school, I hated this time of the year, February through mid-March. It started with Valentine’s Day. You were reminded, emphatically, that you were single, as I always was, this time of year. So then, for the next month, the mad rush for a significant other was on. Girls wanted someone for the next year’s V-day, guys just wanted someone with a heartbeat. Love was in the air. Except for me, of course. So I kept getting shut out, while my friends went where the girls were. To make it worse, this was a time of year bereft of sports. The mid-season doldrums in the NHL, I hated the NBA (still do), football was over, and only every four years would there be the Winter Olympics. Spring Training was just getting started, but this was the mid-90’s, and the Twins blew.

But now I’m in college and everything has changed. The Twins don’t suck anymore! But all the other stuff is true, so I’ve got a lot of time on my hands this time of the year, and I don’t even have ESPN to keep me company. I can only watch Street Ball and Tilt so many times. So I’ve taken the liberty of letting you know, A) that we still pay attention to this site, and B) some things I’ve learned by watching basic cable.

- The right thinks that the left is trying to undermine the president in an effort to bring down the country.
- The left thinks that the right is trying to destroy the country through uber-religion and war mongering.
- Both sides are wrong since they are too paranoid to enact either plan even if they wanted to
- The Weather Channel has taught me that I am, in fact, good looking enough to secure a job in the broadcast media.
- MTV has taught me that the wealthy are stupid. (Diary)
- Really stupid. (My Super Sweet 16)
- I mean painfully stupid. (Newlyweds)
- A Ride is not officially Pimped unless it has a TV in a completely inaccessible location.
- If I am making a basketball team out of rappers, Lil John is not on my team.
- If you think there is nothing in your room that a girl will dislike, they will dislike it for being too perfect.
- Destiny’s Child is virtually the only musical group that makes music videos.
- VH1 has taught me everything I need to know about what Hal Sparks thinks about Teddy Ruxpin.
- The Food Network has taught me what I’m missing by not eating mushrooms. Absolutely nothing.
- Japanese chefs are utterly, utterly insane.
- The Discovery Channel has taught me that some pretty stupid people build motorcycles.
- Fu-Man-Chu moustaches haven’t gone out of style in some circles.
- Animal Planet has taught me that the most dangerous things in the jungle are Steve Irwin and Jeff Corwin.
- USA has taught me, rather retaught me, to love Chuck Norris.
- FX has taught me what you can get away with on basic cable.
- Fox Sports Net has taught me that Tom Arnold doesn’t have anything pertinent to say. Ever.
- The History Channel has taught me… lots of stuff.
- The Game Show Network has taught me how raunchy Charles Nelson Reilly is (was? Help me out).
- Games that pretend to require skill are the best.
- The Cartoon Network has taught me that it’s still OK to laugh at cartoons, and will be for decades.
- I could make a killing if I put a network on the air with 1960’s-early 90’s cartoons.

So there you have it. Take these lessons to heart, and don’t say I didn’t warn you when Mr. Moneybags accidentally backs over you while you are watching Walker Texas Ranger on USA on a TV in the undercarriage of his Escalade. -Ryan

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Back to the Basics

Originally posted on "Is It Sports?" by Steve. I kind of forgot how much Kevin was involved in the early days of the site. He's a fellow 49ers fan that grew up in Hawaii, and somehow decided to go to Purdue with us. He was right about Indy getting the Super Bowl, and I ended up going to the bars in Royal Oak a few times around the Super Bowl and it definitely was a pretty good time (too bad the game wasn't all that good). This might be one of the only WNBA discussions ever. My Microsoft Paint doctored WNBA picture is surprisingly good. I wrote all the comments (in black

Much like our very first post after the Orange Bowl, Kevin and I had a long winded conversation about "Super" Bowl XXXIX and other things. Here are some excerpts with my comments. - Steve

Steve: yeah I guess it was close
Steve: it wasn't all that exciting though
Kevin: no but it wasnt a blowout, it felt like one with how the eagles acted like they didnt care
Steve: well they at least covered the spread
Kevin: ya
Steve: that was just a weird game
Steve: and I don't think it was because I was drinking during it
Kevin: no i wasnt drinking and i was confused
Kevin: we need a post about the wierdness of that game
Steve: how late in the game was it tied for?
Kevin: Ive been more excited watching a JV football game
Kevin: begining of the 4th quarter
Kevin: it was the first super bowl tied after the 3rd
Steve: ever?
Kevin: yup
Steve: wow
Steve: sure didn't seem that way
Steve: no one will be talking about this one as a classic
Kevin: yeah I know

Now, only 1 week later, I can honestly tell you that I remember basically nothing about this game, except for the stories about McNabb almost puking from eating all the chunky soup before the game. Even though it was so close after all, the outcome never seemed to be a question. Last time we talked about how Brady is no Joe Montana, but McNabb in those last 2 possessions proved that he's no Scott Zolak.

Kevin: I need to buy the super bowl dvds and we need to watch all 5 49ers super bowls in a row
Steve: yeah
Steve: it can be a little depressing though
Steve: "they almost lost to the Bengals twice?!?!"
Kevin: haha but they won good sir
Kevin: hey the Bengals were good
Kevin: they had the icky shuffle
Kevin: and we get to see them beat up on the broncos, dolphins and chargers
Steve: yeah
Steve: they were killing the Bengals in Super Bowl 16 too but then let them come back to make it close
Kevin: thank god for the goal line stand
Steve: I think it was 20-3 at one point
Kevin: it was 20-0
Steve: yeah that would have been a choke
Kevin: I like how bad the footage looks since they are inside the dome
Kevin: it was so dark
Steve: yeah
Steve: Pontiac Silverdome baby!
Kevin: haha
Kevin: back to detroit
Kevin: i love the indy news with all their commercials during the super bowl: what indianapolis needs to do to get the super bowl
Kevin: its gonna start goin to all these fricken cold weather domes
Steve: I was almost on the floor with laughter
Kevin: i already hate it in the superdome and georgia dome
Kevin: they will do it when they get their new stadium and if they can get enough hotel rooms
Steve: Detroit is 5 times the size of Indy
Steve: ...that's why they're getting it
Kevin: yeah but i still think Indys gonan get it
Steve: I don't think they will
Kevin: they get the final 4 all the time
Steve: this one in Jacksonville was clearly a disaster
Steve: like if Indy's going to get it, why not have it at the AlamoDome in San Antonio?

I think sometime in the future, people will look back and be like....where is Jacksonville and why was there a Super Bowl there? (after the Jaguars most likely move away one day). I've been to Jacksonville 4 times, and there's really nothing to do there besides go to the beach or golf. The city is extremely spread out, and the population mostly consists of retirees that like golf a lot. A lot of restaurants close ridiculously early for this reason. With tons of visitors coming from usually northern cities to cheer on their team that they are diehard fans of, the city that hosts the Super Bowl needs 2 things, with one being much important than the other: 1. Have lots of places to drink/party and 2. Be Warm. More on this below...

Kevin: vegas needs to build a stadium and start hositng the super bowl
Steve: oh yeah without a doubt
Steve: I loved the Sports Guy's idea on ESPN.com
Steve: he said Vegas builds a stadium and hosts it every other year, and on the alternate years it would be a rotation between San Diego, New Orleans, and Miami
Kevin: haha nice
Kevin: i like it being in different places though
Kevin: one place every other year is too boring
Steve: Vegas would kick ass though
Steve: if they send him again next year, i was trying to imagine how he might complain
Steve: Detroit is cold and run down for starters
Kevin: haha yup
Steve: but....they have 5 good bar districts and casinos
Kevin: yea
Kevin: you know about the bar districts?
Steve: oh yeah
Steve: I made sure I visited them all
Steve: I'm counting Ann Arbor, which is kind of a stretch
Kevin: oh yeah
Steve: Ann Arbor (rich, sitting around)
Steve: Birmingham (ridiculously rich)
Steve: Pontiac (borderline ghetto)
Steve: Royal Oak (most like Purdue, but kind of rich)
Steve: Windsor (insane)
Kevin: if chicago just put a roof over soilder field
Kevin: they could get the super bowl
Steve: it already looks like crap
Steve: might as well
Kevin: haha complete the spaseship
Steve: then it will be ready for lauch
Kevin: they are crazy for renovating it that way
Kevin: fits right in with millenium park

I'm really interested to see how Detroit will handle Super Bowl XL (yes, America will learn that L is 50 in Roman Numerals in just a few months), especially since I'll be living there when it all takes place. When they hosted it last time, it was in the Pontiac Silverdome which is in the suburbs of Detroit. It was bitterly cold that week but, as I learned this summer, a pretty nice bar district is right down the street from it. This happened before I was born, so I have no idea what the general opinion of the host city was, but I guess the fact that Detroit last had the Super Bowl before I was born is a good indication. This time, it is going to be held in Ford Field in the heart of a revitalized Detroit. The weird thing is that downtown is still loaded with abandoned buildings that couldn't serve as hotels. Lucky people could stay at the Casino and probably have a great time, but most of the other visitors will have to stay in the suburbs. So that leaves the question of where all the partying is going to be taking place. Royal Oak seems like a likely location, because it is the safest bar district to go to that is closest to the stadium yet still in America, and most of the fans will probably like to stay in the plentiful number of hotels in that upscale northern suburb area. If that's the case, then I'll be looking forward to waking up Eagles fans passed out in the snow on my front lawn each morning. Windsor is the ultimate wild card. It has more bars per square foot than any city in the world, and pretty much everything there is legal, from gambling to prostitution to marijuana to murder (well maybe not murder, but Ray Lewis might want to look into it). Also, since the legal age for everything in Canada is 19, its infested with American 19 and 20 year olds every weekend. Completely wild place that's a blast for all ages. Things may be spread out a little and I'm sure it will be cold, but I think Detroit (and Windsor) has what it takes give the fans a good time.

Kevin: Chicago will have a WNBA team in 2006
Steve: for real?
Steve: no one wants one
Kevin: they are gonna play at the UIC Pavillion
Kevin: thats low
Steve: yeah it is
Steve: what are they going to be called?
Kevin: I have no idea
Kevin: we should vote on names
Kevin: the billy goats?
Steve: haha
Steve: the Cows
Kevin: haha that would be good
Kevin: The Lovabulls
Steve: thats the cheerleaders
Kevin: i know
Kevin: they gotta look somethin like the bulls
Kevin: like red and stuff
Steve: they probably will

The NBA has been trying to force women's basketball on Chicago ever since the WNBA started (and I have no idea when that was), and its just not going to work. You need to have WNBA teams in cities where people are interested in women's college basketball, like in Connecticut or Tennessee. Chicago doesn't have any colleges with good women's teams, so therefore there is little interest in women's basketball. And if you just love basketball in general, you might as well go watch some high school basketball in the South Suburbs. They've produced many top college and NBA stars over the years and are more fun to watch then professional women. I give the Cows 2 years before they move or fold. - Steve

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Is It Sports? Mailbag

Originally posted on "Is It Sports?" by Ryan. This one is all over the place, filled with a lot of random thoughts. We eventually did a real mailbag post...

All right, so I lied. This isn’t a mailbag, mostly because we haven’t received any mail that wasn’t for Yahoo’s small business package. I could print responses to that, but nobody wants to read that, not even me. But, like a mail bag, this post is full of a lot of scatterbrained topics, and no real point. Send us mail sometime soon, so we never have to do it again.

The Super Bowl. Pretty good game if you like close contests. Pretty awful if you like good football. Pretty bush league if you watch for the Halftime Show. In past, fully clad shows, they still had exciting pairings of musicians that you wouldn’t expect, like N*Sync, Nelly and Aerosmith. This year, with McCartney on stage, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. There wasn’t even a Ringo sighting.

As for the commercials, I was disappointed that there wasn’t any talk about the FedEx spot afterwards. I needed to see it again because I was laughing too hard to catch all of it. Something about seeing Burt Reynolds getting kicked in the junk.

I’m on an intramural basketball team here at Purdue. The first game we played was against an all African American team. Contrary to ethnic stereotypes, we crushed “Team Swag”. The next game we lost to the Muffins. I’m averaging a half a point a game. I think that’s really all I can say, but I just thought it was pertinent information for everyone.

Was I the only one totally floored when Flip Saunders got fired? Minnesota sports teams have a long history of keeping coaches that have won in the past for virtually forever. Tom Kelly won an average of 17 games a year from ’94-’98, but he had to retire before we hired anyone else. And McHale and Saunders were buddies. I keep thinking though, that he’ll still be back to coach the Wolves next year.

On a related note, Phil Jackson will NOT coach in Minnesota.

There is nothing more relaxing or intimidating than getting a quick neck rub from a 6’9 wide receiver. Don’t ask.

In case you were wondering, I am ecstatic that they are even talking about trading Randy Moss. What an unbelievable ray of sunshine that is raining upon my otherwise bleak sports existence.

Mardi Gras definitely needs to be celebrated in New Orleans, or some other free spirited locale. Just doesn’t work on this conservative university. I couldn’t even get drunk, and the hurricanes they served here tasted like sweet tarts. Ick.

Speaking of Hurricanes, it is totally wrong to see Miami fifth in the ACC. They belong in the Big East, I don’t care what big money says.

What happened to Mike Hall? Who really cares about the Pro Bowl? What happened on Thursday’s episode of CSI? All questions I want answered.

Ok back to IM basketball. I’m also an official for those games. I have a totally new appreciation for officials everywhere. I’m not even on TV, doing big games, but I can’t shop at Wal*Mart without hateful things being said to me. The truth is, however, that there is nothing in any job I’ve ever had that compares to the thrill of T’ing some jerk up. Last Wednesday, I ejected a whole team. I couldn’t sleep for three days, because the adrenaline was still so high.

The best part of being a referee, though, is that it gave me the spine I always needed growing up. I can now, at ease, turn on the a-hole switch anytime. It helps me get what I want. And you know there are just some people that need a Burt Reynolds style kick to the cajones anyways. Besides, it’s always interesting to hear someone cuss me out. I’m probably in a small fraternity of people who can hear four and twelve letter words get spewed at them, and be thrilled by it.

If you are even a meager fan of hip-hop, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you to immediately purchase Ludacris’s “Red Light District” It’s a phenomenal album. Easily my best musical purchase since CCR’s greatest hits a few years back. On that note, I kind of want to see what Luda would do with “Proud Mary”. Don’t tell me he wouldn’t want to rap about rollin’ on a river.

After much thought, there is one thing that you can have that would scare me to death. The neck tattoo. Frightening. It’s just not right to have needles jabbed into your neck, especially for something that permanent. You never know what someone crazy enough to get a neck tattoo will do next. I keep my distance, and so should you.

In the long lineage of female pop stars that are good looking enough not to have a bag over there head, sing well enough for feminists and award givers to like them, but definitely not good looking enough to be pin-ups or have the voices that clubgoers clamor to hear more of, women like Janis Joplin, Cher, Alanis Morissette, and Melissa Etheridge, is there any doubt that Joss Stone is next in that line?

Tim Wallach. Montreal Expos’ best third baseman ever. My favorite player as a youngster. Thought I’d mention that.

I think anyone that reads this site knows that there are people in this country that follow the popular media opinion, like it was the national opinion. Nowhere else is that truer than the sports world. So when Woody Paige tells you that nobody cares about the hockey lockout, that just means HE doesn’t care about it. There are still millions of hockey fans in real hockey cities across the country. The Canadian economy will take a hit of something like 170 million dollars because of the lockout. It needs to end, and for the first time, I’m siding with the owners on this one.

All right, that’s about all I’ve got. Write us some mail (isitsports@yahoo.com) so I never have to do this again. - Ryan

Labels: , ,

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Super Bowl XXXIX

Originally posted on "Is It Sports?" this was another co-written post. Steve is in red, Ryan in black.

Ryan: any predictions for the game?
Steve : well Patriots will win of course Steve : I'll say 34-16
Ryan: all right... i also predict Freddie Mitchell will get hit so hard the hit will appear in every NFL films intro from that point forward
Ryan: as for the game, the patriots dont win unless Vinatieri kicks the winner, so 23-20 pats
Steve : well I hope your first prediction is right
Ryan: it will be one of those hits where the helmet doesnt come off entirely, but starts too, the ball pops out, and freddie lands on his shoulder, with his feet over his head
Steve : that would be awesome
Ryan: then, the eagles, up 17-6 at the time, would be forced to rely on *gasp* Todd Pinkston for the rest of the game, since T.O.s leg will have been amputated below the knee and while freddys body is in jacksonville, his head's in Tallahassee
Steve : yeah and that's why a Vinatieri game winner doesn't seem convincing to me
Ryan: what do you mean?
Steve : that the game won't be that close
Ryan: well, theyve played Indy, who doesnt play defense, and pittsburgh, who has a rookie QB
Steve : I just think they have the confidence and the focus and Philly is just relieved that they didn't choke again
Ryan i think itll be a classic
Steve : it's been alternating lately so I say no
Ryan: well its been alternating whether or not the patriots have been involved
Ryan: this is like the wrestlemania superbowl for the nfl, the past few have been smackdowns and raws.... they are going to make this a classic (the nfl is fixed)
Steve : 38, 36, 34, 32, 30, and 28 were all interesting at least at the beginning of the 2nd half Steve : 37, 35, 33, 31, 29, 27 were all pretty much blowouts
Ryan : i dont remember that far back, man
Steve : trust me on that
Ryan i tend to

It’s probably for the best that Steve and I took a step back from baseball for a few days. He was waiting outside my door the other day wearing a Frank Thomas jersey and wielding a machete. So here’s a little Super Bowl preview, Is It Sports style.

Obviously, Steve has an incredible grasp on every aspect of sports history. Knows the ins and outs of all those little trends and I’m sure if you asked him the starting left tackle for the losing team in Super Bowl XXIV he would know it like that. Great bar trick. Gets him all the ladies.

The fact is though, trends and streaks aren’t all there is to sports. Wisconsin lost at home to Illinois, for example. If trends and streaks were what it was all about, I wouldn’t be here, writing for both of my readers.

That being said, I think Vinatieri will kick a game-winner in the waning seconds, as he has the past two times the Patriots reached the Super Bowl. I just think the Patriots are clutch, but not overwhelmingly better than the Eagles. All right, a little discussion of the two teams follows.

Patriots. I don’t know if anyone told you this yet, but the New England Patriots are pretty good, totally confusing anyone that lived in the early 90’s. I daresay they are a dynasty, and that Bill Belichek is a fabulous head coach. But I have a few reasons not to cheer for them, despite their talent.

One reason is this “Tom Brady is as good as Joe Montana” talk. Just because he can win the big one doesn’t erase the 9-7 season after he won his first Super Bowl, or that his defense is what won him 75% of the games he’s played in. The Rams destroyed every team they played, due to their ridiculous offense. The Pats D held them within striking distance. And against Carolina? Well, that was Carolina. Tom Brady isn’t as good as Joe Montana. (On a side note, doesn’t he look like a character from Celebrity Death Match brought to life? And who do I talk to to get that show back on the air?)

How about this quote, from Philly lineman Ike Reese, in the most recent issue of Sports Illustrated, “Mike Vrabel had my testicles in his hand, and he was squeezing them.” I don’t think I really need to say anything beyond that.

But, as much as I hate to admit it, every decade needs its dynasty, so until next year, I guess I won’t root against the Pats too hard.

Eagles. I do have a huge reason to hate the Eagles. Freddie Mitchell’s mouth. If you hate loudmouthed role players as much as I do, then this year is easy to pick a team to cheer for. While I like the Eagles for whupping the Vikings, I despise them for gloating about it. And I really wish Freddie Mitchell would realize he would be third receiver on at least 10 different teams.

But I’ve always liked that batch of late nineties Syracuse players. You know who I’m talking about, Donovan McNabb, Marvin Harrison, Rob Konrad. I really want to see McNabb pull this one out. (Well maybe not this one, but you know, one) He’s been too quality a guy to not have a ring. It’s like he’s this generations Dan Marino, but worse, because he has to mire in Philly.

So I guess in total, I have enough going for and against both teams that I’m entirely indifferent over who wins. (I say this now, but I know when the game starts, I’ll start cheering for someone). Like I said above, however, I’m picking the Pats, 23-20. -Ryan

Well I think I made my prediction and my reasons pretty clear in our conversation, and I think the Eagles just won't be able to keep up with the more experienced Patriots. McNabb is overrated, and I don't think he's good enough to take advantage of the Patriots shaky secondary. I really would have liked to see what the Eagles record would have been had they played in the AFC all season. There's no question they are a very good team, but I don't know if they are even close to as good as the Patriots, Steelers, or even Colts, especially with no (or banged up) T.O. Even though I'm not expecting it, I'm hoping the game is close to keep me interested, or I guess I'll even accept good commercials or more exposed nipples too (as long as they aren't Romeo Crennel's or something). I've been to Jacksonville 4 times, and I can't believe they're hosting the Super Bowl. It's easily one of the most boring cities in America and the weather there isn't as nice as Miami in the winter, and has unbearable deep south humidity in the summer. I've stayed at the hotel the Eagles are staying at all 4 times I went, and its a nice place (with nothing to do of course except golf on the TPC Sawgrass course, that features the world famous island hole, but they probably don't have time for it anyways) so that gives them a nice intangible edge...unless one of them gets attacked by one of the hundreds of alligators living freely on the hotel's property of course....

I couldn't agree more with what Ryan said about comparing Tom Brady to Joe Montana. The Niners had good defensive players in the 80s, and they were definitely no pushovers, but their success was based on their offensive system and stars. Unlike his successor Steve Young, who I'd like to congratulate on also becoming a first ballot Hall of Famer today, I never lost faith when the ball was in Montana's hands with a big game on the line. He personally won the 49ers many huge games during his time, even before they somehow drafted Jerry Rice in 1985 immediately after completing the first 15-1 season in NFL history, winning the Super Bowl, and making Dan Marino bitter for life. There's only 1 Joe Cool.

As for the Eagles, I LIKE Terrell Owens, but I'm really sick of Donovan McNabb and his mom. I'll never eat chunky soup as long as I live. The media loves to beat up on T.O, but this is a guy that loves football, has a lot of fun, truly wants to win, and stays out of trouble off the field. Like it or not, he can back up his talk, and I think he has a right to do what he does. I'm a 49ers fan, and the way the team is being managed right now, I don't blame him at all for wanting to leave. He's responsible for 2 of my all-time favorite Niners moments as well. His catch in the 1998 playoffs to finally beat the Packers is a moment I'll never forget, and when he ran and spiked that ball on that Cowboys star in 2000, you know all of the Niners fans across the country were going wild after the way the 90s went. To me he was like the spiteful James Bond at the end of some of the 70s movies. Where he has enough and stops being a tuxedo-wearing "good guy" and decides to take out the trash once and for all, where he easily could just arrest the bad guy. Those 2 plays put a dagger through the hearts of both Packers and Cowboys fans because they are re-run all the time, and I think that's nice payback for the way those teams made Niners fans feel throughout the decade. I really hope he's able to make a contribution in this game, because I know he's wanted this his entire life and he's willing to risk a career ending injury just to play in the Super Bowl. That's a role model in my book. Ask Rasheed Wallace if he'd do that. I don't think it will be this year, but I hope he gets that ring one day. Oh yeah, and the starting left tackle for the Super Bowl XXIV losing 1989 Denver Broncos (to my Niners) was Gerald Perry (but I had to look that up). - Steve

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Ricky Williams: Prophet or Washup....Only Time Will Tell

Originally posted on "Is It Sports?" by Kevin. This post is actually pretty amazing. Kevin was just joking around trying to make "drug-induced" predictions, and a bunch of these were really close to being true. Remember that these picks were made in February 2005. In 2005, he nailed the college football championship game exactly right and also correctly picked Illinois to lose the college basketball championship. In 2006, he picked the World Series matchup correctly, just the wrong result (it was joke pick at the time to pick the Tigers 2 years removed from a 119 loss season). He managed to pick the Spurs in between their 05 and 07 championships, and he correctly picked Florida as the 2006 college football champs. In 2007, he got the Giants right as a Super Bowl team, and predicted the rise of the Rays one year too soon. In 2008, he correctly picked the Cardinals as the Super Bowl losers. I think Kevin's picks for 2009 and 2010 look a little shaky, but he got a ton more correct with this "joke" post than I ever would have imagined. Maybe I'll go pre-order my 2010 UTEP Miners National Champs t-shirt now.

A few days ago I decided that I was tired of trying to be a model citizen like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. I wanted to just stop caring, and be like our good friend Ricky Williams. as you may or may not have heard, Ricky went in a 5 month period from one of the leading rushers in the NFL to a pot smoking bum, traveling across Asia, and taking medicinal marijuana classes in Weed Valley, California. Yea, that's right, he retired so he could circumvent the leagues drug policy and feed his addiction. Anyhow, wouldn't it be funny if during one of his "high" moments Ricky Williams made some crazy predictions for the next six seasons of professional sports? Here we go ladies and gents, and if any of these things happen, Ricky Williams, and I, have finally succeeded at something in life.

In case you don't know who Ricky Williams is, these pictures should update you on the last 6 years.

Super Bowl: Philadelphia Eagles over New England Patriots (at the least, I guarantee both teams will win their conferences)
World Series: Arizona Diamondbacks over Seattle Mariners, 4 games to 3 (Is Ricky crazy? Yeah he is!!)
NBA Finals: Dallas Mavericks over New Jersey Nets, 4 games to 0 (hey, it could happen)
NHL Finals: Tampa Bay Lightning over Vancouver Canucks, 4 games to 2 (Keep hope alive)
College Football National Championship: Texas over USC (Maybe a little bias there)
College Basketball National Championship: Syracuse over Illinois (Which Orange Krush will be bigger)
Academy Award Winning Movie: Harold and Kumar go to White Castle (as a write in)

Super Bowl: New York Jets over New York Giants
World Series: Detroit Tigers over St. Louis Cardinals, 4 games to 1
NBA Finals: San Antonio Spurs over Milwaukee Bucks , 4 games to 3
NHL Finals: Toronto Maple Leafs over Calgary Flames 4 games to 3 (O Canada!)
College Football National Championship: Florida over Pittsburgh
College Basketball National Championship: Oklahoma State over Connecticut
Academy Award Winning Movie: How High 2: Grad school

Super Bowl: Jacksonville Jaguars over New York Giants
World Series: Tampa Bay Devil Rays over Los Angeles Dodgers, 4 games to 3
NBA Finals: Memphis Grizzlies over Toronto Raptors, 4 games to 1 (O Canada!)
NHL Finals: Minnesota Wild over Florida Panthers, 4 games to 0
College Football National Championship: Boise State over Marshall (in a playoff tournament after the BCS is abolished)
College Basketball National Championship: Villanova over Duke
Academy Award Winning Movie: Up In Smoke (A Michael Moore Documentary about the evils of the Bush Administration for preventing the legalization of marijuana)


Super Bowl: Indianapolis Colts over Arizona Cardinals
World Series: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Greater Southern California Area over Chicago Cubs, 4 games to 3
NBA Finals: Golden State Warriors over Chicago Bulls, 4 games to 2
NHL Finals: Boston Bruins over Dallas Stars, 4 games to 0
College Football National Championship: Oregon State over Notre Dame (Touchdown Jesus loves the Beavers!)
College Basketball National Championship: Texas Tech over Gonzaga
Academy Award Winning Movie: Playmakers: The Movie (A film about football, drama, and of course, weed)

Super Bowl: Los Angeles Saints over Houston Texans
World Series: Washington Nationals over Baltimore Orioles, 4 games to 2
NBA Finals: Atlanta Hawks over Minnesota Timberwolves, 4 games to 3
NHL Finals: Anaheim Mighty Ducks over New Jersey Devils, 4 games to 3
College Football National Championship: Texas over Michigan State
College Basketball National Championship: Kansas over UTEP
Academy Award Winning Movie: Traffic III

Super Bowl: Los Angeles Saints over Buffalo Bills
World Series: Las Vegas Marlins over Kansas City Royals, 4 games to 2 (in the Marlins third ever postseason appearance)
NBA Final: San Diego Clippers over Atlanta Hawks, 4 games to 1 (the NBA then contracts itself)
NHL Finals: Seattle Flames over Detroit Red Wings, 4 games to 3
College Football National Championship: Iowa over USC
College Basketball National Championship: UTEP over North Carolina
Academy Award Winning Movie: Cool Runnings II: Jamaica's got a Hockey Team! (A group of teenagers form Jamaica's first hockey team to travel to America for the Olympics in order to replenish their empty supply of weed)

There ya go. Ricky made his picks, and now he's got the munchies. Eat up Ricky. Only time will tell whether Ricky Williams is a washed up drug addict, or a prophet we will only see once in our lifetime.

Labels: , ,