Thursday, May 29, 2008

NBA's new idea...a flop?

Alright, how exactly is the NBA going to enforce their new rule?

Basically the NBA is going to start fining players for flopping. All this comes on the wake of about 23 hours and 57 minutes of constant discussion on ESPN about whether Brent Barry should have jumped into Derek Fisher to get a foul call (the other 3 minutes of coverage were divided between the cracked foot of Big Brown and a profile of former spelling bee "icon" Samir Patel)

Flopping has been a problem in the NBA for a while, and we all know it, ever since the great Vlade Divac started the tradition when he suited up for the kings. No other NBA issue, besides the referees, is talked about more on fan blogs and sports talk radio more than the flop and its non-place in the game of basketball. So in theory this new "rule" should be great, a player blatantly flops and he'll get fined...great!

Here's the problem with this new "Rule". The flop is used to draw a foul call, normally either a charge or a hack, sometimes the ref calls it sometimes they don't...it's a judgment call. the only thing that this new "rule" is going to do is shift the judgment to someone else. The NBA will tell its refs to crack down on floppers in the off-season, but otherwise the new "rule" won't change the way the game is officiated, so it really doesn't change a thing.

The fines will more then likely be small enough that the players that use the flop as part of their game (I'm looking at you Tony Parker) won't change their game, the only thing that will do that is if after a certain amount of fines there are suspensions. But even then how do you determine what is a, and I'm quoting the story, "serial flopper" is flopping or actually fouled. I think it's idiotic to substitute one person's judgment for anothers and call it a solution.

And otherwise, how can the NBA be able to put "in-arena observers" at every game to search out floppers, when MLB can't put one more person at games to watch replays to get the calls right?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Did Obama Just Get the Tar Heels in Trouble?

Ok,for those who don't know, Yesterday Presidential candidate Barack Obama played a pick-up game with the University of North Carolina Tar Heel basketball team. If you haven't seen it, check the YouTube video right here...gotta admit he looks like he could hold his own a little bit.



But here's the "problem", it's possible that this game violated two NCAA regulations. First UNC Coach Roy Williams was at the game, and coaches are not allowed to view pick-up games in the off season. Second, the game was apparently mandatory for the team, and NCAA regulations state that their can be no mandatory athletic events during the period of finals (which started Monday at UNC).

The NCAA has already said they'll wave the violations because it was such a "special opportunity" for the team. Now, I'm not saying that the NCAA was right or wrong, but it makes you wonder. What do you think?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Why Weaver?

Here in Wisconsin, the Brewers have very quickly become a sexy team. What I mean by that is that they have become very popular...very quickly, because they have gotten very good...very quickly. So the hot button issue right now with the Brew Crew is that they've signed former post-season hot shot Jeff Weaver to a minor league deal.

My question is why? I haven't really understood the moves the Brewers have made with their pitching staff this year. There are major concerns for me in this pitching staff.
  • I get that Ben Sheets looks really good, but I wonder if he's going to stay healthy?
  • Chris Capuano is gone for the year, getting the second Tommy John surgery of his career. After the season he had last year that might be a good thing.
  • Jeff Suppan is your #2, I Like Suppan but I don't think that he's a #2 on a world series contender (am I wrong?)
  • After Sheets and Suppan, the rest of the rotation is either unproven (Yovani Gallardo, Manny Para and Carlos Villanueva) or incredibly streaky (Dave Bush a.k.a. "The Human Light Switch")
  • Move to the Bullpen and you get more stability. Pitchers like Guillermo Mota and Seth McClung have been a great addition to the staff...
  • ..But move to the closer role and again their are concerns. With the departure of Coco Cordero to Cincinnati, the position has become a weakness. How long will Eric Gagne hold up in the closer role (he hasn't been the same since he got hurt with the Dodgers...a brief appearance of the old Gagne in Texas last year was erased by a horrendous stint with in Boston)? and if he falters who's set to take over the closer role? Derrick Turnbow who was dubbed Derrick "Turnblow" by many in Milwaukee (Turnbow just hasn't been the same since his bobble head day at Miller Park).
The NL Central is still going to be decided between the Cubs and Brewers, and the cubs have their own problems too, but the Brewers' pitching staff concerns me...a lot.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

...and Out Come the "Sue" Birds

Former Seattle Supersonics' (yeah I called them supersonics!) owner Howard Schultz isn't very happy with new owner Clay Bennett's plans to move the team from Seattle to Oklahoma City.

If you're a sports fan you've no doubt heard this story already. But, this morning it was discovered that Schultz isn't going to take the move lieing down. There are reports that Schultz is planning to sue Clay Bennett for breach of contract. Schultz is arguing that when he sold the team to Bennett, Bennett agreed to make a "good-faith effort" to keep the Sonics in Seattle.

I found this local news report from Seattle's NBC King 5 (I swear to god, that's their tag line) from this morning.
video

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Calling all Knuckleballers!

It's not a secret that baseball is my favorite American sport. It's also not a secret that the Knuckleball is my favorite pitch in the history of baseball. Because of that, this ESPN.com Feature caught my eye. If you have a 5 or so minutes check out this video. Makes you think about how game changing a good knuckleballer can be.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

So it's finally happend...the ground feels so cold

Alright so it's finally happened. Brett Favre has retired. (Yeah I called that one a little early I guess)

While it's still not 100% that he won't change his mind in 2 weeks. He may come back after he's seen all the talking heads yapping about how he still has 3-4 good years left, and how he's got a great young team that's just starting to come together. But for some reason this just seems to fit.

Doesn't it though? I mean everyone when they first heard it was shocked, I know I was, but after thinking about it you start to realize it fits. If you believe the reports, he doesn't have any close friends left on the team, FB William Henderson was the last of those (Henderson was released last March). He's been toying with the retirement idea for over 5 years, He's wanted Randy Moss for 2 years and hasn't gotten him, and i'm sure he doesn't want to go through yet another training camp.

Granted he could have pulled a Strahan and just kept the packers guessing through half of training camp so he wouldn't have to go through it, But that probably doesn't go over well with a QB as opposed to a DE.

Either way I think this is legit, he deserves to walk away after the great year he and his team had. even if he did end his Career with an interception. That really conveys his career, he was a gambler. He'll throw more then his share of INTs, but with that you get a lot of TDs.

Even as a childhood Bears fan, I'll miss Brett Favre, and I'm sure all football fans will as well.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The East is "Lost" and the West finds "Other" means

(I actually took about 5 minutes thinking of that title...I found it to be quite clever)

The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching, a little over 60 hours and counting, and we've already had one of the most interesting trade seasons in recent NBA memory. When was the last time you heard names like Jason Kidd and Shaquille O'Neal going to new teams all in one season?

But there seems to be a slant to this trading barrage, it seems that the Western Conference has simply been raiding the Eastern cookie jar, and the East hasn't been able to do the same. If the league approves the deal, Kidd will go from the Nets (east) to the Mavs (west) and Shaq went from the Heat (east) to the Suns (west).

The East hasn't made any moves in that have helped its top teams. While the Celtics get a free pass becasue of the trading the made in the off season, the Magic, Cavs, Pistons, Raptors...none of these teams have made any moves to try and prepare themselves for the late season push. why not?

Does the East honestly think they can compete with the top teams in the West as they are right now? The West's 78% winning percentage in the NBA finals since 1999 tells a different story.

Bottom line, the West is going to win the NBA Championship again, more then likely (personally I think the Celetics could give a few Western teams a run). But the East is going to need Lebron to become the next MJ to shift the power again.

Friday, February 1, 2008

only 30 minutes left

Johan Santana and the Mets are still negotiating the contract extention that is needed to complete the 5 player trade.

According to multiple reports the two sided are deadlocked on a guarnteed 6th year, the mets don't want it...Santana does.

Dhani Jones Becomes a Two Sport Athlete

Rugby has long been my favorite sport in the world. The combination of footballs aggressive and physical play with soccers athleticism and field position battles is really a sight to see if you've never seen it.

Well, Bengels LB Dhani Jones is going to try out Rugby Union first hand.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Really Minnesota...Really?

If you haven't seen, the Minnesota Twins have agreed in principle to trade former Cy Young winner Johan Santana to the New York Mets. In Return the Mets agreed to send CF Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phil Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra.

The deal does hinge on the Mets and Santana being able to work out a long term contract extension, but something tells me that Omar Minaya can get that done

Now, I know that the Twins wanted to get rid of arguably the best pitcher in baseball, but for that package...really?

According to this ESPN story, some MLB talent evaluators pinned this package as the fourth best offer that the Twins since they put Santana on the trade block.

Guess they held onto Santana for a little too long. I know the Twins didn't want to part ways with Santana, I know they've had problems agreeing to a long term deal, but letting Santana go for four magic beans that the twins hope will grow? Really Minnesota...really?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Guts...Just Pure Guts...


Watching the Giants vs. Packers game was quite possibly one of the more enjoyable times i've had watching an NFL game in a long time.

The entire game can be summed up in one word...Guts.

IF nothing else it took guts for Tom Caughlign to send Lawerence Tynes out there to try a 47 yard field goal with the game on the line, after missing his last two.

Wow...

Championship Sunday - Weather Report


28 Teams are sitting at home in their heated houses watching the games today, all of them wishing they were on the frozen fields that the Chargers, Patriots, Packers, and Giants are playing on today.

Both games are going to be cold...the type of cold that your grandfather told you he walked to school in (uphill! both ways!). So in honor of that fact, here are the game time weather reports for both Conference Championship games.

San Diego Chargers vs. New England Patriots
- 2:00 PM CST
Temperature - 23ºF
Feels Like - 11ºF
Wind Speed - 13 mph NW

New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers - 5:30 PM CST
Temperature - 3ºF
Feels Like - -11ºF
Wind Speed - 11 mph W

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Peterson Wins No Brainer Award


Was anyone surprised that rookie RB Adrian Peterson (a.k.a. Purple Jesus), won the AP Offensive Player of the Year award?

Peterson racked up 1,341 yards and 12 TDs...only LT had more yards and touchdowns, and Peterson only played in 14 games due to injury.

The rest of the NFC North is going to have trouble with Purple Jesus for many years to come.