The Sports Hogwash

An innovative opinion for a ludacris sports-world.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The No-Fun-League

The NFL competition committee is ruining everyone's fun.

They are thinking about cracking down on end-zone celebrations even further. Although I think the celebrations are funny and could soon get out of hand, I think they are perfect right now.

Week after week, new sports fans tuned into to watch Chad Johnson and Steve Smith spar off on end-zone celebration. Around Christmas time in the NFL, Chad Johnson threatened to use a live reindeer. So when Sunday came around, I didnt ask if my beloved Bills were winning (well, they were out of postseason contention), I didn't ask if the Colts kept their undefeated streak alive. I asked, "Did Chad Johnson score a TD?" And, "What did he do this time."

This type of celebration keeps the game raw, keeps everyone interested, and gives fans something to laugh about. Everyone laughs about Hockey when fights break out. Everyone loves Nascar when the "Hill-billy" drivers pummel each other after the race, and ordinary fans love end-zone celebrations.

If the NFL competition committee really feels like cracking down, make an allotted time limit. Give Chad Johnson 15 seconds to strut his stuff, tee off like Tiger, or cradle the baby. Fans will like it, he wont take away from the game, and it will keep the game fun.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Reactions from this weekend

Listening to Sports Radio on the way home from school today, I heard an interesting stat. Out of 1.5 million users, and 3 million entries...only 3 people had all four of their final four remaining in their bracket.

So lets classify these type of people. Are these people smart for believing George Mason would upset the past 3 national champions (MSU, UNC, UConn) on the way to Indy. Are these "bracketologists" intelligent that they failed to pick a single Number 1 seed?

Anyways, my beloved Longhorns are out of the tournament. A great game on Thursday night with K.P hitting the gamewinner at the buzzer. They had a great year, most wins in school history, 30, and are still a favorite for next year. Even in Lamarcus leaves, which he most likely will, Gibson should stay, PJ will be back for his senior campaign, and a good class is coming in for Rick Barnes which includes No. 2 high school prospect Kevin Durante. This is Texas. We don't rebuild, we reload.

Is it possible for a team to be too talented. Well, in UConn's case, it was. These powerhouses like UConn and Duke get so many good players that it takes away from team chemistry. UConn won the national championship 2 years ago with an upperclassmen leader, Emeka Okafor. This year, they had 2 potential lottery picks, Josh Boone and Rudy Gay, on the bench in the waning moments of the overtime loss to George Mason. I'd take a team that is well balanced, senior leadership with an array of role players before the studs. And if you don't agree, look what Team USA is doing in the World Competition. A.I was withheld from even trying out for the club while players like Bruce Bowen were invited.

Florida is the odds-on favorite. You have to like their chances. They have a nice array of big men, they can shoot the three-ball, and are much deeper than George Mason. I'd love to see the Patriots keep their run in-tact, but I think Billy Donovan's ball club will step up. What we considered one of the weaker conferences in college basketball, the SEC, could turn in to the strongest one. I forecast an ALL-SEC final.

Away from basketball, Longhorn baseball swept their series over Oklahoma State this weekend. True freshman Kyle Russell hit a couple of HR's over the weekend. He leads Texas in BA: 375, HR: 5, RBI: 28, Slugging: .738, and OBP: 478. Texas softball swept their series over NO. 17 Nebraska to open up conference play. They can hit this year, as they came back from a 2-run deficit 2x in game 2 of the series, capped off with an Amber Hall homerun to put the Horns ahead for good 5-4.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Longhorns..

Sweet 16 Part Uno

Duke vs. LSU

Duke’s been a basketball powerhouse for quite some years. They’ve been to the sweet 16 something like the last 9 years in a row. Having a hall-of-fame coach and the most prestigious basketball university in the nation doesn’t hurt. However, I’m not sold on this Duke team. Granted they’ve been a top-5 ranked team the entire year, they’ve had a loss of close calls and for the Dukies to lose their final 2 games in ACC play, including Senior night, said a lot to me. Sheldon Williams, who has dominated fellow ACC big-men downlow, will have problems muscling up with baby Shaq. Darrell Mitchell proved to be clutch as he hit the key three-pointer to lift the Tigers over Texas A&M. Don’t think the close win over a 12-seed is a sign to weakness. A&M was a team that was underrated, hard-working, and full of heart. And besides, teams can use a big-shot like Darrell Mitchell’s as momentum. With LSU’s physical, tough defense they will be able to shut down JJ Redick, however, I see a Sean Dockery/Melchioni/McRoberts stepping up and having a big game.

Duke 85 – LSU 81 OT

Texas vs. West Virginia

Texas has struggled against teams that slow it down and play possession by possession. That explains the Penn game. A good Texas team came out and played against N.C. State, but we haven’t seen the best Texas team in the Big Dance yet. Buckman hasn’t played to his potential, and even though Tucker is averaging 15 a game, I don’t think he’s broken out. Barnes will come out of his zone and matchup with West Virginia. The athleticism and defense of LaMarcus Aldridge (Big XII defensive player of year) will shut down Pittsnogle. Daniel Gibson will hold down Mike Gansey. Besides that 1-2 punch from WVU, I don’t see much of an attack. An advantage the Mountaineers have is if this game is close down the stretch. WVU is 8-4 in games decided by 5-points or less. The difference in this game will be PJ Tucker. Tucker is a nightmare for opposing coaches because he creates a mismatch at any position he plays. With a PJ Tucker on board, it gives Coach Rick Barnes the flexibility to mix up the five on the floor in any creative way. The Longhorn backcourt is comfortable after beating the Wolfpack by double-digits, and do the same against West Virginia

UT 62 – WVU 48

Memphis vs. Bradley


I’m going to be honest, I have not seen Bradley play thus far. I think beating KU was an accomplishment, but nothing too special. The Jayhawks are young, like UNC, and we all know both those teams will be watching the Tournament from the confines of their living rooms. Beating Pitt made a statement for the Missouri Valley Conference. Their run ends here though. Memphis is too athletic, and have their tournament nerves out of them after the first weekend. Senior Rodney Carney will take over this game. Carney and the rest of the athletic bunch that Coach John Calipari coaches will be way too much for the 13 seed. I know Bradley has had a nice run and put pressure on the opposing teams early, causing those teams to play the Bradley Braves type of ball, but not this time. And besides, 13 seeds in the sweet 16 are 0-3. Well…make that 0-4.

Memphis 86 – Bradley 70

UCLA vs. Gonzaga


The Pac-10 has flown under the radar in 2006. Is it the fact that their games don’t start till 9 central/10 eastern the reason we don’t watch them? The UCLA guards have impressed me thus far. A guy named Jordan Farmar has the ability to not only shoot the 3-ball but has gone to the rack hard in a fashion that we don’t usually see out of point guards. And then there’s Stache’. Adam Morrison leads this Gonzaga team, that despite being a 3-seed, is still fighting for respect. Although I think that the Zags team is not as good as last year, I think this team has better chemistry and an identity. Of course they rely on POY Candidate Morrison for their points, but J.P Batista has been providing scoring when needed. And down the stretch free-throws are huge. Not only does Stache’ shoot nearly 80 percent, but point-guard Derek Raivio is clutch, shooting a 91-percent clip. It always seems the Bulldogs pull the close ones out, no matter who their competition is, and they do that this time.

Gonzaga 76 – UCLA 75

Just for the Record:
Texas over Duke
Memphis over Gonzaga

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Soriaahhh--NO!


Newly-acquired Alfonso Soriano finally reported to Washington National spring training camp after his Dominican Republic team was eliminated from WBC competition on Saturday. He greeted his team Sunday and was slated to lead off and play left-field on Monday.

Ahhh Left Field? OH, Hell No.

I first will take Soriano's side: You are an all-star second basemen. You've played 2nd your entire life. Your contract is more than half the teams total salary. As a 2nd basemen, your power numbers are legit...which you will eventually cash in when a contract year comes.

Now the logical side. Baseball is a team sport. You are on a new team. There's no way worse to greet your teammates by refusing to play a position. In addition, you suck at 2nd base. Soriano has had 105 errors since 2001. That is nearly 50 more than any 2nd basemen in that same span!! I know you've played 2nd base since you were 4 years old...or is that 2 on your "birth certificate"...but swallow your pride.

After Soriano found out no other teams wanted him, he was basically given an ultimatum. Play left-field, or don't get paid the 10 million dollars that the Nationals would shell out. Well, that's 10 million reasons why Soriano was out there Tuesday afternoon. Don't pull a Man-Ram, Alfonso. Work hard at being a solid out-fielder. Show the league why you're worth the money. Work hard so Steinbrenner wants you back so you can actually go back to the Big Apple.

But that won't happen. The chemistry in Washington is just not there. How can you have chemistry when you have selfish players like Jose Guillen and Livan Hernandez mixed with a bunch of potential prospects. Playing in the toughest division in the National League, if the ship starts to sink, it will be the veterans that abandon ship first.

Monday, March 20, 2006

T.O. to the BIG D

I hate Dallas, But I don't hate TO.

And that's why this post will be tough to write.

There are countless reasons why I should hate TO. He ruined the Eagles season, he called out his quarterbacks, he's a loud-mouth that craves attention. I know...but really don't care.

I like the guy. He's funny and media-friendly. He outplayed his contract, so yes, he deserves a better contract. I think he is misunderstood. I think he will make his team better.

He will make the Dallas Cowboys a playoff team.

The man works hard. That hard work pays off for him and his teammates on the field. Not only does Terrell have the ability to turn a 10 yard catch into a 80 yard TD, but he opens up space for other receivers.

Bledsoe likes to spread the ball around. In Buffalo he utilized the TE role effectively while spreading the ball to receivers like Moulds, Reed (when he'd catch it), Peerless Price (when he was around), and Lee Evans (in his rookie season). The 2006 Cowboys will have tremendous balance with Jason Witten, Patrick Crayton, and Terry Glenn coming up in key roles. Don't forget Julius Jones coming back, and he'll be totally healthy.

So the next question is your WR--QB relationship. How fast will TO rip Drew Bledsoe?

Bledsoe has worked through tough situations before. As a rookie in New England, Drew had to deal with Bill Parcells. As I've heard, being a rookie for Parcells is NOT easy. Bledsoe also dealt with having his starting position snatched from him after an injury. Tom Brady took over the role and led the Patriots to a Super Bowl while Bledsoe watched on.

That takes some patience.

And if TO still tries to bite Bledsoe's head off...The Tuna will step in.

TO knows his limits and knows his boundaries. This is a situation that is perfect for him, and after the last situation, I honestly believe he will work to assimilate into the Cowboys organization. His "Boy" Michael Irvin will mend any disagreements.

This situation works, and it makes me mad.

2006 Cowboys = 12-4

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Podcasting

At first glance, podcasting looked cool.

Any average American citizen could connect a microphone, say what they think, talk however long they wanted to, and then say goodbye and...boom a podcast.

There is one problem--The copyright of your opinion.

What's saying the sportscasters from ESPN Radio here in Austin don't check out your opinion and have it for their own--WORD for WORD. What's saying they don't steal your "Gimmicky Segment"

I know my opinion is just a big "hogwash", but one day people will actually care what I have to say. Well, more than just the 11 of ya'll.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Barry officially Busted

So you are a fence-sitter? Couldn't believe the "testimony" that was leaked from the grand-jury. Believed that Barry was an old man, worn down by the media. Believed he naturally hit 72 homeruns in a single season.

Wake up and smell the roses.

Two San Fransisco Chronicle reporters finally got enough testimony leaked, got enough documents (over 1,000), and got enough interviews (200) to break the biggest story this decade.

Talking about his body this spring break, Barry called himself, "Fat". Translation--off the juice.

Talking about his injury last season, Barry said, "Older people take longer to heal". Translation--it takes longer to heal off the juice.

Talking about his spring training this year, Barry: Acted as Paula Abdul. Translation--estrogen hormonal effects from the juice?

Bonds looked so colorful thus far. Acting as Abdul in a spring training skit. A laughable, funny, extroverted character the public loves. Acting like a Kirby Puckett with a smile as wide as the atlantic ocean.

Don't be fooled that's some heart-warming material for his TV show.

And now that this book is released chronicling his steroid use from 1998. He will go back in his dark, dark cave and be the dark, dark man we all hate.

You don't think the book is true...here's a quote from former Giants manager Dusty Baker after reading the book.

"I read it, man. I was lost. I didn't even know there were that many kind of steroids," said Cubs manager Dusty Baker, Bonds' former skipper in San Francisco. "I've never even seen steroids. I didn't even know what kind of steroids are steroids other than the kinds you use to fight allergies. ... I was quite surprised with the detail that was in there."

Just when Barry thought he was in the clear.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Kirby Puckett

Growing up...he was an iconic figure.

The short, stubby, quick, balls-out gamer.

His baseball was card was worth its fair share among me and my friends.

His smile worth a lot more.

Kirby Puckett was the last of its kind--playing when baseball was fun. Before money, steroids and statistics were the players first perogative. An era where teammates were more than a runner on 2nd, but a best friend for life.

I agree with ESPN's reference that Puckett did to Minnesota what Michael Jordan did to Chicago. I don't know one player, past or present, that has brought more people together or warmed as many hearts as Kirby.

Maybe he wasn't the most classiest guy off-the-field with the ladies, but all that stuff didn't matter back then. It was all about getting to the postseason, and winning the postseason--a feat done twice but Puckett.

I still remember the early 1990's where Kirby, standing at 5-8, leaped as high as his little body out there could, and snagged a sure double away from an Atlanta Brave in Game 6 of the World-Series. He then proceeded to hit a walk-off HR to extend the series to 7 games.

Double-digit all-star, a .312 career batting average, a hall-of-famer.

On Fox Sports Radio Show "JT-The Brick", a caller called in and talked about Puckett. He then broke down in tears.

He was a special player to all that know anything about the game.

R.I.P Kirby Puckett.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Texas Basketball

UT basketball needs an identity.

It's now March in the 2006 calendar year. However, the most talented team in the country is still searching for a leader.

Throughout the season we've seen each player step up big in at least one game. LaMarcus and the bench was good against Kansas. PJ was instrumental against Memphis and Nova. Gibson big versus Baylor. Err. Baylor. Buckman is your blue collar hard-working, show-up player, but not a leader. KP is consistent but not a consistent leader.

One player needs to take charge.

One player needs to man-up and say..."This is my team. I'm going to take us to Indianapolis. I'm going to "Bring a title back to Auussten Texas" (VY context, of course)

On Wednesday night, Texas traveled to Reed Arena and was defeated by a Texas A&M team that is NOT going to make the tournament.

The problem with not having a true "leader", is that you have the 5 players on the floor, staring at each other, waiting for someone to step up. I want a "go-getter". I want someone to say, "Watch me, we are going to win...jump on my back and follow my lead."

That guy needs to be the emotional leader. He needs to be the spokesman of the group. He will be the Big XII MVP. He will be the one that has to get rid of the silly mistakes.

Take us to Indy, P.J.