Archive for September, 2008

Sports Links: Nazis, Yi, Salukis, Usain, Yung Giuliani, and more

September 12, 2008 2 comments

Hugo Chavez is ramping up his anti-American rhetoric. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin has a tough time answering questions; here’s a post on how her answer should imply a lack of preparation for the job. Agree? Disagree? Oh hell, did you know Susan Sarandon’s daughter is attractive? Eva Amurri cleavageYeah, it’s time for an unrelated picture of an attractive woman, Eva Amurri.

Here are some things that have passed by my eyes that I haven’t had a chance to delve into yet:

+ The Southern Illinois Salukis weren’t very good last year; but the freshmen (Kevin Dillard and Ryan Hare) are so promising, returning guard Josh Bone opted to transfer after their Labor Day preseason trip.

+ Basketball Prospectus has an analysis of what a player needs to do when making the jump from college to the pros. The same jump is probably necessary when going into the college game:

Part of the development for a player making the leap into a new level of play must be adjusting the player to the speed of the game…. In coaching, it means taking a four-step process and working to condense it to only two steps. A player must read a situation, recognize the circumstances, judge between various courses of action and react properly. Once a player has fully adjusted to the speed of the game, they are able to condense the process into reading and reacting.

+ The Giants and Jets’ fans are pissed because the team wants to sell naming rights to a German company that was a Nazi collaborator. Some folks will use the “well, no one from the company then is part of the company now,” or refer to how Henry Ford was said to be a big Nazi supporter (and an anti-Semite himself), so money’s money. Personally, I think it’s in poor taste and bad PR, especially in an area with a number of Jewish fans. Even if there was not a large Jewish population, I’d say “poor taste.”

+ Less serious: what to expect of Yi Jianlian? No one knows; but one of his coaches in Milwaukee delves into the conundrum of Yi.

+ Duke University defends kicking Rudy9/11AnyQuestions Giuliani’s son Andrew off the golf team. Apparently, he’s a jackass:

But Duke said in a court filing Wednesday that the 22-year-old Giuliani was properly suspended after throwing an apple in the face of another player, breaking a golf club during a tournament, injuring a teammate and becoming verbally abusive with a coach.

+ The Patriots have built a mall next to their stadium. Everyone Wins! is their tagline. More on this later.

+ Have these football rivalries fallen off?

+ One Jamaican blogger thinks Jamaicans have too much free time, as evidenced by how many people came out to congratulate sprinter Usain Bolt.

The Big Hits 9.09.08

September 9, 2008 Comments off

A football recap.

NY Post Back Cover Tom Brady+ As you know by now, the Cheifs eliminated Tom Brady from football competition for the year. Despite the fact that Yahoo! broke the Tom Brady story, the New York Post editors completely knew they were expressing joy at the man’s injury. He wears Yankee caps, you dipholes. But the Post is never actually classy, the great paper of rumor and innuendo they are.

+ Watching that Redskins/ Giants game last Thursday was great for a drive or two, and whenever Brandon Jacobs flat destroyed a safety; but the Redskins had their chances and the Giants couldn’t put them away. The Washington Post looks into what went wrong with the rookie head coach Jim Zorn and third-year QB Jason Campbell; some say he’s a poor fit for this kind of offense. For his part, Jim Zorn definitely was not hurrying things up in a hurry-up situation; it was poor execution all around and not just on the quarterback.

+ In the OH SNAP files, the Tennessean noted that Vince Young may have asked out of the game against Jacksonville, before he was injured. At the very least, he did not inform the trainers that his hamstring was tight, he simply sat to the side. Well, an update: the man who has also thought about retiring has roused concerns about his mental state (h/t to Music City Miracles):

Concerns about the well-being of Tennessee Titans’ quarterback Vince Young prompted an early morning meeting at the team’s headquarters.

Metro police officers and Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher gathered at Baptist Sports Park around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday to meet with Young after trying to locate him.

According to sources, questions about Young’s state of mind began when the quarter back left his home abruptly at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

According to the same sources, Young seemed emotionally down and left his cell phone behind.

Titans’ officials alerted Metro police to be on the lookout for Young’s SUV.

After Coach Fisher spoke with Young, it seemed concerns about Young’s state of mind were unfounded, according to sources.

+ That Raiders game last night against the Broncos was a complete dog. Their reporters are going to go back to thesaurus to find new ways of saying "inept." DeAngelo Hall chirps a lot for a guy who picks up consecutive unsportsmanlike penalties. Poise, my man. Poise.

+ The J-E-T-S JETSJETSJETS played a decent game in Miami on Sunday, beating the Dolphins 20-14 in a game featuring an injured kicker, a furious comeback by deposed former Jet Quarterback Chad Pennington, and Favremania. Lots of room for improvement on this squad, though. Some guy named Will Leitch comments that the conservative Mangenious style may conflict with Brett "no father to my style" Favre.

Aaron Rodgers Lambeau Leap+ Aaron Rodgers had a nice debut (you cannot "flap" him!)… and Tavaris Jackson looks like a third string quarterback. Really, for a number of plays, the whole Vikings squad looked third string.

+ Joe Flacco sounds like an excited kid, and he should be – rookie starting his first NFL game, and he wins? Big runs? The Baltimore Sun lists some keys to success… they’re going to be disappointed in the "need to improve" areas. he’s still a rookie.

+ The Rams got housed. They keep this up, they’re going to get relegated and the Missouri Tigers will join the NFL. That was for the sake of joke, of course the Tigers would do worse.

+ The Lions suck way worse than the Falcons, who got a passing touchdown from their rookie QB Matt Ryan and some hella good running from Michael "I’m Free" Turner.

+ Matt Forte for the Bears proved up to the challenge of the starting job, gashing the Colts for 123 yards on Sunday night. A fun thing about being in Chicago – the city is extremely football partisan, and where I live, the Bears are part of the local culture. And it’s a walking city. So I could follow whether the Bears were doing well as I walked the dog by listening for the cheers coming out of every other apartment building, with blonde Chads and Trixies walking up to their viewing parties with cases of beer… that’s pretty cool. You don’t get that as much in New York, where fans of every team live.

I didn’t keep track of the rest of the games because, well, what is there to say about Buffalo putting 34 on Seattle, or Pittsburgh laying 38 on Houston? Carolina vs San Diego was competitive and Arizona vs San Francisco was kind of pathetic. I can’t believe Dallas didn’t put more points on the Browns.

Categories: football, Giants, Jets, Sports

Mets Closer Billy Wagner Out for a Year

September 8, 2008 Comments off

After the uh-oh before last night’s rousing prime time victory over the Phillies… the uh-oh becomes reality.

From the NY Daily News:

Mets closer Billy Wagner has a torn ligament in his left elbow and will have surgery this week, meaning he’ll miss the rest of this season and likely all of 2009, too.

The surgery will repair a torn MCL ligament and a torn flexor pronator, and has a recovery time of at least a year, the Mets announced Monday. Since Wagner is currently in the third year of a four-year, $43-million contract, it’s possible he has thrown his last pitch for the Mets, though the team holds a $8 million option on Wagner for the 2010 season or there is a $1 million buyout on the deal.

Billy Wagner on mound for Mets

Categories: baseball, injury, Mets, Sports

Give that Fan a Hand… Job

September 8, 2008 1 comment

h/t to the Big Lead:

Most bizarre email this weekend: “During The UTEP/UT game they cut to fans sitting on nearby rocks watching the game. They focused on a guy and girl who was giving said guy a hand job. Bob Davies says, “Looks like they’re having a good time.” Circled it with telestrator.”

Categories: football, funny, Sports

RIP Don Haskins

September 8, 2008 2 comments

Haskins is best known for beating Kentucky for the national championship in 1966 (as chronicled, with some flourishes, in the movie Glory Road); he also won 719 games and got Texas Western, now known as University of Texas-El Paso, to the NCAA tournament 14 times in his years at the school (which has 16 total appearances).

Don haskins + Texas Western team, 1966

From Dan Wetzel at Yahoo! Sports:

The story of the 1966 Texas Western Miners was perfect for a Disney movie: On the night before the title game against Kentucky, Haskins decides to start five black players, they win and all is good.

Haskins liked “Glory Road.” He hated that part. He never said it publicly. He was above that. Fact is he had started five black players from Day 1, and the movie made Haskins look like he was afraid to do so. That pained him.

To pretend everything was great after the championship was a stretch, too. Racial slurs were never his greatest enemy. It was far more personal.

He was 36, with a wife and four kids. He had a low-paying job at a school no one had ever heard of. It had taken the family three years of living in the football dorm to save up for a house.

And he had a decision to make. A decision none of his coaching peers could understand why he was contemplating.

There was an old coaching axiom back then, when many college teams were still segregated. If you coached at a school that allowed black players, the joke went: “you played two at home, three on the road and four if you were behind.”

You never played five, especially in the South. Jackie Robinson had come along well before in baseball, but he was one black on a team full of whites. An all black team presented a different image to America.

Every coach knew it, including all of Haskins’ friends.

“They’d say, ‘Don, are you crazy?’ ” Haskins said.

By starting five black players, as he planned to do, the upward arc of his career would be over. He had started as a high school coach in a town of 253. He was a talented guy, big money and big opportunity awaited. Not this way though.

If he won, bigger, richer schools would see him as the coach of “the black team.” They’d never hire him. If he lost or, heaven forbid, there were any discipline problems with his players (there weren’t), he’d be fired and likely never work in the NCAA again.

“I understood what they were saying, I just said, ‘Piss on them,’ ” Haskins said. “Piss on them all. I brought these kids here; I’m playing my best players.’ “

The victory helped integrate not just schools but entire conferences – the ACC, SEC and Southwest Conferences were segregated at that point. Almost immediately the floodgates opened.

“He literally got thousands and thousands of black kids scholarships to college,” said Nolan Richardson, a former Haskins player. Later in life some of those players he had never met would approach him at airports and restaurants and thank him.

Haskins, as his friend’s predicted, got zero job offers. The only major school to ever try to hire him was his alma mater, Oklahoma State. Today if someone won an NCAA title at a mid-major, they’d choose their multimillion dollar job. Not in 1966. Not with that starting five.

He did get hate mail by the bucket. And the NCAA dispatched an investigator to look into the players’ academics (they were legit). He was shredded in much of the national media. Sports Illustrated even concluded he was exploiting blacks, not helping them, a charge his old players still bristle at.

“For a long time I said winning that championship in 1966 was the worst thing that ever happened to me,” he said.

In recent years he was no longer bitter about those days. He had come out on top in the end. The world had come around on the Glory Road he paved.

People began to appreciate that in a sports world filled with hyperbole, a young man gave up so much personally because it was the right thing to do. The thing no one else would.

More from ESPN.

Categories: college basketball, Sports

Last [2 Weeks] in the East Coast Bias

September 8, 2008 Comments off

College Basketball is just around the corner – as is my wedding, meaning that sometimes, the East Coast Bias’ posts will be intermittent. But while Tom Brady was getting hurt, MTV had some award show or something and Christina Aguilera (at left) looked like a young Elvira; while Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were brought BACK under government control (HANDOUT ALERT! MORAL HAZARD ALERT!); Christina Aguilera at Video Music Awardsand while ABC gets to be the first station to lob softball questions at the hopeful "VPILF", and attender of 4 undergraduate colleges before graduating, Sarah Palin…

+ Trevor Mbakwe suddenly transfers from Marquette, reminding this observer of Qa’rraan Calhoun’s sudden departure from St. John’s a year ago.

+An Olympic Recap? How long since I’ve done a blog roundup?

+ Watch the Rudy Fernandez dunk on Dwight Howard.

+ And if you’re in his district in Queens, vote Dave Kerpen for City Council.

+ The Red Storm were going to go to Cancun for a set of preseason games, but Hurricane Gustav knocked those plans out.

+ Norm Roberts coached in a charity tournament to benefit families of victims of the September 11th plane attacks in New York.

+ Oswald Cross and Kimani Young were formally introduced as members of the St. John’s coaching staff. Kimani Young will be head team manager/ video coordinator, and Oz Cross will be the administrative assistant.

+ The Red Storm 2008-2009 schedule is out. Athlon Sports has the team 16 (that would be bottom) in the Big East, and most other prognosticators have the squad in the bottom four of the league.

+ A recruit that St. John’s didn’t sign (by all indications it was St. John’s choice despite what the players people say) named Donald Williams will enroll and play at the University of Kentucky. Did St. John’s make a mistake and not sign an impact player? Time will tell. (I’m guessing on no.)

Categories: Sports, weekinreview

LaRon Landry Power Rating: -13 after Brandon Jacobs Run

September 5, 2008 1 comment

Nice win for the boys in blue last night. Great opening drive, though Eli sailed a few late and the team sat on their cushion for the entire second half. Also, the Redskins have obviously never played the professional American football before; they didn’t understand time, the didn’t know how to get first downs, and they kept getting plowed by Brandon Jacobs.

Categories: Giants, Sports