Monday, March 31, 2008

It's compensatory pick day!

The Colts were awarded three sixth round compensatory draft picks by the NFL today. Pretty nice. I love getting draft picks for losing average players.

Last year the Colts fared a little better, receiving third, fourth, and fifth round picks. I would have guessed that we would have gotten similar picks this year. But perhaps the fact that Dom Rhodes played very little for the Raiders in 2007 didn't help. Or maybe, just maybe they thought Edgerrin James was a tougher free agency loss.

DZ Comments: Why do I hear Adam Sandler's voice when I read that headline? Stop looking at me schwaaaaaan.

New day, same story

Three hits? I waited 6 months for the same team that is utterly incapable of generating offense as last year. The Reds 4-2 loss was exactly the same crap they pulled last year. Corey Patterson is the worst possible solution at lead off. Keppinger has 3 month wonder written all over him. The Reds biggest problem is that the only guys who get on base are the same guys who can drive in the runs. I realize it's just one game, but the only bright spot I could see was the Cubs and Brewers bullpens imploding at the same time.

It's gonna be a long summer in the Central.


The NFL has announced that the Colts and Bears will play the first Sunday night game of the 08-09 season in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Now all we have to do is survive until September 4th. Thank God for baseball.

Ok, you have to realize how bored I am watch the Tigers Royals while I wait out rain delays. That'll explain why I link up this utterly bizzarre article. Don't read it if you are easily offended. It is among the weirdest things I've ever read.

I've also refiled some stuff on the main page. I'm in the process of updating some of the articles to include 2007 stats. Basically if you have any interest in the Vince Young Files or the old Eyes in the Backfield pieces, then check their new index pages.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tony Bennett is on the clock

Basketball posts are what happen when your team doesn't have a first round draft pick and they don't play a meaningful game for another five months. Relax, it'll be over soon.

As an IU fan I've been following their search for a head coach pretty closely. One thing you need to understand: IU does not have any money. Most major programs get the majority of their revenue from their football programs. See? I mentioned football. Money is the big reason why we are seeing the success of schools like Florida and Texas who aren't traditional basketball powers. I don't need to tell you that Indiana doesn't squeeze much green from its football program. To compound the issue they are still paying considerable sums to former coaches like Gerry Dinardo, Mike Davis, and Kelvin Sampson. Also they spent two million dollars on a new scoreboard for Assembly Hall.

The cash crunch pretty much eliminates the dream candidates like Bruce Pearl, John Calipari, and Rick Pitino. Dream is the operative word. This leaves the up and comers like Tony Bennett of Wazzu, Sean Miller of Xavier, Jamie Dixon of Pitt, and several others. Gary Parrish of CBS is reporting that Indiana has told Bennett the job is his if he can make up his mind within 24 hours.
Don't know much about Tony Bennett? He's the the son of former (Final Four in 2000) Wisconsin coach Dick Bennett and brother of former Indiana Women's coach Kathi Bennett. He starred at Wisconsin Green Bay as a guard and holds the NCAA record as the most accurate three-point shooter with a .497 percentage. He was an assistant under his dad for four years at Washington State. After his father's retirement, Tony took over the reins and has led the Cougars to back to back tournament appearances. The Cougars were knocked out in the Sweet Sixteen this year by UNC.

This doesn't sound like much of a resume unless you know a little about the feat that the Bennetts have pulled off at Washington State. WSU is arguably the most remote Division I program in the nation. It is nestled against Idaho on the eastern border of Washington. The Cougars are historically one of the worst basketball programs in DI. Before Tony Bennett, Wazzu had been to the NCAA tournament just four times in its less-than-storied history (1941, 1980, 1983, 1994).

The knocks on Bennett are obvious. He's only 38 years old and has been a head coach for just two years. He coaches a slow-tempo style that would fit in all too well in the Big Ten. The upside is that he has successfully recruited in about the most difficult place imaginable. His starting five is from Wisconsin, Hawaii, a transfer from Tulane, Australia, and Texas. He has players contributing off the bench from Serbia and Colorado.

You can't blame Indiana fans for expecting AD Rick Greenspan to screw up this hire. The goodwill he built up by the fantastic hiring of Terry Hoeppner has since been diminished by hiring of Bill "Division III" Lynch. The ugly end to the Kelvin Sampson era should have spelled the end to Greenspan's time in Bloomington. But here we are again. The program has been to one Sweet Sixteen in 14 years, but flirted with relevance this year. A great hire could save Indiana Basketball, but it feels as if one more bad decision could doom it.

UPDATE: Tony Bennett has turned down the Indiana job to stay at Washington "effing" State. Unbelievable how far the the Indiana program has fallen in the past fifteen years. To paraphrase Jackie Chiles: This is the most public yet of Indiana's many humiliations. I'm shocked, angry, and depressed.

DZ COMMENTS: It could be worse. We could be dialing up Zeke on the phone.
DZ: Just a note that the Harrison article is finished.


I can't wait for tomorrow!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A New Article? No Way...

Well, I've gone and done it. I finally got around to writing a new article for the main page. As promised, I've started doing a comparison of 88 vs some of the other wideouts on the goofy ESPN Top 10 All Time list. As of now, the article just compares Harrison to Chris Carter. By the end of the weekend, I should get sections on Irvin and TO done as well. You also might enjoy checking out the discussion on the FO page as well.

It's amazing how the "Harrison is only great because of Manning" crowd has shown up. I'm about ready to lose it. The Pats fans want to dog Manning because he has Harrison and Wayne. NOW, some guy claims Wayne isn't even a top 10 wideout and Harrison is widely overrated because he gets to play with Peyton.

Let's be clear. Marvin Harrison has been a revelation at wide receiver for nearly a decade. He's made more impossible catches, crazy jukes, and clutch first down grabs than any man not named Rice. I've seen up close for all this time, and if you've watched him like we have, then you know that he is a man of incomparable skills.

(and yes this is all trumped up bluster. I know. But frick, what are we supposed to talk about? The Colts second round pick next month?)

UPDATE: Part two is also posted. Harrison is better than Irvin. Follow the original link and scroll down.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

88 is 10th?

A panel of experts was commissioned by ESPN to select the 10 best WRs of all time, and the great Marvin Harrison came in at 10th. I don't have time to get into everything here, but how can anyone possibly rank Harrison behind Chris Carter and Michael Irvin? I'm not really sure how Harrison ranks behind T.O. either. This requires more analysis than I can give it at the moment. We'll try to get a response article with stats and cogent arguments up before the weekend is up. At first blush though, it seems ridiculous.

In happier news, the Boss is back through 2011. Aside from Manning staying healthy, nothing will go further toward making the Colts competitive than Bill Polian staying in the driver's seat.

Buster Olney needs to quit playing with my emotions.

Demond Sanders: I'm not sure we should even dignify this garbage journalism with a response, but here goes. I think the second spot is solidly up for grabs between Owens, Moss, and Harrison. Obviously many on the list are tough to compare because of the eras are so different, but certainly Chris Carter is flat out laughable. Irvin played in more or less the same era and his numbers are dwarfed by those of Harrison.

The headline on ESPN is appropriate: Out of sight. I think Marvin's absence last season has pushed him down at least five spots on this list and maybe more. I think in the end it will come down to how these three guys finish their HOF careers. Marvin is one championship up on both Owens and Moss. Can he get healthy and pad his lead?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Football links? It's about time...

Here are a couple of interesting ones to chew on:

Scouts Inc ranks the top 64 wideouts. Wayne, Harrison and AG are 5, 13, and 45 respectively. I'd get into analysing this more, but it was done by Scouts Inc., so it's not really worth getting into it.

Don Banks discusses picking high in the draft, using the Colts as the idyllic scenario.

Some may wonder why we ignored Peyton's birthday yesterday. It's because Peyton doesn't have birthdays. He lives in a cryogenic tube in the offseason, and they thaw him out to play. He won't ever get older. He'll play for twenty more years at least.

Demond Sanders: I'll never understand the media's fascination with Steve Smith. To me it's all about on the field production. That's why to me it has to be Wayne, Moss, and TO (not necessarily in that order). Smith has played for seven seasons and has just one season with more than 100 catches and just one season with double digit touchdowns. Wayne on the other hand gets a little better every season. And say what you want about #81 and #81, but those a-holes know how to score.

DZ adds another link: Because it's easier than creating a whole new post just to say that the footballoutsiders have their AFC South offseason summary up. How boring is the Colts offseason? They spend more time talking about urinals than they do players we signed.

Hey, CBSsportsline has their offseason analysis up as well!
It's Pete Prisco, but we'll link it anyway.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Weekend Wrap-up

Just a couple of thoughts from the sports weekend:

  • Butler got hosed with their seed. They were clearly every bit the team that two seed Tennessee was. It was criminal that those two played a second round game. The committee should be ashamed. Great game, but it should have taken place in the Sweet 16.
  • It was good to see Michigan St. and Wisconsin advance. Truth is that I expect MSU to beat Memphis. Memphis is embarrassing. I hate that team. They are artless.
  • While no one was looking, the Pacers have gone and played themselves into contention. They'll have a tough go with the Hornets, but the rest of their schedule is very doable.
  • Donnie Walsh is probably coming back; but it looks like Bird faces a demotion.
  • The Tigers signing Miggy Cabrera to a long term deal is a great move. This kid is a beast and even if he does get off his conditioning program and blows up to look like ManRam, HE'LL STILL hit like ManRam, so where's the downside?
  • The PGA finally figured out how to stop Tiger. Make the course so easy that everyone is 15 under par. Harder courses thin the field, easier courses make everyone play at his level. I realize that the wind/weather worked out to make that course in Miami play easy this week, but still. It's tough to go lower than everyone else when that means -20.

Links: Cold Hard Football Facts does their Colts offseason preview. There's nothing we don't already know, but it's always nice to read about football.

UPDATE: Ok, so no sooner is he back in, then we push him right out! Donnie Walsh is done with the Pacers. Bird is staying on. I'm not sure what impact this will have on the team moving forward but let's all just pause to say thanks:

For Reggie and Rik

For AD and DSquared

For the playoffs and the Finals

For Larry Brown and Larry Bird

For Mark and Slick

Donnie Walsh took pro-basketball in Indiana to the top and under his guidance we went from a franchise on the verge of implosion to a premiere franchise in the league for more than a decade.

Thanks Donnie. We'll miss you.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Guest Columnist

Some thoughts from Josh (as posted in the comments of the previous post):

The success of IU, Purdue, Butler is greatly impacted by the number of core kids from the state. When I say core, I mean key contributors. In 1994, under pressure to win, coach Knight moved away from his recruiting philosophy of having a core of Indiana kids and went after and landed three McDonald's All-Americans, with little or no Indiana ties, Neil Reed, Charlie Miller, and Andre Patterson. I was a freshmen with those guys and spent four years with them as an IU manager. The move didn't work.

IU has never really returned to Coach Knight's successful recruiting philosophy, (I'd like to see the 2002 roster, but wasn't the core Indiana/Midwest?) and has continued to look elsewhere for talent, going after the big names and not landing them and settling for decent talent from other states. Davis did it, Sampson was doing it. During these coaching changes, we've also seen three different styles or systems of basketball.

In the meantime, Purdue went through an orchestrated coaching change that passed the system and recruiting philosophy from Keady to Painter. There were some rough years for Purdue, but now they seem to have the ship righted and have a core of Indiana kids.

While IU was ignoring Indiana talent, Butler was reaping the benefits. The establishment of a system and the available Indiana players that fit the system well has seen them through some great years of basketball and three head coaches.

I tried to do some archiving and look at the rosters from all 3 of these schools for the last 20 years but I couldn't' dig anything up on the internet beyond the last few. I would love to look at that information and see what story it tells. I believe there is a formula for success there, and that Indiana has moved away from it.

Indiana doesn't need a big name magician of a basketball coach. I'm not sure if one would want to come here anyway. It just needs someone who has a developed system of success (Butler, Wisconsin, even the Colts operate by this philosophy) and knows how to assemble a core of Indiana/Midwest kids that fit the system. Even when IU was winning this year, it wasn't as enjoyable to watch as Butler and Purdue were (and currently are, since they are both still playing.)

Let me know if you are able to dig up any of this information and what story it tells.

DZ comments: It's surprising how long that info takes to find online. A trip to the library would probably yield faster results. I've found that a lot of info before 1999 gets sketchy in most sports. On the surface, your theory sounds probable. I think most of IUs problems have been caused by the pro-Knight faction that insisted on burying Mike Davis. For some reason, he was frozen out by the HS coaches in Indiana that had been loyal to Knight. The knock on him wasn't that he didn't try to recruit in state, but that he couldn't LAND any of the recruits in state. As for the '02 roster, the key players were Jeffries (Bloomington), Coverdale (Noblesville), Fife (Michigan). I believe they were the only real midwestern guys on the roster. A couple were from Georgia, and Newton was from NC. The bottom line is if three guys (Sean May, Greg Oden, Mike Conley) had gone to Indiana, we wouldn't be having this conversation. It's going to take a guy who can land the top Hoosier stars without cheating.

If you come up with any more research let us know; I count your opinion highly on Hoosier bball.

The real question is should we be rooting for the Boilers today? I'm having a hard time with it. It would help the Big 10, but... I'll just content myself to root for the Bulldogs tomorrow.

I'll let you all guess what Demond's answer to this question is. I doubt it would be printable.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Not with a bang

Dan Dakich's ridiculous tenure as head coach of Indiana is mercifully over. After his team continued it's abject failure to adjust on defense (Dannyboy claimed he was going to 'tweak' the Hoosiers D when took over. He tweaked it up about 10 more ppg. Moron). Other than DJ White and Basset who played like gladiators till the end, this is a team that had clearly given up on its coach. They gave up better than 60% shooting in the second half, mostly from sheer confusion.

I don't know what was wrong with Eric Gordon. If he wasn't healthy (missing those free throws was inexplicable), then he shouldn't have played at all. He absolutely killed this team with his inability to shoot. He obviously isn't the same player he was early in the year. He couldn't hit anything.

All in all it was a fittingly embarrassing end to this train wreck of a season.

Demond Sanders: It's been a memorable couple of weeks as a fan of the Indiana Hoosiers. This season was an unmitigated disaster mainly because it started with such potential. There's nothing quite like starting a season 24-4 and finishing it 25-8. DJ White deserved much better than this. Part of what makes the college game great is that is is played by 20 year old kids who (mostly) play for free because they love it. But when things go wrong you are left with players who have the maturity of a 20 year old.

The larger problem as you suggest was the coach. If the Hoosiers could play a lick of defense they would have won the last three games going away. Also, it is a pet peeve of mine when coaches don't play guys regularly the entire season (DeAndre Thomas) and then lean on them for one game in the tournament. To answer your poll question I put a small hole in the drywall after kicking the space heater.

Tampa Two

Well day two has been better than day one. The WKU/Drake game was wonderful as the committee looked liked fools for slotting Drake so high. The second game in Tampa also has now gone into overtime, making it far and away the hot site of the round.

Butler looked like world beaters, winning a tough game in the backyard of their opponent. I wouldn't be surprised to see them take Tennessee down on Sunday. The only really disturbing news of the day was JC's announcement that the Pats are pursuing Pac-man Jones. I think that if that team gets any more evil, a vortex will form around F-borough and swallow the universe whole. Seriously, has any team ever gone from 'classy model franchise' to 'cess pool of all that's wrong with sports and indeed American society itself' faster than the Pats?

So far the Big Ten and the Hoosier state are 3-0 apiece. No pressure guys.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Written in Chalk

How boring was the first afternoon of the best two day event in sports? I'm actually watching the Golf Channel to see how Tiger Woods finishes up his first round at Doral. That tells you two things:

There were no buzzers to beat (and only two games all day were even vaguely close though the favorite won both and the underdog never had the ball with a chance to tie in the last minute)


Tiger Woods is the single most compelling figure in sports.

(1st day update: Big Ten 2-0. So far so good.)

Session 3: I think all of our hearts broke a little watching Duke slip through, which takes a little of the thrill out of what was finally a truly great game. The Big 12 pulled through a couple of minor upsets, but the form keeps holding for most of the tourney. Heck, half way through Lost and even it's obvious tonight (seriously? That was your big..."we're gonna kill one of these characters!" moment? Try shooting somebody who matters next time. At least when the X-Files pulled that crap they gave all three Lone Gunmen at once). We need some drama before bed time.

Session 4: This just seals it. Four weak finishes and no upsets. Lovely. When Duke beats a 14 by one in the only good game all day, it's time to pack it in and regroup. Here's hoping for better things tomorrow.

Big Ten 3-0, State of Indiana 2-0. Let's up those numbers tomorrow.

Link: This montage of Larry Legend is jaw dropping. Unfortunately, they don't preserve the original game audio, so you might as well watch with the sound down. He makes plays on this are stunning. I don't remember most of Larry's best years, and I saw all of Jordan's. I don't remember Jordan being this...impossible.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hope Springs Eternal

The record may not have shown it, but last year's Reds club was not awful. It just had the worst bullpen in baseball. Fransico Cordero may not be JJ Putz, and I'm no fan of throwing money at closers, but when you are this bad in the pen, something must be done. Check out this piece by Jason Stark and note the stats:

This is a team that led more games at the end of the fifth inning last year (75) than the New York Mets, Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks (among others). You could look it up.
• This is a team that got outscored by 71 runs after the seventh inning last season and by 92 runs after the sixth.
• This is a team that lost eight games it led after seven innings and went a ridiculous 7-17 when it was tied after seven.
• And this is a team that was last in the National League in bullpen ERA (5.13) -- and allowed the highest opponent batting average (.282), on-base percentage (.360) and OPS (.807) of any bullpen in the league.

Arroyo had more quality starts last year (22) than Johan Santana, Roy Oswalt or Josh Beckett -- and still wound up 9-16. Part of that was due to five blown saves.

Sometimes, you just gotta roll the dice. The Cubs won the NL Central with what, 85 wins? The Reds were just a bullpen arm or two from contention. Maybe now they have have it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Colts retain DE Josh Thomas

Josh Thomas has signed a one year deal to return to the Colts for the 2008 season. This is good news for the Colts. Thomas is a very useful player and can step in and play well in a pinch. He's not close to being a starting-caliber player, but he did make some great plays during the regular season. The position of Defensive End continues to be the big question mark that prevents the Colts from being my prohibitive AFC favorite for next year's Super Bowl. This is a good thing.

At least he gives a rip

With the recent statements by team president and round-ball messiah Larry Bird that not even his job is secure given recent statements by ownership, I think it's appropriate to note that he said he actually would like the chance to return and right the ship. Frankly, this sort of amazes me. Larry Legend could easily spend all his time playing golf and doing memorabilia shows and enjoy his retirement, but instead is buried in the unenviable task of remaking a roster that has utterly imploded both on and off the court. As a fan, I'm almost too exhausted to even care, and I don't have to answer the phone at 2 am every fortnight to deal with another member of the freakshow that has become the Pacers locker room shooting up Naptown. Larry wants to keep his job, and frankly I admire him for it. I don't blame him for the this mess, but I certainly can't see any way out of it. Being stuck in the NBA's lower middle class is basically a death sentence. You don't ever draft high enough to turn the tide, and can't attract any free agents to help you. The only solution is to grab a future Hall of Famer with the 11th pick in the draft.

Good luck finding another one of those at that slot. Oh, and if you do, be prepared to endure the boos from the Indy faithful on draft day. So good on you, Larry, for still wanting to be a part of things. You are a better man than I.

At least we killed the Knicks again. Things could always be worse.

(Oh and by the way...No, I'm not going to get over Reggie being gone, so quit asking. And yes, I will be this way about the Colts in about 8 more years. )

An Eagles blogger celebrates the arrival of Dan Klecko as a fullback. Obviously, this isn't a huge loss for the Horse, but let's all give him a nice pat on the back farewell for scoring a huge touchdown in the AFC Championship game in 06. Thanks Dan. Best of luck.

IU comes in on the list of greatest tourney comebacks. What a night that was.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Irrelevant but Irritating

This title could describe so very many many things in life (Keith Oberman, The Jacksonville Jaguars, TPS Reports), but in this case it describes the strength of schedule for next year's NFL season. Listen, I know it doesn't really matter because lots of teams look good one year only to suck the next year, so we don't really know if a schedule is tough or not before hand. The Colts play twice against 8-8 Houston, who could easily regress to 5-11. They play 10-6 Cleveland who I can't see winning more than 6 games next year. Still, it sucks to see your team sitting with the 2nd hardest schedule in the NFL based on last year's records (the Steelers have a harder one mostly because they play us and we play them). Ultimately, the entire AFC South is in the top 8, so the disadvantage won't be too great.

So what's irritating about all this...?

The Pats have the NFL's easiest schedule. Their opponents combine for a winning percentage of .387. The Chargers schedule is 2nd easiest.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

At least I don't have to get emotinally invested

That's my lone consolation for IU getting stuck down at an 8 seed. It seems like a hose job (considering that other commentators had them at a 5), but hey, when you lose 3 of your last 4 you can't complain.

The loss to Minnesota was one of the most gut wrenching I can ever remember. After DJ White did about 10 legendary things in the last 20 seconds (his block of the lay up will be too soon forgotten), for that team to lose that game just made you feel like it wasn't meant to be. Minnesota's last 4 baskets seemed to be on broken plays and tipped passes. The officials blew at least 4 major calls in the second half (the most egregious was the non-goal tending call on DJ's dunk). The snake has bit these kids so many times, that they must feel like a 12 pack of white mice by now.

So now the Hoosiers have a tough 8-9 game, and if they win the reward is North Carolina in their own sandbox. Great. At least I don't have to bother worrying about IU basketball much past this weekend. I suppose this way, it won't interfere with my fantasy draft coming up.

It seemed there was more odd decisions by the committee than normal this year. The screw job they put to Butler is utter unconscionable. At any rate, I'll be following my yearly tradition of not really filling out a bracket. I occasionally throw one together with zero thought, but I found that I enjoy the tourney more if I don't feel like I have to root for some favorite to be McCrap State just because I picked them to do so. I'd rather watch the last few seconds of a tight game pulling for any and every upset.

Still, I wish DJ White could get more than just one or two more games in Cream and Crimson. He was never greater than he was on Friday night.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Insert Title Here

These days are so devoid of anything useful to discuss, that I really struggled coming up with a title today. I almost called this post "Let's Give them Something to Talk About", but I try to avoid referencing country music without some incredibly compelling reason (like someone put a sawed off shotgun to my head). We've hit one of the subtly dead weeks of the sporting calender. Spring training has lost its novelty, but the fantasy drafts are still a week away. Conference tourney's are one of the worst inventions in college basketball. NFL free agency has reached its dead zone. The NBA. . . oh never mind. So despite a few link here and there that I'll tack onto the end, I'm left just watching tv. Oh, except that sucks since few of the good shows are back from their strike related hiatuses (what's the plural there. . . hiati?). So even though no one cares, I'll share with you all my thoughts on my favorite TV shows because I have literally nothing else to say today. Here's what I use to rot my brain each week:

Lost: I wouldn't say that we've actually watched from the beginning because originally it was on up against Smallville. We did start watching when the re-ran all the episodes after the first 9 weeks or so of season one, so I think that counts as more or less being there from the start. I love so many of the principle elements of Lost (sci-fi and shows with incredibly complex story arcs). I haven't missed a week since we started watching and have long considered it one of my favorite shows. My wife and I recently re-watched all 9 seasons of the X-Files and will someday really enjoy watching Lost in it's totality.

Smallville: Another show that we started watching from the start. It sort of defies all odds. It ought to really suck, and occasionally does, but most of the time it's terrific. Last season was great; this year has been alternately wonderful and awful. I think it's time for the show to wrap up soon (they have been renewed for next year sans Lex Luthor and Lana Lang), but I still really enjoy it most weeks. I could tell you all the reasons why I love it, but let's just say that with its Freak of the Week, Vancouver shooting, and complicated mythology that it filled a void left by the X-files.

How I Met Your Mother: Comes back Monday. I won't lie. I really like this show. I'm tired of constantly wondering when it'll get canceled.

30 Rock/Office: Big deal. Everyone likes these shows.

Scrubs: Remember when this show was consistently hilarious? It's been a while. I hate to see a show that I enjoyed so much end so poorly.

Battlestar Galactica: My sisters put us on to this a few months ago (how nerdy is my family?). Comes back for its fourth and final season in a couple of weeks. Shockingly good show, no matter what Gregg Easterbrook says (ahhh! See how I worked a vague football reference in!).
I also really dig Heroes (there's a shocker) and Pushing Daisies, but they have left us 'till next fall.

It's official, this is the worst post ever. I can't believe I've been reduced to talking about my TV watching habits. You might as well go read the back of a cereal box or something. I'd delete this, but that would somehow make me more pathetic for investing the time and then giving up on it. I'll just endure the abuse.

Now for something sports related:
ESPN covers the Colts, couldn't you just post a blank page?

Greg Oden is practicing again. I hope he comes back strong. I hate OSU grads, but I'll pull for anyone from Indy. has an interview with Ryan Lilja. It has a few interesting quotes. You very rarely hear from O-linemen, so it makes for a fresh read.

Demond Sanders: Okay, what this week's bigger "I've jumped the Shark" moment: You admitting you watch Battlestar Galactica or Owen Wilson starring in DrillBit Taylor? Man, that movie looks horrendous.

Seriously though at what point did you look at your current Tivo lineup and say to yourself, this list may be littered with superheroes and magic islands, but it's a little light on, and I quote Wikipedia, "A civilization of humans who live on planets known as the Twelve Colonies and make war with a cybernetic race known as the Cylons, with the help of a human named Baltar."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Worst Basketball Column of the Year

Listen, I always thought Scoop Jackson was an idiot, but recently I heard him on tv, and was sure of it. Now he has published the most bizarre piece of the year in which he claims that Larry Bird has screwed up the Pacers as bad as Isiah has messed up the Knicks, and the only reason no one talks about it is racism.

Listen, I'm not saying that Larry Legend has had a bang-up tenure as team president, but there are some very real differences that Scoop seems to be missing. Larry helped move this team to the brink of a title in 2004. Were it not for some bum legs in the playoffs and a crazy block by Tayshawn Prince, the Pacers might have been dancing that June. Then came the brawl (instigated by Ben Wallace, inflamed by the Pistons fans, turned into a zoo by the utter failure of court security, and scape-goated by David Stern in which Jermaine O'Neal was actually suspended for punching a member of Ben Wallace's posse who was ON THE COURT OF PLAY ATTACKING HIS TEAMMATES). Injuries and more off the court nonsense since then have left the Pacers desperately trying to remake their roster on the fly.
Scoop blames Larry for Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy, utterly failing to realize that that trade had ZERO to do with winning and everything to do with trying clean up the aftermath of Stephen Jackson's presence. At one point, he actually cites BILL SIMMONS as his source about the Pacers' cap woes. Seriously, Scoop? This is journalism?

Scoop says that Isiah's sexual harassment verdict is the same as random Pacers getting into scrapes with the law. I'm not sure that I buy that. The point of this isn't even to say that Larry's made all the right moves. Obviously, the team shouldn't have committed to Tinsley and Artest. Clearly signing the utterly insane Stephen Jackson was a mistake (although note how no one bags on Golden State for having him around).

Ultimately, if you ignore the fact that:
  • the Pacers are STILL markedly better than the Knicks despite all the problems
  • and actually have had real success under Larry
  • that much of the franchise's trouble can be traced to David Stern throwing the Pacers under the bus instead of burying the Pistons franchise for their role in the ugliness
  • and Larry didn't ill advisedly hire a coach that ran out with 18 million dollars,
  • AND the fact that Larry didn't sexually harass another employee, resulting in a multi-million dollar law suit and national humiliation for the owner and franchise
then yeah, Scoop, I guess I can see your point. The problem is that those things did happen. It's not racism, man.
People are easier on Larry because 1. it's not nearly as bad a situation and 2. it clearly wasn't all his fault.
People kill Isiah because he's an idiot, not because he's black.

Worst Baseball Article of the Year

Without a doubt, it is virtually impossible to write a piece of crap so ridiculous as what Paul Daughtery crapped out onto his keyboard for the Cincinnati Enquirer. Listen, I'm well aware that there is more to managing a team than just number crunching. I'm also willing to give Dusty Baker time before judging him because he has won 3 MoY awards. But when a columnist writes:
When some of us (OK, me mostly) advocated dealing, say, Votto and Homer Bailey for Oakland pitcher Joe Blanton, the Statboys came out flame-throwing numbers:


if you suggested that no number matters but Games Won, you were dismissed as an illiterate.


Baker understands this. If Dunn walks 30 fewer times this year, he'll drive in 15 more runs. His on-base percentage will dip. Oh, no.
If Votto takes fewer first-pitch strikes, his run production will improve.
And so on. Here's a stat: Wins as manager: Dusty Baker, 1,162; Bill James, 0

Huh. So Dunn should walk 30 times less for 15 more runs. Of course he'll probably score fewer runs too. And make more outs. Walks are not Adam Dunn's problem. Strikeouts with runners on base are his problem. His utter inability to hit a fly ball with a guy on third are his problem. I've never minded Dunner walking with a guy at third. A WALK IS A GOOD AT BAT. The problem is when he flails wildly at two bad pitches and then takes a 1-2 fastball on the inside corner because he was looking for the curve. Like I said, I'm willing to grant you that there is more to winning than just being a numbers geek (like say, ruining the future of two of your brightest young pitching stars by throwing them until their arms fall off), but the numbers guys aren't wrong. Trading Votto and Bailey for Joe Blanton would have been one of the most unforgivable deals in Reds history. At the deadline in a pennant race if you really thought he'd give you a shot at the Series? Eh, maybe. But not before spring training.

Like I said, I'm willing to pull for Dusty, but now I almost want him to be horrible just show idiots like Daughterty that stats really do matter.

I feel sick, and it's only March.

UPDATE: Here's a similar, angrier version of this post by another blogger at (a site I generally spurn, since I love Joe Morgan as a broadcaster despite my sabermetric leanings). I'm not surprised others are saying the same thing about this piece. IT WAS AWFUL.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Shooting for the Top

ESPN has ranked the all time best shooting guards in NBA history. Our boy Reggie Miller comes in at #7 all time. That sounds about right. It's hard to argue with anyone ahead of him on the list (except maybe Iverson not exactly being a 2 guard, but whatever. He was as much that as anything else). Not that there was any question as to his inclusion, but every other eligible player on the list is in the Hall of Fame.

Who would ever have thought that a guy who once grabbed his crotch on national TV would symbolize all that once was right and good with the Pacers? Come back to us, Reggie. We need you now more than ever.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Indy South

Wow, so Jeff Fischer must really love the ex-Colts. Already a major employer of Indy castoffs (Thornton, Harper, Jabba Simon), the Titans have added yet one more former Colts to the fold by signing Jake Scott. Personally, this move squelches plans for me to get a Colts jersey with Scott on it for my son. Footballwise the move is a non-issue for the Colts. Howard Mudd will invariably turn some 4th round pick from Fartville State and create a serviceable guard out of him. Actually, it probably just means that Charlie Johnson will get a chance to start at his more natural position. It's sort of become hilarious how many ex-Colts the Titans sign, but actually it's a good sign that a solid coaching staff admires the well prepared kind of jetsam the Colts routinely spit out into the free agent tide. Jeff Fisher is my kind of coach, and the Colts make his kind of players. It's great for the NFL to have a real rivalry between Indy and Tennessee. They are the true division rivals for the Colts. Now if they only had a QB...

Meanwhile, the Titans have signed Alge Crumpler proving two things:
1. He loves QBs who can't throw (thanks to CHFF for the heads up)
2. The Titans continue to be smart enough to not blow big money receivers for a QB who can't get them the ball.

Meanwhile, Simons asks what if... I hate to even think about it. The devolution of the Pacers continues to be one of the saddest and most unexpected stories of my adult life. I literally get sick thinking about it.

Demond Sanders: Just in case anyone was wondering, Warrick Dunn isn't going to play for the Colts next year.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Back in the Loop

So I'm back from my little jaunt to South America, and I'm weighed down with a week of random thoughts:
  • The Ipod Touch is great, but for some reason, I could comment on blogs but not write new ones. I supposed that saved me the embarrassment of odd misspellings and incoherent posts. Wait...
  • The Colts chased and lost out on back up DE Tyler Brayton who went to Carolina for more playing time. This guy was a washout in Oakland, but might have been a solid back up. At any rate, it shows that Polian and company saw what we all saw in the Charger game: no pass rush=loss every time.
  • Favre retired. I thought the talk about whether he is the greatest of all time was a little weird. I know he holds several records by virtue of just playing forever, but at no time (even when he was winning MVP awards) did I ever think he was the best QB alive. I was always blinded by Elway, I guess. The last of his records to fall will be the consecutive start record, which #18 should own sometime around 2013 (give or take some playoff games and a possible lockout/strike). I liked Favre as well as anyone, and have always been pro-Packers, but I think this is one star that fades some as time goes by.
  • Lost continues to rule on Thursdays. I pity those of you who gave up on it.
  • Dan Dakich is not acquitting himself well.
  • Eric Gordon goes hot and cold faster than any player I've seen in a long time. He's sort of Chuck Person-esque.
  • My fantasy league went to great pains to work out a draft date only to have everything thrown into a tizzy because we forgot about the stupid games being played overseas. Seriously, this has to be the dumbest gimmic of all time. Why do those games have to count in the standings? Would playing exhibition games spread the game any less than playing regular season ones? Sometimes I hate Bud Selig.
  • Ok, I hate him all the time.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tank McNamara is still around?

Apparently so. This is for the Indiana fans who aren't busy hiding under rocks. Click to enlarge.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Randy Moss: Sucker

Randy Moss signed a shockingly small contract with the New England Patriots. He's taking $27 million dollars over three years, with guarantees of $15M.


It took Jerry Porter EIGHT SEASONS to score 30 CAREER touchdowns and he got $10M guaranteed from the Jags.


Randy Moss had 23 touchdowns last year. 23.

Marvin Harrison got $23M guaranteed four years ago. And the salary cap has gone up dramatically since then.


Adalius "bust" Thomas got the same $12M signing bonus last year, with $22M front loaded over the first two years of his deal.

Am I missing something here?

The contract is only 3 years long, so that is in Moss's favor. But realistically this is it for him. He's given up his last best chance to cash in. And frankly it all makes me sick. Remember, we're not talking about Matt Jones here. This is a guy who changes everything for your team (provided your quarterback isn't Andrew Walter). This guy caught 17 TDs his rookie year, giving Randall Cunningham his best year with 34 TDs against 10 picks. This guy made Daunte Culpepper look like an All Pro. This guy took Tom Brady, who had never thrown 30 touchdowns in a season, all the way to 50 touchdowns.

I probably need to let this go. I better go watch the Super Bowl again.

Update: Check out this hilarious piece from John Clayton. I love how Clayton thinks the fact that Moss got more than Jerry Porter was some kind of moral victory for Randy. And he almost got as much as Bernard Berrian! Take that New England! I guess "the professor" has been in the medicine cabinet again. But seriously, you have to admire Bill Belichick asking Moss to play for $7 million per season. He may be a megalomaniacal jerk, but he's a gutsy megalomaniacal jerk.

Randy Moss: Savvy Businessman

Randy Moss is moron. He's in the process of signing a 3 year, $27 million deal with the Patriots. How does this make sense? Keep in mind this will almost definitely be Moss's last chance to sign a big contract. Marvin Harrison was slightly older than Moss when in 2004 he signed his 7 year, $67 million contract. Marvin received $23 million in guaranteed money. So unless this report is false Moss has cheated himself out of a sizeable amount of money. This guy had 98 catches and 23 touchdowns last year and ran his routes like a rookie.

As another point of reference Asante Samuel is getting $20 million guaranteed on his 6 year, $57 million deal with the Eagles. The guaranteed money will be the key to fairly judging the Moss contract, but as it stands now it looks very questionable. I'd be very surprised if another club isn't willing to outdo the Pats by a wide margin. More on this as it develops.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Pay the Man

Randy Moss looks like he might still be a free agent when the weekend is over. I'm not going to go off about how the Pats are done if they don't keep him. I've been wrong about the Pats before. They are the cockroaches of the NFL. They could survive a nuclear blast. I also point to how people have written off the Colts time and again. These teams aren't going anywhere as long as Manning and Brady are still under center. But, as Jason Whitlock suggests, the Pats won't be the same team without Moss. Not even close.

Some people wrote off the Colts last spring because of their major free agency losses. Now it is the Patriots turn to suffer. The Pats have already lost key contributors Donte Stallworth and Asante Samuel. Losing Moss would cap a very poor week for New England. The Colts were able to overcome thier losses because they had capable replacements waiting in the wings. I'm not sure you can so easily replace 23 receiving touchdowns.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Heading back to the 'Tina

I'll be a little out of it for the next week, as I have to make a quick trip back to Argentina, and I'm only bringing my Ipod touch and not my laptop. I'm sure Demond is more than up to the task of keeping you all up to date with the random hilarity of the Jags and others during the fool's gold rush that is the first few days of free agency.

Seriously? Jerry Porter? I'm sure we'll get lots of hilarious articles over the next 5 months trying to convince us that the Jags have passed Indy, and more than a few about their upgraded receiving corps. I'm not buying any of it. The Jags seem primed for a huge regression just based on Garrard alone. I wouldn't bet the house on his ability to post a passer rating over 100 for a second straight year, and their defense showed serious signs of regression. The best thing you can hope for as a football fan is for a team in your division to get seriously active in the free agency period. It rarely ends well for those that do.