Monday, June 30, 2008

More Contest Suggestions

We've gotten in a couple of solid first attempts in the Import Wins Contest (see two posts ago). Keep them coming.

Two more games I definitely want to see someone write up are the Colts throttling of the Bucs on the last day of the 1987 season to secure a playoff bid. I'd also like someone to take on the win over the Vikings on Christmas Eve of 2000 that helped secured a second consecutive playoff bid. The Colts looked like they wouldn't make the playoffs midway through the season, but closed strong and beat a good team in the Dome to slip in.

Go easy on the 2006 games. I've already had a couple (not counting the Super Bowl) entries there. Right now the best way to win is to do one of the four games I've suggested in these posts.

I'm reposting it from the comments section, just because it's awesome. My Rik Smits fixation has been satisfied for today.

Prisco picks the 30 players most likely to break out. Our own "Junior Seau Junior" Freddy Keiaho made the list.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Hey, it's been a rough year. I'll take what I can get. A hollow victory? There is no such thing when Cleveland is involved.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Announcing: The Most Important Wins Contest

I'm sure most of you have perused the Greatest Games list on You may also be aware that we picked those games based on the quality of the wins and the game played, not on 'how important' the game was. 18to88 reader Cambell has suggested we start a 'Most Important Wins' list as well. I think it's a great idea, but both Demond and I are too busy right now to do all the research.

That's where you come in. The list starts with: Super Bowl XLI (of course). Also on the list has to be the playoff win over KC in 1996 and the Monday Night Massacre over Denver in the first MNF game. So here's the deal: we are looking for at least 4 (I'll do XLI) good write-ups of games that could be considered for the Most Important Wins list. Someone has to do the KC game and the MNF win over Denver, but the other slots are open. Up to 9 people can win (the list is capped at 10). The game must be significant for Colts history. It CANNOT be a game that appeared in the Greatest Games list or Peyton's 4th Quarter wins. Don't submit a write up on any of those.

Here's the prize: A genuine official game program from Super Bowl XLI. Submit all entries to Only one prize per person. If we choose your write up, you get a program. Grammar and spelling count. If multiple people write up the same game, we'll choose the best written one. Write-ups should be brief, but informative. Game details are important, so get the facts right. Re-read our write-ups of the games on those other lists to get an idea of what we want. If we get at least 4 good game writeups, then we will award prizes. If not, then sorry. If you are selected and want to be sure the article gets written and the programs are awarded, then feel free to do multiple write-ups.

If you are unclear about anything, write us. I'd like this to be done in about 2 weeks, so the sooner you write, the sooner you can win.

Thanks for being a part of 18to88. The programs really are cool, and worth winning.

Greenspan Gone

With all the Pacer draft stuff, we plumb ran out of time to comment on IU A.D. Rick Greenspan resigning in the face of a new NCAA charge. Aside from our elation over his head being placed squarely on our silver platter, I'm still mystified about something. I'll never understand how Indiana can be held responsible for what Sampson did when THEY CAUGHT HIM AND TURNED HIM IN. Yes I realize that it was a couple of months late, and it was by an independent auditor, but THEY HIRED the auditor to do the audit. This wasn't turned up by the press or by a player or angered coach. The administration was checking up on things like they are supposed to and found that Sampson was not compliant (not with regular NCAA rules) with the terms of his probation. Frankly, that sounds like they did their job to me. Ultimately, this whole mess shows the insanity of hiring a coach and accepting sanctions that a different school should have had. IU still hasn't broken any normal NCAA rules, just a higher set that was imposed on them only because they hired Sampson.

Simmons' faith in Larry Legend is shaken by the Bayless trade. Yeah, Bill, that makes two of us.

As noted in the comments, Chad Ford loved the moves.

More trade breakdown calls Bird's dealing 'asinine'. They give the Pacers a C+

Thursday, June 26, 2008

DJ gets his 3 guaranteed years

Congrats to true warrior (though hopefully not a Tru Warrior) DJ White for getting drafted in the first round. He gets to be an NBA millionaire for sure. I couldn't be happier for him.

I'm not sure why the Pacers drafted Nathan Jawai. I know nothing about him, but it seems like he's a bit undersized for the NBA. Ah, now I hear he's headed to Toronto. I guess I'll scrap my plans for an awesome Jawai jersey.

Larry Bird makes his move

Huge, huge, huge trade. The Pacers send their eleventh pick, Jerryd Bayless and Ike Diogu to the Portland Trailblazers for Brandon Rush (drafted 13th), guard Jaret Jack (10 ppg, 4 apg) and local boy Josh McRoberts (Carmel, IN).

I'm dizzy. I think everyone was pretty psyched about getting Bayless at #11, but on the bright side Rush is 6' - 6" and has the body to play a long time in the NBA. I'm assuming Jack will compete for the backup point guard position. Josh McRoberts (drafted 37th last year) may not even be an NBA caliber player (D-leaguer most of last year), but it's a nice publicity throw-in. The guy is the latest in a long time of punk losers who leave the state to go play for the likes of Duke. Dude's an a-hole.

I guess what strikes me about this trade is that Indiana has picked up four players with pretty high name-recognition. This doesn't count for anything in reality, but maybe it will placate some of us surly Pacer fans for awhile. I'm witholding judgment on this trade. Just like with the JO trade, I'm just happy they did something. And as a bonus: It should be awesomely awkward watching Brandon Rush compete for pt with his brother.

Raptors (Pacers) draft Roy Hibbert with #17

You can't coach size. Hibbert is 7' - 2" tall. I'm not sure how this pick fits into the Pacers desire to get up and down the court, but did I mention he's 7 foot 2?

DZ Comments: Hey, worst case, he plays 10 years in the league as a backup center. You are dead on that you can't coach height. Right fit or not, this makes me feel better about the JO trade. Maybe it's my Rik Smits fettish (eww), but I love the tall centers.

Pacers draft Jerryd Bayless with #11

Simmons and Ford agree: This is a steal.

DZ Comments: Too bad they immediately traded him.

Brady gets top spot by virture of "not wanting any more"

Prisco has his NFL Rankings out. He gives Brady the top spot and Manning the 2nd. Whatever. Let's not go down that road again over something as trivial as the opinion of Pete Prisco. His argument that Manning had an off year statistically is patently insane. Manning had his best year on the field last year, and anyone who watched football could see that. Other Colts on the list: The Zombie comes in at 7, Wayne at 22, and Freeney at 25. Also in the 'curious' category is that he lists Mario Williams at 6 (um, Pete he didn't even make the Pro Bowl), the widely overrated Champ Bailey at 5 (Pete, he got beat 1 on 1 with a TE last year), Fred Taylor at 49 (Pete, it took him 10 games to rush for his first 100 yard game last year).

Actually the more I look at this list, the more I marvel at how bad it is. Yikes.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Enjoy the free health care, JO!

Jermaine O'Neal and his bad joints are on their way to Toronto. The initial reaction of the (remaining) Pacer fans will most likely be mixed-positive. Jermaine has simply missed too many games the past few seasons. You can always count on O'Neal for a mid-season and then late-season injury. This pattern began soon after the palace brawl and has gotten progressively worse.

JO had the greatest upside of any Pacer I can remember. There was a moment when it seemed like he would help get Reggie his elusive ring and maybe a ring or two just for himself. David Stern made sure that did not happen. First, by overseeing the absolute nadir of NBA officiating: the 2004 playoffs. No gaping head wound, no foul. Stern followed it up by ham-stringing one of his most reliable franchises in the Artest affair.

I am a fan of the trade, but only for financial reasons. TJ Ford will probably suck. His numbers suggest he's not nearly as good of a pure point guard as Tinsley. At least Ford is cheap relative to O'Neal. Nesterovic appears to be worthless, averaging about 8 points and less than 5 rebounds per game. But his contract expires after this year which brings us to the crux of the argument.

The huge amount owed to JO hampers Larry Bird's ability to make moves in free agency. This begs the question: Is cap room that important in the NBA? Just like in the NFL, the good players are signed to long-term contracts before becoming free agents. The hope has to be that the team can build a solid core of role players around Granger and Dunleavy. The 17th pick in the draft doesn't hurt either.

Will the Pacers be a little worse in the short term? Possibly. But, Jermaine only averaged 13 points per game. He's a twelfth year vet who misses a ton of time. Even though he's just now turning 30, I don't see any reasons for optimism as far as his health. Let's not forget the fact that O'Neal doesn't at all fit the up-tempo game the team has been aiming for the past two seasons.

We'll see what happens. This much I know: Larry Bird did something to make us talk about the Pacers. Impressive. Now all he has to do is somehow steal Eric Gordon with the eleventh pick.

DZ Comments: Most of my thoughts can be seen in the comments from the previous post, but here is a positive breakdown of the trade. I would take issue with it on several points:
1. They got something for JO-really? An expiring contract, a pick with next to no real value, and a point guard with spine damage. Yeah, color me uninspired.
2. They got a point guard-seems like they were going to draft one anyway
3. They can trade Tinsley-Uh, really? To who? And for what? Sorry. Tinsley isn't going anywhere. This is utterly false.
4. The draft-Really? The 11th pick on a very rare occasion yields a player. But they already had that pick. How many times in the last 20 years has the 17th pick yielded a decent player?
5. Cap Space- "They can pursue a big free agent (or take one in a trade) to team up with Ford, Danny Granger and the draft picks, and they'll have the next generation of Pacers up and running"
ah, the mythical cap space. Again, WHO IS EVEN AVAILABLE? Note: he doesn't suggest a real player. Just the phantom F/A.
If the Pacers sign someone good next year, this is a good trade. Otherwise, it does nothing but make the team cheaper, not better. Since I don't think there is anyone worthy of signing who is likely to come to Indiana, I don't see that this deal helps us. It helps the Simons, and that's cool. I love the Simons. It doesn't help the fans or the product on the floor.

In summary: this isn't a bad deal or a good deal. It's a deal. It saves money. It's unlikely to improve the club. It's about as exciting to me as staring at tax forms. The Pacers are in the NBA's no-man's land. The only hope is to seriously tank a whole season so as to move up into the kind of draft territory where they can either get a player who is good or trade for a player who is good. This is exciting news? 20-62 here we come. Pardon me while I throw up.

Lazy again

Actually the opposite. I'm swamped with work stuff, so I'm throwing down some more links:

Don Banks talks coaching trees. Tony has a fairly prolific one. I'm still not sure if it's better to count Del Rio or not.

SI lists the 10 best athletes from IU. I would have added Alford and Ted Kluzewski (we are talking about all time best athletes and big Klu was a beast). Mike Smith wouldn't have been a bad choice either.

A college girl is the new Jags blogger. (Insert punch line). Seriously, though, best of luck to you Jeanne, that's quite the franchise you have to promote there.

I have no words for how improbable this photo is.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Couple of Links

I've been traveling and working the last couple of days, so I don't have too much in the tank except for a couple of links:

ESPN Fantasy Football previews the Colts

Stampede Blue links to a facinating article about the best QBs ever. Our boy does pretty good.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

(Something witty or alliterative) Pedro

Rather than sit here and search for the right word that begins with P, I'm going to be lazy and get right to the point. I saw Pedro Martinez pitch last night. Thanks to a family friend who hooked us up with free Rockies/Mets tickets, my wife and I were able to take in a pleasant night at the ballpark in Denver. I was particularly stoked because future Hall of Famer (and no, I won't debate this. His numbers are Kofaxian) Pedro Martinez was on the mound. I go out of my way to try and catch future Hall of Famers as much as possible. My grandfather regaled me with stories of living in New York in the late 40s, and he saw just about everyone who mattered. I'm trying to do the same, despite living two hours from the closest big league team.

Of course, watching Pedro today isn't what it was 8-9 years ago when he had perhaps the greatest stretch of any pitcher in history. But last night, for one night, or at least for four innings, he was dominant. He actually hit 92 on the gun, a feat which I had been convinced he was no longer capable of. He made Matt Holiday look awful by freezing him with a 68 MPH curve. It was a like that hook bent time itself transporting us all back 10 years and several DL stints. The years and the damage to his wire thin right arm peeled off him, even if just for a few innings.

Unfortunately, his great four frames most likely had much more to do with the sun than his arm. The game had started early in the Colorado evening, and when the mound and the plate were at last both engulfed by the shadows, the magic died with the light. In the start of the 5th, the Rockies came to bat for the first time that day with ability to actually track the Great Pedro's stuff.

The result? Back to back home runs to start the inning. 5 more hits and 4 more runs later, Pedro was gone, and we were all left to cheer the home team, but maybe just a little sad that we saw one of the great pitchers of our time reduced to just one more shadow on mound.

Friday, June 20, 2008

It's official: Jeremy Green is the dumbest man alive

The World Wide Leader has a couple of new articles out featuring the Colts. In the first, the Professor looks at the status of the Colts coming out of mini-camp. Nothing we don't already know, but he does mistakenly use the phrase "at the least" when he should say "at the most" regarding Harrison's situation in Philly.

In the second and more hilarious piece, Scouts Inc. looks at the AFC South. In it Jeremy Green insists that the addition of a man who caught all of 45 balls the past two seasons will elevate the Jags to the number one offense. Needless to say, no one else agrees with him. Three of the five man staff also think the Colts have the best defense in the South.

I've killed Jeremy Green in this space more times than I care to count, but this this may be the single most comedic thing he's said. The man knows nothing about football. His entire experience comes from working in one of the all time worst front offices in history (the Browns of the early 00s), and from his dad, deposed coach and Coors Light star Dennis Green. He apparently equates Porter leaving Oakland to Moss leaving Oakland. Uh, I think there were some differences too, but if those aren't painfully obvious to everyone with a brain, then me explaining them won't help.

The Blue Jays are half crazy, but I'm glad Cito Gaston got another job. The guy has a winning record as a manager, AND two World Series titles and never got a sniff a second job. Odd. The Jays GM was right to apologize to Dunn. He is a lumbering ox, but he plays hard. It's hard for a man that big to play the outfield, and Dunn does the best he can.

For the hearty few that have encouraged me to post more movie reviews, I saw the Incredible Hulk today. Essentially, it's light years better than the previous incarnation, mostly due to presence of Ed Norton. Ultimately, it falls victim to the same trap that most comic book movies do: some idiot assumes that after an hour and a half of fine acting and complex character development what we really want is to see two CGI monsters wail on each other for 15 minutes. Memo to screenwriters and studios: WE DON'T. IT'S BORING AS HELL. I also could have done with Jennifer Conley instead of Liv Tyler as the girl friend. In short, the move back to the Bill Bixby version the Hulk mostly pays off. The movie was marginally better than I expected despite a lackluster finsih (Ho ho! He says, "Hulk SMASH!" I never saw it coming!), and ranked somewhere between the uneven X-Men 3 and the excellent Iron Man. For me, the best part of the movie was watching the trailer for I Want to Believe again. Mostly, I'm sick of Marvel...bring on The Dark Knight.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I'm ready

for football season. The Reds are beyond done. Their bats have once again gone silent. Tiger is done. The NBA playoffs are done. There is nothing to do but wait.

The thing about these Colts is that there really isn't anything to talk about. There is one issue that will decide the success or failure of the 2008 Colts: the health of Dwight Freeney. With all due respect to the good guys over at (who I enjoy), I'm not interesting in parsing out who will be the 5th receiver. I'm not curious to see who makes the roster. I'm only very mildly interested in who wins the right guard slot. These things are nice distractions, I guess, but they aren't very satisfying. I'm ready for football season.

This NFL season is like waiting for a present to be unwrapped. I think the Horse is stacked. I fully expect to win the title that should have been ours last season had not fate played nasty games with the healthy of half the roster. I can't wait for the Jags to be exactly the same team they always have been (maybe even a little worse). I can't wait for Lucas Oil to open. I can't wait for Joe Addai to rip off 1400 yards behind a healthy O-line that doesn't feature Charlie Johnson at tackle. I can't wait for Dungy to walk victoriously off the field in Tampa. I'm ready for football season.

Football season isn't ready for me though, and that leaves me in a quandary. I'll enjoy the rest of my vacation and finish some books (I'm Right on Time and The Glory of Their Times). I'll continue dominating my fantasy baseball league and posting links on 18to88. Eventually, I'll try to figure out how to get down to training camp, and I'll whine about how horrible the preseason is. And then just before I pack up to head back to Argentina, I'll finally slip into Lucas Oil Stadium for week one, knowing that I might not be back there for another few years at best. Still, I'm ready for football season.

USA Today profiles the Colts.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A couple of things I missed

Foxsports has a couple of articles of note. Pete Schrager answers some questions and predicts another Manning bowl come January. thinks the Colts will win the South, and their numbers actually like a big win total from the Horse. They question the Colts running game, which is pretty funny. The run game struggled because of the makeshift line last year. Of all the areas on this team, this is one I worry about the least.

I can't tell you how happy it makes me...

that the only thing standing between Boston and the greatest sports year ever for a city is...

the Patriots wetting the bed in the Super Bowl.

Sorry Tommy. You just weren't good enough.

God help me. It never gets old.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tiger Woods and social change

The world will soon overflow with the digital ink expended in the quest to describe Tiger Woods performance over the past three days. I have never seen a golf tournament that managed to sustain the level of drama we've seen over the (long) weekend. Since I'm on vacation this week, I watched every gripping hole Monday, and found it as thrilling as golf could possibly be. All of us had the same lingering question during Tiger's grind-it-out playoff Monday, "What if he jacks his knee up forever?". The thought that this could be the last time we ever see this dominant iteration of Tiger only added to the glory and the pressure of the moment. Couple in as close to a real life 'Rocky' as you can get, and the sum total was something I'll tell my kids about.

I'd like to by-pass all that for a moment and comment on one of Earl Woods grandiose statements about his only son that made us all chuckle or at least cock our heads in disbelief. When the father said that the son would have a bigger impact than Gandhi, we wondered how crazy he could possibly be. Now, a decade later, we have a major party nominee whose ethnic background is at least similar to Tiger's, and there is a good possibility that Barack Obama will be president. I think that Tiger Woods has had something to do with that.

I don't want to overstate the case, but I don't think it's coincidental that millions of white Americans have grown to be massive fans of the best golfer in the world and a scant few years later a similar looking man of deep eloquence is garnering millions of votes for president. I believe that most people in the US are not racist but rather 'culturists'. I think there are many people who discriminate not on skin color but rather on cultural trappings like corn-rows, tattoos, names, and speech patterns. Many of those cultural affects are closely connected to African-Americans, but a dislike of those doesn't make someone 'racist'. Many Americans would accept a 'Cosby Show' black guy ("Hey! I have black friends"), while they would still feel uncomfortable with African Americans who conform to a different cultural pattern. Certainly, there are still many pure racists who see skin color and nothing else, but I think that many have traded one prejudice for another. Being a culturist is still wrong, and it has its roots in racism, but it is dramatically more accepting (I don't care what you look like as long as you act like me).

Setting aside the whole issue of whether Tiger or Barack are actually 'black' (an issue which is largely irrelevant since for the purposes of analyzing their societal effect because for our purposes, they are what people think they are), I think that the sea change that is well coming in this country has been accelerated by Tiger. Millions of white Americans have grown used to Tiger and comfortable watching his dominance and excellence in an overwhelmingly pale faced environment. I think many of those same people are now approaching Barack Obama with a different level of acceptance than they might have had they not become Tiger fans.

I can't prove this. I have zero polling data or evidence connecting rooting with Tiger to voting for Obama. My point here isn't to endorse Obama or criticize people who don't want to vote for him (I voted for him in the primary, but will wait to endorse any candidate until they debate head to head), so let's not allow the discussion veer in that direction. I just have to believe that rooting for Tiger for 10 years has affected the way people think. It may well be that this is a connection that others have made more eloquently than I did, but I think it's a valid suspicion that Earl Wood's boy might have already had a much greater impact on society and the history of the United States than we realize.

Colvin signed for the money. I don't blame him. He's got rings. It's his last chance to get paid.

Scouts Inc. has the Colts at 5 in their O-line rankings. I hope so. Injuries really hurt their production last year.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Short Night

I tried to come up with some sports related reason to review The Happening, but there really isn't one, so I'll dispense with the pretense. For those who haven't heard, the new M. Night Shyamalan movie pulled down a putrid 20% on the tomato-meter. The new Hitchcock has been accused of unleashing a 'career-ender' on the movie going public. Early buzz has been bad, and some of the acting (I'm looking at you Marky "I can't be believable as being from Boston in the Departed despite actually being from Boston" Mark) was rumored to be awful.

In the interest of full disclosure, I love Shyamalan movies. Signs is one of my all time favorites. I thought Unbreakable was genius. I thought Lady in the Water was beautiful. I really liked the Village and 6th Sense. I know the critics killed some of those movies, but they were all right in my wheelhouse (especially Signs which might be the most personally emotionally resonant movie I've ever seen). M. Night is one of my favorite film makers, and as a huge Hitchcock fan, I freely admit that I like this genre more than most people.

With all that out of the way, let me start by saying that The Happening is a good movie. It isn't a flawless movie. It's certainly the least impressive of his slate to date; but it is a good movie. The concept was original, the film making was excellent as usual. The lead actors were good (notably an under-used John Leguizamo), and even Zooey Deschanel (who single-handledly killed the Sci-Fi mini-series Tin Man) was more than competent. The movie was suspenseful throughout, with moments of humor and the typical Shyamalan brand of horror (the idea of what was happening was scarier than the execution). Quite frankly, if this movie had been made by anyone else or if it had been an under the radar release like 6th Sense, it would not have gotten the negative press. Shyamalan savaged the critics in Lady in the Water, and they have not been kind in return. If you are a fan of his movies, you may not count The Happening as your favorite flick, but you won't hate it either. If you've been disappointed by previous M. Night trailers that promised horror and gore, but gave suspense and introspection, then you'll be similarly upset with this entry in his canon.

I have my criticisms, mostly that there was the opportunity to have a truly creepy 'point' set up by a class room speech in the first 10 minutes. Shyamalan abandoned the more mature, vague point for an overly preachy one which drained the last 10 minutes of the film of some of the really scary consequences of the sort which made The Village a truly disturbing movie if you thought about the implications. There were minor things that could have elevated this film to the same level as his others, but in all it was much closer to a brilliant film than to a bomb. Despite not being my favorite work of his, the writer/director/best boy grip/makeup artist/animal handler Shyamalan gave us a movie with some surprisingly haunting images that are unique and lasting and a movie that leaves you waiting for the bomb under the table to go off. If you like the kind of movie where the waiting is more the point than the explosion, then you'll enjoy this film. If you just want the carnage, then forget it.

And, Mark Whalberg is a huge Celtics, Game 6. Uh, yeah, I still got nothing. Sorry.

Colvin is set to sign with Texas. This is why I didn't get all that excited about this months ago. It always seemed like a long shot for him to come to Indy. I don't think the brass feels they need him. The link originally came from Profootballtalk, who I won't hyperlink to because I'm still protesting Floria's moronic handling of the Harrison situation.

The DA wants more evidence collected in the Harrison case. Oh ok. Seven weeks later go back and get more evidence? This case is stalled out and this is the first sign it's going away. Essentially this means that as of now they don't have enough for any kind of charges to be brought. Somehow I doubt that's going to change at this late date.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

I don't think there can be a more appropriate place to talk about Fathers than a sports blog on Father's day. Our own Father, who affectionately nicknamed himself "Big Time", is nearly singlehandedly responsible for our love of sports. Whether it was taking us to Butler games and schooling us in how to scream at the refs, or curb jumping the parking field and screaming across the open space in his truck with us in the back on the way to the 500, Dad always managed to enhance the experience of going to sporting events. And don't even get me started on the endless hours he spent coaching my teams when I was kid. (His Bobby Knight style of coaching 4th grade basketball just seemed natural to kids growing up in Indiana) If there was a game, Dad was there. If I wanted to shoot hoops, Dad would shoot hoops and deride my two hand set shot (which I embarrassingly still use).

I love my dad for many reasons, but sometimes I wonder if he couldn't have been just a tad more laid back about sports, I wouldn't have suffered so much Vanderjagt related misery over my lifetime. Of course, then I wouldn't be watching my son scamper around in his Griffey shirt while I try to cement his future baseball nickname (Scooter) on his psyche. He's not even two, and he doesn't have a prayer.

Thanks Dad.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Yeah, JC. Harang does suck

Just saying.

Showing Humility

I've been listening to Bill Simmon's podcasts recently, and I have to say the experience has been particularly gratifying. He's been bouncing between big Lakers and big Boston fans talking about the Finals. The best part was when he discussed the importance of this finals to the Boston fans after they got debacled in the Super Bowl. This has been fun on two counts:

1. Listening to them talk about losing that Super Bowl. It never gets old. Never ever never.

2. Listening to them talk about how depressed Spygate made them. Honestly, it's refreshing to hear some Pats fans honestly admit that it does bother them that the Pats cheated (and that it really was cheating). I think what bugged me so much about the whole Spygate thing was this inexplicable wall of defense put up by the NE fans. Instead of responding with a little humility and anger at the club and Belichick, they acted like freaking martyrs and started barfing up all the lame "everyone does it" defenses, when everyone most assuredly doesn't do it. Hearing that in Boston there is very little Pats gear being worn is hilarious. It actually makes me like Boston a little bit more because it means that maybe there are a few decent people out there with an appropriate sense of shame.

Check out the BS report with Mike O'Malley and the one from last week with "Bill's buddy Hench". They are well worth the time.

Oh, and by the way, can we all agree after this series that Kobe Bryant is not and never will be Jordan? I see it during every game. It's eerily similar to how Tom Brady is not and never will be Joe Montana, without the whole, "He also also raped someone" angle.

Polian, Irsay, and Dungy go into the Indiana football Hall of Fame. Yeah, I bet that's real crowded. There's um...some dudes from Notre Dame...and uh...

The final minicamp report is good. The thought of Dungy winning the Super Bowl in Tampa and then retiring is a happy one.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

OUCH! This one hurts...

Anyone want a scholarship to play at IU? Enduring all the transfers was really no big deal, but now that Jordan Crawford is leaving as well, I have to say that I'm a tad despondent. He's a serious talent, and I was holding out hope that he could improve enough to help the Hoosiers hang around .500. Now apparently anyone with a pair of Chuck Taylors can make the squad.

Simmons mentions the 4 point play as one of the fishiest moments in NBA history. That's a mild understatement. I don't get how the NBA gets away with this crap. People can rip Tim Donaghy for being a felon, but when you look at tapes and stats from those games it's almost impossible to doubt him. Also in this piece, the Sports Guy's line about Vince Carter made me laugh out loud. I still can't believe I've been reduced to rooting for Boston. I figure in the seedy underbelly of sports that is the NBA, Boston fans are generally positive about the Pacers because of Larry Legend, so I can be gracious as well.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Well, Jr did it and thus ruined my plans for an ill-timed but absolutely unavoidable trip to Cincinnati this week. I'm happy for him. My hope is that he can still cobble together enough seasons to at least pass Mays at 660, or even sniff 700 HRs. It probably won't be with the Reds, but I hope it happens anyway.

Tim Kurkjian talks about how great Griffey was 15 years ago.

I'm not the only one who hates the comportment of the Cub fans. Reds announcer Marty Brennamen's wikkipedia page is hilarious. Scroll down and read the quotes under "Controversies". He's dead right.

Sam Perkins is back. It's funny; I was just thinking about him the other day. Now he's going babysit the Pacers players.

Here's another Griffey celebration.

Monday, June 9, 2008

People in North Florida are smarter than I gave them credit for

At least they aren't wasting money on Jags tickets. God bless the Jags. They are always good for a laugh. Here's a link to where I originally found the article.

Mike Hart is pretty mouthy for a dude who hasn't made the team yet.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Really? I thought it was just because he's a white dude.

Tom Brady says he's slow and can't jump. He blames it on his ankle injury. If Peyton Manning had come out with a line like this a couple of months after losing the Super Bowl, everyone in New England would kill him for being a wuss. Soooooo.

Tom Brady is a wuss who makes excuses.

CHFF does their all-time franchise rankings. The Colts come in a very respectable 11th. It's frankly amazing considering how many horrible years the franchise suffered. Johnny U is rightly the face of the franchise and Dungy pulls down the 'best coach' amid really strong competition.

Why I don't believe in the Cubs

So welcome to my own personal hell. The Cubs are in first place and every drunk bleacher reject in North Central Indiana trots out their Cubs hats to celebrate. The only good news for Cubs haters like me, is that this season is highly unlikely to end well for the Lou's boys. Aside from the fact that I hate them, there are a few objective to disbelieve what the Cubs are doing.

1. Their rotation is not nearly deep enough to contend in October. Raise your hand if you believe that Ryan Dempster will win 78% of his decisions and carry an ERA under 3 into August. No one? Yeah, me neither. Dempster, the reason cited by Lou Pinella for the Cubs strong start, has NEVER had a season with numbers this good, not even when he was healthy with Florida. Dempster will fall off sharply in the next few months, and when he does so will the Cubs. Remember last year when Lou had to yank Z from the first playoff game because he KNEW he only had one reliable starter? NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

2. The division. Contrary to popular belief the NL Central has actually become one of the best in baseball. Only the AL East can boast the depth of field from top to bottom that the Central has. It's fashionable to mock the Pirates and Reds, but both clubs have records as good as Detroit, Cleveland, the Dodgers and Seattle. The Cubs have done most of their damage against the weak NL West (going an insane 17-5), but will have much more trouble against the Central as the summer wears on.

3. The schedule. The Cubs have already played 5more games at home than on road. The schedule was loaded with early games at Wrigley, but come September they'll face 16 of their last 22 on the road. The Cubs are under .500 on the road.

4. The bullpen. Pinella has openly said that he doesn't have an 'innings' staff. He has relied heavily on his pen to this point in the season. Only three teams in the NL have logged more innings from the bullpen this season. The Cubs are 3rd in bullpen ERA, but that is an advantage that will deteriorate unless they get more IP from the starters. By the end of the year, the strongest facit of their club could well be over worked. Not to mention the fact that they are relying on Kerry Wood to hold up.

5. The farm. The Cubs have the 20th rated farm system in baseball. When the time comes for July dealing, the Cubs don't have as many chips to bargain with as other teams.

6. 100 years. At some point you stop saying, "Hey, they're due!" and you start saying, "Hey, they suck".

The great part about this post is that I don't even have to resort to wishful thinking to write it. This team may well win the division, but they simply don't have the horses to go anywhere in the playoffs. Honestly, if I didn't believe so strongly in Sweet Lou's genius, I wouldn't even expect them to take the Central. They are primed for a huge drop off, and I for one won't be the least bit sorry to see it happen.

Rich, chocolatey ovaltine

Eddie Gossage, the president and of Texas Motor Speedway is not afraid to say what he thinks. Last month he publicly dared Dale Earnhardt Jr. to race in the Indycar event at Texas. This week he offered Indycar some unsolicited advice about the future of open-wheel racing in America: stick to the ovals. He argues that the demise of CART/Champcar proves that the American audience is not interested in F1-style street races.

This argument has some merit on both sides. When the series was at its popularity peak in the early '90s (prior to the split) the CART schedule was comprised mostly of road courses. There is clearly a hardcore group of racing fans that attend the road races because they like the acceleration, braking, and steering involved. These are the same folks who wake up early on weekends to watch the F1 events on televison. Can you grow the sport based soley on these type of fans? No, but I don't think you can do it without them either.

Americans like speed and danger. They like to be reminded of their own mortality. Oval racing allows for dangerous passes at high speeds. The series has wisely incorporated a few street/road courses in the past couple years. These events work best when they are staged in metropolitan areas where they come off looking like something out of a early '90s videogame. They currently have 11 ovals and 6 road courses. This seems like a nice mix to me.

The truth is Indycar has bigger issues to worry about. They need to find a way to get some American drivers to feed into the series. Also, you know you lack relevance when your race is shown on tape delay at 10pm so ESPN2 can air a Nationwide (formerly Busch) Series race. I threw up a little typing that.

In other racing news Dan Wheldon sullied himself at Texas yesterday.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Random thoughts on the NBA Finals

Stuff that occurred to me as I endured my first Lostless Thursday of the next 7 months:

  • Watching those two teams play was like watching a Beatles cover band. They may look like the Celtics and Lakers, and they may even play pretty well. But it's not the same, and it's silly to act like it is. John got shot and the rest got old. Sort of sums up the NBA.
  • Kobe Bryant is NOT Michael Jordan, and he's not really even close. He can do some of the thing that Jordan did, but he is not the center of what is happening at all times. Maybe it's just selective memory, but I don't recall Jordan ever being so...invisible in a Game One.
  • I feel like this is my chance to redeem myself. I rooted for the Lakers when I was a kid because I thought the name Magic was awesome. My first NBA memory is the 87 Playoffs. I got on this Celtics hating kick because my little league basketball team was named the Pistons. No one explained to me why a kid from Indiana should root for Boston. My dad was big into the Celtics (as was everyone), but I didn't figure it out until it was too late. Now I'm past 30 and the Celts and Lakers are playing again, so I figure this time I can pull for the Celtics like I should have 20 years ago. Frankly, the fact that Kobe is a rapist makes it easy.
  • Maybe it just didn't show up on TV, but the lack of real passion and hatred between the teams made the whole thing feel flat. The players want to win in the general sense that everyone wants a ring. But they don't really care who they are playing. They don't care about beating LA or Boston any more than they would about beating any other team. The more clips ABC shows of the 80s just proves it. These teams don't hate each other (Pierce and Kobe were joking playing up pickup this summer...barf), and it shows. This isn't a rivalry, it's a high school reunion.
  • Still, the basketball was reasonably entertaining and there's a 50/50 chance I'll watch some on Sunday if I'm in the mood and there's absolutely nothing else on. Argentina plays the USA in soccer, so I might try to catch that. The NBA: where apathy happens.


Kravitz points out that we've had 10 years of Manning. Here's to 10 more. I would LOVE to know what crazy stuff Polian said to Manning's agent during negotiations.

LUUUUUUKE Lawton got dealt for a conditional pick. Sweet move. He wasn't going to make the club anyway, so anything is a plus.

Dusty plays baby sitter. Siiiigh.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Colvin touring the league

I think everyone would love to see Rosevelt Colvin join the Colts, but I wouldn't bet on it. It seems that everyday Colvin is visiting a different club, and that usually means that a player isn't interested in playing for the veteran minimum. The Star says there still is a chance the Colts will sign him, but the fact that it hasn't happened yet makes me wonder if it will. Colvin has experienced team success already, so he's far more likely to just take the big payday, and who can blame him. This is his last chance to make big dollars playing football, and he'd be wise to take advantage. For the Colts part, paying big dollars for a veteran with iffy injury history doesn't make sense. I'd like to see this happen, but only for the right price.

ESPN lists the best running backs ever. Whatever. Lists are lists, but it is worth noting three Colts (2 Indy Colts) made the list. We have been blessed in Indy to witness some amazing runners in an unbroken run from Dickerson to Faulk to Edge to Addai.

Anything Manning does to stay healthy is ok by me. He could borrow AGs hyperbaric chamber, and I wouldn't bat an eye.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

For those who don't read the comments

Thanks to SpeedBlue47 for the link. Since the last time I posted on Bruce, he's had 4 hits and 2 HR, in just 2 games.

Polian and Footballoutsiders? Together? It's the best Tuesday ever! The smartest website and the smartest GM. It'll offset the IQ points you lost by reading us today.

I get worn out by the shtick at Cold Hard Football Facts. But I have to tell you, if they have to unleash the bile, they couldn't pick a better candidate. All those years people were killing Manning and praising Brady for their playoff performances, they overlooked Brady playing with Mr. Clutch while Manning played with Mr. Clutch His Own Throat at kicker. Remember, it isn't that Vandy missed kicks. That can happen even to the best. It's that he had two HUGE kicks in the playoffs and shanked them wide right by about 15 yards each. He didn't hit the upright. He didn't just push it a hair wide. He missed those kicks by so much that within .5 seconds you knew they didn't have a chance. Failing in the clutch isn't the same thing as choking. Sometimes you don't get the break or the other guy makes a great play. Failing is part of life. Choking is when you do something widely out of character because of the pressure. I've only seen Vandy hit two balls like that. Miami and Pittsburgh.

The Colts are blessed with continuity on offense, but that means making special adjustments as well.

Demond Sanders: I've been without internet since Friday night due to a huge bleeping storm in Indy. I'm officially back and my first order of business is to let DZ know that the Reds suck. Good home team. Horrible road team. I know you're justifiably pysched about JB's genius-level start to his career, but this team is going nowhere fast. They're close. Closer than they've been in awhile, but still a year away.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Edging upward

It's incredibly fun to WANT to listen to the baseball game tonight. As the Reds sit one game under .500 and trending upward, there is a buzz about the team that has been absent for awhile. With the offense finally generating runs, the wins are finally starting to come.

It's Manny vs Jr. in a death match. I can't even believe this debate needs to happen. I love Manny. I think he's a phenomenal hitter. But this is like comparing watching TV to going to a game live. Yeah, you see most of the same stuff, and replays are great...but you just can't beat the extra dimension. Ugh. That was a clumsy way of saying that Jr. was vastly superior in other non-offensive aspects of the game. It barely made sense.

I love Hall of Famer Hal McCoy's blog.