Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One Shining Moment

Tired of listening to Gus Johnson scream as he calls March Madness games? Or maybe you enjoy Johnson's excitable outbursts. Either way, you'll never listen to him in the same way once Skillet the Bulldog takes advantage of a stuffed animal to Johnson's commentary:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PantsCast March 29

Final Four, Palm Sunday, and the JaMarcus Russell lightning round.

Click here for the party in the PantsCast.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Chronic Issue

NFL draft humans have to rethink some of their criteria.

Read about it here.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ben Folds Genius

I don't care if you're a fan of Ben Folds or not, this guy is a musical improv genius:

He's soooo 21st century!

Seriously, send me to a concert like that over a stadium event that costs $200 any day of the week. You hear that Ticketmaster!?

Friday, March 26, 2010

CBS Sucks At Drama

I love me some March Madness, but CBS is doing their best to ruin it for me.

Find Out Why.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bleeding Brackets Means Love For The Underdog

So your brackets are bleeding after the Kansas debacle, the Villanova shake down, and the general blood-letting of the three and four seeds (there is only one team left of each seed and that would be Baylor and Purdue...not exactly a murderer's row).
But you're still holding out that just MAYBE you'll still win your pool. A few upsets here, your darkhorse here....

Here's some more sobering news for you: Michigan State and West Virginia just lost their engines for the rest of the tournament.

The Spartens are lead by Kalin Lucas and with him they destroyed Maryland in round two. Then he got hurt and Maryland nearly pulled off a miracle comeback. Cool game? Yes. But it should serve as a giant warning flag to those men who wear green and those who have those men wearing green sneaking up towards the Final Four.

Michigan State was a fun darkhorse pick this year because they had the look of a late season attacker. They made the final game last year. THey had a rough patch of season this year which dropped the seed down, but they still had Tom Izzo coaching and Kalin Lucas running the show. Oops.

It doesn't stop there though. West Virginia was also a major player in the Final Four hunt. In fact, I had them knocking off Kentucky in my personal bracket. Then I read this.

Can I have a mulligan? There's no worse position to lose on the court than the point guard during tournament time. That guy generally determines the pace, controls the ball, and keeps the offense moving. Without the regular point guard, an offense can turn into one giant fire drill.

I know, anything can happen in the tournament, but maybe you should just accept the destruction of your bracket and root for a historic run by an underdog...unless the guy next to picked Northern Iowa to beat St. Mary's in the final.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

PantsCast March 22

Bleeding brackets, snowy Dallas, respect the underdog, and why the Texas Rangers shouldn't play with first or third base lines this year.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Wise Man Mora

Ex-NFL head coach Jim Mora had been renowned for his legendary press conferences where he emits some sort of insane banter that becomes an instant classic.

Some of his hits include:

"We couldn't do diddly -poo offensively. We couldn't make a first down. We didn't run the ball. We didn't try to run the ball. We couldn't complete a pass. We sucked. We sucked. It was a horse ass performance in the second half. Horse ass!"

"We gave it away. We gave them the friggin' game. In my opinion, that sucked. ... We got our ass totally kicked. Holy crap. I don't know who the hell we think we are when we do something like that!"

Am I emotional? You're damn right I'm emotional! And I apologize!"

And of course, the Holy Grail of press-conference rants:

"Playoffs?! Don't talk about playoffs! Are you kidding me? Playoffs?! I'm just hoping we can win a game, another game!"

Well, I actually quoted Mr. Mora during an argument the other day. English professors quote Shakespeare, Physicists quote Einstein. Football idiots like myself apparently quote Jim Mora. That's cool I guess.

I was talking to a neighbor of mine who's a real blowhard and likes to argue. I managed to get sucked into a discussion/mind-numbing episode about this little health care bill with him. I was simply stating that it's gotten so complicated now that I'm not sure what it's going to do anymore.

He informed me he knew exactly what would happen and went on to paint me this post-apocalyptic world complete with death panels and an impossible task of finding a doctor. He had no prior experience, mind you, he was just regurgitating everything he had heard on Fox News as though it were the word of God or Jeebus or whomever. And doing it in a very condescending way.

It was at this point when I went all Mora on them. I said to him, "You're full of (expletive). You have no idea how this is going to turn out. You don't know how health care will end up working. You just don't know. You may think you know, but you don't know."

It was at this point when I stopped and realized that I was nearly directly quoting Jim Mora when he ranted at the media about how they don't know what his football team was thinking.

It was either a shining moment in my life or a dark spot on the evolution of humanity. And I bet somewhere in the NFL Network studios, Jim Mora smiled. Just a little.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rising From The Ashes

March Madness is in full swing and your favorite school might be in there. Or maybe its not.

Sometimes you have to look for other schools to follow because your team is eliminated early or simply didn't make the tournament at all. If you're one of those people, let me introduce you to the Baylor Bears.

The Bears have never been an NCAA powerhouse in basketball, but no one could imagine the Bears even sniffing the tournament after what the school has been through this decade.

Lying? Check. Major NCAA infractions? Check. Murder? Check and mate.

In 2002-2003, Baylor was coached by Dave Bliss. He recruited two players to transfer in order to play of him. Patrick Dennehy and Carlton Dotson showed up at Waco and shortly thereafter all hell broke loose.

When the smoke settled, Dennehy was dead, Dotson was arrested for shooting him, then hiding his car so the police wouldn't find out, and Coach Bliss was nailed for a laundry list of hideous violations including illegal payments, and attempting to paint Dennehy as a drug dealer and telling his players to lie to investigators about it in order to avoid sanctions. Bliss' actions were discovered when an assistant coach taped conversations after Bliss threatened to fire him if he didn't go along with the plan.

Turns out that Bliss was aware of all sorts of drug violations, yet did nothing and also paid money to several players. Then he tried to orchestrate an entire symphony of lies in order to avoid investigation into the Dennehy murder.

You had a one dead player, one player arrested and sentenced to 35 years in prison for murder, and a coach that ran a program dirtier than sceptic tank. Most players transfered away from Waco at light speed.

This is what coach Scott Drew took over when he became the head coach of Baylor in 2003. The Bears were never that good to begin with, now the program had this albatross to completely destroy recruiting.

But Drew just went to work and now in 2010, he has a team that is in the tournament as a number three seed.

There's no telling where the Bears will go this years since they haven't had much tournament history. Maybe they'll fall to Sam Houston State in the first round or maybe they'll make a Final Four run. Either way, this is a team to root for because they are building a program left in ashes. That's a good enough reason as any to wish them success.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

PantsCast March 15

March Madness fun with names, NFL notes, Joe's brush with death, and Jason's obsession with the term "sting ring." So stupid it's brilliant.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

When It's More Than A Loss

Upsets happen in the college basketball conference tournaments. Highly ranked teams go down early all the time.

So why would it be a big deal if Georgetown upset Syracuse in the Big East tournament?

Well, it wouldn't be under normal circumstances. The Orange are still making the NCAA tournament, they'll still be a top seed, and they'll still be on the short list to make the Final Four....maybe.

It all depends on one MRI.

Arinze Onuaku is only 6'9", but he's the biggest person on the team (260 pounds) and a senior leader. He anchors the middle and does a lot of dirty work. That's fairly important during the Madness of March.

Onuaku's knee will be the most talked about thing in the Salt City over the next day. If he's okay, the Orange dream goes on. If he's out, the Orange bubble gets a nice fat pin stuck into it.

So we'll find out in a day if the Orange just lost a game, or lost a big chance. All for one play. I guess there's something in there about fleeting chance at success or somesuch. Whatever, take what you want out of it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

PantsCast March 8

Oscar talk, NFL free-agency, NBA notes, one member who is sick and another has been displaced.

Click here for good fun happy moments.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

So Far So Good

As I sit here writing while my girlfriend gives me running commentary on the Oscars (something about "vapid" and Miley Cyrus, but Kate Winslet apparently looks beautiful), I can't help but think of hockey. I know, obvious connection, right?

The big question following the Olympics was if the exciting gold medal game between Canada and the United States would cause an increase in the NHL ratings. I'm not sure the NHL can ever pull in extra numbers, but the league took a nice step forward this weekend by showing a classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. The game was a back and forth thriller that ended with Detroit winning 5-4 only after withstanding a brutal last minute Chicago assault on the net.

If you didn't find that game interesting, you either aren't a sports fan, or you drank just a bit too much wine at church. This is exactly what the NHL needs.

Half of this country doesn't understand hockey and another faction doesn't care. On the other side, there is a group of fans who want the game to stay the same as it always has complete with fights, grabbing, holding, and pile ups in the middle of the ice.

The rest of us are people that just want to see an entertaining sport which hockey can obviously be. At it's best, the sport is an ultra fast display of grace and power. There is always a chance for a score to happen, yet the goals are few enough that each score means something. There is nothing quite like the fire drill in front of a goalie's net when there is a loose puck around. The change in momentum can be swift and brutal as a scoring chance at one end can instantaneously become a fast break the other direction.

That's why it's nice to see the Red Wings and Blackhawks put on a show. If there are any post Olympic types hanging around to see some more hockey, they have a reason to stick around a bit longer.

Just make it to the playoffs, folks. Then you're in for a real treat.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bull Market For The Bears

Hey, funky title! Get it? It's a the Chicago Bears and it's a bull and bear market. Plus, there is a Chicago Bulls team as well! Brilliant! It works on so many angles and...aww forget it.

The Chicago Bears are all over the NFL free-agency this year. They signed Chester Taylor away from division rival Minnesota, they got stud blocking TE Brandon Manumaleuna (sounds like a Cajun dish) from the Chargers. And the jewel of their free-agent class is sackmaster Julius Peppers from Carolina.

Yep, the Bears dumped all sorts of money in free-agency. Will it work?

Ask the Washington Redskins. They dump truckloads of money around this time every single year. I don't recall too many playoff appearances for them.

The problem with the approach the Skins have taken and the Bears are taking is that the team signs a bunch of ill-fitting parts. The names are big, but they don't have specific roles.

Peppers should be a good pass-rusher, Taylor a talented back, but what about all the other holes on the Bears? The team traded for big armed quarterback Jay Cutler and hired pass-happy Mike Martz as offensive coordinator. Yet the Bears didn't help the offensive line or top receivers. The best receiver the Bears have on the team is tight end Greg Olsen and Martz is well known for shunning the tight end in his passing game.

So to summarize, the Bears have a gunslinger quarterback and a passing coordinator, but the team signs a blocking tight end and a running back in free-agency. Meanwhile, stud receiver Anquan Boldin goes to Baltimore and pass blocking tackle Chad Clifton doesn't seem to be in the Bears plans.

I have no doubt the players whom the Bears signed are good, but aside from Peppers, none were big needs.

The Redskins can tell you that method doesn't often work.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Physical Nonsense

Jason Pierre Paul is a DE/LB prospect in this year's NFL Draft. He's 6'5" and 265 pounds.

Kion Wilson is a LB in the draft. He's tiny at 6'0" and only 232 pounds.

Guys that size shouldn't be able to do this:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

PantsCast March 1

Final Olympic talk, NFL scouting combine and rumors, plus an unfortunate affliction for someone's pet.

Click here for some PantsCasting action.