January 31, 2007

Thrashers 5, Devils 4 (SO)


Just when you are ready to applaud the Devils for getting some offensive life in their blood, they forget how to play defense. This is exactly what I brought up with John F. I had wondered if it was wise to wish for offense and to receive offense, because that might easily sacrifice the defensive side of things. That seemed to be entirely the case last night as the Devils scored 4 but gave up 4. And they couldn't settle things in overtime, so they headed to a shootout with the EXTREME handicap of not being good in shootouts and going against what is no doubt the best team in the league at shootous. They scrapped and fought and played with determination. And let's be honest here: the Thrashers are GOOD. And the Devils were able to adjust and match their tempo, match their scoring and matched their shot total as the teams combined for EIGHTY SHOTS on goal. Yikes. They played a decent, but highly uncharacteristic, style of play. It just wasn't meant to happen.

Mavericks 122, Sonics 102

It's nice to see the Seattle Supersonics. They're a good club, a fun bunch, but a team that the Mavericks can count on to beat. And that's always a nice team to have around. The score always seems the same, the flow of actions always seems the same, and the game maybe seems in doubt for a slight period of time but never seems that they are truly in trouble. Ray Allen will explode, as he did for 35 points this time around. This game was no different. Except for a key twist. Austin Croshere.

Mr. Croshere had a CAREER-high 34 points as he simply went off last night. Josh Howard was out attending to hise wife's needs as she birthed a child. Dirk Nowitzki, thinking that maybe since Josh Howard was out, he should DECREASE his ability, decided to pretty much suck. The Terry/Harris combo was effective, not spectacular, yet again. Greg Buckner contributed solid minutes off the bench. But Croshere was the story, as he drained 7 of 10 3-pointers, the most he's ever had, made, or taken.

The shooting was spot-on and the Mavs were able to get to the free throw line a lot more than Seattle was. The odd stat was that the Mavs got killed on the boards, but when they made so many of their first shots, it wasn't a big deal this time around.

My only complaint is Eric Dampier has been a joke lately. He started strong, lost his way, got back to being strong, and is now not even a factor. He better get his game into gear.

What's up with the Cleveland Browns?

Troy Smith, the great Ohio State QB, has now thrown his name in the hat to be the future QB of the Cleveland Browns. He is the second superstar ball-chucker to do so since the college football season ended, with Brady Quinn being the first. Granted, it makes more sense for Smith to do it. Ohio State happens to be in Ohio, and Cleveland happens to be a major city in Ohio. Brady Quinn was more surprising, but this is surprising as well since Quinn already said he wants to go here. Perhaps the Browns package all of their draft picks together, get picks #2 and #3 and get them both. Maybe.

January 29, 2007

Greg Knapp comes to work for the Oakland Raiders

Knapp Joins Raiders Coaching Staff as Offensive Coordinator

To be honest, I'm more excited about this move than I am with the head coach move. And I guess the single most obvious (and rational) answer is that Greg Knapp is proven. He gets things done. Sources said he wasn't coming, rumors said he was coming. You just never know. I don't think they settled with Knapp, I think they got their man this time around. At least, I hope that's the case. He should be a bright mind and I hope he is given a great deal of freedom. No offense to Lane Kiffin, but having Greg Knapp is more exciting, at least initially, right now. GO RAIDERS.

Al Davis = Fidel Castro?

An interesting comparison to say the least. Or the most. The following is a link to Hall of Fame Magazine where Lesley Visser takes on the one and only Al Davis. The article is a pretty balanced look at Al Davis, with most of the compliments coming about the past. We could definitely use compliments about the current situation, but those seem few and far between. Go and read if you want some history as to what the Raiders used to be.


January 28, 2007

USC-Raiders pipeline begins

Lane Kiffin, who just got done teething, has hired two football minds with USC ties:

Yogi Roth (USC Graduate Asst) - Oakland Offensive Asst
Mark Jackson (USC Dir. FB Operations) - Oakland "Front Office Role"

I guess a lot of things could be worse than the Oakland Raiders becoming the University of Southern California NFL team. I just happen to think variety has the potential to be more than just the spice of life.

Panthers 4, Devils 2

This was a highly forgettable game. And one that I marked way back at the beginning of the year as a must-win game. Not this game specifically, but every game against the Florida Panthers because they had the goalie with the 2nd-most wins (Ed Belfour) and I wanted Brodeur to get that mark (which he currently does hold) and to ensure that this wouldn't be a problem, Brodeur needed to beat "Eagle Ed" every time they went up head-to-head. That did not happen last night, but Brodeur has a nice cushion of 8 wins that he can sit on for now. Just because he surpassed Belfour earlier in the year and just because he racked up his 11th 30-win season doesn't mean he can mentally check out. Don't get me wrong, that is certainly NOT what I am accusing him of doing. If anyone is practically mentally flawless, it's Martin Brodeur. Last night seemed to be an abberation though. Things just didn't seem to work, the Panthers figured out Marty pretty easily. It started off well enough, with Gionta getting his usual goal, but it fell apart from there. John F calls it like he always does in talking about patience and how the Devils are content with playing over-patiently (not a word) when they score first or when it's tied because they have so much faith in Brodeur. Usually it works out. But sometimes the offense, ODDLY ENOUGH, needs to carry the day. They had an opportunity when they were put down 3-2 halfway through the second period. They just couldn't come up with any answers. Those things are going to KILL them in the playoffs where offensive intensity must and will pick up. They better start scoring some goals.

Mavericks 106, Kings 104

Hard-fought victory last night. Made me think of the Dallas/Sacramento games of old, when they were bitter rivals and slugged it out night after night. I don't know what happened to those days. Dallas got a heckuva lot better and the Kings have gotten worse. I guess that's how the story goes. But tonight was back to old-school Kings/Mavs with the Mavs squeaking it out by two points at the end of the game. Tough stuff. Nowitzki had his 8th-straight double-double last night, pouring in 32 points and racking up 11 boards. Josh Howard had an off night with 13 points, but the Terry/Harris combo put up 32 points as well as 13 assists. Stackhouse contributed a solid 16 points with good shot selection yet again. This man is going to be HUGE in the playoffs. Field goal percentage was dead even, 53% a piece, which really makes me think it was a Kings/Mavs game of old. For the Kings it was Ron Artest with 25 and Kevin Martin with 21, but ultimately it was not enough. Good thing, too.

January 27, 2007

And with that win...

...Martin Brodeur continues to lengthen his NHL record of 30+ wins a season with 11 in a row. The most seasons in total is 13, held by Patrick Roy. Marty should be able to snatch that win up pretty quickly at the pace he is going. Congratulations to a well-deserving goaltender.

January 26, 2007

Devils 2, Lightning 0

First Period: Brian Gionta, Devils (Gomez, Elias) Second Period:
Third Period:

Shots on Goal:
28-25 Tampa Bay Lightning

Penalties: Devils - 4 minutes, Lightning - 8 minutes


This is a first period I can live with. The Lightning are fast. One could say "lightning quick" but then that one would get shot because that's a dumb thing to say. But yes, the score is in the Devils favor currently, which is nice. It's also nice to see that the first line is living up to being the first line and not having to have the second line pick them up. Though the second line would answer the call, no doubt. Especially with the Young Stars MVP Parise in there mixing it up. But I wasn't simply pleased with the goal by the first line, their entire play this period was very solid. Everyone is talking about rust after the All-Star game. I don't get it. It's ALWAYS mentioned. I'm sure it's being mentioned in every other hockey game. It makes no sense. This is just another game to me. Not a big difference. One thing for the Devils to improve is faceoffs, they are getting blown out of the water so far 12-3. But that's been a weak point for the Devils all year, especially recently. Good thing Marty isn't playing like he was in the All-Star game, but I told you that it doesn't matter anyway.


Amidst many technical difficulties (which will probably continue into and beyond the third period) I didn't really keep up with this period. What I know is that the Devils won a handful more faceoffs and the shots on goal were about just as even as they were in the first with the Devils maximizing their shot selection and the Lightning minimizing their quality chances, but only because their shots were being taken at a MAN-BEAST in Martin Brodeur. Tom Chorski just said to me, "And the Devils head into the third period not having given up a goal. How many times have we seen this with Martin Broduer?" And I answered to him, "Several." But he didn't hear me. Because he was on the radio and I was in reality.


So what? Pando throws in an empty-netter (which I have ALWAYS called for not actually counting towards a player's goals or assists, but NO ONE listens to me on this issue). Martin Brodeur gets ANOTHER shutout and nobody blinks an eye because that's what he is supposed to do. So what? The Devils play "Devil hockey" and if I have to type that in quotes one more time then I'm going to rip out my eyelashes one at a time. I mean, what's the point? The Devils roll again. They suffocate the Lightning for once in a blue moon and rock the standings yet again. I'll take it. Don't get me wrong. Is the NHL ready for this? I mean, it's only been 15+ years that it's been going on.

January 25, 2007

Bulls 96, Mavericks 85

Consider me spoiled, but that sucked.

Reds in the division

Each time the Cubs make a deal, I feel small. And sad. But they've done it again, this time getting Cliff Floyd from the Mets. The Cubs have retained Aramis Ramirez and made deals so far to get: Alfonso Soriano, Mark DeRosa, Neal Cotts, Ted Lilly, Jason Marquis, and now Cliff Floyd. I know the Reds can't compete with that, they do what they can as a smaller-market team. It just sucks that they can't truly compete. I just have a bad feeling the Cubs are going to break the curse and win the World Series. It just makes sense because since I've been in Illinois, all of the surrounding teams have been winning. The Cubs are the only ones left.

Narron on Josh Hamilton


"Even if he goes 0-for-his-first-50, we'll keep running him out there and let him play."
How about....NOT doing that?

Roddick loses

Lost in the shuffle of sports TEAMS is my favorite tennis player, that being Andy Roddick. He got DESTROYED last night (or this morning) by Roger Federer - 6-4, 6-0, 6-2. I watched it live.

What this means is that they are playing the Australian Open. It's on the other side of the world. The match started at 2:45am Central Standard Time. I went to sleep at 10:00, got a phone call from my friend Brett at 2:30 saying that he was coming over. We watched the match. Thankfully, it ended quickly for a tennis match, and we got back to sleep before 4:15. Of all the nights to screw up college sleep and mess around with sleep cycles and classes, we thought it would be a good idea to take a shot on this match. It was a bad mistake, my friends. We thought since Roddick had come close, and even beat Federer in a meaningless exhibition, that he was "closing the gap." It couldn't have been further from the truth last night. Part of me wishes I would have kept sleeping. But the experience was interesting. It just sucked.

Don't make the same mistakes I've made, kiddos.

January 24, 2007


I really need to NOT keep my predictions to myself and post them on here. Because I know when things are going to happen. But I suppose everyone could accuse me of altering my timestamp on my posts. So I can't win.


My prediction this time was that there would be a MINNESOTA CONNECTION as Brian Rolston from the Minnesota Wild would score on Martin Broduer. I didn't know he would do it twice in the same period, but I knew it would be once.

Speaking of Marty, he gave up SIX goals in the second period. SIX FREAKIN' GOALS. IN ONE PERIOD. This is Martin Brodeur we are talking about. I mean, I know it's an All-Star game, and I'd much rather have Brodeur do well in the regular season (which he's doing) than have him play well in a meaningless exhibition. But it's still disheartening to see him flounder around like this. Sickening. Let's forget about all of this. Don't tell anyone this took place.

Deja Vu

From Red Hot Momma:

"Crack Technical Staff likes the idea, thanks to the fact that Saarloos is from Oakland, which you have to admit, is an organization that knows a thing or two about pitching.
That's pretty much exactly what I said in my most recent post.

Reds get Saarloos


Not a huge move, but I have always liked the Athletics in terms of their pitching. They know what they are doing and they have solid contributers. I like this guy and I enjoyed watching him every now and then for the A's. The Reds are debating whether to use him as a starter or in relief. I would opt for the former. He would be a decent starter, a good #4 or #5 and I believe he has the potential to keep getting better. I think he will fit in very well and play well for us. That's the hope, anyway. What did the Reds give up? David Shafer, a pitcher from Double A. Not a huge deal at all. A deal well done. I'm pretty excited about it.

Also, the Reds signed Mark Bellhorn to a minor league deal. The guy's fallen off the map, but he was a decent player back in the day. And thus continues Krivsky's fascination with the oldies.

Zach Parise MVP of the Young Stars Game

'Atta boy.

Mavericks 111, Magic 95

Not much to compain about here. When you win 21 of your last 22 games, you're doing pretty well. The only team in the NBA that I remain afraid of are the Suns. Not the Spurs anymore, though I should. And not the Lakers, though I should. I think the Mavericks are the best team in the NBA, but I think they are susceptible to being beaten by the Suns more than anyone else. I don't know, call it a hunch. Nowitzki went off, scoring 33 and rebounding 10 for a sweet double-double. He is clearly back to being the man in charge. Just another win. I don't really know what to say. Either Nowitzki scores the most or Howard does. If Nowitzki scores the most, Howard scores in the mid-20's, which he did tonight with 25. The Mavericks usually win the rebounding war, which they did tonight. They usually shoot better from the floor, which they did (56-43%). They started off hot, taking a dominating first quarter lead. They used to do that a lot and hadn't been doing it as much, but they went back to that tonight. I mentioned to my girlfriend last night that it's boring sometimes. It's actually annoying for the Mavericks to win, and that makes no sense to me since I am a huge fan. It's hard to explain. It's just great scoring, great teamwork, great defense. Every night. It's hard to complain, but something makes me nervous. I wish they would translate this sucess into the postseason. And they did that last year, by dominating the Grizzlies, and by beating the Spurs in the best series of the year and then finishing off the Suns. And then they lost all their magic against the Heat. Not much else to say. Goodbye.

January 23, 2007

That same dang line

In a post from Yahoo! Sports about Lane Kiffin, this paragraph was included.

"Once a proud franchise, the Raiders have become a laughingstock and an unpopular destination for many coaches because of Davis' involvement in the day-to-day operation of the team."
I'm sorry I have no documentation to back this up, but this EXACT SAME paragraph, word for word, was included in an article about a month ago before the coaching search began. Ridiculous.

Here's the article.

ALERT: Lane Kiffin is new Oakland Raiders Head Coach

I know nothing about this man. I know who Monte Kiffin is, that's for sure. I'm highly skeptical. Some people will point to the youth and say it's a good thing, but that's one of the biggest things that I'm skeptical about. 31 years old??!!?? Sheesh, man. I hope Al knows what he's doing, and I like Al Davis, but it's hard to like how he's handled things in the last few years. This surely seems like a stretch pick. I would have liked to see Rob Ryan as HC, that's no doubt. But it makes sense from the Raiders standpoint to leave him in charge of a defense that needs to be as good as they were. Oakland was focused on an offensive head coach the whole time, so Ryan was automatically not on level interviewing ground. We'll see how it goes. What a difference a year makes!! Art Shell, the history of the Raiders to some guy who just got done teething. Hey, it can't get much worse. I'm sure you'll hear that line a lot.

January 22, 2007

Mock Draft

The latest from About.com:

"The Raiders need offensive line help in the worst way and a franchise quarterback, but Johnson has the type of freakish physical ability Al Davis loves."
So, in other words, it doesn't make any sense to draft Calvin Johnson, but that's what the Raiders will do anyway. Could be. Who the heck knows? I wouldn't have minded this pick a month or so ago, and I still probably wouldn't mind it. But there are better choices out there. The kid is obviously gifted and good at what he does. But -- wide receiver with attitude? Ever heard of two of those? Or what about could develop as a lack of motivation? Or the fact that we don't need a wide receiver, at least not with the first pick? But that's their story and, until their next update, they're sticking with it.

January 21, 2007

Mavericks 99, Heat 93

I'm sorry, but to me this was much more than a mere game in the schedule. It was going to be that way until they kept showing footage of the Miami Heat winning the championship. That was supposed to be for the Mavs, but they blew it. That bothered me. The Mavs essentially had this one bagged and they were cruising, but the Heat pushed late. Sure, you had Josh Howard getting 25 and 9 and Nowitzki getting 22 and 11, but it was Jerry Stackhouse who owned the show tonight. He got 23 points, but it wasn't his sheer amount of points, but how he turned it on late. It was great to see. He took control for the Mavs on offense and defense and kept the Heat at bay as they tried to rally late. It was a dang good effort. You know Wade's gonna get his (and he did, with 31) but if you keep the game in check as much as possible, it's winnable. The Mavs win again, and they beat the team that beat them last year in the Finals. A little revenge is tasty sometimes.

January 20, 2007

Why do we continue to love bad teams?

A truly great question, and one that people ask me all the time. It's one that I ask myself. JD wrote a post about it concerning the Reds (and other Ohio teams). Specifically, he asks

"So why is it this way? Why can't we step back and look at these teams objectively?"
It's worth reading, if you're into bad teams. Which I am. The Reds and the Raiders. My other two teams have been doing pretty dang well lately. It's hard to deal with sometimes, a lot of losing. But it happens. And I still remain interested. I can't pull away. I expect to win, even if those expectations are not well placed.

Bye bye Olmedo

Rosey Crayons drops the beat.

Granted the great Ray Olmedo didn't do a WHOLE lot for the Reds, but he was a very capable Triple-A player and always gave full effort when he got a shot with the major league club. He hit well, he played impressive defense, and was pretty much a solid guy. I'll miss him. Sad.

Devils 4, Flyers 3 (Shootout)

First Period: Ryan Potulny, Flyers (unassisted)
Scott Gomez, Devils (PPG) (Rafalski, Elias)
Second Period: None
Third Period: Kyle Calder, Flyers (Carter)
Jamie Langenbrunner, Devils (Greene, Parise)
Simon Gagne, Flyers (PPG) (Knuble, Forsberg)
Brian Gionta, Devils (Martin, Elias)

Shots on Goal: 38-23 Devils

Penalties: Devils - 4 minutes, Flyers - 14 minutes

What???!!?? The Devils won a shootout??!!?? Yes sir! Wild game today. Times of great focus from the Devils, times of pretty sloppy play. They were shooting like mad and thankfully some late goals fell through. They were on their way to zero points, but they pressed late and got the score to send it into overtime. So at least a point was guaranteed. But then Broduer felt like SHUTTING THE GATE and denying all three Flyer shooters in the shootout and Gionta scored a pretty little goal to take home the two points. Well done. I mean, not really. But yeah, well done!


The Devils took a while to get going in this one. I used to remember hating the Flyers with a passion, almost as much as the Rangers. Because the Flyers were dang good and always beating the Devils. But they haven't been all that good recently, so I don't hate them all that much. I'd still prefer a win today, though. I think the Devils have picked up enough steam to carry them into the second period.


The score should not be tied. The Devils had many opportunities to score, and not just on the power plays that they screwed up. They have a lot of shots on goal tonight, but there's a difference in my book between shots on goal and quality shots on goal. Although it seemed the Devils had quality chances, the actual shot is just not there. The defense is playing very well, as the Flyers can't muster hardly any offense at all. It was all lined up for the Devils to take a lead, as they clearly had the momentum. They are winning the faceoff battle and time of puck possession. It just wasn't meant to be. Hopefully we can see some magic later on.


Too dang much scoring. Not many shots registered on Brodeur, but they kept going in the net due to general sloppiness on the Devils part. They played relatively well, plenty of shots and plenty of puck time, they were just maybe a little too loose. The Devils were down 3-2 late and just when it was inevitable that they were going to head to an ugly (and I mean UGLY) loss, Gionta gets it to go with 20 seconds left!!! Time for overtime!


Nothing settled here. It's going to a shootout. I don't like it, it usually doesn't work well for the Devils. See you on the other side.

Stevey, we hardly knew ye

Steve Sarkisian, who was to be the savior of the Oakland Raiders, has refused the non-offer. If that makes sense, good, you're ahead of the game. That's pretty much the story. To be honest, I was buying the hype about this guy, even though he's proved nothing to be worthy of being a head coach. Oh well. Back to the Rob Ryan bandwagon, the one I never left in the first place.

Mavericks 114, Lakers 95

Sweet justice. There was domination in Dallas. The Mavs killed them in shooting percentage, killed them on the boards, killed them in assists, killed them in blocks, and killed them in points. Kobe had an off night (and if 26 is an "off night," then you know he's dang good) and the Mavericks rolled early and often. Piece of cake.

January 19, 2007

Mock Drafts

In what is sure to be an ongoing series and one that will have several posts, I will link to those mock drafts that I stumble across. I have two today, one from the big kahuna that is Yahoo! Sports, and another from the Houston Chronicle. Both have Oakland selecting JaMarcus Russell, which is fine with me as you well know. The problem with all of the mock drafts is that they cannot foresee trades, swapping of picks, or any other such maneuvers. The links are below.

Yahoo! Sports - JaMarcus Russell
Houston Chronicle - JaMarcus Russell

January 18, 2007

Lightning 3, Devils 2 (Shootout)

First Period: Jay Pandolfo, Devils (Madden, Brylin)
Second Period: Brad Richards, Lightning (Ranger)
Brad Richards, Lightning (PPG) (Boyle, St. Louis)
Third Period: Paul Martin, Devils (PPG) (Parise, Rafalski)

Shots on Goal: 28-28

Penalties: Devils - 8 minutes, Lightning - 8 minutes

Disappointing game. I wouldn't say the Devils played down to the level of their opponent, because the Lightning were hot (get it?) prior to this game and their offense is very capable of playing great hockey. The game went to a shutout, not favorable to the Devils, as they much prefer overtime. There was only one shootout goal scored, and guess who, it was by Brad Richards, who had the Devils' number all night. Sad. At least a point was salvaged. We'll try again next time.


Little does Jay Pandolfo know, but prior to this game, people were talking about him winning the Frank J. Selke Award, which goes to the best defensive forward in the NHL. He obviously wasn't listening, because he scored a nice goal right away in the game. An offensive forward? Not really. But a goal is a goal. The Lightning are a strange team to me. They should always be good, but my mom says they shouldn't be because "hockey teams based in Florida, by nature, should not be good at hockey." That's a non-sports person for you, focused on external factors. But anyway, I do remember the Lightning winning the Stanley Cup in a year that I was very bored with hockey. Why should they be good? They have Martin St. Louis and Vincent LeCavalier, two amazing offense forwards. And they have Nikita Alexeev, who is known for underachievement, but who has the potential to be dang good. They have defensemen that hit hard as well. Their goalie play has been average, and maybe that's what counts. But anyway, this period was nice. The above-mentioned St. Louis and LeCavalier got their chances and created chances for others, but it was Marty shutting them down and the Devils getting some quality chances of their own. The recent struggles on the power play are bothering me, hopefully this can be corrected. Gotta kill off Sarge's penalty in the second.


With such good scoring talent on the Lightning, you don't want to give them power plays. Well, the Devils did. They paid for it. Two goals this period by Brad Richards and a lot of penalty killing minutes for the Devils. Not smart hockey. Not disciplined hockey. Not fun to witness. Four shots is not something to be proud of. On to the third.


A much better period for the Devils, but nothing was settled here. Had some good chances, and at least we tied it up with Paul Martin's first NHL goal. It wasn't enough. Time for overtime.

January 17, 2007

The glory of 2-14

The Raiders official website, bless their hearts, tries to focus on the positive aspects of the forever-lost 2006 season. And of course, there was the defense. Which reminds me of the post that's eventually coming that brings up an issue no one wants to focus on. Anyway, the current one for today is the second-longest INT return in Raiders history - Chris Carr (from BOISE STATE) going 100 yards against Rothleisberger. Which was a great interception. And a great touchdown. And a fun game.

But that brings me to something I said to my mom over holiday break. Christmas break. I said to her, you know, the Raiders EASILY could have been 0-16 this year. If not for the goal line stand against the Steelers, they would have lost that game. If not for some timely plays against the Cardinals as well as having them go on the road after a short week on MNF and after they blew one of the largest fourth quarter leads ever, they could have lost that game. But they didn't. They won two. Whoop de doo. At least the Lions won three.

Reds notes

The Reds are toying with the idea of giving closer Eddie Guardado a minor-league contract so he can rehab with the team and not count against the 40-man roster. Seems like a good idea to me, particularly if the rehab proves effective and if the season is at a point where it still matters for the Reds. I've always been a fan of Gordo and enjoy having him around, even if he did make me nervous every time he went out there and pitched. Sure, he loaded the bases, but he found a way to get 3 outs.

Also, the Reds agreed to a one-year deal with Kyle Lohse. It's worth $4.2 million. That's a bit high, but in this day and age, it's really probably not. Lohse has had killer stuff in the past and then he tanked fast. He sorta turned it around in parts last year, providing some decent innings as pitchers do when they change surroundings (and leagues). There's no doubt he could be a decent pitcher this year, I just feel pessimistic about it.

So far, two MINNESOTA CONNECTIONS to the Twins.

Are you still Harang'in around? Good! Because hopefully so is Aaron, as he is trying to avoid arbitration by getting a good deal from the Reds. Apparently he asked for $5.5 million and was offered $4.25. Some say they are looking for a long-term deal, which would be good. But if not, I'm surprised the Reds wouldn't jump at the chance to sign Harang for that figure. Sure, it's smart money to negotiate, but Harange is no doubt the #1 pitcher on the team and will continue to do so, as Arroyo will no doubt have a down year. $5.5 million isn't really a whole lot to ask for, and it's somewhat disappointing to see the Reds counter with their figure. I'm sure we'll get a happy ending.

New Mavs Website

Check it out. Permanent link to the right side as well.

January 16, 2007

Mavericks 109, Rockets 96

Here comes Dickens: It was a tale of two halves. The Mavericks allowed Tracy McGrady to roam free in the first half, and got spanked because of it. No doubt the halftime speech was not pretty in the Mavs locker room, but they came out in the second half clamping down on defense and scoring like crazy on offense, and it paid off in a win that seems that it was a sure thing. But it really wasn't a sure thing at all. McGrady had 45, but that was about it for the Rockets. The Mavs turned it on at the end of the third quarter and for the rest of the game, but McGrady had the Rockets in it before then. The Mavs simply pulled away late and finished in a way that made it seem relatively easy. Nowitzki and Howard led the way with 30 and 28. Nowitzki completed a double-double with 10 rebounds. And what do you know - Devean George not only made a 3-pointer, he went 4 for 5!!! Atta boy, Georgie!!

32-8??? You've gotta be kidding me. Go Mavs!

Devils 1, Rangers 0

First Period: Brad Lukowich (no assist)
Second Period:
Third Period:

Shots on Goal: 32-26 Devils

Penalties: Devils - 0 minutes, Rangers - 8 minutes

How sweet it is. The Devils playing "Devils" hockey. I hate to say it. But some people will get upset about it, and for that, there is hilarity. Brodeur shuts 'em out AGAIN. The man is a force. I don't care how good the defense is, or how the trap makes players take weak shots, Brodeur is the goalie to have in that type of system and he proves it time and time again. Another shutout. Brilliant work. A likely hero. Lukowich? An unlikely hero. But a hero. And the discipline was there again. I don't know what to do but praise these guys, for hot streakers they have been.

January 15, 2007

Chargers bite the dust

Haha. YES!!!!!!!!

And then what happens at the end of the game but LT freaking out. I thought he was acting like a whiny little punk, not wanting to talk to anybody, but it turns out that he was pissed the Patriots disrespected his field. I guess I can see that. But still. Win a freakin' playoff game!! Haha, I'm so happy. It's all I have as a Raiders fan, you have to understand. So eat it, Chargers fans. Eat it, taste it, and flavor it. Don't sample it, eat the whole dang thing.

Here's the money quote: "Anytime you're in the playoffs and lose, and certainly I have plenty of experience at it, there's a disappointment," Schottenheimer said.

Reds keep Ross, Wilson

The Reds agreed to a 2-year, $4.5 million deal with catcher David Ross. That's not bad money. I just doubt he can replicate his stats from last year. But he was definitely a decent guy. I hope he can still swing his bat and help out Arroyo and others. In other news that is not great, the Reds gave Paul Wilson a minor-leage contract. Never a big fan of Wilson, but there's no doubting that he's a quality man. I just don't like him pitching and that's a large part of what he does. Maybe it won't amount to anything, we'll see.

Justice for Brodeur

Brodeur back for ninth All-Star game

You're dang right. As well he should be. He won't be starting, Ryan Miller will do that, but he will be there. And he might just win the game. I'm proud of him and his amazing year, and he deserves to be there. Great job, Marty!

Also representing the Devils is defenseman Brian Rafalski. Go get 'em, Ralf!

Injustice towards Brodeur

Yahoo! Sports has their "fantasy hockey" standouts or whatever on their main page at all times. And I was going to check it because Broduer is in there all the time dominating, and he has dominated recently, doing pretty dang well. Well, I found Broduer. In the "NOT' section under who is hot and who is not!!! What a joke! But here it is in all of its proof. Please direct your anger mail to anybody but me.

Devils 2, Thrashers 1 | Devils 2, Islanders 1 (Overtime)

Well, I am back from Indiana and what do I see? Pretty much the same as the previous post, one of my good teams winning two straight games in nail-biting fashion. The first didn't go to overtime, but could have. The second one wasn't supposed to go into overtime, but it did. And the Devils walk away with 4 points out of a possible 4. I hate giving any points to divisional foes, but 1 point isn't so bad I suppose. But what did I tell you? It's that dang last-second trickery again. Brodeur (or the team) is having troubles with the late minutes/seconds of the third period. They need to work on that IMMEDIATELY. But hey, they have been doing dang good. Tomorrow night is the HATED Rangers. Come on, NJD!! Don't let me down! You haven't yet. Except once, maybe.

Mavericks, 115, Pacers 113 (Overtime) | Mavericks 97, Raptors 96

Well, I've been away a few days. And what do the Mavericks do? Pull off two incredibly narrow wins, complete with crazy nail-biting finishes. When it's all said and done, Dallas stands at an amazing 31-8, four games out in front of the Spurs for the division lead. Nowitzki carries the lead with huge games in points, and Josh Howard scores the game-winner against the Toronto Raptors. Good enough for me.

January 12, 2007

A genius BCS solution?

I don't mean to pat myself on the back, but I couldn't sleep last night and in so doing, my mind was racing with thoughts and one of them allowed me to solve the BCS Bowl Games/Playoff Scenario.

You keep the Bowl Games intact. Keep the five biggies. Sugar, Rose, Orange, Fiesta, and Championship Game. Then you take the winners of those 5 games and put them in a playoff, giving the winner of the Championship Game a bye. The rankings are by adjusted seeding - so the two middle teams play each other and the team with the highest seed (not counting the #1 seed, winner of the Championship game) faces the lowest seed. Then the #1 team gets another bye while the two victors fight it out, with the winner getting a shot at the #1 seed. I know it's not perfect, with the #1 getting two byes after "winning" the championship game. But it would be sweet. Take a look.

USC def. Michigan (Rose)
Boise State def. Oklahoma (Fiesta)
LSU def. Notre Dame (Sugar)
Louisville def. Wake Forest (Orange)
Florida def. Ohio State (Championship)

Florida is #1
USC is top rank, Louisville is lowest
Boise State & LSU are the middle teams

Say USC wins and LSU wins. Then LSU wins again. Then it's LSU vs. Florida for the REAL title.

That's it. That's how it works.

Or, if you prefer, Florida and Ohio State never play each other. They just get a #1-#2 rank and they both get byes. Then it's the same setup with the other games: USC vs. Louisville, Boise State vs. LSU. Florida, being #1 gets the middle game winner (LSU) and Ohio State, being #2 faces the likely highest winner (USC) and then it's Florida vs. LSU and Ohio State vs. USC. Then, if Florida and Ohio State win those games, we have a REAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

Can you follow? I did. And it changed my life. Pass it along to the BCS. I only want $50,000 for rights.

Lancaster signs off. We'll miss ya.

The Jim Bowden Pipeline

The Cincinnati-D.C. train keeps a-chuggin' along. Brandon Claussen, oft-used pitcher for the Reds over the recent years went to our nation's capital. I liked the guy, he performed well sometimes and othertimes not so much. That's the case for every pitcher we've had lately, though they err on the negative side more often than not. I was just high on him because he came from the Yankees and as much as I hate the Bronx Bombers, they usually know what they're doing with pitching. And he was pretty decent with him. Oh well. So long, Pickle Man.

January 11, 2007

Ray Guy a Finalist for the Hall of Fame

Long overdue.

He was the punter for the Raiders, and hands down the best punter in the history of the NFL. But is a punter worthy of the Hall of Fame? That's a hard call. Is Ray Guy worthy of the Hall of Fame? A slightly different question, and one that leads more to an affirmative answer. I don't know if he's got a legitimate shot or not. I thought the list looked relatively weak, but there are some star names on it and of the names on the list,

"Dent, Grimm, Guy, Hickerson, Irvin, Kuechenberg, Monk, Derrick Thomas, Thurman Thomas, Wehrli, and Zimmerman have all been finalists in previous years."
So those guys might be favored. But hey, at least Ray Guy has a chance.

Reds moves

Schoenweiss went to the Mets. I liked that guy, so that's sad.

The Reds got infielder Jeff Keppinger from the Royals in exchange for pitcher Russ Haltiwanger. Most of Kepp's time was in the minors and he put up decent numbers. Still don't know what the need is, but Haltiwanger I've never heard of, and he may not amount to much. The roster move bothers me as Kepp coming in meant Ray Olmedo is out. I like Ray. He works hard and is a fast guy. A good worker. Looks like he might not be around anymore, which is sad.

Shawn says it's no biggie.

Mama says she might miss Olmedo.
I hope he doesn't leave!!!

Tom wonders what the crap is going on, and factors Brendan Harris into the equation.

Not big news. Just stuff.

Blues 3, Devils 2

This one was pretty dang embarassing. I mean, it wasn't a bad game, just a team that is so dang easy to beat.

The scary part? John F called this game. He said that the Devils should rest Brodeur for this game with Marty needed for the big ones coming up. That was evident when Brodeur was not on top of his game, as Clemmensen could have given up 3 goals and it would have been expected. It just seemed that this game was pissed away when it could have been salvaged, pardon my language there. Also, John F called it when he said the Devils have a disturbing trend of playing down to the level of their competition and waiting for them to act so they can simply react. Maybe I made up that last part, but it seemed to make sense. Anyway, both of those things were key factors in the game. So congrats to that man because he nailed it. Sadly, he nailed two key negative things, and when negative things happen, negativity happens and then you lose to a crappy team like the Blues. Ah well.

The weird part? One of the kids on my dorm floor is in love with the St. Louis Blues. We talked the first couple weeks of school back in August and then haven't really talked since. He came in my room LAST NIGHT to use my microwave and then heard the hockey game on the radio and checked it out for a while as the Blues won. It was annoying, but at least he wasn't in my face about it. It's just weird because the Devils hardly ever play the Blues. Incredibly weird timing.

Sad game. We'll get over it.

Mavericks 99, Blazers 74

Bad. Poor. Not fun.

You'd think I was describing the Portland TrailBlazers, and in a way, I am. But I was actually describing the Mavericks. They played this game pretty poorly almost all the way through, and they still wind up with a 25-point win. This is the stuff of legend. The defense clamped down and the Blazers couldn't hit the broadside of a universe last night. It's nice to know that when the Mavs don't look that great, they can still pull it off in convincing fashion.

Nowitzki was a non-factor, as Jason Terry and Josh Howard led the way, with their modest contributions of 20 and 17 points respectively. 3-pointers was the story of this game as they helped the Mavs pull away at key times, and kept the Blazers from getting anywhere close. Dallas was 10 for 16, as Devean George went on his usual 0 for whatever night, this time only 0 for 1. What is up with that guy? It seems I check the box scores and George has maybe a few points, but mostly has no points and shoots tons of 3's and doesn't make any of them. It's kind of annoying. I guess they pay him to play defense. I'll take that. Anyway, Portland didn't make a single 3-pointer. And they shot it 11 times. Wow. Hardly ever will you see a stat like that. It certainly helped the Mavs win, and contributed to the team shooting under 40% for the game. Sad. The Mavs barely won the rebounding matchup, but they did thanks to Dampier who played a huge chunk of time in this one. Still only came away with 2 points, but whatever.

Not a biggie. A game they couldn't lose. And by that, I mean it was impossible for them to lose. They sort of tried for a while, but realized it wouldn't be a great idea.

January 10, 2007

P.O.D. and the Chargers

I suppose this is Raiders related, but it gets the yellow. Because this is about one of my favorite bands of all-time, Payable on Death, and one of my least favorite sports teams of all time, the San Diego Chargers. Being from the Sandy Egg, P.O.D. likes the Chargers. And they are performing at a Chargers playoff rally and writing a new "theme song" for the Chargers. I found this out on their MySpace page.

"P.O.D. will be performing today at the San Diego Chargers Playoff Power Rally which runs from 3PM to 6:30PM in the Qualcomm Stadium Parking Lot (Section F2) in San Diego. The band is out to support the San Diego Chargers by recording a theme song for the team. "Turns out the song is blowing up in Southern Cali and is already being played in the stadium at the games," the band stated in their official newsletter. Fans can check out the "Charger Anthem" right here! Details are being worked out to get the "Chargers Anthem" available on iTunes soon!"

This saddens me.

Check out this post

If you're into the Devils just a little smidge, read John's post over at In Lou We Trust. He breaks down the All-Star selections today, which I noticed making my rounds this morning. Didn't see any Devils. I really expected only one of them to be there. That would be Martin Brodeur, who I expect to see every year. Hard to argue against Ryan Miller, my second-favorite goalie. Easier to argue when Brodeur has been better than this guy, but hard to ignore Buffalo's success in last year's playoffs when Miller was dominant with his unorthodox and in-your-face style. And hard to ignore Buffalo's domination this year. But, like John says, Brodeur will be in the All-Star game. There's no way to leave the guy off the list. He's a beast. There's also links to a couple articles that you should read, they are worth your time. One in particular, which we Devils fans get a lot of, the BORING trap defense. I'll admit, it bores me sometimes, but it's more complex than it looks. And guess what? It gets the FREAKIN' JOB DONE. So eat it, because you sure as heck can't beat it.


Asomugha named second team All-Pro

Good for him. He earned it. Too bad his team didn't.


Mavericks 108, Jazz 105

Crazy game right there. The Mavs were down at halftime, and that's not a good sign when you're playing a tough Utah team at home where they are even better. But Stackhouse went nuts and killed everybody in the face and then yelled at everyone else, and Dirk went crazy in a different way, by scoring 38 points. That was helped by the fact that he took 15 shots from the free throw line, making 13 of them. The Mavs scored on 53% of their shots, which is one of their highest tallies on the road, so that no doubt helped. Mr. Consistent, Josh Howard, had his usual 21 points and 9 boards. After being really solid for a while, Dampier has fallen off the map. Solid contributions from the guards again tonight, Jason Terry and Devin Harris still playing well. For Utah, it was Carlos Boozer as everyone could expect throwing in 29 points. But he didn't really dominate, which is a good thing. Extremely tough road trip, Spurs-Lakers-Jazz. Winning two out of three was a great victory, it would be almost unheard of in recent years except for the fact that the Jazz came out of nowhere this year. Hosting the Portland TokeBlazers tonight.

January 9, 2007

Reds odds & ends

Lancaster at the Cincy Post does some work. The big talk is what of the rotation? Homer Bailey or no? The guy's first name is HOMER and he's a pitcher, which is funny I suppose, but he's dang good. I've made the case to not rush him, so that's what Cincy brass will do. Harang & Arroyo will do well. Milton I don't care for and he will give me plenty of reasons why in this upcoming year. Lohse was suprisingly solid for a while, but probably won't be that good. I hope he becomes a pleasant surprise. I like El Lizard for a spot, though he tanked late last year. Victor Santos, 5-9 with a 5.40 ERA for Pittsburgh last year, is also in the mix. I don't know about that one. He's a proven pitcher, but he loses games and the Reds roughed him up. But he could be alright.

They're also talked to the season-enders on the DL - Mercker, Wilson, and Gordo. Mercker is solid, but expendable now. Gordo would be great to have back, as he could anchor the 9th inning like he did for a little bit last summer. Paul Wilson?? Does anyone remember his Opening Day 2004?? Because that was a joke. And he hasn't been good since. I want this guy outta here.

That's probably it.

If you live in Sark, are you a Sarkisian?

A lot of articles out there about Steve Sarkisian, USC QB Coach and Former Oakland Raiders QB Coach. One article was funny, talking about how he left USC to be with the Raiders and then started to miss winning games, so he went back to USC. YEAH SHUT UP!!!! Alright.

This guy intrigues me more than before. And there was a good take by somebody saying that people should prefer Sarkisian over Ryan, because what Rob Ryan does is defense and he does it dang well and he should be able to focus on just that instead of everything else that goes with head coaching. A valid point. Sarkisian is clearly the front-runner, but that's simply because he's the only prominent name that's interviewed thus far. But he seems like a better choice than before, which is fun.

A future post - the thing nobody wants to talk about, but I will. What if the defense....................?

Article: Prudential paying $105.3M for naming rights on Devils arena

That name is cool with me. I like Continental Airlines Arena, but that's just because I'm comfortable with it. The problem with stadiums, as has been the case since maybe the mid-90's or so, is that more and more until almost all of them are taken over entirely by corporations and so the stadium name changes. So instead of having a fun stadium name, it's named after a company. Thankfully there are still Fenway & Wrigley out there and a couple others. But "The Prudential Center" is a pretty good name. It's obviously named after Prudential, Inc. which has the rock. Which is cool because they mention calling it "The Rock" in the article as does Tom Lycan at his blog. But Tom was well ahead of the curve, doing it back on December 21. I dig it.


January 8, 2007

Lakers 101, Mavericks 98

Yeah well, every 13-game win streak needs to be broken at some point. Maybe by the 13th game. That seems to make sense. The Mavericks simply CANNOT figure out the Lakers on the road. It just can't be done. And it wasn't really Kobe's doing this time, though he came alive in the fourth quarter. The Mavs played far better than they usually do, and if Smush Parker doesn't stuff Jason Terry on a layup, maybe the recap has a different story to tell. But he did stuff him, and Devean George did miss a 3-pointer at the end of the game (how fitting, ex-Laker). Tough game, but the Mavs are still hot. Nowitzki's 29 and 13 led the way for the Mavs, as he has been dominating play recently. That's fine with me, good to see him not sit around, content with Josh Howard running the show. Howard did add another 20 points, however. The shooting just wasn't close, the Lakers got 55% and the Mavs got 42%. The defense was just not there, which is usually the case in Los Angeles. Oh well. Up next - the Jazz in Utah. Another tough one. We'll see.

Raiders coach

Here's the short list thus far:

Rob Ryan (Defensive Coordinator - Oakland Raiders)
John Shoop (Offensive Coordinator - Oakland Raiders) (even though this article says otherwise)
Steve Sarkisian (Asst Head Coach, QB Coach - USC) (Former Oakland Raiders QB Coach)
Tom Coughlin (Could-be Former Head Coach - NY Giants)

As will no doubt be the case, I stand behind the decision to pick Rob Ryan. And JaMarcus Russell with the #1 pick, unless we trade down due to a sweet deal. Just NOT a longsnapper, please.

January 7, 2007

Devils 3, Canadiens 0

First Period: Michael Rupp, Devils (Martin, Rafalski)
Brian Gionta, Devils (Rafalski, Gomez)
Second Period:
Third Period: Brian Gionta, Devils (PPG) (Elias, Gomez)

Shots on Goal: 37-28 Devils

Penalties: Canadiens - 12 minutes, Devils - 2 minutes

Wow, the Devils are just rolling right now. They are STEAMROLLING these teams. I figured today they would have to outshoot Montreal. I should have actually predicted that and told you beforehand, but that's honestly what I was thinking and no doubt the Devils were thinking it as well. Huet played pretty well under the circumstances but the Devils know that in order to beat the man they need to send many pucks his way. It proved to be one of the differences today. Gionta again had two goals and has been giving great effort as well as being in the right place in the right time. He now leads the team with 19 and is looking to break away from the pack, like he did last year en route to leading the team with 48 goals. What can you say about Marty Brodeur? He has been so good lately, and his success/domination over the Canadiens has been incredible. He got his 7th shutout of the year, the most in the NHL, by stopping all 28 shots that came his way. And he got his 25th win today, the most in the NHL. He also owns the second-best GAA and the third-best Save Percentage in the league. His domination has been incredible to witness. A lot of great effort out there and a very well-played game. This team is downright scary right now, and that is fun to be a part of. Kinda scary scenario for Brad Lukowich as he lost a lot of bad on a particularly nasty high stick that cost Michael Ryder four minutes in the penalty box. I hope he's okay. Great game yet again.

January 6, 2007

Devils 3, Senators 2

First Period: Zach Parise, Devils (Zajac, Langenbrunner)
Patrick Eaves, Senators (Schubert, McAmmond)
Second Period: Brian Gionta, Devils (Hale, Gomez)
Third Period: Brian Gionta, Devils (Gomez, Elias)
Tom Preissing, Senators (Kelly, Redden)

Shots on Goal: 35-29 Senators

Penalties: Devils - 6 minutes, Senators - 6 minutes

For some reason, this game seems really important to me. It wasn't a must-win game, it was a game that tells me the Devils are for real. It was a huge road win against a team in the Ottawa Senators that is a tough to beat and has been for years, particularly to New Jersey. Brodeur was incredible in net, as he has been all year. Is anybody else having flashbacks to the late 90's when it was a race between Hasek & Brodeur to the Vezina trophy? The only thing is - Marty has stayed on the map, whereas Hasek has simply returned. Brodeur is the most consistent goalie in the league, there's no two ways about it. Parise yet again got the scoring going as the best line of the team each got a point on his goal, his team-leading 17th of the season. Well, it was the team lead until Gionta got two goals to tie him at 17, but he had it for a little under two periods. Gionta got some nice tips today, and it's about time. The little sniper plays the role pretty well, but hasn't put himself in the best of positions. He broke out today, getting two tip-in tries, and also robbing David Hale of his first NHL goal. The penalties were pretty even, the flow of the game was pretty even. It was a good game and another solid win by the Devils, who keep the points tally going strong. Here is my one concern: late goals. This is an issue. Not a big one, because it seems the three or so recent times that it's happened, the Devils have pulled it out anyway, but someday there will be a one-goal lead or there will be a tie game and the other team is going to feel confident thinking they can put the puck in the net late. It's been happening a lot. No doubt some of that is attributed to the lack of defensemen, but it may be something else. Better look at that. Besides that, great game NJD!!

NFL Playoff Predictions

Well, my predictions aren't off to a great start, but here we go nonetheless. Smart money goes to picking the OPPOSITE team of whatever matchup I pick.

Chefs @ Colts

--No, I did not make a typo. The Cheifs are the Chefs because of the funny Snickers commercial and the fact that I hate their little McDonald's uniforms and their little field and just pretty much because they are in my division and that sucks. They go to Indy. I pick Indy EVERY YEAR to go to the Super Bowl, but they always find amazing ways in which to defy me. This year will be no different, but I expect them to get out of the first round, even if they are facing Larry Johnson. Go with the COLTS here.

Cowboys @ Seahawks

--Qwest Field is quite a stadium. It's apparently loud. And the Cowboys apparently sucked a lot against the Lions (thanks Detroit, by the way) and so the obvious pick here is Seattle, who I like a lot better anyway than the stupid Cowboys. But my pick is with DALLAS. because Seattle is soft. This means that Seattle will win by at least 25 points.

Article: Nuxhall: Bailey good fit for Reds' rotation

Despite what Cincinnati Reds manager Jerry Narron or most baseball experts say, Joe Nuxhall predicted Thursday night the Reds' starting rotation could well include Homer Bailey at the start of the 2007 season.

Nuxhall was master of ceremonies at the 28th annual Knights of Columbus Sports Stag, held at the Father Butler Council in Hamilton.

"I'm saying right now, I think he's going to be in the starting rotation," Nuxhall said of the 20-year-old Bailey, the Reds' most promising prospect who was almost untouchable at Class AA Chattanooga last season.

Hey, I'm as high on Homer Bailey as any other Reds fan who knows the only way that the Reds get top pitching prospects is to grow them ourselves (or trade Wily Mo). And this guy looks legit. But come on, this better not be true. Rule #1 of life (or at least baseball) is to not waste a young arm and to not mess up a young kid's mind and whatever else about a young kid and his young arm. The Reds definitely need to sit on this kid and wait it out. I'm nervous.


Uh.................so what's the deal with the Devils second line being better than their first line? Time to switch? Probably not, since the first line has all the star power. And they're pretty good. But the young 2nd line (made older by Langenbrunner) has been far superior throughout most of the year. Zajac & Parise are a great combination and Langenbrunner cleans up whatever is left. They're obviously the best line of the year thus far.

Mavericks 90, Spurs 85

What a game. And I missed it! I was on the road for nearly TWELVE HOURS my friends, of what should have been an 8.5-hour trip. I do not want to get into details, so let's get into the game that I missed.

First of all - the Mavericks must beat the Spurs. They MUST. I gave them maybe 2% chance last year to do so, but they won Game 7 in San Antonio which was probably my favorite basketball game of all-time. Anyway, the Spurs are the biggest rival and I don't like the Spurs at all. Though the Suns scare me more.

So there you have it. Just like that, the Mavs have a 2-1 edge on the season series and no doubt it will probably get tied up on April 15, but that's what the taxes say. The Mavs can win in San Antonio now, they win at will. And last night was another example of a tough game. A good game. And a whiny Tim Duncan. The guy's a joke.

Nowitzki led the way with a season-high 36 points and he also contributed 8 rebounds. He didn't really get bailed out until the late stages of the second half, but Josh Howard turned it on to give 18 points and 12 boards. The man is rounding into a solid player. It is fun to see. Other than that, not much to get excited about. Devean George still can't hit his 3's. The Spurs outshot the Mavericks at the free-throw line, 31-20. I always watch that stat, and encourage you to do so because for some reason, that stat will always be there. Whether it's the refs or what, I don't know, but the Spurs always get favorable treatment. I hate to rant about the refs, I guess I've just learned it well being a Raiders fan and all. But anyway, it doesn't matter much because the Spurs suck at free throws and only made 21 of their 31.

The Mavs are now 27-7. It is an INCREDIBLE record at this stage in the season, considering they started out 0-4, they are 27-3 since then. They have gone on some serious streaks, a 12-game win streak early in the year and currently a 13-game win streak that might simply grow and grow. They play the Lakers in Los Angeles next, and I'm always skeptical of that game. The Lakers seem to have their number, but the Mavs are just streamrolling right now. Hard to pick against them. I love it!

Article: Raiders fire coach Art Shell

A.K.A. "n00b t4ken 2 pWn shop"

I apologize for the l33tspeak. And I also apologize for what is about to follow it, a mock conversation between yours truly and Al Davis.

Mr. Davis: "Hey, Tim Mo, how much do you know about the Raiders?"

Tim Mo: "A lot!"

(Mr. Davis smacks Tim Mo across the face. A loud >SMACK< style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(192, 192, 192);">Mr. Davis: "Tim Mo, how much do you know about the Raiders?"

Tim Mo (sniffling, sobbing): "Not very much, Mr. Davis. Not very much."

What the l33tspeak and the mock dialogue have to do with anything, I'm not sure. But they probably have something to do with the fact that Art Shell got fired and then there's this post
saying it wouldn't happen. To those who have read the post (those unfortunate souls) you would have seen a brand-new Raiders blogger and a relatively new Raiders fan get all caught up in his ego and proud of his boasting, knowing what the REAL story would be. Surely Shell wouldn't get fired, he has AT LEAST another year left. Well, fuggedaboudit. This guy don't know nothing. Time for the speculation, as if we need more of that.

And check out the last mini-paragraph of this article: "Once a proud franchise, the Raiders have become a laughingstock and an unpopular destination for many coaches because of Davis' involvement in the day-to-day operation of the team and the club's inability to discipline players." Wow. Like to EDITORIALIZE much?????

January 4, 2007

Mavericks 100, Pacers 91

Al Harrington and Jermain O'Neal had 44 points and 27 rebounds between them, but it wasn't enough to knock off the Mavs, especially on the road. Not when you have Josh Howard throwing in 25 and 11, Nowitzki dropping 20, and Devin Harris with his season-high 24 points. The Mavs shot pretty well, and I particularly like the fact they only took 8 three's all night. Lately they had been jacking them up there. They got KILLED on the boards tonight, largely due to the aforementioned Pacers Harrington & O'Neal, but they did what they usually do and they found a way to win.

Josh Howard for MVP? He certainly has been a stud this year. But what about the little man, Devin Harris, tonight? More of that, good sir!

Devils 4, Islanders 3

Goals: Zach Parise, Devils (Zajac)
Sergei Brylin, Devils (Pandolfo)
Trent Hunter, Islanders (Hill, Hilbert)
Zach Parise, Devils (Langenbrunner, Zajac)

Patrik Elias, Devils (Gionta)
Andy Hilbert, Islanders (Sillinger, Hunter)

Mike Sillinger, Islanders (PPG) (Blake, Satan)

Shots on Goal: 43-26 Islanders

Penalties: Devils - 6 minutes, Islanders - 8 minutes

Good game tonight. Fun. Defensive lapses aren't great, but hey, a win is a win, particularly within the division.


Well, that was exciting. Three goals in three minutes, a complete 180 from the previous meeting between these two teams, and unlike a typical start of pretty much any Devils game. But there you have it, that's hockey sometimes. Zajac's name was being called time and time again, and he wound up with two goals. A lot of chances, a lot of early action, and the Devils defense settled down even though they were without the services of Johnny Oduya for most of the period and probably the rest of the game. The Devils open up the second period with a 5-on-3 for a little bit and then another minute of a regular power play. We'll see how it goes.


The teams exchange goals as the Islanders pick up the pace. They easily have more shots on goal, but it seems the Devils truly have more scoring opportunities and better shots instead of long shots from the point. Brodeur is playing solid hockey, it doesn't seem either of the goals were his fault. We expect a shutout every time from this guy because we know he can deliver it, but he's still doing alright anyhow. Not a whole lot of penalties on the Devils side, and they are playing very smartly in that regard. They are good on the power play (in terms of percentage) and they are good on the penalty kill, but I don't think enough is made of how many penalties they take vs. those they create. They must be in the Top 5 in that category. Well, I expect the Islanders to pick up the pace but I doubt they will put that close. The Devils have this one in hand. We shall see.


Whew, that's it. The Islanders racked up the shots, and this time there were a lot of good chances. Marty was superb in this period, except for the late goal he allowed on the 6-on-4. Otherwise, good job by all. I know the Devils don't like giving up 3 goals and 40+ shots, but they did allow it and they managed to win despite it. And the best part of all? The Islanders didn't get any points.

Devils Preview

Instead of being monotonous and linking to it every time, if you want a good game preview of EVERY Devils hockey game (and one that is, let's be honest, better than what the top media websites put out there) check out what John F. has to say. The link tonight is for the Islanders @ Devils. Well done.


Article: Seriously, Oakland, pass on Quinn

Connor Byrne over at RealFootball365 agrees with me.



Well, there was no doubt about this one. As much as I can't stand the Chargers, Tomlinson deserved this. He was simply amazing this year, and even if I can't be truly happy for him since he's in my division, his play is good for this league. I'll trade the entire Raider offense for this guy. And half my draft picks.

January 3, 2007

Raiders 2007 Opponents

The home schedule is extremely favorable to us. The road schedule is obviously tougher, but the key note is that the Raiders are playing IN MINNESOTA. With my luck, I'll be in school down in Illinois when that game takes place, but maybe, just maybe I'll be able to see my beloved Raiders. I'm such a traitor.

Brendan Harris traded to Devil Rays

For a player to be named later (seems the Reds have a lot of those players coming.......someday) or cash. I'll take the cash, to be honest with you. How's about $126 million??


Josh Howard - Player of the Week

Howard was the Western Conference winner for the second straight week. He averaged 21.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 blocks in helping Dallas win four games and extend its winning streak to 10.

Howard had 28 points, 17 rebounds, five assists and three blocks in an 89-85 win at Denver on Sunday.


Article: 'Just Quinn, Baby' could become Raiders new motto

Josh Dubow, of the Associated Press, tells the Raiders they better pick Brady Quinn, the star QB of Notre Dame OR ELSE. Well, not really. But the basis for that is summed up as follows: "Um.....have you SEEN your other two QB's play?" The answer to which is no, because they were on national TV twice and I was not around to watch. I count myself thankful for that, but yes, our quarterback play was certainly abysmal. But back to Quinn now, for he is the talk of the town. It's not exactly the "Brady Quinn Bowl" as much as last year was the "Reggie Bush Bowl" but everyone is assuming Quinn will go #1. Funny part about that is how Bush didn't go #1. After all that hype. 'Tis a shame.

Anyway, I say no to this. Brady Quinn probably isn't the best QB of the year, probably won't be the best QB of the draft either. Sure, he's got that "star power" and "sex appeal" and a "hot sister" who "likes AJ Hawk quite a bit" and on and on and on, but I just do not want to see this pick happen. I would much rather see Adrian Peterson or Calvin Johnson here. I DO NOT WANT TO SEE A KICKER CHOSEN WITH THE #1 PICK NOR A LONG SNAPPER. That disclaimer was for the Raiders, who seemingly always come up with a dumb pick. Not that everyone team doesn't have dumb picks, but come on. I don't want to see another offensive lineman, even though that's what we desperately need. Why? I'm afraid he'll wind up like Gallery. Now, who DIDN'T think Gallery was going to be amazing? I mean sure, a #2 for a left tackle was not exactly all that interesting or exciting, but he was going to be a BEAST and knock people around. It just hasn't happened and it probably won't. I still have no clue as to why.

So forget about Quinn, let him take his beautiful drama somewhere else. We can keep his sister, though. We can take Troy Smith if we want to, that would be alright. Brian Brohm? Maybe. That Kolb guy from Houston who threw for a million yards? No, that's just overrated hype right there. Adrian Peterson bursting out of the backfield and creating his OWN blocks? Sure. Calvin Johnson catching EVERY pass thrown his way? Sure.

I think, though, that the Raiders will trade the #1 pick. Which isn't a bad move, after all Schweigert was calling for it. That's probably what they will do, and if a team wants Quinn bad enough (Quinn wants the Browns to pick him) then we can get some good stuff in return.

But in reality, who knows what will happen? Not I.

Raiders coach

The Raiders obviously have many decisions to make heading into the offseason. The firing squad around the league took two early victims: Dennis Green of the Arizona Cardinals and Jim Mora of the Atlanta Falcons. I don't know much about the Mora story, other than him talking about going to coach at the University of Washington, but other than that, I'm actually surprised that he's done. He seemed like a pretty good coach to me. As far as Green goes, I feel bad for the man, partly because of the MINNESOTA CONNECTION, but also because he is a good man who should have done a better job with Arizona.

To sum it up, the Raiders have had four incredibly painful years, this year being the most painful of all. But you look at the past 10-12-15 years, and you see that there is something to be thankful for. Not being the Browns, or the Cardinals, or the Lions of all teams. But the Raiders are charging right in with them to become a team of that caliber. And that is not good, not good at all.

Will Art Shell stay? A lot of "pundits" who LOVE to trash the Raiders are saying he will leave. Most of them are saying that he is done. I say to them, maybe. But I doubt it. I will be surprised if he gets fired. I'm pretty sure he will stay for at least one more year and maybe even longer than that. And to be honest, I'm okay with that.

Like many, I have blamed Shell from time to time for a wide variety of things. It's hard to like a coach of a team that performs so poorly and even harder when reading through news reports and articles and blogs about how AWFUL this team has been. So many people are calling for Shell's head. I just don't buy it. If you go back to what I just said, this team performed poorly. This is a performance-based business. And the players did not perform. Surely, the coaching this year has not been without fault, it was not very good. But the players go out there, and even if they went out there with the most vanilla offense you could find (and that might have actually been the case) you still need to block, run, catch, throw, juke, spin, and PROTECT THE BALL.

Art Shell will be back. Sorry to those of you who don't like that, but do you want to sit through yet ANOTHER firing and hiring? This will not change things. And things definitely need to be changed. If I'm wrong, that's fine. I could be. I just don't see it. But if I am wrong, my choice for coach is Rob Ryan. Without a doubt. I want to hear that man speak, and he has no choice but to speak after games, after practices, and all of that. I want to see The Caveman step in front of the podium and throw around some knuckle-headed wisdom. That's just me, that's what I'm about. I think he's earned it.

January 2, 2007

Mavericks 112, Supersonics 88

Even on a poor shooting night (which was somewhat resurrected in the fourth quarter) the Mavericks pull it off in Dallas against an inferior Supersonics team. I like Seattle. Not a whole lot. But I like Ridnour and Collison and I sometimes like Ray Allen who is maybe a superstar but at least he's quiet about it.

Tonight, Dirk Nowitzki led the way (finally!) with 31 points and 15 rebounds. If my memory serves me correctly, he hadn't led the team in scoring except just once in the past ten games. Josh Howard had another solid game with 21 points and 9 boards, though he went 0-5 from beyond the arc. Jason Terry had 18 points and 8 rebounds, and Devin Harris chipped in 16 points. Ray Allen had 27 points for Seattle.

The score at halftime was 55-55. Not all that odd, except for the teams exchanging 33 points and 22 points in the first and second quarters, with the Mavs opting to score their 33 in the first quarter. Then the Mavs closed the deal in the fourth quarter. I believe DJ Mbenga got his first two points of the year tonight. Congrats, DJ!

Once again, much credit goes out to the defense which continues to get better (although, yes, it was the Supersonics) and also gotta give credit to the opportunistic offense, even if the shooting was a bit off tonight. Not much else to say, the Mavericks win a lot of games at home and they were playing a team that they should have beaten. And the Supersonics were beaten. Next!