February 28, 2007


So, you're the Reds. Hi, Reds.

You have a current "logjam" in the outfield. It's early, so don't sweat. I'll break it down nice and easy for you.

The story, from what I hear, is that the outfield has four spots that are locked down. I count three, but you tell me where I go wrong.

1. Dunn
2. Griffey
3. Freel

They want you to think that Conine is #4, and that could be true. I'd rather not see it. I'd rather see that man get STRICT platooning at first base, relieving Hatteberg (or Votto) only when necessary. I've got nothing against the man, we just don't need him around all that much. Making relief appearances at first base should be enough. No need to hog any outfield spots. But, if we're sticking to the script, that's four.

4. Conine

So now, you've got the competition for the fifth spot. It's ultimately between Norris Hopper, Chris Denorfia, Josh Hamilton, and Bubba Crosby. All have been featured with special stories, so let's not cry.

Since Denorfia is a starter for me, he's five.

5. Denorfia

1. Dunn (starts LF)
2. Griffey (starts RF)
3. Freel (relief duty)
4. Conine (???)
5. Denorfia (starts CF)

Now, there is debate amongst Reds folks that the club could go with 6 outfielders. Fair enough, let's give them that option.

6. Norris Hopper

Sorry, Mr. Hamilton. You could make this spot, it's true. You just have a longer way to go. If the Reds take my suggestion and get Conine the heck out of there, you're in. But if not, Hopper is in. I wasn't a Hopper fan last year, but when I looked at him during the offseason, I slapped myself and wondered why. He has been a trooper in the minor leagues, getting better all the team, and truly made the most of his major league call-up last year. He has nothing left to prove, he has done the job. He can do more. He can also pinch hit when he is not in the lineup, something I would be reluctant to give to Hamilton.

Bubba Crosby, sorry kid.

Raiders "interested" in Garcia, Packers "interested" in Moss

Very, shall I say, interesting. You get it? Heck yes, the joke!

I like these "stories," because they can be right or wrong and the people get it right either way. Very wise move. Jeff Garcia to Oakland? I'm assuming that's being fueled by the fact that the Raiders have a penchant for taking veteran QB's. That doesn't mean the cycle ALWAYS keeps going. It could, don't get me wrong. It's just annoying when veteran QB's are out there and so Oakland is always listed as a possibility, just because they've done it quite a few times. That's basically what it comes down to, you don't need any other information, just observe a trend and attribute that trend to be the end result of some event that is currently being looked at. Apparently the Raiders are interested in Carr, Plummer, Huard (not anymore), and every other QB who isn't locked up with their current team. That doesn't mean anything to me. The Raiders could keep grabbing up the veterans, but I am assuming that this is the year they turn that around, getting a fresh face and having the new guy and Walter be the tag-team combo of the future.

The other story is similar, but seems to have more merit. On the Packers side, anyway. Hard to tell with the Oakland side. I don't really care. I've said before, I was so excited when the Raiders got Moss and now I couldn't care less. At least I can make up my mind if he were go to the Packers, then I could hate him for sure. Otherwise, I'll continue to be indifferent towards him. The Packers are trying to make a triangle out of the Raiders-Buccanneers connection. All this trading players between teams is getting quite ridiculous.

Devils 1, Penguins 0

No way, man. Another shutout? Not that hard for Brodeur these days. He's got 12. The next guy has about half of that. Three more of where those are coming from, and you've got the new 2nd-most shutouts by a goalie, which would be Brodeur with 95. But did you think it would occur in this game? Did you think it would happen in any game against the Penguins? The mighty, high-flying Penguins? No sir. But it did happen. The Devils only scored once, and if that's all you were told before looking at the recap, you would fear the worst. But then you would see that Brodeur shut them out and you would have a quizzical look on your face for a bit, and then accept it. For Brodeur does unthinkable, great things all the time. And this is one of them.

The goaltending wasn't the only impressive feat defensively for the Devils, as you can clearly tell that nobody from the Penguins scored. That would be no scoring for Crosby and no scoring for Malkin, who both score all the time. Their point streaks were snapped last night, thanks to their shots being stopped, but thanks to shots not being there in the first place. Great defensive work to shut them down last night. Crosby, Malkin, and Gonchar were on the ice all the time, and the Devils countered by giving heavy minutes to Madden, Lukowich, Pandolfo, and Martin. And those guys were pretty dang impressive, showing some grit I hadn't seen for a while. This newfound attitude would serve them well if they were to continue it.

The offense is not quite as cool, obviously. A lot of that has to do with Gionta being out. Because, right now, the first line does pretty much nothing pointwise. They get their open ice showcase stuff done, but it's not tangible, it's not practical, it's not reaping rewards. The second line continues to be the best, and Langenbrunner with the only goal, proves it again. A Power Play goal???? Only Langs, man. Only him.

Lots of penalties, but it didn't feel like a sloppy game. Felt GOOD. Dang good.

Also, David Hale was traded to the Flames for a 3rd-rounder. A 5th-rounder was given up. Not a big deal, I thought Hale was just fine, but wasn't a huge fan. Apparently, the important thing is this clears up room for Matvichuk to make his return to the ice. (UPDATE = More importantly, this appears to be making room for Andy Greene, as Lou said it himself.)

Mavericks 91, Wolves 65

The score would appear to give you the indication of being a grinder, but that's not really what it was. Maybe for the Wolves, but it was just another day at the office for the Mavs. Winning by almost 30. Winning 13 straight games again. Just winning, really. That's what they are used to. The Wolves have fallen off the map since the All-Star Game, and that's to be expected. Stopped following that team a long time ago, although I think I'm undefeated in times I've seen them in person. I've never seen Dallas at Minnesota, however. That would be pretty fun. Anyway.

Nowitzki was the man, scoring 23 and snagging 14 boards. That's plenty good stats, my friend. Howard contributed 17 points and 7 boards, even though he's playing on a funny ankle. The man is becoming a beast. Jason Terry rounds out the usual Big 3 with 18 points and 7 assists. Other notables are Diop, who snagged 10 rebounds and also scored 6 points. That's the same as Dampier, with 6 more rebounds. Dampier is becoming obselete again. He had a stretch, what, in mid-December maybe, of being pretty dang good for a while. Forget that, he's totally inconsistent, being pretty lame over quite a long stretch now. For the Wolves, it was Garnett and Ricky Davis with 15 a piece. Lame.

Here's some thing to keep in mind: 65 points is the fewest allowed in Mavs history. Not losing in a month (granted, it's the shortest one) hasn't happened until now in Mavs history. The Mavs are 11-0 in the second game of a back-to-back, whereas most teams (even the great ones) are around average.

What more can you ask? An NBA Championship, perhaps? Sure.

February 27, 2007

Josh Howard's ankle

While we're on the subject of great quotes, this one's a doozy:

"I'm the only one it's been happening to and I know it's not fate. Somebody's telling somebody to do something."
And there you have it.

Ryan Freel

Probably my favorite Reds player. Good quote from Lonnie Wheeler in his article today about center field:

the man who never put on a uniform he couldn't soil by the second inning
That's a pretty cool compliment.

Mavericks 110, Atlanta 87

I don't know what to write anymore.

When I first got into this sports blogging thing, back on the first day of 2007, I didn't go into it with the intention of writing recaps of all the games my teams played. I wanted to do analysis, I wanted to crunch numbers, I wanted to write off-the-wall things and such. And to an extent, I have done that. But I have usually resorted to recaps. Which are working alright for me. They just get old when I have to write another recap about the Mavericks winning by 15+ points every night. That's the extent of what Eddie Sefko wrote in his online chat last night, and I wholeheartedly agree. Except that guy gets paid.

So what happens is you get a team that has won 19 straight games at home and is hosting one of the more crappy teams in the league. So what you get at the end of the night is a team that has now won 20 straight games at home.

On an interesting note, something that seems to happen in all sports, is that when a player gets traded during a season, those two teams meet each other very shortly afterwards. That happened tonight with Anthony Johnson returning to Dallas, scoring 2 points in 24 minutes. We'll miss you, AJ!

Other Hawks players scoring were Joe Johnson, the new face of Atlanta, with 29. Pachulia, whoever that is, had 24 points.

For the Mavs, the trio busted it wide open. Nowitzki led the charge with 27 points and 8 rebounds. Howard had 20 points before he had to leave at the end of the game, due to an odd fall on top of Joe Johnson's foot that left his ankle sprained. Which JUST HAPPENED a couple games ago, with Jason Kapono and the Heat. What the flip? Jason Terry rounded out the cast, getting 21 points. I like when he gets involved. Perhaps the most impressive came from Jerry Stackhouse yet again, answering the call due to George & Buckner not playing and Howard not playing the fourth quarter. Stack had 26 minutes and used it to score 19 points and assisted on 9 other plays.

An easy win against a bad team. Fair enough.


February 25, 2007

Devils 3, Capitals 2

First Period:
Brooks Laich, Capitals (Erskine, Zednik)
Second Period:
Zach Parise, Devils (Zajac, Langenbrunner)
Third Period:
Travis Zajac, Devils (Parise, Rafalski)
Alexander Ovechkin, Capitals (Schultz, Heward)
Jamie Langebrunner, Devils (PPG) (Rafalski, Elias)

Shots on Goal:
29-25 Devils

Devils - 7 minutes, Capitals - 11 minutes


Well, the Capitals didn't score in the first minute. And after an early penalty, the game was still scoreless. That bodes well for the Devils this afternoon. Fairly boring back-and-forth thus far early in the period. The Devils, as you no doubt would understand, failed to score on their first power play, but it was one of their best power plays in a LONG time, considering some of the ones in which they scored. Lots of missed shots and stopped shots. Lots of pressure. Keep that going, and something might fall through. Couldn't keep all that D.C. talent scoreless for too long, as Laich scores. The game should be tied at 1, but the Devils have been robbed by the post and Johnson several times so far. Clemmensen should have his self-esteem boost back in gear as he stopped Ovechkin at point-blank range and stopped another as the horn sounds. Fairly even period, but more sparks have been shown by the Capitals.


More of the same stuff, really. Lots of missed shots but opportunities for the Devils, some defensive lapses and Clemmensen has handled it well so far. Rupp and Sutherby got into it a little bit, hard to say where that came from but it came from somewhere. Not sure who had the upper hand there. If you had an idea of who would score for the Devils to tie the game, would it be Zach Parise? If not, you should re-examine your head because that's exactly who it was. The assists were from the usual suspects as the teams were skating 4-aside. More back and forth action. Another missed opportunity on the power play, but the unit is kicking along. It's strong and makes good plays. It just doesn't score. Hard to figure out what the problems are. Parise is going wild a little bit, but Johnson is denying him pretty well, as well as the rest of the team. Who the crap is Brent Johnson? He's throwing his body all over these shots. Forget this stooge. The Capitals putting on some pressure now, but Clemmensen is holding up surprisingly well. Lukowich down on the ice with face bleeding. Come on people, no more of this. Another even period, perhaps with a slight Devils edge. Which means they should be up 2-1 by now. But yeah, we'll see how it goes down, though I might have already left. Going to see a movie at 2:30.


What a great start to the third, as Zajac slams it in the net!! I don't know what else can be done against Brent Johnson, who is playing much better than his name and career stats indicate. But jamming and slamming and stuffing can phase any goaltender. Nice goal. Put a little muscle into it. Cam Janssen throws another nice shot on goal, what's up with him lately? The Devils are putting on the heat early on in this period, and good for them. Clemmensen needs that help, but you don't want to wait too long before getting a shot on him either, because he could be too tight by then. Wow!! Back-to-back shots at point blank range for both teams - Langenbrunner denied on a pretty save by Johnson and somehow Clemmensen stops Semin at the other end. Crazy action. Clem is holding up strong as the Capitals are turning it on a little bit. And as soon as I type that, the wunderkind known as Ovechkin turns on the burners and fires a laser right past good ol' Clem. Darn it, youngin'. As much as the Devils suck at getting PP Goals, they certainly can draw them with relative ease. Here comes another one, this would be a great time to score one for once. AND AS SOON AS I TYPE THAT, it happens!!!! Langenbrunner puts the Devils back on top! With a POWER PLAY GOAL!! About dang time, nice job fellows. Now the Devils feel like they should let up on defense, which isn't a great idea. Doing better now, as they are almost done. Goalie is pulled. It's over. Good win today, was not expecting it. Rock 'n roll.

Capitals 4, Devils 2

What a perfect game to rest Martin Brodeur. Apparently, that's what is happening this afternoon as the two teams meet again. Which is a cool idea, if you like to lose two games in a row. Because the Devils simply do not win when Clemmensen is in the net. Do you know of any other team in the NHL that is more dependent on any one player? I don't. Martin Brodeur holds the success of the Devils in his hands. That said, he blew it yesterday. It would have been a perfect game to play Clemmensen, because the Devils lost anyway. I mean, that's easy to look at in hindsight. But it happened. And now what, you lose back-to-back games against the same team as the Penguins are darting ever closer to the top of the Atlantic Division? I suppose that's what you do. Brodeur needs to be rested. But Clemmensen? Do you think we could maybe have a backup who is at least mediocre-ly decent? Nah, of course not. When you think about it, it really doesn't matter because Brodeur will play infinity games a season. But if he goes down, it's over. If he has a bad game, no dice, nobody there to make him pick it up or challenge him.

In more positive news, congratulations to Cam Janssen for scoring his first NHL goal!!!

I don't know how it would be possible, but the Devils better beat the Caps today.

Mavericks 115, Nuggets 95

Does it ever get old? Let's hope not. Especially for the players. In almost an exact repeat of his previous game, Nowitzki had the same number of points (31), the same number of rebounds (11), and two more assists (8) barely missing his first triple-double. Hard to believe the guy has never had one yet, but I'm sure he will. Can't keep waiting this long. Josh Howard helped out a lot more than he did last game, even though he was playing on a sore ankle. He got 27 points, which helped out a lot, particularly in the first half. Dampier & Diop both got 7 rebounds, and 7 rebounds was the total that somebody else got. This one was definitely more surprising though - Devin Harris. Ha! The little man pulling down 7 boards. I wonder how that happened.....

Stackhouse does what he does and comes in off the bench and scores 16 quiet points and dishes out 6 quiet assists. The man is a warrior, a trooper, a soldier for the cause. Well done, Stack.

On the other side, the Nuggets have their two guys. You know they'll make it tough. Anthony & Iverson over there, Anthony getting 34 points and 6 rebounds. Iverson scoring 26 points. They both look like a lot, and they are a lot, but the Mavs' defense really clamped down in the second half. Thankfully. And Anthony & Iverson combined for 16 turnovers. That's huge. They were getting sloppy in the second half, no thanks due to the defense of the Mavericks.

Not much else, really. That's 11 in a row. Hosting the Hawks tomorrow night, should be a good time.

February 23, 2007

Lane Kiffin on NFL Network


Not a whole lot there, but it's always interesting to hear the head coach speak, especially when he's brand new. A lot of non-definitive answers and a bit of backwards talk, but that's to be expected. I agree with most takes that say he doesn't really seem to be an open and friendly guy, but he sure doesn't seem rude. Just very businesslike. Pragmatic.

I found something equal parts funny and rude. It happens at the very end of the clip. When the huge interviewer (who is that?) reaches his big paw over to Kiffin and says, "Looking forward to you guys having a....it won't be a big year, but we'll just see what happens."

I was laughing. But I was pissed too. I mean, that's a normal thing that you say to teams. "Look forward to seeing you guys have success" or "Good luck next year." It's just stuff you say. But this guy caught himself because he truly believes deep within his heart that the Raiders will still suck. I thought that was pretty ballsy, considering the head coach is sitting right there. It's a pleasantry, man. You don't need to mean it. Sheesh.

The whole gang's here

This could be one of my favorite baseball/Reds photos in a long time. Simple, but very nice.

Devils 3, Rangers 2 (Shootout)

I didn't even have to type the full title, because it was already stored in memory. Why is this? Because this score happened back on February 6, if you'll remember.

Of course, I get the raw end of the deal. I have a play I need to go see late last night, "Our American Cousin," so I pay attention to the beginning of the game. I have to leave when the Devils just go down 2-0. I'm not in a great mood, I'm upset because it's the Rangers and because the Devils will lose, and thankfully that's not often but why now?
But, to my surprise, after my return, I see the Devils have scored 2 goals to tie it up, prevent any goals from being scored on them, skate through a scoreless overtime, and win in the shootout!!! Pretty exciting stuff right there.

What I witnessed was some sloppy play. Entertaining stuff, but not well executed. I witnessed Marcel Hossa and Petr Prucha (ALWAYS!!!!) score goals. It wasn't really bad play from the Devils, but it wasn't great. I thought they deserved maybe to be down one goal, but not two. But two goals they were down, then started thinking they better score.

Is there anyone on the Devils that you are more excited about than Zach Parise? I don't think anybody knew what a stud this guy would be and so quickly. The reason Travis Zajac is as good as he is (and he has a LOT of room to improve) is because Parise makes him better. He is so dang good and is the most entertaining player to watch, at least according to me. Which is sort of sad I guess when you have guys like Gionta, Elias, and Gomez. And Langenbrunner. Well, let me correct myself a little. NOBODY is more fun to watch than Brodeur at his best. But second to him is Parise for me. Probably because he is new and is flying around and making great hockey plays. So he ties it up after Ralf (what's up with him scoring like crazy?) gets the first one. Then the shootout which the Devils have maybe started figuring out starts and the Devils win it. Excellent stuff. Power play still blows, but eh. They can figure it out.

Mavericks 112, Heat 100

Yes!!! A sweep of the Miami Heat is nice. Neither game was decided with the teams at even strength, considering the first game was without Shaq and this one was without Dwyane Wade. And the Heat pretty much suck this year. But it's still nice to beat them.

The Dirk for MVP push began last night, and he turned in an appropriate performance, scoring 31 points and nabbing 11 rebound for his fifteen-zillionth double-double. Which is a pretty high figure.

This game gave the Mavs a 10-game winning streak. They've had 12-game and 11-game streaks already this year, and in doing so, they are the fourth team in HISTORY to have three different 10+ game-winning streaks in a single season. They are putting together one for the record books. It's a pretty awesome display. Like I've said before, they have no excuse to not win the NBA Championship. They should have done it last year, after battling valiantly against the Suns & Spurs, the two best teams in the West. Now they are the best and they have to prove it. With Dirk leading the way, it can be done.

Other notables were Jason Terry with 21 points. In the first half. Then he stopped shooting. Stackhouse had 18 and Devin Harris added 17. Shaq was the man for them, scoring 17 and rebounding 8. I'll take that line any day.

In other news, hardly-used point guard Anthony Johnson was traded to the Atlanta Hawks for a second-round draft pick. I think the second round switches with the first round. So, if you pick high in the first, you pick low in the second. I think the Hawks are picking pretty high in the first round, so this draft pick being late in the secound round probably won't amount to anything. (UPDATE: Sefko at the Dallas Morning News says, "Given Atlanta's record, which is in the bottom third of the Eastern Conference, that pick should be among the top 40 in what is expected to be one of the deepest drafts in recent history.") But you never know. Sorta sad to see him go as he was a true team player and had a great Mavs spirit about him, but he just didn't get on the court. Not his fault.

Raiders cut ties with Brooks

Aaron Brooks is outtie.

No surprise here. The problems on the offensive side of the ball for the Raiders were many. Aaron Brooks, though not entirely to blame, was to blame for some of it. Certainly the O-line was a joke, the receivers were concerned with doing everything except catching balls (Curry excluded) and the running game never ran. So Brooks had a lot going against him. But he didn't win a game. He didn't scramble like we would have liked, his passes did not have excellent accuracy, his demeanor was unchanging, his personality aloof. He was not a leader and probably never will be. I didn't mind the guy, I was excited when he was signed. But it makes sense to part ways with him.

Andrew Walter?? After last year, I'd say he has the future of a career backup AT BEST. But that was last year, and the problems, as mentioned, were many. So we'll see what the kid has, but I still wouldn't want to pass up on Russell, unless we picked a SURE THING or if we traded the pick for a sweet deal.

February 22, 2007


This is Dirk Nowitzki's favorite word. Pay attention when he talks or when you read his quotes. Useless information, but I had to share it with someone. The Internet.

Porter ready for new start in Oakland

Or so they say.

Jerry Porter, formerly Wide Receiver #84 -- Oakland Raiders, is now Jerry Porter, Wide Receiver #81 -- Oakland Raiders.

The number switch symbolized a mental switch. He is now "ready to get onboard" and has "talked many times with Coach Kiffin" and is "excited" about where the team is headed.

Although I may seem to be making light of the situation, I'm for it. We need at least one of our big guns riding with us, and it appears Moss is not that kind of guy. I'm not a huge Porter fan, but he can get it done. He arrived to camp in such great shape last year and was never utilized. Whether that was deserving or not is a question for another day.

Speaking of Moss, I know everyone hates him and is pissed off at the guy, but are any of you sad? I know I am. Having the MINNESOTA CONNECTION, watching Moss shine like a freak stud year after year up nort' in Minnesota, I was so freakin' excited when he was traded to my favorite team. And he has done some cool things in Oakland, but not really. I had a feeling his production would drop, I didn't know the guy would become nonexistent. Sadly, the Moss experiment has failed and it's time to cut ties.

February 21, 2007

The Alice Mavericks??

Josh Howard has an interesting quote in the Dallas Morning News:

They used to call us the Alice Mavericks, or whatever.
I don't know if it's Howard's fault, or Eddie Sefko's fault for writing it wrong, but somebody got it wrong.

The quote is in reference to how the Mavericks never used to play defense, so other teams would think they were soft. To that extent, I suppose "Alice Mavericks" makes sense, calling them by a girly name. But actually what Howard meant to say (or Sefko meant to write) was that they used to be called the "Allas Mavericks" because they had no 'D.' Get it? They didn't play defense, had no 'D' so therefore take that letter out of their name and they become the Allas Mavericks.

It's a small bone to pick, but a bone. Chew on it.

Pick Russell, says Dan Pompei

He says it right here:

So who should Davis pick?

Given the state of the Raiders, Davis needs a hero. Russell would look better in tights and a cape, as well as in black and silver.

As you can tell, with the "given the state of the Raiders..." Mr. Pompei does not avoid taking many shots at the Oakland Raiders organization, particularly Al Davis. But that's to be expected. Hopefully we can give them a reason to stop doing it.

February 20, 2007

Devils 2, Rangers 1

Well, the Devils keep scoring 2 goals. Thankfully, it's usually enough when Brodeur only lets in 1 or none at all. Another great divisional game. Another slugfest (with Marty getting in on the action!) as emotions were running high. And the penalties were kinda taking off there in the late stages of the game, similar to the Islanders game. Gotta love end-of-the-year divisional games. No, you actually have to. You are FORCED to.

The Devils got off to a quality start and played their typical game of hockey in the first period. They had more shots and the only goal, a nice play resulting in a goal for Ralf. The second period, and the third period for that matter, were definitely controlled by the Rangers. Petr Prucha, who never scores goals unless it's against the Devils, got another one. They had tons more shots than the Devils did, ending up with a 36-26 edge, with all but one getting stopped by the Vezina Trophy winner Martin Brodeur. The Devils only amassed five shots, but they were the right ones. At least one of them was, as Zach Parise beat Lundqvist for the game winner. I don't understand how that automatically makes him the first star. Brodeur played lights out, stopping 35 shots, some of them trickier than others, and he gets beat by Parise ONLY because he scored the game winner. Something not right about that. I mean, granted, Zach is playing great but come on.

Good game, team. Let's beat 'em again next time.

Mock Draft

Lance Zierlein at the Houston Chronicle Blog says it's Calvin (Hobbes not included):

I know that J.Russell is the consensus here for most mocks, but don't forget that Al Davis isn't your average owner and he also remembers being burned by Todd Marinovich and Marc Wilson as first round QBs in 1991 and 1980 respectively. I'm going to gamble that the Raiders trade one of their disgruntled WRs and the Raiders go with the best player on the board, Calvin Johnson.
Interesting. He also adds this, and by adding I mean putting this before his draft board:
...a very real possibility and that is Al Davis and the Raiders passing on JaMarcus Russell. Al Davis has been burned by QBs before and he might not be willing to sink "first pick of the draft" money into a QB with "potential" rather than a monster like Calvin Johnson.

Mock Draft

The Football Expert sees J-Marc dressing in the Silver & Black:

Calvin Johnson’s recent forty time of 4.33 at a simulated combine at a speed camp is very tempting. Al Davis realizes though that if Aaron Brooks is still under center, you could lineup Superman and Captain America and still go 3-13 every year.
Got to give him credit for making me laugh at least. Russell is clearly the frontrunner.

Josh Hamilton profile

Nice article by Mark Sheldon at the Red's MLB site. Here.

You have to cheer for the guy and hope it works. But at the same time, you want there to be some reason to keep him around. You want there to be ability and skill. Hopefully that will be the case.

The Prospect

Here's Homer Bailey, folks. The guy who will probably not get a shot at #5, but might. The guy who is eventually our #1 for maybe three years until he receives a huge contract from some other team.

And he's not the only one with outrageously ugly long hair. Why do pitchers do this? It's nasty and I can't imagine it helps - even mentally. There must be something about it, but yikes.

There's Arroyo a post or so down below. Then there's Paul Wilson. Double yikes.

Then there's Majew, of course. "Hey, don't blame me for The Trade."

Then there's guys like Billy Bray, Todd Coffey, Harang, Weathers, and others who just get it. Keep it short, keep it simple, and don't look like a girl. Fair enough?

Ahhhhhhhh....................spring training photographs make me smile.

San Diego Chargers hire Norval Turner

That's right folks, Norv(al) Turner is back to being a head coach in the AFC West. At least it will still be easy to cheer against the Chargers. I mean, this guy is no Marty Schottenheimer, who is easy for anybody to dislike. But he's still the guy that did JACK SQUAT for the Raiders when he coached us. And people are saying, "Well, he's going to the Chargers, Senator. 14-2. He's not going to an awful situation like with Oakland." And to that, I slap the young man in the mouth for speaking these atrocities. Uhhhhhhhh......go Raiders!

February 19, 2007

Pitchers & catchers report

Exciting times!

West 153, East 132

Entertaining game, even though the winner was decided very early into the contest. I thought the West would be hampered by not having two great guards (Nash & Iverson) but that did not appear to be the case. Kobe & Co. took over and dominated the whole way through.

Josh Howard - 20 mins, 3 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Dirk Nowitzki - 16 mins, 9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists

February 18, 2007

Devils 2, Islanders 0

How many times must I type in that score? It seems a lot. It seems this score happens every time the Devils and Islanders play. Brodeur just knows what he's doing. The Devils figure out how to score at the most opportune times. The defense knows when to open it up and when to shut it down. This game was physical. And rightly so. Lots of fights, lots of other aggressive penalties, lots of bad blood. And yet, you look up and see the score was the same it's always been. America's Goaltender let in two goals, and the Canadian Beast shut 'em out again. That's 11. That's quite a few. 91 overall. There is no one else even close to winning the Vezina Trophy this year. It's Martin Brodeur, hands up and hands down and hands everywhere in between. It would definitely help to have Gionta and White back, but when I'm listening to the games, I don't miss them as much because everyone else is picking up their game. But those are still two huge cogs in the machine and if they need time to get ready for the grind, so be it. As long as they can come back 100% or close to it, we'll be okay. We've got Brodeur back there. Which is good enough most times. It's always good enough against the Isles. That's just how it goes.

Pops Mensah-Bonsu

In a night that featured Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry, it was the above guy who shined the most for the Mavericks. And he doesn't even really play with the Mavs. Pops was named the MVP of the NBA's first Developmental League exhibition game. And he got 30 points and was a beast. Nowitzki got third in the 3-point shooting contest and Jason Terry came in last. Oh well. Go West, tonight. Young man. I already said that but there it is again.

February 17, 2007

Mock Draft

The big boys at CBS Sportsline check into things:

JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU -- Why not? Raiders need a quarterback who can handle the vertical game. Russell qualifies. Still, you never can be sure when it comes to the Raiders -- though it's probably safe to assume they don't use this first-rounder on a kicker.
Wow. Four sentences, half of which contain only two words, and he manages to get in two slaps in the face to the Oakland faithful. Granted, the old adage, "You never knwo when it comes to Oakland (or Al Davis) isn't much of a slap, but that is the intention, and EVERYONE writes it. The kicker thing is funny, though. Ah, screw it.

Mock Draft

Football (at About.com) weighs in on the whole deal, retroactively hopping on the bandwagon:

1.Oakland Raiders - Calvin Johnson, WR Georgia Tech With rumors swirling of an instant fallout between Randy Moss and new head coach Lane Kiffin, it seems likely that Moss won't be wearing the silver and black next season. That opens up a spot for a top-shelf WR in Oakland, and that's where Johnson comes in.
It still makes a good deal of sense, but it doesn't seem very practical here. The guy is a beast, that's for sure. Wouldn't hurt to have him, but I don't think WR is a pressing position. Not only for the Raiders, but for any team really. There are more important cogs. It is nice to see something different than JaMarcus Russell, however. Still.......something makes me think for making a big deal out of this that the Raiders trade the #1 pick away, so all of these mock drafts won't mean a dang thing.

Reds MLB asks me some questions

Here you are, ma'am

Could the jockeying for position also include super prospect Bailey? Unlikely, but a lights-out spring could make the question all the more intriguing.

The Reds also haven't named a closer yet to open the regular season. Weathers, Stanton, Ligtenberg, Bray and Coffey are among those in the mix.

Another spring storyline: Could this be the year that Griffey moves from his familiar center field to right field?
1. No go on Bailey
2. There won't be a clear closer, but it will be Weathers to start. If not, it's Coffey.
3. Sadly, no.

Penguins 5, Devils 4

I warned you.

Not bad offensive hockey, and that's going to have to be the case the rest of the way against Pitt, because their goalie is not a stud. Otherwise, pretty poor game. There's no denying the Penguins are the best team in the NHL as of currently and they are dangerous, that's for sure. They will challenge for the Atlantic.

NBA All-Star Game Tomorrow Night

Go West! (young man)

February 16, 2007

Mavericks 80, Rockets 77

What can you say? The Mavericks win in all sorts of ways, this one being ugly. I finally got to watch them on TV, and it was not pretty. Which, as I said, is ugly. But it was still fun to watch. It was fun to watch McGrady and Nowitzki go back and forth in the second half, matching big shot with huge shot. It was like nobody else was on the floor for a while. But Nowitzki was the better mean because he earned it. I hate Tim Duncan. Can't stand the man. But this T-Mac of Tracy McGrady is starting to climb the ranks. He has a sweet shot and is a good player, but he is such a whiner. And he gets pansy fouls called for him all the time. Good thing he can't make a freakin' free throw. Or else the Rockets would have won this game. They were so bad from the line, thank goodness.

The Rockets had this game in hand, although it was close. They were scrappy, they were fighting. They just ran into a team who would not and will not lose. It's as simple as that. Jason Terry, who had a very poor game, was of course the guy who made the winning shot. And for the Rockets, the worst guy on the floor for them (I think Alston maybe) took this horrible-looking shot. It was so bad. But the Mavericks got it back and made the shot. I am pretty sure that was NOT the shot the Rockets wanted to take, but oh well. The Mavs continue to win. Nowitzki, unspectacular through much of the game, turned it on for his little fued with McGrady. Stackhouse had huge buckets to pull the Mavs closer, and then Nowitzki hit back-to-back 3's to put the Mavs on top late. They held on. Nice.

It's to be expected, but the Mavericks won again. So many dang games. 44 wins. 9 losses. They won't post the best record of all-time, but they could be in contention to be one of the best teams of any given year. In NBA history. That's pretty amazing right there.

February 15, 2007

Raiders sign Sands, Thomas

Raiders keep two free agents

Pretty good moves, I'd say. Not really high on either one of them, but Sands was a very capable backup last year, and even got some starts and played hard. He played well at times, but the thing was he played hard. And you could tell. He had a couple breakout games. If he can keep that going, he's worth 4 years, $17 million. Robert Thomas was basically an unknown, but a good special teams player, and became famous for his play against the Steelers. $2 million a year isn't bad at all. But more importantly, these were the two guys the Oakland Raiders wanted to keep, and they are kept.

Devils 5, Canadiens 2

Wait a minute, the Devils scored THREE GOALS on the Power Play? Since when? Since what? Well, if you keep in mind that 66.66% of those goals scored were on a 5-on-3, it's not quite as great. Right right, I complain. I complain when there is hardly anything but good news. I know this. And I'm STILL complaining about the Power Play, even when 3 of the 4 goals (not counting the empty netter) were scored with the extra attacker. It will take me a while to believe, though the Devils have always been great at drawing penalties. So they will always have their chances, that's for sure.

Elias put on a nice show. His scoring and skating are always abilities people can point to easily and show how impressive he is. At the same time, his passing is underrated. Some of the passes he makes are just incredible. He is a very fluid player and played very well. Good for Ralf getting two goals, hitting the right shots at the right times (being 5-on-3).

I mean, what else do you want from this game? This is a great game. This is a game the Devils win 99 times out of 5. The scoring and skating and passing were dead-on. The defense had some lapses, but they were shuffling and juggling their lineups. They still played very well, limiting the Canadiens' shot total to a mere 21, no double digits in any period. Whereas the Devils were one shot away in the first period from having double digits in all three periods. Brodeur played a solid, if unspectacular, game. He faced one more shot (21) than BOTH of Montreal's goalies (Huet - 20, Aebischer - 20). They won the FACEOFF battle, which no one has explained to me yet. They drew 8 penalties and gave up 2. And how bout that scrum? Janssen is back, my friends.

Here's what I'm concerned about. Tomorrow night. Penguins vs. Devils. The Penguins are arguably the hottest team in the league right now. They should give the Devils fits the rest of the year, battling for the Atlantic Division. They are good. The Devils know this. The Devils must win.

February 14, 2007

NLC Rankings

Red Hot Mama weighed in, and I just couldn't help myself after seeing it:

  1. Reds
  2. Brewers
  3. Astros
  4. Cubs
  5. Cardinals
  6. Pirates
You will not see another order like this by anyone else, so take a good look at it. I don't mean to be rude, but what the???

The Reds, as much as I desire them to be #1, will simply not win the division. It won't happen. I would LOVE to be wrong here, but I don't see. The Brewers are better, that's true. But how much better? And I have a hard time thinking they will improve too much when so many of the other teams are better than they are. The Astros, to me, are the team to beat. I don't know why. I just feel it. Call it a hunch. The Cubs will be infinitely better. The Pirates will obviously be last. The big issue to me is the Cardinals. From #1 to #1 to #1 to 5th place??? And for what?? They didn't get THAT much worse, that's for sure. They always contend and they always play well. Once again, I would LOVE to be wrong and have them be bottom feeders, but it just won't happen.

I hate making predictions, because they are never right and invite criticism. But I guess that's the point, as I did just criticize RHM. But give her this, she put it out there. It's definitely original. But here's how I roll, as of Valentine's Day 2007, with #'s 4 and 5 being interchangeable.

1. Astros
2. Cardinals
3. Cubs
4. Brewers
5. Reds
6. Pirates

Mavericks 99, Bucks 93

Yeah yeah yeah, the Mavericks won again. Not a big deal. They have an outrageous record at 43-9. Nowitzki is a beast, blah blah blah. The real reason for this post is this hilarious photo. Enjoy.

5'5" Milwaukee Bucks guard Earl Boykins
runs into a screen by 7'0" Dallas
Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, of
Germany, during the fourth quarter of an
NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 13,
2007, in Milwaukee. The Mavericks won

February 12, 2007

Lightning 4, Devils 1

All-around bad. This is a team the Devils can't figure out. And that's not good news, because guess what, they were just in seventh place (now 6th) and could easily fall back there again and play the #2 team in the East, which would be.....the New Jersey Devils. Other teams around that area are Montreal (beatable) and Carolina (yikes). So the Devils need to figure out these teams that are hanging around the seed that they would face in the playoffs. But for sure, this is the team you don't want to see. They figured everything out. They scored four straight goals and played pretty solid defense. Their team has won 12 of 15. They have great skaters and great shooters. I've said all of this before. The Devils can't figure them out. They have played amazingly well as of late, but the Lightning are the kryptonite right now. Not that the Devils won't be able to figure them out, but time is running out and they should start doing it soon.

Mavericks 106, 76ers 89

What do you get when you have a high-scoring offense and a defense that shuts teams down? What do you get when you have the best record in the NBA, an unheard of 42-9?? I don't know the answers to these questions.

The Mavs own the best record on the road, and it helps to play teams like Philadelphia without Iverson, because how could they win? Sure, the Mavericks were up by so many points that they didn't care and they let the 76ers come back and think there was maybe a chance, but they ended up winning by almost 20. It's a typical story. They get such a huge lead, they get sick of it. They know they will win, so they slack off for a while. Not a great statement, not something to be proud of, but what can you do? If it doesn't even matter, then what's the point? True, it's not a great sign, but there you have it. And better to afford it now then when it counts.

Check the halftime score. 63-39. I mean, there it is. Do whatever the heck you want in the second half. Crap around. Play some horse. Play lackadaisical defense if you want. They did. And they paid the price in a rally from the 76ers. But it amounted to nothing.

Nowitzki had his day (24 points, 11 boards, 7 assists) and Howard did his usual thing (15 and 5). Devean George also got 15, and Jason Terry had 11 assists to go with his 16 points. For the Sixers, it was Igoudala with 21 points and 9 boards. 3-pointers was another key as the Mavs hit 7 of 15 and the Sixers took 10 and made a measly one! Hard to consider knowing that Kyle Korver is out there, but that's what happened.

February 10, 2007

Asomugha given offer to play in Pro Bowl, still can't go

Weird story.

The deal here is that Rashean Mathis of the Jaguars got injured and couldn't play. So Asomugha got a last-minute call from the Pro Bowl honchos telling him to get on the next flight out of wherever he was. Problem was, the next flight out would get him to Honolulu AFTER the game was scheduled to be over. Whoops. Oh well. He'll be there someday, unless last year was an aberration. Which it might have been.

Martin Brodeur shuts it down

Great post by Tom Lycan right.......................here.

Mavericks 95, Rockets 74

On a night where he was the high scorer in the game, Josh Howard also found out that he was going to the All-Star game. And rightly so.

What can you say about the Mavs that hasn't been said? I've said it all already. The Rockets were the better team in the first quarter. They scored 24 points. Seeing how incredibly low their final score was, we can deduct that they scored 50 points the rest of the game. Considering the Mavs have scored 40+ points in a quarter three times , that's pretty poor. The Mavericks didn't need a lot of anything really, but they still won by 20 points. Howard was the man, and fitting as he is going to the Big Dance with his teammate Nowitzki. The defense was dang good. Case in point = Tracy McGrady. 14 points in the first quarter. Ended up with 20 points, so he got 6 the rest of the game, a microcosm of the Rockets struggles as a whole. I dig it.

This team cannot lose. I hope they don't. I mean, they will. I just think they deserve the NBA Title. I don't want it handed to them, but the Colts were the best team in the NFL according to me, and they won it. It made sense. The Mavericks not only have the best record but are the best team in the NBA. It makes sense for them to win the whole thing. I just hope they can pull through.

February 9, 2007

Raiders hire Tom Rathman

He is the new Running Backs Coach. He was previously with the Detroit Lions and 49ers under the same title. Lots o' changes going on, this one seems like all the rest. Fine right now. But we'll see the final product when we see it. When I look at the sidelines of all the Raiders games, I won't recognize anyone. Except Rob Ryan. That's it. Shucks.

Folks, remember something. Don't get caught up in the hype. By no means bog yourselves down in pessimism, but let's be real. Just because Darren Perry comes from the Steelers and because they have great pass defense doesn't mean ours will stay elite. Just because Tom Cable is a thousand pounds thick and has coached some great offensive linemen doesn't mean our line will be great. Just because Tom Rathman coached the Niners when they were running the ball like crazy and coached Kevin Jones at Detroit and Jones rushed for a ton of yards doesn't mean our running game will all of a sudden be incredible. Just because Greg Knapp is the new OC doesn't mean our offense will emulate the Atlanta Falcons. Let's keep some perspective here. Hard not to be a little optimistic, though.

Mock Draft

Yahoo! Sports' John Murphy cracks open the case yet again, coming to the same conclusion as he did before, that the Raiders take JaMarcus Russell, QB from LSU:

His ability to keep his eyes focused downfield, plus his rifle arm and eye-opening size, would make him a perfect fit for a Raiders team that lacked firepower and punch in its offense this past season.
Okay. Make it so.

February 8, 2007

Devils 2, Islanders 0

Did not have the proper time to do "the shuffle" tonight, if you know what I mean. I don't. But it means period-by-period breakdown.

I was around for the first period, in which the Devils squandered all four of their power plays. It was not for lack of effort, that's for sure. It's just weird to me. The first period was heavily in the Devils favor, that's clear. 15 shots to 3. 3 weak shots. 15 pretty decent shots, but not enough to do anything meaningful. Still, I felt pretty good as I left my room to go listen to the "Food Dude" who came to speak on campus about........food. And how to eat right. He made me some ginger and honey and lime drink. It was nasty but good. Cleared me up. Anyway.

What it took was Pando scoring a shorthanded goal to show how bad the Devils have been on the power play. But seriously, they can't be that bad. They are 12th in the league. Hard to believe, right??? It sure was for me. But that was no doubt due to earlier in the year, as well as the hot middle when they didn't miss a power play. Nowadays -- not so much. Shorthanded, not much better, but better. Even strength? They are KILLING.

And who can complain about anything for too long until you realize that the goaltender of the New Jersey Devils is the (im)mortal MARTIN BRODEUR who is clearly the best goalie in the league at this point in time. He struggles, they all do. But his struggles are hardly ever mental. And hardly ever physical either, he just has his down days. Don't get me wrong, I call for Clemmensen sometimes just to rest the beast, but John F says if he doesn't want the rest, don't hand the man a rest. And he dominates. He shuts people down. He gets in your head by doing nothing. And he is a genuinely good man. What an athlete to cheer for. Makes the cheering worthwhile.

So, Islanders. Eat it. Eat it again and again and again. There's nothing you can do about it. The Devils are the best. Better than the Sabres? Only when Ryan Miller cries. Better than the top teams in the West? That's a tough bet. Maybe not. Probably not. But I'm riding high on them right now, flaws and all. This is a great team.

Arroyo receives contract extension

Arroyo and Reds agree to $25 million, 2-year extension through 2010

You do what you gotta do. In two days, the Reds have taken care of their top two pitchers for a long time. Sounds good to me. Who knows if they will be as productive as last year, and the odds are not good, particularly with Arroyo. But if you're going to turn this team into a pitching and defense powerhouse, you have to lock up the good pitching that you do have. Well done. We could always add some more pitchers, preferably not older-aged injury-riddled relief pitchers, but maybe some of the more regular type. The article contained an interesting fact,

[Arroyo] and Harang, who won 16 games and pitched 234 1-3 innings, became the first pair in Reds history to each pitch at least 200 innings and have at least 184 strikeouts.
That's a pretty cool stat right there, maybe something along those lines in 2007? You never know.

Mavericks 113, Grizzlies 97

I mean, what else? The Mavericks beat the Grizzlies no matter what else is going on. It's even good enough to bet on the Mavs vs. the Grizzlies when Dirk cuts his hair. And as you can clearly see, that's what he did. I always get nervous when he cuts his hair because his game suffers and the team starts to lose. Maybe that was the old Mavs. Because his game didn't suffer at all, getting 38 points and 10 rebounds. He didn't suffer Samson disease this time. And the Mavericks rolled again, thanks to the rest of the key players. Sure, they blew some huge leads, but they were in it to win it and they knew it. They just knew it. It's so good, it's boring. 40 FREAKIN WINS ALREADY??? 40-9. Look at that record. It's so dang good.

February 7, 2007

The USC-Oakland pipeline continues

Mark Jackson joins Raider staff

I have no clue what this move means. I just find it hard to believe the incredible AMOUNT of hires that are going on. I mean, I knew a lot of coaches left and a lot of positions are available to be filled, but does it seem to anyone else that the Oakland Raiders are completely different? So many changes at various levels of staff and administration. Makes me feel weird about the whole thing, like I'm cheering for a different team than the Oakland Raiders. Like maybe the University of Southern Cal. Who knows, maybe I'm weird.

February 6, 2007

Devils 3, Rangers 2 (Shootout)

First Period: Paul Martin, Devils (Gomez, Elias)
Karel Rachunek, Rangers (PPG) (Nylander, Avery)
Second Period: Zach Parise, Devils (Langenbrunner, Oduya)
Third Period: Jaromir Jagr, Rangers (unassisted)

Shots on Goal: 30-21 Rangers

Penalties: Devils - 14 minutes, Rangers - 8 minutes

Well, the Devils did it. Granted, they gave a point to the Rangers. The Devils seem to go into overtime against divisional foes all the time. But they won. !! They won a SHOOTOUT!! And why? Because Brodeur was the man, that's why. That's all it took. 3 tries, 3 stops. And the Devils win again. I've been saying this a lot, but the Devils escaped with 2 points yet again. I'll take it. They are clearly one of the best teams in the league and doing it in old-school fashion. Well done, Devils. You didn't deserve it, but maybe you did. Exciting stuff.


Was having major technical difficulties, but I did sort of figure out a couple of things. One is that when Paul Martin scores, I always wonder what it must have looked like. The other is that you don't let the other team score right after you score. But it happened. It was actually a pretty even period it seemed to me. Gionta got screwed with a 4-minute call on a high stick, and it turned into a big deal as the Rangers got a power play goal off of it, even though they were down a man at almost the same time. The shots on goal were pretty even until the Rangers had a little flurry late. Jagr wasn't supposed to play tonight, so that's an unpleasant surprise. And the Rangers just got Sean Avery which is supposed to mean something to me because he's physical. I don't care. The Rangers are always physical. A.K.A. dirty scoundrels. Nothing has changed for me. A tie game is what I was expecting, but not at 1-1. At least the offense has picked things up. Let's hope the defense can do the same. And how about that faceoff thing I keep whining about? The Devils killed in the first, winning 17 of 25. Nice.


Okay, explain something to me please. I mean, you can't. But you're going to try it anyway. The Devils were NOT the best team in this period. In fact, they weren't even the second-best team. The Rangers played this period by themselves practically. And yet, at the end of the period, when the horn sounded, everyone turned to the scoreboard and saw that the Devils had the lead. They all shook their heads and went about their business. But to me, I had to question it. The shots on goal are nowhere near close. The Rangers have a decent amount, maybe a little low. The Devils have 12. They have split it nicely, 6 a period. If not for lack of shots, they haven't had lack of opportunities, scoring twice thus far. A little more offense would be nice, that much is for certain. But it's working just fine. They let Marty do the dirty work, they take unnecessary penalties, and then they seize a great opportunity and turn it into a goal. I can live with this. It hurts my heart and raises my blood pressure, but if they're winning, what's the point? I can live with it. It might not make sense, but it's happening. Must be those dang faceoff victories.


What's up with the penalties? The Devils are usually pretty disciplined. Either they are lacking that tonight, or the refs are out to get them. Either way, it's annoying, though they are playing the penalty kill pretty dang well. Better than their power plays, that's for sure. I don't like Jaromir Jagr, and he scored. So that was upsetting to me. At least he cut his hair a long time ago. That was ugly. Ah frack. It's just coming to the point where, when the Devils go on the power play, I sigh. I'm like, "Oh, daaaaaaaaang." Because they just can't do it. Throw the dang monkey off the back man. Score a freakin' goal or something like that. It's not like they're not working, it just doesn't pay off. I think it's worth complaining. Where are the shots on goal? Like I said, the quality is good, but still, hard to beat taking a lot of shots. That's how they've beaten Lundqvist in the past, but sometimes you just can't get it going. The Devils receive at least a point. Here's to overtime -- let's hope it ends there.

Tom Cable joins Raider staff

Mr. Cable is the new offensive line coach. And he looks the part. Maybe he can get some talent out of Paul "McNasty" McQuistan just because they both are ugly, large fellas. This is the guy Kiffin wanted, and again, I don't see anything wrong with it. I have a quiet confidence about things right now, though my pessimism is still pretty high. I just think these hires have great potential, or at least good potential. Rock on, Raider Nation.

Harang signs 4-year, $36.5 million deal

Good. GOOD. This is what the man deserves and it's finally settled. Locked him up for a while, and they better, as Krivsky believes in turning this team from an offensive juggernaut (which they weren't last year) into a pitching/defensive club. We'll see how that goes, but I like having Harang back. Don't expect him to put up the same type of numbers, but he very well could. He's certainly our best guy, and a truly underrated talent.

Raiders hire Darren Perry

Former Pittsburgh Steelers DB coach to join Oakland

Can't hurt. Seems like a solid guy. I am pretty much in favor of all the hirings and firings that have been going on, seems like a good track we are on right now.

February 5, 2007

Gordo's back

Eddie Guardado signs minor-league deal with Reds

Not big news, this was pretty expected. But it's good to have him back. Hopefully he will recover quickly and be a force for us.

February 3, 2007

Mavericks 94, Timberwolves 93

Tonight the Mavs hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves. Usually a good game. Decent. I left to go work out late tonight and the Mavs were up 71-55 and I felt pretty dang good about the game. I come back and the score reads as it is listed above. I said to myself, "What happened, Tim Mo? What the dang heck happened around here?" I was led to believe that it was the Mavs' atrocious amount of 3-pointers shot and made (1 out of 11) versus the Wolves' 3 for 4. That certainly wasn't the only stat, but it was the one that jumped out at me.

When have we seen Dirk Nowitzki put the Mavs up by 4 by shooting two free throws and then the other team makes a meaningless 3-pointer at the end of the game? When have we seen that before? ........ Could it have been, hmm, let's see THE VERY LAST GAME?????? Yes, it was. And the point difference was one point for either team. Very odd scenario indeed. The Mavs had the game in check, didn't play extremely well, but were able to sustain a late surge by the Wolves. How many times can the Mavs afford to do that?

They held Garnett in check for almost the entire game, but he managed to get 19 in the second half to lead all scorers with 25 for the game. He also pulled down 12 rebounds. Now, Kevin Garnett is cool with me. But he puts up the emptiest states in the entire league. There's no question. You expect a double-double from him, he is a great player, but it never means anything. There's no point. Ricky Davis was hot early for the Wolves, but that was it pretty much. On the other side of the ball, the Mavericks were led in scoring with 22 points, from both Josh Howard and Jason Terry. Nowitzki had an awful shooting night but was able to get to the line and ended up with 18 points. Diop played a strong defensive game, as well as contributing 12 rebounds, helping the Mavs maintain that crucial edge on the glass 46-39. They shot way too many 3's and missed almost all of them, so that needs to change. Another winner, though. Can't complain as I've had a great sports night overall.

Devils 3, Sabres 2

First Period: Chris Drury, Sabres (Kotalik)
Second Period:
Third Period: John Madden, Devils (White, Brylin)
Jamie Langenbrunner, Devils (Parise)
Zach Parise, Devils (Langenbrunner, Zajac)
Teppo Numminen, Sabres (Hecht, Pominville)

Shots on Goal: 37-17 Devils

Penalties: Devils - 6 minutes, Sabres - 14 minutes


Not sure what else you could ask for, really. The Devils played a great period, and get the reward of being down a goal. What a joke. Brodeur's save percentage has been going way, way down. But it's not all his fault. He played Drury pretty well, except maybe a little too loosely. But seriously, the Devils were throwing pucks all over Ryan Miller as the two best goalies in the NHL (at least the East) go head-to-head. Elias got flat-out ROBBED. But he's got to be aware and aim that puck somewhere else, although it's hard to blame him. The Devils yet again are struggling on the Power Play, which has been their Achilles' heel almost all year long. They did get a 5-on-3 goal last game, but they had two solid chances so far and didn't seem very interested in trying to score a goal about it. All the talk was about how the Sabres were clearly the dominant offensive team as far as even strength goes. Not the case so far. It's frustrating when you're clearly the better team and are losing. Still a lot of time, though.


Started as we began with no goals scored. Buffalo kept their shots on pace and the Devils slowed down considerably, meaning that the Devils still hold a huge edge in shots on goal. They just won't go through, though there was some controversy on Elias' non-goal from the first period, as Miller may have made the save past the goal line. Too late now. Anyway, do faceoffs matter? I know they must, but you would think the Devils would work on them if it really mattered. Because almost every single game (and maybe every game) the other team has more faceoff wins. I know that allows them to set up their offense, which is a bonus. But is it really that important? I hope not, because the Devils lose more than they win. The Devils got themselves in the penalty box a couple of times but thankfully, they didn't allow any goals because of it. Hopefully that will allow them to build some confidence. They are playing pretty dang well out there, time of possession is slightly in their favor. Let's see what they've got up their sleeve.


An early flurry was just what the doctor ordered. The Devils came out firing on all cylinders (or at least the ones that mattered) and scored three goals in under three minutes. That definitely put the Sabres back on their heels. The Devils were given more power play opportunities and still could not find the net. They were 0-7 which is a pretty average stat for them. Maybe skewed a little negatively, but they draw penalties very well. They just do nothing with them when they get them. The Devils pretty much had the first two periods in their favor to no avail. But instead of sulking and whining, they kept pressing and got the lead. The Sabres did come back and score a cheap goal when nobody was looking, though. Annoying. You can clearly see the edge in shots on goal was huge tonight, as the Devils suffocated a great offense. Even though only 17 shots got through to Marty, he only saved 15 of them. Not great, but it was good enough. The penalties were also heavily in favor of the Devils, and even though they did nothing whatsoever with it, it kept the Sabres off balance on their own offensive sets. Well played.

Ray Guy denied HOF entrance


Ray Guy HOF Watch

His time has come

February 2, 2007

Worst news of 2007

Brett Favre returns

Ray Guy HOF Watch

Great article by Monte Poole. I know he's a punter, but get 'im in there! He's the best.


Will someone please correctly spell the last name of the head coach of the Oakland Raiders? Thank you.

Dirk Nowtizki is an All-Star

That's a no-brainer. What about this guy?

Howard wasn't selected, but commissioner David Stern gets to pick a replacement for Carlos Boozer, who is injured. So he might get to go after all, though it looks like Carmello Anthony will pick up that spot if anything.

Devils 6, Flyers 5 (OT)

Somehow, some way, the Devils beat the Flyers. It's been happening all year. Sometimes, it happens in rational ways. Sometimes, it's highly improbable. This game was one of the latter. It was a game that was reminiscent of the Devils-Flyers games of old. The Flyers were EVERYWHERE. And they were everywhere in a bad way for the Devils, making huge plays and skating pretty error-free. The Devils had a lot of chances on the power play, as they have had for a while now, and they didn't play it very well. Sure, they got a power play goal, but that was when they had a 5-on-3. The power play must improve. Hard to complain when your team scores 6 goals, however. Although maybe a bit easier when you give up 5 of your own. Everyone called for this game to be the game where Martin Brodeur sits down and finally takes a breather. It would have been perfect, and everyone knew it. Except for Claude Julien, the head coach. And you could clearly see Brodeur didn't have his A-game on display. But the offense sure did. Everytime the Flyers wanted to take the game away, the Devils came right back with it. The Devils matched the Flyers goal for goal all the way down to the wire, putting in a late one to send it to overtime, where, thankfully they took care of business instead of losing in a shootout. The Flyers surely deserved to win, they were the better team. They didn't have the better goaltender, however. Even on an off-night for Marty Brodeur. It is what it was and the Devils escaped with 2 points. Which really doesn't make sense, but that's what happened.

February 1, 2007

Creighton 82, Bradley 71

Sure, the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 95-94. But that's not the story.

I travelled with my friend Brett to Peoria, Illinois last night. It was about a 25-minute trip to see our favorite NCAA basketball team. Brett's from Omaha, going to college with me at Eureka. I just like Creighton ever since they beat Florida in triple-overtime in the NCAA Tournament a few years ago. We dressed up, we made outrageously absurd signs, and we were treated to a dominating performance from the Bluejays. They started off red hot, making their first six shots, four of them were 3-pointers, and they were up 16-3. Bradley never got within more than 9 points after that as Nate Funk & Co. took over. Actual, Watts was dang good last night, hitting the 3 ball well and playing a tough inside game. Tolliver was weaker than usual, but he got fouled hard all night long. Miles was solid and helped out in several key moments. Bradley just took way too many dang 3's, and thankfully missed a great deal of them. It was a great, great night.