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.