Monday, January 30, 2006


File under more media bashing. And funny.

On Big Ten officiating

To begin with, I need to point out that Wonk has promised a super-sized edition of "Wonk Back" tomorrow, which will apparently cover officiating almost exclusively. Yes, this will break one of Wonk's cardinal rules, but it has apparently become such a hot topic amongst his readership that it demands analyzation. I did a small amount of this regarding fouls called on teams (not FTAs) once I found out that, through the OSU-Iowa game Saturday, Iowa is getting, on average, only 12.7 fouls called on them at home, compared to the 24.3 fouls their opponents are getting called for in games at Carver-Hawkeye. That's a home foul disparity of +11.6 in Big Ten games. Obscene. And it's not like they've been playing the dregs of the conference in those home games, either. Their 4 home contests have come against Illinois, Indiana, OSU, and Minnesota.

So I decided to compute each Big Ten team's foul disparity, both at home and on the road, and compared the two. The comparison stat, I suppose, could be labeled "home court foul advantage" or something, as it's the difference between foul disparity at home and foul disparity on the road.

(So, assuming, as it was in almost every case, that the "home disparity" turned out to be positive [more fouls called on your opponents than you during your home games] and the "road disparity" turned out to be negative [the opposite], the "HC Advantage" stat turned out to be:

(fouls called on your opponents at your home games - fouls called on you at your home games)-(fouls called on your opponents at your road games - fouls called on you at your road games). All of these are averages, by the way.

So, if you averaged a positive foul discrepancy at home and a negative one on the road -- as was true of every top-7 team but three: Iowa and Wisky had positive discrepancies on the road and OSU had a negative discrepancy at home -- your "home court advantage turned out to be positive, and usually pretty healthy.)

Whatever. I'm no stat-wonk like the uber-CBB bloggers out there. When I did the calculations, somewhat unsurprisingly, bad teams tended to have negative or negligible disparities on the home as compared to the road, so I am going to limit this study to the top-7 teams, the seven Big Ten squads who look like good bets to make the NCAAs come March (hence the "top-7" language up there).

TEAMHome Disp.Road Disp.HC Adv.

What does this all mean? It seems to indicate that some teams who play at home tend to benefit big-time in the foul department, but fucked if I know for sure. If there's a better way for figuring this kind of thing, I would love a hand from the enginerds among us...

Saturday, January 28, 2006

A Tall Order

Piggybacking off a topic I brought up yesterday, the Bucks are playing at Iowa tonight. Why is this related to a topic from yesterday? Well, as was pointed out in the Dispatch, the Hawkeyes, like several Big Ten teams, enjoy a home court advantage (link from BC) that seems largely dependant on huge foul discrepancies in their favor. The article notes that in Iowa's home wins over Minnesota, Indiana, and Illinois, the Hawks have been called for an astounding average of 12.3 fewer fouls than their respective opponents per game, and have shot an average of 14.7 more free throws than the Gophers, Hoosiers, and Illini in those three games.

I don't know why, but the Big Ten seems to be littered with arenas where the officials go out of their way to give just about every break possible to the home team, and it's been this way for what seems like forever. One need only harken back to the days when Bobby Knight roamed the sidelines in Bloomington, where in any given game you could count on the Hoosiers making twice as many free throws as their opponents attempted. Since Knight was booted, the biggest homerdome in the conference appeared to become the Kohl Center, where Wisconsin 69-4 in Bo Ryan's five-plus seasons in Madison, with several notable wins apparently aided by *ahem* dubious officiating.

So the Bucks will have their work cut out for them. Will the Hawkeyes maintain their average of having 12 fewer fouls called than their opponents in home games? Will the Buckeyes be able to overcome such a discrepancy if it occurs? We shall see...

Edited to add: I didn't watch the game, but from looking at the box score, I see that the free throw discrepancy wasn't egregious (16 for us, 18 for them), but get this stat of the game: Fouls called on OSU in the 2nd half: 12. Fouls called on Iowa in the game: 11. Oh yeah, and Iowa's last FG came with 6:02 remaining. Their last seven points of the game all came from the charity stripe. Just another Big Ten road game...

Chuck Norris > Vin Diesel

So that site we had talked about on here before, the "Vin Diesel facts" one? Well, it has a bunch of other ones, all about Chuck Norris. Shockingly, I think they're even funnier than the Vin Diesel ones. Rather than plug through the whole swamp of Norris facts, it's probably more convenient to check out this Top 100, as voted on by site visitors. Most of them are really good, but if I had to pick a top 5, they would be:

"Chuck Norris does not hunt, because the word 'hunting' infers the probability of failure. Chuck Norris goes killing."

"Chuck Norris is not hung like a horse... horses are hung like Chuck Norris."

"Someone once tried to tell Chuck Norris that roundhouse kicks aren't the best way to kick someone. This has been recorded by historians as the worst mistake anyone has ever made."

"Similar to a Russian Nesting Doll, if you were to break Chuck Norris open you would find another Chuck Norris inside, only smaller and angrier."

"Chuck Norris does not know about this site. Otherwise, he would have deleted the internet."

Friday, January 27, 2006

'Snoglian goodness

I was thinking I should have included this in HiaP, but in retrospect it certainly deserves its own post. Now, we're all aware of Grant Wahl and his affinity for soccer and the supremely overrated Marvin O'Connor-led St. Joe's teams of the early 'aughts. But this piece, his seventh annual "Magic Eight," contains YET ANOTHER reason to fulfill your patriotic duty AND ROOT FOR WEST VIRGINIA:

West Virginia actually has plays called "Double Quickie Potato," "Dirty Harry,"
and (my personal favorite) "Best Play Ever." Imagine the terror a defender must
feel when he hears Mountaineers coach John Beilein call out "Best Play Ever."

I know I've made it known over and over and over again, but it can never be said enough: I (heart) John Beilein. LET'S GO 'SNOGLES!

Hey, it's a post: Friday morning-ish

So I was just in my car for a little bit, and with nothing else on at the moment, I was forced to listen to Colin Cowherd's ESPN Radio show. I say "forced" because I don't particularly like Cowherd (the reasons are myriad, but here are the two best ones: 1. he's an admitted Pac-10 homer and inexplicable Notre Dame lover, and 2. in 2004 he said that if the Pistons beat the Lakers, it would "ruin basketball"). But I'll take "marginal sports talk" over "FM radio" most of the time nowdays, plus he was talking about the NFL draft. Anyway, as Cowherd sees it, there are seven "can't-miss" players in this draft. See if you can name them. Try to guess. Seriously. Bah, don't bother. You can't. The list is notable not for who's on it, but who's not. His Magnificent Seven? 1.) Reggie Bush, RB USC. 2.) D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OL Virginia. 3.) A.J. Hawk, LB OSU. 4.) Michael Huff, DB Texas. 5.) Matthias Kiwanuka, DE Boston College. 6.) Vernon Davis, TE Maryland. 7.) DeAngelo Williams, RB Memphis. Does any of this matter? Of course not. But I think it's interesting to see another person who is extremely leary of Leinart and Young. Is it because of the teams they're going to? Because I can't think of another reason to downgrade Leinart; he's as good a college QB as I've probably ever seen. [/begrudging]

This is the second mock draft I've seen that predicts the Lions to take Jay Freaking Cutler at #9. *Sigh* For what it's worth, he has the Browns taking Chad Greenway. How much that is worth, however, may be in question, as he has Kiwanuka dropping to #22.

What about replacing stud players leaving for the draft? More specifically, what about that bizarre, amorphous, ultimately meaningless world of recruiting rankings? MWB anti-fave Stewart "I may or may not look like Erin" Mandel has tackled top-rated recruiting classes of the past several years, and whether or not they lived up to the considerable hype. Bonus points for mentioning that, although Texas in 2002 is the only #1 class he feels was warranted in retrospect, he goes out of his way to talk about OSU's filthy-good class that year. Huzzah. (Link credit to EDSBS)

And while we're still tangentially talking about the NFL, word is getting out about all the hip celebrity parties going on in the Detroit area due to the Super Bowl festivities. Of course, there will be Maxim parties and a Playboy party, and Diddy will almost certainly have something going on (Diddy of the "P." variety, not of the "The" variety, in case you didn't know). Best reason to make the trek up? Four words for you: celebrity DJ Biz Markie.

Okay, so I'm watching "Cold Pizza" right now for some reason, and Jay Crawford is interviewing the newly-crowned NCAA "Woman of the Year" ... some ... diver from Tennessee. It's awfully awkward, because Crawford is marvelling at how the girl has called him "sir" and "Mr. Jay," and he so obviously is dying to get a hummer from this girl that I'm not sure whether I should laugh or cry or change the channel. Wait, this is "Cold Pizza," I know exactly what I'm gonna do.

In light of Wednesday night's UM/MSU game, where Michigan received an astounding 34-10 advantage in free throw attempts -- an advantage which prompted even noted UM homer MGoBlog to proclaim "Spartans got jacked something fierce" -- Wonk, or rather, Wonk's readers, venture into the murky waters of the "home court advantage" in Big Ten basketball. Worth it for the bizarre Tom Penders story alone, but also an interesting look into a phenomenon that we all seem to have just accepted in college basketball: blatant favoritism of the home team by officials.

I read a month or two ago about how pissed off Illinois fans are that some suburban Chicago phenom has chosen to go to Durham instead of Champaign. I'll bet they're really angry now. While Coach K. is laughing on his pile of money with many beautiful ladies.

Lastly, some SI college hoops writer has OSU at an admittedly lofty #12 in his personal "power rankings" this week. But that's not why the link is here. The link is here because Mr. Winn had the fantastic taste to compare Villanova's Mike Nardi to Don Flamenco from "Mike Tyson's Punch-Out." Bravo, sir. Bravo.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Why didn't I know it was going public!?!?!


So, wait, what do you mean that doesn't count?

I've seen several articles in the past week about now that the Seahawks are playing in the XL Bowl, there are only 6 NFL teams that haven't played in a Superbowl. For those of you that don't know, they are the Cardinals, Texans, Jaguars, New Orleans (it's plural now), and MWBs favorite teams, the Lions and Browns. In these articles, they [goddamn sports writers] keep saying that really only the Cardinals, Lions, Saints count as teams that haven't made it. Here are the reasons....

"The Texans and Jaguars are too new" - I'd agree with this. It's hard to fault teams for not making it when they've only been around a few years.
"The Browns don't count b\c they won at Baltimore" - I'm sorry could you say that again. Here's an actually quote from one of these articles. "Despite what the NFL says and what fans in the two cities think, the old Cleveland is really Baltimore, which won the Super Bowl after the 2000 season. Art Modell owned them, the same guy who owned them in 1966, the first year the game was played. He moved the Browns in 1996 and four years later, they made it to the game in Tampa and beat the Giants."
- My Response: Ahem...FUCK YOU!! I'm sorry dipshit, but winning the superbowl, and sports in general should be about the fans. The fans of that city's team. Modell ripped Cleveland's collective dick off by moving the team and now you think the Ravens' superbowl title should count as somehow relieving the pain of the Browns franchise? It doesn't make it better, it makes it 400 million times worse. And you, moronic sports media, thinking that it somehow counts as part of the Browns makes me crazy, friggin Kill-a-man-Ron-Goldman crazy.

Let me break it down for you this way Mr. Cockface. What if your fat-ugly wife divorces you, goes workout and plastic surgery crazy, becomes "model-hot", and marries Derek Jeter? Then you start complaining that you can't get any hot women, but your friends say, "well, your ex-wife is friggin smokin hot". You think that's gonna make it all better? Fir christ's sake, it's much, much worse. SO SHUTUP!! But yeah, the Lions, they do suck.

Also, I'm angry that WVU lost to Marshall. I need a nap.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The weekend that was


The conference championship games were appallingly one-sided and boring. Boo-urns. But then, the homogenized NFL is usually boring, so I guess that wasn't so new. Still, "playoff football" has a ring to it that usually gets me interested, so I watched. The dreadful games took my interest and fuh-lushed it. Ah well. Let the Fortnight of Over-analcysting and the Bash Detroit wars begin!

College basketball:

Pretty decent weekend for my selfish personal rooting interests, all things considered. The Buckeyes took out a suddenly-pesky Penn State team, one that recently throttled Purdue and earned their first in-conference road win since the Brothers Crispin roamed the Nittany Kitty backcourt. It was a tough one because Terence Dials spent much of the game either foul- or injury-prone, to the point where the Bucks occasionally had no one on the court taller than Matt Sylvester. I wasn't happy about the 3-pt FG number jumping up again (23 threes attempted, compared to the 15 in the Wisconsin W), but a win is, indeed, a win.

Speaking of the Steenking Badgers, they lost at home to North Dakota State, 62-55. I didn't even know that North Dakota had a "state." "Inexplicable" does not even begin to describe this result. More from (who is) Andy Katz. (Link credits to Wonk).

Duke lost to Georgetown. Billy Fudge was noticeably angry.

Our beloved Fighting Pittsnogles went on the road and beat UCLA, 60-56, and have now jumped up to 9th in the AP poll. Pittsnogle himself only notched 8 points, but that can largely be forgiven since, as the article points out, he may have been a bit distracted. Why? Well, let's just say that within the next few weeks we can be expecting the SPAWN OF PITTSNOGLE. Congrats to him and his special lady friend. In other news, the Gansey Man can, Marge. The Gansey Man can.

The #2 Florida Gators lost to Tennessee, 80-76. I am largely okay with Florida doing this well. Thus far in the season, they have played one team that is currently ranked, and at the moment, they are the only SEC team that's ranked. Such a confluence of circumstances could land them a #1 seed, which would go a long way in making Jeff and my dreams come true (please please please)...

Media bashing:

Yay for more: it's Detroit-centric, and, in particular, Lions-new-coach-centric, but the writer highlights a lot of problems sports columnists exhibit nowadays, and he hits on two of my favorite Detroit media targets: resident Sports Bastards Drew Sharp and Rob Parker. It's worth a read, trust me, and not only because the blog sports what is probably the best sports-oriented name in the blogosphere.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Soliciting help Re: 80s music

So here's the deal: over winter break in 2002 (mere days before a certain glorious happening which I will not mention because pfft I mean come on), I was bored at home with the fam and took to constructing a massive and extensive collection of my favorite 80s tunes. I spent approximately three and a half hours listing songs, illegally downloading them, and burning them into an "Avast, me hearties" CD collection. My sudden motivation for this undertaking was murky at the time and has only grown more inexplicable in retrospect. But for that mid-afternoon, lord, I was a-downloadin'.

Now, this is relevant to our discussions on here in no particular way. I have recently decided that the aforementioned 4-disc master mix of 80s tunes needs to be updated, as I am sure there are omissions both glaring and numerous. So I come to you, five loyal MWB readers, asking for suggestions as to what could possibly go on the fifth and possibly (*eep*) sixth entries in this hopefully-burgeoning compilation. To avoid redundancies (Speaking of which, I think this week's episode of "The Office: Not Ricky Gervais Edition" has probably come closer to duplicating the Oh Jesus Christ awkward of the British version than any previous episode of the inferior but absolutely adequate American bastardization. Carry on), I am listing the tracks on the four previous discs. Suggestions would be Dawsome. I made that word up, and in a "made up" way, not in a "new meaning" way. Al will vouch for me. Anyway, here we go...

Disc One
1.) Cutting Crew - I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight
2.) Katrina and the Waves - I'm Walking on Sunshine
3.) Stray Cats - Stray Cat Strut
4.) Duran Duran - Save a Prayer
5.) Huey Lewis and the News - The Power of Love
6.) Richard Marx - Right Here Waiting
7.) Don Henley - Boys of Summer
8.) Real Life - Send Me an Angel
9.) Modern English - Melt With You
10.) Nena - 99 Luftballoons
11.) Lionel Richie - How to Stalk and Seduce a Blind Girl
12.) The Romantics - What I Like About You
13.) Journey - Separate Ways
14.) After the Fire - Der Kommissar
15.) Bryan Adams - Heaven
16.) The Fixx - One Thing Leads to Another
17.) Night Ranger - Sister Christian

Disc Two
1.) Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Relax
2.) Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come on Eileen (whoa, that grammar makes that title look a little more, uh ... icky sticky-er than it should. Let's make that...) Come on, Eileen (much better)
3.) Journey - Don't Stop (Pause) Believin'
4.) Blondie - Call Me
5.) The Bangles - Eternal Flame (and a mighty roar comes up from Todd)
6.) The Police - Every Breath You Take
7.) John Waite - Missing You
8.) Wham! - Everything She Wants (single version)
9.) Peter Gabriel - In Your Eyes
10.) Violent Femmes - Blister in the Sun
11.) Soft Cell - Tainted Love
12.) Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart
13.) INXS - I Need You Tonight
14.) Tears for Fears - Head Over Heels
15.) The Go-Gos - Head Over Heels
16.) Kajagoogoo - Too Shy
17.) Corey Hart - Sunglasses at Night
18.) Simple Minds - Don't You (Forget About Me)

Disc Three
1.) A Flock of Seagulls - I Ran
2.) Blondie - One Way or Another
3.) Glenn Frey - The Heat is On
4.) Human League - Human
5.) Eurythmics - Here Comes the Rain Again
6.) Ann Wilson & Mike Reno - Almost Paradise
7.) Bryan Adams - Summer of '69
8.) Toto - Africa
9.) Toni Basil - Mickey
10.) The Police - Don't Stand So Close to Me
11.) Madonna - Crazy For You
12.) Duran Duran - Hungry Like the Wolf
13.) Scandal - Goodbye to You
14.) Thompson Twins - Hold Me Now
15.) Rick Springfield - Jessie's Girl
16.) Wang Chung - Dance Hall Days
17.) Adam Ant - Goody Two Shoes
18.) REO Speedwagon - Keep on Loving You

Disc Four
1.) Wham! - Careless Whisper
2.) Bow Wow Wow - I Want Candy
3.) Spandau Ballet - True
4.) The Romantics - Talking in Your Sleep
5.) Tears for Fears - Everybody Wants to Rule the World
6.) The Cars - Drive
7.) INXS - Never Tear Us Apart
8.) Tommy Tutone - 867-5309 (Jenny)
9.) Devo - Whip It
10.) A-ha - Take on Me
11.) Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time
12.) Huey Lewis and the News - Do You Believe in Love?
13.) Big Country - In a Big Country
14.) 'Til Tuesday - Voices Carry
15.) Kenny Loggins - I'm Free (Heaven Helps the Man)
16.) J. Geils Band - Centerfold
17.) Human League - Don't You Want Me
18.) New Order - Shellshock

Once again, I would greatly appreciate suggestions for more songs. Obviously, variety is of paramount concern, but I am just as obviously not opposed to having multiple songs on here from the same artist. Please aid me in my hack patchworking of a ginormous 80s mix. Danke.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Less than 48 hours .... and counting.

That's right sports fans. Less than 2 days until Nipsey's favorite compound word in the English language. That's right. It's time for MLS SuperDraft!
Remember. It's not just a draft. It's a SuperDraft!
And with the Crew owning 2 first round picks (3rd and 9th) after having none last year, I'm quivering with excitement over the fact of going into this utter crapshoot and getting a few new guys I've never heard of before.

Actually I've heard of and even watched consensus #1 pick Marvell Wynne (DEF) at this past summer's U-20 World Championships (side note: U-20 coach is the Crew's new head coach). He was freakin' awesome and may have been the best player on the field not named Freddy Adu. He was like Frankie Hejduk, only younger and with a better cross. And with shorter hair. And black.

There were rumors that the Crew were trying to move up to #1 overall to get him, but they've cooled in the past day or so. We actually have just acquired a bunch of defenders so getting Wynne seems less and less likely.
I can live with not getting Wynne, but I'm hoping we get a couple guys from the following list. They sound pretty good. But who knows?

Sacha Kljestan – M – Seton Hall
Jason Garey – F – Maryland (this guy won the Hermann, which is soccer's Heisman)
Jacob Peterson – F – Indiana

Okay, now that you've sat through one of my patented soccer-related diatribes, I shall reward you with the MWB's bread and butter: college football. (Note: I wrote all of this before Fu wrote the post below, so for a more in-depth and better-written discussion on some of this, just scroll down.)

On CFN's Tuesday Question, they asked the 4 CFN guys this question:

"Give your ridiculously early pre-pre-pre-preseason top three."

Okay, I guess that's more of a command than a question, but you get the idea.
So, here are the lists given by Fiutak, Cirminiello, Harris, and Zemek

1. Texas
2. Florida
3. Florida State

1. Florida
2. Notre Dame
3. Texas

1. Ohio State
2. LSU
3. USC

1. Ohio State
2. West Virgina
3. Auburn

Wow!!! Talk about a lack of consensus. There were only 4 "ballots" and no team was on more than 2. And a total of 9 teams made it into those 12 slots. NINE!!! ("Nine times?" "Nine times.") I mean if this is any indication of what all the coaches/pollsters are thinking, that first preseason poll is gonna be crazy go nuts. And you think that game in Austin might have some implications? I guess Ohio State comes out the best in all of this since they were #1 on the 2 lists on which they appeared. Honestly, I can't remember a bigger preseason clusterfuck at the top in my lifetime. This is all a potentially hypothetical possibility, I know. But, it does get me awfully juicy for the 2006 college football season.

On things which are being analyzed WAY too early

Keith over at Buckeye Commentary has put up some preliminary, way-too-early projections for next year's offense and defense. Suffice it to say, will not jump all over that kind of analcysting until, like, at least the summer. But the following jumped out at me, and I had been meaning to talk about it anyway:

Last week, Beano Cook (yes, he is still around) offered his much-too-early guess for next year's BCS Title game. He predicted a rematch of Notre Dame / Ohio State, this time ND coming out on top. His prognostication comes on the heels of CBS Sportsline and doing their own much-too-early guesses for 2006 college football rankings. Both had Ohio State highly ranked and there is growing sentiment that '06 could be another run for a Title. (Jack Fu: it bears mentioning that Pat Forde has us as his preseason #2 behind Texas as well, plus he wrote the damn thing before VY declared)

All right, that's just silly. This team is returning TWO defensive starters! It looks like OSU next year is going to be heavily displaying two of the classic symptoms of overrated teams, according to Jonathan Chait over at Slate.

First, they're probably going to be piggybacking on the reputation of a superior team from the previous year. You all know that I am the most fretful and least homer-ish Buckeye that, well, all of you have probably ever known. But by the end of this past season, I think OSU could have beaten absolutely anyone on a neutral field. In a hypothetical ten game series on a neutral field, I think the Bucks would have been 4-6 vs. USC, 5-5 vs. Tay-hass, and 7-3 vs. PSU. Maybe I've become a rampant homer, I don't know. But I truly believe that. And next year's team, at the beginning of the year, will be benefitting from how fantastic last year's team was, when last year's team featured a fearsome defense that, at least at the beginning of the upcoming season, 2006's team has 0% chance of replicating.

And that leads us to the second one: it's pretty much a universal truth, in college football and in most sports in general, that, as Chait said, "teams with great offenses and shaky defenses tend to be overrated, while teams with great defenses and shaky offenses are usually underrated." Hey, that sounds like the 2006 Buckeyes in a nutshell, at least at this point in the way-too-early analcyst process. Since I say it all the time regarding other teams, I have to say it now regarding the Bucks: we are gonna be OVERRATED going into next year. Let's hope I'm wrong. We'll certainly find out on September 9th... (And let me just add that Keith is 100% right: Antonio Pittman DID have the most unassuming 1,350-yard season I can remember.)

Further way-too-earlyage comes from Yoni Cohen over at Fox Sports. He has up his preliminary NCAA Tournament bracket. Halfway through January. Whatever, it's never too early for some Bracketology (speaking of, Joe Lunardi was brought out of his cryogenic hibernation, making his first appearance today, going on Cold Pizza to pimp his first bracket, in which he has OSU as the 5-seed in the East playing Witchita State, with a second-round matchup with 4-seed UCLA likely). Yoni has OSU a 4-seed in the East, playing Winthrop. His comment about the Bucks is "Would you bet against Thad Matta? I wouldn't." Tasty. Apparently, Yoni thinks of Matta as something of a coaching super-genius. Let's hope that works out, and he's more of a Bill Belichick super-genius than a Mike Martz sooper-genius. Other pertinent info for he has 7 Big Ten teams in, and the Fighting Pittsnogles a 4-seed in the South.

End communication.

Re-start communication to add:

More way-too-earlyage! Matt Hayes has also flung feces against the wall in hopes that some of it will stick, posting his top-10 for next year, along with the obligatory "it's way too early" verbiage. Especially relevant to the above discussion is the fact that he has OSU #1. Especially idiotic is this comment: "Beat Texas in Austin and the rest of the ride is cake." Um, maybe relatively speaking, but those late September games against PSU and at Iowa will hardly be cake. You moron. He also has Troy Smith on his short list of Heisman contenders. I guess, maybe.

More of the same here.

More of Gene Wojisewleiufhwehski being an idiot here.

I meant to link to it yesterday, but obviously, we're doing this next year. Lots.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Yay for mainstream media bashing! has expounded on several occasions about our dislike for a certain kind of sports media personality, and I was delighted to find a few pertinent sites which offer more enlightenment on the subject. The first is a fantastic explanation of what I had previously labeled the "devil's advocate" school of sports journalism, courtesy of the UofM blog iBlog for Cookies. The gorgeous definition of the "school" is located under the second "ubiquitous trait that bugs the hell out of (him)." It is a refinement of what we here at the MWB have tried to say, but have never bothered to put into the eloquent words utilized therein (Although I have to say that I don't share his dislike of Jim Rome, mainly because, despite the admittedly true observation that Rome offers no genuine insight into ... well, anything, I just find the guy really funny. I don't listen to him to acquire insight; I listen to laugh, and I do more often than not).

The second thingy is a neat little feature on Deadspin titled "Why your hometown columnist sucks." To describe the ongoing piece as "boneriffic" would be a mild understatement. But the best thing is that it tackles two persistent targets of's vitriol: Dan LeBatard and Skip Bayless. Yay for bashing. Yay.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Why college football is better than the NFL (plus hoops)

This past weekend, the NFL featured four really close games, one of which was otherworldly in its twists and turns, and still I sat there, breathing a big sigh of meh. That's when it fully hit me, a truth that I really did know all along, but which largely escaped verbalizing for me: I just do not give a crap about the NFL. On top of all of the homogenization, and the fact that you're rooting for employees of a corporation instead of kids representing a university, the games just don't offer that excitement or tantalization that the college game has in spades. If the four games over the weekend were played, with the exact same scores occurring, but the games featured Georgia and Florida, Texas and Oklahoma, OSU and Michigan, and Miami and Florida State, I would have been spellbound. As it was, I was whelmed. Not "overwhelmed" or "underwhelmed," but just whelmed. There, I created a word.

Bonus link which was funny at first and became a helluva lot funnier after yesterday: Lil' Ronnie really wanted the Colts to win. Poor kid. (Caution: watch out for the sound. It came up really loud on my computer when the page opened. But sit back and feel the vibe. You could get lost in that groove.)

Also on the weekend sports front, the Buckeye hoopsters lost a painfully predictable game with Michigan State yesterday. I say that because the game was predictable in outcome, if not intricacies. For instance, MSU is hailed as a pretty good team on the glass, which matches up ricockulously poorly for us, since our main, glaring weakness is rebounding; however, yesterday the Spartans only outboarded us 40-38 (and we pounded them on the offensive boards 13-6. WTF, mate?). Secondly, the Bucks had been living and dying - but mostly winning - with the three-pointer this year, but on this day we shot a measly 19% on triples (and 32% for the game. As Wonk would no doubt say, ye gods). Third, Je'Kel Foster and Maurice Ager, a couple of solid scoring guards who came in averaging an aggregate of about 37 points per game, went for 8 and 2 points, respectively. But, as I said, for all the anomalies each team exhibited, the outcome was fairly predictable: the Bucks would lose a close one. The two teams, when watching the game and looking at the stats afterward - and I have no tempo-free info, since Wonk is taking the day off - really appear to be as equal as you can get. The difference is that the Buckeyes are stupid, as Todd and I discussed yesterday after the game. The shot selection from the admittedly hot-shooting (normally) guards is about as poor as you can get. And with the fantastic position that Dials gets down low, the number of relatively easy baskets he misses is positively infuriating. To do all that work in getting to the point where he has a nice four-foot bunny of a shot, and then miss them as often as he does, just drives me crazygonuts. Seriously, it's getting me frustrated just thinking about it.

Thankfully, we have our other bitches, the West Virginia Fighting Pittsnogles, to help us get over it. They cranked out a Big East-record 20 three-pointers in their 104-85 drubbing of Marquette. Hurray for the 'Snogles hurray.

Edited to add: This humorous link, which was pointed out to me yesterday by a friend of Enjoy.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

On slut-asses and "slash" fiction

SO I was looking through our visitor history, and someone reached the MWB today by searching MSN for "Tommy Bowden's slut-ass daughter." I couldn't be more proud. And in case you didn't know, the idea for this feature was brazenly stolen from Brian at MGoBlog, who had a much funnier search engine, uh ... search ... lead a visitor to his site: "Stan Marsh / Kyle Broflovski slash fiction." Read more. And shudder, like I did.

Edited to add: More linkage!

On the zookeeper letting out the pythons!

On the fallacy that USC was going for its third straight title!

On the CFB BlogPoll All-America Team! (No mention on who the nation's leader in "sackles" was, though [/Holtz])

On the Buckeye hoopsters (for nerdasses, from the leader of the college basketball world's "tempo-free" stats-based mini-revolution, Ken Pomeroy)!

*wink* I'm flirting with you.

Fiu Chimes In

Regarding a discussion which cropped up in the comments to the previous post, Pete Fiutak has chimed in on the subject of Maurice Clarett and Marcus Vick, and the mini-campaign of sympathy which has arisen in their favor:

"'I'd prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to.' ... Nope, don't come looking here for a single ounce of pity for Vick or Clarett, and a 'get over yourself' goes out to anyone who blames 'the system.' Vick has had everything handed to him from God-given athletic ability to a superstar older brother to learn from to not having to worry about money again for the rest of his existence to first round NFL talent that just needs to be honed. Clarett might have been given some horrendous advice, but too bad. Two words for both of you, if you're looking to do something constructive, and your future career choices if you like to play with guns: I, Raq."

Also, regarding Gene Wojesasdfoioasdhf's article which sparked the discussion, I fail to see how Baby Mexico's "hard-knock life" comes into play when you realize that he was brandishing a gun at someone in the parking lot of a MacDonald's in what Gene himself called "upscale Suffolk," where Mama Mexico currently resides...

Monday, January 09, 2006

I think that's all of them


To be honest, after Whitner left, this one surprises me less. I'm a little upset they both left, but hey, I think a ashton/donte for vince young is a good trade.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Good decision, Vince


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Charlie Weis Hates Retards

And, no, I'm not joking. Cave informed me of this last night, but since he doesn't ever look at, let alone comment, I'll take responsibility for announcing this to all 4 of our loyal readers.

So where do we get this impression? Well, Cave, being a senior student athletic trainer with the Ohio State football team traveled with the team to Tempe for the 2006 Fiesta Bowl. One of the nights before the game, Charlie Weis spoke to both the Notre Dame and OSU football teams and a few other people at an organized event.

Cave was not in attendance at this event, but apparently some of the things Charlie said really made an impression on the Buckeye football players and they couldn't stop talking about it afterwards. So what did Charlie say that was so interesting? Well, Charlie apparently has a daughter who is mentally challenged and what he decided to tell everyone about her is that he thinks that she is Satan and she is a test from God, so he treats her as such. Yes, you read that right. has always endorsed offensive behavior, but even I find this despicable and ridiculous. Not only do I find it sad that he could view his own daughter in such a way, but it warrants mentioning that for his belief to hold any water, this would mean that God would have to be in league with Satan in order to execute this test - and that just seems ridiculous by anybody's religious standard, especially for a graduate and coach of a Catholic university.

And in case there was any doubt, the OSU football players felt pretty much the same way. To put it succinctly, the team generally felt that Charlie is a gigantic prick. I only hope that the team was a little more fired up to face his team on the gridiron.

I didn't quite know what to think of Charlie when he got hired at Notred Dame. However, after hearing this story and the arrogant words Charlie had during the pre-Fiesta Bowl press conferences (e.g., Charlie declaring that one of his Super Bowl rings is worth more than all five of Tressel's college championship rings put together), I realized that Weis is an arrogant, pathetic, and despicable human being. I thought I hated Notre Dame, but now I hate Notre Dame and the only thing that ranks up there near having teams or players to root for is having teams or players to root against. And boy am I going to root hard against Notre Dame.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Sweet merciful fuck

Fucking shit.

Edited to add:

Also, the 11-0 Buckeye hoopsters are probably gonna get their first loss today, in their first super-big challenge of the season, on the road at Indiana. We all know what happens at Assembly Hall: the Loosiers shoot 65% on threes and shoot 3-to-4 times as many free throws as their opponent. Plus, they have Killingsworth (maybe neutralized by Dials) and D.J. White (we have no one else over 6'5" on the team except Sideshow Matt Terwilliger, and he and Dials are never on the floor at the same time). Hence, our boys are in some trouble. And as if my apprehension wasn't enough CNNSI's Seth Davis thinks we have no chance too! *GASP*

Also, I just wanted to point out how truly idiotic this NYT piece turned out to be. *snicker/guffaw*

(Okay, you apparently need a NYT membership to read the article. The gist: the guy picked Michigan and Louisville to play in the Rose Bowl this past year. I KNOW!)

Marcus Vick Forced to Ball Hard with No One in Particular

Apparently Marcus Vick was under intense scrutiny in the days following his stomping of Elvis Dumervil's calf in the Gator Bowl, and rightfully so, although I can't claim to have seen any press regarding the topic. It was a dirty, dirty move that angered me (and Nipsey, Jack, and Diddy and everyone else watching the game with us) and I'd be upset if it slipped under the radar.

It seems Vick's previous legal issues, coupled with recent legal run-ins and the obvious cleating of Dumervil's leg on national television have finally drawn the last bit of patience out of the Virginia Tech administration. He was kicked off the team earlier today.

Virginia Tech's program isn't exactly a beacon of morality, but it certainly isn't the worst case either. Marcus Vick generated a lot of press and interest in the team, and I, for one, am glad that they were able to pull the trigger here and show some integrity.

I'm also thrilled that this scandal didn't involve an Ohio State player. YAAAAAAAYYY! (Skiing!)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Texas 41, USC 38

Wow. That was one badassshithell of a game. Vince Young is one of the badinest badasses to ever badass the college game. And he's charismatic as shit, apparently, as I watch the postgame celebration. Let's hope the agents find a way to get around the Chinese Wall Mack Brown's gonna try to build around him and tell him he's gonna go number 1 so that he GETS THE FUCK out of Texas before September of next year when the Buckeyes roll into Austin. [/praying]

Speaking of number 1 in the draft, the OMG superhuman Reginald Bush was pretty much a non-factor. Matt Leinart, in his last college game, was anything but: 29/40 for 367. Whoever gets him in the draft is gonna be VERY happy.

And, of course, one now has to comment on ESPN's ridiculously masturbatory USC pieces which clogged up the airwaves for a few weeks. As Fiu said in his game preview, it is not a good idea to piss of the CFB karma Gods by prematurely pulling out the "greatest ever?" card. In pointing out '83 Nebraska, '02 Miami, and '03 Oklahoma as the most obvious examples, he said "the college football karma Gods tend to kick teams in the cheese and biscuits when they're being called the best ever before the job is actually finished," and even likened ESPN's idiotic series to "Dewey Defeats Truman." His SOC is already up, finishing with this line: "Never ever ever ever run a Greatest Team of All-Time series until the game is played." Amen, good sir. Amen. Brian from MGoBlog has already chipped in what will probably end up being my favorite crack about this whole business, as he asked on an EDSBS post "is USC the best one-loss team of all-time?"

My only other lingering thought is that - and I never thought I'd say this - there were hotter cheerleaders on the field than the USC Song Girls in their white sweaters. The Longhorn cheer team's ultra-short-shorts-plus-chaps combination awakened the libidos of thousands of prepubescent college football fans. HOTT. Yep. Two "T"s.

More tomorrow. Maybe.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Thebowl.challenge: One game left!

Hola, kiddies. I arrived back at home from one of my semi-yearly pilgrimages to Columbus yesterday, not having checked or the super duper thebowl.challenge in several days. So now, a scant two hours from gameti-- urr, the beginning of the yawn-worthy "fellate USC"-fest (Sidenote: Shelley Smith is reporting on her conversation with Leinart's Dad right now on SportsCenter) that the pregame is going to be, I'm going to update everyone on what our little standings are, as well as who should be rooting for whom and who will win if Texas wins and when USC wins.

1Charlie Weiss is FatJ. Wise17-101256
2Santa's Little HelperMaw and Paw Moyer18-98250
3This is My EntryP. Wholezinga17-1023247
3Splatterdome Brady QuinnJ. Moyer17-1011247
3Steven ScrumptiousJ. Maynard17-102247
6Jew-Drew BreesT. Hykes16-118234
6DurhamR. Durham16-1125234
8Unoriginal BastardR. Davis15-1228230
9NyholmM. Nyholm14-1311212
10Tedd E Inge 4 HeismanS. Mizer15-124211
11Wiggly Jiggly's PickliesZ. Zaret14-1315202
12LEEEEEROOOOOYYY!E. Fairchild12-1525198
13Big Jim Slade's WinnersA. Schill13-1413182
14ShinyK. Sandberg14-1314172

Anyway, what does all this mean? (Sidenote #2: Wilbon just predicted a 42-40 final score for tonight's game. I guarun-Goddamn-TEE you that the score won't be that high. People just flat-out don't give a shit about defense, and Texas plays great defense, so an extremely strong facet of their team is being completely ignored. More on this, sort of, later) I examined who everyone picked for tonight's OMG BIG GAME, and discovered that 9 people picked Texas while 5 went with USC. Somewhat surprising. Anyway, if the Tro-men beat Tay-hass, the top 5 of the pick 'em will end up looking like this, barring some unforeseen math dumbassedness from me:

1DurhamR. Durham18-100259
2Splatterdome Brady QuinnJ. Moyer18-100258
2Santa's Little HelperMaw and Paw Moyer19-90258
2Unoriginal BastardR. Davis16-120258
5Charlie Weiss is FatJ. Wise17-110256

According to my admittedly rudimentary calculations, we won't end up with nearly the Mongolian clusterfaulk at the top of the leaderboard if a Texas victory results. To wit:

1This is My EntryP. Wholezingah18-100270
2Charlie Weiss is FatJ. Wise18-100257
3Santa's Little HelperMaw and Paw Moyer17-110250
4Steven ScrumptiousJ. Maynard18-100249
5Splatterdome Brady QuinnJ. Moyer17-110247

Hence, despite being in the lead right now, "Charlie Weiss is Fat" has a 0.0% chance of winning this thing. Also, I want to kill ESPN for not recognizing that I picked Alabama to beat Texas Tech, suffering an infuriating loss of 21 points because of my "no pick" in that game. It also bears mentioning that I inexplicably lost my 28, 27, AND 26-point games (Michigan, Auburn, and Georgia, respectively). And I'm still guarunteed of finishing in the top-5 of this thing. You morons.

Also, regarding USC-Texas, and more specifically all the "OMG USC IS THE BEST TEAM EVER EVER EVER EVER" bullshit, here's the link to the slate article I talked about - at length - this week. Huzzah. Go Longhorns. Fuck USC. And the popular sports media.


Edited at 7:58 to add: Sorry, Texas. I was rooting for you. But Corso just picked the 'Horns to "shock the universe" and beat USC. Fowler agreed, but the damage had already been done. Time to go watch Keith Jackson ruin what will probably be a good game. Again.