File under more media bashing. And funny.
"About as funny as watching a child die of inoperable brain cancer" - a not-so-loyal reader
File under more media bashing. And funny.
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.
|TEAM||Home Disp.||Road Disp.||HC Adv.|
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.
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:
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."
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]
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....
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'.
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!
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, theblog.net 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 ESPN.com 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 theblog.net: he has 7 Big Ten teams in, and the Fighting Pittsnogles a 4-seed in the South.
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.
Theblog.net 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).
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.
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.
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:
And, no, I'm not joking. Cave informed me of this last night, but since he doesn't ever look at theBlog.net, let alone comment, I'll take responsibility for announcing this to all 4 of our loyal readers.
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.
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]
Hola, kiddies. I arrived back at home from one of my semi-yearly pilgrimages to Columbus yesterday, not having checked theblog.net 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.
|1||Charlie Weiss is Fat||J. Wise||17-10||1||256|
|2||Santa's Little Helper||Maw and Paw Moyer||18-9||8||250|
|3||This is My Entry||P. Wholezinga||17-10||23||247|
|3||Splatterdome Brady Quinn||J. Moyer||17-10||11||247|
|3||Steven Scrumptious||J. Maynard||17-10||2||247|
|6||Jew-Drew Brees||T. Hykes||16-11||8||234|
|8||Unoriginal Bastard||R. Davis||15-12||28||230|
|10||Tedd E Inge 4 Heisman||S. Mizer||15-12||4||211|
|11||Wiggly Jiggly's Picklies||Z. Zaret||14-13||15||202|
|13||Big Jim Slade's Winners||A. Schill||13-14||13||182|
|2||Splatterdome Brady Quinn||J. Moyer||18-10||0||258|
|2||Santa's Little Helper||Maw and Paw Moyer||19-9||0||258|
|2||Unoriginal Bastard||R. Davis||16-12||0||258|
|5||Charlie Weiss is Fat||J. Wise||17-11||0||256|
|1||This is My Entry||P. Wholezingah||18-10||0||270|
|2||Charlie Weiss is Fat||J. Wise||18-10||0||257|
|3||Santa's Little Helper||Maw and Paw Moyer||17-11||0||250|
|4||Steven Scrumptious||J. Maynard||18-10||0||249|
|5||Splatterdome Brady Quinn||J. Moyer||17-11||0||247|