Tuesday, February 28, 2006

More than meme's the eye

Okay, the paper is coming along swimmingly (yeah, that's a lie), but I've noticed that reader interaction has been apathetic at best recently. And, since I noticed this little interwebs meme going around the CFB blogging community, I thought we should give it a try here, just so's to get peoples talking. And, uh ... stuff. For flavor, the original is over at Gunslingers, and EDSBS's response is nyah.

To play along, please answer the following questions honestly. If you have "contributor" status and can make posts, please put your response in a post of your own. If you don't have such capabilities, post you answers in a comment to this post. Have fun and be honest. No one likes liars.

1.) What is the worst DVD/video you own? Everyone has one. On the stack of videos there's always one that you got because it was on sale and you planned on renting it anyway, or you got it as a gift, or something. And there it sits. Staring back at you. When friends or acquaintances come over and naturally see what movies you have, you consider it like a puss-filled cold sore, hoping others ignore it but admitting that it's too blatantly obvious, especially considering your own awesome awesome taste in movies. Spousally owned movies do not count (Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde would win in a landslide, but that was the Lady's before marriage and remains hers alone now).

2.) What is the worst concert you've ever seen in person? This is a more open-ended question. It can be a terrible artist that you ended up seeing for some reason (work, a friend had free tickets, you were assigned to write a review). It can be a favorite (or would-be favorite if not for this show) artist who just sucked the o-ring out of an ass on that particular night. Have at it.

3.) What is the worst experience you've ever had at a restaurant? Another open-ended question. This can be poor service, poor food, whatever. It can be a robbery by a crackhead, foiled by quick-footed African janitors. It can be a drive through experience.

4.) What is the worst movie you've ever seen in the theatre? Self explanatory.

5.) What is the worst book you've actually finished? You can't say "I read a few pages and it sucked so bad I put it down..." You have to have finished the book. Fiction or non-fiction. No matter.

6.) Who is the worst looking or least appealing celebrity you would have intimate relations with "just to tell the story"? Assume marital or other obligations did not exist. Assume no consequences arise therefrom. Here's where we find out just how disgusting my readers are. The person must be a celebrity though - as in needs no introduction or explanation. The opposite gender is not required.

Go hog wild.

College Basketball

Consider the head-case that is Oklahoma St. Can someone explain to me what they're doing? First, they're 15-14 overall, they've beat both Tennessee AND Texas. Those are both considered quasi-elite teams this year. And they didn't just beat them, they crushed them. Vols by 16, and 'Horns by 21. Now, 3 weeks before they beat Texas by 21, they had lost to them...by 34!!! How has this not been mentioned? Last night they should have beat Oklahoma (more on that in a sec**) which would have given them 3 of the best wins in CBB this year. Also, this team has lost, at HOME to Northwestern St. Now, my people tell me NW St. is good, but c'mon. Now, no one is talking about the 'pokes for an at-large bid, and rightfully so. But they are talking up Colorado and TAMU. To be fair, if you include those teams in discussions, wouldn't you have to include the pokes? I think all these teams are crap, but figuring out how a team can beat/dominate really good team and lose to many mediocre ones is perplexing to me at best.

**Last night OU beat Ok St by 1. The game featured these 2 highlights....
1) OU F\C\SWM Bookout caught an outlet pass at the foul-line(!!) and proceded to drive in and dunk the ball ahead of everyone else. Not interesting you say? Consider these factors...
a) He did so without taking one dribble (impressive)
b) Bookout has NO veritcal leap (impossible)
c) when he caught the ball he was stopped and facing the other direction (IMPROBABLE)
Summary...A guy who can't jump and didn't dribble, caught the ball, TURNED AROUND, then drove in and dunked, yes, from the foul line. At minimum, he took 4 steps. This play was not ruled a travel.

2) Later, Ok St hits 2 FTs go up up by 1, giving OU 4.6 seconds to go the length of the floor to score. But guess what? They made it to half court with 0.6 seconds when an Ok St. player attempted to take a moving charge, foul on him, OU guy hits both FTs, game over. Seriously.

(All of these things happened in the last 10 seconds of the game)
--I was laughing so hard, I still can't believe it all happened.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Links are good for your health

I have two papers to finish in the next couple days, so ... yeah.

On the plus side, we're obviously in touch with a solid market, considering that we're getting traffic from searches for "norwegian curling, calender" and "austrian curling babes." But the best part is that someone actually reached theblog.net using this (THIS!) yahoo search.
(Update: like, five minutes after I made this post, someone else got the site using this search, where we were conveniently the #1 match. Boys, I think we found the key to pumping up the readership numbers!)
(Update to the udpate: you can add "lisa guerrero nude" and "john daly says screw trying to deal with alcoholism" to the list of searches which took interweb surfers to the MWB. I feel good about us going after this market, guys.)

Now, each and every loyal MWB reader is well aware of our, uh, distaste for one Skip Bayless. It was never in doubt that we were not alone in this regard, but I am happy to report that there are others who 1.) clearly share our feelings, and 2.) are MUCH more creative than we are. So, I present unto you, via Van Dusen Speaks, Important Historical Events as Chronicled by Skip Bayless, parts one and two. I think this is my favorite, from "April 13, 1952":

You mean to tell me your new fancy vaccine that everyone is talking about involves actually injecting the polio virus into yourself. Spare me, Dr. Salk. Next time I want to avoid drowning I should probably drive my car into the East River, right? And you wonder why nobody likes doctors...

The rumor mill says Vince Young scored a 6 on the wonderlic: argle bargle or fooforah? (There's a 99% chance that only Jeff gets that joke.)

If you ever wondered what it would be like to see the "Bride v. GoGo" fight in "Kill Bill Vol. 1" with "Mario Bros." sound effects and the "Super Mario 2" theme playing in the background the whole time, well, wonder no more.

Finally ... I mean, this has been linked friggin' everywhere, but if my compadres have not yet seen it, denying them the opportunity would be truly cruel. Ladies and gents, I give you mad photoshop genius ... Chewbacca.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I have ESPN Classic now!

Yep, totally. And on like the second day after I found out about this new development in my ongoing shitty relationship with Satan - I mean, Comcast - the "Old Bowling, Billiards, and Boxing" channel actually came through by showing a classic college basketball game which I find fascinating: Duke's monumental upset of UNLV in the 1991 Final Four.

This game has always intrigued me, for a few reasons. First and foremost, I didn't get to see it when it happened. I was 10 years old, and we were driving back home from Florida after Easter break. Yep, IN the car. While the Final Four was happening. Consequently, my only recollection of the game is listening to it on the radio, over the AM feed of some shitty sports-talk station from ... Baton Rouge, I think. Secondly, the psychological aspects of the game were particularly noteworthy. In the 1990 title game, UNLV creamed Duke by 30, still the most lopsided title game in tournament history. Duke lost 3 starters from that team; Vegas lost 1, and returned their top 5 scorers. Duke was visibly intimidated in 1990 (most notably Bobby Hurley, who got eaten alive by Greg Anthony), and UNLV had a swagger of "we know we're gonna kick your ass" that I've only seen in one or two other college basketball teams (Gordon, Okafor, and UConn in '04; Kentucky in '96; maybe Kansas in '97, even though they lost). The rematch in '91 afforded no small degree of interesting matchups and storylines.

The last reason is, Cheeses H. Cripes that UNLV team was loaded, and they absolutely blew the doors off of every team they played that year, and I really just ... I mean, how the hell did they lose? History has not been particularly kind to that '91 Rebel team, maybe because of the sanctions they ended up with, I don't know. But last year when ESPN was doing all their "top 25 (whatever)" lists, they did a "top 25 teams" of the ESPN era, and '90 UNLV was on there, but '91 wasn't. Yeah, I know, the '90 team won it all and the '91 team lost in the semis. But anyone who remembers those two years knows that the '91 team was clearly the better and more dominant version - plus they get bonus points because of the "Back-to-back" t-shirts they sold prematurely. I wonder if Joe Brodie still has his.... Shit, the '90 team lost to UC Santa Barbara and snuck by Louis Wilson (he DUNKED THE BALL!!!) and Ball State by 2 in the Sweet Sixteen. In '91, UNLV CLOBBERED every single team they played up until the Duke game. They had an average margin of victory in the mid-30s. Twice during the regular season they played non-conference games on the road against top-5 teams (Michigan State and Arkansas), and they obliterated both of them. The talk during the '91 season wasn't "are they the best team," but rather, "where do they rank on the list of all-time great teams?" They were unreal.

So, of course I TiVo'd the game. And, as you saw above, I had a few questions I needed answered...

1.) What the Christ was the "Amoeba"?

In case you don't remember, UNLV's great teams of '90 and '91 ran what what was popularly referred to as the "amoeba defense." This always fascinated me. What does it do? Why call it that? Isn't that the coolest fucking name for a defensive system in sports history? The aforementioned Joe Brodie's father (a HS bball coach) once told me that "the key to the ameoba is that the offense has a hard time telling whether you're running a 'zone' or a 'man.'"

Oh, okay.

Wait a minute...


I had no answers. So, on watching my taped version of the game, I had a few observations:

a.) UNLV tried to beat you with man-to-man pressure, and resorted to the amoeba if you were scoring a lot on them. The announcers even remarked at one time during the Duke game that Tarkanian "put an asterisk" next to any game where they had to bust out the amoeba.

b.) It might have been the announcers (Jim "I can't wait to make this awful pun" Nantz and the loathesome Billy Packer) erroneously calling some other zone the amoeba occasionally, but it alternatingly looked like a 2-3 and/or a 1-3-1. My confusion heightened.

c.) UNLV made a nice run just about every time they were in the amoeba, making me wonder why the hell they ever went out of it.

d.) When they were in the supposed amoeba, it looked oddly disorganized. Weird rotations, counter-intuitive responsibilities, and lots of wild aggression. Cool, I guess. But what is the method behind this madness?

A cursory internet search has barely answered my queries. The amoeba was apparently created by a coach at Pitt named Fran Webster. It is essentially an aggressive 1-3-1 matchup zone, the goal of which is to force the ball to the sidelines and initiate traps. It seems pretty high-risk, high-reward, and this page highlights why it may have looked "disorganized" to me, despite the fact that the author there seems to present it as a 3-2 zone. Fran Fraschilla went in another direction and described its principles thusly:

The Amoeba starts in a 1-1-3 zone alignment, with the top defender picking up the other team's point guard and applying intense defensive pressure. Each pass in the zone offense is met with great pressure on the ball... it contained many of UNLV's pressure man-to-man concepts... it is a defense that is not used much because, I believe, the slides of the Amoeba are more complicated than traditional zone slides and take more teaching time.

Here's some more goofy shit on it, in the unlikely event that you're as ridiculously interested as I was. And more.

2.) The $25,000 Question: how the hell did Duke win?

Some notes on this, in handy-dandy outlined format:

a.) UNLV came in over-confident
The fact that it's obvious makes it no less true: the Rebels hadn't been truly tested in their previous 38 games, and they probably entered the game taking Duke too lightly. Thoughts of a blowout victory were probably dispelled after the Blue Devils jumped out to a 15-6 lead. And on a semi-related note...

b.) Duke came in pissed off
They had gotten their asses handed to them the year before in utterly embarrassing fashion. Approximately 0.0% of the "pundits" out there gave them a snowball's chance in hell at winning. The phrase "chip on their shoulder" was invented for situations like this, where Duke displayed the coveted attitude of controlled fury for the entire game. An epic angered performance.

c.) Grant Freaking Hill
In 1991, UNLV had two players who were AP All-Americans: Larry Johnson and Stacey Augmon. Because of this information, one has to assume that Augmon had a ginormous year in 1991. And he did. But he did NOTHING in the game against Duke. And I think the foremost reason for that was a freshman named Grant Hill. Augmon probably provided painfully difficult matchups for the vast majority of Vegas' opponents, but this might have been the first time in his career that he faced an opposing player with his then-unique combination of height, skill, speed, and agility. And he plainly seemed mindfucked by this.

Also, Hill occasionally brought the ball up the court, giving Bobby Hurley a break from having to advance the ball against UNLV's pressure defense. He didn't have a ton of points, but Hill's effect on the game was immeasurable.

d.) UNLV didn't get the ball to "L for Larry" enough
No one on Duke could guard Larry Johnson. Greg Freaking Koubek spent the majority of the game guarding him - with TONS of weakside help from Laettner - and the Rebels hardly ever made a concerted effort to get him the ball. I would venture to guess that 70-80% of Johnson's points came on put-backs.

e.) Christian Laettner
The prototypical Duke punk-ass ... but what a phenomenal college player. Johnson provided big matchup problems for Duke, but Laettner provided monumental matchup problems for Vegas. The only one on UNLV's team who could guard him was Johnson, but if that happened, the Rebels had to go out of their gameplan and play small, because there was no one else on Duke that center George Ackles could conceivably cover. Tarkanian said after the game, "The big thing that hurt was what we were most afraid of: they didn't have anyone our center could guard, and that changed our whole defense. Other teams have tried to do that, but they didn't have anyone as good as Laettner." He was the catalyst for Duke's early run, which gave the Devils invaluable confidence for the rest of the game. Oh, and he hit the game-winning free throws with 12 seconds left.

3.) Where does this game rank?

'91 Duke-UNLV is, in my humble opinion, severely short-changed on the list (whether actually compiled or just in people's memories) of fantastic college basketball games. I think most of it stems from the fact that the game is overshadowed by Duke-Kentucky, which occurred a scant one year later. Well now I have both games on tape, and the '91 game puts up a helluva fight against the '92 one. The big things the Duke-UNLV game has going for it are, in ascending order of importance:

iv. It came later in the tournament. Duke-Kentucky was for the right to get to the Final Four; Duke-UNLV actually occurred there. Might not make a difference to some, but I'll give it a little bump because of it.

iii. The appearance of Anderson Hunt, who should be, in my opinion, one of the charter members of the Nigerian Soccer Team. He had textbook jumpshooting form, and was a tenacious defender. He was the tournament Most Outstanding Player in '90. In '91, he put up 29 on Duke despite the loss, and the battle for "best player on the floor" was clearly a toss-up between him and Laettner. He went pro after that, his junior year. AND. DID. NOTHING. Flat-out disappeared, while Anthony, Augmon, and Johnson all had NBA careers of at least 8 seasons. Baffling. A Nigerian Soccer Team member if there ever was one. Did we ever come up with a definitive list of that over on the old theblog.net?

ii. It was just flat-out better played. The dirty little secret of Duke-Kentucky is the fact that, up until the last five minutes of regulation and the entire overtime, the game was sloppy and out of control. Bobby Hurley, who had a bit of a tendency to try to do too much, had like 11 turnovers against Kentucky's pressure. Kentucky looked like crap until about the 10:00 mark of the second half. The last ten minutes of the game (last 5:00 of regulation and the OT) might be the most sublimely well-executed stretch of play in college basketball history. But the rest of the game is kind of all over the place.

i. The upset factor. As I alluded to above, people hear "Duke" now, and they just forget about what massive underdogs that '91 team was to UNLV. A couple of years ago, The Sporting News ranked it as the #4 upset in tournament history (behind 'Nova-G'Town in '85, NC State-Houston in '83, and DePaul-BC in '82), and led off their article thusly:

Wait a second. A Duke victory considered an upset win? Mind you, this is a Duke team coached by Mike Krzyzewski and led by Christian Laettner and Bobby Hurley. And they scored one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history?

You bet. That's how dominating the UNLV Runnin' Rebels were in 1991.

That pretty much paints the picture. An all-time-level upset, one that no one saw coming.

Yep, there it is. An epic, 4,000-word treatise on a basketball game that happened one month shy of 15 years ago. Awesome.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Work + Curling = Yay!

I can't put it any better than Buckeye Tom, so:

Because productivity is overrated.

Thanks to alert reader Rob, for reminding me that things like this exist.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

O. M. G.

For the statistical completists out there, not satisfied with the beatific splendor of ESPN's Holy Bible of College Football, here is some jacked-up CFB history. Um, yo.

It's almost 11 p.m., and I just want to say that I'm pretty sure Emily Hughes could beat me up. She may not win the gold, but she would almost certainly dominate a Royal Rumble-style cage match of, you know, figure skaters. In reality, she's probably only like 5'5" or something, but she looks like friggin' amazon warrior princess after seeing all those Little Girls in Pretty Boxes bound around like leaves in the wind.

Finally, apparently some kind of blog meme has been flying around, with people answering questions about their taste in music. Untirely un-noteworthy, and I sure as shit don't feel like filling one out myself, but I am 150% certain that several loyal constituents of this blog will thoroughly enjoy this guy's answer to question 19. Yeah. Go ahead. Uh-huh. Knew you would.


FYI, despite last week's loss at Wisky, Lunardi still has OSU a 2-seed, playing in Dayton.

Giggity ... GIGGITY GIGGITY!!!

Also, some blogger has a "bracketology 101" site up, which seems to smack of copyright infringement, but hey, whatever. This dude has OSU a 3-seed ... uh, also in Dayton. Huh-WHA?

Aaaand more: from USAToday and CBS Sportsline.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Response to Nips, plus ... uh, more

Yesterday morning I watched our curling bitches control the entire match with the Suisse, only to gag by allowing a 3-spot in the 10th end. I mean, that was a 2000 TrailBlazers-caliber choke job. And yes, I too masturbated while watching. And then I cried.

I've only caught bits and pieces of the curling action, so I am unfamiliar with the stone-shaped danishes to which Jeff referred. But needless to say, I am intrigued. And hungry. Also aroused and bruised and juicy. So yeah, it's like any other Monday on theblog.net. But with curling pastries.

I appreciate BoD providing us with a link to the site where you can buy the Erotic Curling Book, but ... I mean ... it's just a site where you can buy the Erotic Curling Book, and who wants to do that? (Jeff, put your hand down.) I just wants to see the naked curling bitches! These are the friggin' internets, for crying out loud: they were created to a.) house stupid videos of korean boys lipsynching, and b.) provide every horny teenager with a veritable smorgasbord of nekkid womens a mere mouseclick away. Why no curling bitches? WHY? (Sidenote: here we go.) Also, I have to say I am intrigued by the "BLACK BOOK OF CURLING" advertised at the site. Makes it sound so ... I dunno. Scandalous? Scrumtrilescent? Some mixture of the two? But without a doubt, the best thing provided by BoD's link was this. Now THAT's some curling news!

I'm sure I'm not alone on this, but Sasha Cohen's attractiveness has never been in question. Yes, she was 17 (hey, her birthday is two days after mine! I think I have an "in" for when I inevitably meet her) in '02 - when has that ever mattered? Yeah, I guess I can buy that you thought she looked more like a middle-schooler than a woman. But seven out of 10 figure skaters do. She was very cute back then. But I concur: she has gotten better with age. Filled out a little bit, carries herself a little better. And still purty. She gets a big thumbs-up.

As for Michelle Kwan, I mean, I see what Jeffy's saying, but my agreeance with him is overpowered by my boundless apathy towards figure skating.

Regarding Sharapova v. Kournikova: first, let it be said that you can't go wrong either way. Obviously. But I have to strenuously disagree with Jeff on this one. Maria is hot. She's easily in the top 2 or 3 in any discussion of "hottest female athletes." But Anna is a juggernaut. I can understand someone finding Maria hotter (even though I don't personally agree with it), but adding on that "there's not even an argument anymore"? You're in fantasy land, buddy. But then, with this subject matter, aren't we all?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Nipsey rambles about his two favorite things: Curling and Babes !!!!

Here’s the best thing about the Cassie and Jamie Johnson: I’ve ALWAYS masturbated while watching curling. But now I feel a lot less weird about it.
Okay, if you think I didn’t already know that there was a Columbus Curling Club and hadn’t looked into it a long time ago, well, you just don’t know me.
The thing about those hats is that the one’s in Jack’s pic are the crappy ones - there are some others that are way more accurate looking.
I’ve only seen 4 curling matches (all during the 5-8pm slot, right after I get home from work). The U.S. has lost every single one, and all in ridiculously heartbreaking fashion (two went to 11 ends). It’s like watching all 4 of the basketball Buckeyes’ losses in a 72 hour span. Rough. Apparently the U.S. men’s and women’s curling teams have won a game or two, but I haven’t seen them.
Have you seen NBC’s Fred’s Spiel bit after the 5th end in these matches? Always awkward and always ending with a pastry shaped like a curling stone. Not kidding. Said the U.S. men’s curler named Shuster, “I can’t wait to eat that thing!!!”
Also, there is apparently an erotic curling calendar floating around out there - doubtful the Fabulous Johnson Sisters are included. (By the way, I call them the Fabulous Johnson Sisters because there used to be a band in these parts called the Fabulous Johnson Brothers. Plus, those girls ARE fabulous.)
Now onto another U.S. Olympic gal:
Sasha Cohen
( not to be confused with Sacha Baron Cohen: http://www.imdb.com/gallery/ss/0443453/Ss/0443453/OA-00246.jpg?path=pgallery&path_key=Baron%20Cohen,%20Sacha )
Note to Sasha: this is your time to shine. If you skate reasonably well, you could really parlay this into something bigger, like the cover of FHM. Back in Salt Lake, Sasha burst onto the scene. Couple problems though. She was 17 at the time. And she had the body of a 12 year old. An entire male population felt bad about finding her hot, and it’s probably best for everyone involved that she ended up getting 4th. Now though, she’s 21, filled out slightly, and fan-favorite Michelle Kwan’s out of the way. Sasha, you’d better strike while the iron is hot. Cause it’s almost as hot as you.
(A quick word about Michelle Kwan. I’ve always been kind of apathetic towards her, but I was hoping she could come into Torino, skate magnificently, and get her Dan Jansen moment before she called it quits. Not to be. Looking back, I gotta feel for her. In 1998, it was like she was on the homecoming court, was friends with everybody in her class, and everyone was rooting for her. Then some better looking, younger girl transfers in, is cool because of her novelty, gets to be queen and hooks up with the quarterback. It’s obvious she never worked for it as hard as Michelle did. And just to make it worse, she transfers out before the end of the semester, never to be seen from again. So in 2002, what happens? THE EXACT SAME THING. I mean I don’t know anything about women, but I have seen their competitive nature come out when matched against their own kind (especially true in reality shows). And it’s a minor miracle that neither Tara Lipinski nor Sarah Hughes has been brutally murdered by a samurai-wielding Michelle Kwan.)
And speaking of sports hotties, but not in the Winter Olympic sense, remember the Kournikova vs. Sharapova discussion some of us had awhile back. I sided whole-heartedly w/ Sharapova. If you’ve seen the new SI swimsuit edition, I think all will agree that I was right. There’s not even an argument anymore.

This bra bomb had better work, Nerdlinger

This should come as no surprise, but the proprietors and loyal readership (both of you) of the MWB are total nerds. Come on. Don't act like you didn't know.

But our nerdosity is often - at least in blog terms - put to something less than good use. On here, we bullshit about sports and make dick and fart jokes, but we rarely utilize our individual or collective nerditude. Brian at MGoBlog has no such problems (if you want to call them that), as he has absolutely gone crazygonuts the last few days on "3rd down conversion" data. Crazygonuts. I don't want to spoil it for you, so just check out his 3-part opus of graphictation on the subject.

Part one here. Part two. You catch on fast.

In other news, I watched "Cold Pizza" this morning -- this time I have an excuse: I wake up each morning to "Mike & Mike" on teevee, so the DroppaDeuce was already on. I then went running, and when I came back, CP was on. I don't regularly watch. Seriously, guys. Okay -- and they were doing some bullshit segment called "Buy or Sell," where the Loathesome Skip Bayless and Some Guy (Woodrow Q. Paige was thankfully absent) were listing their 5 "buys" and "sells" for the NCAA tournament.

So Other Guy goes first, and he's like "so this is like stocks, right, so I want to buy low and sell high?" And Jay and the Asshole are like "yeah yeah, sure." So he lists for "buys" what essentially turns out to be a list of teams that are underrated and could make a run to the final four OR could upset someone and make a run to, say, the sweet sixteen. I remember that UAB, Wisconsin, and NC State were among his "buys." His "sells" are irrelevant to this already irrelevant story.

So Skip goes up there all blustery and "you're an idiot," and he rips down Other Guy's 5 "buys" and replaces them with ... Duke, UConn, Memphis, Villanova, and Texas. Think of where you've seen those teams. Yeah. They're 5 of the top 6 teams in the polls. So Other Guy makes some joke that completely goes over Skip's head about "So you want, like, a .05% return on your investment, huh?" and I laugh, because Bayless is a stupid jackass. But then Skip puts up his "sells," and he has George Washington on there, and Other Guy goes "I want you to name me two players on GW's team." And there's this pregnant pause, where you could tell Skip was like "you asshole," and he clearly couldn't name ONE player on their team, so he goes "I don't want to." I shit you not. The best part was, he tried to do it in his usual blustery, dismissive "I'm just gonna throw your question off to the side because it's stupid" way, but that pause made it completely clear that he didn't have a friggin' clue what he was talking about.

And with that, I think my day started out pretty well.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Response to Dids, RE: Obie


In this article, the pertinent information appears to be right at the beginning (hey, some Basic Journalism 101: it's an educational day at theblog.net!!):

"O'Brien broke his contract by giving the $6,000 loan, but the error was not serious enough to warrant firing, Ohio Court of Claims Judge Joseph T. Clark said, finding in O'Brien's favor in the coach's lawsuit against the university.

'Because plaintiff's failure of performance was not material, defendant did not have cause for termination,' the judge wrote."
In my humble opinion, this looks like a relatively simple case of substantial performance and anticipatory repudiation. O'Brien technically broke his contract, but not severely enough to warrant OSU's full repudiation. The big issue of fact here was probably whether Obie "substantially performed" or "materially breached." The court apparently found that he performed. Balls.

There you go, Dids. That's how we got sanctions AND wrongfully fired the guy who committed them.

And Beth Eisler smiled...

Obi-Wan With Cobe (Final Four went to he did)

So as most of have heard O'Brien won his lawsuit against OSU for wrongful firing. He'll be getting anywhere from roughly 3-9 mill. Super. So here's my only real problem with the ruling...Consistency.

1) OSU was under a self-imposed post-season ban last year because we committed an NCAA violation (as stated by the NCAA) for giving money to a potential recruit
2) Jim O'Brien was granted a wrongful termination lawsuit against OSU because the court ruled that he didn't give money to the recruit since apparently they decided the kid wasn't a potential recruit.

So which is it? He either gave the kid money before or after he'd declared for the NBA draft, but it can't be both. Anyone else see a problem with this situation? If in fact O'Brien was wrongfully fired, that also means the NCAA should have to rescind its violation it said OSU committed. Right? I mean, I'm not a greazy lawyer, but that would seem to make sense to me. (I'm having visions of being charged by Kevin Kurgis, STOP CHASING THE CAMERA MAN, AHHHH)


So ... if you're a bad person and you haven't been keeping up with this olympic fortnight's steady stream of fantastic curling action, then 1.) I hate you, and 2.) you have missed out on what is possibly my favorite "fanwear" phenomenon of ... cripes, at least the new millenium. I am speaking, of course, of the "Stonehead" hats worn by the rabid, beer-guzzling fans of the MWB's unofficial second-favorite sport. Estimated time before Jeff is scouring online Olympic merchandise suppliers to try and buy one: :06 minutes...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day, theblog.net!

Here's a love letter of the MWB in its old, magnificent, Boban-tastic form. All the formal Boban gets me so excited...

Friday, February 10, 2006

If Ohio St wins, does anyone care?

I watched the OSU/Mich game last night. It was a bizarre game. One team totally dominated the inside and the boards, and that team lost. It was a game OSU had no right to win, but they did. I know they did by deciding to make everything, but this team is much better than the media acknowledges. Well, actually that's hard to say because NO ONE IS SAYING ANYTHING about Ohio St.

The only place I notice any real disrespect is in projected brackets which all seem to have OSU around a 6 seed. If the season ended today they'd be a 4, no questions asked. But the most bizarre thing is that they don't even get mentioned. The only time I hear anything about them is when the media lists the good losses "americas most underrated team" LSU or my favorite, "wait until next year's OSU recruiting class". Fuck next year. This team deserves its own praise. This team has one weakness, rebounding. Everything else, better than average. Excellent guard play and shooting. Good team defense. Good post player. Good at creating turnovers. Also, a good FT shooting team. They share the ball and are really starting to get the 4-out, 1-in philosophy. Depending on matchups (as always) and keeping Matt Sylvester out of his own way (probably just off the floor in general would help), this team is a legit threat to make a Final Four. I'm not saying they will, but they are good enough to give anyone fits.

Now, will they get any praise? Probably not. In fact, cbssportsline.com lists their "10 biggest CBB games of the weekend" and OSU vs. I-L-L didn't make the list. OF THE WEEKEND!! IN GEORGIA!!! Considering the oinge and blue are 60% Dee Brown and 30% Augustine, they don't really frighten me. Plus, they lost to Penn St, at home. With OSU finally getting a good road win, they're either gonna be fired up and win by 20 or be overconfident and lose by 5. I don't see any other option. I just don't understand how a team who's worst loss is a toss-up between a 5 point loss @Iowa or a 2 point loss @Indiana with a healthy DJ White can get ZERO pub of any kind, but they are.

Other thoughts
-Am I the only one in the world who didn't think the officiating of the Superbowl was THAT bad? I mean, there were some questionable calls. Other than the Hasselbeck "block-tackle", which actually was a non-factor, nothing else even struck me as horrible. I think the Seahawks only had 6 penalties in the entire game. This whole "it's everyone's fault but mine" accepted group think from the media about this game is confusing at best.
-The greatest BC forward of all time was Ryan Sidney. He played a whole season with his mouth wired shut!! He was only 6-2!! Great player. Just not as good as Troy Bell.
-Yes, ACC officials love Duke. And yes, Sheldon Williams would have to blow the whistle himself to have a foul called on him. But his "great defender" rep has "earned him that call". So that just begs the question. Sheldon Williams picks up TJ Ford on a drive to the bucket. What happens? I'll await answers. All are acceptable besides, "Vitale masturbating all over himself", b\c that's a given.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

A quick one while I'm in the lab

Jeffy, when in doubt, make it a post, rather than a long comment. I don't care if I linked to something before you did - the only things from the Mind of Nipsey that need to go in the comments are direct responses to other things in the comments. Plus, I mean, you get the "compose" feature, which makes things easier. So yeah. Also, the U.S. Curling Sisters are so adorable that it seems almost wrong. Like, "No ... no way. I can't be seeing what I think I'm seeing." But you are. YOU ARE.

I have to get to class soon, but quick thoughts on tonight's semi-titanic showdown in Ann Arbor:

All right, here's the thing. I haven't watched an OSU game since the MSU one. And I ain't starting now. This team is maddening, and the result has been that I can't get a read on anything they might do, and that accounts for the complete and total lack of analysis on them in this space. The one constant: they're probably gonna shoot a lot of threes. Hey, we're a POT, so that's expected. The thing is, the threes have to tempered by feeding the ball to Dials in the post. Twenty-five or more three-point attempts, and we definitely lose. Less than that, and it may be a dogfight. The Bucks have to take care of the ball and avoid getting beaten senseless on the glass. So what's gonna happen? I haven't got a friggin' clue. But it's a game between "top-7" teams in the conference, so the home team is gonna win. It's just a question of by how much.

Sidenote: more talk about B10 officiating, courtesy of Wonk's number-crunching readers. I can't be the only one who instinctively knew that Wisconsin hasn't played a home game in the last three seasons in which they finished with more fouls than their opponent. Also, Wonk links to an article by Gregg Doyel in which he lays the wood to Coach K and his frightening clutch on NCAA refs. A nice read.

Sidenote to the sidenote: The Anti-Duke Manifesto. Huzzah for lawyers who decide to spend their time ripping on Duke!

Sidenote to non-sidenote text: Buckeyes 94, Wolverines 85. That's what unconscious shooting will get you. Also, the Bucks chucked up 24 three-pointers; I'm going to consider my above statement about "25 or fewer triples" to be a Kreskin-esque display of sooper genius. I'll be posting my picks on lottery numbers sometime in the near-never...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Forde on 'Snogles with Jeff watching

Thank you, Pat Forde, for underlining the fortuitous circumstances which led to the formation of the MWB's favorite stepsons. 'Snoglicious.

Monday, February 06, 2006

*Annoyed Grunt* ... more gripes about officiating

Ugh, I'm getting tired of bitching about refs in this space. It's really starting to piss me off.


I suppose I can start chronologically, where we saw Duke get absolutely handed two games this past week. In the first, they held off BC 83-81 after Shelden Williams broke his own record (which was established about two weeks ago in the Blue Devils' loss to Georgetown) for "Most Egregious No-call on an Obvious Foul That Jack Fu has Ever Seen in His Life." In case you missed it, late in the game BC's Tyrese Rice drove to the basket and was met chest-on by Williams, who went up for the block, came about a foot away from actually touching the ball, and body-blocked Rice to the ground, sending the ball flying up in a random direction with nary a whistle from the officials. It was basically the exact same thing that happened against G-Town, only, you know, more blatantly obvious.

A similar situation occurred Saturday, as Duke held off those pesky Florida State Seminoles, who are languishing at 4-5 in the not-as-good-as-everyone-thought ACC. And they had to hold them off at home. This time, with FSU down 2 and under 10 seconds left, a Seminole guard drove to the basket and was met by Williams. The guard jumped into Williams, initiating a little bit of contact in what I thought was properly deemed a no-call. The problem is, the ball then clearly went out of bounds off of Williams. But hey, who cares? Duke ball, game over. On College Gamenight Final later that evening, Douggie Gottlieb said over the highlights, "And as we learned against Boston College, you are just NOT gonna get a call against Shelden Williams."

And that's not even the most hilarously annoying thing about it all. It was then pointed out that -- similar to Knight's old Indiana teams -- Duke has made more FTs this year than their opponents have attempted. Against FSU, Duke was 31-43 from the line. FSU was 10-11. In the second half and the overtimes, Duke shot 31 FTs. FSU shot 6. And, as Gottlieb pointed out, it's not like Duke was clearly "the aggressor," as idiot commentators so often say when they want to try and justify an unjustifiable foul discrepancy: FSU shot a measly ten three-pointers, less than half the number Duke shot. They were driving the ball to the basket. It's just that once they got there, the un-foul-committing Shelden Williams was there waiting for them.

It was hilarious watching the CBB Gameday crew try to justify the foul numbers. I love Jay Bilas, but he was frighteningly Vitale-esque during his predictable "you can't prove anything" rant about any perceived bias toward the Blue Devils, while Vitale himself looked like his head was about to explode as he shouted (and I'm not kidding) "They just have better players than everyone else!" Jesus, I hope some of you guys got to see that.

More alert and forthcoming commentary came from the aforementioned Gamenight crew of Dave Revsine, Gottlieb, and That Guy That Coached Vermont Last Year. Gottlieb's point was that this kind of thing happens everywhere, on every home gym (which I DO NOT agree with, but let's move on), and that the difference between the Blue Devils and everyone else is that Duke actually gets the benefit of officials' whistles on the road, too. This is evidenced by the fact that in the previous game, the BC one, which was played at Boston College, Duke shot 37 FTs to the Eagles' 13. That gives them a combined discrepancy in those two games of 80-24 in FTAs. Unacceptable. Anger-inducing. Let's move on.

On to the supposedly most Super of Bowls, where some ridiculous calls unfortunately shaped large chunks of the game. I'm not going to lower the "bias" boom on any of the refs, but Cheeses. Let me first say that, while mainly just wanting to see a good game, I was semi-rooting for the Steelers. I don't know if I drank into the Bettis Kool-Aid or if I like RoethlisBoban or what, but I guess I was ... not waiving a Terrible Towel per se, but ... I don't know, picking up a Terrible Napkin off the floor, like a sign of begrudging respect.

But that all went out the window. I'm tired and don't feel like saying more, but these were the three principle botched calls that jacked up the game:

1.) The offensive pass interference penalty on Darrell Jackson. Simply a retarded call made by an overzeaalous official who felt like the people needed to know that he was at the game, dammit.

2.) The holding penalty on Seattle on the throw that got them down to the 1, on the verge of taking a 17-14 lead on the visibly deflated Steelers. This penalty could charitably be described as "sketchy at best." The old adage is, "you could call holding on every play if you wanted to." Well, if you're gonna call that one, then in order to be consistent, yeah, you'd probably have to call holding on every play. As we all know, two plays later, Hassellbeck threw a fatal pick that Pittsburgh was returning...

3.) ... when Hassellbeck got called for "blocking below the waist" WHEN HE TACKLED THE GUY MAKING THE RETURN. All of a sudden, you're apparently not allowed to tackle by taking out a guy's feet. At least if you're the Seahawks. Especially damaging because the yardage from the penalty moved the Steelers out to about midfield, where their patented brand of schoolyard trickeration becomes most effective. And it did.

Am I pissing and moaning about this because, let's face it, the game was shitty (KK called it "a game that brought back memories of the grand old days of dull, poorly played Super Bowls.") and we have nothing else to talk about because the only viable "angles" for the game were driven into the ground in about 3.82 nanoseconds? Probably. But I'm still pissed.

More on horrific Super Bowl officiating here ("My three Steelers MVP coices: 1. Hines Ward, 2. Casey Hampton, 3. The officials," and "I hate putting the game on the ref’s shoulders, but I could not believe what I was watching on several plays," among many MANY more comments about the refs) and here ("Even John Madden, as reliable an apologist for the NFL as there is, started questioning the calls.").

Also, comrade Sweaty Mens has a high-quality post up touching on a bunch of these issues, including a Diddy Special: the "He had money on the game!" gambit. For SM, it's used in regards Jerramy Stevens and retrosepctively, to Neil O'Donnell. I thought Dids would want to see that.

BTW, you guys absolutely HAVE to see this mock-up of ESPN.com from a few months back. The best part is that they actually put some hilarious faux-articles together, including a Skip Bayless piece titled "I Think the Exact Opposite of You About Sports," and a send-up of the Sports Guy that I think uses 80% of his predictable, beaten-into-the-ground jokes. Seriously. Funny. (HT: Deadspin.)

Friday, February 03, 2006

"The RPI is idiots," and other miscellany

Yeah, I know it's the NCAA, and that the RPI isn't a "group" or even an "entity" per se, but rather a formula. Still, it's more fun to say. But yes, the NCAA is idiots. Especially frightening is the passage about how Duke and other ACC teams can theoretically play Southern Conference teams at the Greensboro Coliseum (!!!) and somehow get it declared a "road game" against a D-1 opponent in the eyes of the RPI. Bastards. I knew there had to be more reasons to hate them. (Edited to add: this has apparently been taken care of. Way to go, Myles.)

Also much love for Mr. Pomeroy for this passage about uber-NBA-ready dunker Rudy Gay:

You know, UConn’s last game against Providence was Rudy Gay in a nutshell. If you watched the highlights of the game, you saw him finish two alley oops in spectacular fashion. If you looked at the box score you saw a 4-for-8 performace from the field, 2 turnovers, no assists in 25 minutes. Gay has great athleticism, is a terrific defender, can dunk with the best, but doesn’t have much scoring ability outside of 10 feet. Presumably the last item on that list is the easiest to develop, and that’s why Gay will go high in the draft.
What's that you say? Skills? Bah, who needs those? He can dunk really forcefully! I've got a roster spot for him!

Further hoopsage: Gregg Doyel seems pretty arrogant a lot of the time, but I think he is on the mark here as he tries to temper the GW love. I know that I usually frown upon the sportswriters who go out of their way to present points of view which are contrary to popular opinion, but for some reason this doesn't strike me as one of those cases.

Hey, this is the kind of thing that happens when you flirt with Mike Martz. Other than, you know, the sexin'. Say it with me: it's the Lions. With Martz apparently out of the picture, the Lions aare looking at ... ... and ... As Sweaty Menseses succinctly called it, "Honolulu Blue Balls."

Speaking of the shitty NFL, in case you hadn't heard, Joey Porter is completely fucking crazy. I know that the "disrespeck" card is so popular in sports nowadays, but come on. Jerramy Stevens made a comment which basically equated to him saying that he thought his team had a decent chance to win. And then Porter totally flew off the fucking handle, getting all "he's soft" and "I taste blood" and "you would never say that to my face," like some kind of stereotypical internet tough guy. It has become abundantly clear that Porter was looking for a reason to go off on one of his now-patented irrelevant insane rants. And the way Stevens has conducted himself with class and dignity - besides being likely to piss off the head of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP - has basically ensured that everyone knows Joey Porter is a nutjob.

Um, Super Bowl predictions tomorrow? Guys? Guys?

UPDATED TO SAY: As if there weren't enough reasons to love Chuck Klosterman, he did a livechat with ESPN today and offered up pearls of Klosterwisdom such as these:

Matthew: Have you ever wanted to give a Reggie Roby punt to that punk Skip Bayless?
Klosterman: I have never met that dude. But "yes."

Ace: Why does every woman hate Scarlett Johannson?
Klosterman: Because she nailed their boyfriend, probably.

TJ: Do you think Joey Porter's comments will help or hurt the Steelers?
Klosterman: I think -- like all media constructions -- they will have no tangible impact.

Terry Davis: Why has Kobe been villified for everything Jordan is praised for?
Klosterman: Well, the easy answer would be that he is perceived as a probable rapist. However, I suspect it has more to do with his own sense of his iconography.

Andy: A girl with a great body but a terrible/below average face is called a "butterface." Is there a name for a girl with a below-average body but a really attractive face?
Klosterman: "Most people."

I love this man.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

LYNX !!!!!!!!!

No this isn’t a post about the WNBA. I just felt the need to point out some interesting/amusing/disturbing things I’ve found on the ‘ol internet.

Let’s start out with something Pittsnoglian in nature.
I just watched WV pull out a squeaker over the Irish.
Word is they might be inducing labor tomorrow on Pittsnogle’s very pregnant wife (who was at the game). If that kid pops out of Mom’s vag and sees its shadow, does that mean 6 more weeks of the Mountaineers smoking the Big East? I hope so.

Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press, I can’t believe Jackson hasn’t linked this yet:

“It was a jabbing right hook.“ - CFN’s first Mock Draft is up. Browns getting Ngata is pretty logical and a pick I think most of us Cleveland fans would be fine with. A little more interestingly, lots of prognosticos have the Lions going with the Cut-man at #9. Jack, if that happens, won’t that mean Millen’s 5 first round picks were on 2 QBs and 3 WRs?

Speaking of the Lions and “Mock”ing (2 things that go hand in hand), it looks like Martz is going to Detroit (and not for the Super Bowl). Why does this just seem to make sense?:

“Not having a subway ticket?!”:

“Come on Tom, you’re not fooling anyone“ (seriously, can this guy become more of a douche?):

Ummm… just read this:

Some guy on the radio this morning said it would have been funnier if it was a rifle.

Wednesday doldrumage

I have class in an hour, so I'd like to get something written down in blog form, but there just isn't much out there right now that interests me. I know that to many Buckeye fans such a sentiment is sacrilege, considering that it's OH JESUS CHRIST NATIONAL LETTER OF EFFING INTENT DAY, but I am notorious in some circles for being one of "those guys" who doesn't give an ass about the whole thing. Yes, recruiting is the "lifeblood" of every program. Yes, without decent players, you'd be stuck with ... not decent players, and yes, that would almost certainly lead to sub-par results, football-wise. But I have no control over the subject, and I have a minimal ability to truly gauge how good of a class we put together, because recruiting rankings mean precisely jack squat. That's a technical term. I mean, in this business kids get bumped up two stars when they friggin' start a rumor that Notre Dame even talked to them. In this business A.J. Hawk was evaluated as a worse LB prospect than ... shit, everyone. In this business Sammy Maldonado was a five-star can't-miss running back while Chris Gamble was a two-star wide receiver whose only offers were from Ohio State and Fresno State. So forgive me if I don't get all OMG about the whole thing. But for those of you who are, you can keep track of the Bucks' LOI-age here. Although, if you're the type of person who will eagerly look at said link, you probably already have the page bookmarked and have been checking it every ten minutes all day. If you have been, that's cool; I won't judge. Just understand where I'm coming from on this one. Shnoogans.

In the realm of things that I find moderately more interesting, let's get into some ... speculation! Woo hoo! Tony Gerdeman from The O-Zone recently put up a tandem of "Twenty Questions" columns, wherein he poses questions to himself and then answers them. It's not as pointless as it sounds ... well, yeah, it probably is. But we have like seven months until college football starts up again, and as I am on a Ramadan-like fast from watching the ceaselessly infuriating Buckeye basketball team (ask Todd - it's true), I have precious little on my sports mind at the moment. So I suggest that you check out the two pieces (located hee-ah and hee-ah) and we can have a discussion on them. A chatauqua, if you will. Or a colloquia, if you feel like being particularly prolix (which I undoubtedly do). I will check back with my responses and thoughts on the Qs when I get a chance, although I have to say that when reading this little nugget:

When people want to talk about the nine starters lost on defense, remind them that there are seven guys coming back on defense who have started (Richardson, Patterson, Pitcock, D’Andrea, Laurinaitis, Mitchell, and Jenkins), and that the best player on defense (Marcus Freeman) isn’t one of them

... I get all warm and tingly in regions that I'm just not comfortable talking to you guys about. Okay, that's a lie. But the tingling, she's there. Will the D be as good as '05? Of course not. Will ... ack, I have to do this later.

Also, some time this week, we all obviously have to do some sure-to-be-wrong Super Bowl predictions. Because in case you guys didn't know, the NFL rules the planet. It's twoo.

Peace, bitches.