Archive for March, 2010

What A QUACK . . .

Posted on March 31, 2010. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Why won’t money just SHUT UP already? 

Stop talking.  Let the foreign to the sports world concepts of loyalty and finishing what you started, have a say every once in a while, will ya?

Cross your fingers that money was mum Pitt basketball fans.  A 3:30pm press conference has just been called amid rumors of head coach Jamie Dixon being wooed by Oregon University and their chief athletic supporter, Daddy Big Bucks, Phil Knight, the owner of Nike.  Which will confirm one of two things:

A)  Money wasn’t talking, it was SCREAMING at Dixon.  It’s like the drunk heckler in the bleachers that wouldn’t quit yelling at the left fielder.  After a while, he just couldn’t ignore it any longer and took the job.

B)  Pitt wants to put all the Dixon to be a Duck chatter to rest, so they are announcing an extension and a raise to go along with it.   

The word on the street is that the latter is true, thanks to The Angry Fan for keeping me updated.  But do we ever know until we know?  Nick Saban or Ben Howland, anyone?

My personal opinion, which I know you are all waiting for, is that Jamie Dixon would be nuts to go to Eugene.  Who wants to live in a place that is named Eugene?  Doesn’t it sound like a nerdy dork city?  Actually, Pittsburgh sounds like well, the pits, I guess.  So I take that back.  Kinda . . .

No offense, Ducks fans, but what does the Oregon program have to offer besides money? 

Great facilities? Sure there’s the new $200 million Matthew Knight Arena.  But Pitt has the relatively new Peterson Events Center, which has been called one of the toughest places to play in the country because of the Oakland Zoo student section.

Competition?  The Pac-10 was a conference of cinders compared with the five alarm fire that blazed through the Big

Jamie Dixon Should Tell Oregon Where They Can Stick Their Millions . . .

 East.  Why leave arguably the best conference in the sport?

Talent?  Oregon finished 8th in the afore mentioned conference of cinders.  Pitt?  2nd in the Big East.  Next season, Pitt will be returning ALL of their starters, sans Jermaine Dixon.  Plus they have two recruits in the top 150 nationally.  Oregon?  ZIPPO.  Dixon’s staff has a pipeline into the NYC talent pool, where would he recruit out in Oregon? 

Cost of living?  Dixon would need to double his pay to live in Eugene.  The median home price is $225,890 with total cost of living 4.98% higher than the U.S. average.  Pittsburgh’s cost of living?  15.51% LOWER than the U.S. average. 

If Jamie Dixon DID leave to become an Oregon Duck, which again, I highly doubt, he would be a QUACK . . .

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Happy Now???

Posted on March 23, 2010. Filed under: NFL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Go ahead . . . celebrate.

To all the whiners who couldn’t get the game won in regulation, lost in overtime and blamed it on losing the coin toss, congratulations.  The NFL has appeased you by changing the OT rules for playoff games.  Bought you that ridiculous rubber frog you couldn’t live without so you threw tantrum after tantrum on the store floor until big papa finally caved in and gave you what you wanted.  Now life is better . . . until you lose the frog ANYWAY.

Seriously.  What’s next? 

Will the Cleveland Browns campaign for a change to five downs because they can’t get it done in four?

All because it’s not fair.  WAHHHHHH!

Or maybe the opening coin flip will turn into the best out of three because the loser ended up losing the game 59% of the time.  That’s the percentage of teams that win the game in overtime after winning the coin toss.  Is it really that big of a difference?  And I don’t want to hear the “but the winners of the coin flip close out the game on the first possession 34% of the time” argument.  The losers then have a chance to win it the other 66% of the time on their first offensive drive.  And whatever happened to may the best team win?  Defense plays too, you know.  Who’s going to make a play when the team needs one?  Who’s going to make a mistake?  Will the kicker shank it anyway?  Neil Rackers, Nate Kaeding or Mike Vanderjagt anyone? 

Here are the rule changes:

Starting next season, if a team wins the coin toss and then kicks a field goal, the other team gets the ball. If the game becomes tied again after that next series, play will continue under the current sudden-death rules.  Should the team winning the toss immediately score a touchdown, then the game is over.

So the NFL wants to eliminate the ability to win by a field goal on the first OT possession.  I get it.  But what if the defense has a momentary break down and one big scoring play wins the game on the first snap?  That type of quick ending is okay, but the defense giving up a drive of 30  or 40 yards for a field goal attempt isn’t?  What kinda sense does that make? 

The coin flip NEVER decided a winner.  A team’s inability to get it done in four quarters and defensive breakdowns in overtime have.  If you don’t want to leave it to “chance” then take care of business. 

Geez.  I hope hockey doesn’t sell out and revise their sudden death overtime . . .

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Big Dance . . . Little Work . . . Random Thoughts

Posted on March 18, 2010. Filed under: Basketball, Life, NCAA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I know everyone is reading this because YOU ARE NOT WORKING. 

Don’t try to pretend like you are.  March Madness costs employers $1.8 BILLION in productivity during the first week of the tournament alone . . .  

So why swim upstream?  Everyone is doing it.  We might as well jump off the bridge too.  Here’s a few early thoughts:

‘OY WILLIAMS:  Just taking a moment to fathom how far the Tar Heels have fallen.  From National Champions of last year’s NCAA Tournament to almost getting ousted in the first round of the NIT by William & Mary.  OY.  Okay.  That’s it.  Moment’s over . . .

“Coach Dixon, how can I stop Villanova?”

ROBERT MORRIS SCARES THE WILDCAT CRAP OUT OF VILLANOVA:

Ya think Pittsburgh Panthers head coach, Jamie Dixon, gave his former assistant, now Robert Morris skipper, Mike Rice, some defensive pointers to use against Big East rival Villanova in the 2 vs. 15 seed match up this afternoon?  I do . . . 
Alas, the Colonials couldn’t hold on.  Even though they led almost the entire game during regulation, the tournament tested Villanova Wildcats hung around, and showed big time sticktoitiveness (I love that word) to win by three points in OT.  And according to my husband, it’s my fault.  Why?  I merely stated the truth.  When Villanova tied it up as the second half was winding down, I said it’s over.  If Robert Morris were to pull the upset they had to do it in regulation.  He said I jinxed them.  I said no, I’m just always right . . .  

THE LUCK ‘O THE IRISH RUNS OUT:  Notre Dame’s winning ways came to an abrupt end as Old Dominion bounced the Irish in the first round by hanging on in the waning seconds to pull the one point upset win.  That’s gotta be tough.  Mike Brey’s squad had to win their way into the big dance and barely made the cut, just to lose in an excrutiating fashion. 

The Monarchs held the second leading scorer in Notre Dame history, Luke Harangody, to just two points in his 23 minutes on the floor.  Notre Dame hardly sniffed a free throw, getting to the line only three times, and they shot a puny 23% from downtown.  When you shoot too many threes, you aren’t driving to the tin, and you’re not getting fouled.  You live by the three and die by the three.  Notre Dame just shot themselves dead . . .

More upsets and exciting finishes are happening right now!  Don’t get back to work!

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Why “Ben-A-Palooza” Says It All . . .

Posted on March 16, 2010. Filed under: Life, NFL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

BEN-A-PALOOZA?

Yeah.  That’s all you have to know about Ben Roethlisberger.  He names his club crawl excursion, BEN-A-Palooza.  It’s all about him.  What a self-righteous and conceded label for a drunken journey that keeps Mr. Ben in the spotlight.  If you had any doubts about the way Little Ben operates, this should surely put them to rest.  I’ve had defectors as close as friends and family who’ve championed Ben.  But that’s how old-school and current Pittsburghers are . . . blindly LOYAL.    It’s charming and a bit misguided at the same time. 

Each year, Ben Roethlisberger goes on a BENSCAPADE – yes, I made that up – and he hits all the bars and clubs in the area he targets.  I get it.  You’re a twenty-something millionaire and want to work it while you got it.  But Little Ben has a lot to learn about celebrity and all this says is that he is too self absorbed to realize what he is doing to his legacy.

Way too self absorbed.  He makes me sick.  Is it whatever Ben wants, Ben gets?  Not this time.  This year’s festival ended up a bit differently . . .

A word to the young, rich, single – or married, for that matter – your millions and stature do not precede you.  You are not above the law.  And as a Steeler fan, I hope Ben Roethlisberger is made an example of because this behavior defines everything that is wrong about professional athletes.

Want the latest details about Little Ben?  Click here.

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Wrapping Up Big East Quarter Finals Preview

Posted on March 11, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Okay, I am batting ZERO through the afternoon games of the quarter finals, so I am ready to redeem myself in the evening session.  

But there’s one problem . . . when it comes to Pitt, I’m a homer.  So I have to pick them.  No way around it. 

Even though the Panthers were embarrassed in South Bend during the regular season by a Harangody-less Notre Dame team, I have faith tonight.   Why?

Easy.  Revenge.

The Irish were desperate for a win with their NCAA tournament hopes on the line when these teams met during the season.  They shot at a ridiculous clip in the first half against Pitt.  Every time I turned around, Tim Abromaitis – which sounds like an STD to me – was tickling the twine.  He infected the vaunted defense of the Panthers, that’s fo sho.  But Pitt regrouped to win its last three and if I know this team, I know they play well with a chip on their shoulder and Notre Dame left a sour taste in their mouths.

Not to mention, Madison Square Garden has been good to the Panthers this decade, with Pitt going 24-10 and playing in seven of the last nine Big East championship games.  So . . .

Pitt wins 68-62.  I know.  You’re shocked . . .

******

Will Huggy Bear look like this tonight? We'll see . . .

In the final game of the night, West Virginia and Bob Huggins face his ex, Cincinnati, for a spot in the semis.  Mick Cronin has the Bearcats scraping and clawing their way through the Big East tournament, winning their two games by a total of four points.

But that ends here. 

Why? 

The Mountaineers have three guys – Butler, Jones and Ebanks – who score more than Cincinnati’s leading scorer, Lance Stephenson.  Even if WVU struggles shooting early, they have too much offense for the Bearcats to overcome.

Plus, the basketball gods want a Pitt – WVU semi-final game.  It’s as simple as that. 

West Virginia wins 73-66

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Marquette Vs Villanova: Quick Quarter Finals Preview

Posted on March 11, 2010. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

 Quick thoughts on the Big East quarter final match up between Marquette and Villanova . . .

Villanova goes as Scottie Reynolds goes

GUARDS, GUARDS & YOU GUESSED IT . . . GUARDS:   When the biggest impact guy in Marquette’s lineup is Lazar Hayward at 6-6,  and the engine that fuels Villanova’s high flying offense is 6-2 Scottie Reynolds, its going to come down to which team’s guard play wins out.  Duh . . .

Villanova swept the season series this year by a total of 4 points and they come into their third meeting of the year going in opposite directions.  Marquette has won 10 of 12 against Big East opponents and the Wildcats have lost four of their last six going 4-5 after starting 9-0 in the Big East.

The x-factor is going to be depth.  Marquette only has 8 guys that play double digit minutes while Jay Wright has an 11 player rotation for Villanova.  Will the Wildcats outlast those pesky Golden Eagles?  I think so.

Villanova wins 76-72

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Syracuse Vs Georgetown: Quick Quarter Finals Preview

Posted on March 11, 2010. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Quick thoughts on the Big East quarter final match up between Syracuse and Georgetown . . .

THE O-ZONE VS MONROE:  The story of this game, as it almost always is when Syracuse takes the court, will be

Greg Monroe is the key against Syracuse

whether or not Georgetown can beat the infamous zone defense of the Orangemen.  I fondly call it the O-ZONE.  You would think that outside shooting would be the aerosol to the o-zone, however in Syracuse’s three losses (to Pitt and twice to Louisville) the more polluting factor was the shooting efficiency inside the arc at 55%.  

Can Greg Monroe get it done in the paint?  Will Austin Freeman be hot from outside (47% from dowtown on the season)?  With Monroe, the Hoyas have a big man who can pass like a point guard, so if both he and Freeman are on their game, it’s a one two punch that might just knock out the o-zone.

BUT in Syracuse’s two game season sweep of Georgetown, Monroe had a respectable total of 28 points but just 13 rebounds while also committing 11 turnovers.   The Orange also did a good job of getting to the line for 58 attempts. 

If Georgetown isn’t foul happy and Greg Monroe is on his game, the Hoyas can pull the upset . . . will they?  Nope.

Syracuse Wins 72 – 68

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Oh How The Husky Have Fallen . . .

Posted on March 9, 2010. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Where Am I? The Twighlight Zone?

In the span of one year, the Connecticut Huskies have gone from:

Losing a classic, six overtime thriller against Syracuse in the Big East tourney to being on the wrong end of a 22 point opening round smackdown by Big East bottom feeder St. John’s.

Having a number one seed heading into the NCAA tournament and reaching the Final Four to checking the mail for an invite to the NIT

That’s quite a fall . . .

UConn had beaten the Red Storm in nine straight meetings but couldn’t make it ten. They weren’t even close.  At all. 

The tale of the tape:

The Huskies could only muster nine field goals in the first half

They racked up 20 turnovers for the game

They were 6 of 18 from the charity stripe

And their defense allowed St. John’s to shoot at a 50% clip

No wonder they lost 73-51 . . .

On the day after UConn’s women broke their own record of consecutive wins with 71 straight, the men couldn’t get it going . . .

Geno Auriemma must be embarrassed for Jim Calhoun.  With their NCAA hopes dashed – the Husky men sit back and wait for their NIT invite.  Fingers crossed . . .

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The Clock Is Ticking On Big Ben

Posted on March 8, 2010. Filed under: NFL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

What’s the difference between Ben Roethlisberger and Pacman Jones?  Their weapon of choice . . .

The gloc versus the . . . you can fill in the blank.

Listen, I am not saying Big Ben sexually assaulted either of his accusers, however I am saying that his situation is beginning to resemble that of Titan turned Cowboy turned NFL reject, Adam “Pacman” Jones.  In a way.  Eventhough Pacman wasn’t accused of pulling the trigger, he had difficulty staying away from people and places that brought him nothing but trouble.  He made terrible choices.

Eventhough Big Ben hasn’t been charged with pulling the ahem, trigger . . . he is having trouble with the ladies.  You would think after the first rape accusation, in which he is still facing a civil case in Nevada, he wouldn’t put himself in the situation to be accused again.  Especially with college kids!

That is the part that bothers me the most.  Roethlisberger is quickly becoming THAT OLD GUY in the college bars that won’t let go of his youth.  Hello McFly – You are almost 30 years old!  You look ridiculous trying to play frat boy college QB.  Dressed for the part, I might add:

Ben Roethlisberger modeling his upcoming "College Club Gear" clothing line

Why isn’t Big Ben going to mature, high end nightclubs?  It’s not like he’s searching for drink specials because he can’t afford bottle service.  Can’t he handle the WOMEN he’d find there?  Does he feel more in control and powerful with naive, young, star struck college girls?  An interesting psychobabble-type conversation . . .  

Today, Roethlisberger made a move that proved one of  two things.  In hiring the high-powered Atlanta attorney that had murder charges against Ray Lewis dropped 10 years ago, Ed Garland, Big Ben is saying, A) He is innocent and wants to nip this in the bud and FAST or B) He is guilty and wants to be sure NOT to get charged.  

Regardless of the outcome of these latest accusations, will the Steelers put up with Big Ben’s shenanigans?

The Rooney family has to be reeling.  Their face of the franchise is being dragged through the mud – rightfully so – and taking the proud prganization along for the ride.  How long until Dan Rooney decides Roethlisberger’s reputation is tarnishing Pittsburgh’s image?  Will Big Ben learn the hard way that he is not bigger than the Steelers?

We’ll have to wait and see . . .

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