Thursday, October 18, 2007

Enough Said

Great College Football Season Still Marred by BCS
By John Feinstein
Special to
Monday, October 15, 2007; 5:26 PM

Midway through the college football season, a strong argument can be made that there has never been a year quite like this one.

All you need to do is go down the list of teams that truly matter right now to draw that conclusion: South Florida, Boston College, Kansas, Arizona State and Hawaii are undefeated. South Carolina, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Missouri, California and Texas Tech have all played important roles in the season to date and are still worthy of national attention.

Discussion Policy
Stanford beat Southern California in Los Angeles.

Oklahoma State beat Nebraska by 31 points.

Heck, even Duke won a game.

Oh sure, some of the usual suspects are still in the national title picture: Ohio State is ranked No. 1 and appears dominant in a weak Big Ten. LSU and Oklahoma are still factors, even with one loss on their resumes.

But let's face it, the game has changed -- all for the better -- in ways most of us never believed possible. South Florida-Boston College for the national championship? It could happen.

And yet, the sport has not changed in the way that matters most: it still will not produce a true national champion. Computers and sportswriters and people who know nothing about football (check the list of voters in the Harris poll) will play a role in deciding who gets to play in the championship game. A school like Hawaii, even if it runs the table, has no chance to play for the title, just as Boise State had no chance a year ago even though it went 13-0.

Every single reasonable person in the country knows the BCS is the single worst creation there is in sports. It is the creation of a group of selfish, money-mongering college presidents who couldn't care less about what is best for the so-called student-athletes, couldn't care less about the fans who go to the games and, most of all, couldn't care less about fairness.

"Show Me the Money" is and has been the mantra of the BCS school presidents forever. What's both sad and ironic is that these over-educated, self-important frauds would actually make more money for their schools if they were willing to give up just a little bit of the absolute power they currently wield.

If big-time college football ever went to a playoff system -- you choose whether it would be an eight-, 12- or 16-team tournament -- the amount of money that would be thrown at the schools would be mind-boggling. It would more than make up for the fact that the BCS schools would have to divide the money up fairly rather than keeping almost all of it for themselves, as they do now.

Please do not make the weak argument about missed class time. The BCS presidents had no problem adding a 12th regular season game -- which is almost always a home game against a weak opponent played strictly for money -- but begin whining nonstop about their "student-athletes" whenever a playoff is brought up. Of course, almost the entire playoff could easily take place between semesters and would involve far less missed class time than the NCAA basketball tournament, but they don't want to hear that.

They have also long ago forfeited the right to make any claims about football becoming too "commercial," given that most have sold naming rights to their stadiums; have corporate sponsors for just about anything they can make an extra dollar on and allow television to take three- to four-minute timeouts that are miserable for everyone in the stadium to sit through, not to mention robbing most games of any flow at all. And that list doesn't include playing games that end nearly at midnight on any night of the week -- what about the 'student-athletes?'

Sadly, the one man who might be able to do something about this hypocrisy, NCAA President Myles Brand, has chosen to simply sit this one out. Whenever he is asked about the BCS, he just shakes his head sadly and says he has no control over it. The BCS schools are, basically, an independent cartel outside the purview of the NCAA.

What a cop out. All Brand has to do is use his influence as the NCAA president to get the non-BCS presidents to vote on one simple amendment to the NCAA charter: If a school wishes to participate in one NCAA-sanctioned tournament, it must participate in all NCAA-sanctioned tournaments. That would mean that if the NCAA started a football playoff for its division I-A member schools, all schools would have to take part or lose their shot at making the NCAA basketball tournament. How many schools do you think would want to give up that money, not to mention having all their non-revenue teams banned from NCAA participation?

It's that easy. But Brand won't do it. He and his cohorts in Indianapolis are too busy changing the names of division 1-A and division 1-AA and passing rules to make sure basketball coaches stay inside coaching boxes. Brand, an ex-college president himself, simply doesn't want to upset his former colleagues and doesn't want to risk having them come after his job by angering them.

It would take some guts for Brand to take on the BCS presidents. Like most who have been college presidents, Brand has no stomach for any kind of fight. College presidents are great at taking bows and asking people for money. When it comes to showing leadership or making tough decisions, they can usually be found hiding under a desk someplace.

What's saddest about all this is just how much fun a football tournament would be for everyone. Even if South Florida loses to Rutgers this Thursday, the Bulls should still be a part of a postseason tournament if they win out. So should Hawaii, along with all the usual suspects who would make the field, too. The best number for the tournament would be 12. Why? Because that way, the argument that the BCS system makes the regular season important would go away. Four teams would get byes -- you think that would make every game important? Four teams would host first round games -- you think that would make every game important? And the last four spots would be up for grabs -- think that would make every game important?

Of course it would. What makes the basketball tournament magical isn't Florida winning back-to-back titles or Duke and Arizona making the tournament for the umpteenth year in a row; it is George Mason making the Final Four. It is Virginia Commonwealth beating Duke and Winthrop beating Notre Dame. You might not get upsets quite like that in football, but South Florida beating Southern Cal (or LSU or Ohio State, take your pick) or Hawaii playing a 48-45 game against Michigan or Oklahoma, would be pretty close to comparably cool.

Those matchups can never happen until and unless there's a tournament.

This year, more than ever, provides proof of why a tournament should exist. Let's hope that South Florida wins out and there are a half-dozen teams with one loss. Let's see what the reaction is when the computer picks -- just for argument's sake -- LSU, and Ohio State, Oklahoma, Boston College, Southern Cal and West Virginia, all with one loss, are told to enjoy their bowl trips but, sorry, you can't play for the national title.

Only then might we hear some of the power schools campaigning for a tournament. Even then, the presidents will try to hold out so as not to give up any of their power or any of their money.

The time for someone to point out that these people are emperors with no clothes has long since passed. It is time for everyone else who cares about college football to say, 'Enough.'

There simply are no excuses left.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pac 10 vs. The SEC

This is a debate that has raged on since before the season started. It began with Louisana State's head coach Les Miles proclaiming that the University of Southern California has an easier road than any of the SEC teams. Being a student at Arizona State and having lived out west my entire life let me try and put my bias aside for a moment and comment on this:

Don't get me wrong. I love the SEC. They've got an insanely committed fan base, great teams, great stadiums, great traditions, and great players. A large portion of the NFL either played or was raised in SEC territory. There's no doubting their spremacy in the high school, college, and pro ranks especially in Florida. HOWEVER, you have to take a look at the early season schedules for the top teams. Your out of conference schedule matters hugely in college football and if you're just scheduling wins, then your road is definitely easier. Plus, all of the teams that are any good, the SEC has usually lost to. Let's take a peek:

SEC in the first couple of weeks so far:
LSU schedules Mississippi State, a school it has murdered for god knows how many years and Sylvester Croom has won I think 9 games in three years, they're not a good football team

Alabama vs. Western Carolina-WIN
Arkansas vs. Troy-WIN
Florida vs. Western Kentucky-WIN
South Caroilna vs. UL-Layfayette (WHO?!)-WIN
South Florida vs. Alabama-LOSS
Florida vs. Troy-WIN
Kentucky vs. Kent-WIN
Georgia vs. Western Carolina-WIN
LSU vs. Middle Tennessee-WIN
The only school that had the nerve to schedule a team that was worth anything was Tennessee and they got hammered at the hippie-fest known as Cal-Berkley. I'm not very fond of these teams scheduling so many W's. How are they able to prove they're the greatest conference if two teams are scheduling TROY!!??

PAC-10 on the other hand has had a much more impressive out of conference scheduling:
Washington vs. Syracuse
Utah at Oregon State
San Jose State vs. Arizona State
Colorado vs. Arizona State
Tennessee at California
Arizona at BYU
Washington State vs. Wisconsin
Oregon State vs. Cincinnati
Boise State at Washington
California at Colorado State
Houston at Oregon
Oregon at Michigan
San Diego State at Washington State

Within the first three weeks of the season there is only one team that is scheduled that's not a 1-A school, my alma mater, Northern Arizona University. They played a team that's the weakest in the Pac-10, Arizona. This game isn't just about scheduling a W though, at least 20% of the people that attend NAU are originally from Tucson and this game is great for NAU and U of A students to reconnect with friends who went to a different school. Aside from that, LOOK AT THE PAC-10 SCHEDULE! All of those teams are Division 1-A schools. NO TROYS! NO UL-LAYFAYETTES! None of these schools that get killed every time they step on the field. These teams like San Jose State, Boise State, Michigan, Cincinnati, and Utah have all either been ranked in the last three years or appeared in a bowl game and that's just off the top of my head.

I'm not saying the Pac-10 is years better than the SEC. The SEC is literally RIGHT behind the Pac-10, but I really couldn't see Georgia or South Carolina beating Arizona State or California right now. Until the SEC schedules tougher out of conference games like the Pac-10 then I have to say the Pac-10 is better.

Monday, September 24, 2007


This article is in response to Donovan McNabb's statemenet saying that "black quarterbacks have a tougher time than white quarterbacks." Being black and a football fan I felt it was my duty to weigh in on this situation (as if you care). I've got a few thoughts on the issue and some others on quarterbacks....

1. He's wrong, but to a certain extent he MIGHT be right

I've never been a quarterback in the NFL in one of the toughest cities in the country (Philadelphia) so my information is obviously based off my personal experience as a university advisor and world-wide badass. But before I take a bite out of McNabb let me say that at a certain point he might be somewhat right. Let's say, as a quarterback, you have 10 people and 9 that say "you suck!" when you throw a pick. But as a black quarterback that 10th one says, "you suck N***er!" Should a Pro-Bowl quarterback like McNabb be worried about that 10% of jokers out there that say something so stupid and moronic? Absolutely not. But is it the first or last time this happens? Absolutely not. Does it stick with you? Yes. Does it disappoint you and make you think that some people may feel the same way, but they're just not saying it? Yes..............With that aside, WAKE UP DONOVAN! Sports is at the point now where black quarterbacks are no longer a novel idea. Hell, the top quarterback in the SEC last year was JaMarcus Russell. There's six starting quarterbacks in the league right now and many more that were too athletic to play the position so they were moved to another one. Black quarterbacks are in fact less rare than white running backs right now. Do white running backs have more pressure? No. What about white receivers? No. As I mentioned earlier that's one of the great things about sports is that you may be purple, but if you can dunk a basketball or catch a knuckleball you're going to start. Donovan has probably faced some racism in his life, but it shouldn't decide his life. He's earned the respect of everyone in the sports world through his play and his leadership which is how it should work in America. Besides, who are the most hated quarterbacks in the league right now? Leinart? Grossman? Harrington? None of them black....

2. The disconnect between college (running) and pro (passing) quarterbacks

I think part of the reason this issue still comes up is because college football actually works against some quarterbacks in this area. Guys like Tim Tebow and the kid from West Virginia (White I think his name is) have yet to prove to the nation that they're capable of throwing the ball downfield, an invaluable trait in the NFL. However, this works out great for their current team. In college football there are huge gaps in between guys that are NFL fast and college fast. Alex Smith and Vince Young were NFL fast while everyone else was a step behind during college. Now, they have to step up their game. I've seen Alex Smith go for the sideline against some guys in the NFL and they chase him down like a hungry lion chasing a buffalo. In college, he would have turned it upfield and have been gone. Basically, being a running quarterback in college is a GREAT thing. It's exciting and useful. However, if doesn't prepare them for the NFL

3. Rex Gross-man needs to go

I don't have NFL Sunday Ticket so I don't know a lot about a hell of a lot of the NFL. But Rex Grossman is one of the quarterbacks that I've seen the most since he became a starter and I can say perfectly well that The forgettable Monday night debacle by the Cardinals in 2006 showed me that Rex Grossman didn't have what it took. The Cardinals D was good, but he was making them look like the '85 Bears ironically enough. So I started watching him some more. I started looking at his decision making. I started looking at how long he holds the ball. How fast his release was. And his confidence. The only thing that I can say is good is his confidence which is solid proof that he's not sucking because he's nervous. He's sucking just because he sucks. Go to and check out how bad this guy is getting blistered. Chicago wants a winner, not a scrub.

4. I'm not sold on Romo

There are some major benefits for playing for one of the most popular teams in the entire country, the Dallas Cowboys. You get a ton of press, get to make decisions, and as soon as you win a Super Bowl there your bust gets enshrined in the Hall even before you reitre. After watching him play last night I can say that he's got talent. But he doesn't have talent like Peyton Manning talent. Not Donovan McNabb talent. Not even Kurt Warner talent. He's got......Porn Star Jenna Jameson talent. Basically it's things that anybody can really do, but he's getting a lot of love for it. He moves around in the pocket and finds open receivers. It's simple, it's easy, and it turns people on, like Jenna Jameson taking one in the......never mind. His confidence is up and it's driving his ability. But wait until people start catching on. They'll clamp down and make his life harder. The difference between mediocre quarterbacks in the lague and great ones is the great ones rise above being figured out, but for right now, I'm not sold on Romo (doesn't his name sound like a nickname? Like it should be Romonina or something? Check his green card!).

5. College quarterbacks have not been impressing me

I try to watch as much college football as possible (I LOVE IT), but as far as the top teams are concerned I'm not impressed with their quarterback ability. Defenses? I'm totally impressed. I just watched the Kentucky/Arkansas game again last night and there was nothing about the quarterback play that overwhelmed me. The Kentucky defense? That thing is for real. To a certain extent, I think that's a great thing for college football. For so long the pro-style offenses have dominated the college level. The defenses have been largely ignored and/or exposed completely. I'm not a huge fan of 3-0 games, but great defensive players in college are usually overlooked by everyone. Look at Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers and formerly of Ole Miss. This guy is AWESOME. He is fast, he's straong, smart, and athletic. WE NEVER HEARD ABOUT HIM. I hope they keep punishing quarterbacks so many more defensive players can get the notariety they deserve.

Alright, back to my thesis. I'm doing a litereature review on if there are differences in sentencing between latinos, whites, and blacks in Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona........please pity me.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Comment on Pats Head Coach Bill Write-a-Check

Bill Belichek did NOT get what he deserved and I'm completely ashamed of the NFL for not putting their foot down on this issue. A little background on the situation......Bill Belichek, the New England Patriots Head Coach had a camera of an assistant of his be confiscated during the Jets game on September 9th. Officials believe the Patriots employee was using the camera to steal signals from the Jets sideline, a complaint that has been made about the Patriots team before. Well, it was found that Belichek not only knew, but orchestrated a taping of the signals, a violation of NFL policy, and was slapped with a $500,000 fine, the maximum for a coach, the Pats were slapped with a $250,000 fine, and if the team makes the playoffs, they lose a 2nd and third round pick and if they don't make the playoffs they lose their two first round picks.

This entire fiasco is a joke, but what's bothering me is those that are apologizing for what he did. In professional football it's difficult enough to try and gain an edge on the other team. They have a lot of good players. Your team has a lot of good players. Revenue sharing allows you to keep good players on bad teams like Matt Leinart, Vince Young, or Brett Favre so the ability to one-up a team is almost impossible. Unless of course you're a cheater like Bill Belichek. Here is why I hate what's gone on:

1. Fining rich people money is playing into their game
Bill Belichek is the orchestrator of three Super Bowl championships since the 2000 season which is virtually unheard of in today's salary cap market and this allowed him to not just become rich, but SUPER rich coaching football. $500,000 is going to make this all go away now. Let's say he gets fired from the Pats tomorrow. He picks up an assistant job with another team. He picks up a head coaching job in college. He goes into TV. He goes into radio. Frankly, he'll go into a job that will earn him $500,000 in a remarkably short amount of time in the worst case scenario. For what he did, that's bunk. Head coaches are supposed to have a higher moral character than everyone else on the team. They're a leader of men. They need to be charismatic, compelling, convincing, tough, supportive, and most importantly, HONEST. This act, recording signals of other teams to give them an unfair edge, calls into question all of the other qualities he has too.

2. What about the draft pick?
Although this is a less intended effect it will still change the life of an NFL hopeful. With the Patriots losing a draft pick that means only 31 teams instead of 32 are picking, leaving an odd man out. For a player coming out of college being a first rounder and a second rounder makes significant differences in playing time, money, and respect in the locker room. For the rest of that player's career he'll be known as the 2nd round pick from State University. The NFL didn't punish the Pats with this, they punised the player with this.

3. "Hey, everybody's doing it."
The weakest excuse for when you get caught. This excuse doesn't work with people doing 80 MPH in a school zone does it? Then why should it work for the Pats? Besides, there's not even a shred of proof that any other team was doing this dispicable act. It reminds me of a child that is trying to claim that "Johnny had his hand in the cookie jar too." Did the teacher see Johnny? NO. Did the teacher see you? YES. Clam it up and take your punishment.

4. "It's to gain a competitive edge."
There is a very fine line between cheating and gaining a competitive edge. If Bill Bellichek or one of his staff members HAPPENED to figure out a snap count, defensive signal, or offensive trick play through watching, learning, and adjusting then we could give the "master of half time adjustments" his fair shake. When you're RECORDING something like THAT, you lose any integrity that may have been involved in gaining an edge. There's a reason the NFL says that it is against the rules. It's the equivalent of going into their playbook, ripping out a couple of pages, photocopying them, studying them, then using them to your advantage. The NFL and all of the coaches understood the rule and why it's in place and unlike the Suns/Spurs dibacle where Amare and Boris Diaw jumped off the court in a moment of human reaction this was a coldly calculated plan by the HEAD COACH after the rule was put in place. It was a boneheaded move and he thought he would be able to get away from it. This team can kiss its credibility with the fans comopletey good bye. They may have some good will left with the press, but hey, the power of the internet is in OUR hands, not theirs.

Let me just say on a personal note I've lost respect for the Patriots organization. They have shown a lack of class that only Barry Bonds has been able to duplicate. Did I mention Bill Bellichek was Nick Saban's best friend? Birds of a feather are snake-like together....

Friday, September 7, 2007


It's the most wonderufl tiiiiime of the yeeeaaaarrr!! There are helmets-a-cracking, fans are a-cheering, and backs filled with feeeaaaarrrrrr, it's the most wonderful time of the yeeeaaaarrr.

Here are my week 1 picks for the greatest sport in the history of earth besides Badminton. All of my wrong picks are in red.

Denver vs. Buffalo

Tennessee vs. Jacksonville

Miami vs. Washington

Carolina vs. St. Louis
Saint Louis

New England vs. NYJ
New England

Atlanta vs. Minnesota

Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland

Philadelphia vs. Green Bay

Kansas City vs. Houston
Kansas City

Tampa Bay vs. Seattle

Chicago vs. San Diego
San Diego

Detroit vs. Oakland
Who cares, but Detroit

New York Giants vs. Dallas
New York

Baltimore vs. Cincinnati

Arizona vs. San Francisco
Cardinals Baby!

It sucks my favorite team is the LAST game of the first week of the season. I'm dying here.

Things That Annoy Me About Sports

I've been going on and on for a couple of months about how great I think sports are. In fact, sports and I getting married in San Diego on Sunday. I have to admit though that not everything in sports is that great and in an effort to be fair and honest I need to be able to have different angles on the world of sports. Of all of the things I love there are a number of things that get on my last damn nerve. Here is the start of the on-going list....

1. The argument that college players should be paid for pay
This is one of the most ridiculous arguments that I've ever heard. Some sports columnists that cover college sports, in particular college football, feel that athletes should get a piece of the financial pie. They feel that that they're responsible for bringing in revenue for not just the other sports, but for the students on campus as well...................................Now that I'm done laughing my ass off here is my rebuttal. These columnists don't realize that these guys aren't really "working" for this money that they're bringing in. College athletes are the most pampered college students you'll ever want to meet. They get tutors, they get first pick at their classes, many of them are on scholarship, and they get special treatment by administrators and professors on campus as they should, I mean, they're the stars. Those are just the legitimate benefits. Let's not forget these players get invited to every party, all of the girls want them on campus, they get national and local media exposure, and some even have a shot at a proffesional career. Those benefits KIND of make a difference in a 20 year old's life. In reference to the scholarships, the money these players receive, although not in cash, is extensively more than most scholarship students on campus. They get free food, free board, stay in fancy hotels, have access to world class training facilities, and get free text books, and oh yeah, free tuition. Never mind the fact only a small percentage of players even have a shot at giving the college team a national championship. I haven't even touched on the illegal benefits some of the players are privy to (Maurice Clarrett anyone?). Most teams have 85 scholarships to give away and maybe 10 of those guys will help the team win or even turn pro. Most of these guys are going to go on regular careers having had an easier path financially and socially than most students. If you're a communications major at Arizona State or a marine biology major at the University of Miami and a scholarship athlete, you're basically set for life...............for free. Columnists, wake up you jerks, education is still the most valuable investment ever made so these guys/gals aren't missing out.

2. NFL Coverage on CBS
UGGGGGH. If you have an HDTV like I do you understand exactly what I'm talking about. Is it against the f***ing LAW to not broadcast games in high definition on that channel??? They'll put Shannon Sharpe's country-time ass in high-def, but Tom Brady, NOPE! That would be out of the question. Get with it CBS, I understand you're an old person station, but HDTV's are becoming cheaper and more available and if you want us to continue to watch the games you need to put them in HD. You cheap (muffled cursing).....

3. The Summer
I can't think of a time where I hate watching sports more. Golf tournaments, baseball, tennis, and the WNBA dominate the sports world during the summer months and there's nothing I'd want to do LESS with my life. During the summer I'm usually the most productive around the house, I play with my kids a lot, go out with my wife, and catch up with my friends. These are all great things in my life, but it's obvious sports means a great deal to me and these so-called "sports" are fun to play, but boring as hell to watch. The sports world needs to shake up the seasons and start basketball in the summer along with baseball and keep hockey and footbal lin the fall. When it's 112 degrees in Phoenix all I want to do is watch some good games....

4. Guaranteed Contracts
Chances are whatever you do for a living provides you with adequate compensation. My job does certainly. Now imagine if the CFO walks into your cubicle, offers you ten million dollars guaranteed, and says you can continue to do the job you're best at, how do you think that would change you? For most people, they would get lazier and feel more entitled. Welcome to the world of an NBA basketball player and an MLB baseball player. The more money you guarantee people the more likely they are to not give that extra effort. What do they have to work for? They've already got all of the money they need. If you fire them, they STILL get their money, it's a win-win situation for them, but a lose-lose situation for the fans and the teams. We get to watch guys fake injuries, have contract hold-outs, complain in the press, and not really give their all. Can we blame them though? We can't. It's human nautre, but it still annoys me about sports.

5. How Serious Sports Can Be
Don't get me wrong, I take sports more seriously than I should take most things in my life like my weight or the amount of sun I get, but that's just who I am. I live sports. I breathe sports. I am sports. But there's a point where that all stops. Although sports is a great leisure activity for me and a hobby, it gets pushed back on my list of prioroties harder than Chris Farley movies make me laugh when something else pops up. Simple things like my family, my friends, and work tend to have a greater piece of my heart than a Bills/Jets game. For some people, those things STILL don't matter. And by this I mean soccer fan especially. They waste their lives fighting, yelling racist slurs, and drinking their asses off before every match prior to their impending arrest. And for what? A soccer match? Get a life. Take up sewing. Start a book club. Work on the yard. Hit the gym. Just DO something else with your free time because you're embarrassing the rest of us. Work on your own happiness that way Thierry Henry doesn't have to provide that empty shell of a life, just an FYI.

Friday, August 31, 2007

More Reasons Why I Love Sports

28. Starting Line-ups

Starting lineups are great as a player AND a fan. As a player, it gets you totally jazzed to have your name called out loud as you run out onto the court or field and all eyes are on YOU. You feel the crowd's energy and excitement just because they're calling names. As a fan it gets you pumped to see all of your team's players run out onto the field. The best part is when the best player is called last....."At guard, from North Carolina, Number 23, Michaeeeeelllllll Jooooooordan!!!!" In what other capacity do you get that kind of treatment? Could you imagine when you're coming home your wife fires up the microphone and says, "And at the father position, from Northern Arizona University, standing 5'11", Jooooooooosh Hamilllltooooooonnnn!!" A nice touch would be lazers and those smokes machines too.....

29. Colin Cowherd

For those of you who don't know who he is Colin Cowherd is literally the best radio show host in America. Lucky for me he does a syndicated show on ESPN radio every day from 7 am to 10 pm PST. His show is funny, insightful, knowledgable, and entertaining. He helps make my time sitting in front of this computer at work that much less painful. He doesn't just do X's and O's either. He talks about how sports really affect our lives, he makes comparisons, talks about social issues, and he's honest, totally honest. At first, I hated the guy. I think it was his honesty that bugged me and I wasn't used to it. But like any intelligent person I listened, thought about what he said, and eventually I started agreeing with most of the things he commented on. They made sense. He truly is one of the greatest radio hosts ever. You should listen to him. You can start here at

30. Walk-Off Home Runs
Ask any Detroit Tigers fans how it felt when Magglio "my name is strange as hell" Ordonez hit that homer to send them to the World Series? Walk-Off home runs are some of the most dragged out, painful, joyous, and anticipatory events in sports. Seeing the ball sail in the air wondering if it's going to hit the ground, hit the wall, hit the foul pole, or if the outfield is going to make SportCenter just adds to the excitement. It's not like a desperation three pointer from half court in basketball to where you KNOW it won't go in. It's not like a 25 yard field goal where you KNOW it WILL go in. And it's not like hockey where you KNOW you won't give a damn what happens. I've been fortunate to see a walk-off home run by Erubiel Durazo when he was with the Diamondbacks in 2002 and in what seemed like a lifetime he ended the Blue Jays hopes of coming back. Game over. Get off the field. Winning team celebrate. Losing team try not to trip on the way to the clubhouse.

31. SEC Football
Let me be frank. I've got my issues with the southeastern United States. I've never been there, but I've read a history book or two and it seems like the South just has things ass backwards. Blacks and whites still are separated from one another largely. They're the poorest region in the country. They're the least educated. They talk very distinctively. There's a stereotype that they're dumb. And let's not forget that whole slavery thing. However, if it's one conference that I'll watch right next to the Pac-10 (Go Sun Devils!) it's the SEC. The fans LIVE for college football. A fellow blogger (LeftLeaningLady) is a huge Gators fan and you can just tell it runs through her veins. This isn't uncommon. There's no pro teams that can compete and there's no rival football conferences. Each team in the conference is a rival. Every other team in the NCAA is just an obstacle. It's amazing to see that EVERY TEAM in the SEC is a rival of the other. Some teams are hated more than others, but even LSU vs. Missi-crappy State brings out the entire region!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Matches Made in Hell: Hip-Hop and Sports

Another one of my revelations here on this blog is that I am a huge rap music fan. It started back when I was 11 years old and the West Coast Rap (Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eazy-E, Dogg Pound Gangsters, etc.) scene was on FIRE! For once there was rap music available to us that talked about low riders, palm trees, and lazy summer days. So for all of you that think that I'm just trying to hate on rappers in general you're wrong. I can appreciate rap music as much as anybody and here is my top five list of rappers all time

1. Tupac, 2. Dead Tupac, 3. Biggie Smalls, 4. Scarface, 5. Jay-Z. This list is inarguable and I defy you to say anything different! Anyway, rap music has contributed to a problem in many black communities that has stretched into professional sports.....Life is beginning to immitate art. Here are the reasons why I think that this match is ultimately made in hell.

Some people don't understand that "Thug Life" is not a realistic way to live if you're playing sports

Football players are probably the worst at this because of their inflated sense of toughness and ability to intimidate. In college for some reason is when many players think they're the most"thugged out." Never mind that many of these guys are pampered college students at a major university, they "ain't going to let no punk ass bitch stare at them that way." Frequently these dudes, yes dudes, get themselves in a ton of trouble. They end up stabbed, arrested, beat down, or in some cases kicked off the team. These guys don't ask themselves if it's worth it or if they should do something else, they just figure that in order to be thug, they can't back down. It's a stupid way of life.

Immaturity is rampant in hip-hop
Gold chains, 26 inch rims, fancy cars, big homes, a ton of girls.....these are all qualities that children think are a good idea. Wasting your money on things that are fleeting. These things can be re-posessed, taken away, or stolen. Good investments, smart business decisions, and saving money are not things that ever go out of style. Those in the hip hop culture often lack the foresight to see that all of the aforementioned things aren't really worth your time. These things are called luxuries for a reason. Some athletes aren't any different. They have the same women, cars, and homes as most rappers. Here's the problem. The life of a professional athlete isn't nearly as lucrative as a lot of rappers. Rappers can rap until they're old and gray. You can only dunk with authority until you're 36. There's a lot of living ahead of you, please be smart with the dough....

This is a short post, but I'll have more stuff up soon. I just started classes again and I've got a TON of stuff to discuss, thanks!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Dear Mr. Bonds

An Letter to Barry Bonds,

Mr. Bonds, first I wanted to congratulate you on your most incredible of feats. Hitting that many home runs requires patience, strength, committment, and longevity. People stopped pitching to you for much of your career and you still managed to do something great. As a soon to be alumnus of Arizona State University I understand how much you meant to the progression of our quality baseball program en route to MLB superstardom as well.......

With that aside, you suck. For over a decade you have crushed some of the most important records in all of sports. Normally, of course, that wouldn't be a problem. Even for a social pariah such as yourself anybody that could do what you did would be absolutely amazing. My biggest problem though is that I don't know if there is anyone who deserved this less. Yes, you are very good at what you do, but you and your team haven't been relevant in at least five years, you're far past your prime, you are completely one dimensional, and of course, you play for a rival of my Diamondbacks which makes you suck even more.

I've read Game of Shadows and I learned one very clear thing. You've been using steroids for years to increase your performance at the plate. Most myopic sports nuts in the Bay Area will still say there's no proof. Grand jury testimony convinces me that there is plenty of proof you were on the juice. Yes, I know that there must have been dozens of other players doing the exact same thing, but you are at the center of it all, and it's all your fault. Nobody thrust you in that light, you welcomed it wholeheartedly. Now you complain continually of the coverage you've received. Welcome to the real world Barry. A place that has eluded you for much of your adult life.

Lastly, I really hope you recognize what you've done to your body, your family, and Major League Baseball. No one person has had more of an impact on the game than you and you are easily the worst choice for a league that is struggling internally anyway. I can guarantee that in about five years we'll see you admitting yourself to a hospital due to serious injury or checking into rehab for substance abuse. Even the guys who enjoyed the greatest of accolades like John Elway still struggled after their career was over. You aren't going to be any different. You're getting old, you're not going to be raking in any money, and nobody outside of northern California can appreciate what you've done so resting on your records is a bad idea. No one will invite you to speak. No one will invite you to throw first pitches. No one will even want to give you an interview. You're going to fade away into the abyss until Alex Rodriguez breaks your record and then we can finally forget about you. You're going to die before your 60th birthday because of the poison in your body and I will feel bad for you then, but it won't come before years of physical and mental breakdowns. I'm fortunate I don't care about baseball that much so I can turn my focus to this weekend's Cardinals/Radiers game. Enjoy your long off-season because it will be your last

The Double-U Show

More Reasons Why I Love Sports

22. NFL Films
This is mostly for football nuts, but do you remember the last really good NFL Films flick you saw? I do. It was a replay of the last Super Bowl between Pittsburgh and Dallas in the 1970s. I'm too young to remember it, but I was wrapped up in every moment the "Voice of God" John Facenda described. When I was in college I used to be home a lot in the afternoons and I would just flip on ESPN Classic and watch an old NFL film. My favorite one of all time was one called "Winning and Losing." They interviewed coaches like Bill Parcells and the late Bill Walsh about the differences emotionally between the two. Bill Parcells was completely candid and admitted fully "that after every loss he is literally sick for days. He said that there's nothing that makes losing in football feel better. There are no moral victories. There's no silver lining. Losing feels 10 times worse than winning feels good." Only NFL Films could capture something like that. They've been doing it for decades and I've enjoyed every minute of it.

23. Baseball Hats
Sports has a hard time translating to fashion statements in the real world. When's the last time someone let you into a club with a jersey on? Once when I was going to a bar with my friends in Tucson one night the bouncer told me I had to take my jersey off. This wasn't like the Shark bar or anything, this was the sleaziest bar this side of Oklahoma. The worst part was that it was "heavy metal night" meaning that everyone who was still into hair bands showed up in the same clothes they wore in 1984. Baseball hats are different. With the exception of a military base, you can wear a baseball cap anywhere. I've got a ton of different teams and I want to be able to collect all of them. There was a period of about two years where I made an effort to not get the same hat as someone else, even if I just saw them in the mall. That's how much of a fashion accessory it is to me. Jerseys and t-shirts aren't usually as fashionable, but baseball hats are on a different level. My next hat? Toledo Mud Hens, don't even think about getting it!

24. The Locker Room
As a player there is no greater place for solace than inside the locker room. When I was a freshman in high school on the basketball team we played Chaparral High School which has one of the top basketball programs in the state of Arizona and we realized that two seconds after tip off. They scored 24 straight points on us and we were down by 36 at half time. We had scored 8 points. I couldn't WAIT to get back to the locker room and hide forever. There's no fans, no opposing players, nobody except the guys you're with and your coaches. It's a time to re-group, re-focus, and get back out there. In our case we got back out there and lost by 63 so maybe we should have stayed, but that's not the point, the point was there was a time when we felt we could actually come back, and it came inside the locker room. The locker room also serves as a place to discuss any team problems, personal problems, bond, scheme, and chill out......Except for football locker rooms. They smell like hot garbage midway through the season.
25. Pride
Pride in everyday life causes people, especially men to do some really great and some really stupid things. The sporting world isn't any different at all. We've all seen those athletes and coaches that are so full of pride they need to get larger pants. Pride has caused people to really risk their lives in the face of better judgment. Whether it's the baseball player that has his arm dangling off his shoulder, the football player that is past his prime but wants to win that ring, or the basketball player that refuses to be denied a dunk even though he's been rejected the last four times by the rim. But without pride in sports, we'd have a bunch of pansies who never took any chances. Ask Boise State of pride had anything to do with their win. They could have rolled over and played it cautiously, but they didn't. They were Boise State and they WEREN'T going to lose. Ask Donovan McNabb in a game against the Cardinals a few years ago. Was a broken ankle going to keep him from trying to put them away? Nope. Ask Peyton Manning in the 2006 AFC Championship Game. Tell me pride didn't have anything to do with that win. He wasn't going to lose the Patriots again. Pride is a magical juice that forces athletes to forego all rational thought and just DO. And having witnessed some of those doings has convinced me pride is a great reason to love sports.
26. Hockey Games
I'll admit, I think hockey, at least on television, is about as exciting as going shopping for throw pillows. Hockey live? Totally different story. I don't know much about hockey, I grew up in the desert and I always thought that's what people did when they were spitting, hockey-ing a loogey. But here come the Phoenix Coyotes. I won some tickets from school to go see them at the America West Arena downtown and was totally blown away. The game was fast, the hits were hard, there was this cold chill coming up from the ice, every score was a celebration, and for me, the best part was there was a group of guys who taunted the Toronto Maple Leafs goalie for TWO HOURS STRAIGHT. Yes, they were hammered, but you didn't see that at Suns games. Hockey fans are ruthless fanatics who are in love with their sport. Did I mention these guys were about 60 rows up? That's how much they care. Hockey games keep your interest and although the scoring is similar to soccer, the chances at scoring are about 100 to 1 in comparison. I wish I knew more about the game or grew up with it because I know I would probably attend 10 games a year just to be involved in the excitement. Did I mention these guys beat the crap out of each other at least once a game? Yeah, that's kind of exciting.
27. Jackie Robinson
I have to acknowledge that there have been many players to come through sports who had to endure the same punishment as Jackie. But Jackie was different. Jackie had so much riding against him that to do what HE did, was incredible. He had to play in New York which Randy Johnson can't even handle. He couldn't stay with his teammates. He was constantly berated with racial threats and slurs. Not like today's whiny athletes where if someone calls them a "faggot" they get the ACLU involved. Jackie did all this and STILL won the rookie of the year award which is named after him. His fire, his demeanor, his intelligence, and ability really helped changed the way white Americans thought about black people. He was more than just a baseball player. He allowed guys like myself to play on teams that were predominantly white and not even think twice about it. He is literally the only reason I give UCLA any respect whatsoever. The most important athlete ever was a student and how can you hate that? Another reason, I love sports!