Thursday, March 5, 2009

Super Bowl, SEC, Opel - February 4, 2009

Biggest Winner
The Super Bowl. I really didn’t want this to happen. I guess that it doesn’t bother me all that much, but it is annoying that Pittsburgh gets the victory again. However, that pass and catch to OSU’s own Santonio Holmes was fantastic. When Roethlisberger let it go I thought it was sailing way out of the endzone, it just seemed too high and Holmes just snatched it. I stand by my pre-Super Bowl evaluation of Roethlisberger, but he was much more efficient on that day than he normally is (he doesn’t regularly put up a 70% completion rate). He did everything that he’s good at in that game. The scrambling thing helps him tremendously because that allows his players to get open and he’s accurate enough to get the ball to them on 3rd down and that’s really frustrating. He’s a really good QB now, had a near perfect day in the Super Bowl and it just pisses me off. I’d still, stubbornly, leave him curbside though on Mondays along with my grass clippings.

Fitzgerald is a phenomenal. I love watching him play. Related to that, I’m looking forward to the day when we can choose which camera angles we want to watch during games, a la Madden. I, like you, and probably everyone who was watching the game who had a passable knowledge of the teams, was wondering why Fitzgerald wasn’t getting the ball. We can make assumptions during the game, e.g. “He must be double-covered,” but we don’t know. I’d love to be able to see the overhead shots or what they call the “coaches’ tape” to see just what in the hell was going on. Even if he was double covered I would have forced it to him. The guy makes plays all of the time. That catch and run he had was amazing, as you said. When he caught it I stood up and started high stepping in place like Deion Sanders. I want to see Andre Johnson from Houston play some next year so I can truly compare the two players because lots of people say that he’s just as good as Fitzgerald. I’m dubious, but I’m also willing to be convinced. I just don’t see how anyone is as good as him and there is no chance that anyone is actually better than he is.

Hey, how about my “bonus prediction” that one of Pitt’s TDs would be a return? While I didn’t anticipate seeing a 242 lb James Harrison steamrolling down the sidelines for 100 yards, I did think that Pitt would definitely score on defense or special teams. I actually thought that an interception would be returned. I agree totally with your assessment, Mowrer, that guys sort of gave up on the play before it was over. I thought that the dudes that were in the back simply thought that there was no way he was going to make it 100 yards without someone stopping him. I’ve only watched it live and then when they were showing the replays during the official’s review, but I noticed that Fitzgerald, who ended up catching him, actually slowed down quite a bit when he was toward the back of the crowd, but then sped up (a lot) to run his big ass down just a step too late. What a remarkable play though, it really is a game of inches and there were several plays like that (well, not exactly like that) in the game.

Another thing about this game that I found compelling was that my friend Joel and I said, at least three times during the game, that it was over, Pittsburgh had it wrapped up. But then they kept letting Arizona back into the game and Arizona made huge plays. I can’t believe they came back to take the lead and nearly won the damn thing if not for some abysmal play in the Arizona secondary leading to the Holmes TD. That play where Francisco (no. 47) slipped and allowed Holmes to sprint down to the 6 was a killer, there is no way that should happen at that time in the game. Great game though and it’s pretty cool that we’ve had two very, very good Super Bowls back-to-back.

Biggest Loser
Michael Phelps. I don’t care that he smokes pot. In fact, I couldn’t care less. It’s a non-story for me, but if he loses millions in endorsement deals because he got caught blazin’, in a semi-public place, at a frat house in South Carolina, then dude, you are just stupid. He can burn at home and no one would know. He could burn after the London Olympics, in public, in Heathrow and it wouldn’t matter because no one will care about him anymore. I’m sure this will blow over, but it’s just one more thing to have to deal with and he’s not exactly going to continue to have huge earning potential because he has no other talent than swimming, which is exactly one more talent than I have, which, last I looked, is nothing. Michael, stay away from the bong water and stick to the water in the pool, you’ll be better off.

Bonus Losers
Steve Sarkisian and Nick Holt for their stupid “secondary violations.” Dudes, KNOCK IT OFF.

The SEC Continues to Deliver
As we’ve discussed in this space before, it is a long-held belief (at least four months or so) that the SEC’s dominance in football is directly correlated to the patented awesomeness of the players’ names. Rest assured that the SEC’s dominance will continue because one recruit sought after by two SEC West powers (Alabama and LSU) is a linebacker from West Monroe, Louisiana named Barkevious Mingo. It’s nice to see that two teams in the SEC are taking their legacy seriously. I only hope and pray for the SEC that his Barkevious isn’t stronger than his Bitevious.

My '79 Buick Opel
When I was a junior in college I worked at a sporting goods store that is now defunct (Olympic Sports). One night after work I agreed to drive my friend, Mike, home. He was getting his car worked on or something. Anyway, he lived in Puyallup so I dropped him off and when I was on my way home, my car died. I was able to pull over next to a phone booth (I can’t believe how dated this story got… no, I didn’t have a cell phone, this was 1995) and called my roommates to come and get me. As I sat in the car waiting, I realized that I better gather up anything “important” to me in the car just in case someone broke into it. I had speakers mounted in wood boxes behind the back seat of the car. This car was worth maybe $250, but yet I had speakers mounted in the back—of course the speakers were crappy, so I guess it all made sense.

I climbed into the backseat to remove the speakers, but they were nailed in really well. I was leaning with my chest and stomach against the seat with the back of my head pressed against the rear windshield while grabbing one speaker box pulling up as hard as possible when… BAP. Everything went dark. I woke up on my back, cradling the speaker box in my arms. I had knocked myself out. My teeth and forehead were aching. When I pulled the box out, I had smacked my forehead with the corner of the box and my teeth smacked together, knocking me out. I have no idea how long I’d been out (probably not long) but I had a huge, Looney-Toons-like bump on my forehead. When my roommates showed up I got out of the car and pointed to my forehead. They thought I’d been mugged. I told them what happened and they laughed for a very long time at me.

The next day, we were walking home from class and my car was parked in our driveway. There was no note and no explanation. My roommate, Brian, looked at me and called the car “Christine.” Evidently, Mike, the guy I drove home the night before, saw my car parked along the side of the road and towed it to my house, but didn’t bother telling me until I saw him at work the next week. The car never worked again (pouring out liquor…).

Griffey, Kiffin, UW Hoops - Friday, February 27, 2009

Biggest Winner
Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball is my least favorite sport of the big three as I’ve described before, but I do have a soft spot for M’s baseball. I will always follow it and sometimes I’ll even follow it earnestly. I’m not all moist though about this Griffey signing. I loved the guy when he played here and thought he was fantastic. I was very bummed when he left and then really bummed when he kept getting injured during his years in Cincy because he was on pace to break records and stuff. As it is, he’s 5th all time in the HR list and has a shot, albeit a distant one, at 3,000 hits. Remarkable considering he’s missed so much time due to injury. I was pretty against him coming back here, but then when he’s only going to get paid 2M or 4M max, it’s not that big of a deal. They’ve tossed over double that amount to pieces of crap like Weaver, so I changed my stance and am solidly in the it’ll-be-cool-to-see-Griffey-back-in-Seattle camp. He’s a winner because he actually wants to be here, and that can’t be understated.

Biggest Loser
Lane Kiffin, University of Tennessee Football Coach. Is he trying to get fired before he coaches a game? The secondary violations are stupid and meaningless in my opinion. But I just think that the bombastic nature and the way he’s going about things is bound to kill him at some point. He’s being way too much of a braggart especially this early in his career. He hasn’t done a thing to be able to act this way and I’d argue that a coach should never act the way that he’s acting because being a braggart is not a redeeming quality. It’s what insecure dudes do and I guess Lane is insecure. He does have a hot wife though, so good for him on that count. He just better watch his ass because Florida, Georgia, LSU, Alabama, and Auburn are going to steal his lunch money and chase him all the way home if he doesn’t back up what he’s saying.
My Thoughts on UW Hoops
I’m amazed at the goings-on at Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmonson Pavilion. I never thought that Justin Dentmon had this in him. He’s playing so well. I’ve been pissing on him for years and he’s just delivering this now. He looks so fast and is shooting unbelievably well. I don’t know where this has come from but I guess he just grew into his game and became confident over the summer and Isiah Thomas is probably helping out a great deal. If a player has any ability at all and then has confidence, then he’s going to be good. That’s just the way it is. A player with better ability but with shaky confidence will never be good. Anyway, I’m just glad he’s playing well. The team would be completely lost without him.

I’m impressed by Thomas and Overton on a consistent basis. I’m intermittently impressed by Gant, Bryan-Amaning, and Holiday all three of those guys do some really good things, but they also are apt to do some really stupid things. They turn the ball over on dumbass passes especially when they try to feed the post. Whatever, they’re young and they’ll get better. Bryan-Amaning has developed a nasty habit where he misses easy putbacks or 2 ft shots. He needs to knock those down and he probably will next year. He probably should start dunking in traffic also, he is 6'9 afterall. I still don’t know what to think of Pondexter and I suspect I’ll never know, unless he flips some sort of Dentmon-like switch in the offseason. He could be very good, but he’s just not yet. I do love Brockman's effort and heart and his rebounding ability. But I feel for the guy because it’s painfully obvious that he is such a limited player. I’m not just talking about his NBA potential, which is extraordinarily limited, but he gets very exposed, offensively, when he plays against guys that are simply taller than he is. He is a brute on the boards though and plays decent defense, but he should never, ever be counted on to score many buckets. It’s just not his game; luckily they have guys that can do that. He is so good in the open court if he’s got an open lane to the basket. He can rise and flush the ball easily and with authority, but he cannot do it from a standstill and certainly cannot explode in traffic to give himself an easy look at the basket. He may very well lead the league in getting his shot blocked. I think that the team is better off if he just gets defensive rebounds and starts the break and occasionally gets offensive rebounds and kicks it out. I be happy with him taking 5-8 shots a game and that’s it. His value is not on the offensive end. He seems to be realizing that more and more as the season goes on but I’m still a little dubious. He’s going to struggle offensively against USC, ASU, and UofA because Taj Gibson, Jeff Pendergraft, and Jordan Hill will lock him down. He just needs to go get the ball and get it to the playmakers and he and the team will be better for it.

I do believe that they can win games in the tournament, but it just depends on the matchups. I want them to face teams that are guard oriented because I think UW’s guards are superior. If they face a disciplined, plodding team with talent, I think that they might get into trouble i.e. Wisconsin or some other team that plays like Oregon State but is actually good.

Travis Henry
Someone mentioned to me that Travis Henry has multiple children. This was a story that came about about 2 years ago, I think. The fact that Travis Henry has multiple kids isn’t that remarkable. What makes it remarkable is that all of his kids (nine) have different mothers. All nine. If I played fantasy football I would have named my team “Nine By Nine” in his honor. This would be much better if he actually wore the number nine, but I still think that the joke is good nevertheless.
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