Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Be safe tonight.
I will post a Sparty Bowl Game Open Thread tomorrow.
According to highly reliable sources inside the NY Times, which were obtained while one of their reporters was reading an english term paper from a New Orleans high school, there is a highly competitive LSU Recruiting Squad on the Baton Rouge campus. This important and highly sought after team is only available for attractive young women looking to contribute to the LSU football program and are willing to get freaky when needed.
According to my inside sources, No experience is necessary, but it is helpful to get the verbal commitment and Letter of Intent signed.
When asked about the existence and benefits of such a team, LSU head football coach Les Miles said "I don't think talent in and of itself is the reason why you win championships. We may have a DAMN FINE football team here now, but in order for us to compete in the S.E.C. we need to use our DAMN FINE young ladies to attract DAMN FINE recruits..."
Geaux Tigers !!!!!
I took this photo from my seat at Michigan Stadium during the famous 2004 M/MSU game. I am sure that Henne was looking at Braylon Edwards as he pulled away from center.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
• Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Steve Breaston grabbed five passes for 91 yards and one touchdown. He passed the 1,000 receiving yards milestone in only his second season in the NFL. He had a career-high 77 passes for 1,006 yards and three touchdowns this season. Not bad for a skinny kid drafted to return punts.
• Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall and linebacker Dhani Jones registered a team-high eight tackles during a 16-6 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Hall finished the season with a career-high 75 tackles and three interceptions (returning one pick for his first career touchdown). Jones led the Bengals with 116 tackles, six tackles for loss and one interception during the 2008 season.
• New York Giants WRs Mario Manningham and Amani Toomer each had 2 catches as the Giants lost a meaningless game to the Vikings.
• Cleveland Browns WR Braylon Edwards only had one catch for 5 yards, as the Browns season came to a merciful end. The Browns failed to score an offensive touchdown in their last 6 games.
• Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Woodson had three tackles and one interception in a 31-21 victory over the hapless Detroit Lions. Woodson amassed 62 tackles, seven interceptions and two touchdowns this season.
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Cato June posted a season-high nine tackles during a 31-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders.
• Twelve former Michigan players on NFL playoff rosters: Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers Larry Foote and LaMarr Woodley. Miami Dolphins backup quarterback Chad Henne and offensive tackle Jake Long. New York Giants wide receivers Mario Manningham and Amani Toomer. Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Alan Branch, wide receiver Steve Breaston and defensive tackle Gabe Watson. Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant and offensive tackle Jon Runyan. Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl offensive guard Steve Hutchinson.
I know I have said this before, but this story illustrates why I can't stomach paying close attention to college football recruiting. It perfectly encapulates the circus atmosphere that the recruiting process has become.
Here is the basic story: Jamarkus is a gifted football player, excellent student, and a pretty good kid. He has a very strong bond with his mother and grandmother. He is faced a choice between Texas, Oklahoma, LSU, and USC. He visits all four schools, some of them more than once. Has numerous face to face, phone, and email contact with coaches. It is a tough choice. He selects Oklahoma.
It is the details that make me want to puke:
Mom on the long term process: “Texas went to sleep in the summertime in recruiting J-Mac, When they went to sleep, Oklahoma woke up.”
Jamarkus wrote an English paper on a party he attended at the Texas/OU game in Dallas: “I will never forget the excitement amongst all participants... Alcohol was all you can drink, money was not an option. Girls were acting wild by taking off their tops, and pulling down their pants. Girls were also romancing each other. Some guys loved every minute of the freakiness some girls demonstrated. I have never attended a party of this magnitude....The attitude of the people at the party was that everyone should drink or not come to the party. Drugs were prevalent with no price attached.”
Jamarkus on an OU party: “Drinks were plentiful, but not to the extent they were (at the Dallas party)... Some people were tipsy, but in control of themselves....Some people who attend the University of Oklahoma seem to represent different values than some people who attend the University of Texas.”
Mom on Les Miles: “He was very dry” She was further turned off by L.S.U. when she saw hostesses sitting on the laps of recruits. Ohhh MY.
Texas Coach Mack Brown: “Whose house do you like better, Bob Stoops’s, Les Miles’s or mine?”. Mack Brown's house has flatscreen TVs in every room, including the bathrooms.
Jamarkus on Oklahoma when he was ready to choose Texas: “There ain’t nothing to do at Oklahoma except football” His Mom stopped him from announcing.
Mack Brown email to Mom: “It is obvious that the recruiting has put a strain on your relationship, JaMac wants Texas, and Mom wants OU. We want you to still come to Texas, but we are going to slow our process down because you two need some time to get on the same page. We do not want players at Texas if everyone isn’t on the same page.”
Mom: “This isn’t about J-Mac anymore, It’s about O.U. versus Texas. It shouldn’t be that way.”
Mom about Texas rumors of gifts: “It’s been made known that enough income would flow through where I would be good for a while”
Jamarkus to his Mom: “I hate this now, I really do, simply because of the pressure.”
Jamarkus to OU defensive line coach, Jackie Shipp: “I want you to coach me for the next four years... Isn’t that what you wanted for Christmas?"
The Texas spin control and media fallout of this story is just beginning.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
My personal nightmare called the 2008 football season is over. Michigan delivers 3 wins. The Detroit Lions end the season winless. I need some serious healing, so I am turning to the future Mrs. Tom Brady to start the process.
Warning: you all better be nice to me going forward, or I will start cheering for YOUR favorite football team next season.
Today in Wisconsin -- all that can change. The 2008 Detroit Lions are on the brink of history. There have been eight different teams since 1976 that have only won one game (including the Dolphins from last year). I am confident the Lions can avoid becoming #9. The Packers are bad, but this Detroit Lions team is something else. The Lions have lost 17 consecutive road games against Green Bay, dating to December 1991 which was two weeks before the official end of the Soviet Union. The last time the Lions won at Lambeau Field Jason Hanson was a senior at Washington State -- and Hanson has been with the team for 17 YEARS!!!! QB Dan Orlovsky was eight years old. NFL Films has tripled its camera staff for this game. I am surprised it was not "flexed" into a prime time slot. The only good news coming out of Detroit this week is that ticket prices won't be raised for next season. Wow.
As I Lions fans, I am torn. One part of me wants them to win. Another part of me wants this 0-16 season. It will define absolute rock bottom for the franchise. Nothing but up from here. The worse thing is.... those 1976 Bucs were an expansion team in their first year of existence -- The Lions have been around since the Great Depression. The Lions haven't had a winning season since 2000 and are about to finish off the NFL's worst eight-year run of losing since 1950. It's pretty sad that it's come to this.
Friday, December 26, 2008
• Cincinnati Bengals CB Leon Hall scored his first career touchdown when he intercepted a pass in front of former teammate Braylon Edwards and returned it 50 yards to the endzone -- helping the Bengals shut out the Cleveland Browns, 14-0. Hall intercepted three passes in the game, his only interceptions this season.
• Browns WR Braylon Edwards did make four catches and 35 receiving yards in the losing effort to the Bengals. The Browns offense makes the Baby Jesus cry.
• Philadelphia Eagles WR Jason Avant made 2 catches in a tough loss at Washington.
• Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl CB Charles Woodson had another interception and returned it 22 yards to set up a crucial fourth quarter field goal, but the Packers managed to lose the Chicago Bears in overtime, 20-17. I am hoping they will just stay rolled over for the Lions on Sunday.
• Pittsburgh Steelers LB Larry Foote made a season best six tackles during a 31-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans. SI cover boy LaMarr Woodley added 3 tackles.
• Arizona Cardinals DT Gabe Watson made a career high eight tackles as the Cardinals dropped a 47-7 decision to the New England Patriots. Cardinal WR Steve Breaston only had one catch in the game.
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers FB B.J. Askew crossed the goal line for the second time of his career, scoring on a one-yard carry in a 41-24 loss to the San Diego Chargers.
• New York Jets kicker Jay Feely converted a 20-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter, the 200th field goal of his NFL career. Jets LB David Harris made four tackles to reach the 200+ career tackles in only his second season. Jets CB Ty Law made 3 tackles. The Jets lost to the Seahawks.
• New York Giants WR Amani Toomer did not let his car insurance lapse or have his home searched by police, but he did have 2 catches against the Panthers. His Giants secured playoff home field advantage with the win.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
It looks like Charlie needs to apply a little for sun screen to his face, it is getting a little bit red. Remember: the rays in Hawaii are a lot more dangerous than in South Bend Big Fella.
Also it is good to see that he is starting his New Years Resolution diet early. Nothing but fruit and veggies going forward.
This is not your 12-0 Hawai'i team of yore. No Colt Brennan. No June Jones. Colt graduated and June Jones left the rock to go to Southern Methodist University (of NCAA death penalty fame) and defensive coordinator Greg McMackin became the head coach. Love his last name. Reminds me of another famous Hawaiian.....
So let's find out about these Warriors. I was at the Michigan v. Hawaii game at Aloha Stadium in 1998, and I can tell you that Aloha Stadium is super cool brah. The 2007 Hawaiian squad went 5-2 at home and for the season won games against Weber State (36-17), Fresno State (32-29 OT), La Tech (24-14), Nevada (38-31), New Mexico State (42-30), and Idaho (49-17) to finish second in the WAC--behind Boise State.
Hawai'i owns this bowl, appearing in 2002, '03, '04, and '06 winning all of them except the first. Weird fact: ND last traveled to a Hawaiian bowl when it appeared in the Aloha Bowl in 1984 which they lost to SMU (June Jones' new school...). ND and Hawai'i have met twice before and ND won in both 1991 and 1997. The third time's da charm brah. Beat ND, yah.
ESPN scouts this game and doesn't even talk about Hawai'i. Shocking ND-favoritism. The only reason to go check out their site is to see their comparison charts matching the almost identical stats for each team in total yards, rushing yards, passing yards, and points scored. I'll get to the details in a minute, but one of the BEST things about the Hawai'ian Warriors is their pre-game Ha'ka. Check it out.
Unfortunately, the Sugar Bowl refs and the WAC penalized them for unsportsmanlike conduct for performing the Ha'ka prior to last year's game. Hopefully the home-town crew will look the other way this year.
On the offense:
The Warriors are led by QB Greg Alexander, a JuCo transfer junior from Santa Rosa CA and the WAC offensive player of the week back in October for his performance against Nevada. His numbers are solid, completing about 64% of his passes and tossing 12 TDs. Their other QB, Inoke Funaki, also a junior, completed 56% of his passes, but threw to the other guys 12 times.... doh!
Their preferred receivers are Greg Salas and Michael Washington. Salas, the "X" receiver wearing #1, is a sophmore receiver out of Chino, CA and Washington is the senior out of Aliquippa, PA who also returns punts and kickoffs. More importantly, Washington's 3rd cousin is Ty Law!!!
On the ground for the Warriors, keep your eyes on Daniel Libre and Kealoha Pilares. Each averages about 4-5 yards per carry, scoring 6 and 5 rushing TDs respectively.
On the defense:
Linebacker Solomon Elimimian was the WAC's co-defensive player of the year. The guy averages 10.9 tackles per game, and I'm betting he becomes Jimmah's new-best friend. As Andy's son would say: BEAST! A senior out of Compton in LA, this dude takes no prisoners. Oh, and he's an academic all-WAC team member as well. Look for him on Sundays.
Another guy Jimmah should be a'scared of is David Veikune off the left end.
Watch Ryan Mouton too. He returned a pick for 91 yards this season against Nevada. He also returns kicks and averages 21.4 yards per return. He housed one for 90 yards this season too.
Although still a run-and-shoot offense, Hawai'i hasn't really been lighting up the score board. Nor have they shut down too many opponents. In their defense, they did play 4 ranked teams this season: No. 5 Florida, at No. 22 Fresno State, at No. 15 Boise State, and No. 13 Cinncinati. (pre-emptive strike: that's more than we can say...)
Hawai'i's special teams are very solid and have blocked 3 FGs this season. I think that their special teams will make a game changing impact.
With game time temperatures in the low 70s and a boat load of jet-lag for the Irish, I'm calling this one in favor of the Warriors, 38-23. Making a perfect 10 losses in bowl games! As an aside, Mike Haywood, ND's offensive co-ordinator will be the new head coach at Miami (OH). This makes Haywood the 7th black head coach (Ron English was #6) in the FBS and the third one in the MAC........And, it also means that Fat Charlie is callin' the plays. I can't stop giggling!
To quote one of MGoBlog Brian's favorite expressions (with the help of Avenue Q and Sponge Bob): SCHADENFREUDE
And, dear reader, I would be completely remiss if I did not end this post with some happy healing images from Hawai'i---particularly given the weather in the upper Midwest......
I have a special Detroit Lions wallpaper I will put up after Christmas - but this week I decided to keep it simple and traditional. This one looks very cool on my computer screen.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
It helps explain why I was in so much pain this fall. It helps explain why everything I know about college football was turned upside down. It helps explain why my beloved Michigan football team only won 3 games last season. It wasn't that our QB was putrid and our line offensive.
It all makes sense now...
THEY HAD ALL OF OUR PLAYS !!!!
Some guy in Alabama is selling a RICH RODRIGUEZ SPREAD OPTION FOOTBALL PLAYBOOK PACKAGE on ebay. For only $21.99 you can purchase a CD with the entire spread option playbook from the 1999 Clemson Tigers (110 pages) and the 2002 and 2005 West Virginia Mountaineers (226 pages and 158 pages). Everything you need is here. It makes perfect sense now !!!!
He even describes the package like this: "This package is great for ... coaches who want to get an edge on the competition."
The cause for our 2008 train-wreck is now crystal clear. For less than $25 from his paypal account Joe Paterno was able to purchase this stuff, sit in the press box and figure us out. For less than $25 borrowed from his buddy Jim Tressel -- Mark Dantonio was able to get the edge his jolly green giants needed to win. That guy in Toledo was able to tell what we were doing and make the world believe a MAC team can come into Michigan Stadium and win. Fat Charlie was able to predict our every move, even with a broken leg and a full stomach.
The good news, apparently Brett Bielema and Tim Brewster were too cheap to throw down the cash to ensure they could beat Michigan this year too.
I was christmas shopping at the bookstore yesterday and happened to see this book on the shelves. I did a quick inventory of all the people I know that might be interested in reading this post super bowl cash grab. I am friends with several Giants and Sparty fans, but I couldn't do it. I quickly moved on to the history section. Seriously, who in their right mind would purchase or read a book written by or about this jerk ?
Then last night, I was enjoying a Mexican Martini at the office Holiday Party, and I see his name AGAIN. This time it is on the Monday Night Football crawl. Of course I am interested to learn that he is now being sued by a Florida women for a car crash that happened in May. The lawsuit filed this month in Broward County claims Burress’s car collided with the rear of her vehicle. According to a document provided by the women's lawyer, the insurance on Plax's $140,000 Mercedes-Benz lapsed three days before the crash. There is also a letter from Allstate says Burress neglected to pay his premiums.
Hey Plax: The number you were looking for is 1-800-ALLSTATE.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Until last week, I never actually watched the 1978 Gator Bowl game. If you are interested in seeing the actual game, I have uploaded it to MGoVideo. It is not exactly a HD broadcast, but it was a pretty good football game. Most people are only interested in this part....
As I watched and listened to Keith Jackson and Ara Parseghian attempt to describe the chaos following the interception -- I found it funny that neither of them had any idea that Woody had slugged Charlie Bauman. They both watched the replay. Not a word.
To add more chaos, Woody ended up getting another 15 yard penalty for refusing to leave the field a play later. That was what Keith and Ara focused on the rest of the way.
Even as the game ended, they had no idea that Woody had punched a Clemson player. Not one spotter pointed it out. I think everyone was in shock.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Seriously, this team is not the 1976 Tampa Bay Bucs and their orangsicle uniforms. The Detroit Lions can not go 0-16. No way.
These are the pathetic New Orleans Saints without Reggie Bush, without a playoff hope, playing away from their SuperDome.
Lions win ? Book it.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Dec. 20, 11 a.m.
Dec. 20, 2:30 p.m.
magicJack St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg. Fla.
Dec. 20, 4:30 p.m.
Pioneer Las Vegas
Dec. 20, 8 p.m.
R+L Carriers New Orleans
Dec. 21, 8:15 p.m.
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia
Dec. 23, 8 p.m.
Dec. 24, 8 p.m.
Dec. 26, 7:30p.m.
Meineke Car Care
Dec. 27, 1 p.m.
Dec. 27, 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 27, 8 p.m.
Dec. 28, 8:15 p.m.
Dec. 29, 3 p.m.
Dec. 29, 8 p.m.
Dec. 30, 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 30, 8 p.m.
Pacific Life Holiday
Dec. 30, 8 p.m.
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces
Fort Worth, Texas
Dec. 31, Noon
El Paso, Texas
Dec. 31, 2 p.m.
Gaylord Hotels Music City
Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m.
Dec. 31, 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 1, 2009, 11 a.m.
Jan. 1, 2009, 1 p.m.
Konica Minolta Gator
Jan. 1, 2009, 1 p.m.
Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi
Jan. 1, 2009, 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 1, 2009, 8:30 p.m.
Jan. 2, 2009, 2 p.m.
Jan. 2, 2009, 5 p.m.
Jan. 2, 2009, 8 p.m.
Jan. 3, 2009, Noon
Jan. 5, 2009, 8 p.m.
Jan. 6, 2009, 8 p.m.
FedEx BCS National Championship Game
Jan. 8, 2009, 8 p.m.
Navy leads Wake Forest at halftime in the inaugural EagleBank Bowl. Woo Whoooo !!!
A couple of interesting things: This is a rematch game, Navy went to Winston Salem and beat Wake earlier this season. This is essentially a home game for Navy - as Annapolis is about a 40 minute drive to RFK Stadium. Not exactly a vacation trip for either team. It is 30 degrees and playing this game at RFK is similar to playing a bowl game in the old Tiger Stadium. Most of the seats are rusted out and the stadium needs to be imploded.
Also congrats to the Richmond Spiders, the FCS National Champions. They beat Appy State a couple of weeks ago and beat Montana last night.
Message to Bill Martin and Rich Rodriguez: Please do not schedule them next year.
Michigan Freshman Guard Courtney Boylan --->
• The Men's (7-2) b-ball team takes on the Oakland Grizzlies (7-5) today at the Palace. Tip off is at 4pm and can be seen on FSN.
I gotta go shovel.......
Shavodrick Beaver decided to attend Tulsa instead of Michigan. WTF ? I hate college football recruiting.
Never again will I mention the name of a "verbal" commitment before National Signing Day. It just is not worth it.
We need some serious Snake Oil Sales Magic in the 73 days.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Oh no, dear reader. Today's Sports Science Friday is allllll about the blade! en garde!
Skate sharpening is a pure science unto itself and equipment managers the world over know exactly how their guys want their skates hollowed. What? A hollow skate? Dumb girl...skates are made of steel they ain't hollow. HAH! Wrongo.
If you look at the bottom of a skate you will see that it actually is comprised of two thin blade edges separated ever so slightly in the center. The distance between the edges is called the radius of the hollow (ROH), the deeper the hollow the sharper the 'edge'. Goalies like flat hollows as they need to move from side to side and don't want an edge to catch. Super skater-finessers want a deeper hollow so they can 'dig in' to the ice and push off for quick starts and stops. It's about balancing glide and slide vs. grip and go.
The radius of the hollow is measured in 8th's of an inch. The term comes from the idea of the curve or hollow as the arc of a circle. (oh crap...now I gotta dig out the geometry). Actually MikeD at HFBoards is gonna break out the geometry--I'm just gonna recap. Remember that the radius of a circle is actually 1/2 the diameter of that circle. r = D/2. The depth of the hollow is 'simply' the arc of the radius of an imaginary circle ground into the bottom of the skate. The smaller the radius, the deeper the hollow. So a 5/8" ROH is deeper than a 1" hollow. The trick is making sure that the edges are even. If the hollow is off-set than one side will be 'deeper' than the other, producing 'stick' when one tries to skate. According to sharpeningsolutions: "The skate is sharpened with a rotating grinding wheel. Prior to sharpening, the wheel is "dressed" (using a special diamond-tipped tool) in such a way that it has a circular cross-section (whose radius is the Radius of Hollow). The skate blade is clamped into a holder, which holds its bottom surface perpendicular to the grinding wheel. Your friendly skate sharpener moves the clamped blade along the rotating grinding wheel to refresh the hollow in the bottom of the skate. The sharpening machine has a special guide to keep the blade perfectly aligned with the grinding wheel. The goal of the sharpening is to remove just enough metal from the bottom of the blade to renew the edges. A steady hand is required, so that no part of the blade is ground more than another."
So all this blade stuff is REALLY important. Because if you are an NHL Ice Girl......ya gotta look gooooooood. I think you guys will like Yanina from the Chicago Blackhawks. Or this girl from New York:
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The Columbus Dispatch reports that it has been 1852 days since Chris Perry and the 2003 Wolverines beat Ohio State. Honestly, it seems longer.
Someday things will get back to normal.
I just hope I am still around to enjoy it.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
READ ALL ABOUT IT here.
RichRod accepted Scott Shafer's resignation today as both agreed that the program needed to go "in a different direction".
Honestly, I feel badly for Mrs. Shafer. This guy's been dragging her all over the damned country most recently moving from California to ..... Michigan.
Let the prognostication begin!!! WHO'S OUR NEW DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR ??????
I am not sure why, but I have always been a sucker for professional football alternatives. I am too young to remember ever watching the WFL in the 1970's, but I do remember when the Memphis Southmen signed Larry Csonka away from the Miami Dolphins. In the 1980's I loved the USFL and the Anthony Carter led Michigan Panthers. I even tried to watch the XFL for a game or two in 2001. But since 1987, the AFL has been something unique. I have to admit that every once in a while it was fun to sit down and watch football played in a hockey arena, even if they did routinely score 60+ points per team.
Sadly it is time to say adios to the league that gave us the Detroit Drive (4 time AFL champions). The league that gave Art Schlichter a chance to make some money (so he could make some more bets) and Jeff Smoker a job other than delivering pizzas. The league that gave Kurt Warner a stage to throw for 10,000+ yards and make the improbable jump to the Super Bowl. The league gave John Bon Jovi an opportunity to own a football team and deliver a championship to Philadelphia. Most importantly has been a place that has allowed many former Wolverines a chance to keep playing football.
Former Michigan Wolverine AFL players (HT: Arenafan.com)
Remy Hamilton (Active player)