Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Are there any true basketball fans out there that don't hate the San Antonio Spurs and the Duke Blue Devils?

I am watching the Spurs right now and they are already getting calls and it's the first damn game of the year. Tim Duncan has already cried more times in this game than I did before I was 5 years old. Whoever says this guy is a true professional obviously hasn't watched him play in an NBA game yet. The refs should shit on him every time he makes that ridiculous 4 year old face he makes after he gets called for a foul after mugging a guy under the basket.

Then you have Coach d-bag or I mean Coach K who looks like he's going to murder the refs if there is a call that goes against his beloved Blue Devils. I'm so sick of this program that I might buy the college basketball package so I can root against them every game for the rest of my life. Their fans cheer shit that you should chant at a rock concert. Get a basketball cheer and then fill that rat infested area you call a gym.

Just saw Manu Ginobli talking himself into 3 more calls for the next regular season game while the final buzzer went off in game 1 of the NBA season. Shit like this is why I can't stand watching these two teams win basketball games. Save us the time, go suck the stripes off the refs shirts and we'll give you the championship rings before the season starts....Steve Nash, please rescue us and let us see somebody besides the Spurs win the NBA title.

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Under Review: Week 8

It was all a dream, I used to read word up magazine

A storyline that is picking up steam: “Is the NFL down?” There seems to be a lot of bad teams in the NFL. Is this true? Why?

Fuzz- It’s down. This past Sunday proved this too. I think I was excited about one game all week and that was the Monday night tilt between the Packers and Broncos. And funny that it ended up being the best game of the week too. Anyways, the league is extremely top heavy right now. The NFL parity is shaped like Dolly Parton.

She’s really large from the hair down to...well...you know what. After that, theirs nothing really to look at. That’s the NFL. After you get past the top 9 teams (Indy, N.E., Dallas, Pitt, G.B., Giants, Jags, Titans and Chargers) it’s all down hill. Not one team beyond these nine teams is impressive. So the final count: 9 good and 23 bad. Like I said, it’s down.

Dogg- I don't know if the teams are bad or if there are that many average teams. That's why we have a lot of parity and a lot of teams looming around .500. Good teams beat the teams they should but the problem is that all teams are losing to each other except the Giants, Pats, Colts and Pittsburgh. The way the media and most teams are talking right now, nobody has a chance except the Colts and Pats so it doesn't really matter. Remember fans and media, the NFL playoffs is only a one game series. Have Brady and/or Manning go down for one game and it could be lights out.

Q- Yes with a capital Y. We were talking about this the other day when I realized just how bad the NFL is this year. At the midway point of the season, you have two teams that are winless (St. Louis and Miami), two that have only one win (Atlanta and NY Jets), four two win teams (Minnesota, San Francisco, Cincinnati, and Oakland), and six more teams that are under .500 (Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Arizona, Buffalo, and Houston). That's 14 of 32 teams that have a losing record half way through the year. Of the 18 teams with a .500 or better record, nine of them are either at an even record or just one game over. That leaves us with only 9 of 32 teams that are two games over .500 or better. In other words, 23 of 32 can be considered average at best. Wow.

Are San Diego and New Orleans playoff teams? If so, how good are they?

Dogg- I believe I've predicted this a few weeks ago already. Both San Diego and New Orleans will be in the playoffs and will not be teams you want to play. Both have high-powered offenses and with Bush getting more touches, they are that much better. SD has everything you could ask for now with Chambers on the outside and might have the single most dominant pass rusher in the game with Merriman. I will even go out on a limb now and say both teams will win a game in the postseason.

Q- I think they're both going to make the playoffs. As of today, San Diego is tied with Kansas City for first place in the AFC West (at 4-3, of course). Yes, the same Chiefs team that was picked by most experts in the preseason to be the worst team in the AFC. Add to that the Chargers newfound inspiration in playing for those affected by the fires in southern California, and you have all the makings of a playoff team.

It was that same inspired drive that led New Orleans to the playoffs last year. And while the whole Katrina thing may not give them some added reason to play well, they'll make the playoffs too. The reason? They play in the NFC South, where the Panthers and Buccaneers are their only obstacles. Not exactly intimidating.

Fuzz- They are both playoff teams but I don’t like the Saints team. I’m putting them in due to the much talked about weak NFC conference, plus they play in probably the worst division in football. If you have an ounce of talent, you win that division. The Saints have beaten the overrated Seahawks, the worst team in football the Falcons and the hopeless 49ers the last three weeks. They have some cupcakes left too. They’re a playoff team but will get stomped in the postseason. On the other hand, I love the Chargers right now. They are playing pissed off and like they are on some secret covert operation. Remember this was the #1 seed last year in that superior AFC division, so a total collapse was out of the question. I think they are a deep sleeper to make the Superbowl. That is a bold call with Indy and N.E. grabbing all the attention, but the last three weeks they’ve averaged 35 points a game with only giving up an average of six a game. Watch out for a sneaky attack by the Bolts the rest of the way…

Detroit is flipping 5-2 and one of Jon Kitna’s drug induced predictions of 10 wins is looking like it might come true. Will they get to 10 wins? And are the hopeless Lions really a playoff team?

Q- Let's get something straight here: those predictions weren't drug-induced. They came directly to him as a word from God. Since Kitna will soon be seated next to The Almighty One, he can say these things and recover from injuries miraculously. What a prick. I hate the Lions because of him and therefore refuse to believe that they'll get to double-digit wins. They have a significantly tougher schedule in the second half of the year (Green Bay twice, at San Diego, home against Dallas and the Giants) and will soon remember that they're the Lions and fall flat on their faces.

Fuzz- The have nine games left. 5-4 seems doable. Yes, Jon Kitna might just be right. Unbelievable. They had the second pick in the draft! Now they look like a playoff team? You have to love the NFL.

Dogg- Well, the Lions were supposed to have this great explosive offense but they've been winning with their defense, which is a great sign for their franchise. They've beaten Tampa Bay and Chicago the past two weeks with limited offensive production so they might in fact get to 10 wins. Those 50 TD's that Kitna was talking about? Well, everybody knew he needed to get a clue when that comment was made. We're talking about Jon frickin Kitna. With that being said, no way they get to 10 wins.

I think you need to put Romeo Crennel in the Coach of the Year category and Derek “yes that Derek” Anderson in MVP conversations. Am I crazy?

Q- Whoa. Settle down there buddy. The Browns are 4-3 and not even leading their division. Their last two wins have come against 0-8 St. Louis and 0-8 Miami. If you want to crown them, then crown them (copyright Denny Green), but I still think they are very much a below average team. That said, if I were running the Vikes, I would be on the horn with Cleveland doing everything in my power to work out a deal for Derek Anderson. At some point the Browns are going to have to turn over the reigns to Brady Quinn, and Anderson is still very young and very capable. Offer Chester Taylor straight up. Or throw in a pick with him. Find a way to get us a real, live NFL quarterback.

Dogg- Yes, Derek Anderson is having a great year but I would go with his teammate Braylon Edwards. He's opened up the field for Winslow and has made Derek Anderson's job relatively easy. He's definitely the surprise of the year thus far along with the Cleveland Browns as a team. Granted, they haven't beaten any good teams this year but it's better than not winning games at all like it's been for the past 71 years. They might be one of those teams benefiting from the NFL being very average.

Fuzz- I have D-Anderson on my fantasy team so he’s obviously awesome. MVP seems a little nuts, but who knows? What if they get to 10 wins and get in the playoffs? You have to consider him don’t you? The funny thing is they started Charlie Frye for the first game and then traded him and went with Anderson. Did Anderson do really, really, really well that week of practice? I don’t get it. It was a no doubter for them. It’s like they said: “I know we just had four preseason games plus one regular season game and we might be late on this but this Anderson kid is the real deal, let’s move Frye…like now!” What a story. Oh yeah, if thee flipping Browns win over 10 games, he’s a lock for coach of the year.

Ok, finally the game of the year everyone is talking about is when San Fran travels to Atlanta this coming weekend. Who do you got? Haha! Kidding of course. If you can go all week without hearing Colts/Patriots breakdowns you’re either a really big loser or living in a bunker. Anyways, who wins this game? And who ever wins this game really matter in the long run? FYI: They’re both making playoffs regardless…

Q- The outcome of this game matters A LOT. I think these teams are so evenly matched that home field advantage will determine the winner in the playoffs. Look at it this way: the winner of this game has a full game cushion for home field. That means they could lose a meaningless game at the end of the year while they rest their starters, and still get a home game in the AFC title game. That's big. As for this week? I think it's going to be a lot more vanilla and boring than most realize. Both of these teams know that they're going to play each other in January, so why give away too much for a regular season game? I think a lot of people are going to hype themselves up too much on this game and feel quite a let down when all is said and done. Oh, and I got the Patriots.

Fuzz- All it means is that we finally have a gigantic game to look forward too. I can’t wait. This has to be one of the better games on paper in the last 20 years. Two undefeated teams with the current SuperBowl champ against the dynasty team of the 2000’s. It doesn’t get better then this ladies & gentleman. I have the Patriots winning by 10.

Dogg- Colts win this week because I believe they have the most influential defensive player in the league in Bob Sanders. This defense is the polar opposite with and without him. Colts get home field advantage in the playoffs and continue their dominance with a repeat Super Bowl victory over the New Orleans Saints.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

2007 Eastern Conference Preview

Not one of the major sports in this country causes such a radical difference in opinion like the NBA. There are many people in this country that absolutely love the game of basketball, but loathe the NBA. You don’t see that in any other sport. People don’t love football, but hate the NFL. Same with baseball. It just doesn’t happen. Yet for one reason or another, this is the case with basketball. I was one of these people for many years. Until now.

I know, I know. I couldn’t have picked a stranger time to reinvest myself into the world of professional basketball. Not only are there great teams all over the college landscape this year (UNC, Memphis, and even the hype surrounding the Tubby Era here at the U), but the local squad just lost its heart, soul, and franchise player in Kevin Garnett. Add to that the recent betting scandal and it makes even less sense. So why pick this year to become an NBA fan once again? Honestly, I have no idea. It’s just something I really wanted to do. So here is a big time, in-depth preview of the 2007 NBA season. We’ll start today with the Eastern Conference. Here are my rankings in reverse order:

#15—Philadelphia 76’ers. Wow this team looks really bad on paper. They weren’t great with Iverson, but at least they had some star power and a guy that would fill the seats. Now they’re rid of his attitude and the constant rumors about his departure, but they have very little talent and no draw for the fans. Don’t get me wrong here, I like Andre Iguodala a lot. He’s an athletic freak and a highlight show waiting to happen, but I just don’t think he’s the guy who’s going to be the cornerstone of your franchise. He’s going to see double and triple teams all year long, because who else would you worry about guarding on this team? Willie Green? Reggie Evans? I don’t think so. I wish Mo Cheeks the best with this squad. At least they shouldn’t be in jail as often as his Portland teams were.

#14—Atlanta Hawks. Every year I hear about how Atlanta could surprise some teams because they’re young and athletic. That they’re the sleeper team in the East because this will be the year that (insert underachieving athletic wing) finally breaks out and dominates. I’m not buying it. Look, they made a pretty big mistake with the Marvin Williams pick. I’ve never understood why NBA teams put the future of their franchise in the hands of a kid who couldn’t even crack the starting 5 on his college team. You don’t see NFL teams handing over the reigns to D1-AA quarterbacks who couldn’t even make first team all-conference. Er, wait. Scratch that. Anyways, I know Josh Smith can fly and Joe Johnson is supposed to be the truth, but this team is going to be terrible…again. I’ll still pay attention to them because I absolutely love Acie Law and I’m anxious to see what kind of pro he can be. Plus Al Horford is a beast inside.

You know, come to think of it, the Hawks could sneak…nope, not going there.

#13—Indiana Pacers. I’m going to say it: I think Danny Granger is going to dominate this year. It’s my big call of the year.

I was really hoping that the Wolves would have drafted him a couple years ago. He’s long and athletic (copyright Jay Bilas) and just seems to have that “it” factor that’s going to make him a very dangerous player in this league. Unfortunately, he’s the only player on this team. Jermaine O’Neal might be the most overrated player I’ve ever seen. He’s soft, afraid of the big shot, disappears for long stretches, and did I mention that he’s soft? Plus, odds are he’ll be gone before the season’s over anyways. That leaves the Pacers with guys like Troy Murphy and Jamaal Tinsley to help my boy Danny out. I can’t say that instills a lot of confidence in a guy.

#12—Charlotte Bobcats. This ranking could go up or down depending on the play of Raymond Felton. He’s one of my all time favorite college players, and if he can continue to improve, this team could be a sleeper. I like the addition of Jason Richardson to the backcourt and Gerald Wallace is slowly changing my mind that he’s nothing more than a guy who can jump really high. Plus Emeka Okafor showed signs of becoming a very good player last year and they could have a player in rookie Jared Dudley. The only thing that scares me is that this team is coached by Sam Vincent, who has never been an NBA head coach. It worries me when you combine a rookie head coach with a young team like Charlotte. Seems like there is a high potential for turmoil. (Random fact: it was Vincent’s 1990-91 NBA Hoops card that became extremely famous for featuring a shot of Michael Jordan wearing a #12 jersey that he had to don because of an alleged theft of his usual #23. Why do I know this? Because my head is FILLED with useless info such as this.)

#11—New Jersey Nets. 2007 has to be the year when the Nets finally get really old and fall off the map, right? I mean, it has to happen at some time soon, so I’m going with this year. Jason Kidd will drop off, Richard Jefferson will get hurt again, Vince Carter will ask for a trade, and Lawrence Frank will get fired at midseason. That will leave fans in New Jersey with Marcus “Laptop” Williams, Sean “Smokey” Williams, and something called Nenad Kristic to cheer for. Yeah, have fun with that. Of course I could be wrong and J Kidd will play like he did in the Tournament of Americas, Jefferson and Carter will go off, and Nenad will prove that last year wasn’t a fluke as they race to the playoffs. Yeah, that could happen. But it won’t. Just don’t tell Jay-Z I was talking trash about his team.

#10—Toronto Raptors. Maybe it’s the years away from following the NBA as closely as I once did, but I don’t get the love for this Raptors team. I keep reading excerpts from scouts and analysts that has Toronto as their pick to make the leap into a contending, playoff team. Seriously? I know Chris Bosh is the man. Clearly he is one of the best young superstars in the game.

But everyone does realize that his supporting cast consists of TJ Ford (he of the broken neck two years ago), Anthony Parker (not the one married to Eva Longoria), Jason Kapono (who’s usually distracted by his male modeling side career), and a boy named Andrea. I mean, am I the only one who doesn’t get this? Oh, I guess they do have Jose Calderon (didn’t he pitch for the Expos in the 70’s/80’s?) and Rasho Nesterovic off the bench. I stand corrected.

#9—Orlando Magic. You know who’s big? Dwight Howard. Oh, and incase you didn’t know it, apparently he can jump REALLY high too…

Yes, he’s kissing the rim on a regulation 10 foot hoop, and yes, it’s freaking ridiculous. Now that he’s coming into his own and ready to be the next dominant center in the league, the team finally did something right and gave him a pretty good wing counterpart in Rashard Lewis (even if they did over pay for him big time). If they can get even minimal production out of either Jameer Nelson or Carlos Arroyo, they’ve got a chance to make the playoffs. Of course, that probably won’t happen because JJ Redick is on this team and he sucks at life so he’ll find a way to make sure his team chokes at the end of the year—much like he did at Duke (that’s right Fuzz).

#8—Milwaukee Bucks. I can’t exactly put my finger on why, but I feel like this team is one player away from being really good. Mo Williams is one of the best players in the league that most people still don’t know about. Mike Redd is one of the most accurate and deadly shooters in the game. Desmond Mason can fly all around the court. I guess the biggest question marks come from the frontcourt players. I’ve never really thought Charlie “Cromagnan” Villanueva was any good, plus he’s always hurt. Andrew Bogut reminds me of every other white NBA center over the last 20 years (aka not good). Rookie Yi Jinlian has absolutely no experience against any real talent (a trait that doomed Darko Milicic a few years back). If they had one legit threat on the inside, they’d be very good. If they had someone in the mold of Bosh or Howard, they’d be dominant. But they don’t, so it’s one and done at best for Bucks.

#7—New York Knicks. Ok, so I’ll drink the Kool-Aid and back the belief that this will be a much improved Knickerbocker squad. When he tries, Zach Randolph can be a dominant low post scorer, especially in the smaller, softer Eastern conference. As soon as Isiah realizes that David Lee and Nate Robinson need to get more playing time than guys like Jamal Crawford and Quentin Richardson, these guys could do some damage. The potential combo of Randolph and Eddie Curry could be tough to defend if both guys show a little effort and the ability to pass the ball out of the post once in a while. Stephon Marbury will be the key to their season. If he can somehow channel the old “Starbury”, they can contend every night. If he gets selfish, or worse, checks out, then this team falls back into the lottery.

#6—Cleveland Cavaliers. I know I’m not the first one to make this comparison, and I probably won’t be the last, but the similarities between last year’s Cavs team and the 2001 76’ers is eerie.

AI dragged that team to the Finals on his back that year, only to get beat by a far superior Lakers team. The same can be said about LeBron James carrying his Cleveland team last year that had no business being in the championship and predictably got out-classed by a much better San Antonio team. You know what happened to that Sixers team the next year? Bounced in the opening round of the playoffs by a mediocre (at best) Celtics team. Would anyone be shocked if that was the fate of the ’07 Cavs? King James can only do so much by himself. Larry Hughes is overrated, Drew Gooden disappears for games at a time, Zydrunas Ilgauskas can barely get up and down the court anymore, and Daniel Gibson is the closest thing they have to a point guard. Obviously Bron-Bron is enough to get them into the postseason, but I don’t seem them doing much beyond that.

#5—Miami Heat. Talk about your tough teams to gage. The Heat could win the East and I wouldn’t be surprised. They could miss the playoffs and I wouldn’t be surprised. I just don’t know what to think about them. Does Shaq still have enough left in the tank to lead them on a deep playoff run? Would you bet against him? Can Dwayne Wade stay off the injured list for an entire season? Will the Human Cancer Ricky Davis be that much needed third scorer? Can Jason “White Chocolate” Williams be the leader with that ball in his hands that this team desperately needs? Can I waste more type by asking questions instead of actually analyzing this team? Only time will tell.

#4—Washington Wizards. This is my favorite team in the NBA and all because of one guy. The enigmatic Gilbert “Agent Zero” Arenas.

Ok, maybe not all because of him, but at least 90% for sure. Not only is this guy one of the best basketball players on the planet, but he might be one of the funniest as well. Don’t believe me? Just check out his blog over at NBA.com some time. The guy is nuts, but in an absolutely hilarious way. Plus, he’s a big time clutch performer. Outside of Kobe, I’d pick him over anyone to take the last shot of the game. The rest of the Wiz is basically the same that it’s been for the last couple years, but this year I think they become one of the elite teams. Bold call: DeShawn Stevenson will be on the first team all-defense. He’s been living on potential for his entire career and this is the year he realizes it. Throw Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, and rookie Nick Young, and you have a potentially explosive team that is going to challenge for the Eastern Conference title.

#3—Boston Celtics. Finally we get to “The Team”. The one that everybody is talking about, hyping, expecting to win it all. The much anticipated trio of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen is evoking memories of the Bird-McHale-Parrish years in Boston. There’s a slight problem with the Championship-or-bust expectations though. Two, actually. First, is the team chemistry. They can say all the right things in interviews and smile and work out together all they want. But until you start playing together and get a feel for the style of your teammates, there will be a period of adjustment where things just won’t go your way. That will take some time, maybe even a full season to get the timing of everything just right. The second issue is everyone else on the team besides the Big Three. Rajon Rando has done little if anything to prove that he can lead an NBA team and he’s in charge of distributing the ball to the most talented threesome in the league. Kendrick Perkins is going to actually have to do something occasionally for this team to be successful. If he’s as big of a slouch as he’s been in the past, a guy like KG is going to see a lot of double teams (something he surely got used to in Minny). Personally, I’ll be cheering for them, if only to see The Big Ticket finally get a ring.

#2—Chicago Bulls. **Note, this ranking is subject to change due to Kobe Bryant trade rumors. If the Bulls deal their entire team for KB, they will drop significantly because they will be no different than the current Lakers team (more on them in tomorrow’s Western Conference preview). As they are currently assembled, this is a very intriguing, very deep, very talented team that should be making noise well into the latter rounds of the playoffs. It all starts with one of the few true point guards in the league, Kirk Hinrich. His energy and decision making set the table perfectly for guys like Luol Deng and the 4th quarter king, Ben Gordon. Those two combined for roughly 40 points per game last year, and will look to repeat that feat, and beyond. If Tyrus Thomas develops into a quality low post scorer and Ben Wallace can return to his 15 rebounds per game self, this team will dominate. If those two falter, this team will struggle in the playoffs.

#1—Detroit Pistons. What’s that? You say this is the boring, predictable selection? So what. How can you possibly go against the most balanced, talented lineup in the conference? Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Tayshun Prince, Rasheed Wallace…not only are these guys ridiculously talented, but they’ve been playing together forever. And playing at a high level too. They’ve been division champs 5 of the last 6 years and have been in the Eastern Conference Finals 5 years in a row. Those are absolutely stupid statistics. Now they’re even starting to infuse some youth into the lineup with guys like Jason Maxiel and Rodney Stuckey. I know the Bulls are in the news with this Kobe rumor, the Celtics are getting every magazine cover created, and the Cavs are the defending East champs. Still, until further notice, the team to beat will be the Pistons. Deeeeetroooiiit Baaaaaskettttbaaaaallll!!!!!!

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What to do?

With another frustrating loss and another abysmal performance by the quarterback position, the QB position has officially entered the code red territory. You God DAMN right I ordered Code RED! Even the Vice President of player personnel had a few interesting quotes about the current quarterback situation leading up to the 20-16 heartbreaking loss to the Eagles. More on the comments later.

The owners of the franchise, the Wilf family, paid a lot of money to acquire Brad Childress to be their head coach two seasons ago. Childress has received his share of criticism over the last couple years here in Minnesota and rightfully so.

I’ve actually been a Childress supporter blaming the constant losing on talent. I still think this team is multiple players away from being a playoff contender. 4-5 good players away folks. The one move that I do “let my mouth fly” on is the decision to start Tarvaris Jackson this year. T-Jack as the cool kids say, was a DI-AA prospect that Childress grabbed in the 2nd round two years ago. I was fine with the draft pick, but to start the kid in year two was a bold move that is biting him in the rear end right now. There is a better word to use, but I can’t, so fill in the blank. I can say it on this site though! It's biting him in the...ASS!

T-Jack has looked so over his head that sometimes you actually feel bad for a 24-year-old millionaire who is playing sports for his occupation. You should never feel this way about an athlete. Never. This is how bad he’s been. Currently, he’s the 32nd best starter in the NFL. Side note to the non-NFL fans and to the idiots: There are only 32 teams in the league. Bluntly, he’s the worst quarterback in the league. Since T-Jack has been nicked up for a few starts, we’ve had to replace him with Kelly Holcomb and Brooks Bollinger. As you can see this isn’t Lance Harbor going down in Varsity Blues with Johnny Moxon and emergency QB Tweeter waiting in the wings, this is two very average players.

So, if T-Jack is the starter and is sitting at a cool 32 out of 32, what does that say about the clowns behind him in Holcomb and Bollinger? Exactly. Let’s just say it’s been a “fun” year for the Viking fans this year. Good times all around.

After seven games of horrendous play at the #1 position, the coaches & front office have stuck by their decision to head into this season with these three amigos: Jackson, Holcomb & Bollinger. Sounds more like a Law firm then players at the premier football position. However, about four days ago, the VP of player personnel Rick Spielman made some rather interesting comments in a local paper. It was from Sid Hartman’s column. If you don’t know Sid, he’s a piece of work. Sid is the biggest homer in the world (no joke) that has simply lost his mind. He’s like 81 years old and is still working. I shy away from using information from his columns for this reason, but he has actual quotes from Rick. Sid gets a free pass on this one. Here is what Rick said in the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

"Right now we're in the process of evaluating the whole draft at every position, and this year there are some good quarterbacks coming out and we're just in the process of trying to get those guys lined up," Spielman said.

"The kid at Boston College, Matt Ryan, the [André] Woodson kid at Kentucky, [John David] Booty's been hurt out at USC, [Chad] Henne at Michigan, there's [Brian] Brohm at Louisville, Colt Brennan at Hawaii," Spielman said. "So, there's a lot of guys right now, just like we are at all the positions, just starting at the evaluation process of looking at them all.

"I've seen four of those guys so far. I was at the Louisville-UConn game, I was at the South Carolina- Kentucky game and the Virginia Tech and Boston College game."

Have they thrown in the T-Jack towel after only seven total starts? These comments floor me. Not because it’s not the right move, but because they finally realized what every other dimwit fan realized four weeks ago. Jackson stinks. Holcomb stinks. And yes, even you Brooks stink too. I’ve even joked in a kind of serious way if we have to start a QB on O and just snap it right to AP. Even if the beers were flowing, no one looked at me like I was crazy. I even got a few approval nods and “not a bad idea Fuzz” comments.

So, what to do now? Our main talent evaluator is sitting at big time college games on Saturdays scouting big time college quarterbacks when apparently T-Jack is their guy. What? Here’s my opinion: They know they messed up and they know the messed up in the worst way. They didn’t even have a back-up plan if T-Jack happened to play poorly. This could and should be criticized even more. If you’re going to give the inexperienced kid a chance at least have a semi-proven back up behind him. Holcomb is in his 12th year and was available in the one week before the season. He’s not a plan. Jeff Garcia, David Carr or Jake Plummer are solid back-up plans. The word on the street is that Childress was behind putting all the chips in for T-Jack. If so, this could be grounds for firing on this decision alone.

He’s not going to get fired though. The Wilf family has supported this guy like he has nude photos of them with the saucy intern. So, together they need to figure this out. If I were them, I would play Jackson out the rest of the year. A lot of people are saying that Holcomb and even Bollinger give them a better chance to win right now. I don’t care; none of them are going to lead us to the playoffs. It’s not happening. You need to see what you have in Jackson…however…I think you still draft a QB with your first pick in next years draft. As crazy as that sounds, it’s not crazy. Having a good quarterback is essential in winning football teams. Having two potential QB’s on your team is not a bad problem. What if they both pan out you ask? That’s the best-case scenario! Then you have what the Chargers had with Brees & Rivers a few years back. You trade one and roll with the guy your more comfortable with. Just for the record, I don’t see T-Jack ever panning out. Play him though, just in case I’m wrong.

So Viking faithful, start watching some college games because you’re next quarterback for the next 15 years could be one of those guys Rick mentioned. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this…

Jeff George called in to Paul Allen today, a bigger sports personality in the area and requested for Paul to campaign for his return to the Vikings. He wants a meeting with the Vikings. I’m not even kidding. What do you think?


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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

10 Reasons I love this trade.

T-Wolves send Mark Blount & Ricky Davis to the Heat for Antoine Walker, Michael Doleac, Wayne Simien and a future #1 pick.

10) We get the fattest player in the league. Regardless of what it is, you always need to be the best at a certain category in the NBA. All the good teams are the best at something. This trade satisfied this requirement.

9) The fro is gone. With Randy Moss, Kelly Campbell and now Ricky Davis leaving the city, no more 1975 Afro’s roaming the area anymore. This is a good thing.

8) I saved my wall from another year of torture. Torture of me throwing pens, ice cubes, paper clips, coasters and whatever is in sight when I see Mark Blount about 17 feet from the basket missing another easy rebound.

7) Mark Madsen gets a friend.

6) Wayne Simien puts us to about 9 undersized power forwards on the roster. Never can have enough of these types. Hustle guys. We love them here.

5) It’s not that funny, but it’s kind of funny. I can’t imagine how pissed Juwan Howard is right now. He might just retire and say the hell with it. But if he doesn’t get traded by the trading deadline or sooner he’s officially on suicide watch.

4) If Walker stays around we get to see one of those “shimmy shakes” he does after he makes his first three- pointer in 14 attempts. That will look good in white & forest green.

3) Kevin McHale got a draft pick in the deal and it wasn’t our own back. Alleluia!

2) About 27 points a game leaves our team and assuming Walker doesn’t even suit up, we got no point production in return… and I love it! Addition by subtraction is the cliché I believe.

1) We get rid of Ricky “Avis.” We’re keeping the D though Rick. It’s ours.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You Wanna Watch the World Series?

Wednesday, October 24 will mark a day of both great joy and sadness in the lives of all baseball fans. It’s the beginning of the end. On the one hand, the World Series is starting. The end all be all. The games that everyone was wishing, hoping, and dreaming about in April are finally here. On the other hand, this means that the season will be over shortly and we have to go through another winter of counting the days until pitcher and catchers report in mid-February. But rather than focus on the doom and gloom, let’s get properly amped up for Red Sox-Rockies. Here are some key questions and answers for the 2007 version of the Fall Classic.

Q: Is the extra rest helpful or harmful to the Rockies in this series?A: This one could go either way. Some would say that getting everyone healthy and having your pitching lined up and properly rested are a couple of the most important things that you could have going for you heading into a big series. That said, I think this layoff is the biggest X-factor working against Colorado. For any normal team, there would be worries about rust and them losing their edge after being off for over a week. But the 2007 Rockies are not a normal team. They needed to win an unheard of 13 out of 14 games just to get in to the playoffs, and then continued the ridiculousness with sweeps over the Phillies and Diamondbacks. They have been thriving on momentum over the last month here. This giant delay, in essence, kills that momentum and drive that had been fueling one of the most amazing runs in baseball history. This is a big deal and something that is going to be very difficult for the Rox to overcome.

Q: How are the Red Sox going to adjust their lineup without the DH in Colorado?
A: This is a question that we here at TKOT have been debating for a few days now. The problem for Boston is that they have a designated hitter in David Ortiz who simply can’t be benched. His hitting, especially that of the clutch variety, is too great to rot on the bench. So he’s going to have to play first base. Unfortunately, that’s Kevin Youkilis’ position. Which means he’s going to have to move somewhere else too because he’s been the BoSox’s most consistent hitter throughout the playoffs. So where does he go? Most likely, he’ll move to an outfield spot. I’m of the opinion that he should play right field, and no other changes are made. This would have been the obvious decision four days ago. But a couple of big hits by JD Drew have everyone believing that he suddenly doesn’t suck anymore. Rest assured he’s still brutal and should be on the bench. Plus, by moving Youk to right, you have a minimal amount of change in your defense (as opposed to the Youk in left/Manny in right or Youk in right/Drew in center possibilities).

Q: Which pitching staff has the advantage in the series?
A: To the casual baseball fan, this seems like a no-brainer. They’ve seen Beckett look unhittable in the playoffs, remember Schilling’s bloody sock, and assume that the Red Sox are going to dominate (which might be part of the reason they are a shocking 2-1 favorite). But let’s hold on a minute here. While the Rockies don’t have the high profile names, they do have outstanding pitching. They led the NL in ERA in the second half of the season, have a team ERA of 2.80 during this 21-1 run, and a 2.08 ERA in the playoffs thus far. Those are impressive numbers. There are some great pitchers on this team, including Jeff Francis and Josh Fogg, but since Colorado is a National League team that plays in the West Coast time zone, no one knows about them. But the real strength of their staff is the back end of the bullpen; Matt Herges, Brian Fuentes, and Manny Corpas. This Rockies pitching staff is going to surprise a lot of mainstream media who have been focused solely on the Yankees all year. If the Red Sox sleep on them like everyone else, they could be in for a real surprise.

Q: So, who’s going to win the 2007 World Series?
A: I’m going bold here and saying the Rockies in 5. Look, I know all about Papi and Manny, and Beckett. I’m sure the Sox will go up 1-0 on the back of the new Mr. October (Beckett). This is going to make this prediction even bolder. Yes, I have the Rox taking 4 straight. I have very little faith in Schilling in Game 2, Dice-K in Game 3, and projected starter Jon Lester in Game 4. That gives Colorado a 3-1 lead going into Game 5 (sound familiar, Cleveland?). Unlike the ALCS, Beckett will not be able carry Boston again as this magical run culminates in a title for the good people of Colorado. The Rockies take the title in Coors Field in front of thousands of flag waving fans.

Disagree? Keep in mind that with guys like Tulowitzki, Helton, Atkins, Holliday, etc., the Rockies have the lineup to compete with Boston. I’ve already hyped their pitching staff—trust me, they’re legit. Plus, it’s freaking Rocktober. How can they not win?

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Under Review: Week 7

Five NFL blazing questions...

There seems to be a difference between New England’s undefeated season compared to Indianapolis’s undefeated season. Am I right? Or not? Why?

Q- There definitely is, and I love what Indy is doing right now. They've seen all of the stories and hype that the Patriots have been getting about going undefeated and having the highest scoring offense of all time. And they're letting the press cover and promote New England and have found a way to be one of those "laying in the weeds" type of teams--at 6-0. They are having the first underrated, undefeated season in NFL history. See, they've been in New England's position before. High scoring offense, record breaking QB, media darlings. It was way back in Aught 4. You know what that team got them? Nothing. So they are doing the smart thing and not running up the score, not getting noticed. It's brilliant and Tony Dungy should be getting way more credit for this than he is.

Fuzz- New England is getting a lot of pub right now. A lot. You can’t get through the day without hearing or having a conversation if the Patriots can run the table. It’s a very hot water cooler topic. You’re right though, Indy hasn’t been mentioned in the same breath as New England this year. They are just the “other” undefeated team. It’s a little surprising, since they currently hold the Lombardi trophy and haven’t lost this year. Yet, they are second in every single power ranking out there. Yes, New England is scoring almost 40 points a game and gains over 430 yards a game, but still…come on! Give the fellas from the Midwest some respect…

Dogg- New England is destroying teams and doing it in a more impressive fashion. Now that they have Randy, he’ll make the highlight reel every week where Indy is a more ball control team that will take what the defense gives them. Both are very impressive teams but New England is putting up more points and in a more highlight reel fashion which the fans and analysts look for. Indy will go undefeated this year.

Stick a fork in San Fran? Cincy? Philly? Arizona? Or are some if not all of these pre-season dollies still alive?

Fuzz- Stick the biggest hay-bailing pitchfork you can find into San Fran, Cincy and Philly. They are done, done and done! See you ladies next year. The only team I’m not giving up on is the Arizona Cardinals. Neil Rack “em up” had the distance but missed a FG wide left this past weekend that would have put Arizona tops of their division. They still only sit one game back of an oveeerrrated Seattle team and have beaten them once already. That division is so bad that they still have some hope. If Warner can attach his arm like a Transformer, they have a fighting chance. They have the tools on offense and are still learning a new coaching staff’s playbook. With that division, they’ll hang all year.

Dogg- Cincy will have a tough time because their division is very tough. SF and Zona can easily still win their division so I wouldn’t count them out at all. Philly looks like they don’t have enough offensive firepower to win games. Their D is solid but Westbrook is the only viable option they have on offense.

I wouldn’t count anybody out for sure yet because there is a lot of time left in the season. It will be more difficult for Cincy but they do have a great offense and if you score a lot of points, you can win games. Marvin Lewis has to get that defense to at least be respectful before season’s end otherwise he should be gone.

Q- They're all done. The 49'ers offense can best be described as "putrid", while their defense falls under the category of "over-hyped". Speaking of which, Frank Gore sucks. Then there's the Bengals, who couldn't stop my 7th grade football team on defense and have lost to Cleveland and Kansas City. The Eagles? If they would have beaten the Bears on Sunday, I might give them a glimmer of hope. But now, with that team, in that division? No chance. Lastly, there's the Cardinals, who have a one-armed quarterback that has no idea who he is throwing to and backups that were on the street a week ago. I can't say I like their chances either.

We haven’t talked much about the New York Football Giants. Five game win streak right now. What do you think of them? What is their chance long term this year?

Dogg- Well, it looks like the NY Giants are not missing Tiki Barber at all which I love seeing. I haven't disliked an NFL player more than this chump. It looks like he might've been the team chemistry problem all last year and the years before. He's blaming Eli for not being a leader but he's obviously doing a great job this year. He's involving Shockey and Plex perfectly. Those are tough guys to please and both have kept their mouths shut thus far, which I give a lot credit to Eli for. Their defensive line is fierce and I believe we'll see them come postseason time. I'm happy to see Tom Coughlin winning again.

Q- I just can't figure this team out. They looked horrendous at the start of the year, and now they are unstoppable. Plax is playing like a man looking for a contract, Elisha somehow figured out how to play the quarterback position, and they're getting meaningful production from something called Derrick Ward. Add to that a D line that gets 15 sacks a game and they are dominant. I still like the Redskins long term in that division, but the Giants should still get a wild card spot.

Fuzz- I’m with Q on this one. I’m confused as ever. I thought Tom Coughlin was fired for sure after the first two weeks. The New York media was jumping down his throat non-stop and I thought he had no chance of making it through the season. Now? They look like the second best team in the NFC. It’s ridiculous.

I’m currently holding Brad Childress’s arms behind him so this is your chance to get a few free shots in. What do you think of the platoon running back system he’s pulling?

Fuzz- Let him go, I’ll fight him straight up. I’m not scared. Anyways, I’m not against the platoon…if it’s less carries for Chester. Some people want to run AP in the ground, which might be alright, but I like the mix-up. It’s an even split right now which is stupid. I would like to see a 75/25 split. Taylor gained 1200 yards last year so he’s a good back. If you need to find creative ways to get them both on the field at the same time, then do it. Just find a way.

Q- Hate--to dislike intensely or passionately; to feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest. Yeah, that should just about sum up my feelings about Chilly and his kick @** offense.

Dogg- Like Bill Parcells and Mike Ditka said on ESPN last night, "Brad Childress is crazy"!

Off under review topic. Who is your favorite NFL player? Yes, this is something you’d see on a worksheet when you’re kindergarten, but I don’t care. Who’s #1 in your books and why?

Q- Wow, great question. The man-crush here at Super Bowl Homeboy for AD is heading towards illegal levels, so I'm going with Randy Moss.

He's a freak of an athlete/wide receiver and possibly the cockiest player around (at least that can back it up). He makes catches that no one else would even attempt to haul in (see: Sunday, last). He's the man.

Dogg- Ray Lewis is my favorite NFL player.

The guy is insane before games yelling at every player to get jacked up and "who let the dog out" chants. How can you not like a guy like this? Not to mention the best SB introduction of all-time. That dance will not be forgotten by anybody who viewed the game. One of the best MLB's that I'll ever see.

Fuzz- All Day Peterson is one spin move-juke type 30 yard outburst from claiming the top spot for me. So yes, it is reaching a dangerous level right now. I can’t put him number one though. My favorite player has to be Chad Johnson.

Though probably one of the cockiest players in the league, he does it in a way that everyone loves him for it. You can’t say you didn’t love the cornerback checklist in his locker? That was awesome. He really understands the entertainment side of the professional sports. People are paying money to be entertained and he’s the King in the NFL at entertaining fans.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Rick Reilly to the dark side

He's leaving SI...

Starting next June, ESPN announced that Rick Reilly will be joining their team. He'll be writing the back page story for ESPN the Magazine, just like he does currently for Sports Illustrated. He'll also be writing for ESPN.com and doing some TV work. I'm a little shocked hearing this news, but in a way not so shocked.

The initial shock is that he's been a staple for Sports Illustrated for the last 22 years. I know many guys, including myself that the first page you read in SI is the last page. You don't even think about it. Flip it over and pull open the back page. I do this every time. Rick has been spotty the last 3-4 years but he still has enough pull that you still read his columns. So, for him to leave SI, the magazine that made him a name is a little shocking. I had that same feeling when I read the news about Rick when a certain player signs with a rival team. Like when Johnny Damon signed with the Yanks a couple years ago. It's kind of weird. It's going to be weird seeing Rick in the "other" sports magazine.

On the other hand, it makes sense for Rick personally. SI used to be awesome but has been relatively ruined by the Internet. You used to look forward to SI coming in the mailbox to see what was happening in the week of Sports. Now, you see it everywhere... all the time! ESPN the Magazine has a different approach where it doesn't re-hash what's already been said on 12,000 websites and blogs that week, it shoots for angles. Also, whatever you think about ESPN, it's King. It does over analyze EVERYTHING but no one has more games or more followers then ESPN in the sporting world. Rick is going to have an even bigger audience.

I'm a little weirded out because it seems like loyalty is a thing of the past. And maybe that's becoming the norm...

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I feel like Bill Murray

Watching these games is like the movie Groundhog Day. As a Viking fan this year, I’ve seen this type of performance over and over and over and over. We’re 2-4 and all four losses have seemed the exact same. I feel like I do the same thing on these loss game days. I sit in my lounger, applaud AP and cuss out Tarvaris Jackson. It’s the same routine. Good defense, good running game, and horrendous quarterback play. Every loss leaves you thinking: “How’d we lose that game again?” Then you remember that it’s going to get better because at least we have one of the better quarterbacks to come out of the 235 D1 college programs from the last couple years. What? Oh yeah, he couldn’t even crack ONE roster out of the 235. Awesome. He had to go to minor leagues of college football and still couldn’t crack the first team all conference. Why is he our starting quarterback on our NFL team again? It’s like we purposely gave ourselves a disadvantage just to make it more interesting. Hey, you know what? We have a top 10 defense, a solid line and we just drafted a superstar at running back. Let’s go with the guy that looks more confused then an old guy wandering around a brand new Walmart. I’m confused on the whole situation. I’m not confused that he stinks. He does.

I know, I know. You have to give young quarterbacks time to develop and all that other football mumbo jumbo but I don’t care. He stinks and he’s showing no signs of being an adequate NFL quarterback. You would think after nine games (the number of games he’s started) you would see some professional football skills. You would think! I can literally think of only one throw in nine games that I said: “You know what, that was a good NFL quarterback throw.” That was last week on his 60 yarder to Troy “Hot hands” Williamson. Besides that, nothing stands out about this guy. He has to start though, because behind him on the depth chart is Kelly “Who” Holcomb and Brooks “I can’t believe I’m getting a paycheck signed by the NFL” Bollinger. You have to start T-Jack; there are no other options.

The defense again was solid. They had one TD and almost a second one if it wasn’t for three or four of our guys having blatant penalties on the return. The one they called was an open field tackle by our guy Ray Edwards. Hilarious if you saw it. You also had to chuckle seeing big ole Kevin Williams huffing his way to the end zone, then getting oxygen on the sideline while missing like four series’ after that play. Apparently, running 90 yards is a tough task for a professional athlete. The defense gave up more yards then they are used to giving up, but they only gave up 17 points. That keeps you in the game. 17 points is beatable. The other touchdown to get them to 24 was scored on a blocked FG, which I’m refusing to talk about. Let’s just move on.

I’m moving on to just ending this entry. I could breakdown more of the game, but why? The poor quarterback play trumps over everything else. You could say, we need to be better in this area and that area, but it needs to all start with T-Jack. It’s simple. He plays poorly, we lose. He plays alright, we win. Unfortunately, he’s only played two alright games out of six leading to two victories and four losses. I just hope next week when I’m watching the Purple in my lounger that I’m watching a different movie…

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Savior of a State

It’s been a good week to be a Vikings fan. They got their first win since Week 1 against a division rival in the Chicago Bears. Even better than that, it was a breakout game for the Purple’s super rookie Adrian Peterson. His well-documented 224 yard, 3 touchdown performance has been all the rage of ESPN, USA Today, etc. He’s joined into the conversation about the best backs in the game and is drawing comparisons to Eric Dickerson. There has been Purple and Gold on the mouths of guys like Mike & Mike and Sean Sailsbury, as well as in print from virtually every website and newspaper in the country. Yeah, it’s been good. But what most people haven’t yet realized is the significance of this performance on the landscape of Minnesota sports.

We have fallen on rough times, sports wise, here in the frigid north. Every other night we get to watch former Twins castoff David Ortiz hitting mammoth homeruns in an attempt to win a second World Series in four years.

Meanwhile, despair is looming over the current, non-playoff Minnesota Twins team. Long time centerfielder Torii Hunter is entering into free agency and all signs point to him being elsewhere in 2008. If that wasn’t a crushing enough blow, the entire baseball world knows that the best pitcher in the game, Johan Santana, is a free agent next winter and the rumors of him being traded have already started to fly. Those two guys are the face of the Twins franchise (I don’t want to hear about a certain St. Paul kid who hits .300 and misses 50 games a year) and there is a high likelihood that neither will be here on Opening Day 2009.

As you head a ways down the street in beautiful downtown Minneapolis, we find the Target Center, which houses the Minnesota Timberwolves. They too have been media “darlings” over the last few months. But the reason for their newfound “popularity” is the trade of Kevin Garnett. I know a lot has already been said about this trade and about KG in general, but it cannot be overstated how much he meant to this team and this state. He was “our guy”. A model citizen, one of the best basketball players ever created, and a genuinely great person to represent your state on the sports map. He gave his all every night and bled forest green and blue.

Now, he’s gone and we have a group of unproven youngsters and a long road of rebuilding ahead of us. Plus, every night we're going to weep at the sight of this:

And it’s not just the loss of superstars like KG, Randy Moss, or Daunte Culpepper. And it’s not just the potential loss of Hunter and Santana. The state of sports in Minnesota is in peril. We’ve lost or could lose the aforementioned stars, we have a non-playoff baseball team, the lowest ranked professional basketball team, a football team that hasn’t had a sniff of the playoffs in years, and terrible college sports as well. Sure, there’s optimism because the Gopher football and basketball teams have new coaches, but there haven’t been any results yet.

I know the Wild are good. They went to the playoffs last year and have started off the season red hot this year. And I know that this is the self-proclaimed “State of Hockey”, but let’s not kid ourselves. Hockey is a fourth-rate sport (at best) throughout most of the country, and while it has more significance here, they will always run second fiddle to a good Vikings, Twins, or Timberwolves team.

All of which brings me back to my original point. AD’s big day last Sunday mattered a lot more than people have realized. He has given hope to a hopeless team. He has given a talent depleted team a big time building block for the future. Most importantly, he’s given the state of Minnesota a face, a superstar, a savior. He’s someone who will be on Sports Center all the time and everyone here will smile as we watch a flash of purple streaking across the screen for yet another score. He’s our guy. We don’t need Moss, Culpepper, Garnett, Hunter, Ortiz, or Santana. You want to know why? Because we have Adrian “All Day” Peterson here to help us escape from the doldrums that are Minnesota sports.

So run young man, run. I just hope that the weight of every sports fan in the state isn’t too much of a burden. We all look forward to our football life AAP, or After Adrian Peterson.

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