Friday, September 15, 2006

Friday A.M. Quickie: I'm All 'Eers

This Reggie Bush scandal (via Yahoo Sports) is the biggest story of the day. I'll have a stand-alone item on it coming later this morning. Meanwhile...

WVA demolishes Maryland, 45-24: This was exactly the national-TV spanking I said WVA needed to have. Perfect execution: Go up 28-0 in the first quarter -- most poll voters probably turned the game off after that, satisfied they just watched a BCS title contender.

No matter what Brady Quinn does this weekend, I'm bumping him from my Heisman Top 3 for Steve Slaton, who had 149 yards and 2 TDs... in the first quarter!

Sorry, Adrian Peterson: Slaton is the most exciting RB in college football, a poor man's Reggie Bush... without the $100K in free swag.

P.S.: If you haven't checked it out, you must read the WVA-MD Comment string on readers' "Best Sports Moment" from yesterday (165 when I last checked, by far the most comments on a single topic yet). Absolutely great stuff from everyone. Huge thanks for participating!

Tiger: NOT World's Greatest Athlete. Woods loses in FIRST ROUND of World Match Play: Best athlete in the world? (Even more ludicrous: Best athlete EVER?) PLEASE. No one who loses in the first round of a one-on-one tournament can be considered the best athlete in the world. Roger Federer plays one-on-one tournmanets EVERY WEEK; think he'd lose in the first round (or, to be apples-to-apples, the round of 64)? Hells no.

Steve Foley Story Takes Strange Turn: As if it needed any more, now prosecutors want to test Foley's blood for steroids, arguing that his actions couldn't possibly have been from alcohol alone.

(So they assume it's a roid rage? Have they never seen a belligerent drunk? They need to spend more time with frat guys. Still, this is a weird story getting weirder. I'm betting PFT is all over this later today.)

MLB De Facto Playoffs: Padres at Dodgers. San Diego is only .5 GB the Dodgers heading into their huge weekend series. I know there are a lot of games left, but head-to-head is the quickest way to generate space between you and a division rival – and to capture stretch momentum.

Update (12:03 p.m.): Wow, what a signal of what a non-event the Yankees-Red Sox series is that I didn't mention it in my first pass-through this morning. I think that says more than any commentary I might make about the weekend series. There's just no drama.

(I suppose if there's one particular drama, it's the MVP battle between Ortiz and Jeter. And I'm getting more and more of a feeling that Jeter is going to win.)

Liriano Mystery: If he's still got no structural damage, why is he in so much pain? The Mystery Strain should concern Twins fans more than something more serious, but at least knowable.

Want some good "Dancing with the Stars" analysis? Check out Rachel Sklar's analysis of Tucker Carlson from the Huffington Post's Eat the Press section. If "DWTS" has an online-media-only edition, I want to see Rachel out there (and I'll totally be a contestant too, obviously).

Coming later today: My live-blog (or maybe you'd call it a "running diary") of Bill Simmons on Colbert Report. Posted. Here's the link.

Also coming later today: Standalone items for the complete week in college football (picks!) and the NFL (more picks!) I was going to post them early, but I want to make sure I don't push the Simmons/Colbert post too far down before it gets a good run at the top. Coming soon.

-- D.S.

29 comments:

ChrTh said...

*blink* *blink* *YAWN* Good morning ... so what's happeni--

*wide awake* REGGIE BUSH WHAT?!?

brb

Christian (High Point, NC)

Geoff-Detroit said...

Glad to see you are so onboard with the Federer thing. The guy is amazing and dominates his sport like no one else currently (or in recent memory). If he was American he would get so much more coverage.

ChrTh said...

I found this funny:
"[Ornstein] also told Yahoo! he had "no idea" if such a loan would violate NCAA rules.

NCAA rules state that players and their families may not receive loans or benefits from agents. "

How could you be an agent and not know that? Sadly, Reggie Bush will probably run for 200 yards against the Packers on Sunday as a result of this.

Chris said...

The funny thing is, with Woods and Furyk both losing, it's actually an American who looks in best shape to win the World Matchplay. Shaun Micheel is 5-up on Luke Donald after 18 holes - maybe trying to prove a point to Tom Lehman!

Not only does Dodgers-Padres have huge playoff implications, it also features some great pitching match-ups. The Mets must be getting seriously nervous about how their pitching staff is going to look come October.

For EPL fans, there's a great weekend coming up: Chelsea-Liverpool AND Man Utd-Arsenal (both Sunday).

ChrTh said...

My brother, who's a Dodgers fan, wants LA to get the Wild Card because he believes the Dodgers have a better chance against the Mets in the first round.

As for Federer/Woods, I have a problem labeling anyone from a sport without contact as the greatest athlete. I'm not going to decry Tennis or Golf (or NASCAR or Cycling) as non-sports because of the lack of contact, but I think the best athletes should be those who not only excel at what their intended job is, but are also able to deal with any and all extraneous punishment along the way.

Which is why Ty Cobb is the greatest athlete of all time.

Christian (High Point, NC)

Dan Shanoff said...

I can't get behind the "Tiger-All-Time" argument. I do think that if you want to talk about greatest athlete ACTIVE RIGHT NOW, it's between Tiger and Federer.

But, again, I don't see Federer losing in the FIRST round of a match-play scenario (which is, uh, every time he plays).

Again: How can the greatest active athlete (let alone the greatest athlete ever) NOT make the cut at one of his sport's four major tournaments AND lose in the first round of a match-play tournament... in the same year, no less!

Jon said...

Wake me when the NCAA actually does something with this Reggie Bush story. The rumors have been out there forever. I'm more interested to see how he does this weekend.

So does Liriano's clean MRI mean that there is a chance of him returning for the playoffs??

Good luck to Jim Kaat in his retirement. Calling his last game tonight. One of the few baseball announcers who never got annoying or too homer and was usually always enjoyable to listen to.

CorrND said...

"No matter what Brady Quinn does this weekend..."

Well, at least you have an open mind going into this weekend.

Jake C said...

Agreed corrnd.

And, thank you Tiger for losing so we could shut up all of the talk about "greatest this and that." Here's they key that I keep mentioning, if a overweight, out-of-shape, lacking all types of athletic fitness and skill, can be at the top of the sport...then they are not an athlete and the "top player" can't be the greatest of anything sports related. Again, give Jordan, Gretzky, Jeter, Manning, and even Federer a club and they could play golf. Give 90% of golfers a football, baseball, etc., etc., or even ask them to run just one mile...and you'd get nothing.

ChrTh said...

One More Thing (tm):

Clay Court:Tennis::Match Play:Golf.

Mark (Austin, TX) said...

Tiger can't do this match play thing, and when you can't master a part of your sport, how can you be considered the best ever. Caveat's have been used before (ie Tim Duncan in San Antion, he's great but that free throw thing...) and I think it has to be used here. Tiger may be the best over a field for 72 holes, but if he can't beat one guy on 36 holes, then he can't be the best athlete ever.

I went to the gym last night and got on the bike for 15 minutes of warmup and in those 15 minutes, there were commericals, 2 kickoffs and 2 WVA TDs. I was impressed, but then again Maryland isn't exactly a heavyweight. I want to see WVA against a real defense to see if they are really that good, but it looks like I get to wait till January something or the other.

On the Steve Foley thing, he blew a .233 on the BAC deal right? Any person THAT drunk is possible of just about anything. And I don't know if its roid rage, there are plenty of football player with anger issues to begin with, alcohol may just be enough.

CorrND said...

Good point, chrth. But even with that analogy, you can't forget that Federer got to the championship match at the French Open and Tiger lost in the first round.

rafael said...

Bah Corrnd, as if people don't boost Quinn up anyways no matter what, since he's a Domer.

Liriano is young..first major injury? It could well just be in his head. He's nervous about it so he thinks he's feeling pain in that arm.


Simmons is going on Colbert?

thirdstringjd said...

Dan while I don't think you're wrong about how people will feel about WVA after that game last night in the polls - I think that there has to be some concern there.

I mean that secondary looked really bad and when they play a team like oh I don't know - Louisville - those young DBs are going to be exposed pretty badly.

Also that team absolutely disappeared in the second half (outscored 14-7) and while I know the game was pretty much put away at that point - when you're looking to make an impact to off set a weak schedule you need to show the pollsters that you're willing to play the whole 4 quarters and I have yet to see that from the Mountaineers.

Steve Slaton was unbelievable in the first half but in a game that he rested a week for I would have expected more out of him in the second half - but again the game was pretty much put away so it's tough to judge if Maryland actually had any part in slowing him down.

Anyways that's just my two cents on the whole ordeal while I've been writing about since lastnight, heh.

ChrTh said...

cornnd:

True, but let's be fair to Tiger. This was a 16-seed tournament. Federer didn't even play a seeded player in the French Open until the 3rd round, and that was a 32 seed. He played a 20 seed in the 4th, and then finally a 12th seed in the QF (aka Round 5). So if you equate it, Tiger lost in the 4th round, not the 1st.

CorrND said...

Ok, Rafael, fair enough. All I ask for is an open mind! Besides, what do Slaton's numbers tell us when he's playing Maryland? Won't Quinn's numbers (good or bad) against a team like Michigan be more telling?

"Simmons is going on Colbert?"

Didn't realize this either. He was on last night. Replay at 2:30 and 8:30ET today. Setting Tivo now...

obie19 said...

Not to be a Tiger apologist, but anything can happen in match play seeing its only one round. If you have been following golf, Micheel has been on a great run for the past month in a half. He would have been a lock for the Ryder Cup team if he had gotten it together earlier in the season. That being said, no one can dispute the ass kicking that Federer has put on display for the past couple of years.

rafael said...

The fact remains that I would ONLY watch golf to see Tiger.

I would ONLY watch tennis to see Federer....vs Nadal.


IMO, that tells me that both are definitely great.

melissa said...

Good game last night, although WVU looked weak on defense. It will be interesting to see them play a stronger team and see how they hold up.

E.J. said...

Slaton was electrifying last night. The WV O-line did what they wanted. And Maryland's D positively sucked. Missed tackles. Missed assignments. And about two notches less ability.

Slaton has excellent numbers, and they are only going to get better against...East Carolina?

What a joke.

I know that W.V. is a BCS team. But I cringe at the bandwagon that's forming, and that will only get stronger as the 'eers roll through a lightweight schedule. One ranked team out of 12 games?

They won't get much respect from me until they beat someone good. Someone better than Marshall or East Washington.

So C'mon, WV, follow Ohio State's lead (and Notre Dame, and Michigan, and Penn St., and even USC!), and schedule some decent games for once!

LudaKris said...

WVU looked great last night, but I would like to see them against a 'FAST' defense. There are plenty of defenses that are good becuase they are strong and make offenses one dimmensial. But put WVU against a 'FAST' def (Like my boys FSU) and Slaton will not look nearly as good. The spread offense is like communism, it looks good on paper, but does not really work in the real world.

Kristopher (Tampa, FL)

James B said...

WVU doesn't want to play teams like Eastern Washington, but they've had to with all of the teams jumping to the ACC. WVU's schedule would look a lot better with Miami, VT, and BC on it. No good teams are going to go to Morgantown to play out of conference away games. WVU had to schedule somebody to play at home and the pickings were quite slim.

rafael said...

WVU might not be a great team yet...certainly tough to prove against that schedule.

But Slaton is the real deal... I think that kid would play ridiculously well for any team he was on.
So far this season, in terms of "transferable skill from team to team", I would rate Slaton behind only NIU's Garrett Wolfe.

dawg gone round the world said...

Having seen what they can do to a fast defense, I tell ya, they sneak up on players and Slaton scores QUICK. UGA fan if ya hadn't noticed.

Anyways, them boys can run, but they are weak on D and even though they destroyed UGA in the sugar bowl, it took a flawlessly executed fake punt to keep from UGA winning in the fourth quarter.

Their defense is very suspect. Even FSU could get the running game going on them. :)

paul said...

Jake C said...
Agreed corrnd.

And, thank you Tiger for losing so we could shut up all of the talk about "greatest this and that." Here's they key that I keep mentioning, if a overweight, out-of-shape, lacking all types of athletic fitness and skill, can be at the top of the sport...then they are not an athlete and the "top player" can't be the greatest of anything sports related. Again, give Jordan, Gretzky, Jeter, Manning, and even Federer a club and they could play golf. Give 90% of golfers a football, baseball, etc., etc., or even ask them to run just one mile...and you'd get nothing.




Tiger doesn't fall into this category, he is in great shape and people around his say he would have been great at ANY sport.. Golf is just the direction he was steered in. Not to mention people this is GOLF! anything can happen over 72 holes (DL3 lost the players championship one year because his ball hit the pin and spun back into the water on 17.. thanks Karma!) a 36 hole match play format might as well be the lottery. What keeps Tiger in the "greatest ever" argument is the fact that he dominates a sport that has an other wise very very small gap from top to bottom. especially with the way equipment is these days, they all hit 300 yard drives, they all can spin back a 6 iron.. ect..

This is a no brainer, he belongs in the argument.. any opinion to the other wise is short sighted... especially when you look at the history of the sport. Winning 5 tourmanents (not even majors) gets your name mentioned among the greats, Tiger has won what? 50 something now?

Liriano = the rookie WALL
dude has thrown a lot of innings, and his body needs some time to adjust to that. No structual damage just says to me that he pushed it too hard and they need to shut him down until October comes around.

Shanoff you are such a slut... you ride so many differnt sets of nuts during the week its hard to keep up.. Now all the sudden Quinn can't come out and throw for 300 and a few touches against freaking MICHIGAN and be in your top three, but Slaton can run over an undersized line on a B- opponent (at best) and he's the next Archie Griffin? I'm a big fan of your instant history gimmick.. but thats ridiculous

Jake C said...

My point was...although Tiger APPEARS to be in a decent athletic shape, it's not the same level of competition as ahtletic sports. When your competition can challenge you at the specs I was using as an example, that is not near the same level of difficulty as what Federer has to face.

paul said...

Jake C said...
My point was...although Tiger APPEARS to be in a decent athletic shape, it's not the same level of competition as ahtletic sports. When your competition can challenge you at the specs I was using as an example, that is not near the same level of difficulty as what Federer has to face.


I would be inclined to agree with that, but they are such different skill sets.

In a more athletic sport like tennis or football, a person can hide behind pure athleticism and beat you. In golf, there's nowhere to hide.. If you don't have the skill to hit the putts, make the right club selection.. ect.. a 4.3 forty or 40 reps @ 225 isn't going to help you. Ray Lewis can be out of positon and still make a play in the hole with pure speed. Roger Federer can have no forehand and still blast 140 mile and hour serves past you. Tiger can never make a misread putt or fly greens all day and win a golf tournament.

CMFost said...

Hey Dan, Why are you avoiding the Michelle Wie story this week? Is it time for you to admit you are wrong about her and maybe she is not as good as everyone is making her out to be. One of the writers over at ESPN wrote a real good article about her, her is a link.

http://sports.espn.go.com/golf/columns/story?columnist=rosaforte_tim&id=2586158

oh yeah and as of this posting she was +11 and in last place at the 84 Lumber Classic

London said...

I'm glad to see somebody giving West Virginia props, but Dan, they're WVU, not WVA. And you really should head out to Morgantown for a game. It's insane. I've been going out there almost once a year for the past 7 or so years to visit friends and because the games are such a blast.