Friday, February 02, 2007

Friday 02/02 A.M. Quickie:
Countdown to XLI Kickoff

Super Bowl XLI Ramp-Up: Here we go. Save your game predictions (for now). I'm going to have a stand-alone post for game picks, coming later this morning. The three ways I'm looking at it, so you can get ready:

(1) Which team do you think will win, straight up?

(2) Which team do you think will win, against the 7-point spread favoring the Colts?

(3) Which team are you ROOTING to win?

As you'd guess, they aren't necessarily compatible. In fact, I've got a mixed bag. (Will I stick with my preseason pick of Colts-over-Bears or go with my gut?)

Meanwhile, Prince rules. Apparently, Prince provided the greatest Super Bowl press conference of all time yesterday, doing a set of songs, rather than your ordinary "Q&A" format.

(Having covered one of those once, they are brutal. I can only imagine how fun it was to actually be there to hear Prince essentially do a mini-concert for a small room of people.)

Considering this start, Prince has the potential to be the best choice for Super Bowl halftime entertainment in recent memory.

NBA All-Star Game reserves announced. The headlines:

East: Butler breaks through! First-time All-Star Caron Butler will join Carter, Kidd, Hamilton, Billups, J. O'Neal and Dwight Howard. Wizards coach Eddie Jordan will coach.

West: Carmelo left out! Perhaps spending too much time on his MySpace page? His new teammate AI made it, along with Dirk, Parker, Nash, Marion, Amare and Boozer.

Two dynamics worth noting, both around injury-related issues:
(1) Boozer is injured, but don't expect David Stern to pick Carmelo Anthony to replace him (although there will be HUGE fan and media pressure to. Will this be the sports blogs' big movement?)

(2) Anytime Howard and Amare (who will likely start at center for the West over injured Yao) face off will be epic.

More NBA:
(1) Why are the Suns so much better this year than last year and why is this the year they topple the Spurs and Mavs for the West title? One word: Amare. And last night's performance is a good representation of why: Amare had 24 points and 24 rebounds and the Suns thumped the Spurs by 16.

(2) Dwyane Wade hit for a franchise-record 24 4th-quarter points (41 overall) to lead the Heat over the Cavs.

UPDATE (2 p.m.): I don't usually read Simmons (I wouldn't want to see any quality analysis that is half-formed in my own head articulated by him before I could claim it as my own original thought), but I just glanced at Simmons' mag column about "Fantanking," and all I could think of was that it was about time he got on the bandwagon. How long have I been talking about the value of tanking? Since the start of the Quickie chat? Longer?

There's a very simple hypothetical that I use: Would you trade an 0-82 season for LeBron James, straight up? A single winless season in exchange for LeBron for the next 10 years. Let me make it more enticing by saying that if you turn down the deal, your team will only win 17 games anyway, like the Cavs in 02-03, so it's not like you'll be missing anything by conceding the entire year.

NFL Crime-Watch:
(1) Chad Johnson joins Bengals cavalcade of cop-fodder: He is questioned by cops in Miami about a shooting death that happened there. CJ is NOT under suspicion.

Maybe the cops brought CJ in to work as a profiler: No. 85 certainly has enough experience being around criminals.

(2) Andy Reid's sons are the new Bengals: One is suspected of pointing a gun at a motorist. The other is accused of possessing drug paraphernalia. The Bengals 10-day contract is coming any day.

College Hoops Parity Watch, Pac-10 Edition:
(1) No. 18 Wazzou State swept No. 20 Arizona for the first time since '83, beating the Wildcats in Tucson last night.

(2) No. 5 UCLA avenged a loss to No. 9 Oregon from early January with a 12-point spanking in L.A. I'm off the Ducks' bandwagon.


Morning Miscellany:
(1) Eric Gordon, one of the Top 5 high school hoops players in the country (and Illinois de-commit who went to rival Indiana), had 43 points last night on ESPN2 and simply destroyed national No. 22 Loyola, who – if you missed it (and how could you?) – feature Michael Jordan's sons.

(2) There is justice in the world: A judge dismissed that ludicrous "discrimination" lawsuit that was brought against the Angels for handing out giveaway bags to women fans only – on Mother's Day.

Carmelo-vs-Shanoff MySpace Challenge: From the injury of an All-Star snub to the insult of having me gain on him! Merely four full days into "The Challenge" (as it is now known throughout the MySpace Universe... or perhaps only in my own head):

I have 299 friends (as of 7:15 a.m. today). Carmelo has 31280 friends. The "1 Percent" Goal is 313. I am now merely 14 away, and I suspect we can hit the goal by the end of the day. If you're on MySpace and haven't joined the effort, have at it!

UPDATE (11:25 a.m.): SUCCESS! In approximately 96 hours, my Challenge has been met! After my last check, I was at 322 friends. Carmelo was at 31,398. The "1 percent" goal was 314 -- done! Huge thanks to everyone on this terrific effort. I won't be greedy and look for 2 percent, but instead:

(1) Continue accepting as many friends as want in, and (2) Ask for your help in finding new quasi-celebrities to Challenge. Ideally, they would be athletes. Not A-listers like Melo, but ones a little further down the chain. Send any ideas to my email above (or leave a message on the MySpace page).

Finally, in case you missed it: Yesterday's "Thank-You" post. Or just scroll down two posts.

-- D.S.


CMFost said...

There is a Super Bowl being played this weekend???? Where is all the hype and build up?? Is it me or has this just been a quite 2 weeks?

Mega said...

LMAO at cmfost. Nice.

What, no mention on how Duke lost last night?

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Happy Groundhog Day! That furry rat says spring is coming early this year. Question...who is with me and saying that Groundhog Day is the most underrated Bill Murray comedy and is one of the top 10 underrate movies of all time?

Oh...and it's weird to see Jordan sitting in the stands cheering.

Adam Giblin said...

Come on, Dan. The Suns are winless against the Mavs and Jazz, two teams they'll have to go through if they're the real deal. A win against the Spurs, who have also lost to the Rockets and Jazz in the past week, doesn't mean anything. I wouldn't anoint them yet...

Unknown said...

Loyola had Jordan's kids...but neither one is more than above average right?

So it wasn't just OJ Mayo that got suspended...but 6 other players from his team as well!? Safe to say those refs were looking to make news.

Dan! Parity Watch is slipping. You include two HIGHER ranked teams beating lower ranked opponents...and totally forget Duke losing?! ( or even Virginia Tech the night before). ACC parity should be the topic, not P10.

Andy said...

Making up for the lateness of yesterday's post by getting it up really early Dan? Oh well, I'm down with that.

I guess personally I don't really notice the hype except on the internet. I go to a school where we don't have cable in housing unless I want to pay for it and I just can't afford that. So the internet hype has been pretty good so I've noticed it. I'll post my picks in the later post.

In the NBA- I'm glad Carmelo isn't on the All-Star team. He was out for 15 games. That's over a quarter of the season so far. He doesn't deserve it.

Reid's latest is that one of his sons admitted to using heroin prior to driving. That's a big whoops. However, this is a coach's son and personally, I don't think it should be a story. I really hate how the media and us seem to think we need to get invovled in everybody's personal lives. That's a big problem in society today.

Off the Oregon bandwagon after a loss to No. 5 UCLA??? Wow, you seriously need to just stop getting on bandwagons Dan. You're gonna hurt yourself.

Also, there may be justice in the world with that lawsuit, but I still say there isn't justice in the world when a church can'thave a Super Bowl party using their projector as the screen because it's bigger than 55 inches diagnally. What complete bullshit. The NFL just continues to be the No Fun League.

solomonrex said...

The NFL looks really stupid for trying to bully a church around like it's some kind of illegal movie theater or something.

No Melo? If Shaq can make in on reputation alone, surely the scoring champion should?

MLT said...

no mention of the ridiculous snub of Joe Johnson? It can't be because he's not on a "winning" team: Kidd and Carter aren't either. Hamilton? Joe's out everythinging him. More ppg, rpg, apg, steals per game. Billups was hurt for a month! (apparently absence only matters if it's Stern's fault). This could all be solved by having a minimum games played eligibility. If you haven't played in 50% of your team's game, you're not eligible (Shaq, that means you!). That would put ManChild (Howard) as a starter, and Butler as Howard replacement and free up a wild card for Joe.

CMFost said...

Just posted my Super Bowl pick on my blog: Will post more later.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Dan I am shocked, shocked I tell you that there is no mention of Duke's collapse against UVA last night.

Unknown said...

Interesting story about Ted Johnson and Bill Belichick. Not really surprising to me that Belichick would disregard player health for playing time and winning opportunity.
Of course, that's what coaches are supposed to do.

Oh..I forgot the SB questions Dan posed:
At the start of every season, teh same mantra is repeated 'Defense wins Championships' but by the end of the season...noone remembers.

Bears will win straight up (though I actually want Colts to win).
Obviously, that means they beat the spread.

Big D said...

"The Bengals 10-day contract is coming any day."

Nah... there's no use for scrawny, white, drug-addicted, red-headed sons of coaches on the playing field...

They're usually sent to the coordinator's booth.

@ revscott:
"Oh...and it's weird to see Jordan sitting in the stands cheering."

He's just plotting his next glorious return to the hardwood, scouting high school teams to see the kids he'll be playing against.

Oh, and the Super Bowl Pick is up, along with some random ranting about the lack of Customer Service in today's society. Basically, I just needed a place to blast a couple of companies - what better spot thatn the InstaWebs?

CMFost said...

rafael do not believe everything you read. Let us have some back story on Ted Johnson, He beats is Wife and he is now admiting he has a drug addicition. And of course he can not blame hime self so he has to blame someone else. He was a pro athlete and a smart man if he could not go on the field and play he should of just said so and not just taken the jersey and headed out on the field.

Brian in Oxford said...

I think Groundhog Day is good, but an underrated Bill Murray movie is "The Man Who Knew Too Little."

So no about Paul Pierce? 26.6 a game, and if he's not the difference between the Celtics being a .400 team and a .100 team, I don't know what is...

Rafael, what's the Ted Johnson story? He was pretty overrated most of his time in Foxboro anyway.

Honestly, about the church showing the that appropriate? The skankfests that make up the commercials aren't exactly *appropriate* to show in church. Imagine if Nipplegate had taken place during a screening in a church. The walls themselves might have collapsed in on everyone as a sign! :)

Big D said...

@ cmfost:

Here's my problem with this whole thing. And I say this as a Pats' fan, but also with a lot of respect for Ted Johnson.

The tests for concussions are basically just observations from a doctor. Blurred vision, poor balance, headaches, etc. There are "scientific" tests or imaging that can diagnose with certainty, but for the most part, it's subjective.

So, if a player knows the "correct" answers to the doctor's questions, then there's no real way for the doctor to say that the player is unable to participate in contact drills or play in games.

Basically, the player can determine when they "feel" ready to retun. So for the player to then say that the team and the doctors rushed him back too soon is a complete farce.

solomonrex said...

Well, if everyone is going to watch the game anyway, what difference does it make if they watch it at church? Well, no beer. Probably.

Unknown said...

I only said it was an interesting story, not that I sided with anyone.

Still, cmon Pats fans...toss the player under the bus because he's no longer on the team. tsk.

IMO, if Johnson didn't feel right, he should have told Belichick that. He was, and is, a grown man. Like I said, Belichick's aim is to field a winning team. Johnson's should have been to have a long career. If he gets cut..file a grievance, probably win, get money, go play somewhere else.

bbom said...

I completely agree with the minimum game idea...that is the best solution I have heard yet!

As far as the church thing goes, the NFL needs to think things through before reacting. They make themselves look like fools over something as little as a few hundred people across America watching a great game together.

@ brian in oxford

Appropriate? IMO that the "church" is not made up of sticks and bricks but of the people. Those same people could watch the game together anywhere, so would that make it appropriate? I agree there is lots of stuff that is inappropriate, but it doesn't matter where we see them, they're still inappropriate. BTW, I'm not attacking you, just stating my view point.

Sorry for the theological rant.

I will be watching the game, with about 15-20 other young couples, funny enough, in an old small town church my friends bought and turned into their house.

Brian in Oxford said... does explain how he fell off the depth-chart cliff. Wow, J.R. Redmond, there's a blast from the past, too.

Has it been proven, one way or another, if football padding and helmets save more injuries than they cause? I can't imagine ANYONE going in head-first unprotected....although there still could be the inadvertent severe head-bump (think Vinnie Johnson / Adrian Dantley '87)

So what's everyone eating/drinking on Sunday?

bbom said...

lil smokeys smothered in BBQ!!!!!

Brian in Oxford said...

I'll agree on the "the church is the people, not the building" concept....but just surprised that something like that would be held amongst the main celebratory area.

(For instance, I watched the super bowls and ncaa championships from college in the church basement....not by the least you knew the 10 or so people wouldn't be as likely to get rowdied up and swearing!)

Brian in Oxford said...

I'm a wings and beer guy. And while the oil's hot from the wings, I'll slice up a potato's worth of french fries.

Chaddogg said...

Most underrated Bill Murray movie? That's easy - Quick Change. Simply brilliant.

How has no one mentioned the fact that the Bears's IDEAL opponent for the Super Bowl (excepting a non-playoff team like the Raiders) is the Colts? Let's look at the breakdown:
- Colts weakness against the run. Yes, they've been strong in the playoffs, but the Bears will be able to run because A) they have 2 good RBs, and B) they have something none of the other Colts opponents had, namely -

- A vertical threat off the play-action. Bernard Berrian, come on down. Rex's best balls are downfield bombs to a streaking Berrian off of the play action, something the Bears do well and something the Colts can't defend with their secondary if they're committed to stopping the run. (KC, Baltimore, and New England had no where NEAR the downfield threat that Berrian represents).

- Smashmouth defense outdoors on turf. With the exception of the Ravens (who shut down the Colts offense but had, predictably, no offense) the Bears are the fastest, toughest, most hard-hitting, turnover forcing defense the Colts have faced in the playoffs. Urlacher, Briggs, and Hillenmeyer all have speed to cover WRs (taking away some of the no-huddle advantage). And the game is outside on turf, slowing down the Colts (an advantage that might have given New England the win).

- Special teams. Bears are probably the best in the NFL. Colts are one of the worst, almost losing two games (to the Jets, and in the playoffs to NE) due to poor special teams play (apologies to Vinateri). No way this doesn't bite them in the ass...

- Lack of respect. As ridiculous as it sounds, these Bears believe they get no respect, and feed off of that dis to get amped up for a game. Everyone is picking against them, and when conventional wisdom is all going one way, you know what that means (see, e.g. 2006 World Series, 2007 BCS Championship Game, Boise State-Oklahoma, New England-St. Louis Rams Super Bowl, etc.)

CMFost said...

The Menu for Sunday is yet to be determined. SInce normally for my Super Bowls Parties I likes to do things that are specific to the Areas the Teams are from. The problem I am having Indianapolis is not really well known for a certain type of food unless I am missing something.

I was thinking for the Chicago portion:
Mini - Deep Dish Pizzas

BLUE said...

Carmelo should have gotten in. The guy served his suspension and to punish him for being suspended is a little like double jeapordy. Despite the fact that the suspension was for a ludicrous amount of games, while the last 2 "punches" thrown in games this season have both warrented ONE game suspensions. My hope is that he uses this snub as motivation and destroys the league the rest of the year (ala Agent Zero). Who knows, this could damage Dan's chances of catching 'Melo on myspace now.

bbom said...


I agree the rules are the rule without exeption, but I am thinking more along the lines of anybody having a group together to watch it. The way I understand it is that the NFL is only worried about TV ratings going down and losing $$$$. I feel that it should be okay for anyone, anywhere as long as they are not making money on the gathering (entry charges, selling food/drinks). As I stated before, we will have a big group together, some will watch it, some will just hang out (wives).

BLUE said...

I was in Tahoe a few years back and paid money to watch the game on a huge screen TV at a casino. And they gave away prizes. It was fun. The NFL just chose the wrong group to go after, because it's happening all over the country. Actually i might ask my friends to kick in some cash to come watch on my 60" plasma, just to stick it to the man.

Brian in Oxford said...

Remember, any broadcast, rebroadcast, or other use of the pictures, accounts, and descriptions of this game without the express written consent of....

oh wait, that's baseball. something about "disseminated", which always sounds like a male reproductive issue.

I agree, the NFL doesn't want people issuing a cover charge without giving them a cut.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...


good argument. i was saying underrated in the lines of "all time greats" and when i think all time greats, i think of caddyshack, animal house, and christmas vacation. dumb and dumber and the christopher guest movies are up there. i meant it in the sense that when you say, "top 10 comedies of all time, GO!" groundhog day most likely won't come up. for me, it would.

rebuttal: that list you cited ranks caddyshack at #71. yikes. "some like it hot" is #1? i've never seen it nor have i ever heard of it. but i am not the only person on earth.

BLUE said...

Some like it hot is a marilyn monroe movie, my step-grandmother gave it to me for christmas last year on dvd, it's still in it's original plastic, like a collectors item :)

Cody said...

Groundhog Day and The Man Who Knew Too Little are both great Murry movies.

Something to factor in the "blowout" win by the Suns. They had two full days rest while the Spurs were playing a 2nd of a back to back. I wish the NBA wouldn't schedule big matchups ie. Mavs/Spurs, Pistons/Heat, Suns/Mavs ect. where one of the teams is playing in a back to back situation.

bbom said...

topic change:

Who are some of the best TV/Radio commentators? We get Nantz(?) and Simms this Sunday. What do people think? I am okay with them.

My all time favorite is still Kevin Harlan. I got to listen to him when he was small time calling the Wolves games and nicknaming KG the "Big Ticket".

We also have a local KFAN radio personality for the Vikings, Paul Allen. If you ever listen to Dan Patrick you may hear him win a "Homer Call" once in a while...escpecially when Moss was in town.

I know most people will be bias towards their local guys. Who great on the East Coast?

BLUE said...

My favorite is Gus Johnson, i think. Isn't he the one that does the NCAA tournament and gets super excited for every play when it gets close? If it's not Gus Johnson, then disregard.

Ed Chavis said...

I'm right there with you on Groundhog Day. I don't see a lot of movies, so I didn't see it until like 2001 when my kids borrowed it from the library. Everytime someone drops something at my house, someone will pipe up, "Just put that anywhere, pal." And "I think we should meet again... how about tomorrow?......... is that not good?" Priceless stuff.

On the church issue (speaking as a church music director in charge of copyright compliance for our church)- the law is the law; however, it's a stupid law. The 55-inch rule was written when nobody had TVs bigger than 27 inches in their house, and almost nobody had projection TVs or video projectors, especially churches, who usually had to make do with someone's discarded leftover electronics. It just strikes me as odd that they spend millions of dollars trying to make sure that the game pulls in high Nielsen ratings for their advertisers, and then fusses over a Baptist church that wants to show the game in their facility. Sheesh.

bbom said...

@ mr. ed

As a volunteer youth leader and sound board techy I agree with you whole heartedly. I think it would be a great way to get a bunch of kids (or adults) together in a safe, fun place to hang out and talk sports, but we cannot because of the rule.

I checked out your blogs. Your stats are disturbing but right on.

Brian in Oxford said...

Gus Johnson is excellent....especially on basketball. "Gonzaga....the slipper still fits!" was his signature call back from '99, when they made their legendary run.

Because all football on TV is provided by national announcers, you can't really ask who's good on the east coast versus middle America. Unless you want to talk local radio....I can hear Pats, Jets, and Giants on the radio, and all 3 have great play-by-play guys, and all 3 have awful, homer, "analysts"....although the Giants have Dave Jennings as a 3rd man in the booth, who's not too bad.

I think Aikman's strength is that he doesn't make the broadcast all about listening to *him* a Buck or Michaels/Madden. Nantz is so freakin' smarmy, anyone already cringing for whatever cutesy line he'll throw out there at the end? It's like, he covers the game well, but he is so awful at framing the moment it's taking place in.

Unknown said...

College football..I always like listening to Chris Spielman. Knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the sport. rare combo.

NFL...Summerall. Just can't be topped, certainly not by anyone currently broadcasting.

I think Jay Bilas should do more commentating instead of halftime analysis for CBB.

DHRjericho said...

Nobody in the NW calls Washington State University Wazzou State. It's just Wazzou (never add State) if you're deciding to use that nickname.

BLUE said...

Yes, it's just Wazzu, not wazzu state as that would be redundant. It would be like saying washington state university state.

bbom said...

With Farve back, the Pack should finish 7-9 instead of 6-10, one or two games ahead of the QB/WR-less Vikings. At least we don't have to wait all off season for the decision.

He's not what he once was, but I would take him over anything the Vikes will put out there.

Patriots64 said...

No mention of the NHL game of the season so far??

Pens vs Habs was an incredible game
right from the beginning with Laperre butt-ending Crosby at the opening faceoff and Souray getting kicked out for jumping Armstrong after his hit on Koivu.

Rematch is Sunday afternoon on CBC/Center Ice as a warmup for the SuperBowl.

Unknown said...

Speaking of High School Basketball...

Air Gordon was insane last night. While he was on the floor he outscored Loyola 43-39. That kid is good.

Sean Singltary's shot was one of the most athletic things I've seen this college basketball season.

But the best moment of Duke/Virginia last night was when the game was approaching an end there were these 2 kids holding up a sign that said "Sportscenter is next unless DUKE needs more time". All of the announcers thought it was hilarious. What was ironic though was when virginia went up 2 with 1 second left and Duke had to go full court just like in the Virginia Tech game but this time didn't get the extra time (because they were on the road) and lost.