Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Wednesday 03/28 A.M. Quickie:
"Name of the Year" Picks!

Today's hottest storylines, as I leave the Billy Donovan story behind -- until Tuesday (at the latest)...

In honor of the Final Four, my Name of the Year ballot revealed!

My Final Four semis: Bulltron Region 1-seed Intelligent Infinite Botts over Sithole Region 4-seed Kyle Sackrider. Dragonwagon Region 4-seed Phyre Quickly Burns over Chrotchtangle 1-seed (and NOTY pre-tournament favorite) Vanilla Dong.

In the title match-up, I picked Phyre Quickly Burns as the 2007 NOTY champion over Intelligent Infinite Botts. As I said to the NOTY organizer to explain my pick: "Phyre Quickly Burns isn't a name. It's a narrative."

Check out other notable picks. ("Notable" used so very very loosely.)

(Slow day? Hell no!)

Michael Phelps: World's Greatest Athlete? Sets a new world record in the 200-meter freestyle. Not sure how many of you appreciate what that means. I think it's not hyperbole to say it would be like an NBA player scoring 101.

NFL Trade: Lance Briggs to the Redskins? Don't they already have two other expensive linebackers? What a classic Redskins move.

NFL Rules: Why would the Cardinals and Bengals reject the idea of making instant replay permanent? They were the only NFL teams to do it.

Meanwhile, I'm no Luddite, but defensive players having radios in their helmets defeats the entire purpose of home-field advantage. I'm glad the owners rejected that proposal.

Women's NCAA Tournament: Traditional powers UNC and Tennessee join Rutgers and LSU in the Final Four. Should be pretty intriguing.

NIT: I don't care what the name of the tournament is – a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to win a win-or-go-home semifinal is exciting. Congrats to West Virginia, which topped Mississippi State and advanced to the NIT final against Clemson, which held on against Air Force. They'll play for the coveted title of "Team 66." (Which isn't fair or accurate, but nonetheless, where we are.)

NBA: I'd like to know if Grizzlies fans are happy their woeful team beat the Lakers – or pissed because, at this point, every win takes them further from Oden or Durant at the top of the draft lottery.

Pop Culture: LeBron to host the ESPYs. I appreciate his star appeal, and his acting in his LeBron TV commercials was exceptional. I hope he gets into the host role and doesn't try to play it too cool, leaving the fun to his sidekick, the ubiquitous Jimmy Kimmel.

Media: I don't know about you, but I'm not sure I even WANT Joe Theismann to call college football games. From quotes, his heart doesn't seem into it, and don't you want a CFB analyst who loves CFB?

MLB: Mark Prior, minor-leaguer? That's looking more likely since Lou Piniella picked Wade Miller to be the Cubs' 5th starter. Go back a half-decade and try to wrap your mind around THAT.

Nats Watch: When I wrote my Nats Deadspin preview, Vegas had them at 300-to-1 shots to win the World Series, longest in baseball this season. But, per Boswell's WashPost column today, their over under is 68 wins – not the 40-something that some (me) were suggesting. It's a great time to hop on the bandwagon!

In the biggest league M&A since the NBA/ABA, the UFC will buy Pride Fighting Championships, creating a mega-MMA entity. What happens when MMA slots itself just under NFL, college football and baseball (in that order) as an increasingly rare "national sport?"

-- D.S.

70 comments:

Patriots64 said...

Habs beat Rangers, Leafs beat Canes plus Isles and TBay lose.
6 teams within 3 points of each other for 3 playoff positions.
I love the NHL!!!!!

Jeff said...

What's awesome about the NHL race for the last playoff spot is this: the team that gets the 8 seed actually has a chance of knocking off the 1 seed. Think of the NBA, it's just a throw away series.

cwhager527 said...

Why did the Bengals vote against instant replay? They don't want anything on camera that may be a parole violation. Chris Henry gets arrested again! I don't care if it's traffic related or license related, or whatever, but don't you learn at some point? ESPECIALLY since Pac Man will be meeting with the commish this week to talk about his issues.

kway34 said...

I don't want Joe Theisman calling CFB! I don't want Joe Theisman with a mic for any football game I'm watching or may be watching in the future.

Gary said...

Dan, I know it's probably too late to review your Name of the Year picks, but I noticed no one had Mario Hilario. As a Rhode Islander, I know who he is. He is a television reporter on one of the local channels (can't remember which, don't want to look it up). But, I realize this probably doesn't come into play for the brackets, but Mario Hilario is gay and supposedly dating/living with the Providence Mayor (also openly gay). That's gotta count for something in this crazy mixed up world. Right?

kegdoctor said...

Re: Nationals

Ssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Don't. Jinx. It.

Biebs said...

Somehow you skipped Federer's loss against Canas for the second time in a row.
I know it's tennis, but anytime Federer loses it's a big deal. Is Canas this years Nadal?

Stewart said...

It's amazing how incompetent the Redskins front office is! They're going to put big bucks into yet another linebacker when their most pressing needs are at d-line, secondary and tight end? On top of that, they're trading down in the first round without getting anything in the way of replacing the second-, third- and fourth-round picks they DON'T have because of earlier boneheaded trades. Do these guys understand how the NFL works? If the trade happens, I'm giving up my season tickets!

Metamorphosis of Life said...

Dan, I gotta complement you on recognizing Phelps' accomplishments. The guy is rolling right now. He took down the record in the 200 that was help by Ian Thorpe. Many thought that record would stand for a long time and he went out adn laid the hammer down. Today he lowered his own record in the 200 Butterfly by over a second and a half. The guy is a freak and should be considered one of the world's best athletes. Consider also that he is 21 and most male swimmers peak in their mid-20s. He dominated in Athens, will dominate Beijing, and could dominate in London.

rafael said...

Well, if I was Theismann, I'd be bummed out too. I just got fired from the pinnacle of football analysts...anything else would feel like a huge step down.

Some will say football is football..but we know that's not true. There are CFB fans..there are NFL fans...

D. Ling said...

Phelps is incredible, he's on pace for 8 gold medals in Beijing.

The 3 relays, 200free, 200/400 IM, 100/200 fly. His biggest obstacle is Ian Crocker in the 100 fly, but I hear if you win 7 gold that's also quite the achievement.

Phelps, Woods, Federer, the rest of the planet. That's the list.

Todd said...

I don't care that Theisman isn't enthusiastic about CFB. Vitale is so enthusiastic about CBB, and he still sucks.

Basically I care about how the person calls the game, and Theisman just isn't that good at that.

Brian in Oxford said...

Was the Phelps mention a slight at Federer? Obviously the 2nd straight loss to Canas appears to knock some level off the aura of invincibility.

Still, it shows that tiebreakers suck. Play it out! I happen to like Davis Cup-like scores of 14-12 in the 5th set.

The Bengals vote against everything. When I heard there were 2 against, I just assumed the other team was Buffalo.

Go Grizzlies, keep on winning! I'm sure Jerry West served some extra ice cream in the locker room for that win.

And WHEN is Madison Square Garden going to lay down a college-only floor without the NBA 3-point line on it? Shouldn't the world's most self-absorbed arena be able to have separate courts for pro and college games?

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Fucking Ukrainians

I saw this clip and thought I would share it with all of you.

Dave said...

- I'm confused how radios in the defenses helmet takes away homefield advantage? When the home town is on defense it gets loud and the opposing offense already has radios. If anything this kills home field advantage, right? The away O can hear and the home D can't. When the away team is on defense, the home team is on offense and you don't cheer pre-snap while your team is on offense. So what does giving the defense radios have to do with home field advantage? Just another case of the rules favoring the offense.

- I don't want see or hear Theismann on TV at all. He is awful. I'm disappointed to hear that he will now be ruining ESPN's college games.

- So, when do we find out what Michael Phelps is doping with? Seriously, as I read the first comments of the day that basically insinuated how super human this guy is (breaking records that were supposed to stand for a long time, breaking his own records by substantial amounts) that was the first thing I thought of. Just seems to make sense to me that swimming is another doping friendly sport (Hello, East Germans). Hope he doesn't celebrate too much and get himself another DUI.

chitown italian said...

pats - wasn't it you who drafted prior? i told he didn't look so good at spring training. i think i could hit is mid-80's fastball. good luck.

Patriots64 said...

In one league I did but dumped Prior already for Contreras who was on waivers.

DrDoom said...

bye bye prior..... hahah by the way it woulkd suck to be a cubs fan.

More importantly i think the problem with thiesman is not one of enthusiasm but one of do i enjoy hiis voice during a game. meaning would i be happier wtching if just he was muted. Since the answer is yes then he should not be annoucning in my opinion. PS for anyone here who is on a bracket site. or mainly for awful announcing you should do a bracket of best and worst announcers and see who wins. you could make them 32 because i think even that many good announcers would be hard to find.

Matt T said...

I really don't want to see Theeeeesman on CFB broadcasts.

CFB actually has decent announcers, some are better than others but most of them don't irritate the way Theesman and most of the pro announcers do.

There's gotta be someone out there that does like Theeeeesman, which is scary

Rob G said...

Maybe they're against Instant Replay because it's horrible. It takes forever and they're wrong just as often as they were before Replay.

James said...

to second Dave-
If anything this would increase homefield advantage because the main time for the home crowd to get loud is presnap when the away team is on offense. All this would do is level the playing field a bit between the offense and defense. My guess is they didn't pass it because offense sells tickets.

Ferocious Bluebird said...

If someone will buy me Nats' season tickets then they will win all of their homegames. I have been to ten games since they moved to DC and they have NEVER lost when I go. Any takers? That would guarentee at least a .500 season.

:)

DrDoom said...

nobody likes theisman. because he sucks.

Brian in Oxford said...

One of the things with giving a defensive player the radio helmet is that with so much defensive substitution, it's not like there's a guy who's necessarily out there every play anyways. What do you do then, switch helmets?

(Hey, how hard would it be to set up a mini radio on that frequency to the QB, and then a mini transmitter to the defensive coaches upon hearing the play?)

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

@d.ling...

8 golds huh? like 2004 in athens? wait...

Dan Mega said...

If the Skins are serious about offering the 6TH PICK in the NFL draft for Briggs and the Bears 31st, Chicago would be dumb not to take it. A superbowl contender with a pick that high is insanity.

Andy said...

Brian, most of the time, the defensive captain never comes off the field. That's usually the middle linebacker. I can't remember the last time I saw a middle linebacker on the sidelines for anything other than injury. Personally, I think they should have the radio. I disagree with Dan. It doesn't take away the homefield advantage. Defense relies on sign language right now so there's no affect.

As for Prior in the minors, that's fine with me, a Cubs fan. He can go down there, get his work in, get back to form, and when Piniella gets sick of Jason Marquis' suckiness, Prior will be able to come in and take over. Prior will get back to form. It'll take him a while. Remember he's barely pitched in the last 3 years? Let's see you guys stop something for 3 years and then pick it up like you never left.

Brian in Oxford said...

The radios are just another way to turn a football game into a war-like chess match, rather than a bunch of athletes playing a game.

And I'm saying it that way specifically because of the appeal that does have. I probably sound like TMQ, but there is something to the strategy it enhances.

chitown italian said...

I'll take being a Cubs fan over being a White Sox, Yankees, Dodgers fan anyday.

Xenod said...

I don't think MMA is going to be that big in America, but it certainly has potential to be what boxing once was.

YL Adam said...

One good thing about Theismann doing CFB is that the players aren't around as long. Now he'll have to rotate through his cliches much more quickly. He could say "Brett Favre is gunslinger who has fun and looks like a kid out there" for fifteen years. But he will only be able to say things like "Brady Quinn can make all the throws and is cool and confident running a pro style offense" for four years at the most.

Sure, it'll probably still be all platitudes and repeating what coaches told him at dinner, but at least we'll get to see his whole range of meaningless talk instead of the tiny sliver we're getting now.

Crabdogg said...

why is women's basketball on the cover of espn.com. this is rediculous

Biebs said...

Brian in Oxford said...
And WHEN is Madison Square Garden going to lay down a college-only floor without the NBA 3-point line on it? Shouldn't the world's most self-absorbed arena be able to have separate courts for pro and college games?

From what I can tell, every court that has a professional team on it has both lines out there.

Daddy Rosee said...

@ xenod

Boxing once was the biggest sport in America.

rafael said...

and it wasn't all that long ago.

Luke Bell said...

So was horse racing.

YL Adam said...

So was candle-pin bowling. I'm serious, read Rip Van Winkle.

Todd said...

Wow, how about Ugueth Urbina getting sentenced to 14 years in Venezuelan prison for attempted murder?

Hard to know what really happened, but wow.

Mike said...

NFL announced compensatory picks. Can someone please explain to me the formula they used to determine the Pats suffered such a net loss in free agency they were graced with 4 extra picks? Last time I checked, they had a hell of a free agency haul.

And the reasoning I heard for no radios for the defense was that with all the substitutions defenses commonly use, its too likely that multiple people with radios would end up on the field.

Matt T said...

@crabbdog.

Because they are airing the games and thinkg that shoving it down people's throats will make them want to watch

Dan Mega said...

mike- maybe the NFL has special rules for the Pats? Who knows =D

Brian in Oxford said...

There are plenty of arenas that bring in separate floors. For instance, when they hold the final four, it's got a specially painted logo just for that. Or they will bring in a floor from a college arena specifically into a dome.

My point is that MSG claims to be all-that...like it's so great to be playing the Garden. I think having the college kids playing on the Knicks' floor makes it look like they're second-rate.

And, if you watch Knicks' games, the college line isn't there on the court. So they have no problem removing the college line. I don't see why they just don't have 2 floors with the separate markings.

Brian in Oxford said...

I'd rather see NCAA women's hoops than NASCAR, talk about stuff being shoved down our throats....

DrDoom said...

i don;t want to see either womens basketball or nascar.

Brian in Oxford said...

how about women's nascar?

YIKES!

Ftrain said...

@Brian In Oxford

I don't think MSG has separate floors for college and pro ball. I think it's a decal they use. I see other arenas use ridiculously large stickers to cover whatever logo is in the middle of the floor.

Plus having the college kids play with the NBA three-point line inspires them to practice and work harder so they can reach the Association.

Farthermore why does this bother you? Were you playing ball at The World's Greatest Area one time and accidently shoot a NBA three? I really want to know.

BobbyStompy said...

Mike said...
NFL announced compensatory picks. Can someone please explain to me the formula they used to determine the Pats suffered such a net loss in free agency they were graced with 4 extra picks? Last time I checked, they had a hell of a free agency haul.


Those picks are a reflection of last year's free agent losses (Andruzzi, Vinatieri, Givents, etc.).

And as for the radio in the helmets, I don't understand how it kills homefield advantage at ALL. The crowd gets behind the defense at home, and quiets down for the offense. Now, there may be better reasons for no radios for defensive players, but that rationale about homefield makes little to no sense to me.

Biebs said...

Mike said...
NFL announced compensatory picks. Can someone please explain to me the formula they used to determine the Pats suffered such a net loss in free agency they were graced with 4 extra picks? Last time I checked, they had a hell of a free agency haul.

The picks were a result of losing compensatory free agents Tom Ashworth, Matt Chatham, Andre David, Tim Dwight, Christian Fauria, David Givens and Adam Vinatieri.

The picks are given for what happened in the offseason before 2006 season. They will not be receiving any compensatory picks next yr, otherwise I'll be angry.

Brian in Oxford said...

That would be funny if I had a story like that.

I just think it looks bad to watch a college game and see the pro line out there. MSG's got tons of moolah, so they ought to be able to provide a floor for their college games that's uncluttered by pro markings....even the narrower key would look better, too.

I was struck by this watching the NIT last night.

Natsfan74 said...

I agree on getting a floor without 2 lines for 3 pointers. MSG hosts the pre-season and post-season NIT every year, as well as numerous other college games throughout the year. Couldn't they just get a floor for college games?

The double lines especially confused my wife last night, as first she thought he shot a 2-point basket to tie (not win) and then she thought he stepped out of bounds. It takes away from the game when you're trying to figure out which line is which and what it is there for.

Mike said...

Ah, ok, that at least makes some sense.

David said...

no way is phelps doping. This guy has been on the scene since he was 15. he has gradually improved since then. totally legit

Stooncer said...

ftrain:

Yes, arenas often use decals to cover logos or to add any advertising to the floor space. Often in a pro arena, they will use colored tape to mark the 3 pt. line for the college game. It will always be close to being the exact distance, but it will never be perfect.

Regardless, the West Virgini player was behind a line, pro or college, and nailed a beautiful and exciting shot.

Brian in Oxford said...

I actually thought a couple of times during the NCAAs that a player may have shuffled, during a dribble move, behind the half court line, except the line was obscured by that monstrous blue NCAA logo thing they've got going on all the floors this year.

Smack said...

Dan said:

"MLB: Mark Prior, minor-leaguer? That's looking more likely since Lou Piniella picked Wade Miller to be the Cubs' 5th starter. Go back a half-decade and try to wrap your mind around THAT."

Think the Twins brass made the right choice--passing up Prior for Joe Mauer?

WuzUpG said...

Replying to Jeff's NHL comment, "Think of the NBA, it's just a throw away series."

In last year's playoffs, the West's 5-8 seeds beat the top 4 seeds. Moreover, in the Sharks existence (since 1991-92 season), they've beaten the #1 seed from the #8 seed twice (Red Wings in their 3rd year in 1993-94) and (Blues in 1999-2000).

Also, in replying to Xenod's "I don't think MMA is going to be that big in America, but it certainly has potential to be what boxing once was."

The UFC has grown a great deal. Its always on SpikeTV. Furthermore, Pride is on Fox Sports Channel. It has the highest ratings for the males 18-34. Last month in Ohio, the UFC eclipsed a record for the largest MMA audience, which was previously held by San Jose's Strikeforce MMA fight (which I was there for). In addition, UFC 66 on December 30, 2006 between Tito "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" Ortiz and Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell was the largest pay-per-view in UFC history. I didn't get the PPV because I was there at the sold out event at the MGM Grand.

Dave said...

In response to david,

That has to be the worst rationale for why someone isn't cheating I have ever heard.

The exact same arguement could be applied to anyone whos been caught or suspected of using drugs: Bonds, Maguire, Ben Johnson, countless cyclists.

"They've been around for so long and have steadily improved over the course of their careers."

By your logic, it makes sense how many baseball players ballooned up in size towards the end of their careers since they had been around so long and had all that time working on their game.

I have no idea if he is cheating or not. I'm just saying, I wouldn't be suprised and the fact that he has "been on the scene since he was 15" bares little consequence as to whether or not he is cheating NOW.

CMFost said...

Congrats to Nomar and Mia!!!!



They had twins

Jon said...

I sure hope those kids don't get dad's nose.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Again the difference between ben johnson, the east germans and all those cyclist vs Phelps, they have all ben caught. so the argument does make sense.

Dave said...

wow...logic is no where near your argument. That's like claiming you aren't addicted to cigarettes because you don't want to stop.

You might as well just say that you're giving him the benefit of the doubt (which is what you are doing).

I'm saying I wouldn't be suprised if he is doping.

Both of these are legitimate opinions to have. However, for you to argue that he isn't doping because of his longivity in the sport (since he was 15) is baseless and to a certain degree counter-intuitive.

GuyInTheCorner said...

I'd like to find out how you could convict someone of attempted murder when there was no concrete proof he was even there at the time and it might have been self defense even if he was and then sentence him to 14 years in jail.

14 years? Really? No real proof? Might have been self defense? ATTEMPTED MURDER? He didn't even kill anyone?

I'm not saying I know what happend, no one does. But that's the point. No one is dead and there's no concrete proof. How is that worthy of 14 years in jail?

Natsfan74 said...

Lost in all of this debate is that the guy who has now beaten Federer twice in one year did so after returning from a 15 month ban for doping. Think whatever he did 15 months ago isn't helping him now in some way?

If you take steroids to get big, but continue lifting hard while cycling off, you will still stay big (or, at least mosly big).

David said...

nothing to do with longevity. steady improvement which happens during your peak years of your career in these sports. the examples you gave were individuals who had shocking spikes late in their careers. phelps is not doing anything different that the best athletes don't normally do in their sports. he is just the best, bar none. he would have been caught by now if he was doping. International drug testing is the best. are you one of those guys who think Armstrong doped? if the rules are in place and you cheat, you get caught in sports. The only reason we cannot say that about Bonds and all the baseball players is that they were not tested for it when they were taking PEDs. But since the new rules were put into american pro sports, guys have been caught. Palmeiro, Merriman etc...Why even question it, the guy has been smashing records for 4 years now and has never been even considered to be doping.
and smokers only say that to get people off their case.

danthemanwise said...

Can someone explain to me why there is a Woman's NIT. Its not as if anyone watches the Woman's NCAA tournament.

Matt said...

@guyinthecorner

I think we're all a little confused and terrified of the intricacies of the Venezuelan court system.

David said...

What gets higher nielson ratings, Billiards or the Womens NIT?

GuyInTheCorner said...

David-

Perhaps you are new here. We passed a rule not to discuss ratings of sports because the hockey fans claim they don't count. We don't know if they have a reason for this.

You know, except that it would put Women's Colloege Basketball, College Lacrosse, High School Basketball, Trick Shot Pool, Women's College Softball, Spring Training Baseball, Preseason NFL, the NBA ALL-STAR Skills competition, MLS soccer, the Tour de France, Little League World Series, Bowling Championships, Figure Skating Championships, and of course, Golf, Tennis, and Boxing ahead of the NHL importance.

But otherwise, no reason.

David said...

guyinthecorner-

thats funny, becuase i was totally going to use the NHL as my example instead of billiards.