Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thursday 01/10 A.M. Quickie:
Jags, Carroll, Bobcats, Tilghman, More

Today's Names to Know: Jaguars, Pete Carroll, Arther Blank, Kelly Tilghman, Jason Richardson, Roger Clemens, Pete Carroll, Dayton, Brian Roberts, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Kenny George, Tyler Hansbrough, James Davis, Oscar Pistorius and More!

Exciting announcement coming at 10 a.m. ET. Here it is.

NFL Playoffs: Can the Jaguars beat the Patriots? There are more pressing stories today (Carroll, Tilghman, Bobcats, Dayton: See below), but it's the national story of the week, heading for its climax on Saturday night.

Wow, the Jags are talking a lot; that makes me sort of nervous:

"We feel like we can match up with anybody." (Rashean Mathis)

"They're beatable." (Vince Manuwai)

"It would be nice to be the team that eliminates them." (Khalif Barnes)

"0-0": Barnes offered the most reasonable talking point: The Pats aren't 16-0; they are 0-0… in the playoffs. That doesn't make the Pats any less of a juggernaut. But it is a reasonable way for the Jaguars to get their minds around "16-0."

I suppose the Jags have nothing to lose by talking. If the Patriots need Jaguars trash-talk to get motivated to play their first playoff game after a 16-0 season, they aren't the team fans thought they were.

(Coming tomorrow: Will I pick the Jaguars to win?)

Pete Carroll talks to the Falcons: Yes, yes – we know that the Falcons want to interview Pete Carroll; what we didn't know is whether Carroll has any reciprocal interest. I mean, hell, I could say that I want Matt Ufford to be my weekly guest-poster here; that doesn't mean he has any interest.

Well, Carroll DOES have interest, and he spoke with Falcons owner Arthur Blank on the phone yesterday (h/t: Joe Schad). That doesn't mean it will go any further than that or that Carroll is any closer to leaving his near-perfect set-up at USC. But if he didn't have ANY interest, he wouldn't have had the phone call and would have put out a statement saying, "No interest." So there's that.

Golf Channel suspends Kelly Tilghman for two weeks for the "lynch him in a back alley" comment about Tiger Woods. Tilghman and Woods are apparently friendly, according to Woods' agent, and the player is not making any kind of deal about it. If she's not a closet racist, then – as a broadcaster – she's openly stupid, making the suspension appropriate.

Bobcats shock Celtics in Boston: The Celtics had one loss at home; the Bobcats had one loss on the road. Hardly a "something's gotta give" moment. And, yet, there is Michael Jordan's Bobcats, with arguably the biggest win in franchise history, thumping the C's by 12. MJ's top offseason acquisition Jason Richardson led everyone with 34 (making it arguably MJ's best night as an NBA executive, too.)

Clemens Watch: Congress postpones, digs in. The highly anticipated hearing has been moved from next Thursday to February 13 – get your Valentine's Day allusions ready now. It would have been cooler had this story continued at its relatively condensed pace, but Congress wanted to launch its own investigation into Clemens' denials. This is an intriguing development and all, but my default reaction to it is: Congress doesn't have better things to do?

CBB: Dayton beats Rhode Island in the CBB Game of the Month, a battle between two ranked teams from the A-10 – two of the biggest pleasant surprises of the season so far. Dayton's Brian Roberts (who I'm going to start calling "Brian Roberts, All-American") had 22.

Atlantic 10 fans hate it when I call their league a "mid-major," but they are. (They are certainly not a traditional "power conference.") Dayton and URI have been battling all year over who is the nation's top mid-major – Dayton is the pick.

Tennessee hands Ole Miss its first loss of the season: Are the Rebels for real? That was one of the Top 5 questions of the college hoops season as it headed into conference play. A loss to the Vols (one of my Final Four teams, preseason… and still today) in Knoxville is hardly an embarrassment; to push Tennessee to the final seconds is the litmus test, not whether Ole Miss actually won the game.

Kenny George Watch: Dunked on! UNC Asheville's 7-foot-7 center took on Tyler Hansbrough and UNC… and got dunked on by Hansbrough (23 points) in a UNC win that finished up the Heels' perfect regular season. The question: Who's REALLY No. 1 – UNC or Memphis? (Or, as jhawkjjm argues: Is it Kansas?)

More NBA: Blazers beat Warriors, win 12th straight at home, take over first place in the Northwest Division, something that hasn't happened since March 2001. There was a Rose Garden scare when Brandon Roy went down with a knee injury, but he returned.

NFL Draft: Clemson's James Davis – one-half of the second-best one-two RB punch in college football (behind McFadden and Jones) – is turning pro. Two implications: (1) With the juniors, this is turning into a really interesting class: Rashard Mendenhall, Kevin Smith, Ray Rice and, presumably, Darren McFadden and possibly Felix Jones. (2) Davis' backfield-mate CJ Spiller has the carries to himself in '08 – could have a Heisman-quality run in him before Spiller turns pro early, too.

Athletes with prosthetics against the "able-bodied": How do you feel about double-amputee Oscar Pistorius, who uses springy prosthetics, competing against "able-bodied" athletes at the Olympics in 2008? The IAAF is about to tell him he can't.

Sneaker News: Air Jordan XXIII officially unveiled. Longtime readers know that I'm a bit of a shoehead. I have seen pics of the AJ23 for a few weeks now, but the official announcement from Nike happened yesterday. Given that it's reported to be the final "numbered" edition of the Jordan shoe, I think the shoe is nothing if not fascinating. Consumer reaction – from kick fiends and casual wearers alike – will be interesting.

-- D.S.

13 comments:

Mark said...

Of course you're going to pick the Jags! Who are you kidding? Then you'll be able to brag that you "called it" if they win and if they lose you shrug it off to the favorite doing what they were supposed to. That's your M.O.

Matt said...

You'd take Clemson's backs over the McFadden/Jones combo? hmmmm....

Slaton/Devine ain't too shabby either.

Natsfan74 said...

slaton was a disappointment this year. devine will start next year.

hskr dave said...

Tilghman closet racist? I have no idea. But what if she had said annika sorenstam should be lynched. I think this is a comment anyone could make about anyone. This was about "taking someone out" so the rest could have a chance. It just so happens that Woods is (half) black, that this is a big deal.

Mike D said...

Dan the new Jordans are ugly. Like you I am a shoe person. I own about 25-30 pairs of jordans but I am really considering now buying them, if I did it would be the white ones, buy a $185 damn

roboninja said...

Of course Oscar Pistorius should not be able to run. While it may not be politically correct, the prosthetics he uses gives him a distinct advantage. Would someone with no arms be able o use robotic replacements in power lifting? Of course not. Not a totally apples-to-apples comparison, but still analogous

marcomarco said...

I suppose the Jags have nothing to lose by talking. If the Patriots need Jaguars trash-talk to get motivated to play their first playoff game after a 16-0 season, they aren't the team fans thought they were.

Nice justification for stupidity. Nobody learns just to clamp down on the jaw-flapping.

jhawkjjm said...

UNC or Memphis? Neither. Kansas is the best team, and they're not even fully healthy yet.

CycleDan said...

For the life of me, I can't understand spending close to $200 on a pair of sneakers because a company prints an ex-athlete's name on them. Just insanity.

I always buy New Balance sneakers simply because they are the only one who manufactures wide sizes.

I can understand where a serious jogger will spend a lot on running shoes that wear well and feel comfortable but as a fashion statement? As a guy who could care less about what I wear, I just don't get it.

Joe said...

There is a 0% chance Dan picks the Pats.

Eric said...

Oscar Pistorius should not be running with 'able-bodies' in Olympic competition. There is just no way to sufficiently quantify the advantages or disadvantages of the apparatus he uses. Depsite where he may ultimately finish, its not an apples to apples competition.

although... the cynical side of me says 'why not', can't be worse than the rampant doping always going on. But the point is, everyone should bring the same tools to the table.

MannysHeadStash said...

The Bobcats only have one win on the road.

ContractYear said...

While I cannot disagree with you about the A10 not being a Major, They are not exactly a Mid either. They are kind of on some weird mezzanine level. Conference RPI's confirm this. They are currently 7th behind the 6 Majors but comfortably in front of the Mids like Missouri Valley, Horizon, Mt West, etc