Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday 01/31 (Not A) Quickie

Taking the morning/day off, conserving my strength for tomorrow night's 2nd Annual Super Bowl Live-Twitter Extravaganza. Enjoy the day.

-- D.S.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday 01/30 A.M. Quickie:
Cardinals, Magic, Gonzaga, All-Stars, More

Cardinals 20, Steelers 16. But I'm less concerned about the score than simply picking the Cardinals to win, which leads today's SN column.

Here's the thing: After last year's Super Bowl, there is simply no such thing as "upset" anymore. But the closest thing to it would be to utter the phrase "Cardinals: Super Bowl Champs."

I suspect that Pittsburgh's defense is going to be the toughest the Cards have faced this season. But I'm not sold on the Steelers' offense, and the Cards have been defying expectations all month.

For those of you who remember last year's experiment with Twitter (back before EVERYONE was doing it) during the Super Bowl -- it beats a live-blog! -- should check it out on Sunday night:

(I'm sure this year, there will be a ton more folks tweeting during the game. The more the merrier, I say. Following lots of people active during the game will just make your Twitter stream that much more fun and interesting.)

Meanwhile, other things you'll find in the column today:
*SB Ads preview: Coke FTW? Or sacrilege?
*Obama picks the Steelers: That's not change.
*Gonzaga beats St. Mary's: With a HUGE caveat.
*Magic beat Cavs: LeBron will get those calls in May.
*Nelson an All-Star: But not Rondo? Come on.
*Wells gripes about Torre: You don't say!

It's a fun-filled Friday before the Super Bowl. Check out the column. Check back here all weekend long. And, if you're not planning to come back until Monday, enjoy the game.

-- D.S.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday 01/29 A.M. Quickie:
Wake, SB 43, Bonds, WRs, All-Stars

Recovery continues!

I'm torn between giving Wake all sorts of credit for beating Duke -- and remembering that Duke recently has been abysmal in the NCAA Tournament, so how much stock should I put into beating them?

Because right now, I'm inclined to think that Wake looks more like an NCAA champ than any other team -- size (depth of size), great defense, go-to scoring guard. I can't believe it's not a fully loaded bandwagon, though, which is more telling than, say beating Duke.

Meanwhile, I find the Big East to be ludicrously loaded -- Nova beats Pitt, Providence beats Syracuse, Georgetown is beaten by whomever.... I'll stick with my original pronouncement: This conference will get 8 or 9 teams in the NCAA Tournament; the acid test of its awesomeness is how many of those teams get to the Sweet 16 or even the Elite Eight.

Not sure if I can visualize how a Wake or a Duke or a UNC or an Oklahoma would do in the Big East, with the game-in-game-out punishment. When you look at Wake's remaining schedule, it seems fairly mild -- yeah, a game at Duke, but beyond that...what, exactly? You simply can't say that about the top teams in the Big East. You can't go more than a game or two without playing another team in the Top 25.

Super Bowl: Eh, Super Bowl week is so overrated. The lull on Wednesday and Thursday and Friday before the game is stupefying. The only fun is in making the pick on Friday -- mine is coming tomorrow.

NBA All-Star Reserves announced tonight: What I would like to see is less "same old stars" and more new guys whose play this season has merited inclusion (Danny Granger, Devin Harris, Jameer Nelson, Rajon Rondo) -- it's in the NBA's best interests to raise the profile of younger guys, rather than celebrate the longtime all-stars like Paul Pierce.

Complete SN column here. More later.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jeff MacGregor on Media Day

MacGregor nails it. (Didn't know he was now full-time for and the Mag, but he is one of my all-time favorite sportswriters. I presume all of you have read "Sunday Money" by now.)

-- D.S.

Wednesday 01/28 A.M. Quickie:
Wake, Duke, Media Day, Cavs, A-Rod, More

So Media Day was sort of a dud, I think.

I have been very excited about Wake-Duke tonight. Then I had a standard reality check: College basketball regular season games -- these "Game of the Year" candidates -- are entirely overrated.

So Duke wins? So Duke loses? So what? Everything in college basketball is back-loaded to the NCAA Tournament. If you are a "national" contender, it's all how you do in late March.

Duke's No. 1 ranking this week? A win over Wake? An ACC title? Hell, even a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament? Meaningless, unless Duke wins the national title.

(It's a bit more complicated for Duke: They have been so awful the last few Tournaments that even a Final Four appearance would be some kind of validation.)

Anyway, as I said in today's SN column, I'll definitely watch the game tonight -- but, as with every game I watch during CBB's regular season, it's with one eye on the TV and another on my bracket in March.

Complete SN column here. More later, although the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before the Super Bowl are traditionally some of the slowest days of the sports year.

-- D.S.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday 01/27 A.M. Quickie:
Super Bowl Media Day, Marquette, Chris Paul, More

An annual tradition for me: Dinging Super Bowl Media Day, which leads today's SN column.

That said: I am intrigued to see what kind of impact that Twitter may have on the event. Media Day was already pretty stale -- in the 24/7 sports era, who needs "get all your quotes for the week in one place!"

I'm not holding my breath: Like blogs a few years ago, Twitter has been slow to catch on among mainstream sports media -- I know the political cycle lends itself to Twitter, but why do mainstream political reporters adapt to new media so much better than mainstream sports writers?

I'm hoping that there are enough progressive sports media types in the Media Day to make Twitter a go-to place for instant news and analysis.

Meanwhile: Is Marquette for real? Winning at ND suddenly isn't what it was a week ago, and Marquette's schedule is back-loaded -- see the column for their harrowing final 5 games.

A lot more in the column today. Check it out here. I'm still in recovery mode.

-- D.S.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday 01/26 A.M. Quickie:
Super Bowl, 100-0, Torre, Louisvillle, Lakers

After a few days away from the column, I have to have my say about the "100-0" game, and I get a hook to do it in today's column because the school fired the coach, who seems entirely unrepentant.


*It's Super Bowl week. (Much more tomorrow.)
*Joe Torre: Is A-Rod HIS fault?
*Duke No. 1? How about...Louisville?
*The Lakers still rule.
*More on Pat White.

Complete column here. More later, hopefully. I'm pretty laid out still.

-- D.S.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday 01/25 (Very) Quickie

UConn drops Notre Dame in South Bend: Just one more big-time Big East battle, notable mostly for snapping ND's endless home win streak, which you could kind of see coming. But, like every Big East game this season, totally meaningless until we see how many of these 9 or 10 Big East top teams make it to the Sweet 16.

Duke No. 1? I watched the first half of the Duke-Maryland game, because I knew that the Terps always give Duke a game -- even at Cameron. Whoops: I came for the rivalry but I stayed to witness the carnage. I haven't seen a first-half beat-down like that in a long time.

So, yeah: I'm sure Duke will be crowned No. 1 this week, but I'm picking Wake on Wednesday.

(Washington beats UCLA: Don't sleep on how thoroughly competitive the Pac-10 is this season. It's like Big East Lite.)

Senior Bowl: Pat White Show. All week long, scouts had been ripping Pat White. In the game, he did what he does in every bowl game -- win. 95 yards passing and 2 scoring drives. Now, that doesn't mean he can play QB in the NFL, but he has a good future ahead as a Wildcat specialist.

RIP Kay Yow. A legend in women's basketball. Condolences to her many many friends, fans and admirers.

-- D.S.