Saturday, December 31, 2011

12/31 (Happy New Year) Quickie

What's a new year's transition without reviving the old Shanoff "What's Hot/What's Not" for the old/new year? Here's a quick-ish version I whipped up.

Have a safe and enjoyable new year's eve everyone. More next week, but thank you -- sincere, hearty thanks -- for your support this past year, on this blog and (of course) at Quickish.

-- D.S.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

12/27 (Brees) Quickie

Two words: Drew. Brees.

*I am no sports prude. I have absolutely no problem with the Saints running up the score on the Falcons last night in order to get Drew Brees that Marino single-season passing record.

My problem is with the folks who would chide Pierre Thomas for slapping a bow on a football after his touchdown then handing it to his mother, then turn around and congratulate Brees after the Saints QB would agree to something as superficially classless as continuing to throw the ball up a gazillion points late, simply to get a record he would have earned in about 10 seconds next Sunday.

They both fall in the "sportsmanship" bucket, and you either have a wide interpretation of what is sportsmanship (Good for Brees! Good for Thomas!) or a narrow one. Hard to see how you can like one but not the other.

*NBA: (1) Rubio! Most of the league tipped off their season last night, and the revelation -- the new hotness of hotness -- was Ricky Rubio, who looked spectacular and instantly turned the T'wolves into a must-see team (not unlike the way John Wall had the same effect on the otherwise unwatchable Wizards). Some of his passes were jaw-dropping.

Meanwhile, the (2) Lakers are 0-2 (so are the Mavericks). It's one thing to drop a close one to the Bulls; it's another to drop one to the Kings (Marcus Thornton -- wow). It's great foreshadowing of the impact of back-to-back games on the old(er) teams. And it doesn't get any easier for the Lakers; they play the tail end of a back-to-back-to-back today, once again without suspended Andrew Bynum. An 0-3 start isn't out of the question.

(3) Good for the Hornets. That's a nice little karmic payback.

*College football bowlin': Little Caesars at 4:30 (pick: Purdue over Western Michigan), Belk at 8 (pick: Louisville over NC State).

-- D.S.

Monday, December 26, 2011

12/26 (NBA Is Back) Quickie

First, there's this:

Hope you saw that yesterday (or just now). Meanwhile...

*The NBA is back. The Heat look unstoppable (and, frankly, with a year of loathing/schadenfreude behind us, entirely watchable). The Lakers and Celtics look creaky. The Clippers look overrated. The Warriors look lost. And the Thunder make me feel good about my prediction they would win the NBA title.

*NFL Week 16 in Review: Just a reminder that Aaron Rodgers is having one of the greatest seasons by a QB in NFL history. Speaking of superlatives: I said this on Saturday -- Cam Newton is finishing up the greatest season ever by an NFL rookie. Not just a rookie QB - any rookie... How can you not love Week 17 "play-in" games where the winner goes the playoffs and the loser stays home? Giants-Cowboys will be terrific.

*Tebow: So it's a testament to how amazing that mid-season run by the Broncos was -- remember that? I know, it's hard -- that the Broncos can lose to the Chiefs on Sunday and still win the division if the Raiders lose, too. I would like to see John Fox go back to the system that got him to this position -- run, run, run. Let Tebow run. Let the run set up opportunistic passing plays. Let the run earn first-downs on fourth-and-short. And for everyone jumping off the Tebow bandwagon -- and there are so many -- let's just remember that the Broncos being in a position to make the playoffs is still about 200% better than the preseason (or early-October) projections.

More NBA on tap tonight -- I'm tempted to take advantage of my relocation to zip over to Verizon Center to watch my Wizards open their season against the Nets, but... nah. The local cable broadcast (plus a free preview of League Pass) beckons.

-- D.S.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

12/25 (Merry Christmas) Quickie

Merry Christmas to you and your family from me and mine.

The NBA is back (followed by -- at least for us, in traditional custom -- Chinese food and a movie).

-- D.S.