Recent Comments by TheQatarian

Portugal Ties U.S. in Final Seconds of Match

While a lot of people were a bit deflated by the result, a 2-2 draw was still a very good result for the U.S., both in terms of expectations and tiebreakers.

The only real nightmare scenario now is if the U.S. loses to Germany, Ghana beats Portugal by 2, and then it has to be explained to every casual American sports fan how it is that Ghana would advance over the U.S. on a tiebreaker despite the fact that the U.S., you know, beat Ghana.

My only retort is, "FIFA awarded a World Cup to Qatar. Logic isn't their strong suit."

(For the record, despite my handle, I am not from Qatar nor affiliated with it in any way.)

posted by TheQatarian at 09:28 AM on June 23

USPTO Cancels Redskins Trademarks

I'm opposed to the Redskins' name. I'm more opposed to big government thought-policing.

posted by TheQatarian at 11:27 AM on June 18

Football Scouting Reports on Superheroes.

Reminds me of this: What If Superman Played For The Kansas City Royals?

posted by TheQatarian at 11:38 PM on May 11

49ers Edge Packers on Last-Second Field Goal

I find it amusing that the Packers are not really built for cold weather. Their only home playoff win in the Rodgers era was against an inexperienced backup QB (Joe Webb), and their only other cold-weather playoff win was against an even less-experienced backup QB (Caleb Hanie).

(Of course, I'm amused because I'm a Vikings fan who is sick of watching the Packers get every break when they need it, so there's some schadenfreude involved.)

posted by TheQatarian at 09:06 PM on January 05

Wisconsin Columnist: What If Rodgers Got Hurt Monday?

Not that I'm dancing a jig about Rodgers getting hurt, but the Cheeseheads have had it way too good for too long when it comes to having a continuous stretch of top-notch QB play (except for Favre in the playoffs). It's time they get a taste of what other fans around the league have to put up with.

I hope Rodgers gets well soon and the Packers still miss the playoffs.

posted by TheQatarian at 04:14 PM on November 05

Broncos Mock Jaguars on Twitter

I seem to recall the Jaguars winning in Denver as a heavy underdog about a decade and a half ago. In a playoff game, no less.

Don't see that happening this time, though.

posted by TheQatarian at 02:25 PM on October 08

NHL Re-Alignment:

As a Minnesotan, I like that the Wild aren't constantly having to go to western Canada for divisional games. Tougher division than before, but much more logical geographically.

posted by TheQatarian at 05:05 PM on July 19

Late Comeback Keeps Heat Alive

If anyone wants to complain about the lack of a foul call on Ginobili's drive, feel free to point out to them that he took about four steps before getting hacked. Two wrongs made a right on that one.

posted by TheQatarian at 02:53 PM on June 19

Innocent Coach's Career Ruined by False Abuse Allegation

This is actually my hometown school, although I didn't go there. I would say that the videos fall under the category of a "regrettable mistake", but not criminal. Had he been distributing the videos, coaching his kids to do what they were doing, abusing them in some other way, or doing something lewd with the videos, it would be a different story. It doesn't seem that was the case here; so while he would have been smart not to record such things on his phone, he's nowhere in the same area code as the Sandusky stuff.

I feel bad for Hoffner, because he did get hosed in this situation. The article does kind of gloss over the fact that his successor took the Mavericks to the national semifinals in his absence, though, and I suspect that had as much to do with Hoffner's lack of return to the sidelines as anything. I believe that if the Mavericks had had a mediocre season last year, Hoffner would have been put back in charge.

The fanbase seems to be behind Hoffner (at least the parts of it that I know of), and many are upset that he's not the coach, despite how well they did without him.

posted by TheQatarian at 03:17 PM on May 27

9-Seed Wichita State Reaches Final Four

Show me someone who picked Wichita State in the Final Four in their bracket, and I'll show you someone who either picked their bracket randomly or went to Wichita State.

posted by TheQatarian at 08:47 AM on March 31

Another Document Links Ryan Braun to PED Supplier

There's way too much smoke for there to be no fire at this point. Of course, I didn't buy his suspension being overturned in the first place.

posted by TheQatarian at 07:24 PM on February 16

Olympics drop wrestling for 2020

I agree that tennis and golf are not necessary for the exact reasons I stated. I'd also argue that the Women's World Cup is bigger than the Olympics, though the Olympics aren't necessarily an afterthought. I also think that given a few cycles, the WBC could prove to be a perfectly acceptable baseball world championship, thus obviating the need for it in the Olympics.

posted by TheQatarian at 07:18 PM on February 12

Olympics drop wrestling for 2020

I think any sport where an Olympic gold is considered the pinnacle achievement in that sport should stay right where it is. There are sports where the Olympics are practically an afterthought compared to other events, e.g. soccer (World Cup), which are better candidates for elimination, IMO.

posted by TheQatarian at 05:57 PM on February 12

Fake-to-Third, Throw-to-First Now a Balk

Harry Caray used to say that said play "went out with high-button shoes". Glad we can skip that nonsense now.

posted by TheQatarian at 02:55 PM on January 26

Ravens Will Meet 49ers in Super Bowl 0x2F

So how far will E!SPN and the rest of the sports media beat the "brothers coaching against each other in the Super Bowl" thing into the ground? I predict they will reach the Earth's molten core by Thursday.

posted by TheQatarian at 11:52 PM on January 20

Russian Team's Fans Demand All-White, All-Straight Team

There's probably a Timberwolves joke to be made here somewhere.

posted by TheQatarian at 07:21 PM on December 17

Johnny Football is now Johnny Heisman

Well, he's also a quarterback, which I think has more to do with it. Defensive players have an uphill climb when it comes to the Heisman. I believe Manziel also got bonus points for going into Alabama and pretty much beating them single-handedly.

Congrats to Manziel, though. Seems like a good guy, and I'll be curious to see how he does next year.

posted by TheQatarian at 02:18 AM on December 09

College Coach Rick Majerus Dies

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posted by TheQatarian at 04:04 PM on December 03

The San Antonio Spurs send some players home

One thing I haven't heard anything about with this: Have the Spurs (or any other team) ever been warned not to do this in the past or been punished for doing so? If not, then this fine is bogus.

A few years ago in the NHL, there was a big uproar in the playoffs about Sean Avery just standing in front of Martin Brodeur during a 5-on-3 power play waving his arms and paying no attention to the play, merely trying to distract Brodeur. Technically, what Avery did wasn't against the rules, but a lot of people thought it was cheap. The NHL didn't suspend him or penalize him in any way, but they did immediately clarify/change the rules to say that if that happened again, a player could be penalized.

That's the way this should have been handled. I don't think it's fair to fine a coach or team for doing something that isn't against the rules, just because it happens to upset the commissioner. If you want to make it against the rules, so be it, but make it so before doling out punishment.

posted by TheQatarian at 10:06 PM on November 30

Josh Harding diagnosed with muscular dystrophy

It's actually multiple sclerosis, not muscular dystrophy.

My mother has MS, and it isn't fun. She was lucky in that she only got a mild form of it, and with medication, she can keep it from worsening. (She was diagnosed in 1987.) That said, she fatigues very quickly, and the MS opens her up to other afflications not usually associated with people her age; she developed pulmonary hypertension about 8 years ago, which is something that usually happens to active people half her age.

Not a disease I'd wish on anyone. I hope Harding can keep playing as long as possible, though this probably ends any chance of him signing a long-term deal anywhere. I'm sure the Wild will make sure he's taken care of, though.

posted by TheQatarian at 06:41 PM on November 29

College Player Scores 138 Points In A Game

Here's a link to the boxscore and some video.

Interesting thing from the boxscore: Grinnell's style is unique in that they do wholesale "line changes" much like a hockey team, so the minutes for each player are usually fairly balanced. However, Taylor played almost the entire game (36 minutes out of 40), so that points to the idea that the coach had this sort of thing in mind.

Another note on the Faith Baptist player (David Larson) who had 70 points: He did it on 34-of-44 from the floor, which is also impressive. The caveat (although I have no proof of this) is that given Grinnell's style, a lot of those were probably uncontested layups.

If people want to knock Grinnell's system, so be it. But it's a D-III school, none of the kids have any NBA aspirations (or scholarships), and it seems to be a fun system to play. At that level, that's the important thing.

posted by TheQatarian at 12:18 PM on November 21

College Player Scores 138 Points In A Game

That's just the way Grinnell plays. Seems to work for them, though.

posted by TheQatarian at 01:40 AM on November 21

Maryland Moving to Big Ten

As a Minnesota fan, I look forward to missing out on one or more of our traditional rivalry games (Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan) annually so that we can play Rutgers instead. *shakes head*

(Yes, even if we don't often win those games, I'd much rather play them than a team I don't give a crap about that's on the east coast.)

posted by TheQatarian at 03:06 PM on November 19

The Miami Marlins fire-sale continues.

While Loria is an awful owner and I don't really mean to defend him, there's another more fundamental problem here aside from him: Nobody in Miami particularly cares about baseball. Or at least not enough of them to justify building that stadium they just got.

It's time for another game of "If TheQatarian Was Commissioner": Instead of building that stadium in a market where people don't care about baseball, move the franchise to Vegas, a market that is sizable enough to support a team and would be happy to have one. Move them to the AL West, move Pittsburgh to the NL East, and you have six geographically logical divisions of five teams each. This would seem to be infinitely preferable to having a team in Miami that no one cares about playing in a stadium where the atmosphere is comparable to a Brazilian folk festival, and awkwardly moving the Houston Astros to the AL West.

But maybe that's just me.

posted by TheQatarian at 04:23 PM on November 14

9 Charged with Gambling on Youth Football Games

*There's* a sign you have a gambling problem. Oy.

posted by TheQatarian at 01:33 PM on October 30

Infield Fly Call Helps Cards Oust Braves

Count me among those who thought the call was atrocious. The point of the rule is to prevent a potential double-play by letting the ball drop, but there was zero chance of that occurring given how deep the fly ball was. If the left-fielder could have reasonably caught it, then it's not an "infield fly".

posted by TheQatarian at 06:33 PM on October 06

Opinion: Golden Tate Caught the Touchdown

My contention all along was that it was simultaneous possession when they hit the ground, but the real beef was the missed offensive pass interference call. That said, being a Vikings fan, any Packer fan who wants to complain to us about a missed offensive pass intereference call on a "Hail Mary" is cordially invited to stuff it.

(For those too young or not versed in NFL lore to know what I mean, look up "Drew Pearson".)

posted by TheQatarian at 10:18 PM on September 26

Seattle Wins on What-the-Hell Mary

On "the most blatant offensive pass interference ever", the 1975 Vikings would like a word with you about that.

posted by TheQatarian at 09:51 AM on September 25

Andy Reid's Son Dies at Eagles Training Camp

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posted by TheQatarian at 06:39 PM on August 05

Olympic Boxing Scandal

Somewhere, Roy Jones, Jr. is asking for another recount.

posted by TheQatarian at 08:30 PM on August 02

Trying their best to win at losing

The question is whether it is "cheating" to take advantage of a poorly thought out competition structure. I also wonder if they were aware of these potential consequences. Given what I know, I'd say it is complete BS that they got disqualified.

posted by TheQatarian at 11:29 PM on August 01

NCAA President: Death Penalty Possible for Penn State

My view on this is that unlike most NCAA cases, everyone who did something to hide or cover this up is going to be subject to repercussions from the legal system, either via criminal charges or civil lawsuits. Those people will more than likely get what they deserve. Further NCAA punishment would simply result in punishing the innocent.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

posted by TheQatarian at 10:54 AM on July 18

Federer Denies Murray, Wins 7th Title

Federer's consistency is pretty amazing. He'll lose from time to time, but he never seems to lose to a guy you've never heard of. Good for Murray for making it to the finals (it had been almost as long since a Brit had even done that much at Wimbledon), but Federer's consistency was too much.

posted by TheQatarian at 04:31 PM on July 08

Hawk Harrelson Goes Ballistic on Umpire

As Ozzie Guillen once said about A.J., "When you play against him, you hate him. When he's on your team, you hate him a little less."

posted by TheQatarian at 06:15 PM on May 31

Mistake Nearly Costs Zach Johnson Some Coin

At least that one actually mildly qualifies as cheating, unlike a lot of golf's ticky-tack and/or antiquated rules.

posted by TheQatarian at 03:08 PM on May 28

Why Wrigley Field Must Be Destroyed

Blowing up their horrible ownership would work better. They've been hiding behind the quaintness of Wrigley for years.

The Cubs changed ownership fairly recently, so I don't think that's the issue. The old owners (Tribune Co.) were more concerned about profits than winning. I don't get that from Ricketts so far.

I've been to every major-league park. Wrigley should stay around, but it definitely needs refurbishing because it is old and falling apart. Fenway, on the other hand, I would be more than willing to blow up. I'd support the concept even more if you filled it with Red Sox fans first, then blew it up.

(I'm from Minnesota, and I actually like the Red Sox to a degree. But I can't stand their fans. I've been to Fenway three times and been irritated by their fans all three times, so it's not an isolated bad incident. Yankees fans aren't a lot better, but at least they come by it honestly. I think it's more of a "New Englanders vs. New Yorkers" thing than it is a "Red Sox fans vs. Yankees fans" thing.)

posted by TheQatarian at 11:50 PM on May 16

The next round of college football realignments may be under way

It makes some sense to me. I think Florida State views itself as primarily a football school, and the ACC is definitely more of a basketball conference. It's not like geography seems to matter much anymore.

posted by TheQatarian at 09:41 PM on May 14

Phoenix Coyotes' Raffi Torres Suspended 25 games

[Yakko Warner mode] "Wheel Of Suspensions, turn, turn, turn...Tell us the punishment he has earned."[end Yakko Warner mode]

Sometimes I wonder if that's how the number of games for each of these plays is determined.

posted by TheQatarian at 09:49 AM on April 22

Is Robert Griffin III Overrated?

I wonder if this is being spread by the Redskins to drive down his cost...

The NFL has a rookie wage scale now, so that's not the reason.

posted by TheQatarian at 09:39 PM on April 19

Pat Summit steps down as head coach at Tennesse

I'm happy that she stepped down of her own accord instead of battling on until it was clear that she was doing more harm than good. Aside from that, I echo everyone else.

posted by TheQatarian at 04:54 PM on April 18

Zach Tomaselli: I Made Up Accusations Against Bernie Fine

I'll bet Fine is asking the same question that the Duke lacrosse team was asking: Where do I go to get my reputation back?

posted by TheQatarian at 12:57 PM on April 13

Arkansas Lays Down Petrino

I'd have been much less surprised by this if Arkansas had gone 6-6 last season. Winning usually salves wounds like this, especially when they don't involve any actual NCAA violations.

Given Petrino's fidelity to previous employers, it's hard to be surprised that he'd treat his marriage similarly. That said, I think Petrino will find another job soon enough. This sort of thing will blow over eventually, especially because it's not a problem NCAA-wise.

posted by TheQatarian at 12:21 AM on April 11

Times Reporter Wishes She Could Boycott Masters

I'm taking the minority view here: I'm completely fine with Augusta having whoever they feel like as members. If it was a case of "any man can join, but women aren't allowed", then I'd be more inclined to agree with the detractors, but 99.99% of men can't get in, either. And women are allowed to play as guests of other members; they have simply chosen not to have a female member of the club. That's their right, and there's nothing wrong with it.

The health club "Curves For Women" is more discriminatory that Augusta is (it bars men completely, while any woman can join), but there are few complaints about that. I'm perfectly fine with it, but any defense of "Curves" can just as easily be applied to Augusta. Women want to work out without being ogled by men? Fine, but don't pretend that men might not want to get away from women sometimes, too. There are other places men can work out? Sure, but there are also other places women can play golf.

You can't have it both ways. Personally, I believe we are better off letting genders separate once in a while if they so choose. Your mileage may vary.

posted by TheQatarian at 08:17 AM on April 07

Tebow Traded to New York Jets

I'm with rcade. There is no more natural fit for Tebow than Jacksonville. Jacksonville needs to sell tickets more than they need to win right now, and Tebow will certainly accomplish that. Plus, Tebow will probably be the best QB they have. All sending Tebow to NY would do is create controversy, and while Tebow is one of the few people who could probably handle it with grace, I can't see it ending well for him, Sanchez or Jets fans as a whole.

posted by TheQatarian at 10:35 PM on March 21

Hines Wards Retires 'a Steeler for Life'

Agreed. It would be wrong to see him wearing any other jersey, IMO.

posted by TheQatarian at 02:08 PM on March 20

Goodbye, Kid.

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posted by TheQatarian at 10:09 PM on February 16

States Passing 'Tim Tebow' Bills for Home-Schooled Athletes

Assuming that the student pays some sort of fee to play (like the rest of the students usually do), I don't see any problem with this.

posted by TheQatarian at 07:14 PM on February 09

Josh Hamilton Has Alcohol Relapse

I don't want to say that it isn't a big deal given Hamilton's past and how he's trying to fight these demons, but I'd be more worried if he had gone on a three-day bender or been found passed out in an alley somewhere. His behavior in this case would been been considered reasonable and responsible by anyone else's standards, though his standard obviously has to be different. On top of that, he seems genuinely ashamed and contrite; it's not like a Steve Howe or Dwight Gooden case where they don't seem to care about fighting their problems. I don't think less of him after this.

posted by TheQatarian at 04:08 PM on February 04

Penn State Coach Joe Paterno Dies

I'm reserving my angst in the Penn State scandal for the person who actually committed the crime. I don't think anyone who was positively impacted by Paterno over the years is going to regret knowing him because of Sandusky's actions.

At any rate this whole thing reminds me a bit of an old couple where one dies, then the other dies shortly thereafter because somewhere inside, the survivor just doesn't know how to go on. In this case, it was Paterno and the Penn State coaching job. When he lost that, that was it.

Rest in peace, Coach.

posted by TheQatarian at 05:16 PM on January 22

Bernie Fine Accuser Recants

I hope all of those people who were jumping to conclusions are happy now.

posted by TheQatarian at 08:33 PM on January 16

Giants Send Green Bay Packing

I guess the Packers can go to State Farm now and do their "Discount Double Choke". (I've read it elsewhere, but it belongs here.)

One thing I wondered about with the Pack is how they would handle a cold weather situation. No running game and a poor defense isn't a recipe for winning when the high-powered offense gets slowed down. They didn't play that well in their one cold-weather playoff game last year (Bears), but they had the luxury of facing a third-string QB. Perhaps the Packers need to go back to the "barely make the playoffs and play every game on the road" strategy.

posted by TheQatarian at 11:47 AM on January 16

NCAA Forced to Penalize Yet Another Football Coach for Horrifying Acts

Somehow, I have a hard time getting worked up about this one. Is he hiring, per chance?

posted by TheQatarian at 07:43 PM on December 21

NL MVP Ryan Braun tests positive for performing enhancing drugs.

Not going to be a fun first 50 games for the Brewers next year...Fielder gone, Braun suspended. Ouch.

posted by TheQatarian at 11:56 PM on December 10

NHL governors adopt radical realignment plan

Actually, the rivalry that could be nicely rekindled here is the Chicago-Minnesota rivalry. (Chicago and Detroit are already playing six times per year as it is.) In the old Norris Division days, a Blackhawks-North Stars contest was usually good for at least one brawl per game. Today, with the Blackhawks' young talent and the Wild seemingly on the way up, it could be a great rivalry again. I'll take this over "Wild vs. Calgary/Edmonton/Vancouver" any day.

posted by TheQatarian at 10:55 AM on December 06

NHL governors adopt radical realignment plan

As a Wild fan, I am quite pleased with this realignment also. Only one trip to northwest Canada and more old Norris Division rivals. Good deal.

posted by TheQatarian at 10:12 PM on December 05

Get ready for Minnesota High School Hockey (video)

Hockey is to Minnesota what football is to Texas. Lots of good college hockey here, too, which is sadly going to be somewhat messed up by the upcoming realignment.

posted by TheQatarian at 03:10 PM on November 21

Oklahoma State Women's Coaches Die in Plane Crash

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posted by TheQatarian at 10:21 AM on November 18

Astros OK Move to American League

bperk: I was talking about the inter-league rivalries as opposed to the division rivalries. I think it is better that each team gets a rotation of inter-league schedule than to make sure that the Cubs and White Sox or Yankees and Mets play six times per year.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

posted by TheQatarian at 08:40 PM on November 16

Astros OK Move to American League

It's a shame they couldn't have moved the Marlins to Vegas and put them in the AL West, then put Pittsburgh in the NL East and been done with it. But since the Marlins have a new stadium now, that ain't happening.

I am in full agreement with this move, however. The stupidest part of the current alignment was that the AL West teams had it much easier than everyone else as far as winning their division, and the NL Central had it tougher. (As a Cubs fan, I didn't like that.) At least they've evened that out now.

Now if they go to a more balanced inter-league schedule, we'll be in better shape. Play one division on the road and another at home, and rotate them each year. Not everyone will play the same schedule each season, of course, but that will balance out over the long haul. The rivalry series may seem nice, but they lose their luster when played every year.

posted by TheQatarian at 05:20 PM on November 16

Dan Wheldon Dies in 15-Car Crash at Las Vegas

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posted by TheQatarian at 07:31 PM on October 16