Recent Comments by jackhererra

Sheffield calls out Torre, Jeter, Bonds in HBO interview

I've noticed that while this is one of the more bright sports blogs out there, the discourse tends to go down the toilet when it comes to race. Once again, an African-American accuses of a sports franchise or league of racism. Once again, "yeah, there's still racism". Once again, "I don't think so in this case". I agree that the Sheff is quite the live wire. (Wake me up when Jeter tries to play Nat X, Gary.) And I wish he could articulate his comments better than he does -- especially if he's going to go off so much. At the same time, I'm wondering what he did at age 22 (his oldest in Milwaukee) has to do with his comments now. While I understand MGDADDYO's take in terms of what you're able to give up (France sounds nice after watching "Sicko"), there's also something to be said for not being treated like a piece of shit, especially if others aren't. (If that's what GS is saying.) Could go on and on with this, but another time.

posted by jackhererra at 01:04 PM on July 16

Five is a magic number

On cable, is anyone showing old videos of the classics of Borg, Connors, McEnroe?(Followed by Lendl and Wildander.) Overall, bry66, I guess it depends on what we mean with lack of competition. There's a lack of competition (outside of Roland Garros) when you consider that Federer generally makes the rest of the tour into mincemeat. That is not the same as a lack of quality on the tour, which I hope bry66 isn't saying. Yes, it's easy to wish for other players to raise their game to Federer's level -- a challenge only answered by Nadal -- but that's a tough request.

posted by jackhererra at 07:24 PM on July 10

Private eyes are watching you?

I guess JaMarcus also has the right (a) to bust a cap in the ass of the stalker; or (b) filing a restraining order on Mr. Burning Bed Ass Cop. (I guess I'd choose B -- wouldn't want anyone to think I carry firearms.) Howard, I understand what you're saying in terms of some of the checking. I've gotten several phone calls from the feds over the last decade, asking me about a roommate I spent all of nine months rooming with. And I understand how many companies do the Big Brother thing on computers. But there's a difference between a computer that the company owns and engaging in 24-hour surveillance on someone who isn't even employed by these teams. For anyone invoking Pac-Man or Chris Henry as an argument for what happened to JaMarcus Russell, the fact is that it didn't exactly require Stasi to find out that these guys were total asses. Ninety-percent of the time, that tends to be the case. There's stuff in the paper. There's game and practice tape. There's a trip to the cop shop. There are calls to be made, just like the calls I get every few years when my friend is up for another gov't job. Bottom line: College campuses are worlds small enough to uncover and corroborate plenty of unsettling bits and pieces about an athlete who doesn't know how to act right. At that point, the team can draft the guy or not. As I remember, Pac-Man had a rap-ish sheet and was the No. 6 guy taken in the draft. So much for looking out for investments. P.S. -- The NFL security (actually Panthers' security) was more of a hinderance in the Carruth investigation, not a help.

posted by jackhererra at 07:35 PM on May 01

Discovery cycling releases Basso,

afx, I appreciate your "glass half-full" mindset. Wish I could share it. In any sport, you'd like to see the torch passed along in a legitimate manner. Even when Michael Jordan retired from the Bulls (the second time), you still had Stockton, Malone, Robinson, Shaq, etc. around in the NBA. In this case, you had Armstrong retiring, with the absence of Basso and Ullrich compounding that loss. So while all of the grand tours might be exciting, there would be a "tallest-midget" element to them.

posted by jackhererra at 05:59 PM on May 01

It's selection Sunday,

The #1 doesn't always get the winner of the play-in game, that much I know. As to why, it seems to be a mix between minimizing travel time from Dayton for the play-in winner while also giving the best overall team the worst team if possible. So while Pittsburgh, Nashville and Indianapolis were closer locations with No. 1 seeds (in '02, '03 and '05), the play-in winner played a higher No. 1 seed at a location not much further from Dayton. In all of those cases, it was less than an hour flight. Guess the lesson is to be surprised if any of these play-in winners gets sent out west. Florida is seen as the overall No. 1 because they had the weakest No. 2 on the S-Curve.

posted by jackhererra at 03:44 PM on March 13

It's selection Sunday,

Still reeling over the notion that Michigan belongs in the tournament. Low RPI, one barely notable win over Michigan State, 6-12 versus the top 100. I've not heard a case beyond, "we're Michigan, we've won 20 games, and these other teams don't belong"? Sorry, but that's not going to cut it. Maybe if your team left Crisler Arena more than three times in the non-conference season, perhaps you might be able to play some of these teams that you feel free disparaging. (I don't know if deeznuts is joking or not, with the naming of automatic bid LBSU as a "crap pick".) When's the last time Michigan has been screwed over with a 20-win season? I'm seeing that the team made it in 1998, the team's last 20-win season before this one. In fact, they got a No. 3 seed and got bounced in the second round. I love it how every fan of a "snubbed" team believes that their team met some sort of criteria, while totally ignoring other criteria. You have the team that got a few nice-looking wins, but that's supposed to outweigh the fact that the team that hides at home during November and December, that it's pretty pathetic overall against the better teams on its schedule, that it's awful against the best teams in its league, or that it has some pretty bad losses on the resume. Or you have the team that has a nice conference record, but does so with the help of unbalanced league schedules wherein "snubbed" teams only play the best teams once.

posted by jackhererra at 08:12 PM on March 12

Clippers Guard Destroys Knee in Freak Injury

Yeah, that was pretty nasty. I thought the still photo was worse than the actual video. Here's hoping for him to rebound and resume his career.

posted by jackhererra at 07:18 PM on February 27

Ullrich hangs up his cleats.

Put me in the "Jan underachieved" camp, though it's possible that he was simply very good and not great.

posted by jackhererra at 07:11 PM on February 27

Landis Likely to Lose Tour Title

Taking some somewhat obvious factors out of it, the patriotic angle will induce the average U.S. fan to back a guy like Armstrong, Hamilton or Landis than a guy like Barry Bonds. Until Osama starts a baseball team, I think Bonds is shit out of luck. Plus, we've seen Bonds' "character flaws" up close for the last 20 years. In contrast, we know Cad Armstrong for his battle with cancer. Who gets the benefit of the doubt from the average Joe?

posted by jackhererra at 03:41 PM on August 07

Most influential players in NBA History

I think the Pearl hurts the Pistol's claim on the list, since both played at about the same time, both played a street game and Pearl had the better career between the two.

posted by jackhererra at 01:53 PM on August 03

Win or Go Home

I'm wondering if the league researched the probability of 1-4 matchups (like DAL-SAS) before going to a six-division format wherein crap teams like Denver could receive top seeds. Perhaps they didn't think of it then because it wasn't much of a problem in the four-division format. The top wild-card team wouldn't get the top overall seed until the conference finals. And over the last 20 years of the 4-division format, only two No. 3 seeds had been more than five games better than the No. 2 seed. I think an easy (and less reactionary) solution to this NBA problem would be to simply do it in special situations. So if a wild-card team was 6-11 games better than a division winner, then they'd push ahead into one of the top three seeds. That would avert an early Dallas-San Antonio matchup, but I don't think Cleveland's one-game superiority over New Jersey merits a switch-up in the seedings in a similar situation.

posted by jackhererra at 08:54 AM on August 03

"Never stop believing."

Maybe that should be the name of this year's tour. "Tour of Underestimation"?

posted by jackhererra at 05:20 PM on July 24

USA Basketball Ready to Rebound?

Given that the 2004 team was very aware of the embarrassment of the 2002 team, it's tough to jump to the conclusion that the team simply tuned Brown out. What you had is a lot of young players who had three months to get rid of a lot of holes in their games -- offensively, defensively and on the glass -- their shoe contracts notwithstanding. I'm not sure that talent adds up to the ability to ball in a well-rounded way, which the international and NBA game both demand. I don't think that means eradication of "stars", but if guys like T-Mac and Shaq aren't coming, you have to bring in the old-heads who know all the angles. That's another reason I'm less than thrilled with the exclusion of Iverson. People may think what they want about the guy, but players respect him and his game. And I think he would be willing to alter his game a bit to be on that team.

posted by jackhererra at 05:08 PM on July 24

"Never stop believing."

Thoughts... 1) Unbelieveable tour. Unbelievable performance by Landis. 2) As an American, I find the "this must be killing the French" train of thought to be a bit juvenile. Okay, a lot juvenile. No Frenchman has won the Tour since 1985 -- only five have placed on the PODIUM in that time -- and it's fairly well-known that LeMond should have won '85. Which should give an indication that the Armstrong-hate was purely individual, since the French are used to the situation. 3) In general, the event has a far wider pool of athletes competing than in the past, so it does make sense that France is less of a factor in this race. You can add the Dutch and Belgians to the list. The Spaniards and Italians are still hanging in terms of the Grand Tours. But in general, it's the Germans and the Soviet Bloc who have joined the Americans in turning this sport on its head. 4) If T-Mobile ever pulls its organizational head out of its ass, I like Kloden for '07, regardless of Landis' condition.

posted by jackhererra at 02:18 PM on July 24

USA Basketball Ready to Rebound?

It goes without saying that you want guys who want to compete, and you do want to groom younger guys. But the problem in 2004 -- can't speak for 2002 -- was that you had too many young talented guys playing against a lot of savvy players on international teams. I think the attitude was fine in most cases, but you don't have as many operable gears at age 20 as you do at age 28 or 29 -- the average age of the 1992 team -- no matter how talented you are. So I would have liked for them to address that issue, first and foremost, instead of basically blowing up the model. And to fair, the team is going to be pretty old-headed when the 2008 comes around. But for the record, "Dream Teams" don't fail because you have too many stars. Every coach at every level has to make decisions on who plays, who gets the last shot, etc. (You don't have to deal with millionaires in most cases, but you do have to deal with parents, who can be every bit a pain in the ass.) For instance, two of the best HS players in the country attend the same school, yet there's a clear top banana. Eventually, you accept it, or you leave. (Hell, look at the alleged hot dogs on the Miami team who became role players on a world championship team -- Zo, Payton, Walker. And really, that occurs every year.) "Dream Teams" fail when the opponents have a more thorough knowledge of the game, which wasn't a problem when the USA had players with a full command of their craft. USA didn't have it on the last two go-arounds because they picked stars who were ready to play more experience competition. For instance, Pierce at 24 was a crummy pick for 2002, which was the greater disaster. At age 28, he makes sense. I can't even begin to count the number of guys on that 2004 team who had no business being in Athens. I do like the idea of starting early. A college coach? Not so much. But it'll be interesting to watch.

posted by jackhererra at 05:29 PM on July 21

USA Basketball Ready to Rebound?

If the U.S. had put out a bunch of tykes out there in 1992 -- as they did in 2004 -- there would have been trouble then as well. Experience, experience, experience. Everything else, including this "new" approach, is hot air.

posted by jackhererra at 05:58 PM on July 20

Up in the sky -- it's a bird, it's a plane ... it's Seattle's NBA franchise leaving town!

1) Yes, this is outrageous, for the reasons outlined by fellow SFites. The good part, I guess, is that citizens saw the error of their ways and weren't going to get snookered again. 2) I agree with Chemwiz about OKC, which seems to have been a better host than Orlando, Charlotte, Atlanta and any number of bandwagoning Sun Belt cities the NBA seems to love placing teams in.

posted by jackhererra at 04:51 PM on July 18

Raptors to sign Anthony Parker of Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Odd fact: His little sister, Candace (Tenn. hoops star), is more well-known than he is.

posted by jackhererra at 03:26 PM on July 13

Jean Strahan hints that Michael is gay.

In terms of finding other living arrangements, crashing at someone's place makes sense. It doesn't involve signing leases or credit cards, and your host has been your partner in some of the best times of your life. You park and go. As for the likelihood of those best times becoming hot and heavy, I guess it depends on how long he was living there.

posted by jackhererra at 01:28 PM on June 21

Armstrong cleared of doping during 1999 Tour de France

I like the way this thread is going. For the most part, very civil. As for dubious evidence, I think that depends on how people look at it. After all, the stuff that was put out the other day seems to raise more questions than it answers. The most you could get from earlier this week is that he is "not guilty", by the standards of other well-known investigations of sports stars. To be fair to Lance, he was already bringing a lot to the table even if EPO wasn't in the mix. He had a team coach able and willing to get the most out of Lance's teammates, plus a sponsor willing to let him basically focus on one race. I didn't realize the full impact of Lance's team until last year, when looking at a team that couldn't get its shit together when it had a shot to put some pressure on Livestrong. Plus one must respect the innovative nature of using a high cadence, which I don't think other past champions had used. And the guy had a world of talent, as evidenced by his success as a triathlete and his World Championship at age 22. He was a beast, no doubt. But what would it take to "clear" him? Who knows. It might be too soon to do any kind of clearing. That seems to be the lesson of all of this -- everyone's suspect.

posted by jackhererra at 09:14 AM on June 02

Armstrong cleared of doping during 1999 Tour de France

Maybe my comments on the OLN coverage were misunderstood. OLN's "Cyclism Sundays" was the only access to the 2006 Giro d'Italia, unless you shelled out $20 to watch it on your PC. Thankfully, I believe the Tour will be televised live as it has been in previous years. My guess on the Vuelta and the World Championships would be that they'll be on cycling.tv, as was the case with the Giro. I understand that things are a'changing at OLN, but most of their hockey programming is at night, meaning that there's no conflict if cycling coverage is shown during the morning. The other impediment would be the cost of covering the event versus the benefit. According to a 2004 interview with Velonews, "it turns out the return is better when the network airs an 'American Shooter' rerun." However, one would think that a major event in an emerging sport would have more potential than "American Shooter" reruns.

posted by jackhererra at 01:02 PM on May 31

Armstrong cleared of doping during 1999 Tour de France

I think the focus on the French is funny to me since that particular country has gone 20 TDFs without a champion. Ten of those have gone American riders. Something tells me that the French playa hating had less to do with hatred of the U.S. and more about the timing. I think Armstrong would have been less of a target if not for French favorite Richard Virenque getting busted along with his team in '98. Everyone became suspect at that point. As for reserving energy, do the Italian riders actually have the choice of skipping the Giro without getting strung up? That's definitely a burden that American riders don't have. Finally, I'm a little puzzled by OLN's decision to relegate the other grand tours to weekly recaps and PPV webcasts, when I'm not sure that their morning programming is all that compelling.

posted by jackhererra at 10:59 AM on May 31

Coaches face suspension for wins of 50-plus points

A few surprises in what hasn't been proposed on this thread, though I began skimming two-thirds through it... 1) I wonder if CT thought of discontinuing the scoring once it got to the 50-point level. 2) My major issue with the 50-point limit is that 75 points seems to be a better threshold. 3) One solution might be to allow coaches to suit up as many athletes as possible if a blowout seems to be brewing, even if that means bringing in middle school kids that feed into the high school.

posted by jackhererra at 01:26 PM on May 26

A Timeout To Kill

I think one could have less of a problem with the endless timeouts if not for the ridiculousness of the 10:30 p.m. (EST) tip-offs. Last I checked, most of our television sets came with remote controls. Last I checked, most of us with cable subscriptions get both Turner channels and every ESPN channel except for ESPNU. Thus, you would think you'd be able to overlap some of these games in the conference semis. An orgy of timeouts goes over much better if it's not happening at 2 a.m., as was the case in one of the Suns-Clippers games. As C. Cody mentions, this does happen in football (U.S.) just as often, but unless you're a follower of the Pac-10 (USC-Fresno State anyone), it's not quite the pain in the ass when it's happening at a decent hour.

posted by jackhererra at 02:25 PM on May 25

Francis shot and killed in Baton Rouge

FTR, it appears that the shooter did have a beef with the driver, but Francis had nothing to do with the conflict. Basically, Francis got shot as the driver tried to get away. As for the nature of the conflict, or whether the driver was a "tough", that's still unclear.

posted by jackhererra at 01:20 PM on May 16

Francis shot and killed in Baton Rouge

Whatever label you want to put on it, I don't think that MJK means any harm and I'm willing to move on to other matters. (How idealist of me!) Is it fair to wonder what the kid was doing out at 3:30 a.m.? Overall, there are greater sins than to ask that question, so long as one is willing to question one's self for asking it. Is it the right question? I'm not sure. It's probably not out of the realm of possibility that it will be discussed throughout the very pews where his wake will be held. But it's more of a judgement than something that answers anything. I think the question of what led up to it (posed during this thread) is a far better one. Unfortunately, there's no real answer to that one yet, but it's also the one -- fueled by assumptions -- that's providing most of the heat to this discussion.

posted by jackhererra at 05:26 PM on May 15

Francis shot and killed in Baton Rouge

MJK -- As you've so ably proven. Thx. Hugh -- Sad to say, treatment is going to be different, whether you choose to believe it or not. Occasionally, something like the Duke case comes along -- a Muffaletta sandwich of pathos from all angles -- and you happen to have an alleged black victim. But for the most part, black victims -- of kidnapping, of rape, of murder -- are not regular staples of your average daily metro paper beyond the police blotter page. Until proven otherwise, the immediate assumption, particularly in places with high murder rates, is that the victim put his or herself in jeopardy. In contrast, we're not only familiar with Missing White Woman syndrome, but also people who simply pulled the okee-doke on us, like Susan Smith, Andrea Yates, and the woman who simply wanted to pull out of her wedding. In most cases, the best is assumed until proven otherwise. I don't necessarily think that a drunk driving fatality is the best example (though I don't think we're talking fantasy with LBB's scenario) of disparities in perception, but they do exist.

posted by jackhererra at 04:35 PM on May 15

Francis shot and killed in Baton Rouge

Are you specifically criticizing the drunken drivers part or the fallen heroes part? Or are you criticizing a general statement about differing treatment between white and minority victims?

posted by jackhererra at 04:03 PM on May 15

Francis shot and killed in Baton Rouge

We understand that we're reading words, MJK. Those come cheap, we've been told.

posted by jackhererra at 03:43 PM on May 15

Francis shot and killed in Baton Rouge

I don't think anyone's trying to shut down speculation, but I also think that one might want to temper it a little bit. In my life, rare is the evening that ends after 2 a.m., but I'm wondering what's an acceptable time to get shot. Is 1 a.m better? Midnight? 11 p.m.? 10 p.m.? 9 p.m.? You tell me. Far as I know, any of those times are going to be too late to be "running the streets" depending on who you're talking to. As for Hugh's comment, I'm wondering where his info is coming from in terms of differing characterizations.

posted by jackhererra at 03:30 PM on May 15

Francis shot and killed in Baton Rouge

I don't mind the query "what was he doing out at 3:30 a.m.", if it's quickly followed by "he's 19, of course." (And depending on one's marital/parental status, it could be "he's 59, of course.") Of the 10 posts of "what was he doing", exactly none of them reflected that kind of follow-up self-questioning. And MJKR, you're acting like it's an extreme m.o. for a 19-year-old to be out at 3:30 a.m. (Uh-oh, the famous hypothetical green person to prove our progressiveness. Bill Bixby?)

posted by jackhererra at 01:21 PM on May 15

Earl Woods dies at 74

Richard Williams?

posted by jackhererra at 05:34 PM on May 03

Buckeyes on probation

Clevelander, OSU should never be too concerned, since big programs like yours tend to have the NCAA in your back pocket. Not hatin' the player, just the game.

posted by jackhererra at 10:43 PM on March 12

Father of former ASU player sues

One thing that hasn't been mentioned (maybe I'm skimming the thread) is that Koetter dismissed Falkner -- a cannon fodder type player -- for traffic violations. In contrast, super-stalker Wade happened to have set the school's freshman rushing record and he was allowed to remain on the team. That seems a little more than a school, AD and coach merely asleep at the switch, unable to control their players. It looks like a program that sent the not-so-subtle message to Wade that you can do anything -- on the field or off, on-campus or off -- as long as your presence benefits the team. The school had a similar situation with a star player, Hakim Hill, who was given four chances (from sexual abuse to an in-locker room tantrum) before his presence was no longer necessary. It's sad to see Koetter say that he couldn't "connect the dots" on Wade, but he had no problem doing so with Falkner, a special teams player who apparently went too far by being arrested for driving with a suspended license. No wonder Wade felt free to pack heat.

posted by jackhererra at 10:08 AM on March 12

Buckeyes on probation

Good column on this in the Chicago Sun-Times. Once again, this punishment has the feel of the famous "so mad at Kentucky, they gave two more years to Cleveland State" comment Jerry Tarkanian rolled out. As Bud mentioned, Ohio State can fart out $800K, especially when you consider that they may end up paying O'Brien more than 10 times that amount. When you consider the self-imposed penalties, even those are weak. I think it's pretty easy to take your team out of tournament contention when you're coming off a 14-16 season.

posted by jackhererra at 09:10 AM on March 12

Steelers Rob Bengals

I so wanted the Bengals to win this one, but there was nothing dirty about what happened with Palmer. Carson's absence was more of a factor in the second half, after the team had 15 minutes of halftime to absorb the fact that its starting QB wasn't coming back, something they didn't have time to do during the first half. As much as I like Kitna as one of the better backups in the NFL* and as much as I try not to imitate Jaws or anything, Carson makes some throws that Kitna can't and that would have been applicable in both halves. * -- Cincinnati, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay. Outside of that, very few teams have decent backup situations. In fact, Jax would have been better off starting the backup last night.

posted by jackhererra at 09:16 PM on January 08

Does Michigan deserve a better bowl?

I was with the column until it padded itself with bunk about the great merits of the bowl system, mouthpiecing the crap about how much economic impact Fort Worth gets from its bowl game. Columns that bash Carr are usually fun -- was LC saying all of this last year when he played Texas instead of Cal -- but while doing it, Sharp threw out some b.s. of his own in the process.

posted by jackhererra at 09:07 AM on December 26

Why does Joey suck, but Carson doesn't?

One lesson to be learned is that if you're going to draft a QB early, please have the sense to invest in a quality backup. The mentor role helps, but so does the ability to win a few games while letting the future star learn from the bench instead of being forced into action. Secondly, know what your QB can handle, and act accordingly. It made sense to play Peyton early, because of his track record with Tennessee and his preparation from his folks. There wasn't much he hadn't seen. In contrast, even Palmer might have been better suited for the Detroit treatment than Harrington was, because he was used to being pissed on at USC. When you consider the fact that Boller was barely mastering college offense, it's pretty questionable for an NFL team to make him your starter as a rookie. And finally, it helps to have good talent around you. On the line, first and foremost.

posted by jackhererra at 03:15 PM on December 16

Eagles Give T.O. a Season-Ending Timeout

I'm aware that Hollywood Henderson had his narcotic problems, Termite, but was the beef concerning Duane Thomas that would make him so objectionable?

posted by jackhererra at 06:22 PM on November 08

Eagles Give T.O. a Season-Ending Timeout

I've had my fill of TO (or at least the TO story) -- the Hugh Douglas fight put me over the edge -- but let's not mistake this for a victory of principle on the Eagles' part. Philly wouldn't do this if it didn't know, slam-dunk, that public opinion would be on its side. The team gets a hall pass for 2006 for turning a Super Bowl possibility into a rebuilding year, because they can just put everything on TO.

posted by jackhererra at 09:28 AM on November 08

JoePa adds his Two Cents to the discussion

And, how have our fireside chats been any more enlightening than TO's lip-slapping?

posted by jackhererra at 02:36 PM on November 04

JoePa adds his Two Cents to the discussion

I'm going to say right now what most coaches (and Terrell Owens) should say when they're trying to express something but can't instantly articulate it: "I'll get back to you on this."

posted by jackhererra at 01:59 PM on November 04

Fisher's actual flaw? Artlessness

You might be thinking of the Dillard's foolishness with Warrick and Coles, but Boldin wasn't part of that, and he might have been in middle school when the free shoes scandal occured. Two guys don't make a trend, but going back to the idea of conditioning, both Jones and Urlacher (another freak) were guys from smallish towns, which would seem to have two advantages. One, no one really tells you that you're not supposed to be as quick, fast or jump as high as the black guys. Secondly, the sports offerings tend to be slim. So chances are that you can't dodge the top three sports plus track unless you plan on participating in debate all year.

posted by jackhererra at 01:40 AM on November 04

Fisher's actual flaw? Artlessness

I don't remember what Jones' workout numbers were, but they were pretty freakish. If Jones also had Vick's arm and the same running style -- though both have the speed -- I'd buy the comparison between the two. Of course, someone like me would wonder (not say) if a black guy like Jones was being transferred because he's black. But once again, we're not talking about equivalent situations. Jones had already performed at other positions, something you can't say for guys like current college stars Vince Young and Troy Smith, or former college stars like Woody Dantzler, Antawn Randle-El or Kordell Stewart. The NAACP didn't exactly show up when Anquan Boldin ended up as a WR in the NFL.

posted by jackhererra at 05:43 PM on November 03

Fisher's actual flaw? Artlessness

Barry Sanders' choices out of high school -- Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Kansas State (not the decent K-State)? I think he's better than Ryan Brewer. Today. In general, whether programs are big on small, shifty guys depends on who's doing the recruiting. Oklahoma State was a Top 20 program when Sanders was being recruited, the other three suitors were horrible, which means that the quality of the program was meaningless. The philosophy was the determinant. Ohio State's recruiting under Cooper might be completely different than recruiting under Tressel. Secondly, being a state's Player of the Year is a nice laurel, but it's not going to get you a roster spot any more than a Heisman Trophy helped Eric Crouch or Jason White in the NFL draft. I'm not saying that stereotyping doesn't go both ways, and Brewer was definitely overlooked, but it's not like NFL teams looking at a talented white athlete like Matt Jones and saying, "Nah." Like any case of a person trying to attain a goal, conditions are key. Parents, youth mentors, friends play a role, as do recruiters at the next level who see "outside the box". To address yerfatma's comment, it's tough to become Terrell Owens if your parents are shuttling you off to soccer and lacrosse practice. So while a talented white skill player will get his chance to succeed -- Sehorn, Matt Jones, Chrebet, Dwight, etc. -- the pool is shrinking because the race has been lost before it's begun.

posted by jackhererra at 04:08 PM on November 03

Fisher's actual flaw? Artlessness

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/31/opinion/31mon4.html?incamp=article_popular Three points to begin... -- The above article doesn't make Deford's column seem silly, but it gives you pause before swallowing Frank's thoughts whole. -- Was that BYU-Compton that beat Air Force by 21 points last weekend? -- For the record, there was no real reason to send the guy to the stocks over this and as Mark May said on College Game Day, the positive might be that the Academy might redouble its efforts to get more people of color into the institution. But I wonder if we're squeamish about talking about race, or are we too eager to talk about race? It seems to change often, depending on the level of convenience for the person who's considering the question. When race relations enter the picture in sports, the knee-jerk reaction in most cases is to call it pulling out the "race card". The discourse surrounding TO, Willingham, dress code and the NBA age limit would be fine examples. But funny enough, Fisher DeBerry found a way to not pull the "race card", even though he threw race into an area -- AFA's sudden inability to win games -- where its relevance was debatable, and that's being kind. After all, maybe DeBerry is too old. That's what the Penn State supporters said about Paterno. Maybe the offense is a bit antiquated. That was the old saw in Nebraska when its teams started losing. Only a zillion reasons why football programs lose steam, and other than a lack of good coaching, you thought every excuse had been used. Until now. Citing lack of black athletes for being unsuccessful after 20 years of winning without them, by and large? DeBerry might be artless, but he's damn creative. Whatever. It would be nice to see people be consistent in their reactions to instances when race is invoked on sports.

posted by jackhererra at 01:27 PM on November 03

Texas gains two more top votes in ap poll

Sorry, Dead600, you went down that "skin of their teeth" road before I did. Maybe we watched different games, but I saw Ohio State's best QB spending half of the Texas game on the bench, particularly on the team's most important non-drive of the game. Ya know, the one after Young's game-winning connection with Sweed. You're familiar with that, I'm sure. The difference between USC's "collapses" and those of Ohio State is that one team ended up with victory margins averaging 21 points in those two games and is still undefeated, and the other team ended up losing a game it had no business losing. Since you asked. (ND: Weis' talents notwithstanding, what offense doesn't improve with 11 of 12 starters returning from the previous season?) I hate to say this in light of some of the claptrap on this board, but I think that Texas is the one team USC should be wary of if there were a best three out of five series. That said, it's tough to argue that the 'Horns have the better resume -- even at this point -- in a year wherein the Big 12 is pretty busted. If we're going to compare report cards, Notre Dame and Ohio State are basically even, but if you were to put Arizona State (yes 3-4 ASU) and Oregon against Texas Tech and Colorado, the first pair is tougher than the second. Even USC's cannon fodder is better than Texas'.

posted by jackhererra at 08:15 PM on October 24

Texas gains two more top votes in ap poll

Here's the road to Austin for other teams that want to become the nation's 10th best team like TTU did: Florida International, Indiana State, Sam Houston State, Kansas (best win, Louisiana Tech), Nebraska (best win, Iowa State), and Kansas State (best win, Kansas). Not only had the Red Raiders taken September off, so did their opponents. As I mentioned to someone else, Mike Leach choked on the fateful fourth-and-5 shortly before halftime because for the first time this year, he had to do risk/benefit analysis, something you don't have to worry about when you're busy throwing up 80 on Sam Houston State. I'm fine with the computers, and we'd probably be better off if the BCS didn't have this nasty habit of changing the formula every year. They keep cutting out the factors that make the "nerds" relevent, like strength of schedule and margin of victory. But it's the voting system that bugs me the most, forcing voters to promote teams up the poll without posting anything resembling a quality opponent. And yes, I would put money on USC against Texas. I forgot about that dominant effort the 'Horns put up against Ohio State. Looked like a game the Bucs lost than one UT won, if you're going to go down that route.

posted by jackhererra at 05:01 PM on October 24

Texas gains two more top votes in ap poll

I'm all for switching teams out of a top ranking when necessary, even if the former No. 1 hadn't lost. At the same time, it'll be interesting to see if the quoted pollster from NC is willing to elevate USC back to No. 1 over Texas if the Trojans improve their resume by running the table. As it is, I'm not getting with the idea that UT has a "more complete resume" than USC has currently. (Ohio State is a true test. Texas Tech -- allergic to competition -- is not.) But if both teams end up undefeated on Dec. 3, not even Ricky Gervais could whip up a comedy that Texas would have the better CV.

posted by jackhererra at 07:16 PM on October 23

Showing some class - finally?

Once again, the MLB and the NFL get a free pass from the media in terms of image -- Orioles and Vikings immediately come to mind -- but the NBA is supposedly "thugged out". As someone wrote last week, Stern should watch what he wishes for. Remember the Jalen Rose suit from his draft night. Can't wait.

posted by jackhererra at 10:55 AM on October 18

Seahawks secondary takes a hit.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/football/245007_hamlin18x.html I can go with the "wrong time, wrong place" or "winding down" excuse, but it seems that Hamlin didn't do much to lessen the tension. Whether you're an athlete or not, there are going to be fights at clubs and bars. If you happen to have a goon squad of your own to mess some people up, great. If not, the key would appear to be to approach these situations as gingerly as possible, even if that means losing a little face.

posted by jackhererra at 10:46 AM on October 18

Skip Bayless denounces Stoops's punishment of Peterson

Sixty posts down in this thread, here are some baseline principles for this conversation. Neither will draw a Joey Lawrence "Whoa!" reaction: 1) Education is a good thing. 2) Playing football is not a privilege. I think the questions are (a) who is Bob Stoops fooling; and (b) what's the best way to achieve a better balance between what the school gets from the kid and what the kid gets from the school. If you're unable to select a certain major because the classes don't fit with practice or off-season workouts, one's perseverance on the cotton fields isn't really the issue. For players who have no genuine use for school, I'm still wondering why players won't explore the CFL as an option. The good part about the early entries in the NBA over the last 10 years was that it made the league move a little closer to having an actual minor league.

posted by jackhererra at 01:23 PM on September 17

Skip Bayless denounces Stoops's punishment of Peterson

There's the occasional orphan who has a CV similar to Tim Green, Bill Bradley, Shane Battier or Robert Smith. And obviously, a lot of guys get their degrees -- increasingly more than "regular" students. But I don't see what's wrong with letting guys work on their studies when they have more time to concentrate on it in the "off-season" (chortles galore) or at the end of their eligibility when they're able to appreciate it more.

posted by jackhererra at 04:21 PM on September 16

Skip Bayless denounces Stoops's punishment of Peterson

"Student-athletes already experience pressure to not take "hard" classes" I'll admit that I didn't give a damn about this during my college years, but I do wonder if these guys get the full use of the university during their time. Obviously, they get some perks, like getting early enrollment. But is there a clustering of majors where most of the classes don't coincide with practice, etc. No offense, about the Tim Green business, but with undergrad education turning into Vo-Tech, you have to come in to college with a pretty great foundation and curiosity to become a Tim Green. Football people don't really care about the first, and almost tries to stifle the second. The sport works best with drones.

posted by jackhererra at 04:08 PM on September 16

Skip Bayless denounces Stoops's punishment of Peterson

I've missed whether Stoops is actually going to do it or not. I'm also wondering if a series of plays matter that much... Is it possible to be a great student and athlete? Obviously. Even on the great programs, you'll have prominent guys who end up as Rhodes Scholars. But there's a difference between 40-hour weeks at the bookstore and 40-hour weeks being yelled at by coaches and beaten up by teammates. Couple that with an ambivalence about school in the first place, it's not a good picture... There's probably more of an emphasis on stuff like this because, as someone mentioned earlier, there are greater consequences for programs with low graduation rates. The previous two or three guys probably said it better, but I've wasted 10 minutes on this, so it's getting posted. Bayless is Bayless. Thought the column was a bit silly, but it was funny because of its similarity to what you might hear on talk radio. All emotion.

posted by jackhererra at 03:59 PM on September 16

Perspective just doesn't mix with Columbus,

An athlete's ability to be educated is to a regular student's education what a limited-use gym membership is to a full gym membership. It's a given that the cost of a membership in the best "fitness spas" in the country would be a bargain compared to tuition at most colleges. But the analogy has less to do with money and more to do with the ability to get full use of the product.

posted by jackhererra at 03:27 PM on September 16

Perspective just doesn't mix with Columbus,

The hell of a local gym usually has two options. One has full use of the facility, morning or night. For a reduced fee, the other option has limited privileges where you can work out, and I'd compare that to athletes whose education is dictated by practice times and the ease of maintaining eligibility. Thus, the rather awkward analogy.

posted by jackhererra at 03:10 PM on September 15

Perspective just doesn't mix with Columbus,

Jojo, sorry about the cheap shot and I look forward to visiting Columbus some day, but I couldn't resist... The difference between Bellisari and Larry Johnson is that one incident happened in college and the other concerns a series of incidents with a millionaire player who can't get his shit together but feels rather welcome in complaining about his carries when he's playing behind one of the NFL's best backs over the last five years. Shouldn't go overboard with either guy, but there's a difference... Tressel's a good enough coach (for college), but I'd put him in the "I'll eventually stumble into one of these" club. For instance, Lloyd Carr also just happened to get it done earlier in his career. (Time + Talent = Title.) Since then, Carr's been called a moron more than once... For the record, I thought OSU needed a QB to make a play during the last five minutes, and the team's best chances were with Smith, not Swick. To explain how we got here, I thought the glee at Clarett's misfortune was a bit over the top and the bit about Bellisari's DUI was a tad whiny. So yes, sending hate mail over a missed pass fits the trend of forgetting that "our guys" aren't getting paid to do this. (I understand the value of a scholarship, but let's face it, it's akin to the limited membership at the local gym.) If you're in college, I guess it's understandable to feel this way. As one approaches 30, I'm not so sure. To be fair, the mindset is not specific to fans in C-Bus. And yes, the college team I follow has done very, very, very well in recent years. (That rules out Michigan.) So I have the luxury of doing the "put this into perspective" thing. Lucky me.

posted by jackhererra at 11:58 AM on September 15

Perspective just doesn't mix with Columbus,

Reminds me of the last Buckeye-centric thread. "Bellisari really put the team in a bad spot when he got that DUI." http://www.sportsfilter.com/comments.cfm/5034 I've heard that Bocce Ball is a nice hobby to take up.

posted by jackhererra at 06:50 PM on September 14

ESPN fires Trev Alberts

Maybe Trev can arrive at the Bristol studio on Saturday and tell the producers (not to mention the network VP) not to play the blame game while viewers are suffering with his alternate replacements, Desmond Howard and Lou Holtz. Mild (or mindless) needling aside, what's puzzling in this particular situation is that Alberts thought that he was being marginalized because the network was featuring other talent more. How so? Other than Corso and Herbstreit -- who had a higher profile before Trev showed up -- am I missing any other CF analyst at ESPN who's getting more air-time than Alberts and May? Silly me. Kinda. As it turns out, according to SI.com, he felt that the Game Day Final and Scoreboard shows were becoming more of a support arm of the on-location crew (Fowler, etc.) than separate or equal entities. As anyone who's worked in media knows, territorial battles of this type are pretty common and while Alberts' stunt was of the "don't try this at home" variety, I can understand his beef. Sorta. "Quite frankly," it sounds like a rich person's problem. As for the issues that Alberts' spoke of, it sounds like ESPN being a little tone-deaf once again. This depends on how much Lee Corso you can take during a given Saturday, which I would compare to asking how you like to take your coffee. I like just enough cream and sugar to know it's there, but not a gram beyond. It's the same thing with Corso. Five to seven minutes a week with him isn't so bad on the Scoreboard shows (I skip the morning show). I don't know why they would give us any more than that, unless they feel that they need to maximize every penny it takes to send Corso, Fowler and Herbstreit across the country to hang around a campus for two or three days each week.

posted by jackhererra at 02:22 PM on September 08