Monthly Archives: January 2011

Remember What Sportscenter Used to Look Like?

Old Sportscenter Graphis

This was high-tech back in the day.

Sportscenter threw it back today and showed some footage from Super Bowl XXXI in 1997.  They showed this graphic and I got all nostalgic.  I saw this graphic everyday before 4th grade. Then I put on my sweatpants, laced up my LA Lights and went to school.

I’m sure some of you out there remember this as well.  Dan Patrick was doing the highlights.  Still one of the best ever.

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Is the Utah Jazz Bear Mascot Actually LeBron James?

The Utah Jazz Bear (yes their mascot is a Bear) decides to figuratively reenact “The Decision” by messing with a Cavs fan and then completely laying him out at midcourt during a Jazz game last week.  The video is great stuff and proves how much of a boss Jazz Bear actually is.  I went to find out why the mascot is a bear, and found a pretty ridiculous Wikipedia page.  It included the following:

Born in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, Jazz Bear was destined to be a star. After graduating Bear Point Academy and performing as a member of the Bearnum and Bailey Circus (where Bear learned most of his tricks), Bear was finally discovered by a Jazz scout and was able to bring his high-flying, crowd-pumping skills to Jazz fans young and old. Jazz Bear separates himself from the rest with his combination of pyrotechnics and acrobatics. Jazz fans have the pleasure of watching Bear sled, surf and bike down the arena stairs. Some Bears hibernate when it gets cold; Jazz Bear prefers dunking through hoops of fire for warmth. The Jazz Bear is known to locals simply as Bear.

Apparently the alcoholics over at Wikipedia have been assigned to checking this particular page, and it’s shit like that that kills those “Is Wikipedia Accurate?” studies.  I decided to join in on the ridiculousness and added my own paragraph to the Jazz Bear page two days ago.  I kept with the running theme:

Jazz Bear also played linebacker at Bear Point Academy, and showed off his perfect form-tackling when attacked by a raging Cavaliers fan at center court during a game on January 14, 2011. He relied on his MMA-background to pounce on the Cavs fan and tap him out immediately, minimizing the massive threat the fan posed to most Jazz fans at the game. The fan attacked because he was angered that Jazz Bear stole his hat after Jazz Bear displayed a sign that read “I’m a loser” behind the Cavs fan’s head without him knowing, which is completely reasonable considering the current state of the Cavaliers and the city they reside.

As of 5:00pm today, it is still up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jazz_Bear).  Gotta love Web 2.0.  Now I’m going to try and see if I can slip in something about A-Rod being gay and not have them notice.

White Kids Make Rap About Indiana, Which Makes Total Sense

As seen on Barstool U.

Making a rap video about Indiana University basketball is like writing a symphony about the University of Miami football.  Just doesn’t fit the culture if you get what I mean.  However Indiana students Brice and Daniel — virginity-in-tact –still decided to make a rap video where everyone is pretty excited about the fact that their basketball team is currently 10-9 and has gone 26-55 in the last three years.  Go figure.  I mean there were a couple highlights:

-A few smokeshows, one of whom is the only black person in the whole video and I’m assuming the entire school.

-After singing about all of their “banners on the wall” (none of which have come in the last 23 years),  at 2:20 into the song we get to the bridge.  So naturally, keeping with the rich tradition of Indiana basketball, an Asian kid in a suit with a red mohawk plays the violin.  Wish I could make that shit up.

I know these kids didn’t get any from the smokeshows in the video, but if it got them a handy or two from some girl in the band, then mission accomplished.  Now go help your program climb out of the asshole of the Big Ten.

ESPN To Give University of Texas A TV Station, Still Leaving us 5 ESPNs Away From The Ocho

ESPN.com — ESPN and the University of Texas will combine on a 24-hour television network showing Longhorns sports as well as original series, studio shows, historical programming and other academic and cultural events.

There also will be an online component to the network offering content not featured on the linear TV feed.

ESPN will help develop, launch and operate the network, according to a news release. The deal is worth $300 million over 20 years. The network will launch in September.

Included in the coverage will be at least one exclusive football game, eight men’s basketball games, women’s basketball coverage of games not televised elsewhere, and Olympic sports coverage. There will also be pregame and postgame shows for football and basketball games, coaches’ shows for every sport Texas sponsors and other daily programming.

In addition, there will be university news, coverage of lectures and visiting speakers along with commencement ceremonies, and even high school coverage on an authenticated online/broadband site.

“This is an extremely exciting new venture for our university,” University of Texas president William Powers said in a statement. “With our partners, we are now able to increase the exposure of our outstanding athletics programs and our first-class academic and cultural communities. This agreement provides significant new resources to enhance faculty and academic support.”

“This network is a testament to the school’s remarkable, tradition-rich success and widespread, devoted fan base,” ESPN president George Bodenheimer said in a statement.

ESPN is getting $300 million dollars from the University of Texas to basically make ESPNLonghorns.  A lot of you might be saying “What the fuck Texas, why do you think you should have your own ESPN? This is dumb.”  Well, here is your answer:

Lots of people were snickering and saying similarly negative things when The Big Ten partnered with FOX back in August 2007 to make “The Big Ten Network.”  (Unless you are a shitty Big Ten fan and were saying “Great, now there’s a place I can watch Iowa college soccer on a consistent basis!”)  Either way, the only people laughing now are the Big Ten schools, which were paid $72 million by the network in 2008-2009.  A network that is estimated last year to have grown to 42 million subscribers, $230 million in revenue, and $76 million in cash flow.  If you already hated the Big Ten for avoiding a conference championship game like Justin Beiber avoids hitting puberty then I apologize for fueling the flame.

So while other CONFERENCES like the Big East and Pac 10 are looking into their own TV deals – which seem like no-brainers based on the Big Ten’s success – Texas went ahead and said we’ll go Yankees style and just get a TV station of our own.  ESPN heard about the offer and had it’s pants off before the two even hit the bedroom.  ESPN President George Bodenheimer’s quote in the story actually left off the ending.  It should read: “This network is a testament to the school’s remarkable, tradition-rich success and widespread, devoted fan base…and the absurd amount of money we are going to make off of it and all the other schools that will want their own network.”

As stupid as Texas having their own TV station sounds, and as much as I hate giving the Big Ten credit for anything, this will make sense and make lots of money for both sides of the deal.  And as Cam Newton’s dad taught us this year, money is really all that matters in college athletics.

Straight Cash Homie: NFL Playoff Picks Sunday

Went one-for-two yesterday with a Steelers comeback win and an Aaron Rodgers deflowering of Atlanta. Looks like the parallels between the 2010 Falcons and 2006 Chargers were valid after all. I’d think to think the game would’ve been different if Matty Ice didn’t throw that first half walk-off touchdown pass to Tremon Williams, but we will never know. Moral of the story yesterday: QBs win you playoff games. Big surprise, right? Yesterday it looked like this: Aaron Rodgers > Big Ben > Joe Flacco > Matt Ryan. Simple as that. The theme continues today.

Sunday, 1:00pm – Seahawks (+10) over BEARS

Let’s be honest, this line has to be too high, right? Jay Cutler has all the trimmings of a playoff collapse. Let’s look at all these things that uninspired confidence:

1. This is his first playoff game ever.
2. He is such a dick, he inspired Rick Reilly to roast him in a column this week. The usually fang-less Reilly reserves his selective criticisms for the likes of high-profilers Obama and Tiger Woods. Cutler’s misplaced bravado was enough to make Reilly interested.
3. He is extremely turnover prone. This year: 16 picks and 9 fumbles. Last year: 26 picks and 4 fumbles.
4. He was sacked more times than anyone else in the league.
5. He notoriously makes poor decisions throwing the ball, and as Keyshawn pointed out today has had quite a few balls hit defenders in the hands this year that weren’t caught.
6. His teammates don’t like him.
7. This is his first playoff game ever.

If I am the Seahawks defense, I can’t be more excited to play Jay Cutler. He is clearly the biggest question mark in the playoffs and I can’t see him not making a few mistakes.

On the other side, Matthew Michael Hasselbeck showed off his playoff chops last week and has to be confident coming into this week. Mike Williams had his breakout game in week six against the smaller Bears’ corners with 10 catches. Look for Seattle to exploit that matchup again.

Seattle wins this game if two things happen:

1. Jeremy Bates has a good day play-calling. Trust me on this as I’m one of the few people who have watched every Seahawks snap this season outside of Seattle; when Bates is clicking and the team is in a groove they can move the ball on anyone. When they get cute and try the wrong things at the wrong times (see: the four 25-yard floating jump balls on 4th-and-1s this year) they will not succeed. If the Seahawks can out-coach the Bears like they did the Saints last week, they will win this game. (Okay that was a pretty obvious statement a la John Madden…but it is true. I love Brett Favre.)

2. They have to keep the Bears receivers in front of them. If Cutler hits a few big plays and gets some confidence it could be bad. In the Seahawks “Bandit” package where they play three safetys, rookie safety Kam Chancellor is very vulnerable. If the Bears do there homework, they’ll find this out.

Sunday, 4:00pm – PATRIOTS (-9) over Jets

The 2010 New England Patriots are first in the league with 0.525 points per play. The next closest in the entire league was San Diego at 0.424. The Jets? 0.332. Why do I bring up this stat? Because it is reeeeediculous. The Pats weren’t even close to that number last year. Not enough people are realizing how good Brady and the Pats are this year. The yards-per-play stat says this: If both teams run 50 plays, the Pats win 26-16. If the Jets run 60 and the Pats 40, the Pats still win 21-20.

IT IS NOT ABOUT “KEEPING BRADY OFF THE FIELD!” This is what you’ve been hearing all week. It’s about limiting his plays. The Pats won games this year with the following TOP (time of posession) numbers: 27:43, 25:35, 24:52, and 19:12. Remember in the NFL we play 60-minute games.

I have no doubt the Pats win. Mark Sanchez isn’t going into Foxboro and beating this team with this quarterback and this coach that had a week to prepare. Brady didn’t watch the Jets game last week because he didn’t have to. What could he possible have seen that he hasn’t already? He’s been going to the theatre, wearing Uggs, and rolling around on a Razor scooter like a boss not giving two shits about anything to do with the Jets. And now he will go out and shred them per usual on his way to his fourth Super Bowl. The line has moved to 9 but I’m still confident in at least a 10-point win. Take the Pats.

Straight Cash Homie: NFL Playoff Picks for Saturday

As Wes Welker would say, it is time to put your best foot forward.  This is arguably one of the best weekends in sports: Week 2 of the NFL Playoffs.  You still get four games in two days, you don’t have any shitty wildcard teams left, and you have fantastic matchups where teams are playing as hard as possible because a win means a conference championship game.  I suggest just sitting back and enjoying the 48 hours of football.  However, if you’d like to make things a little more interesting, risking some of your hard earned dollars on the outcomes of these games can be fun too.  For those of you doing the latter, here is how you should play it for Saturday, we’ll do Sunday tomorrow.

Saturday, 4:30pm – STEELERS (-3) over Ravens

Ben Roethlisberger has never lost to Joe Flacco

Ben Roethlisberger has not lost to the Ravens in six games.

Ben Roethlisberger is 8-2 in his career against the Ravens

Ben Roethlisberger is going to take the Ravens into a bar bathroom and have his way with them.

Why do I begin with three legitimate sentences and one other sentence about Big Ben?  Because Big Ben does not lose these kinds of games.  He doesn’t lose many games in general, but especially not second-round home playoff games against the Ravens.  You may not like him, his face may look like a Salvador Dali painting at this point, and he may not make the best off-the-field decisions, but the guy wins football games.  Herm Edwards texted me something interesting the other day: “You PLAY to WIN the GAME.”

I can’t explain it.  I can’t quantify it.  I can’t even give you a score because it does not matter.  Ben will find a way to win this game and you can take that to the bank.  The only way this thing goes south for Pittsburgh is if Troy gets hurt.  In case you forgot the last time these two teams played, Polamalu literally single-handedly won the game with his absurd blitz off the edge resulting in a Flacco fumble and a Steeler touchdown.  I am confident he will be on the field and effective.  So confident in fact, I have dust off Punxsutawney Polamalu.

Gun to my head, I say take the Steelers and lay the three points.  I’m not excited about it, but you can’t not bet on NFL playoff football.  I won’t be mad at you if you take Baltimore, but know Big Ben wins this game somehow.  Trend right now is 62% of the public is on Baltimore (+3).  This is the highest of any of the games this weekend.  Like I said, I’m not mad at you, but how can you all be betting against Big Ben?  You’re not betting on the Ravens unless you think they can win.  You NEVER bet on an away dog in the playoffs unless you think they can win.  At least I hope you aren’t doing that.

 

Saturday, 8:30 – FALCONS (-2) over Packers

Another game that is a complete coin flip.  So why am I still doing the Dirty Bird?  Why the hell not?  Matty Ice wins games at home.  I’m not going to get cute here, I like what Green Bay has going on.  Rodgers is a stud, that defense is solid, and they should have run up on the Eagles.  On the other side, I don’t like the running back situation, Donald Driver is 80 years old, and they don’t have anyone to cover Rowdy Roddy White.

My only worry…Are these Falcons the same exact team as the 2006 Schottenheimer Chargers? Let’s analyze:

Regular Season Record: 2010 Falcons 13-3, 2006 Chargers 14-2

Stud Young Quarterback: Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers

Top 5 Running Back: Michael Turner, LaDanian Tomlinson

Go-To Tight End: Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates

Big-Play Wide Receiver: Rowdy Roddy White, Vincent Jackson

Good Regular Season Coach Unproven in the Playoffs: Mike Smith, Marty Schottenheimer

It was a little too quiet of a 13-3 season in my opinion.  If they didn’t have that big game against the Saints this would have been the most under the radar 13+ season since the 2006 Chargers.  The parallels are all over the place for me.  This team is built to win at home and in the regular season.  The Chargers ended that season with 10 straight wins, went on bye, then lost to the Pats at home 24-21.  This Falcons team has come in winning 9 of their last 10, went on bye, and now face the Packers at home.

This scares the hell out of me.  However, I believe in Mike Smith more than Schottenheimer.  I HATE Philip Rivers with a fervent passion and I like Matty Ice – especially at home.  I think it’s a good game, but that crowd should be into it and I think Green Bay got beat up a little bit last week and won’t be able to run the ball.  Atlanta has the second best run defense in the league and THE BEST RUN DEFENSE AT HOME IN THE LEAGUE.  That’s enough for me to say they aren’t the 2006 Chargers…I hope.

Steelers and Falcons are the picks today.  Good luck!

Corey Maggette Will Use As Many Pivot Feet As He Wants

At least the ref isn’t looking right at it.  Best part of the play is that Maggette decides to turn the ball over and clothesline someone to top this whole masterpiece off.  I would nickname him “The Black Hole” because once he touches the ball no one else sees it again, but for some reason I think that could be racially misconstrued.  “The NBA…where travelling is only a state of mind.”