Thursday, December 22, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rome Takes

I meant to post this 3 months ago just haven't had time. Either way, still excellent Rome takes. Sorry they are so long, but those were funny at the time. September 30, 2011

Worst 3 Minutes In Red Sox History
As for the Red Sox, where do I even start? Give me some space; this is going to take sometime. While that may have been an epic night for the sport, it has to be the worst three minutes in Red Sox history. And given that they were the ones that sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees and have suffered some of the sport’s most monumental collapses ever, that’s really saying something. And I couldn’t be more proud of you fellas. I mean, I did call it right here yesterday, but I didn’t say it would go down like that. No one could have seen that coming. I know I didn’t. Because the Red Sox I saw for most of last night’s game were not the same guys who had gripped their way through September, choking away a 9 game lead in less than a month. No, these cats were different. They were composed, confident and on the verge of getting over. And just when it looked like they were going to choke, meltdown…, and win…, they dug deep, clutched up and found a way to implode. In the most spectacular chowd fashion. It would have been so easy just to give in, fold their tents and win that game. But they refused to let the dream die and I couldn’t be more proud of the way they manned up. And cowboy downed.

But again, I had my doubts: especially in the 9th when Jonathan Papelbon hit the bump. Terry Francona had gone to him time and time again, and he had to be hanging. But you’d never know it seeing him gas the first two batters he faced. The dude’s a horse, he was peaking on adrenaline, and the Orioles were seriously overmatched. They couldn’t catch up to his filth. Dude looked like he wanted to fight the entire City of Baltimore: he was just giving off this vibe of: this all ends right now: we’re not choking. Not on my watch. Get on my back losers; I’ll finish this thing myself. But then, instead of going to the rosin bag, he reached for his gas can instead, dousing the infield…and fired off one of his blue tips. And that blaze sparked dramatically and spread tragically.


Chris Davis doubles to right on the very first pitch. Tying run in scoring position and the Sox are no longer smirking in the dugout, they’re gripping. Hard. Up steps Nolan Reimold, .167 lifetime against Papelbon. But not this Papelbon. They had gone to him so many times: the adrenaline had to be draining, yet he just kept pumping fastball after fastball. He gets two strikes on Reimold and looks to reach back one last time. One strike away from choking and winning, Papelbon digs deep and keeps the dream alive by grooving one to Reimold, who whacks it into right field. Tie game! Now all hell is breaking loose: it’s really going to happen! The Sox are about to pull off the most catastrophic tank job ever in sports. Robert Andino then shoots a liner to left. And there’s Carl Crawford, Boston’s $142 million dollar bust and that ball is sinking quickly with the winning run on the move. He can’t come up with it, which isn’t going to make the Red Sox fans like him any more than they already don’t. The winning run scores and the choke is complete! Absolutely incredible! One strike away from at least forcing a playoff today in Tampa, the Sox are D.O.A. It was sudden and it was spectacular. Shell-shocked, they walk numb into the clubhouse, to get on their knees and hope the Yankees, who hate them, and have nothing to play for pick them up against the Rays in extra innings.

And no sooner do they arrive in the clubhouse; they see their worst nightmare unfolding. Evan Longoria digging in against Scott Proctor in the bottom of the 12th. Again, the Yankees had nothing on the line, the Rays everything, and they had already battled back from a 7-0, 7th inning deficit. And Longoria was the one who brought them back with a 3 runner. And now he was facing Proctor, the Yankees 11th pitcher of the night! And a dude who missed most of 2009 and 2010, had an ERA north of 7 and…well….is Scott Proctor. A huge mismatch that played out pretty much the way you’d think it would, given the situation: Uh-oh! Pandemonia: guarantee all the Red Sox hadn’t even settled into their barcaloungers to see Longoria cross home plate to wrap the worst three minutes in Red Sox history. And I couldn’t be more proud of them for it: as I always say, and have been hammering for the last two weeks: give me an A or give me an F. Staggering into the playoffs only to be murdered in the first round would have been worthless and utterly forgettable. But blowing a 9 game September lead and getting within one strike on the last day of the season of at least forcing a playoff and then having it all rip apart?! That’s epic. And legendary and will never be forgotten. Way to cowboy down, men. I knew you fellas had it in you, but you just surpassed even my wildest expectations. I couldn’t be more proud of you as if you were my own sons.


Man Down Boston
Although they looked terrified and did their absolute best to implode against Baltimore last night, the Red Sox somehow hung on and lived to fight one more day. Which is tremendous, because now it gives them the opportunity to pull off one of the most catastrophic tank jobs ever by choking out on day number 162. It couldn’t set up any better: Boston and Tampa Bay are in a dead - tie for the Wild Card. If they both win or both lose tonight, they play it off, sudden death tomorrow, in Tampa. But I don’t think the Sox are going to get it to tomorrow. I’ve said it before and obviously, I need to say it again right now, because the Sox are still actually trying. Blowing a 9 game September lead and staggering into the postseason like a battered fighter who’s out on his feet, only to eat one last haymaker in the postseason and go to sleep forever…, gets you nothing. There’s nothing memorable in that. But, blowing that huge lead, choking out on the last day of the season and missing the playoffs altogether: now, that’s legendary. That’s something Red Sox fans will take with them to their graves. Stop thinking you just need to get in, any way possible, hit the reboot button, and start over from scratch. That ain’t happening. There’s no force quit on this tank job: you can’t reboot off this meltdown: you’re too beat up mentally and physically. There is no new season for you once the playoffs start. So man down…and finish it right now. And it says here, they will.

Because from where I’m sitting there’s not a whole lot to like about Boston tonight. They’re running Jon Lester out there, who is coming off his worst start of the season and is taking the ball on three day’s rest. And they’re battling a Baltimore team that is looking to make their season by wrecking Boston’s. The O’s are battling Boston like it’s the World Series. The O’s are in last place. This is their World Series. Buck Showalter probably has the champagne on ice and the lockers covered in plastic for when the O’s rip the Sox hearts’ out tonight. The Rays, meanwhile, are sending their ace David Price to the bump against a Yankees team that has nothing to play for. They’ve already wrapped up the home field throughout, and they’re not doing anything to jeopardize their chances in the playoffs. And you know they’re not looking to pick the Red Sox up in any way. The Rays are playing with house money while the Red Sox are playing with their hands around their throats. Hard to imagine this ending any other way but horribly for the Red Sox.

A Game of Shadows

Hit the movie circuit last night and wasn't disappointed. Of course seeing the teaser trailer for the next Batman on the big screen didn't hurt.

Thoughts:

- Seemed to have more action than the first one

- Not as dark and sinister as the first

- Could have used more Rachel McAdams for a certain crowd

- I thought it would tie in more with the first movie, but they didn't really do much of a connection to it. I know the first movie ended with a heads-up on what the sequel would be about, but I still thought there'd be a "ahh ha" moment.

- Well worth seeing opening night

Friday, December 16, 2011

Haywire

Could be interesting?

Monday, December 12, 2011

GI Joe: Retaliation

The first movie was awful, but if this is half as good as it looks it could be awesome:

RE: Tebow

Very interesting articles about Tebow that was in a previous post. Is this story amazing or what? Say what you want, he's a terrible quarterback...but WINS! God has an AMAZING sense of humor going on right now. He must be sitting up in heaven saying, "All right, all you people care about are wins, well, Tebow is only going to complete two passes all game but your team will win." Then, "Hmmm, let's try this. Tebow is going to play absolutely terrible for 3 and a half quarters and then the rest of the game everything will go perfect for the Denver offence and Denver wins." Or, "In the 4th quarter, the opponent won't be able to hang on to the football and won't be able to tackle Tebow."

Think about it, YOU DON'T MAKE 59 AND 51 YARD FIELD GOALS...IN DECEMBER...IN THE WINDY CITY. In the words of Vince Lombardi, "What the _____ is going on here?" Absolute divine intervention. There is no other explanation.

He is 7-1 as a starter! Unfortunately he still hasn't beaten a playoff team except maybe the Jets. 5 of those 7 wins were on the road, that doesn't stink. Also, the combined record of the seven teams he's beaten is 39-52. Not the most overachieving group. As I said, maybe one is a playoff team, and three of the seven wins were against teams that barely had a winning record.

I'm just peeved that CBS kept shoving the Packer game down our throat yesterday. It was 347-10 with 12 freakin' minutes left in the game, however they wouldn't switch over to the Bears/Broncos with 2 minutes left in a close game with both teams fighting for the playoffs...and Tim Tebow!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Doctor Who Christmas Special Prequel

I'm mostly posting this because I love the words "smithereened" and "smithereening."

Bowls as Movies

Darren Everson of the Wall Street Journal has determined what movie various bowls would be. If you're curious, the Outback Bowl is "The Losers" and the Sugar Bowl "Cruel Intentions." The title game? "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." Okay, I admit I'd love to see the camera zoom out as Saban yells: "MMMIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLESSSSSS!"

More on Votes (Moron Votes?)

The odd voting by some of the coaches mentioned below was so blatant that even the Wall Street Journal is picking up the story. I really don't think this is getting enough attention. Many of those votes are obviously biased, not even remotely impartial, and often self-serving. So why does the Coaches Poll matter?

Tebow

After 5-straight wins as the quarterback of the Denver Broncos Tim Tebow is getting even more attention. Here's a quick roundup from just today that you might be interested in:

Dan Foster of National Review on Tebow.

Rich Lowry of National Review on Tebow.

A post by Shannen Coffin at The Corner.

Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal on Tebow (and Tiger).

Monday, December 05, 2011

Votes that Count

My Dad and I were discussing voting in the various football polls last night and questioning if the coaches, as busy as they are, actually could evaluate teams outside of their own conference fairly, of if they (or their assistants) watch a few ESPN highlights and then fill in the ballots. Well, you can check out how they voted here. There's also a little bit of commentary here and here. It's worse than you think. And now that I see Houston coach Kevin Sumlin ranked the Spartans #21, I'm really glad his team lost that game and a pile of money.

Other Bowl Stats

I realize you need six wins to become bowl eligible, but is it asking too much to not suck in your conference?

Iowa St: 3-6 in Big 12, 6-6 overall
Wake Forest: 5-3 in ACC, yet only 6-6 overall. How?
Miss St: 2-6 in SEC, 6-6 overall. Oh wait, they are in the almighty SEC
Northwestern: 3-5 in Big 10, 6-6 overall
Illinois: 2-6 in Big 10, 6-6 overall
UCLA: 6-7 overall = LOSING record

Can we make the conference record mean more? Oh wait, that would reduce the number of bowls. But, blowing off the conference games to schedule some cupcakes so you can make a bowl isn't right either.

Did you see that Gator Bowl selection? No politics involved there. 6-6 Florida v 6-6 OSU.

Here is how I'd rank the Top 6 BCS eligible conferences:

1. SEC
2. Big Ten
3. Pac 12 - much improved
4. Big 12 - so-so
5. ACC - who?
6. Big East - they stink out loud

Bowl Thoughts

-The BCS is supposed to pick the two best teams. I'm not crazy about the matchup, but I think there's at least a strong argument for why it was picked. I'm probably not still not going to watch though.

-The other thing the BCS does is dictate automatic qualifiers. That wasn't a big deal as all the potentially controversial schools that could have automatically qualified did something to miss out on that possibility. So obviously the bowls could pick who they wanted to fill the available spots...

-...but that doesn't mean they chose well. Honestly, I think the Sugar Bowl has done more damage to the credibility of the BCS bowls than any championship matchup we've seen. Boise State and Arkansas would have been a good game and both teams deserved a BCS bowl. Michigan and Virginia Tech didn't. I understand the reasons the Sugar Bowl would make such a decision, but it's hard to put up much of a defense of college football when money is being chased so blatantly and shamelessly.

-We mentioned before that it seems wrong that a team gets penalized for playing in a conference championship game and losing and I still agree with that. No answers here, but it sucks.

-The frakking Outback Bowl!?! That's a slap in the face. I'd just as soon have the Spartans stay home.

-January 2nd is a bad day to play a bowl game, and there's way too many scheduled.

-Too many 6-6 teams are in bowl games. I don't mind the number of games, but could we at least restrict it to teams with a winning record?

Saturday, December 03, 2011

?

Does anyone in the media remember that the score was tied when Kirk Cousins threw the Hail Mary touchdown pass to Keith Nichol to beat Wisconsin? The game would have went to overtime otherwise, which is far from a guaranteed Badger win.

!

Southern Miss just cost Conference USA approximately $11 million by winning the conference championship game against Houston and knocking the Cougars out of a BCS bowl game.

Another Poll Comment

Want another example of the poll insanity I mentioned below? As you know, MSU plays Wisconsin tonight for the Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis. In the BCS the Spartans and Badgers are ranked #13 and #15, in the AP #11 and #15, and in the USA Today poll #9 and #12. The Badgers are favored by 9 points. Note once again that the game is being played on a neutral field, not in Madison or East Lansing. Regardless of the outcome on the field, either the polls or the line are completely screwed up.

As for the game itself, commenter "billinwilliamston" on the Yahoo preview of the game posted this notable stat:
A little history for those predicting a blow-out.

2011 MSU 37 UW 31 @ East Lansing
2010 MSU 34 UW 24 @ East Lansing
2009 UW 38 MSU 30 @ Madison
2008 MSU 25 UW 24 @ East Lansing
2007 UW 37 MSU 34 @ Madison

I suspect the Big Ten hopes this game remains true to form.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Mayhem

While I was at my parents somehow we got to commenting on the excellent job the actor who portrays "Mayhem" in the Allstate commercials does. I just looked him up after seeing another commercial and his name is Dean Winters. He's largely done television work, most notably in "Oz", "Rescue Me", and "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles".

?

You know who really suffers from USC's postseason ban? Everyone watching the Pac 12 Championship Game.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

RE: Twisted

This got too long for a comment, so it's a post instead. I think I realized this issue before, but now that I'm staring it in the face I'm really appreciating it. As you said, MSU and Wisconsin seem to clearly be the best teams in the conference (though not necessarily by a lot), and one of them is going to be penalized while a team that didn't defeat either of them is going to benefit. It doesn't seem fair, but I don't think the problem is so much the BCS as the "logic" that the polls use. Those voting in the polls vote certain ways because that's the way it is done, not because they actually think a team is better. Does anyone think Michigan is a better team if MSU loses to Wisconsin? How about South Carolina? Baylor? Did Florida State get better because Notre Dame lost to Stanford? And so on. I'm sure this won't change, so there probably isn't a good answer. As I heard on Mike & Mike last week, whatever you do, don't lose late.

Twisted

I think it is unfair that the loser of the Big Ten Championship game will be penalized in the BCS rankings if they lose. The idea that a MSU/Wisconsin team will have 3 losses and a 2-loss Michigan team will jump ahead is not right. It's not right because only two teams are playing (risking a loss) and someone has to lose. It almost rewards a team for not being in a conference title game. Wisconsin and MSU are the two best teams in the Big Ten. Just because one of them loses on Saturday doesn't necessarily mean Michigan is now "better" than them because of the loss column...except in the Alabama-Georgia scenario. Georgia isn't the second best team in the SEC. But it's not Georgia's fault the way the division is set up.

Dream Season

Here is my dream. That one year Michigan and OSU will enter the final regular season game undefeated (assuming they are the top ranked teams) and the home team wins by 1 point or overtime. Regardless of the result, they are also in the Big Ten Conference Championship game at a neutral site. Now I want the other team to win by 1 point or overtime. Then I want everyone to be screaming their heads off for ANOTHER rematch for the National Championship game.

I hate the argument that Alabama isn't the best team in their conference so they shouldn't be allowed in the Championship game. What if Alabama is the second-best team in the world? Who cares if they didn't win their conference championship game. What if UCLA beats Oregon? Then they get to play in the Rose Bowl and what if they win that? UCLA is terrible. They only got in because of the USC sanctions.

Here is what would be awesome: If LSU loses to Georgia on Saturday...UH-OH! Now what? If Alabama was in the other division, then we'd possibly have a dream-come-true based on the above scenario. Alabama, given a rematch on a neutral site, wouldn't shock anyone if they beat LSU. If that happened, you'd still have to say LSU and Alabama were the two best teams...and DESERVE TO PLAY AGAIN FOR THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

Let it be noted that I'm not in favor of four super-conferences with two eight-team divisions in each conference. You'd have eight total division champions, which makes four super-conference championship games. Then you'd have four conference champions for a 4-team playoff format. I don't like that because if Alabama is in the same division as LSU, like they are now, they still wouldn't be in any of the conference championship games, let alone the playoff, yet THEY'D STILL BE THE 2ND BEST TEAM IN THE COUNTRY!

Coach 'em Up!

With Jack Del Rio getting the axe, I did a little background search on his coaching resume. While doing that, I ran across Mike Tomlin and John Harbaugh. One would think they have a clear progression up the coaching tree. Basically Tomlin was a Defensive Backs guru and Harbaugh was a special teams guy. Then bam, all of a sudden they apply for a head coaching gig and are tearing it up. They aren't even former players of "The Shield." Obviously there is no set criteria for determining what will make a great coach and what will make a loser. The ingrediants are different for all of them. Why one succeeds and another fails usually comes down to the groceries, but how do you explain Jim Harbaugh and Brady Hoke in their first year success?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Primetime Overkill

I did some research today because of curiosity. It sure seems like the NFL schedule contained a lot of weeks that featured a team that played back-to-back weeks on primetime and/or national television. (I will be using "primetime" and "national TV" synonymously.) What spiked my interest was the tiresomeness of seeing the Jets in so many primetime slots. I decided to dive into the NFL schedule and here is what I found:

On 10 occasions, an NFL team played back-to-back weeks in the national TV spotlight. I consider primetime to be they are the only game on during that time slot.

IND: Wk 3 and 4
CHI: Wk 5 and 6
PHI: Wk 8 and 9
JETS: Wk 10 and 11
NE: Wk 10 and 11
KC: Wk 11 and 12
NYG: Wk 11 and 12
NO: Wk 12 and 13
DAL: Wk 14 and 15
PIT: Wk 14 and 15

Is this normal? Is it on purpose?

I did some more digging. 27 of the 32 teams had at least one primetime game. That seemed high to me, considering the length of time the Lions went without a primetime game BESIDES the Thanksgiving game. (I consider the Thanksgiving game a primetime game.) You would have thought that if in every season 27 teams get a chance to be in the national TV spotlight, what are the odds the Lions are one of the five teams to continuously be excluded? Did KC and JAX deserve THREE primetime games this year? I realize KC made the playoffs in 2010 and that has a ton to do with it, but are those markets bigger than Detroit?

Out of the 27 teams that received a primetime game, 12 play at least 25% of their season in the national spotlight. I don't have a problem with the NFL trying to focus on a select group of teams to sell their product. They all deserve it. But do the JETS deserve 5 games? Do we deserve to have to watch 5 JETS games? That's the bigger deal.

Here is the schedule breakdown for some of the 12 teams that received at least 4 primetime games:

New Orleans, Green Bay, Jets, Philadelphia, B-more, Pittsburgh, and Indy all received 5 games.

"America's Team" received 6.

Also interesting is 7 of the 12 teams come from the NFC.

Suspended

I heard some interesting thoughts on sports radio today:

1. If the incident would not have been on Thanksgiving and/or national television but instead just a regular 1:00pm Sunday afternoon game, would that have changed things?

2. If he would have owned it right from the beginning instead of the denial, same penalty?

3. If it was any other player in the league and/or without the "dirty" player reputation, same suspension?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rumbling, Stumbling Joel Foreman

If you check out the box score for MSU's game against the Hoosiers yesterday, besides a lot of Spartan scoring you'll see that Joel Foreman had one carry for 3 yds. That doesn't seem too unusual as the game was a blowout and many backs had a chance to handle the ball. But Foreman is a guard. Like the '97 CC vs. Marlette JV game, the coaches drew up a play for the senior co-captain. After the play Foreman went to midfield, saluted the Spartan logo, and ran to the sidelines. Not a bad way to end your last career home game.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Legendary

Congratulations to Michigan State Spartans, especially the record-breaking seniors, on winning the Big Ten Legends Division. And, of course, the Old Brass Spittoon.

So, think I should get tickets to the Championship Game?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

?

Do you think Boise State's loss to TCU today validates what many people, including me, have said about undefeated teams in non-automatic qualifying conferences?

Cousins' "I Agree With Kirk" Speech

I Agree with Kirk... from AIA on Vimeo.

Thoughts on the Carrier Classic

-It's disappointing to see the Spartans lose, but that was still very, very cool.

-Mark Hollis deserves a lot of credit for actually making this thing come together. It was a crazy idea that ended up working fantastically.

-The presentation of the evening colors was a great inclusion to the broadcast. I'm glad they showed it instead of running commercials.

-While MSU and UNC were excellent choices for this game, I wish it had happened when they were a little closer together in talent and experience. It's tough to start the year against a team that everyone is ready to give the trophy to in November.

-And Duke next. You certainly can't fault MSU for playing a soft schedule.

-At least the Spartans actually looked like an MSU basketball team. I'm less and less of a basketball guy all the time, but I sure love watching MSU beat someone on the boards.

-I'm no fan of the President, but I was willing to listen to him until he started talking legislation and turned his comments into a campaign speech. Was that really necessary?

-I'm pretty tired of hearing the media, even Dick Vitale, talk about how attractive and glamorous Michelle Obama is. Come on. I'm sure Brooklyn Decker was drawing many more glances than Mrs. Obama.

-Is the U.S.S. Carl Vinson available as a venue in a video game yet? I would play every game there.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Common Denominator

The opening sentence of an article in the Detroit News about the struggling Spartan offense: "First-year Michigan State offensive coordinator Dan Roushar can't pinpoint a common denominator for the Spartans' poor offensive performance on the road this season." I've got a common denominator for you: Dan Roushar.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Quote of the Day

We came out kind of flat, and when we had our backs really up against the wall, you know, middle of the second half, you're kind of saying, 'Holy crap, we gotta get going.'

-Max Bullough, Spartan LB, referencing the 31-24 win over Minnesota on Saturday, via the Detroit News

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

I Agree With Kirk

Kirk Cousins is going to be speaking at the MSU Auditorium about his faith. You can read a little of his testimony here. It sounds like the event has caused a bit of a stir on campus this week, Coach Dantonio was even asked about it at the weekly press conference. Obviously Cousins is catching some flack for it, for example a comment on a State News story: "Is he trying to be the next Tim Tebow?" I'm behind him 100%. Of course now I really hope he plays a good game against Minnesota because I'd hate his critics to have that ammunition.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Camouflage

MSU will be sporting special uniforms for the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic. The Spartans will be sporting home whites with a gray camouflage pattern. The uniforms also feature an American flag and will say USA on the back rather than the player names. Unfortunately the much-hated (by me at least) bronze numeral border is also featured. North Carolina will also wear a camouflage uniform which you can see here. The game will be played 11/11/11 on board the U.S.S. Carl Vinson in San Diego.

UPDATE: Pics:



Saturday, October 29, 2011

What You Want

@#$*&%!

Now that I've cooled off a bit:

-I'm a big Kirk Cousins fan, but he does seem to have the emotional fragility of a 15-year-old girl. He just can't shake a bad play.

-However, his WRs weren't doing him any favors. It takes a real team effort to look that bad.

-That includes the coaches. I don't recall that last time I watched a game and thought the coaches were just plain stupid. Nebraska played defense with seven men in the box most of the game, daring the Spartans to run the ball. MSU claims to be a running team (Pound Green Pound), but instead they throw into double coverage all day long. This is the only game all year where they haven't stuck with the running game to a ridiculous extent. Why change when your opponent is giving you your bread and butter? It's shockingly idiotic. Chris Spielman and Urban Meyer seemed absolutely confused by this during the broadcast and I'm right there with them. Bad, awful, very, very not good coaching.

-I saw some fans on Facebook were suggesting getting rid of Dantonio. This is stupid, almost as stupid as today's coaching, but they've had enough bad losses on the road that it's definitely a trend. This really needs to be figured out.

-Penalties were back today (zero last week), and plenty of those lead to Nebraska first downs. The team has shown they can play flawless football, the coaches need to make sure they do.

-I hate the Huskers.

-If I ever meet one of these commentators in person I will punch them in the face, because I'm absolutely sick of them calling the MSU football team the "Sparties." Sparty is the mascot, the team is the Spartans. Get it right. It's disrespectful to say otherwise.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Quote of the Day

That said, I can't imagine a stretch more difficult than the one Michigan State is enduring, having beaten five straight opponents that used to horribly torment it — Central Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan, Personal Fouls, Wisconsin.

-Bob Wojnowski, "Aw, shucks: Spartans' next test is the Cornhuskers," Detroit News

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What!?!?

You know something went down big if I'm burning on MSU at 12:30am as a UM fan.

I didn't see the game via my antenna, but I wanted to see what highlights they would show on the local TV sports news, assuming it was heading to overtime according to the ESPN/ABC ticker during the Stanford/Washington game. Then, since I am rarely awake at 11:30, I decided to keep it on channel 25 for the start of "SNL" and when they came back from the commercial break, instead of "one last look at our seven day forecast" they broke the news MSU won on a Hail Mary. Of course, no highlight, so I had to wait until midnight after the ABC game of the week and see it on channel 12.

So what's going on? I guess I'm not shocked. At all. MSU is good. A lot of people knew this game was coming soon and were dreading it. Wisconsin this, Wisconsin that. Yeah, I get it, they are ranked in the Top 10. But they get smoked every year by the SEC. DEFENSE WINS! All week long on The Huge Show, callers and anyone else talking about the MSU/Wisconsin game were not only expecting a loss, they were just hoping to keep it within 3 touchdowns. I don't get it. Great defense, combined with two very good running backs, a senior QB who is supposed to have a great year, a home game under the lights at 8pm which means the fans have extra time to get "lubed up" creates an easy atmosphere for a win. Even my cousin who is an MSU diehard couldn't even enjoy last Saturday's UM win because he knew Wisconsin was coming to town. I don't get it. Oh, they crushed Nebraska. Big deal. Even Stack already had Wisconsin's name etched on the Big Ten championship trophy.

I would have to think this game may be better than last year's Notre Dame finish. I realize both games took a "Hail Mary," but tonights was literally a Hail Mary to win. I would have liked to seen the game on TV because while the outcome was delayed to review the play, the crowd had to have been getting the information via text or voice from friends watching the game at home on TV telling them it's a TOUCHDOWN before the referees made the offical announcement. So the crowd had to have been rocking about 10 seconds before the guy in the white hat turned his mic back on.

I also think the UM/MSU rivalry is revved back up. It's definately a big game for both schools, but I think bigger for MSU. UM never wants to lose to MSU, but always expects to win. UM fan always expects to win (except the last 4 years) but I don't think MSU fan always expects to win. It's like the 8th grade team v the 7th grade team. The 8th grade team never wants to lose to the 7th grade team, but it's not the game they care the MOST about. The game may get close some years, but the 8th grade always wins. They are more concerned about beating another schools 8th grade team. But, the 7th grade team puts everything they've got into beating the 8th grade team. So if the 7th grade team wins, it makes their season. That is how I look at UM/MSU football. But that has changed. UM Fan is tired of losing to MSU and it matters more now. I don't think the UM/MSU game is what the UM/ND or UM/OSU game is. To UM Fan, if ND or OSU lose on a Saturday, it's a good weekend. We want to beat ND and OSU 50-0 and ND/OSU lose every game. If MSU loses, it's not the same feeling. It's okay if MSU goes 11-1...as long as the one loss was against UM. You always want to be the best college football team in the state, but as a UM fan, I hate losing to ND or OSU more. But I think that is changing for all UM Fan Nation. UM is going to start caring a lot more and putting the game in a new perspective. That doesn't mean MSU needs to get nervous, it just means UM's attitude has been adjusted.

Stack, what, no tickets for the game tonight?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Embarrassing

You know, it's funny that Desmond Howard says he's "embarrassed" for Michigan State and William Gholston after Gholston's play last week because I feel embarrassed for the University of Michigan and ESPN every time I see Desmond Howard on College GameDay attempting to be an analyst.

37-31

The win against Wisconsin might not be the most exciting MSU game ever, but it's darn close. I didn't even expect them to be in the game, so I'm thrilled to see them win, even if it took the most exciting play you'll see all year. The best (or worst) part? There's a really good chance these teams will meet in the first Big Ten Championship Game.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Grey

Gholston suspended...

...by the Big Ten for one game. My only problem with this is that Dantonio had not done it already. I'm not too concerned about the impact on the game against Wisconsin because, honestly, the Spartans are going to be beat up no matter what.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Shootin' From the Hip

Where do we start? I can't hold it in any longer. What a crappy weekend of sports.

Thoughts on the Tigers:

Let's be honest, they overachieved. If you were told August 1st they would be two games from the World Series, you'd love it. They never should have beat the Yankees in game 5. The frustrating part is the Tigers could have swept the Rangers if they just had timely hitting...and walked Cruz once or twice...or threw every ball at his earhole. How do you not drill that guy in the ribs by game 3? When they meet up in 2012, someone better have the stones to put one right between his numbers.

Detroit was plagued by timely hits the entire series. Texas's game plan was obvious: be ahead after the 5th inning, throw four different (unhittable) closers in each of the remaining innings. Ball game. Detroit has the starting pitching to win, but Austin Jackson looked like a Little Leaguer in the box. Avila needed rest. Lots of guys were banged up. Verlander never got his two full games...or a good strike zone. That zone in game 1 of the Texas series was terrible.

I am disappointed because for the month of October I got to enjoy Tigers baseball via the antenna. Actually, I watched two full post-season games with Fox muted and listening to 97.1 The Ticket play-by-play. It took some getting used to, TBS had about a 2 second delay and FOX had about a 9 second delay. When Fister pitched, I thought for sure I'd hear two pitches before I saw one on TV. The Tigers also played better when I did it that way, so I couldn't break the ritual in the middle of the series. In fact, pretty much any time I listened on the radio (car, kitchen, basement, etc.) the Tigers found instant success. (Remember when Detroit was down 3-0 in game 1 of the Texas game before the rain delay? That was all me. I got home just in time to see Avila bat after the second rain delay with bases loaded to hit a dribbler to second. Remember when Detoit played the day game (game 4) of the Texas series and they jumped out to an early lead? All me again.)

I don't know how much of the WS I'll watch with Texas in it. I'm bitter now. Texas was better, but Detroit had their chances.


Thoughts on the Lions:

I was at the game. My first Lions game at Ford Field. I think my current Lion record is 1-3 (with two losses coming from the 49ers...Alex Smith wasn't exactly Steve Young.) In the words of Big Daddy, I must be bad luck. I broke the Lion streak and I was at game 4 of the Yankee series that was 1-10.

The Lions got exposed. Blitz all day and stop Johnson. That was the quietest 7 catch - 117 yard day I've heard of. He was not utilized at all. The running game? Yikes. I will admit I was very impressed by the noise of the crowd at the game. We were sitting in the endzone in the upper level and it was very loud. It was also the looooooonnnnnnngest game ever. Didn't get done until after 4:45. We got up from our seats before they snapped the ball on the last play, so we missed all the Jim v Jim commotion after the game. In my opinion, Harbaugh didn't do anything Schwartz hasn't done all season after a win. Schwartz was just being a poor sport. He's just as emotional in other games (check out his trash talking in the 3rd quarter with Dez Bryant of the Cowboy game on the catch that was challenged and found to be out of bounds. Schwartz dropped a nice "INCOMPLETE MR. FALCON" lip-bomb on national TV...more on "Mr. Falcon" later.)

Very disappointed on the Lions last two positions. They had three timeouts and 1:51 remaining to just get to the 35 yd line to tie the game. Then at the end they couldn't do jack squat. No targets to Johnson at all. Just throw him the bleep ball!


The "other" game:

I've never watched a Michigan game where they played Wayne State, Oregon, and Baylor all in the same day. Anyway, moving on. You know how they say you can throw out the records and rankings for these rival games? No doubt. Michigan should never have been ranked #10 and MSU was better than the #19. But, that isn't UM's fault where they are ranked. MSU was by far the better team on Saturday...and the last 4 years for that matter. So, no congrats for doing what EVERYONE expected and that was beating Michigan for the fourth straight time. The better team won. Plain and simple.

I was very disappointed in the use of Denard and the lack of adjustments. MSU man-handled the O-line all day, yet nothing changed, just more yards lost on sacks. Why did they go away from their only game plan...keep the ball in Robinson's hands and let him get free. The worst part is they never figured it out, yet with 9 minutes to go in the game, THEY WERE STILL IN THE GAME! His running has to set up the pass. Granted, UM had numerous scoring chances with great field position all day. The whole Gardner thing didn't work and I'm not sure what they are thinking there. He looked sloooooooooooow.

MSU is a very good team, maybe Top 10 good. UM is still a much improved team, maybe Top 15 at best. If that game is at UM, I'm still not convinced UM wins. MSU has the better team and they did what was expected...beat a weaker opponent.

Yes there was lots of unsportsman-like stuff that went on, mostly by MSU. I just wonder why Gholston wasn't ejected. They clearly saw him punch the UM player or else a flag wouldn't have been thrown. Gholston was very dirty and a dink. He should definately be suspended. Even the D-Coordinator was quoted in the Free Press that he wanted them to play "60 minutes of unnessasary roughness." Side note: Gholston is a beast at D-end for MSU.


What was worse?:

I'm still debating what was the worst loss of the weekend. I think the Tiger season ending was the worst. The Lions are still in good position and the UM loss was expected. It was just frustrating the offensive scheme was so bad.

REACT TO ME!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

?

I saw a smart car this morning, a "pure coupe" I think, that had a flame paint job. Do you think the owner was being ironic?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thoughts on the Game

-MSU played undisciplined, sloppy football. They committed way too many personal fouls and inexcusable (dirty) ones at that. That's not Michigan State football and Dantonio needs to straighten these guys out, Worthy and Gholston in particular. I'm sure he will.

-That doesn't mean I'm not really enjoying the win though.

-Has there ever been a game between #11 and #23 where #23 was favored by three points? I know the polls have certain unwritten rules, but that just doesn't seem right.

-I thought Michigan keeping secret the fact that they were going to wear throwback uniforms came across as kind of petty. I don't mind the idea at all and was expecting it, but why not announce it? It's not like it gave them an edge.

-The Nike Pro Combat uniforms looked pretty cool in action, they just didn't look like MSU. I was impressed by how the bronze came out even though I hate that it was used.

-Those first couple snaps in alternate uniforms was awfully disorienting.

-I agree with the announcers, I don't know why Denard Robinson was taken out for so many snaps. If Gardner throws better the lack of snaps and the wind pretty much negated his edge.

-It's been a while since I've seen a game where wind had such an obvious effect.

-They set the parabolic mics too close to the Michigan band.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Baseball Trip of All Time!!!

If the stars line up and the Tigers make it past Texas to get to the world series, I am proposing a baseball trip like old times. I believe I have reserved 6 world series tickets for Game 4 or 5. Are we all in? Cost is $250 per ticket. There are 4 tickets on the wall (Rows A & B) in Right Field in section 103 and 2 tickets 9 rows (K) back of that. Stack can you make it happen? 10/23 or 10/24 would be the dates. React to me.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

?

It's 3:49 in the afternoon central time and Fox is showing a soccer game instead of NFL football? That's un-American.

?

Should the Big Ten just go ahead and award Wisconsin the championship now?

!

I'm watching the Bears game, hoping it can finish so Fox can show the end of the Lions game. They show up to the point where Calvin Johnson catches a TD, then go back to the studio saying they can't show the rest of the game due to NFL rules. NFL rules suck. I have to think with media being available in so many forms this is going to come back and bite them someday. I hope.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

RE: Ouch

From Stacks previous post about Jay Cutler getting a boom dropped on him all game long, MSU did quite a number on Ohio State's QB...in the 4th quarter alone. The last time I saw a college kid get hammered that quick in such a short amount of time was at a college party with alcohol involved.

I thought they'd keep the shutout. They said the last time OSU was shutout was November 22, 1993. I remember it clearly...that was my first Michigan game experience when I was a 7th grader. (Let's just say my first UM experience was a little better than my first MSU experience...a loss to CMU.) If I remember right, UM was unranked and OSU was undefeated.

Megatron

Last Friday's "Huge Show" poll question was "How many games do the Lions win in a row to start the season?" Well, it's at three now.

I was thinking, there are only 3 teams in the entire NFL after only three weeks of the season that are undefeated. Jim Rome is right, the NFL is upside down right now. B-lo and The D are undefeated while Indy is 0-fer, the Eagles are in panic mode, ATL is 1-2, the Redskins nearly stayed perfect, and the Raiders are showing up.

I haven't done the Elias Sports research yet, but if after Week 1 there are 16 undefeated teams, in just two weeks, it's down to three. I'd say that has to be very low based on history. It seems like most seasons 5 teams are still undefeated after 5 weeks. And honestly, Detroit has the toughest game of the three this week to remain undefeated. I'd be shocked if there were three 4-0 teams after Sunday. One thing the Lions have going for them is a beat up, bad Cowboys team coming off short rest and they never sniffed the endzone against Sexy Rexy and the Redskins. Oh, and Suh might "end" Romo. Yes, he may actually kill him.

24

This has to be posted. If someone would have told me in April that Justin Verlander would be going for his 25th (and 13th? straight) win and it would be...at home...against Baltimore...the LAST place team in the world...and home field advantage for the playoffs on the line...I would have bet $10000 on JV and the Tigers. Way to go guys. 25 wins and a LOCK to win the MVP. Now, it cost you home field advantage in the first round and possibly the MVP for JV. Yes, I realize JV gave up 5 runs in the first two innings, but still, that is unacceptable.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Exactly two months after...

...Captain America was released, I finally saw it at...The Cass Theater. That's right. Decent movies must be at a premium these days, so ole Dick hit up CA and this weekend is having "Friends With Benefits." Nine weeks after a movie is released, do the movie studios even bother with asking for a cut of the sales? If studios get 50% for opening weekend, what is the ninth week, 5%? Good for Dick if that's the case. I hope he had a great weekend. (There was probably 15 people on the final night.)

I got very lucky however. This lets you know that I've gone back to work: I haven't been on Main Street in Cass City between Seeger and Leach (where the Theater is located) in the last two weeks. If I had, I would have seen the CA poster as the "next week coming attractions" poster. So, not only did I not see it as the upcoming movie, I didn't drive by the theater until Thursday night the last night it was showing. I just happened to glance at the sign marquee at 4:45pm giving me just a little over two hours to make plans.

Thoughts: Worth the wait, especially since I was counting down the weeks until it was to be released on DVD. I gave up hope I'd ever see it, so it was a nice surprise. With about 15 minutes left in the movie, I remembered to pay attention for the Wilhelm scream. But I missed it already. They definately worked hard to make sure we saw that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree in the Stark family. They made sure to portray daddy as a "player."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Interesting

While listening to Mike and Mike last Tuesday morning, they mentioned a stat from Monday's Sportscenter about quarterbacks whom have never passed for 422 yards in a game. This was in reference to rookie Cam Newton who threw for 422 in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals. Sportscenter apparently only chose to compare four QB's. I can't remember all of them, but three were Hall of Famers (Terry Bradshaw was one) and the other was Tom Brady. Keep in mind, this was Monday's Sportscenter. Brady went on to throw 517 yards that night on MNF.

Mike and Mike were wondering what the odds were that Brady destroys 422 yards...the very next night.

Oh, and he put up 423 in Week 2.

Maybe he's tired of all the Aaron Rogers talk?

RE: Sports Mulligans

I felt this was a great thread, but I got ZERO responses. I'll chalk it up to bad timing around the Labor Day weekend. I decided to re-post it because I'm curious to hear some comments on others' 30 years of sports memories, some live, some only in the record books.


Great discussion question on WDFN 1130 The Fan last Thursday:

If you could have one pro/college sports mulligan (from a game), what would it be? If you could make just one game disappear from your memory, what would it be?

Obviously you will name more than one.

In no particular order:

1. "The Colorado game" ("Slash" - Kordell Stewart")
2. "TIME OUT!" Oops.
3. Appalachian State (Can't wait for the 2014 rematch)
4. Isiah's pass to Larry Bird in the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals at Boston to lose the game.
5. Spartan Bob
6. UM/MSU 1990 @ Big House (The Pass Interference NOT called in the endzone on Desmond Howard)
7. 2005 NBA Finals (Rasheed Wallace not covering Robert Horry for the game winning shot)
8. Every loss to Ohio State during the Salary Cap Era
9. All of September 2009 for the Tigers
10. This is not a game, but drafting Darko.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ouch

Things that would be less painful than the afternoon Jay Cutler is having:

-Going 12 rounds with a heavyweight boxer.
-Getting hit by a heavy duty pickup.
-Logrolling down a mountain.
-Standing in the middle of a batting cage with the pitching machine on for a few hours.
-Playing rodeo clown for an evening.
-Having a piano dropped on his head.

Dead-on

I don't often agree with Detroit News columnist Lynn Henning, but this article about MSU's offensive line is dead-on. The O-line is outclassed by talented defensive lines. What makes it worse is that the coaches, whether the offensive coordinator or Dantonio himself, don't seem to have any idea how to adjust the game plan when they're getting beat up front. Obviously it's tough to be successful when your O-line is getting it's collective butts kicked, but there ought to be some adjustments to be made.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

AL Central Champions

Congratulations to the Tigers for clinching the AL Central by beating Oakland 3-1 last night. This is the Tigers first division title since 1987.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Μολὼν λαβέ

Well, I've taken plenty of shots at teams wearing "cutting-edge" uniforms, so I guess I need to mention that the Spartans are wearing special Nike Pro Combat uniforms in the game against Michigan. Here's a video that was released today:



Yes, Nike Pro Combat uniforms are so powerful they can turn Kirk Cousins into a black runningback. Here are some photos for those of you who dislike video:




A few thoughts:

-I do like that my school is getting the most advanced uniforms available, but I don't suspect it actually makes much, if any, difference.

-Only 8 other teams are wearing Pro Combat uniforms this year (Army, Boise State, Georgia, LSU, Navy, Ohio State, Oregon and Stanford). So I guess it's nice that Nike chose MSU to wear them.

-If this was a jersey for anyone else I'd like it quite a bit. It's definitely the best Pro Combat uniform I've seen, though Army, Navy, and LSU's uniforms are pretty decent. The colors work well together even if they do come off too Oregon-ish. You can see all the uniforms on Facebook.

-I've wrote before that I don't like the Spartans using bronze. I get that Nike is trying to provide a visual tie-in to the ancient Spartans, and while I support the idea in theory I hate the execution. MSU should be green and white with silver as an accent color. A little black for depth is okay too. But if you're using bronze you need to go all the way and replace the green with scarlet, and I definitely can't support that.

-The bronze writing on the green stripe is the Greek phrase "Molōn labe" which means "Come and take them!" in English. Or, as Nike rendered it in the press release, "Come and get them!" As Wikipedia puts it: "The phrase was reportedly the defiant response of King Leonidas I of Sparta to Xerxes I of Persia when asked to lay down their arms and surrender, at the onset of the Battle of Thermopylae." That's an excellent way to reference the ancient Spartans, I'd even support adding it to the regular uniforms.

-While they're kind of silly, I really do like the gloves. Notice the Greek pattern behind the helmet logo.

-I should note that the Spartans wore black and gold back in the '30s, so I suppose an argument could be made for using black and bronze. Not a good argument, but you could try.

-According to this article on the Spartan Athletic site, the uniforms came about because William Gholston asked Mark Dantonio if MSU would be able to get Pro Combat uniforms. Dantonio asked Phil Knight and these are the result. The players are apparently very excited about them and, at last check, 56% of the respondents to a State News poll like them. Presumably that poll is largely made up of students. I'm still skeptical about this kind of thing helping recruiting, but I guess I can see why the athletic department would think it worth a shot.

-I expect there's going to be a ton of related merchandise available for sale before the game, though there's none available yet.

-Overall: I don't really like them, but I don't hate them either, so given some of the awful uniforms Nike has put out I guess that's a win.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Ugh

Maryland has decided to challenge Oregon for the title of worst uniforms:


According to this article there are 32 different potential uniform combinations, so maybe one of them might not make your eyes bleed.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Draft Day

It would be great if someone else would host the draft party so please step up. I'll offer my place as a default but I would be happy to defer. If it holds, 6:30pm Sunday night. Bring a snack and your stupid pills.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Triple U

Unfunny, Unreadable, and Uninspiring

"Triple U" is a Jim Rome Show bit. Find something in the world that is basically lame but others may find "funny," and it becomes a "Triple U" contest (via email or text) on the JR show.

For example: The tool in the office that says, "Hey, who's the new guy!?!?" when a co-worker finally comes back after a week long vacation. It's not really funny. It's lame.

Here is something that isn't necessarily funny, but lame: Being charged for a cup of water/ice at fast-food retaurants, golf courses, party stores, and gas stations to name a few.

In early August I was heading to Peru, IL and we stopped at a party store that I think was just across the Illinois border. I had a warm Gatorade in the van, I just needed a cup of ice. Come to find out, that will be $.25.

I decide to suffer without it.

Then we stopped at a gas station just up the road. I decided I didn't want to suffer, so I'll pony up the $.25. Come to find out, at this crapland it's $.35... + TAX. I had to pay $.37 for a cup of ice. No water. Just ice.

Lame.

Side note: Two minutes later we decided we were hungry and walked across the street to a Wendy's where I ordered a meal...and a cup of FREE ice water.

24

My dad and I went golfing yesterday at Arrowhead Golf Course in Caro. I already had a giftcard of 18 holes for two people. We were teeing off at noon and I didn't have my pullcart, so we wanted a golf cart.

$24.

"Is that with the greens fees?"
"No. There are two of you, so $12 each is $24."
"Um, dad, we can walk."

Seriously? Is it possible I could rent a Mustang for 4 hours for less than $24? I don't know really, just guessing. $24? Really? I realize the weight of an extra person would use more gas (it might even be a battery cart), but an additional $12?

If they are trying to get society more physically fit by walking, well, I guess they achieved that goal.

Later on in the day...

After the first 9 holes, I went into the clubhouse to get a simple cup of icewater.

"$0.25"

That's right. Water from the tap is now $0.25. Man, styrofoam and a straw doesn't grow on trees anymore.

More on this in a future post.

Sports Mulligans

Great discussion question on WDFN 1130 The Fan last Thursday:

If you could have one pro/college sports mulligan (from a game), what would it be? If you could make just one game disappear from your memory, what would it be?

Obviously you will name more than one.

In no particular order:

1. "The Colorado game" ("Slash" - Kordell Stewart")
2. "TIME OUT!" Oops.
3. Appalachian State (Can't wait for the 2014 rematch)
4. Isiah's pass to Larry Bird in the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals at Boston to lose the game.
5. Spartan Bob
6. UM/MSU 1990 @ Big House (The Pass Interference NOT called in the endzone on Desmond Howard)
7. 2005 NBA Finals (Rasheed Wallace not covering Robert Horry for the game winning shot)
8. Every loss to Ohio State during the Salary Cap Era
9. All of September 2009 for the Tigers
10. This is not a game, but drafting Darko.

How Bad Has SNL Become?



Keep in mind, this was December 2010. (I saw this sketch/episode on Saturday night after watching the sports highlights on the local news channels and just decided to keep the TV on an extra 5 minutes to see what SNL had to offer since I haven't watched it in 3-4 months.) I can only imagine the envelope has been pushed even further since then.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

the Coolidge Test

A thoughtful analysis of the presidents performance.

"President Barack Obama is an Ivy League-educated man of considerable intelligence and ambition who has surrounded himself with numerous experts to help in his decision-making. With these advantages, he has tried a number of things to help the country domestically and in the area of foreign affairs. But at the end of the day, how does Obama’s efficacy in office compare to that of a sack of hammers?"

?

A question for those of you who are bigger baseball fans than I: Now that Justin Verlander has his 20th win, and before the end of August to boot, should he win the MVP? If not, is there a number of wins he needs to have to be a candidate? Paul Sporer of ESPN has some discussion here. Regarding the argument that a pitcher doesn't play enough to truly deserve the MVP, Sporer observes:

Looking at Verlander’s 216 innings shows that he has pitched 18.6 percent of the Tigers' total innings (1161) while the team’s best offensive player and marginal MVP candidate, Miguel Cabrera, has logged 577 plate appearances, or 11.5 percent of their 5,001 total plate appearances. So who is really making a bigger contribution?

That conclusively settles that argument for me. Any other thoughts from you baseball guys?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Thought

Perhaps this might come across as a little insensitive, but after seeing some of the news about Hurricane Irene it strikes me that New York City on the day a hurricane hit would be a fantastic setting for an action movie or a mystery/thriller. Can you imagine? Daniel Craig. Dwayne Johnson. Emily Blunt. Storm Surge. Summer 2013. It practically writes itself.

Draft Day

Is everyone planning on having our 2011 draft next weekend? It's our traditional time, but I thought I had better check. Also, we have only 6 managers signed up so far, it would be nice to have everyone in before we draft. We can't start unless we have an even number.

Some draft links:
Fox's Draft Guide
ESPN's Draft Kit
Yahoo's Draft Kit

I'm thinking of going with ESPN's top 300 as the default list rather than Fox's top 200. Thoughts?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Age of Reptiles

It All Makes Perfect Sense

Maybe this explains why the Lions have never really tried to build a winning team. You make more money...LOSING!

Boooooo!

Now that things have settled down, I have a chance to get to the theater to see Captain America. Unfortunately, a few of the city theaters are already pulling it or reducing the number of showtimes, which makes it difficult to fit into a schedule (especially if they say they have a 9:50 showtime on their automated recording only to find out at 6:30 when you get there that 4:40 was their actual last show for the day.)

I've been gone a lot since it was released, but I was pretty confident it hadn't come to the Cass Theater yet. But when the poster showed Smurfs as the next show after this weeks Cowboys and Aliens, I started to wonder. (No way does he show "CA" Friday, Sept. 2...six weeks after it was released.) So, I called the theater last night and asked when it was coming. It's not. BOOOOOOO! How do you not have a way to fit Captain America into your summer rotation?

Monday, August 22, 2011

?

So now that the Raiders have selected Terrelle Pryor in the supplemental draft, is he going to be a flop or a huge flop? Not that I expected him to succeed, but going to the Raiders pretty well seals the deal.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Good news everyone!

Matthew Stafford played for 5 minutes in an exhibition game last night and didn't get injured. So, hey, that's one in a row. If we're lucky he might make it through the preseason, but there's always the chance of getting hurt while he's playing Xbox or washing his car.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Man of Steel

From ComingSoon.net via Big Hollywood:

RE: Movie Trailers

This trailer?



Usually I feel like a trailer loses something after I've seen the movie a dozen times, but that's still pretty awesome. The teaser trailer isn't bad either, I think I prefer it to the one for The Dark Knight Rises, even though it doesn't have any scenes from the movie:

Movie Trailers

I watched "I Am Legend" last night on DVD and the best part of the movie was seeing the trailer for "The Dark Knight." It still sends chills down my spine and gets me even more geeked for 2012. When I finished the movie, I went back to watch the trailer again. I also noticed in the trailer that there was no reference to Harvey Dent. In fact, there was probably less Bruce Wayne/Batman than the Joker.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

It's Good to Have the NFL Back

You've probably noticed that the sports-related posts around here have fallen off dramatically. That's because there just hasn't been that much interesting enough to me to be worth the effort. But now the NFL is back, so here's a quick summary of the first few days of free agency, mostly the ones with fantasy impact:

-DeAngelo Williams is staying with Carolina.

-Reggie Bush is going to Miami, and now that I've typed that sentence I have to post this:



-Kevin Kolb, displaced from Philadelphia by Michael Vick, is going to Arizona.

-Chad formerly Johnson has signed with the Patriots.

-Vince Young has signed with Philly, presumably to see if he can learn something from Vick.

-The Eagles also signed CB Nnamdi Asomugha, the best cornerback on the market.

-Brett Favre is still retired.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Game on?

According to ESPN, the NFLPA and the owners have reached an agreement that will end the lockout. There are still a few hurdles left, but according to the article these are considered formalities and shouldn't slow anything down. Assuming there aren't any issues, free agency will begin on Saturday.

Avengers: Thor

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Avengers: Iron Man

Star Wars Deleted Scenes

Thoughts on Captain America

-I liked the movie a lot. I think most people will call it the best of the Marvel movies so far. It has to at least be a tie with Iron Man. It reminded me somewhat of Indiana Jones, mostly in tone and that it's a period piece. And also the Nazis.

-Chris Evans was excellent in the role. I had my doubts when he was cast, but I don't think anyone else would have done any better.

-The rest of the cast was great too. Hugo Weaving is excellent as the Red Skull. Tommy Lee Jones basically plays himself, or at least the character you usually see him play, but that's perfect for the part. Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter has much more to do than I would have expected and plays the role very well. She's also an absolute knockout in this movie, I expect you'll see her in a lot more films in the next year or two.

-The film is a little more violent than I would have expected. Nothing graphic, but a few places where it might take you off guard, like when a HYDRA soldier goes through a spinning propellor blade.

-There's a Wilhelm scream in the movie. I don't recall any of those in other Marvel movies.

-The score is very John Williams-ish, there's a sequence with a fight on a train that sounds a lot like a piece from Star Wars.

-Pre-serum Steve Rogers looks good in the movie, not as odd as in the trailers. The rest of the effects are pretty decent, but I think they outstripped their budget. There's a lot of scenes where it's pretty obvious that you're looking at green screen work.

-I still think the HYDRA costumes, and Cap's suit, look too future and not retro enough, but it looks okay on screen. I think they pushed the designs for HYDRA pretty hard because they were worried that the audience would think they were normal Nazis.

-The post-credit sequence is a teaser for Avengers. Definitely worth sticking around for, it got a round of applause at the showing I went to. It looks fantastic, but I'm honestly more excited to see Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark interact with Cap and Thor than any action pieces.

"Going Out of Business"

After watching Captain America last night I stopped in at the Borders across the street. I figured they might have some good deals since they're liquidating. Well, half the people in the Quad Cities must have had the same idea, there wasn't a place to park in the parking lot. I finally got in and it looked like it would have taken 30+ minutes to check out. That didn't look like fun, but I thought there must be some good deals if people were putting up with it. So I started looking around and the biggest discount? Twenty percent off. That almost makes them competitive with Amazon. Needles to say, I left without buying anything.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Car of the Week



On Father's Day, we went to Frankenmuth to celebrate...everyone's birthday. There are four June birthday's in the King family, so we get big discounts on the chicken dinners, yada yada yada. Woohoo!

As we were leaving the Bavarian parking lot, I noticed some humans checking out a vehicle as if they've never seen one before, let alone certainly not their way of transportation that afternoon.

So, when they were done gawking, I stolled over and tried to pretend it was just another ugly Bugatti. It didn't take long for me to also realize I'd never seen this type of car before, in fact, I had no idea what it was (that's not really saying much, I know Japanese about as good as cars). I looked at the emblem on the grill, but that was really no help. It looked like two M's inside each other. I really should have taken a picture. Not sure why I didn't. Maybe because I knew this was nothing in the ballpark of a Bugatti, and once you've seen one of those, everything else is just small potatoes.

But, I filed it in the back of my mind and hoped the M's had something of importance...or at least that I thought they were M's and could help me later. So, it's now later and I did a little search of auto's that start with the letter M...that I've never heard of and would sound foreign/expensive. I don't know the model, but it's in the Maybach family tree.

A 2011 Maybach ranges between $372,000 and $463,000 if you are shoping for a vehicle.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

SSC Tuatara

The Bugatti Veyron, the fastest road-legal car in the world, has been mentioned a few times on this blog, and even photographed by Ump:



Well, the Veyron is going to have some competition as Shelby Supercars (SSC) is making a car meant to take that record, the Tuatara:



That is one fantastic looking car. I don't know about you, but I think I have a guess as to the inspiration:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

"You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

I saw a crazy car yesterday at the gas station. Just as I was pulling up to the pump an older Chevy pulled in, probably an '85 or older Caprice Classic. It was rolling on at least 19" rims, maybe larger, but that wasn't the remarkable part. The top was yellow and the rest of the car was bright green. On the side there was an airbrushed scene featuring the Incredible Hulk. I should have taken a picture, but I was so in shock it didn't occur to me.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Game of Thrones Theme

I haven't watched HBO's Game of Thrones yet, but this mashup of two different covers of the theme music is awesome:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

?

This is for those of you who never read comics. DC Comics, the publishers of Superman, Batman, etc is undergoing a major revamp in September. One part of this is updating the costumes of many heroes, including Superman. Now if the word "iconic" has any meaning I think Superman would fit it, but DC thinks this will help sales. Here are some pics:














VS.










I don't expect anyone reading this is going to go out a buy a new book because of this, but is it positive at all? Does eliminating the red shorts make you more likely to be interested? Does it just seem silly?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Super 8

More like "Super Ain't"...as in Super Ain't good.

The best part of watching Super 8 was getting to see the trailer for Captain America again.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Auto Review: Chevy Aveo5

This week I had to leave my car at the dealer for a little warranty work for a couple days. Ford provided a rental car. Knowing that there was no way Ford was going to spring for anything besides a basic car, I was really hoping for a Ford Fiesta based on this Top Gear review:



Unfortunately the car was not supplied by Ford, but rather provided by Ford through Hertz, so what I ended up with was the 2011 Chevy Aveo5:


It left such an impression that I thought I would write something.

The Pros
-My rental car looked exactly like the picture above. It's not especially good-looking, but it's pretty inoffensive, obviously a Chevy, and a big improvement over the previous model.

-There's lots of headroom, not that I would be the best judge. (That's a short joke.) It's easy to see out of the car at all angles.

-I really didn't like the 1.6 L 108-hp engine at first, but after driving around for two days I decided it was adequate for driving around town. As long as you stay off the open road you're not going to notice the lack of power.

-It did have AC and a CD player, but no cruise control.

The Cons
-Here's what driving an Aveo on the freeway is like: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA(breath)AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH(breath)HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! This car was not designed to go over 55-mph. It has a strained relationship with the road and never feels firmly planted at freeway speeds. Add a crosswind on a bridge over the Mississippi to that and you have a terrifying experience.

-The car vibrated at idle like a two cylinder tractor. I was afraid it was going to explode.

-Those backseats are just for show, there's no way a human could sit in them if anyone was sitting in the front.

-The interior is obviously cheap, though not outstandingly so. The clock is awkwardly positioned on the dash near the windshield rather than on the CD player display.

-The interior door handles are positioned so far forward it can be difficult to open the doors, especially if you don't want to hit the car next to you.

-The car sounds hollow and flimsy when you shut the doors.

I could go on, but I won't. If you have had even a fleeting thought about buying one of these, stop. Please. No one should have to drive this car. You would be better off buying practically anything else. Heck, buy a horse. Even if it kicks you in the face it would be better than driving this car.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Thoughts on Green Lantern

A few thoughts on Green Lantern, which I saw on Friday:

-I liked it, though not as much as Thor. It's a decent film, but it had the potential to be a lot better. They tried to fit a lot of story into one movie when they probably should have went with less.

-Like Thor, GL starts with exposition that fills you in on the origin of the Corps, their powers, and the source of the threat they face. I don't think it's a problem, but I've seen a lot of whining to the contrary.

-The costume is a little weird, but it worked for me well enough when watching the movie.

-Ryan Reynolds does a good job as Hal Jordan. Not exactly how I picture the character, but close enough.

-Mark Strong is very good as Sinestro, but he doesn't get near enough screen time.

-This movie has the most alien aliens I've ever seen in a movie.

-Yes, there's a lot of CG in this movie. A lot. I've seen complaints about that too and how things don't look real. Most of the CG is pretty good, but so much of the movie is spent in such fantastic locations you're never going to buy it as "real". If that's a problem you should probably go watch something else.

-There is a scene after the main credits, so you don't have to wait as long as you do in the Marvel films. It's a cool scene, but a bit disappointing because it's a major development and it really wasn't set up well enough.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Busy

I know I've been pretty quiet on his for the last 3 months, but I hope this sums it all up.



First time since 1995. We then beat Saginaw Valley Lutheran in the Regional Semi-Finals 6-5. We lost in the Reg. finals to Shepherd 7-3. We had bases loaded in the 7th with 1 out and our #3 hitter up. The #3 and #4 both struck out. Shepherd is the back-to-back defending state champs. They lost today in the State semi-final game.