The Road From Bristol

Sometimes the web gives us those annoying Punch The Monkey popups and sometimes it gives us the amazing Mahir (I kiss you!). The Road From Bristol is Mahir-quality; exactly the kind of quirky brilliance that Al Gore had in mind when he invented these here Internets.
The Road From Bristol is a 64-man tournament to find the most annoying ESPN personality. A very difficult task, but a beautiful way to accomplish it. Unfortunately, the site’s a bit difficult to follow as it is in blog form, but poke around a bit and you can get the jist. The full bracket is here. Notice the clever names of the regionals – Duke, Lakers, Cowboys and Yankees – Red Sox.
I could talk about the seedings and matchups here for hours, but I’ll stick with just my Final Four plus a few sleepers.
I like Skip Bayless to come out of the Duke regional. Sure Dick Vitale has the greatest annoyance potential of anyone in the bracket, but he does sometimes actually have real information and he also seems to like what he does. Bayless is annoying and worthless. Tough combo.
The Cowboys Regional is fairly weak, so I think Chris Berman will walk to the Final Four. His main competition is Sean Salisbury, but he gets him early and I think Berman will take him out. Remember when Berman was considered clever?
The two bottom brackets are both completely loaded. I mean, you have Screamin’ A Smith, Jim Rome, Paul Maguire, Bill Walton and Michael Irvin all in one bracket (Lakers)? And what about Stuart Scott, Jim Grey, Joe Theismann, Woody Paige and Jason Whitlock all in the Yankees – Red Sox Regional? Man.
I’m gonna go with Michael Irvin out of the Lakers bracket. I actually don’t hate SAS as much as many people. Yes, he yells like Irvin does, but at least he has something to say. Jim Rome would win in a walk if he was more of an ESPN guy. I think of him as a radio personality first.
As bad as Grey and Theismann are, Stuart Scott will easily breeze through the Y-RS Regional.
Look for Scott and Bayless to meet in the finals. I’d have Bayless win, but I bet Scott takes the “title.”
Hat tip to the Sports Frog for the find.

Jayhawk Skeletons

Huckleberry HoundBy now you’ve heard about Roy Williams’ involvement in some NCAA violations at Kansas. It seems that while he was coach, a few boosters gave a number of players small graduation gifts. Actually, “end of eligibility” gifts might be better, because I don’t think all the players had graduated.
Some of those involved say that Williams knew of the gifts, but he thought they were OK. There are conflicting reports about whether and when he checked with compliance officers at Kansas.
Either way, it’s seems like a pretty minor deal. I mean, do you really think that Kansas is using these gifts as lures to recruits? Hey man, come play for the Jay Hawks and if you stay four years, you’ll get a suit or a check for $300! What do you say, son?

Continue reading “Jayhawk Skeletons”

Jason Is Back (Nearly)

The News & Observer has a great piece today (well, it’s actually an AP article) about Jason Williams and his recovery. Evidently, he’s nearly back to full strength and believes that he will be on an NBA roster next season.
I hope so.
Jason Williams made a very dumb mistake. He was an idiot to ride a motorcycle at all, much less without much training or even a helmet. The thing is, he knows it was a mistake. It wasn’t indicitive of the life he’d lead to that point and he hasn’t let it define him. You never hear him blame anyone else for the accident or imply that anyone owes him a second chance.
Instead, he’s worked his ass off to get back, while at the same time being realistic and asking questions like “should I go back to school?” (I guess he’s asking about grad school, because he already graduated from Duke. That he’s talking about getting a graduate degree should be all you need to know about how he’s different than most NBA players.)
It’s hard not to root for him to come back. If his former running mate Chris Duhon can make it in the League, then there’s no question that Williams belongs.

I’m Back

You may have noticed that Dave Sez was off in Never Never Land for the past couple of days. Sorry about that. If you didn’t notice, well, you should have!
Anyway, it seems that the cable service on my whole street got knocked out by a particularly violent storm the other night. Man, that was something. Lightning and loud claps of thunder nonstop for about an hour or so. It sounded like Lakista McCuller and Jackie Manual were having a three-point shooting contest on a tin roof. Bang. Clang. Crash!
So, I’m back now and ready to catch up on some of the news I’ve meant to post about. Or not.

Intimidating Tiger

Like the rest of us, Chris Chase has been thinking about Tiger. Unlike the rest of us though, he hasn’t just been watching in awe. No sir, Chris has been hatching a plan. A plan to intimidate Tiger Woods.
I’m not really sure if it would work or not – it would probably result in a six stroke loss by whoever tried it, but still.
If the idea of getting in Tiger’s head isn’t intriguing, read Chris’ piece anyway, if only for his last bit on British trash talking. Great stuff that made me laugh out loud.

Confidence Man

Cheating Every DayIn case you haven’t picked up on it, Lou Holtz is a snake.
He’s left just about every program he coached in trouble. NCAA investigations follow him as surely and closely as a trailer behind a pickup.
His career is surely over now, but that doesn’t mean we should just let bygones by bygones. As Ron Morris wrote in that article, Holtz is a con man, convincing fans, media and athletic directors that he is a man of principle and integrity – an old school guy. Instead, he’s a cheat and a lier. It’s a shame that there’s no way to punish him directly.

Finger Licking Good

Gary eating wings
Unlike the guys at 850 The Buzz, I don’t think this pic is terribly scandalous, but it is pretty damn funny.
He looks a bit drunk, but I think that’s just bad timing on the photographer. It does look like he’s in a college dorm or apartment though, which is odd.
Wanna guess what he’s saying?
“Hey ladies, you know I like the dark meat.”
“Mmm, nice thighs.”
“I’m NOT THE OTHER WILLIAMS! $#(*&$#*(&@@!!!”
“I eat more chicken any man ever seen.”
OK, that’s enough. I have more, but I’ll leave some of the easy pickins for you folks. Add ’em to the comments.
It looks like the pic came from here. You can see a much bigger version there as well.

ESPN Hires Ombudsman

Well, ain’t this something. ESPN has hired themselves an ombudsman.
What’s that you say? You have no idea what that is? Go ahead then and look it up (I know I did). I’ll wait a sec.
OK, now you know. An ombudsman serves to hear complaints from the people. Complaints from us.
Poor guy. George Soloman has been around a while, serving as the editor of the Washington Post’s sports section for nearly 30 years, but he’s probably not quite ready for this. The network needs help. There is plenty to complain about.
Back in the day, ESPN was much less polished and showed stuff like Australian rules football and snooker between repeats of last night’s WAC basketball games. But while they may not have been big time, they understood that their focus was sports. Nowadays, they take the “E” part of their name a bit too seriously. They try to be entertaining and worse, cool. Well, they aren’t cool. They can’t be. Not anymore. They are part of the machine and the machine is never cool.
ESPN also has had an unfortunate tendency to learn from Fox News and CNN in their reporting. They tend toward the sensational, happily beating a dead, unimporant horse if that horse is young and blonde. At the same time, they might ignore and more important, but less sexy story.
So, I have high hopes. Any constructive criticism can help. All of us sports fans have become so addicted to ESPN that no matter how much it sucks or how many hours a day Stuart Scott appears, we’ll watch. Solomon (good name for his job, huh?) earned my trust in this article, when he pointed out the network’s tireless replays of Kenny Rogers’ outburst and the infamous Detroit-Indiana brawl.
Keep it up man. And if I may make a suggestion – a little less Scott would be good for everyone.

Hat Map

Paulwesterdawg (cool blog name) has nice map using helmets to show the location of every Division 1 football program. It’s interesting to see the large clusters and gaps.
Check that clump in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, northern Kentucky and West Virginia.
In contrast, there are no helmets from southern Wyoming through the Dakotas, western Nebraska and Montana. A huge gap.
It also makes it easy to see where there’s allegedly an “East Coast bias.” Look at the number of helmets to the right of dead center versus those on the left.
Once again, I tip my helmet to FanBlogs.com for the find.

Go Orange Blossoms!

The New Orleans Times-Pacayune had a nice article over the weekend about the source of many college nicknames.
One that stood out was Miami’s original name of the Orange Blossoms. Think they would have won as many titles with that name?
Another one I’d heard as a derisive nickname, but didn’t realize it really was their name at one point is the Nebraska Bugeaters. Anyone have an explanation as to why that was their name?
Thanks to FanBlogs.com for the find.