Blogger At The WSOP

You probably remember the mgoblog, it’s the site that put together the BlogPoll for college football (yes, I’m a voter). Brian, mgoblog’s creator has evidently forked over $10K of his own money and went out to Vegas to play in the WSOP. According to this entertaining update, he made it through Day 1 and managed to do a little star (and cleavage) gazing while he was at it.
Go Brian!

Uh Oh

Could Floyd Landis become bike racing’s Ben Johnson? Top of the world one day and the sport’s signature goat the next? I certainly hope not, but reports are that Landis has failed blood tests. The tests showed unusually high testosterone levels on the day he made his miraculous ride.
Bad news. They’re going to run tests on his B sample to verify. Let’s hope the first results were wrong.

Blog Highlight – Every Day Should Be Saturday

Earlier today, I linked to Ed Zipper’s divorce notice for ESPN. The one problem with the idea of leaving the country’s foremost supplier of sports information and artificial cool is that you need to find a replacement. Fortunately in today’s Internet world, there are many places to look.
So maybe it’s time for a new feature, one that I’ve thought of doing for ages. At some indeterminate interval (hey, I’m not penning myself in here), I’m going to pick a worthy site (probably a blog) that you should be reading.
You already know about the big, famous ones like The Sports Frog and Deadspin and personal faves like ACC Basketblog, The Duke Basketball Report and StateFans Nation, so for my first pick I’m going elsewhere.
Every Day Should Be Saturday is a phenomenal college football blog written by guys calling themselves Orson Swindle and Stranko Montana. Swindle in particular has an unhealthy knowledge of the college game and is a damn funny guy.
A sampler of some recent goodness:
Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen looking, uh … available.
A fantastic series of posts on offensive line play. The prologue is here and it was followed up by two parts (1 & 2) of a three-part series written by former NFL lineman Jim Richards. Great stuff here that you just don’t find most places. Why, it’s nearly as good as Bobby P’s Eleven series!
UT Recruit Allegedly Improved Grades With Penis
The Troy State offensive linemen will regret this series of pictures for the rest of their lives.
Love for the Sackrider.
OK, that’s enough. I think you get the point. Some seriously good stuff there. Who needs the WWLIS anyway?

What The Zipper Said

Ed Zipper of the Sports Frog wrote what I’m sure many of you have thought for a long time – it’s time to move on from ESPN. Ed wants a divorce and I do too. Hell, we barely ever spend time together anymore and when we do, I’m never happy. The only thing (outside of PTI) they do right is live sports, and I’m not including darts.
BTW, Zipper is a professional stand-up comic in his spare time.
Previous clues that ESPN and I were coming to this point in our relationship:
Ombudsman
Scam
“Reality show”
I’m not paying
Most annoying personality?
Insufferable Sports Guy

Keeping It Real, Cane-Style

If you thought that maybe Willie Williams’ departure from Miami meant that maybe they’d lose a bit of their thug edge, wonder no more. Check this story out – Hurricane safety Willie Cooper (Dub-C of 7th-Floor Crew fame) was shot in the ass this morning.
Two great aspects of this story – first, it happened at 6:30 in the morning. Evidently the guys say some strange car outside of their house. What college students are up at 6:30 in the morning? Unless they were up for practice, I’m guessing they had been up all night.
The second nugget here is this sentence from the article, “After Cooper was shot, teammate and roommate Brandon Meriweather pulled a pistol from his pants pocket and fired three times at the person.” He had a pistol right there in his pants! At 6:30 AM!
Only at Miami.

Twofer Friday

I’ve fallen way behind in the stories I’d like to comment on. Several of those stories seem to have now paired up, so that’s how I’m going to address them – as twofers.
Duke – Man, has it been a rough stretch for the Duke athletic department or what? You had the lacrosse scandal, AD Joe Aleva’s boat accident caused by his drunk son, JJ Redick’s drunk driving arrest and back injury and now the football team is losing their starting quarterback to a plagiarism charge. Without Zack Asack (Raise your hand. How many of you knew that was the name of Duke’s returning QB? I sure didn’t remember his name.), the Blue Devils now have to turn to sophomore Marcus Jones who mostly played receiver last year. I guess that means Duke will suck at football this year.

Continue reading “Twofer Friday”

Ranking the ACC Stadiums

FanBlogs has a link to a SportingNews.com article ranking the ACC football stadiums. As always, this sort of article is less about the actual picks than the discussion it generates. That said, I thik Matt Hayes did a pretty good job ranking the stadiums.
I think you could debate Lane vs. Doak vs. Death Valley forever and never settle on on order. Doak is the toughest simply because the Noles are the best program. Lane is probably the nastiest and possibly most intimidating. Memorial is the biggest and has the most history.
I’d say he overrates the Orange Bowl. The program? Great. The stadium? Poor. Attendance sucks for any non-FSU game and that’s just embarassing for a program of Miami’s stature.
I’d also say that he rates Kenan stadium too high. Yes, it’s a pretty setting but even in the Mack Brown days, it just wasn’t a really nasty crowd. Nowadays, the stadium is never full and has a ton of opposing fans.
Take this with a huge grain of salt, because I’ve only actually been to games at UVA, UNC, Duke and State, but here are my picks:
1. FSU (Doak Campbell)
2. Clemson (Memorial)
3. VT (Lane)
4. NC State (Carter-Finley)
5. UVA (Scott)
6. Miami (Orange Bowl)
7. Georgia Tech (Bobby Dodd)
8. UNC (Kenan)
9. BC (Alumni)
10. Maryland (Byrd)
11. Wake Forest (Groves)
12. Duke (Wallace Wade)

A Cautionary Tale

I remember Brien Taylor. He was quite possibly the most hyped baseball prospect ever – a can’t miss kid with a million-dollar arm headed to the Yankees.
I remember being somewhat disgusted by the demands of his family. They weren’t content with the Yankees’ initial offer of just over $300K for a signing bonus. They held out for more and eventually landed a stunning (at the time) signing bonus of $1.55 million. It seemed so greedy at the time.
I realize now that I was wrong. Taylor’s career started off in stellar fashion, but just a few years along his certain path to stardom he hit a pothole. A big one. He blew his shoulder out in a street fight and was never the same. He never pitched a single inning for the New York Yankees and now Brien Taylor works as a bricklayer in his hometown of Beaufort, NC. Holding out for that $1.55 mil seems like the smartest move in the world now.
It’s a sad story. Sure, he didn’t fall into the traps of drug addiction or petty crime that catch so many failed prodigies, but you have to wonder how often Taylor regrets that one decision to fight when he could have walked away.
On the other hand, with one swipe of his pen, he made more money as an 18-year-old than I’ve made so far in my entire career. Maybe I shouldn’t feel too badly for the guy. Still, Taylor’s story should be required reading for every kid out there who’s told that he’s going to be a star. It can all disappear in the blink of an eye.

Happy Birthday To The DBR

The Duke Basketball Report is 10 years old today. That’s pretty impressive for any website, much less one that’s pretty much run by the seat of the pants. In Internet time, 10 years old qualifies you for Social Security and adult diapers.
So, congrats to the guys at the DBR! It’s not a very sexy site and it certainly has its biases, but there’s not a finer resource for ACC basketball news out there. We’re all the better for its long tenure.

Sunken Chest

(Still catching up on old stuff …)

I’ve done my share of Chuck Amato bashing on this site. It’s not that I hate the guy or think he’s a complete idiot, I just find him funny. Also, I can’t resist to poke sticks at his inflated ego and the inherited pride that so many Pack fans inherited his first few years when his charisma and showmanship hid the fact that he wasn’t really delivering on his promise.
But, despite all of that, I don’t think he’s the worst coach in the country. But Sports Illustrated’s Stewart Mandel does. He lists the top ten college footbal coaches in the country (the ACC has only Frank Beamer) and then the five worst. Chuckles came in dead last.
But don’t chortle too much, Carolina fans. Big John Bunting and his mustache were an honorable mention worst, along with Virginia’s Al Groh. Chan Gailey joined Amato as one of the first worst.
So if you’re keeping track at home, according to Mandel, the ACC has one of the ten best coaches in the land and four of then worst. Ouch.