Dr. Z on ZZ

ZidaneI haven’t written anything about Zinedine Zidane’s fabulous final flame-out (other than this), because I just couldn’t find the right words.
Imagine my surprise when I found out (thanks to the ACCBasketblog) that football’s own Dr. Z (maybe the best football writer going) knows a bit about futbol as well. Dr. Z’s thoughts about Zidane aren’t too far off from my thoughts. He might be being a bit kind to Zizou, who’s blunder might just top Jean Van de Velde for the dumbest move by a Frenchman in a big sporting moment, but that’s OK. He makes up for it by going after the moronic commentary of Marcelo Balboa. Dr. Z’s the man.
p.s. Check this other angle of the incident – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2slJ9CBnk0 – you’ll see Materazzi reach around and pinch Zidane’s nipple and then run his mouth up until the point where Zizou drops him.
p.p.s. And check these videos of some of Materazzi’s past work – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJPKM5aJGW8 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Gyu8W1g2co

2006 ACC Helmet Schedule

Now I’m excited! I’ve had my 2005 ACC Helmet Schedule hanging on my wall all year – god bless the color printers at work (shhhh!) – and lately it’s been making me pine for the fall.
Once again, Joe Ovies of 850 The Buzz did an outstanding job putting it together. Here ya go – the 2006 ACC Helmet Schedule 2006.
My only complaint about this version is that Joe stuck in logos for his radio stations in the off weeks. I much prefer having just the word “OFF” in there. It makes it much easier to spot at a quick glance. I think I’ll be editing my copy before printing it out.

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

(Catching up on some old stories …)

In 1993, Bobby Cremins, the charismatic coach of Georgia Tech shocked the sports world when he announced that he was leaving to take the head coaching job at South Carolina, his alma mater. It was a huge hire for the Gamecocks and a crushing blow for Georgia Tech. And then it wasn’t. Cremins quickly came to regret his decision and managed to successfully call a “do over” and stayed in Atlanta.
A few weeks ago, Winthrop’s hot young coach Gregg Marshall pulled a very similar trick with the College of Charleston. He accepted the job, attended a press conference and then changed his mind. It quickly called Cremins’ move to mind. Even Cremins himself was quoted as saying that Marshall had “pulled a Bobby Cremins.”
So who did Charleston look to to soothe their “Creminsed” pain? The man himself. They hired Bobby Cremins to take the place of a “Bobby Cremins.”
You couldn’t make that up.
As to the hire itself, I’m of two minds. On the one hand, CofC got themselves a Grade A coaching name. Schools like that just don’t hire guys like Cremins too often. I mean, that guy won the ACC several times, took his famous Lethal Weapon 3 team to the Final Four and recruited numerous NBA talents. On the other hand, I was never convinced that Cremins was really a good coach. He was a great recruiter – at least at landing stars – but not a great coach. But he’s not going to land any Mark Prices or Stephon Marburys at Charleston. Can he compete there with his tight 7-man rotation and heavy reliance on superior point guard talent? I don’t know. I have a hunch it’s not going to work out.
But it’s still a hell of a story.

The Finals

I know I haven’t posted much lately, but I am still around. I’m not trapped under a large object, adrift at sea or finding myself in India. Just been busy with work and sort of taking things slowly in the college sports off season.
As I’ve mentioned before, one sporting event that I have been following closely is the World Cup. With ABC and ESPN showing all the games and with my TiVo, I’ve actually been able to catch at least some of every single game. TiVo is a fantastic thing! Despite the nearly record-low scoring, it has been a very good cup. Sure, there’s been way too much diving (so sorry to see you take it in the ear yesterday, Portugal!) and the reffing has been inconsistent, but the play has generally been top-notch and there have been a ton of great games.
And it all ends today. In about one hour, France and Italy square off to decide the 2006 winner. Unless you have some sort of tie to The Azzurri or you still eat freedom fries, I’m going to have to assume that you are rooting for France in this one. While the Italians have doubtlessly been very good and maybe not quite as demonstrative as in years past (it’s easier when you aren’t losing), they are still extremely difficult to root for. I can’t stand their constant whining and faking. The French started off very slowly and were easy to mock, but have been sensational since the knockout round began. Watching the rebirth of Zinedine Zidane has been incredible and add in the aggressiveness of Franck Ribery and the unmistakable talent of Thierry Henry and the French are just damn fun to watch. I mean, did you see Zidane against Brazil? The old, bald French-Algerian was killing the Brazilians at their own game. When he’s playing like he can, he has complete control over the ball, the tempo, his teammates and ultimately, the game. It’s just hard not to love the guy. He doesn’t whine, he doesn’t flail, he doesn’t preen. In a game filled with prima donas like the execrable Christiano Ronaldo, Zidane is a straight-up man.
So, as I bid farewell to a fantastic tournament, I say Allez Les Bleus!