Thursday, November 29, 2007

Carolina Blues

They continue to call it the "Big Ten- ACC Challenge," but after yet another embarrassing showing by the Mediocre Eleven, it's pretty clear that this annual challenge is about as competitive as the conflict in Darfur. Suprisingly though, OSU had one of the better showings; staying competitive with one of the top teams in the country for 3o minutes.

The storyline for most Buckeye fans had to be the emergence of freshman Jon Diebler. To say the guy had been struggling would be as obvious as saying has trouble reaching the 18-57 female demographic (or the humans 1 Day - 101 years demographic to be more exact). He had missed 31 of 35 from the field through his first 5 games; that's the type of shooting accuracy that will land you the part of a bad guy in a James Bond film. His poor play was painfully reminding Buckeye fans of the Sean Connolly era (I was even having Jon Sanderson hullucinations at one point).

Diebler certainly picked it up, demonstrating that he does belong in major division one basketball. His length also caused numerous problems for the UNC guards (minus Lawson) at the top of the zone. Where things went right for Diebler, they went horribly, horribly wrong for Kosta Koufos. This guy's draft status literally seems to plummet and jump depending on the night. Against Syracuse, I'm getting calls saying "one and done." Against North Carolina, I'm getting calls from authorities questioning my whereabouts the previous night.

By the way, the brutal schedule gets more brutaler(?) with matchups against Florida (never a good thing for the Scarlet and Gray), Butler (scorned by Thad) and Tennessee (maybe the best team in the SEC).
Lastly, this team shot 33 three-pointers last night. That's right, 33 out of their 70 field goal attempts were from behind the arc. Did I even mention that Tony Stockman isn't on this team anymore?
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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Anderson Varejao Making Wild Financial Decisions

According to the venerable Chad Ford of, a guy that puts more emphasis on how many coveted "stats" a player can accumulate in gar-baj time rather than what impact a player is actually having on a game, has had a formal sit down with Anderson Varejao (something no hairstylist, or remedial English teacher has been able to schedule with AV in years).

In this tell-all, Anderson expressed his desire to persue other things.

"I wanted to come back," he said. "I love the fans and I really love my teammates. But there are others there that have made it very difficult. It's gotten to the point that I don't want to play there anymore. I'm just hoping for a sign-and-trade at this point."
Sign and trade sounds good on paper; well actually, looks good on paper. Problem is, it still involves another team valuing AV at around $8 or 9 million, something scoffed at by most GM's not named Isiah Thomas. The "Wild Thing" has already turned down a 5 year, $20 million deal. Truthfully, their negotiations are about as far apart as the BET Network and Michael Richards (they apparently weren't fond of his pilot called Monkey Business).

It looks like the Cavaliers and Brian Windhorst alike weren't prepared to deal with the craziness that is AV. It was always assumed that the Cavs had all the leverage simply because he's restricted. Problem is, much like a suicide bomber, your dealing with someone who obviously doesn't care about his future. That's right, I just compared AV to a terrorist. Gotta love hyperbole in the blog world. Perhaps in the meantime, AV can go visit Raleigh Durham and give his famed lecture on baiting the charge call. And we'll go back to missing Austin Carr's skillful handling of Anderson's last name.

By the way, LeBron apparently phoned AV.

"He just says, 'We love you and we're waiting.'" Varejao said. He keeps telling me he wants me back but to get the best deal I can and to take care of my family. He's a great teammate. He always supports us on and off the court."

So that makes two valuable players LeBron has now encouraged to "get the best deal he can." Which makes me real optimistic about him staying in Cleveland when some of his promotional deals have escalators based on him playing in a large market.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

National Football League to Adopt BCS Bowl System

New York - The NFL competition committee voted this morning to drastically alter the NFL postseason format in favor of a system mirroring the current college bowl setup. Their recommendation, to create a series of post-season football games with automatic tie-ins and to approve a formal ranking system designed to produce a "#1 vs #2" title game, will be voted on by the league's 32 owners next week.

The idea is the brainchild of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who feels the NFL's post season format lacks the controversy associated with the college version.

"We often get shortchanced by the nationally syndicated sports talk shows, and by the contrived debate shows like Around the Horn, First Take and Pardon the Interruption," Goodell said. "This will get people talking about what really matters in football: whether or not your particular team is getting the respect they may or may not deserve in the polls and if the system itself is even fair to begin with."

Goodell isn't exactly in love with the entire college method of sending teams to a championship based on polls and computers. He says that while preseason rankings play too much of a role in determining which teams get into the championship game, he thinks they should first be released halfway through the previous season - simply to add fuel to the critics' fire.

One NFL owner favoring the new setup, who chose to be quoted under the cloak of anonymity, says his Washington Redkins football team would benefit from such unwarranted preseason hype.

"Look at half the teams in the SEC," the owner said on one of his Red Zebra radio stations. "They benefit by having overinflated rankings based on nothing more than hype and flawed preconceived notions about their alleged speed superiority. They then beat eachother up over the course of the season and stay inside the top 25 despite not playing a meaningful out-of-conference schedule. We just want the same advantage when the public and media buy into our preseason hype - we spend just as much money on talent as any of those SEC teams."

Goodell says the current NFL playoff system is too definitive and that it leaves little question as to who the best team is. Something he says needs to be corrected. He also thinks the league needs a more inclusive postseason format.

"Too many teams have been left out of the process," Goodell said. "This is all about giving the fans of the Browns, Cardinals and Lions something to cheer about in the often doormant month of January.

The only remaining question in the commissioner's system is if one particular NFL team will get their own stipulation to appear in a major bowl regardless of whether they deserve to be or not. The "Notre Dame" Clause will go before the committee in December or January - the same months that will feature the Irish not winning a bowl game.
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