Monday, October 18, 2010

The Moment and Being a UK Football Fan

When I was making my college choice, I debated on going to play D3 basketball or going to a big school a regular student. But wanting to be have a "normal" college experience I went the big school route. I had, however, have one huge deciding factor. I had to go to a school that had a great sports tradition. My decision came down to going to Penn St or Kentucky. It was a debate of football versus basketball tradition. Never did I imagine I would end up becoming a bigger UK football fan than basketball fan.

Maybe my background in being a sports fan attracted me to being a UK football fan. Being from Cleveland you expect the absolute worse at all times. It also makes you incredibly defensive and loyal to your teams. There is something about being a diehard UK football fan that has a certain appeal to me (or, some people might say I like making myself miserable). There isn't a bandwagon* for UK football like the basketball team attracts. Thus, the diehards that come to Commonwealth Stadium truly love Kentucky.

* I despise bandwagon fans of teams that I like. One of the shitty things about the LeBron era was the abundance of Cavs fans that came out of the woodwork. However, the worst offense in my mind is the people from this region that are OSU football and UK basketball fans. As a UK fan, I dont want your support of just basketball, especially if you like OSU in any capacity.

Many people with less loyalty wonder how people can be fans of teams such as the Royals, Pirates, any Cleveland team, UK football, etc. How any person can suffer through losing 25 straight to Tennessee, 24 straight to Florida, or 17 straight to Steve Spurrier? The answer is simple. You hope to be there for the moment your team actually does come through. You dream of the time that you can be running through the Blue Lot screaming and hugging every UK fan because you finally beat Steve Spurrier. It makes all that suffering and anguish as a UK football fan worth it.

Well, almost.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Is the Brett Favre/Jenn Sterger Situation Being Overblown?

My answer. No. In fact, I think it should be brought to more attention. In what might be a shock to some people, I think ESPN is doing a horrible job talking about this. Now, I know people are going to say that it's just a rumor and what not, but lets think about what else has been rumors and why I feel this story needs to be talked about more.

1) If it is Favre, it is sexual harassment. From what I've read it sounds like there was no previous 'activities' between Favre and Sterger. From the voicemails and Internet rumors it sounds like a more desperate move by Favre in attempt to pork a younger hot chick. Not only that, but think about if any one of us did this to her. It would be a huge story about Sterger's safety and how sick of a person we are. Not only that, but she'd be making the morning show rounds explaining how petrifying it is.

2) Granted it's more rumors, but I'll run with it. The Sterger incident isn't the first incident Favre had with someone within the Jets organization. The story I've read is there was a massage therapist Favre made a pass to, only to find out she was married and apologized to her for her being married.

3) People are coming to defend Favre right away. Think about a couple months and years ago when it was Big Ben, Kobe and Tiger. Now, I'm not defending them here but people wanted their heads on a silver platter. Steelers fans talked about how Big Ben should be traded to Oakland and shunned to the world. 'Humanitarians' called for Tiger to quit golf and become a family man. And Kobe, oh Kobe, there was a death warrant for him. Why does Favre get a pass? Because people portray him as the happy go lucky guy from the Wrangler's commercial? Or the fact they remember his game for his father against Oakland and assume he couldn't have possibly sent dick pics in his crocs to Sterger. The fact of the matter is Favre is a guy. Just like any other guy his mind was entranced by his dick. He wanted to bang Sterger, so he made a play. It ultimately backfiled, but he attempted.

4)Somehow Sterger has turned out to be the victim in this case. Everyone is bringing up the fact she posed naked or was a 'slut.' That doesn't matter, if the rumors hold true. Does anyone hold anything against Chelsea Handler for not caring about a sex tape? What about Greg Oden for his dong pictures being leaked? Yet, somehow everyone went against Sterger and said how could she do this to Favre's family? What about everyone else's family? No one cared about how Tiger's mom felt or Kobe's dad? Why should I care about how Favre's wifes and daughter feel about Brett 'firing that pigskin' at Sterger?

That's my little rant about this whole situation. I love ESPN, but I feel their holding this case a little too close to the heart and refusing to even talk about it. I give credit to Deadspin and Barstool Sports for actually discussing it and taking major heat for it, Deadspin especially.
So, what do you think? Favre trying to rail Sterger overblown coverage? Or not enough?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jimmy Clausen: Murdering Your Fantasy Team

I will admit it. I hate Jimmy Clausen. I hate his douchey hair, the fact that he went to Notre Dame, and his shitty brothers that went to Tennessee. Now, he is murdering fantasy teams around the United States. Here are the stats him and his tag-team partner * Matt Moore have put up through 5 games.

Completion Percentage: 45.3%
Yards: 796
TDs: 3
Ints: 7
Fumbles: 10!
QB Rating: 43.6

* I'd consider the Clausen-Moore tag team the Hart Foundation and last years Brady Quinn-Derek Anderson the Road Warriors team in the crappy QB tag team division *

Going into this year Deangelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, and Steve Smith were all highly regarded fantasy commodities. So far all three have taken a collective dump on your team. The reason why is "Jimmy Legs" provides no threat in the passing game. He can't get the ball to thie big playmaker, Smith (5 catches for 33 yards in Clausen's starts). Thus, teams have taken away their running game. The Panthers are averaging 99 yards per game on 3.9 yards per carry. This is down from 156 yards per game on 4.8 yards per carry in 2009. As someone who owned Williams and Smith this year, here is to hoping Jimmy Clausen sits on a plunger when he squats to pee this evening.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Future of The Cleveland Cavs

Sorry for the hiatus on posting but I have a quick rant before getting to the meat of the article. I go to today and what is on the front page? Another article about the Miami Heat. Isn't it enough that Miami has great nightlife, weather, delicious Cuban women, but they had to steal my former favorite athlete and sports writer. Now ESPN is jamming the Heat down my throat. I understand that the interest in the Heat is incredibly high but I have personally vowed to avoid it as much as possible. However, I accidentally stumbled upon their highlights from a preseason the other night and I saw the unthinkable. LeBron is posting up. I have been waiting to see that for seven years. Now, the most unstoppable force in basketball is finally realizing that he can flat out abuse people in the post. Great. Thanks for developing that part of your game in Cleveland, LeBron.

That brings me to the true topic of this post: The Cleveland Cavs. They are stuck in NBA purgatory. NBA purgatory is the chance to make the playoffs but no realistic aspirations of winning a title. They have enough decent veteran players in Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, Anderson Varejao, etc. to win 35-40 games. But, you know what that gets you? A crappy draft pick. The Cavs need to tank and tank badly.

The Cavs need to dump players that will get them inconsequential wins. Mo Williams and Jamison are guys that can get the Cavs enough wins that make them competitive. According to basketball-reference here are the wins shares over the last 3 years.

Mo Williams
07-08 - 4.5wins
08-09 - 9.8wins
09-10 - 6.7wins

Antawn Jamison
07-08 - 9.2wins
08-09 - 8.1wins
09-10 - 5.8wins

By getting rid of them the Cavs can "save" themselves from winning about 10-15 games. It's not even about great return on Mo and Jamison its about being able to lose more games.
So if the Cavs tank by trading away their veterans, what would be their plan. There are three was to improve via tanking.

1. Accumulate Draft Picks - The Cavs have accumulated some draft picks via the sign and trade with LeBron. If they were able to get some picks for Mo and Jamison that would be an added bonus. Talent can be found in the late first and early second rounds as recent years have proven. However, it can be somewhat blind luck in finding those diamond in the roughs. But, having more darts (draft picks) to throw at the board the more likely they are to find solid NBA players.

2. David Kahn on speed dial - The Cavs did a nice job of acquiring a potential starting point guard in Ramon Sessions from Minnesota for a guy they were going to waive in Delonte West. He's a guy that I have liked since he had a 20 assist game a few years back. But, the Cavs need to keep trading with David Kahn and they will be able to acquire some decent talent for next to nothing.

3. High Lottery Picks - The Cavs and Cleveland will never be able to attract free agents. Thus, the only hope to acquire a superstar is by getting a high lottery pick. Unless, the Cavs get incredibly fortunate, they wont be able to be in that position in the 2011 draft. However, the 2012 is brimming with elite NBA talent. Michael Gilchrist, Austin Rivers, Andre Drummond are just a few names that could come in and be franchise changers. In particular I'm really wanting Gilchrist. He is a long lean forward that can impact the game in every facet. He could fill the Cavs gaping hole on the wing and make people forget about their former SF.

If things break right for the Cavs, you hope by 2013 that they will have a core of Sessions, Hickson, Varejao, a superstar from the 2012 draft and hitting on at least two other picks in 2011, 2012 and 2013 draft. This plan for the Cavs isn't exactly a thing that will keep the fair weather fans interested. But, its really the only chance Cleveland has to be relevant in the NBA anytime soon.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Basketball Movies' Fantasy Draft

We decided to hold a 7 round, 3 team fantasy draft to compile the best teams of basketball movie characters. Below are our rosters and thoughts on our teams. Please comment and say who you think has the best team.

PG-Butch McRae (Blue Chips)
SG-Jimmy Chitwood (Hoosiers)
SF- Q-Rich (Van Wilder)
PF-Kyle (Above The Rim)
C-Ty Crane (Coach Carter)
John Tucker (John Tucker Must Die)
Antoine Tyler. (The 6th Man)

Coach: Jimmy Dolan (Air up There)

Now, I know what you hypocrites will say. There's no size there. But, I beg to differ. McRae is a large PG and Chitwood always played above his size.Crane can play at the center position as a solid glass-cleaner and athletic big guy that can also step outside and shoot (remember Villanova a couple years ago anyone?) The biggest reason I like my team is they won't commit a turnover or miss a shot when Jimmy Chitwood has the ball. According to a study by Bill Simmons, Chitwood's box score in the Indiana State Championship Game looked something like this:

32 minutes played, 30 points, 14-18 from the field, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. That's without a 3-point line.

Add in that arc and he's easily at 40 points. The pick and roll game between him and Crane would be outstanding. Crane was labeled as the next Lebron James in Coach Carter and played to the No. 1 ranking in the nation. He, much like my other players sans Q-Rich are born winners. Kyle from Above the Rim had a scholarship to Georgetown back in the hayday, meaning he would have been looked at around the Iverson era.

Q-Rich brings experience and shooting ability as Van Wilder was shot in his prime, when he was one of the better shooters in the game. Have him and Chitwood aroudn the arc and that's a deadly otuside game.Off the bench is John Tucker.I'm a little worried about him being a cancer to the team, but his athleticsm (the 360 dunk in the middle of the game) is unparalleled for a white guy.

Now, here's why I really love my team. The wildcard. Antoine Tyler. Remember him, he was an All-American that passed away during a game. Well, he returns as a ghost and helps everyone out until they don't want him anymore. On my team, everyone will want his help. He makes bad shots go in, blocks shots and has the other team committ turnovers. That includes you MJ. That's just a sample of why this team will win. Well, that and the Picket Fence.

"I'll make it."

Team Gillionaire:
PG: Derek Vinyard (American History X)
SG: Michael Jordan (Space Jam)
SF: Lewis Scott (Celtic Pride)
PF: Neon (Blue Chips)
C: Saleh (Air Up There)

Coach: Coach Carter

Jamal Wallace (Finding Forrester)
Airbud (Airbud)

As the owner and GM of Team Gillionaire, I feel comfortable saying our team has to be the favorite in the So Serious Sports league. From top to the bottom this team is stacked and causes all sorts of match-up problems. We have a superstar in Michael Jordan and a dominant front court with Saleh and Neon. Neon would bring the pain and Saleh would provide a scoring threat so teams can’t double Neon. Lewis Scott is a knock down three point shooter and Derek Vinyard at point guard brings an element of toughness and orchestrates the offense. Jamal Wallace is a capable backup but is also inexperienced. Airbud is our main concern but should matchup well against Teen Wolf, unfortunately he’s a liability on offense. Coach Carter manages all the egos well and has instilled an element of toughness. Unfortunately, there’s a big divide in the locker room between Derek Vinyard and everyone else. Vinyard can’t take instruction from Coach Carter and has a problem passing to black people, lucky for us he hates losing more than he hates minorities.

G: Calvin Cambridge (Like Mike)
G: Scott Howard (Teen Wolf)
G: Jesus Shuttlesworth (He Got Game)
G: Billy Hoyle (White Men Cant Jump)
F: Moses McGee (Dr. J – Fish That Saved Pittsburgh)
Quincy McCall (Love & Basketball)
Jamal Jeffries/Juwanna Mann (Juwanna Mann)

Coach: Norman Dale

My team is high on skill, talent, and scoring ability but has a huge size deficiency. Norman Dale is going to employ a Villanova type offense using the skills of his guards to take people off the dribble and create plays. Billy Hoyle will be a favorite of Norman Dale for his, umm, scrappiness. A big key will be if the team can get Moses McGee to buy into their system and play up to his considerable talents. The bench is a little lacking as Juwanna Mann has been playing against women and Quincy McCall is injury prone. If this can stay close though this team has Scott Howard to go all Teen Wolf and take over (Bill Simmons aghhhhhhhhh).

Rules of Fans

Last week Dan wrote a post laying out rules for watching a game with a buddy. That along with the recent Giants game, where fans booed Tiki Barber and went bizerk for the other 29 players inducted into the Giants Ring of Honor got me thinking about rules fans should follow while at a game.

Rule No. 1: Understand the game. One of the things that pisses me off, I see it a lot at UK games, is when fans don't understand to get loud/quiet. In football when your team is on offense, shut up. Don't get loud on 3rd down-something a lot of UK fans tend to do.

Rule No. 2: If you're at a game where your team is playing, wear something that represents your team. Whether it's a jersey, a t-shirt, hat or even a polo with the teams logo on it. Wear it. Too many times you go to a game now and people are dressed in an American Eagle shirt and a pair of jeans. This is a sporting event-where it's okay for 50 year old men to wear replica jersey's of dudes 20 years younger than them.

Rule No. 3: Have small talk with your neighbors. Sporting events bring people together. You're there for one cause and have one goal in mind. If your team doesn't win you're going to be pissed. (Unless your Texans fans. Then you beat the shit out of each other. If you don't know what I'm talking about youtube the brawl they had during the tailgate before the Cowboys game.) Talk about why your team should be running a 4-3 instead of a 3-4. Which brings me to my next rule;

Rule No. 4: Always accept a high five. Big first down pick-up. Touchdown. Sack. 3rd down stop. Someone next to you is going to be looking for the high five. Get in the spirit and slap hands.

Rule No 5: Go ahead and boo as well. Were the Giants fans right in booing Tiki Barber because he made comments about the team a week ago? Absolutely. Were they right in going bizerk for Lawrence Taylor-someone accused of raping a 15 year old girl? Absolutely. He never talked bad about their team. He won Super Bowls for them. That's what's great about being a fan. Do you think Steelers fans care that much about Big Ben as long as he wins? No, not during the season. If your team is playing bad or someone becomes a diva all of a sudden, boo them.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dave Lapham Needs to Shut Up

Unless you are a diehard Bengals fan (HA!), you probably don't recognize this name. But, I was stuck in a car driving from Paducah to Cincinnati yesterday afternoon. That meant to catch the Browns game I was stuck listening to the Bengals radio team. Thus, me and Dave Lapham got to know each other quite well.
I know that a teams announcing team is obviously going to favor the home team. Typically an analyst is a former player of the team and the announcing teams are paid for by the team. But, as a media member, they are supposed to be at least a little bit objective*. But, this guy makes Austin Carr seem unbiased. His "analysis" consists of bleeting for receivers to catch the ball while its in the air, yelling to get in the endzone, and whining for pass interference on every incompletion. You would of thought T.J. Ward committed homicide for his hit on Jordan Shipley (I just wish it was on T.O. or Ochocinco) by his reaction.

* Apparently this doesnt apply to the Cavs. They got rid of Matt Goukas because he was too objective.*

So my message for Dave Lapham, if you are going to squeal for the Bengals like a 14 year old girl at a Justin Bierber concert, get out of the press box.