I dont think I could possibly eulogize Bill Walsh. Everyone else has already done it, and done it better than I could. Suffice it to say, he took football and turned it on its ear. He built the 49ers dynasty, invented the West Coast Offense (completely revolutionizing football), and attached his name to one of the best college football games of all time.
He was a true football pioneer, following in the footsteps of Paul Brown, Sid Gillman, and Al Davis. The Belicheck Patriots draft on intelligence. Most of your teams draft players, raising and lowering stock, based on their intelligence, and that all started with the great Bill Walsh.
"[I]ntelligent players have an infinitely better chance to succeed. On offense, they have to cope more and more with things like the no-huddle and quick snaps. In a few years, who knows? Maybe there won't be huddles. On defense, they have to cope with different schemes and all the substitution. When I look for players now, even at Stanford, I can rule out a lot of people fast. They have to have above-average intelligence combined with the ability to function under stress. (read the rest here, thanks to Peter King)
If that doesnt sound like a Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or the antithesis of MIchael Vick, nothing does. I won't go so far as to say there's no one like Bill Walsh, but only because EVERYONE these days is trying his damnedest to be like Bill Walsh.
Well...it's funny what a difference a month makes huh? A month ago, KG said no (bleep)ing way he lands in Boston. None. But then again, in the sports world I think something my Dad used to tell me applies and that is...
You can show me a lot better than you can tell me.
So much like Saban told us he wasn't interested in the 'Bama job before screaming 'Roll Tide' (have fun getting your ass kicked by LSU and the New Ball Coach in Gainesville by the by), KG has apparently changed his mind. So two former Celtics who have been flat out repugnant as GMs are going to make a deal that will look something like this...
Boston gets: KG
Minnesota gets: Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair & two future 1st round picks
That's what ESPN and every other sports junket would have you see. So here's what they're really getting...
Minnesota gets a promising young post guy in Jefferson, an expiring contract in Ratliff, a reigning Who Cares Dunk Champion and some putz that ESPN made a documentary about whose early career has amounted to a big pile of nothing. Yet another shining example as to why Stern put an age cap on the league. No more Telfairs polluting and diluting the quality of a once great league. Boston on the other hand, gets a big body that's on the downslide of his career and more than likely if all so happens to break right (which is a 80-90% probability with the crapfest that is the JV Conference) a trip to the Finals where they'll probably get snuffed out by the Spurs. I heard about this deal after I got out of work last night, then it processed early this morning and honestly, I'm furious. How dare the Celtics try and get good all of a sudden?! How dare they try to win a Conference Championship now?! Moreso, how dare Danny Ainge try to do his damn job after so many years of basically blowing The Truth's abilities and such. So now, we can all but safely assume that Minnesota will sink to the depths of the Best-ern Conference with Memphis and Crapamento. Boston actually has a better team than the reigning JV Conference Champions, but who in that conference doesn't? Still, if this doesn't scream about how craptastic the JV Conference is at present time, nothing will.
Okay, it's getting a little nuts now for me. I've never had so much MMA I need to/want to watch. We all know that UFC 75 will be aired for free on Spike....Quinton Jackson vs. Dan Henderson...yada yada yada....but now I'm already plotzing about the next UFC PPV. (Ya like that rhyming action?) At UFC 76, former light heavy champion Chuck Liddell will take on, and I don't know why, Keith Jardine. Keep in mind that Jardine is coming off a humiliating KO by Houston Alexander. Why Liddell is taking on this curtain jerker in a MAIN EVENT I'll never know. But that's not what I'm happy about, as if you couldn't already tell. No no....it's the simple fact that PFC phemom Mauricio "Shogun" Rua will make his octagon debut against.....get ready for it.....Forrest friggin' Griffen. Forrest must love those high profile fights. Is it too much to say that it's a good time to be a fight fan?
someone might be turf pizza, if he ever plays again
You know, I knew the usual suspects would be after Michael Vick. PeTA, the FBI, the local police, state police, and the IRS are all reasonable assumptions when someone of that nature gets involved in a major dog fighting breeding operation and promotion ring. Fighting dogs is cruel to animals, a felony, and you do have to hide your ill-gotten gains somewhere other than the mattresses at the headquarters of Bad Newz Kennels, Inc. Long story short, Ookie is in for a long year in and out of the court.
But there was one potential face of retribution that Id never considered: other players.
While Robert Byrd has already given Michael Vick his assurances that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who fight dogs, Radar has learned from one NFL star that Vick has a more immediate concernfacing the wrath of the NFL's dog-loving players if he ever takes the field again, some of whom may be the very people assigned to protect Vick on the field.
The high-profile NFL playerwhose team will play Vick's Atlanta Falcons during the 2007 seasontells Radar that a number of the league's canine-friendly players are licking their chops at the opportunity to inflict some on-field vigilante justice on the world's most famous alleged pup-drowner.
Considering there are a lot of large men who love pets out there, dogs especially, Michael Vick is going to be in some serious trouble should he ever step back out on the NFL turf. I wont come out and suggest that his offensive line will lay down and let Vick get creamed, but they also might not put up the maximum amount of effort, either. Unless Vick starts rigging some dog fights and tipping off his blockers, that is.
Congratulations on letting the integrity of your sport be seriously compromised because of as you so eloquently put it, a "rogue, isolated criminal". A 'rogue, isolated criminal' that has been on your payroll for the past umpteen years...shaving points off of games the way a barber shaves facial hair. And to think, for all the effort you've put into trying to "clean up the league's image", you played Nero in the end. Oblivious to the empire that's slowly crumbling and burning around you as the NBA gets played. So now, you've got players like LeBron, D-Wade and Kobe all dressed up to look like fools in a league that you've left open to the type of scandal NOBODY wants to be a part of. As if it wasn't enough that our players are barely feared on an international level, it's your fault that now...the one sport we've all grown to love and adore will never be looked at the same AGAIN.
Yet, for all of these precautionary measures you have in place, obviously your system can't be THAT foolproof. Can't be THAT infallible, because one 'rogue, isolated criminal' figured ways in and out of it. Oh and I'm of the thinking it might be a great idea for you to keep Phoenix off of your itinerary for the forseeable future if you plan on sitting in on games. I can't imagine the Suns Nation will be too happy with the fact that this 'rogue, isolated criminal' probably cost their team the series and a more than feasible shot at a title this past May. As bad as the Brawl in Detroit was, the integrity of the men calling the game wasn't in question or even attack. Just a couple of knuckleheads who felt the need to get the audience involved because some putz had to launch a cup of beer at Ron Ron. You slapped a couple of cosmetic rule changes on the books which the Players' Association (spinally deficient bunch they are), easily rolled over for.
It is with great pride that I announce a new SB award of my own making, dedicated to honoring those in the world of sports who insist on blaming everything other than their own piss-poor performance, who spend more energy whining than actually working on their game, who seem to have a perpetual tree up their behinds in general.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present:
Jades Suck It Up, Bitch award, sponsored by Midol.
This award will also to be referred to as the SKIP B award, in honor of the biggest whiner in sports journalism today (otherwise, wed have to give it to him every time).
And the honor of being the first Suck It Up, Bitch award winner goes to
In order to give credit where credit is due, Bill Simmons has written an excellent column about crooked NBA referee Tim Donaghy. The ESPN editors really pulled out all the stops to include relevant links, a YouTube link, sidebars of other Simmons columns you know, the works. Its an excellent wrap-up of the whole Donaghy point spread manipulation story so far, and its potential resulting effect on the NBA and David Stern.
This is worse than Pete Rose, worse than Barry Bonds, worse than Janet Jones Gretzky, worse than Paul Hornung this is very bad for the NBA. In none of these other situations, the gamblers involved could affect the scores of the game directly in the way an NBA ref can control the scoring of an NBA contest. In football there are dozens of players on the field at once. Baseball is a game of fluke events where the results cannot be controlled without major collusion. But basketball?
There are questionable calls in basketball all the time. Its a game that depends on the referees whims a great deal, considering any touch could be called a foul. Traveling is in the eye of the beholder (especially in the NBA, where a name player never gets called). Donaghy, as noted by Chris Sheridan, has a history of calling tons of fouls and thus, affecting the point spreads of the games he refs directly.
David Stern is chewing Tums and losing sleep as we speak, frantic that this FBI probe is going to reveal that Bennett Salvatore and Violet Palmer arent just shitty refs, but shitty crooked refs.
PS: Hey, remember when you used to be the sane one and I was the gun-toting scumbag? Those were good times, man. Good times.
EDIT: Someone asked me if this was really upsetting to me. Yes and no. It does upset me, because this guy is a multimillionaire who started his own dogfighting business AFTER making his millions of dollars. This isn't a poor guy who doesn't have any better idea of how to make a living aside from slinging drugs, this is a guy who was already worth a fortune by the time he bought this property and set up his dogfighting kennels. Not only is it obviously stupid and cruel, it's also really fucking greedy.
No need to rub your eyes or call the doctor to set up an appointment to check your mental health. As Kurt Angle would say, "It's damn real." Dana White, that magnificent bastard, has said that on September 8th, the fight to unify the 205 lb belts from both UFC and Pride will be ab-so-lutely FREE!! FREE I SAY! Quinton Jackson vs. Dan Henderson for free. I think I just wet myself.
Not only do we get to see them go at it, we get to see a very pissed off Mirko "Cro-Cop" get back in the octagon ready to take Frenchman Cheick Kongo's head off!!! Can't wait for that. Also, England's own Michael Bisping will get to take on TUF 3 alumni Matt "The Deaf Guy" Hamill. This is going to be great! If you don't watch it, you should seek out professional help!!!
You know, for a socialist/communist country in which the sacrifices of the individual person have always been important for the greater good, regardless of the practicality (see also Chairman Maos Cultural Revolution, in which teachers and intellectuals became farm workers and practically destroyed the country), Yi Jianlian and his handlers have shown themselves to be quite adept at the American athlete tradition of bitching about the team that drafted you in order to force a trade (see Eli Manning) and lying about your age (see every Cuban baseball player).
Yis people still dont want him to play for the Milwaukee Bucks. Not enough Chinese people, too many fat people. Unfortunately for Yi, thats who drafted him and who hes going to end up playing for, because David Stern will not let Yi bitch and moan his way to another team (though the Bucks will probably listen to trade offers, which is wise because for all we know Yi is more like Wang Zhizhi and less like Yao Ming). Stern is totally right to do this, too. Do you know why?
Nobody wants to play in Milwaukee (unless they love sausages and beer, which means Im trying to get traded to Milwaukee as we speak). Do you think anyone wants to play for the Clippers, or the Timberwolves, or any one of any number of woeful NBA franchises? Of course not; people want to win games.
Hell, most of us dont want to work where we do, but we have to eat. If you want to play in front of a large Chinese population, then I hear Beijing is a good place to go. Otherwise, learn to love cheddar.
Barry Bonds is embarrassed to wear the Giants uniform. Its not his 0-20 slump. Its not the BALCO scandal and his probable steroid abuse. Its not his absolutely awful play in leftfield and inability to walk, let alone run, while fielding the ball.
Barry is embarrassed because he looks like crap. If I looked like I was wearing my pajamas all the time, like Barry does in his baggy pants, Id probably be embarrassed, too. Come on, Barry. Have more respect for the game, get yourself a pair of stirrups, and wear your pant legs up.
Its a summer of baseball records. Barry Bonds is searching for home run 755. Craig Biggio hit his 3,000th hit and 1,000th extra base hit. Frank Thomas has cranked 500 home runs. A-Rod is trying to become baseballs first $30-million-dollar man.
The most impressive record of all, for those who havent been paying attention, is the 10,000th loss of the perpetually hapless Philadelphia Phillies. Theyre the first professional sports franchise to rack up 5 digits in the loss column (and they also have a cool liberty bell on their stirrups). Thats something to celebrate, I guess.
Listen, this is the Phillies. Theyre going to suck as theyve always sucked. The important thing is, if youre going to lose, youd better lose big. The Phillies know all about losing huge.
Apparently, Ghanaian-born MLS prodigy, Freddy Adu has attracted the attention of Scottish champions, Celtic. In the past, he's been linked to Chelsea, and had a two-week trial at Man United, so when he flies over for talks with Celtic officials, it could be another wasted trip.
Not being a follower of Major League Soccer, I've no idea how good he is. Sure, I've seen the clips on YouTube, but you have to ask yourself, if he's that good, why didn't Alex Ferguson sign him?
Normally, I'd say the Scottish league is inferior, and a bad choice for high profile players. However, in Adu's case it might be perfect. The demands on him wouldn't be so high, and if he did well, it would act as a showcase for his entry into the Premiership, perhaps even to Man United.
"I feel like we're going to have a chance to maybe even get to the finals next season."- Rashard Lewis, press conference after being dealt to the Magic in a sign and trade.
The scariest part about this quote isn't the fact that he said it while sober and in front of all types of media. The scariest part about this quote is he might actually be dead on with it.
Yes, this is the sad, watered down, dilapidated state the JV Conference...consider it 'Parity Gone Wild'. No, Mediocrity Gone Wild. Looking at the moves that certain lottery and playoff teams have made in this off season, have me shaking my head with much disdain. Here was a conference that at one point in time had heavyweights like the Bulls, Celtics, Pistons, Knicks, Hawks and Heat among its elite.
Sooners did what most other teams would consider impossible and a nightmare at the same time -- they lost eight football games in the middle of the summer. Did the Sooners play a tournament that randomly popped up in the middle of the midwest? No, instead the Sooners are being forced to forfeit all their wins from the 2005 Football season.
The NCAA on Wednesday declared that the Sooners must not only forfeit all wins from the 2005 season, but they will also lose two scholarships from both the 2008-09 and 09-10 seasons. This all stems from the investigation into two players being paid for work done at a car dealership that they never actually committed. All records that involve QB Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn must be erased.
What do I have to say about this? When the hell will the USC Trojans have to do the same regarding Reggie Bush? And What the hell Sooners? Honestly. Working at a car dealership and pretending to sell cars = not that hard. All they had to do was let you pretend to work there selling cars and not make you work off commission. Seriously. No one would have ever looked into your sales records.
And Bob Stoops? He'll be wishing that he never coached that entire year, because why his record will reflect the losses from that season, it will no longer reflect the wins. His record will go from 86-19. to 79-19. So, the losses remain (after all the teams that beat the Sooners still retain their wins), but the wins are gone.
So, more probation, more embarrassment. And anyone want to take bets on how long until the manager who supervised the kids are fired or how long until that car dealership goes out of business?
I dont know why ESPN wants me to cry during the middle of the day so badly, but the easiest way to make my office significantly dusty is to play Jim Valvanos speech at the ESPYs from March 1993. Even now, 12 years later, it gets me. It's like if Brian Piccolo has to go shoot Old Yeller.
Go donate some money to the V Foundation or participate in ESPN Radios online auction. This'll probably be the classiest thing they'll do all year, so let's help out.
It's been three years since Vladimir Klitschko suffered an embarrassing and career-threatening KO at the hands of Lamon Brewster. Over those three years, he's worked hard to repair the damage and establish himself as a champion in the making. Now comes the rematch with Brewster, and the question is asked:
Was this fight really necessary?
If Vladimir Klitschko wants to turn himself into a Lennox Lewis clone, the answer is apparently yes. Part of Lewis' champion rep involves beating the men who beat him first. (Never mind the fact that the reason he got beat in the first place was that he was too lazy to train properly for those fights.) Vladimir Klitschko appears to be trying to emulate Lewis' rise to championship by imitating Lewis, from hiring Emanuel Steward, Lewis' trainer, to adopting Lewis' habit of draping himself over his opponents to wear them down to taking on an opponent who he should have beaten the first time, but didn't. Whether he will become a champion of Lewis' stature as a result of all this remains to be seen.
In a sense. Lamon Brewster needed this fight more than Klitschko did. His career has been at a standstill since his loss to Serguei Lyakhovich and the repair of a detached retina in his right eye, and he needed to prove that he was still not a person to be underestimated.
Was this fight really necessary?
Having watched it, I can honestly say no.
It wasn't a bad match, per se. Vladimir Klitschko clearly demonstrated that he is not the man he was three years ago. He started the match in the center of the ring, determined to show that he was going to be in charge of this fight, and he certainly was. He very skillfully kept Brewster at a distance, peppering him with jabs before nailing him with power punches. He was in complete control of the ring action from start to finish. While Lamon Brewster was in good physical shape for the fight, he didn't appear to be mentally prepared or even mentally involved in much of the action in the ring. In the first fight, he had succeeded by putting constant pressure on Klitschko. This time, he seemed baffled by Klitschko's offensive attack and unable to mount much in the way of effective offense on his own part. His trainer, Buddy McGirt, dismayed by the amount of punishment Brewster was taking from Klitschko's repeated jabs, warned him after the fifth round that he would stop the fight if Brewster kept getting hit as he was. His words had little impact; although Brewster did appear to be trying to put up a fight, it was clear that he was hopelessly outmatched tonight, and, after consulting with his fighter, McGirt threw in the towel just before the start of the seventh round.
Winner: Vladimir Klitschko by TKO
Jade's Fight Grade: C+
As what seems to be the case with most heavyweight fights these days, this was not an exciting fight, and that was not necessarily due to the mismatch of opponents. Klitschko put on a very good performance in the ring, but considering his recent past performances, I was expecting no less from him. He loses points in my book, though, for using his "draping" tactic with Brewster in this fight. First of all, it was completely unnecessary; he could have beaten Brewster with his jab alone, there was no need to try to tire him out beforehand. Secondly, he looked damn stupid doing it; for all intents and purposes, it looked like he was trying to mount Brewster and get a piggyback ride.
As for Lamon Brewster, in both his interviews and his performance in the ring, he gave the impression that his focus seems to be more on keeping his brain cells intact than on being aggressive in the ring these days. It's an honorable goal for a fighter; after all, far too many end up either dead or drooling in a nursing home before they're 60, but you cannot expect to have a profitable career in boxing trying not to get hit. He should either retire and find a safer line of work or put together a better offense so he doesn't have to worry about getting hit in the first place.
Not a good day to be on the South Side of Chicago, unless you happen to be a Twins fan.
Minnesota decided they couldn't stop at beating the White Sox 20-14 in the first game of a doubleheader, they went on to demolish them 12-0 in the second game.
All I can say is I wouldn't want to be the first person sticking a mic in Ozzie Guillen's face tonight. Not only would the results be completely unintelligble, unprintable and unfit for broadcast, but you might find yourself needing a very painful microphone-ectomy.
The only Twins player who didn't have a good night was backup catcher Mike Redmond, who got a bat upside the head at the start of the second game.
Prison Blues vs. Orange Jumpsuits 2007: Prison Black?
Both Odell Thurman and Chris Henry have avoided trouble, but Oakland Raiders DE Bryant McNeal has not. The big fella has been arrested on an outstanding warrant after selling a car that didnt actually belong to him and bouncing a $1500 check. Man, I hate when I do that.
So weve got the following scoreboard:
Jets1, Justin Miller
Broncos1, David Kircus
Raiders1, Bryant McNeal
John Waters of NBC Sports isnt a fan of competitive eating contests. In fact, like most of the media these days, he points at Kobayashi versus Chestnut and says, Look, thats why everyone hates America! He goes on to proclaim, quite loudly and in bodily function related terms, that our nation has a problem because we have one televised competitive eating contest.
I don't want to regurgitate all the old beefs: that competitive eating contests only confirm the rest of the planet's worst assumptions of us; that it is immoral to mass-consume when half of the world is starving and the other is obese; that gluttony is no more of a sport worthy to be televised than is onanism, the old mastication versus masturbation debate.
Of course, by mentioning the old beefs, he regurgitates said old beefs.
Ignoring that, this is someone who is entirely ignorant of competitive eating. Why do I say this? Well, who do you think first put competitive eating on television? Ill give you a hint: Takeru Kobayashi is from there.
Thats right, kids; the sport that epitomizes everything wrong with the United States is more popular in Japan than in this country. There are more contests, people eat longer in contests, and people consume more weird stuff for more pay. All Americans have done is what Americans are good at doing: figuring out a way to make money off something that is already there.
A neck and neck face-stuffing race until the very end, Americas Great White Hope Joey Chestnut defeated the competition at Nathans Famous 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest yesterday by wolfing down an astounding 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes. I have no idea how his total jumped from 63 to 66 over the commercial break, but he was wolfing down dogs so fast and in such large numbers that I couldnt keep track. Kobayashi, battling jaw ailments, could only manage a paltry 63 dogs, not counting the dogs he re-ate after he threw up in his mouth/hand.
I always wondered if those guys ever threw up during competition, and now I know they do. It was even more chunky and disgusting than you could imagine. Thanks for putting me off Nathans Famous Hot Dogs for the next month, Tsunami. Those were my favorite dog, too.
Japanese Wrestling Moment: Masahiro Chono vs. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair
For the people who like to rip Ric Flair, I'm going to give you a match to allow yourself to shut the fuck up. For those who thought that Chono was overrated back in his youth, you also get to join the Flair hate squad over there. This match is going to be in the 35 minute mark. It's from the G1-Climax tournament. What's the setting? It's "Mr. G1" vs. the living legend. What more do you need for a story. From New Japan, 1995.
Oh, we've got more parts, folks. Right this way...
Japanese Wrestling Moment: Mistuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi
Alright, did you miss me? I'm sure none of you did. So, to help ease back into the writing, I'm going to do something every few days. A Japanese wrestling match or an odd match to get you kids talking. This time. Misawa vs. Kobashi. As most of you know, this is Japanese Wrestling, so don't look for any WWE crap like comedy.
This one runs about 49 minutes, so grab some popcorn.