Sunday, June 26, 2005

Week Three

Tomorrow starts my third week of travel in a row. I love my job, but man am I getting tired. There is some good news though. A week after I get back from this trip I get to go on vacation. Also, when I get back from this trip I will begin my football preview. We will discuss AFC, NFC, and play-off predictions, then my college football preseason top 25. Man, you can smell it in the air. NFL training camp starts next month and then college shortly after. I can't wait!

Here's the assignment for this week while I am gone. It's the same question as last week, just the other side of the ball. Give us your opinion!

If you were putting together an all-star college football team, who would be your #1 defensive tackle, linebacker, safety and corner?

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Final On The Finals

I know the NBA Finals ended Thursday night, but I have been gone on business and am just now getting an opportunity to express my opinion. There really isn't much more that I can say that hasn't already been said, but I will say that I was wrong! I really thought the Pistons would be able to come up with some match-ups in their favor, but the Spurs were the one's who took advantage of the Pistons. I still can't believe Horry was left wide open for that three point shot at the end of O.T. in game five. In my opinion that is where the Spurs won the championship.

As for the series it's self, if games 1-4 were as good as games 5-7 this would have been the best ever. Game 5 was a classic, but it was really the only game where you turned off the T.V. thinking, "Wow, what a game!"

Congrats to the Spurs and their fans. I was 12-3 with my play-off series picks. All three series that I missed involved the San Antonio Spurs, go figure.

As the NBA moves into the off-season here are 5 questions to ponder.

1. Who will be the #1 pick in the draft? Many people are saying Andrew Bogut, which would make Utah the first school to produce the #1 pick in the NFL and NBA draft in the same season, but don't count out Marvin Williams.

2. What will Larry Brown do? Stay or go? Pistons or Cavs? Coach or office? My thought is that he is gone. Brown has always been a grass is greener on the other side kind of guy. It will be interesting to see what he can do in the front office.

3. Can Phil and Kobe find the love? You really have to wonder what was going through Jackson's head. He didn't need the money so it has to be the challenge, and it will be a challenge. The Lakers are going to have to make some moves over the summer in order to become a contender again, which means Jackson will have the opportunity to do something he has never done before, build a championship team. Oh yeah, and he has to find a way to kiss and make up with Kobe. It had to be for the challenge!

4. Who is the favorite to win the championship next season? You have to start with the defending champions. The Spurs have a great nucleus and should be strong again. Also in the West are the Suns who are actively trying to find a defense. My preseason favorite is going to be the Miami Heat.

5. Will there be a lock out? I guess we will find out July 1st, but I hope not. You would think that the NBA would look at the NHL and the low ratings of the finals and make a rational decision, but this is pro sports.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Chatter Box for the Week of June 20th

Answer the following question then feel free to comment on other topics as well as respond to other post.

QUESTION: If you were putting together an all-star college football team, who would be your starting QB, RB, WR and TE?

On The Road Again

Well, I'm about to leave for another week so I wanted to leave you my thoughts about the NBA finals. Let me just say that Robert Horry is the man! If I were him I would retire at the end of the season because it just doesn't get any better than this. Horry was the hero of game five and in my opinion won the championship for the Spurs. My original thought was that the series would end in six games or less with the Pistons winning. Now that Detroit is in an impossible situation the Spurs have a firm grip on the series. It could still end in six but with the Spurs winning. I don't see any way the Pistons win this series now.

As I said I'm going to be traveling again for this week so look for my next postings to come over the weekend. I'm going to leave a discussion topic in the Chatter Box to keep things rolling for the week. Make sure you check it out. Have a great week!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

College Football Play-Off Fantasy

I'm a huge fan of college football. Like millions of other people I spend a ton of money every year buying tickets and attending games. Like them, I deserve better. We deserve to not have a split national championship. We deserve to not have three teams end the season undefeated. We deserve to know what would happen if USC and Auburn played each other. We deserve a play-off!

It's a simple concept really. The NCAA already does it in basketball, baseball and in the lower divisions of football. Why not in division I? We don't even need 16 teams, we could do it with eight and it would work fine. Take the eight teams that qualify for a BCS bowl, seed them and let the fun begin. It would take two to three longer and it would add billions in revenue and television contracts.

Just for kicks let's take the eight BCS teams from last season and look at what could have happened. Here is how they would have been seeded according to me.
1. USC
2. OU
3. Auburn
4. Texas
5. Virginia Tech
6. Michigan
7. Utah
8. Pittsburgh

(1)USC vs. (8)Pitt. in the Rose Bowl. This would be a classic mismatch and our play-offs would have their first blow-out. USC 49 Pitt 7

(2)OU vs. (7)Utah in the Orange Bowl. A great game but Utah just doesn't have the talent to pull off the upset. OU 27 Utah 14.

(3)Auburn vs. (6)Michigan in the Sugar Bowl. Braylen Edwards out matches Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams in a classic. Michigan 28 Auburn 24.

(4)Texas vs. (5)Virginia Tech in the Fiesta Bowl. In a low scoring game Texas bounces the Hokies. Texas 9 Virginia Tech 3.

Round 2 brings us great match-ups in the "bonus bowls". These games could become new bowl games or they could use different bowls like the Cotton and Holiday for round one. We are just going to call them bonus bowls.

(1)USC vs. (6)Michigan - The Trojans have too much firepower and the Michigan defense is exposed. USC 31 Michigan 17.

(2)OU vs. (4) Texas - It's the Red River Shoot Out in a new setting, but with the same coaches. With the hate these two teams have for each other, imagine how exciting this would be. OU 17 Texas 3

We are out of bowl games, but we really don't need another one. Just call it the BCS Championship, seriously how much creativity went into naming the Super Bowl?

(1)USC vs. (2) OU - The Sooners get off to a good start, but then Mark Bradley muffs a punt, Jason White throws some picks and the Trojan receivers make some great catches and the game quickly becomes a blow-out. USC 55 OU 19

In the end we wind up in the same place with the Trojans winning the National Championship, but look at how much fun we had getting there. I doubt there will ever be a play-off in Division I football, but we can always dream.

Give me your thoughts. Do you think eight teams are enough? Would a play-off even work? Which two teams out of the eight do you think would make it to the championship?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Chatter Box for the Week of June 13th

Post your own comments on the sports world.

Traveling Man

Unfortunately I will be traveling for much of the next three weeks. I need your help to keep the site going. Use the Chatter Box to post your own reviews of events and opinions on the world of sports.

When I return, it will be football prieview time.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

NASCAR Drivers Get Dirty!

Kenny Wallace got to do what he does best Wednesday night, only this time he got to do it in the dirt. Wallace won the inaugural Nextel Prelude to a Dream late model modified stock car race at Eldora Speedway. He didn't win any points for the race and he walked away with a below average $10,000 winner's paycheck, but he had a great time.

The race was just a 25-lap sprint, and the nearly 20,000 fans in attendance saw plenty of action, including a surprise pole-winning performance by 70-something-year-old stock car legend Red Farmer he admits to being "somewhere between 75 and 70", and a surprise appearance and strong fifth-place performance by semi-retired NASCAR great Bill Elliott. The race raised nearly $75,000 for Kyle Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp.

"The people have spoken and it will happen," said Tony Stewart, speaking on the success of the race. Stewart bought the legendary race track during the offseason.

With nearly a dozen of Stewart's Nextel Cup buddies in the field, Wallace predicted the pressure will be on even more Cup drivers to take part in next year's race."I think you'll see a Nextel Cup dirt race here next year," Wallace said.

In my opinion this is why NASCAR is so popular. With a huge race this weekend in the Pocono's drivers took time to give to their fans and to charity. This is another big move in increasing the popular image of NASCAR and it comes from the drivers. It's not coming from executives or advertisers, it's coming from the guys who actually participate in the sport. Are your listening T.O.?

The finishing order was Wallace, followed by Stewart and sprint car ace Danny Lasoski.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Matchups Will Decide Who Wins the Finals

I guess it’s a huge understatement to say that matchups are going to be the key in the NBA finals, but there are so many good matchups here that we have to talk about them. They will tell the story of how the 2005 World Championship will be won.

Nazr Mohammad vs. Ben Wallace - Ben Wallace will actually spend more time defending Tim Duncan than he will defending Mohammad. Look for Mohammad to get some second chance opportunities if the Pistons double team Duncan. Mohammad will have to score point blank because he is no good beyond 6-8 feet. Look for the Spurs to foul Wallace and make him earn points from the free throw line. CENTER MATCHUP EDGE: Detroit Pistons.

Tim Duncan vs. Rasheed Wallace - Duncan wins this battle hands down, even though I don’t see these two guarding each other very much. Duncan should be able to play his typical game using the glass and making solid passes. Wallace will have to keep his attitude in check and play his inside/outside game or he will be a liability. POWER FORWARD MATCHUP EDGE: San Antonio Spurs

Bruce Bowen vs. Tayshaun Prince. Both of these guys will be used to guard the shooting guard of the other team. Both are solid on defense, but Prince has a better offensive game. However, don’t leave Bowen alone beyond the arch or he will make you pay. SMALL FORWARD MATCHUP EDGE: Detroit Pistons

Manu Ginobili vs. Richard Hamilton. These guys are two of the leagues most underrated players at their position. Ginobili is more of a slasher and has a better three point shot. Hamilton is more of a creator who can make a shot from anywhere. I don’t see Ginobili getting open lanes and open threes like he did against Phoenix. On the other hand Hamilton has been playing against the Heat who has a very stingy defense. SHOOTING GUARD MATCHUP EDGE: Detroit Pistons.

Tony Parker vs. Chauncey Billups. Parker is quicker but Billups is more consistent. Parker usually gets off to a quick start and then tapers off, while Billups will take what the defense gives him. He will pass the ball first but he is aslo not afraid to take the big shot when the opportunity comes. POINT GUARD MATCHUP EDGE: Detroit Pistons.

Benches. The Spurs bench has more offensive fire power while the Pistons bench has the stronger defenders. BENCH MATCHUP EDGE: Detroit Pistons

Greg Popovich vs. Larry Brown. These two best friends know each other inside out. They know each others strengths and weaknesses and they know what the other is going to do. One will have to out whit the other. COACHING MATCHUP EDGE: Even.

In my opinion I believe that the matchups favor the Pistons. It will come down to Larry Brown making the right coaching moves and I say that he gets it done. The series will last six games max with the Detroit Pistons winning.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Vikings Smith Suspended for the Season

Minnesota Vikings running back Onterrio Smith has been suspended for the season after a kit designed to beat a drug test was found on his person at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Smith told police the gear was for his cousin. He wasn't charged by police, and the NFL has said possession of the device alone isn't enough to violate league drug policies.

Smith missed four games last season for violating the league's drug policy, and had two strikes against him before the latest violation. The third strike in the program comes with an automatic one-year suspension.

I know we are not dealing with a rocket scientists here, but for the love of Pete! You have two strikes against you already and you really think people are going to believe it was for your cousin? Who’s your cousin Ricky Williams?

Onterrio, you might get nominated for the bonehead of the year.

Chatter Box for the Week of June 6th

Sorry I forgot to open it yesterday. Fill free to fill it up with your thoughts from the world of sports.

Pistons Win Clash of the Titans, I go 12-2 on Play-Off Picks

The NBA Finals are finally set! Despite a heroic effort on behalf of Dwayne Wade the Pistons ended the season for the Miami Heat in game 7 last night. It was a great game to end a great series. I stated before the series even started that this would be an instant classic, and I believe that it has.

One of the things that added to the series was the drama. You had the defending World Champs on the verge of elimination, you had Shaq vs. the Pistons defense again, but more than anything you had Dwayne Wade. After suffering a rib muscle injury in game 5, Wade sat out game 6, and then returned to the line-up last night to score 20 points.
I can’t see any way that the Finals will be as exciting as this series was. The NBA play-offs have reached their peak!

As for the Finals, there is no one in the NBA that plays a team game better than the Pistons. The San Antonio Spurs have made a great run through the play-offs and have established themselves as the best team in the West. The Spurs play a great team game as well, and could possibly be better than the Pistons on offense. It’s the Pistons defense and their match up advantages that will allow them to win their second World Championship in two years.

In my opinion the Finals will end in six games or less. I believe the Pistons will win game 1 or 2 in San Antonio, defend their home floor in games 3 and 4, and then wrap it up in game 5 or 6. I really don’t think they will clinch in San Antonio even though that is will be a possibility, so I’m going to say game 6 in Detroit is when it will finish.

So far I have been 12-2 in my play-off series picks. I have picked against the Spurs twice and they have won. I’m going to say the third time is a charm. The Detroit Pistons will be the 2005 World Champions.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Last Week's Poll Results

If you could only watch one sport, what would it be?
Football 56%
Baseball 20%
Basketball 16%

25 voters. Thanks for voting. Check out this weeks poll question. Who makes the best match-up for the NBA Finals?

5 Reasons Why the Pistons Win Game 7

The Pistons and Heat will settle the Eastern Conference Finals tonight. One team will go home while the other will go to San Antonio to face the Spurs. I have five good reasons to believe that it's the Pistons who will be moving on and the Heat who will be wondering what if.

5. Experience - The Pistons are the defending World Champions and the Heat have never been to the NBA Finals. Experience will play a huge role in handleing the pressure of game seven. The Pistons have it and the Heat don't.

4. Coaching - I think that if Stan VanGundy had to chose between himself and Larry Brown he would choose Larry Brown. Brown is a proven coach who has won every where he has been. VanGundy has gotten by on Shaq and Wade. They can make mediocre coaching look great. Brown even coached the Clippers to the play-offs. I'll take Brown.

3. Age - The play-offs are long and youth goes far. O'Neal and Mourning have been great but you have to begin to wonder at what point will they "hit the wall." I'll take the youth of the Pistons.

2. Chauncey Billups - He is the calming force that drives the Pistons. His leadership and ball handling will guide the Pistons to San Antonio.

1. Dwayne Wade - I know he plays for the Heat, but they fell apart without him in game six. With Shaq still hobbled, Wade will have to return 100% for the Heat to have a chance to win. I don't see that happening.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Royals do the Unthinkable

The Kansas City Royals got their first sweep of the season last night by beating the New York Yankees 5-2. It is the Royals first series sweep in 78 series and their first home sweep of the Yankees in 15 years.

Coming into Kansas City the Yankees had won 16 of their last 18 games and were on their way back in the hunt for the A.L. East title. However, the Royals are playing under new manager Buddy Bell, who seems to have re-energized the team with his lack of tolerance for bone-headed plays. “Buddy Ball” has gotten off to a good start, but now the Royals have got to live up to the standard set by this series.

When you beat the Yankees it makes a statement, but when you sweep the Yankees you are making a strong statement. There is a difference in the statement that is determined by which team has beaten the Yankees. If the Boston Red Sox were to sweep the Yankees then the statement would be that the Red Sox are playing great baseball. However, when the Royals sweep the Yankees it’s because the Yankees are really struggling.

Why is there a double standard here? No one is saying, and no one believes that the Royals are even a middle of the road team this season, but this series sweep had more to do with how the Royals played then how the Yankees did. Kansas City played great defense and made great plays at the right times. They are playing their best baseball of the season and the Royals faithful deserve to see a huge upset like they were treated to this week and they deserve to have their team receive the credit for three great wins.

Buddy Bell and the Royals organization received a lot of heat for his hiring this week. The truth is that the Royals have solid young talent. The problem is that they have solid young talent. They are not an experienced group of players and they need to be pushed to develop their game as they become veterans. It looks at least for now that they have found the right fit in Bell.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


For some reason I’m a little bored with the sports scene today. I can’t quite figure out the reason why. The NBA Finals start in eight days, baseball is heading into summer and NFL mini-camps are starting to pop up. All this is good, but for some reason I just can’t find my story from the world of sports that just excites me.

Here are today’s top sports stories, in my opinion, tell me which one you think I should get excited about.

San Francisco 49ers public relations director Kirk Reynolds is leaving the organization after a video that was meant to prepare 49ers players for dealing with the media was leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The 15-minute film featured racist jokes, lesbian soft-porn and topless blondes. Kirk Reynolds also impersonated San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in the mayor's office and other city scenes.

I’m not sure how bright this guy is and I’m not really sure how a video like that would help anyone prepare for the media. What I do know is that Reynolds made a huge mistake and paid a big price for it. Maybe his next film will feature what not to do as a public relations director.

Big Unit gets beat by the Royals? That’s right! Emil Brown hit a two run jack and the Royals won 3-1. It’s the first time Kansas City has beaten Randy Johnson in 12 years.

The San Antonio Spurs eliminated the Phoenix Suns to advance to the NBA Finals. I have to congratulate the Spurs and their fans. I have not given them much credit in the play-offs, and I still believe that either the Miami Heat or the Detroit Pistons will beat them in the Finals

The Toronto Star reported Wednesday that former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and leading Canadian diplomat Maurice Strong may join forces to create a new hockey league if the NHL continues its lockout, which wiped out the entire 2004-05 season.

According to a 71-page business plan reviewed by the newspaper and circulated to prospective Wall Street investors, the new league - tentatively called the International Hockey Association - would rely on Giuliani's New York consulting company to help raise as much as $5 billion in seed money.

No one respects Giuliani more than I do, but do we really miss hockey that bad? ESPN and the NHL have parted ways, hockey fans and the NHL have parted ways, and hockey players and the NHL have parted ways. My question is, will this just be another minor league or will it actually be able to replace the NHL?

There you have it. Someone please tell me what to get excited about.