It is incumbent upon me to post the greatest moment at Cole Field House that I ever lived through. Russell, Brien, and J-Red can all attest that the roof damn near blew off Cole Field House during this play, and the video will prove it. Even the gray-haired old women in the Terrapin Club seats were going bananas.
January 26, 2008
People are making a huge deal out of Shaq's financial statement, largely because the Average Joe can't possibly fathom spending the kind of money Shaq does. Let's examine what the financial statement sets forth:
$156,116 in mortgages on three homes
$31,299 in homeowners insurance
$3,345 in phone bills
$1,610 in lawn and pool maintenance
$12,775 in food
$1,495 in cable TV
$24,300 in gas
$6,730 in dry cleaning
$17,220 in clothing
$2,305 for pets
$110,505 in vacations.
We've got a financial statement that sets forth roughly $875,000 in monthly expenses. Do I believe that? Not for a second.
The financial statement that Shaq submitted yesterday was submitted to the court. He had to sign his name to it, and if Florida is like Maryland in this regard, which I imagine it is, he signed his name under penalty of perjury.
What everyone needs to understand is that the financial statement that Shaq submitted was for, among other purposes, calculating how much alimony he is going to have to pay to his wife. Any decent family law attorney (and if I'm a betting man, I'm betting that Shaq has a stable full of stellar family law attorneys) will tell their client of course not to fudge numbers, but to estimate high, and maybe to pick a recent month where you had an extraordinarily high number of expenditures and use those figures. Some amounts, like mortgages, are fixed. But the figure for vacations for example... yeah, that may be adjusted for the month Shaq flew first class around the world. What that will do is generate a financial statement that shows more expenses, and therefore less of an ability to pay alimony.
Shaq's wife's attorneys will have their crack at disproving the financial statement and showing that Shaq's expenditures aren't quite as high as Shaq says they are. I'm guessing that they'll have fun doing so.
So do I believe $875,000 a month? No. Do I still think Shaq spends many times in one month more than what I take home in salary? Yes.
"I can't stand Duke. It's one of the reasons I wanted to come here so I can beat Duke, I already got North Carolina. Duke is next. I cannot stand Duke. I tell people all the time, if they gave me a scholarship and that was my only Division I scholarship, I'd go Division II or something like that. I would never, ever go there. I don't know what it is, I can't stand Duke."
- Cliff Tucker in the Washington Times when asked about his reaction to the Maryland-Duke rivalry
"It's funny the amount of stuff you hear from the crowd. People way up the rafters yelling stuff and it's like 'Who is that guy?' You hear all that stuff. They're just frustrated, they're just mad, you got ignorance everywhere you go. It wouldn't be nothing for me to go back to the ghetto. That's where my mom lives, so if she wants to come on down, she can join me. Those are just frustrated fans, those are just people being crazy. I mean, who knows what she's thinking and who knows what she's all about. It really doesn't bother me. I'm not offended by it. It's just ignorance. Going back to the ghetto, who knows where all of us are from? All of us could be from Alaska or something. How would she know? It's just whatever. It's not a big deal. But like I said, if she wanted to go back to my neighborhood, we can go. We can spend a night there and see how she feels."
-Bambale "Boom" Osby in the Washington Times reacting to the UNC student who was overheard shrieking "GO BACK TO THE GHETTO!!!" to the Maryland team after the Terps stunned North Carolina in Chapel Hill last weekend.
January 25, 2008
Roger Federer lost to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semifinals this morning, ending his streak of 10 straight Grand Slam finals. It's a testament to Federer's dominance that the world is shocked when he loses to the #3 seed in the tournament. He lost in straight sets at a Grand Slam for the first time since 2004.
Djokovic now faces unseeded and unknow Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the finals on Sunday (3:30AM Eastern Time). ESPN and the tournament organizers have to be distraught at this result. Just a few days ago, it looked like they were set up for another Federer-Nadal final. For casual men's tennis fans, that's about as good as it gets, since Andy Roddick sucks now. Instead, they have a good but relatively uninteresting player in Djokovic facing the #38 ranked player in the world, who has never won a singles title. At 3:30 in the morning. The ratings for that are going to be worse than "Viva Laughlin."
January 24, 2008
This website is now online: http://www.firesnyderandfassel.com/
Unfortunately, the Constitution has provisions against forcibly divesting someone of their property, so firing Snyder is not an option.
Check out dot.comments by Doug Feaver of the Washington Post. He has a nice collection of Redskins bulletin board chatter over the imminent hiring of Jim Fassel. Only most of it is suicidal or calling for regicide.
Also, let me be clear that we are sticking to our claim that he's been hired. Here are the reasons:
1) John Riggins said so
2) Snyder is picking the coordinators (which no coach with any balls would allow, so it must be Fassel).
Crystal clear that Riggins' source is correct.
Original story at the NY Daily News.
How bad is your franchise when the Clippers, doormat of the NBA for decades, don't want to turn into you and use you as the example of what not to do?
Good work, Mr. Thomas.
Last night, did you wish you were getting the 5 OT thriller at College Station between Baylor and Texas A&M, both of whom were ranked? Were you thinking about the implications the game could have on the NCAA tournament? Did ESPN's Gamecast not update fast enough?
If you thought, like I did, that we didn't get the game because it was in a different region, Andy Katz notes that you're wrong. The game wasn't televised AT ALL. No regional FSN, no local Comcast affiliate, no conference network, no MASN equivalent, no one had this game. (You can stop ordering a more expensive national college basketball package now.)
The real question here is: WHAT WAS THE BIG XII THINKING? Maybe before the season, this game looked like a blowout. But I thought yesterday that this would be a good game that I would like to see: two ranked teams competing for national legitimacy, one recovering from a dead program and the other replacing their coach and star PG. The storylines were everywhere and the best games occur when both teams really want to win. But inexplicably, the game was not televised anywhere, not even College Station or Waco. Can you imagine being a Baylor student and having to watch the Gamecast online like the rest of us?
The Big XII is primarily a football conference, but recently basketball has occupied a more prominent role. Kansas and Texas have both been consistently highly ranked. Texas A&M got good under Gillespie. Texas Tech has Bob Knight. K State has a star freshman.
ESPN carries some Big XII games, but where is the equivalent of RJ or the Big Ten Network? The conference is responsible for promoting its product, and this game would have had a decent audience, even before OT, especially regionally. Conferences like the ACC, SEC, and Big 10 have almost every game televised at least to their part of the country, and the games are ALWAYS televised when two ranked teams play. The Big XII needs to get with the 21st century and take advantage of the quality product they have to offer.
January 23, 2008
After reading a nice article about the new Nats stadium, I thought I'd go to their website to get a little more info.
There was a great video about the history of baseball in Washington, including a Walt Whitman quote about it being our national pastime.
Who narrated and later appeared? Tim Russert.
Tim Russert, most prolific Buffalo native of our time. The biggest Buffalo Bills fan ever born. The least Washingtonian of the Washingtonians (which is how he got the Meet the Press job). Yeah, he's a Nats ticket holder.
Does that make you feel better about the future of the franchise? He'll go when a great team comes to town. Otherwise, you can farm crickets in those seats or hope that he gives the tix away.
They couldn't even find a damned D.C. native to talk up their boring stadium. Where were Lewis Black and Dave Chappelle and Wanda Sykes?
Forget the Dave Bliss disaster, the kids have moved on.
Ranked for the first time in decades (#25 AP), the Baylor Bears went into College Station with one mission: To prove that they deserve it. After 5 OTs(!!!!), the Bears have shown their doubters that they are legit with a 116-110 victory.
What a gutsy performance! The #16 Aggies had lost two straight in a row, and needed the win to solidify their status as a top-tier team. The Aggies were undefeated at home as well. In spite of 5 players fouling out over the 65 minute game and shooting 7/34 for 3 pointers, the Bears are now 16-2 overall and 4-0 in conference. They are tied for first in the Big 12 with #2 Kansas.
Don't rest on your laurels, Baylor, because the next 4 games will really tell the tale (Oklahoma, at Texas, TT, at Kansas). If they split those four, Baylor deserves a 5 seed or better in March, and they'll probably get it.
***JOHN RIGGINS CONFIRMING***
Buh-bye Gregg Williams. ESPN Radio is reporting that the Redskins have hired Jim Fassel. Triple X ESPN Radio, the official mouthpiece of the Redskins, is trying to obtain confirmation. John Riggins made a phone call, and said he couldn't say anything, but spoke as though Fassel had the job.
At 5:05 p.m., John Riggins made the announcement on his radio show that the Skins have hired Fassel. There is no other confirmation, but given the phone call Riggins made during a commercial break, followed by hedging that he couldn't say anything, it seems he has been told that Fassel will be the coach.
Epiphany: Dan Snyder saw how well the team played after getting stomach-punched by the Sean Taylor tragedy. He's trying to keep the pain fresh by hiring a never-popular coach with a barely above .500 record who caught fire in one postseason.
As of 5:37 p.m. -- Reports are that Fassel and Jim Zorn are in place, but the Ravens are balking at letting Rex Ryan go. I suspect the Ravens are trying to muscle a draft pick, 4th round perhaps, in exchange for letting Rex make a lateral move. You might recall that the Ravens "released" the entire coaching staff when Billick was hired, but that was only to search for promotions -- contracts are still in place. If I'm Ozzie Newsome I look at the Redskins track record of trading picks and the pressure that Triple X ESPN Radio has placed on the team to make an announcement and try to strong-arm a first day pick.
Hail Redskins has the same report...
Our blogger, Russell, warned against this move earlier today.
More to come...
From the American Mustache Institute's Monthly Mustache Interview with Norman Chad:
According to the Washington Post's Redskins Insider blog, written by Jason La Canfora, there's a lot of buzz in Mobile, Alabama, regarding the Redskins--and none of it's good.
GMs are especially worried that Redskins lapdog Vinny Cerrato received a promotion (mostly in title). They're not worried about him moving up (they're happy about that I'm sure), but they're worried because the press release indicated that Cerrato would have "roster" control. Does that mean he's the one making cuts in August?
blahblahbl This is believed to be the only known picture of Vinny Cerrato
(For a comparison of the entire Redskins organization to Big Lebowski characters, see this post at Lebowski DC.)
La Canfora also reports that some in the league are worried that the departure of Gibbs will return Snyder to his old meddlesome ways. I can definitely see this happening, especially as evidenced by Snyder handing out title promotions to his closest fall-guy. Also, as Wilbon pointed out regarding Gregg Williams, Snyder has been told by all his players that they want Gregg to be promoted, yet it took Snyder four years to interview him four times to not yet give him the position. Those interviews are taking place at Snyder's mansion. What better way to tell the candidate who the boss really is?Lastly, two Redskins assistants are soon-to-be "free agents", including RBs coach Earnest Byner (the other is LBs coach Kirk Olivadotti). Byner is immensely popular in the Ravens organization, especially with GM Ozzie Newsome and former owner Art Modell (who still has a voice). If the Skins don't get a coach in and guarantee these men employment, Byner would happily make The Drive up I-95 to M&T Bank Stadium (where he is in the Ravens Ring of Honor as a sign of appreciation from Art Modell for smoothing the transition during the move to Baltimore). I almost can't wait for Danny Snyder to once again make The Fumble.
Michael Chang has been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame (ESPN). He only won one major (the youngest ever at 17), but he will be remembered by all the tennis fans of my generation as the gutsiest guy out there. Small and short, Chang willed his way to the upper echelon of men's tennis, running down every ball and even resorting to underhand serves en route to his French Open title. His ranking peaked at #2 and he made a couple grand slam finals, but his legacy was not written by wins in major tournaments, but rather blood and sweat. Before the Sampras/Agassi era, the best American men were Jim Courier and Michael Chang, and their desire and love for the sport left a lasting image on my life and many others. Happy trails, Michael. You deserve it.
Thought I was kidding about the underhanded serve in the French Open?
Jim Fassel's biggest selling point to Danny Snyder has to be his leadership of the New York Giants, capped by a Super Bowl appearance which he lost to the Ravens. As pointed out by Wilbon today in the Post, most of the coaches in the playoffs this year are with their second (or third) team as a head coach (Belichick, Dungy, Turner, Phillips, Coughlin, etc). So Danny wants to keep up with the hot idea, and Jim Fassel appears to be the leading candidate after a third interview. Greg Williams has already had four (4) interviews, and has also been a head coach before. What's taking so long? Other teams are done after a second interview for at most the top two candidates, but Danny's first interview with Fassel reportedly lasted 2 full days and now he's had two more grillings. Hopefully, he'll choose the right person before the draft.
Unfortunately, trying to find a staff will be the new coach's first and biggest problem. With the Falcons expected to hire their coach today and the Ravens and Dolphins having already done so, the Skins are well behind the curve on getting the best assistants. (Exhibit A: Cam Cameron is supposedly going to be the new Ravens OC.) When Fassel was with the G-Men, he had John Fox and Sean Payton running the show during the Super Bowl year, both of whom are now head coaches. If we're banking on Fassel's experience running the team, we will need good coordinators to run the offense and defense. Williams isn't going to stay after a monetary guarantee from Snyder and four (possibly failed) interviews. I doubt Al Saunders or any of the Redskins' other millionaire assistant/associate head coaches will stay, even if Fassel wanted them.
Most owners can make a decision in a timely fashion and that benefits the franchise. Unfortunately, nothing Danny does benefits anyone but Danny (sometimes). In this case, the new coach, assuming he ever picks one, will be handicapped from the start.
January 22, 2008
In the words of Rodney Dangerfield, "We just don't get no respect." Seriously MLB, you think you could maybe manufacture goods that are accurate on behalf of the Nats? We have enough trouble with idiots like J-Red who insist that the team is going to fail based upon the performance 30 years ago of two teams in a metropolitan area 20% the size of the current DC Metropolitan Area. But seriously, this? ECB readers, spot the error:I mean, damnit MLB, this is ridiculous. And if you don't really believe this is for sale, check out this link: http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2248977&cp=1503844.2089880. I wish it wasn't true.
Winter X Games 12 is this weekend, so here's a viewing guide for the best events to watch:
- Snowboarding Slopestyle
Easily the best event of the competition. Snowboarders going down the hill one at a time and tricking off stairs, rails, and jumps.
- Snowmobile Speed & Style
This is a new event this year, with judges scoring the snowmobilers 50% on how fast they complete the course and 50% on how they look doing it. The course was inspired by the Summer X Games Rally course, with two competitors going at the same time. I'm not quite sure how it's going to work out, but I'm looking forward to seeing it.
- Snowboarding Superpipe
One of the classic extreme sport events. I love the atmosphere: under the lights, music blaring, fans right on top of the action.
- Monoskier X
This was a new event last year, but I missed seeing it. This year I definitely plan to check it out. Basically, Monoskier X is a competition for disabled athletes who use a single ski rigged with a seat. It looks impossible to turn, but somehow they do a slalom course on it.
- Snowboarding Best Trick
Even though I can never remember what a cab or a half-cab is, and I can't ever tell if they're switch or whether they just did a 720 or a 900, I still love this event.
- Skiing Slopestyle
Just like the snowboard event, just not as cool.
- Freestyle Snowmobile
For pure crazy, this one takes the cake. It's wild watching guys go upside-down on huge snowmobiles.
- Boarder X
Boarder X is such a fun event that the stodgy Olympics picked it up. Who can forget Lindsay Jacobellis' crash on the final jump in Turin?
- Skier X
Just like Boarder X, but you see a few more crashes because there are poles and skis all over the place.
- Skiing Superpipe
The Superpipe on skis always looks a little awkward, but it's still fun to watch.
Former events that never should have been cut
- Moto X Best Trick - I guess someone decided this was too dangerous, but I always loved it.
- Ice Climbing - It was never really that popular, but I always thought it was fun watching people fly up sheer sheets of ice.
January 21, 2008
Flying under the radar with all the NFL news is a story of significance for next year in ACC football. Jameel Sewell, UVA's starting quarterback, is not enrolled for the spring semester, and the rumors are that it's an academic problem. According to the early reports (here and here), if he's not enrolled this semester, he won't be able to play next fall. Stay tuned as this could significantly affect UVA's chances next year, along with Groh's coaching staff being hired elsewhere. As a Terp, I'm smiling because the Cavs won't be as good with Lalich in there full time, but it's too bad to see Sewell out because he couldn't manage to go to class.
UPDATE: It is academics, as confirmed by this Richmond rag, and a decision is expected by Wednesday from the school regarding what he has to do to be eligible to re-enroll.
SAN DIEGO -- Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said Monday that he had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee a week ago in order to play in the AFC Championship Game, and that he'll need surgery on the torn anterior cruciate ligament in the same joint. Rivers made it through Sunday's 21-12 loss to the perfect New England Patriots despite the damage to his knee, which he sustained in an upset win over the Indianapolis Colts a week earlier. Rivers said he'd like to have surgery as soon as possible on the torn ACL. "It's gone," he said. "I don't know exactly the details on that. I'll be ready by training camp." Rivers said he had arthroscopic surgery a week earlier to clean out damaged cartilage. "It wasn't real extensive, but I mean, really that was the only way I would have had a chance to play by doing that on Monday," he said. "I thought maybe I could come back in the Colts game but it was catching. That's what we did on Monday to give me the chance to play on Sunday."
PhiLLLLip sleeps way better at night now that Lights Out is on his team.
Look, PhiLLLLip may be a taunting, whining, annoying you-know-what who acts in a manner that he can't quite back up yet. But as much as it pains me, I have to say that the man showed insane amounts of heart, determination, and courage to go through the last week. And if he won yesterday, you know that he would've played the Super Bowl on a bum knee also. Probably after a little more arthroscopic surgery to clean out the damage caused by yesterday's game.
PhiLLLLip, I still don't like you, but you have gone up a notch in my book.
We need to give Herm Edwards some credit for the Giants surprising run to the Super Bowl. No, not Herm himself, but the Herm Edwards approach. YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME.
Lawrence Tynes, the Giants' kicker, narrowly avoided becoming one of many playoff goats in recent memory. His end of regulation kick sailed wide after a high snap from rookie Jay Alford (though nicely recovered by holder/punter Jeff Feagles), but he redeemed himself for that kick and an earlier miss in overtime. Here are four other memorable kicker/snap/holder botches in the NFL playoffs.
To be clear, we're not talking about missed or blocked kicks. We're talking about something going horribly wrong.
2) 2007 Wild Card Round - Cowboys at Seahawks
This one is pretty fresh in our memories from last postseason. The snap was good, and Romo caught it cleanly, but he lost the ball putting it down. Romo recovered and tried to run it in for a touchdown, but was tripped up at the two. The most impressive aspect of the botch is that Romo did not try to excuse the play (though others did) after the game. He bounced back well this season, going 13-3 before being upset by the eventual NFC Champion New York Giants in their third meeting of the season.
3) 2000 Divisional Round - Redskins at Buccaneers
Part of my inspiration in writing this post is reminding Redskins fans of this painful moment from Daniel Snyder's first "Greatest Team on Paper". The Redskins had blown a 13-point lead, with the touchdown coming on a Brian Mitchell then-record 100-yard kick return on Martin Gramatica's kickoff to open the second half. Down 14-13, the Redskins lined up for a 52-yard Brett Conway field goal attempt with 1:17 to play. Dan Turk's snap was low, causing holder Brad Johnson to abort the attempt. His desperation pass fell incomplete, and the Bucs killed the clock for the win. Many believed Brad Johnson could have run for the first down, preserving another attempt. This was the end of the Turk brothers' run in Washington, as punter Matt Turk had also badly injured his finger in a pickup basketball game.
4) Super Bowl VII (1973) - Redskins v. Dolphins
Two words: Garo Yepremian. While this isn't a snapper/holder botch, it has to count because of the disastrous result. The Dolphins 17-0 perfect season would have been capped off by a 17-0 Super Bowl win over the Redskins, but the Dolphins field goal was blocked by Redskin Bill Brundige. Rather than fall on the ball, Yepremian attempted to throw for a first down. The ball slipped out of Garo's hand, and went straight up in the air. Yepremian then attempted to tip the ball...right into the hands of Redskin CB Mike Bass, who easily scored.
For the first time since his catchphrase became popular on Johnny Carson, Garo truly did "keek a touchdown."
Making a mock draft? Want to know who might be available to your team? Make sure you have the teams picking in the right order.
Since New England's pick is forfeited, we now know the entire first round draft order. Subsequent rounds depend on the winner of the Super Bowl (winner picks 32nd, loser picks 31st).
2) St. Louis
3 or 4) Oakland
3, 4 or 5) Atlanta
4 or 5) Kansas City
6) New York Jets
7) New England (via SF)
10) New Orleans
20) Tampa Bay
22) Dallas (via CLE)
27) San Diego
29) San Francisco (via IND)
30) Green Bay
31/32) New England (forfeited) and New York Giants
(See here for tiebreaking rules and how they have been applied.)
January 20, 2008
Alright, so we've got the Giants-Patriots in the Super Bowl.
At least Tom Petty may give us a little Runnin' Down a Dream during the Halftime Show.
Seriously, the next two weeks are going to be nothing but unbeaten season discussion, Eli Manning and his retarded southern drawl, the Randy Moss protective order hearing the week of the Super Bowl, New York vs. Boston/Yankees v. Red Sox parallels and clips on Sportscenter of the teams' Week 17 game. And how many questions is Lawrence Tynes going to have to face about getting over his misses in the Championship Game despite the fact that he won the whole thing?
We know at least the game may be good, if Week 17 was any indication. Without involving the Dallas Cowboys, I'm not sure I could dream up a Super Bowl involving two teams who are both bigger media whores.
But hey, props to the G-men for winning three on the road and making the Super Bowl. That seems to be the trend these days for a wild card or at least at team who has had to play and win three games to come out of one of the conferences and make it.
They should just play the Super Bowl in New Haven or Pawtucket. It'd be more convenient.
Happy 800 posts.
It's not fair that female tennis players can nearly double their income by being particularly attractive, but I know what the 13-year-old me (no internet) would have been doing while watching this match from the Australian Open.
blahblblajblahblahahblahblah Serena Williamsblahblablahblahablhblahblah Nicole Vaidisova
That is a collection of talent (plus grunting).