Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"2 Live Crew Style"

Last week, the new University of Miami Football Coach, Randy Shannon welcomed back rapper Uncle Luke (Luther Campbell) to the program. Luke had been "banned" from the Hurricane program since the early '90's when Miami was put on probation for excessive NCAA violations. One alleged violation was Luke's "bounty" payments to players for touchdowns, interceptions, big hits, and even knocking opponents out of games (Luke denies the allegations til this day). Unfortunately for kickers, field goals or touchbacks were not a part of his alleged policy. As you can imagine, Randy Shannon has been under fire for the invitation, but says that Luke has turned things around and deserves a break.

After reading this interview on Black Sports Network, it is quite obvious what Luke's appeal to the Football Program is. Not only has he been extremely involved with youth philanthropy throughout Miami, he also claims to produce 30% of the University's Football Players. Not a bad recruiting pipeline. Donations to Luke's Optimist club have come from athletes like Chad Johnson, Edgerrin James, and Antonio Bryant, all of whom were involved with Campbell at a young age.

This video, of what appears to be a pilot for a reality show and is definitely not for the kids, looks deeper into the life of the rap legend, and his "unique" coaching style:

"...Just Remember! Come every Saturday, my black ass is out here, that's $15 Thousand I could be gettin' up in a club somewhere, doing what I do!"

Good Luck to The U. College football seems better when they're near the top.



Monday, July 30, 2007

Livin' Large

Hopefully, David Beckham can succeed in making soccer a more popular sport in the USA, because Americans need to run, alot. Check out this CNN graphic showing the obesity rate state by state over the last 20+ years.

Looks like the SEC is the Champ yet again.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Jerry Reese is a Moron

On Thursday Jerry Reese, the new GM of the Giants, basically stated that Luke Petitgout, whom the Bucs signed this off-season from the Giants is not good at the game of football:

People act like Petitgout was the second coming. He never made the Pro Bowl, and I don't think he ever was a first alternate. Now all of a sudden he's the savior? That's ridiculous. I don't think we're that bad off without Luke Petitgout. He was not a star left tackle. He was a solid left tackle on some occasions and other times he wasn't. Luke has been a marginal player for a long time.
This seems like a pretty stupid thing for a GM to say. What is the point? Why not just say you have confidence in your new left tackle? It does not really seem necessary to ridicule the player who just left. First off, I can tell you right now that if Jerry Reese ever has to deal with Petitgout in any capacity there are going to be some problems for Reese. It is not unusual in the NFL for a GM to have to deal with a player later on in the player's career or even after the player has become a coach. Why burn your bridges? Furthermore, we are sure Petitgout's agent is non too happy about Reese's comments. This may come back to bit Reese in the ass if he ever has to deal with a another player represented by Petitgout's agent.

Reese's inexperience is showing. He reminds us a lot of Matt Millen when he first started out with the Lions. We would not have much confidence in our team's future if we were Giant's fans.

But as Bucs fans we would like to thank Reese for giving Petitgout a little inspiration

I don't know why he [Reese] is talking about me. I really have no comment, but it's going to be a nice thing to hang in my locker all season.

Giants fans can't be happy with the fact that their ex-left tackle handles the media better than their GM. Or with the fact that Eli Manning is their starting quarterback.



Notes from the Friday D-Rays - Red Sox Game

1. We started talking about the possibility of J.P. Howell throwing a no-no in the second inning. When he still had not given up a hit after three innings we seriously wondered if it was the longest a D-Rays pitcher had carried a no-no all season.

2. There were substantially more Red Sox than Devil Rays fans. Many of them were wearing absurd, green Sox paraphernalia which made us hate them even more. Some took it the full nine yards, and had the green Sox jersey along with the green hat which was propped on the head in some sideways fashion. We can say with confidence that every single one of these guys is a douche bag.

3. Women love them some Red Sox. Female Sox fans outnumbered female D-Rays fans at least 5-1. We are fairly certain that none of these women actually like or know anything about baseball they just enjoy being trendy. We vowed to never date a girl who says she likes the Red Sox.

4. When Maddon came in and took out Howell we were not happy. What were the chances that the bullpen could hold that lead at 1-0? Maybe 1 in 50? Probably more like 1 in 100. We found out later Howell was on a 90 pitch count, but still couldn't Maddon have used some flexibility when he had only given up one hit through 5+? Kevin Youkilis parked one into left field 4 pitches later.

5. Manny Ramirez does not hustle down the line. Perhaps because he is weighed down by his extraordinarily long hair. But he does hit the ball just ridiculously hard.

6. It is really easy to tell that BJ "Bossman Junior" Upton is new to centerfield. He took the worst path possible to the ball on Ramirez's double. And trust us, it takes Manny a while to make it to second.

7. Brendan Harris has the best intro song of any D-rays hitter by far - GnR's "Welcome to the Jungle".

8. They cover up the devil ray "touch tank" in the eight inning. But why? Are they trying to simulate night for the Rays. Seemingly light can still get through the sides of the tank. Very odd.

9. We decided that D-Rays chances of coming back in the bottom ninth down 7-1 were somewhere between 1-1000 and 1-100,000. Probably closer to the latter.

Gotta love the Rays.



Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday Love: College Football Comparisons

College Football Teams and Blockbuster Movies
::Bring Out Your Dead::

Oklahoma Sooners - The Boondock Saints: Really trendy to support about 5 years ago. Rumors of a return to glory persist but never seem to come to fruition. Something you think you might tell your kids about one day, but you'll realize better when you get a job and your daughter starts dating the maintenance guy at the local putt-putt.

College Football Teams and Rappers (An Oldie)

Penn State/KRS-One- They'll be the first to tell you how important they are in the scheme of things and new jacks need to give them respect, but that doesn't shake the fact that they haven't been relevant in years.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Are Our Three Major Sports Invincible?

There have been a number of recent articles and reports on how all three of the major sports in the US are facing a significant challenge: the NFL has the Vick fiasco, the NBA has the Donaghy stuff, and baseball has steroids. Speculation about which story is going to do the most damage to its respective sport has been rampant. The Big Lead makes the argument that none of the events are going to have a significant negative impact on the fan base of any of the sports.

We agree with them and would go as far as to say that the NFL, MLB, and even the NBA, have arrived at a state of invincibility. We are hard pressed to think of a single story that would turn fans away from any of these three leagues in droves.


The NFL has been littered with player arrests this summer (see profootballtalk), they have been repeatedly accused of not taking care of their retired players, and most recently there has been the Vick indictment. But, it does not matter. The NFL will still grow in popularity this season. But Why? Why don't we care that many of the players in the league are thugs and possibly taking steroids? Two words: Fantasy Football. The NFL has always had its hard core fans and always will, but fantasy football has turned the casual fan into a serious fan who watches games, reads articles, discusses outcomes, and even buys merchandise. The effect of fantasy football on the popularity of the NFL may be unquantifiable. It also appears to be nearly irreversible: we could find out that ten players were suspended for taking steroids, 30% of ex-NFL players die prematurely due to injuries sustained during their playing careers, or even that multiple referees were involved in gambling. We would still tune in every Sunday and Monday.


Baseball has been plagued by the steroids problem for some time now. It also went through its own nasty gambling crises with the whole Joe Jackson and Pete Rose things. But none of these have been able to derail the game's popularity. In fact, according to the most recent issue of SI the average attendance at last Saturday's games was 39,977 -- the highest single-day average ever. Certainly, fantasy baseball has helped out the popularity of MLB, but we believe that its invincibility stems from its position as the historic national pastime of America. Baseball fans have die-hard allegiances to particular teams. These allegiances tend to be passed on from generation to generation establishing families of baseball fans. Most everyone I know roots for a particular team because that is team that their Dad liked. Turning one's back on baseball, and in particularly your team, is paramount to sacrilege for many. Baseball's position as a rite of passage from father to son has solidified its position in our culture.


The NBA could lose its popularity in the US. In fact, since the end of the Jordan Era its popularity has been declining fairly steadily. Its place in our culture is not permanent like that the NFL or MLB. However, due to its strong international contingent of players and ever increasing popularity in South America, Europe, and Asia the NBA is here to stay. In other countries, homegrown NBA stars are not perceived as thugs, but more along the lines that we perceive players in the MLB. America's fall from dominance on the international stage has only increased the popularity of the NBA in other countries. There is nothing these countries like more than beating us at one of our own games. We are hard pressed to think of any scandal that could seriously effect the popularity of the NBA as it continues to put a stranglehold on the entire globe.

Perhaps the invincibility of these sports should not shock us. Soccer long ago attained a similar position in the rest of the world. It is often rocked by scandals far worse than any of our three major sports have faced, but continues plugging right along. The only difference is that MLB, the NBA, and the NFL have become brand names inextricably associated with their respective sports. As long as the sport continues to have success so will the leagues.



Update: UCLA coaching salaries

Earlier we quipped that UCLA assistant coaches must not be making very much if they are engaging in petty residential burglaries. Apparently, there is some truth to this statement. Writing for espn.com in March, Ivan Maisel reports that Dorrell has had problems retaining assistant coaches

Yet as [Dorrell] begins his fifth year in charge of the Bruins, Dorrell has gone through assistant coaches like he buys them at Sam's Club. Some he fires. Some leave for better jobs. Some leave for different jobs.
As for why UCLA football goes through coaches so quickly, Maisel offers up a number of reasons including poor compensation.

UCLA scares off plenty of candidates because of the high cost of living in the Los Angeles area coupled with the state-run university's tradition of lagging behind the national market in coaching salaries. Take Dorrell. He is guaranteed $850,000 with incentives for another $505,000. Why, USC coach Pete Carroll has to work darn near till the end of May to make that kind of money.
In conclusion: high turnover rate of coaches + poor salaries = residential burglary arrest.



UCLA Coaches Need A Pay Raise

When running one on one drills in High School against our Defensive Backs, my Wide Receiver's Coach used to inspire us by yelling "Beat him like he stole something." Now, I wonder what kind of inspiration UCLA Receiver's Coach Eric Scott gives his players.

CBS2 reported that L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call to a residence on the 1100 block of Pioneer Boulevard in Norwalk yesterday and found Scott and two other men engaged in burglarizing a house. All three were arrested. Scott was released on $50,000 bail.

I don't know what UCLA is paying their coaches, but it's clearly not as much as the Defending Champs are paying theirs:

Yeah, that's a Running Back's Coach making $135,00/year.



Wednesday, July 25, 2007

An Open Letter to LSU coach Les Miles

Dear Mr. Miles,

Let me first say that your ability to put down numerous teams and conferences in such a short time span is both impressive and admirable. Your recent diatribe concerning USC, the Pac-10, and the Big 12 was the most entertaining rant this side of the ol' ball coach.

Furthermore, the reason I'm writing is not to criticize the content of your statements. I've read them numerous times, and I, literally, haven't found one point with which I disagree. No sir, the reason I felt the need to write is not because of what you have said, but because I'm not sure you should have said it. Quite frankly, I don't think you've earned the right to run your mouth to that degree, at least not yet. Just because you're in a position where people put a mic in front of you and ask for your opinion, doesn't mean you should always give it (see: Ben Affleck's reaction to the Yankees trading for A-Rod (scroll to "Ben Is At It Again) a few years back).

Sure, your LSU teams have gone 11-2 in each of your two seasons there, but all that did was push your career record to 50-25. A quick review of arithmetic reveals that you were a pedestrian 28-21 (at Oklahoma State) before inheriting this talent rich Tigers squad. It seems just a tad bit premature to be calling out entire conferences when you've been mired in mediocrity for the majority of your coaching career.

And speaking of inheriting talent, how many of the major contributors to your Sugar Bowl-winning squad did you bring to Baton Rouge? Any players that have been in college for 3+ years seemingly were all recruited by you predecessor, Nick Saban. More specifically, the juniors and redshirt sophmores from this past year's team were brought in after LSU won a share of the national title. Now I may not have much, or any, experience with recruiting, but something tells me that being the defending national champs serves as a decent draw to the top high school talent.

As to your comments on the Big 12, once again, I agree. It's OU, Texas, and a bunch of teams that don't matter. Your exact words, in case you've forgotten, were: "The Big 12 is a conference that might have two really pretty good teams, maybe four." But that's just the thing, your OK State teams were part of that group that didn't matter, the "maybe four" as you put it. A review of your in-conference records in 4 years there shows that your teams never did better than 5-3 (2-6, 5-3, 5-3, 4-4; respectively). So you were .500 in a conference that has "two really pretty good teams." Nice. Next time, instead of adding unnecessary superlatives to your quotes, you should stop and think about what you're saying.

Seriously though, did you learn nothing from Tommy Tuberville? Last year, he too came out and made such a convincing case for the strength of the SEC, that his own team seemed to believe him (Auburn got drubbed by Arkansas 27-10 the next week, at home). Have you any idea what kind of message this sends to your team? It's not a positive, confident one, I can tell you that much. Think your guys might be checking out how easy USC's schedule is when they're in the middle of a particularly brutal stretch (Florida, @Kentucky, Auburn, and @ Alabama in the span of 5 weeks)? I'll bet they do. And just when they start feeling sorry for themselves, that's when they're going to lose, which will allow a 1-loss Michigan team to sneak into the title game. Truly good work, Lester.

Look buddy, I'm not saying you don't have the support of nearly every SEC fan, because you do. All I'm saying is that you and your team have the best chance at keeping the Sears Trophy here in the South, where it belongs, so don't muck it up.



Fame vs Infamy

Even though his name now seems to be in every piece of the sports multimedia world, mikevick.com has not achieved the popularity levels that peytonmanning.com achieved during Manning's super bowl win last year or even the popularity that mikevick.com itself achieved during Vick's run to the NFC championships in 2005. In other words, doing something criminal, even if it gets your name in the news, does not bring the notoriety that doing something positive (i.e. success at football) does. Perhaps Vick should have been trying to learn how to pass a football instead of training dogs to kill each other. But the thrill of gambling .00000001% of your salary on a dog fight offered just too much excitement to allow him to focus on becoming a better quarterback. Keep up the good work Vick. For more interesting website popularity comparisons visit Alexa.



Monday, July 23, 2007

Michael Vick -- A Bad Human Being?

Although it is best to try not to pass judgment on the character of others, particularly those whom you have never actually met, sometimes neutrality is an impossible task. The recent actions of Mike Vick have pushed us to really question whether or not he has inherent character flaws that make him unfit to be a member of society.

Incident A: Knowingly Exposing a Partner to Herpes

Certainly having herpes or any other STD does not make Vick a bad person. One of the kindest people I have ever met died of HIV. Poor decisions about one's own health are in no way indicative of character. However, deliberately putting at risk the health of another person makes us wonder whether Vick has any consideration for anyone other than himself.

Allow me to refresh you on the details of this case. Vick was well aware of the fact that he had genital herpes. He sought treatment at a clinic under the alias of Ron Mexico. The fact that he used an alias should not be overlooked: such an attempt to hide the fact that he had contracted herpes confirms that he did not find it some small "nuisance," but understood the general embarrassment and personal shame that those infected with STDs often feel. Vick seems to have been acutely aware of the stigma that society attached to the contraction of an STD, particularly an incurable one like herpes.

With this knowledge in hand, he made many pleas to convince a female companion to have sex with him without a condom. They had previously had safe sex multiple times. She resisted, but he kept begging and eventually she relented. Within two days she had to go to the hospital to be treated for symptoms stemming from her infection with Herpes type 2. What kind of a person begs someone to have unprotected sex with them when they know they have a disease which can be transmitted sexually? This virus seems to have had a substantial effect on Vick's quality of life, so he purposefully exposed another person -- a companion he supposedly cared about -- to the virus? I wonder what he would do to someone with whom he did not have an ongoing relationship? Good God.

Incident B: Cruelty Towards Animals

Although not yet convicted, I am convinced that Vick participated in the fighting and killing of a number of dogs. Breeding and training dogs for aggression is not only detrimental to the dog, but also puts people at an undue risk. Overly aggressive pit-bulls can and do attack people. Whether the dogs responsible for these attacks were deliberately bred to fight is besides the point. Breeding any "race" of dogs with the intent to make them more aggressive will have a negative effect on other dogs of this same "race." Puppies that result from the breeding of "fighting pit-bulls" sometimes do not show adequate aggression and are either sold as pets or given to the pound and adopted as pets. The aggression may come out later in their lives or it may come out in subsequent generations. This puts the owners of these dogs, their families, and others in their community at high risk. I would not be surprised to learn that many pit-bull attacks stem from dogs descended from pit-bulls bred for fighting.

Dog fights result in very painful injuries for the dogs. It is a cruel practice. Perhaps even worse is the alleged murder of dogs that did not perform adequately by Vick and his friends. Acts included electrocution, drowning, and blunt force trauma (i.e. they slammed the dog against the ground multiple times). Why? Why not just humanely kill the animal by lethal injection? What is the point of punishing the dog for performing poorly? It will never be fighting again so it won't be "motivated" by the cruel treatment. Other dogs don't know what is going on, you aren't going to intimidate them. It seems that Vick just has a plain disregard forthe value of life.

Vick has a lot money. Multiple millions of dollars. So why did he risk his livelihood to fight dogs? No single fight has a purse higher than $30,000. Clearly, he was not in it for the money. It was an act of sport and he did it for enjoyment. This is all the more condemning of his personality.

Conclusions -- Does Vick Have an Inherent Character Flaw?

Since he was a high school star in Newport News Vick has been surrounded by yes-men. They agree with everything he says; they tell him how great and infallible he is. It now seems obvious that this "star" treatment has gone to his head. He thinks he is above the law and does not really care about how his actions effect other people. However, it must be noted that many stars, be they in entertainment or sports, are treated in the same manner. Nearly all of them show respect towards the lives of others and value the lives of animals. Vick does not. It may be that deep down he is a decent person and that this quality has only been buried by the narcissism brought about his huge success. We suppose that only the time will tell the truth about Vick. He will likely be going to jail where he will have both the time and incentive to really turn his life around and decide if he wants to be a contributing member of society. Only after this will we really know whether his actions arose out of a matter of circumstance or whether he indeed has some inherent, permanent character flaw. While we hope the former is true, we unfortunately believe that time will show that Vick is nothing more than a compassionless criminal.


Pray For The NBA

Every hour, it seems more details are unfolding around the Tim Donaghy scandal (including the fact that I live 5 minutes from this guy). I can’t really say it any better than this Bill Simmons article, but the NBA could be in a real mess. If Donaghy starts talking, which is a real possibility...

talk + write a book + make public apology = Pina Colada's in the Bahama's


stay quite + prison Bruce = long nights in the slammer

...and other refs or players are involved, this thing could get real ugly. After all, there’s nothing that middle class / blue collar America would love to hear more than NBA players, who are already make ridiculous six and seven figure minimums, point shaving games for a little dough on the side.

Tim Donaghy- Game 3, 2007 Spurs vs. Suns


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Everything I Say Is Important

These videos are a very insightful look at the world of Stephen A. Smith (and his passion for cheese doodles). Check out these videos of what seems to be slightly "influenced" early 20 year olds trying to identify with the legend. The crew had a year to prepare for 2007, and the "The Stephen A. Smith Heckling Society of Gentlemen" made it count. This is one of the rare times where the sequel gets stronger.

"Spencer Hawes is gonna be a bust!"


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

U.S. Meteorologists Have Nothing On The Chinese

Growing up, my Father always taught me that if you are going to do something "half-ass", don't do it at all. And it seems there is no better example of this than the Chinese Olympic Committee. In past weeks, concerns about the rainy season in China has prompted China to guarantee good whether for the Olympic Games it will host in August '08.

The details of this prediction weren't released until yesterday. But apparently, it's simple, just fire rockets into the sky to scatter any possible rain clouds.

See More on this story: More Credible - Run For Your Lives!

See the latest Chinese Fishing Strategy: BGC Today- Fishing Has Become Much Easier In China


Monday, July 16, 2007

Steroids Is Something You Shoot In Your Butt

In light of Gary Sheffield's recent allegations against baseball and the New York Yankees, (while not really being in the mood to discuss this seriously, though I think it should be), we draw an interesting parallel to one of his better quotes:

"In a million years, I don't care what anybody says, steroids is something you shoot in your butt. I do know that. ... The bottom line is steroids is something you stick in your butt — period."

This argument somewhat reminds me of the scene in the infamous teen movie, Roadtrip. You see, it's not cheating because it's YOUR DOG!


Friday, July 13, 2007

The British Are Coming

Today, David Beckham appeared in his first press conference with the L.A. Galaxy, and the U.S. sports scene has since taken notice. Many questions arise about the arrival of one of the most recognized athletes in the modern era of sports to a place where no one seems to know him. The most interesting of which seems to be: Can David Beckham ignite a fire of soccer in the hearts and minds of America?

Personally, I've never really been a huge fan of soccer. And though I'd like to become more of an afficionado, I have to admit that if the World Cup isn't being played, I'm unaware of it's existence. However, I hope that whatever it is with the Beckham's, the U.S. (and myself) take notice.

When it comes to self assurance in sports, America has it. Me, like all my fellow countrymen, know that the U.S. produces the best athletes. We have the Michael Jordan's of basketball, Barry Bonds' of baseball, and the entire sport of football, and hold almost all world records in track and swimming. But when it comes to the world's most popular game, we have Landon Donovan, who's been a well known disaster on the international stage. The fact is, we know we have the best athletes in the world, but unless we start to dominate soccer on the global scale, we will never get the respect we deserve, and rightfully so. I don't know if Beckham's arrival will do much to help, but I hope so.

The Google Trends Matchup of the day: David vs. Victoria.
It seems that even though David still gets more searches, wife Victoria is gaining ground quickly. Will the unpopularity of soccer in the U.S. swallow up Beckham's celebrity and bring Posh to the forefront? More on this question at BGC Today.


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Let Them Eat Cake

It probably won't come as a surprise, but Joakim Noah is clearly more popular in France. For those of you unfamiliar with "Google Trends", let me introduce you.

Defined by Wikipedia: "Google Trends charts how often a particular search term is entered relative the total search volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages."

Now, let's try "Joakim Noah." Although he may have many enemies here in the States, it appears that the French have his back. And as the well read historian will tell you, that's never a bad thing.

Now to more interesting searches:

-"Girl"- Amazingly, the word "Girl" is searched more in Iran than any other Country. Hmmm...

-The '08 Election- Comparing the current top four candidates...If Google is any indication, we could have a black President.

-"Paris Hilton"- Think you've heard alot about her recently? Look at the popularity in February '05. I wonder what happened then?

Also note that the item being searched needs to be popular enough to register with Google Trends. Unfortunately, "Sports Indeed" has not yet made the cut, stay tuned...


Now Updated Quicker

We apologize to our fans for the month long layoff. As you can see in our first post, we live exteremely busy lives (hammering nails, swatting mosquitos, brushing teeth, rewatching "Blade Trinity" and "West Wing"). But as of July, we have made a new commitment to update atleast once a week, well I have anyway. Thanks for keeping the faith.