23 January 2009

100-0 Texas HS Girls basketball score is a disgrace

On January 13, Dallas Academy lost to the Covenant School 100-0 in a Texas girls high school basketball team. It's a disgraceful show of sportsmanship as it is, but consider this: Dallas Academy, who fields a team of 8 and only has 20 girls in the whole school, is a school for kids with learning disabilities. You can charge me for political incorrectness, but what good can come from beating a team of retards 100-0?

And Covenant didn't back up. In a game that was 35-0 after 1 quarter, 59-0 at half, and 88-0 after the 3rd, they continued a full court press and jacking up three-pointers, even in the 4th quarter. Covenant parents fueled the fire by cheering loudly as the team approached 100 points. How can you say you're setting a good example for your kids when you are cheering them on to a not only humiliating defeat, but beating Dallas Academy to a pulp?

If you step back and throw your third stringers in there, play a soft zone, run a whole offensive play in a possession before taking a shot and you still end up with that score, that's a whole different story. But the starters were in for pretty much the WHOLE game. I read in one story that at the end of the game turned into a layup drill where the guards were just waiting to steal the ball. That's a statement about yourself, not about the team you are playing. What interests me is whether or not the coach who didn't call off the onslaught will keep is job.

Wouldn't you have made your point when the lead reached 50? I mean, what is the biggest deficit overcome in any high school basketball game? Not only was Dallas Academy over-matched, but they were humiliated. They know they stink, they haven't won a game in 4 years. And to those who say why schedule that kind of game I say: Have a heart!! I give them all the credit in the world for even fielding a 8-girl team.

Oh, and what an honest Christian attempt at amending the situation Covenant is doing. All that there is for an apology is a short blurb on the school's website. They haven't commented publicly on the game since a story was printed in the Dallas Morning News. This isn't just a sports story, it's reflects what kind of people we are.

15 January 2009

Is this the week get into the polls?

After a 66-51 dismantling of Michigan Wednesday night, I think that even if we put up a respectable loss in East Lansing against Michigan State, the Fighting Illini, who currently stand at 15-2, should find themselves in the next AP and USA Today/ESPN polls. It will really depend on what other fringe teams such as Gonzaga (11-4), Arkansas (12-3) and Memphis (13-3) do in the coming days. But being the homer that I am, I think we have proved ourselves enough already, with both of our losses being quality losses to a still undefeated #9 Clemson (16-0) and #24 Michigan on the road, which was avenged back at the House of 'Paign.

Questions that are raised: Could Bruce Weber use this as a Rodney Dangerfield approach? Would be become complacent if we became ranked? Do rankings even matter at this point in the year? If not, when WOULD they start mattering?

Many Illini fans including myself still thought that we were a year away, so I guess it's fair to say that any question of being ranked is a good question. Obviously a win would put us well into the polls, (I'm thinking 17-20) so a lot will be decided this Saturday.

In the Michigan game this past week, I saw something I was waiting to see for quite awhile. Sophomore Mike Tisdale going up at putting a bunch of points on the board. Going for 24 points on 10 of 12 shooting from the field, which included a 3-ball, he seems to be coming into his own in the paint.

Bring on the Spartans!!

09 January 2009

Bob's Take on...Milton Bradley

As the Cubs officially welcomed Milton Bradley at Wrigley Field yesterday after signing a 3-year, $30 million deal, I couldn't help from noticing that some local media and radio station callers had been criticizing him before he even got here. The fact that the Cubs will be his fifth team in five years is the biggest one I remember. But let's remember another thing: In the same time, the Cubs have gone through Jeromy Burnitz, Jacque Jones, Cliff Floyd, and Kosuke Fukudome.

I know he's got a history, but I will be one of the first ones to give Bradley a fair shake. During his press conference he addressed that "It's the past, if we can leave it there. I've seen a lot of cute headlines about me, talking about everything, people I never met speaking about me. I think it's not very intelligent to speak about someone you never met."

Do I think that Bradley and manager Lou Piniella might butt heads at some point during the year? I don't doubt it. Should I question his durability a little considering he has only played in 100 games in 3 seasons in his 9-year career? Maybe. But, to quote a certain billboard after the Fukudome signing last winter, Let his bat do the talking.

07 January 2009

Why yes, they ARE for real

With a 6-0 drubbing of Wayne Gretzky's Phoenix Coyotes, the Blackhawks confirmed that they are, in fact, for real...unless they are playing the Detroit Red Wings. Against the Wings, the Hawks are 0-2-2, and against the rest of the league they are 22-6-5. Oy.

But there are plenty of things to be positive about. Forwards Patrick "Citizen" Kane and Jonathan "Don't" Toews "Me, Bro!" and defenseman Brian Campbell"'s Soup" (that's my lame attempt at a Chris Berman impersonation) made the starting lineup for the Western Conference All-Stars, with the possible addition of Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp as well. But it's not just the starting line. Marty Havlat seems to always have the puck when he's on the ice and good things always seem to happen. Keith and winger Andrew Ladd rank among the league leaders in plus/minus.

It's just the sheer domination that the Hawks seem to have when they play any opponent (except Detroit). Becoming a tradition, here's some nuggets I dug up:
  • 1st in Goals per game (3.68), 4th in Goals against per game (2.46)
  • 5th in Power Play Pct (23.1), 8th in Penalty Killing Pct (84.3)
  • The Khabibulin-Huet platoon combines for the 4th best Save Pct (.919)
  • 2nd in Goal Differential (+31)
  • And finally, Hawks leading goal scorer Patrick Sharp (20 G) is on pace to have the first 40-goal season since Tony Amonte accomplished the feat with 43 goals in the 1999-2000 season.

04 January 2009

Ah, how the mighty have fallen

With Boston AND UNC losing their basketball games today, I felt compelled from the fandom of which I hail to write a blog.

Let's start with the Celts. The team that everyone thought they would beat the 1995-96 Bulls record of wins in a season of 72-10. ESPN was the first to put up one of their gimmicky "Chase for the Record" graphic after every Boston highlight, which by the way, led SportsCenter practically every night. 19 wins in a row! They can't be stopped! This just in: Since Christmas, the Celtics have lost to the Lakers (92-83), Warriors (99-89), Blazers (91-86), and, tonight, the Knicks (100-88). Throw out the Lakers, and these teams have a combined current record of 43-57. Even if you throw the Lakers in it's only 69-62.

So what if the Lakers are the favorite in the West, and the Warriors and Blazers are on the rise. You lost to the friggin Knicks! I went back to the magical '95-'96 season and came up with these nuggets: Their worst losses were (by record) to the Raptors at 21-61, and (by score) to, oddly enough, the Knicks with a 104-72 final. The winning percentage of the teams they lost to was .546 (403-335), and in each round of the playoff they faced a team they previously lost to and beat each one handedly (Mia 3-0, NYK 4-1, Orl 4-0, Sea 4-2).

So stop. No NBA team will ever be as good as the '95-'96 Bulls.

Onto UNC Tarheel basketball. Every analyst I've heard has UNC as the national champ. Some are saying this is the best team ever. Not so fast. BC better get some respect in the polls after running their record to 13-2 with a 85-78 over the now 13-1 Tarheels. Reigning POTY Tyler Hanbrough wasn't exactly contained, going for 21 and 9, but his supporting cast wasn't explosive as they usually are, with UNC averaging 94.8 ppg.

I'm not saying they still can't win the NC running away, but please stop all the "best ever" talk. But it's not just with this; it seems like every time there is a moderately dominant team in a particular sport, the "experts" always want to pick them as the best team ever. USC football comes to mind, particularly because they are the worst case. Pete Carroll always has the best recruiting class, a Heisman quarterback, blah blah blah. Then they go out and lay an egg. In every year they do win it all, everyone wants to pick them as the best ever. Now I can't fully back up a claim for my particular best team ever, because I'm not the biggest college football buff, but I can point to the 1932 Colgate Red Raiders, who went undefeated, untied, and unscored upon.

My point is to not be over-zealous and proclaim any team the best ever in any sport, especially when we are only about 1/3 of the way through the season, because there are expert who aren't alive anymore that can probably make a valid case for a team from yesteryear that is better than a team from today.

01 January 2009

Why are you bashing the computers?....and me bashing the media again

Here I go again with another post about college football. Although I would consider myself a stathead in determining my "who-would-beat-who," it seems like national analysts (I'm looking at you Lee Corso) are completely throwing out why the 6 computer rankings are in place in the first place.

As I'm sure you are all aware, the formula to determine the two teams to play for the BCS National Championship includes two human elements, the Harris Interactive and Coaches polls, and a 6-computer average (throwing out the high and low computer scores). Two-thirds of the formula come from people who are selected as "experts" in who is determining the top teams. The computer component....AHEM....is there to get rid of all the subjectivity (such as pollsters being homers to teams in a certain conference) and look at every team on a level playing field.

This explains (and keep in mind that as an Illini fan I'm anti-Pac-10) why the Pac-10 sent 5 teams to bowls, all but USC unranked, and came out 5-0. Most of the voters in the human polls are based in the Central or Eastern Time Zones, and with a particularly large number of games broadcast in primetime locally, meaning a lot of these pollsters don't have the time to watch all these games. So they believe the ESPNs of the world that say the Pac-10 is down this year save USC.

This brings up two issues:

The Pac-10 doesn't get the respect it deserves. Let's recap the Pac-10's bowl games this season:
  • Las Vegas Bowl; Arizona 31, #17 BYU 21. BYU came in 10-2 with their only losses coming to 10-1 TCU and 12-0 Utah. Arizona QB Willie Tuitama comes in and goes 24-for-35 for 325 yards and 2 TDs, and rushed for another. Yahoo! Sports Recap
  • Emerald Bowl; Cal 24, Miami 17. I'll give you that the 8-4 Golden Bears were 10-point favorites against the 7-5 Hurricanes, and that they were playing in Cal's backyard in San Francisco. But I watched this game, and the score doesn't indicate how much Cal and their running back Jahvid Best (20 for 186 yds, 2 TDs) controlled this game. Yahoo! Sports Recap
  • Holiday Bowl; Oregon 42, #13 Oklahoma St 31. This is probably the one I watched the least (because I was subbing in a Tuesday night bowling league), but I had a lot of respect for Okey St coming in, and this was one of the (few) games I picked incorrectly. This Cowboy team's only losses were to the then-#1 Texas, then-#2 Texas Tech, and then-#3 Oklahoma. They also took down the then-#3 Mizzou Tigers who were previously defeated. Yahoo! Sports Recap
  • Sun Bowl; Oregon St 3, #18 Pitt 0. Oy. 3-0? Seriously? You'd think it was a Beaver-Panther baseball game. Another bowl I kind of missed watching because I was watching the Armed Forces Bowl (Houston 34, Air Force 28). But I did have respect because Oregon St was the only team to take down the Fighting Pete Carroll Goliaths USC. The Beavers DID make it to #24 in the AP poll, and I did end up picking this one correctly with 11 (out of 34) confidence points. Yahoo! Sports Recap
  • Rose Bowl; #5 USC 38, #8 Penn State 24. Reminiscent of the Rose Bowl game from last year where the Trojans ran my Illini up and down the field to a 49-17 shelacking, where the Fighting JoePa's kept it close for the first 1 1/2 quarters then USC passes it extremely well and it's clear who is the better football team by the end of the night. USC for the last few years (Oregon St and UCLA in 2006, Stanford and Oregon in 2007, and Oregon St again this year) has a brainfart and has that 1 bad loss that keeps them out of the national championship, then blows away their Big Ten opponent in the Rose Bowl. Yet another reason for there to be a playoff. Yahoo! Sports Recap
The second reason: The Pac-10 needs to schedule its games so that the nation can watch. This is definitely the lesser of the two reasons, but still warrants an argument. BCS coaches not in the Pac-10 aren't going to stay up til past midnight to watch all the games in the Pac-10 after a most likely grueling day of coaching their own teams that Saturday afternoon. Same goes with Harris Interactive. From their website, The Harris Interactive Poll "is comprised of former players, coaches, administrators and current and former media who have committed to submitting rankings for the top 25." So you have old players and coaches who just watched a full plate of games for the day, and media members who have stories to write and deadlines to meet.

Ok, so classic case of a stream of consciousness, but I'll take it.


free hit counter code