Monday, April 30, 2007

NFL Draft thoughts

I liked what the Ravens did in the draft this weekend, it wasn't great but it addressed both present and future needs.

Ben Grubbs will be the immediate impact guy on an offensive line that desperately needs a young stud, and they picked up another OL in the 3rd. Yamon Figurs is a speedster who will boost the return game should B.J. Sams not get back to 100% or get re-injured, but I'm not sure we needed to use a 3rd round pick on the return game.

I like our two LB picks of Antwan Barnes from FIU and Michigan's Prescott Burgess, good values for their position.

But my favorite picks were Alabama fullback Le'Ron McClain -- both because he's a fellow Tider and becuase I think he'll be a fine NFL FB. He blocks like a runaway freight train, and he's got nice moves and just bowls people over with the ball in his hands.

The other was Heisman Winner Troy Smith in the 5th round, something that I hope and think will become a big steal of this draft. Everyone bashed him after the National Championship game -- but that was hardly his fault; his o-line might have well been turnstiles in that one. I think he'll be a solid starter once Steve McNair retires.

So, overall I'd give Ozzie Newsome and company a solid B.

On the Alabama front, Ken Darby was selected to backup Cadillac Williams in Tamp Bay -- that just didn't feel right typing that -- and Ramzee Robinson was Mr. Irrelevant, going to the Lions with the last pick in the draft. I haven't seen any undrafted free agent lists pop up yet, but I think Juwan Simpson and Jeremy Clark should be picked up by someone.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Support Southern Rock

Went to see the Rowdy Frynds Tour Friday night, and well if I had to pick one word to describe it... LOUD.

.38 Special was pretty cool, I only knew a few of their songs but they were still pretty rockin'. A lot of really good riffs.

Lynyrd Skynyrd... well they're Skynyrd, man, always amazing. Tuesday's Gone is the most beautiful/bittersweet song ever made.

Hank Jr. was damn awesome as well. Played a hard set, and then had the stage to himself and his acoustic guitar for about a half an hour before closing strong.

If you can make it out to a leg of this tour, do it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bloopas, Icky Thump and a not-so-bloody sock

First, one of the funniest things I've seen in awhile. Apparently, some guys created a custom level for the original Super Mario Bros. Well, this guy plays it and his play-by-play is absolutely hilarious.

New White Stripes single, "Icky Thump"

Some guy made a recording off the new song and put it on the web for all of us to enjoy, bless him.

I like it, it makes me feel all tingly inside when Jack White gets heavy.

Gary Thorne moves up another notch in my book

Not only is Gary Thorne one of the absolute best play-by-play guys out there (and I now get to enjoy him for all the O's games on MASN), but last night he says the infamous bloody sock game of Curt Schilling was a fake. Hell yeah, Gary, knock that fucker down a peg or two.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I hate Roger Clemens

Just thought I'd let you know.

Normally I wouldn't care to speak about him, but I was reading a Rob Neyer chat over at ESPN and some guy asked this question:
Despite his legendary career why aren't more sportswriters hammering Clemens for his annual "I will play for $25M if you kiss my feet and let me do whatever I want" routine. I am tired of it and don't remember any athlete ever behaving this way. Play or don't play......
I couldn't agree more.

Clemens is basically holding these teams hostage. And for what? So he can buy a new Hummer every month? It's ridiculous. It's a punk move by a guy who obviously thinks he's above the game of baseball. Everyone is so quick to anoint him the greatest pitcher of our era, but not me. I'd go with Greg Maddux there. He did it with style, and above all class.


Another thing that has always bothered me is that his name never gets mentioned during steroids talk. Now, you know I will not crucify anyone over juicing, because baseball did nothing to stop it and we ALL enjoyed the era. But Clemens is as an obvious target as Barry Bonds to me. The guy has gotten bigger over the years and his production hasn't tailed off.

Seems to me that if we're gonna hate on Bonds and deny him the honor which he is due when he passes Hank Aaron (I for one will applaud Bonds), then Clemens should be shunned too.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Weekend roundup

Bama draws 92,138... for a spring scrimmage. I just don't know what to say.

The O's sweep the Jays and have currently won 8 of 9. The pen looks great, and the bats are coming around. I was at Friday night's game -- where Nick Markakis won it with a bases loaded single in the 9th -- and the fans a re really excited this year. They're still not packing house, however, but the ones that come are staying and getting behind the team.

The Bravos win their second series against the Mets, and it looks like their pen is finally coming around -- as well as the bats of Kelly Johnson and Andruw Jones.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Another book recommendation

Yet again, it's a Chuck Klosterman title. This time it's his first offering, Fargo Rock City.

This one is about heavy metal -- specifically, the glorious age of 80s glam/hair/pop metal. Now, it's not a historical dissection of it or anything, but rather his reasoning as to why it's "important" to the world. Incredibly funny and insightful, and a great and pretty fast read.

I think I'm not-so-slowly developing a man-crush here -- I just finished Fargo tonight and I'm already well into his second book Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. Suffice to say, it's soon to be a member of the "Livin' Book Club" no later then next Tuesday night.

So long Vince, we hardly knew ye

Vince Young has been nabbed as the next cover boy for the Madden franchise... oh well, it was pretty fun watching him win games the way he did.

Monday, April 16, 2007

So how long before...

They blame the Virginia Tech tragedy on video games and rock music? I don't want to make light of this situation or anything, but it's almost inevitable some talking head will make that "connection."

OK, I'll shut up now.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Stuff

Sittin' here watching the O's, and figured I could stand to make a post.

Apparently, Steve Spurrier thinks that South Carolina should take down the Confederate Flag. Don't know why that came into his head, but whatever. Should it be flown over a state house? No. Should individual citizens have the right to fly it on their houses/cars/etc? Sure.

Wichita St. hires Winthrop's Gregg Marshall. Really good hire for the Shockers, which I like because it means they'll be in the Dance more often -- and that means more camera shots like this:

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Jason Whitlock agrees with me...

..Sort of, in principle at least.

Basically what he's saying is that this "issue" should not be at the forefront of anything, namely for Black America.

Read it for yourself.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Imus, ESPN-W and Mastadons

Look, this Imus/Rutgers thing has done gone and pissed me off. However, it's not the stupid ass comments that pissed me off -- it's how much coverage this damn thing is getting.

Seriously, this does not belong as the cover story on ESPN.com. It does not deserve more than a mention on Sportscenter. This should not take up significant time on any ESPN program.

This should not take time away from the start of the MLB season, the upcoming NFL Draft, the NBA playoff race, the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, NCAA spring football practices and/or who is and who isn't declaring for the NBA Draft.

It just doesn't. It was some idiotic radio host making idiotic comments because that's his fucking job. He creates controversy because it gets ratings, and all of this hoopla about it is exactly what he wanted. You think a 2 week suspension really hurts him? Puh-lease. You all got sucked in, congratulations... morons.

Call my view ignorant, whatever. I don't "get" getting offended in today's world. You could call me anything in the world and you'd only be wasting your breath. Getting offended is just stupid.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking: "Well you don't get it because you're a white man."

Fuck that. Have you seen Don Imus??? Look at the picture! How can anyone get offended from comments made about personal appearance from this guy!? He's a fucking wreck, he's a decrepit old man. They should've taken one look at the guy and laughed their asses off.

Is Imus a fucktard? Absolutely. But the Rutgers women, and especially the media, are just plain dumb for getting sucked into this.

Which brings me to my next point: why isn't there a ESPN-W for women's sports?

I'm gonna lay this down right here, right now: I don't want to see women's sports on my SportsCenter. I just don't.

I'm not saying I don't respect women's athletics, because I most certainly do. But I just am not into it. Women's basketball is slow and boring. Softball is too much of a pitcher's game -- and I love pitcher's games. Hell I've even been to two gymnastics meets in my lifetime (albeit the first I was covering for Dateline and the second I was drunk).

Still, I don't want it on ESPN. Give women their own network. This works out for everybody. The men like me who don't want to see coverage of the women's Final Four don't have to see it. Women and men who like women's sports can tune to ESPN-W and watch away. Plus, no longer would the girls be playing second fiddle to the men on regular ESPN.

Is the sexist? I'll let you decide. Honestly though, I don't give a shit if it is -- that's just the way I feel.

Finally, a book recommendation

I really liked Chuck Klosterman's Killing Yourself to Live. Why? Because it's right up my "incessant rambling about many, many things that aren't quite related to the original topic but yet are and are also incredibly funny and insightful" alley. Hence why Bill Simmons is my favorite sports writer, and why Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino are two of my favorite directors.

So I recommend it if that sort of thing is also your bag. Other than that, I'll let the man himself explain it:
This is a story about love, death, driving, narcissism, America, the ill-advised glamorization of recreational drug use, not having sex, eating breadsticks at Olive Garden, talking to strangers, feeling nostalgic for the extremely recent past, movies you've never seen, KISS, Radiohead, Rod Stewart and -- to a lesser extent -- prehistoric elephants of the Midwestern plains. If these are not things that interest you, do not read this book.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Random Thoughts

Good first week of baseball for the Bravos, sweeping the Phillies and taking 2 of 3 from the Mets. The pitching looks really good.

The O's rebounded from their awful opening series in Minnesota to take 2 of 3 from the Yanks (although it should've been a sweep if not for atrocious 8th and 9th innings on Saturday), always good to take a series in the Bronx.

I think everyone needs to let Zach Johnson get his moment and stop writing these "Tiger lost it" articles/columns. Sure, Tiger has never won from behind at a Major, but who's to say that's not because the players ahead of him see his name and then step up their game?

I should be excited about the upcoming NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs... but they're still on VS.

It appears both Texas A&M and Arkansas (finally) have their men. By the way, Billy Giilispie is gonna win big and win fast at Kentucky.

Interesting piece by SI.com's Stewart Mandel on Nick Saban's first spring in Tuscaloosa. Dude sounds like an uptight ass, but damn if I can't wait for football season to get here because his confidence just radiates.

CBS SportsLine's Gary Parrish did his post/pre-season Top 26 for college basketball, and had Bama at 19 (which sounds about right considering the talent coming back and in, losing Davidson and hoping Steele will be 100%). But what caught me was his comment: "If there's any justice in the world the Crimson Tide will catch a few breaks, avoid injuries and tragedies completely." Amen, brother.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Grindhouse

Awesome.

If you like to have fun when you go to the movies, see this. If you have a sick sense of humor, see this. If you have an affinity for weird shit, see this movie,

Just make sure you have the time, because it really is 2 feature length movies... and some hilarious ass fake trailers.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks

Ah, baseball season, gotta love it. Can't wait to get out to Camden Yards for a few games this summer.

With that said, here's my little spiel on how things will turn out this year.

American League

East
Once again, it comes down to those damn Yanks and Red Sox. Oh what a glorious day it will be when a salary cap is finally implemented in baseball. The Yanks have the lineup, the Sox have the rotation, and they're about even everywhere else. The Jays will fall off and the O's aren't quite there yet. And the D-Rays, well, they're fast. But, I'm a pitching guy, and Boston's is the best top to bottom.
Pick:

Central
Possibly the toughest division to pick. Behind Grady Sizemore, the Indians are the sexy pick to win the central this year. Oh, but that Twins pitching. And it helps that the bats are coming around too, namely Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. But, how can you look past the defending AL champs? I think the addition of Gary Sheffield makes them even better, and the team to beat.
Pick:

West
Ummm, ahhhh, errr... shit, the Angels? Seriously, whoever wins this one is out in the first round anyway.
Pick:

Wild Card
Because I wish for a world without the Yankees in the playoffs, I'm going with someone else.
Pick:

National League

East
Gotta tell ya, I'm really excited about the changes made by the Braves in the offseason this winter, I think it's just what they needed... well that, and for Tim Hudson to pitch like he's TIM FUCKING HUDSON. Seriously, did he not get the memo that AL pitchers are supposed to come to the NL and dominate? Anyway, the Mets have far and away the best lineup in the division, but their starting rotation gives new meaning to the term "Senior Circuit." The Phillies... well they're the Phillies. Long live the curse of William Penn!
Pick:

Central
Wanna know why Bill Simmons refers to the NL as "Quadruple-A?" Watch this division. The Cubs spent about $300 million to finish in like third place. The Astros... meh. The Cards will probably win it because they're the Cards -- well, and because they have some guy named Albert Pujols. But I'm feeling saucy.
Pick:

West
This is an incredible division. By that I mean the Dodgers are incredibly injury-prone, the Padres are incredibly bland, the D-backs are incredibly young and the Giants are incredibly old. Yippie.
Pick:

Wild Card
The hitting is just too good to look past.
Pick:

Playoffs
ALDS: Tigers over Angels, BoSox over Twins
NLDS: Braves over Brewers, Mets over Dodgers

ALCS: BoSox over Tigers
NLCS: Braves over Mets

WS: Braves over BoSox (screw you, if I believe it, it'll come true)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Hogtied and coked up

Dana Altman going back to Creighton -- Serves those fuckers right for running such a fucked up program. Seriously. I mean, bit of a dick move on Altman's part, but why screw up a good thing at Creighton?

I don't know why, but this is what makes Keith Richards a fucking legend.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Random notes

I was gonna do an MLB preview, but I'll save it and actually put something into it. So instead, just some random things.

First, a title game prediction: Florida rolls. When we look back on this team, they'll be one of the best ever, simply because they could turn it on and win whenever they felt so inclined. No way Oden gets the best of both Noah and Horford.

Stan Heath to South Florida -- Meh, he wasn't horrible at Arkansas, but he wasn't great either. That's a tough job, in a very tough conference.

Dana Altman to Arkansas -- Good pick up for the Hogs.

OK, I thought I had something else, but I guess not... whatever. MLB preview sometime this week.