Friday, March 30, 2007

Funny Stuff

Here are a couple of funny videos that readers sent the links to the Sports Guy.

Kermit doing a cover of Johnny Cash's version of the Nine Inch Nails song "Hurt":


I don't think this is quite what this guy was intending:


And finally, this one comes not from the Sports Guy, but by request of my brother:

Jeremy, you'll never be able to watch Joakim Noah again without thinking of the chicken dance.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fantastic Finishes

Here are two of the most amazing finishes you'll ever see, one from college, one from the NBA. The first is from Saturday's NCAA Division II championship game between Winona State and Barton College. The Warriors of Winona State are the defending champs, undefeated on the season at 35-0, and are carrying a 57-game winning streak into the game. The Bulldogs of Barton College, representing a campus of fewer than 1000 students, come into the game with a record of 30-5, and a 20-game winning streak of their own. We pick up the action with Winona State's Zach Malvik at the line, trying to push the Winona State's lead to 7 points with 45 seconds left. Barton's 5'10" senior guard Anthony Atkins, playing his final game for his hometown (Wilson, NC) Bulldogs, leaves it all on the court:



Now on to the NBA highlight, from last night's action. The visiting Denver Nuggets have the ball and a three-point lead over the Detroit Pistons with 1.5 seconds left in the 4th quarter. The Nuggets are inbounding the ball on their own half of the court.



That shot sent the game into overtime, where the Pistons would prevail, 113-109.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

UNC-Duke

I might have to add this to my list of books to buy. The full title is quite a mouthful: "To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever: A Thoroughly Obsessive, Intermittently Uplifting, and Occasionally Unbiased Account of the Duke-North Carolina Basketball Rivalry." Read a couple excerpts from the book here and here. The following was taken from an introduction found before the first linked excerpt, and was written this month:
It hadn't been my ambition to be known as a man who hates Duke. But a hunger in the culture coincided with an obsession of mine, and voila: a sweet waitress placed before me a Duke loss like a plate of pancakes. Just as America had once attempted to make the world safe for democracy (this was many years ago), I had been doing my small part to establish a world hospitable to Duke hatred.

And yet, now at the moment of triumph, with North Carolina alive and Duke dead and the country exulting (waitresses singing, bloggers rhapsodizing), why did I feel so melancholy? I might as well have been a spy at the end of the Cold War, submarined in the gloom that comes with the cessation of hostilities. Who was there to fight now? What was I going to do with rest of my life, not to mention the NCAA Tournament?

Then I remembered that there were holdouts -- Dick Vitale, for instance, already exonerating Coach K, saying this season may have been one of his greatest coaching jobs, and that just wait until next year, you Duke haters, when Kyle Singler, the best Caucasian player since Larry Bird in the words of recruiting analyst Brick Ottinger, arrives in Durham.

And then there was my former girlfriend. I can’t say that her lascivious affection for Coach K directly led to the end of our turbulent love affair.

But it might have been, well, an omen.

And a short portion of the first excerpt to help explain the above picture:
The camera lit on Krzyzewski stalking the sideline. "Umm umm umm," my girlfriend said, a low moan in her throat. And so it began. If I was going to insinuate uncertainty into her world, she was going to strike back in time-honored fashion. We had debated the issue of K's attractiveness in the past. I could certainly see his resemblance to a rat. Hence his nickname, "The Rat." And even though I like animals and often find them handsome in their animalness, it was hard -- downright incomprehensible -- to see how a man that so easily summoned up the image of a rat could be considered attractive. To share a sofa with someone whose worldview was so different from my own was troubling.

Hearing Set For Next Month

From KFOX-TV in El-Paso, Texas:
Congress will take a closer look at the case of two U.S. Border Patrol agents imprisoned in connection with the shooting of an illegal immigrant who was running across the Mexican border.

A U.S. House committee has announced it will hold a hearing next month to investigate the prosecution of agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos.

Elite 8

We're in the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, and we're getting some good games, but still too many that are marred by poor officiating. Georgetown beat Vanderbilt last night when Jeff Green got away with a travel before making the game-winning shot with 2.5 seconds left. In today's Ohio State vs. Memphis game, Greg Oden was intentionally fouled and the official must have though Oden was already in the NBA, because he granted him a ridiculous continuation, giving Ohio State 2 points, 2 free throws, and possession.

(photo by Eric Gay/AP Photo, found on ESPN.com)

Evidently this doesn't qualify as "Hanging on the ring" under Rule 4, Section 26, Article 3, example c in the NCAA Basketball Rulebook, which defines technical fouls. Oden about kicked the backboard on this dunk.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Reason #1,500,946 Why I Hate Politics: Pork

From Glenn Beck's Real Story:
Last week I told you that our soldiers' lives are for sale in Washington and today, the Real Story is that we've finally found out the price: $9.9 billion dollars. That's the amount of, quote, "non-military spending" -- translation: PORK -- included in the House emergency war appropriations bill; a bill that also sets an August 31, 2008 deadline for withdrawing troops from Iraq...a date that is coincidentally just 10 weeks before the presidential election.

I want to explain to you why this is such a big deal and I think the best way to do that is by putting you in the position of a politician who's actually trying to do the right thing. Pretend, for just a second, that you're Republican Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave and you're 100 percent against setting a deadline for withdrawing our troops. Last week, the emergency spending bill is released and you notice that it happens to include $3.7 billion dollars in agricultural assistance for ranchers; aid that your Colorado farmers have been begging you for.

It's your ranchers or our soldiers...you can't have both: what do you do?

Now you're Republican Congressman Charles Boustany and you're against the troop withdrawal as well. For years you've been lobbying for money to help your Louisiana rice farmers hold the saltwater back from destroying their crops....and for years you've been told: "no." Then, last week, out of the blue, $15 million dollars suddenly fell right into your lap; if only you'd vote for the war spending bill.

It's your rice farmers or our soldiers...you can't have both: what do you do?
This is disgusting, yet it happens all the time. What do ranchers and rice farmers have to do with military spending? Cut the freaking pork! Can we please discuss issues one at a time? Can we talk about funding the war first and then talk about the needs of rancher, rice farmers, and others afterwards? Or even vice versa - I don't really care about the order.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bubble-Wrapped Coaches

I posted earlier today about a couple of college coaching changes. With Steve Alford leaving Iowa, I thought about Tyler Smith, who was selected to the third team All-Big Ten, and made the conference's all-freshman team. I wondered if he would stay at Iowa. I then thought about how he'd have to sit out a year if he decided to transfer to another school. Finally, I wondered why college athletes have to sit out a year if they want to change schools, but college coaches can leave on a whim - Alford had 5 years left on his contract, and Tubby Smith still had 4 on his. They don't have to sit out a season before resuming their coaching careers. Come to think of it, college coaches are really insulated from consequences. When a college is faced with penalties for NCAA rules violations, the coach can generally get another job immediately if someone else will have him, while the school he leaves suffers the consequences of rules broken on his watch. Does any of this make sense?

Simmons on Packer

The Sports Guy writes about everybody's favorite basketball announcer, Billy Packer.

Look, we spend way too much time complaining about the sports media. If you don't like a certain writer, don't read him. If you don't like a certain radio show, don't listen. If you don't like a certain studio analyst, turn the channel. It's that simple.

Packer's case is different, though. Many people (including me) believe he's a humorless know-it-all and a curmudgeon, and we're exhausted by his schtick. But because he announces the most important college games every spring, he can't be avoided. Hell, these days, thanks to Janet Jackson and the seven-second delay for "live" events, we can't even mute games and listen to radio simulcasts anymore -- the audio never matches up. It's Packer and Nantz or nothing.

So we're left with two choices: mute our TV or grit our teeth. I've tried it both ways and found it's more enjoyable to mute and listen to my iPod. That's my plan through the title game. I'm doing it for my own sanity. No offense, Billy, but 32 years is more than enough.

Moving Day

Evidently today was moving day in the NCAA basketball world. There's news that Tubby Smith is leaving Kentucky to become the head coach at Minnesota. No word on whether Smith is going to hire his own staff of tutors, a la former Gopher coach Clem Haskins. I'm guessing not.

There is much rejoicing in Iowa City, with the news that Steve Alford is leaving Iowa to take the vacant head coaching position at New Mexico. The worst part of the news?
Craig Neal, Alford's top assistant at Iowa, will join New Mexico's staff after Alford secured a significant financial agreement for him.
I personally would have liked to see Neal take over. Oh well.

Iowa fans do need to be careful what they wished for - they've done this in the past. While Dr. Tom Davis was at Iowa, Hawk fans grew tired of "only getting to the second round" of the NCAA Tournament. Davis was forced out, golden boy Alford was brought in, and Alford proceeded to go the NCAA Tournament only 3 times in 8 years, advancing past the first round just once - nothing compared to Davis's 9 trips in 13 years at Iowa, never losing in the first round, compiling a 13-9 record.

The funniest angle of this story to me is that Alford's following through on what his mentor almost did. In 1988, Bob Knight was offered the New Mexico job, and was reportedly going to take it. What's funny about this to me is that I barely knew who Bob Knight was at that time. It wasn't until probably 5 or 6 years later that I found out about that news - while staying overnight at a church function, me and a couple of my friends found some old newspapers, including one with the Bob Knight to New Mexico story. We couldn't believe it. Ah, memories.

And finally, the funniest college basketball story of the day - Duke's Josh McRoberts is taking his 13 points and 7.9 rebounds per game and entering the NBA Draft. I think the Sports Guy summed up McRoberts best:
McRoberts is too soft.
And...
Here's a sentence that Chad Ford needs to add to his draft profile for Josh McRoberts in the "weaknesses" section: He's the kind of guy who flops for a foul while screaming "ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" at the same time.
And finally...
If he's one of the top 20 draft prospects in college basketball, I demand a recount. He's like a homeless man's Darko Milicic, only if he spent the last seven summers at Bill Laimbeer Summer Camp.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Lift My Eyes

It's been a while since I've posted any lyrics. Here's a good one from Bebo Norman, called "I Will Lift My Eyes." Listen to the song through the player on Bebo's MySpace page.
God, my God, I cry out
Your beloved needs You now
God, be near, calm my fear
And take my doubt

Your kindness is what pulls me up
Your love is all that draws me in

I will lift my eyes to the Maker
Of the mountains I can’t climb
I will lift my eyes to the Calmer
Of the oceans raging wild
I will lift my eyes to the Healer
Of the hurt I hold inside
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You

God, my God, let Mercy sing
Her melody over me
God, right here all I bring
Is all of me

Your kindness is what pulls me up
Your love is all that draws me in

I will lift my eyes to the Maker
Of the mountains I can’t climb
I will lift my eyes to the Calmer
Of the oceans raging wild
I will lift my eyes to the Healer
Of the hurt I hold inside
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You

‘Cause You are and You were and You will be forever
The Lover I need to save me
‘Cause You fashioned the earth and You hold it together, God
So hold me now

I will lift my eyes to the Maker
Of the mountains I can’t climb
I will lift my eyes to the Calmer
Of the oceans raging wild
I will lift my eyes to the Healer
Of the hurt I hold inside
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You

God, my God, I cry out
Your beloved needs You now

Monday, March 19, 2007

Bullets

If I didn't know any better, I would think that the following story came from The Onion. But actually, it's real news as found in the New York Post:

March 19, 2007 -- Getting guns off the street is not enough to stop violent crime, a group of lawmakers said yesterday.

You have to stop the bullets, too.

"For far too long we have ignored the relationship between bullets and gun crimes," state Sen. Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn), a former NYPD captain, said as he held a hollow-point slug. "We can no longer allow this item, this bullet, to be that silent partner."

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Congressional Hearing

From the Las Cruces Sun-News:
EL PASO — Jailed El Paso Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean are one step closer to getting a long-promised congressional hearing looking into their case, U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., said.

Rohrabacher said the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight, U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., has granted Rohrabacher's request for a hearing.
A date has not yet been set for the hearing.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Zebras

I cannot remember an NCAA Tournament that was officiated as poorly as this year's has been so far. The officiating has been inconsistent in most of the games I've watched, making the players guess as to what style of play is going to be allowed minute to minute. And the ends of both games so far today (Xavier vs. Ohio State and Butler vs. Maryland), at least in regulation, were marred by calls that were at least questionable, if not downright wrong.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Billy Packer

In Day 2 of his running diary, the Sports Guy shares some thoughts on Billy Packer:
CBS switched us to Georgia Tech-UNLV. Our announcers? Jim Nantz and Billy Packer! "(BLEEP) YOU!" House screams at the TV. Well, then.

...

House on Packer-Nantz vs. Raftery-Lundquist: "You know what the difference is between the broadcasts? Raftery and Lundquist actually like basketball." Hey, I didn't say it.

...

With UNLV winning by 11, Billy Packer describes Georgia Tech's offense as "directionless." That's a nice way of saying, "What the hell is their coach doing?"

...

Packer is dissecting this UNLV game with the giddiness of Dr. Michael Baden walking us through an HBO autopsy. Billy, loosen up! It's a good game! It's March Madness! Could somebody pour some Patron in his sparkling water please?

...

A UNLV player named Michael Umeh (pronounced "oooh-may") makes a jumper to extend their lead to seven, leading to this exchange:

--Nantz: "Ooooh-may ... yes! (Two-second pause while he debates whether to engage Packer.) You know what Dick Enberg would say for Umey?"
--Packer (monotone): "Oh, my?"
--Nantz: "Oh, my."

(Three seconds of awkward silence.)

And some other random thoughts:
North Texas leads by five. Meanwhile, we just spent the last few minutes trying to figure out where else in life the possession arrow could work. JackO thinks they should use it in the Middle East. "The possession arrow for the Gaza Strip points to … Israel!"

...

Four minutes of the UNLV-Georgia Tech second half elapses before they remember to switch us back to the game on the UNLV-Georgia Tech channel (they were showing the Memphis game for some reason) … and, of course, they're in commercial. This seems like a good time to mention that I'm paying $69.95 to see every minute of every game of March Madness. "Greg Gumbel just squatted on us like Azamat," House says in the Borat voice.

(If you're a DirecTV & Mega March Madness subscriber, I'm sure you can feel the Sports Guy's pain.)


...

Clark Kellogg tells us that G-Tech "has the horses" to catch up to UNLV. "Too bad they don't have the jockey," House says. He's on fire this morning.

...

Here's our script for the next OnStar commercial: "Hey, I'm trying to find somebody's house ... it's a girl I just met online ... I need to get there soon because her parents are out for three hours ... I have a 12-pack and two joints with me ... can you use your satellite technology to make sure Chris Hansen isn't there?"

NCAA, Day 2

Winthrop pulled out a win against Notre Dame (74-64), which is probably an upset in seeding only (11 over 6). The past two years, as 14 & 15 seeds, Winthrop lost by a combined 12 points, including last year's loss at the buzzer to Tennessee.

Albany, however, wasn't so fortunate. A year after battling 1 seed Connecticut in the first round, the Great Danes ran into a buzzsaw named J.R. Reynolds. The Virginia guard made his first 7 shots, including his first four 3-point shots. The Cavaliers raced out to a 21-4 lead and never looked back, winning 84-57.

In the first 5 vs. 12 game, Tennessee only has 107 points with 4 minutes left, holding a 25 point lead over Long Beach State. Meanwhile, 2 seed Wisconsin found themselves down 10-0 four minutes into their game against 15 seed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Down 25-7 at one point, Wisconsin still trails, 40-33, with 14 minutes left.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Day 1 Recap

North Carolina survived a bit of a scare against Eastern Kentucky. The Tar Heels raced out of the gate, scoring the first 7 points. Eleven minutes into the game, UNC held a 39-12 lead. However, Eastern Kentucky rebounded and outscored UNC 32-9 over the next 12 and a half minutes spanning the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half, pulling within 4 points at 48-44. Fortunately, Carolina responded, scoring the next 7 points and finishing the game on a 38-21 burst, pushing the final margin to 86-65.

So day one is over, 16 games have been played, and the only upset of any note was VCU over Duke. Only 2 games were decided by fewer than 9 points, both with identical 79-77 final scores - VCU's win over Duke and Xavier's win over BYU, where BYU scored at the buzzer to cut the margin from 4 to 2.

Some thoughts from the Sports Guy's running diary of day one:

Today's early games: Davidson-Maryland, BC-Texas Tech and Stanford-Louisville. We're watching the Maryland game because (A) House is a Terps fan, and (B) Davidson has a starting guard named Max Paulhus Gosselin (sounds like the star from the Dutch version of "Saved By The Bell").

...

JackO: "Wouldn't it be excellent if Darryl Strawberry wandered onto the court during this Maryland game like Dennis Hopper in Hoosiers?"

...

Gus tells us that Louisville's Derek Caracter missed 16 games this year due to "off-court issues." Sounds like some Caracter problems. Thank you, thank you very much. I'll be here all week.

...

CBS is showing these "learn about the schools" graphics -- for Stanford, the famous alum was Sandra Day O'Connor. For Louisville, it was Wes Unseld and Johnny Unitas. "I hope it's Jeffrey Dahmer for Marquette," JackO says.

...

Tech cuts BC's lead to five with 1:41 remaining. Meanwhile, JackO is rambling about the fact that we were watching "SportsCenter" last night and they showed scores from the Women's NIT: "The Women's NIT? Did we really need a Women's NIT? Would you even hang that banner up in your school's gym if you won the title?"

...

Actual postgame question from Dan Bonner to Rick Pitino after a game in which Louisville had a 26-point lead by halftime: "Rick, first of all, congratulations, it appeared to me your team played awfully well, particularly in the first half. What's your assessment?" Can we take Dan's microphone away?

...

Just argued whether Dick Enberg actually thinks Patrick Ewing the dad is playing in this Georgetown-Belmont game. I say yes, House and JackO say no. It's almost more fun NOT knowing.

...

Well, VCU's pressure is finally wearing down Duke -- they've cut it to 28-23 and Greg Paulus is heaving like Rick Majerus during a pilates class right now.

...

Classic Duke moment: Clock running down, end of the half, Paulus gets trapped near the VCU bench and has to throw up a three-point heave ... and they call a touch foul on VCU. Even Coach K seems embarrassed. Really, we have to rig games for a team everyone hates? That's what we've resorted to? I need a break. Back in around an hour.

...

All right, the officiating has been so one-sided in the VCU-Duke game that (A) the fans are booing the refs after every call even though the game's being played in a neutral site, and (B) House just logged online to check out the total fouls. What a disgrace.

...

It's getting chippy in the VCU-Duke game -- Paulus just got fouled hard twice and even exchanged a couple extracurricular bumps with Eric Maynor, followed by the obligatory shot of Coach K. carrying on like the VCU players just went after Paulus with a chainsaw or something. I have to say, it's fun to have Duke around. They're fun to hate.

...

Here's a sentence that Chad Ford needs to add to his draft profile for Josh McRoberts in the "weaknesses" section: He's the kind of guy who flops for a foul while screaming "ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" at the same time.

...

We're all stunned that McRoberts has a 21-11 right now. Tie game, 1:30 left. If he's one of the top-20 draft prospects in college basketball, I demand a recount. He's like a homeless man's Darko Milicic, only if he spent the last seven summers at Bill Laimbeer Summer Camp.

...

Classic McRoberts: Duke missed a jumper and McRoberts drew a loose ball foul by reacting to a bump under the basket like he'd just been shot. Fortunately, he's about to miss one of these free throws ... and there it is! Thank you, Josh McRoberts. "Coach K. should have spent his summer recruiting instead of coaching the U.S. in the World Championships," House jokes.

...

And we're back! Still reeling from the fact that there's an Ainge on BYU (Danny's son Austin). If Danny signed Brian Scalabrine to a $15 million contract, what would he give his own son? $30 million? $40 million? Let's hope we never find out.

...

It's Indiana 20, Gonzaga 17, eight minutes to go in the first half ... shouldn't there be cameras in Josh Heytvelt's dorm room right now? He's probably staring at his ceiling and wondering why it keeps turning into a gypsy.

...

Jacko thinks Derek Raivio should have one name -- "Raivio" -- like he's Fabio or something. Intriguing idea. Meanwhile Raivio just turned into a giant lizard on Josh Heytvelt's TV.

...

One silver lining today: No Billy Packer.

"That means we get him tomorrow though," JackO points out.

(The room falls silent.)

...

Newsflash to Indiana: You don't have to keep wearing your warmups from the Kent Benson Era. You can get new ones.

Day 2 starts in less than 12 hours - 16 more games featuring potential upset specials in (6) Notre Dame vs. (11) Winthrop and (4) Virginia vs. (13) Albany, along with three 5 vs. 12 matchups.

Way To Go, VCU!

We have our first upset of the NCAA Tournament, thanks to Virginia Commonwealth. VCU guard Eric Maynor scored 6 of his 22 points in the final minute and a half, including the game winning jumper with 1.8 seconds left, giving the 11th-seeded Rams a 79-77 victory over 6th-seeded Duke. The win ended a rough day for the 11 seeds. After Stanford fell to Louisville, George Washington was pounded by Vanderbilt, 77-44.

NCAA Tourney

Three games down, no upsets. And although one game doesn't mean as much as some "experts" would have you believe - if you win, it doesn't automatically justify your inclusion in the tournament, and a loss doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't have been included - Stanford tried to show that they didn't deserve to be invited to the dance. It's never good when you lose by 20 and it can be said that the game wasn't nearly as close as the score indicates. Less than 15 minutes into the first half, 6th-seeded Louisville was leading Stanford, the 11th seed, 41-13. Ouch. Louisville led by as many as 33 in the second half.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Go Away!

I love hearing celebrities criticize the country that's allowed them to become celebrities. The latest is actor James Cromwell, who currently plays Jack Bauer's dad on "24."
"I can't handle living in the United States of America when I know the last two elections were rigged, and that we were denied our right to vote, where we live in a country where 32 percent of the people vote and even those people's votes don't count, and the people who should really have a stake, kids, don't have any say at all – people of color, very little to say, unions, practically nothing any more … we're losing our jobs. …"
I can't believe there's nothing in there about the government planning and executing 9/11.

Candidate for Scumbag of the Year

From the New York Post:
Melanie Lidle lost her husband last Oct. 11 when Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle crashed his plane into 524 E. 72nd St. Christopher Lidle, 6, lost his father.

But celebrity dentist Dr. Larry Rosenthal and his wife, Sandra, say they lost their clothes and furniture when the plane struck the high-rise building 13 floors below their 43rd floor apartment - and they want Lidle's estate to pay for them.

"A wing of the airplane went through their window," their lawyer, David Jaroslawicz, explained to Page Six.

Rosenthal - who is as expert at extracting cash from insurance companies as he is with impacted molars - has sued Lidle's estate for $5 million in compensatory damages, plus $2 million for their "mental anguish and distress."

While the Rosenthals' suffering might be minimal compared to that of Lidle's widow and her grieving little boy, Jaroslawicz said, "There's the nuisance of being thrown out of your apartment, having to go out and buy clothes. It's an inconvenience."
This Rosenthal guy is such a winner that he actually sued himself in 2003, and made $85,000 in the process. The Post story gives some details, if you'd like some motivation to bang your head against the wall.

Overall, I like the "inconvenience" argument. Well, yeah, she lost her husband, and they boy lost his father, but my clients had to go out and buy new clothes!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Hate Mongers

From WorldNetDaily:
A ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has concluded that municipal employers have the right to censor the words "natural family," "marriage" and "family values" because that is hate speech and could scare workers.

A More Inconvenient Truth

I found this at GlennBeck.com:

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Let the Madness Begin

I love March.

I'm hoping this year's tournament ends like 2005's:

In case you're only familiar with the Luther Vandross version of One Shining Moment that CBS has been using in recent years, the version in this video is the song's writer and original artist, David Barrett. (Check out OneShiningMoment.com or DavidBarret.com, where I just found out that he's a fan of C.S. Lewis and wrote the music for the PBS special "The Magic Never Ends: The Life & Works Of C.S. Lewis.") I can't hardly listen to this song without getting goose bumps.

Here's the first One Shining Moment montage, after Indiana's 1987 championship (I enjoyed seeing Kevin Gamble in here):

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Aging (or Ancient?) Centers

The Sports Guy had these gems from his running diary of last night's Rockets vs. Celtics game. First, he touched on 51 year old Moses Malone, who retired in 1995:
9:22 -- Tonight's Legal Sea Foods trivia question: Who's the only person who won consecutive MVPs playing for two different teams? That's easy: Moses Malone. I own the Legal Sea Foods question. Which reminds me, what about Henry Abbott leaving Moses off his top-10 centers ballot on ESPN.com this week and inadvertently setting the blog movement back 10 years? I know I abstained, but regardless of the scoring system, no Moses in the top 10???? Is there an explanation forthcoming? I'm deleting True Hoop from my favorite places until we get one. (Note: You can read Moses' angry response to Henry on Moses's blog at www.mmmbdgshhbshhmmmmvsbbbsmm.com.)
Next up was 40 year old Dikembe Mutombo, who's in his 16th season:
9:32 -- With the Rockets leading by 29 in the final 10 minutes, Powe accidentally tumbles into Mutombo's knees; poor Dikembe goes down in a heap and can't get up. See, this is why I'm not allowed to announce NBA games -- I'd be talking in the Cookie Monster voice right now: Ahhhhhhhhhh ... my knee hurts ... ahhhhhhhhhhhhh ... me don't like when my knee hurts ...
And, finally, for good measure, Yao Ming, who moves like he's 40, but is actually 26:
9:42 -- Coming out of commercial, we see a replay of Yao's finger getting bent back on a rebound and Yao screaming in pain, followed by Gorman reporting that Yao went to the locker room to get it checked out, then Tommy joking, "That was his chopstick finger, too, he may not be able to eat anymore!" and Gorman changing the subject as fast as humanly possible. (The lesson, as always: It's never dull when anyone older than 70 is allowed near a microphone during a sporting event.)

Funding Terrorists?

Does this story make any sense?
Israel today raided a military headquarters of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party and arrested Fatah militia members wanted for carrying out terror attacks against the Jewish state.

Most of the terrorists arrested in today's raid were members of Fatah's intelligence unit, which received U.S. weapons shipments in recent months and was slated to be infused with funds from a pending $86 million American grant ...

...

Together with the Islamic Jihad group, Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades has taken responsibility for every suicide bombing in Israel the last two years, including a bombing two weeks ago in Eilat and an attack in Tel Aviv last April that killed eight Israelis and American teenager Daniel Wultz.

...

The Fatah intelligence unit, for which the militants arrested in today's raid worked, previously received arms from shipments of U.S. weapons sent to Fatah in recent months, including a shipment of 7,000 assault rifles delivered in January, Palestinian security sources told WND. The sources said no American weapons have been received since Fatah signed a unity agreement with Hamas last month.

The intelligence branch was also slated to receive funding from an $86.4 million grant the Bush administration had pledged in January to strengthen the Fatah security forces. The grant was put on hold last month by Congressional leaders who asked the State Department to clarify whether Palestinians terror groups might receive some of the funding.

Playing Politics?

I previously posted on the non-binding resolution that passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. It it, I questioned whether or not these people who were "sending a message" to the President would ever actually vote to cut funding and bring our troops home, like they said they wanted to do.

Boy, did they show me. Check this out, from Yahoo! News:
In a direct challenge to President Bush, House Democrats are advancing legislation requiring the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the fall of next year.
Hmmm, the fall of next year. Fall - that would be like October & November. And this is 2007, so next year would most likely be 2008. Is there anything else going on in the fall of 2008? Like on November 4, perhaps?

I would say I'm surprised, but then I would be lying. I'm really disgusted that these politicians continue to play politics with the war. I've said this before, and I'll say it again: IF YOU WANT TO END THE WAR, END THE WAR!!! Don't mess around with the lives of our soldiers. Either give them the support and resources they need to win, or bring them home.

(Side note, your honor - has our youth sports league policy of not keeping score or caring who wins really spread up to our Congress?)

This seems to be a pretty clear statement that the Democratic leadership of the House just disagrees with (I would say "hates," but it's an awfully strong word) the President, but wants him to be responsible for whatever happens. They're saying, "You need to end this war and bring our troops home, or else your party will lose the election in 2008."

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

John Owen

From the newly redesigned (by Tim Challies) Monergism.com:
To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect.
- John Owen

Beef, It's What's For Dinner

(random, obligatory link to recipes at www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com)

PETA is challenging Al Gore to be committed to the cause:
“The single best thing that any of us can do to for our health, for animals, and for the environment is to go vegetarian,” says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. “The best and easiest way for Mr. Gore to show his critics that he’s truly committed to fighting global warming is to kick his meat habit immediately.”
PETA points out:
  • The effect that our meat addiction is having on the climate is truly staggering. In fact, in its recent report “Livestock’s Long Shadow—Environmental Issues and Options,” the United Nations determined that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined.
  • Researchers at the University of Chicago have determined that switching to a vegan diet is more effective in countering global warming than switching from a standard American car to a Toyota Prius.

I Don't Want To Miss A Thing

NASA Scientists: We Don't Have Money to Track Killer Asteroids

Oh come on, we don't need money. We've done this before. I'm sure Ben Affleck learned all he needs to know from Bruce Willis.

Private Eye

Just when I was wondering what was going on in the case, Glenn Beck had a link to a little more news concerning Jose Compean & Ignacio Ramos:
A private investigator who was hired by former U.S. Border Patrol agent Ignacio Ramos during his trial on allegations he fired at a fleeing drug smuggler says he doesn't think prosecutors made any significant effort to find the smuggler, later identified as Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila.

Freddie Bonilla told WND that his investigation of the Feb. 17, 2005, incident was straight-forward, and led him quickly to Aldrete-Davila's identity, and he believes the federal government should have been able to do the same thing.
Here's where Bonilla's investigation started, Aldrete-Davila's abandoned van:Surely that amount of drugs doesn't really mean anything. Just a little weed to take the edge off.

I Confess - I'm Innocent!

Why is it that you can confess to murdering your wife, dismembering her body and then depositing the body parts in a park, and then plead not guilty?

(HT: J in the UK)

Hate Is A Strong Word

The Sports Guy responds to some feedback from his rant about Coach K, which he ended by stating that he hates Duke:
The Duke grads are riled up because I wrote that I hated Duke. You're right, bad choice of words -- I should have written "disliked," "loathed" or even "abhorred." "Hate" is a strong word. Anyway, I feel like everyone has to pick sides in the UNC-Duke thing (much like with sodas, fast food, coffee and TVs as mentioned above), and I'm partial to UNC because I have multiple friends who went there and they've all brainwashed me to root against Duke. Which I do. Also, I think Coach K is a sniveling ninny. So I guess there's that. I don't feel like a true basketball fan should be allowed to remain neutral on this -- either you're against Duke or you're against UNC. It's one or the other.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Bullying

Iowa Governor Chet Culver signed a bill into law today that bans bullying in schools. According to the Des Moines Register:
Senate File 61 requires all Iowa schools to have policies by Sept. 1 that prevent and punish bullying or harassment of any student. Currently, 77 of Iowa's 365 public school districts have anti-bullying policies that include sexual orientation.
The bill (sf61) contains the following language:
b. "Trait or characteristic of the student" includes but is not limited to age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status.
Is there anything that they left off the list? How about "favorite sports team"? Or "favorite food"? Or are those acceptable grounds for bullying? I don't get why such a distinction is necessary - or why such a state law is necessary. Are there really schools out there that condone creating "an objectively hostile school environment" for their students?

If you really want to go deep into this, what about subject material of different courses? What about the 16 year old Nazi skinhead who has to sit through his history teacher talking about Hitler and the Holocaust in a negative way? What about the Christian who has to listen to her science teacher speak of Darwinian evolution or the Big Bang as absolute fact?

But back to the issue at hand, namely the definition of "protected classes." Surprisingly, the Register's article included a quote from Bob Stouffer, superintendent of Des Moines Christian School:
"The bottom line should be that bullying should not be tolerated for any reason," Stouffer said.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Hansbrough Video

For those of you who haven't seen the play, here's how it played out on CBS. Listen to as little or as much of Billy Packer as you can handle:



Here's an interesting angle. Pretty shaky camera work, but it sure doesn't look like Henderson's making a "basketball play:"



And one more for good measure, from CNN Headline News:

Greek Life?

From the Mason City Globe Gazette:
Some student groups will not participate in an annual blood drive this week at Iowa State University to protest federal rules that prevent some gay men from donating.

Up to 500 blood donations are expected to be lost as a result of the decision by Greek Week officials, said organizers of the Ames blood drive, the largest student-run blood drive in Iowa.

The loss of that much blood comes at a time when Iowa blood banks are already seeing supplies run short because of recent storm-related cancellations of blood drives and fewer walk-in donors.

...

U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules prohibit men who have had sex with another man since 1977 from giving blood.

...

The FDA says research shows that men who have had sex with men are 60 times more likely to be infected with the AIDS virus than the rest of the general public.
I wouldn't want a little thing like HIV to stand in the way of people donating blood. While we're at it, why don't we let intravenous drug users who share needles donate?

Broken Nose

From ESPN.com:
Tyler Hansbrough will probably play in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament despite breaking his nose during the blood-filled final seconds of No. 8 North Carolina's victory over 14th-ranked Duke on Sunday.
Read the whole article and you get to this line:
[North Carolina head coach Roy] Williams also said that Hansbrough injured a tooth earlier in the game and will probably need a root canal after the season ends.
Yeah, that was likely from the first "inadvertent" elbow/forearm Hansbrough took to the face.

I love the Sports Guy's take:
4. I don't mean to pile on Billy Packer here -- OK, maybe I do -- but when you're already considered to be one of the biggest apologists on the planet for Duke basketball, is it really a good idea to keep making excuses for a Duke player after he just threw a malicious elbow at Carolina's best player with 15 seconds remaining in an 12-point game? That was one of the strangest sequences I've ever watched in a televised basketball game. Here's a rough transcript (I'm doing it from memory):

(We see a replay of Gerald Henderson measuring Hansbrough, flying over from six feet away, then delivering a Macho Man Savage-type elbow into Hansbrough's face one second after Hansbrough had already been stripped of the ball.)

Packer: "Yeah, he was going for the ball ... that was NOT intentional."

(We see another replay of the same thing from a different angle -- this time, it looks like Henderson could potentially be arrested for what just happened.)

Packer: "See, from that replay, there's NO QUESTION that Henderson was going for the ball ... that was definitely an accident.)

(Jim Nantz thinks about mentioning that Hansbrough had already been stripped of the ball before Henderson even raises his elbow, realizes that he has to announce games with Packer for the next four weeks, doesn't want it to be awkward, decides against saying anything at all, starts day-dreaming about the Masters.)

Packer: "Nope ... no way. He was going for the ball."

(Cut to a replay of Hansbrough walking off the court with his face broken in half.)

Packer: "Jim, if anything, that was probably Hansbrough's fault for going after Henderson's elbow with his face ..."

You get the idea. We have media criticism rules at ESPN, so I have to tread carefully here ... but have you noticed that Packer somehow turns himself into a major story before EVERY NCAA TOURNAMENT? As I wrote a couple of years ago, I was watching an Indiana State Final Four game from the '79 tournament and they made a big deal before the game about how Packer had publicly attacked Indy State's credentials for the entire tournament, and now they were in the Final Four and he was eating a little crow -- they even showed an awkward interview with him and Larry Bird after the game. This was 28 years ago!!!!!! What chain of events needs to happen for CBS to replace him with a more palatable, more enjoyable, agenda-less lead analyst? Does 100 percent of the country have to band together and say, "We're tired of this guy?" Or are we good at the current number of 97 percent?
And then:
Congrats to Coach K for questioning why Hansbrough was still in the game and inadvertently using Isiah Thomas' "he was asking for it" defense. And the Duke fans wonder why everyone hates Duke. If the roles were reversed, and this had happened to McRoberts, Coach K would have shown up for the news conference covered in McRoberts's blood, fighting back tears, urging for the offending UNC player to be suspended for the entire ACC tournament and basically looking like Jackie Kennedy in Dallas after the JFK shooting. God, I hate Duke.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Bleeding Carolina Blue

From Adam Lucas of TarHeelBlue.com:
With the Smith Center's foundation shaking and referees huddling and the blood vessels on your temple popping and Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski meeting at midcourt and what had been a bit of a ho-hum finish exploding, Tyler Hansbrough said exactly what you thought he would say.

He was standing in the Smith Center training room with his father, trainer Marc Davis, a dentist, and sports information honcho Matt Bowers. The first move was to have him cough into a trash can, which send blood streaming. Finally, the blood stopped streaming from his nose. The front of his jersey, from the neck to the waist, was covered in bright red blood. Hansbrough's blood. And this is what he said:

"I want to go back out there. Like this."

Imagine if that had happened. Imagine if Hansbrough had walked back onto the Smith Center court with his jersey covered in blood, a plug in each nostril, and a menacing glare.
(Photo courtesy of ESPN.com)

The above image is the result of a hard foul by Duke's Gerald Henderson in the closing seconds of UNC's 86-72 win over the Blue Devils on Sunday. Whether or not Henderson meant to injure Hansbrough, it looked like he was definitely trying to deliver a hard foul - you don't generally see people go after a blocked shot with their elbow/forearm. That wasn't the first time in the game that Hansbrough received a hard (if not cheap) shot to the face.

After the game, Coach K had the audacity to drop this quote, which Adam Lucas follows up nicely, with some sarcasm and cold, hard facts:
"The game was over before (the foul)," Duke's Mike Krzyzewski said. "The outcome of the game, let's put it that way. It's unfortunate those people were in the game."

So the Blue Devils had given up. That's why, when Bobby Frasor toed the free throw line with 18.7 seconds remaining, Duke had Gerald Henderson, Josh McRoberts, DeMarcus Nelson, and Jon Scheyer still on the floor. Greg Paulus had just left after fouling out.
For the record, Henderson, McRoberts, Nelson, Scheyer, and Paulus played 167 of the game's 200 minutes (40 minutes times 5 players). Hansbrough was still in the game because, as opposed to Coach K's comments, Duke had not given up. They were still fouling and trying to make a comeback.

In case this hasn't been clear enough, yet, let me be completely transparent. Coach K - "those people" were in the game because of your decision to draw out a game that you readily admit "was over."

On a lighter note, you've got to love the camaraderie on the Tar Heels:
When Hansbrough eventually returned--just in time to enjoy the senior speeches by [Dewey] Burke, Wes Miller, and Reyshawn Terry--it was Frasor whom he asked, "Does my nose look normal?"

Hansbrough asked this while dried blood remained on his face and two plugs were sticking out of his nostrils like a walrus's tusks. Even the deadpan Frasor couldn't resist a small smile.

"Yeah, Tyler," he said. "You look really normal."

Saturday, March 03, 2007

NBA All-Star Weekend Fallout

It's been a couple of weeks since the NBA's All-Star weekend, but I'm just now taking some time to vent. Much was made in various media reports about the numbers of arrests and violent incidents in Las Vegas over the weekend, and nearly all the reports/stories I read/heard blamed the NBA and it's "hip-hop culture." Give me a break. I'm pretty sure there weren't any NBA players involved in those arrests, and I'm pretty sure there wasn't anybody in Vegas doing anything "arrest-worthy" because it was All-Star weekend. Anyway, I finally read a fair take on the weekend, courtesy of ESPN.com's Sports Guy:
The NBA was unfairly blamed for the general craziness of the weekend, with the Pacman Jones incident getting the most play ... like it was the NBA's fault that an NFL star caused the biggest riot of the weekend. The NBA didn't screw up; Vegas screwed up. The city failed to stack the Strip and the surrounding parts of the city with enough cops and security guards, and they made the mistake of hoping everyone would act appropriately.


For any other weekend, that was a reasonably sound game plan. For a weekend in which the NBA All-Star Game was the THIRD biggest event behind Chinese New Year and the Fashion Convention? Not a good idea. If you owned a car and resided within driving distance of Vegas, you needed only to find a space in a garage and you were good to go for the weekend, even if you didn't have a place to sleep. Contrary to public belief, New Orleans won't be as chaotic an All-Star destination because the city will flood downtown with cops -- no way the Big Easy makes the same mistake as Vegas did -- and because out-of-towners won't be able to cruise into the city and park downtown without any trouble. Over everything else, that's where Vegas screwed up.

The other ridiculous fallout from Las Vegas is the number of people already saying that the NBA shouldn't hold next year's All-Star weekend in New Orleans. The Houston Rockets' Tracy McGrady, for one, said he doesn't think New Orleans is the "right city to have this type of event right now" and that "If I don't feel that I'm going to be safe, if I am on that team, I will look into probably not even going."

You know what, Tracy? You're probably right. I'm sure the city that hosts Mardi Gras is incapable of hosting the NBA All-Star game.