Friday, March 31, 2006

I'm no sex offender...

... but if I was, I would like to think that I would avoid doing something as flagrantly attention-whorish as to sit on my roof as a "husband on strike."

I would hope that if I was in that situation, I would realize that:
A) The media loves stupid shit like that.
B) I had to register as a sex offender.
C) That information is available to the general public.
D) An awful lot of people have internet access and a lot of free time.
E) Someone is going to put all this together.

Under that scenario, I would be smarter than this guy.

Of course I can't really judge because like I said... I'm not a sex offender.

Hooliganism

The misses and I are heading to Europe in about a month and will be in London for a few nights.

I was hoping to get to Highbury to see the Gunners, but they're not home while we're there; Wigan at Fulham is the only option.

I know there are some EPL followers around here at times. My question is whether seeing a game at Fulham is worth spending one of our three nights in London.

Pro: Premier league in person.
Con: Arsenal, Man U, Chelsea, Newcastle, etc. nowhere to be seen.

Pro: Brian McBride.
Con: Probably hurt.

Thoughts, comments or observations?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Sick.

This bracket ain't right. Either the person filled out 150 different brackets or they're a super genius.

The year two #8 seeds made it to the Final Four (2000 or 2001, I think-- it was Wisconsin and UNC), only one person (a woman, actually) picked the Final Four correctly. The next year they featured her bracket with their "expert" picks, and she finished in something like the 30th percentile.

In an unrelated note, if anyone has a copy of Billy Packer's anti-George Mason rant during the selection show (just the text, I don't need the audio), put it in the comments section.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Hello Cleveland!

The title doesn't make much sense, but those bastards at ESPN.com already took the good Spinal Tap reference for the NCAA Tournament ("This one goes to 11" for George Mason's seed), so here we are.

What a bizarre 24-hour period for the tournament... I went from feeling like I had pretty much nailed down a title in every group I was in (thanks to UCLA making it to the Final Four with UConn and Villanova still to play) to the "Oh shit" moment when my would-be champion lost to a freaking 11 seed today, to having my last Final Four team (Nova) lose and actually having that help me win.

I'm in first place right now in the group sponsored by the guys at Midwest Bias and no one else has any possible points remaining so I win. Hooray. Naturally, there is no money whatsoever riding on this pool.

I'm also feeling pretty good about the pool at work (valuable cash and prizes definitely in play in that one), but don't have access to everyone else's brackets, so that's nothing more than a guess.

You know it's a crazy year a decidedly mediocre first two rounds, plus losing two Final Four teams in three hours (including the would-be champion) still puts you in the 96th percentile of ESPN's brackets.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Nothing is more powerful than the truth...

and the truth is, I had LSU beating Duke last night (as I suspect a lot of people did). That, coupled with the fact that I enjoy watching them lose, makes this cartoon even funnier.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Put on a happy face.

This one is just for Brian, who is perhaps better in touch with my emotional state than I myself. (He's right on two counts, I have been ultra-pissy lately, and it is because of my shitty job that I hate, plus my overall intolerance for the imbeciles and general idiocy I have to deal with there on a daily basis, and I can't wait to leave and I just want to be working in sports again and ohmygodwhyisthistakingsolong...)

However, deep down underneath it all, I am still the same happy, lovable person I always have been. No, seriously.

Want a reason why? Tickets have already gone on sale for a 2006 Ohio State football game, and it's not the spring game.

The University of Illinois is already selling tickets to the public for this fall's games, including the November 4th matchup with the Buckeyes.

So all is not lost. Football season is just around the corner.

(speechless)

Mr. Highly-paid consultant was in town today, giving a seminar on tease-writing. (For non-TV people, these are the little "coming up next, a salad dressing that cures cancer!" things that happen right before the commercials)

One of his slides featured the phrase, "be specific and factual." He referenced this, and then moments later said, "it's important to avoid facts."

(Sound of me sobbing uncontrollably in the corner)

Monday, March 20, 2006

whinydouchbagsinsouthflorida.org

From the "friends in unlikely places" file, the good folks over at the MZone pointed out a ridiculous site called Fiasco Bowl. It proposes one of the most moronic and derivative plans in history-- putting up a billboard (a ripoff of a ripoff of a not-that-funny idea) in Columbus proclaiming that Miami is in fact the 2002 national champion in football.

Let's set aside the fact that their case is pretty much non-existant and that the statute of limitations on whining about this game expired even before their relevence as a national program did. A billboard? Really? There is little doubt; these are douchebags of an unusual caliber.

They helpfully provided photographic evidence (below) that there was, in fact, significant contact before the ball got there.

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Witness the face-guarding, the full-body contact, and the left arm wrapped completely around the receiver (you can see his gray glove around Gamble's back). This makes the call they're villifying the correct one, and completely negates their argument.

To buy into their bullshit, you also need to ignore this photo which shows the interference from another angle.

Also, you should ignore this article which quotes a Miami assistant telling his defenders to get physical with the Buckeye receivers on that play because the officials certainly wouldn't call pass interference in overtime. Oh, by the way, the officials called pass interference on the Buckeyes TWICE in overtime during that game.

And ignore the fact that Miami only made it into the overtime period because of multiple blown calls during regulation. (If you don't want to read the whole thing, just read item #20.)

And ignore the facemask that Glenn Sharpe committed on that 4th-and-3 play that the officials missed.

And ignore the fact that the official review of the game ruled that it was the correct call.

And ignore all the images that this site captured from the game video that show about four different infractions.

Basically, you need to have zero understanding of football, plus ram your head up your ass for a period of several years to believe there's any truth or relevence to that site.

Of course, this same site manages to proclaim Ken Dorsey "the greatest of all time", and call Kellen Winslow, Jr "a good man." So you probably knew that already.

But after reading that site all the way through, it hit me: it's a joke. It has to be. The stilted prose, the half-assed case, the ridiculous angelification of the perpetually-thugged-out Miami football program... this is one of the great satires of the sports internet. It has to be.

No one could possibly be that stupid.

Perspective

A disappointing end to the OSU men's basketball season should not overshadow a spectacular year.

Remember that this team started the year out of the top 25 in the preseason coaches' poll, ranking behind such notables as #5 Michigan State, #6 Oklahoma, #8 Louisville, #13 Stanford, #18 Wake Forest, and #23 Iowa State. They were the fifth-highest ranked Big Ten team.

They proceeded to run off a 23-4 regular season record and win the Big Ten regular season title outright. All this despite having a power forward playing center and a small forward playing power forward.

That undersized lineup made them vulnerable against big teams like Georgetown, even if they did overcome it in other games during the season.

This season was a huge success, and with Thad Matta around and one of the best (if not the best) recruiting classes in the county coming in, there's reason to expect this team to be back in the Dance for years to come.

On the bright side, the #1 seed OSU women rolled in their first round game last night and... even better... it's spring football time.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Bring out the gimp.

I'm going to preface this by saying that I didn't get to see all of the Illinois-Washington game. I'm also no great fan of Illinois.

However, during the (significant) chunk of the game that I did see, it was very apparent that Illinois was getting royally fucked by the officiating. UW was in the double-bonus with more than nine minutes left to go in the game, and Illinois had two guys with four fouls around the same time. Total fouls for the game were 28-17, and Washington shot 39 free throws compared to Illinois' 11.

Washington had TWO individual players who each shot more free throws than the Illinois team did.

That was just enough to overcome Illinois making eight more field goals, grabbing three more rebounds, and dishing out almost twice as many assists (15 vs. 8) as Washington.

Illinois should have just played the second half with a ball gag in their mouths.

What a total fucking joke.

Almost as bad (at least on a much shorter-term basis) was the completely flagrant shove in the back on the final inbounds play in the LSU-A&M game. An LSU player knocked A&M's best player to the floor right in front of the official... no call.

With A&M down one, they should have been shooting a 1-and-1 with a chance to tie or take the lead. Instead... they got hosed.

Round one recap

A quick look at my bracket shows a surprisingly lopsided result so far.

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The greens are games I got right, the pinks are wrong picks. Clearly, I was a lot smarter when I filled out the Washington and Minneapolis brackets. Atlanta and Oakland look like I shot a bottle of Pepto over the paper.

I missed 9 first-round games, but only three of those teams were Sweet 16 picks, and only Kansas was an Elite 8 member.

Friday, March 17, 2006

House of bricks and shit.

Score from the little top-of-screen ticker on CBS: Villanova 10, Monmouth 6. 6:30 left in the first half.

Sweet sassy molassy, that is some ugly shit.

Update: WVU is up by two touchdowns on SIU right now. #16 Oral Roberts is down one point to #1 Memphis. Of course CBS is sticking with the WVU game. Assholes.

Too close for comfort.

(exhaling deeply)

That was interesting.

OSU went 1-for-14 from 3 in the first half before figuring out that they could just pound Terance Dials inside. He scored something like 12 points in five minutes in the second half to help OSU pull away.

Ron Lewis hit a couple big 3s in the second half as well.

OSU finished 5-for-22 from behind the arc, and just 13-for-23 at the line.

Still, a win is a win. They'll need a much better effort to beat either UNI or Georgetown.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Day 1 recap...

I realize the day's not over, but by the time the 10:55 game ends, I'll probably be comatose.

I (like most people) managed to make it through without losing any Elite 8 teams, which is all you can ask for at this point. Nevada was the only multi-win team I lost.

I was also glad to see a lot of the higher-seeded teams I have crapping out early (BC, Gonzaga, Tennessee) all looked like piles of crap.

It seems to me like last year's first and second rounds were a bitter disappointment... not many close games, let alone buzzer-beaters. This year is making up for it in spades.

Gonzaga-Xavier, Marquette-Alabama and Tennessee-Winthrop were all in doubt in the final minute, while BC-Pacific and GW-UNCW both went to overtime. SDSU-Indiana is close right now, and even Southern is staying within spitting distance of Duke (although we all know Duke is pretty much guaranteed to go on a 27-2 run at some point in the second half).

You had the right mix of upsets; a 5-seed (Nevada), 6-seed (Oklahoma), and 7-seed (Marquette) all went down while a 2-seed (Tennessee) and 3-seed (Gonzaga) trailed in the final minutes of their games before pulling them out and a 4-seed (BC) went to double-OT.

The BC-Pacific game was this year's winner for "the first game that makes me stand up and scream inappropriately at work", thanks to a late 3-ball from Pacific that tied the game.

Tomorrow's enjoyment will hinge almost entirely on the Buckeyes. If they come out and take care of business (Hint: Keep feeding it to Dials until he's too tired to raise his arms above his head), I'll be able to enjoy the rest of the day. If it's ugly or, God forbid, they lose... yikes. Not good times.

Reason number 12,683...

I have taken to short-handing my nickname for Michigan as "TFS", standing for "This Fucking State."

Besides the shitty roads, terrible economy, extreme reliance on an underperforming and poorly-run auto industry, and delightful mixture of crime and blight in the region's major city, I continue to come up with reasons why living in Columbus was about 12 billion times more preferable to living here.

The latest example involves the local CBS station which will apparently not run the OSU game tomorrow. No worries, as in Columbus, the cable company is providing feeds of every game for free on four channels. They have provided this for years (since I lived there).

Here in Shitholigan? Of course not. Bend over and enjoy your Arizona-Wisconsin.

Chances of me calling in sick tomorrow and driving to Dayton are hovering around 50% right now.

Can I play with madness?

(Yes, Iron Maiden. What the hell are you going to do about it?)

The NCAAs tip off today and I will be enjoying it in style. At a job I hate, watching on a 13" TV on my desk because the people in charge refuse to turn the big, new flatscreen monitors off of CNN or Fox News because "something could happen."

There's also a small, but real chance that I could end up having to go to the NIT game in Crisler instead of enjoying tonight's NCAA games from my couch. Such is life.

Assuming Ohio State wins tomorrow, I'm almost certainly going to be in Dayton on Sunday, so that's all good.

On with the picks...

Champ: Connecticut
Runner up: UCLA
Final Four: Texas, Villanova
Elite 8: LSU, Kansas, UNC, Florida
Sweet 16: Duke, Iowa, Memphis, Indiana, Illinois, Wichita State, Nevada, Ohio State
Second round: UNC-W, Texas A&M, SIU, Cal, Arkansas, Pitt, Gonzaga, Marquette, Kentucky, Washington, Tennessee, Arizona, Wisconin-Milwaukee, Oklahoma, Georgetown.

Nothing too wild. Syracuse is the #5 making an early exit, #2 Tennessee loses to #7 Wichita State, Oklahoma loses to UW-M, WVU loses to SIU, and two #1 seeds (Duke and Memphis) drop out in the Sweet 16. I spent a lot of time waffling on Kansas/UCLA. Indiana in the sweet 16 is probably the dumbest thing on there. They could very well drop their pants and crap all over the floor in the first round.

OSU could easily lose to Georgetown... that wouldn't surprise me at all. Frankly, I think they match up better with Florida than they do with the Hoyas. I'm hedging my emotional bets with a Sweet 16 pick. They could easily get to the Final Four if they get out of the second round.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Mr. Burns, I think we can trust the president of Cuba.

What's the punishment for trying to pass a billion dollar bill with a picture of Grover Cleveland on it?

I vote for spanking him on two non-consecutive occasions.

Stop me if you've heard this one.

So a deaf beauty queen is walking along some train tracks...

Monday, March 13, 2006

The new Mulgrew

My brother told me about a new site I had never heard of called Tucker Max. Apparently this is not a big secret because MTV shot him going around for a few days doing his thing.

More or less, he's Mulgrew part 2, except he pulls tail.

Fair Warning: Some pictures (ads) on the side of the site are borderline NSFW. You might want to wait until you're at home to check it out.

Tournament recap

A few interesting things I saw and/or heard in Indy.

-- An IU fan waving a "winner gets Matta" banner during the OSU/Indiana game. I was told this never made it on TV... which seems hard to believe. The woman was nowhere near the court (in the second deck). Maybe that's the reason.

-- Approximately 12,000,000,000,000,000 raindrops. Getting poured on every night when we went out was crap. Driving back home last night in a steady monsoon was worse.

-- A guy with a video camera shooting the Buckeyes walking off their bus before yesterday's game, just as Jim Nantz and Billy Packer were approaching that camera guy. Packer noticed him and ducked to avoid getting in the shot. Nantz (following Packer, and clearly noticing him duck) just walked right through the shot. What a moment! What a douchebag!

-- Every time Iowa coach Steve Alford would argue calls with the refs during the championship game, he would end the conversation with "I love you." I swear to God I'm not making this up. Creepy.

-- The unquestioned highlight of the weekend came during one of the Indiana games. One of my co-workers was walking up to the press tables at courtside, looking to steal a seat to watch the game. Just then, Indiana athletic director Rick Greenspan got up to leave, and offered his seat. In a sarcastic tone he said, "enjoy the conversation."

Needless to say, my buddy was a little confused. When he sat down, he heard the writers next to him talking. One was saying to the other (I'm paraphrasing) "here's what Indiana really needs to do. Hire Alford, then let him fail and fire him after a couple years and then Greenspan can bring in his own guy and tell the IU hicks to screw off."

My friend interupted and asked if the guys had been talking about Davis and the coaching search for a while. They said yes. He asked if they knew who they were just sitting next to. They said no.

Oops.

The moral of the story: If you want to talk about how you would do someone else's job (especially if you're an imbecile and have stupid, ill-informed opinions), make sure you know what they look like.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Big Ten Tournament, Day 4

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Iowa celebrates their title.

Championship Sunday

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OSU coach Thad Matta arrives at the arena just after 2pm.

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OSU forward Matt Sylvester walks in.

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Fans wait to enter the arena.

More photos to come after the game.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Big Ten Tournament, Day 3

First, a couple leftovers from last night.

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MSU prepares to head out of the tunnel.

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The Spartans run out.

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The crowd was mostly Illini fans.

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They filled up both ends of the arena, plus the sides.

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Translation: Plenty of good seats available for rounds 3 and 4.

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Iowa beat MSU in the first semifinal of day 3.

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Iowa looked good. Their fans (such as the white guy with the cornrows)... not so much.

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OSU and Indiana tip off the second semifinal.

It's 4:50 am and I'm still awake...

Through an almost inconceivable sequence of circumstances, I managed to stay out past last call and not really do anything approaching "fun."

However, I did manage to drive two inebriated friends home. They decided that we needed to stop at a Steak and Shake (because that's what you do in Indiana at 4am).

The following is the actual interaction between one of my drunk friends and the cashier.

Cashier: So that's a burger and fries. Do you want anything to drink with that?

Drunk Friend: No, I think I've had enough to drink.

The written word really does not do this moment justice.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Big Ten Tournament, Day 2

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Conseco Fieldhouse before Friday's games.

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Conseco Fieldhouse before Friday's games.

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OSU athletic director Gene Smith addresses the media about the NCAA sanctions.

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Je'Kel Foster warms up before the OSU-Penn State game.

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OSU and Penn State players shake hands after their game.

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Indiana players huddle up in the tunnel before the game.

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The second half of the Indiana and Wisconsin game.

Big Ten Tournament, Day 1

Three games, only one of which was interesting in the final five minutes. Screw it: I'm doing a photo blog anyway.

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The lobby of Conseco Fieldhouse from the suite level.

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More of the main lobby.

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Tipoff of game one. Three words: Late arriving crowd.

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The Wildcats re-enter the floor for the second half.

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Inflation in action: Your choice of Big Ten Tournament t-shirts. Just $25 each. (The Michigan ones should go on sale tomorrow)

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The conference taped pep rally-style banners in the hallway outside the teams' locker rooms. All 11 schools have their own banner.

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The Pacers' practice gym is doubling as the media work room for the weekend.

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MSU celebrates their win.

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The city re-named several roads around the arena in honor of past champions.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

First we must shave the patient...

OSU backup center Matt Terwilliger underwent a "non-emergency appendectomy" (was it a cosmetic procedure then?) and will be out for an indetermined amount of time.

My guess is that he won't play for a minimum of a couple of weeks... maybe longer. That would bring him back either Sweet 16 weekend or Final Four weekend, even under the best-case scenario.

The Buckeyes have not exactly played a deep big-man rotation this year, now this leaves OSU even thinner in the paint. It's like going from Ashley to Mary-Kate.

It's Terence Dials and... umm... Brayden Bell.

Brayden has a solid 33 minutes of action under his belt. Not in one game, in the season.

Something tells me a coach or two is going to figure out that if you go inside, you can get OSU in trouble.

If Dials turns his ankle or something, this team is probably done.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Work + Boredom + Anticipation....

I'm bored to death at work today and looking forward to the Big Ten Tournament a little too much.

As I paged through the wires, I found a listing of the history of every conference's men's basketball tournament. Mostly it was just who beat whom in the finals. Still, some interesting stuff...

For example, in the Big Ten, the tournament has been held for eight years. Six different (Michigan, MSU, Iowa, OSU, Illinois, Wisconsin) teams have won it. MSU and Illinois are the only ones to win it twice.

Eight different teams have played in the championship game (Purdue and Indiana are the others). Only Minnesota, Penn State and Northwestern have yet to play on Sunday.

Michigan and Purdue played in the first championship game (1997). Neither has made it back to the final.

In the ACC, Duke has played in the final for eight straight years, winning six.

Even more incredible, at least one team based in North Carolina (UNC, NCSU, Duke, Wake Forest) has played in every single ACC Championship game except for one. They've held the tournament since 1954, and only in 1990 (Georgia Tech vs. Virginia) was North Carolina not represented.

In the Big XII, Kansas won each of the first three championships (1997-99), but they've only made it back to the final once since then. They lost to Oklahoma in 2002.

The state of Oklahoma has won each of the last five league championships (Ok State in 2004 and 2005 and OU in the previous three years)

Since the event started in 1997, no team from Texas has ever won the Big XII Tournament Championship.

In the Big East, Georgetown played in 10 of the first 17 championship games, but hasn't been back to the game for the last 9 years.

Last year's final (Syracuse over WVU) broke a three-year string of Pitt/UConn finals.

Speaking of the Big East, every single CUSA championship game (starting in 1996 and running through last year) has featured at least one team that is now a member of the Big East (Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville, Marquette).

The Pac-10 only resumed its conference tournament four years ago, but it has had a different champion in each of those four years. (Arizona in 2002, Oregon in 2003, Stanford in 2004, and Washington in 2005).

In the SEC, Kentucky has played in 12 of the last 14 championship games, winning 10.

This is the seventh year for the Mountain West Conference tournament. In each of the first six years, a different team won. UNLV won in 2000, BYU won in 2001, SDSU won in 2002, Colorado State won in 2003, Utah won in 2004 and New Mexico won in 2005.

Just for Tony, the MAC tournament has been going on since 1980. Bowling Green has never won the championship and has only made the final game once since 1983.

Miami of Ohio played in the title game five years in a row (1997-2001), but only won once during that span.

And the Ivy League doesn't hold a tournament, so this applies to the regular season titles. Penn and Princeton have won every league championship since 1988. Only two other schools (Cornell in 1988 and Brown in 1986) have won Ivy League championships since 1968.

The Skeete situation

I'm sure you've heard all about the Jonathan Skeete situation by now. If not, you can get the info here.

Basically, a walk-on kicker for the OSU football team got nailed selling pot, and was found guilty to fifth-degree felony drug trafficking. It's worth noting that the article linked above implies something that's not correct; he wasn't at OSU on an athletic scholarship, but an academic one. He has always been a walk-on.

I'm all for giving kids a second chance. Of course, depending on how you look at it, he may have already had that second chance, since he got nailed twice for selling pot.

Regardless, there's nothing that says he needs to get that second chance at OSU. He could have gone to any of a number of other schools to start over.

Generally, Tressel's discipline tends to be reasonable and fairly consistent. I just don't agree with this move.

(And Michigan fans, spare me the "thugs at OSU! No punishment!" bullshit. Marlon Jackson, a bottle, a kid's head, and a one-game suspension against a low-level MAC opponent come to mind.)

Oh. My. God

Steve Balboni has a baseball school. Awesome. (Via: King Tom)

Pretty sweet, right? But wait... there's more.

Would you believe... Buddy Biancalana's Peak Performance Baseball?

My love for all things Biancalana might top Little G's Steve Lombardozzi fetish as the "Strangest Mediocre 1980s Middle Infielder Obsession."

Rafael Santana is apparently a romance novelist (I hope it's not the same one).

Tom Lawless may or may not be a lawyer in Nashville. (Probably not)

Someone is squatting on MannyLee.com.

In a related note, the domains andrerobertson.com, rancemulliniks.com, bobbymeacham.com, onixconcepcion.com, kelvinchapman.com, sammykhalifa.com, and ulwashington.com are still available.

And finally, the fact of the day: Rance Mulliniks' full name is Steven Rance Mulliniks. That's right... he made a deliberate choice to go by "Rance."

Strap, God wants you on the floor.

Two days 'til the Big Ten Tournament, and I'm going insane.

Two more meaningless days of crap at work before I get to spend four days actually doing something I like and care about. At this point, it's like the days before Christmas felt when you were a kid, or about 65% of what the week leading up to the Ohio State-Michigan game feels like now.

Add in the fact that I'll be seeing some old friends, perhaps getting into a little trouble, and... oh yeah... not being stuck at work for four days, and it's looking like about an 85% chance of good times.

There's a chance I'll do a photo blog from there. I'm going to be working quite a bit on other stuff, but I'd like to do something for here. We'll see if there's time.
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Speaking of Indy, guess who won the Big Ten women's basketball tournament?

I'll give you a hint: You know when you're playing NCAA Football on the Playstation and you play enough seasons in a row that you fill up your trophy case and have to start deleting the oldest ones? One Big Ten school is in danger of reaching that point this year.

If you're scoring at home, it's: football, men's basketball regular season, women's basketball regular season, and women's basketball conference tournament. There's a decent chance that the men could bring home the conference tourney title, and one or both basketball teams could make a run at the Final Four.

Fortunately, the school in question won't have to worry about that ugly Mason Cup clutting things up. (Baby not included)
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Supposedly good teams I've seen play recently that I'm not particularly impressed with: Gonzaga, Duke, Memphis, George Washington.

None of those scare me in terms of possible Buckeye tournament opponents, except maybe Duke, which still gets calls that Michael Jordan never got. I'm told they suck now because poor J.J. Redick is sooooooo sleepy. Awwwwww...

Gonzaga needed two straight nights of unbelievably homer-iffic calls to beat mighty San Diego and Loyola Marymount on their home floor.

Memphis and GW are in the same boat; Play in the Big Ten and finish 10-6 in the league. Play in a steaming pile of a conference and get a 2 seed.

The presense of any or all of those teams in the Buckeyes' bracket will cause much rejoicing.

The presense of Texas or UConn will cause much consternation.

Villanova? Seems similar to OSU and it would probably come down to which team was bombing away better that day.

UNC? Good, but young. If they play a strong, veteran team they could be in trouble.
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My reaction to Kirby Puckett's passing was similar to Tony's. He was fun to watch and a hell of a ballplayer. You could tell he squeezed every last bit of ability out of his body.

But the stuff that came out after his retirement took him from "all-time, universally-loved good guy" to a far more common ground in a lot of people's opinions, mine included.

He's a little like Pete Rose in some ways; hopefully the example he set during his playing days is something kids emulate, and hopefully the example he set off the field in recent years (cheating on his wife, possibly fondling that woman in a restaurant, and eating like Pac-Man) is something they don't.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Worst American Sportswriting, Volume 2006

The lead paragraph of the Sportsticker wire service recap of the first game of Day 2 of the Big Ten women's basketball tournament: Brandie Hoskins and fifth-ranked Ohio State hardly were tested by Penn State in the Big Ten conference tournament quarterfinals.

The lead paragraph of the Sportsticker wire service recap of the second game of Day 2 of the Big Ten women's basketball tournament: Iowa hardly tested Liz Shimek and no. 17 Michigan State in the Big Ten conference tournament quarterfinals.

You've got to love MadLibs sportwriting: (Name) and (team) were hardly tested by (team) in the Big Ten conference tournament quarterfinals.

No pearl necklace?

In the spirit of Tony's recent post about 'launching the stream', I thought it would be appropriate to share a quote from a woman talking about one of the beauty supplies in the 2006 Oscar Gift Baskets.

"It's the most luxurious, amazing treatment you can have here at the Four Seasons. I think it would be the perfect facial to have the day of the Oscars."

If you think I'm Googling "the perfect facial" from work to find a link to the article, you're nuts.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Hat trick.

The basketball Buckeyes locked up at least a share of the Big Ten championship tonight with a disturbingly close road win over Northwestern.

The fact that the game was tighter than the proverbial nun's starfish was not really a surprise to anyone who has ever seen Northwestern play or watched their team go on the road in the Big Ten. A win is a win, especially away from home.

If you're keeping track, that's a Big Ten football co-championship, at least a Big Ten men's basketball co-championship (with just a home game against last-place Purdue standing in the way of an outright title) and an outright Big Ten women's basketball championship during this academic year.

No Big Ten school has ever accomplished that.

Making things even sweeter is the fact that OSU has basically spent the last two years pistol-whipping Michigan in every sport of consequence. It's 6-1 this year, and 12-4 over the last two years (2-0 in football, 3-0 in men's basketball, 4-0 in women's basketball, 1-1 in baseball and the only blight, 2-3 in hockey).

2005-2006
Football: 1-0 (Ohio State 25, Michigan 21)
Men's Basketball: 2-0 (Won in Ann Arbor and Columbus)
Hockey: 1-1 (Split in Ann Arbor)
Women's Basketball: 2-0 (Won in Ann Arbor and Columbus)
Baseball: 0-0 (@ Ann Arbor 4/14-4/16)

2004-2005
Football: 1-0 (Ohio State 37, Michigan 21)
Men's Basketball: 1-0 (Won in Columbus)
Hockey: 1-2 (Split in Columbus, lost in CCHA championship)
Women's Basketball: 2-0 (Won in Columbus and Ann Arbor)
Baseball: 1-1 (0-1 in Ann Arbor, 1-0 in Big Ten tournament)

How do you live with yourself?

Bill Simmons turned in a gem today, writing "Poker stories are as boring as the game's current crop of stars, few of whom you'd ever idolize unless you were auditioning for a guest spot on 'My Name Is Earl.'"

Naturally, he did this in the middle of a column about poker, including some of his poker stories.

Either he's such a self-important douche that he somehow thinks his poker stories are more interesting than others (he did give us a play-by-play of his night watching TV already this week), or he just doesn't give a shit any more.

Either way, he's the perfect symbol of the modern-day ESPN.

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