Welcome to Wade County

March 11, 2009
Photo by Victor Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Victor Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

“The Cavs could nose dive into the cellar of the Eastern Conference playoffs, or DeWayne Wade or Kobe Bryant could go on some insane 40+ point streak. But if things play out like I believe, the NBA and its fans will be crowning a new king at season’s end.” _crunkbuc4d1 1/12/09

I guess I was partially right on this one. The Cavs haven’t nose dived but D-Wade has gone on an insane streak lately. Well, it’s less of streak and more of a cluster of games. I mean, the dude has gone off in the past two months. He’s even putting up 40 points a game over his last seven. I really don’t like scoring averages, but I look them up from time to time just to keep an eye on what’s going on. In Wade’s case they’re hard to look past sometimes when every night he’s in the Sportcenter top 10, and Stuart Scott’s screaming “Booyah!” like an idiot.

What he did the other night against Chicago was amazing. I didn’t see the game live, but ESPN did a great job of recreating the moment. Seriously, D-Wade should FedEx Heat tickets to whoever put that highlight package together because it was sweet. They even included his misses in the damn thing. There was one play where he had 3 dudes trying to guard him, and he slashed through them and got to the rim. But the sickest play of that game was the last one.

Wade picked Salmons pocket, ran up the court, leaped in the air from behind the three, called his baby momma, posed for a DIME cover, added Moon to his fave 5, and then decided he wanted to hit the game winner. That’s how crazy that moment felt to me. D-Wade was Peter Petrelli and I was a civilian wondering what the hell I just saw. Come to think of it, Brad Miller must’ve thought the same thing.

AP Photo/J Pat Carter

AP Photo/J Pat Carter

Anyway, Bron Bron is still the MVP. I’m not changing my pick unless D-Wade keeps doing what’s he’s doing and the Heat get the 4th seed. That’s the only way I can see him swaying votes his way. Either way I’m gonna sit back and enjoy the show.

Props to maxamillion711.com for the clip.

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Just Call Me The Commish

February 23, 2009
Watch out Finchem, I'm gunning for your job!

Watch out Finchem, I'm gunning for your job!

While watching my daily dose of PTI (Pardon The Interruption for the non-ESPN watchers) last week I was astounded when Wilbon & Kornheiser welcomed their guest for 5 good minutes.  He was introduced as Timothy Finchem, the commissioner of the PGA.  Did you know that the PGA had a commissioner?  Have you ever heard that name before?  I honestly had no clue there was a Commissioner of Golf, or why they’d even need one.  I guess to manage the money but seems an accountant could do that well enough.  It fascinated me and I got to thinking, could there be any better job than PGA Commissioner?  I’m sure the guy makes great bank and has few headaches, right?  That got me to comparing the various sports commissioners and weighing which job was better.  Hence this blog.  I’m not going to include the BCS Commissioner because being the commissioner of a league that lets computers decide its champion is a thing of shame, not to be glorified in a blog by me.

So, from worst to first:

MLB Commissioner:  Do you think Bud Selig is having any fun these days?  His biggest star admits to doing steroids, Congress continues to cast a baleful glare in his direction, two of his former biggest stars are getting ready to go on trial for steroids and lying to Congress, the All Star game decides home field advantage in the World Series…that’s a whole laundry list of problems.  And the fact that Selig turned a blind eye to the problems in baseball coupled with his kowtowing to the player’s union for years and years makes this job rather unappealing to me.   Not to mention just waiting for the hammer to drop and other names to come out.  I get an ulcer just thinking about it.  Nope, I wouldn’t want to be Bud.

NHL Commissioner:  I had a hard time placing this one.  On the one hand, hardly anybody watches hockey so you kind of get to exist in a vacuum.  Nobody really knows if you suck, because nobody really cares.  But that has to affect profitability, right?  The fact is they have been unable to find a star with drawing power.  Wayne Gretzky left and I don’t think the sport has been the same.  I’ve heard some not so pleasant things about Gary Bettman’s reign as commish, but I also heard that he improved the game somewhat with that OT shoot-out business.  The simple fact is, I couldn’t pick him out of a lineup, but at least I know his name.  He lands at #4 simply because his sport is pretty irrelevant.  Oh, and it’s too long for my taste, they crown a champ and it feels like they’re back to playing a month later.  Minus points for that.

NFL Commissioner:  Ahh Roger Goodell time!  The NFL is the #1 sport in America, so the job would appear to be the best of all of them when it comes to that factor.  Profits rise every year (unless you’re Detroit) and the league enjoys a lack of public scrutiny when it comes to things like steroids and drug testing.  This is because they have had stringent tests for years, although one suspects that the players are smarter than the tests.  Nobody cares like they do in baseball though, we just wanna win!  The reason this job is not the most appealing is because of the outside elements you have to deal with as commish.  The Pacman Jones’ of the world, if you will.  With each team having 53 players, it only takes one per team to create a lot of strife.  Dealing with the Mike Vicks and Plaxico Burress’ of the league would not be fun.  Nearly weekly someone is getting in trouble for something, be it drugs or DUI or shooting yourself in the thigh.  Points deducted for the troublemakers and the sheer number of people you’re dealing with and NFL Commish falls to the 3 spot.

NBA Commissioner:  I don’t watch the NBA, but I know who David Stern is and I could pick him out of a lineup.  I could pick him out because he scares me.  I would finger some other guy for the crime and hope that Stern would reward me in some way.  Basketball players are apt to fall into the same kind of trouble as football players are, pot smoking seeming to be the chief no-no they get nailed with.  But there are far fewer players to deal with here, so there’s less to worry about.  Hell, the #1 or #2 star in the league was charged with rape years ago and that affected nothing.  Points are deducted here because the NBA remains only the #3 sport of the big 4, with no signs of ever moving up the list.  Despite having some stars with name power, Lebron and Kobe, they’re still not MJ or Magic or Bird.  Your random person doesn’t care.  So Stern only gets #2.  I hope he refrains from hurting me!

PGA Commissioner:  Yep, that’s right, the guy I’ve never heard of, Tim Finchem, gets the top spot.  Think about it, who’s the league troublemaker?  John Daly right?  And everyone STILL loves the guy.  Nobody wants him punished, they want to sit down and have a beer with him.  Sure, you have Sergio take the occasional spit into a cup, but if that’s your biggest problem then you’re sitting on gold.  Your biggest concern is to make sure Tiger Woods is happy, right?  He was on PTI to celebrate Tiger’s return and what it means to the PGA.  Your #1 superstar is never going to get arrested for beating a woman or doing drugs.  He’s the ultimate family man and world ambassador.  Stern and Goodell would laugh at Finchem if he ever called them to complain about any of Daly’s silly acts.  Timmy gets to sit back and count his coins and maybe play a round or two of golf.  Tough life.

So there you have it.  There’s no better commissioner’s job than that of the Tim Finchem’s.  I’m aware that I have no idea what kind of administrative coordination these guys do, I’m sure it’s involved and whatnot but I still figure the PGA dude has it the best.  So, I’d like to throw my hat in the ring.  I’m running for PGA Commish.  Watch out Finchem!


Nole’s Notes

February 4, 2009
Nothing brings out the manlove like winning the Super Bowl.  Photo from Getty Images.

Nothing brings out the manlove like winning the Super Bowl. Photo from Getty Images.

Now that the NFL season is officially over, I guess I have to turn my attention to other sports.  I’ll be honest with you, other sports do not entrance me the way football does, but I do pay attention to headlines and major happenings for the most part.  So I’ve decided to do a weekly Notes Blog wherein I discuss the major sports happenings of the week.  It will be football, baseball, tennis, hockey, basketball, whatever strikes my fancy.  Without further ado, let’s hit it!

  • Today is national signing day for the college recruits.  Well, most of them, for some reason some of them don’t commit today and commit several weeks from now.  So why have a deadline?  I really don’t get that.  Anyway, today us college football lovers get excited about all of these random people we never heard of before and get depressed over missing out on other top recruits.  I hope on espn.com and seminoles.com to find out what my Noles are doing and where they’re rated and who we’ve got and who we might get.  I get rather obsessive about it and refresh every half hour or so.  And today I ask myself why?  I don’t know these kids.  I don’t know anything about them other than somebody slammed 5 stars next to this guy and only 3 next to that guy.  Doesn’t really mean they’ll kick butt on the field, I’ve seen many of the top recruits flame out over the years.  But still, I care, and I get excited!  Go Noles!  We did land the top DT in the nation apparently, which pleases me, as well as high rated cornerbacks and safeties and a kicker.  All positions of major need so I’m content.  So, hope you’re having a blast college football gurus, may your school land those top recruits and may everybody decommit from USC and UF just because I hate them.
  • So everybody’s all up in arms about this Michael Phelps marijuana smoking picture.  Some of the morons in the media blasted him for letting his picture get taken.  Hello, I don’t believe he knew it was.  Also, he is a 23 year old and he will do the occasional stupid thing.  That’s what happens in the early 20’s.  He admitted it, which was pretty stand up of him, because I saw the picture and it really didn’t even look that much like him.  I’d have gone with the lie personally, but then I happen to be an accomplished and awesome liar.  Now apparently the police are thinking of charging him.  Can you charge someone for a picture?  I mean, you may as well hit myspace right now and get your warrants ready.  What a bunch of bull.  Leave him alone, lesson learned, moving on, get in the pool and win some more gold medals in 4 years.  Thanks, buh bye.
  • Apparently indictment records against Bonds were released this week and lo and behold, he tested positive for steroids.  This is GROUND BREAKING NEWS.  I was not aware of this information!!!!  I mean, I know he doubled his size right in front of our very eyes a couple years ago, but I assumed it was natural.  He was probably hitting Taco Bell and McDonald’s every night.  I can grow to twice my size very easily when I do that and I’m not on the roids!  Truly, I am sick of this story.  Get a trial going or don’t, I really don’t care anymore.  I am tired of Barroid and want him gone.  It doesn’t matter if he goes to jail or just goes home and counts his money and throws baseballs at passers by from his bedroom window.  Just go away!
  • Roger Clemens, the same goes to you.  We know you did roids, you know you did roids, why are we all still talking about it?  Government, put up or shut up.  We’ll see if the vengeful media punishes Roger and Barry or if they usher them into the hall of fame with their not very valid we don’t know when he used argument.  If you’re going to keep Big Mac and Palmiero and others out, you keep those two out too.  Period.
  • Kobe broke the scoring record at Madison Square Gardens the other night, got 61 there I guess.  That’s cool I suppose, not as cool as the 81 he got a couple of years ago.  It appears that nobody will ever beat Wilt’s record which is a shame, I live to watch records fall and I would actually tune in to a basketball game if there’s a possible scoring record on the line.
  • What was going on in Pittsburgh on Tuesday?  I’ve seen some clips of the Super Bowl celebration party and that was the quietest damn crowd I’ve ever seen.  What, #6 is just passe now?  Ramp up the celebration, peeps!  Bring the energy, it’s cold out there so you should be yelling and whooping it up!  Perhaps William Gay’s retarded rap song stunned them all into silence.  I could understand that.  The record execs will not be knocking down your door Willie.
  • Manny Ramirez remains unsigned and the Dodgers are getting a little bit tired of him turning down their rather large contract offers.  Albert Pujols of my St. Louis Cardinals is pushing for my spendthrift owners to get off their butts and bring him there.  At first I was horrified by this idea but then I thought of the beauty of having and Albert/Manny combo at 3/4 and I decided I could suck it up and deal with the Manny drama.  Do it!  Do it now, Cards!  It’s not like you’ve bothered to do anything to improve the team this off season, so there should be some cash lying around for Manny.  Albert with keep him reigned in, I have faith in that!
  • I guess there was some epic tennis this past weekend.  Can’t say that I watched, but Federer/Nadal round 2938293 or whatever it was was a long battle that drained them both.  Nadal came out the victor and Federer had a heartfelt teary speech.  Nadal came back with his own honoring Federer.  Awesome display of sportsmanship.  Serena won again as well, go Williams Sisters.  I don’t follow the sport but I do follow them and I love that she’s still winning at an age when most tennis chicks are retiring.
  • The Cardinals offensive coordinator is interviewing for the KC job.  He and Pioli have a history together so that’s a pretty good possibility.  If he goes that will probably be good for the Cards when it comes to retaining Boldin, but who can say what it means for Warner?  Haley’s done a great job with that offense and deserves another head coaching job.
  • I didn’t do a Super Bowl commentary, by the time I thought about it I was immersed in Heroes blogging and Days drama and Idol in Hollywood, so the opportunity slipped past me.  But I will say that was the best Super Bowl I’ve ever seen.  I know it was quiet in the 3rd quarter but since I knew that AZ could score quickly I remained riveted.  Worked out well all in all.  My heart was broken for the Cards, that had to have been a major gut punch to lose; but the football fan in me was thrilled with the last minute TD by Santonio Holmes.  Gorgeous play, fantastic game.
  • There should have been a longer review of the Warner fumble at the end of the game.  I hate to have a game that good end somewhat questionably.  No matter where you fell on was it or wasn’t it, you have to agree it should have gotten more than cursory glance in the booth.  I would have loved to see Warner get a shot at the end zone with Fitz and Boldin waiting.

So those are the big things on my mind this week.  I hope you liked this format, I’ll be happy to stick with it if people like it.  If it seems like I’m just talking to myself I’ll call it quits, because I talk to myself all the time and I could save myself some future carpal tunnel treatment if ya’ll don’t like it.  Let me know!


The King is ready to reign over his court

January 12, 2009
The King is ready to reign over his court.

Dust off your robes and scepters; you are cordially invited to the coronation ceremony of Prince Lebron Raymone James. For years Lebron James has been referred to as “King James” despite the lacking the game which justifies the lofty title. It’s funny how times can change so quickly. After finishing 2nd, 5th, and 4th respectively in MVP voting since 2006, he has positioned himself to win his first MVP award and make history in the process.

With a little over half the season left to play, Lebron James has established himself as the front runner for the league’s most prestigious individual award. I must admit, the LBJ kool-aid was rather bitter tasting to me at the start of season. But as the Cavaliers turned on the jets and his competitors began to plunge, that kool-aid tastes as sweet as can be. The Cavs stand atop the Eastern Conference standings and Lebron’s stats line is as impressive as ever.

Heading into his upcoming game against the lowly Memphis Grizzlies, Lebron’s statistical impact can be seen on both ends of the floor. If he keeps up his current pace, he’ll finish the season with a career best in blocks (1.3), turnovers (2.9), field goal (.508), and free throw percentage (.788). He’s also on pace to average 2 steals a game, which he’s only eclipsed during his rookie season.

Many of the talking heads out there will have you believe Lebron’s improvement can be directly related to his involvement with the U.S. Olympic team. I, on the other hand, think it’s the personnel surrounding him. Danny Ferry finally got off his high horse and decided to build these Cavs with role-players who compliment the “Prince”. Over the last two seasons he’s dispatched guys such as: Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Joe Smith, and Damon Jones, while replacing them with a Ben Wallace, Delonte West, Mo Williams, and Daniel Gibson. Add in Anderson Varejao and long-time Cav Zydrunas Illgaukas and the picture becomes a bit clearer.

Log jamming the paint has been the most successful strategy for defending Lebron in the past.  Memo to the other 29 teams in the league; these aren’t the same old Cavs. Their rotating backcourt is knocking down the open shots, which may have been missed in previous years, allowing Lebron more opportunities to impose his will on the court. This new found luxury also allows Lebron to expend more energy on defense, without the added pressure of creating something out of nothing on offense. On most nights he’s assigned to the opposition’s best wing defender, and has developed a knack for blocking shots on help defense.

Given his performance thus far this season, and the fact that everyone in the media wants him as their son, it’s not out the question to think Lebron could become the first ever unanimous MVP award winner. Of course, there’s plenty of basketball still left to play. The Cavs could nose dive into the cellar of the Eastern Conference playoffs, or DeWayne Wade or Kobe Bryant could go on some insane 40+ point streak. But if things play out like I believe, the NBA and its fans will be crowning a new king at season’s end.

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